Good morning, Nashville. As areas along the Mississippi River continue to flood, President Obama declared a state of emergency for our neighbors in Dyer, Shelby, Lake and Stewart counties. The flooding, said to be caused by heavy snowmelts in Minnesota and North Dakota, has led hundreds of folks in Memphis to evacuate to shelters and officials have closed many streets in the areas closest to the river. Meanwhile, the Army Corps of Engineers has been busy blowing holes in some of the levees to the north to hopefully lower the water levels. According to the National Weather Service, the flood is forecast to be “a lot nastier” than the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.
- Anti-Muslim bullying training for Murfreesboro. Teachers and principals in schools across Rutherford County are undergoing new training specifically aimed at preventing bullying against Muslim students. Though they estimate they’ve had about 15 reported incidents, school officials say it’s not a big problem and the training is a proactive measure.
- Pay up. The Amazon sales tax debate is up again, with several lawmakers filing a bill that hopes to force Amazon.com to charge sales tax in Tennessee once they build their two new distribution centers in Chattanooga and Bradley County. They estimate that this could bring another $8 million in revenue to the state.
- Bits & pieces. President Obama will be paying a visit to Fort Campbell tomorrow to greet soldiers coming home from Afghanistan … The MDHA just secured a $486,000 grant to assist homeless folks in Nashville, and they plan on using it to fund 50 additional shelter beds … Titans QB Chris Simms was acquitted on all charges related to his arrest last year for allegedly driving under the influence of marijuana … The Preds are shuffling things around a bit after Steve Sullivan’s Game 3 injury that is slated to keep him out of Game 4 … A Metro school bus driver appeared on Oprah for the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders and was honored for her civil rights activism.
Photo by Chris Wage.