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VOL. 130 | NO. 19 | Thursday, January 29, 2015

Daily Digest

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Crosstown Team Seeks 2 Mechanical Permits

The Sears Crosstown development team has applied for two mechanical permits totaling $7 million.

The Crosstown team applied for the permits through the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for fire protection systems and HVAC improvements. Walker J. Walker Inc. is listed as the contractor for the $5 million HVAC improvements while Security Fire Protection Co. Inc. is listed as the contractor for the $2 million in fire system upgrades.

On Feb. 21, the Crosstown team will host a groundbreaking ceremony for the project and unveil a new name for the property.

The Crosstown team is seeking to redevelop the vacant Crosstown building into a “vertical urban village” through arts, education and health care.

General contractor Grinder, Taber & Grinder was given the greenlight to begin construction Dec. 30. The Kemmons Wilson Cos. will oversee the project. Memphis-based LRK Inc. and Dialog of Vancouver partnered on design. SunTrust Bank is the largest financing source.

Projected to open in 2017, the building will create 800 jobs and generate more than $37 million in new wages annually, according to an economic impact analysis requested by the city of Memphis.

Source: The Daily News Online and Chandler Reports

– Amos Maki

Trustmark Grows Earnings in 2014

Trustmark Corp. has reported net income of $28.1 million for the fourth quarter, representing earnings per share of $0.42.

For the full year 2014, net income totaled $123.6 million, which represented earnings per share of $1.83, an increase of 4.6 percent from the prior year.

The bank’s board has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.23 per share payable March 15. Trustmark president and CEO Gerard Host said in a prepared statement about the results that “2014 was a year of significant accomplishments for Trustmark,” one in which the company continued to build upon and expand customer relationships, among other things.

– Andy Meek

Collierville Schools OKs High School Site Search

The Collierville Schools board voted Tuesday, Jan. 28, to begin site selection for a new high school.

The vote involves architects and planners in a move toward a second high school for the suburban school district that began last year as the school system’s first school year began.

Collierville Schools superintendent John Aitken said the idea of an expansion of the existing Collierville High School proved to be unworkable.

The board also approved allowing Aitken’s staff to begin looking at student rezoning options to relieve overcrowding at Schilling Farms Middle School.

– Bill Dries

Giannini Arraigned on Multiple Rape Charges

A Shelby County businessman has been indicted on charges of rape and aggravated rape stemming from alleged assaults on three different women, Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich said Wednesday.

One of the cases against Mark Giannini occurred in 2002, while the other two occurred in the past two years, according to the indictments that became public Wednesday, Jan. 28. Giannini, co-founder of information technology company Service Assurance, will be arraigned Wednesday in Criminal Court Division 6.

Giannini was arrested on a Shelby County warrant earlier this month in Pinellas County, Fla., and was returned to Memphis Tuesday night.

Giannini, 49, initially was arrested last summer after a 25-year-old woman said he sexually assault her after she had gone with him to his Eads home in June for a job interview.

He was charged with aggravated rape and was released on $150,000 bond. He has been indicted on three counts of aggravated rape in that case.

A Feb. 10 hearing date has been set to determine whether additional bonds will be placed on the two other indictments.

In one of those, Giannini is accused of raping a 23-year-old woman who worked for him. The incident allegedly occurred in September 2013 at his Eads home.

The third indictment includes four counts of aggravated rape in which a 19-year-old employee said Giannini raped her at gunpoint in 2002 at the Registry Apartments in Cordova.

The case was reported to authorities last summer following publicity about Giannini’s arrest on the case in June.

– Amos Maki

NTSB Releases Report On Fatal Helicopter Crash

A medical helicopter crash that killed three people in West Tennessee was likely caused when the pilot lost control of the aircraft during a climb, the National Transportation Safety Board said.

An NTSB probable cause report dated Tuesday provided details of the Oct. 22, 2013, crash in a wooded area of Fayette County that killed pilot Charles D. Smith, pediatric nurse Carrie Barlow and pediatric respiratory therapist Denise Adams.

The Hospital Wing helicopter crashed and burned while on the way to pick up an ailing child in Bolivar in the early morning.

Adams and Barlow worked for Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis. Hospital Wing aircraft transport patients to area hospitals.

The NTSB report says the pilot of the Eurocopter AS350B3 may have received an in-flight obstacle alert in night weather conditions that led him to operate under instrument flight rules. But the aircraft was not equipped for flight under instrument flight rules, the report said.

– The Associated Press

FDA Issues New Regulations for Defibrillator Data

The Food and Drug Administration is requiring makers of heart-zapping defibrillators to submit more data on the emergency care devices after years of recalls and manufacturing problems.

Regulators say companies must now submit new testing data on battery life, adapters, electrodes and other components before receiving approval to sell the products.

Defibrillators use electric shocks to jolt the heart back to normal after patients suffer heart attacks or other cardiovascular problems. Once used exclusively in emergency rooms, they are now found in schools, office buildings and other public places. The devices have been plagued by design and manufacturing flaws for years. The FDA says it has received 72,000 reports of defibrillator problems between 2005 and September 2014. Since 2005, manufacturers have issued 111 recalls involving more than 2 million defibrillators.

– The Associated Press

TracFone to Pay $40 Million in Federal Settlement

The nation’s largest prepaid mobile provider, TracFone Wireless, will pay $40 million to settle government claims that it misled smartphone customers with promises of unlimited data service.

The Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday that TracFone promised unlimited data in its advertising, but then drastically slowed down consumers’ data speeds – a practice known as throttling – when they hit a certain limit of data within a 30-day period. In some cases, the company cut off customers’ data when it ran over the limit.

TracFone’s prepaid wireless service is sold under various brands, including Straight Talk, Net10, Simple Mobile and Telcel America. Consumers with phones operated by TracFone who had their service slowed or cut will be able to request a refund.

– The Associated Press

Arkansas Panel Rejects Removing Lee From King Holiday

A bid to end Arkansas’ practice of commemorating Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. on the same day has failed before a state House panel.

The House State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday rejected the proposal, which would have removed Lee from the state holiday honoring King. The proposal failed on a voice vote.

Arkansas is one of three states to jointly celebrate the two on the third Monday in January.

The proposal called for designating Nov. 30 as “Patrick Cleburne - Robert E. Lee Southern Heritage Day,” a state memorial day but not a legal holiday. It would have repealed a state law declaring June 3 as a state memorial day in honor of former Confederacy President Jefferson Davis’ birthday.

– The Associated Press

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 128 339 21,916
MORTGAGES 76 240 16,657
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 17 1,521
BUILDING PERMITS 0 641 43,132
BANKRUPTCIES 36 136 6,853
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 23 3,192
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0