Local News

Thanksgiving Trash

Monday, 19 November 2018

 
Just a couple of reminders from city and county officials concerning schedules dealing with solid waste.
 
Public Works Director for the Town of Woodbury, Shane Gannon wants the residents of Woodbury that the garbage route for Thursday Nov. 22nd (Thanksgiving Day) will be run on Wednesday Nov. 21st  so that the sanitation employees can enjoy the holiday with their families.  The schedule for the rest of the week will remain the same. 
 
County Executive Brent Bush wishes to announce the Convenience Center will be closed Thanksgiving Day (Nov 22nd) and Friday (Nov 23rd).  The convenience center will reopen Saturday (Nov 24th). 
 

Christmas Begins With A Visit to the Farm

Monday, 19 November 2018

Christmas is just around the corner, which means now is the time to start planning a trip to a local tree farm. As the cool, crisp air draws near, a visit to the farm is the perfect outdoor adventure to generate some holiday spirit and family fun.
 
Many farms sell Christmas trees between Black Friday and Christmas Eve, with some starting as soon as is past weekend. Regardless of when you visit, local producers recommend you call for availability before you go.
 
“You want to find a tree that has a nice shape with one point at the top,” Fentress County’s Sycamore Springs Farm owner Lyna Pennycuff said. “The best trees have dense needles.”
 
Even though some trees were stressed during last year’s winter, there are still plenty of picture-perfect Christmas trees to choose from this season.
 
If you have never been to a Christmas tree farm, the process is easy and fun. “When customers arrive, they will be given a band saw and a tree sled to cut the perfect Christmas tree from the farm,” Pennycuff said.
 
Even if you aren’t looking for a fresh Christmas tree, many tree farms offer other fun activities for the whole family. Whether you’re hoping to get a picture with Santa Claus, take a hike through the trails, or stroll through the gift shop, you will make memories that will last a lifetime.
 
Be sure to visit www.PickTNProducts.org or use the free Pick Tennessee mobile app to find a local Christmas tree farm near you. Follow “PickTNProducts” on social media to learn more about local activities, seasonal recipes, and products.
 

FSA County Committee Election Underway

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Donny Green, County Executive Director of the DeKalb/Cannon County Farm Service Agency, announces that the 2018 Farm Service Agency County Committee elections are underway as ballots were mailed to eligible voters in Local Administrative Area # 1 (DeKalb County) and Local Administrative Area # 5 (Cannon County) on November 5th.
 

December 3, 2018 will be the last day to postmark voted ballots returned by mail, or to deliver voted ballots to the local FSA office.   
 

Randall West and Jimmy Womack are candidates nominated for area # 1 (DeKalb Co.). Both candidates have been certified as eligible candidates. Randall West is currently completing his first 3-year term on the DeKalb FSA County Committee. Both West and Womack operate beef cattle farms in the Jacobs Pillar community.
 
Robert “Bob” Melton is the only candidate nominated for area # 5 (Cannon Co.). Bob has been certified as an eligible candidate. Melton is a retired Cannon County vocational agriculture teacher and operates a livestock farm in the Hollis Creek area of Cannon County. Bob is completing his first 3-year term on the DeKalb/Cannon FSA County Committee.
 

Write-in nominations can be accepted on ballots. However, the write-in nominee must meet eligibility criteria and attest to his or her willingness to serve, if elected, by signing a nominating petition. Agricultural producers were encouraged to submit candidate names during the nomination period that ended August 1, 2018.         
    

According to Green, “The Farm Service Agency county committee system is unique among government agencies, because it allows producers to make important decisions concerning the local administration of federal farm programs. All eligible farmers and ranchers, especially minorities and women, are encouraged to get involved and make a real difference in their communities by voting in this year's elections”.
 

To be an eligible voter, farmers and ranchers must participate or cooperate in FSA programs.  A person who is not of legal voting age but supervises and conducts the farming operations of an entire farm can also vote. 
 

Eligible voters in DeKalb County area # 1 or Cannon County area # 5 who did not receive a ballot can obtain a ballot at their local USDA Service Center.  December 3, 2018 is the last day for voters to submit ballots in person to local USDA Service Centers.  Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than December 3, 2018.  The DeKalb/Cannon FSA County Committee will meet on December 4, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. to canvass and tabulate the ballots. This meeting is open to the public. The newly elected committee member and alternates take office January 1st, 2019.
 

27th Annual Cannon Country Christmas This Weekend

Friday, 16 November 2018

This weekend will mark the 27th year for the merchants open house in Woodbury. Many of the activities related to the event have changed in the almost three decades.  The one constant is the spirit of home and community.
 
Santa is scheduled for 5pm this evening. He will arrive on the Courthouse Square by a team of mules. Starting at 5:30pm. Santa will setup his workshop at the gazebo on the Courthouse lawn. The traditional lighting of the tree is scheduled for 5:10pm.  Dillion Street Missionary Baptist Church will conduct a live nativity scene. Cannon Arts Dance Students will perform.
 
On Saturday, Santa will be available for photos with your pets at 10:00am. Folks are invited to help stuff stockings at Woodbury Health and Rehab by dropping off items like small candy bars, tissues, lotion and lap blankets.
 
Many merchants will offer specials and refreshments for the two days event.
 
 
 

Safety Reports On Schools Released

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen today released a new report to provide insight on the landscape of school safety in Tennessee. For the first time, the department is releasing information on trends found in the strengths and challenges in school security seen across districts. This new report allows the state to increase awareness, prompt further conversations, and spur future action.
 
