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VOL. 132 | NO. 101 | Monday, May 22, 2017

Daily Digest

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Album Celebrating Sun Records Set for May 26 Memphis Release 

An album celebrating the music of Sun Records will be released Friday, May 26, in Memphis – June 16 worldwide – with proceeds to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“Red Hot: A Memphis Celebration of Sun Records,” was co-produced by singer-guitarist Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars and Tamara Saviano, a Nashville-based writer-producer. The album was recorded at Sun Studio and Sam Phillips Recording Service.

Dickinson and his younger brother Cody, the North Mississippi Allstars’ drummer, serve as the hub of the “Red Hot” house band, which also includes bassist-vocalist Amy LaVere, singer-guitarist John Paul Keith and keyboardist Rick Steff.

–Andy Meek

Downtown Apartment Developer Seeks $18M in Permits

Elmington Capital Group is ready to continue its spree of Downtown multifamily development.

The Nashville-based company, doing business as ECG Forum GP LLC, is seeking four building permits totaling $18.2 million to construct apartments southeast of FedExForum.

Patton & Taylor Enterprises is listed as the contractor on the permit applications filed with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement.

The largest permit, worth $9.1 million, calls for a four-story apartment building at 290 Turley St. Meanwhile, two additional three-story apartment buildings are planned for 269 S. Danny Thomas Blvd. and 444 Vance Ave., and are valued at $4.8 and $2.1 million, respectively. The fourth $2.1 million permit is for 331 S. Danny Thomas Blvd. and simply states new construction of multifamily.

The developers are also seeking street and alley closures including a section of Pontotoc Avenue west of Danny Thomas. The Memphis City Council delayed consideration of the special use permits for the street closures at its May 9 session. The items are back before the council planning and zoning committee Tuesday, May 23, with the items also on the full council’s agenda for a vote.

Elmington is also developing Uptown Flats, which will bear 155 units at the northwest corner of North Main Street and Saffarans Avenue, and the Patterson Flats, which will include 175 units between East Butler Avenue and East G.E. Patterson Avenue.

– Patrick Lantrip

County Commission to Pick Up Budget Deliberations Monday

Shelby County Commissioners meet Monday, May 22, and take up some budget and tax items on their way to a later final approval of all budget season matters at future meetings.

Among the items on the agenda is a resolution setting a recertified Shelby County property tax rate of $4.13. The new rate would be 24 cents below the current county rate of $4.37, reflecting changes in value from the Shelby County Assessor’s 2017 countywide property reappraisal.

Under state law, local property tax rates must be adjusted and recertified following a reappraisal so that the new property values continue to generate the same amount of revenue for local government.

Residential property values across the county increased 13 percent on average in the 2017 reappraisal, while commercial values increased by 20 percent.

Commissioners took no action on a recommendation on the resolution in committee sessions last week. Some commissioners want to see a rollback of the property tax rate after the recertified rate is set.

Also on the agenda are first readings of two ordinances dealing with county government contracts with locally owned and minority-owned businesses. Commissioner Heidi Shafer is proposing an ordinance that would require minority and women-owned businesses to provide proof that their owners live in Shelby County as a condition for certification to bid on the contracts.

Commissioner Van Turner is sponsoring a second ordinance that would change the ground rules for locally owned small businesses.

The ordinances require three separate readings and votes.

– Bill Dries

Regions Bank Whitehaven Branch Manager Sentenced to 15 Months

The former manager of the Whitehaven North branch of Regions Bank was sentenced to 15 months in prison by U.S. District Judge John Fowlkes for embezzling $45,000 from the bank.

Renwick Chavez Edwards pleaded guilty to the charge in a criminal information – a combination of a charge and a guilty plea in one motion.

The information estimates that Edwards took $223,000 from accounts at Regions between October 2013 and March 2015 and in addition to the prison time, Fowlkes ordered Edwards to pay restitution to Regions of $226,332.

Fowlkes also ordered gambling counseling for Edwards and barred him from entering any place of gambling during the three years of supervision that follows the prison term.

– Bill Dries

Tennessee Unemployment Drops to 4.7 Percent

Tennessee’s unemployment rate improved in April, dropping to 4.7 percent from the revised rate of 5.1 percent in March, according to the latest figures from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

This decrease is greater than the 0.1 percentage point decline the national rate experienced in April, which put the U.S. preliminary rate at 4.4 percent for the month. Tennessee’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has not declined this much since January 1984.

Over the past year, Tennessee's unemployment rate experienced a slight uptick – 0.1 percentage point – to 4.7 percent. The national rate decreased by 0.6 percentage point, to 4.4 percent.

“It is the goal of everyone in this department, and that of our workforce partners across the state, to do everything possible to help Tennesseans go back to work, so when we compare year-to-year numbers, we see progress there as well,” Labor and Workforce Development commissioner Burns Phillips said in a statement.

Comparing March and April’s nonfarm employment, totals declined by 5,900 jobs. The largest decreases occurred in government, leisure/hospitality, and professional/business services.

Nonfarm employment has increased by 57,000 jobs throughout the year, with the largest increases occurring in the trade/transportation/utilities, professional/business services, and education/health services.

– Daily News staff

PROPERTY SALES 56 295 6,392
MORTGAGES 26 180 4,035
BUILDING PERMITS 128 840 15,361
BANKRUPTCIES 31 153 3,270