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VOL. 128 | NO. 74 | Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Daily Digest

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Lender Buys Bartlett Office Building After Default

The 59,882-square-foot Bartlett Square office building at 5705 Stage Road in Bartlett has been sold back to the lender following a foreclosure.

Trustmark National Bank paid $2.3 million for the two-story, Class B office facility from Marshall Digmon of Morton & Germany PLLC, who acted as substitute trustee in the matter after being appointed to that role in February by the lender.

The bank reclaimed the property in a March 28 substitute trustee’s deed, with Digmon buying the property out of default on the steps of the Shelby County Courthouse.

The property went into foreclosure when the previous owner, Everett P. Hailey, defaulted on a $2.4 million loan through Trustmark dated Feb. 28, 2008.

Built in 1974, the office building sits on 2.6 acres on the south side of Stage Road west of its intersection with Bartlett Road.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Bryce Corp. Seeks Tax Freeze for Memphis Expansion

Bryce Corp. is seeking a tax incentive to help it retain 318 employees in Memphis and add 95 new workers.

The company will go before the city-county EDGE board on Wednesday, April 17, to apply for a 10-year tax freeze to help the package material printer invest $21 million across its three Memphis facilities. The project will create almost $18 million in new revenue for the city and county, and Bryce plans to also invest in new equipment at its three facilities – 5405 Hickory Hill Road, 4505 Old Lamar Ave. and 3825 Delp St.

The average salary for the new employees will be $49,951.

Memphis-based Bryce was founded in 1969 and manufactures packaging for some of the world’s largest retail brands.

– Andy Meek

FedEx Volunteers to Restore Wolf River Watershed

More than 100 volunteers from FedEx Corp., The Wolf River Conservancy, and local schools will restore properties along the Wolf River watershed Wednesday.

The project is part of a grant program sponsored by FedEx and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to address urban environmental challenges.

Volunteers will remove invasive plant species, stumps and debris. They also will plant grass and wildflower seeds, build wood duck nest boxes, bluebird and bat houses, and paint sewer manholes.

In honor of FedEx’s 40th anniversary, more than 600 team members around the world will support local projects.

– Jennifer Johnson Backer

Emkes Leaves as State Finance Commissioner

Tennessee Finance and Administration Commissioner Mark Emkes is leaving the administration of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam at the end of May, Haslam announced Monday, April 15.

Emkes, the former CEO and president of Bridgestone Americas, is leaving to be with his wife in Spain.

Emkes was Haslam’s pick for the critical posting before he took office as governor in 2011. Haslam said Monday he has begun a replacement search.

As Department of Finance and Administration commissioner, the 60-year-old Emkes has been responsible for budget matters and managing the state’s day-to-day finances.

Emkes’ retirement comes following Haslam’s decision to forgo – at least for the time being – $1.4 billion in federal money in the upcoming budget year for Medicaid expansion while pursuing a special arrangement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

– Bill Dries

Governor Signs Public Notices Bill

Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a bill to require public notices to be published on newspaper websites.

The measure maintains a requirement for public notices to be published in the print editions of newspapers. It would also create a statewide online clearinghouse for all notices.

Sponsors say the Tennessee Press Association called for the changes in the interest of enhanced transparency.

“The public notice law is a positive step forward for government transparency,” said Kent Flanagan, director of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government. “It actually ensures that public notices will be posted on third party independent websites.”

The measure was sponsored by Republican Sen. Ken Yager of Harriman and Rep. Ryan Haynes, R-Knoxville.

The House approved the legislation 94-1, and it passed the Senate 31-1.

– The Associated Press

Evolve Chairman Joins MED Board of Directors

Scot Lenoir, Evolve Bank & Trust chairman, has been appointed to the board of The Regional Medical Center at Memphis.

The MED President and CEO Dr. Reginald Coopwood said Lenoir’s extensive financial background makes him a strong fit for the board.

Memphis-based Evolve currently operate five full-service branches in Arkansas and Tennessee with 35 mortgage production offices around the country.

– Andy Meek

Animal Abuse Reporting Bill Hits Senate Snag

An effort to require whistleblowers to quickly submit damning evidence of animal abuse to law enforcement has hit a snag in the state Senate over questions about the true intentions of the bill.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Dolores Gresham of Somerville and fellow Republican Rep. Andy Holt of Dresden would require anyone recording images of animal abuse submit unedited footage or photos to law enforcement within 48 hours.

Gresham denies claims from animal protection activists like the Humane Society of the United States that the bill would prevent undercover operations from establishing ongoing patterns of abuse.

But Republican Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris questions whether the bill has more to do with penalizing the taping of abuse than preventing the practice.

A Senate vote has been delayed until Wednesday.

– The Associated Press

Foreign Holdings of US Debt Rose to $5.66 Trillion

Foreign demand for U.S. Treasury securities rose to a record level in February, indicating that international investors remain confident in U.S. debt despite budget wrangling in Washington.

The Treasury Department said Monday that foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury securities increased 0.3 percent in February from January to a record $5.66 trillion. It was the 14th straight monthly increase.

China, the top foreign owner of Treasury debt, increased its holdings 0.7 percent to $1.22 trillion. Japan, the second-larger holder, trimmed its holdings 0.6 percent to $1.1 trillion.

Overall demand kept rising despite sharp disagreements between Congress and President Barack Obama over tax and spending issues. Still, Congress approved a measure to temporarily suspend the borrowing limit until May 19. That has allowed the government to take on more debt while the debate continues.

– The Associated Press

Oil Drops To Four-Month Low

The price of oil dropped to a four-month low, as a slowdown in China’s growth added to doubts about the strength of the world economy and global demand for crude.

China’s slowdown, weak economic reports from the U.S. and Europe’s malaise suggest demand for crude and refined fuels won’t be strong enough to absorb the ample supplies on the world market.

West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark crude in the U.S., dropped $2.19, or 2.4 percent, to $89.10 a barrel in afternoon trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier in the session, crude hit $87.86. It’s dropped more than 8 percent the past two weeks.

Brent crude, which is used to price oil used by many U.S. refiners to make gasoline, fell $2.29 to $100.75 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London. It briefly fell below $100 for the first time in nine months.

Those declines, if they hold or get steeper, could mean a further drop in U.S. gas pump prices. The average price for a gallon of gasoline fell 3 cents over the weekend to $3.53. That’s 26 cents lower than the high for the year, set on Feb. 27. And gas is now 38 cents cheaper than a year ago.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 56 94 12,852
MORTGAGES 23 50 8,053
BUILDING PERMITS 285 422 30,356
BANKRUPTCIES 23 67 6,131