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VOL. 128 | NO. 129 | Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Daily Digest

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Holmes Road Church Trades Hands for $1.8 Million

The LaBelle Haven Baptist church at 6825 E. Holmes Road in Hickory Hill has been sold for $1.8 million.

New Life in Christ Fellowship Church of Mississippi bought the church in a June 24 warranty deed from LaBelle Haven Baptist Inc.

Because it is exempt from property taxes, dwelling information isn’t available on the Shelby County Assessor of Property website, but the church sits on 14.9 acres on the south side of East Holmes Road between Riverdale and Ross roads.

New Life in Christ Fellowship Church, which has a church in Olive Branch, filed a $1.6 million deed of trust through Sycamore Bank in conjunction with the purchase.

The Rev. Kevin B. Willis Sr. signed the trust deed, as did pastor Linda K. Willis and elders Audrey T. Betts, Gregory K. Kerr and Quincy L. Preston.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Burns Leaving Presbyterian Day School

Lee Burns, the headmaster of Presbyterian Day School for 14 years, will leave the Memphis institution after the upcoming school year to become headmaster of McCallie School of Chattanooga.

Burns’ appointment by the McCallie board of directors is effective next summer.

He is a third generation alumni of the private school for boys, and his grandfather taught at the school as well.

In addition to his role as headmaster at PDS, Burns is chairman of the board of trustees of The Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence.

The PDS board of trustees has formed a search committee led by former board chairman John Colcolough to begin the search for a new headmaster.

– Bill Dries

Regional Burn Center Urges Fourth of July Safety

Experts at The Regional Medical Center at Memphis are encouraging parents to keep children away from fireworks as they celebrate the Fourth of July.

Last year, fireworks were involved in about 8,700 injuries treated in U.S. hospitals, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

“The good news is that these injuries are 100 percent preventable,” said Dr. William Hickerson, medical director of the Firefighters Regional Burn Center, a burn center housed at The MED. “By far, the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend an outdoor public display put on by specially trained professionals.”

Hickerson said parents also should not let children use sparklers, which many people consider a safer alternative to fireworks.

“Parents often do not realize that children can suffer serious injuries from sparklers,” Hickerson said. “Sparklers can exceed 1,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals, and the sparkler wire remains hot long after the flame has extinguished.”

– Jennifer Johnson Backer

Cochon Heritage BBQ Event Returns to Memphis

The Cochon Heritage BBQ series is coming back to Memphis next month.

The event happens Aug. 30 at The Peabody hotel, following its first visit to the city in 2012.

It’s a stand-up tasting event that involves five chef teams challenged to use one whole heritage breed pig per team to win votes from an audience of industry professionals, media and noteworthy judges.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and general admission tickets are $125. VIP tickets cost $200, and doors for those ticket-holders open at 6:30 p.m.

– Andy Meek

US Home Prices Rise in May by Most in 7 Years

U.S. home prices jumped 12.2 percent in May from a year ago, the most in seven years. The increase suggests the housing recovery is strengthening.

Real estate data provider CoreLogic said Tuesday that home prices rose from a year ago in 48 states. They fell only in Delaware and Alabama. And all but three of the 100 largest cities reported price gains.

Prices rose 26 percent in Nevada to lead all states. It was followed by California (20.2 percent), Arizona (16.9 percent), Hawaii (16.1 percent) and Oregon (15.5 percent).

CoreLogic also says prices rose 2.6 percent in May from April, the fifteenth straight month-over-month increase.

Steady hiring and low mortgage rates have encouraged more Americans to buy homes. Greater demand, a limited number of homes for sale and fewer foreclosures have pushed prices higher. Prices are still 20 percent below the peak reached in April 2006, according to CoreLogic.

Sales of previously occupied homes topped the 5 million mark in May for the first time in 3 ½ years. And the proportion of those sales that were “distressed” was at the lowest level in more than four years for the second straight month. Distressed home sales include foreclosures and short sales. A short sale is when a home sells for less than what is owed on the mortgage.

Home sales are expected to increase in the coming months. That’s because the number of people who signed contracts to buy homes rose in June to the highest level since December 2006. There’s generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale.

One worry is that higher mortgage rates could slow the housing recovery. Still, rates remain low by historical standards. And increases in rates could boost home sales. That’s’ because many Americans may act to lock in the lower rates before they rise further.

A survey by the University of Michigan released last week found more Americans believe it is a good time to buy a home because both rates and prices are just starting to rise.

Rates have been trending higher for two months. And the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage leapt to 4.46 percent last week, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. That’s the highest in two years and a point more than a month ago.

Mortgage rates surged after Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said last month that the Fed could scale back its bond buying later this year and end it next year if the economy continued to strengthen. The bond purchases have kept long-term rates down.

Economists say that higher mortgage rates are unlikely to stifle the housing recovery. A more critical issue is whether potential buyers can get loans.

– The Associated Press

Coley Named to Human Trafficking Task Force

State Representative Jim Coley of Bartlett has been appointed to the state’s human trafficking task force.

The task force is called for in legislation the Tennessee legislature passed this year to explore policies to combat human trafficking in Tennessee.

Coley was appointed by House Speaker Beth Harwell. Coley, who is serving his fourth term in the house, has sponsored numerous bills on the issue.

– Bill Dries

PROPERTY SALES 84 275 3,673
MORTGAGES 41 139 2,418
BANKRUPTCIES 23 79 1,983