Local News

Man Charged Following Auto-Bike Incident

Thursday 26 June 2008A local man has been arrested after allegedly terrorizing a bicyclist. Anthony John Valerio age 37 of Greenbrier Street in Woodbury was arrested by the Cannon County Sheriff’s Department after he reportedly came close to striking the biker on Old Murfreesboro Road. When the bicyclist confronted the man about nearly hitting him Valerio allegedly slammed on his brakes and caused the victim to slam into the back of his car and land on the hood. The biker allegedly then bounced off the trunk and landed on the roadway. Officers immediately swore out warrants for Valerio after being notified of the incident and charged him with felony reckless endangerment by use of a motor vehicle and failure to allow appropriate space for a bicyclist to ride on a roadway. The victim was not seriously injured during the incident. Valerio is currently free on $3 000.00 bond and will appear before General Sessions Judge Susan Melton on July 1 2008.

Budget For County Government Continues To Take Shape

Wednesday 25 June 2008The Cannon County Commission’s budget committee continued working toward their goal of cutting spending in the proposed 2008-2009 county budget this week. Members met in an attempt to find more places to cut to reduce spending. During the meeting members made more cuts in the proposed budgets of the sheriff’s department jail and ambulance service. The main areas of cuts in the sheriff’s budget were in the overtime pay and repair of vehicles line items. Members trimmed an additional $15 000.00 off the sheriff’s department budget with those cuts. They also reduced food and utility funds at the jail. Those cuts totaled about $8 000.00. In addition members cut $1 500.00 from the ambulance service in the drugs and medical supplies line item. Members discussed the possibility of reducing ambulance service employee pay raises from 5 to 3 percent a move which would save the county about $30 000.00. Other county employees are only receiving a 3 percent raise this year but last year ambulance workers only received a 3 percent pay raise while other county employees received a 5 percent raise. Members discussed the option of reducing the raise to 3 percent and offering ambulance service employees a one-time bonus of between $250.00 and $500.00. That option was not formally acted on by the committee. Members still have a lot of work to do as they try to cut out almost $60 000.00 more from the budget. They acknowledged that they just don’t know where else to cut and they said they believe the budget has been trimmed about all it can be. They said they will have to look hard to find more cuts. As it stands members anticipate the county spending almost $260 000.00 more than it will take in. That equates to about a 14 cent property tax increase. That figure does not include the 16 cent property tax increase requested by the Board of Education. Members have said throughout the entire process that they are trying as hard as they can to avoid a tax increase this year due to the hard financial times that most homeowners find themselves in. To balance the general fund members have stated on numerous occasions they will probably take money from the general fund balance which currently stands at just under 1.17 million dollars. Members say they feel safe in doing that partly because last year at this time members expected the fund balance to be just over $970 000.00 and it actually ended up being about $200 000.00 more. Members believe that there will still be a healthy fund balance next year even if they take from it to balance this budget. Members have just about wrapped up their work this year and are close to having a budget ready to present to the full commission. Another meeting or two is planned within the couple of weeks to clean up some figures and make final cuts and decisions. The dates of those meetings has not yet been determined. Members believe it is probable they will have a budget ready for the full commission to act on at their July 19th regular meeting.

