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VOL. 129 | NO. 105 | Friday, May 30, 2014

Daily Digest

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Titan Medical Buys Bartlett Warehouse

An affiliate of Titan Medical Manufacturing LLC has paid $2.2 million for the 50,635-square-foot warehouse at 7580 Bartlett Corporate Drive in Bartlett.

Titan Investment Group Inc., an entity related to the Memphis-based medical manufacturer, bought the property in a May 21 warranty deed from JSR Properties LLC, which is affiliated with Radians Inc. JSR bought the property in 2004 for $442,000.

Built in 2004, the Class A industrial facility sits on 3.1 acres on the north side of Bartlett Corporate Drive at its intersection with Appling Drive.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal was $2.2 million.

In conjunction with the purchase, Titan Investment Group filed a $2.5 million deed of trust through Renasant Bank. Robert Kenyon signed the deed as president of the borrower.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

AIA Memphis Showing Best 2014 Architecture

AIA Memphis is hosting a public display of the best architecture in Memphis this year through June 20.

The opening night reception, hosted during the South Main Art Trolley Tour Friday, May 30, offers the public an opportunity to view the winners of the 2014 AIA Memphis Design Awards for excellence in architecture. The exhibit, located at the AIA Memphis Gallery, 511 S. Main St., is free and open to the public.

Visitors can explore winning work from ANF Architects, Fleming Associates Architects, Looney Ricks Kiss, UrbanARCH Associates and Francis Gassner Award winner Todd Walker of archimania.

Friday’s reception is slated to run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, call 525-3818 or visit aiamemphis.org.

– Amos Maki

Grizzlies Holding Open House Saturday

The Memphis Grizzlies are inviting fans to “test drive” seats for the 2014-2015 season at an open house Saturday, May 31, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at FedExForum.

The open house is free, and the first 500 fans will have their choice of a pair of Grizzlies sunglasses or a koozie. Free parking will be available in the Toyota parking garage.

Grizzlies season ticket account executives will be on hand to help fans get a first-hand look at available seating locations, including the new Plaza III section. The open house will also provide fans a behind-the-scenes look into the Grizzlies locker room. Fans that purchase ticket plans during the open house will be eligible for additional incentives.

– Don Wade

Evolve Bank & Trust Adds Mobile App

Evolve Bank & Trust has added mobile banking services.

The bank’s free app is now available for iOS devices via the App Store and for Android devices via the Google Play store.

It’s one more convenience for customers from Evolve Bank, which is based in Memphis and operates six full-service branches and loan production offices in Arkansas and Tennessee. Evolve also has more than 30 loan production offices around the country.

– Andy Meek

Lawyers Fight Effort to Oust Justices

Lawyers are fighting back against an effort by conservatives to oust three sitting justices on the state's highest court.

Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey of Blountville has been circulating a document that takes aim at Supreme Court Justices Cornelia Clark, Gary Wade and Sharon Lee. All three were appointed by former Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, and all three are up for election on Aug. 7.

The Tennessean reports that the Nashville Bar Association sent a resolution to members this week urging them to vote to keep the justices. In addition, the Tennessee Bar Association is asking members for the first time to rate the competency of the justices in a poll, and it plans to release the results in June.

Those efforts follow a May 14 event at which some prominent Nashville attorneys raised $100,000 for the three.

A group of attorneys, including former Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Frank Drowota, spoke to the newspaper about their efforts to retain the justices.

Drowota said Ramsey has unfairly criticized the justices in an effort to put partisan judges on the panel.

"To have politics come into the courts makes absolutely no sense," Drowota said. "You don't want a politicized court. You want a fair, impartial court."

In response, Ramsey's communications director Adam Kleinheider said, "It is not surprising that a group of Nashville lawyers with a vested interest in protecting a liberal Supreme Court are getting engaged in this process. Lt. Governor Ramsey looks forward to having all sides present their case on these retention elections and letting the people decide."

– The Associated Press

Medtronic Settles Whistleblower Lawsuit

Medical device maker Medtronic Inc. will pay the U.S. Department of Justice $9.9 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the company of giving doctors gifts in return for using its defibrillators and pacemakers.

Medtronic has not admitted any wrongdoing as a result of the settlement. The lawsuit unsealed this week accused Medtronic of funneling "millions of dollars in unrestricted grant money to physicians" to get them to encourage the use of Medtronic defibrillators and pacemakers.

"Improper financial incentives have the potential to compromise physician medical judgment," said Assistant Attorney General Stuart F. Delery of the Justice Department's Civil Division. "This case demonstrates the Department of Justice's commitment to pursue medical device manufacturers that use improper financial relationships to influence physician decision-making."

Medtronic said the settlement brings to a close a long-running review dating back to 2001 and that it has taken steps to prevent inappropriate sales practices, including voluntarily disclosing payments to health care professionals on its website.

"Over the last several years we have adopted a number of important policies and procedures related to collaboration with health care professionals," the company said.

The settlement is the result of a whistleblower complaint filed by a former Medtronic employee, Adolfo Schroeder. Schroeder will receive about $1.7 million for his role in bringing the matter to light, the Department of Justice said.

– The Associated Press

Jobless Aid Applications Drop to Near 7-Year Low

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to nearly the lowest level in seven years, a sign hiring may be picking up.

Weekly applications for unemployment aid dropped 27,000 to a seasonally adjusted 300,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's just above a seven-year low reached three weeks ago. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell to 311,500, the fewest since August 2007.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so the drop suggests companies are cutting fewer jobs. When employers are confident enough to keep staff, they may also step up hiring. That is a good sign ahead of May's jobs report, to be released next Friday.

The downward trend in layoffs also suggests employers have shrugged off a dismal economic performance in the first three months of the year. A separate government report Thursday showed that the economy shrank 1 percent at an annual rate in the first quarter, due largely to the impact of freezing winter weather.

Yet applications for unemployment benefits have fallen 10 percent since the year began, a clear signal that employers aren't worried about a longer-term slowdown.

– The Associated Press

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