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VOL. 127 | NO. 165 | Thursday, August 23, 2012

Daily Digest

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N.Y. Company Buys Family Dollar for $1.2M

Storch Realty Memphis LLC has paid $1.2 million for the Family Dollar store at 7140 E. Shelby Drive in Southeast Memphis.

Storch Realty, which lists a Great Neck, N.Y., address, bought the property Aug. 15 from local Family Dollar developer Marketplace Development LLC in a special warranty deed.

The Shelby County Register of Deeds lists the address as 7140 E. Shelby Drive, while the Shelby County Assessor of Property doesn’t have a street address for the property; its 2012 appraisal of the entire parcel is $218,700.

J. Wise Smith signed the warranty deed as manager of Marketplace Development, which bought the land for $250,000 from a host of sellers in February and developed it into a Family Dollar.

The company filed a $500,000 permit with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement last December to build the store.

Although no building information is listed on the assessor’s site, LoopNet shows the property contains an 8,000-square-foot Family Dollar retail store that was listed for slightly more than $1.2 million and categorized as being “in contract.”

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Mississippi River Closed After Barge Grounded

The Coast Guard says the Mississippi River is closed to shipping again after a barge grounded near Greenville, Miss.

An 11-mile stretch of the Mississippi south of Memphis reopened to limited vessel traffic late Tuesday after dredges were able to clear a channel.

Petty Officer Ryan Tippets said crews were working Wednesday to refloat the vessel and allow limited barge traffic to resume. It’s not clear when the river will reopen.

Tippets says 33 northbound vessels were able to pass through the area before the grounding.

Low water is expected to hinder the flow of cargo from the nation’s heartland until October.

A prolonged river shutdown could hamper operations of the busy port upriver from New Orleans that handles U.S. grain for export.

– The Associated Press

Council Approves Lee House Transfer

Memphis City Council members approved the transfer of the James Lee House in Victorian Village Tuesday, Aug. 21, to a developer who will convert the antebellum home into a five-suite bed-and-breakfast inn. Jose Velazquez and his company plan to invest $2 million in private funding in the restoration of the house.

The council also approved accepting $1.7 million in sales tax revenue from the Downtown Tourism Development Zone from the state that will be used for environmental, traffic and other studies for the planning of a renovation of the Mid-South Fairgrounds.

And the council gave the greenlight to a one-year extension of the time-of-use residential utility rate a group of 124 volunteers are paying Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division as part of a pilot Smart Grid program the utility has undertaken.

Meanwhile, Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s administration told council members Tuesday it is adjusting the percentage city employees pay in health insurance premiums after it mistakenly based that increase to employees on a wrong percentage.

The city is increasing the share employees pay to 30 percent over several fiscal years, but had the current employee percentage as 27 percent when it is 26 percent. The employee percentage was scheduled to rise to 28.5 percent in January. But the administration Tuesday announced it is adjusting that to 27.5 percent. The adjustment means an extra $600,000 the city will be paying.

City Finance assistant director James Stokes said the administration will deal with the added expense to the budget during the mid-fiscal year budget adjustment.

The budget adjustment will require council approval.

– Bill Dries

Methodist, BlueCross Launch Cost-Savings Care Partnership

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee will partner with Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in a five-year arrangement intended to advance new care and payment models.

The partnership, effective starting Jan. 1, will focus on delivering outstanding medical care and value in the Memphis marketplace.

The new agreement with Methodist means Methodist will become the Memphis area’s Network S provider.

Network S is one way that BlueCross works to curb costs for members by providing a choice of respected doctors and facilities proven to deliver quality care at less cost. Choosing Network S as part of a benefits plan saves employers money. The hope is that this move will drive savings for customers.

In addition, both organizations have committed significant resources toward the development of the framework for an accountable care organization (ACO) that will serve Memphians and other patients in the region. The ACO partnership with Methodist is the first for BlueCross in Tennessee. ACOs were originally conceived to link payments to outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries.

Both Methodist and BlueCross will be financially accountable for performance-based measures meant to ensure quality and reduce costs.

Methodist Healthcare president and CEO Gary Shorb said the health care industry is shifting away from traditional payment methodologies, and Methodist Le Bonheur is excited to be at the forefront of that change. Through the new partnership, the health care system plans to develop a model that can set the highest quality standard and deliver improved outcomes for patients while remaining affordable.

– Aisling Maki

Macy’s Carriage Crossing to Add Home Department

A Home Department is in the midst of being added to Macy’s Carriage Crossing, including a full range of housewares and home textiles. The installation will be complete at the beginning of September.

To celebrate the addition, customers are invited to attend a series of home department opening events like cooking demonstrations and family fun entertainment on Sept. 8 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 4660 Merchant Park Circle in Collierville.

– Sarah Baker

Baker Donelson Earns Top 10 Diversity Ranking

The Memphis-based law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC has been ranked among the top ten law firms in the nation in Vault Inc.’s 2013 “Best Law Firms for Diversity.”

That national ranking includes separate categories for diversity relating to minorities, women, and gays and lesbians, with the overall diversity ranking determined by a formula that weighed the three categories evenly.

Baker Donelson was ranked ninth in the overall Best Law Firms for Diversity list. The firm achieved a sixth-place ranking in Diversity for Minorities, a fourth-place ranking in Diversity for Women, and a 24th-place ranking for Diversity for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders (LGBT).

Separate from this latest honor, the law firm long has been recognized by MultiCultural Law magazine on its annual lists of the “Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity” and the “Top 100 Law Firms for Women.” Baker Donelson has also earned kudos from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), achieving a ranking of 85 out of 100 in HRC’s 2012 Corporate Equality Index.

– Andy Meek

UPS Extends Offer Period for TNT

United Parcel Service Inc. is extending the offer period for its $6.77 billion acquisition of Dutch delivery company TNT Express.

Since the two companies are similar and share some common business, European regulators said last month they need to look at the deal more closely.

UPS’ offer period will now extend to Nov. 9. The previous deadline was Aug. 31.

Atlanta-based United Parcel Service Inc. said Wednesday that it and TNT still expect the acquisition to close in the fourth quarter.

UPS is the world’s largest delivery company. TNT is the second-biggest express mail company in Europe behind DHL. The deal was first announced in March.

– The Associated Press

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