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VOL. 128 | NO. 234 | Monday, December 2, 2013

Daily Digest

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Covington Pike BP Sells for $710,000

The BP gas station and convenience store at 1184 Covington Pike in Berclair has sold for $710,000.

Kwality Investments LLC, which lists a Germantown address, bought the 8,860-square-foot gas station and market in a Nov. 20 special warranty deed from BancorpSouth Bank.

The bank had acquired the property in October, purchasing it for $590,000 from Richard Pearce Development LLC.

Built in 1999, the gas station and convenience store sit on 3.2 acres along the east side of Covington Pike between McCrory Avenue and Interstate 40. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal is $400,000.

In conjunction with the purchase, Kwality Investments filed a $613,000 real estate deed of trust through BancorpSouth Bank. Hussain Chagani signed the deed as chief manager of the borrower.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

MATA Changes Whitehaven Flyer Route

The Memphis Area Transit Authority has stopped calling the Downtown-Whitehaven express bus service it launched in September the “Whitehaven Flyer.”

In a set of route changes that began Sunday, Dec. 1, the transit authority has added more stops for the express bus route now known as 46-Whitehaven. As an express route, the bus took half an hour to travel between Downtown and Whitehaven, making minimal stops. It will now make all stops on the route, which remains mostly north and south on Bellevue and Elvis Presley boulevards.

The revised route will also serve the Benjamin L. Hooks Job Corps Center, 1555 McAlister Drive. The facility is a federally run education and technical training center for teenagers and young adults.

The center had previously been served with morning and afternoon drive trips on the 42-Crosstown route.

The Crosstown route was the other major change the transit authority announced in September, combining several previously separate routes into the Crosstown service. The consolidation has created fuller buses.

As of Dec. 1, the scheduled times for 42 Crosstown have been adjusted to add four minutes to the run time of each trip.

The two changes are part of a set of changes to 11 routes that the transit authority estimates will add $100,000 to the system’s annual operating cost. MATA leaders plan to make it up by the end of the fiscal year on June 30 with “other cost-saving measures.”

– Bill Dries

Dewald Honored by Brokerage Industry Group

The National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies has presented Jack Dewald, president of Agency Services Inc. in Memphis, with its 2013 Douglas Mooers Award for Excellence.

The annual award honors distinction in brokerage and is given to a person deemed most committed to furthering independent life brokerage as a distribution system, and who demonstrates an exemplary record of community service.

Dewald has been in the life insurance industry for more than 30 years and has served in a variety of volunteer leadership positions, including a year in service as the chairman of the national association.

– Andy Meek

International Paper CEO to Speak at Citi Conference

International Paper Co. chairman and CEO John Faraci will speak at the Citi Basic Materials Conference Wednesday, Dec. 4, in New York City.

Faraci’s presentation is scheduled to begin at 8:10 a.m. and will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

The webcast will be streamed live on the company’s website, internationalpaper.com, and a replay of the webcast will be available on the website around three hours after the presentation.

International Paper is coming off a strong third-quarter performance.

The Memphis-based company reported third-quarter net earnings of $382 million, an increase of $145 million, or 38 percent, from third-quarter 2012 net earnings of $259 million.

The third-quarter earnings were also a 32 percent increase from the second quarter of 2013.

– Amos Maki

Average Mortgage Rate Rises to 4.29 Percent

Average U.S. mortgage rates rose modestly this week, a move that makes home-buying a bit less affordable. Still, rates remain near historically low levels.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year loan increased to 4.29 percent from 4.22 percent last week. The average on the 15-year fixed ticked up to 3.3 percent from 3.27 percent.

Rates have risen nearly a full percentage point since May after the Federal Reserve signaled it might slow its bond purchases by the end of the year. Rates peaked at nearly 4.6 percent in August. But the Fed held off in September, and most analysts expect it won’t move until next year.

The increase in mortgage rates has contributed to a slowdown in home sales over the past two months.

– The Associated Press

2014 County Candidates Continue to Surface

Former Shelby County Schools board member Patrice Robinson has pulled a qualifying petition to run for the Shelby County Commission in the May Democratic county primaries.

Robinson is seeking the District 9 seat in an election that will mark the start of a new structure for the commission as it moves to single-member districts.

Robinson informally announced this summer her intention to seek the commission seat.

Also picking up qualifying petitions before the Thanksgiving holiday were Cynthia Gentry, who has a petition out for Juvenile Court clerk in the May Democratic primary.

Republican incumbent clerk Joy Touliatos checked out her qualifying petition on Nov. 22, the first day prospective candidates could get the paperwork for 2014.

And Ernie Lunati, a perennial candidate in past elections, checked out a qualifying petition in the Republican primary for Shelby County mayor.

Republican incumbent Mayor Mark Luttrell is expected to seek re-election in 2014.

Potential candidates have until Feb. 20 to file their qualifying petitions for a place on the ballot.

– Bill Dries

Durable-Goods Orders Fall 2 Percent in October

Businesses spent less last month on machinery, computers and most other items, lowering orders for U.S. long-lasting factory goods. The decline suggests companies may have been reluctant to invest during the 16-day partial government shutdown

The Commerce Department said last week that orders for durable goods dropped 2 percent in October from September. That follows a 4.1 percent increase in September from August.

Durable goods are meant to last at least three years.

Demand for commercial aircraft plunged nearly 16 percent last month, accounting for much of the decline. But orders also fell 1.2 percent in a closely watched category, known as core capital goods, which excludes volatile transportation and defense orders. That was the second straight drop.

Economists pay closer attention to core capital goods because those orders can reflect businesses’ confidence in the economy.

Many companies may have held off placing orders in October, awaiting the outcome of a budget impasse that shut down parts of the federal government.

However, the report conflicts with a private sector survey released earlier this month that showed companies shrugged off the shutdown and boosted orders.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group, said factory activity accelerated for the fifth straight month in October to the fastest pace in 2 1/2 years. The survey’s measure of new orders ticked up and production remained strong, though it slowed from the previous month.

Other reports have suggested that manufacturing has picked up since the spring. Strong auto sales and a healthier housing market have pushed up demand for steel and other metals, auto parts, furniture and appliances.

And factory output rose for the third straight month in October, according to the Federal Reserve, driven higher by greater production of primary metals and furniture.

Overseas demand for many goods has also risen as Europe has climbed out of recession, Japan is growing faster and China’s economy has slowed but is still growing at a healthy pace.

– The Associated Press

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