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VOL. 126 | NO. 197 | Monday, October 10, 2011

Daily Digest

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Permit: Large Solar Farm Planned At Agricenter

A 1-megawatt solar farm could be installed at Agricenter International, according to a $3.5 million building permit application just filed with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement.

The permit application lists Agricenter International’s address, 7777 Walnut Grove Road, and states it is for “installation of a ground-mounted 1-MW solar farm on the property of the Agricenter in Shelby County.”

Though no contractor is listed, a phone number on the permit application is that of LightWave Solar Electric LLC, which has offices in Antioch and Johnson City, Tenn.

Calls to Agricenter International and LightWave Solar Electric were not immediately returned.

A 1-MW solar array can produce 1.5 million kilowatt hours a year – enough to power 200 homes, according to Natural Energy Group of Knoxville. NEG unveiled a 1-MW solar farm in Jackson, Tenn., in January – the largest solar energy project in state history and, along with a 1-MW solar farm opened in Georgia around the same time, one of the two largest solar arrays ever built in the Tennessee Valley Association region, according to the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. TVA’s region covers nearly all of Tennessee and portions of six other states.

The Agricenter project would match the enormity of those projects.

Opened in 2006 in Nashville, LightWave Solar Electric designs and installs turn-key solar electric – photovoltaic – systems throughout the state, according to the company’s website.

It is a member of the Tennessee Renewable Energy & Economic Development Council and an affiliate of the American Solar Energy Society and the U.S. Green Building Council’s Middle Tennessee chapter, among other organizations.

In addition, LightWave holds an unlimited state electrical license and the most North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners certifications in the state, according to the company’s site.

Agricenter International, which opened in 1985 as the first “International Agricultural Market Center,” bills itself as the world’s largest urban farm and research test facility.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– The Daily News Staff

Eight Apply for Vacancy on Tenn. Appeals Court

Eight West Tennessee attorneys have applied for the vacancy on the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals created by the death of Memphian J.C. McLin.

Applications to the Judicial Nominating Commission were due Friday, Oct. 7, and were limited to West Tennessee attorneys for the seat on the bench designated for West Tennessee.

The applicants are Mischelle Alexander Best, Shelby County assistant public defender; Richard Joseph Averwater, a Bartlett attorney; Bobby Carter, Shelby County Criminal Court judge; J. Ross Dyer, managing attorney for the Memphis office of the Tennessee attorney general; Elizabeth Erguden, Shelby County assistant district attorney general; Roger Page of Medina, who is a Circuit Court judge; John D. Stevens, a Huntingdon attorney; and James Edward Thomas, a Bartlett attorney.

The commission will interview the candidates in a public hearing Oct. 24 at 9 a.m. at the Supreme Court building in Jackson.

The commission then will recommend three finalists to Gov. Bill Haslam for his choice of appointment.

– Bill Dries

First South Financial CU Acquires Dyersburg CU

Bartlett-based First South Financial Credit Union has acquired Dyersburg Credit Union, bringing a 15th First South Financial full-service banking center to the Memphis area.

The merger is effective immediately, but both credit unions will operate independently until information systems can be combined.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for growth for the combined institutions,” said First South Financial President and CEO Dr. Craig Esrael. “It gives former Dyersburg Credit Union members access to services and products which were previously not available, plus this immediately provides First South Financial with an expanded membership base. Also, with this merger, First South Financial will now have over $400 million in assets.”

All necessary regulatory steps have been completed. Most of the remaining work involves converting loans, credit and debit cards and other accounts from the Dyersburg Credit Union’s core systems to First South Financial’s. It’s hoped that can be finished by Nov. 30.

No employees at either institution were displaced because of the merger.

– Andy Meek

Saint Francis-Memphis Awarded for Heart Care

Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis has been awarded the American Heart Association’s Gold Performance Achievement Award for its performance treating heart failure. The hospital received the award as a result of its participation in the American Heart Association’s “Get With the Guidelines” program.

Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett also received the Gold rating this year.

The recognition signifies that Saint Francis has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients at an 85 percent performance level for at least 12 months, based on core standard levels of care, as outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines for heart failure patients.

Get With the Guidelines is a hospital-based quality improvement program that helps hospitals ensure patients consistently receive quality cardiac-care services.

– Aisling Maki

Baker Donelson Named Among Top Law Employers

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC has been ranked athe Top 10 in the 2012 edition of Vault Inc.’s “Best Law Firms to Work For.”

The national ranking is based on feedback from thousands of law-firm associates across the country who were asked to rate their firms on a 1 to 10 scale in a number of quality-of-life categories.

In only its second year to participate in the annual survey, Baker Donelson achieved a ranking of seventh in the overall Best Law Firms to Work For list.

The firm achieved a first place ranking in the Transparency category. Baker Donelson also ranked among the Top 10 law firms nationally in four other categories: fifth in Satisfaction; seventh in Hours; ninth in Informal Training; and 10th in Firm Culture.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Shelby County Retirement Fund Declines in August

Shelby County’s retirement fund in August continued the steady decline in value it’s seen since May.

The value of the fund stood at a little more than $912 million in August, down from almost $969 million for July. The fund was valued at a little more than $1 billion in April.

Most of the latest monthly decline is attributable to losses in the U.S. and international stock investments in the county’s fund.

The fund’s domestic equity investments dropped almost 9 percent for the month of August, and the international equity investments were down 9.3 percent.

– Andy Meek

Cooper-Young Beerfest Slated for Oct. 15

Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest organizers have added a number of regional beer brewers and local food vendors to the second annual festival, slated for Saturday, Oct. 15, at 1 p.m. in the Lifelink Memphis parking lot at 1015 S. Cooper St.

While the festival has grown, festival organizers have not changed the things that made last year’s event a success. Ticket sales were capped to match the amount of available beer to ensure plenty of space (and beer) for everyone.

The “Beer Tent Revival” will return with beer lectures, discussions and question-and-answer sessions with brewers throughout the day.

The festival will also feature food to purchase from Central BBQ, Sweet Grass and Stone Soup. Goner Records will spin records for the day’s soundtrack.

Tickets for the event are $25 for CYCA members and $30 for non-members and are available at beerfest.cooperyoung.org.

Tickets are also available at Boscos Squared, 2120 Madison Ave., Mid-South Malts, 741 N. White Station Road, or at the Cooper-Young Community Association office, 2298 Young Ave.

– Sarah Baker

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 57 280 1,209
MORTGAGES 55 244 916
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 8 52 151
BUILDING PERMITS 158 699 2,751
BANKRUPTCIES 37 157 618
BUSINESS LICENSES 12 77 276
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0