Local News

Kennedy Honored by School System

Friday, 14 December 2018

Director of Schools with Crystal Kennedy

Crystal Kennedy, Career Technical Education Director for Cannon County and CCHS Business Teacher was named as “Employee of the Month” for December 2018 by Cannon County Schools. During the December Meeting of the Cannon County Board of Education on Thursday, December 13th, 2018, Mrs. Kennedy was recognized and presented a certificate by Cannon County Schools Director William F. Curtis for her service to her school and the Cannon County School System.  Employees are nominated by School Principals or School District Supervisors and are voted on during monthly Principal and Supervisor meetings regarding individuals who exemplify the Mission and Vision of Cannon County Schools.
Cannon County High School Principal Courtney Nichols nominated Kennedy for this honor and stated regarding this outstanding educator:
“Mrs. Kennedy developed a spreadsheet for all of the current Seniors that tracks their achievements in regards to the Ready Graduate state requirements.  Until this spreadsheet was developed by Mrs. Kennedy, the High School had nothing in place to track this information and house it in one easy to read place.  This involved tracking all classes, EPSO's (Early Post-Secondary Opportunities), ACT scores, and the ASVAB (US Military Aptitude Exam) scores.
This required a lot of work over many hours.  She did this in addition to meeting her requirements as CTE Director and Business teacher.  Crystal is always willing to take initiative and help in any way she can.”
Director of Cannon County Schools,William F. Curtis stated, “Mrs. Kennedy does an exceptional job in various ways and areas.  Her expertise as CTE Director and Business Teacher is outstanding.  However, Crystal has gone the “extra mile” to produce this document that has been shared with other school systems in the Upper Cumberland area.  I believe Crystal personifies our Mission of Cannon County Schools of ‘Preparing All Students for their Future’ by most assuredly being ‘E3 – Engaged in Excellence Every Day.’  Congratulations to Mrs. Kennedy for being an impactful ‘Team Player’ in our Cannon County Schools family for all Cannon County Students.”

Fire Marshall Urges Caution with Candels

Friday, 14 December 2018

Decorations can help turn every Scrooge into a Santa, but care must be taken to ensure that a home’s décor is fire safe. To decrease the risk of a home fire, the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) reminds consumers that popular holiday decorations, like candles and string lights, can cause tragedy when not used properly.
During the five-year period of 2013-2017 in Tennessee, candles were reported to have caused 385 residential structure fires, eight civilian deaths, 28 civilian injuriessix firefighter injuries and $13 million in fire loss, according to SFMO data.  The data also indicated that 41 percent of candle fires started in bedrooms and candles starting fires were too close to combustibles 46 percent of the time.
“Almost half of candle fires in Tennessee start because the candles were placed too close to flammable decorations,” said Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Julie Mix McPeak. “While decorations make our homes festive, they must also be placed with care. Taking a few basic precautions when decorating for the holidays could prevent fires from occurring and causing a potential tragedy.”
The SFMO encourages you to consider the following tips to ensure your holiday decorations are as safe as they are festive:

  • Use candles with caution. If possible, choose battery powered flameless candles. If you use lit candles, make sure they are in a stable holder and place them where they cannot be easily knocked over.
  • Maintain holiday lights. Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Not all holiday lights are made equal so be sure that you know whether yours are for indoor or outdoor use and use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory. Use clips, not nails, to hang lights to keep cords from getting damaged. Do not overload electrical outlets. Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe.
  • Make sure to periodically check the wires—they should not be warm to the touch.
  • Never leave holiday lights unattended. Turn off all lights when you leave or go to bed.
  • Use nonflammable decorations. Ensure all decorations are flame resistant or flame retardant. Place all decorations at least three feet from heat sources like fireplaces, space heaters, or heat vents.
  • Dispose of wrapping paper properly. Never place wrapping paper in a fireplace. This paper can cause a large fire that throws off dangerous sparks and embers that could result in a chimney fire.
  • dry tree can be a fire hazard so always “Be a Good Elf” and care for your tree. If you choose a live Christmas tree, ensure that it is watered every day and that is it promptly disposed of after the holiday. If you’re using an artificial tree, make sure it is labeled as flame retardant.
  • Keep escape routes clear. Never block exits with trees or decorations. If family or friends come in for the holiday season, ensure everyone knows two ways out of each room.
  • Working smoke alarms never go out of season. Ensure you have working smoke alarms in each sleeping area, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of your home. Many Tennessee fire departments offer smoke alarms for free as part of the “Get Alarmed, Tennessee” program. If you need alarms, call your local fire department to see what resources are offered in your area.

For more information on keeping your family fire safe this winter, visit tn.gov/fire.

