Huntsville, TN (2010-12-06) The potential new operator of the former Scott County Hospital has terminated its Letter of Intent with Mercy Health Partners, setting negotiations for a takeover back to square one. Rural Healthcare Developers (RHD), the Mississippi-based company that had signed a Letter of Intent to take over operations of the Hospital with Mercy Health in September of this year, notified County and Mercy officials on Friday that the company was no longer interested in taking over operations of the former Scott County Hospital. The notification came just hours before a scheduled meeting between RHD and staff members of the Hospital, who had expressed reservations toward RHD. Jack Bryan, CEO of the Community Healthcare Division of Mercy Health, appeared before the Community Development Committee Monday night to outline the next step in the process. “This withdrawal leaves us with no current plan in place. However, this does give us an opportunity to move forward (with the County) to find a viable entity,” Bryan said. Committee Chairman Paul Strunk noted that during the negotiations with RHD, the County’s relationship with Mercy became strained. “We need to put aside our differences with Mercy that have arisen, and try to repair this relationship so we can move forward from here,” Strunk stated. Strunk went on to propose a two-prong approach to the search. In coming days, Mercy has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) from companies interested in acquiring all or part of their facilities, or in partnering with Mercy, to run those properties. In the original request, the Scott County facility was not included; however, in light of RHD’s withdrawal, the County hospital will be included in an amended RFP. In the meantime, the County will issue its own RFP, looking for an organization to take over operations. Should both approaches be successful, both parties would have to work together to find the best solution. “Communication between (the County) and Mercy is very important,” Strunk said. In the end, the Committee voted to pass on to the full Commission its recommendation that the County pursue developing an RFP for the facility.
Huntsville, TN (2010-12-06) The Intergovernmental Committee has voted against a request to change the county’s beer sale regulations. The committee’s action followed an impassioned plea from a local business owner to reduce the distance requirement for establishments selling alcohol from churches, schools, and other public places. Vicky Watters, owner/operator of the Stop ‘N Go Market in Elgin, who personally addressed the Intergovernmental Committee Monday night, requested the committee recommend a change to the ordinance regulating beer sales in the County. Watters claimed that County law hindered her ability to run her business. “All I’m trying to do is make a living, and help people,” Watters stated. According to state law 57-5-105, “No beer will be sold except at places where such sale will not cause congestion of traffic or interference with schools, churches, or other places of public gathering… the county legislative body having the right to forbid such storage, sale or manufacture at places within two thousand feet.” Counties, however, have leeway to legislate their own minimum distance, according to County Attorney John Beaty. Committee Chairman Willie Boyatt reported that the County set a distance of 1400 feet in 1977, and left the same distance when revisiting the issue in 1993. Boyatt went on to note that each municipality in Scott County has its own designated distance, all less than the state maximum of 2000 feet. After discussion, Commissioner June Jeffers motioned to recommend to the Commission a reduction in the distance requirement to 250 feet; however, committee member Ron Blevins urged the panel to adopt a distance of no less than 500 feet. At Blevins’ urging, Jeffers changed her motion to 500 feet; however, the measure still failed by a 3-3 vote, with Commissioners David “Blue” Day, Dennis Sexton, and Kenny Morrow casting dissenting votes, Jeffers, Blevins, and Boyatt voting in favor, and Harold Chambers absent. In other business Monday night: · The Intergovernmental Committee moved to write a letter to all department heads in the County, asking them to address the issue of high amounts of compensatory time being held by a number of employees in various departments; · The Emergency Services Committee passed its recommendation to the full Commission to place the sitting County Mayor and serving County Sheriff respectively on the 911 Board of Communications as ex-officio members, simultaneously matching the Mayor’s and current Commission representative’s terms to match their terms in office; and · The Building and Grounds Committee voted to declare as many as thirty older model voting machines as surplus, paving the way for disposal of the units by Administrator of Elections Gabe Lowe.
