CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM-MANDELA
Rights museum president: Mandela a 'great soldier'
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - National Civil Rights Museum President Beverly C. Robertson says the death of Nelson Mandela is the loss of "a great soldier and a courageous leader."
Robertson said in a news release Thursday night the museum honored Mandela in 2000 with the Freedom Award for "his tremendous impact on human rights for Africans, but also for people throughout the world."
Robertson said Mandela cried when he visited the museum and noted he was moved by the tribute to the civil rights movement and the Rev. Martin Luther King, who was killed in 1968 at the Lorraine Motel, where the museum was later established.
Robertson said, "We are saddened by his transition, but we will forever remember his sacrifice and contribution."
State of emergency declared for Tenn. winter storm
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A state of emergency is being declared in anticipation of a winter storm forecast Friday in the western and middle parts of Tennessee.
Tennessee Emergency Management Agency spokesman Jeremy Heidt said Thursday that the forecast includes freezing rain and ice that could lead to downed trees and power lines. Flooding could occur through the weekend.
The noon CST emergency declaration allows for increased staffing levels among emergency responders and staff.
In Shelby County, Mayor Mark Luttrell is reminding residents to check on family and friends who are elderly, disabled or live alone. Officials are monitoring road conditions.
Motorists should check their cars' tires, windshield wipers and antifreeze levels.
Charity gets surplus food from Vols football games
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Thousands of pounds of surplus food from Tennessee home football games have gone to charity.
Tennessee announced Thursday through a university release that 3,710 pounds of unused food from Neyland Stadium was donated to Second Harvest Food Bank during the 2013 football season.
Surplus food from Neyland Stadium concessions started going to charity at the beginning of the 2012 season. This season's Nov. 23 home finale against Vanderbilt marked the first time that unused food from the Neyland Stadium skyboxes also was donated. UT Recycling, in partnership with the UT Food Recovery Network and ARAMARK, donated 606 pounds of unused food from the skyboxes to Second Harvest after the Vanderbilt game.
The possibility of donating unused food from other catered events around campus is under discussion.
Regents approve new Cleveland State president
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Board of Regents has unanimously approved William Seymour to be the next president of Cleveland State Community College.
The board voted Thursday at its quarterly board meeting in Nashville following a recommendation from TBR Chancellor John Morgan.
Seymour will assume his new role on Jan. 2. He replaces Carl Hite, who will retire at the end of the year after leading Cleveland State for 17 years.
Seymour currently serves as vice president for institutional advancement at Jackson State Community College.
The Board of Regents oversees six state universities, 13 community colleges and 27 colleges of applied technology.
METH REMEDIATION CONTRACTOR
Trial date for indicted Tenn. meth home cleaner
JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) - A trial date has been set in the case of a Tennessee contractor charged with illegally certifying that homes where methamphetamine was produced were livable again.
Chief U.S. District Judge J. Daniel Breen set a June 2 trial date for Douglas Earl McCasland in federal court in Jackson on Thursday. McCasland has pleaded not guilty to charges of mail fraud and making false statements regarding the proper remediation of houses where meth had been made.
Under state law, all harmful meth residues must be removed from a house before people can live in it again. Contaminated homes are placed on a state quarantine list until they are certified for re-habitation.
An indictment says McCasland failed to properly clean the homes, then illegally cleared them for re-habitation.
UT FRATERNITY CLOSED
2 students arrested for harassment in hazing case
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Two students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, have been arrested on charges of harassing a fellow student who reported hazing at the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports David Baird of Hendersonville was booked into the Knox County jail on Thursday. Kelby Cowan of Brentwood was arrested Tuesday. Both were released Thursday on a $2,000 bond each.
Baird and Cowan are accused on sending threatening, profanity-laced text messages to Andrew Preston, according to an arrest warrant. Neither Cowan nor Baird had a listed phone number.
The messages were sent Nov. 23, a day after the hazing was reported to police.
Last week, Pi Kappa Phi's national organization said it would close the UT chapter, which already was on disciplinary probation after a spring hazing incident.
FedEx to raise ground and home delivery rates
NEW YORK (AP) - FedEx will raise its FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery rates in January in addition to raising express shipping rates.
The Memphis, Tenn., company says ground and home delivery rates will increased by an average of 4.9 percent on Jan. 6. FedEx SmartPost rates will also change. Details of new surcharges and rates will be posted to the company's website on Friday.
In September FedEx Corp. said it would raise FedEx Express shipping rates by 3.9 percent on average. That change will also take effect Jan. 6.
FedEx Corp. shares fell 49 cents to $138.22 on Thursday.
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