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VOL. 128 | NO. 104 | Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Daily Digest

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Memphis Business Academy Files Permit for Building

Memphis Business Academy has filed a $2.8 million permit with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for a new building on its Frayser campus.

The charter middle and high school at 3306 Overton Crossing filed the permit Friday, May 24, for a “new one-story prefab metal building with mezzanine.” No contractor or architect was listed on the permit, which shows the address of the new building as 3266 Overton Crossing.

The school moved to the Frayser locale about three years ago. Memphis Business Academy bought the former Frayser Super Mall and Kmart in July 2009 for close to $1 million. Then in March 2010 it filed a $1.9 million loan through Regions Bank to renovate the 86,640-square-foot big-box retail building into its new home.

Built in 1979, the Class C facility sits on 6.9 acres along the east side of Overton Crossing south of its intersection with Frayser Boulevard. The exempt property has a 2013 appraisal of $916,100, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property.

The school spent between $800,000 and $900,000 for the overhaul, which changed the building into separate middle and high school spaces. Memphis Business Academy also operates an elementary school at 2450 Frayser Blvd.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Daily News staff

Tennessee Homeowners Win Relief in Mortgage Settlement

Tennessee homeowners have received more than $170 million in relief so far as part of the national mortgage settlement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers that was announced in February 2012.

That’s according to the most recent progress report from the settlement monitor. The settlement arose out of an investigation into mortgage servicing and foreclosure practices.

Tennessee homeowners are continuing to receive substantial benefits under the settlement more than one year after it was first announced. Eligible Tennessee homeowners have received $173 million in relief from March 1, 2012, through March 31, 2013. That relief includes loan modifications, refinances, short sales and deficiency waivers.

The monitor’s report also shows that servicers are offering an additional $49 million in loan modification savings to eligible Tennessee homeowners.

– Andy Meek

Mississippi Casino Revenues Fall 6 Percent in April

Mississippi casino revenue kept falling in April, with gamblers losing less than in any other April since 1998.

Mississippi Department of Revenue figures show statewide casino revenue fell 6 percent to $176.3 million.

Year-over-year casino revenue has fallen in every month since July 2012. The state’s casinos, over the last 12 months, have collected only about 75 percent of the money they collected in 2007, the peak year for gambling revenues.

The numbers exclude Choctaw Indian casinos, which aren’t required to report winnings to the state.

The 18 river casinos from Tunica to Natchez won $90.6 million, down 3 percent from the $93.7 million they won in April 2012. The 12 coastal casinos won $85.7 million from gamblers, down 8 percent from the $93.4 million they won in January 2012.

The declines have been steeper, in general, along the river. The parent companies of several casinos in Vicksburg and Tunica have faced financial distress. Part of the recent weakness at Tunica and Lula casinos has been competition from expanded gambling venues in Arkansas.

The continued downdraft is hurting not only state and local tax receipts but employment. In January, for example, Boyd Gaming Corp. laid off 100 people from its Sam’s Town casino in Tunica, according to figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

– The Associated Press

King Documentary Wins Prestigious Peabody Award

A documentary about the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has won the prestigious Peabody Award, with the help from the University of Memphis Libraries.

“MLK: The Assassination Tapes,” directed by Tom Jennings, follows the 1968 Sanitation Workers Strike in Memphis and other events leading up to King’s murder.

The film makes use of various formats of material from the Sanitation Workers Strike Collection in the Libraries’ Special Collections Department.

Under the direction of professor David Yellin of the Department of Speech and Drama, a group of concerned citizens, including many U of M faculty and staff, began collecting documents and other materials related to the dispute between the striking sanitation workers and city officials. After King’s murder, they branched out and began soliciting outtake and broadcast footage of the events of early 1968 from TV networks and local affiliates. They also conducted oral interviews with participants and well-placed observers, including a few strikers, most of the local and AFSCME union leaders, community leaders, Memphis Mayor Henry Loeb and his assistants, and members of the Memphis City Council. About 150 individuals were interviewed.

– Amos Maki

State Archives to Appear in Somerville in June

Archivists from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum will be in Somerville June 6 to record and archive Civil War memorabilia.

The archivists are collecting the digital records and photos for a new exhibit and are visiting other parts of the state and region as well. The group plans to visit all 95 Tennessee counties.

Area residents can meet with the archivists at the Somerville-Fayette County Public Library, 216 W. Market St., from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on June 6.

The archivists will scan or take digital photos of the items and return them to their owners at the library after doing so. They will also give those bringing items a copy of the photos they take and offer tips on how to better preserve the items.

To make a reservation with the archivists call 615-741-1883 or email civilwar.tsla@tn.gov. Reservation forms and a list of available appointment times are on the Secretary of State’s website at http://tn.gov/tsla/cwtn/cwtn_events.htm.

– Bill Dries

Scenic Tennessee Launches Anti-Litter Campaign

The nonprofit group Scenic Tennessee is promoting an anti-litter campaign that combines music, scenic photography and community cleanups with online videos and social networking.

The effort begins Saturday, June 1, with a month-long Pickin’ Up Tennessee tour designed to drive home the campaign’s message: Love the land. Lose the litter.

Pickin’ Up Tennessee has enlisted musicians in 20 tour locations to provide a soundtrack for the campaign. Organizers are now seeking volunteers for the cleanups.

According to the Tennessee Department of Transportation, last fiscal year more than 23 million pounds of litter were collected from Tennessee’s county, state route and interstate roadsides.

The schedule of events is at www.PickinUpTN.org.

– The Associated Press

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