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VOL. 6 | NO. 28 | Saturday, July 6, 2013

Daily Digest

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Raleigh Village Apartments Sell for $2.3 Million

Raleigh Village, a 182-unit apartment complex constructed in 1974 and 1980, sold June 28 for $2.3 million, or $13,000 per unit.

Tommy Bronson III and Blake Pera with the CBRE Memphis Multifamily Division represented the seller, Grant Investments LLC, in the sale.

Developed originally by Grant Investments, the property has a diverse mix of one-, two-and three-bedroom garden-style and townhouse units. Units average 932 square feet, and rents will range from $510 to $725. The property offers a full suite of amenities including a swimming pool and sundeck, washer/dryer connections in every unit and patios or balconies.

Raleigh Village is at the intersection of Covington Pike and Yale Road, adjacent to three schools, nearby shopping and Methodist North Hospital.

The buyer is Raleigh Village Partners LLC. The local group consists of Scott P. Ledbetter, founder and chair of Memphis-based LEDIC Management Group and an investor in a large number of Memphis and North Mississippi apartment communities, and Pierce Ledbetter, CEO of LEDIC Management Group.

The new owners plan to make significant exterior and interior renovations to the property. LEDIC will supervise renovations and handle all management and leasing responsibilities.

LEDIC manages more than 35,000 multifamily units throughout the southeast and southwest United States. LEDIC is an affiliate of Hunt Cos., the largest owner of multifamily in the nation.

Council Drops Inspection Exemption Ordinance

Memphis City Council member Lee Harris dropped final reading Tuesday, July 2, of his ordinance to exempt Memphis vehicle owners from auto inspections.

Harris dropped the proposal following last week’s closure of the inspection stations and word that Shelby County Clerk Wayne Mashburn will renew car tags without requiring the inspection.

Harris’s proposal for $115,000 in funding for a dog park in Greenbelt Park on Mud Island was tabled, meaning the council cannot act on it unless there are seven votes to take it off the table.

In other action, the council approved a planned development, mixed-use retail center on the southeast corner of College Road and McLemore Street in Soulsville. It also approved a planned development car lot at Germantown Parkway and Market Plaza Drive in Cordova.

The council approved the second of three readings of an ordinance to change provisions for repeated false home and business alarms. The changes include the option of putting repeat offenders on a “do not respond” list used by dispatchers.

Third and final reading of council member Kemp Conrad’s ordinance to prohibit pension “double dipping” by city employees who retire and come back to work for the city or other local governmental institutions was delayed for two weeks.

The council also approved two five-year Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division contracts with Texas Gas Transmission LLC totaling $69.9 million for the use of pipelines to transport gas.

Bigfish Agency Plans Event for Record Books

Memphis-based creative agency Bigfish has scheduled a fun event to land itself in the record books.

The late night talk show “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” recently set a world record for the largest toothbrush circle with eight people. Bigfish scheduled its own after that, beating Fallon’s with 11 people.

Not long after that, a group from Kansas broke the Bigfish record.

So Bigfish is at it again. The agency is hosting a citywide toothbrush circle – a circle of people brushing the teeth of the person to their left – on July 12 at noon, in front of the I Love Memphis mural in the Cooper-Young neighborhood.

The event will be filmed and footage will be submitted to recordsetter.com. Bigfish is hoping to include somewhere between 50 and 100 people.

Visit www.ilikemyteam.com/brushyourteeth to register and view event details.

Komen Awards Grant to Methodist Foundation

The Memphis Mid-South Affiliate of Susan G. Komen has awarded a $75,000 grant to the Methodist Healthcare Foundation for the organization’s program, Navigating Underserved Women to Better Breast Health.

The program provides outreach and education to women, as well as access to breast health services, mammography screening, diagnostic mammography, ultrasounds, and treatment regardless of a patient’s ability to pay for services.

Paula Jacobson, president of the Methodist Foundation, says the project is critical in a city like Memphis, where a recent study showed that African-American women are twice as likely to die from breast cancer than white women.

Early Voting Opens in Three More Suburbs

Early voting in advance of the July 16 election day in the Shelby County suburbs opens Saturday, July 6, in Bartlett, Germantown and Collierville.

