Local News

Weekend of Home Basketball !

Friday, 17 December 2010

In prep basketball last night, Cannon County Lionettes defeated Coffee County by a score of 43 to 39. In the boys game, Cannon 75 to 57 over Coffee.

Tonight at 6, the Lionettes play host to Columbia Central and the Lions will host LaVergne at 7:30. WBRY encourages you to attend the games and support our teams. If you can’t make the game, Keith Ready will have the play-by-play on your station for the Lions and the Lionettes, FM 96.7, AM 1540, WBRY.

Gordon Finishes Congressional Career at a Sprint

Friday, 17 December 2010

After announcing his intent to retire from Congress last December, Congressman Bart Gordon capped off a distinguished career in office with a productive 26th year in Congress.

“Looking back on the past 26 years, the beliefs I brought with me from Tennessee to Congress are the same ones that I am leaving with,” Gordon said. “I have always believed the best way to get things done is by working together with civility, cooperation and common sense. My experience has taught me no party has a monopoly on good ideas.”

The son of a farmer and schoolteacher, Gordon was named chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee in 2007, becoming Tennessee’s first full committee chairman in 30 years.

This year, Gordon passed a reauthorization of his landmark bill, the America COMPETES Act, through the House of Representatives and Senate. The bill protects America’s economic competitiveness by investing in science, technology, engineering and math education and research. Gordon also used his leadership to shepherd through new bills to support nuclear energy research and improve the country’s response to oil spills.
Gordon continued to draw inspiration from constituents. A national leader in the fight against meth, Bart authored the Combat Methamphetamine Enhancement Act to make it harder for meth producers to access the materials they need to make the dangerous drug.

“My best ideas have always come from home,” Gordon said. “Over the years, insight from Middle Tennesseans has helped to ensure workers keep their jobs while managing a family emergency, reform the student loan system to save taxpayers millions of dollars and help more students afford college, and put America on the path to energy independence.”

Helping constituents cut through red tape has been one of Gordon’s top priorities throughout his time in office. With the help of his staff in Murfreesboro, Gallatin and Cookeville, Gordon has continued to ensure local veterans receive the benefits they deserve and helped them obtain the medals they earned during their service to our country. He has helped local schools and community programs work through the federal grants process and assisted thousands of individuals to resolve issues with Social Security, disability and other needed benefits.

Gordon thanked his constituents for their support and inspiration over the years, and encouraged them to stay engaged in the work of Congress when Congressman-elect Diane Black transitions into the office on January 3rd, 2011.

“Throughout the past 26 years, your thoughtful advice has provided inspiration and guided my every decision,” Gordon said to constituents.

Educated in Rutherford County public schools, Gordon graduated with honors from Middle Tennessee State University in 1971 and later received his law degree from the University of Tennessee. He served in the Army Reserves from 1971-1972. Gordon is married to Leslie Peyton Gordon, who is a partner with Korn/Ferry International, and they have one daughter.

Lights On For Life Kicks Off Holiday Lifesavers Weekend

Friday, 17 December 2010

The Tennessee Highway Patrol will combine forces with other state and local law enforcement agencies around the country for this year’s “Lights on for Life Day”, held Friday, December 17. “Lights on for Life” is a symbolic headlight observance designed to focus attention on the impaired driving issue and remember those who have lost their lives due to drunk drivers.

Lights on for Life Dayis the lead-in event for “National Holiday Lifesaver Weekend,” a three-day DUI enforcement campaign from December 17 through December 19. This program, which is sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Sheriff’s Association, has been conducted every year since 1991 and always falls on the weekend prior to Christmas.

Sobriety checkpoints and driver license checkpoints will be conducted in counties throughout the state this weekend and throughout the holidays. Tennessee law allows fines of up to $1,500 and a maximum of 12 months in jail for first time DUI offenders. Multiple offenders can be sentenced to jail for up to six years and may be ordered to pay fines of as much as $15,000.

In 2009, 303 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in Tennessee that involved a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) greater than .08, the legal limit. That represented 31 percent of the state’s 989 traffic fatalities. Nationally, 10,839 people died in crashes that involved a drunk driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .08 or higher in 2009.

As of December 15, preliminary statistics indicate that 994 people have died on Tennessee roadways in 2010, an increase of 48 deaths compared to 946 fatalities at this same time a year ago. Traffic fatalities in Tennessee declined more than 23 percent over a four year period (2006-2009).

