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VOL. 127 | NO. 100 | Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Daily Digest

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RDC Files $9.8M Application for Beale St. Landing

Riverfront Development Corp. is preparing for the next phase of Beale Street Landing: development of a riverfront park. The organization has filed a $9.8 million building permit application with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for the park.

The scope of work listed on the application includes a river park with landscaping, wood decks, a children’s play area, concrete paving, landscaped terraces and projections.

RDC is seeking bids for a contractor, with construction of this portion of the landing to be finished sometime in 2013.

The development of Beale Street Landing has come in fits and starts, with patchwork funding across two presidential administrations and three Memphis mayors. Though mostly complete, the landing is still a work in progress, with a riverside restaurant and gift shop slated to open in July.

The project hit a major milestone last month, when the Memphis-based Great American Steamboat Co. docked the American Queen along the riverfront. The Queen – the world’s largest steamboat – offers overnight cruises on the Mississippi River.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

MCS Notifies State of Teacher Layoffs

Memphis City Schools officials formally notified the state last week that it intends to lay off approximately 70 workers, including teachers.

The May 11 notice to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development was listed on a Monday, May 21, breakdown of job loss notices from across the state.

The numbers correspond roughly to the number of teachers MCS officials said earlier this month might be dismissed as the school system determines how many Level 1 and Level 2 teachers to work with to improve their evaluation rankings and how many to dismiss. The layoffs will be through June. Next month principals take their recommendations to school system leaders.

The two levels are the lowest of five levels of teacher performance scores in an evaluation process that began with the school year that is ending this month.

Twenty percent of the teachers in the system were ranked as Level 1 and Level 2 teachers.

The performance scores are based on student performance data and the growth students have shown in tested subjects as well as classroom observations by principals and student surveys.

- Bill Dries

Memphis-Based Phoenix Named to List of Leading Cos.

Phoenix Unequaled Home Entertainment has been named to the 2012 CE Pro 100 List of leading companies for the 15th straight year.

Memphis-based Phoenix specializes in providing solutions for home theater, home automation, systems integration, security solutions and distributed audio and video.

CE Pro is written specifically for installing professionals who recommend, choose, or buy technology-related products for homeowners, homebuilders and owners of small- and medium-sized businesses.

Since the list’s inception, the CE Pro Top 100 List has evolved from including only traditional audio and video companies to companies that offer a much wider range of electronic digital technologies.

- Andy Meek

Ready Shelby Finalist For Best Neighborhood Program

Neighborhoods USA has selected Ready Shelby, Shelby County’s emergency preparedness initiative, as a finalist for the 2012 Best Neighborhood Program Award.

Neighborhoods USA is a national nonprofit committed to building and strengthening neighborhood organizations. It recognizes outstanding programs implemented by a governmental entity, business or corporation to improve neighborhoods.

The final selection for Best Neighborhood Program will be made at the 37th Annual Conference on Neighborhood Concerns, which will take place May 23 through 28 in Indianapolis.

During the conference, Ready Shelby will have 20 minutes to highlight the work of its Ready Neighborhoods program and present a 90-minute workshop on Ready Neighborhoods to conference attendees.

Local neighborhood leaders who will present Shelby County at the workshop are: Ian Randolph of the Annesdale-Snowden Neighborhood Association; Carter Rosenthal of the Roseleigh Neighborhood Association; Hazel Burks of Bluebird Park Estates Neighborhood Association; and Earlice Taylor of Glenview Edgewood Manor Neighborhood Association.

Lashea West, manager of Neighborhood Relations for the City of Memphis, also will attend.

-Aisling Maki

Economists More Upbeat About Job Growth, Housing

A new survey shows economists are growing slightly more optimistic about recovery in the job and housing markets but expect other pillars of the economy to remain weak.

The National Association for Business Economists says in a report issued Monday that its forecasters expect modest growth for the remainder of the year, with the pace picking up in 2013.

Still, the 54 economists NABE surveyed expect consumer spending, business investment and gross domestic product to remain below historic norms.

The quarterly survey compiles expectations for indicators such as hiring, home construction and spending from economists at industry groups, government agencies, banks and consultancies.

The panel now expects average monthly job growth for 2012 of 188,000, up from its forecast in February for 170,000 new jobs per month in 2012. The improved outlook would lead the unemployment rate to fall to 8 percent by the end of the year, the economists said. The rate is now 8.1 percent. By the end of 2013, the unemployment rate is expected to ease further to 7.5 percent.

The NABE economists expect housing starts to rise 18 percent to 720,000 units this year and increase again to 850,000 in 2013. Residential investment is forecast to increase 8.8 percent this year; that’s better than the 6.6 percent the economists predicted in February. In 2013, they now expect a 10.4 percent rise, up from 10 percent.

- The Associated Press

JPMorgan Suspends Stock Repurchase Plans

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon says the bank is suspending plans to buy back its own stock.

Dimon said Monday the bank will continue to pay a dividend despite the $2 billion trading loss disclosed on May 10.

“It’s an embarrassment, it’s a black mark,” Dimon said of the trading loss. He also said the bank’s balance sheet was “barely nicked” by the loss.

Speaking at a conference Monday organized by Deutsche Bank, Dimon said JPMorgan is preparing for new international regulations that force banks to hold more capital to prepare for economic downturns.

- The Associated Press

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 77 435 9,569
MORTGAGES 104 511 11,314
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 3 77 1,634
BUILDING PERMITS 196 1,045 20,310
BANKRUPTCIES 44 275 6,437
BUSINESS LICENSES 21 134 3,446
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 33 170 3,983
MARRIAGE LICENSES 30 115 2,179

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