» Subscribe Today!
More of what you want to know.
The Daily News

Forgot your password?
Skip Navigation LinksHome >
VOL. 129 | NO. 57 | Monday, March 24, 2014

Daily Digest

Print | Front Page | Email this story | Comments ()

Highland Church of Christ Files Permit for Addition

Highland Church of Christ at 400 N. Houston Levee Road in Cordova has filed a $3 million permit with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement to expand its church campus.

The permit, filed by general contractor Linkous Construction Co. Inc., calls for a “multipurpose and classroom addition.” No architect was listed on the permit.

Highland Church of Christ – formerly Highland Street Church of Christ – moved into its $8 million, 67,000-square-foot multi-building church campus in 2010. Linkous also was contractor for that project.

The church had relocated there from its former home of 80 years on South Highland Street. Its Cordova campus sits on 36 acres on the east side of North Houston Levee Road north of its intersection with Walnut Grove Road.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Airport Authority to Raze Vacant Hotel

The Memphis and Shelby County Airport Authority has awarded a contract to raze a vacant hotel.

The Airport Authority chose DeNovo Constructors of Chicago to raze the vacant Regency Inn & Suites adjacent to Memphis International Airport’s cell phone lot. DeNovo’s $791,350 offer was slightly lower than Chris Woods Construction Co.’s bid of $842,000.

Demolition should begin in the spring and the Airport Authority will use part of the hotel site for an expansion of the cell phone lot.

– Amos Maki

Artists Wanted for South Main Project

The Downtown Memphis Commission plans to commission seven to 10 public art pieces for the temporary South Main Mosaic display in the South Main Historic Arts District.

The commission is taking proposals from artists within 250 miles of Memphis for murals, sculptures, enhancements to vacant storefronts, and other mediums.

The 10 pieces will be displayed in the district this October through October 2015.

The Downtown Memphis Commission has a budget of $47,000 for the production of the pieces, which includes artist fees. A committee will select the 10 projects and award a $1,000 prize to the most creative display once they are installed.

Visit gosouthmain.com/mosaic for more information about the program.

– Bill Dries

Homelessness Drops in Shelby County

Officials say homelessness in Memphis and Shelby County has dropped because of a campaign aimed at reducing the number of people who live on the streets.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr., Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell and members of the Community Alliance for the Homeless said late last week homelessness is down 21 percent overall since 2012.

Officials praised the creation of 73 units of permanent supportive housing that are providing shelter to families who are homeless and facing separation due to child welfare involvement. The property was donated by the Memphis Inter-Faith Association.

Another contributor to the decline is an emergency hotline for homeless families. Since 2009, students at Rhodes College and other volunteers have answered about 1,500 calls a month from people experiencing a housing crisis.

– The Associated Press

Fitch Takes US Off Negative Ratings Watch

A credit rating firm has concluded a review of the United States’ credit rating and reiterated that it deserves the highest rating.

Fitch Ratings had started a review of the U.S. debt rating in October and warned it might downgrade the nation’s rating.

Fitch said Friday that the U.S. rating remains at “AAA.” The agency adds that the debt-ceiling crises in 2011 and 2013 don’t appear to have affected the country’s ability to borrow. Fitch also says deficits that are expected to fall played a role in its decision.

Another ratings agency, Standard & Poor’s, downgraded the U.S. credit rating one notch in 2011 after a standoff in Congress over whether to raise America’s borrowing limit. S&P’s rating remains at “AA+.”

– The Associated Press

Appeals Court Upholds Cap on ‘Swipe’ Fees

A federal appeals court has handed a defeat to a coalition of retail groups that challenged as too high the Federal Reserve’s cap on how much banks can charge businesses for handling debit card transactions.

The ruling issued Friday by the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia overturned a lower court’s decision in July that favored the merchants and was a setback for banks.

In the July ruling, a federal judge struck down the Fed’s cap on so-called “swipe fees,” saying the Fed didn’t have the authority to set the limit the way it did in 2011, improperly including data that made the cap too high.

The retail groups had sued the Fed over its setting the cap at an average of about 24 cents per debit-card transaction. The appeals court ruling upholding the Fed’s cap was a blow to an industry already buffeted by public and congressional outrage over the massive data breach that hit Target Corp. during the holiday season and other data-security violations at big retailers.

Congress mandated a ceiling on debit-card swipe fees as part of the 2010 financial regulatory overhaul. Prior to the cap, fees averaged 44 cents per swipe. The Fed had initially proposed a 12-cent fee limit, and the retailers argued that the Fed buckled under pressure from bank lobbyists when it doubled that level.

The retailers had argued that the Fed deviated from the 2010 law’s intent by factoring banks’ expenses into the cap that the law didn’t allow.

The three-judge panel of the appeals court said that in making that argument, “far from summiting the steep hill, the merchants have barely left basecamp.” The judges said they decided to defer to the Fed’s “reasonable interpretation” of the law and to reject the retailers’ challenge.

– The Associated Press

Wal-Mart’s New Tool Gives Competitors’ Prices

The “Every Day Low Price” king is trying to shake up the world of pricing once again.

Wal-Mart told The Associated Press that it has rolled out an online tool that allows shoppers to compare its prices on 80,000 food and household products to those of its competitors. The world’s largest retailer began offering the feature that’s called “Savings Catcher” on its website last month in seven big markets that include Dallas, San Diego and Atlanta.

The move by Wal-Mart, which has a long history of undercutting competitors, could change the way people shop and how other retailers price their merchandise. After all, Americans already increasingly are searching for the lowest prices on their tablets and smartphones while in checkout aisles.

Shoppers do this so often that big retailers that include behemoths like Target and Best Buy have started offering to match the lower prices of rivals – but only if shoppers do the research on their own. The idea behind Wal-Mart’s online feature, on the other hand, is to do the legwork for customers.

– The Associated Press

Wendy’s Rolls Out Mobile Payments

Wendy’s is rolling out a program that lets customers pay using their smartphones, following a similar plans unveiled by Burger King this week.

The Wendy’s Co., based in Dublin, Ohio, has been testing the mobile payment option over the past year and said the majority of its roughly 5,800 U.S. locations are now ready to accept the payments.

The move reflects a push by fast-food chains to court younger customers by tapping into the attachment they have to their phones.

“If they want to come in and give us business, we want to allow them to pay the way they want to pay,” Craig Bahner, chief marketing officer for Wendy’s, said in a phone interview.

Burger King Worldwide Inc. also said this week it would introduce a mobile payment program at its U.S. restaurants in April.

McDonald’s Corp., meanwhile, has acknowledged the importance of mobile payments but is still in a testing phase after hiring its first chief digital officer this past October.

– The Associated Press

Sign-Up For Our Free Email Edition
Get the news first with our daily email

Blog News, Training & Events
PROPERTY SALES 105 105 9,674
MORTGAGES 82 82 11,396
BUILDING PERMITS 134 134 20,444
BANKRUPTCIES 58 58 6,495

Weekly Edition

Issues | About

The Memphis News: Business, politics, and the public interest.