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VOL. 129 | NO. 16 | Friday, January 24, 2014

Daily Digest

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Monticello Apartments Owner Files $9.3 Million Loan

The owner of the 202-unit Monticello apartments at 3250 Kirby Parkway in Hickory Hill has filed a $9.3 million loan on the property.

Monticello Apartments LLC – an affiliate of Memphis-based real estate company Makowsky Ringel Greenberg LLC – filed a deed of trust, security agreement, financing statement and assignment of rents Jan. 15 through American Equity Investment Life Insurance Co.

MRG principal Michael Greenberg signed the trust deed as president of Monticello Apartments LLC, which bought the property in 2003 for $1.5 million from G. Benjamin Clark and Nicholas G. Clark.

Built in 1985, the Class C multifamily complex contains numerous buildings on close to 20 acres along the east side of Kirby Parkway at its intersection with Knight Arnold Road Extended, south of Tenn. 385.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal was $9.7 million.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Champion Awards Rebrands as T-Shirt Champions

Champion Awards and Apparel, a longtime apparel designer and printer, is reinventing itself to emphasize its focus on T-shirts.

The Memphis-based company's new name will now be T-Shirt Champions, signifying its shift away from its original trophy engraving business that began in 1970.

While the company will still operate at 3649 Winplace Road, it has launched a website, tshirtchampions.com, to provide more customization options and opportunities for interaction with customers. The website offers instructions on placing orders, access to more than 20,000 individual pieces of art and firsthand design advice from T-Shirt Champions employees.

“Similar to other industries, the apparel printing process is evolving as consumer technology does,” said Mike Bowen, president and CEO of T-Shirt Champions, in a statement. “Proactively adapting our business model to meet our customer’s needs was critical to Champion’s continued success.”

– Amos Maki

Parnell Honored by Memphis AdFed

The Memphis Chapter of the American Advertising Federation has honored Jack Parnell with its 2014 Silver Medal Award for his career in broadcasting.

Each year, one person is chosen who has made outstanding contributions to advertising.

Parnell, the father of former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Chris Parnell, began his broadcasting career in 1955. His first job was as a part-timer in a radio/TV repair shop. He later worked as program director for WHBQ and then WMC-AM, among other career highlights.

– Andy Meek

Whalum, Harvey Pull Petitions for Mayor’s Race

Shelby County Commission Chairman James Harvey and former Shelby County Schools board member Kenneth Whalum Jr. have pulled qualifying petitions to run in the May Democratic primary for Shelby County Mayor.

They would join former Shelby County Commissioner Deidre Malone in the primary.

Incumbent Republican Mayor Mark Luttrell is seeking re-election.

Incumbent Democratic County Commissioners Melvin Burgess and Justin Ford also have petitions out for the new commission Districts 7 and 9, respectively.

Burgess and Ford complete the set of six incumbent commissioners seeking re-election this year. Six of the seven remaining incumbents are term-limited and cannot seek a third consecutive term. The seventh commissioner not seeking re-election, Chris Thomas, announced he would not run when he took the post of Lakeland city manager in January. He will serve the remaining eight months left in his current term.

The deadline for candidates to file their petitions in the May county primary elections is Feb. 20.

– Bill Dries

Republicans, Governor Discuss Voucher Bill

Republican state lawmakers have proposed a school voucher bill they hope will be acceptable to Gov. Bill Haslam, who has repeatedly said he favors a more limited version of the program that gives parents another option for educating their children.

Sen. Brian Kelsey of Germantown said Thursday that he spoke with the Republican governor Wednesday night about the proposal, which is co-sponsored by Sen. Dolores Gresham of Somerville and is supported by Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey of Blountville.

Haslam's proposal is limited to students from low-income families attending the bottom 5 percent of failing schools. He had that measure withdrawn last year when Senate Republicans sought to expand to a larger number of children.

The measure now being proposed by Republicans would affect students attending the bottom 10 percent of failing schools.

Kelsey didn't elaborate on his conversation with Haslam, only saying that the governor wants to see a bill pass this year.

"Sen. Gresham and I have gone a long way toward offering a compromise that we hope fits within the governor's desires for a bill that he would like to see this year," he said.

A spokesman for the governor didn't immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press about the new proposal, but Haslam has said he plans to stick with his legislation.

– The Associated Press

Mississippi Casino Revenue Falls Again in 2013

A dismal December closed out another year of declining revenue at Mississippi casinos.

Mississippi Department of Revenue figures show statewide casino revenue fell 9.5 percent from December 2012 to $168.3 million in the last month of 2013.

The 12 coastal casinos won $85.6 million from gamblers, down 5.2 percent from December 2012. The 18 river casinos from Tunica to Natchez won $82.7 million, down 13.5 percent from a year earlier.

Revenue statewide fell 4.7 percent for year to $2.14 billion. After peaking at nearly $2.9 billion in 2007, Mississippi casinos in 2013 won less than they did in 1997. Casinos have cut thousands of jobs to reduce costs and bolster profits during the revenue slide.

The numbers exclude Choctaw Indian casinos, which aren't required to report winnings to the state.

– The Associated Press

Attorney General Appeals Discrimination Ruling

The state attorney general's office is appealing a ruling by a Nashville judge that the seven-man, two-woman makeup of a state commission is discriminatory and makes the commission invalid.

According to state law, the membership of the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission is supposed to approximate the state's population in terms of race and gender. Although Tennessee is 52 percent female, the commission is only 22 percent female.

The commission's job is to evaluate Tennessee's appellate judges and recommend them for either retention or replacement. On the advice of the attorney general's office, the commission held its regularly scheduled meeting on Friday despite the ruling by Davidson County Judge Hamilton Gayden.

Gayden had not issued an injunction barring the panel from meeting, although he said he hoped it would not meet.

– The Associated Press

30-Year Mortgage Rate Averaging 4.39 Percent

Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages changed little this week.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average for the 30-year loan declined to 4.39 percent from 4.41 percent last week. The average for the 15-year loan slipped to 3.44 percent from 3.45 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. The Fed determined last month that the economy was strong enough to start trimming the purchases, which have kept long-term interest rates low.

The rise in mortgage rates and higher home prices slowed sales of existing homes, which have fallen for three straight months.

But overall, 2013 was the best year for housing in seven years. The National Association of Realtors reported Thursday that sales of existing homes edged up slightly in December, helping lift sales for the year to the highest level since 2006.

Most economists expect home sales and prices to keep rising this year, but at a slower pace. They forecast sales and prices will likely rise around 5 percent, down from double-digit gains in 2013.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 57 57 1,266
MORTGAGES 48 48 964