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VOL. 127 | NO. 121 | Thursday, June 21, 2012

Daily Digest

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National College Files Permit For Thousand Oaks Campus

National College of Business and Technology is moving ahead with plans to build in East Memphis, where the trade and technical school will relocate its current Lamar Avenue campus.

In its latest move, National College/Corolla Management filed a $4.9 million building permit application with the city-county of Office of Construction Code Enforcement for the college’s planned two-story building at 2576 Thousand Oaks Cove, just off Interstate 240 and east of Perkins Road. Cincinnati-based JDL Warm Construction LLC is the general contractor for the project.

National, a private college based in Roanoke, Va., is in six states. Its Memphis campus opened at 3545 Lamar Ave. in 2006, and now that facility is nearing its 400-student capacity. A year later, National opened a Bartlett location at 5760 Stage Road; its enrollment numbers about 300.

Corolla Management Corp. bought the Thousand Oaks property in September for $925,000 from Bank of Bartlett. Two months later, National and Corolla filed for a $5.2 million building permit for preliminary work on the site.

The college’s two Memphis campuses employ 60 faculty and staff, a third of whom are permanent, full-time employees, with the rest being part-time instructors.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

November Ballot Questions Advance at City Council

The Memphis City Council approved the first of three readings Tuesday, June 19, of a Nov. 6 ballot question that would ask voters to approve a half percent hike in the local option sales tax rate.

And another proposed November ballot question that would establish a 1-cent local gas tax for public transportation made its debut in council committee with the first of three readings on the ordinance set for the first council meeting in July.

Meanwhile, the council delayed third and final reading on yet another November ballot question that would require the city to have a six-year consolidated budget plan and a five-year strategic plan.

In other action, the council approved second reading of an amended Unified Development Code with more discussion expected next month before a final vote.

The council delayed a vote on a special use permit for a pawnshop at South Perkins Road and Knight Arnold Road. Council member Wanda Halbert wants a map of other pawnshops in the area.

The council approved a planned development at South Perkins Road and Cottonwood Road that includes a beauty shop among other commercial uses.

The council rejected a rezoning of the northwest corner of North Bellevue Boulevard and Smith Avenue that would have permitted a billboard on top of the building. The owner said he planned to renovate the building and open it as a store selling used appliances. Council members were skeptical and had rejected a similar application for the same property, which borders a residential area, two years ago.

– Bill Dries

West Memphis Port Gets TIGER Grant

The Port of West Memphis was awarded a federal transportation grant of its own Tuesday, June 19.

Federal transportation officials awarded the Harahan Bridge project $15 million through the TIGER – Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery – program. The Harahan Bridge pedestrian and bicycle boardwalk is to line Main Street Memphis with Broadway Street, West Memphis’ version of Main Street.

Meanwhile, the port was awarded a $10.9 million grant in the same set of TIGER awards.

The port grant will be used to expand the West Memphis Intermodal project. The grant specifically goes to strengthen current rail to permit heavier cargo loads and extend an existing rail spur by 13,500 feet.

– Bill Dries

Fewer US CEOs Plan to Hire

A survey of chief executives shows fewer large U.S. companies plan to hire or boost spending in the next six months, reflecting a weaker U.S. economy.

The Business Roundtable says 36 percent of its CEO members plan to add workers over the next six months. That’s down from 42 percent when the survey was last taken three months ago.

Jim McNerney, the group’s chairman and CEO of The Boeing Co., blamed the dip in sentiment on “concern over increasingly persistent obstacles to a stronger recovery.” Those include uncertainty over potential U.S. tax increases and spending cuts early next year and Europe’s financial crisis.

Only 43 percent say they plan to step up spending on machinery, computers and other large goods, down from 48 percent. Most CEOs still expect sales to increase in the next six months.

Overall, the CEO Outlook survey index fell to 89.1 in the second quarter, down from 96.9 in the first three months of the year. Any reading above 50 indicates growth.

The gloomier outlook follows a sharp pullback in hiring over the past two months, which has raised concerns that the economy is slumping after a fast start. Job growth averaged only 73,000 in April and May, after average gains of 226,000 per month in the first three months of the year.

The unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent in May from 8.1 percent.

The Business Roundtable represents the CEOs of the 200 largest U.S. corporations. The survey is based on 164 responses received between May 17 and June 8.

– The Associated Press

Additional Board Members Named at LaunchYourCity

LaunchYourCity Inc. has announced new board members.

They are Kevin Adams, CEO, CB Richard Ellis Memphis; Darrell Cobbins, CEO, Universal Commercial; and social entrepreneur Chris Williams.

LaunchYourCity’s mission is to empower entrepreneurials, reduce barriers to success and build Memphis as a venture city that elevates both talent and high-growth startup companies. Through management of three signature platforms – LaunchMemphis, Seed Hatchery and Wolf River Angels – it exists to help grow the region’s economic base and create the jobs of tomorrow.

For more information, visit launchyourcity.com.

– Andy Meek

Fed Extends 'Twist' Program to Drive Rates Lower

The Federal Reserve is extending a program designed to drive down long-term interest rates to spur borrowing and spending.

The Fed said Wednesday that hiring has weakened and the economy needs more support.

It reiterated its plan to keep short-term rates at record lows until at least late 2014. And it said it’s prepared to act further if the economy deteriorates.

The Fed announced its action in a statement after a two-day policy meeting.

The central bank will continue a program called Operation Twist through year’s end.

Under the program, the Fed has been selling $400 billion in short-term Treasurys since September and buying longer-term Treasurys. It said it will extend the program through December using $267 billion in securities.

But extending Operation Twist might not provide much benefit. Long-term U.S. rates have already touched record lows. Businesses and consumers who aren’t borrowing now might not do so if rates slipped slightly more.

– The Associated Press

LuvMud Island Supports Habitat for Hope

LuvMud Island, an event that merges a 5K and mud race, will take place Saturday, June 23, at Greenbelt Park on Mud Island River Park.

The event supports Habitat for Hope, a nonprofit dedicated to forming a supportive community around families who’ve traveled to the Mid-South to receive medical care for their children.

As many as 1,500 runners in creative costumes are expected to participate in LuvMud’s first Downtown event. More than 3,000 people are expected.

Check-in starts at 11 a.m., and the first wave of runners will start at 11:30 a.m., with consecutive waves starting every five minutes. A children’s race will start at 1:15 p.m., a dog lovers’ race will start at 2 p.m., and an awards ceremony will take place at 3 p.m.

A festival featuring food trucks and live music will run from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and a LuvMud after party will be held at 8 p.m. at Movie and Pizza Co. in Harbor Town.

The annual LuvMud event at Shelby Farms Park will once again take place this fall.

Visit www.luvmud.com for details.

– Aisling Maki

MORTGAGES 54 374 1,120
BUILDING PERMITS 177 767 2,425