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VOL. 129 | NO. 122 | Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Daily Digest

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Iberiabank Files Permit for Union Avenue Branch

Iberiabank has filed a $1 million building permit application for a new bank branch at 1296 Union Ave. in Midtown.

The Louisiana-based bank announced plans earlier this year to bring a branch to the 0.3-acre parcel it bought in a Jan. 30 special warranty deed for $375,000 from William E. Stemmler Jr., John A. Stemmler and Jennifer S. Coleman.

The parcel is now a parking lot across from Methodist University Hospital at the northeast corner of Union and South Claybrook Street. It’s also listed as 1294 Union Ave. by the Shelby County Register of Deeds and 0 Union Ave. by the Shelby County Assessor of Property, whose 2013 appraisal was $199,800.

Iberiabank earlier this year completed its acquisition of certain assets and the assumption of certain liabilities of Trust One Bank.

The acquired branches now carry the Iberiabank brand name. With the acquisition, Iberiabank has about $400 million in total deposits and about $500 million in loans outstanding to Memphis clients.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Schadt Stepping Down as ArtsMemphis CEO

ArtsMemphis President and CEO Susan Schadt is stepping down from her role at the arts funding organization after 13 years, as she heads to a new job at a Memphis-based publishing firm.

December 31 is her last day with ArtsMemphis, after which she’ll take over as CEO and owner of Wild Abundance Publishing. That firm, which Schadt founded in 2008, specializes in books focused on conservation and the arts.

Schadt started the book firm to publish lifestyle books focused on American sporting life and culinary culture, and so far it has published three books: “First Shooting Light,” “Wild Abundance” and “A Million Wings.” A fourth book, “MEMPHIS: Sweet, Spicy and a Little Greasy,” is due out this fall.

Elizabeth Rouse, meanwhile, will take over as ArtsMemphis president and CEO at the start of 2015. The ArtsMemphis board recently elected Rouse as president and chief operating officer.

Schadt praised Rouse’s expertise in fundraising and grant-making. ArtsMemphis board chairman Bob Craddock called Schadt a “strong and important voice” for ArtsMemphis, which under her leadership completed a $27.2 million endowment campaign, among other things.

– Andy Meek

University of Memphis Plans New Recreation Center

The University of Memphis Student Government Association has approved a fee increase to fund construction of a new student recreation and fitness center.

The 192,500-square-foot center will be along Southern Avenue north of the existing center. Construction will be done in three phases, with the center scheduled to open in 2018. The $62 million center will be funded by a student fee increase of $307 for the 2014-2015 school year.

The facility will feature a main four-court divisible gym, six racquetball courts, a multipurpose fitness center with a climbing wall, a natatorium with recreational pool and lane pool, an outdoor leisure pool, lockers, classrooms and training rooms. There also will be a two-court gym, a quarter-mile indoor track, a wellness and nutrition area, juice bar, offices and large group exercise areas.

Outdoors there will three full-size turf fields, basketball courts and tennis courts. A land bridge will make the center accessible from the northern part of the campus.

A university official said the new center would help improve the health of students while deepening the connectivity between students and the campus.

“Students who feel a sense of belonging on the campus are more likely to stay through graduation,” Dr. Rosie Phillips Bingham, vice president for student affairs at the U of M, said in a statement. “Our students like that sense of connection; they like using the rec center and they wanted a center that was up-to-date and provides more room for the growing numbers of students who use the facility. I believe they will be very pleased with the new, modern recreation center.”

– Amos Maki

Civil Rights Museum Wins Verizon Grant

The Verizon Foundation is awarding the National Civil Rights Museum a $15,000 grant to support a virtual education program build around the museum’s exhibit on lunch counter sit-ins of the 1960s.

The eLearning Lunch Counter Sit-In program teaches about the sit-ins as a form of nonviolent direct action used by college students across the country to end racial segregation.

The exhibit – complete with a mock lunch counter and films of the protestors training for the protests and the violent reaction they encountered – has been part of the museum since it opened in 1991.

During the museum’s recent renovation, the sit-in exhibit was expanded to include more information about the protests, the questions they raised about American society at the time and the questions they raise about current conditions.

– Bill Dries

Existing-Home Sales Up 4.9 Percent in May

Sales of previously owned U.S. homes posted the best monthly gain in nearly three years in May, providing hope that housing is beginning to regain momentum lost over the past year.

The National Association of Realtors reported Monday that sales of existing homes increased 4.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million homes. The monthly gain was the fastest since August 2011, but even with the increase, sales are still 5 percent below the pace in May 2013.

"Sales appear to be moving up again, although the increase to date – over two months – reverses just a fraction of earlier weakening," said Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, said in a research note.

Sales had been dampened by last year's rise in mortgage rates from historic lows and various other factors including tight supplies and tougher lending standards.

The median price of a home sold in May was $213,400, up 5.1 percent from a year ago.

After hitting a recent peak of 5.33 million sales at an annual rate last summer, sales started sliding. Potential buyers have been grappling with a limited supply of houses, more expensive homes and lending standards which have been tightened in response to the housing boom of the past decade which resulted in millions of houses going into foreclosure.

The pace of home sales is below the 5.1 million homes sold in 2013 and off the pace of 5.5 million annual sales that would be consistent with a healthy housing market.

– The Associated Press

Military Considers Shopping Perk for Most Veterans

The U.S. military is looking into allowing all of the nation's veterans who served honorably to shop online at exchanges that sell discounted, name-brand goods – a perk that is currently available only to a small minority.

The change is proposed by the Army & Air Force Exchange Service director as a way to show appreciation for veterans and to offset a loss of revenue as troops return from overseas, where they had few alternatives but to shop at the military retail stores.

For now, the online shopping is generally limited to current service members, veterans who served for 20 years or longer and their family members. Tom Shull, the director of the exchange service, said 20 million veterans would be affected if the Defense Department allows all veterans who served honorably to use the shopping website.

Veterans who use the site typically save 25 percent or more and do not pay state sales tax. Top-selling brands include Michael Kors, Under Armour and Levi's. Levi's jeans for children are $15 to $20 a pair versus $28 or more in department stores.

Shull is adding more name-brand products and revamping the website, which last year broke even. He said he hopes to invite all veterans who served honorably to begin shopping online on Veterans Day in 2015.

Shull said it is coincidental that he proposed his idea during the Department of Veterans Affairs scandal over long waits for patient care and falsified records covering up the delays at hospitals and clinics nationwide. He said he thought of it a year ago.

– The Associated Press

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