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VOL. 129 | NO. 251 | Thursday, December 25, 2014

Daily Digest

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Owner Files $6.1 Million Loan on Former Cozymel's Site

A company affiliated with Robert F. Fogelman II has filed a loan on a key piece of East Memphis property.

Crown Centre LLC filed a $6.1 million loan with Financial Federal Bank for the old Cozymel’s Mexican Grill location at 6450 Poplar Ave. near International Paper’s campus in East Memphis, according to a Dec. 17 deed of trust.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal for the property is $1.9 million.

The old Cozymel’s restaurant was razed in 2013. A 2012 plan approved by the Land Use Control Board said Fogelman, who is listed as manager of Crown Centre LLC in the deed of trust, was seeking to develop a three-story mixed-use building with retail on the ground floor and office space on the upper floors, but several sources have indicated over the last year that the project could be shifting in focus to a more retail-oriented development.

Fogelman did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Amos Maki

Violent Crime Countywide Up 4.8 Percent Year to Date

Major violent crime in Memphis as well as Shelby County as a whole was up compared to a year ago for the January to November period, as measured by Operation Safe Community.

The monthly report from the coalition of law enforcement, government and civic leaders shows major violent crime in Memphis for the first 11 months of 2014 increased 4.2 percent from the same period of 2013.

Over the same period, major violent crime was up 4.8 percent for the entire county compared to a year ago.

The Operation Safe Community stats kept by the Memphis-Shelby Crime Commission track violent and property crimes since 2006, the year the coalition was formed and Memphis Police changed their crime-fighting strategy to shifting police resources to areas where crime increased statistically.

By that standard, in which 2006 is considered the baseline year, major violent crime is down 17.9 percent countywide and down 14 percent in Memphis.

– Bill Dries

FBI Asks Agencies to Watch Memphis Bridges

The FBI asked law officers assigned to areas around the Mississippi River bridges at Memphis, Tennessee, to help keep an eye on the spans after a vague threat came in warning that one would be blown up.

FBI spokesman Christopher M. Allen said Tuesday from Washington the threat was “unsubstantiated.” The agency’s Memphis office alerted local police as a matter of routine but there was no specific threat to address, Memphis Special Agent D.O. Little said Tuesday.

“It was just an anonymous threat with no actual intelligence of an attack,” Little said.

Two cross-country routes traverse the Mississippi River at Memphis – Interstates 40 and 55 – and both remained open. Each bridge carries about 40,000 vehicles daily.

The FBI advisory, sent Monday, cited a threat to the “Memphis-Arkansas” bridge from an Islamic State cell in Memphis. The I-55 bridge is known as the Memphis and Arkansas Bridge but Little said Tuesday the threat was interpreted as applying to both bridges.

The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management said the threat had not reached a level requiring it to put anyone on standby, as it would if bad weather was approaching.

“We’re not on any heightened alert,” spokesman Rick Fahr said. He said threats that include specifics are rare.

– The Associated Press

Apperson Crump Names New Chief Manager

Joe Aldridge will become chief manager at Apperson Crump PLC on Jan. 1.

Aldridge, an attorney at Memphis’ oldest continuously operating law firm, succeeds Richard Myers. He’s also rated among U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Lawyers in America.”

Apperson Crump was founded in Memphis in 1865 and is located at 6070 Poplar Avenue.

– Andy Meek

Grizzlies Faith & Family Night to Feature Colton Dixon

Fans who purchase tickets to the Jan. 24 Grizzlies game versus Philadelphia will also gain access to the Grizzlies’ annual Faith and Family Night at FedExForum, highlighted by a post-game performance by “American Idol” alumnus Colton Dixon.

After appearing on season 11 of “American Idol,” Dixon received three Dove Award nominations, an award show honoring Gospel and Christian artists, where he later won the award for Best Contemporary Rock Album.

Fans will also have a chance to wave their team’s colors with Rally Flags if they are one of the first 10,000 in attendance to the game with the 76ers. The flags are sponsored by First Tennessee and SportSouth.

Discounted group tickets are available for parties of 15 or more and can be purchased by calling 901-888-HOOP. Single game tickets start at $10, and are available by calling 800-4NBA-TIX, at all Ticketmaster locations, ticketmaster.com, the FedExForum Box Office and grizzlies.com.

– Don Wade

Appeals Court Rejects 2 Ozone Regulations

In a victory for environmental groups, a federal appeals court rejected two Environmental Protection Agency regulations that loosened requirements for achieving compliance with more protective ozone standards.

In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said EPA cannot increase the amount of compliance time by an additional year and cannot revoke ozone requirements for highway projects.

The court said the two EPA regulations implementing the 2008 ozone standards exceed the agency’s authority under the Clean Air Act.

Writing for the majority, appeals judge Sri Srinivasan said the EPA’s action was untethered to Congress’s approach. In addition, Srinivasan wrote, EPA identifies no provision under the Clean Air Act specifically authorizing revocation of the highway requirements. Srinivasan, a nominee of President Barack Obama, was joined by judge David Tatel, a nominee of President Bill Clinton.

In dissent, appeals judge A. Raymond Randolph said the court’s decision and its reasoning “are, I believe, mistaken” and that EPA’s interpretation of the Clean Air Act is permissible.

The Natural Resources Defense Council brought the challenges to the EPA’s regulations.

– The Associated Press

FTC Sues Data Broker for Selling Consumer Info to Scammers

In a first-of-a-kind case, the Federal Trade Commission is targeting a data broker for allegedly selling sensitive consumer information – including bank account numbers – to marketers that authorities said the broker knew had no legitimate need for it.

In its lawsuit, the commission charges that Arizona-based LeapLab bought the payday loan applications of people strapped for money, then turned around and sold that data to third-parties who most often weren’t lenders at all. The loan applications contained sensitive information such as a consumer’s Social Security number, bank account number and routing number to the bank.

The FTC says at least one of the marketers buying data from LeapLab used the information to withdraw more than $4 million from consumers’ bank accounts without authorization.

– The Associated Press

American Airlines Offers Raise, Bargains With Pilots

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker is rewarding employees who have already reached new labor agreements with the company with an extra 4 percent raise.

The raise, which is added to employee’s base salaries, will also go to all managers below the level of director.

Parker is also dangling the raise at the airline’s pilots who are fighting with him over a new contract.

The pilots can either take the raise, in addition to a multi-year deal that’s already been proposed to them, or forego the raise and move forward with a deal set out in arbitration.

Pilots’ pay rates would be lower under the arbitrated deal; however, they would preserve many of their work rules regarding rest, seniority and where pilots are based.

– The Associated Press

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 64 151 1,493
MORTGAGES 45 105 1,152
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 5 19 209
BUILDING PERMITS 201 410 3,466
BANKRUPTCIES 35 119 872
BUSINESS LICENSES 9 32 361
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0