MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) _ The Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was slain in 1968, will close before the end of the year to make way for a civil rights museum, officials say.

D'Army Bailey, president of the non-profit Lorraine Civil Rights Museum Foundation, said the museum is expected to open in 1991.

Memphis and Shelby County have each transferred $2.2 million, their share of the $8.8 million project, to the state.

James Earl Ray is serving 99 years in prison for slaying King as the civil rights leader stood on a balcony at the motel while in Memphis to aid striking sanitation workers.