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VOL. 130 | NO. 21 | Monday, February 2, 2015

Daily Digest

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Midtown Five Guys Property Sells for $950,000

The Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurant property on Union Avenue in Midtown has been sold for $950,000.

The Caruthers Group LLC sold the restaurant property at 2100 Union Ave. to a partnership including Gary E. Goodman and Sylvia Cossich Goodman of the Goodman Family Trust, Judy L. Vann of the July L. Vann Living Trust and Wayne Jon Stambler, according to Jan. 28 warranty deed.

Built in 2012, the 2,704-square-foot restaurant sits on less than half an acre on the northern side of Union near Overton Square. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2014 appraisal is $554,600.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Amos Maki

City, County Jobless Rates Drop in December

The unemployment rates for Shelby County and the city of Memphis both fell by about a percentage point in December, according to new figures from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development released Thursday, Jan. 29.

Preliminary employment totals for Shelby County for last month show an 8.1 percent jobless rate for the county, with a labor force of 412,270 and an unemployed population of 33,230. That jobless rate is down 1 percent from the 9.1 percent rate in December 2013.

In Memphis, meanwhile, the jobless rate in December stood at 9 percent, preliminary figures show. That’s down 1.2 percent from the 10.2 percent jobless total in December 2013.

In Memphis, the labor force totaled 273,520 in December, with 24,690 unemployed.

– Andy Meek

Lakeland Prep Contracts Go Before School Board

Lakeland school board members meet Monday, Feb. 2, to vote on a contract for an architect and engineer to plan construction of the new Lakeland Prep School.

The board for the Lakeland Schools System also votes on a contingency contract to buy the 94 acres of land for the planned school north of U.S. 70 and east of Canada Road.

The school would open in August 2017, adding a few grades each school year in a phased-in move to grades 6-12.

It would be the second school in the suburban school system, which currently consists of Lakeland Elementary School. Middle and high school-aged students living in Lakeland currently attend schools in the Arlington and Bartlett Schools systems under agreements among those systems.

– Bill Dries

Girl Scouts Receives $10,000 for BizGirls

Girl Scouts Heart of the South has received a $10,000 grant from the Women’s Foundation of Greater Memphis. The grant will be utilized to launch a new financial literacy program called BizGirls.

The BizGirls Lounge at the Memphis Service Center will provide girls with a computer lab, research and learning materials, workshops and mentors to help them in their entrepreneurial endeavors. Girls will learn how to become financially literate by starting their own business or nonprofit in the lounge. They will look for future trends in business, identify a need for their business, create an endeavor and personalize it, and determine where innovation needs to happen.

“We are honored to be able to continue our wonderful partnership with the Women’s Foundation of Greater Memphis,” said Melanie Schild, CEO of Girl Scouts Heart of the South, in a statement. “They have been a longtime supporter of our program and mission. It is through continued partnerships like this one that we are able to ensure that all girls have the chance to better themselves.”

– Don Wade

Joerger to Co-Chair Event Benefiting Tennis Memphis

Memphis Grizzlies Head Coach Dave Joerger and his wife, Kara Joerger, will co-chair the second annual “A Serving for Tennis” event Feb. 20 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Pink Palace Museum. The event will benefit Tennis Memphis and their National Junior Tennis and Learning program.

Tickets are $100 and can be purchased at tennismemphis.org or at the following Tennis Memphis Centers: Bellevue, Eldon Roark, Leftwich or Wolbrecht. For more information, contact Tennis Memphis by phone at 901-374-0603 or by email at slang@tennismemphis.org. All proceeds benefit Tennis Memphis NJTL.

About 20 local Memphis restaurants will be serving up their signature dishes, select wines and beers. There will be live music, raffle drawings, and silent and live auctions.

For more than a decade, Tennis Memphis has impacted the lives of Memphis’ youth through its NJTL Tennis Summer Camps and year-round youth development programming at municipal tennis centers and schools in the Memphis area. NJTL was envisioned and founded by tennis icon Arthur Ashe as a way to make tennis available to underserved youth. Today, thousands of Memphis-area children who otherwise would never have set foot on a tennis court have benefited from that vision.

– Don Wade

Ruling Allows Closure of Tennessee Developmental Center

A federal judge has accepted the state’s proposal to close Tennessee’s last large facility housing mentally disabled people by the end of next June.

Media report that Judge Kevin Sharpe issued his ruling on Thursday, about a week after hearing arguments in Nashville for and against the closure of the Greene Valley Developmental Center in Greenville, which has nearly 100 residents and about 600 workers.

State officials recommended closing the facility to end a long-running lawsuit over care of the mentally disabled. They plan to move the residents into more community-like settings as part of a larger movement to improve services and get people out of large institutions.

The judge ruled the state’s proposal “benefits the public interest.”

“The court concludes that the exit plan presented by the parties is ‘fair, reasonable and adequate’ and provides the next iteration of improvement to the lives of those with disabilities in Tennessee. It will test political will and legislative leadership to continue that progress and to determine how best to care for those often left in the shadows,” he wrote.

He ruled that the families who tried to intervene to keep the center open did not file their motion in a timely manner and meet other requirements.

He did acknowledge their concerns, but said others have been moved out of institutions into alternative care facilities with favorable outcomes.

– The Associated Press

Consumer Sentiment Rises to Highest Level Since 2004

U.S. consumers are more confident than they’ve been since January 2004.

The University of Michigan said Friday that its index of consumer sentiment rose to 98.1 in January from 93.6 last month.

Consumers say the prospects for the U.S. economy are the strongest in a decade, and half of consumers expect the expansion to keep going another five years. Over the past six months, households with annual incomes of less than $75,000 have reported gains in confidence as big as households with higher incomes.

Still, most consumers are expecting only modest wage income gains, which could constrain their spending. “Without sufficient wage gains, consumers will be forced to demand large price discounts to complete their purchases,” said Richard Curtin, chief economist for the Michigan survey.

The Michigan survey was the latest evidence that an improving economy and tumbling oil prices have lifted consumers’ spirits. The Conference Board on Tuesday reported that its consumer confidence index climbed to the highest level since August 2007.

And the Commerce Department reported Friday that consumer spending rose from October through December at a 4.3 percent annual pace, fastest since the first three months of 2006.

Underlying consumers’ improving mood: The job market is the strongest it’s been in years. Employers last year added nearly 3 million jobs, most since 1999.

Gasoline prices have plunged to $2.05 a gallon from $2.27 a month ago and $3.28 a year ago, according to AAA.

Overall, the economy grew at a steady 2.6 annual rate the last three months of 2014. For the full year, it grew a modest 2.4 percent, pulled down by bitter winter weather at the start of 2014.

– 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