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VOL. 129 | NO. 126 | Monday, June 30, 2014

Daily Digest

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New Brunswick Road Firestone Sells for $1.4 Million

The Firestone Complete Auto Care shop at 2870 New Brunswick Road in Northeast Memphis has sold for $1.4 million.

Bridgestone Retail Operations LLC – a subsidiary of Nashville-based Bridgestone Americas Inc. – bought the existing Firestone store in a June 20 special warranty deed from SMBC Leasing and Finance Inc.

Built in 1998, the 7,965-square-foot auto service garage sits on 1.1 acres along the east side of New Brunswick Road at its intersection with U.S. 64 at Interstate 40. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal was $850,200.

No financing was associated with the transaction.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Campbell Foundation Honors Class of 2014

The University of Tennessee-Campbell Clinic Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering and the Campbell Foundation recently celebrated the graduation of the class of 2014 orthopedic surgery residents and orthopedic fellows at the Memphis Country Club.

The graduating residents presented the Willis C. Campbell Aesculapian Award for Teaching Excellence to Dr. William A. Albers. The Aesculapian Award recognizes the most outstanding contribution to resident education in orthopedic surgery, and the recipient is selected by the orthopedic surgery residents. Albers, associate professor of orthopedic surgery, retires Monday, June 30.

During the ceremony, Dr. Robert F. Murphy, chief resident, was given the Hugh Smith Research Presentation Award for his presentation "Morbid Obesity Increases the Risk of Systemic Complications in Patients with Femoral Shaft Fractures," presented at the 2014 Ingram Memorial Lecture. The award was established by the family of former Campbell Clinic chief of staff Dr. Hugh Smith in tribute to him and his belief in the transformative power of research and innovation.

– Don Wade

Memphis Center to Help in Nuclear Disasters

Officials in the U.S. nuclear energy industry have held a ribbon-cutting for a facility that holds equipment such as power generators and water pumps that could be delivered to nuclear plants struck by a natural disaster or other extreme event.

The ceremony took place Friday at the Memphis Regional Response Center.

The Memphis facility, along with an identical center that opened last month in Phoenix, are part of an effort by the nuclear industry to possess the ability to fly in heavy equipment that could avert a meltdown.

The response center is part of a plan being developed to meet new rules that emerged since a 2011 tsunami struck the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Japan, flooding its emergency equipment and causing nuclear meltdowns that sent radiation into the environment.

– The Associated Press

Tunica Roadhouse Launches Free Concert Series

Tunica Roadhouse Casino & Hotel has announced it is hosting a free concert series starting July 5.

The first show will feature the band Fuel, with a free fireworks show immediately after the concert. Additional concerts will take place Aug. 2 and Sept. 6, with the bands being announced the first week of July.

Also, Tunica Roadhouse is giving away a jet ski every Saturday in July, with the first drawing being held July 5.

– Andy Meek

Regional Tourism Campaign Gets Marketing Boost

State and local officials are pumping up marketing efforts for a regional tourism campaign.

The marketing push, called West Tennessee Day Trippin’ and focused on regional tourism in Shelby, Fayette, Lauderdale and Tipton counties, is funded with a $20,000 USDA Rural Business Enterprise grant and a $20,000 match from the Memphis Area Association of Governments.

The program is designed to raise the awareness of regional sites and attractions within a day’s trip of Memphis.

“Tourism not only grows businesses and jobs, it brings outside revenue to the community,” said state USDA rural development director Bobby Goode.

– Amos Maki

Dollar General CEO to Retire Next Year

Dollar General CEO Rick Dreiling plans to retire from that post next year.

The company's shares fell more than 4 percent in morning trading after the announcement on Friday.

The discount store operator said that the retirement is effective on May 30, 2015, or when a successor is appointed. The 60-year-old Dreiling – who also serves as chairman – has agreed to remain as chairman during the transition process once a new CEO is named.

Dreiling has served as Dollar General's CEO since January 2008. He became chairman in December of that year.

The company said that its annual sales have surged more than 80 percent to $17.5 billion during Dreiling's tenure. Its store count has climbed 38 percent to more than 11,000 stores in 40 states during that time.

Dollar General Corp., based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, is currently conducting a search for a new CEO.

Earlier this month the company reported a slight rise in its fiscal first-quarter profit as sales improved.

– The Associated Press

Job Growth Boosts Consumer Confidence

Strong job growth lifted U.S. consumer confidence this month, as Americans looked past the economy's dismal first-quarter performance.

The University of Michigan said Friday that its index of consumer sentiment rose slightly to 82.5 in June from 81.9 in May. That is still below April's reading of 84.1, which had been the highest in almost a year.

Confidence "has remained largely unchanged for the past six months," said Richard Curtin, an economist at the University of Michigan and director of the survey. "This was remarkable" given that the economy shrank in the first quarter.

Still, the survey was mostly conducted when the government had estimated that the economy contracted at a 1 percent annual rate in the first quarter. On Wednesday, that estimate was revised much lower, to show a contraction of 2.9 percent.

And so far, steady confidence hasn't yet translated into more spending. Consumer spending rose just 0.2 percent in May after a flat reading in April. Weaker spending suggests growth won't rebound as strongly as many economists had hoped. Some marked down their forecasts for growth in the second quarter, to roughly 2.5 percent from 3 percent.

Still, there were other positive signs in the University of Michigan's report. Steady hiring is improving Americans' finances, the survey found. Forty percent of respondents said their finances had improved in June, the most in seven years.

– The Associated Press

Oak Ridge Launching Imaging Institute

The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Oak Ridge, Tenn., has launched the Institute for Functional Imaging of Materials, which aims to accelerate the development of new materials that can be used to produce more efficient solar cells, batteries and other products.

Institute Director Sergei Kalinin said in a news release that imaging advances over the past couple of decade have made it possible to observe and identify individual atoms in a material. More recent imaging advances are now making it possible for scientists to determine not only where atoms are, but what they do.

That new knowledge will enable researches to improve the efficiency of tasks like converting solar energy to electricity in solar cells and converting chemical energy to electrical energy in batteries.

– The Associated Press

Obama to Nominate New NTSB Chair

The White House says the president will nominate a lawyer with a history in aviation and transportation safety to head the National Transportation Safety Board.

Christopher Hart joined the board as vice chairman in 2009 and became acting chairman in April. That's when former NTSB chief Deborah Hersman resigned.

Hart has held high-level posts in the FAA, including deputy director for air traffic safety oversight and assistant administrator for system safety.

He served as deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration before moving to the FAA in 1995.

Hart is a licensed pilot with commercial ratings. His great uncle is James Herman Banning. Banning in 1926 became the first African-American to receive a government-issued pilot's license.

– The Associated Press

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