Local News

Keep Con Artists Out of the Driver’s Seat When Buying a Car with a Tax Refund

Sunday, 27 January 2019

The arrival of tax season has many auto dealers putting their sales promotions into high gear. Unfortunately, auto scammers don’t have consumers’ best interests in mind.
 
 
The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s (TDCI) Division of Consumer Affairs and the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Commission, a part of TDCI’s Division of Regulatory Boards, remind consumers to educate themselves before they shop. Conducting thorough research is the best way to ensure the auto deal you’re getting is a deal and not a scam.
 
 
“Tax season often generates a high complaint volume for Tennessee’s Motor Vehicle Commission,” said Motor Vehicle Commission Executive Director Paula Shaw. “Unethical parties prey on the fact that many people are receiving an instant infusion of cash that they can potentially use to buy a vehicle. If you’re in the market for a car, research your options carefully to ensure you make the most of your money and prevent being scammed by a bad actor.”
 
 
A prevalent scam tactic is curbstoning. Curbstoning is the illegal sale of used vehicles under the false pretense of being the car’s owner in order to evade city or state regulations. Curbstoning occurs when a person engages in the act of  buying and selling used automobiles for profit but without a license, insurance, bond, sales tax number, Federal tax ID, proper local permits or legally established place of business.
 
 
How do you prevent curbstoning? Simple. Always buy from a licensed seller. Tennesseans can check a car dealer’s license status by visiting verify.tn.gov.
 
 
Remember, licensed dealers are required to disclose that they are a dealer in all forms of advertising, including social media such as Craigslist, by including either their business name or license number.
 
 
To help protect consumers, the TDCI created this video to raise awareness on social media and provides the following guidelines for consumers who may be shopping for a vehicle:
 
Before Shopping:

  • Decide what you can afford. Don’t forget to factor in insurance, parking, gas, and maintenance costs.
  • Research the car’s value. Check free online car evaluation websites to find out the average price of the car you plan to buy and trade in.
  • Look into financing before you choose a car. Ask about the financing terms, the number of months, down payment, interest rates, and finance charges.
  • Check a car dealer’s license status by visiting verify.tn.gov. All Tennessee auto dealers must be licensed by the Motor Vehicle Commission.

 
 
At the Sale Site:

  • Examine the car carefully:
    • Check the condition of the engine, tire wear, and any sign of an accident. The TN Motor Vehicle Commission offers this detailed guide on what to look for.
    • Take a test drive.
    • Get a vehicle history report at vehiclehistory.gov.                                                         
    • If purchasing a used car, have an independent mechanic check the car. Do not buy a car if the dealer will not let you have it inspected. Many safety defects will not be identified during a standard inspection so you should also check for recalls.
  • Review the contract carefully. Make sure all agreed upon repairs and warranties are written on the purchase contract before you sign. Never sign a blank, incomplete or unclear contract or buyers guide.
  • Get the mileage in writing and ensure it matches the vehicle’s odometer.
  • Get copies of all paperwork. Don’t leave without copies of everything that you signed.
  • If the dealer is to complete the title work for you, be aware that you may be asked to sign a Limited Power of Attorney authorizing the dealership representative to sign your name to the title and registration documents. Read this form closely and get a copy before leaving.
  • When purchasing a vehicle that will be subject to emission testing, the purchaser must request evidence that the vehicle will pass emissions testing prior to consummation of the purchase contract. If the vehicle has not been tested or pretested within 90 days of the proposed purchase date the potential purchaser should request a pre-test to ensure that it will pass prior to signing the contract.

 
Remember:

  • Notify the manufacturer that you are the new owner when you buy a used car or if your contact information changes. You can also subscribe for email alerts at safercar.gov for future safety recalls.
  • If you feel that you have been treated unfairly, and you have not been able to reach a satisfactory resolution with your car dealer, you may file a complaint with the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Commission.
  • Unlike other transaction types, no right of rescission (aka “Cooling-off Period”) exists for vehicle sales transactions. When you drive it off the lot it is yours, so take the time to have it inspected and read all paperwork closely before signing.
  • The Tennessee Motor Vehicle Commission is here to help. Visit us online or by calling 615-741-2711 and requesting the Compliance Unit.

 

TN R.E.A.D.S. Gains Worldwide Attention

Saturday, 26 January 2019

The Tennessee Regional eBook and Audiobook Download System (TN R.E.A.D.S.) database has been recognized as one of the most used library services in the world.  In 2018, TN R.E.A.D.S. circulated 3.7 million digital e-books, audiobooks, and videos to public library patrons throughout Tennessee.
 
The Tennessee State Library and Archives is 1 of 4 libraries receiving acknowledgement for achieving between 3 and 4 million digital checkouts in 2018. OverDrive, Inc., the world’s leading digital platform for libraries, released the list earlier this month and ranked Tennessee right behind the New York and Los Angeles Public Libraries.
 
According to the OverDrive, Inc. report, the popularity of these library systems is reflected in more than 4 million new digital library users that used the OverDrive app for the first time in 2018 and Tennessee has seen similar trends.
 
“Since TN R.E.A.D.S. opened in 2007, the service has seen phenomenal growth. The first year we checked out 55,000 e-books and audiobooks. Now we check out over 255,000 each month,” TN R.E.A.D.S. administrator Marion Bryant said. 
 
TN R.E.A.D.S. offers users more than 197,000 eBooks, 75,000 audiobooks, and 4,100 videos, with new and popular titles being added every month. The digital titles can be downloaded or streamed to tablets, smartphones, computers and e-readers.
 
