Local News

Commissioners Continue Working On Roof Funding

Saturday, 9 March 2019

A variety of topics brought folks to the commission meeting.

County commissions faced a variety of topics and a room full of constituents this week.
 
Commissioners requested several options last month on how to approach financing roofs for three of the county schools.  After a discuss of the options, questions arose concerning the wheel tax and its longevity. No financing plan was selected, instead commissioners decided to table any action and request an attorney general’s opinion on the county’s tax wheel.
 
Again the commissioners reviewed the possibility of an impact fee for new construction. The action is identified as the school facility tax. The issue was discussed and again commissioners voted to reject adoption.
 
For many in attendance at last week’s meeting of the county commission, the topic that brought them to the courthouse was not even on the agenda.
 
In the week prior to the meeting, an email circulated about fees being charged for use of the county fairgrounds.  The action was credited to the county’s facilities management committee however, the action came from the county’s fairgrounds board in 1998.
 
As the new facilities management committee reviewed files on how past boards generated funds to maintain the facilities, they discovered notes from the fairgrounds board meeting of July 20th, 1998. At that meeting, member Wayne Prater made the motion for use of the grounds for a regular horse show to charge $200.00 for local groups and $300.00 for out of county groups and for the working arena, $50.00 for local groups and $100.00 for out of county groups. A $300.00 refundable clean-up deposit is to be charged for any event.
 
At that meeting, Grady George made the motion to waive the fees, except clean up fees to non-profit youth organizations such as 4-H, FFA, etc. 
 
The facilities management committee is following procedures placed into action twenty-years ago.
 
Any party interested in renting the fairgrounds for a horse show should pick up a form at the county executive’s office. 
 
 
Another item revisited was the hotel / motel tax.  The revenue generator carried an unexpected action of placing the tax on the lodging part of events at Short Mountain Bible Camp.  Commissioners approved action to remove not-for-profit camp grounds from the tax.
 
 

Change Your Clock (and batteries) This Weekend!

Friday, 8 March 2019

The Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) reminds Tennesseans to check their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when setting their clocks forward this Sunday morning, March 10, 2019 for the start of daylight saving time.
 
“We know that smoke alarms save lives, but they can only do their job if they are working,” said Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Julie  McPeak. “We urge consumers to check the batteries and test their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms when they set their clocks forward Saturday night.”
 
Smoke alarms that are over 10 years old no longer offer reliable fire protection. The SFMO urges all residents to determine how old their smoke alarms are (the date of manufacture can be found on the back of the alarm). Regardless of whether the alarms are hard-wired or battery powered, they should be replaced if they are 10 years or older.
 
Data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that your risk of dying in a residential structure fire is 54% lower with working smoke alarms than with no alarms or none that work.
 
Both state and national data reflect that many fatal fires occur at night while the victims are sleeping. The smoke and toxic gases generated by a fire can cause people to sleep more deeply, narrowing the chances of surviving a fire. A working smoke alarm can provide an early warning of danger and sleeping with a closed bedroom door can hold back toxic smoke and flames to allow additional time for occupants to escape.
 
The State Fire Marshal’s Office shares the following tips to help residents stay fire safe:

  • Install smoke alarms inside each sleeping area, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of your home.
  • For the best protection, equip your home with a combination of ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms or dual-sensor alarms. Interconnect the alarms so that when one sounds, they all sound.
  • Consider smoke alarms with long-life alarms that have non-replaceable batteries that remain effective for up to ten years. If the alarm chirps on these units, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
  • For smoke alarms with any other type of battery, test the unit and replace the batteries according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. Many manufacturers recommend replacing batteries twice a year, making time changes for daylight saving time the perfect opportunity and reminder.
  • Remember: Even alarms that are hard-wired into your home electrical system need to have their battery back-ups maintained in case of electrical power outage.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning to keep smoke alarms working well. The instructions are included in the package or can be found on the Internet.
  • Test alarms once a month using the test button. Replace the entire alarm if it's 10 years old or older or if it fails to sound when tested.
  • Have and practice a home fire escape plan with two ways out of every room and a designated outside meeting place. Share and practice the plan with anyone living in the home, including children and grandparents.
  • When a smoke alarm sounds, get out and stay out. Call 911 from your pre-determined outdoor meeting place.
  • A closed bedroom door and smoke alarms are a winning combination. Closing your bedroom door before going to bed could give you crucial seconds in the event of a house fire.

