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President Obama Authorizes Major Disaster Declaration For Four Tennessee Counties

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

The federal government today authorized a major disaster declaration for four Tennessee counties. Governor Phil Bredesen asked President Obama Monday to declare 52 counties federal disaster areas following the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that struck the state beginning Friday, April 30.

Today’s action makes federal funding available to individuals in Cheatham, Davidson, Hickman and Williamson Counties while declarations for additional Tennessee counties are expected in coming days.

As a result of the extreme weather conditions, Tennessee suffered 19 confirmed fatalities. Numerous nursing homes, apartment complexes and residences were evacuated due to rapidly rising waters and flash flooding. Water rescues and helicopter extractions were performed as flood waters continue to rush over hundreds of roads through cities, towns and neighborhoods. Many residents lost all of their possessions as homes were destroyed or sustained major damages.

“The federal government has moved quickly to assist Tennessee and I appreciate the quick action by President Obama to declare the first of what I expect will be many counties authorized for federal assistance,” said Bredesen. “In addition to the state and local resources utilized in the initial response, I know all counties impacted by these devastating storms are anxious for assistance and access to the resources of the federal government.”

Bredesen toured impacted areas of West and Middle Tennessee on Monday, May 3. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate was in Tennessee and Bredesen also spoke by phone with President Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Monday.

The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the four counties, including both individual and public assistance.

Individual assistance can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Public assistance is also available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency protective measures only at this time. In addition, federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the four designated counties can begin applying for assistance immediately by registering online at www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).

Tuesday Session of Cannon General Sessions Court

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Judge Susan Melton presided over Cannon County General Sessions Court on Tuesday. Some of the results from the various cases which appeared on the docket included:

Joseph P. Brinkley was bound over to the May, 2010 term of the Cannon County Grand Jury. He is charged with conspiracy to initiate the process to manufacture methamphetamine and initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine.

Thomas Clay Davis was bound over to the May, 2010 term of the Cannon County Grand Jury. He is charged with conspiracy to initiate the process to manufacture methamphetamine and initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine.

Jessie Lance Scott was bound over to the May, 2010 term of the Cannon County Grand Jury. He is charged with conspiracy to initiate the process to manufacture methamphetamine and initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine.

Jeremy Thomas was bound over to the May, 2010 term of the Cannon County Grand Jury. He is charged with conspiracy to initiate the process to manufacture methamphetamine and initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine.

Franklin Keith Thomas pled guilty to the charge of passing a worthless check. He was sentenced to 11 months, 29 days in the county jail. That sentence was partially suspended upon an equal amount of time on probation, serving 2 days in jail and paying the check, service charge and court costs.

Israel Murin pled guilty to the charge of failure to drive a vehicle with an ignition interlock device. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail. That sentence was suspended upon an equal amount of time on probation, paying a $50.00 fine and paying the court costs.

Aubrey Sanders pled guilty to the charge of violation of probation. His probation was revoked and he was ordered to serve his entire sentence. In another case, Sanders pled guilty to the charge of failure to register as a sex offender. He was sentenced to 11 months, 29 days in the county jail. That sentence was suspended upon an equal amount of time on supervised probation, paying the court costs and registering as a sex offender immediately.

Shawn Feinstein pled guilty to the charge of violation of probation. His probation was extended and he was ordered to serve 60 days in jail.

Darrell Frank Darda pled guilty to the charge of reckless endangerment. He was sentenced to 11 months, 29 days in the county jail. That sentence was partially suspended upon an equal amount of time on supervised probation, serving 3 days in jail, paying a $350.00 fine and paying the court costs.

David W. Parton pled guilty to the charge of violation of probation. His probation was extended and he was ordered to serve 30 days in jail.

David Seiber pled guilty to the charge of violation of probation. His probation was revoked and he was ordered to serve his entire sentence.

Danielle Goodman pled guilty to the charge of theft under $500.00. She was sentenced to 11 months, 29 days in the county jail. That sentence was suspended upon an equal amount of time on probation, paying restitution and paying the court costs.

Charles Roberts, Jr. pled guilty to the charge of assault. He was sentenced to 11 months, 29 days in the county jail. That sentence was partially suspended upon an equal amount of time on probation, serving 27 days in jail and paying the court costs. In another case, Roberts pled guilty to the charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. He was sentenced to 11 months, 29 days in the county jail. That sentence was partially suspended upon an equal amount of time on probation, paying a $150.00 fine and paying the court costs.

United Way and First Bank Announce Collaborative Effort for Flood Relief

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

The United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties and First Bank have announced a collaborative effort with the Salvation Army to aid in flood relief for the middle Tennessee area. Beginning at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, the Salvation Army will park a trailer at the First Bank building, where United Way offices are located, to collected necessities for victims of the recent flooding.

“We are pleased to be able to announce this opportunity and partnership to assist our community and surrounding communities during this time of need,” said Brian Hercules, President and CEO of United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties. “We hope to collect items that will provide support for those who are suffering and have experienced damage during this flooding.”

The truck will be parked at First Bank, located at 615 Memorial Blvd., for about two days, pending the volume of donations received and the identification of needs as they become more clarified. Those who wish to donate are encouraged to deliver the following items to the trailer between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.: bottled water, non-perishable foods, diapers, baby food and formula, cleaning supplies and other necessity items. Donations of furniture and clothing are discouraged at this time.

“Our staff wanted to help in any way we could and felt our convenient and visible location would be an ideal collection site in Murfreesboro,” said Chuck Lewis, President of First Bank.

