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Thursday, July 24, 2014
Bedford County Government

Stories related to Bedford County government

More county funds urged for NRCS (07/23/14)
Bedford County Financial Management Committee recommended Tuesday night that the county go back on a decision it made during the just-completed budget process and give a $21,000 increase in its contribution to the Natural Resources Conservation Service...
Now, it's your turn (07/17/14)
Early voting for the Aug. 7 primary and general elections begins Friday and runs through Aug. 2. All early voting takes place in the basement of Bedford County Courthouse, regardless of where your election-day precinct is located. You don't need a reason to early vote; it's open to anyone...
Embry gets good grades (07/16/14)
School Superintendent Don Embry's contract was renewed for one year by the Bedford County Board of Education during its meeting Tuesday. His contract, which began last year, was for three years -- through 2016, Chairwoman Amy Martin said. Now, the contract will run through 2017...
231N land gets down to business (07/16/14)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners' rules and legislative committee has recommended another rezoning of property along U.S. 231 north of Shelbyville. Warr Development Co. is requesting that its site at 2723 U.S. 231 North be rezoned from A-1 (agriculture) to C-2 (commercial) so that the land "can be held for sale as commercial," according to the rules committee agenda and to Bedford County Planning Commission minutes...
Bowman enters race for commission seat (07/16/14)
Jerry Bowman has announced his candidacy as an independent for a 9th District seat on Bedford County Board of Commissioners in the Aug. 7 general election. Bowman is the owner of Grace Nursery and has owned and operated Bedford Quality Fencing for 27 years. Bowman has volunteered and taught numerous seminars on conservation and safety for young sportsmen...
King seeks re-election to commission seat (07/16/14)
Billy King Jr. has announced his candidacy as an independent for re-election to a 4th District seat on Bedford County Board of Commissioners in the Aug. 7 general election. King serves on the commission's courthouse and county property committee. He works in retail operations for W.S. Badcock Corp. and is currently manager of its Shelbyville store. He is a past member of Bedford County Board of Education and a past member of Shelbyville Jaycees...
County honored by financial management (07/16/14)
Joe Kimery of the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury's office appeared before Bedford County Board of Commissioners last week to present County Mayor Eugene Ray, Finance Director Robert Daniel, and Daniel's staff with the county's fifth consecutive award for excellence in financial management and reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association. Kimery said only eight counties received the award last year, with Bedford County being the smallest. He praised Ray, Daniel, the school system and highway department, and commissioners themselves for the county's financial management. From left are Ray, Kimery, Daniel, and finance department staffers Lori Schuler, Pat Thomas, Mary Anna Mitchell and Joyce Glover. (T-G Photo by John I. Carney)
Wilson seeks another term on commission (07/15/14)
J.D. "Bo" Wilson Sr. is an independent candidate for re-election to a 5th District seat on Bedford County Board of Commissioners in the Aug. 7 general election. Wilson currently serves on the commission's financial management committee. He is a former chair of the courthouse and county property committee...
Farrar is candidate for commission seat (07/11/14)
Phillip T. Farrar has announced his candidacy for re-election to a 9th District seat on Bedford County Board of Commissioners in the Aug. 7 general election. Farrar is running as an independent candidate. Farrar is chair of the commission's rules and legislative committee. ...
231 North land to be rezoned (07/09/14)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday night to approve the rezoning of property at 2737 U.S. 231 North from A-1 (agriculture) to C-2 (commercial), as requested by property owner Marquietta High, who plans to move to East Tennessee to live with her daughter...
Graham seeks re-election to commission (07/09/14)
Denise Graham has announced her candidacy for re-election to a 7th district seat on Bedford County Board of Commissioners in the Aug. 7 general election. She has been married to Chad Graham for 21 years, and has 2 children, Nikita and Daryl. Graham, a registered nurse for 11 years, works at Stone Crest Medical Center in Smyrna. A 1990 graduate of Shelbyville Central High School, she completed her RN training at Motlow State Community College in 2003...
Library gets $1 million from county (07/02/14)
The county commission approved the 2014-2015 budget Monday evening, which includes $1 million set aside for building a new library and no tax increase. Total tax rate for Bedford County remains at $2.27 for each $100 of taxable property countywide. County mayor Eugene Ray explained that the $1 million for the Argie Cooper Library building donation was taken out of reserves and moved to appropriations, so that the county can donate the money as needed...
