Local News

Gassaway Homecoming This Weekend

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Gassaway will be a busy place this Saturday, on the first Saturday of June everyone is from Gassaway and it’s HOMECOMING!  The decades old event is part community get-together, part music festival and a great way to enjoy the day.
 
Start your day with the ham breakfast from 6am until 10am.   Watch or participate in the parade at 1:00pm. The fish supper will be served from 4:00 until 7:00.  At 9:00, games will be available for kids of all ages.  The stage area will be filled with entertainment beginning at 10:00am and continue into the evening hours.
 
The Gassaway Volunteer Fire Department will have the grills “fired” up with hamburgers and hot dogs all day.
 

Consumer Tips Offered During Older Americans Month

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance’s (TDCI) Division of Consumer Affairs is proud to join the Administration for Community Living in promoting May as Older Americans Month. The theme of this year’s campaign is “Connect, Create, Contribute,” which encourages older adults and their communities to:

  • Connect with friends, family, and services that support participation.
  • Create by engaging in activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment.
  • Contribute time, talent, and life experience to benefit others.

Established in 1963, Older Americans Month aims to recognize and honor older Americans for their contributions to their communities. Older Americans Month is celebrated across the country through ceremonies, events, fairs, and other such activities. As part of Older Americans Month, TDCI’s Division of Consumer Affairs is sharing the following tips to help Tennessee consumers avoid scam and fraud tactics often aimed at seniors:
SUBSCRIPTION SCAMS
Some products are advertised as a free trial offer, but the fine print states that once the trial period is over you must cancel or you will be automatically charged a subscription fee. Often times, consumers don’t realize they’ve agreed to the subscription until they’ve been charged multiple times. To avoid this scam:

  • Find and read the terms and conditions for an offer. If you can’t find them or can’t understand what you’re agreeing to, don’t sign up.
  • Research and check reviews on the company and product being offered before signing up or entering payment.
  • Check your bank and credit card statements monthly to identify any fraudulent charges.

TECHNICAL SUPPORT SCAMS
Scammers claim to be computer technicians associated with well-known companies like Microsoft or Apple. They call or send pop-up messages warning of viruses or other computer problems. Consumers are urged to pay for the technician to gain remote access to the device in order to solve this problem.                                                                           
To avoid this typically unneeded and harmful scam:

  • Avoid clicking on any unexpected pop-ups, spam email, or urgent messages about problems with your computer.
  • Computer manufacturers will not include a contact number in an error or warning message and will not call you if there is a problem with your computer.
  • If a consumer falls victim to a technical support scam, a follow-up scam regarding a “tech support refund” is likely to occur. They will ask for your bank account or credit card information to issue a refund, but rather than depositing a refund, they take more money or will make fraudulent charges on the account.

GOVERNMENT IMPOSTER SCAMS
Fraudsters pretend to be from a government agency. They want to gain sensitive information or trick you into sending money or gift cards. Imposters often use ID “spoofing” technology to mask their real number, causing a consumer to think the call is from a legitimate source. Beware these common imposter scams:

  • IRS scam: Scammer may claim the IRS is filing a lawsuit in your name. They urge you to call back immediately to discuss your case.
  • Social Security Administration (SSA) scam: Scammer claims your social security number has been suspended and you need to provide your personal information to get the account reactivated.
  • Medicare card scam: Scammer claims you need to pay a fee or verify information to receive a new Medicare card. While new Medicare cards have been issued, the cards are provided automatically and at no cost to consumers.

FAMILY EMERGENCY SCAMS

  • In recent years, scammers have become craftier and may pose as relatives or friends in need of help. They’ll urge you to wire money immediately to help with an emergency—like getting out of jail, paying a hospital bill, or needing to leave a foreign country. Their goal is to provide a sense of urgency so that you send money quickly, before realizing it’s a scam. When faced with this situation: Resist the urge to act immediately, no matter how pressing the issue appears to be.
  • Verify the person’s identity by asking questions that a stranger couldn’t possibly know.
  • Call the phone number for the family member or friend that you know to be genuine to validate the call.
  • Check the story of the caller with someone else in your family or circle of friends, even if you’ve been told to keep it a secret.
  • Don’t wire money—send a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier.

IF YOU BECOME A VICTIM
Have you fallen victim to a scam or fraud? If so, follow these four steps:

  • Tell your family or caregivers so they can help you and warn your friends.
  • Call your bank or credit card company to change any associated account numbers and passwords.
  • Document the fraud by recording dates and the names of the people and organization with whom you spoke.
  • Report the fraud. Consumers are encouraged to report scams to their local police department or sheriff’s office, especially if you lost money or property or had your identity compromised. You can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission through their website or by calling 877-382-4357. You can also contact TDCI’s Division of Consumer Affairs through our website or by calling 615-741-4737.