The United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties is also accepting monetary donations that will be allocated toward a flood relief fund to aid those affected by flood damage. Checks may be made out to the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties. Please include “Flood Relief Fund” in the memo line of the check. Checks may be delivered in person to 615 Memorial Blvd., Suite 200, or mailed to P.O. Box 330056, Murfreesboro, TN, 37133. For online donations, please visit www.uwrutherford.org and follow your contribution with an e-mail to Misty.Patton@uwurtherford.org indicating that the online donation is for flood relief funding.

For more information on volunteer opportunities in the middle Tennessee area, please visit Hands on Nashville at www.hon.org.

Gordon Urges Swift Federal Assistance for Cannon County After Flooding

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Congressman Bart Gordon joined other members of the state’s congressional delegation in urging a swift federal response to the flooding that devastated Tennessee this weekend.

After contacting White House officials on Saturday, Gordon, along with members of Tennessee’s congressional delegation, urged the Administration to quickly approve Governor Phil Bredesen’s request for a federal disaster declaration. The delegation appealed for federal assistance in all categories for individuals, communities and small businesses.

Relief has been requested for 52 Tennessee counties, including 12 in Gordon’s district: Bedford, Cannon, Clay, Dekalb, Jackson, Macon, Robertson, Rutherford, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale and Wilson. Additional counties may be included later after officials take more complete damage assessments.

Gordon expressed his sympathy and support for fellow Middle Tennesseans.

“I will continue working with officials in Tennessee and Washington to help our communities recover and rebuild as quickly as possible in the coming weeks. More information should be coming soon about the kinds of federal disaster assistance that might become available. My staff will be standing ready for anyone who has questions about how to apply for assistance.

Right now, my thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost so much during these devastating storms.”

Gordon encouraged Cannon County residents affected by the flood to call their insurance agents to determine the extent of their coverage and seek help from the Red Cross or local charities while they await more information on federal assistance. Up-to-date information will be available at www.house.gov/bart.

Bredesen Requests Presidential Disaster Declaration

Monday, 3 May 2010

Governor Phil Bredesen has asked President Obama to declare 52 Tennessee Counties as federal disaster areas following the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that struck the state beginning Friday, April 30.

Should this initial request for assistance be granted, the following Tennessee counties would have access to varying levels of federal assistance programs: Cannon, DeKalb, Rutherford, Wilson and 48 other counties.

“The swift reaction from emergency first responders was exemplary during this emergency situation,” said Bredesen. “I want to thank local and state agencies that responded so quickly to evacuate, perform water rescues and assess any immediate damage and danger to the roadways.”

As a result of the extreme weather conditions, Tennessee suffered 14 confirmed fatalities. Numerous nursing homes, apartment complexes and residences were evacuated due to rapidly rising waters and flash flooding. In addition, several water rescues and helicopter extractions were performed as flood waters continue to rush over hundreds of roads through cities, towns and neighborhoods. Many residents lost all of their possessions as their homes were destroyed or sustained major damages. Currently, there are 24 shelters open statewide housing 1,282 people.

“As we turn toward recovery, my thoughts and prayers continue to be with all of those who lost loved ones or have been affected by this disaster,” said Bredesen. “I commend Tennesseans on the resiliency of their communities and their unshakable compassion to lend a helping hand. We face many obstacles and challenges in the days to come, but I am reassured to see that we are united in our efforts to help those in need.”

The state of Tennessee is requesting joint FEMA-State Preliminary Damage Assessments be conducted as soon as waters have receded enough to make reasonable determinations. The start date is projected for Monday, May 10, 2010.

Public Assistance will also be requested in all categories, including Individual Assistance – Individuals and Households Program (IHP); Disaster Unemployment Assistance; Crisis Counseling; Disaster Food Stamp Program; American Bar Association Young Lawyers Legal Aid; and Small Business Administration disaster loans.

“The state’s current budget circumstance is severe and unprecedented,” said Bredesen. “I am requesting 100 percent Federal assistance for the first 72 hours. Any aid received will assist with work and services to save lives and protect property.”

The Department of Military/Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, Department of Environment & Conservation, Department of Health, Department of Human Services, Department of Transportation, Department of Safety, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and Civil Air Patrol responded and provided emergency protective services to supplement local efforts.

Additional information about state and federal assistance for affected counties will be released as details become available.

For more updates regarding the state’s response, visit the TEMA website at www.tnema.org.

McFarlin Reviews Cases for Retirement In General Sessions Court

Monday, 3 May 2010

Rutherford County General Sessions Judge Ben Hall McFarlin, Jr. presided over Cannon County General Sessions Court on Monday. Some of the results from the various cases which appeared on the docket included:

Gary Hawkins Vinson's case was retired for 6 months. He is charged with domestic assault. The conditions of the retirement are good and lawful conduct and no assaultive behavior toward the victim or anyone. If Vinson complies with the conditions of the retirement order, his case will be dismissed without costs.

Trent Dewayne Burnett's case was retired for 12 months. He is charged with phone harassment. The conditions of the retirement order are good and lawful conduct and no contact with the victim unless it pertains to the children. If Burnett complies with the conditions of the order, his case will be dismissed without costs.

Howard Wall's case was retired for 6 months. He is charged with criminal trespass. The conditions of the retirement order are good and lawful conduct, no contact with the victim, stay off the victim's property and remove a trailer he has constructed on the property within 10 days. If Walls complies with the order, his case will be dismissed without court costs.

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