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Governor Haslam Honors Veterans

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and First Lady Crissy Haslam today joined Tennessee Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder and Major General Terry “Max” Haston from the Tennessee Military Department to recognize five veteran state employees and more than 470,000 Tennessee veterans of all ages and eras. The Governor’s Veterans Day event was held on the second floor of the State Capitol in downtown Nashville.
“Veterans bring a variety of life experiences, technical skills and varying degrees of leadership qualities which enrich our Departments,” Haslam said. “Their commitment to the mission and to public service is a tradition that is evolving into transformation and innovative state government. I thank this year’s honorees and all of the veterans who serve the citizens of Tennessee.”
“It is a great time for Tennessee veterans and I believe we are moving in the right direction in improving how we serve them,” Grinder said. “We are picking up momentum and veteran employees are a big part of the developing solutions to create innovative state government for citizens in the Volunteer State.”
“Today, we come together to appreciate a debt we can never fully repay,” Haston said. “Veterans Day is a day set aside to remember and honor every man and woman who has taken up arms to defend our country. We honor every Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine and Coast Guardsman who gave some of the best years of their lives to the service of the United States and stood ready to give life itself, on our behalf.”
There are currently 2,269 veterans working for the state and an estimated 470,390 veterans living in Tennessee.
Haslam recognized the achievements of five veteran state employees currently making a difference within their area of expertise with a combined 41 years of state service.
John Briggs is currently serving as Transportation Manager in the Aeronautics Division at the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Commander Briggs is also assigned to U.S. Navy Operational Support Center-Memphis. He has held various roles during his 20 year military career, which includes plans, operations, aviation and human resources as well as a recent deployment in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan. In the Aeronautics Division, Briggs’ team has closed 689 projects in fiscal year 2018 and returned more than 7 million dollars in state and federal funds to the general aviation budget for capital improvement projects.
Don Coleman is currently serving as Human Resources Manager of the Employee Relations Unit at the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance. Previously, Staff Sergeant Coleman worked as an Information Management Craftsman for more than ten years in the U.S. Air Force. Coleman’s team has established performance management clinics and offers one on one consultations. He has developed a supervisory boot camp which includes a refresher of respectful workplace, diversity awareness, preventing sexual harassment as well as generational and cultural awareness.
Angelo Giansante is currently serving as Park Manager at Hiwassee Ocoee Rivers State Park with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. Previously, Sergeant Giansante was a Motor Transport Operator in the U.S. Army with deployments to Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Giansante has expanded park programming, made critical infrastructure investments at multiples sites and more than tripled park visitation. Since 2011, Giansante has climbed the 125-foot pine trees to place cable and a camera to provide video of the bald eagle nests to millions of web viewers across the world.
William Houser is currently serving as a Veteran Resource Coordinator in the Knoxville field office with the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services. Previously, Master Sergeant Houser served more than 20 years in the U.S. Air Force in Cyber Systems Operations. His military service assignments in Iceland, South Korea and Iraq. This emerging leader offers claims assistance in Knoxville, but also drives more than two hours to Johnson City multiple times a week to support a staff that produces more than double the volume of fully developed claims than any other field office in the state.

Paul Nielsen is a Correctional Officer at the Turney Center Industrial Complex (TCIX) with the Tennessee Department of Correction. Previously, Specialist Nielsen was an Aircraft Structural Repairer in the U.S. Army with two deployments in Afghanistan within six years of military service. As a Correctional Officer, Nielsen laid his life on the line on April 9, 2017 to protect his fellow employees during a major disturbance at TCIX. Officer Nielsen responded to a call for assistance and witnessed a fellow officer in distress and under assault. As he and another officer tried to take control of the situation, they were overpowered by 16 inmates and held hostage for several hours before they were released. Paul sustained nine stab wounds and sustained other serious injuries.

General Election Results

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

As Cannon, so went the state on the major races in the November general election. Lee and Blackburn were dominate winners.
During early and absentee and early voting, 2,199 cast ballots, on election day an additional 2,492 Cannon Countains cast ballots for a total of 4,691 voters.
For Governor:                   Bill Lee 3,473 (74.54%)                                 Karl Dean 1,157 (24.83%)
For US Senate:                  Marsha Blackburn 3,198 (68.82%)             Phil Bredesen 1,380 (29.70%)              
For US House:                   John Rose 3,043 (73.64%)                            Dawn Barlow 1,001 (24.23%)
State Senate:                     Mark Pody 3,435 (75.84%)                          Mary Alice Carfi 1,089 (24.05%)
State Representative:      Clark Boyd 3,303 (75.38%)                           Mark Cagle 1,074 (24.51%)

39 Died In Cannon In 2017

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Tennessee Department of Health statistics indicate that 1,268 individuals died from an opioid overdose in 2017. Of that number, 39 occurred in Cannon County. Thirty-nine parents, children, partners, siblings, and friends missing from our community. As these numbers continue to increase annually, the ripple effect being felt by the youngest members of our state and county is undeniable. A child’s exposure to the toxic level of stress associated with a family member’s addiction and subsequent death can be classified as an adverse childhood experience (ACE).

