Hunters For The Hungry Kicks Off 2010/2011 Season

October 29, 2010

Nashville, TN (2010-10-29) The Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s Hunters for the Hungry program is in full swing for the 2010/2011 hunting season as the state-wide muzzleloader season opens November 6th and lasts through the 19th. Hunters for the Hungry works with hunters and meat processors to fight hunger by providing properly prepared venison to food banks, church programs and soup kitchens. There are 70 processors in 55 counties across the state of Tennessee participating in the program. There are currently 19 counties that have raised funds so that hunters can drop off their deer for free to participating Hunters for the Hungry processors. TWF keeps a current list of processors with available funding on their website at www.tnwf.org.  Processors who have not been adopted typically offer discounts on donated deer to the hunter. Check with your local processor for details.  Locally, Chamberlain’s Deer Processing, 495 Carson Road in Helenwood and JR’s Meat Processing in Helenwood participate in the program. Another means of donation by sportsmen and women to the program is the “pound or pack” method. By this way of donation, participating processors will accept a small portion of processed deer to be kept for local hunger relief efforts. “Last year Hunters for the Hungry had a record setting year, collecting over 50 tons of donated venison, providing over 400,000 meals to those less fortunate,” said Matt Simcox, TWF’s Hunters for the Hungry coordinator. “With the economy still affecting the food budgets of so many Tennessee families and hunger relief agencies, we encourage hunters to take advantage of this year’s liberal doe seasons to help provide relief to those in need. We also want to remind hunters to donate $1 or more to Hunters for the Hungry when purchasing their Tennessee Hunting and Fishing license,” he continued. For information on starting a local TWF Chapter for Hunters for the Hungry in your area, contact Matt Simcox at TWF at (615) 353-1133.

Governor, Commissioner Announce New $25 Million Tennessee Small Business Jobs Opportunity Fund

October 28, 2010

Nashville, TN (2010-10-28) Governor Phil Bredesen and Commissioner Matt Kisber, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, announced today the launch of a new $25 million Tennessee Small Business Jobs Opportunity Fund offering loans to small businesses in all 95  Tennessee counties. The public/private collaboration between the state of Tennessee, Member Banks of the Tennessee Bankers Association and Pathway Lending will bring together capital resources to maximize statewide impacts for job creation and business expansion. “Small businesses are the backbone of Tennessee’s economy and ensuring their success means the state as a whole will thrive,” said Governor Bredesen.  “The business climate we’ve worked hard to create should be just as attractive to a small business as it is to a major corporation, and this new public/private partnership will support Tennessee’s small businesses by providing them with the resources they need to grow and create jobs.” “This new fund will leverage the success we’ve already achieved through the Rural Opportunity Fund and create a sustainable funding source for businesses in urban and rural communities throughout our state,” Commissioner Kisber said. “Access to capital for small businesses has been a key initiative for Governor Bredesen and the Tennessee General Assembly. By continuing to develop programs such as this, we are positively influencing how companies create jobs and grow their businesses in Tennessee.” The Tennessee General Assembly appropriated $10 million for the Small Business Jobs Opportunity Fund in the 2010-2011 fiscal year budget. Pathway Lending, formerly known as Southeast Community Capital, will be administering the fund and is currently raising an additional $10-15 million in private capital from participating Tennessee Bankers Association Member Banks. “Small businesses create the majority of new jobs in our communities and they are playing a major role in the economic recovery of our State,” said State Representative Craig Fitzhugh. “We must continue to show our support by finding creative and effective ways to develop resources so that businesses in Tennessee cannot only survive, but thrive.” “Thanks to the General Assembly and Governor Bredesen, Tennessee businesses now have access to significant amounts of growth capital to drive business expansion and job creation in all 95 counties,” said Clint Gwin, president of Pathway Lending. “We are very proud of our collaboration with the Tennessee Bankers Association, its member banks, and the State of Tennessee. The success of our previous efforts has allowed us to continue to develop innovative and creative capital resources for small business throughout Tennessee.” “The member banks of the Tennessee Bankers Association are committed to the expansion of access to capital to Tennessee Businesses and the Tennessee Small Business Jobs Opportunity Fund is just another example of this,” said Brad Barrett, president of the Tennessee Bankers Association. “We are excited about the creation of this public/private initiative which is possible due to our prior successful efforts with the creation of the Tennessee Rural Opportunity Fund. Collaboration like this makes Tennessee unique nationally in our ability to work together to help Tennessee businesses expand and create jobs.” The Tennessee Small Business Jobs Opportunity Fund is the latest in a series of public/private collaborations with Pathway Lending. In August, a $50 million Energy Efficiency Loan Program was announced to help Tennessee companies finance investments in energy efficient technology, energy retrofits and renewable energy systems. The State and Pathway also partnered on the award-winning Rural Opportunity Fund that has made more than $9 million in loans to businesses located in rural communities throughout Tennessee, creating 200 new jobs and retaining approximately 400 existing positions. Business owners interested in obtaining a loan should contact Pathway Lending at (615) 425-7171 or visit their website at www.pathwaylending.org.