TDOT Formally Opens New McMinnville Bridge in Warren County

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

After the ceremony, several persons in attendance walked across the new bridge.

Tennessee Department of Transportation representatives joined state and local officials Wednesday morning to formally open the new bridge on State Route-286 over the Barren Fork River in McMinnville, known to locals as the Westwood Bridge.

The new concrete bridge replaces an 80-year old high steel truss bridge that, at only 20 feet wide, was too narrow to adequately handle today's traffic volumes. In September 2009, TDOT began construction of the new structure, which was designed in-house by TDOT Structures Division personnel and is approximately 800 feet long and 44 feet wide with sidewalks on both sides.

"I am pleased to be here today to represent Deputy Governor Gerald Nicely," said TDOT Region Two Director Ray Rucker. "We are extremely happy with the way this project has turned out, and we want to thank the contractor for doing such a quick and efficient job and the citizens of McMinnville for being patient while this project was under construction."

Also present at today's event were Senator Eric Stewart and Representative Judd Matheny, who were instrumental in getting funding to move this project forward.

"This is a great day for the citizens of McMinnville," said Senator Stewart. "I am pleased to be here to help celebrate the opening of the new bridge, which will improve access and safety along this busy corridor."

The contractor on the $4.1 million project is Simpson Construction Co. of Cleveland, Tennessee. The project had an original completion date of May 31, 2011, but the contractor was able to complete the project early. For the early completion, the contractor will receive a full incentive bonus of $210,000.

Simpson Construction is also the contractor for another important bridge project currently underway in McMinnville. The $5.4 million project to replace the bridge on SR-56 over the Barren Fork River, locally known as the Beersheba Street Bridge, is slated for completion by the end of 2011.

TDOS Announces 1.5 Million Registered Organ and Tissue Donors

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The number of registered organ and tissue donors in Tennessee has reached the 1.5 million mark, it was announced today by the Donate Life Tennessee Organ & Tissue Donor Registry and the Tennessee Department of Safety (TDOS).

“It was only three years ago that Tennessee Department of Safety and Donate Life Tennessee teamed up for this effort by making donor registration available to every Tennessean who renews their driver license or I.D. card. Our team effort has been a great success in reaching this milestone, but there are millions more out there who still need to check “Yes!” and potentially save someone’s life,” stated Tennessee Department of Safety Driver Services Director Michael Hogan.

This is a significant milestone in the history of the Registry and indicates Tennesseans understand the critical need for organ and tissue donors. Those who have registered provide hope to those currently awaiting a transplant. While this number is significant, Donate Life Tennessee continues to educate and encourage more Tennesseans to register so the greatest number of lives can be saved.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Department of Safety for their tireless support of the Donor Registry,” said Lisa Clark, Department of Safety Liaison with Tennessee Donor Services “Over 98 percent of people who register to donate do it at Department of Safety Driver Service Centers. Because the agency is committed to asking customers about registering as donors, people are saying ‘Yes’ and lives are being saved.”

The number of registered donors is especially important in the face of the need for donated organs in Tennessee. Of the more than 109,000 patients currently registered on the national organ transplant waiting list, over 2,400 are in Tennessee.

Although Donate Life Tennessee has steadily increased the number of registered donors at a rate of 14 percent per year, a relatively low percentage of Tennesseans choose to do so. In 2010, only 33 percent of TDOS customers applying for or renewing their drivers’ licenses and ID cards checked ‘Yes’ on their forms to register as donors, ranking in the bottom third in the nation. In addition, of the 4 million adults in Tennessee, only 27 percent have signed up to be organ and tissue donors. The goal is to have 50 percent of licensed drivers in Tennessee as registered donors.

Despite the state’s lower donor registration rates, the Donate Life Tennessee Registry plays an increasingly essential role in saving and healing Tennesseans in need of organ and tissue transplants. Since the registry was introduced in 2008, donors who had registered prior to death have saved and healed the lives of over 23,000 patients through organ, eye and tissue donation. In 2009 alone, 69 registered organ donors and 327 registered eye and tissue donors gave the gift of life. A listing of the number of Americans and Tennesseans waiting for a life saving transplant is provided on a separate page below.