Tennessee is committed to learning more about such adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), which also include other traumatic, violent or stressful events. ACEs can impact brain development and impose lasting health effects throughout the lifespan. Based on her research, pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris’s reports, “the profound discovery was that our patients with four or more ACEs were twice as likely to be overweight or obese and 32.6 times as likely to have been diagnosed with learning and behavioral problems.”

Middle Tennessee State University has the opportunity to integrate evidence based curriculum introducing ACEs into MTSU academic programs. The Center for Health and Human Services on campus has recently received funding from Tennessee Department of Children's Services, through the Building Strong Brains Tennessee initiative, to give students in diverse program areas basic knowledge and understanding of the prevalence of ACEs in our community. The Child Development and Family Studies program will be among those implementing the “All Children Excelling through a Comprehensive Network of Trained Providers” curriculum, thus further expanding our students’ knowledge of the negative effects of ACEs and strategies to build resiliency in individuals.


General Election Day Is Here

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Tennesseans will head to the polls across the state Tuesday to vote in the Nov. 6 general election. Voters in the state will decide our next governor and a seat in the United States Senate as well as numerous seats in the state senate and house.
1,378,840 Tennesseans voted in person or absentee during the two-week early voting period which ended Thursday, November 1, 2018. A comprehensive breakdown and interactive map from the Division of Elections shows how this turnout compares to past election years.
Voters can download the GoVoteTN app, available in the App Store or Google Play, to view voter-specific information. Voters can find polling locations, view and mark sample ballots and much more. The platform is also available at GoVoteTN.com.
Polls open at various times depending on the county. Polls in Cannon County are open from 7am - 7pm. Here is a full list of when all 95 counties open. All polls in Tennessee close at 8 p.m. EDT / 7 p.m. CDT.
Being flexible may also help speed up the process. Midmorning and midafternoon are usually slower times at polling locations, while early morning, noon and 5 p.m. are peak times as people typically vote before work, after work or on their lunch breaks.
Tennesseans voting on Election Day should remember to bring valid photo identification with them to the polls. A driver's license or photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security as well as photo IDs issued by Tennessee state government or the federal government are acceptable even if they are expired. College student IDs are not acceptable.
More information about what types of ID are acceptable can be found here: What ID is required when voting? or by calling toll free 1-877-850-4959.
Unofficial election results for the Nov. 6 general election will be posted at elections.tn.gov and these Twitter accounts:


Sales Tax Collection Slightly Off for June

Monday, 5 November 2018

Falling in line with May’s collection report, many counties in the Upper Cumberland saw little change compared to the previous month; reporting so-so sales tax collections for the month of June according to the Upper Cumberland Business Journal. 
Some counties, such as Pickett (32.5), Overton (17.1), and Smith (15.8), reported double-digit percentage gains in sales tax collections over the previous month. 
Pickett and Overton each have lead the UC region when it comes to reported sales tax collections. In the most recent quarter, those counties reported a 13.1- and 14.4-percent increase, respectively, over the previous year, noting a 22.3- and 10.8-percent change over the previous year. 
Meanwhile, Jackson (-28.3) and Van Buren (-19.1) counties reported double-digit losses percentage wise. 
Cannon (-0.5), Fentress (-1.8), Warren (-2.8), and White (-4.8) counties each reported marginal sales tax collection losses while Clay (5.4), Cumberland (3.1), DeKalb (5.0), Macon (2.9), and Putnam (4.4) counties each reported marginal percentage gains in June sales tax collections.  
In June Cannon County had sales tax collections of $427,238 off $1,968 of the May collection of $429,206.

11 Percent of All Tennesseeans Has Diabetes

Saturday, 3 November 2018

National Diabetes Month starts this week, and more than 1 in 10 Tennesseans is diabetic.

At 11 percent, the state has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

While diabetes can affect people of all age groups, experts are particularly concerned about gestational diabetes in women, or abnormal blood sugar levels during pregnancy.

An increasing body of research indicates the problem doesn’t stop when the baby is born, says Dr. Griffin Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, so it’s important to take precautions.

“Women with a history of gestational diabetes can take modest but important steps for themselves and their children to prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes,” he advises. “Keep up healthy habits. See a dietician or a diabetic educator to guide them.”

Rodgers says about half of all women who had gestational diabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes later in life, and their children have a greater chance of becoming obese.

He recommends women and their families work to maintain healthy weights, with good nutrition and daily exercise.
Rodgers says the CDC doesn’t keep specific data for gestational diabetes, but it stands to reason that with a high rate of diabetes in Tennessee, the trend would include pregnant moms.
“In general, there’s a fairly good correlation between the prevalence of the disease in the state and the likelihood that the women in the state would follow that rate,” he states.

Diabetes can lead to such serious health problems as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease and limb amputations.

Experts believe as many as 161,000 Tennesseans have diabetes but are un-diagnosed.


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