The Division of Consumer Affairs conducts statewide educational presentations to help older Tennesseans identify and avoid scams. For a list of currently scheduled events, click here.
 

Unemployment Rates Statewide Continue to Improve

Monday, 27 May 2019

Unemployment rates for 94 of Tennessee's 95 counties dropped in April 2019 according to data released by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The unemployment rate in Maury County remained unchanged for the month.
 
Ninety-four counties have rates lower than 5 percent and only one county's rate is higher than 5 percent.
 
Unemployment in Williamson County dipped below 2 percent in April. The county's current rate of 1.9 percent marks a 0.5 of a percentage point drop from the previous month.
 
Cannon County’s rate for April was 2.4 percent, a reduction of six-tenths of a percent from March.  Only two of Cannon’s contiguous counties were lower, Rutherford and Wilson.
 
Clay County has the state's highest rate in April at 5.6 percent, which is a 0.4 of a percentage point decrease from the previous month.
 
Statewide, unemployment remains at Tennessee's historic low of 3.2 percent. It is the third consecutive month the rate has been at the record level.
 
You can find additional information about Tennessee labor statistics on the state's workforce development website, Jobs4TN.gov.
 

Heat Brings Warning from Health Department

Monday, 27 May 2019

With unusually high and potentially record-breaking heat predicted in much of Tennessee this holiday weekend, the Tennessee Department of Health wants to remind you of the following heat safety tips.
 
Do NOT leave children in parked cars for any length of time.
 
Stay Cool:
•             Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing
•             Stay inside in air conditioning
•             Limit outdoor activities to cooler morning and evening hours
•             Seek shade outdoors
•             Pace yourself when doing outdoor activities
•             Wear sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher
 
Stay Hydrated:
•             Drink plenty of fluids and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink
•             Avoid sugary or alcoholic drinks, which actually cause you to lose body fluids
 
Stay Informed:
•             Follow local media and authorities for news about extreme heat alerts
•             Know the signs of heat-related illness
o             Signs of heat stroke include hot, red, dry or damp skin; fast, strong pulse; headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; fainting and/or body temperature of 103º or higher. Heat stroke is a medical emergency - call 911 right away if you suspect someone’s having heat stroke.
o             Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating; cold, pale, clammy skin; fast, weak pulse; nausea; cramps; weakness; dizziness; headache and/or fainting.
•             Monitor loved ones, especially those at high-risk for heat-related illness including infants and young children, adults over age 65 and people with medical issues.
 

Assistance Available for Energy Costs

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Each year, many residents across the Upper Cumberland region struggle with the cost of high energy bills. As the region begins experiencing more days of summer-like temperatures, Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency (UCHRA) is reminding residents that funds are still available to assist residents facing high energy bills.
 
UCHRA is now taking applications for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). LIHEAP, a federally funded program, is administered by the Tennessee Housing Development Agency and is designed to assist low-income households in meeting home energy needs.
 
In order to qualify for LIHEAP assistance, applicants must submit income information, energy usage reports, and other documentation. On average, applicants receive a one-time payment of $350-$650 in LIHEAP assistance
 
For more information about LIHEAP assistance, please contact your local UCHRA office or call (931) 528-1127 for more information.
 
 

State Issues Warning Over New Tick

Saturday, 25 May 2019

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services, Tennessee Department of Health, and University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) have announced the detection of the invasive Asian longhorned tick in Tennessee.
 
The Asian longhorned tick has now spread to 11 states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there is no evidence that the tick has transmitted pathogens to humans or animals in the U.S.
 
Two Asian longhorned ticks were recently found on a dog in Union County, and five were found on a cow in Roane County. In the U.S., the tick has been reported on 17 different mammal species.
 
“Tennessee has a relatively large amount and variety of ticks,” Dr. R.T. Trout Fryxell, Associate Professor of Medical and Veterinary Entomology for UTIA, said. “It is important to be diligent and keep an eye out for all ticks because many varieties can transmit pathogens or cause painful bites.”
 
Tips to prevent tick bites in animals and livestock include:

  • Coordinate with your veterinarian to determine appropriate pest prevention for pets and livestock.
  • Check pets and livestock for ticks frequently.
  • Remove any ticks by pulling from the attachment site of the tick bite with tweezers.
  • Monitor your pets and livestock for any changes in health.
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If your animals are bitten by a tick, officials suggest putting the tick in a ziplock bag, writing down the date and where the tick was most likely encountered, and storing it in a freezer. If any symptoms of a tick-borne disease begin to develop, you should bring the tick to your veterinarian.
 
For additional information about the longhorned tick in the United States, click here. To find more information on tick-borne diseases, click here.
 

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