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VOL. 128 | NO. 113 | Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Daily Digest

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Land for Mercedes-Benz Dealership Sells for $3 Million

Higginbotham Automobiles of East Memphis LLC has bought two parcels of land in Collierville for a combined $3 million where it will build a Mercedes-Benz dealership.

The dealership, owned by Dennis Higginbotham and to be called Mercedes-Benz of Collierville, will have an address of 4651 S. Houston Levee Road, according to the website www.mbcollierville.com.

The property is northwest of the intersection of South Houston Levee Road and East Shelby Drive, across from Carriage Crossing and south of the Sunrise at Collierville Chevrolet, Buick and GMC dealership.

Higginbotham Automobiles of East Memphis bought a 4.5-acre parcel from W.T. Price LP for $2.5 million and a 2.3-acre parcel from Michael A. Lightman for $450,000.

The larger parcel has a 2013 appraised value of $1.9 million while the smaller parcel is subdivided from a 46-acre property with a 2013 appraised value of $638,000, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

FedEx Freight Raising Rates 4.5 Percent

FedEx Corp. said its freight unit will raise rates by 4.5 percent beginning July 1.

The move follows Jan. 7 rate increases in its FedEx Express air shipment business and FedEx Ground package shipping business.

FedEx said Monday that its freight fuel surcharges are not changing, and remain among the lowest in the industry.

FedEx shares fell 63 cents to $99.15 in morning trading Monday. They are still near the high end of their 52-week range of $83.92 to $109.66.

– The Associated Press

Literacy Mid-South to Hold Literatini Event Thursday

Less than a month after announcing a slate of major changes, Literacy Mid-South is holding its first fundraiser Thursday, June 13, at The Booksellers of Laurelwood, 387 Perkins Road Extended.

The “Literatini” event, sponsored by The Daily News, features martinis and food from several Memphis restaurants and bars as well as an auction from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. And 20 percent of all sales at Booksellers that evening will go to Literacy Mid-South.

The literacy organization announced last month it is moving from its office in Cooper-Young to smaller offices at 3000 Walnut Grove Road. The smaller quarters will save the organization $60,000 annually, which it plans to put back into programs.

Literacy Mid-South will also provide funding for training of more people to work in the literacy programs.

The structural changes and several new funds Literacy Mid-South is building with the fundraiser and other events make it more of an intermediary with numerous literacy groups and educators in the Memphis area. The organization estimates 120,000 adults locally read and write below a third grade level.

– Bill Dries

City Council Calls Special Meeting

The Memphis City Council has called a special meeting June 25 to finish up its budget work before the June 30 end of the fiscal year.

A notice of the special meeting for 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, 125 N. Main St., published in The Daily News, is signed by 11 of the 13 council members “to consider items related to the fiscal year 2014 operating budget, capital improvement programs and tax rate.”

The council still plans to hold its regularly scheduled June 18 meeting. But a third council meeting for the month of June was considered a possibility when a state comptroller’s report forced the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. to change its budget proposal.

The report was critical of city financial practices in paying down capital spending debt and meeting pension and benefit obligations.

The council delayed votes on all budget-related items at its June 4 meeting.

Wharton has said he will hold private one-on-one talks with council members before the council meeting on June 18 to build a consensus on budget priorities.

– Bill Dries

Countywide School Board Meets Tuesday on Budget

Countywide school board members should complete their work on a budget for the new fiscal year when they meet Tuesday, June 11, in a special session.

On the agenda for the 5:30 p.m. meeting at the Teaching and Learning Academy, 2485 Union Ave., is approval of a budget resolution.

The Shelby County Commission approved a county operating budget that includes $20 million in new funding for the school system in the fiscal year that begins July 1. Still pending before the commission are votes on second and third reading on a 6-cent property tax hike that would create half of the new schools revenue.

The new county funding leaves a gap of about $10 million between revenues and expenses in the $1.18 billion budget the school board sent to the County Commission. But interim superintendent Dorsey Hopson has said he is willing to recommend the school board fill the gap with money from school system reserves and/or budget cuts from items that are the lowest on a list of budget priorities Hopson and his staff have assembled.

– Bill Dries

Malco Installs Dolby Atmos Sound System at Paradiso

Malco Theatres has installed the new Dolby Atmos audio system at the company’s flagship Paradiso cinema.

Dolby Atmos is a next generation audio solution that changes the way people experience entertainment sound. It places sounds anywhere in the auditorium and has quickly become the preferred choice in the cinema with major studios, directors, sound teams and exhibitors adopting the solution.

The initial Dolby Atmos installation at Paradiso coincided with the release of “Star Trek: Into Darkness.”

– Andy Meek

State Panel to Explore New Common Core Standards

The chairwoman of the state Senate Education Committee says the panel will hold meetings during the summer or fall to discuss a new set of uniform benchmarks for math and reading.

The common core state standards are being adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia.

They are described as a set of higher expectations in math and English that include more critical thinking and problem solving to better prepare students for global competition. Republican Sen. Dolores Gresham of Somerville says she wants to hear from proponents and opponents of the standards, as well as education officials. Last month, about 500 people registered to attend a panel discussion in Franklin that highlighted concerns ranging from the cost to implement the standards to how involved the federal government will be in developing them.

– The Associated Press

Main Street Communities Get Ready for Summer

Tennessee Main Street communities are gearing up for the summer.

The Tennessee Main Street programs are hosting multiple summer events and farmers’ markets to support historic downtown business districts.

Tennessee Main Street provides technical assistance and guidance to help communities make downtowns more safe and appealing.

Last year, certified Main Street communities generated more than $82 million of public/private investment and created a little more than 600 new jobs.

There are currently 25 certified Main Street communities across Tennessee.

– The Associated Press

American Conference Women's Tournament at Casino

The new American Athletic Conference will hold its first women’s basketball tournament at the Mohegan Sun casino.

The conference announced Monday that the 2014 tourney would be played at the resort in southeastern Connecticut, which includes a 10,000-seat arena that is home to the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun.

The tournament will take place March 7-10.

The casino also has applied to host the men’s tournament, though it is considered a long shot. Cities such as Louisville, Cincinnati and Memphis are also in the running. That announcement is expected in the next few weeks.

– The Associated Press

MORTGAGES 0 79 1,199
BUILDING PERMITS 146 146 2,571