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VOL. 128 | NO. 47 | Friday, March 8, 2013

Daily Digest

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Mo’ Money Building Facing Foreclosure

The Mo’ Money Taxes building at 5090 Millbranch Road is facing foreclosure, according to a first-run foreclosure notice in the Friday, March 8, edition of the Daily News.

Mo’ Money Tax Service LLC defaulted on a $456,259 loan on the property through Regions Bank dated Nov. 21, 2007.

Mo’ Money reportedly moved out of the building last year but still owns it, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property, and it’s still listed as the contact address on the company’s website.

Regions appointed T. Jay Campbell Jr. and Emily C. Taube of the law firm Adams and Reese LLP as substitute trustees. They will hold a substitute trustees’ sale April 11 at noon on the steps of the Shelby County Courthouse.

Per newspaper policy, calls to the parties involved, such as the property owner, deed holder or trustee, are prohibited until the notice is published.

The Memphis-based tax preparer has been mired in legal and financial trouble, and last year complaints from customers led to the IRS raiding its Millbranch office.

That office is a 4,967-square-foot Class B facility that was built in 1991 and sits on 1.5 acres on the east side of Millbranch between Hester and East Holmes roads in Whitehaven. The assessor’s 2012 appraisal was $245,400.

The full text of the notice begins on Page 28 of Thursday’s Daily News and is also available at www.memphisdailynews.com.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Fred’s February Revenue Figure Declines

Discount retailer Fred’s Inc. reported Thursday that a key revenue figure fell 1.5 percent in February.

Fred’s also lowered its fourth quarter guidance due to markdowns and higher-than-expected costs.

Company CEO Bruce Efird said delayed tax returns and an increased payroll tax weighed on customer’s spending patterns, but there were some bright spots.

Revenue in stores open at least one year increased for general merchandise, and the company’s spring layaway program was popular.

Overall, revenue in stores open at least one year for the month ended March 2 fell 1.5 percent. Analysts expected a slightly smaller 1.3 percent decline, according to Thomson Reuters.

Total revenue for the period was nearly flat at $159.2 million.

The company now expects net income of 16 cents to 21 cents per share, from prior guidance of 31 cents to 36 cents per share. Analysts expect 28 cents per share. The cut is due to markdowns on basic products and food, as well as higher-than-expected insurance and other operating costs.

Fred’s, based in Memphis, operates 713 discount general merchandise stores.

– The Associated Press

Southern College of Optometry Raises $3.3 Million in One Year

Southern College of Optometry has raised more than $3.3 million in the year since it launched its “Envision Our Progress” campaign, setting a college fundraising record, it announced this week.

The goal of the “Envision Our Progress” campaign was $4 million over five years, with the money going toward construction of the academic classroom facility now under way at its Midtown campus, as well as support of the school’s student scholarship program and patient care initiatives within the Memphis community.

Along with alumni, support from the ophthalmic community has included the Marco Family Foundation, Alcon and Essilor of America, as well as donations from the Assisi Foundation and the Plough Foundation.

The college hopes to raise the remaining $700,000 by 2014.

– Daily News staff

UTHSC Awarded $333 Thousand Diabetes Research Grant

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen says the University of Tennessee Health Science Center has been awarded a federal grant of more than $333,000 for diabetes, endocrinology and metabolic research.

Cohen said in a statement Tuesday that the center, located in Memphis, was awarded the grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The $333,102 will be distributed by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Cohen, a Memphis Democrat, says the grant will give researchers the tools they need to help people in Memphis and across the country reduce risk factors, improve diabetes management and increase their quality of life.

– The Associated Press

Bill Allowing College IDs to Vote Delayed in Senate

A proposal to allow student identification issued by state higher education institutions to be used for voting has been delayed in the Senate.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro was put off for a week on Thursday to address concerns brought by another Republican lawmaker about the validity of using a college ID.

The proposal does not allow library cards issued by local governments, an issue that’s been debated in court for about a year now.

The city of Memphis and two residents sued the state last year after election officials refused to accept a city-issued library card with a photo as voter identification.

The Tennessee Court of Appeals allowed Memphis residents to use the library card as identification to vote. The Supreme Court said last year that the library card could be used while the court was considering the case.

– The Associated Press

FAA to Close Seven Control Towers in Mississippi

Seven air traffic control towers in Mississippi are among 173 scheduled to be closed nationwide in early April, as the Federal Aviation Administration shuts off funding for those services.

The shutdowns are the result of the FAA’s move to reduce spending by $600 million under automatic federal budget cuts known as sequestration. The FAA cuts affect mostly small- and medium-sized airports.

The FAA said it will consider keeping some towers open on a case-by-case basis if local authorities can prove its tower closure would “adversely affect the national interest.”

Mississippi airports on the list are Tupelo Regional, Stennis International in Bay St. Louis, Golden Triangle in Columbus, Mid-Delta in Greenville, Hawkins Field at Jackson, Key Field in Meridian and Olive Branch Regional.

Jackson-Evers International Airport and Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport were not on the list.

Josh Abramson, executive director of Tupelo Regional, said the airport would remain open, but pilots will have to communicate with each other instead of relying on the airport tower to direct traffic.

Abramson said flights will continue at Tupelo Regional. Silver Airways, which provides commercial air service to Atlanta, will be unaffected.

– The Associated Press

US Household Wealth Regains Pre-Recession Peak

It took 5 1/2 years.

Surging stock prices and steady home-price increases have finally allowed Americans to regain the $16 trillion in wealth they lost to the Great Recession. The gains are helping support the economy and could lead to further spending and growth.

Household wealth amounted to $66.1 trillion at the end of 2012, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. That was $1.2 trillion more than three months earlier and 98 percent of the pre-recession peak.

Further increases in stock and home prices this year mean that Americans’ net worth has since topped the pre-recession peak of $67.4 trillion, private economists say. Wealth had bottomed at $51.2 trillion in early 2009.

“It’s all but certain that we surpassed that peak in the first quarter,” said Aaron Smith, senior economist at Moody’s Analytics.

Household wealth, or net worth, reflects the value of assets like homes, stocks and bank accounts minus debts like mortgages and credit cards. National home prices have extended their gains this year. And the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, a broad gauge of the stock market, has surged 8 percent since Jan. 1.

Some economists caution that the regained wealth might spur less consumer spending than it did before the recession. Americans are cashing out less home equity, for example, than they did five years ago, notes Dana Saporta, an economist at Credit Suisse.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 56 437 16,061
MORTGAGES 76 508 18,556
BUILDING PERMITS 241 876 33,390
BANKRUPTCIES 64 301 10,314