Huntsville, TN (2010-10-14) The October meeting of the Scott County School Board was brief Thursday night; however, the body tackled a litany of routine items. In a meeting which lastly just slightly more than 30 minutes, the Scott County Board of Education address a variety of business items on it agenda, everything from making committee appointments to joining a virtual school program for expelled students. By unanimous vote Thursday night, the Board of Education opted to participate in a joint effort to establish a Virtual School, which will be operated and maintained by the Clinch-Powell Educational Cooperative. The Virtual School will be a valuable resource for the Scott County School System, allowing them to provide an alternative form of education for certain groups of students, particularly those who are facing long-term expulsions from the school system. While the school will be available free to the five local education agencies of the Clinch-Powell region (Scott, Claiborne, Union, Grainger and Hancock Counties), the schools must share the cost of attorney fees to write the guidelines, policies and procedures for the school, which must be submitted and approved by the Tennessee Department of Education. In other business Thursday night, the Board: Established a textbook committee for the 2010-2011 school year. Persons named to the K-8 committee were: Tonja Crabtree, Burchfield Elementary; Gretchen Stephens, Fairview Elementary; Denise Roberts, Huntsville Elementary and Middle; Debbie Beagle, Robbins Elementary; and Susan Vaden, Winfield Elementary. At the high school, teachers Jessica Chambers, Tony Duncan and Dacy Williams were appointed; Created a 2010-2011 School Calendar Committee. Named to the committee were: Tonja Crabtree, Burchfield Elementary; Lounicia Hughett, Fairview Elementary; Sherry Trammell, Huntsville Elementary; Debbie Cross, Huntsville Middle School; Amanda Overton, Robbins Elementary; Melissa Rector, Scott High School; and Angie King, Winfield Elementary School; Renewed its Business Trip Accidental Death Coverage Insurance policy for accidental death coverage for employees on official school business. Full-time employees and board members received $100,000 in coverage, while bus drivers and substitute bus drivers received $20,000 and $10,000 respectively. The policy cost the district $765.00; Name members to its Disciplinary Hearing Authority Committee. Persons placed on the committee were: John Blakley, Chairman; Joe Carver; Tonja Crabtree, Angie King; Amanda Overton; Melissa Rector; and Kenny Vann. Approved membership in the Clinch Powell Educational Cooperative for the 2010-2011 school year. The annual cost of membership is $2,500; Entered into a agreement with Steve and Sherry Lambert to locate a school zone flashing traffic signal on the Lambert’s property west of BurchfieldElementary School; Approved an eleven day study tour of France in June 2012 for a maximum of fifteen students in Instructor Kathy Obrusanzki’s French class at ScottHigh School. The trip will cost $2,950 per student. All expenses will be the responsibility of the individual students; Bid cameras for school buses, which will paid for through funds from the Safe and Drug Free Grant and Safe Schools Grant; Approved a trip for the Scott High School Student Council to attend the 2010 East Tennessee Leadership Workshop in Chattanooga on November 3-4, 2010; Approved three new staff positions for the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school years. Through funding provided through the federal Education Jobs Bill, the county will hire a reading coach at Winfield Elementary; an attendance monitor at Huntsville Elementary; and a countywide maintenance worker for the Schools’ Maintenance Department; and, Recognized volunteers of the month for their contribution to the school system. Honored were: Teresa Smith, Burchfield Elementary; Brent Williams, Fairview Elementary; Larry and Kelly Hutson, Huntsville Elementary; Jenny West, Huntsville Middle; Richard Selby, RobbinsElementary School; Mike and Denise Keeton, ScottHigh School; and Bonnie Martin, Winfield Elemetary.
Huntsville, TN (2010-10-13) Early Voting for the November General Election is underway across the State. In Scott County, about 150 people have already cast ballots. According to Administrator of Elections Gabe Lowe, 69 persons cast votes by personal appearance on Wednesday, the first day of the 14-day Early Voting period in Tennessee. With 78 ballots already cast by either mail or paper, including 45 ballots cast by residents of area nursing homes, the total number of persons officially voting at the end of the first day was 151. Eligible registered voters may continue to cast early votes through October 28, 2010 at either the Oneida Municipal Building, 121 Municipal Drive in Oneida or the Scott County Office Building, 2845 Baker Highway in Huntsville. Polling hours for both locations are: Monday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Voters must present valid identification. Proof of identity and correct/current address may be in the form of a current voter’s registration card, valid Tennessee Driver’s License, Social Security Card, Credit Card containing the voters’ signature, or utility bill.
