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VOL. 126 | NO. 53 | Thursday, March 17, 2011

Daily Digest

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Sammons Buys Craig Lumber Property

Melynda F. Sammons of Collierville has bought a 7.8-acre parcel at 200 Progress Road in Collierville – a portion of the Craig Lumber tract, according to sale documents – from Craig Lumber Corp. for $1.2 million. The purchase was financed with a $1.3 million loan through BancorpSouth Bank, with a maturity date in 2016.

The property is at the southeast corner of Progress Road and Industrial Park Lane. It contains a 97,584-square-foot warehouse (including warehouse office space) built in 1981, a 6,798-square-foot lumber equipment shed built in 1980 and several detached steel canopies.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2010 appraisal was $2.5 million.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Kate Simone

Council Approves Food Cart Ordinance

An ordinance with more specific regulations for mobile food carts was approved by the Memphis City Council this week on the first of three readings.

The item limits the vendors to private property and street corners – with permission – for no more than two hours at a time with an hour break and no more than three, two-hour periods a day.

It also bans food sales from the carts from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

And the food vendors would not be allowed to operate within 300 feet of the main entrance of a restaurant outside the Central Business Improvement District. The distance requirement is 50 feet within the CBID.

The council also approved a $1 million swap of funding from the city’s capital improvements budget to the city’s general fund for two small, minority and locally owned business loan funds.

One is a $600,000 micro-loan fund to be administered by the city’s Renaissance Business Center.

The remaining $400,000 is for the Grow Memphis Fund, a partnership with the nonprofit National Development Council. NDC will leverage the city funds to create a $2.4 million fund.

The proposal from the Wharton administration was approved by the council despite some questions from council members. Instead of delaying the item, council members called for a detailed briefing during the March 29 council committee sessions.

– Bill Dries

Pyramid Seismic Issues Could Get Two-Part Study

Finding out whether a seismic retrofit of The Pyramid is worth the money to the city will cost the city at least $5.2 million.

That’s what city Housing and Community Development Director Robert Lipscomb told Memphis City Council members this week. Lipscomb proposed a $5.2 million “below ground” study of The Pyramid after a consulting company is hired through a request for proposal process.

Depending on the results, the council would then decide whether to spend at least that much – and possibly more – for a study of The Pyramid itself.

The two-part process is designed to test the political will of the council to go further with a seismic retrofit or move toward other alternatives that could include demolition of The Pyramid.

Lipscomb said Bass Pro Shops executives are interested in knowing how the city feels about a process that is critical to their plans to renovate The Pyramid with a store and other attractions.

A seismic retrofit is the city’s responsibility and expense under the existing agreement between the outdoors retailer and the city.

Lipscomb fielded a lot of questions, but council chairman Myron Lowery said the sense of the body at the council executive session was to move ahead with requests for proposal. The council would decide at a later date whether it wants to spend the money and begin the first phase of the seismic review.

– Bill Dries

UTHSC Names Exec. Dean to College of Medicine

Dr. David M. Stern has been named executive dean for the University of Tennessee College of Medicine campuses statewide. Reporting directly to UTHSC Chancellor Steve J. Schwab, Stern will serve as chief academic and administrative officer of the College of Medicine campuses in Memphis, Chattanooga and Knoxville.

“Dr. Stern’s appointment follows a nationwide search in which the committee identified a group of accomplished, well-qualified candidates,” Schwab said. “We feel certain Dr. Stern will bring the right combination of academic rigor, clinical expertise, administrative discipline and visionary leadership to the executive dean’s role.”

Stern will be based in Memphis, where he will also assume the role of dean for the College of Medicine at the main campus in Memphis.

Additionally, he will serve as vice chancellor of clinical affairs at UTHSC to oversee the college’s clinical activities and faculty practice plans, which currently include UT Medical Group and UT Le Bonheur Pediatric Specialists.

Stern previously served as dean of the College of Medicine, vice president of health affairs and professor of internal medicine and molecular and cellular physiology at the

University of Cincinnati. Prior to that role, Stern served three years as dean and chief clinical officer at the Medical College of Georgia and spent many years as a physician- scientist at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Stern holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Yale University and a medical degree from Harvard Medical School.

