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STATE RESPONDS TO ARRESTS OF MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

In response to federal arrests of medical professionals in Tennessee and other nearby states through the Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid (ARPO) Strike Force Takedown, the Departments of Health and Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) and the Division of TennCare have activated community-based substance abuse resources and statewide call lines to serve affected patients.
 
TDMHSAS community-based partners in affected areas include Community Anti-Drug Coalitions, Regional Overdose Prevention Specialists (ROPS), and Lifeline Peer Project team members.  They are working to notify first responders and other critical contacts of possible impacts of the clinic closures.  ROPS are also interfacing with affected patients through informational flyers and through community trainings and naloxone distribution.
 
State leaders are also preparing for additional calls and sharing information and updates with calltakers at statewide phone lines that may receive additional calls due to the clinic closures.  The impacted 24/7 hotlines include:
 
•             Tennessee REDLINE for referral to addiction treatment services: 800-889-9789
•             Statewide Crisis Line for people experiencing a mental health crisis: 855-CRISIS-1 (855-274-7471).
 
“In support of patients affected by these recent actions, we are contacting local medical providers, pharmacies, and emergency departments to discuss potential patient impact and to encourage a swift community response. The Department of Health will continue to closely partner with our fellow state agencies, to protect the health and safety of Tennesseans during this critical time,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP.
 
“With a situation like this, the fear is that an interruption in opioid pain medication may cause patients to experience some symptoms of withdrawal, and that can lead to increased risk-taking.  For people who want to seek treatment for any kind of addiction issue, call the Tennessee REDLINE (800-889-9789) which can help with referrals to substance abuse treatment resources,” said Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Marie Williams, LCSW. 
 
“The Division of TennCare has also been working with its health plans to ensure TennCare members receiving services from any of these clinics can find assistance in coordinating care for continued treatment.  Any TennCare member who needs assistance can reach out to their assigned health plan,” said Division of TennCare Director Gabe Roberts.
 
Additional Information and resources:
•             For a map with contact information for your ROPS, click this link.
•             TennCare Health Plan Contact Numbers:
o             Amerigroup: 1-800-600-4441
o             BlueCare: 1-800-468-9698
o             United Healthcare: 1-800-690-1606
o             TennCare Select: 1-800-263-5479
•             Find a directory of healthcare facilities at this link.
 

Congressman Rose Conducts Regional Town Hall

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Sixth District Congressman John Rose came home to DeKalb County Monday evening to conduct his first regional town hall meeting since being elected last November. Congressman Rose, who has a family farm in the Temperance Hall Community of DeKalb County, met with constituents and local public officials at the courthouse to outline his vision for the country and to take questions from the audience.
 
“I am about 100 days into this job and I am excited about the opportunity to represent you in Congress. I ran for this office after coming to the harsh conclusion that our generation is at risk of leaving this country worse off to the next generation than our parents left it to us. If we do that we will be the first generation in American history to do that and that is not acceptable. I ran for office out of a sincere hope that if we all work together we can turn this around,” he said.
 
Congressman Rose cited three challenges facing the country that must be addressed including attacking the national debt, relieving burdensome federal regulations on businesses, and renewing respect for the rule of law.
 
“Today our debt eclipses $22 trillion and to think that we have borrowed that much money for our children, grand children, and great grandchildren to pay back is really stunning. It’s unfathomable that we are doing that to them. That $22 trillion debt is what has been accumulated from the founding of the country until now. Unfortunately almost half of that has been amassed just in the last 10 years and it’s accumulating at a pace which is unsustainable. Just this year alone we will add another $1 trillion to that debt. We have to get control over it but the answer is not easy because frankly we have all come to depend on the federal government for a whole variety of benefits, privileges, funds, and support. If we are going to turn this around we’re going to have to make some hard choices and sacrifices,” said Congressman Rose.
 
Three areas however that should not be cut, according to the congressman, are national defense and support to veterans and senior citizens.
 
“There are some areas we can’t afford to make a significant cut. I believe we have a solemn obligation to provide for the defense of this country. I don’t think we can sacrifice there. That doesn’t mean we can’t be efficient and eliminate waste but we have to make sure we defend this country. We also have a solemn obligation to take care of the people who put their lives in harm’s way in the defense of this country and we have seniors who we have made promises to now in the sunset of their life in many cases who don’t have many options. We have to make sure we don’t pull the rug out from under them. But in other areas where we can we need to be more aggressive in cutting back on what we spend,” Congressman Rose continued.
 
“Another challenge is the burdensome regulations that our federal government places on all of us as individuals but in particular on those people who are trying to do business and create opportunity, wealth, and economic opportunity for all of us to be employed, earn a living, and provide for our families. That imposes on the success of this country”.
 
“After the 2008 financial crisis the government put in place a whole set of new regulations on banks and other financial institutions. These regulations wind up costing you money because they cost the institutions you’re dealing with an inordinate amount of money and limit what they can do. Some of those regulations were probably called for and needed to be put in place but a vast majority of them did not and believe me you are paying for it,” said Congressman Rose.
 
