Briefs Dec. 22-25, 2007 |

Briefs Dec. 22-25, 2007


U.S. Bank provides more than $8 million in loans for Newpark apartments

On Dec. 20, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation announced that it has invested $5.1 million in the Kimball Junction area for the construction of the Newpark Studios, a 38-unit apartment complex located at 1436 Ute Boulevard.

U.S. Bank provided an additional $3.6 million for construction financing.

"All of the units will be affordable to households earning less

than 37 percent of the area median income," said Damon Miller,

president of U.S. Bank in Utah.

The project is located at Newpark Towncenter, a mixed-use

development where residents can walk to work and enjoy public transit, public trails, recreation, shopping, dining and entertainment.

The local developers and owners of Newpark Towncenter and Newpark Studios LC are

Jim Doilney and Marc Wangsgard.

Visit for more information about U.S. Bank.

Loan scam takes money, does not give loan

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning Utah consumers to be extremely cautious when applying for a loan with an unfamiliar company.

Consumers have informed the BBB that a company called Birk’s Capital Financial, Inc. is advertising loans to those with poor credit, claiming that, for a fee of $1,000, the consumer can obtain a $10,000 loan. Unfortunately, after wiring the money to a person from the company in Canada, the consumers never receive their loans.

Birk’s Capital Financial Inc. is using an address in Sugar House in Salt Lake City to give the air of legitimacy.

The BBB offers these tips to avoid a loan scam: Legitimate loan companies will not charge an up-front fee. Never wire money to a company for a loan. Always check out the company with the BBB ( ) prior to any transaction. Visit for more information.

Despite high costs, more than 625,000 Utahns plan to travel for holidays

Steep increases in travel expenses are forcing families to dig deeper into their wallets this year in order to spend the holidays with loved ones. The latest report from AAA Utah finds that the number of Utahns expected to travel over the holidays remains basically flat compared to a year ago.

According to AAA’s travel survey, more than 625,000 Utahns will travel 50 miles or more from their homes to celebrate the end of year. This represents a miniscule 0.2 percent increase over last year’s travel forecast.

AAA predicts nearly 500,000 Utahns (81 percent) are expected to be traveling by motor vehicle, representing a 0.4 percent increase from last year. Airports can expect more than 94,000 (14 percent) to fly this holiday season. This is actually a minor decline of 0.3 percent compared to last year’s holiday season. Nationally, over 65 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more for the end of the year holiday season, an overall 0.7 percent increase from last year.

After no change in price from 2005 to 2006, the average price for an airline ticket is up 16 percent for travel during the week of Christmas and 9 percent during the week of New Year’s. Hotel rates for AAA-Rated Three Diamond hotels climbed 4 percent and 9 percent respectively when compared to Christmas and New Year’s a year ago. The only area of relief for travelers comes by way of lower car rental rates. Those renting a car during the week of Christmas will find prices 4 percent less than last year and 13 percent less if renting a car during the week of New Year’s.

To help keep drunk drivers off the road this holiday, AAA is offering its "Tipsy Tow" program. AAA will offer the service to drinking drivers from 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve to 6 a.m. on Christmas Day in Northern California, Nevada and Utah. Drivers, potential passengers, party hosts, bartenders, and restaurant managers can call 800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP) for a free tow home of up to five miles. You need not be a member.

For more information or visit .

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