– Aisling Maki

Fred's Backs Guidance Following Dip in Share Price

Discount retailer Fred’s Inc. backed its fourth-quarter guidance on Tuesday, defending the company’s strength after a dip in its share price.

The company’s shares closed at $13.36 on Friday then fell more than 5 percent Monday to close at $12.64 and dipped as low as $12.02 during Tuesday trading.

The company said trends in its business and store operations remain consistent with January and February monthly sales results.

The discount retailer, which will announce its fourth-quarter results next week, said it still expects to report earnings in line with its earlier guidance of 19 cents to 22 cents per share for the quarter and 73 to 76 cents per share for the full year.

On average, analysts surveyed by FactSet have predicted quarterly earnings of 21 cents per share and full-year profit of 74 cents per share.

The company also said that in light of the decline in its share price, it intends to resume repurchases under its previously announced stock buyback plan.

Fred’s operates 676 discount general merchandise stores in the southeastern United States. The stock has zigzagged between $10.16 and $14.40 in the past 52 weeks.

– The Associated Press

Tour de Cure to Benefit Diabetes Association

The Tour de Cure cycling event to benefit the American Diabetes Association’s Memphis office will be held April 30 at Mud Island River Park.

The Tour de Cure is open to cyclists of all experience levels. Routes include a 12-mile family ride, an intermediate 35-mile course and a 62-mile “metric century” ride.

In addition to the ride, there will be vendors offering free bike tune-ups, health screenings, chair massages, music and meals before and after the ride.

Check-in time for the 12- and 35-mile routes is 8 a.m. and check-in time for the 62-mile route is 7 a.m. For more information or to register, call 682-8232 or visit www.diabetes.org/tour.

– Taylor Shoptaw

FedEx to Donate Plane to Mich. Aviation College

A FedEx Express plane will make its final landing at Western Michigan University’s aviation school, where it will provide real-world training for students.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports Wednesday the donated plane is expected to arrive in late April or early May at the university’s College of Aviation, which is in Battle Creek, Mich.

The Boeing 727 is valued at about $1 million. University officials hope to construct a $2.5 million hangar for planes that will be displaced when the new aircraft fills the college’s existing storage hangar.

Aviation college Dean Dave Powell says the plane won’t fly but students will be able to maneuver it on the tarmac and work on its mechanics.

FedEx Corp. says it has donated many planes over the years to schools, museums and other organizations.

– The Associated Press

U of M Holds Internship Info Session for Employers

The University of Memphis, in conjunction with Lipscomb & Pitts Breakfast Club, will host a free information session for employers interested in summer internships for their organizations March 24 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the University Center on the U of M campus.

The information session will share best practices and discuss how internships work, how companies can weave them in their routine, setting up successful templates, and how to select the right students.

Current students, including representatives from the emerging leadership, Memphis Institute for Leadership Education and honors programs, will be attending to meet and network with local employers.

There is no charge for the event and employers are encouraged to attend but space is limited.

For reservations, contact Kathy Tuberville at 678-3105 or k.tuberville@memphis.edu.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Keller Williams Agent Receives Lifetime Honor

Karen Stephens of Keller Williams Memphis Central has recently been named a cultural ambassador by Keller Williams Realty.

A lifetime appointment, the honor is given to only two associates from each Keller Williams region each year who have demonstrated what it means to live and grow the company culture – the idea that work is never more important than family, and that succeeding in business comes by serving customers, rather than self-interest.

“The Keller Williams culture has always been an important part of who we are in every decision we make at KW Memphis Central,” Stephens said in a statement. “This honor puts a wonderful spotlight on us all.”

Once chosen as a cultural ambassador, the honoree is challenged to help to continue to grow, inspire and motivate locally, while assisting with action plans for regional success.

– Sarah Baker

PROPERTY SALES 36 154 6,546
MORTGAGES 34 94 4,129
BANKRUPTCIES 43 126 3,396