Local News

Education Budget Presented To Committee

Tuesday 10 June 2008 Some students may be forced to find another way to school if the Cannon County Board of Education does not get its requested 16 cent property tax increase. That was the message delivered by the Board to the Cannon County Commission’s Budget Committee on Tuesday evening. Board members said that the rising cost of fuel and expenses have led them to conclude that busses could be shut down if the Board does not have the funds they need. The busses will cease service for the last 2 ½ months of school and will leave many students and parents searching for a way to get to school. In addition to the suspension of bus service members also told the Committee that they would have to eliminate the driver’s education program at the high school if they didn’t get more money. The two groups met and reviewed the School Board’s proposed 2008-2009 operations budget. The budget presents increased spending of over $1 000 000.00 with the bulk of that increase $717 000.00 coming out of the Board’s fund balance. Members are asking County Taxpayers to give them an additional $304 000.00 to fund raises for teachers and support staff and other budget increases. The Board told the Committee that it intended to provide support staff raises they had been denied over the last several years. Those raises would cost taxpayers over $129 000.00. In addition the Board asked for over $17 000.00 to fund a 3 percent teacher pay raise and an additional $73 000.00 to cover an increase cost in employee medical insurance. Non-certified personnel are defined as staff without a teaching certificate such as secretaries bus drivers librarians and nurses. The Board also intends to give a pay raise to cafeteria personnel. Also included in the budget is $105 000.00 to make the gym floor at Cannon County High School safer for students. Another item that received a lot of attention was a request by the Board for over $95 000.00 in order to eliminate the harvest festivals and other fundraising activities that take place throughout the school year. Board members said that the harvest festivals are a distraction and lead to a loss in instructional time and actually cost the school system more than they make. Currently each school holds a harvest festival or some other type of fundraising activity to purchase everyday supplies like copy paper and cleaning supplies. Under the proposed plan the County would give $95 000.00 to the Board and the Board would then distribute those funds to the schools eliminating the need for a harvest festival. Some Budget Committee members questioned the Board on what they referred to as rather high salaries for employees at the central office. Committee Members told the Board that some of their employees make more than the Sheriff and County Executive. The Board said that those employees had college and advanced degrees and were entitled to higher salaries. Budget Committee Members told the Board of Education the same thing they have told every official so far this year funds are tight and the people of Cannon County do not want a tax increase. Members said that household budgets were stretched to the limit and that even the slightest tax increase would not be welcome. Members did not determine what if any property tax increase amount would be given to the schools. That decision will more than likely come at the end of the process. Committee members will continue to make cuts over the next few weeks in order to trim the budget. Tuesday night’s meeting wrapped up the individual meeting portion of the committee’s work. The committee has officially met with every department head and discussed their budgets in detail. The only tasks left for the committee are to make additional cuts and then hammer out a final budget proposal to present to the full County Commission later this summer. Members are not expected to have a proposal ready by the end of the fiscal year which is June 30th. The full County Commission will meet later this month to pass a continuing budget for the County to operate on until next year’s budget is passed. Committee members did not set another meeting date following Tuesday’s meeting but one will be announced soon.

Alexander Corker Adkins Introduce Food Allergy Legislation

Monday 9 June 2008Tennessee's U.S. Senators are joining forced with a country music superstar to keep three-million children across the country safe from life-threatening food allergies. Country star Trace Adkins first raised awareness of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network while competing on "The Celebrity Apprentice." His six-year-old daughter Brianna suffers from severe food allergies. Thankfully Adkins says she's never had an attack at school. That's because her teachers and principal know how to keep her safe. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker are sponsoring legislation to develop federal food allergy guidelines for schools. Their legislation would also provide grants to local school systems so they can adopt food allergy management guidelines. Food allergies can pose a life-threatening risk to children. Experts say knowing the proper way to respond to allergy symptoms is often a matter of life or death.

State Agencies Prepare For 2008 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival

Monday 9 June 2008Every year in mid-June the city of Manchester temporarily becomes the sixth most populous city in Tennessee. It's almost time again for the annual Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival - one of the premier concerts in the nation and the Tennessee Department of Transportation and Tennessee Highway Patrol are gearing up to ensure a smooth traffic flow during the event. The 2008 Bonnaroo music festival begins on the evening of Thursday June 12 and runs through Sunday June 15 with the heaviest traffic expected on Thursday June 12. The festival which is held on a former farm in Manchester attracts over 80 000 people each year to the Coffee County area which means the area in and around Manchester will see much heavier traffic during the festival period. Travelers on I-24 as well as state routes and local roads will be impacted by the heavy volume of festival-goers. TDOT and the THP have worked closely with the City of Manchester Police Department the Coffee County Sheriff's Department and festival promoters throughout the year on a plan to efficiently handle both through traffic and vehicles entering and exiting the festival area. "Planning for the Bonnaroo event is a team effort " said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely. "TDOT has once again coordinated with multiple state and local agencies to ensure safe efficient travel during the festival for both Bonnaroo attendees as well as other motorists. Our goal is to provide festival-goers with safe and quick access to the festival site while keeping traffic moving on I-24. We have been very successful with this plan during past festivals and we expect to see the same or better results this year." All festival gates open Thursday June 12 at 6:00 a.m. State Troopers will be on the job 24 hours a day beginning Wednesday night patrolling and controlling traffic on I-24. The THP will work both on the ground and in the air using helicopters to assess the scene from above and relay important information to the marked patrol cars and motorcycles on the ground. 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 you will also find information on alternate routes.

