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Court Rules Tupelo For Digging At Elvis Presley Heights

September 23, 2006 | Other
A federal jury has awarded $120,000 in damages to a couple who sued the city of Tupelo for altering private property without permission. Bill and Linda Kinard were trying to develop 15 acres in east Tupelo into the Elvis Presley Heights Cemetery.

Bill Kinard testified that while he was away from the property in March 2004, city workers dug a trench across it, in the area to be used for the cemetery. The workers were trying to eliminate an erosion problem, said city attorney Guy Mitchell III. "They failed to get permission to go on the property," he said. "The city admitted they made a mistake. They've been trying to settle the case." The property is off East Main, near East Heights Baptist Church.

He said the Kinards would not accept less than $3 million to settle, and Mitchell called the jury award this week "more in line with the actual damage to the property." District Judge Mike Mills told the jury that the city violated the Constitution by entering the Kinards' property without their permission or a judge's order.

The jury awarded $60,000 for property damage and $30,000 each to the Kinards for psychological damage, he said. Mitchell said he did not know if the city would appeal the case, but "there may be some post-trial motions."

Attorney Jim Waide, who with Shane McLaughlin represented the Kinards, said, "Mr. Kinard still believes his business venture can be a success. He hopes the city will now work with him in developing this project, which will beautify Elvis Presley Heights and attract tourists to Tupelo."

Waide said the Kinards "felt good for the first time since this happened."
Source:Daily Journal
Mystery Rider wrote on September 24, 2006
Why would anyone want to go to Tupelo?
memoriesoftheking wrote on September 25, 2006
Tupelo is a great place to visit. First off it's the birth place of Elvis. You can visit the house he was born in and they have a wonderful museum full of Elvis artifacts from his entire life. I also visited the Tupelo Hardware Store, where Gladys bought Elvis' his first guitar, and am lucky enough to have my parents surprise me with a my own guitar from there. (Yes, they still sell guitars at the same Store.) That's just a couple of reasons why you should go to Tupelo.
hillbillycatlover wrote on September 27, 2006
Why would anyone want to go to Tupelo?? You're kidding, right?? Obviously you haven't been there ! It's amazing, and more special in my opinion than Graceland. When you actually walk in the front door of the house he was born in and played in as a child, you feel the poverty, the great odds he faced, the struggle his parents faced day in and day out to feed themselves and their new son. When Elvis hired Larry Geller to be his hairstylist and brought him to Graceland from California, he told him to go down to Tupelo and see where he was raised in order to understand him and the life he was leading. For that same reason we all should go to Tupelo. In addition, the City of Tupelo has done a wonderful job putting plaques out in front of places Elvis frequented as a child, so it's a "self-tour" that is heartwarming and so very special you come away feeling you knew him when he was that young on the brink of adolescence preparing to change the world within several years of leaving there.
MauriceColgan wrote on September 27, 2006
There's also the Mockingbird Inn B&b highly recommended by yours truly opposite the school Elvis attended before he left Tupelo for Memphis. Have breakfast outdoors and watch the humming birds and large butterflies feed on the flowers. Listen to the siren call of the Mystery Train clanking through the city in the middle of the night..not sixteen, but 113 trucks long! Stroll the streets and daydream about a young boy destined to shake the world. Visit the little house where he was born and look about at the beautiful surroundings the poor boy grew up in. I could go on and on, and usually do:-) but take it from me Tupelo is well worth a visit. Major Elvis related changes are planned. Tupelo is only 96 miles or so from Memphis
tcbndixie wrote on September 28, 2006
Hi Guys, I do enjoy reading the posts...but don't usually post...this time I had to. I agree, Tupelo is an amazing place. It's the total opposite of Graceland...the poverty of Elvis' childhood is so apparent. To walk in that little two room shanty and see how this little family lived...all they had were each other. Also, touring the sites that Elvis did as a child...eating CB's and FF's at Johnnie's Drive Inn and drinking Pepsi (I'm a Coke girl) only because that was what he use to do. I could go on...but...YES...please visit Tupelo...especially after all the sprucing up is finished. Keep on TCB!
Crawfish wrote on September 30, 2006
Hi Mystery Rider; I presume you have never been to come out with a statement like that! It is the most fantastic, magical place with the folks so friendly (almost in a time warp). I think Tupelo is a true experience all Elvis fans should go through to understand the real man and to see just what he came from. We have had fantastic times there and if you can afford the dosh and a day away from Memphis it is really worth it! "MR" if you haven't been you simply cannot ever comment on that special place!
Crawfish wrote on September 30, 2006
PS: And I so agree with Dixie, you must pop into Johnnies! But when I was in Tupelo/Memphis in April, I bought Elvis some flowers from Tupelo and put them on his grave in Memphis! Please go and experience it for yourselves!