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VOL. 127 | NO. 180 | Friday, September 14, 2012

Daily Digest

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LeMoyne-Owen Files $9 Million Permit for Dorm

LeMoyne-Owen College is moving ahead with construction of its new residence hall at the northwest corner of Saxon Avenue and Neptune Street, filing a $9 million building permit application for the four-story dormitory.

W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Co. is the contractor for the project, according to the application filed with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement.

The college, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, is set to hold a groundbreaking for the hall Thursday, Sept. 20, at 10 a.m. at the corner of Neptune and Saxon.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Ex-Stanford Executive Gets 3 Years for Swindle

A top executive in the now-defunct empire of disgraced Texas financier R. Allen Stanford was sentenced to three years in prison Thursday, Sept. 13, for her role in helping the once jet-setting businessman bilk investors out of more than $7 billion in one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history.

Former Stanford chief investment officer Laura Pendergest-Holt’s sentence was part of a plea agreement reached with federal prosecutors. She had pleaded guilty in June to one count of obstruction of a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission proceeding in exchange for the sentence.

Pendergest-Holt was a fixture in the company’s East Memphis office. At one time, she supervised a group of Stanford analysts spread from Memphis to Tupelo, Miss., to St. Croix in the U. S. Virgin Islands.

After U.S. District Judge David Hittner handed down the sentence he revoked Pendergest-Holt’s bond, and she was taken into custody. She waved to her husband Jim Holt before she was put in handcuffs and taken from the courtroom by federal marshals.

Prosecutors said Stanford, 62, used the money from investors who bought certificates of deposit from his bank on the Caribbean island nation of Antigua to fund a string of failed businesses, bribe regulators and pay for a lavish lifestyle. Authorities said Stanford and others in his companies lied to investors from more than 100 countries, telling them their funds were being safely invested in stocks, bonds and other securities.

Pendergest-Holt, 38, a native of Baldwyn, Miss., was the first person indicted in the case. Prosecutors said she and other executives conspired to hide the bank’s true financial health and provide misleading testimony to the SEC in 2009 when it was investigating Stanford’s bank.

– The Associated Press

30-Year Mortgage Rate Stays at 3.55 Percent

The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage held steady this week, staying slightly above the lowest level on record. Low mortgage rates have aided a modest housing recovery.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday, Sept. 13, that the rate on the 30-year loan was unchanged at 3.55 percent. In July, the rate fell to 3.49 percent, the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.

The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage, a popular refinancing option, slipped to 2.85 percent, down from 2.86 percent last week. That’s above the record low of 2.80 percent.

Cheap mortgages have helped lift the housing market. Sales of new and previously occupied homes are well above last year’s levels. Low rates have also allowed people to refinance, which lowers monthly mortgage payments and helps boosts consumer spending.

To calculate rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country on Monday through Wednesday of each week.

The average does not include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for 30-year loans was 0.6 point, down from 0.7 point last week. The fee for 15-year loans was changed at 0.6.

The average rate on one-year adjustable rate mortgages was steady at 2.61 percent. The fee for one-year adjustable rate loans also was unchanged, at 0.4 point.

The average rate on five-year adjustable rate mortgages fell to 2.72 percent from 2.75 percent. The fee declined to 0.6 point from 0.7.

– The Associated Press

National Civil Rights Museum Gets Social Media Upgrade

The National Civil Rights Museum is upgrading its website and social media presence with a $549,547 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

With the more robust presence on Facebook and Twitter, the museum will also launch a discussion in those forums and others called “Preparing To Excel.”

It is an effort to connect exhibits in the museum on the civil rights movement to contemporary discussions about education reform and education equity.

The museum has been working for several years to more actively engage visitors, especially younger visitors. The efforts through the website, www.civilrightsmuseum.org, are also an effort to engage those planning a visit or who have never been to the 21-year-old museum.

As part of the “Equity in Education” exhibit, tour guides of the exhibits also offer information about parts of the civil rights movement that involved education issues. The effort includes some new temporary placards that include information about the education theme.

– Bill Dries

Paradigm Marketing Opens Dallas Location

Memphis-based firm Paradigm Marketing & Creative has opened a satellite office in Dallas in an effort to expand its business and gain clients in a growing market area.

The majority of Paradigm’s clients come from the areas of real estate and development, hospitality, medical, biosciences and other service-related industries.

The firm, housed at 8275 Tournament Drive in Southwind Office Center B, collaborates mainly with business-to-business companies.

Allen Bussell, Paradigm project manager who has been part of the team since 2004, will manage the Dallas location. Allen lived in Texas previously and has had his eye on expanding into the market for the past few years.

Paradigm is a full-service, boutique marketing agency that was founded in 1992. The agency has provided services to markets in 34 states and 10 countries. This year marks Paradigm’s 20th anniversary of business.

– Sarah Baker

Snow Appointed to Industry Committee

Danny Snow, managing director of CBIZ MHM LLC, has been appointed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to its tax executive committee.

Snow manages the tax services practice of CBIZ and has more than 30 years of public accounting experience. He previously served on the AICPA’s IRS practice and procedures committee and served as chairman for that committee from 2009 to 2010.

Snow also serves on the Tennessee Society of CPAs’ Federal Taxation Committee. He also is a member of the Memphis Estate Planning Council, Tax Watch, and Rotary Club of East Memphis.

– Andy Meek

Country Ford Dealership Holds SRVS Appreciation Day

Country Ford, 95 Goodman Road in Southaven, will host Appreciation Day for SRVS Saturday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

SRVS, a United Way of the Mid-South agency, is West Tennessee’s largest provider of comprehensive services for people with disabilities.

The fundraising event, open to the public, will include a silent auction and raffle for gift cards and a 50-inch flat-screen television.

Hotdogs, cotton candy, popcorn and drinks will be served. Unique crafts handmade by the individuals supported at SRVS Learning Center will be available for purchase. All proceeds from the sale of the raffle, auction and crafts will benefit SRVS.

The event will also provide attendees the opportunity to learn more about SRVS programs and wide range of services, which support more than 800 people with disabilities and their families.

A live radio remote with 95.3 FM is scheduled throughout the day, with interviews of SRVS staff and individuals supported by SRVS programs.

– Aisling Maki

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