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VOL. 128 | NO. 226 | Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Daily Digest

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Former Drury Inn Sells for $4.1 Million

The 118-room former Drury Inn & Suites motel at 1556 Sycamore View Road in Northeast Memphis has sold for $4.1 million.

Kali Hospitality Ltd., which lists a Humboldt, Tenn., address, bought the 62,068-square-foot motel in a Nov. 13 special warranty deed from DSW Inns LLC of Cape Girardeau, Mo. That company had acquired the hotel in a 2009 quitclaim deed from Drury Hotels Co. LLC.

Built in 1994, the low-rise motel sits on 1.8 acres on the east side of Sycamore View Road near its intersection with Interstate 40. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal is $3.8 million.

In conjunction with the purchase, Kali Hospitality filed a $3.7 million deed of trust and security agreement and fixture filing through Fidelity Bank. Dinesh C. Patel signed the deed as president of the borrower.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

University of Memphis Names Presidential Search Panel

A panel of Memphians to come up with three to five finalists for the University of Memphis presidency meets for the first time Dec. 4.

The panel of 22, appointed by the Tennessee Board of Regents, is being led by attorney Greg Duckett, senior vice president and corporate counsel of Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. and a member of the Board of Regents.

Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan will choose the permanent successor to Dr. Shirley Raines, who retired this summer. Brad Martin has been serving as interim president since the start of the academic year.

The search panel’s first order of business will be to set criteria for the search.

– Bill Dries

Health Support Effort Launches in Tennessee

UnitedHealthcare has launched an effort in Tennessee to provide one-on-one health support to TennCare-eligible individuals who have unmanaged or complex health conditions.

The Neighborhood Connections program is creating health assistance centers in communities across the state and hiring workers from those local communities. Coordinators will help participants set health and self-management goals, and create health, emotional and social support plans. The coordinators will also follow up in person to help participants address challenges.

Neighborhood Connections centers already have begun opening elsewhere in the state, and a center in Memphis will open before the end of the year.

– Andy Meek

Homebuilder Confidence Holds Steady in November

U.S. homebuilders’ confidence in the housing market held steady this month, but many are worried that another fight over the federal budget could cause would-be buyers to put off home purchases.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Monday stayed at 54 this month. October’s reading was revised one point lower from its initial estimate.

Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor.

The index has stayed above 50 now for six straight months after being below that level since May 2006. It has held steady, even as mortgage rates have come off their record lows and home sales have slowed. Those readings suggest most builders are still optimistic that the housing recovery will endure.

But the trade association noted Monday that many consumers are holding off on buying a home because of concerns over another budget fight in Washington. Lawmakers reached a temporary agreement last month to reopen the government after a 16-day partial shutdown, but another potential shutdown looms.

“Policy and economic uncertainty is undermining consumer confidence,” said David Crowe, the NAHB’s chief economist.

Builder confidence took a hit in October because of the shutdown. Some buyers found it harder to close on their mortgages.

– The Associated Press

Yahoo Vows to Encrypt All Personal Data

Yahoo is expanding its efforts to protect its users’ online activities from prying eyes by encrypting all the communications and other information flowing into the Internet company’s data centers around the world.

The commitment announced Monday by Yahoo Inc. CEO Marissa Mayer follows a recent Washington Post report that the National Security Agency has been hacking into the communications lines of thee data centers run by Yahoo and Google Inc. to intercept information about what people do and say online.

Yahoo had previously promised to encrypt its email service by early January. Now, the Sunnyvale, Calif., company plans to have all data encrypted by the end of March to make it more difficult for unauthorized parties to decipher the information.

Google says many of its services already are encrypted.

– The Associated Press

Supreme Court Rejects Look at NSA Program

The Supreme Court is refusing to intervene in the controversy surrounding the National Security Agency, rejecting a call from a privacy group to stop NSA from collecting the telephone records of millions of Verizon customers in the United States.

While the justices on Monday declined to get involved in this issue, other lawsuits on the topic are making their way through the lower courts around the country.

But in the case at hand, the Electronic Privacy Information Center bypassed lower courts and said that only the Supreme Court can overrule a decision by the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, whose order allowing NSA to get the records cannot be reviewed by other federal courts.

– The Associated Press

Heimbach Chosen as New Tennessee State Architect

The State Building Commission has unanimously voted to name Peter Heimbach as Tennessee’s new state architect.

The state architect oversees the state Capitol and its grounds, along with the state’s other building and land development projects. He also develops design standards for state agencies.

Heimbach succeeds Bob Oglesby, who was named commissioner of the state Department of General Services in August.

Heimbach is a graduate of the University of Tennessee’s architecture program and spent 12 years at the architectural firm Beeson, Lusk and Street Inc.

In his previous role he has served as the executive director of Tennessee’s Real Estate Asset Management.

– The Associated Press

TVA Increases CEO Pay in Fiscal 2013

The Tennessee Valley Authority says in a filing that it paid Chief Executive Officer Bill Johnson $5.9 million during his nine months on the job in fiscal year 2013.

That’s almost $2 million more than the federal utility paid former CEO Tom Kilgore, who retired at the end of 2012, during his last year with the agency. He made just under $4.03 million.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press cited the TVA’s year-end financial report, which was filed Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The utility said that even with the increase Johnson’s pay is still below the industry average.

TVA is the nation’s largest public utility, supplying power to about 9 million people in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

Most of his salary came from performance incentives of nearly $2.6 million and deferred compensation payments of $2.06 million. His base salary for nine months of work was $712,500.

Other top executives at TVA saw a decline in pay.

Chief financial officer, John Thomas, received $2.1 million in 2013, or 3.3 percent less than in 2012. TVA’s chief counsel, Ralph Rogers, received 25 percent less than the previous year with pay of $1.9 million.

The utility ended fiscal 2013 with $271 million in net income on $11 billion in operating revenues. Although the utility has a decline in sales, it said record levels of hydroelectric generation helped offset increased fuel costs.

“TVA reported solid financial results in 2013 despite lower sales and revenues,” Johnson said in a statement.

“We experienced lower demand for power during the year due to the shutdown of a major customer facility, a slow-growing economy and adoption of energy conservation by customers,” he said.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 56 56 9,658
MORTGAGES 49 49 10,665
BUILDING PERMITS 212 212 21,170
BANKRUPTCIES 49 49 6,157