Helenwood, TN (2010-10-11) A local man and an acquaintance from Indiana have been arrested by the Scott County Sheriff’s Department for allegedly making methamphetamine. Carl Edward Phillips, 66, of Helenwood and Donald L. Nevil, 55, of Indiana were arrested last Friday following a probe by the Scott County Sheriff’s Department into a possible meth lab at Phillips’ home on Helenwood Loop Road. On Friday, narcotics officers from the Scott County Sheriff’s Department, acting on information received by the department, went to Phillips’ home and allegedly found several items commonly used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Furthermore, officers reported smelling a strong chemical odor coming from the home, which was also attributed to meth making process. After being questioned, Phillips reportedly told authorities that Nevil had taken the unfinished product to another residence to complete the “cooking” process. Scott County Sheriff Mike Cross and county officers went to a home on Windsong Drive, where Nevil was reportedly found “finishing” the product. Phillips and Nevil were charged with the manufacture of methamphetamine, possession of a schedule III controlled substance, possession of a legend drug without a prescription and promotion of the manufacture of methamphetamine. Bond for both was set at $10,000. Drug Agents with the Scott County Sheriff’s Office, who are certified meth lab technicians, along with the Huntsville Fire Department, Eagle Hazmat and the Tennessee Meth Task Force performed the cleanup and processing of both labs. For more information on methamphetamine and the process used to make methamphetamine visit www.rid-meth.org.
Huntsville, TN (2010-10-11) Three men have been charged in connection with the theft of electric wire from an unoccupied mobile home in Oneida. Eddie Wayne Chadwell, Jr., 20, Gary Wayne Chadwell Mullins, , and Lloyd Isaac Lamb, 25, of Jellico were arrested last week in connection with the theft of copper from an unoccupied mobile home in Oneida last month. According to an arrest warrant filed by Detective Randy Lewallen of the Scott County Sheriff’s Department, evidence of the crime was allegedly found inside a recreational vehicle occupied by Eddie Chadwell near the vandalize mobile home on Raccoon Loop Road. Authorities, stated the warrant, found insulation from wiring taken from the home inside the RV. During questioning, Chadwell allegedly admitted to his role in the crime, further implicating Mullins and Lamb. The home reportedly sustained significant damage, as the wiring was reportedly ripped through the drywall. Chadwell and Lamb were charged with burglary (two counts), theft of more than $10,000, theft of more than $1,000, vandalism of more than $1,000 and less than $10,000 (two counts), possession of burglary tools, and criminal trespassing. In addition to the aforementioned charges, Chadwell was also charged with possession of a schedule VI controlled substance. Lamb was also charged with possession of schedule IV controlled substance, possession of a schedule II controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bond for Lamb was set at $100,000. Mullins was charged with burglary, theft of more than $1,000 and vandalism of over $10,000.
Huntsville, TN (2010-10-11) Persons interested in making application for vacant fourth district seat on the county legislative body have until Friday to submit a candidacy form and resume to the County Mayor. Persons residing in the fourth district of Scott County who are interested in filling the vacant seat on the Scott County Board of County Commissioners have until 12:00 p.m. (noon) Friday to submit their “Offer of Candidacy” form and resume to the County Mayor’s office. The vacancy was created by the departure of Commissioner Alan Reed, who resigned on October 1, 2010 after accepting a job and moving to Nashville. On Monday, October 18, 2010, the County Commission will vote on Reed’s replacement. While all potential candidates are urged to submit the requested documentation by Friday, persons will have the opportunity to “apply for” the position by making a personal appearance at the Commission’s October 18, 2010 meeting, which will begin at 6:00 p.m. The person selected will represent the fourth district until the next general election.