Customers Care donates $4 000 to Cannon County REACH Program

Sunday 8 June 2008MTEMC Customers Care Inc. recently made a $4 000 donation to Cannon County REACH a nonprofit organization that administers after-school programs to give Cannon County children the opportunity to work on academic skills and to promote active learning. Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation’s Customers Care has donated $4 000 of Operation Round Up funds to the Cannon County REACH Program. The Cannon County REACH Program is a nonprofit organization created to give Cannon County children the opportunity to work on academic skills and to promote an opportunity for active learning. “We don’t get local funding so we count on these types of donations ” Cannon County REACH Executive Director Angela King said “This will help us to replenish our enrichment supplies for the coming summer months.” Operation Round Up began in November 2003 and since that time has distributed more than $2 million into the communities Middle Tennessee Electric serves. The initiative “rounds up” members’ bills to the next highest dollar with that extra change set aside for worthy causes. It is the responsibility of the Customers Care Board which is composed of seven MTEMC members to evaluate grant requests and send the money back to qualifying organizations. Incoming contributions are tracked by county so that the Customers Care Board can do its best to ensure money contributed by members in a certain county goes to that county. Any balances will be carried over each month. For more information about Customers Care and Operation Round Up log on to www.mtemc.com or call 890-9762.

New Principals Announced

Sunday 8 June 2008 The search process in Cannon County for two elementary principals has been completed. At East Side School Karen King and Robert Sain at West Side School will assume the top slots. In a release from the school system Director of Schools Dr. Edd Diden said the following “Mrs. King and Mr. Sain are qualified certified and well-suited for these positions. They will provide very effective leadership for East Side and West Side Schools. The Central Office staff and I look forward to working with them.” Mrs. King has taught elementary grades at West Side School for the past 15 years. She received her BS degree in Elementary Education from MTSU in 1992 and a Master’s degree in Instructional Leadership from TTU in 2003. Mrs. King has certifications as an elementary teacher and beginning administrator. Mrs. King also participated in the Cannon County Aspiring Administrators Program during the past school year. Mr. Sain was previously employed as a teacher/coach at Christiana Middle School in Rutherford County for two years. He taught in Cannon County in 1996-97. Additional he was a teacher/coach in Tullahoma for five years and an athletic director/coach in Georgia. Mr. Sain received his BS degree from Lipscomb University in 1994 and earned an MA degree from Union University in 1995. He completed an Educational Specialist degree at TTU in Instructional Leadership in 2002. Mr. Sain is certified as a beginning administrator.

Arraignment Day For May Grand Jury

Friday 6 June 2008Friday marked arraignment day for those defendants indicted by the May 2008 term of the Cannon County Grand Jury. Those persons arraigned during Friday’s session included: Bryan Ray Phillips for aggravated burglary theft 2 counts burglary and failure to appear Carlo Odom for 4 counts of sale of controlled substance and sale of a counterfeit controlled substance Robert Odom for sale of a controlled substance and sale of a counterfeit controlled substance Donald Reeder for 3 counts of casual exchange of a controlled substance Angel Blake for 5 counts of statutory rape Jimmy Mullins for 10 counts of rape of a child 10 counts of aggravated sexual battery 10 counts of rape and 10 counts of sexual battery Joel Lee Mashburn for 2 counts of rape of a child Lonnie Wayne Burnett for failure to appear Alicia Odom for 4 counts of sale of a controlled substance Sheila Curtis for 5 counts of TennCare Fraud James and Wilma Barrett for 3 counts of sale of a controlled substance and 2 counts of TennCare fraud Roy and Kathy Murphy for 2 counts of sale of a controlled substance Jason Odom for failure to appear Robert Michael Mason for aggravated assault criminal trespassing evading arrest indecent exposure and 2 counts of disorderly conduct Jamie Sheree Hiles for burglary of an automobile and theft over $500.00 Jonathan Alajemba for burglary and theft Carlo A. Odom for felonious possession of crack cocaine Jimmy Leon Barnes II for 2 counts of aggravated assault Tony L. McPeak for theft over $1 000.00 possession of drug paraphernalia and driving on a revoked license 4th offense Ricky James Lester for driving on a revoked license 5th offense Ryan Lee Grayson for driving on a suspended license violation of the seatbelt law and felonious possession of marijuana Ricky Cantrell for simple possession of marijuana and criminal impersonation Clayton Cochren for felony vandalism resisting arrest evading arrest and driving on a suspended license. Plea day for the defendants previously mentioned where they will officially enter pleas of guilty or not guilty to the charges will be June 27th.

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