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VOL. 129 | NO. 87 | Monday, May 5, 2014

Daily Digest

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Hedgemoor Square Sells for $3.6 Million

An affiliate of St. Louis-based Gateway Commercial has paid $3.6 million for the 64-unit Hedgemoor Square Apartments at 375 N. Graham St. in East Memphis.

Summit Hedgemoor Square Apartments LLC bought the Class B, multi-building apartment complex in an April 30 warranty deed from Hedgemoor Square Apartments GP. That company paid $2.3 million for the property in 2000.

Built in 1952, the 67,617-square-foot multifamily complex sits on 5.7 acres along the west side of North Graham Street adjacent to the Shelby Farms Greenline.

The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2013 appraisal was $2.6 million. The property, which was listed for $3.8 million on LoopNet – and includes alternate addresses of 385 N. Graham St. and 395 N. Graham St. – was rehabbed in 2001, according to the listing.

In conjunction with the purchase, Summit Hedgemoor Square Apartments LLC filed a $2.7 million trust deed through Pulaski Bank of St. Louis.

John S. Ross Jr., executive director and principal with Gateway Commercial (formerly Summit Development Group), signed the deed as manager of the borrower.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Brown Contempt Case Goes to Appeals Court

Special Criminal Court Judge Paul Summers has sent the Juvenile Court contempt citation against former Criminal Court Judge Joe Brown to the Tennessee Court of Appeals in Jackson, Tenn.

In an hour-long hearing Friday, May 2, Summers ruled Brown’s appeal of Juvenile Court Magistrate Harold Horne’s March contempt citation was “improvidently” filed in Criminal Court and should have been filed with the Court of Appeals.

Summers also ruled that the Tennessee attorney general’s office should prosecute the case at the appeals court level and that he will retain jurisdiction to ensure the appeals court makes a decision on bond for Brown.

Brown remains free on bond set by Criminal Court Judge James Beasley the same day Horne cited Brown for contempt and sentenced him to five days in jail for questioning Horne’s authority and that of Juvenile Court.

Summers ruled Brown’s behavior was “direct contempt against the court system” – a distinction that would not require Juvenile Court to recuse itself from acting immediately on the comments.

But Summers added that he wants the appeals court to decide on the matter of continuing Brown’s bond.

“I don’t want there to be a situation that the Criminal Court has relinquished its jurisdiction and another court says … ‘We are going to put Judge Brown in jail,’” Summers said in his ruling from the bench. “He’s entitled to bond on a five-day contempt.”

Brown’s attorney, Andre Wharton, contends Brown’s due process rights were violated when Juvenile Court officials refused a bond hearing and that Horne’s initial written contempt citation was not a court order that should have led to Brown being jailed.

– Bill Dries

Early Voting Turnout Tops 26,000

Early voting turnout in advance of the May 6 Shelby County primaries topped 26,000.

Through Thursday, May 1, the last day of the early voting period, 26,298 citizens cast ballots. Thursday was also the heaviest day for turnout of the voting period, with 7,878 early voters and lines at some of the 21 polling locations.

Turnout is lower than the 31,000 early voters in the same election cycle four years ago for most of the same offices. By percentage, the turnout was 4.9 percent of Shelby County’s 533,579 voters.

Among early voters, 71.1 percent cast their ballots in the Democratic primaries, with the remaining 28.9 percent in the Republican primaries.

More than half, 60.9 percent, were women.

By race, 59.5 percent were African-American and 26.2 percent were white. The remaining 24.3 percent were listed as “other,” which includes voters who did not indicate their race on voter registration forms.

Election day polls are open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

– Bill Dries

Literacy Mid-South Launches Mobile App

Literacy Mid-South has launched an app that gives the organization’s more than 250 volunteer tutors access to multiple educational and interactive resources for teaching and communication purposes.

Volunteer users through the app get access to all of the forms and information on the Literacy Mid-South website, as well as educational videos, tutoring tips and ideas for student exercises. The app also allows volunteers to directly and securely send reports to Literacy Mid-South from the app, as well as connect with the organization’s social media platforms.

The app already is available for the iOS and Android platforms and soon will be available for Kindle Fire as well.

– Andy Meek

Regents Approve Rudd as University of Memphis President

David Rudd, provost of the University of Memphis, was approved Thursday, May 1, as the next president of the city’s largest higher education institution.

Meeting in a telephone conference call Thursday afternoon, the Tennessee Board of Regents approved Rudd as the university’s president.

Thursday’s vote follows a recommendation from Regents Chancellor John Morgan last week.

Rudd assumes his duties May 16, succeeding Brad Martin, who has been interim president since Shirley Raines retired in July.

Raines hired Rudd as provost in March 2013 from the University of Utah, where he was dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

A University of Memphis search committee named Rudd one of four finalists from among 70 applicants from across the country.

Since the public interview process with the finalists, former University of Alabama President Guy Bailey and University of Arkansas provost Sharon Gaber withdrew their names from consideration, leaving College of Charleston (S.C.) provost George W. Hynd, as the other finalist.

– Bill Dries

Nuns to Return to St. Benedict

Dominician nuns from Nashville will teach at St. Benedict at Auburndale High School with the new school year, the Cordova Catholic school’s principal announced Thursday, May 1.

The sisters are from the St. Cecelia community in Nashville, which originally provided teachers at St. Benedict when it became a Diocesan school in 1988 and for several years after that.

The Nashville congregation, which dates back to 1860, has nuns teaching at the elementary to post-graduate college level in 42 locations around the world.

– Bill Dries

Obama Praises Jobs Growth, Says More Work Remains

President Barack Obama hails April jobs growth but says Congress must still do more to help American workers, including raising the minimum wage and creating more construction jobs by approving public works projects.

Obama spoke during a joint appearance with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The government reported Friday that employers added 288,000 jobs in April, the most in two years.

Obama praised the "grit and determination" of Americans for the economic improvement.

Obama also extended his thoughts and prayers to the people of Afghanistan for losses suffered in a massive landslide.

– The Associated Press

Factory Orders Rise 1.1 Percent in March

Orders to U.S. factories advanced strongly in March for a second month while demand in a key category that signals business investment plans increased by the largest amount in more than a year. The strength was further evidence that the economy was rebounding after a harsh winter.

Orders increased 1.1 percent in March after increasing 1.5 percent in February, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Those gains followed two months of declines in December and January.

Orders for core capital goods, considered a good proxy for business investment, jumped 3.5 percent in March, rebounding from a 0.9 percent drop in February. It was the biggest increase since January 2013.

Economists say rising demand will boost factory production in coming months, helping the overall economy emerge from a winter slowdown.

In other upbeat news, the Labor Department said Friday that the economy added 288,000 jobs in April, the biggest monthly gain in more than two years, with the unemployment rate falling to 6.3 percent, its lowest level since September 2008.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 92 242 2,507
MORTGAGES 108 336 2,943
BUILDING PERMITS 202 643 6,711
BANKRUPTCIES 43 176 1,963