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VOL. 129 | NO. 31 | Friday, February 14, 2014

Daily Digest

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Owner Files Loan on Bartlett Burger King

The owner of the Burger King restaurant at 6700 Stage Road in Bartlett has filed a $1.6 million loan on the property.

Memphis-based Desianna Properties filed the deed of trust Jan. 31 through First State Bank. Joseph W. Mirabile signed the deed as managing general partner of the borrower.

Built in 1992, the 3,706-square-foot fast food restaurant sits on 0.9 acres at the northeast corner of Stage and Kirby Whitten roads.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal was $831,300.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports
– Daily News staff

Butler to Lead Talent Dividend, Graduate Memphis

The Memphis Talent Dividend and Graduate Memphis have a new director.

She’s Bernice Butler, who has joined Leadership Memphis as director of those two efforts following nearly two years as a fellow with the city of Memphis’ Strong Cities, Strong Communities program.

Those efforts are working to increase college attendance among the city’s high school graduates. Graduate Memphis, funded by a grant from The Plough Foundation, is focused on increasing the rate of return to college by local adults who started college but never finished.

– Andy Meek

Burress Appointed Interim Shelby County Fire Chief

Dale H. Burress is the interim fire chief of the Shelby County Fire Department following last month’s retirement of Clarence Cash.

Burress has been appointed by Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell from being deputy fire chief, a position Burress held since May 2012.

Meanwhile, Glen F. Kneeland, the administrative battalion chief for county fire, becomes the interim deputy chief.

– Bill Dries

Cornerstone Systems Announces Leadership Shift

There’s been a shakeup in management at Cornerstone Systems Inc.

Rick Rodell, current chairman and CEO at the Memphis-based third-party logistics provider, will relinquish his role as CEO and be replaced by Tim Clay, the company’s president and chief commercial officer. Rodell will remain chairman of the company’s board.

Clay has served as Cornerstone’s president since October 2002 and as CCO since July 2012. A founding member of Cornerstone, Clay previously held the positions of chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

Rodell said he would remain involved with the company but no longer be responsible for daily operations.

– Amos Maki

Evolve Bank Adds to SBA Division

Hetal Engineer has joined the Small Business Administration division of Memphis-based Evolve Bank & Trust.

Division president Marty Ferguson said Evolve had been looking for someone to help the company grow its sales team, and Engineer will fit that bill as regional sales manager.

Evolve currently operates four full-service branches in Arkansas and Tennessee and more than 30 loan production offices around the country.

– Andy Meek

Nonstop Bahamas, Cancun Flights Begin This Summer

Vacation Express will offer two nonstop flights to Cancun and the Bahamas from Memphis International Airport beginning this summer.

Atlanta-based Vacation Express will operate nonstop flights to and from Cancun May 19 through Aug. 4 through the Aeromexico airline, and will fly to and from Grand Bahama Island Aug. 11 through Oct. 25 using BahamasAir.

Vacation Express is offering six-night packages for Cancun starting at $899 and four-night packages for Grand Bahama Island starting at $649.

– Amos Maki

Memphis Football’s 2014 AAC Foes Announced

In the University of Memphis football team’s second season of competing in the American Athletic Conference, the Tigers will play 2014 home games against Connecticut, Houston, the University of South Florida and Tulsa.

League road games will be played at Cincinnati, Southern Methodist University, Temple and Tulane. The Tigers will not play defending league champion Central Florida or East Carolina.

The league schedule, with dates and times, will be announced at a later date.

– Don Wade

Daily News to Host Free Breakfast Seminar

The Daily News will demonstrate the tools and reports available from The Daily News Online database of public record information during a free breakfast seminar Wednesday, March 19, from 9 to 10 a.m.

Daily News Online subscribers have access to valuable public records to easily monitor, protect and grow their businesses and access information about clients, competitors and vendors.

The seminar will be held at the Germantown Conference Center, 1900 S. Germantown Road. Attendees will receive a free 5-day trial subscription to The Daily News Online service for Memphis and Shelby County. To register, contact Wendy Greenlaw at wendy@memphisdailynews.com or 528-5273.

– Don Wade

Guns-in-Parks Bill Passes Tenn. Senate

A measure to do away with local government's power to decide whether to allow firearms in public parks has passed the Senate.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Stacey Campfield of Knoxville was approved 26-7.

The Legislature in 2009 gave city and county governments the ability to opt out of a new law that allowed firearms in public parks, playgrounds and sports fields.

Under Campfield's proposal, permit holders would be allowed to carry, unless there's a school function.

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has said he has concerns about the bill.

– The Associated Press

Tennessee Enrollment in Health Exchange Up 65 Percent

Nearly 60,000 Tennesseans signed up for coverage under the federal health insurance exchange through January, a 65 percent increase since the beginning of year.

According to nationwide statistics released Monday, 3.3 million people signed up from Oct. 1 through Feb. 1.

Of those who have signed up in Tennessee, adults ages 55 to 64 made up 33 percent of the total, while young adults between 18 and 34 made up 25 percent. Independent experts say that total needs to be closer to 40 percent to control costs.

Seventy percent of enrollees selected the mid-level silver plan, while 16 percent chose the lowest bronze level. Gold-level polices made up 9 percent, and the top-level platinum policies made up 5 percent.

About 36,000 people had signed up through December.

– The Associated Press

Applications for Jobless Benefits Rise to 339,000

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits rose 8,000 last week to 339,000, evidence that layoffs ticked up. Still, the increase wasn't enough to suggest the job market is worsening.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, increased 3,500 to a seasonally adjusted 336,750.

The average is roughly in line with pre-recession levels and suggests that, despite last week's rise, companies are cutting few jobs. Applications are a proxy for layoffs.

Last week's figure may also have been pushed up by cold weather, which can cause construction firms and other companies to stop work.

A total of 3.52 million Americans received benefits as of Jan. 25 – the latest data available – up from 3.47 million the previous week.

The data suggests the job market remains stable, despite weak hiring in the past two months. Tepid job gains in January and December have raised concerns that the economy has lost momentum this year.

– The Associated Press

30-Year Mortgage Rate Averaging 4.28 Percent

The average U.S. rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage edged up this week to 4.28 percent from 4.23 percent but remains near historically low levels after declining during the five previous weeks.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average for the 15-year loan was unchanged at 3.33 percent.

Mortgage rates have risen about a full percentage point since hitting record lows roughly a year ago. The increase was driven by speculation that the Federal Reserve would reduce its $85 billion a month in bond purchases. Deeming the economy to be gaining strength, the Fed proceeded last month with planned reductions of its bond purchases, which have helped keep long-term interest rates low.

Recent economic data have pointed to a likely pause in the housing market's recovery. Real estate data provider CoreLogic reported last week that U.S. home prices slipped from November to December. And the year-over-year increase slowed, likely a result of weaker sales at the end of last year.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 81 201 16,108
MORTGAGES 40 104 10,026
BUILDING PERMITS 130 336 38,272
BANKRUPTCIES 28 56 7,528