New Security Program in Schools Begins Next Month

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Beginning January 3, 2019, Cannon County Schools will begin using the Raptor Visitor Management System in all schools to strengthen program of campus safety for students and faculty.  Part of keeping students and faculty safe is knowing who is in our buildings at all times, and the Raptor system will allow the system to do that.  The Raptor system will better allow us to screen visitors, contractors, and volunteers in our schools and provide with a safer environment for students and staff. 
Upon entering a district building, visitors will be asked to present an ID such as a Driver’s License, which can either be scanned or manually entered into the system.  If a parent or guardian for any reason does not have a US government-issued ID, the school staff member can use any form of identification and manually enter the person’s name into the Raptor system. The Raptor system will check to ensure that registered sexual offenders are not entering our school campuses without our knowledge.  The Raptor system checks the visitor's name and date of birth for comparison with a national database of registered sex offenders.  The registered sex offender database is the only official database checked by the Raptor system.  No other data from the ID is gathered or recorded and the information is not shared with any outside agency. Once entry is approved, Raptor will issue a badge that identifies the visitor, the date, and the purpose of his/her visit.  A visitor’s badge will not be necessary for those who visit our schools simply to drop off an item in the office or pick up paperwork. 
Director of Cannon County Schools, William F. Curtis, stated, “The safety of our students is our highest priority and the Raptor visitor management system allows us to quickly identify those that may present a danger to our students.  Thank you in advance for your understanding and your support in enhancing the school safety protocols in our district.”

Famers Approve Checkoff Program for Corn

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Corn grown in Tennessee will now be promoted on a broader scale, with the establishment of a corn checkoff program.
Tennessee corn producers voted on a statewide checkoff referendum to consider a 1 cent per bushel assessment of corn sold to support in-state promotions of corn. Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton authorized the referendum at the request of the Tennessee Corn Growers Association, the state’s largest corn organization.
“We always welcome input from our partners and industry leaders,” Commissioner Templeton said. “Tennessee farmers and landowners should have a say in determining the future of their business. We’re proud that they were given the opportunity to do so.”
Tennessee corn farmers or landowners who share in the production costs or the proceeds of the sale of corn were eligible to vote. Of the producers who cast ballots at local UT Extension offices, 63.9% supported the measure. Of 474 total votes, 303 were in favor of the checkoff.
The funds will be used to finance a program of research, education, market development, marketing, advertising, and other methods designed to promote the increased production, consumption, use, and sale of Tennessee corn products.
Assessments will begin March 1, 2019. Producers who do not want to participate may request a refund of the assessed amount within 90 days of sale.
Tennessee ranks 17 among states for corn acreage in the U.S. According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Tennessee farmers harvested approximately 740,000 acres of corn in 2017, generating more than $418 million.

Scammers Target Gift Cards

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

For scammers, the season of holiday giving is the season of taking, and Tennesseans’ hard-earned money again tops scammers’ wish lists. Unfortunately, Tennessee consumers are falling for scammers’ ploys when it comes to gift card swindles in increasing numbers. The Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network reports Tennesseans lost nearly $1 million – over $943,000 – through prepaid gift card scams in 2018, which is a 44 % increase compared to 2017 when scammers stole $653,709 from consumers.
While family, friends, and co-workers may use gift (or ‘reload’) cards to express holiday appreciation, scammers want the cards’ PIN numbers for fast cash, and they’re willing to do and say anything to get those numbers from consumers.
The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance’s Division of Consumer Affairs is warning consumers of a new and increasingly common scam where callers pretending to represent a federal or state agency contact consumers about a fictitious debt and demand payment in the form of a prepaid gift card or risk punishment. Consumers should remember that no government agency will ever demand payment in the form of a reloadable gift card.
Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Julie McPeak said; “Gift card scams are growing as thieves learn they can take advantage of unsuspecting and vulnerable consumers. I urge consumers to educate themselves in order to fight back against these unscrupulous individuals. If someone calls you demanding payment via a gift card, I urge you to hang up and report the incident to your local law enforcement authorities.”  
To help consumers avoid prepaid gift card and other holiday scams, commerce and insurance offers the numerous tips.  For more information on being a safer consumer, check this story in the local news section
If you’ve been the victim of a gift card or other holiday scam, report it to the Federal Ttade Commission.
For more information on being a savvy consumer, visit tn.gov/consumer. You can also check what scams are being reported in your area, the state, and across the country by accessing the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker.

Tennessee is 13th Deadleist State

Monday, 10 December 2018

A new report says that Tennessee is the 13th deadliest state when it comes to drug overdoses.

The CDC report says that in 2016 alone, there were 1,630 overdose deaths in Tennessee, for an average of 24.5 deaths per every 100,000 residents.
Drug overdose deaths among US residents totaled 70,237 in 2017, nearly 6,600 more than in 2016, according to a second government report.

West Virginia has the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the country.


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