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VOL. 128 | NO. 128 | Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Daily Digest

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Sycamore View Starbucks Sells for $1.1 Million

The Starbucks coffee shop at 1615 Sycamore View Road in Northeast Memphis has sold for $1.1 million.

Millennium Trust Co. as Custodian for SBrown & Associates CRE #105 LLC, bought the 6-year-old, 1,896-square-foot shop June 21 from Sycamore View LLC.

John F. Caldwell signed the warranty deed as managing partner of Sycamore View, which bought the then-vacant land in 2006 for $311,715 from Belz Investco GP.

Built in 2007, the Starbucks sits on slightly less than an acres along the west side of Sycamore View Road between its intersection with Interstate 40 and Summer Avenue.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal is $587,600.

The buying entities are Oak Brook, Ill.-based Millennium Trust Co. and San Francisco-based SBrown & Associates CRE. No financing was associated with the purchase.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Cohen Drafts Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Legislation

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, has introduced a bill that would give Congress greater oversight of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) court, which is responsible for approving measures like the recently disclosed NSA surveillance programs.

Currently, the 11 FISA judges are chosen by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from among the nation’s federal district court judges with no Congressional advice or consent. Cohen’s bill would allow the Chief Justice to appoint three judges, and the Speaker of the House, Senate Majority Leader and Minority Leaders of the House and Senate to appoint two judges apiece to the FISA court.

The bill also would also require congressional selection of judges to the FISA court’s appellate panel. Additionally, Cohen’s bill requires the FISA court to keep Congress better informed of its decisions by providing classified and unclassified versions of each decision, order, or opinion to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees and Judiciary Committees.

– Andy Meek

Early Voting on School Districts Tops 1,500

Early voting in advance of the July 16 election day referendums on forming suburban school districts topped 1,500 through its first weekend.

A total of 1,530 citizens voted early through Saturday, June 29, with a strong showing Saturday at the three suburban locations that opened that day for the voting period that ends July 11.

Voters in each of Shelby County’s six suburban towns and cities are voting on separate ballot questions to approve the formation of municipal school districts in each of them.

During the early voting period, voters from any of those towns and cities can vote at any of the early voting locations, including the Downtown location at 157 Poplar Ave. which is open through July 11.

Early voting opened Saturday at the early voting sites in Lakeland, Arlington and Millington. The Arlington and Lakeland site were open for one day only, according to the Election Commission.

Millington's site reopening July 8-11.

At Arlington United Methodist Church, 664 citizens voted early, according to Shelby County Election Commission turnout numbers. Another 465 voted early at The Refuge Church in Lakeland and 204 voted early at Baker Community Center in Millington. Together they accounted for 1,333 of the 1,530 early votes.

Early voting in Collierville, Bartlett and Germantown opens Saturday, July 6.

There is no early voting on Sundays or on the Fourth of July holiday.

- Bill Dries

Literacy Mid-South Prepares for New Digs

Literacy Mid-South is moving to a new location at 3000 Walnut Grove Road in East Memphis.

Previously named the Memphis Literacy Council and Mid-South Reads, Literacy Mid-South has been working to increase the literacy of Mid-Southerners for more than 30 years through group literacy classes, individual tutoring and working with other nonprofits.

Literacy Mid-South is moving to United Methodist Neighborhood Centers. The nonprofit group will save more than $65,000 by moving from its current offices in the Cooper Young district to United Methodist Neighborhood Centers. The money will be distributed between three new Literacy Mid-South programs beginning in July.

About 120,000 adults in the Memphis area read and write at or below a third-grade level, according to Literacy Mid-South.

– Amos Maki

FedEx Executives Highlight Leadership Breakfast

FedEx Corp. executives will discuss Memphis, leadership and community at a New Memphis Institute breakfast forum Thursday, July 11, from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

The event, which is sponsored by the world’s largest cargo airline, will feature Shannon Brown, senior vice president of human resources, Rob Carter, co-CEO and chief information officer, and Christine Richards, executive vice president and general counsel.

Single tickets for breakfast at the Memphis Hilton can be purchased for $25.00 at: www.newmemphis.org/events/leadership-breakfast-.

– Jennifer Johnson Backer

US Factory Activity Expands in June, Jobs Decline

U.S. manufacturing activity grew in June behind a pickup in new orders, exports and production. Better economic growth overseas is boosting U.S. exports and could help American factories rebound in the second half of the year.

The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index of factory activity increased to 50.9 in June. That’s up from 49 in May, which was the lowest reading in four years.

A reading above 50 suggests growth, while those below indicate contraction.

A measure of export orders jumped to 54.5 from 51. That may be a response to growth in Japan and some European countries, economists said.

Still, a measure of manufacturing employment fell in June to 48.7, its lowest level since September 2009. That suggests Friday’s June employment report will show factories cut jobs for the fourth straight month.

The mostly positive manufacturing survey contributed to strong gains on Wall Street and followed a pair of upbeat reports of factory growth overseas. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 155 points in midday trading, while broader stock indexes also gained.

U.S. manufacturing had slowed this year after providing crucial support to the economy for the first three years after the recession ended in June 2009. Europe’s slump has weighed heavily on U.S. exports. And businesses cut back on their investment in machinery and equipment in the first quarter.

– The Associated Press

US Construction Spending Up 0.5 Percent in May

Spending on residential housing rose in May to the highest level in 4½ years, helping to send overall construction spending higher despite a big drop in nonresidential activity.

Construction spending rose 0.5 percent in May compared with April when spending was up 0.1 percent, the Commerce Department said Monday.

Private residential construction rose 1.2 percent to the highest level since October 2008, further evidence of a rebound in housing. Spending on nonresidential projects fell 1.4 percent, dragged lower by declines in office building and the category that includes shopping centers.

Public construction rose 1.8 percent with state and local activity up 1.6 percent and federal spending rising 0.6 percent.

Total construction rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $874.9 billion in May, up 5.4 percent from a year ago.

The rise in residential construction reflected a 0.4 percent increase in new single-family construction and a 2.5 percent jump in multi-family construction.

Residential construction spending is 23.1 percent higher than a year ago while nonresidential construction is 0.9 percent below the level of a year ago. Public construction is 4.7 percent lower than a year ago with government activity depressed by tight budgets.

For all of 2012, construction spending increased 9.8 percent. That marked the first annual gain after five straight years of declines. Construction spending is still well below healthy levels although housing is helping to support building activity in the face of the weakness in government projects. Steady hiring and nearly record-low mortgage rates have encouraged more Americans to buy homes. More people are also moving out on their own after living with friends and relatives in the recession.

– The Associated Press

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