Local News

Don't Be An Abused Elder Citizen

Thursday, 13 June 2019

As financial scammers continue targeting Tennessee’s vulnerable adults, Governor Bill Lee has proclaimed Saturday, June 15, 2019 as Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Tennessee. In anticipation of this day, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance’s (TDCI) Securities and Consumer Affairs divisions are joining other Tennessee state agencies to warn seniors and their families in order to help them avoid falling victim to identity theft, financial abuse and scams.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was created by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization of the United Nations in 2006 to bring awareness to the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of seniors. Every year, an estimated 1 in 10 older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Research suggests that as few as 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse come to the attention of authorities.
“Older adults are often victims of financial fraud and identity theft because they are vulnerable to scammers,” said TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. “This vulnerability stems from the wealth they have accumulated over their careers, their tendency to be trusting, and their increasing isolation from family, friends, and caregivers. It is our responsibility as Tennesseans to keep a watchful eye out for signs of elder financial exploitation and promptly reporting any suspicions to the appropriate party.”
TDCI offers the following tips to help residents of the Volunteer State recognize and avoid financial exploitation and fraud:
Senior Investor Tips

  • If a stranger asks for money, proceed with caution. Swindlers can take advantage of your good manners.
  • Make sure you invest with a licensed investment adviser. You can ensure a broker is licensed here.  
  • Beware of salespeople who prey upon your fears. Fear can blind your good judgement. Only invest when you have all the facts and feel comfortable.
  • Don’t be embarrassed to report fraud or abuse. Every day you delay reporting fraud or abuse is another day the scammer is spending your money and finding new victims.

Identity Theft Prevention Tips

  • Never buy from a stranger who calls or visits unannounced.
  • Shred all paperwork containing any identifying information, healthcare information, banking information, or passwords.
  • Monitor bank and credit card statements.
  • Monitor your credit report.
  • Use direct deposit for benefit checks to prevent checks from being stolen.
  • Never give your credit card, banking, Social Security number, Medicare number, or other personal information over the phone, unless you initiated the call

If you suspect that you might be a victim of securities or insurance fraud, or if you would like to file a complaint or speak with an investigator, please contact the Tennessee Securities Division – Financia Services Investigations Unit at (615) 741-5900 or visit our website. Other types of elder abuse involving abuse, neglect or exploitation should be reported to the Tennessee Department of Human Services, Adult Protective Services Unit by phone at (888) 277-8366 or by visiting https://reportadultabuse.dhs.tn.gov/.
For more consumer tips, including additional resources on identity theft and other scams, visit the TDCI Consumer Affairs Division at www.tn.gov/consumer.
To check a license of a professional regulated by the Department, go to http://verify.tn.gov/.

CASA Names New Director

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Kamille Smith

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Cannon County (CASA) has chosen a new executive director.  CASA’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to appoint Kamille Smith to serve in the role following the resignation of Lacey Buchanan, who left to pursue a career with the State of Tennessee.
In announcing Smith’s appointment, Nathan S. Nichols, Chairman of CASA’s Board of Directors said, “we are honored that someone such as Kamille has expressed a willingness to serve as our new executive director.  Her experience in public education and proven dedication to making Cannon County a safer and more welcoming place for at-risk youth makes her the ideal candidate.  Myself and the Board are excited to work with her and have full confidence in her ability to keep CASA thriving.” Nichols also thanked outgoing Executive Director Lacey Buchanan, “CASA would not be where it is today without the hard work and support of Lacey.  We will miss her and wish her the best in her new career.”  Nichols said.
Kamille comes to CASA from Cannon County High School where she spent over ten years working as a mathematics teacher.  She received her mathematics degree from Middle Tennessee State University where she also minored in education.  Additionally, she holds a Master’s Degree in education and an Ed.S in administration and supervision.  Kamille is married to Dustin Smith and has two daughters, Kelsie and Gracie.  She and her husband are also the guardians of two daughters, Lacole and Heather Wilson, and a grandbaby, Kia Cobb. “I am grateful and super excited to be the new Executive Director of CASA. I believe in the next generation and will do everything that I can to help give them the home life and the opportunities that I had.  I think that CASA is going to do great in Cannon County because I believe our small town has a lot of love and care for one another and we honestly want to make this the best place for every child.” Smith said.
Cannon County CASA, a non-profit established in 2017 through the support of Juvenile Court Judge Susan Melton and Youth Services Officer Catherine Player, trains and supervises community volunteers who advocate on behalf of children in foster care as their cases proceed through the juvenile court system. CASA’s Board of Directors is comprised of Chairman Nathan Nichols, Vice-Chairman Norma Knox, Secretary/Treasurer Sue Patrick, and members Matthew Cowan, and Donna Nichols.  