“As part of the reform efforts they created an entire new government agency called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and it is completely outside the control of the Congress and your elected representatives. We don’t even get to determine what their budget is. They send a memo to the Federal Reserve Board and tell them how much money they want and that board has to send them the money. That’s how little control there is. The President gets to appoint the director to a five year term and once he is in place he can’t be fired, supervised, or questioned. Its agencies like that which are beyond the control of your elected representatives and I think that is unacceptable,” added the Congressman.
 
“Another challenge is the lack or declining appreciation for the rule of law. One of the things that defines our country is that throughout its history we have adhered to the rule of law as a founding principle of this country. It is part of what distinguishes our culture and our society from so many others around the world where safety and liberty are constantly under fire. We have begun to let that principal, the rule of law erode. Where it is most dramatic is with respect to immigration. If you listen to media reports you would think we didn’t have immigration laws but the truth is we do have laws that have gone through the arduous process of being enacted. They have passed the House and Senate and been signed into law by the President. I believe once a law has been put in place in that way it deserves to be enforced. Our government officials take an oath to uphold the constitution and the laws of the United States so we shouldn’t have a choice about whether we enforce those. Our elected officials and our sworn law enforcement officers ought to be enforcing those laws but that is under attack in our country. We have to get back to a true appreciation of the rule of law. We have to defend that,” he said.
 
Congressman Rose began his remarks by talking about his family’s roots in DeKalb County.
 
“I have spent my career as a farmer and businessman and most of that time as a farmer right here in DeKalb County. My family arrived in the Lancaster community right across the county line in Smith County in 1790. It’s an unbelievable opportunity for me to be the eighth generation to farm that same land which has not been out of the family for 229 years. That is pretty remarkable. I hope to pass that on to my young son Guy who has just turned eighteen months old. Hopefully he will be the ninth generation to farm that same land,” he said.
 
“The Rose family, relative newcomers to this community got here in 1869. They moved around a little for the first four or five years but bought the Rose family farm which is in Temperance Hall in DeKalb County and that is where I have lived for most of the last 25 years. They bought that farm in 1874 and built the house that my wife and I lived in until about a year and a half ago. I share deep ties to DeKalb County and consider it to be really my home,” said Congressman Rose.
 
During the question and answer period, Congressman Rose was asked a variety of questions ranging from his views on building a wall at the US southern border with Mexico to keep out illegal immigrants, to the Green New Deal proposed by US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and US Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), and the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare).
 
“I am one who believes we should build a wall along our southern border. We have been facing this immigration problem now for decades. We have had amnesty before and then not dealt with illegal immigration at our southern border. Just in the last month we had 100,000 people come across our southern border who were not authorized to come,” said Congressman Rose.
 
“It’s important to note that in the history of the world there has been no country that has accepted more legal immigrants than the United States. We are a country of immigrants and today we accept more legal immigrants than any country in the world. Don’t let anyone shame you into believing that this country is somehow not keeping up its obligations in terms of providing a home for the world’s refugees and those who yearn for freedom because we are doing that but what we cannot continue to do is allow people to come unabated across our southern border into the country. We have to deal with that. Building a wall is not the only answer but I believe it is a critical first step and our experts at the border agree. The customs and immigration folks and border enforcement people all tell us that it works. In San Diego where we have put in place an effective wall illegal immigration is down by more than 90%. In the Rio Grande Valley where we have put in place a wall it’s been more than 95% effective in curtailing crossing at those spots. It won’t be perfect and we have to do other things like employer verification and things like that to make sure that those folks who do make it into the country are found the dealt with effectively but I believe it starts with a border wall. Going back to my farm upbringing my dad once said good fences make good neighbors. We need to enforce our laws and if anyone wants to come here to avail themselves of the freedoms and liberties that make this country so great there is a legal way to do that and that is to get in line and go through the process,” said Congressman Rose.
 
Thanks to our media partner,  WJLE
 

Child Abuse Prevention Month Brings Pinwheels

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

There are blue pinwheels blowing in the breeze all over Cannon County.  The pinwheels are planted every April in observance of Child Abuse Prevention Month.
In 2008, Prevent Child Abuse America introduced the pinwheel as the new national symbol for child abuse prevention through their Pinwheels for Prevention Campaign.  In communities across the nation, and here in Cannon County, children’s advocates will be planting blue pinwheels in April for Child Abuse Prevention Month.
The Child Advocacy Center will be planting a pinwheel garden at the Cannon County Courthouse lawn tomorrow  for the Child Abuse Prevention Month event.  The event will be held on the steps of the courthouse at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 17th.
 
“We are going to paint the courthouse lawn blue for Child Abuse Prevention Month,” said Child Advocacy Center Cannon County Coordinator Cassell Galligan-Davis.  “Each blue pinwheel represents a child abuse victim.  We are doing this to show support to child victims and adult survivors.  Victims of child abuse often do not openly share that they have been abused.  This is our way of silently showing our support of victims and survivors.”
 
By nature, the pinwheel connotes whimsy and childhood.  It is a reminder that all children deserve a happy childhood.
 
