Business from across the state

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 2:04am

Statewide

• In a ruling that impacted Tennessee and 41 other states, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that cities and states can continue offering special tax breaks on municipal bonds, a practice aimed at lowering financing costs associated with public projects.

The ruling reverses a Kentucky appeals court decision deeming the act unconstitutional.

• Latest available figures show Tennessee’s unemployment rate for April was 5.4 percent, down 0.1 percent from the March rate. The April 2007 unemployment rate was 4.5 percent.

The national unemployment rate for April 2008 was 5 percent, down from the March national rate of 5.1 percent.

• According to a Government Accountability Office report released last week, the Tennessee Valley Authority is vulnerable to cyber attacks.

The report found that the public utility’s corporate network, which links with systems used to control power production, left it open to attackers.

TVA supplies power to nearly 9 million people across Tennessee and the South.

• The Dan David Foundation, based in Israel, awarded $1 million to Belle Meade resident and former vice president Al Gore for his environmental work.

According to a published report in the San Francisco Chronicle, Gore plans to donate 10 percent of the prize money to young researchers and the remainder to the Alliance for Climate Protection.

Rutherford County

• The Rutherford County Commission denied a request by developers of a proposed Bible theme park to rezone over 280 acres in the Blackman community.

The developer, SafeHarbor Holding LLC, had proposed a $175 million park for the site, a use that was supported by the local chamber.

Manchester

• Fuse TV will televise parts of the upcoming Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival providing the Coffee County event its first national TV exposure.

Now entering its seventh year, Bonnaroo attracts roughly 80,000 people for the three-day event.

Memphis

• Tunica, Miss., beat out a west Tennessee site, Millington, to become the new location of the over 150-year-old Mid-South Fair — a long time fixture in Memphis.

The 10-day fair attracts more than 300,000 visitors and has an economic impact estimated at around $19 million.

Fair officials began contemplating a move when Memphis’ Libertyland shut down three years ago.

Alcoa

• Former Chattanooga mayor Jon Kinsey, a partner in the development company Kinsey, Probasco and Hayes, will re-develop the location of aluminum giant Alcoa’s first plant in Blount County. Kinsey, who recently redeveloped the Sunsphere in Knoxville, plans a mixed-use development.

Knoxville

Online shopping channel Jewelry Television cut over 200 jobs from its roughly 1,600-employee workforce.

The company is also putting up for sale its Nashville-based Shop At Home facility, which it bought for $17 million back in 2006.

— BusinessTN staff, www.businesstn.com

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