Scott Jobless Rate Remains Highest In State

October 28, 2010

Nashville, TN (2010-10-28) Since February, Scott County has had the highest jobless rate in the state.  September wasn’t any different, as the county posted a slight increase in joblessness and, for the seventh straight month, the highest unemployment rate in Tennessee. According to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the jobless rate in Scott County for September was 19.9 percent, up 0.1 percentage point over the month.  Of the county’s labor force of 8,020, 6,430 were employed, leaving 1600 people without a job.  A year ago, the unemployment rate was 18.4 percent. In four of the five surrounding counties, the jobless rate improved.  In Anderson County, the unemployment rate for September was 8.2 percent, down 0.5 percentage point from August.  Campbell County reported a 0.1 percentage point decrease, down to 11.3 percent.  The jobless rate dropped 0.5 percentage point in Fentress County, which reported a September rate of 10.8 percent.  Morgan County also experienced a decrease in unemployment, a 0.5 percentage point decrease to 10.4 percent.  Pickett County was the only contiguous county to report an increase in unemployment, a 0.2 percentage point jump to 13.0 percent. Across the state, the county non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased in 85 counties, increased in seven counties and remained the same in three counties. Lincoln County registered the state’s lowest county unemployment rate at 6.0 percent, down from the August rate of 6.3 percent. Scott County had the state’s highest unemployment, followed by Marshall County at 15.6 percent, down from the August rate of 15.9 percent. Lauderdale County was third highest with a jobless rate of 14.3 percent.  Henderson County and Maury County followed both reporting unemployment rates of 14.0 percent.  Rounding out the top ten were:  Hancock County, 13.9 percent; Carroll County, 13.7 percent; Haywood County, 13.4 percent; Lawrence County, 13.4 percent; and Lewis County, 13.2 percent. Knox County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate of 7.1 percent, down from 7.6 percent in August. Hamilton County was 7.8 percent, down from 8.7 from the previous month. Davidson County was 9.1 percent, down from 9.5 percent, and Shelby County was 9.8 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from August.