State Agencies Prepare for Bonnaroo

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

It’s festival time in Tennessee! The nationally-recognized Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival will soon take place in the city of Manchester, Tennessee. Since its beginning in 2002, the four-day, multi-stage event continues to be one of the most popular live music festivals in the country every year, attracting thousands of attendees. To fully enjoy the varied lineup of performers and musical styles that Bonnaroo has to offer, people from all over the country camp out on a 700-acre Middle Tennessee farm, making it their temporary home for four days. As in years past, tens of thousands of music lovers are expected to attend the 2019 Bonnaroo festival, which kicks off Thursday night, June 13, and winds down Sunday night, June 16.
During the Bonnaroo Festival, the area in and around Manchester sees increased traffic volume as festival-goers make their way into the festival site. As Manchester prepares to welcome a multitude of visitors, the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Tennessee Highway Patrol are gearing up for the extra traffic expected in the area. TDOT and THP are working closely with the Manchester Police Department, the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department and festival promoters to keep traffic moving on I-24 while also getting Bonnaroo attendees to their destination.
“As in past years, TDOT and THP have coordinated with local partners to make sure that traffic traveling through the Manchester area on I-24 can move efficiently, and festivalgoers are able to safely and quickly access the Bonnaroo festival site,” said TDOT Commissioner Clay Bright. “Because of advance planning, we feel certain that we can successfully minimize traffic delays throughout the weekend.”
Bonnaroo will officially open its gates on Wednesday evening June 12 at 8:00 p.m. CDT to allow adequate time for vehicles to enter the general admission campgrounds. Tennessee State Troopers will be on-the-job 24 hours a day, beginning Wednesday evening, patrolling on the ground and by air. Also, drivers should keep in mind that if they need the assistance of a state trooper while traveling anywhere in Tennessee, they can simply dial *THP (*847) from their cell phone. They will be automatically connected to the nearest THP dispatch office and the operator will send a state trooper to their location.
“The number one goal of the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) is to reduce traffic related incidents and fatalities,” said THP Colonel Dereck Stewart. “We recognize and value the importance of working closely with TDOT and our public safety partners to create a fun and safe atmosphere for those attending Bonnaroo. So, think twice if you are planning to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs and passengers do not get in a vehicle if the driver is impaired. Our Troopers and local law enforcement will be looking for reckless and impaired drivers. Remember to always wear your seatbelt, and do not drive distracted. The Tennessee Highway Patrol is devoted to reducing crashes and saving lives on Tennessee roadways.”
During Bonnaroo 2018, Troopers logged nearly 6,237 man-hours, worked one traffic crash (a non-injury -property damage crash), and wrote 1,111 citations (moving 451, non-moving 660).  All 2018 THP issued citations are listed below.
TDOT HELP units will assist with traffic management during the festival and will aid any motorists who require assistance. In addition to having HELP trucks on-site, TDOT and other agencies will be taking the following steps beginning Wednesday, June 12 through Monday, June 17:

  • Efforts will be concentrated on keeping I-24 traffic flowing.
  • Exit 111 (SR 55) will be used as the main festival exit. Exits 97, 105, 112 (temporary exit on westbound side only), 117 and 127 are alternate exits if congestion occurs on the interstate.
  • TDOT maintenance units will be posted throughout the festival region, and maintenance personnel will be on call all weekend.
  • TDOT will provide variable message signs to warn drivers of delays.
  • There will be no construction-related lane closures on I-24 near the Bonnaroo festival area between 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 12 through 7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 17.
  • Median crossovers will be guarded to prevent motorists from parking in the crossovers and blocking emergency vehicles.
  • Festival traffic will be kept in the right lane and/or on the shoulder of the interstate, allowing through traffic to utilize the left travel lane unimpeded.
  • Emergency vehicles will use county roads that will be kept at low volume.
  • Bonnaroo promoters issued early news releases to the trucking industry and other sources to alert the traveling public to festival times, location, and alternate routes.
  • Temporary communication towers are in place to improve emergency communications.