Collars go to class, except on school shirts (07/01/14)
The Bedford County Board of Education clarified its dress code policy as part of a potpourri of topics during a special called meeting Monday. The board had altered the dress code during its regular June meeting two weeks ago. On Monday, the board cleaned up the policy's language to make clear that collared shirts are required unless the student is wearing a school-approved T-shirt. ...
Detention center's future questioned (06/26/14)
In 2011, Bedford County commissioners considered closing the county's juvenile detention center, due to its high operating costs. But, after pleas from local juvenile court officials, they relented. After all, if the center were closed, the county would have to pay to house its own juveniles in some other city's or county's detention facility, along with the manpower and vehicle costs associated with taking the juveniles back and forth...
No Dallas trip for Animal Control (06/19/14)
Bedford County Animal Control personnel won't have to go to Dallas after all. The Times-Gazette reported on Wednesday, based on discussion at Tuesday night's meeting of Bedford County Board of Commissioners' law enforcement committee, that a test taken by several BCAC employees last fall in Dallas has turned out to be invalid, and the test must be retaken in order for those employees to be certified for behavioral assessment under PetSmart Charities' Rescue Waggin' program...
Style's back in school (06/18/14)
Bedford County schools are going a little more casual. The Board of Education on Tuesday adopted a more relaxed dress code that will be mandatory for students in grades 6-12 systemwide. The system's secondary school principals collaborated on the list, said Suzanne Alexander, board secretary. The dress code will be voluntary for elementary school students, according to the policy...
Neeley seeks another term on school board (06/18/14)
Diane Neeley has announced her candidacy for re-election to the 4th District seat on Bedford County Board of Education in the Aug. 7 general election. Neeley, a Bedford county native, has lived in the Wheel area for the past 30 years. Neeley currently serves as the board's vice chair. ...
Commercial zoning urged for U.S. 231 North land (06/18/14)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners' rules and legislative committee voted Tuesday night to recommend rezoning of property at 2737 U.S. 231 North from A-1 (agriculture) to C-2 (commercial). Bedford County Planning Commission was told earlier this month, according to meeting minutes, that property owner Marquietta High was moving out of town and wanted to sell the property. ...
Wrong move sends truck into building (06/12/14)
The bumper sticker said "stunt driver" -- but, for those inside the county-owned Regions Bank building on the west side of the Shelbyville square, it was no stunt when a truck crashed through a front window late Tuesday morning. "We heard a big boom and glass breaking," said Vickie Hull, who was working inside the building when Martha Helton of Shelbyville lost control of her truck. "It almost sounded like a bomb when it hit."...
Security upgrades set for courthouse (06/12/14)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday night to approve security renovations to the second floor of Bedford County Courthouse. The renovations, which will cost less than $5,000 due to the cost of inmate labor, will be paid for from a courthouse security fund. They primarily relate to the holding areas where inmates wait for court appearances...
Zoning change approved for 41A property (06/11/14)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday night to grant a rezoning to Wayne and Adrian Bomar for property bordered by U.S. 41A (New Tullahoma Highway), State Route 64 (Wartrace Pike) and State Route 437 (the Shelbyville bypass). The Bomars had asked for the property to be rezoned from A-1 (agriculture) to C-2 (commercial), saying the construction of the bypass and the forthcoming widening of 41A had harmed its suitability for residential use and made it more appropriate to sell as a possible commercial site.. ...
Ervin's moo-ving on (06/05/14)
Gay Ervin says she has "the most perfect job in the whole wide world." And yet, she said she knew the time was right to retire. Ervin has spent the past 23 years working at the University of Tennessee Extension. She's worked with 4-Hers, organized environmental awareness events for school children, and served as the county's recycling coordinator...
Water flowingnear Liberty (06/05/14)
Water is now running freely through a culvert under State Route 130, and some county-owned property near Liberty School is being drained as a result. "It's draining at this time," said neighbor Gene Ray, who had been concerned about the flooding, on Tuesday afternoon...
Non-tenure educators lose jobs (06/04/14)
The Bedford County school system decided not to renew contracts for 49 non-tenured eductators at the end of the academic year, records show. Twenty-one of those have accepted new jobs in the school system already, officials say. Others, like Angelica Wortham, would like to continue teaching in Bedford County, but have expressed doubt that they would be rehired...
Yockey is candidate for 5th District seat (06/04/14)
Linda Bomar Yockey has announced her candidacy for re-election to a 5th District seat on Bedford County Board of Commissioners as an independent candidate in the Aug. 7 general election. The district is composed of the Flat Creek and Normandy precincts...
