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VOL. 130 | NO. 105 | Monday, June 1, 2015

Daily Digest

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CP Memphis Assumes Lease of Crowne Plaza

CP Memphis LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, signed an assignment and assumption of lease document May 18 taking ownership of the Downtown Crowne Plaza Hotel, at 300 N. Second St.

General Electric Real Estate Equities Inc. had ownership of the property when they purchased the hotel in lieu of foreclosure for $9.4 million on Dec. 28, 2012.

The 11 story, 244-room hotel has been on a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes lease program since Aug. 31, 1998. Paul Morris, president of the Memphis Center City Revenue Finance Corp., signed off on the deed filed May 20, 2015.

A $12.6 million mortgage was filed with Colfin Memphis Monarch Funding LLC at the time of assignment. The loan matures June 1, 2017.

– Chandler Reports & The Daily News

Memphis-Area Unemployment Drops Below 6 Percent

The unemployment rate for the metropolitan Memphis area dipped below 6 percent in April.

The April rate for the metro Memphis area was 5.9 percent, down from 6.5 percent in March and just below the state’s April rate of 6 percent, according to preliminary figures from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Among Tennessee counties included in the metro Memphis area, Shelby County’s April unemployment rate was 6.2 percent, down from 6.7 percent in March; Fayette County’s rate was 5.8 percent, down from 6.5 percent in March; and Tipton County’s rate was 6.7 percent – the highest in the Memphis metro area, but down from 7.5 percent in March.

The April unemployment rate for the Arkansas portion of the Memphis metro area was 6.4 percent, down from 7 percent in March, while the rate for the Mississippi portion of the metro area was 4.9 percent, down from 5.4 percent in March.

Davidson County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate in April at 4.1 percent, down from 4.4 percent in March. Knox County was 4.3 percent in April, down from 4.6 the previous month. The Hamilton County April rate was 5 percent, down from 5.4 in March.

Hancock County was the only one of Tennessee’s 95 counties to see an increase, rising 0.1 percentage points to 8.5 percent, while 17 counties saw unemployment rates of less than 5 percent.

– Amos Maki

Weirich Named Chair of Operation Safe Community

Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich is the new chairwoman of Operation Safe Community, the county’s overall crime-fighting strategy.

Weirich succeeds Tennessee Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons of Memphis in the post he has held for the last six years. Gibbons will continue to serve on the OSC board of directors that chose Weirich as its new chairman.

Operation Safe Community includes a coalition of law enforcement and criminal justice system leaders who use a statistical approach to reduce crime. That approach concentrates police and other law enforcement resources on the crime hot spots as measured by those statistics.

– Bill Dries

Tigers’ Tubbs Receives All-America Recognition

University of Memphis senior first baseman Tucker Tubbs has been named to the Louisville Slugger NCAA Division I All-American baseball team. Tubbs is a Third Team All-America selection, as chosen by Collegiate Baseball newspaper.

Tubbs, previously named to the American Athletic Conference First Team, is tied for sixth nationally with 17 home runs. He also ranks among the top 50 in the country in total bases (134).

“We are elated that the season Tucker had is being recognized by Louisville Slugger and Collegiate Baseball as All-America worthy,” said Memphis head coach Daron Schoenrock. “At times this season, he carried the team offensively.”

For the year, Tubbs batted .305 with 15 doubles and 55 RBI. He had a .601 slugging percentage. Tubbs leads the American Athletic Conference in four statistical categories, including home runs and runs batted in.

In mid-April, Tubbs was named one of six Louisville Slugger National Players of the Week and recognized as the American Athletic Conference and Tennessee Sports Writers Association’s Hitter of the Week after a prolific five-game stretch in which he blasted a home run in all five games. Tubbs batted .571 with eight RBI and nine runs scored. He did not strike out in 24 plate appearances over the five games while reaching base 15 times for a .625 on-base percentage.

Tubbs is a Capital One Academic All-District First Team selection who received his degree in accounting earlier this month. In the classroom, Tubbs carried a 3.87 grade point average.

– Don Wade

Peabody Unveils Rest of Rooftop Party Lineup

The Peabody hotel has announced the entertainment lineup for the second half of the 2015 Rooftop Party season.

The rest of the season lineup includes: The DMP Band (June 18), Transit (June 25), The 17th Floor (July 2), Star & Micey with Tyrannosaurus Chicken (July 9), The 5th Khind (July 16), Your Girlfriend (July 23), The Dantones (July 30), The M80s (Aug. 6) and Ingram Hill (Aug. 13).

Peabody Rooftop Parties take place every Thursday through August from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Ladies and hotel guests get in free before 7 p.m.

The parties are hosted by CJ from Q107.5 FM and Peabody house DJ Mark Anderson. Each week also features a themed snack buffet and drink specials from Rooftop Party beverage sponsors.

– Andy Meek

Haslam Replaces Curated News With Web Feed

For decades, the Tennessee governor’s office has assembled a carefully curated daily summary of political and government news from around the state. No longer.

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s office announced on the day before the long Memorial Day weekend that the news summary had “outlived its usefulness.”

In its place, the governor’s office has created an automated RSS feed of Google searches and news stories released by broadcast and print outlets around the state.

While the old summary contained abbreviated versions of stories of specific interest of policymakers, scope of the new feed is not limited.

On Thursday, the subjects among the hundreds of stories on the feed included the music lineup at Bonaroo, the disappearance of holes in Swiss cheese and a baby gorilla born at the Knoxville Zoo.

– The Associated Press

US Consumer Sentiment Declines in May

A weak U.S. economy pulled down consumer sentiment in May.

The University of Michigan says its index of consumer sentiment dropped to 90.7 from 95.9 in April. The May reading was the lowest since November.

Consumers of all ages and income levels were gloomier this month. And they were less confident both about current economic conditions and the future. But Richard Curtin, chief economist of the surveys, noted that the index has averaged 94.6 the first five months of 2015, highest since 2004.

On Tuesday, the Conference Board, a business group, reported that its measure of consumer spirits showed modest improvement in May. Its consumer confidence index rose to 95.4 from 94.3 in April. The Conference Board credited an improved job market: Employers added a healthy 223,000 jobs in March, up from an unimpressive 85,000 in March. And unemployment tumbled to 5.4 percent last month, lowest since May 2008.

Still, consumers have reasons to be cautious about the economy and their own financial wellbeing.

The Commerce Department reported Friday that the U.S. economy fell at a 0.7 percent annual pace the first three months of the year, hurt by severe winter weather and a widening trade deficit. And gasoline prices have been rising after hitting a low of $2.03 a gallon in late January. Prices at the pump are up to $2.74 a gallon from $2.56 a gallon a month ago, according to AAA.

The Michigan index still stands well above May 2014’s 81.9. Despite the May dip, most economists say consumers’ mood remains consistent with healthy spending.

“We continue to look for a pickup in consumption over the next two months,” Barclays Research economist Jesse Hurwitz wrote in a research note.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 66 66 6,612
MORTGAGES 78 78 4,207
BUILDING PERMITS 158 158 16,073
BANKRUPTCIES 45 45 3,441