 
Many fire departments in Tennessee offer free smoke alarms and installations through the SFMO’s “Get Alarmed, TN!” program. Call your local fire department today to see what resources are available in your area. For more tips on how to make your home fire safe, visit tn.gov/fire.
 

UT Extension- Cannon Celebrates Extension Month

Thursday, 7 March 2019

University of Tennessee Extension, meeting sponsors and partners are proud to announce the upcoming events celebrating The University of Tennessee Extension Month.
 
Horse Night will be held on Thursday, March 14th sponsored by Cannon County Walking Horse Association. Middle Tennessee State University Graduate Student, Naomi Oliver will discuss findings from her Master’s Degree. The meeting will be held at the Woodbury Lions Club Bldg. beginning at 6:30.(612 Lehman Street, Woodbury TN 37190). Everyone is invited to attend, whether you’re a horse owner, enthusiast, wanting to own a horse, whatever the case we invite you to attend.
 
Several meeting concerning Beef production will begin on March 21st with Dr. Andrew Griffith and Marshall LaFever. The first meeting will target Market and Grading and held at the Warren County Livestock Market at 1378 Old Smithville Rd. This meeting will kick off the Advanced Master Beef classes. These classes are for those producers that have never attended an Advanced Master Beef course or attended an AMBP course prior to 2016. Producers that attended an Advanced Master Beef certification prior to 2016, will not qualify for the 50% TAEP cost share. Please contact the Cannon County Extension Office to verify when you attended the most recent AMBP course.
 
If you are planning to participate in this certification, please drop by the Extension office and register for the Advance Master Beef sessions. (615-563-2554). The cost is $75 and we will need your BQA number when you register. If you do not have a current BQA number, no worries, we will provide this certification at one of the AMBP sessions. Please help us spread the word on the upcoming AMBP sessions and the Tennessee Ag Enhancement program. The complete schedule is listed below;
 
March 21   Marketing and Grading   6 PM                                                      Dr. Andrew Griffith and Mr. Marshall LaFever                                                Warren County Livestock 1378 Old Smithville Rd., McMinnville 
 
March 25   Calving Seasons–Why worry with it?  6 PM and BQA Certification                        Scott Swoape and Chris Binkley, UT Extensio               Centertown Community Center 92 Gilbert St, McMinnville
March 28   Soil Fertility and Weed Control and Industry Issues  6 PM                                                          Cole DeLong and Eddie Clark, Centertown Community Center 92 Gilbert St, McMinnville
*March 30   Herd Health and Farm Pond Mgt/Field Day   9 AM                                                                  Dr. Mark Turney and Mr. Ronnie Cowan, Hyatt Haven Lane, Bradyville
 
*The meeting on the 30th will be held at Hyatt Haven farm located at 2727 Bush Road, Bradyville, TN. One of the highlights of the morning will be burning (weather permitting) of the 40 acre native grass stand. The annual burn of last year’s growth is a recommended practice. We plan to start the burn at 7:00A.M. on the morning the field day with the field day speakers to begin at 9 A.M.. Other topics we plan to showcase on the 30th is pond management. Ronnie Cowan, UT Area Pond Management Specialist will discuss stocking and weed management practices in ponds. We will wrap up the day with pink eye management tips with Dr. Mark Turney. This field day is sponsored by the Cannon County Cattlemen’s. Please call Kathy Hyatt, Davy Sneed, Heath Nokes or Bruce Steelman (615-563-2554) if you plan to attend the event so we can plan or lunch.
 
Everyone is welcome to attend any meetings hosted by the Cannon County UT Extension. These meetings provides an opportunity to viewed researched based information from The University of Tennessee. Your local Cannon County Extension Office is the outreach department of the University. This program, like all UT Extension programs, is open to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, disability or veteran status.
 
