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VOL. 127 | NO. 169 | Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Daily Digest

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Panda Files Permit for Winchester Locale

Panda Restaurant Group Inc. has filed a $791,345 permit application with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement to build a Panda Express at 7525 Winchester Road in Southeast Memphis.

The freestanding restaurant will be built in front of the Walmart Supercenter at the southwest corner of Winchester and Tenn. 385. No contractor or architect was listed on the permit.

It is the second Memphis-area location for the quick-service Chinese restaurant chain, which is preparing to open a 2,665-square-foot new prototype store in Cordova at 577 Germantown Parkway, also in front of Walmart Supercenter.

That restaurant marks Panda Restaurant Group’s 1,500th store and first in West Tennessee, after locations in Chattanooga and Nashville and its surrounding areas.

“It’s a pretty big deal for us to have 1,500 stores,” Thien Ho of Panda Restaurant Group’s corporate relations in Rosemead, Calif., told The Daily News earlier this month.

Panda Express was founded in 1983 and is the largest Chinese fast casual chain in the U.S. The company started opening standalone restaurants in 1993 and drive-thru locations in 1997, preferring to “locate on or near strong retail anchors, such as Walmart and Target in this location,” Laura Lund, director of real estate for Panda Restaurant Group, told The Daily News.

For more about Panda’s plans for Memphis, see the Aug. 16 edition of The Daily News.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Commission Opens Process of Board Appointments

Shelby County Commissioners voted Monday, Aug. 27, to open the process of appointing two citizens to the countywide school board. Those two appointees would fill the vacancies created by the election in August of David Pickler and David Reaves to the countywide board from their seats on the old Shelby County Schools board.

Members of the old county schools board as well as the former Memphis City Schools board are on the countywide board for another year. Once the schools merger takes effect, the countywide school board will be a seven-member body instead of the current 23 members.

The deadline for applicants for the vacancies is Tuesday, Sept. 4, with interviews by the commission the next day. The full commission is scheduled to vote on filling the vacancies at its Sept. 10 meeting.

In other action, the commission approved on third and final reading the amended Unified Development Code, which was approved earlier this year by the Memphis City Council.

The Monday meeting was the last for Brent Taylor who was appointed on an interim basis by the commission to the District 1 Position 3 seat vacated earlier this year by Mike Carpenter.

Next month, Republican Steve Basar takes office to fill the remaining two years left in Carpenter’s term of office.

– Bill Dries

WKNO 'Newsmakers' Features Kernell, Marrero

The two Tennessee legislators from Shelby County who lost re-election bids in the Aug. 2 elections are the guests Wednesday, Aug. 29, on the WKNO-TV program “Newsmakers.”

State Rep. Mike Kernell and state Sen. Beverly Marrero will talk with host Eric Barnes, publisher of The Daily News, about their careers in Nashville and how they got involved in politics.

The program airs Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. on Channel 10. It also airs Thursday, Aug. 30, at 5 p.m. on WKNO2, which is shown on Comcast Digital Channel 910.

“Newsmakers” is a series of interviews with prominent Memphians in which they take a longer look at their accomplishments and at the city in general.

– Bill Dries

Iberiabank Relocates Cordova Branch

Iberiabank has relocated its Cordova branch to 1010 N. Germantown Parkway, taking over space formerly occupied by a Trust One Bank branch.

Iberiabank opened the recently renovated branch in early summer. A grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting was held on Aug. 23. Formerly, Iberiabank’s Cordova branch was beside a Wingstop restaurant and behind a Bank of America branch, and area market president Greg Smithers said that didn’t afford the visibility the bank wanted.

Iberiabank Corp. is a bank holding company based in Lafayette, La.

– Andy Meek

Downtown's Court Square to Feature Monster Truck

Downtown Memphis Commission and Memphis International Raceway are teaming up to bring motorsports to Downtown Memphis.

Extreme Overkill, the first monster truck to exceed 90 mph, will be on display in Court Square on Friday, Aug. 31, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to kick off Memphis International Raceway’s Monster Truck Mania and Labor Day Bracket Bash Racing Extravaganza. The Court Square display will also include another monster truck from War Wizard Racing, a dragster and a racecar.

This event is free and open to the public. Attendees will receive a special discount coupon for $5 off per ticket for the Monster Truck Mania Labor Day Event at Memphis International Raceway Aug. 31 through Sept. 1.

– Sarah Baker

West Clinic Opens Comprehensive Breast Center

The West Clinic Comprehensive Breast Center has opened a state-of-the-art, 12,000-square-foot location at 8000 Wolf River Blvd. in Germantown.

The medical suite was previously located at 1385 W. Brierbrook Road.

West Clinic says the expanded center is the first of its kind in the region, offering fully integrated, complete breast care, including state-of-the-art digital mammography; breast ultrasound; stereotactic and ultrasound-guided biopsies; genetic counseling; breast surgery; chemotherapy; and clinical trials.

The center recently welcomed Dr. Richard E. Fine, one of the nation’s leading board certified breast surgeons, to its team, which also includes Dr. Michael P. Berry and Dr. Roy M. Oswaks.

Fine, former director of Advanced Breast Care in Atlanta, is an innovative pioneer in the diagnosis and treatment of breast diseases, with extensive experience in new breast biopsy methods.

West Clinic surgeons work collaboratively with a specialized team of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists and radiologists to conduct multidisciplinary breast conferences to develop the most highly targeted treatments for patients.

– Aisling Maki

US Home Prices Post First 12-Month Gain Since '10

U.S. home prices rose in June from the same month last year, the first year-over-year increase since the summer of 2010. The increase is the latest evidence of a nascent recovery in the housing market.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday showed a gain of 0.5 percent from June 2011.

The last time the year-over-year index increased was in September 2010. For much of that 12-month period, the government was offering a home-buying tax credit.

The report also showed that all 20 cities tracked by the index rose in June from May, the second consecutive time in which every city posted month-over-month gains. And all but two cities posted stronger gains in June than May.

Detroit, Minneapolis, Chicago and Atlanta recorded the biggest gains.

The S&P/Case-Shiller monthly index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. It measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The June figures are the latest available.

The increases partly reflect the impact of seasonal buying. The month-to-month prices aren’t adjusted for seasonal factors.

Still, a measure of national prices rose for the third straight month. Home prices jumped nearly 7 percent in the April-June quarter compared to the previous quarter.

The housing market is making a modest but steady recovery in part because homes are more affordable: Mortgage rates have fallen to near-record lows. Housing prices are about one-third lower than at the peak of the housing bubble in 2006. Those trends have helped lift sales of both new and previously occupied homes.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 32 176 2,507
MORTGAGES 26 101 1,687