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VOL. 44 | NO. 29 | Friday, July 17, 2020

Gibson offering $59K for pieces of history

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Gibson is launching a global search this summer for missing shipping ledgers from 1959-1960. The ledgers contain the shipping records of all the Gibson guitars created during that year, and documents the “Golden Era” of the company’s 126-year old history.

The 1959-1960 shipping ledgers in question disappeared from Gibson’s archives around 30 years ago and may have never made the move with the company from Kalamazoo, Michigan, to Nashville.

The Gibson family is asking for assistance in recovering the ledgers, and upon validation of their authenticity and safe return will pay a $59,000 cash reward, no questions asked.

In addition, Gibson is seeking to recover pre-1970 documents, blueprints and unique Gibson historical assets. Gibson is willing to evaluate relevant items and individual rewards terms on a case-by-case basis. Gibson reserves the right to validate information and to authenticate materials as genuine articles prior to issuing rewards for pre-1970 items, which may include cash, Gibson gift cards, instruments, and experiences (conditions apply).

The 1957-1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard guitars are some of the most intrinsically valuable in history, even without a famous player attached. Only 643 of the 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard were made, and have been played by many of the world’s greatest guitarists, including Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Duane Allman, Peter Green, Gary Moore, Mike Bloomfield, Billy Gibbons, Joe Perry, Slash, Rick Nielsen, Joe Bonamassa, Don Felder and Joe Walsh.

Piedmont Natural Gas looks to raise rates

Piedmont Natural Gas has filed a request with the Tennessee Public Utility Commission to raise its base rates by 15%.

Piedmont’s last base rate adjustment was nearly nine years ago. Since 2012, Piedmont has invested approximately $600 million in the Nashville metropolitan area to build the infrastructure needed to support the community’s substantial growth, which includes an increase in population of 11.2% since 2010, and comply with federal safety regulations.

If approved, the new rates could go into effect Jan. 1, 2021, with the utility’s average residential customer experiencing a bill increase of about $11 each month, or $132 annually.

TN Arts Commission awards $5.2M+ in grants

The Tennessee Arts Commission has awarded 359 Fiscal Year 2021 annual grants totaling $5,214,158 to help fund arts and cultural activities for nonprofit arts organizations, schools, and local governments in Tennessee.

The awards are a combination of one-time funding from federal CARES Act funds distributed through the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and South Arts, an appropriation of state funds by the Tennessee General Assembly including revenue from Tennesseans who purchase specialty license plates.

Annual Grants provide funds for operating and project support to nonprofit arts organizations; local entities of government for arts programming in rural and urban counties; and schools for a variety of community-based arts learning projects and programming for children in grades PK-12.

The Annual Grants are the first of a series of grants that will be made by the Commission, which expects to award approximately 1,000 grants during FY2021 totaling up to $7.1 million. These funds have a direct impact on communities and schools across Tennessee, in both urban and rural areas.

Musicnotes, Inc. expands to Nashville

Musicnotes, Inc., which supports songwriters through legal commerce and partnering with music publishers of all sizes internationally, is expanding to Nashville.

The Nashville office will be led by Dan Ruff, director of licensing and publisher relations, and Duncan Hearn, director of marketing and design.

Musicnotes has a sizable technology staff in Madison, Wisconsin, that supports its interactive products with a full suite of mobile and desktop apps as well as music learning tools.

Musicnotes, founded in 1998, states it has long championed intellectual property rights. It recently celebrated $100 million in royalties paid to artists and songwriters.

ACS sold to Brixey & Meyer

Access Control Systems, headquartered in Nashville, has been acquired by Brixey & Meyer Capital.

ACS is a value-added distributor, system integrator and installer of access control systems which includes high-end residential and commercial automated gate systems, parking control systems, commercial security systems and surveillance systems.

Brixey & Meyer Capital currently manages eight different investments across a variety of industries and plans to add several additional investments to Fund II over the next two years.

ACS is the fifth acquisition of BMC’s second fund, the BMC Growth Fund II.

ACS was acquired from Dewayne and Allison Clayton.

“As we made the decision of choosing a buyer for the company, we felt BMC shared one very important area with ACS which was our core values,” said the Clayton’s, “the partnership with BMC will provide a significant opportunity for our employees as the company grows to the next level.”

Butler Snow joins Antiracism Alliance

Butler Snow is among more than 175 law firms to join the newly formed Law Firm Antiracism Alliance, a collaboration aimed to identify and dismantle structural or systemic racism in the law.

In joining the LFAA, Butler Snow and fellow participating firms commit “to leverage the resources of the private bar in partnership with legal services organizations to amplify the voices of communities and individuals oppressed by racism, to better use the law as a vehicle for change that benefits communities of color and to promote racial equity in the law.”

Additionally, law firms “acknowledge their ongoing responsibility to increase diversity, equitable access to opportunities and inclusion of people of color within their ranks and, in tandem with the LFAA’s pro bono efforts, the leaders of LFAA law firms are committed to examining and eliminating internal policies and practices that may perpetuate racial inequities within law firm structures.”

The LFAA aims to achieve this mission through various courses of action, including the creation of large-scale, coordinated pro bono projects that are both immediate and long-term in scope, as well as the implementation of legislative and regulatory advocacy strategies to change laws, rules, policies and practices identified by LFAA member firms.

$81M in grants to help schools reopen

The state and the Financial Stimulus Accountability Group says $81 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security funding is available through grants for K-12 schools and higher education institutions.

The funds are designated to assist with a safe reopening of schools.

The Financial Stimulus Accountability Group is a bipartisan group including Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, House Speaker Cameron Sexton, Sen. Raumesh Akbari, Sen. Bo Watson, Rep. Harold Love, Rep. Pat Marsh and Comptroller Justin Wilson.

The K-12 grants include releasing $11 million for local education agencies to support reopening efforts. An additional $50 million will be made available to support technology grants that can be used on Wi-Fi devices, laptops, or any other devices needed to support reopening.

Reopening grants are noncompetitive grants to support cohorts of districts with continuous learning plan implementation throughout the year in amounts ranging from $25,000 - $150,000 each. The District Technology grants of $50 million support district device strategies as necessary components to implement distance learning. The Tennessee Department of Education will launch a noncompetitive grant program managed through TDOE ePlan that allows for a match program.

The higher education initiative focuses $20 million in grants to public and nonprofit private higher education institutions including 2-year and 4-year public and private institutions.

These grants will be available to cover expenses associated with implementing social distancing and technological improvements for distance learning. THEC in cooperation with the Department of Finance and Administration will oversee administration of funds.

Adherehealth teams with UT College of Pharmacy

Franklin-based AdhereHealth, a medication adherence technology company, is partnering with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Pharmacy in Memphis to help keep underserved communities healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Kenneth Hohmeier, associate professor and director of Community Affairs for the College of Pharmacy, says data shows that those who are suffering the most from COVID-19 in terms of death and morbidity are those in underserved communities.

Student pharmacists are participating in a virtual experience aimed at providing outreach to low-income, elderly, disabled and high-risk patients with chronic conditions who may be in need of additional support during the outbreak. The students deliver virtual assessments to discuss social and economic challenges and offering guidance to patients remotely in an effort to connect them with the resources they need to access health and drug treatments and remain healthy.

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