Over 2300 Vote Early; Election Day November 2

October 28, 2010

Huntsville, TN (2010-10-28) The final day of early voting in Scott County for the November General Election was extremely busy, resulting in a larger than expected number of ballots cast in the 14-day period.  November 2, 2010 is Election Day in Tennessee. According to Administrator of Elections Gabe Lowe, 441 persons voted by personal appearance on Thursday; the final day of early voting in Tennessee.  Thursday was by far the busiest day of the early voting period, outpacing the nearest day by nearly two to one. In addition to those casting ballots in person, another 12 ballots were received in the mail, making the daily total 453.  Until Thursday, the largest daily turnout had been Friday, October 22, 2010, with 231 persons voting in person. While Thursday’s strong vote resulted in a unexpected spike in the early turnout, the total number of votes cast during the early voting period, 2321, is still less than those cast in 2006, when 2,891 voted.  Ultimately, 5,554 persons voted in the 2006 November mid-term election. With early voting over, the stage is set for the Election Day, November 2, 2010.  Offices on this year’s ballot include:  Governor, U.S. Representative, and State Representative.  A Constitutional question on whether or not to guarantee a citizens’ right to hunt and fish also appears on the ballot.  Locally, voters in Winfield are selecting a new mayor, along with two new aldermen.  Huntsville voters are deciding whether or not to allow the sale of liquor by the drink inside the municipality. With Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen term limited, Republican nominee Bill Haslam, Democratic nominee Mike WcWherter, and a host of independent candidates are vying for the open office.  Independent candidates for the office include:  Bayron Binkley, Brandon Dodds, Samuel David Duck, David Gatchell, June Griffin, Toni K. Hall, Mike Knois, Boyce T. McCall, Donald Ray McFolin, Linda Kay Perry, James Reesor, Thomas Smith, II, Howard M. Switzer, and Carl Two Feathers Whitaker. In the 4th Congressional District House of Representatives race incumbent Lincoln Davis (D-Pall Mall) is being challenged by Republican nominee Dr. Scott Dasjarlais.  Independents on the ticket include:  Paul H. Curtis, James Gray, Richard S. Johnson, and Gerald York. 38th District State Representative Les Winningham (D-Huntsville) is being challenged by businessman, Kelly Keisling (R-Byrdstown). In Winfield, town residents will be voting for a new mayor.  Current Vice-Mayor Virgil David Cecil is going head-to-head with former Mayor Bob Strunk.  One of the two will fill the seat left vacant by current Mayor Kenneth L. (Kenny) Burchfield, who opted not to run for office.  Additionally, voters will be selecting two new aldermen.  Candidates for the open seats are:  Chad Jones, Jeffery B. King, Kelvin King and Joe Stephens.  Current Aldermen Verscle (Bert) Burchfield and John Sexton likewise, chose not to seek reelection.  