Oneida, TN (2010-10-08) Right now, hundreds of ScottCounty kids, families, businesses and churches are joining thousands of volunteers across America to make a difference in the lives of 8 million hurting children this Christmas. Kids and families are wrapping and packing empty shoe boxes with simple items most people take for granted, including toothpaste, toys and school supplies. During National Collection Week, November 15-22, 2010 they will drop off their shoe box gifts at one the Boys and Girls Club of Scott County collection site. Operation Christmas Child will then use whatever means necessary—sea containers, trucks, trains, airplanes, helicopters, boats, elephants—to hand-deliver the gifts to hurting children in more than 100 countries. “The project allows me, from right here in Winfield, to impact the lives of children in countries I may never have the opportunity to visit,” said Jessica H. Chambers, who has participated in Operation Christmas Child for 5 years. “I hope my gift helps a child to know that they are loved—that their life is important.” Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, is the world’s largest Christmas project. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected more than 77 million shoe box gifts and hand-delivered them to needy children in more than 130 countries. · If the 767 shoe boxes collected in 2009 by ScottCounty families were stacked on top of each other, they would reach 300 feet high. · In 2010, ScottCounty volunteers hope to collect 1200 shoe box gifts. It’s the power of a simple gift that allows Operation Christmas Child to transcend all barriers—language, cultural, religious, geographical and political—with a message of hope and love. For many of these children, the simple shoe box will be the first gift they have ever received. Samaritan’s Purse uses tracking technology that allows donors to “follow your box” to the destination country where it will be hand-delivered to a child in need. Using the EZ Give donation form found at www.samaritanspurse.org, families can register their boxes and find out where in the world their box brought joy to a child. National Collection Week is November 15-22, 2010. For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child or to volunteer at the nearest drop off, call (423) 539-1112 or email email@example.com. For more information about Operation Christmas Child visit www.samaritanspurse.org.
Huntsville, TN (2010-10-05) Ten people were indicted last week by a Scott County Grand Jury, including three people charged in connection with a rash of home burglaries earlier this year. Christopher Lee Lalonde, 28, was indicted on eight counts of aggravated burglary. Lalonde was charged in connection with a string of burglaries in and around the Winfield community between May 26, 2010 and June 17, 2010. Authorities claim that Lalonde entered the dwellings, and was allegedly involved with the taking of items from them; thefts of jewelry, guns, and other items. James Lester McCann, II, 35, and Rebecca Joyce Cordell, 29, were indicted on separate true bills in association with Lalonde. Authorities allege that many of the items taken from the homes burglarized by Lalonde were recovered from a Winfield mobile home occupied by McCann and Cordell. The pair was charged with theft of more than $10,000. Gary Tyler Stephens, 22, was indicted on three counts, including burglary of a building, theft of less than $500, and vandalism of less than $500. Stephens was accused of entering the office of a local orthodontist on August 6, 2010. Byron David Burress, 32, was indicted for the promotion of the manufacture of methamphetamine. Burress was arrested on July 28, 2010. Troy Allen Phillips, 40, and Brandon Neil Wiseman, 24, were indicted on a joint true bill. The pair was charged with: Possession of more than 0.5 grams of meth with intent to deliver or sell, possession of a schedule II controlled substance (oxycodone) with intent to deliver or sell, simple possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Phillips was additionally charged with violation of the light law, driving on suspended license, and violation of the financial responsibility law. Wiseman was also charged with criminal impersonation. Phillips and Wiseman were arrested on August 21, 2010. Gregory Allen Phillips, 21, was indicted on four counts, including sale of a schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine), failure to appear, possession of a prohibited weapon, and criminal impersonation. The alleged incident occurred on July 24, 2009. Timothy Wayne Nash, 32, was indicted on a single count of attempted especially aggravated kidnapping. Nash allegedly attempted to abduct a female juvenile under the age of 13 on or about July 5, 2010; and, Anthony Dean Byrd, 43, was indicted on charges of domestic assault and aggravated kidnapping. Byrd is accused of assaulting his spouse on or about August 24, 2010. An indictment is a formal written document that is drawn up by a prosecutor accusing a designated person of having committed a felony or misdemeanor and which is presented to a Grand Jury so that it may take action upon it. The potential for persons with similar or the same name in the community exists. All persons are innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
Oneida, TN (2010-10-05) A loan/grant from the USDA Rural Development will improve water services to customers on the Oneida Water and Wastewater system. Bobby Goode, Tennessee Director of USDA Rural Development, Congressman Lincoln Davis, Oneida Mayor Jack E. Lay, Oneida Water and Wastewater Department Manager Johnny Acres, along with a host of other individuals gathered on the waters of Howard H. Baker, Jr. Lake on Tuesday to announce an USDA Rural Development loan/grant that will improve the delivery of water service to Oneida Water Department customers. According to Acres, proceeds from the loan/grant will be used to install an automated customer meter reading system throughout the district, along with operational improvements to the water treatment plant. With funds from the award, the district will expand its Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, which will give plant operators greater flexibility in remotely controlling pumps and valves at storage tanks and booster pumps throughout the system. The department will also deploy a solar-powered aeration system, which will capture energy from the sun to circulate water in Baker Lake. The process should reduce the occurrence of blue-green algae in the town’s raw water supply, while also mitigating taste and odor problems. The loan/grant leveraged money made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Town received $985,000 in loan proceeds, coupled with $375,000 in grant funds.