“We take seriously the responsibility of providing a safe and secure learning environment for Tennessee students and will continue to support our schools in this daily effort,” Commissioner McQueen said. “Critical work to improve school safety has been started under Governor Haslam’s leadership and this report shows us several ways we can continue to improve our practices moving forward. We know that safety must be an ongoing process of continuous improvement. This report continues the work started with individual school assessments by providing a state-level view of current practices and identifying opportunities for improvement. I am grateful for the partnership of our state legislature, other departments, school districts, and law enforcement agencies to make this work a priority in Tennessee"
 
While Tennessee has made several efforts in recent years to promote student safety and prepare schools for potential threats, Governor Haslam took further action in March 2018 by convening a School Safety Working Group that recommended a statewide review of school facilities and safety procedures and precautions. These recommendations were swiftly accepted by the governor, which led to the first statewide individual school safety assessments that rated each school on 89 safety standards and was overseen by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, in coordination with the Department of Education and local school officials.
 
“The Governor tasked me with chairing the School Safety Working Group along with the support of Cabinet members Commissioner Candice McQueen and Commissioner Marie Williams,” Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner David W. Purkey said.  “My goal was to ensure the committee work carefully yet swiftly to develop a well-informed plan that would provide security guidelines for our TN school districts. A 17-member committee represented by professionals in the area of education, mental health and public safety from across the state were able to accomplish this mission. School safety remains our priority, and we will continue to provide the necessary tools and services to our schools to keep our students safe.”
 
To support this work, the 2018 Tennessee General Assembly approved $25 million in one-time funding for schools to address vulnerabilities and risks and $10 million in recurring grant funding for ongoing safety and prevention programs. To receive funding to enhance school safety, districts had to conduct individual school security assessments and submit schools’ emergency operations plans (EOPs) and drill logs to the department. All school districts were eligible to apply for funding to address local safety and security needs once identified through the assessment process.
 
All 147 school districts submitted assessments for every school in the state, and districts and schools have begun using funds to make both major and minor improvements, ranging from better door locks and updated visitor screening procedures to adding mental health staff positions.
 
This collection of school security assessments, Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs), and drill logs presented an unprecedented opportunity to analyze current security and preparedness actions at the building level in order to inform Tennessee’s goal of providing a safe and supportive learning environment for all students. Because this was the first time that this information was collected by the department, the purpose of this initial report is to establish a baseline for statewide safety needs and help drive future targeted efforts to enhance school security and preparedness.
 
Findings in the report show that most of Tennessee’s schools met or exceeded standards on many items related to school facilities and operations. Overall, schools were well prepared in most of the areas examined. For example, on average, schools met or exceeded the standards for eight out of the nine emergency planning and prevention items. However, data revealed the greatest weaknesses to be in vehicle control, access control, and surveillance for schools across the state.
 
While the school security assessments demonstrated that many Tennessee schools were well prepared for potential emergencies, EOPs revealed that this preparedness has not yet translated into suitable documentation on school sites. The majority of the EOPs examined met fewer than half of the rubric items, and none of the EOPs examined met all items. As with the school security assessments, the department examined these data by area, rather than individual item, to identify the areas in most immediate need of improvement.
 
Surprisingly, some of the strengths identified in the security assessments were determined to be potential areas of challenge by the examination of the EOP data. For instance, one of the strongest areas from the security assessments was Emergency Planning and Prevention, while the EOP evaluation revealed that submitted EOPs were lacking much of the required documentation. This may highlight an issue with documentation and the EOP submission process.
 
Similarly, the analysis of drill logs showed that schools were committed to preparing their students for a range of potential emergencies and conducted an average of almost 15 drills per year; however, many schools were still not meeting all of the drill requirements. This may be the result of drill logs varying in submission type and level of detail. Also, it is possible that a school completed more drills than they documented and/or submitted, so the data does not provide a full picture to the number and types of drills actually conducted.
 
Moving forward, the department has identified five key actions to address the challenges identified during the review of safety data. They are:
·        Identify priorities for supporting districts and schools.
·        Revise EOP and drill log templates to enhance planning and improve documentation.
·        Create options for delivering training and guidance that provide flexibility and build local capacity.
·        Monitor grant spending and results to identify promising practices.
·        Integrate safety planning requirements into the school approval process.
 
The information provided in these assessments, coupled with significant new funding, have resulted in critically important dialogue and changes to improve school safety in communities across the state. As Tennessee moves forward with improvements in the areas of security and preparedness, it is important that our state continues these conversations and that school safety remain a vital component of ensuring student success in and outside of the classroom.
 
To view the full report, Safety First: A Review of Security and Preparedness in Tennessee Schools, visit the department’s website here.

Hall of Fame Opener Good Night for Cannon County

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Basketball season “tipped off” last night for Cannon County. In the girls contest Cannon County’s Lionettes defeated Shelbyville Central by a score of 60 -50, Jalin Fann lead scoring with 26 points.  In the boy’s game, Cannon County Lions held on to defeat the Golden Eagles by a score of 76 – 64, Jacob Raines lead all scorers with 23 points .
 
Both games will replay today following the news at Noon on WBRY.
 
Next game for Cannon County will be on the road to Tullahoma on Saturday with the Lionettes at Noon and the boy’s game at 1:30pm.
 

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