The three sites will remain open through July 11 when the early voting period ends for the referendum elections on creating municipal school districts in each of the six suburban towns and cities.

The sites are Bethel Church, 5586 Stage Road, in Bartlett; Collierville Church of Christ, 575 Shelton Road in Collierville and New Bethel Baptist Church, 7786 Poplar Pike in Germantown.

The group My Germantown Schools, which favors the formation of a suburban school district, will rally Saturday morning at 10 a.m. on the grounds of the Germantown Charity Horse Show and then move to the New Bethel voting site.

The hours at each site Saturday are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The weekday hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Early voting also resumes in Millington at Baker Community Center Monday, July 8 using the same weekday hours.

And early voting continues at the Election Commission’s Downtown site at 157 Poplar Avenue through July 11 as well.

The early voting period in Arlington and Lakeland was for one day, June 29.

On that one day, 664 citizens voted early at the Arlington site and 465 voted early at the Lakeland site.

Early voters from any of the suburban towns and cities can vote at any of the early voting sites regardless of which city they live in.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

FedEx Executives to Speak at Leadership Event

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-.

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.

US Factory Activity Grows 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.

Wright Appointed Criminal Court Judge

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed Memphis attorney Glenn Wright Criminal Court judge.

Haslam announced the appointment Friday, June 28, to fill the vacancy created by the February death of Judge Otis Higgs.

Wright ran for Criminal Court judge Division 3 in the August 2010 elections but lost to Bobby Carter.

He also considered a run for district attorney general in the 2011 Democratic primary but dropped out of the race before the filing deadline.

Wright has been an assistant district attorney as well as assistant public defender before going into private practice in 1992.

He is a graduate of the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and also earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Memphis.

Daniels Promoted at Memphis Chamber

A personnel shift is underway at the Greater Memphis Chamber. Amy Daniels was recently promoted to senior vice president of communications, special events and member services for the Chamber. Previously, she served as vice president of communications and programming.

Daniels has been with the Chamber for 17 years, working her way up to senior vice president.

In her new role, she will oversee the communications, special events and membership staff. Daniels will use her award-winning success and expertise to form a more streamlined strategy for all three teams. Daniels has worked to communicate the Chamber’s role in bringing jobs, investment and community development to Memphis, which includes being lead on the most recent annual Chairman’s Luncheons. Daniels has a Bachelor of Science degree in English literature and a minor in political science and French from Christian Brothers University.

American Medical Response to Provide EMS Services

Emergency medical services in Shelby County, Arlington, Lakeland and Millington will be provided by a new partnership between American Medical Response and Shelby County government beginning Monday, July 1.

American Medical Response has purchased $2.5 million in new ambulances through local dealers and also made significant investments in new technology like cardiac monitors and patient care monitoring systems to improve care.

Carter Malone Group CEO Wins BENNY Award

Deidre Malone, president and CEO of The Carter Malone Group LLC, has won a BENNY Award for the public relations agency she leads.

Malone, a sponsor of the National Association of Women Business Owners’ Memphis chapter, was recognized for her achievement by the Black Business Association of Memphis, which presented her with the Black Entrepreneurship Networking Needs You (BENNY) honor.

In 2003, Malone left her career as a marketing executive at ALSAC/St. Jude – the fundraising arm of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – to launch her agency. She serves on the board of directors for the Memphis Housing Authority, Levitt Shell, Circles of Success Learning Academy, Philanthropic Black Women of Memphis and Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church, and is a graduate of Leadership Memphis. She also served two terms on the Shelby County Commission.

First Lady Crissy Haslam Names New Chief of Staff

Tennessee first lady Crissy Haslam has named a new chief of staff.

Haslam’s office announced that current staffer Rachel Lundeen has been promoted to the top job following the departure of Christi Gibbs.

Gibbs has been hired as the executive director of next year’s National Governors Association meeting in Nashville.

Before joining the first lady’s office, Lundeen worked on Bill Haslam’s gubernatorial campaign and his transition team. Lundeen will work on the first lady’s and governor’s education initiatives and manage the governor’s mansion.

PROPERTY SALES 51 180 16,377
MORTGAGES 21 57 10,144
BUILDING PERMITS 103 665 39,209
BANKRUPTCIES 31 107 7,704