THP Urges Motorists Beware Drunk Driving Will Not Be Tolerated

October 26, 2010

Nashville, TN (2010-10-26) The Tennessee Highway Patrol will do its part to ensure those celebrating Halloween enjoy the fall tradition responsibly and safely. Trick-or-treaters, parents and adult party goers are encouraged to follow a few simple rules to avoid becoming a scary statistic. “Halloween is often one of the deadliest nights of the year for impaired drivers,” said Department of Safety Commissioner Dave Mitchell. “The decision to prevent a horrible accident from happening is easy – don’t drink and drive. Our State Troopers are prepared to patrol and remove any and all drunk drivers from our roadways.” Nearly 5,000 people in the U.S. died in crashes during the Halloween time period from 1996-2005. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2008, 58 percent of all highway fatalities across the nation on Halloween night involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Last year in Tennessee, two people were killed in two crashes on Halloween between midnight, October 31, 2009, through 6 a.m., November 1, 2009. Both of those crashes involved alcohol. That compares to seven people killed in six crashes on Halloween during the same time period in 2008. Four out of the six fatal crashes in 2008 involved alcohol. “Our Halloween plea to everyone is to keep the party off the road,” said THP Colonel Tracy Trott. “If you’ve been drinking, don’t make the poor decision to get behind the wheel – it could cost someone their life, maybe even your own. So please be smart; it’s not worth the risk.” Partygoers, parents and children alike have a responsibility to be safe this Halloween. Simple precautions for partygoers include designating a sober driver in advance or taking a taxi, while parental guardians should closely watch children and teach them to obey safety rules. Halloween is the most dangerous day of the year for pedestrian injuries and deaths among young children. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that the number of deaths among young pedestrians (ages 5-14) is four times higher on Halloween evening than any other evening of the year.  Thirty-eight percent of all young (under age 16) pedestrian fatalities occurred between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., and alcohol involvement – either for the driver or pedestrian – was reported in 48 percent of traffic crashes that resulted in pedestrian fatalities. Below are tips parents, children and motorists should keep in mind before heading out the door this Halloween.   Tips for Motorists     Slow down. Watch for children walking on roads, medians and curbs. Be extra alert when pulling in and out of driveways. Be especially alert for children darting out from between parked vehicles and from behind bushes and shrubs. They’re excited – and they are not paying attention. Do not pass other vehicles that have stopped in the roadway.  They could be dropping off children. If you are driving to a Halloween Party, put your mask on after you park the car. Never drink and drive – tonight or any night. If you are partying, designate a driver.   Tips for Parents     Adults should accompany children at all times and supervise their “trick or treat” activities. Teach children to “stop, look left-right-left, and listen” before they cross the street. Instruct children to stay on sidewalks and to cross only at corners or crosswalks. Use a flashlight and wear retro-reflective strips or patches on your clothing or costume to be more visible to motorists. Be certain that the mask does not obstruct vision or hearing. Ensure that costumes do not impede walking or driving ability.   Tips for Pedestrians (children and adults)   Require children to wear retro-reflective materials and carry a flashlight at dawn and dusk and in other low-light situations, such as rainy or foggy weather. Before crossing a street, stop at the curb or edge of the road and look left, right and left again to be sure no cars are coming. Continue to check for traffic while on the street. Walk – never run – from house to house or across the road. Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks. When crossing at an intersection with a traffic light, be sure to watch for turning cars. Obey all pedestrian signals. Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.

Over 1600 Have Voted Early; Thursday Last Day

October 26, 2010

Huntsville, TN (2010-10-26) With just two days remaining, over 1600 people have cast early ballots in the November General Election.  Thursday will be the final day of early voting in Tennessee. According to Administrator of Elections Gabe Lowe, 1652 people had voted by the close of business on Tuesday, some 1200 less than voted early in the mid-term election in 2006.  Despite hotly contested races for all state offices and a constitutional question on the ballot, along with a municipal election and a liquor by the drink question on the local ballot, it unlikely this year’s election will match or exceed the 2006 totals. Tuesday was the fourth busiest day thus far, with 138 people voting.  On Monday, 105 people went to the polls. In 2006, 2891 persons cast their preference during the early voting period for the November mid-term election.  That year, 5,554 people eventually voted, meaning the early vote accounted for 52% of the final tally. Offices on this year’s ballot include:  Governor, U.S. Representative, and State Representative.  A Constitutional question on whether or not to guarantee a citizens’ right to hunt and fish also appears on the ballot.  Locally, voters in Winfield are selecting a new mayor, along with two new aldermen.  Huntsville voters are deciding whether or not to allow the sale of liquor by the drink inside the municipality. With Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen term limited, Republican nominee Bill Haslam, Democratic nominee Mike WcWherter, and a host of independent candidates are vying for the open office.  Independent candidates for the office include:  Bayron Binkley, Brandon Dodds, Samuel David Duck, David Gatchell, June Griffin, Toni K. Hall, Mike Knois, Boyce T. McCall, Donald Ray McFolin, Linda Kay Perry, James Reesor, Thomas Smith, II, Howard M. Switzer, and Carl Two Feathers Whitaker. In the 4th Congressional District House of Representatives race incumbent Lincoln Davis (D-Pall Mall) is being challenged by Republican nominee Dr. Scott Dasjarlais.  Independents on the ticket include:  Paul H. Curtis, James Gray, Richard S. Johnson, and Gerald York. 38th District State Representative Les Winningham (D-Huntsville) is being challenged by businessman, Kelly Keisling (R-Byrdstown). In Winfield, town residents will be voting for a new mayor.  Current Vice-Mayor Virgil David Cecil is going head-to-head with former Mayor Bob Strunk.  One of the two will fill the seat left vacant by current Mayor Kenneth L. (Kenny) Burchfield, who opted not to run for office.  Additionally, voters will be selecting two new aldermen.  Candidates for the open seats are:  Chad Jones, Jeffery B. King, Kelvin King and Joe Stephens.  Current Aldermen Verscle (Bert) Burchfield and John Sexton likewise, chose not to seek reelection. 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 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 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. Election Day is Tuesday, November 2, 2010.

Over 1200 Have Already Voted; Early Vote Ends October 28

October 22, 2010

Huntsville, TN (2010-10-22) With just a few days left in the 14-day early voting period, over 1200 persons have already voted in the November 2, 2010 General Election.  The last day to vote early is October 28, 2010. According to Administrator of Elections Gabe Lowe, a total of 1283 persons have cast early ballots in the November 2, 2010 General Election.  Thus far, 1138 people have voted by personal appearance, along with another 145 persons by either paper ballot or mail. As the end of early voting nears, the activity at the polls has increased.  Friday was the busiest day of the period, with 231 persons casting ballots. In 2006, 2891 persons cast their preference during the early voting period for the November mid-term election.  That year, 5,554 people eventually voted, meaning the early vote accounted for 52% of the final tally. Offices on this year’s ballot include:  Governor, U.S. Representative, and State Representative.  A Constitutional question on whether or not to guarantee a citizens’ right to hunt and fish also appears on the ballot.  Locally, voters in Winfield are selecting a new mayor, along with two new aldermen.  Huntsville voters are deciding whether or not to allow the sale of liquor by the drink inside the municipality. With Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen term limited, Republican nominee Bill Haslam, Democratic nominee Mike WcWherter, and a host of independent candidates are vying for the open office.  Independent candidates for the office include:  Bayron Binkley, Brandon Dodds, Samuel David Duck, David Gatchell, June Griffin, Toni K. Hall, Mike Knois, Boyce T. McCall, Donald Ray McFolin, Linda Kay Perry, James Reesor, Thomas Smith, II, Howard M. Switzer, and Carl Two Feathers Whitaker. In the 4th Congressional District House of Representatives race incumbent Lincoln Davis (D-Pall Mall) is being challenged by Republican nominee Dr. Scott Dasjarlais.  Independents on the ticket include:  Paul H. Curtis, James Gray, Richard S. Johnson, and Gerald York. 38th District State Representative Les Winningham (D-Huntsville) is being challenged by businessman, Kelly Keisling (R-Byrdstown). In Winfield, town residents will be voting for a new mayor.  Current Vice-Mayor Virgil David Cecil is going head-to-head with former Mayor Bob Strunk.  One of the two will fill the seat left vacant by current Mayor Kenneth L. (Kenny) Burchfield, who opted not to run for office.  Additionally, voters will be selecting two new aldermen.  Candidates for the open seats are:  Chad Jones, Jeffery B. King, Kelvin King and Joe Stephens.  Current Aldermen Verscle (Bert) Burchfield and John Sexton likewise, chose not to seek reelection. 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. Election Day is Tuesday, November 2, 2010.  

CDBG Funds To Provide Public Sewer To Mid-County Homes

October 22, 2010

Nashville, TN (2010-10-22) Governor Phil Bredesen and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber recently approved a $266,584 Community Development Block Grant to assist in infrastructure at Mudd Street and Rough Street outside the Huntsville city limits along Highway 27 in Scott County. “These grants are essential to the growth and maintenance of the infrastructure that attracts new jobs and other investments that help Tennessee communities thrive,” said Governor Bredesen. “I’m pleased the state of Tennessee is able to assist and our partnership with our communities continues.” The funds will be used to construct a sewer line extension to serve 10 homes. Funding for the $286,650 project will include $20,066 in local funds. The grant dollars were provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and were allocated under a procedure authorized by the Tennessee General Assembly. “Economic growth and job creation is a team effort between the state and local communities and it starts from the ground up,” said Commissioner Kisber. “I’m pleased we’re able to partner with these CDBG recipients to lay the groundwork for future economic growth.” “We understand the significant impact this grant will have on Scott County, and we are grateful for the chance to put these grant dollars to work,” said Senator Ken Yager. “The entire community will benefit from the CDBG funding and I look forward to seeing Scott County prosper in important new ways.” “I’m pleased this grant has been awarded to Scott County,” said Representative Les Winningham. “The foundation of this community will only grow stronger with the help provided and will bring new opportunities and the creation of quality jobs to Scott County.” The grant was approved following an application by Scott County and has the support of County Mayor Jeff Tibbals, Senator Ken Yager and Representative Les Winningham. Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander and Congressman Lincoln Davis aided in securing the funds. Allocation of CDBG funds is based on priorities set at local levels where community needs are best known. The CDBG program is administered in Tennessee by the Department of Economic and Community Development.

September Unemployment Rate 9.4 Percent

October 21, 2010

Nashville, TN (2010-10-21) Tennessee Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development James Neeley announced today Tennessee’s unemployment rate for September was 9.4 percent, down two-tenths of a percentage point from the August rate of 9.6 percent. The September 2009 rate was 10.8 percent. The national unemployment rate for September 2010 was 9.6 percent, unchanged from the August rate. “This is the first time the state rate has been below the national rate since July of 2004,” reports Labor Commissioner James Neeley.  “While monthly employment gains are encouraging in the short term, sustained growth will be needed to recover the jobs lost during this recession.” According to the Business Survey, government (due to educational services) increased by 10,100 jobs; private educational and health services increased by 7,500; and administrative, support and waste services increased by 1,400. Major employment decreases occurred in leisure and hospitality, down by 3,000; federal government declined by 1,600; and wholesale trade declined by 1,100 jobs. Year-over-year increases occurred in private educational and health services, up by 11,700; administrative, support and waste services gained 10,400; and retail trade was up by 6,800. Year-over-year decreases occurred in mining and construction, down by 5,400; transportation and warehousing lost 5,000; and information decreased by 3,400.

Armstrong Replaces Reed On County Commission

October 18, 2010

Huntsville, TN (2010-10-18) Brian Armstrong was unanimously chosen to replace former 4th District Commissioner Alan Reed, who resigned to take a job in and move to Nashville. Armstrong will hold the post until the next General Election, which will come in 2012. Brian Armstrong, who finished a narrow third in the Fourth District Commissioners race in August, was chosen by each sitting Commissioner in turn to replace Reed, whose resignation took effect on October 1. Armstrong finished just two votes behind Commissioner Dennis Sexton in the election. While the body could have chosen anyone from a field of five names placed into nomination, the Commission continued its tradition of choosing the person that finished closest to the incumbent in the previous election as the replacement for an outgoing Commissioner.  Other persons seeking the seat included Paul Honse and Terry Yancey (both who ran in the August 2010 election), Eric Green, and James (Jimmy) Hill. Armstrong will not fill the entire four-year term left by Reed. According to State statute, the appointment would be good until the next scheduled countywide General Election, which will come in August 2012. In other business Monday night, the Commission; ·        Appointed Shonda Crabtree, the Mayor’s Office Manager, as the county’s Title VI Coordinator and OSHA Director for ScottCounty, appointments that were required to comply with federal regulations; ·        Appointed County Mayor Jeff Tibbals, newly hired Finance Director Carol Lowe, County Clerk Patricia Phillips and County Trustee Jimmy D. Byrd as reimbursement signatories on various grants administered by the Mayor’s Office; ·        And approved a resolution supporting legislation at the State level that would require all future ethic laws apply to both State and Local governments. Several ethics laws passed by the state bind local governments, while not applying to State agencies.

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