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VOL. 129 | NO. 133 | Thursday, July 10, 2014

Daily Digest

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Midtown Apartment Buildings Fetch $1.3 Million

A pair of 16-unit, garden-style apartment buildings at 1772 Madison Ave. and 1775 Madison Ave. in Midtown have sold for a combined $1.3 million.

William Mathis and Charles Mathis bought the multifamily properties in a June 30 warranty deed from Superior Property and Management LLC, formerly known as 1792 Madison Avenue LLC. That entity had purchased the properties in 2000 for $790,000.

Built in 1930, the 13,200-square-foot, Class B apartment complex at 1772 Madison Ave. sits on 0.3 acres along the north side of Madison at its intersection with North Auburndale Street. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal was $337,000.

And built in 1907, the 12,862-square-foot, Class B apartment complex at 1775 Madison Ave. sits on 0.3 acres across the street along the south side of Madison. The assessor’s 2014 appraisal was also $337,000.

In conjunction with the purchase, the buyers filed a $1.3 million through BankTennessee.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Shelby County Pension Fund Hits Decade High

In May, the value of the pension fund that pays benefits to Shelby County retirees was higher than it has been in more than a decade.

That’s according to the most current figures, released this week, showing the fund’s value having climbed to almost $1.2 billion, up from a little more than $1 billion in May 2013.

As of May 31, the largest percentage asset allocation in the plan consisted of U.S. stocks, and their performance has helped the fund’s asset value.

The domestic equity component of the county’s portfolio was up 21.8 percent year to date in May.

– Andy Meek

UTHSC Forms Biomedical Research Department

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine has formed a new biomedical research department on the Memphis campus, the Department of Genetics, Genomics and Informatics. Professor Robert W. Williams, the UT-ORNL Governor's Chair in Computational Genomics, will serve as founding chair.

The department will focus on three areas of biomedical research: genetics, with a focus on the causes of variation in disease risk in humans -- both genes and the environment; genomics, defined broadly to include many types of research questions and high throughput molecular approaches including DNA sequencing; and informatics, defined to include bioinformatics and clinical health informatics.

Starting with five core faculty members, the plan is to grow by offering joint appointments to faculty in many other departments, colleges, campuses and institutions – including St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the University of Memphis.

A faculty member in UTHSC’s Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology for 25 years, Williams is an experimental neurogeneticist, founder of the Complex Trait Consortium and editor in chief of Frontiers in Neurogenomics.

– Don Wade

Grizzlies Draftee Adams Signs Multi-Year Deal

The Memphis Grizzlies have signed 2014 first-round draft pick Jordan Adams to a multi-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Adams (6-foot-5, 209 pounds) was selected by Memphis in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft after two seasons at UCLA, where he averaged 16.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and a school-record 2.43 steals on .467 shooting in 30.2 minutes in 69 career games. His 168 career steals rank seventh in Bruins history.

As a sophomore last season, Adams earned First Team All-Pac 12 honors, leading the Bruins in scoring with 17.4 points and a conference-high 2.64 steals while shooting .485 from the field in 30.1 minutes in 36 games.

The 19-year-old guard was averaging 21.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.00 steals in 30.0 minutes through two games (one start) for Memphis at the 2014 Orlando Pro Summer League. He was shooting .440 overall (11 of 25), .556 from three-point range (5 of 9) and 1.000 from the free throw line (15 of 15).

– Don Wade

West Cancer Center Sponsoring Conference

West Cancer Center is sponsoring the second annual Cancer Awareness Conference: Heads Up Conquer Cancer, put on by Mt. Zion Baptist Church in partnership with the American Cancer Society. The event will take place on Saturday, July 12, from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 60 South Parkway E.

The initiative and emphasis are on health disparities, specifically in colorectal, breast, prostate and lung cancers. Guest presenters this year include Dr. Kurt Tauer, chief of staff of The West Clinic, and Dr. Sonia Benn, hematology oncology specialist at The West Clinic. The conference is free for persons 18 and older, but registration is required. Registration forms can be picked up at Mt. Zion or accessed at mtzion2014cancerconference.com.

– Don Wade

Tennessee Accused of Failing to Follow Health Law

Tennessee health officials say they disagree with numerous aspects of a letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that accuses the state of failing to provide services for people as required by the federal health care law.

According to the letter dated June 27, of seven critical success factors required of states, Tennessee had met only one. Federal officials have given the state 10 days to submit a correction plan.

Among the criticism, Tennessee does not provide people with in-person assistance, and it has not set up a program that allows hospitals to temporarily enroll people in Medicaid if they are presumed eligible.

TennCare spokeswoman Kelly Gunderson told The Associated Press in an email on Wednesday that the state is preparing a response. She didn't specify exactly what the state disagreed with in the letter.

– The Associated Press

SCORE Launches Teacher Fellowship Program

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education is launching a program that will provide Tennessee teachers an opportunity to have a greater impact on key state-level education policy issues.

The advocacy and research institution will select about 20 classroom teachers to serve a one-year term under the Tennessee Educator Fellowship.

The fellows will learn about and advocate for policies, practices, and systems that impact educator effectiveness and student achievement.

Fellows representing each of Tennessee's three geographic divisions will be chosen from varying subjects and grade levels. Each fellow will continue as a full-time teacher during the term and will receive a stipend.

The program will be led by Tennessee teacher Cicely Woodard, who has served as a teacher leader supporting, training and coaching teachers across Tennessee.

– The Associated Press

Government Made $100 Billion in Improper Payments

By its own estimate, the government made about $100 billion in payments last year to people who may not have been entitled to receive them – tax credits to families that didn't qualify, unemployment benefits to people who had jobs and medical payments for treatments that might not have been necessary.

Congressional investigators say the figure could be even higher.

The Obama administration has reduced the amount of improper payments since they peaked in 2010. Still, estimates from federal agencies show that some are wasting big money at a time when Congress is squeezing agency budgets and looking to save more.

"Nobody knows exactly how much taxpayer money is wasted through improper payments, but the federal government's own astounding estimate is more than half a trillion dollars over the past five years," said Rep. John Mica, R-Fla. "The fact is, improper payments are staggeringly high in programs designed to help those most in need – children, seniors and low-income families."

Mica chairs the House Oversight subcommittee on government operations. The subcommittee was scheduled to hold a hearing on improper payments Wednesday afternoon.

Each year, federal agencies are required to estimate the amount of improper payments they issue. They include overpayments, underpayments, payments to the wrong recipient and payments that were made without proper documentation.

– The Associated Press

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