Uncle Lou's Fried Chicken, 3633 Millbranch Rd., has been doing curbside and delivery only during COVID-19, with plans to open up the dining room June 1. (Photo: Gary S. Whitlow/GSW Enterprises)

“Unemployment Nightmares”; specially-called Commission meeting; a COVID-19 numbers note; today’s TSD Music Video Vibe: Malted Milk & Toni Green — “Take Me To The River.”


Democrats plan state-wide “Unemployment Nightmares” town hall today

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee House Democratic Caucus is holding a statewide town hall meeting — “Tennessee Unemployment Nightmares Town Hall Meeting” — to hear from and allow citizens to voice their problems regarding unemployment benefits.

The meeting is TODAY — Friday, May 22 — at 2 p.m. and will be live-streamed on The Tennessee House Democratic Caucus Facebook page and shared on other members’ pages.

“This is a chance for Tennesseans across the state to share the frustrations and horror stories they have had dealing with the Department of Labor to get the benefits that they are due,” Caucus Chair Mike Stewart said.

“The Governor needs to hear the people’s stories and maybe he will finally decide to devote the resources needed to help the people currently suffering in the State,” he added.

The Caucus recently sent a letter to Gov. Lee asking for the release of more comprehensive and timely information regarding the handling of unemployment claims.

“This (unemployment benefits) has been the number one constituent complaint from people in my district and those of my colleagues,” says State Rep. Antonio Parkinson, Caucus vice chair. “People are losing everything they own and have worked their entire lives to build.”


Tennessee reaches highest ever unemployment rate

(AP) — Tennessee reached its highest monthly unemployment rate ever in April as the state managed public safety concerns raised by the new coronavirus outbreak by closing nonessential businesses, a move that has led to more than a half-million jobless claims.

The Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development reported Thursday that the preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April was 14.7%. That represents an “unprecedented spike” of 11.4 percentage points when compared to March’s revised rate of 3.3%, the department said in a news release.

Orders from Gov. Bill Lee and city and county officials led to closings of businesses throughout Tennessee as part of the mass response to the new coronavirus outbreak. Since March 15, the number of people who have lost their jobs and have been seeking or receiving payouts from the federal and state government in Tennessee has totaled more than 532,000, the department said.

The state’s highest seasonally adjusted rate had been 12.9%, which occurred in December 1982 and January 1983, the department said. READ MORE


Take note: County Commission meets May 27

Shelby County Board of Commissioners Chairman Mark Billingsley has announced a specially called Shelby County Board of Commissioners meeting on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. at The Peabody Hotel in the Grand Ballroom.

“We will continue on a path to a responsible and balanced budget,” said Billingsley, referring to the FY 21 Shelby County budget.

“Because this is a specially-called meeting of the Commission, other issues may be addressed beyond the budget,” he said. “Addressing our priorities is critical so I will be asking that any non-essential resolutions or discussions be deferred to our regular Commission meeting slated for June 8.”

All COVID recommendations will be followed. This will be an Open Meeting and a public physical presence is discouraged due to COVID-19. The meeting will be accessible on-line, streamed, and public comment is welcomed by phone or email. Media members will be allowed to have a physical presence at the meeting, if they desire.


African Americans especially likely to know someone diagnosed with COVID-19

Results based on interviews with 1,057 US adults conducted April 16-20. The margin of error is plus-minus 4.0 percentage points for the full sample

Source: AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research


Today’s TSD Music Video Vibe: