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VOL. 128 | NO. 239 | Monday, December 9, 2013

Daily Digest

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Owner Files Loan on Holmes Road BP

The new owner of the recently built BP convenience store and gas station at 6465 Holmes Road in unincorporated Southeast Shelby County has filed a $1.2 million loan on the property.

Crumpler Investment LLC filed the deed of trust Nov. 25 through Renasant Bank. Amin Budhwani, Rooziman Shah and Nizar Lalani signed the deed as members of Crumpler Investment, which acquired the property in a Nov. 22 quitclaim deed from Holmes Road Properties LLC.

Built this year, the 7,500-square-foot convenience store and gas station sits on 1.8 acres at the southeast corner of Crumpler and Holmes roads. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal is $692,000.

The transaction also included a 1.7-acre vacant parcel across Crumpler from the BP station.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Orpheum Open House Scheduled for Dec. 20

The Orpheum Theatre is holding its annual Holiday Open House Dec. 20, with doors opening at 10 a.m. as the production of “War Horse” goes on sale to the public.

The Open House will include special showings of the making of “War Horse” on the big screen; a holiday concert on the Wurlitzer organ; free admission to “Miracle on 34th Street” with any Orpheum canned food or coat drive donation; and a presentation about the history of Memphis movie theaters with local historian Vincent Astor at 4:30 p.m., followed by a book signing with Astor at 5 p.m. to celebrate his latest release, “Memphis Movie Theatres.”

Guests who buy the Orpheum’s Holiday 4-Pack at the event will get Memphis Heritage Inc.’s special edition 2014 calendar for free. The first 50 attendees to buy “War Horse” or “Wicked” tickets will also receive a special gift.

The open house is a come-and-go event, and guests are encouraged to enjoy lunch in the auditorium during the organ concert. A food truck will be parked outside the building, the Orpheum concessions stand will be open, and sack lunches will be permitted.

– Andy Meek

University of Memphis Begins Presidential Search

A search committee seeking the next president of the University of Memphis plans to have a set of finalists for the position by March.

A town hall meeting on the campus of the University of Memphis Wednesday, Dec. 4, formally began the search for a permanent successor to Dr. Shirley Raines, who retired in July.

The town hall meeting was to seek opinions from the public on what attributes and goals the next leader of the city’s largest institution of higher learning should have.

The Tennessee Board of Regents, which will ultimately choose Raines’ successor, appointed Brad Martin as interim president. But some school supporters have suggested Martin should be the permanent choice.

Martin has said he is not applying for the permanent job and plans to pursue an aggressive agenda for the university during the one-year period he is expected to hold the interim position.

The agenda includes increasing enrollment and completion rates, keeping tuition at its current rate and completing a $40 million capital campaign for further development of the university’s Park Avenue campus.

– Bill Dries

Southwest to Drop Flights to 3 Smaller Cities

Southwest Airlines Co. said Thursday that it will end service in June to Key West, Fla.; Jackson, Miss.; and Branson, Mo., because it can’t make money serving the smaller markets.

The changes come as the company works on folding AirTran Airways – which served many smaller cities – into the Southwest brand by the end of 2014. The Dallas-based airline is the nation’s fourth-biggest airline by passenger traffic.

Southwest began serving Jackson in 1997 and converted AirTran service in Key West and Branson to its own planes after it bought AirTran in 2011.

The company said that it would operate full schedules to all three airports until the closures.

– The Associated Press

Groups Sue Feds Over Foreclosure Fighting Tactic

The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the Federal Housing Finance Agency, asking it to disclose efforts to stop municipalities from using eminent domain to bail out underwater homeowners and make its dealings with the financial industry more transparent.

The ACLU, Center for Popular Democracy and other nonprofits filed a freedom of information lawsuit against the agency Thursday in federal court in San Francisco.

Richmond, Calif., was the first city to officially codify the divisive foreclosure fighting plan, which has drawn zealous opposition from Wall Street and Washington. Two lawsuits challenging the use of eminent domain have been thrown out, but will likely be refiled. The city has not yet used eminent domain to seize a mortgage.

Irvington, N.J., is moving forward with the strategy, and the city council in Newark took its first steps toward moving forward with a plan Wednesday. Yonkers, N.Y., is considering it, but other places have scrapped the idea because of opposition from banks or legal hurdles.

The agency said in August it may initiate legal challenges against municipalities that want to use eminent domain to fight foreclosures and could direct regulated entities to stop doing business in those places. The nonprofits said most of the cities exploring the use of eminent domain have been besieged by foreclosures and have predominantly low-income, minority populations.

The nonprofits filed freedom of information requests with the agency in October, seeking communication between agency leadership and representatives of the banking, mortgage and financial industry, and records of meetings between the agency and financiers, among other requests.

FHFA acknowledged, but did not complete, the requests, according to the lawsuit, so the groups sued. The nonprofits are asking for the documents to be procured on an expedited basis.

– The Associated Press

Lew Calls for Tighter Global Bank Oversight

The world’s biggest economies need to do more to bolster financial rules to avoid a repeat of the disastrous 2008 financial crisis, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said Thursday.

Lew said he will use a February meeting in Australia of the Group of 20 major industrial countries to push other nations to overhaul their banking regulations.

“I will use this opportunity to call on the world’s biggest economies to bear down even more forcefully on implementation,” Lew said in a speech assessing the status of banking reforms.

“We will take steps to make sure that global banks meet the high standards that we have set,” he said.

Lew said tougher rules were needed in other countries to make sure banks don’t move their operations to nations with lax regulations.

“We must avoid a race to the bottom,” he said.

Lew’s remarks came in advance of meetings Tuesday at which U.S. banking regulators are expected to approve a final version of the “Volcker rule.” That rule would bar banks with federally insured deposits from making speculative trades that could threaten the stability of the institution.

– The Associated Press

Report: Arts, Culture Add $500 Billion to Nation's GDP

Creative industries led by Hollywood account for about $504 billion, or at least 3.2 percent of U.S. goods and services, the government said in its first official measure of how the arts and culture affect the economy.

On Thursday, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts will release the first-ever estimates of the creative sector’s contributions to U.S. gross domestic product based on 2011 data, the most recent figures available. GDP measures the nation’s production of goods and services.

Sunil Iyengar, the endowment’s research director, said the yardstick devised in partnership with the Bureau of Economic Analysis drew on figures from Hollywood, the advertising industry, cable TV production, broadcasting, publishing, performing arts and other areas. Now the nation’s creative sector will be measured annually, much as statisticians calculate the contribution of tourism, health care and other sectors to the nation’s economy.

– The Associated Press

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