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VOL. 129 | NO. 197 | Thursday, October 9, 2014

Daily Digest

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Hickory Hill Warehouse Sells for $1.6 Million

ARCP Acquisitions LLC has paid $1.6 million for the 14,650-square-foot warehouse at 4517 S. Mendenhall Road in Hickory Hill, marking the second time the property has sold in three months.

ARCP Acquisitions purchased the property Sept. 24 from an affiliate of Charlotte, N.C.-based real estate development firm The Keith Corp. The selling entity, TKC CLXXIX LLC, bought the property for $1.4 million in a June 24 special warranty deed.

Built in 1995, the Class B industrial facility sits on 7.6 acres along the west side of South Mendenhall Road just north of its intersection with East Shelby Drive. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal is $676,400.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Amos Maki

Local Girl Scouts To Pilot STEM Program

Girl Scouts Heart of the South was selected as one of five councils in the country to pilot a national program and has received a $20,000 grant from Girl Scouts of the USA and Techbridge to introduce girls to the wonders of engineering and science.

“Engineer Your Journey,” funded by Noyce Foundation, engages girls in hands-on, fun, learning-by-doing activities that increase their interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers, grow their confidence in their STEM abilities, and build their leadership and STEM skills.

“Engineer Your Journey” provides age-appropriate activities about STEM careers and corresponds with the Girl Scout Journey curriculum for girls in grades 4-5, 9-10 and 11-12. The grant will provide hands-on activity kits, books and resources for 100 girls in West Tennessee, North Mississippi and eastern Arkansas. Girls who complete the program will have the opportunity to visit local attractions to see how engineering is in action in their everyday lives.

“Engineer Your Journey” is open to Girl Scouts and non-Girl Scouts. Anyone interested in introducing engineering to girls through this program may contact Lori Gilmore at EYJ@girlscoutshs.org.

– Don Wade

November Council Vote On Pension Reform Likely

Memphis City Council members again delayed final votes on a set of ordinances that would change pension benefits for city employees.

The delay Tuesday, Oct. 7, on third and final reading of several pension ordinances was expected. The items are now on the Oct. 21 council agenda, but council members expect there will not be a vote then either and city Chief Administrative Officer George Little said the administration can live with a further delay.

At its session in two weeks, the council is expected to get a report from Segal Consulting of Atlanta, the actuary consulting firm it hired earlier this year.

The pension changes include switching all new city hires and city employees with less than 10 years of service to a defined contributions plan similar to a 401(k) instead of the current defined benefits plan.

The changes as a whole are the second part of major adjustments to benefits for city employees and retirees, including health insurance changes the council approved in June.

The city’s unfunded liabilities for the health insurance and pension benefits are unsustainable, and the changes are an effort to right the city’s financial condition on a long-term basis.

In other action Tuesday, the council approved a residential-work office on the northwest corner of Macon Road and Dexter Lane in Cordova, and an office proposal at Central Avenue and New York Street was withdrawn from consideration by the developer.

The council also sent a resolution to the Land Use Control Board seeking recommendations on a single standard and process for the approval of all day care centers in residential neighborhoods.

Council member Lee Harris wants the process to include day cares in homes in addition to day cares in commercial property.

– Bill Dries

Tigers QB Paxton Lynch Honored by Sportswriters

University of Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch has been named the Offensive Player of the Week by the Tennessee Sportswriters Association for his play in last week’s 41-14 win over Cincinnati.

Lynch completed 18-of-25 passes for a career-high 311 yards and two touchdowns while also running for 45 yards and two more scores in the conference-opening win over the preseason conference favorite Bearcats. The Deltona, Fla., native engineered an offense that amassed 610 yards of total offense, the third-most in a single game in school history.

The sophomore tossed touchdown passes of nine and 29 yards in the first quarter and his 10-yard touchdown run late in the period put the Tigers ahead, 24-7. Lynch added a 10-yard scoring run late in the third quarter for the final points of the game.

Honored twice by the TSWA as the Offensive Player of the Week (UCLA, Cincinnati), Lynch is completing 62 percent of his passes for 1,158 yards with seven touchdowns. He has also run for five scores.

– Don Wade

Agency Sends Inaccurate Medicaid Letters

Officials with a state agency that’s been sending inaccurate letters to Tennesseans informing them they don’t qualify for Medicaid say they’re addressing the issue.

The Tennessean reports the letter sent this year were automatically generated by an outdated computer system when someone applies to the Department of Human Services for food stamps.

The computer makes eligibility determinations according to old income guidelines, not the new ones set by the federal health care law. And the letters are coming from an agency that as of Jan. 1 was supposed to stop making Medicaid eligibility determinations for TennCare, Tennessee’s version of Medicaid.

Devin Stone, a communications officer for DHS, says the agency is aware of the issue.

Chris Coleman, a lawyer with the Tennessee Justice Center who is suing the heads of DHS and TennCare, said the letters are causing harm. The suit accuses the agencies of violating federal law by creating barriers to people seeking enrollment.

“These are totally false notices that are apparently auto-generated with the food stamp notice,” Coleman said. “Individuals receiving these notices may never have applied for TennCare, and they certainly have not been found ineligible.”

TennCare is relying on the old DHS computer because a new $35.7 million system it is building is a year behind schedule. The DHS computer was supposed to have been replaced, but DHS halted work on that project in 2013 after years of missed deadlines and design defects.

– The Associated Press

Federal Budget Deficit Falls to $486 Billion

The federal government’s budget deficit has fallen to $486 billion, the smallest pool of red ink of President Barack Obama’s six-year span in office, a new report said Wednesday.

The Congressional Budget Office’s latest estimate shows better results than earlier projections by both CBO and the White House budget office.

It comes as Congress has mostly paused in its wrangling over the deficit in the run-up to the midterm elections next month.

Obama inherited a trillion-dollar-plus deficit after the 2008 financial crisis but that red-ink figure has improved in recent years as the economy has recovered. Last year’s deficit registered at $680 billion.

The government registered deficits exceeding $1 trillion during Obama’s first term, but the recovering economy has boosted revenues while Republican-imposed curbs on agency operating budgets have combined to shrink the deficit.

The Treasury Department and the White House budget office will issue an official report on the budget in the next week or so, but their findings are likely to mirror CBO’s data, which is based on the daily cash flow that Treasury reports.

The good news may be temporary. CBO and budget hawks warn that the retirement of the Baby Boom generation will balloon deficits in coming years unless Washington can bridge its divides and curb the growth of expensive programs like Medicare.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 97 418 8,253
MORTGAGES 112 508 9,293
BUILDING PERMITS 194 1,059 18,126
BANKRUPTCIES 46 208 5,367