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VOL. 127 | NO. 82 | Thursday, April 26, 2012

Daily Digest

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Former Easy-Way Site Sells for $290,000

A former Easy-Way Produce Store on North Cleveland Street has been bought by a Germantown limited liability company. KPS Laundry LLC bought the store at 337 N. Cleveland St. from Barry M. Carter Sr. for $290,000, financing it with a $1.1 million loan through Magna Bank.

The property includes a 4,560-square-foot Class C single-occupancy retail building constructed in 1979. It is situated on 0.8 acres at the northwest corner of North Cleveland and Peach Avenue in the West Evergreen subdivision, and the Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2011 appraisal was $302,200.

The loan secured by the property was made through a federal Small Business Administration program that uses tax dollars to assist small-business owners.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Triumph Bank Reports First-Quarter Profit

Triumph Bank had a smaller profit in the first quarter than it did during the same period in 2011. However, part of that is attributable to the bank setting aside more in loan loss reserves to protect against future economic uncertainty.

Triumph reported a Q1 profit of $382,000, down slightly from the $455,000 in Q1 2011. The bank saw a $20 million increase in deposits during the quarter and a loan growth net of reserve of a little less than $8 million.

In a Q1 note to shareholders, customers and friends of the bank, Triumph also reported a “very large pipeline” of new loan business.

– Andy Meek

School Board Preps for Merger Recommendations

The countywide school board has set up a committee to review recommendations from the schools consolidation planning commission that will recommend the structure of the new consolidated school system.

Planning commission chairwoman Barbara Prescott said the group is about a month and a half from having a draft ready. Some of the planning commission’s committees began making recommendations to the full group last month. June 5 is the target date for the planning commission to vote on its draft.

The plan adopted by the group must be approved by the school board as well as state education officials.

The start of the 2013-2014 school year is the date that the county’s two public school systems are merged.

Freda Williams will head the school board committee, which will make its recommendations to the full board.

– Bill Dries

International Paper to close SW Ark. Plant

A half-dozen jobs will be eliminated when International Paper Co. closes one of its three operations in Fort Smith, Ark.

Company spokeswoman Amy J. Sawyer told the Southwest Times Record on Tuesday, April 24, the jobs will be lost when the sheet plant operation ends production in mid-June. Sawyer says employees at the plant were told of the closing last week.

The plant produces specialty corrugated packaging.

Sawyer says the other two International Paper plants in Fort Smith, which employ about 250 in all, will continue operations.

Region General Manager Doug Strickel says the company’s merger with Temple-Inland left it with excess capacity, particularly in locations like Fort Smith where both companies operated.

Strickel said the company will provide severance and other benefits to the employees who will lose their jobs.

– The Associated Press

Brooks’ Therapy Program Awarded National Grant

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, 1934 Poplar Ave., has been selected by the National Endowment for the Arts to receive a $44,000 grant to enhance and expand the museum’s Art Therapy Access program.

Brooks Museum is one of 788 nonprofits nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. The grants total $24.81 million and support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts.

Through its Art Therapy Access program, Brooks uses interactive group experiences as part of the therapeutic process for at-risk individuals who’ve experienced some type of trauma. Two licensed art therapists and museum educators will work with specialists from the VA Medical Center, Youth Villages and the Shelby County Relative Caregiver Program. Each participant will receive 45 hours of therapy and the program will culminate in a public exhibition of participant artwork, which will be on view at the Brooks for two months.

Upon completion of the program, the Brooks will compile and disseminate its methods and findings worldwide, establishing a model for organizations that wish to develop similar programs.

– Aisling Maki

Leadership Memphis Honors Perry as Leader of Year

Leadership Memphis will hold its annual Celebration and Awards Reception Tuesday, May 1, at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts to honor the 2012 Leadership Memphis graduating classes and to recognize community leaders, including Memphis basketball icon Elliot Perry.

Perry will be given the Kate Gooch Leader of the Year Award for his work in promoting mentoring and his advocacy for education throughout the community.

Also receiving an annual leadership honor will be Stand for Children, grassroots education advocacy organization, which will be honored as Leadership Memphis’ 2012 Community Champion of the Year.

In addition, Leadership Memphis will recognize Eileen McGinley as the Alumnus of the Year. McGinley, an accounting firm retiree, will be honored for the many hours she spent with Leadership to re-create its bookkeeping operation.

The event begins with a reception in the Cannon Center lobby, 255 N. Main St., at 5:30 p.m. The awards presentation begins at 7 p.m. in the auditorium.

Three Leadership Memphis graduating classes also will be recognized: the Executive Program Class of 2012, the FastTrack Fall 2011 Class, and the FastTrack Spring 2012 Class.

Leadership Memphis is the city’s oldest nonprofit leadership training organization, which seeks to build a great city by building great leaders.

– Sarah Baker

Orders for Durable Goods Plunge in March

Orders for long-lasting factory goods fell by the largest amount in three years last month, mostly because demand for commercial aircraft plummeted. But companies also ordered less machinery and other equipment, a sign manufacturing output may slow.

Orders for durable goods dropped 4.2 percent in March, the steepest fall since January 2009, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Commercial aircraft orders, a volatile category, fell by nearly 50 percent.

Excluding transportation equipment, orders declined 1.1 percent. That’s the second drop in that category in three months.

And orders for so-called “core” capital goods, a good measure of business investment plans, declined 0.8 percent. Companies cut their orders for steel and other metals, industrial machinery and computers.

Shipments of durable goods increased last month, which adds to growth in the first three months of the year. But the decline in orders indicates growth may slow in the months ahead, economists said.

A durable good is expected to last at least three years. Examples range from appliances and cars to heavy machinery and planes.

Orders for autos and auto parts ticked up 0.1 percent, far below February’s 2 percent gain. Auto production has grown as Americans ramped up their purchases of cars and trucks this year, boosting output at auto plants and their suppliers. But March’s tiny increase suggests auto output is slowing.

In March, durable goods orders totaled $202.6 billion — 36 percent above the recession low. But orders remain 17 percent below their peak in December 2007.

Manufacturing has been a leading source of growth and jobs since the recession ended. Americans stepped up their purchases of autos and electronic goods this year. Businesses invested in more industrial machinery, computers and other equipment.

– The Associated Press

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