  The top 5 titles borrowed from TN R.E.A.D.S. in 2018:
 
1.      “The Whistler” by John Grisham
2.      “Camino Island” by John Grisham
3.      “Into the Water” by Paula Hawkins
4.      “Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon
5.      “Two by Two” by Nicholas Sparks
 
“We’re encouraged to see an increasing number of Tennesseans using this innovative and educational service,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “The popularity of this system is evident and we will continue to do our part to promote and support programs that serve our citizens well.”
 
Any Tennessean with an active library card from one the 186 public libraries in the Tennessee Regional Library System can use this free service.
 
For more information visit, https://reads.overdrive.com.
 

Cannon County Schools Announce School-Level Teachers of the Year

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Cannon County Schools take pleasure in honoring the school-level teachers of the year for the 2018-2019 School Year.  Each teacher was selected to represent their respective school in three categories:  PreK-4th Grade; 5th Grade – 8th Grade; 9th Grade – 12th Grade.  One Teacher in each category will be selected by a committee to represent Cannon County as the District Teacher of the Year in the Upper Cumberland CORE Region. A special announcement and ceremony will take place on Friday, February 1st, 2019 – 8:00 AM at Woodbury Grammar School during In-Service Activities to honor these teachers and announce the School District winners in each category.  The following teachers were selected to represent their schools:
 
Auburn School:
PreK – 4th: Lisa Vickers
5th Grade – 8th Grade: Regan Higgs
 
East Side School:
PreK – 4th: Kim Nichols
5th Grade – 8th Grade: Connie Phillips
 
Short Mountain School:
PreK – 4th: Jessica Bryson
5th Grade – 8th Grade: Tonya Melton
 
West Side School:
PreK – 4th:  LaKeisha Bryson
5th Grade – 8th Grade: Roger Haley
 
Woodbury Grammar School:
PreK – 4th:  Tracy Foster
5th Grade – 8th Grade: Melissa Killian
 
Woodland School:
PreK – 4th:  Mitzie Bush
5th Grade – 8th Grade: Cory Steffes
 
Cannon County High School:
9th Grade – 12th Grade: Rena House
 
Director of Cannon County Schools William F. Curtis stated, “We are tremendously proud of each one of these outstanding educators.  Teachers work incredibly hard to serve their students, communicate with parents/guardians, and strive to improve their craft.  Each one of these deserving teachers exemplify the MISSION of Cannon County Schools – ‘Preparing ALL Students for Their Future’ through our VISION –‘The New E3 –Engaged in Excellence Every Day.’  These individuals live the Mission and Vision every moment of every day, and we salute them for their distinguished efforts!  Congratulations!  I look forward to announcing the District
Teachers of the year on Friday, February 1st, 2019 – 8 AM at Woodbury Grammar School.” 
 

Prep Sports Update

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Due to the large request for seats at the Cannon County Football Banquet the location has been changed to the Fellowship Hall of Woodbury Church of Christ. The event will begin tonight at 6:00pm.
 
In basketball action Friday night, Cannon split a pair of games with Macon County.  In girls action, Lionettes lost 58 to 43.  The Lions won their contest, 64 to 53.
The teams will be back in action Monday night, due to the chance of bad weather, both Cannon and DeKalb County
officials decided to move the game up one day to Monday.
 
 

Claims Move Labor to Additional Hours

Friday, 25 January 2019

Employees with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development  are working extra hours to process unemployment insurance claims for federal employees affected by the government shutdown.
 
As of Thursday, January 24, the Department of Labor’s Unemployment Security Division's federal unit has received nearly 1,000 unemployment claims from federal employees. This is an increase of approximately 100 claims from the previous week.
 
Federal unit employees are currently working from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and several employees worked this past Saturday to process the influx of federal unemployment claims in a timely manner. Another Saturday schedule is planned this week. 
 
The unit is keeping detailed records of each federal unemployment claim to make the repayment process as smooth as possible when the shutdown ends and the employees receive back pay. Federal law requires they reimburse the state for any unemployment insurance benefits they receive during while furloughed. 
 
The United States Department of Labor (USDOL) has strict requirements claimants must meet to receive benefits, one of which is an unemployed person must be willing and available to work. A federal employee currently not on the job meets this requirement because they are free to work.
 
Federal employees required to work without pay are not eligible for unemployment benefits because they are not available to work. 
 
If the state approves an application for benefits, unemployment claimants must certify online each week they are available to work. The state is deferring the requirement federal claimants conduct weekly online job searches in order to receive benefits because they are part of a temporary layoff.
 
Claimants can complete the application process for Tennessee unemployment insurance on the state's workforce development website, www.Jobs4TN.gov.
 

Governor Issues 3 Executive Orders

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Thursday, Governor Bill Lee issued three executive orders to underscore and improve state government’s approach to ethics, transparency and non-discrimination practices.
 
Executive Order 2 fortifies the ethics policy applied to the governor, members of the governor’s staff, members of the governor’s cabinet and other executive branch employees. It expands the scope of employees required to file ethical disclosures and is designed to ensure that senior members of all departments and all employees regularly interacting with the General Assembly must file such disclosures.
 
Executive Order 3 mandates openness, transparency and accountability within the executive branch. Employees will be required to attend training within the next 120 days to ensure legal requirements relating to the following are met: open meetings, open records, and applicable ethics and disclosure rules. This order requires that training to happen on a specific timetable (within 120 days), while also mandating additional, recurring training.
 
Executive Order 4 directs the Commissioner of Human Resources to review all hiring and employment practices to ensure there is no discrimination based on race, color, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, or any other category protected by state and federal law. The Department of Human Resources, in conjunction with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, is directed to conduct training within 120 days to ensure the executive branch complies with this policy of non-discrimination and equal opportunity in hiring, firing, promoting and other management practices.
 

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