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VOL. 129 | NO. 166 | Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Daily Digest

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Owner Quitclaims Grove Park Center

Grove Park Center, the 94,200-square-foot office building at 4515 Poplar Ave. in East Memphis, has traded hands via quitclaim deed.

RMR Investment Co. LLC quitclaimed the property to GPCTN Investment Co. LLC, which subsequently filed a $5.4 million loan through First Tennessee Bank NA. Robert M. Rogers signed the trust deed as manager of the new owner.

Built in 1962, the Class B office tower sits on 1.8 acres along the south side of Poplar Avenue at Grove Park Circle next to Oak Court Mall. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal is $3.1 million.

Paragon Bank operates a branch on the building’s first floor, and other tenants include Memphis Orthopedic Group and PrideStaff.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Crittenden Regional Hospital to Close

Crittenden Regional Hospital in West Memphis stopped admitting patients Monday, Aug. 25, and will close permanently Sept. 7.

The hospital’s board of trustees made the decision, and hospital administrators announced the closing on the hospital’s website Monday.

Between Monday and the closing, the hospital will stabilize patients who come into the emergency room but will not admit any new patients.

Crittenden Regional’s leaders said the departure of physicians and two recent fires, including one that temporarily closed the hospital for six weeks, were major factors in the permanent closure, despite a sales tax increase approved by voters in June to support the hospital.

CEO Gene Cashman said the hospital had a long-term strategic plan through its work with health care consulting firms. The problem was that revenues from the tax hike weren’t going to arrive until December and the doctors were already leaving.

“This summer’s fire, and the subsequent shutdown, derailed that plan’s success,” Cashman said in the written statement.

The hospital’s clinics and home health-hospice services will shut down Sept. 5.

– Bill Dries

'American Grilled' Memphis Episode to Air Sept. 3

The Travel Channel on Sept. 3 will air a Memphis episode of “American Grilled,” which taped this past spring.

The show involves grilling enthusiasts from around the country competing for a $10,000 cash prize and bragging rights when they’re crowned the ultimate “grill master.”

Host and chef David Guas for the cooking challenge pushes four contestants to use locally sourced ingredients, such as blue crab in Maryland and quail in Georgia, to create delicious plates that test their backyard skills. In the Memphis episode, four grillers fight for the cash and the title of “Memphis Grill Master.” They are Clint Cantwell of Germantown, Catherine Mayhew of Brentwood, Blake Carson of Memphis and Kevin Jacques of Florence, Ala.

– Andy Meek

Labor Day Chick-fil-A 5K Registration Open

Runners and walkers will fill AutoZone Park on Labor Day for the 12th annual Chick-fil-A 5K, benefiting Junior Achievement.

Five participants in the Monday, Sept. 1, event will go home with one year of free chicken meals from Chick-fil-A. The top overall male and female runners will be awarded a $50 gift card from Fleet Feet, along with the 52 weeks of free chicken. Two participants will be randomly selected for the prize, and the final year of free meals will be awarded to the participant with the best costume. All are encouraged to don black spots, wear cow ears or pin a tail on to dress in the spirit of Chick-fil-A’s cow mascot.

The event will start at 8:30 a.m. with an opening ceremony. The actual 5K race will begin at 9 a.m. at the corner of Gayoso Lane and Front Street. The race route, which passes the Mississippi River and Beale Street, ends near third base on the field of AutoZone Park.

Following the 5K, the whole family can enjoy festivities at AutoZone Park.

Everyone who registers for the race will receive a Dri-Fit performance T-shirt, one free Chick-fil-A sandwich on race day and a coupon for a free sandwich. Registration and additional information is available online at chickfila5k.com.

– Don Wade

$5 Tickets Available for Memphis Football Opener

For the second year in a row, the University of Memphis has partnered with 42 area Kroger stores to sell $5 football tickets for the Tigers’ season opener in support of the “Million Meals Challenge.”

Memphis will face Austin Peay Saturday, Aug. 30, at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. Game time is slated for 6 p.m.

The university’s athletic department will donate $1 from each ticket sold at the guest services desks of area Kroger stores for this charitable event. If all 10,000 tickets that have been allocated to Kroger are sold, proceeds will result in 80,000 meals for needy families.

The University of Memphis again joins with the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University, as well as area Kroger stores, in the third annual “Million Meals Challenge.” The Tigers have won the challenge the last two years; the friendly competition has raised enough funds, food items and volunteer hours to provide over 1 million meals.

Tickets for the opening game will be on sale at Kroger stores through Saturday while they last. Last year, many store locations sold out of tickets prior to game day. Fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets early and follow @TigersAthletics on Twitter for updates on ticket availability at specific store locations throughout the week.

– Don Wade

Delta Airlines Hiring Flight Attendants

Delta Air Lines has announces it has plans to hire at least 1,800 flight attendants as it plans for growth next year.

The Atlanta-based airline, still the dominant carrier at Memphis International Airport even as it has scaled back flights, has already begun taking applications for the positions.

The first flight attendants will enter training in January. Officials say the company received more than 100,000 applications during a previous round of hiring for flight attendants.

– Amos Maki

US New-Home Sales Fall 2.4 Percent in July

Fewer Americans bought new homes in July, evidence that the housing sector is struggling to gain traction more than five years into the economic recovery.

The Commerce Department said Monday that new-home sales fell 2.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 412,000. The report also revised up the June sales rate to 422,000 from 406,000.

New-home sales plunged 30.8 percent in the Northeast, followed by smaller drop-offs in the Midwest and West. Purchases were up 8.1 percent in the South, a region that usually accounts for more than half of all new-home sales.

Inventory of new homes on the market rose to six months, a level last reached in October 2011. The median price of a new home last month was $269,800, up 2.9 percent over the past 12 months.

– The Associated Press

Economists Say Fed is On ‘The Right Track’

A majority of economists believe the Federal Reserve is doing the right things to help repair the U.S. economy, according to a survey released Monday by the National Association of Business Economists.

The survey also showed that a vast majority of economists believe the U.S. economy is at little risk of inflation in the coming years.

In the association's semiannual survey, 53 percent of economists said the Fed's stimulus programs were "on the right track" for the U.S. economy, while 39 percent thought the Fed was doing too much.

The Federal Reserve has been winding down a bond-buying economic stimulus program since December. Many investors and economists expect the central bank to start raising interest rates in 2015. It would be the first time the Fed raised interest rates since 2008. In the survey, three-quarters of the economists said they believe the Fed's first interest rate increase will come in 2015.

NABE interviewed 257 economists between July 22 and Aug. 4.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 92 480 7,835
MORTGAGES 115 551 8,785
BUILDING PERMITS 325 1,167 17,068
BANKRUPTCIES 39 311 5,159