Oneida, TN (2010-12-02) When students in the Oneida School System return to class after the Christmas holiday break, they will have an extra incentives to get to school early—free breakfast. Beginning in January, all students enrolled in the Oneida Special School District, regardless of grade or socioeconomic standing, will be eligible to receive a free breakfast meal at either of the school’s cafeterias. “Our county is hurting,” commented S. Henry Baggett, Director of the Oneida Special School District. “Parents will be able to provide their children with a hot, nutritious meal without having to worry about paying for it,” he added. In addition to the economic benefit to parents, studies have shown students can greatly benefit from a good breakfast. “Research has shown students that eat breakfast are less likely to be tardy, have fewer discipline problems and are more interested in learning,” Baggett told the Oneida Board of Education. Most recently, a study showed eating a nutritionally sound breakfast could help with the childhood obesity problem. Currently, only about one in four Oneida students eat breakfast at school. “If we can achieve 40% participation, it will pay for itself,” Baggett remarked. “We would love to have at least 3 out of 4 students participate,” he added. In other business Thursday night, the board: · Approved a contract with Have Garbage Will Travel for trash collection in 2011. While the total bid price wasn’t publicly disclosed, the contract will reportedly save the district about $1200 annually. The system’s current provider, Scott Solid Waste, was the only other bidder. “We haven’t had a problem with (Scott Solid Waste’s) service, commented Baggett. However, the district has been looking for ways to save money; · Accepted the resignations of Jenny Shoemaker, Rachael Moore, and Amy E. Ellis; · Announced the hiring of three new employees: Carrie Kidd, middle school music teacher, Stephanie King, elementary school teacher; and John Ray, elementary school custodian; · Amended several board policies to coincide with new state laws; and · Announced Going the Extra Mile (GEM) awards for Trebby Hicks, middle school guidance counselor; and Paul Lowe, middle and high school maintenance worker.
Huntsville, TN (2010-12-01) Four persons have been arrested following an investigation by local authorities into allegation of meth making at a local motel. Floyd Dean Morgan, 45, of Oneida, Jamie L. Wallace, 38, of Oneida, Misty L. Ferguson, 32, of Helenwood, and April I. Edwards, 21, of Georgetown, KY were arrested late Wednesday night by the Scott County Sheriff’s Department. According to Scott County Sheriff Mike Cross, narcotics officers from the Sheriff’s Department went to the Galloway Motel at around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night to investigate a possible meth lab. Officers found more than they bargained for. Authorities allegedly found not one, but two meth labs. Officers reportedly recovered an active so-called one pot “shake and bake” meth lab, along with an undisclosed amount of finished methamphetamine inside one room. The meth, stated authorities, had been packaged for resale. In a neighboring room, officers allegedly found a variety of meth related items in what has been described by hazmat cleanup crews as “the most toxic meth lab in Scott County history.” Morgan, Wallace, Ferguson, and Edwards were each charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, initiating the process to manufacture methamphetamine, promotion of the manufacture of methamphetamine, felony possession of more than 0.5 grams of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Nashville, TN (2010-12-01) Preliminary reports indicate 12 people were killed during the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, compared to 10 fatalities during last year’s Thanksgiving Day holiday period. Statistics for the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday reflect the time period from 6 p.m., Wednesday November 24, 2010, to midnight Sunday, November 28, 2010. In 1983, the fewest number of Thanksgiving holiday period motor vehicle fatalities were recorded with seven, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety. The highest number of people killed during a Thanksgiving holiday period happened in 1966, when 34 people were killed in crashes on Tennessee roadways. In 2008, there were 10 fatalities during the four-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend and 13 fatalities were recorded in 2007. Twelve people were killed in 10 fatal crashes during the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday period. Seven of the victims were not wearing seat belts. The 10 crashes occurred in Campbell, Davidson, Grainger, Hamilton, Lawrence, Marshall, McNairy, Rutherford, Shelby, and Union counties. The crash in Lawrence County was a double fatality that killed two teenagers, ages 15 and 17. Neither victim was wearing a safety restraint. As of December 1st, preliminary statistics indicate that 967 people have died on Tennessee roadways in 2010, an increase of 55 deaths compared to 912 fatalities at this same time a year ago.
Knoxville, TN (2010-11-30) With attorneys from both sides alluding to a possible settlement, a U.S. District Judge in Knoxville has agreed to postpone a former Scott County woman’s federal lawsuit against Scott County. On November 22, 2010, U.S. Magistrate Judge Clifford Shirley, Jr. granted a continuance in the civil rights lawsuit lodged against Scott County by Edwina Gail Allred, a former inmate in the Scott County Jail that filed suit claiming authorities withheld her medication, which ultimately impaired her eyesight. In response to a joint motion to continue the case, Judge Shirley reasoned, “…the parties state that they are prepared to go to trial but that they believe the matter could be resolved through mediation.” A mediation hearing has been scheduled for December 13, 2010, the day the case was set to be heard in federal court. In her original complaint, Allred sought $18 million, including $9 million in compensatory damages and another $9 million in punitive damages. In the event the parties are unable to settle the suit, Judge Shirley reset the trial for February 22, 2011. .
