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VOL. 127 | NO. 51 | Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Daily Digest

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2 More Permit Apps Filed for Kruger Plant

Two more building permit applications – these totaling $3.8 million –have been filed for Kruger Inc.’s $316 million Memphis expansion. The Canadian-based tissue manufacturer announced last year plans to grow its facilities north of Downtown.

In this most recent round, a $3.5 million application was filed with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for structural steel work on a tissue machine building at 400 Mahannah Ave., and a $300,000 permit application was filed to pour concrete foundation for major equipment in the building.

AMEC Kamtech Inc. is listed as the general contractor on both permits, and neither permit lists an architect.

Kruger, which is Canada’s leading tissue manufacturer, and local officials announced last year the company had chosen Memphis from several locales – including multiple U.S. sites and one in Quebec – to locate its tissue facility.

In February, Kruger filed a $39.8 million construction loan for its existing Memphis facility on Mahannah. Days later, building permits were filed and issued for other steel work.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

HomeGoods Preps for Memphis Store

Plans are under way for home décor retailer HomeGoods to enter the Memphis market in Cordova.

Metro Construction Inc. has filed a $950,000 building permit application with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for interior renovation of a former Samuels Furniture and Interiors at The Commons at Dexter Lake, 1615 N. Germantown Parkway, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.

Samuels closed that location in fall 2010, citing economic reasons.

The Commons at Dexter Lake is a 166,958-square-foot center owned by Houston-based Weingarten Realty Investors. Situated 1.5 miles south of Wolfchase Galleria mall on Germantown Parkway, the center is anchored by Kroger, Stein Mart, Marshall’s and Dress Barn.

Framingham, Mass.-based HomeGoods is owned by The TJX Cos. Inc., the parent company of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls.

The home décor chain currently has five stores in Tennessee: in Brentwood, Chattanooga, Hendersonville, Knoxville and Mt. Juliet, according to TJX Cos.’ website. The Daily News reported in November a HomeGoods store might be in the works for Gallina Centro shopping center in Collierville.

– Sarah Baker

A2H Honored by 3 Prof. Orgs.

Askew Hargraves Harcourt & Associates Inc., also known as A2H, recently won three awards from two professional organizations.

The Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers, Memphis Chapter, has chosen A2H as the Outstanding Employer of the Year. It also named Mark W. Askew, founding partner of A2H, as Outstanding Engineer of the Year.

The American Council of Engineering Cos., Tennessee Chapter, gave its Honor Award for Small Projects to A2H for its design of Memphis Skate Park.

With more than 75 employees, and offices in Lakeland, Nashville and Jackson, Tenn.; as well as in Hernando, A2H employs engineers, architects, surveyors and landscape architects and averages more than 200 projects a year, such as roadways, bridges, industrial and commercial facilities, public buildings, parks, water/wastewater improvements, and airports.

– Sarah Baker

CBU Awarded for Education Mktg.

Christian Brothers University has won multiple honors in the 27th annual Educational Advertising Awards, sponsored by Higher Education Marketing Report.

The competition is the country’s largest for educational advertising.

CBU won Gold for its student orientation T-shirt “Get BUC Wild” in the category of Imprinted Materials.

The university won two Silver awards in the category of Magazine Advertisement/Single and Newspaper Advertisement/Single for its “Distinguish Yourself” and “RN to BSN” ads. Both materials are targeted to the graduate and professional studies market.

Additionally, CBU won Bronze for its “Distinguish Yourself” billboards in the category of Outdoor Transit/Billboard and earned a Merit for its radio advertisement featuring a voiceover by a CBU student in the master’s of business administration degree program.

Winners are selected for programs and materials that display exceptional quality, creativity and message effectiveness.

– Taylor Shoptaw

Wharton Appoints Education Task Force

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. has named a 21-member task force to recommend the role of city government once the county’s two public school systems are consolidated.

Wharton anticipates that with schools consolidation, the city of Memphis will no longer be required to fund local schools at a certain level. But Wharton has said that doesn’t mean the city wouldn’t have any role in local education.

He has talked specifically of the city funding some effort apart from the merged school system to promote early childhood development and education.

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare Systems Vice President Cato Johnson and former Booker T. Washington High School principal Elsie Bailey are the co-chairs of the committee.

– Bill Dries

Senate Delays Vote On Mountaintop Removal Ban

The Senate has voted to delay for three weeks a vote on a proposal to halt mountaintop removal coal mining in Tennessee.

The decision came despite the objections of the bill’s sponsor, Democratic Sen. Eric Stewart of Winchester, who called for a vote Monday evening.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville said the delay is aimed at finding a compromise on the measure, and not an effort to kill the bill by holding it until relevant committees finish their business for the year.

The measure seeks to deny permits that would alter any ridgeline more than 2,000 above sea level. Stewart said he opposes a Republican amendment attached that would continue to permit current practices.

– The Associated Press

US Retail Sales Rose 1.1 Percent in February

Americans stepped up spending on retail goods in February, evidence that a stronger job market is boosting the economy.

Consumers bought more autos, clothes and appliances. They also paid higher prices for gas.

Retail sales increased 1.1 percent last month, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. It was the biggest gain since September. The government also revised up the previous two months.

– The Associated Press

Official Says Decision Puts US Information at Risk

In the middle of Sunshine Week, a period dedicated to government openness, the Obama administration is urging Congress to change the Freedom of Information Act to keep secret new categories of information that it says have been put a risk by a Supreme Court ruling.

Melanie Ann Pustay, director of the Justice Department’s office of information policy, said Tuesday that lawmakers need to protect against disclosures of material about cyber security, critical U.S. computer networks, industrial plants, pipelines and more. Businesses have sought such protections for at least 10 years.

Pustay told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the March 2011 court ruling narrowed an exemption under the open records law and left federal agencies unable to protect such secrets, even though the Justice Department since then has recommended other ways under current law for officials to guard the data.

Public interest groups applauded the Supreme Court’s decision because it restricted when the government can keep secret information about internal personnel rules and practices.

Keith Bunting, executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition, urged the committee not to give government “carte blanche” to withhold information.

– The Associated Press

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 57 307 5,073
MORTGAGES 101 483 6,709
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 22 77 1,556
BUILDING PERMITS 0 720 11,979
BANKRUPTCIES 84 341 5,300
BUSINESS LICENSES 36 125 2,061
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 152 594 7,058
MARRIAGE LICENSES 36 117 1,458

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