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VOL. 129 | NO. 59 | Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Daily Digest

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Old Venice Pizza Owner Files Loan on Property

The owner of the Old Venice Pizza Co. at 368 Perkins Road Extended in East Memphis has filed a $1.1 million loan on the property.

Old Venice Properties LLC filed the commercial deed of trust March 20 through First Chatham Bank. James Bulian and David Buescher signed the trust deed as members of Old Venice Properties.

Built in 2005, the Class A, 5,510-square-foot restaurant sits on 0.8 acres along the east side of Perkins Road Extended north of Poplar Avenue. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal was $847,600.

Old Venice operates three other restaurants, one each in Oxford, Tupelo and Starkville, Miss.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

ServiceMaster Files for IPO

ServiceMaster Global Holdings Inc., the parent company of The ServiceMaster Co., announced Monday, March 24, it has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of its common stock.

ServiceMaster Global is an indirect parent company of the residential and commercial services provider headquartered in Memphis and it plans to use proceeds from the offering to repay its indebtedness.

JPMorgan Securities LLC, Credit Suisse Securities LLC, Goldman Sachs and Co. and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC are the joint book-running managers and representatives of the underwriters.

ServiceMaster’s SEC filing says the company intends to apply to list the stock under symbol SERV, but it does not list an exchange.

The offer is being made through a prospectus only.

– Bill Dries

Paragon Bank Gets New Chairman

Paragon National Bank chairman Napoleon Cassibry III has stepped down, effective March 19, after serving as board chair since the bank’s inception in January 2005.

Replacing him as chairman is Craig Weiss, also one of the bank’s original board members. Cassibry is a senior vice president of Vining Sparks IBG LP, where he’s worked since 1983, and he’ll continue to serve as a Paragon board member and as chairman of the asset/liability committee.

The move will allow him to focus more on his travels and other personal endeavors, the bank said.

– Andy Meek

Ogle Appointed Shelby County Historian

The Shelby County Commission has appointed Jimmy Ogle, chairman of the Shelby County Historical Commission, as the new county historian.

Ogle, who is also general manager of Beale Street Landing and the Riverfront Development Corp., serves a six-year term in the unpaid position.

Ogle was selected Monday, March 24, in a process in which University of Memphis history professor Charles Crawford and Faith Christian Academy teacher Lauren Beaupre, who has also been a fellow at the Tennessee Center for Historic Preservation, were nominated.

Ogle, who succeeds the late Ed Williams, is only the third person to hold the position of county historian and the first to serve with a specific term of office.

In other action Monday, commissioners accepted two federal grant contracts through the Tennessee Department of Transportation for two road repaving projects.

The first grant is $187,500 to be used for the repaving of Raleigh Lagrange Road from Macon to Appling roads. The project will also use $62,500 in state gas tax funding.

The second grant is $225,000 for repaving Macon Road between Houston Levee and Pisgah roads, with another $75,000 in state gas tax funding also allocated for the project.

The commission also approved a $1.4 million contract with CS3 Inc. for two boiler replacements in the Criminal Justice Center and the Shelby County Courthouse.

– Bill Dries

Food Truck Fridays Returning to Dixon

April 4 marks the return of Food Truck Fridays at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens.

Each Friday from April through September, Memphis mobile restaurants will serve food there, and menu items will be offered at regular prices, with beverages also available to purchase.

Admission to the gardens will be free during food truck hours, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and shaded outdoor seating is available.

– Andy Meek

US New-Home Sales Drop in February

Sales of new U.S. single-family homes fell in February to a five-month low, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

Sales fell 3.3 percent nationally to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 440,000 units, the lowest level since September. New-home sales fell 1.1 percent compared with February 2013. The median price of a new home last month fell 1.2 percent from February 2013, the biggest drop since June 2012.

Home sales for November and December were revised up by 14,000, offsetting January's drop.

The harsh winter weather played a role in the slowdown, especially in the Northeast, where sales dropped 32.4 percent. Sales fell 1.5 percent in the South, which was hit by unusually cold weather, increased 36.7 percent in the Midwest and fell 15.9 percent in the West.

– Amos Maki

Effort to Rewrite Tennessee Whiskey Law Fails

State lawmakers on Tuesday decided not to rewrite the legal definition of Tennessee whiskey this session, meaning the rules supported by Jack Daniel's will govern other distillers in the state for at least another year.

House and Senate committees voted Tuesday to consider efforts to rewrite or repeal the law in summer study panels after the legislative session ends.

Jack Daniel's master distiller Jeff Arnett, who has heavily lobbied lawmakers to uphold the current law, welcomed the decision to put off suggested changes such as removing a requirement to age whiskey in unused oak barrels.

"We stand behind last year's law. We truly believe it's best for Tennessee whiskey all over the world," Arnett said. "And for the players who've located in the state of Tennessee, we need to uphold these quality standards."

The debate has pitched two global liquor giants against each other. Jack Daniel's, which is owned by Louisville, Ky.-based Brown-Forman Corp., first proposed the establishment of a Tennessee whiskey law last year. George Dickel is owned by British conglomerate Diageo PLC, which led this year's attempts to dismantle that law.

Diageo vice president Guy L. Smith IV said he hopes the study committee gives serious consideration to changing the law.

"Rather than having one company dictate for everyone, we can do this the right way and come together in an open forum to discuss how to create the best standards for Tennessee whiskey," Smith said in a release.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 100 375 3,773
MORTGAGES 63 202 2,481
BUILDING PERMITS 392 651 8,607
BANKRUPTCIES 38 117 2,021