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VOL. 129 | NO. 249 | Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Daily Digest

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Two Storage Facilities Sell for $4.9 Million

Affiliates of Oaktree Capital Management have acquired two Memphis area mini-storage properties for $4.9 million.

SSSP Kirby Raines LLC, an affiliate of Los Angeles-based Oaktree Capital, acquired the mini-storage property at 6504 E. Raines Road from TSRE III Kirby Raines LLC for $2.5 million, according to a Dec. 2 warranty deed. The 50,910-square-foot storage development was built in 1995, and the Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal is $1.3 million.

On the same day, SSSP Collierville LLC, another affiliate of Oaktree Capital, purchased the 53,110-square-foot mini-storage development at 314 S. Mt. Pleasant Road in Collierville from VSI III Collierville Self Storage LLC for $2.4 million. The assessor’s 2014 appraisal of that property is $1.6 million.

Formed in 1995, Oaktree Capital is a global investment firm focused on alternative markets.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Amos Maki

Rhodes Among Top Values In Liberal Arts Education

Rhodes College has been named to the “Kiplinger’s Personal Finance” list of the 100 best values in liberal arts for 2015.

To make the list, schools are evaluated on a set of criteria that include both academic quality and affordability.

According to Kiplinger’s, the list offers students a comprehensive selection of schools that balances top-quality education with affordable cost.

– Andy Meek

TruGreen Donates $125,000 Through ‘Lawn Stars’

TruGreen has announced it has donated more than $125,000 to several local and national charities through the company’s Lawn Stars program.

Each quarter, the TruGreen Lawn Stars program recognizes 21 local sales and service teams that lead their respective regions in customer growth. Each winning branch is awarded a $2,000 donation towards any charity of their choice.

The organizations TruGreen selected to receive donations from the 2014 Lawn Stars program include: American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Clubs, Habitat for Humanity, The Salvation Army, Feed the Hungry, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Wounded Warriors Project, Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

– Don Wade

Council, Commission Contemplate Year Ahead

With their next meetings scheduled for January, the Memphis City Council and the Shelby County Commission are done for the year.

The commission met one time in December instead of its normal twice-monthly schedule. The council held the second of its two monthly meetings on Dec. 16.

When the City Council returns Jan. 6, it will be with Myron Lowery as the chairman for the next year. The County Commission chairman’s term runs from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31.

The council’s first meeting of 2015 will likely include a vote on the proposed settlement of the schools funding lawsuit announced by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. during the Dec. 16 meeting. The Shelby County Schools board approved the settlement that same evening.

The commission, which meets next on Jan. 12, is scheduled to vote next month on a resolution backing the city’s application for a Tourism Development Zone for the Mid-South Fairgrounds. The resolution includes an agreement in which the city agrees to pay back on an annual basis any sales tax revenue that would normally go to fund schools but isn’t used for that purpose.

– Bill Dries

UTHSC Receives Grant To Study Lung Injuries

Christopher Waters, professor and vice chair in the Department of Physiology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has received a four-year grant totaling $1.5 million from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a subsidiary of the National Institutes of Health. His research seeks to understand the repair process associated with various lung injuries.

The award will be used to support a project titled, “CXCR4 Signaling in Lung Epithelial Repair.”

Patients with severe lung injury can develop a disease called acute respiratory distress syndrome. This disease is one of the most frequent causes of admission into the intensive care unit. It can be caused by different types of injury to the lungs, including infections and exposure to toxic substances.

A major feature of this disease is injury to the epithelial cells that line the respiratory tract and that normally protect the lungs from harmful substances in the inhaled air. Repair of the injured cells is important for recovery from the disease.

– Don Wade

Tenn. Supreme Court Rules on Hospital Liens

The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that hospitals must release liens against patients once they and their insurers have paid their full charges.

The case was filed by three emergency patients against the Regional Medical Center in Memphis over the practice of refusing to release the liens after the bills had been paid.

The high court said that even when The MED determined that another person might be liable for injuries it would still file a lien against the patients in the hope of recovering additional money.

The case was initially dismissed, but was reinstated by the Court of Appeals. On appeal, the Supreme Court found that state law allowing hospital liens does not allow the Med to maintain its liens after the bills have been paid.

– The Associated Press

Gas Tax Increase Gaining Momentum in Tennessee

Momentum is mounting for a possible proposal to raise the state’s gas tax for the first time in 25 years.

Gov. Bill Haslam told The Tennessean he thinks a legislative proposal on the issue is close and could be introduced in the next General Assembly, which convenes in January.

“At some point and time soon, either this year or next year, I think there will be a bill about gas tax,” he told The Tennessean editorial board.

“It’s incumbent upon us as the administration to show here’s what we would do with that money if you increased the fuel tax, and then it’s also I think important for all of us not to just increase it so that ... three years from now we’re back in the same position.”

The push comes as a group representing 40 mayors in Middle Tennessee sent a letter urging Haslam and state lawmakers to find new sources of revenue to pay for transportation needs. Chambers of commerce also are pushing the idea of increasing the gas tax.

In addition, the Tennessee Farm Bureau no longer lists opposition to a gas tax increase as among its legislative priorities.

Still, the newspaper reports any proposal to increase the tax would face hurdles and lacks support from some state Democrats.

Currently, residents pay a total of 39.8 cents tax on each gallon of gas purchased – 21.4 cents is state tax and 18.4 cents is federal tax.

Haslam isn’t pushing for an increase, but says the issue must be addressed.

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, has said he might support an increase as part of a larger comprehensive measure.

House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, hasn’t publicly taken a position.

– The Associated Press

Lane Closures Halted on Tennessee Roads for Holidays

The state Transportation Department is halting all lane closures on interstates and state highways over the holidays.

According to a news release, the department expects 2 million drivers of Tennessee roadways over Christmas and New Year.

Except for a few long-term closures which must remain in place for safety reasons, all construction related closures will be suspended beginning at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 23, and ending at 9 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 5.

Updated travel and construction information is available on the TDOT SmartWay website at www.tn.gov/tdot/tdotsmartway or by calling 5-1-1. Smartphone users can download TDOT’s new SmartWay app at www.TNSmartWay.com/Traffic.

TDOT traffic alerts are available on the agency’s multiple Twitter feeds.

– The Associated Press

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 102 224 17,767
MORTGAGES 127 277 20,703
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 176 510 36,326
BANKRUPTCIES 54 146 11,828
BUSINESS LICENSES 21 80 5,640
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 27 147 12,181
MARRIAGE LICENSES 11 60 4,417

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