During the festival, motorists should call 511 from any mobile or land line phone for traffic updates or visit the TDOT website at www.tn.gov/tdot where they can also find information on alternate routes. From your desktop or mobile device, get the latest traffic information and live streaming SmartWay traffic cameras atwww.TNSmartWay.com/Traffic. TDOT is also on Twitter.  For statewide traffic tweets follow TN511 or for regional traffic information follow Nashville511Chattanooga511Memphis511 and Knoxville511

Farm Service Agency Election Scheduled

Monday, 10 June 2019

Donny Green

Donny Green, DeKalb/Cannon County FSA County Executive Director, announces that the nomination period for the 2019 Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Committee Election is underway. The nomination period continues through August 1, 2019.
"I encourage all producers to participate in the county committee election process by nominating candidates by the August 1 deadline," said Green. "We are counting on as much participation as possible, because county committees are an important link between the farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We have seen a trend in recent years of increased nominations of minority, beginning farmers, and women producers and we hope that will continue."
Committees apply their judgment and knowledge to make decisions on county commodity price-support loan eligibility, establishment of allotments and yields, conservation programs, disaster programs, employment and other farm program-related issues. Nationwide, there are more than 7,700 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees. Committees consist of three to 11 members who are elected by eligible local producers. Members serve three-year terms.
To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area in which the person is a candidate.
Nominees must reside in Local Administrative Area (LAA) for which they are seeking to be elected. For the 2019 Election, the DeKalb/Cannon County FSA County Committee Election will conduct an election in LAA-3, currently represented by Committee Chairperson R.V. Billings, Jr.
Below is the boundary description for LAA-3, the portions of DeKalb County described as following:
             East of Hwy. 56 South beginning at the DeKalb/Warren county line, following Hwy. 56 in a northern direction to the intersection of Highway 56 and Highway 70; south of Highway 70 East to Center Hill Lake; following Center Hill Lake north and northwest to the Caney Fork River thence to the Smith County line; south of the Smith County line and west of the Putnam County line to the White County line; west of the White County line to the Warren County line; north of the Warren County line following the county line back to Highway 56 South at the DeKalb/Warren County line.
Individuals may nominate themselves, or others, as a candidate. In addition, eligible candidates can be nominated by community-based and other organizations in the county where the election is being held before the close of the nomination period, especially groups representing socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers.  Nominations and elections are open to all eligible candidates and voters without regard to race, color, religion, nation origin, age, sex, marital status or disability.  The nomination form (FSA-669A) is available at USDA Service Centers and online at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/elections
Ballots will be mailed to all eligible voters in LAA-3 on November 4, 2019. Completed ballots must be returned, either in person or postmarked, no later December 2, 2019. For more information about FSA county committees, visit the DeKalb/Cannon County USDA Service Center or call 615-597-8225, extension 2.

First Lady Announces Tennessee Serves

Saturday, 8 June 2019

First Lady Maria Lee recently launched a new initiative, Tennessee Serves. Through this initiative, she plans to serve, highlight and mobilize Tennesseans to help one another and their communities.
One component of the mobilization effort is the Tennessee Kids Serve Summer Challenge where rising kindergarteners through sixth grade are asked to devote a portion of their summer break to service. Top participants will be invited to join the governor and first lady for a celebration at the Tennessee Residence in September.
You can learn more about Tennessee Serves and the Tennessee Kids Serve Summer Challenge by visiting tn.gov/firstlady.

DeKalb County On List For Site Funding

Saturday, 8 June 2019

DeKalb county is one of communities that Gov. Bill Lee and Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) Commissioner Bob Rolfe announced Tuesday to collectively receive more than $1.3 million in Site Development Grant funding. 
Smithville Industrial Park East, $235,080 – Marketing road and brush removal.
The grants are designed to help communities achieve Select Tennessee site certification and prepare industrial sites for economic development projects. The funding helps communities invest in infrastructure and engineering improvements on project-ready sites.
The DeKalb County grant will allow the Smithville Industrial Development Board to remove existing brush and to create a road providing access to the available industrial property at the end of Moog Boulevard, behind Tenneco and Foutch Industries, to be used for marketing purposes. 
“For communities looking to attract new industry, having shovel-ready sites is crucial,” Rolfe said. “TNECD is excited about the newest round of Site Development Grant recipients. Five of the new grantees are in rural counties that have not fully benefitted from Tennessee’s broader economic gains. Attracting industry to these communities remains one of TNECD’s utmost priorities, and I’m confident these grants will help position them to attract quality, family wage jobs.” 
The Site Development Grant program works in tandem with TNECD’s Select Tennessee Site Certification program. Since 2016, TNECD has awarded 80 Site Development Grants across the state, totaling nearly $28 million in assistance to local communities.


Subscribe to Local News