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VOL. 132 | NO. 95 | Friday, May 12, 2017

Daily Digest

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Airbnb, City of Memphis Reach Tax Agreement

Airbnb has announced it has entered into a tax agreement with the city of Memphis to collect and remit taxes on behalf of its Memphis hosts.

The agreement, which will take effect June 1, will automatically collect and remit local taxes for all Airbnb bookings in Memphis, including a 3.5 percent Memphis Short Term Room Occupancy Tax as well as a Tourism Improvement District Assessment of $2 per bedroom per night.

“It’s important to our administration that government be able to work seamlessly with businesses and residents, and this agreement is evidence of that,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland in a written statement.

Though this partnership is common in many cities across the world, it is the first of its kind in Tennessee.

“Home sharing is introducing a whole new world of travelers to the authenticity of Memphis while offering a unique economic opportunity for hundreds of Memphis residents,” said Laura Spanjian, Tennessee policy director for Airbnb. “We are so proud to have collaborated on this deal, which will unlock new annual tax revenue for Memphis.”

Around 300 Memphis residents share their homes on the Airbnb platform, according to the company, which said these homeowners hosted roughly 40,000 guests and earned $3.9 million in supplemental income in 2016.

During the Beale Street Music Festival, Airbnb hosts welcomed an additional 1,700 guests to the city and the company projected a $1 million economic impact for Memphis based on host income and guest spending with local merchants during the festival.

– Patrick Lantrip

Two SCS Teachers to Attend Summer Learning Programs

GP Memphis Cellulose has announced its 2017 teacher development program awardees who will participate in company-sponsored summer learning programs.

Luanne Pyron, a third-grade teacher at Arlington Elementary School, was selected to attend Keystone Science School’s 2017 “Key Issues Institute: Bringing Environmental Issues to the Classroom,” this summer in Silverthorne, Colorado. And Nastasia Dangerfield, an eighth-grade teacher at Woodstock Middle School, has been selected to attend The Bill of Rights Institute’s 2017 “Founder’s Fellowship” program this July in Washington, D.C.

Through the GP Foundation, all or part of the teachers’ expenses will be covered, including travel, lodging and meals. Following their respective learning programs, teachers receive hands-on curriculum tailored to fit the needs of their classroom students.

The Key Issues Institute brings together educators from around the world for an interactive 4 1/2 -day workshop to help teachers of all subjects bring environmental issues and STEM-based learning (science, technology, engineering and math) to the classroom. The Founder’s Fellowship program provides training and tools for social studies teachers in grades 7-12 to help educate students about America’s founders, their ideals and economic and civil liberties.

“Georgia-Pacific recognizes that an investment in our teachers is an investment in our communities,” said Chuck LaPorte, mill manager, GP Memphis Cellulose. “We are proud to support these programs that offer unique learning opportunities for teachers and provides them access to creative tools that bring learning to life in the classroom.”

Since 2015, the GP Foundation has sponsored seven teachers from Shelby County Schools and Arlington Community Schools to participate in summer development programs.

– Daily News staff

Mama Gaia Restaurant Announces New Location

Mama Gaia, a fast-casual organic vegetarian restaurant that opened its first location at Crosstown Concourse, has announced a second location.

Mama Gaia will operate the cafe inside Ballet Memphis’ new headquarters set to open this summer in Overton Square. Open to the general public, the cafe will offer a select food menu each day, including breakfast items as well as coffee drinks, wine and beer.

Created and owned by Philipp and Cru Peri von Holtzendorff-Fehling, Mama Gaia opened its first location in March in the concourse.

– Andy Meek

NASCAR Race Returns To Memphis on June 3

NASCAR driver Harrison Burton and other guests will hold a press conference Monday, May 15, at noon at Memphis International Raceway to mark the return of NASCAR to Memphis.

Burton, the 16-year-old driver of the No. 12 DEX Imaging Toyota, will test his No. 12 Toyota on the Memphis oval.

He will be joined by Pam Kendrick, president of Memphis International Raceway; his father, Jeff Burton, a NBC Sports analyst and 21-time NASCAR Cup series winner; and Kevin Kane, president and CEO of the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau, among others.

Harrison Burton won his first victory in late April at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. He is the points leader for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and will try to build on that lead when the NASCAR K&N Pro Series Memphis 125 is held on June 3.

The last NASCAR race held at Memphis International Raceway was in 2009.

– Daily News staff

MEM Forum Could Connect Contractors to Work Projects

Memphis International Airport will try to connect contractors to approximately half a billion dollars in contract opportunities on Friday, May 12, at the MEM Exchange 2017 forum.

The event will be at the Guest House at Graceland, 3600 Elvis Presley Blvd.

More than 300 individuals and businesses have registered for the forum, which will provide in-depth information about a variety of upcoming airport projects and guidance for doing business with the airport.

MEM Exchange 2017 will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will also be geared to increasing partnerships with local, minority-owned and women-owned businesses. Visit flymemphis.com for more details.

– Daily News staff

MLGW to Donate 200 Window Air Conditioners

Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division is donating 200 window air-conditioning units to qualified low-income seniors and disabled residents of Shelby County.

Neighborhood Christian Center will host a screening and application process for the free units at 785 Jackson Ave. on Tuesday, May 16, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To qualify, applicants must be a resident of Shelby County, a low-income senior age 60 or older, and without operable air conditioning. Once an individual is screened and pre-qualifies, a pre-qualification voucher will be issued to verify that the applicant has met the guidelines up to the field inspection. Field inspections will be conducted by MLGW to verify that the residence meets installation requirements.

Households are only eligible to receive an air conditioner once every three years from the MLGW “Play It Cool” program.

Applicants will need the following credentials on hand:

• Tennessee state ID or driver’s license to verify age and address.

• Most recent pay stub or Social Security Income statement to verify income.

Air conditioners will not be installed at addresses with operating units, or on residences with window bars or storm windows. MLGW field inspections will begin in late May and the installation of units will be performed by MLGW employees starting in June.

Applicants for the Play It Cool program may also contact the Neighborhood Christian Center’s hotline number at 901-881-6013 for a pre-recorded message detailing qualifications for eligibility.

– Daily News staff

Memphis Zoo Offers Peek at Baby Sloth

A new two-toed sloth will make a special appearance at the Memphis Zoo Saturday, May 13, during what is being billed as “Baby Day” at the zoo.

The 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. event is a set of talks and educational opportunities throughout the zoo highlighting babies it has welcomed in recent years. It includes talks with zoo staff and keepers who care for the animals.

The event is free with the price of general admission.

The sloth, named Baby Lua, is not yet on exhibit, but will make a brief appearance at 11:30 a.m. at the Wings of Wonder Bird Show Amphitheater.

The day begins at 10 a.m. with a chance to meet Baby Bogey, the zoo’s baby giraffe, and includes a 10:30 a.m. session with Baby Winnie, the zoo’s new hippo.

– Bill Dries

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 79 396 11,921
MORTGAGES 90 443 13,870
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 60 1,918
BUILDING PERMITS 0 784 24,948
BANKRUPTCIES 56 289 7,762
BUSINESS LICENSES 23 184 4,083
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 144 4,825
MARRIAGE LICENSES 16 81 2,625

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