Local News

Olivia Neal Honored by Cannon County Schools

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Olivia Neal, School Secretary for Short Mountain School was named as “Employee of the Month” for March 2019 by Cannon County Schools. Mrs. Neal was recognized and presented a certificate by Cannon County Schools Director William F. Curtis for her service to Short Mountain School.  Employees are nominated by School Principals or School District Supervisors and are voted on during monthly Principal and Supervisor meetings regarding individuals who exemplify the Mission and Vision of Cannon County Schools.
Short Mountain School Principal Robert Pitts stated regarding his employee, “Olivia Neal, secretary at Short Mountain School has been at Short Mountain for only 2 years, but she has proven herself to be an extraordinary secretary. Her people skills are excellent, and she relates so well with the faculty, the parents, and the students. All of them trust her and depend on her for special help. Students use her for special advice, and she plays the role of the nurse when the real nurse is out. Olivia’s computer skills are excellent, she is very familiar with all the new programs for attendance, bookkeeping and has served as an advisor for other schools on these new programs. If she is out with a sick child, she uses her Chrome Book to complete tasks. Many times she puts in after school hours to perform her secretarial duties. Olivia has assisted as a Building Testing Coordinator and helped work on our School Safety Plan. She is such an asset to Short Mountain School. We are so proud to have her as a part of our school.”
Director of Cannon County Schools, William F. Curtis stated “Olivia Neal is an outstanding employee.  She is a dedicated and caring employee and very attentive to the needs of Short Mountain School.  The School Secretary is an essential part of every school, and Mrs. Neal is very caring to students and staff alike.  I believe Mrs. Olivia Neal personifies our Mission of Cannon County Schools of ‘Preparing All Students for their Future’ by most assuredly being ‘The New E3 – Engaged in Excellence Every Day.”

Agriculture Enterprise Fund Helps State Grow

Friday, 15 March 2019

Seven more Tennessee businesses will now have the opportunity to grow and positively impact rural economies through grants provided by the Agriculture Enterprise Fund (AEF).
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, along with Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe, announced the sixth round of recipients of funding through the program.
The AEF is an incentive program that supports job creation and economic growth by facilitating agricultural development in Tennessee. It provides assistance to new and expanding Tennessee agriculture, forestry, and food businesses, particularly in rural counties.
Successful grant recipients must demonstrate a strong potential for impact on local farm income, access to markets, increased capacity, or agricultural innovation. Priority is given to businesses located in at-risk or distressed counties.
AEF grant recipients and projects announced included items like; new sawmill for walnut lumber, beef cattle operation adding a walk-in freezer, winery adding a filtration system, adding canola oil press, adding a creamery and adding storage to hold local milk.
You will find more information about the Tennessee Agriculture Enterprise Fund at www.tn.gov/agriculture or by emailing Kyle Hensley at kyle.hensley@tn.gov.

TDEC Issues Advisory On Stones River

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has announced a precautionary fish consumption advisory for bass species in a portion of the East Fork Stones River in Rutherford County.

The advisory is the result of fish tissue sampling at multiple stations in the summer and fall of 2018, which indicated that in species such as smallmouth bass and largemouth bass, mercury trigger points recommended by both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Food and Drug Administration are being exceeded.

It's advised that pregnant or nursing mothers and children avoid eating bass species from the portion of the East Fork included in the advisory. All others should limit consumption of bass to one meal per month. Other recreational activities on the East Fork Stones River such as boating, swimming, wading, and catch-and-release fishing carry no risk from mercury.
The advisory extends from the mouth at the confluence with the West Fork Stones River in upper J. Percy Priest Reservoir upstream to Betty Ford Road near Lascassas. Walter Hill Lake, a small impoundment on the East Fork near the community of Walter Hill, is included in the advisory.

The Department (TDEC) is not aware of any local sources of mercury to the East Fork Stones River. According to the EPA, atmospheric deposition due to the global burning of coal is the most frequent reason for elevated levels of mercury in fish.

The agency will post warning signs at public access points and will work with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to communicate this information to the public.

