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VOL. 129 | NO. 119 | Thursday, June 19, 2014

Daily Digest

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AZAL Files $2.2 Million Loan on Bartlett Property

The owner of the 26,568-square-foot warehouse at 3025 Kate Bond Blvd. in Bartlett has filed a $2.2 million construction loan on the property.

AZAL LLC, which lists a Germantown address, filed the deed of trust, assignment of leases and rents, security agreement and fixture filing May 29 through SunTrust Bank.

Kashif Latif signed the deed as president of AZAL.

Built in 1990, the industrial facility sits on 2.2 acres on the west side of Kate Bond Boulevard (also called Kate Bond Road), north of its intersection with Stage Road. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal was $1.3 million.

AZAL bought the Class A warehouse for $1.2 million last November deed from Senter C. Crook (a/k/a Senter Crook Taylor, Senter Cawthon Taylor and Senter Cawthon Crook), authorized trustee of The Crook Trusts. Russell E. Bloodworth Jr. also was listed by the assessor as an owner.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

LeMoyne-Owen President to Retire

LeMoyne-Owen College President Johnnie Watson will retire a year from now, following nine years at the helm of the city’s only historically black college.

Watson announced this week he will retire effective June 30, 2015, ending a storied career as an educator and administrator.

Watson is the first LeMoyne-Owen alumnus to serve as its president. He was picked by the college’s board of directors in 2006 as an interim leader to straighten out the school’s finances and problems that threatened its accreditation.

The board had begun a search for a permanent leader when its members approached Watson about becoming the institution’s permanent president.

Watson’s career began in 1960 as a history teacher at Carver High School and saw him rise through the ranks of the Memphis City Schools system to become deputy superintendent and then return as an interim superintendent in 2000.

Between the two positions at Memphis City Schools, he served in his first higher education post as dean of the college of education at Rhodes College.

The LeMoyne-Owen board is in the process of forming a search committee.

– Bill Dries

Gibson Joins Airport Authority Board

Local businessman and former Shelby County Commissioner J.W. Gibson was appointed Wednesday, June 18, to the Memphis and Shelby County Airport Authority board.

Gibson, CEO of the Gibson Cos., was nominated to the post by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. Two board vacancies were created by departures of John W. Stokes and Ruby Wharton, an attorney and Wharton’s wife.

– Amos Maki

Memphis Repertory Orchestra Plans Summer Concert

For the first time in its three-year history, the Memphis Repertory Orchestra will perform a world premiere piece at a special summer concert July 12.

The free performance will take place at 8 pm. at the Buckman Performing Arts Center.

The group will perform a new piano concerto by Utah composer Stephen Mitton, and the program also will include selections from John Williams’ famous “Star Wars” music and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade.”

– Andy Meek

BankTennessee Adds Commercial Lender

Jay Crews has joined BankTennessee as a vice president and commercial lender.

According to BankTennessee President and CEO Jim Rout, Crews has 25 years of experience as a national bank examiner and in lending and management roles for regional and national banks.

Before joining BankTennessee, Crews served as executive vice president and chief credit officer for Trust Company Bank and senior vice president for Bank of Bartlett.

– Andy Meek

Some Students Face Nearly 9 Percent Tuition Hike

Some Tennessee college students could see a nearly 9 percent hike in tuition this fall.

The Tennessee Board of Regents oversees six state universities, 13 community colleges and 27 colleges of applied technology.

It's proposing up to a 6.9 percent tuition increase for its universities, 5.8 percent for community colleges and 8.5 percent for its technical institutions.

Board members are scheduled to vote on the hikes this Thursday.

Most students in the University of Tennessee system could see a 6 percent hike in tuition.

The UT Board of Trustees is also scheduled to vote on the increase on Thursday.

The hikes are mostly a result of state revenue shortfalls that prevented the Legislature from appropriating new funds.

– The Associated Press

IRS to Waive Penalties for Some Overseas Accounts

The Internal Revenue Service is offering to waive steep penalties for Americans living abroad who haven't been paying their U.S. taxes.

But there is a catch: You have to be able to show that you didn't evade U.S. taxes on purpose.

American citizens living abroad are required to file U.S. tax returns, even if they keep all their money overseas. Similarly, U.S. citizens living in the United States are required to tell the IRS about any accounts they have in foreign banks.

The penalties for not reporting these accounts are stiff. If there is more than $10,000 in an unreported account, the IRS can impose penalties of 100,000 – more if the accounts are really big.

The IRS announced a program Wednesday that would largely waive these penalties if taxpayers come forward and show that they didn't hide the money on purpose.

Americans living abroad can have all penalties waived, if they file three years' worth of tax returns and pay any back taxes.

Americans living in the U.S. can come clean by disclosing overseas accounts and paying a penalty equal to 5 percent of the account's assets.

For people who are willfully evading U.S. taxes, the IRS is tweaking an existing program that imposes stiff penalties for people who come forward, but allows them to escape criminal prosecution.

"Our aim is to get people to disclose their accounts, pay the tax they owe and get right with the government," IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a statement.

– The Associated Press

Tennessee Department of Human Services Lays Off 121

The Tennessee Department of Human Services has cut 121 employees from its rolls.

The Tennessean reports the workers were responsible for administering welfare payments and food stamps.

The agency says the cuts made Friday are part of its efforts to reorganize its Temporary Family Assistance program. It also said caseloads have decreased and 256 vacant positions have been eliminated.

DHS says more cuts are planned, but officials are still determining details.

– The Associated Press

Current Account Deficit Up From 14-Year Low

A drop in U.S. exports and lower income from overseas investments drove the U.S. current account deficit to its highest level in 18 months.

The Commerce Department says the deficit jumped to a seasonally adjusted $111.2 billion in the January-March quarter, up from a revised total of $87.3 billion in the October-December quarter. The fourth quarter's total was the smallest in 14 years.

The current account is the country's broadest measure of trade, covering not only goods and services but also investment flows. A wider deficit can act as a drag on growth because it means U.S. companies are earning less from their overseas markets.

Rising petroleum exports have narrowed the gap in recent years, though such exports fell in the first quarter, widening the deficit.

Overall exports dropped to $399.7 billion from $407.1 billion in the previous quarter, according to the report released Wednesday. Exports of food and feeds also fell, mostly because of a drop in soybean exports. Harsh winter weather harmed many U.S. harvests.

A larger trade gap in the first three months of this year cut nearly a full percentage point from growth. Economists now estimate the economy contracted at an annual pace of 2 percent in the first quarter. But they expect growth will resume in the current quarter at roughly a 3.5 percent rate.

– The Associated Press

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PROPERTY SALES 119 482 10,051
MORTGAGES 119 497 11,811
BUILDING PERMITS 268 1,056 21,366
BANKRUPTCIES 50 263 6,700

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