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United Way of the Mid-South Free Tax Prep begins extended season

After shifting operations during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect the safety and well-being of volunteers, staff and participants, United Way of the Mid-South’s Free Tax Prep is continuing its Drive-Thru Drop-Off tax preparation for the extended season.

The aim is to “help low to moderate income families get access to any funds that will continue moving them from where they are to where they dream to be”.

The Drive-Thru Drop-Off service was created as a low-risk alternative that allows filers to submit tax return documents to process their refunds without leaving their vehicles, meeting social distancing guidelines.

Amidst the pandemic, the IRS extended the regular filing deadline to July 15th, 2020. Beginning Monday, May 11th, Free Tax Prep’s Drive-Thru Drop-Off will be open to file current year returns, prior year returns and amended returns. Participants will still need to bring all appropriate documentation.

A “Stimulus Hotline” will be activated to help individuals understand their eligibility. The hotline will also provide resources to prepare “stimulus” related returns and to check the status of the current payment. All services will be open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will be closed for holidays May 23rd, May 25th, July 3rd, and July 4th.

Dr. Kenneth S. Robinson

“The adaptability of the Free Tax Prep program allowed us to file 700 returns, generating over $600,000 in refunds during the three weeks of our Drive-Thru Drop-Off service, which temporarily closed on April 15th,” said Rev. Kenneth S. Robinson, M.D., President & CEO, United Way of the Mid-South.

“These numbers make it evident that we must continue meeting the needs of our neighbors in this versatile way, ensuring individuals are able to make the most of their refunds.”

No appointment is necessary. Individuals can call the United Way of the Mid-South Relief Call Center, ​powered by Driving The Dream​ at (888) 709-0630 for more information.

Shelby County Community Gardens Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Earlier this year, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris announced the re-establishment of the Shelby County Community Gardens program. The Community Gardens gives Shelby County residents an opportunity to garden vegetables, fruits, or flowers for free on a 100’ x 25’ plot.

Now, Harris’ office notes that “during this time, with many people staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, gardening can be a positive activity to adopt and personal escape while respecting social distancing.”

To celebrate the re-establishment of the gardens, a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held on Friday (May 1) at 9:30 a.m. Speakers include Harris and the University of Tennessee Extension Agent Dr. Chris Cooper.

The ceremony will be at 6265 Gardener Rd. and held in keeping with the  health department’s social distancing guidelines.

Tennessee legislative staffers to stop working from home

(AP) — Tennessee’s legislative staffers are being called back to work in Nashville after spending nearly six weeks working from home due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Staffers are being asked to return to Cordell Hull, the state’s legislative office building, starting May 4.

“In preparation for our return to operations at the Cordell Hull Building, your health continues to be of primary concerns to us,” said Connie Ridley, legislative administration’s director, in a Tuesday email. “Our Speakers receive regular updates from top health officials concerning conditions and will continue to provide you with relevant information.”

The Republican-dominant Legislature is scheduled to return June 1 after abruptly recessing in March because of the coronavirus. Lawmakers passed a drastically reduced spending plan for the 2020-21 fiscal year in anticipation of potential shortfalls, but they may need to tweak it further.


The building will remain largely closed to visitors and lobbyists unless they have appointments. Legislative staffers are asked to maintain social distancing guidelines and new cleaning procedures have been implemented.

Meanwhile, roughly 23,000 of the state’s employees have been instructed to remain working from home until May 26.

Shelby County Health Department COVID-19 Daily Update: April 29, 2020

Shelby County currently has 2403 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The total number of deaths in Shelby County attributed to COVID-19 is 46.

Visit the Shelby County Health Department COVID-19 webpage:

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