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Lower bail denied in Lowe’s shooting

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A judge in Mayfield, Ky. has refused to lower the bail for a woman who opened fire in a Lowe’s home improvement store, injuring her husband and endangering other shoppers, according to an article in The Paducah Sun.

Annmarie Smith, whose trial is scheduled to begin March 25, has been  accused of trying to murder her husband on June 10 while he worked in the plumbing department at Lowe’s. Smith fired five shots at her estranged spouse, Mark Smith, but only inflicted a minor hand injury. Other customers and employees were in the area of the shooting, resulting in nine counts of wanton endangerment.

 

Smith is being held at the Graves County jail in lieu of a $500,000 cash bond, according to the newspaper.

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Housing starts hold steady in September

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Total housing starts, expressed as a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), came in at 590,000, according to data released today by the Commerce Department. That’s 0.5% ahead of the previous month — which was adjusted downward, from 598,000 to 587,000.

If not for the downward adjustment of August starts, the total percentage would have declined 1.3%.

There was better news for builders, and their suppliers, in the single-family front. Single-family housing starts in September were at a rate of 501,000; this is 3.9% above the revised August figure. Moreover, the August figure was revised upward, from a previously stated 479,000 to 482,000.

Compared with September of last year, total starts declined 28.2%, and single-family starts declined 8.7%.

The total 590,000 figure is the highest since January, which also showed 590,000. For a higher single-family rate, one has to go all the way back to October 2008, when single-family starts hit 534,000.

On a regional basis, the South posted the strongest month-to-month performance, showing a 7.1% increase in total starts and a 14.3% increase in single-family starts.

Compared with a year ago, the strongest region — or, more accurately, the least depressed region in terms of residential construction percentage declines — is the Midwest, which showed a 22.5% decline in total starts, and a 4.6% decline in single-family starts.

In the same Commerce Department report, September building permits came in at an SAAR of 573,000, down 1.2% from August. Single-family permits came in at a rate of 450,000, down 3%.

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Lumber Liquidators wins accolade

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Toano, Va.-based Lumber Liquidators has been named the No. 1 best performing company in Forbes Magazine’s list of “America’s 200 Best Small Companies of 2009.” This is the company’s first time appearing on the annual list.

“We are honored to be named the No.1 Best Small Company in America by the prestigious Forbes Magazine,” said Jeffrey W. Griffiths, president and CEO. “This achievement represents the hard work and dedication of all of our employees who are the foundation of our success. We look forward to continuing to leverage Lumber Liquidator’s value proposition to drive growth and gain market share within the hardwood flooring industry.”

To make Forbes’ list of 200 Best Small Companies in America, companies must show both sales and earnings growth and have annual revenue of $5 million to $750 million, must be publicly traded for at least one year and have a stock price no lower than $5.

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