Tennesseans can register to be a donor at any TDOS Driver License Center or with Donate Life Tennessee at www.tndonorregistry.org. For those who have previously registered as a donor through TDOS, Donate Life Tennessee will help them fulfill their desire to donate by adding them to the Tennessee Organ and Tissue Donor Registry. State law requires that every time an applicant renews a driver license, he or she must mark YES on the application to be a registered donor.

Donate Life Tennessee is the nonprofit, state-authorized organ and tissue donor registry which records the decision to donate in a secure, confidential database that is searched by authorized organ and tissue recovery personnel at the time of an actual donation opportunity. It is administered by Tennessee’s two organ recovery organizations: Tennessee Donor Services and Mid-South Transplant Foundation. The Donate Life Registry assures that all personal information is kept confidential and stored in a secure database, accessible only to authorized OPO personnel.

For more information or to register as a donor, please visit www.TnDonorRegistry.org.

Take Precautions During Winter Weather

Monday, 13 December 2010

Winter won’t officially arrive until December 21, but parts of Tennessee are already experiencing cold, hazardous weather. The Department of Health is reminding Tennesseans to take common-sense precautions to stay safe and healthy during cold weather.

“We know school children may look forward to snow days, but we want to remind Tennesseans that winter weather with temperatures below freezing can be dangerous or even deadly,” said Health Commissioner Susan R. Cooper, MSN, RN. “We want people to take the needed precautions to protect themselves from extreme cold, and we urge Tennesseans to check on loved ones who may be more susceptible to the low temperatures. Families should review and update their plans for transportation and child care when schools are dismissed for snow.”

When exposed to cold temperatures, the human body begins to lose heat faster than it can produce it. Prolonged exposure to cold will eventually use up the body’s stored energy. The result is hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature. Hypothermia affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well. Hypothermia is particularly dangerous because a person may not know it is happening and may not be able to do anything about it. Hypothermia is most likely to occur at very cold temperatures, but can occur even at temperatures above 40° F if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat or submersion in cold water.

Frostbite is an injury to the body caused by freezing, and results in a loss of feeling and color in affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and severe cases can lead to amputation. The risk of frostbite is increased in people with reduced blood circulation and among people who are not dressed properly for extremely cold temperatures.

Cold weather also puts an extra strain on the heart. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s advice about shoveling snow, chopping wood or performing other hard work in the cold. Otherwise, if you have to do tiring outdoor chores, dress warmly and work slowly. Remember your body is already working hard just to stay warm, so don’t overdo it.

The following tips will help keep you and your family safe and healthy during extremely cold weather:

• Try to stay indoors when weather is extremely cold, especially if winds are high. If you must go outdoors, make trips outside as brief as possible.
• When going outside during very cold weather, adults and children should wear:
○ a hat
○ a scarf or knit mask to cover face and mouth
○ sleeves that are snug at the wrist
○ mittens (they’re warmer than gloves)
○ a water-resistant coat and boots
○ several layers of loose-fitting clothing
• Be sure the outer layer of your clothing is tightly woven to reduce body heat loss caused by wind. Wind-resistant fabrics are best. Wool, silk or polypropylene inner layers of clothing will hold more body heat than cotton.
• Stay dry, as wet clothing chills the body rapidly. Excess sweating will increase heat loss, so remove extra layers of clothing whenever you feel too warm.
• Avoid getting gasoline or alcohol on your skin while fueling and deicing your car or using a snow blower. These substances in contact with the skin greatly increase heat loss from the body.
• Do not ignore shivering. It’s an important first sign that the body is losing heat. Persistent shivering is a signal to return indoors.
• Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages, which cause your body to lose heat more rapidly. Alcohol can also impair judgment and lead to ignoring signs of cold stress on the body.
Walking on ice is also extremely dangerous. Many cold weather injuries result from falls on ice-covered sidewalks, steps, driveways and porches. Keep your steps and walkways as free of ice as possible by using rock salt or another chemical deicing compound. Sand or even cat litter may also be used on walkways to reduce the risk of slipping.
The State of Tennessee has many resources available to help keep you safe and healthy during winter weather.
• Winter driving tips: www.tdot.state.tn.us/mediaroom/snowbuster.htm
• Safe home heating: http://news.tennesseeanytime.org/node/6431
• Home energy assistance: www.tennessee.gov/humanserv/adfam/afs_hea.html

For more information on staying healthy during extreme cold weather, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site at www.cdc.gov/Features/WinterWeather/.


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