March Is Nutrition Month

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Choosing nutritious foods and getting enough physical activity can make a real difference in the health of Tennesseans. During National Nutrition Month® 2019, the Tennessee Department of Health is encouraging everyone to make informed food choices and develop sound eating and physical activity habits.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services physical activity guidelines recommend adults participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity each week, including at least two days of muscle-strengthening activities. Being physically active up to 300 minutes per week has even greater health benefits. Children and teens need 60 minutes of activity each day, and it should be fun!
Tennessee had the 15th highest adult obesity rate in the U.S. in 2017 at 32.8 percent, up from 20.9 percent in 2000. Data from that 2017 show 39 percent of Tennessee high school students were overweight or obese. One step Tennesseans can take to strive for better health is to cut down on sugar sweetened beverages like sodas and sports drinks, which provide many calories without much nutritional value. Substitute water for these beverages. Eating healthy foods and getting physical activity are also keys to maintaining a healthy weight.
Good nutrition and an overall healthy lifestyle are possible for people of all ages.

Human Services Helping With Child Care

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) announced a major step forward in helping families pay for the cost of child care and incentivizing more providers across the state to participate in the child care subsidy program. 
Beginning in April, Tennessee Department of Human Service will raise the weekly reimbursement rates for all providers who take part in the state’s Child Care Certificate Program.  This rate increase is the first for child care providers since 2008.
Through the Smart Steps Program, TDHS provides child care financial assistance to families who are working or pursuing post-secondary education and who meet certain income eligibility requirements. The Child Care Certificate Program also serves teen parents enrolled in high school, through the Teen Parent Assistance for Child Care Program. Additional categories of child care payment assistance are available to families who take part in the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program known as Families First, parents transitioning off Families First, and children in foster care.
Under this reimbursement rate change providers will receive:
·         35% increase in weekly reimbursement rates for infant and toddler care.
·         20% increase in weekly reimbursement rates for pre-school and school age care.
For example, these changes would mean an extra $46 a week for every infant that’s served by our Smart Steps program at child care agencies in Nashville and another $20 a week for each pre-school child.
Tennessee has approximately 4,200 regulated child care agencies, who would be eligible to participate in the Child Care Certificate Program.  Approximately 1,500 providers are currently participating. By raising the reimbursement rates, TDHS hopes that more providers will join the program, resulting in more choices for families seeking quality child care. 
Learn more about the Tennessee Department of Human Services at www.tn.gov/humanservices.   

Cannon Students Participate In Policies Event

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Students from Cannon County High School joined approximately 350 of their high school peers in Murfreesboro recently to express their views on public education in Tennessee at the Tennessee School Boards Association Student Congress on Policies in Education (SCOPE). The event took place on the Middle Tennessee State University campus.
Attending from Cannon County High School,: Nolan Bell - 9th Grade; Hannah Carrier - 10th Grade; Perry Baird - 11th Grade; and Erika Taylor - 12th Grade.  They were chaperoned and driven to the event in the Canon County High School Driver’s Education vehicle by Director of Cannon County Schools William F. Curtis.  He stated regarding the Student Congress event, “This group of students from Cannon County High School represented our school in a very distinguished way.  They had great thoughts about the debate topics and each one contributed to their specific small groups. This is a great group of students, and I look forward to their being a continued asset to the Cannon County Board of Education as student advisors.  We are very appreciative to the Cannon County Board of Education for sponsoring these excellent individuals to represent them at this informative training event.”   
Now in its 37th year, SCOPE is designed to give students a voice where public education issues are concerned and to involve young people in finding solutions to the topics that are discussed. Attendees participated in mock school board sessions, where they assumed the roles of school board members, school officials, parents, students and concerned citizens. School board members, superintendents, and educational leaders led the sessions.
Students then chose speakers to represent each of their 16 small groups who went on to take part in full-scale debates on current education issues. This year’s four debate topics and results from the poll were:
1.     High school graduation requirements shall include several pathways/options (college and career, industry credentials, etc.) that allow students to graduate with a regular high school diploma.
(Agree: 59%, Disagree: 41%)
2.     Students shall have the option of substituting club sports for physical education requirements.
(Agree: 80%, Disagree: 20%)
3.     Fighting on school grounds or during school activities shall be a zero-tolerance offense.
(Agree: 24%, Disagree: 76%)
4.     For purposes of honors recognition at graduation, the board shall use the Latin System (i.e. summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) instead of selecting a valedictorian and salutatorian. 
(Agree: 51%, Disagree: 49%)


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