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VOL. 128 | NO. 161 | Monday, August 19, 2013

Daily Digest

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Collierville Retail Center Sells for $1 Million

The 7,465-square-foot shopping center at 9125 E. Shelby Drive in Collierville has sold for $1 million, helping its owner avoid foreclosure.

An entity called 9125 E. Shelby LLC bought the retail center in an Aug. 7 warranty deed from Premier Retail Solutions of Forest Hill Irene LLC.

The property went into default last month – according to a first-run foreclosure notice in the Thursday, July 11, edition of The Daily News – when Premier Retail Solutions of Forest Hill Irene defaulted on a $1.8 million loan through BancorpSouth Bank dated Dec. 28, 2005.

The bank then assigned E. Franklin Childress of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC as substitute trustee. Childress was scheduled to hold a substitute trustee’s sale of the property Aug. 1 at noon on the steps of the Shelby County Courthouse.

Built in 2005, the Class B retail center sits on 1.1 acres at the southeast corner of East Shelby Drive and Forest Hill-Irene Road. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal is $812,600.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Fire Museum to Update Programs, Exhibits

The Fire Museum of Memphis is launching a list of upgrades to its educational programs and fire prevention and life safety exhibits in celebration of the museum’s 15-year anniversary.

It’s a result of grants the museum has received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Plough Foundation.

The museum was awarded two grants by FEMA – one for $197,245 and one for $481,740, which is the third-largest FEMA fire prevention grant ever awarded to a museum – and a grant for $250,000 from the Plough Foundation. The museum is using the money to update existing exhibits, including the Fire Safety House, the Maze, the Juvenile Fire Setter exhibit, the Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector exhibit, the Family Meeting Place exhibit and the FedEx Fire Room.

The museum also plans to install several new exhibits and to enhance the fire safety and prevention education curriculum used at the museum and by firefighters visiting schools across the region.

– Andy Meek

Haslam Awards $1.6 Million to Improve State Parks

Gov. Bill Haslam is awarding more than $1.6 million in grants to improve Tennessee parks and recreational areas.

The Recreational Trails Program is a federally funded program established to distribute funding for diverse recreation trail projects. Twelve grants are being awarded.

Haslam said the grants assist local governments and organizations in improving community amenities such as trails, greenways and recreational facilities.

Funding for the grants is provided by the Federal Highway Administration.

– The Associated Press

Tennessee Wins Award for Budget Document

Tennessee has once again received a national award for its annual state budget document.

The Government Finance Officers Association presented the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award to the Division of Budget in the Department of Finance and Administration for fiscal year 2013-2014.

It’s the 21st year the state has received the award.

To receive the award, Tennessee satisfied guidelines that assessed the budget document as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device.

GFOA must rate the budget document proficient in all four categories, along with 14 mandatory criteria within those categories.

State Finance Commissioner Larry Martin says quality budget documents are the foundation of accountability and form a base for better decision making.

– The Associated Press

Superintendents Want Appeal for TCAP Coding Errors

A school superintendents group says nearly four dozen Tennessee public school districts would have appealed coding errors relating to TCAP test results if that were an option.

The Tennessean quoted a letter from Wayne Miller, executive director of the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents to state Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman. In the letter, Miller asked Huffman to reopen the appeals window to allow school systems to review and correct TCAP coding errors

Miller said 45 of the state’s 136 school districts would have appealed, if they had been allowed to.

The issue is driven by the state letting the Metro Nashville schools correct demographic coding errors on standardized tests. The result was that the system move from a “needs improvement” rating to an “intermediate” status.

Miller’s letter asked the department provide “the same latitude for all districts” and came after complaints from the superintendents of the Franklin and Williamson County school districts.

State officials said, however, the appeals window of July 12-19 would not be extended. There is state policy in place to prevent local districts using this period to address demographic errors, which are supposed to be corrected during one of four opportunities earlier in the year.

– The Associated Press

US Worker Productivity Up Modestly in April-June

U.S. worker productivity accelerated to a still-modest 0.9 percent annual pace between April and June after dropping the previous quarter.

The second-quarter gain beat economists’ expectations and reversed a decline in the January-March quarter, when the Labor Department’s revised numbers show productivity shrank at a 1.7 percent annual pace.

Labor costs rose at a 1.4 percent annual pace from April through June, reversing a revised 4.2 percent drop the previous quarter. Productivity measures output per hour of work. Weak productivity suggests that companies may have to hire because they can’t squeeze more work from their existing employees – that is, if demand for a company’s products is growing.

Productivity growth has been weaker recently, rising 1.5 percent in 2012 and 0.5 percent in 2011.

Annual productivity growth averaged 3.2 percent in 2009 and 3.3 percent in 2010. In records dating back to 1947, it’s been about 2 percent.

The economy so far hasn’t been growing fast enough to fuel a hiring spree. Growth came in at a lackluster 1.1 percent annual rate from January through March and a still-weak 1.7 percent annual rate from April through June. The economy has been pinched by tax increases, federal spending cuts and weakness overseas. Economists expect growth to pick up in the second half of 2013 as the effects of tax increases and budget cuts begin to fade.

The economy has added 192,000 jobs a month so far this year, on average, a modest improvement on last year’s average 183,000 new jobs a month.

For now, the modest rise in labor costs means wages aren’t growing fast enough to raise worries about inflation.

The Federal Reserve monitors productivity and labor costs for any signs that inflation could pick up. Mild inflation has allowed the Fed to keep short-term interest rates at record lows and to buy bonds to try to keep long-term rates down.

– The Associated Press

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PROPERTY SALES 83 363 9,932
MORTGAGES 91 378 11,692
BUILDING PERMITS 213 788 21,098
BANKRUPTCIES 50 213 6,650

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