 

Board of Alderman Conduct March Meeting

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

The Mayor and Board of Alderman of Woodbury approved ordinances to allow construction for several projects in town.
 
The board approved on second and final reading Ordinance No. 500, an ordinance to amend the zoning ordinance to allow Self-Service storage buildings within the C-3 Commercial Zoning District.
 
The board approved on second and final reading an ordinance to amend the zoning ordinance of the Town of Woodbury, Tennessee to allow Townhouse Developments within the R-2 (High Density) Residential zoning district.
 
One action will increase the size of Woodbury. Resolution 2019-01 was approved. The action calls for the annexation of territory into the Town of Woodbury by Owner Consent and approving a plan of services. The property is owned by Cole Reed, Kendall Smith, and Mike Hutchins. The 6.2 acre tract is located off of Old McMinnville Road.
 
Plans for the 14th annual Good Old Days festival moved forward with the town’s approval for the parade and use of Dillon Park for the school events.  The festival is scheduled for May 17th and 18th.
 
In a proactive move to protect property owners. The board approved on second and final reading of Ordinance No. 502, the action amends Title 12 of the Woodbury Municipal Code to include a Chapter 7, Grading, Soil erosion, and Sediment control regulations.
 
The next meeting for the Mayor and Board of Alderman is scheduled for April 2nd.
 

Executive Order on Public Safety

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Governor Bill Lee issued an executive order to establish the Tennessee Criminal Justice Investment Task Force as promised during his State of the State address on Monday evening.
 
 
The sixth executive order issued under his leadership comes after Gov. Lee outlined comprehensive plans to address public safety in Tennessee amid higher rates of violent crime and recidivism. The incarcerated population of Tennessee has grown by 34 percent since 2000, despite six consecutive years of reduced admissions to the criminal justice system.
 
 
“There is a high cost to crime in our state and we need to consider who is paying the price for this - victims pay the price, families pay the price and taxpayers pay the price,” said Lee. “Our task force is committed to building smart solutions that make our neighborhoods safer.”
 
 
Gov. Lee appointed Senior Advisor to the Governor and former judge, Brandon Gibson of Crockett County, to chair the task force with appointments including crime victims and their families, members of the General Assembly, state agencies, law enforcement, community and faith-based programs, and formerly incarcerated individuals.
 
 
Over the next two legislative sessions, the task force will develop legislative and budgetary recommendations regarding the following public safety issues:
 

  • Crime prevention and recidivism reduction
  • Punishing violent crime promptly and effectively
  • Supporting crime victims and their families
  • Addressing mental health and substance abuse among the incarcerated
  • Revising sentencing guidelines and parole/probation standards
  • Addressing the rising fiscal and social costs of incarceration
  • Preparing inmates to re-enter society and find pathways outside of crime through education and technical job training
  • Equipping inmates’ families and communities with tools to help inmates become productive members of society

 
In addition to the task force, Gov. Lee has proposed measures to crack down on fentanyl traffickers, increase pay for corrections officers and law enforcement, reduce expungement fees and increase educational opportunities for incarcerated individuals.
 

Lee Delivers First State of the State Address

Monday, 4 March 2019

Gov. Bill Lee

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has delivered his first State of the State address and presented budget priorities to a joint session of the General Assembly in the House Chamber.
 
 
Gov. Lee proposed a strong, conservative budget with a record-breaking deposit to the Rainy Day Fund that will lift the state savings account to a historic high $1.1 billion. The proposed budget does not take on any long-term debt and manages to cut more than $40 million in costs without compromising services.
 
 
Key highlights are listed below and the full speech as prepared for delivery is available on Governor Lee’s website. The proposed budget is available on the Department of Finance & Administration website.
 
