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VOL. 128 | NO. 87 | Friday, May 3, 2013

Daily Digest

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Stonebridge Golf Club Sells for $1.5 Million

The Stonebridge Golf Club at 3049 Davies Plantation Road between U.S. 64 and Interstate 40 in Lakeland has sold for $1.5 million.

Golf Nation LLC, whose members are listed as Mark Lovell and Robert Mears, bought five parcels that compose the sprawling golf course in an April 23 special warranty deed from SPE GO Holdings Inc. of Vienna, Va.

The first and main parcel of the course, listed as 3049 Davies Plantation Road, contains 98 acres, course holes and also Stonebridge’s clubhouse, an 18,928-square-foot facility built in 1975. That parcel has a 2013 appraised value of $893,400, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property.

The remaining parcels, which contain only course holes and are zoned residential, are dotted among neighboring homes.

The 9570 El Hill Road parcel is 20.3 acres with an appraised value of $136,800. The 9579 El Hill Road parcel is 7.1 acres with an appraised value of $53,000. The 3130 Davies Plantation Road parcel is 30.2 acres with an appraised value of $204,300. And the 9221 Fletcher Trace Parkway parcel is 23.6 acres with an appraised value of $171,200.

In conjunction with the purchase, Golf Nation filed a $1.2 million deed of trust through Bank of Bartlett. Lovell and Mears signed the trust deed as members of Golf Nation.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Argent Trust Co. Acquires South Carolina Firm

Argent Trust Co., which has its executive headquarters in Nashville, has acquired South Carolina-based East Broad Trust Co.

That move adds to existing Argent offices in Nashville, Memphis and Louisville, Ky. It also significantly extends Argent’s geographical reach and is part of a growth market strategy of Argent’s parent company, Argent Financial Group.

Argent also recently announced a merger with Memphis-based Highland Capital Management and an acquisition of The Trust Co. of San Antonio.

– Andy Meek

Memphis on List of Markets Leading in Home Flipping

A report says Orlando leads the nation in the profitability of flipping homes.

The report released by RealtryTrac on Thursday says Orlando last year was top in the nation in terms of the rate of return for purchasing a house and then selling it within six months.

Other metros that ranked at the top of the list were Las Vegas; Phoenix; Tampa; Memphis; Miami; Lakeland, Fla.; Nashville; Sarasota, Fla.; and Tuscon, Ariz.

The report says the average purchase price for a flipped home in Orlando was $103,000, and the average price it sold for was more than $168,000.

– The Associated Press

Methodist Germantown Names Neel Chief of Staff

Michael Neel has been named chief of staff for Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital.

He will oversee medical staff and focus on providing high quality, cost-effective care in a manner that is both patient and family centered, the hospital group said in a prepared statement.

Neel is fellowship trained in orthopedic oncology and is a total joint surgeon with OrthoMemphis, a division of MSK Group PC.

He is also a clinical assistant professor of orthopedics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

– Jennifer Johnson Backer

Maxine Smith Memorial Set for Saturday

Memorial services for civil rights leader Maxine Smith will be Saturday, May 4, at Metropolitan Baptist Church, 767 Walker Ave., from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Smith, the long-time executive secretary of the Memphis branch NAACP and a Memphis City Schools board member, died last month at the age of 83, following heart surgery a year ago.

– Bill Dries

Tennessee Children Services Disciplines Three Workers

The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services has disciplined three high-ranking employees over child death record keeping.

The Tennessean cited internal memos in reporting the demotion of team coordinator Lisa Lund, who appealed the penalty and was reinstated with a two-day unpaid suspension. The documents also noted the two-day suspension of Director of Child Safety Marjahna Hart, who is Lund’s supervisor.

Also disciplined was Carla Aaron, the executive director of child safety, who oversees both Hart and Lund. Aaron received a written warning.

The Tennessean and other news organizations, including The Associated Press, sued the department to obtain records of children who died after agency contact with them.

The three employees are on the Child Fatality Review Team, which fell behind and failed to follow department policies, leading to court-ordered reforms.

Disciplinary records cited by The Tennessean show Lund was responsible for the fatality team’s meeting minutes, but some had errors or were incomplete and not fully reflective of the team’s discussions.

Lund tried to bring the records up to date months after media and the children’s advocacy group Children’s Rights requested them.

Aaron later found Lund left out “significant portions” of the team’s minutes before they were made public. Passages left out of the first batch of documents contain key details about how DCS caseworkers made decisions about child abuse investigations.

– The Associated Press

15-Year Mortgage Rate at Record 2.56 Percent

The average U.S. rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage fell to a new record low last week, and the rate on the 30-year fixed loan declined. Cheaper mortgages have encouraged more home buying and refinancing.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for the 15-year fixed mortgage slipped to 2.56 percent. That’s the lowest on records dating to 1991. It fell from 2.61 percent last week, the previous record.

The rate on the 30-year loan declined to 3.35 percent from 3.40 percent last week. That’s near the average rate of 3.31 percent reached in November, the lowest on records dating back to 1971.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country on Monday through Wednesday each week. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates.

The average fee for 30-year mortgages edged down to 0.7 point from 0.8 point last week. The fee for 15-year loans was unchanged at 0.7 point.

The average rate on a one-year adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 2.56 percent from 2.62 percent last week. The fee for one-year adjustable-rate loans held steady at 0.3 point.

The average rate on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage declined to 2.56 percent from 2.58 percent. The fee was stable at 0.5 point.

– The Associated Press

US Jobless Claims Fall to 5-Year Low of 324,000

The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell last week to seasonally adjusted 324,000, the lowest since January 2008. The drop points to fewer layoffs and possibly more hiring.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications fell 18,000, the second straight sharp drop. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, plummeted 16,000 to 342,250, close to a five-year low.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. When they fall below 350,000, it is generally consistent with moderate hiring.

But layoffs are only half the equation: Companies also need to be confident enough to add workers for job growth to pick up and lower the unemployment rate. Many have held off adding new workers in recent months, possibly because of concerns about the impact of federal spending cuts and tax increases.

Economists forecast that the economy added 160,000 jobs last month. That’s much better than the 88,000 added in March, but below last year’s pace of nearly 185,000 per month. The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 7.6 percent.

But many have lowered their estimates this week, some as low as 120,000, after several reports suggested that slower growth is dragging down hiring. The government will release the April employment report Friday.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 105 193 8,028
MORTGAGES 120 239 9,024
BUILDING PERMITS 192 445 17,512
BANKRUPTCIES 27 69 5,228