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VOL. 128 | NO. 73 | Monday, April 15, 2013

Daily Digest

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Houston REIT Moody Buys Germantown Hyatt Place

An affiliate of Houston-based Moody National REIT I Inc. has paid $11.3 million for the Hyatt Place hotel at 9161 Winchester Road in Germantown.

The single-purpose entity Moody National HP G-Town Holding LLC bought the 127-room hotel in an April 9 special warranty deed from SHG HP Germantown LLC, an entity related to Boca Raton, Fla.- based Silver Cos.

SHG HP developed and built the 77,983-square-foot hotel in 2008. It sits on 3.6 acres at the southeast corner of Winchester and Forest Hill-Irene roads and has a 2013 appraised value of $7.8 million, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property.

In conjunction with the purchase, Moody National HP G-Town Holding filed a $7.8 million deed of trust, assignment of leases and rents, security agreement and fixture filing through Ladder Capital Finance LLC.

Brett C. Moody signed the trust deed as president of the borrowing entity.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Cavner Pleads to Federal Stalking Charge

Nadia Cavner, head of a Springfield, Mo.-based financial consulting firm, pleaded guilty Friday, April 12, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee to a charge she used her company to intimidate the former boyfriend of her daughter as well as his new girlfriend here in Memphis.

Cavner pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John Fowlkes to one count of federal interstate stalking in a criminal information – a legal process in which a defendant is charged and pleads guilty all in one hearing.

From July 9 to Nov. 15, 2011, Cavner admitted that she and employees of The Nadia Cavner Group, at BancorpSouth, stalked and harassed the un-named couple.

That included crank phone calls, anonymous notes, having the couple followed during trips and even hiring people to disrupt the relationship.

Prosecutors told Fowlkes that Cavner even paid someone to move to Memphis to conduct surveillance on the victims and tried to have electronic listening devices installed in their homes.

Cavner is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 1 by Fowlkes.

– Bill Dries

Raymond James Makes ‘Unprecedented’ Job Cuts

Raymond James Financial Inc. has undertaken a round of job cuts it says is “unprecedented in the firm’s history.”

And it’s attributing the cuts to remaining employee overlap from the April 2012 acquisition of Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc.

Raymond James acknowledged it’s trimming its employee headcount by a little more than 3 percent at its St. Petersburg, Fla., home office.

The roughly 115 job cuts there leave the home office staff level at approximately 3,200.

Meanwhile, about 45 other positions are being cut at other Raymond James locations around the country, including 18 positions in Memphis.

Raymond James says it maintained “elevated staff levels” since its purchase of Morgan Keegan to “ensure a consistent service experience for clients and to assist with the consolidation of the two firms.”

The integration was completed in February.

“We are grateful for the dedicated service of associates impacted by these changes, and affected individuals were offered severance and career transition assistance,” reads a statement from the company. “These were not easy decisions, and we made every effort to be thoughtful and deliberate in our approach to achieving our staffing goals.

“While an adjustment of this size is unprecedented in the firm’s history, it is the consequence of an equally unprecedented acquisition. We do not expect additional sizeable employment-related changes.”

– Andy Meek

Trustee Tax Sale Makes $350,000

The most recent tax sale by the Shelby County Chancery Court Clerk’s office of tax delinquent properties brought in more than $350,000, according to Shelby County Trustee David Lenoir.

The Trustee’s office provides management support for the property sales at auction.

A total of 10 properties were sold Monday, April 8, at the auction that featured 36 properties.

There were 58 registered bidders in the process.

For all 10 properties, the total bid price was $357,473.11.

The amount is $195,000 above the total minimum bid amount for the 10 properties combined. The minimum bid amount on each property is based on the taxes and penalties due.

Some of the properties were much higher than the minimum bid.

A Lakeland property at 10123 Gillespie Oak Drive drew a high bid of $180,000 after starting at a minimum bid of $21,599.

Shelby County bought 24 of the properties for a total minimum bid of $121,755 and will eventually turn them over to the Shelby County Land Bank.

The land bank will market those 24 to recoup the cost and return them to the tax rolls.

– Bill Dries

Mays Sets Hearing in Schools Case

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays has set a Tuesday, April 16, hearing on the move by the Shelby County Commission to make the countywide school board a 13-member body effective Sept. 1.

The commission approved a resolution earlier this year that would allow it to appoint six new members to the board to take office Sept. 1.

That is when the now 23-member board is scheduled to go to seven members.

Mays ruled the commission could do that but also said it was conditioned on his approval of the move and the district map for the merger board.

Mays has also heard from the existing school board, which approved a resolution calling on Mays to instead allow the board to be expanded to 13 members with the results of 2014 elections that would include the new positions.

Leaders of the county’s six suburban towns and cities are also opposed to County Commission appointments to the new school board positions.

– Bill Dries

Cohen Part of Bill Easing State-Federal Pot Conflict

A bill introduced in Congress on Friday would fix the conflict between the federal government’s marijuana prohibition and state laws that allow medical or recreational use.

California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said his bill, which has three Republican and three Democratic sponsors, would assure that state laws on pot are respected by the feds.

The measure would amend the Controlled Substances Act to make clear that individuals and businesses, including marijuana dispensaries, who comply with state marijuana laws are immune from federal prosecution.

“This bipartisan bill represents a common-sense approach that establishes federal government respect for all states’ marijuana laws,” Rohrabacher said in a news release. “It does so by keeping the federal government out of the business of criminalizing marijuana activities in states that don’t want it to be criminal.”

Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have medical marijuana laws, and two states, Washington and Colorado, last fall became the first to pass laws legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana.

The U.S. Justice Department has not said how it intends to respond to the Washington and Colorado votes. It could sue to block legal pot sales from ever happening, on the grounds they conflict with federal law.

President Barack Obama has said going after marijuana users in states where it’s legal is not a priority. But the administration has raided some medical marijuana dispensaries it sees as little more than fronts for commercial marijuana sales.

Several other measures have also been introduced to change U.S. marijuana laws, including moves to legalize the industrial production of hemp and establish a hefty federal pot tax in states where it’s legal. Any changes this year are considered a long shot.

Republican Reps. Justin Amash of Michigan and Don Young of Alaska and Democratic Reps. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, Steve Cohen of Tennessee and Jared Polis of Colorado co-sponsored Rohrabacher’s bill.

– The Associated Press

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