Cannon County Part Of Operation FALCON

Tuesday 24 June 2008Top photo: Joanne Johnson and Edward Johnson middle photo: view of one of the grow rooms bottom photo: officers pause before collecting evidence. Local law enforcement officials teamed with U.S. Marshals in an operation designed to make our communities a safer place to live. Operation FALCON 2008 (Federal And Local Cops Organized Nationally) teams spread out across 32 middle Tennessee counties to target and arrest violent felons and sex offenders. During the 7 day period (June 15th -21st) 802 fugitives have been apprehended and 1 382 warrants were cleared. In Cannon County more than individuals were collected. On June 20th Operation FALCON deputies were searching for wanted man Jim Thomas Flesher in Cannon County. Flesher is wanted for possession of methamphetamines assault on a police officer and Theft. When officers approached an outbuilding to a residence of Edward and Joanne Johnson on Big Hill Road they noticed the strong smell of marijuana. A search warrant was obtained and a large underground marijuana grow operation was discovered. Two rooms had been excavated under the shop building where 134 plants were growing. Inside the rooms were grow lights a sophisticated ventilation system and voltage transformers. The ceiling was supported by 10 inch beams made from logs. The rooms were accessed by a concealed hole in the floor. The estimated street value of the marijuana is $250 000.00. Arrested were residents Edward Johnson age 55 and Joann Johnson age 42. The Johnsons are charged with Manufacture of Marijuana and Possession for resale and maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of keeping selling or manufacturing marijuana. Locally the U.S. Marshal’s office teamed with Cannon County Sheriff’s Office Woodbury Police Department Cannon County Emergency Management Office and other agencies assisted.

Safety Checkpoints Scheduled This Weekend

Monday 23 June 2008The Woodbury Police Dept. will conduct safety and sobriety checkpoints on Friday June 27th and Saturday June 28th. The goal of the police department is to keep the highways free of drunk and impaired drivers and to insure the safety of all drivers and passengers. The officers of the police department will be paid through grant funds provided by the Governors Highway Safety Office.

Chamber Of Commerce Hosts Funding Event

Monday 23 June 2008 Community leaders business owners elected officials are all invited to join the Historic Cannon County Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday July 15 for Show Me The Money! This panel discussion and luncheon is designed to take the mystery out of obtaining grant and loan funding from federal and state agencies. This free event sponsored by the Cannon County Chamber in conjunction with TVA and Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Cooperative gives you a chance to hear from and visit with leading professionals and members of economic development agencies. These guests work to provide funding and/or technical assistance necessary to expand existing business industry and organizations or recruit new business and industry. Entrepreneurs who wish to start a small business or expand a growing company will gain valuable information during this event. The first panel discussions begin at 10:30 a.m. The event will end at 12:45 p.m. including a break for complimentary lunch. The morning panel features experts who will help you focus on methods to create and develop small businesses: • Myra Fisher from the Small Business Administration will share her expertise in financial incentives for smaller businesses • Wisty Pender from the Tennessee Department for Economic and Community Development will provide information on the ECD/BERO micro-loan as a low risk means to procure new capital. • Joe Woody of the USDA will discuss various loan and grant programs for rural economic development. • Jim Clark from Farm Credit Services will explain the organizations’ commitment to economic development. Additionally MMA Creative a strategic marketing firm with offices in Cookeville and Nashville will discuss how to prioritize marketing and advertising budgets to ensure the best results. The firm consults with hundreds of businesses organizations and communities annually in all aspects of marketing from branding to marketing plans to web design and is currently partnering with TVA and USDA-RD on economic development initiatives. The lunch panel includes discussion on funding options for business and industry by: • Rachel Crickmar of TVA • Andy Duncan key account coordinator for Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Cooperative • Joe Woody USDA • Ron Hammondtree Workforce Employer Outreach Committee • Tracy Childress Three-Star ECD and • Don Rigsby Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development The event will take place at the Cannon County Senior Center at 609 Lehman Street in Woodbury. To R.S.V.P. or for more information call 615.563.2222 or e-mail dcombs@wbry.com.

More State Employees Then Originally Planned Offered Buyout Packages

Monday 23 June 2008The number of employees the state hopes to shed through voluntary buyout offers has gone up by 12-and-a-half percent. Governor Phil Bredesen's original target was to eliminate two-thousand-eleven workers. That number has now increased to a goal of cutting two-thousand-277 state employees. Bredesen says that's necessary in order to save enough money on a recurring basis. Last week 12-thousand workers were offered the buyouts. They've got until early August to accept the state's offer. Bredesen is confident that the buyouts will work. He says if anything he's heard from people who are upset because they weren't offered the buyout packages.

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