Huntsville, TN (2010-10-04) Effective October 1, 2010, health insurance premiums for all employees of Scott County, except for employees of the Scott County School System, increased dramatically. The Intergovernmental Committee has recommended the County pick up the tab for the increased premium for the next 60 days, giving the County the opportunity to explore other options. Last December, Humana assumed Cariten Healthcare, the health insurance provider for Scott County employees since 2005. In July, Humana notified Ken Coffey, the County’s Account Executive from Barnes Insurance Brokers, of a 33% increase in the county’s premiums. A subsequent renewal was adjusted downward because of a change in the employee pool, resulting in an average net increase of around 24%, or about $88,000 annually. Given the sharp increase, Coffey began working with the County Finance Department to find alternative coverage. During the marketing phase, requests for quotes were sought from other carriers, including Blue Cross, United Healthcare and CIGNA. Because of the demographic of the county employee pool, United and CIGNA declined to quote coverage. In a last minute effort to stave off the majority of the increase, Coffey requested quotes from Humana for various benefit packages. Ultimately, Coffey recommended the County temporarily move all current employees to one healthcare plan with Humana, a plan with a $5,000 per individual deductible. Then, in a move designed to buy down the high deductible, Coffey suggested the purchase of a supplementary insurance or Gap Insurance product designed to lower the deductible to as little as $1,000 (individual). Furthermore, employees could lower premiums by another $500 by participating in a Humana sponsored web-based wellness program. Based on a $2,500 deductible, the premium would be comparable to the employee’s current expenditures. Dissatisfied with the options, the Intergovernmental Committee tentatively authorized the expenditure of up to $14,600 over the next 60-days to pay the increase in the healthcare premiums. “This will buy us time to look for other options,” stated County Mayor Jeff Tibbals. The County has already begun working on collecting information from all employees to have a better representation of its candidate pool. At present, the County has about 70 persons on its benefit packages, meaning insurance carriers look at the medical history of individual members. “With pools under 100 people, they look at just individual histories. If we can get this information, we can show the total claims history,” said Coffey. The County has about 140 employees that are eligible to take the coverage, meaning it could quality as a “large” employer, a company with over 100 employees. Most carriers base premiums for large employers on the claims experience for the entire pool, instead of the medical history of individual applicants. Currently, Scott County contributes $192.41 per month toward each employee’s individual health insurance premium, a benefit that has not changed in many years.
Huntsville, TN (2010-10-04) The Intergovernmental Committee of the Scott County Commission took a hard look Monday night at the feasibility and procedures necessary to enact a wheel tax in the future. No action was taken at the meeting. Ben Rogers, a representative from the County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS), gave Commissioners an overview of the process necessary to pass a wheel tax, as well as the potential gains from the levy. The wheel tax would add a tax to every vehicle registration renewal, except certain classes of plates statutorily exempt, including those for 100% combat wounded disabled veterans, prisoners of war, and military and government issued plates. According to Rogers, the County had three options to pass a measure to enact the wheel tax. The first option would require the Commission to pass a resolution at two consecutive regularly scheduled meetings by a 2/3 majority, or ten Commissioners, voting in favor. Should the County choose this method of enacting the tax, any registered voter could file a petition with the local Election Commission, signed by ten percent of the registered voters that cast ballots in the last gubernatorial election, to force a referendum on the issue. A second option would be passage of a resolution by the County legislative body calling for a public referendum on the question. The third option would be to enact the wheel tax through a Private Act of the Tennessee General Assembly, which, upon passage by the State Legislature, would still require a 2/3 majority confirmation by the Commission to become law. A wheel tax can be used for a number of purposes, Rogers observed, including adding to the County General Fund, General Purpose Schools Fund, Highway Fund, General Debt Service, any other designated fund, or a combination thereof. Revenue can also be earmarked for specific debts; however, once those debts are retired, the tax would sunset, requiring the passage of a new wheel tax for any future projects or purposes. According to numbers provided by Rogers, Scott County currently has approximately 17,764 eligible automobiles on the road, and 133 eligible motorcycles. Should the County implement a $50 wheel tax, and a $25 tax on motorcycles, the levy could generate up to $891,213.75 in new revenue for the County. The Commission is looking at alternative revenues to help amortize more than $43 million in debt incurred by the County, including money to build the Scott County Justice Center, as well as building projects at Burchfield, Robbins, and Oneida Schools.