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VOL. 128 | NO. 81 | Thursday, April 25, 2013

Daily Digest

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Virginia Company Buys Poplar Avenue Retail Property

A Reston, Va.-based company called Poplar Avenue LLC has paid $2.9 million for 7665 Poplar Ave. in Germantown.

The entity bought the retail property in an April 19 special warranty deed from VZN I LLC, which has acquired it in October for $1.5 million.

The 1-acre property sits at the southeast corner of Poplar Avenue and South Germantown Road, adjacent to Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital, and is zoned retail. It contains two buildings, one of which housed a CK’s Coffee Shop.

No building or square footage information is listed on the Shelby County Assessor of Property’s website, although it does show a 2013 appraised value of $470,900, down from $809,700 in 2012.

In conjunction with the purchase, Poplar Avenue LLC filed a $1.4 million loan through First Freedom Bank. Daniel L. Bommer signed the trust deed as member/manager of the borrowing entity.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Forbes Gives High Marks to First Tennessee Unit

First Tennessee Advisory Services is ranked No. 8 on Forbes magazine’s list of the Top 50 Fastest Growing wealth management firms.

The entity, which is a business line of First Tennessee Bank, offers investment portfolios ranging from ultra-conservative to aggressive.

Forbes listed a growth in assets under management of $2.7 billion for First Tennessee Advisory Services and a total under management of $3.4 billion.

– Andy Meek

Indie Memphis Festival Worth Fee, Mag Says

MovieMaker magazine has included the Indie Memphis Film Festival on the magazine’s list of “Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee.”

MovieMaker has for more than 10 years compiled its annual guide for aspiring independent filmmakers. This year the magazine expanded its list from 25 to 50 festivals in “order to encompass a more diverse range of fest locations.”

Indie Memphis was previously included on the magazine’s “25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” in 2011 and as one of the “25 Coolest Film Festivals” in 2009.

The dates for this year’s festival will be Oct. 31 through Nov. 3 and will again be presented by Duncan-Williams Inc. Films will be shown at three venues in Midtown’s Overton Square area: Playhouse on the Square, The Circuit Playhouse, and on three screens at Malco Theatres’ Studio on the Square. Related events will be held at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

– Andy Meek

Chamber Hosts Conversation With Jack Sammons

The Greater Memphis Chamber is hosting a conversation with Jack Sammons, chairman of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority, on May 3.

Sammons will discuss the Airport Authority’s plans and the future of the Memphis International Airport.

The event, held at the Hilton Memphis from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., is open to prospective members and chamber members. Tickets are $35 for members and $40 for prospective members.

– Jennifer Johnson Backer

Hamlet to Plead in Petties Drug Case

The last defendant in the Craig Petties federal drug case is scheduled to plead guilty in May to drug conspiracy charges.

Chris Hamlet was turned over to U.S authorities last December after serving five years in prison in Mexico. He was brought to Memphis to face charges dating back to 2002 in the largest drug case ever tried in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.

Hamlet fled to Mexico in 2002 about the time Petties also fled. Petties ran the Memphis-based drug organization with direct ties to the Sinaloa cartel from Mexico for the next six years and Hamlet was a high-ranking member of the organization.

Hamlet faces 11 counts of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, murder for hire, drug conspiracy and money laundering.

During a status conference Wednesday, April 24, before Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays, Hamlet’s attorney, Robert Parris, requested a court date for a change of plea hearing. Mays set the hearing for May 7.

All of the other defendants in the case have either pleaded guilty or gone to trial and been convicted.

– Bill Dries

Tennessee Employers Named Semifinalists for Award

Three Tennessee employers have been selected as semifinalists for the 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.

The award is the U.S. Department of Defense’s highest honor for employers that provide extraordinary support to their Guard and Reserve employees.

The employers are: City of Memphis Waste Water Treatment Plant, Eastman Chemical in Kingsport and Steel Plate Fabricators in Knoxville.

Employers selected as semifinalists assist Guard and Reserve employees through formal and informal initiatives, including setting veteran hiring goals, providing childcare for deployed employees, arranging care package drives, and granting additional leave for military employees and family members before and after deployments.

– The Associated Press

Orders for US Durable Goods Fall 5.7 Percent in March

Orders for long-lasting U.S. factory goods fell in March by the most in seven months. The drop reflected a steep decline in commercial aircraft demand and little growth in orders that signal future business investment.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that orders for durable goods declined 5.7 percent in March. That followed a 4.3 percent gain in February, which was revised lower.

Weaker economies overseas and the impact of across-the-board government spending cuts have made businesses more cautious. That’s reduced demand for manufactured goods. Spending on defense equipment also fell sharply last month.

Durable goods are items expected to last at least three years. Orders for durable goods tend to fluctuate sharply from month to month and economists cautioned against reading too much into one monthly decline.

A measure of business investment plans, which include industrial machinery and computers, ticked up 0.2 percent last month. Economists pay close attention to so-called core capital goods orders because they strip out more volatile defense and aircraft orders.

Increases last month in both orders and shipments of core capital goods suggest businesses spent more on equipment and software in the January-March quarter. That likely contributed to economic growth in the first quarter.

Still, most of the quarterly gain reflected a huge increase in January. Orders fell sharply in February and rose only slightly last month. That indicates businesses may be spending less on equipment in the April-June quarter, economists said.

Demand fell in most types of goods. Orders dropped for metals such as steel and aluminum, metal parts, electrical equipment and appliances, and defense aircraft. Orders increased for computers and communications equipment.

– The Associated Press

Mississippi Governor Calls Economic Special Session

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said he was bringing lawmakers back to the Capitol late this week for a special session on an economic development project.

“I will issue a formal call (Wednesday) for the Legislature to convene on Friday to consider an economic development package that will bring needed jobs to our state,” Bryant said in a news release. “This is an exciting project and a great testament to the quality of our workforce.”

Bryant gave no details about the project or what kind of incentives lawmakers will be asked to consider. During an appearance in Oxford on Monday, he said the project would be part of Mississippi’s automobile corridor. The state has two auto manufacturing plants – Nissan near Canton and Toyota near Blue Springs.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, said he and other lawmakers were to receive private briefings this week about the project. In Mississippi, it’s not unusual for a governor and Mississippi Development Authority executives to keep details about job-creation projects confidential until lawmakers are called into special session.

Bryant said Monday that the economic development special session would be separate from a special session he is expected to call later to keep Mississippi’s Medicaid program in business.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 103 137 4,008
MORTGAGES 84 131 4,521
BUILDING PERMITS 178 368 9,636
BANKRUPTCIES 50 110 2,995