 
In addition to previously announced education initiatives including the Governor’s Investment in Vocational and Technical Education (GIVE), the Future Workforce Initiative and measures to improve school safety, Gov. Lee announced the following plans for public education:
 

  • A $71 million pay raise for teachers across Tennessee and investment in professional development programming.
  • A three-year pilot program to provide support services for high school students in Tennessee’s 15 distressed counties.
  • Establish the Governor’s Civics Instructional Seal to support and recognize those schools that prioritize teaching our nation’s history and civic values.
  • Providing approximately $175 million in new funding to support teachers and students in our traditional public schools.

 
“As we consider expanding options in this state, we must re-double our efforts to make sure that public schools in Tennessee are well-resourced and that Tennessee teachers and principals are the best and most celebrated in the business,” said Lee.
 
School choice is a key theme in Gov. Lee’s first year agenda with proposals for both doubling public charter schools and establishing a new education savings accounts program. More students in Tennessee will have access to high-quality education through:
 
Statewide Charter School Authorizer and Increased Facilities Funding and Access

  • Doubling the amount of facility funding available to public charter schools and providing new criteria for access to public facilities.
  • Establishing an independent state authorizer to approve high-quality charter schools.
  • Empowering the State Board of Education to develop authorizer standards that ensure only high-quality schools are authorized.

 
The Tennessee Education Savings Account

  • Provides approximately $7,300 to eligible, participating students.
  • Eligibility limited to low-income students in districts with three or more schools ranked in the bottom 10% of schools. Currently includes Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Jackson-Madison, Shelby and the Achievement School District.
  • Establishes a new school improvement grant fund for LEAs included in the program during the first three years.
  • The local education agency (LEA) will be disbursed grant funds in the amount equal to what local students receive in their education savings account.
  • Gov. Lee is recommending $25 million in this budget as an initial payment towards this grant fund with additional funding to be added in subsequent years.
  • Enrollment will be limited to 5,000 students in its initial year. The cap will increase by 2,500 students per year if the cap is met.
  • Only authorized providers and schools will be eligible to participate in the program, with the Department of Education having the authority to remove poor-performing providers and schools.
  • Strong accountability measures are in place to ensure that education savings account funds only go to Department of Education approved expenses.

 
Gov. Lee also outlined additional plans to improve public safety through a smart approach to crime.
 
“As I’ve said many times, the punishment for violent crime must be swift and severe, but we must also get better at helping those who will be released prepare to re-enter society and not re-enter prison,” said Lee.
 
 
In addition to previous announcements regarding education opportunity within prisons, Gov. Lee outlined the following initiatives to supplement efforts:
 

  • Establishing the Criminal Justice Reinvestment Task Force to make communities safer by reducing recidivism through proposed legislative and budgetary changes.
  • Launching the Volunteer Mentorship Initiative to partner incarcerated individuals who are working toward obtaining higher education with a mentor.
  • Increasing funding to the Electronic Monitoring Indigency fund to use GPS monitoring of low-risk, non-violent individuals instead of incarceration.

 
 
Gov. Lee further outlined plans for modernizing health care and improving the affordability of services.
“We will work with patients, providers, and payers to establish Tennessee as a world-class health care market for our people using transparency and competition”, said Lee.
 
Key health care provisions include:

  • Launch the Health Care Modernization Task Force to bring the private sector, policy makers and communities together to develop reforms and improve the value of care for all Tennesseans.
  • Crack down on expensive Medicaid fraud by expanding the state’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit with an additional 24 positions dedicated to identifying fraud and waste.
  • Serve thousands of additional vulnerable Tennesseans by investing an additional $11 million into the Behavioral Health Safety Net and Regional Mental Institutes.
  • Increasing, by as much as $8.6 million, funding for graduate medical education at Tennessee’s medical schools and critical incentive programs that provide financial support to resident physicians who commit to living and working in our rural communities.

 
Finally, Gov. Lee announced plans to establish the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives to leverage the non-profit community and reduce the size of government.
 
“Many of our people can be found at non-profits in this state who are doing, with excellence, jobs that government cannot or should not do,” said Lee. “So, to help protect taxpayer dollars and to engage some of our under-utilized citizens, one announcement I am particularly excited to make is the Governor’s Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives.”
 

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