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VOL. 128 | NO. 67 | Friday, April 05, 2013

Daily Digest

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Rhodes Pays $2.6 Million for Evergreen Presbyterian

Rhodes College has paid $2.6 million for neighboring Evergreen Presbyterian Church at 613 University St.

The college and the church announced in January an agreement for the liberal arts college at 2000 N. Parkway to acquire the church’s buildings and its 9.7-acre campus in two years.

The sale closed March 28. Evergreen will continue to operate at the location for the next 24 months, and then Rhodes will take over, although plans for the property won’t be known for a while.

Evergreen bought the University Street property from Rhodes in 1947 and broke ground on the church in 1950, moving from its previous locale at 1663 Autumn.

The campus includes a sanctuary, education building and gymnasium, along with a playground and soccer fields. The tax-exempt property had a 2012 appraised value of $1.2 million, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property.

The Rev. Kenneth Letterman signed the warranty deed on behalf of Evergreen, whose members may still meet at the church after the two-year transition period, according to media reports.

No financing was associated with the purchase.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Bill Won’t Allow Student IDs for Voting

The senator who sponsored a measure to let people show student IDs to cast ballots realized it didn’t have enough votes to pass, so he instead backed a bill that doesn’t allow them to be used.

Murfreesboro Republican Sen. Bill Ketron decided Thursday to concur with the House version that wouldn’t allow the student IDs and the full Senate voted 23-7 in support. The measure is now headed to the governor for his consideration.

“We saw the vote over there,” said Ketron, referring to the House vote. “That wind came strong, and I knew that’s where it was going. Members were agreeing with the House. They were urging me to concur.”

Ketron had said including the student IDs issued by state colleges and universities would bring Tennessee into line with an Indiana law that has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. He said he may try again next year to pass that version.

“I think we need to leave the door open,” he said.

Nevertheless, Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey later told reporters that he’s talked to the state’s attorney general who believes the legislation that passed is defensible.

“The bottom line is that all of us to begin with did not want student IDs included, we simply did it because it helped our case in court if it even got challenged again,” he said. “But after talking to the attorney general and the assistant attorney general, they thought they could defend it, so that’s the reason we went with the House bill.”

The version that passed Thursday would eliminate library cards as valid voter ID.

The city of Memphis and two residents sued the state last year after election officials refused to accept a city-issued library card with a photo as voter identification.

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has upheld the state voter ID law as constitutional but also allowed Memphis residents to use the library card as identification to vote. The Supreme Court said last year that the library card could be used while the court was considering the case.

That case is still pending before the state’s highest court.

– The Associated Press

Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence Holds Annual Conference

The Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence is holding its Eighth Annual Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence Conference on May 1 at Temple Israel.

The conference will feature national nonprofit experts, who will speak on a range of topics, including Guidestar’s influence on charitable investments, understanding donor-advised funds, choosing foundation priorities, and how to have tough conversations with foundations.

Keynote speaker Pat Brandes, executive director of the Barr Foundation, will speak on networking for nonprofits.

– Jennifer Johnson Backer

Holiday Deli Opens Horn Lake Store

Holiday Deli & Ham has opened its fifth store – which also happens to be its largest – in Horn Lake.

The nearly 5,600-square-foot store is located at 749 W. Goodman Road, and it’s open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It has a drive-thru and carry-out parking, as well as free WiFi.

Holiday Deli co-founder Trey Jordan said opening the store represented an attempt to grow the company’s presence in the broader Memphis area.

– Andy Meek

Memphis Farmers Market Returns Downtown

It’s opening week for the Memphis Farmers Market, which returns for its new season this Saturday at the Central Station Pavilion.

There will be music with JoJo Jefferies, authors Paul and Angela Knipple signing their book “The World in a Skillet,” plus the usual – fresh flowers and greens, handmade goat cheese, salads, side dishes, baked goods, local roasted coffee and more. Hours will be from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

– Andy Meek

Trezevant Students Join Frayser Earth Day Cleanup

Trezevant High School students will join members of Leadership Memphis’ 2013 executive class to clean garbage and debris from a vacant lot in Frayser to celebrate Earth Day.

The joint effort will give Trezevant students an opportunity to improve the local environment and foster pride in their community. The cleanup also is part of Leadership Trezevant’s school-wide effort to improve academic success.

– Jennifer Johnson Backer

Haslam OKs Ending Leash Requirement in Cars

Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a bill to do away with the state’s leash law for dogs and cats while being transported in vehicles.

The governor’s office announced Wednesday that he had signed the bill sponsored by Rep. Pat Marsh of Shelbyville and fellow Republican Sen. Steve Southerland of Morristown.

The proposal was greeted with howls by House members when it came up for a vote there. It passed both chambers unanimously.

The new law nearly eliminates a little-known restraint requirement for any dog or cat in transport. That rule will only apply to animals that might have rabies.

– The Associated Press

Mississippi Lawmakers Finish Their 2013 Session

The Mississippi Legislature has ended its three-month session.

The House and Senate adjourned Thursday after finishing last-minute business, including confirmation of several nominees to lead agencies and serve on state regulatory boards.

Lawmakers approved most of a $5.5 billion budget for fiscal 2014. But, they will have to return for a special session before July 1 to keep the Medicaid program alive and to put money into it.

Many state agencies have to be reauthorized every few years, and Medicaid was up for review this session. The reauthorization failed amid a partisan dispute over whether to expand Medicaid under the health law that President Barack Obama signed in 2010.

Democrats wanted Medicaid expansion, but Republican leaders said the state can’t afford it.

– The Associated Press

Party Intransigence Dims Hopes for ‘Grand Bargain’

The partisan cease-fire that kept the government running this spring gave birth to hopeful talk of a much larger “grand bargain” that would reduce the federal deficit for years.

But such optimism seems to ignore how far apart the two parties remain on key issues.

The mutual obstinance disappoints those who felt top Republicans and Democrats were close to a major accord on spending cuts and tax increases in December.

GOP leaders now say further tax increases are off the table.

And Democrats say President Barack Obama cannot push to trim Medicare and Social Security without the higher taxes on the wealthy that he campaigned for.

– The Associated Press

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