You can show your support of child abuse victims by purchasing a Pinwheel Garden.  There are three different sizes of pinwheel gardens and they can be purchased for $25, $50, or $100.  They can be purchased from Cassell Galligan-Davis at the Child Advocacy Center.  You can reach her at 615-563-9915 or cdavis@cannoncac.org.
 

TVA Grant To Bring Project To High School

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

A new grant will benefit studies at Cannon County High School.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, in partnership with Bicentennial Volunteers Incorporated (a TVA retiree organization), recently awarded Cannon County High School $4989.27 for a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education project.
 
The grant award is a part of $580,000 in competitive STEM grants awarded to 161 schools across TVA’s seven-state service territory.   Principal Courtney Nichols commented, “This grant provides a great opportunity for our students. It allows them to expand their understanding of hydrogen as a fuel source.”
 
Across the valley, educators submitted projects large and small, to further their STEM education initiatives in the classroom. The project Cannon County High School submitted will investigate hydrogen as an energy source. The students will build model hydrogen powered cars to race. The title of the grant project is H2Go.
 
The competitive grant program provided teachers an opportunity to apply for funding up to $5,000 and preference was given to grant applications that explored TVA’s primary areas of focus: environment, energy, economic and career development and community problem solving. Schools who receive grant funding must receive their power from a TVA distributor.
 
“The goal of the program was to help further STEM education across the valley,” said Rachel Crickmar, TVA Community Relations Program Manager. “We knew this program would be popular and competitive and now we’re looking forward to seeing the impact these projects have.”
 
 

Election Commission To Have New Chairman

Monday, 15 April 2019

The Cannon County Election Commission will meet today and the election of a new chairman is on the agenda.
The current chairman, Matt Studd, was not named to the local commission by the State Election Commission when it made appointments earlier this month.
The State Election Commission notified Matt Teply, Cannon County of Administrator of Elections, of the five members appointed to the local commission.
 
 They are:
• Dottie Jernigan Baskin, Republican
• Thomas W. Ganoe, Republican
• George Ronnie Orville Pittman, Republican
• Joan Banks-Shirley, Democrat
• Sue H. Patrick, Democrat
Baskin is the only new member of the local commission.
 
The State Election Commission is composed of seven members: four from the political party holding a majority of seats in the Tennessee General Assembly and three from the minority party. These individuals are elected for a term of four years. This is the only commission in Tennessee state government which is elected wholly by the Tennessee General Assembly.
 
To be eligible to serve on the State Election Commission one must be at least 25 years old, a resident of Tennessee for at least seven years, and a resident of the grand division of the state from which one seeks election for at least four years preceding the election. No more than any two members may be from the same grand division of the state.
 
The State Election Commission is responsible for appointing five county election commissioners for every county in the state. This is done on the first Monday in April in every odd-numbered year. After making such appointments, the state commissioners then monitor the activities and performance of the county election commissioners and shall remove a county election commissioner for violation of the oath of office or if that person is no longer qualified to hold the position.
 
Meeting Agenda for the Cannon County Election Commission Reorganization is this afternoon at 5:30 in the Election Commission office on Main Street.
 
 
 

April Meeting of Board of Education Covers Many Items

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Repairs, surplus equipment, tenure and more filled the agenda of the Cannon County Board of Education this week.
 
The Auburn School septic upgrade project was rebid from last month.  One bid was received and approved.  The bid of Mike Hutchins Construction for $12,800, with work to be done over summer break.
 
A mobile classroom at Short Mountain School that had been declared as surplus was advertised for sale.  One bid was received, the board approved the bid of Lela Woodin for $201.00. The building has to be removed in 30 business days.
 
Jonathan Odom and Jeran Tenpenny with the High School program addressed the Board concerning refinishing the gym floor at Cannon County High School.  The board approved seeking bids for the project.
 
Karen King addressed the Board concerning the construction of an awning in the parent pick-up area at West Side School.  A motion was made and approved so King may proceed with the project. Funds will come from West Side School.
 
Three teachers have qualified for tenure this year, Paige Holt, Wendie Gentry, and Brian Huddleston.  The board granted tenure to these 3 teachers.
 
A motion was made by Javin Fann, seconded by Brian Elrod, to have Douglas Jennings score the evaluations on Director of Schools William Curtis and make the results public at the next board meeting.  Bruce Daniel made a motion, seconded by Brian Elrod, to take action on Curtis’s evaluation in May meeting. Voting yes were Brian Elrod, Travis Turney, Bruce Daniel, and Javin Fann.  Voting no was Nathan Sanders.
 
 
Budget hearings are scheduled for April 30th at 6:30 and May 2 at 7 PM.  Both of these hearings will take place at the Central Office.
 
Mr. Curtis reminded the Board about their joint workshop with the county commission on April 16.
 
 
The next Regular Board Meeting Workshop will be at the Central Office on Monday, May 6th. The next Regular Board Meeting will be Thursday, May 9th at Woodbury Grammar School Cafeteria.
 
 

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