Knoxville, TN (2010-11-30) Healthy Life Clinic, a Knoxville based healthcare provider, is opening a new family healthcare clinic locally to assist the medically underserved communities of Scott County, TN, and Southern Kentucky. A public ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at the new clinic at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2010. “I see this location as a perfect opportunity to serve others who are in need of personalized medical attention,” commented Gary Bickford, Ph.D., FNP-BC, President of Healthy Life Clinic. The clinic is located at 20403 Alberta Street and shares the building with Dr. Trent Cross, who serves as clinic Medical Director. Cynthia L. Claywell, MSM, ARNP-BC, we be the healthcare provider at the new clinic. “Cindy is an experienced nurse practitioner and we are so proud to have her” said Dr. Bickford. Healthy Life Clinic serves the medical needs of patients over one year of age. The clinic accepts most insurance, including TennCare, Medicare, and self-pay patients with a mission of providing quality family healthcare that focuses on healthy living. For more information about Healthy Life Clinic, Inc. visit www.HealthyLifeClinicInc.com or by call (423) 286-4040.
Oneida, TN (2010-11-29) Two Oneida men were arrested last week following an investigation into a theft at discount store in Oneida. According to arrest warrants filed by Cpl. Gerry “Greasey” Garrett of the Oneida Police Department, Jacob Justin Slaven, 27, and Adam J. Norris, 23, both of Oneida, were arrested on November 23, 2010 following an investigation into the theft of a laptop computer from Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Oneida on Saturday, November 20, 2010. Slaven, stated the warrant, was linked to the theft following his arrest on Sunday, November 21, 2010 on separate theft charges. Oneida Police Chief Darryl Laxton reportedly identified Slaven from video surveillance footage from the store. In the video, Norris is allegedly seen helping Slaven remove the laptop from a display in the store. Slaven, stated the warrant, was the person who actually carried the computer out of the business. Slaven and Norris were both charged with theft of property valued at more than $500.
Oneida, TN (2010-11-29) Thanks to the generous efforts of Scott County residents, over thirteen hundred suffering children worldwide will enter the New Year with new hope. Scott County residents joined Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, to pack 1335 shoe boxes with simple items most people take for granted, including toothpaste, toys and school supplies (923 were collected at the Scott County Collection site while 412 were collected at other collection centers from Scott County organizations). The shoe boxes will soon be hand-delivered to hurting children around the world using whatever means necessary—sea containers, helicopters, boats, camels…even dog sleds! “In spite of the unstable economic climate, people gave generously to the world’s largest Christmas project has an ongoing tally of over a million shoe box gifts being collected from caring U.S. families, schools, churches and community groups,” stated Jessica H. Chambers, local organizer for the event. “On behalf of our community, I would like to thank the local collection sites, volunteers and everyone who packed an Operation Christmas Child shoe box gift,” she added. “These simple gift-filled shoe boxes communicate to hurting children that they are loved and not forgotten,” Chambers concluded. Though the Scott County drop-off location is closed until November 2011, shoe boxes are still being accepted. Gifts are received year-round at Samaritan’s Purse, 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, N.C., 28607. To get involved, you may go online to www.samaritanspurse.org or call (423) 539-1112.
Huntsville, TN (2010-11-27) Thanksgiving is usually a time of rest and relaxation, but his holiday weekend, the Scott County Sheriff’s Department took the opportunity to turn up the heat on a couple of repeat offenders that were on the lam. Jesse Dwayne Perry, 26, of Oneida and Joseph D. Winnie, 25, of Pioneer, were both taken into custody early Saturday morning by the Scott County Sheriff’s Department on outstanding warrants. Winnie, stated authorities, had been on the run for months, while Perry had failed to appear in court on theft charges lodged against him in October. According to an arrest warrant from the Scott County Sheriff’s Department, Winnie was wanted for violation of probation on several charges, including domestic assault and evading arrest (two counts), which dated back to May 2008. Since that conviction, Winnie has allegedly eluded authorities on several occasions, failed to appear in court on evading arrest charges, and failed to report to his probation officer. The court issued a capais warrant for his arrest for failure to appear on March 10, 2010. Later that month, his probation officer petitioned the court for revocation of his probation. Since then, Winnie had been on the run. Winnie is being held in the Scott County Jail without bond. Authorities allege Perry, along with two others, burglarized an Annadale home in October. The trio allegedly took and sold several pieces of jewelry. Perry was picked-up on outstanding charges of aggravated burglary and theft of over $1,000. He is being held in the Scott County Jail under a $25,000 secure bond.