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VOL. 129 | NO. 44 | Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Daily Digest

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Smucker Files Another $16 Million Permit

The J.M. Smucker Co. has filed a second $16 million permit with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement as part of its planned plant expansion at 4789 Cromwell Ave. in Oakhaven.

No contractor or architect was listed on the permit, which is the second in Smucker’s plan to invest $41 million to upgrade its peanut butter production lines. The Orrville, Ohio-based company filed a $16 million permit at the end of January.

The Economic Development Growth Engine of Memphis and Shelby County in mid-January unanimously granted Smucker an amended payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement for 15 years on personal property and 13 years on real property.

In addition to 42 new positions, which will have an average wage of $52,545, created through the expansion, Smucker will maintain its existing 61 employees.

The approved tax freeze will save Smucker $13 million, but the company will still pay an estimated $16.2 million in taxes to the city and county over the length of the PILOT. The company said 25 percent of the company’s planned $21.5 million in discretionary spending will be with women- and minority-owned businesses.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

FedEx Freight Rates to Increase March 31

FedEx Freight, a less-than-truckload subsidiary of FedEx Corp., will increase shipping rates by an average of 3.9 percent effective March 31, 2014.

FedEx Freight said its “fuel surcharge will remain unchanged and is one of the lowest in the LTL industry.”

The rate increase is for FedEx freight shipments within the United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Canada and Mexico.

The new rate hike comes after FedEx Freight raised prices by an average 4.5 percent July 1.

Rate increases for FedEx Express and FedEx Ground shipments went into effect Jan. 6.

– Amos Maki

Paradigm Marketing Taps New Associate Partner

Michael Ganda has been tapped as associate partner/partner of strategic influence at Paradigm Marketing and Creative.

Ganda has been with the firm for eight years and was formerly Paradigm’s brand developer.

Firm president Charles Gaushell said Ganda will continue to develop the firm’s market strategy and branding services while expanding his focus on new client development.

Paradigm recently won two Gold Addy Awards and a Silver Addy Award at this year’s Memphis AdFed (American Advertising Federation) award show.

– Andy Meek

Court: Exempt Funds Protected in Bankruptcy

The Supreme Court says a bankruptcy court may not go after property or funds that are legally exempt from creditors.

The justices in a unanimous opinion ruled Tuesday in favor of a California man who declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The man claimed $75,000 of the value of his home was covered by California’s homestead exemption and was therefore exempt from the bankruptcy estate.

The man was later found to have fraudulently shielded some of his assets from creditors. A federal bankruptcy court said the exempt funds could be used to defray the attorney fees associated with uncovering the fraud, and a federal appeals court agreed.

But the Supreme Court reversed. It ruled that a bankruptcy court may not tap into exempt money to punish debtor misconduct.

– The Associated Press

Tennessee Senate Passes Switchblade Knife Bill

The state Senate has passed a bill to legalize switchblades and other knives with blades longer than 4 inches in Tennessee.

The chamber voted 24-1 on Monday to approve the bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Mike Bell of Riceville.

The measure would make it a felony to use a switchblade knife during the commission of a crime and would increase the maximum fine from $3,000 to $6,000.

Legislative analysts project that the measure would lead to one incarceration every 10 years.

Under current law, switchblades are included on a state list of weapons that are illegal to knowingly possess, manufacture, transport, repair or sell.

The companion bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Vance Dennis of Savannah is awaiting a vote in a subcommittee of the House Finance Committee.

– The Associated Press

Drug Companies Spend Millions on Tenn. Lobbying

A newspaper analysis of public records has found that more than 100 lobbyists have been hired since 2009 by pharmaceutical companies, suppliers and trade associations to influence lawmakers.

The Tennessean reports the efforts have stymied past legislation aimed at restricting sales of cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine, which is used to make methamphetamine.

According to the newspaper, drug companies have spent between $5.9 million and $15.2 million to lobby lawmakers over the past five years.

That’s more than double what groups supporting the legislation have spent on lobbying efforts. The newspaper reports groups supporting the legislation have spent between $2.8 million and $6 million and hired 23 lobbyists.

Drug companies have wide-ranging interests, but a Consumer Healthcare Products Association spokeswoman said pseudoephedrine regulation has been a top issue in the last five years.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 103 137 4,008
MORTGAGES 84 131 4,521
BUILDING PERMITS 178 368 9,636
BANKRUPTCIES 50 110 2,995