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VOL. 126 | NO. 36 | Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Daily Digest

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nexAir Files Permit to Renovate Headquarters

Local gas distributor nexAir LLC has filed a $600,000 permit with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement to renovate its headquarters at 1385 Corporate Ave., near the intersection of Interstate 240 and Millbranch Road.

The permit calls for a “phase two renovation” of an existing 22,869-square-foot office space on the property, which sits along the south side of Corporate Avenue.

The company has been making capital improvements recently. For example, nexAir built a $1.5 million, 3,500-square-foot hydrogen gas plant at one of its sites, 1211 N. McLean Blvd., which opened last May.

The new facility improved nexAir’s supply chain and its flexibility in providing gasses for its customers.

Previously the company had to buy hydrogen gas from a distributor in Chattanooga and then haul it across the state in two tank trailers, each carrying about 150,000 cubic feet of gas.

nexAir has five locations in Memphis, including its headquarters, plus four sites elsewhere in Tennessee, two in Alabama, three in Arkansas, one in Georgia, two in Louisiana and five in Mississippi.

The company, a supplier of a variety of gasses and equipment, formed in 1996 when two longtime family-owned Memphis-based companies combined operations.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– The Daily News staff

Urgent Care Franchise Opens Memphis Location

Doctors Express, the first national urgent care franchise, has opened a Memphis location at 5475 Poplar Ave.

Franchise owner Jim Harper, who will manage the business side, has teamed up with Dr. Susan Besser, an urgent care physician with more than 20 years of experience in the medical field.

The goal is to provide affordable, efficient, non-emergency treatment to walk-in patients through a broad range of services, including diagnosis and treatment, X-rays, on-site labs, drug screenings and work-site inoculations for employers.

The center aims to deliver an alternative to the long waits associated with doctor’s office and emergency room visits; Doctors Express said its average wait time to see a physician is 15 to 20 minutes.

“Tennessee needs a fresh approach to medical service, and our team of experienced health care professionals provides a whole new experience with Doctors Express,” Harper said. “Patients want to get treated by experienced physicians without sitting around all day in a waiting room. We believe Doctors Express is an efficient, low-cost healthcare solution that will improve access to quality medical care throughout the state.”

Doctors Express, originally founded by an emergency room physician and two business executives in Towson, Md., currently has 28 locations throughout the country. A total of 81 franchises have been awarded to 23 states and 40 will be operating by the end of the first quarter this year.

– Aisling Maki

New Fed. Program To Help Low-Income Homeowners

The U.S. Treasury has implemented the Hardest Hit Fund Program, providing mortgage payment assistance to unemployed and underemployed Americans.

Shelby County residents have been identified as heavily impacted by the recession and can now apply for the highest level of benefit – up to $20,000 to cover up to 18 months of mortgage expenses.

The program is administered by Tennessee Housing Development Agency and the application process is being facilitated by THDA partners, including NeighborWorks Alliance of Tennessee. Tennessee has $191 million allocated.

Homeowners can apply through NeighborWorks Alliance of Tennessee for the loans – which are zero percent interest and forgivable, meaning if borrowers meet program standards, they do not have to repay the loans.

“NeighborWorks Alliance of Tennessee knows keeping people in their homes is the best option for a family, their community and for improving the Tennessee economy,” Corinne Cahill, NeighborWorks America’s deputy director of the Great Lakes District, said.

Homeowners who may be eligible are encouraged to visit HardestHitTN.org for full program details. Potentially eligible homeowners can begin the application process by calling 888-588-9129.

– Sarah Baker

Ford & Harrison LLP Announces New Partner

David Prather, an attorney in the Memphis office of Ford & Harrison LLP, has been named partner.

Prather concentrates his practice on employment litigation and advice. In early 2008, he left the firm after an appointment by the George W. Bush administration to serve as senior adviser to the administrator of the wage and hour division of the U.S. Dept. of Labor, the second highest-ranking political appointee within the wage and house division. At the end of the Bush administration, Prather rejoined Ford & Harrison in 2009.

Since his return, Prather has been actively involved with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce labor relations committee.

He sits on the committee’s wage, hour and leave and equal employment opportunity subcommittees and is a co-author of a chamber white paper on labor and employment issues.

– Andy Meek

Schools Consolidation Early Voting Tops 2K

Early voting in advance of the March 8 election day topped 2,000 through Saturday – 2,161 to be exact.

Both sides of the schools consolidation question on the ballot worked to rally voters over the weekend as early voting expanded Saturday to sites across the city.

Until Saturday, voting had been limited to Shelby County Election Commission headquarters Downtown, 157 Poplar Ave.

With the 15 satellite sites, early voting totals jumped from 195 on Friday to 1,479 on Saturday.

White Station Church of Christ, 1106 Colonial Road, was the top location with 215 voters. Bishop Byrne High School, 1475 E. Shelby Dr., was next with a turnout of 202 on Saturday. Berclair Church of Christ, 4536 Summer Ave., rounded out the top three with 149 early voters.

– Bill Dries

Agape Receives $30K to Expand Mentoring Efforts

The H.W. Durham Foundation has donated $30,000 to Agape Child and Family Services.

The funding will go toward supporting Agape’s Intergenerational Mentoring efforts, which engage adults 55 years of age and older who mentor and tutor the community’s youth.

The donation will more than double the number of at-risk youth served in 2011 with mentors and tutors through school-based mentoring and community-based efforts.

In addition, the funding will support outreach and communications efforts to heighten awareness of Agape.

The H.W. Durham Foundation’s mission is to enrich and improve the quality of life for older citizens and their communities.

– Taylor Shoptaw

East Shelby Republicans Hold Schools Forum

The East Shelby Republican Club will feature a forum on schools consolidation at the group’s monthly meeting Tuesday.

The forum is one of several across the county as early voting has begun in the city on the question of surrendering the Memphis City Schools charter.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at The Pickering Center, 7771 Poplar Pike.

– Bill Dries

PROPERTY SALES 56 289 2,908
MORTGAGES 55 226 2,009
BUILDING PERMITS 108 1,002 6,703
BANKRUPTCIES 42 248 1,225