Collierville Auto Garage Financed for $1.5 Million

Olive Branch-based Roller Properties LLC, which is affiliated with Cecil’s Automotive, has financed an auto garage at 3815 S. Houston Levee Road in Collierville through BancorpSouth Bank for $1.5 million.

The 6,121-square-foot garage was built in 2010 on about an acre on the west side of South Houston Levee south of Winchester Road in Gallina Collection. The Shelby County Register of Deeds’ 2010 appraisal was $528,000.

Roller Properties LLC shares an address with Cecil Automotive’s Olive Branch location at 5445 Goodman Road. The auto care company has a third location at 683 Union Ave. in Midtown.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Kate Simone

PRSA Names Nichols Communicator of the Year

The Public Relations Society of America will honor Jackie Nichols, executive producer of Playhouse on the Square, as the 2010 Communicator of the Year Wednesday during a luncheon at the Fogelman Executive Conference Center on the University of Memphis campus.

The Communicator of the Year award is presented to a member of the community who exhibits the ability to communicate effectively to a general or specific public, has public visibility as a communicator, is a respected member of the community and invests his time and talent communicating a specific message.

The luncheon is free for PRSA members, $25 for nonmembers and $15 for students. For more information, visit

– Allison Buckley

Crye-Leike Inducts Local Agent into Elite Club

Jimmie Kay Finch, affiliate broker with Crye-Leike Realtors Inc.’s Collierville office, has been inducted into the company’s elite Circle of Excellence Club, earning the honorary title of vice president.

Founded in 1987, the award is one of the highest levels of professional and personal achievement in the U.S. real estate industry. In order to receive this honor, each real estate professional must meet stringent requirements of the program, showing exemplary performance in the areas of advanced education, ethics, loyalty, sales volume and service to the community and real estate profession.

“Success is built with a strong foundation, and being a part of Crye-Leike has enabled me to learn and work with some of the best people in the business,” Finch said in a statement.

Finch works in Shelby and Fayette counties. Finch is a member of the Memphis Area Association of Realtors, the Tennessee Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. She is also a Lifetime Member of the Crye-Leike Multi-Million Dollar Club, a multi-year member of the MAAR Multi Million Dollar Club and a member of the Memphis Young Professionals Network.

Finch has her professional real estate designations as a Certified Residential Specialist, a Certified Relocation Associate, an Accredited Buyer Representative and an Internet Marketing Specialist. She also holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Mississippi.

– Sarah Baker

Opera Memphis Offers Tickets for Locks of Love Donations

Opera Memphis is offering two complimentary tickets to “The Barber of Seville,” performing April 16-17, for anyone who donates their hair to Locks of Love.

Locks of Love provides vacuum-fitted hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children suffering from long-term medical hair loss. Donated hair must be at least 10 inches, clean, dry and bundled in a ponytail or braid. Bleached hair cannot be used. Hair that has been dyed or permed can.

To ensure the best available seats are reserved, participants are asked to alert Opera Memphis as early as possible of their intent to donate. Notification may be send to

Participants are asked to drop off their donations at the Clark Opera Memphis Center, 6745 Wolf River Parkway, April 1 between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Memphis Joins Higher Ed Network

The city of Memphis is part of a National League of Cities network on higher education.

Memphis is one of 14 cities including Las Vegas and San Antonio that are part of the league’s “Postsecondary Success City Action Network.”

The network works toward and discusses ideas for getting workers to complete a college education once started.

By completing college work, municipal leaders hope the workers with more formal training will lead to growth in tax revenue and economic activity.

– Bill Dries

Itty Bitty Bella Opens in Collierville

Stephanie Singley, the owner of Bella Vita, an upscale gift and interiors shop in Collierville, has created a new store concept – Itty Bitty Bella, which will carry gifts and interiors for infants and children.

Items will include bedding, clothing, toys, diaper bags, backpacks and more. Furniture will include cribs and strollers, among other things.

The new store is two doors down from Bella Vita at 3670 Houston Levee Road. It will be open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit

– Andy Meek

Haslam Urges Lawmakers to Tone Down Rhetoric

Gov. Bill Haslam is urging lawmakers in both parties to tone down their rhetoric as they prepare to take up a series of education proposals.

The Republican governor after a speech to the Nashville Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday said he’s been disturbed by increasing partisanship, which he said is not “healthy for solving problems.”

Haslam has proposed bills to make teacher tenure more difficult to obtain and to lift a cap on charter school enrollment. He has remained neutral on a contentious bill to strip teachers of their collective bargaining rights.

The governor’s comments came a day after freshman Republican Sen. Jim Summerville of Dickson warned teachers in a floor speech not to try to stand in the way of changes to public education. In Summerville’s words: “The final responsibility is ours – and we are warriors.”

– The Associated Press

Underwater Mortgages Rise as Home Prices Fall

The number of Americans who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth rose at the end of last year, preventing many people from selling their homes in an already weak housing market.

About 11.1 million households, or 23.1 percent of all mortgaged homes, were underwater in the October-December quarter, according to report released Tuesday by housing data firm CoreLogic. That’s up from 22.5 percent, or 10.8 million households, in the July-September quarter.

The number of underwater mortgages had fallen in the previous three quarters. But that was mostly because more homes had fallen into foreclosure.

Underwater mortgages typically rise when home prices fall. Home prices in December hit their lowest point since the housing bust in 11 of 20 major U.S. metro areas. In a healthy housing market, about 5 percent of homeowners are underwater.

Roughly two-thirds of homeowners in Nevada with a mortgage had negative home equity, the worst in the country. Arizona, Florida, Michigan and California were next, with up to 50 percent of homeowners with mortgages in those states underwater.

Oklahoma had the smallest percentage of underwater homeowners in the October-December quarter, at 5.8 percent. Only nine states recorded percentages less than 10 percent.

– The Associated Press

Bill Would Allow Students to Opt Out of Activities

Tennessee parents would be able to opt their children out of extracurricular school activities under a proposal headed for a full House vote.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Matthew Hill of Jonesborough passed the House Education Committee on a voice vote Tuesday and is being scheduled for a vote on the House floor.

The companion bill is awaiting a vote in the Senate Education Committee.

Under the legislation, schools would notify parents about the activities “by way of student handbooks or policy guidebooks.”

Hill says those parents who don’t want their children to participate in a certain activity can send a note to the school.

– The Associated Press