TDOT: Wetland is local problem (06/03/14)
Tennessee Department of Transportation has clarified why it believes it isn't responsible for a poorly-drained area of county-owned property near Liberty School. TDOT spokesperson Heather Jensen said late last week that a culvert in question under State Route 130 is upstream from the area...
County dives into budget details (06/01/14)
The Bedford County government is moving closer to approval of a budget for the fiscal year that starts in July. The Fiscal Management Committee voted Friday to make recommendations on budget requests for June's commission meeting; the commission has final say on budget items. The budget calls for estimated revenues of about $16.5 million...
Industry proposal pitched (05/28/14)
Proponents of an industrial park on Frank Martin Road paid a courtesy call on Bedford County Financial Management Committee as the committee prepares to begin discussing the 2014-2015 county budget later this week. The committee which had been researching the park appeared before the finance committee back in January, and the finance committee voted at that time to take the request under advisement as part of the new budget process...
Courtroom protection suggested (05/22/14)
Bedford County Sheriff's Department is recommending changes to the second floor of Bedford County Courthouse to improve security. The changes would include creating separate holding areas for male and female inmates, replacing chairs in the detention areas with benches, and giving Tasers to the sheriff's department officers assigned to the court system...
Disagreement rises over rezoning plea for bypass property (05/21/14)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners' rules and legislative committee, meeting Tuesday night, added its stamp of approval to a rezoning request for property on the west side of the Shelbyville bypass between U.S. 41A (New Tullahoma Highway) and State Route 64 (Wartrace Pike)...
County will sell Union St. properties (05/14/14)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday night to take sealed bids on two county-owned buildings on Union Street -- but only after the county attorney does a title search. The lots adjoin what used to be the county-owned hospital and nursing home. ...
Ray asks 3rd term as county mayor (05/14/14)
Bedford County Mayor Eugene Ray has announced his candidacy for re-election as an independent in the Aug. 7 general election. Ray has served two terms as mayor and prior to that was a long-time member of Bedford County Board of Commissioners. He chaired the commission as a member and now chairs it as the county mayor...
Repaving asked for rural roads (05/13/14)
Bedford County Highway Superintendent Stanley Smotherman has requested that the county finance a two-year, $2 million repaving program for rural roads. Smotherman made the request during budget hearings held Monday by the county's Financial Management Committee...
Five school buses may be in budget (05/09/14)
New buses are one of the details officials are hammering out to create a new school budget. The Bedford County Board of Education finance committee met Tuesday to work on the preliminary budget. The 2014-2015 fiscal year preliminary school budget calls for up to five buses to replace older vehicles, at a potential cost of $463,000. The school system periodically rotates the buses in its fleet...
Sheriff's race is wide open (05/07/14)
Bedford County will have a new sheriff in September. Incumbent Randall Boyce was defeated in Tuesday night's Democratic primary by Shelbyville Police Chief Austin Swing, while Rod Stacy won the Republican primary. Swing and Stacy will face each other in the August general election...
Non-profits request funds from county (05/06/14)
Bedford County Financial Management Committee heard non-profit agency contribution requests Monday morning and will, as usual, have to balance the needs of those agencies against the county's own ongoing budget needs. No action was taken; commissioners will hear budget requests from county agencies next Monday...
City budget hit hard by state law (04/30/14)
A change in state law dealing with the mixed drink tax will result in some decrease in revenue for Shelbyville. It does not mean that taxes will be going up, instead, cuts will have to be made to the budget, the city manger said. In the early 1980s, a state law provided that mixed drink tax proceeds collected where liquor by the drink is allowed would be distributed 50 percent to the city or county and the other half to local schools...
County gets $36K in tobacco funds (04/24/14)
Bedford County Health Department has received $36,611 from the state's tobacco settlement money to help reduce preschoolers' exposure to second-hand smoke. Dr. David Reagan, chief medical officer for Tennessee Department of Health, made the presentation on Wednesday at the health department offices on Dover Street. County Mayor Eugene Ray, Shelbyville Mayor Wallace Cartwright, State Sen. Jim Tracy and State Rep. Pat Marsh were among those in attendance...
3 new teachers possible (04/23/14)
A very preliminary budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal school year is calling for new teacher positions. The Bedford County Board of Education's budget committee held its first meeting in the planning process on Monday. Committee members said they hope to wrap up all the details in time for the May 20 school board meeting...
County tax collections up, for now (04/23/14)
For now, the budget news is good for Bedford County government, with property tax and sales tax collections running ahead of the same point last year and on track to meet the county's budget. But County Commissioner J.D. "Bo" Wilson cautioned his fellow members of the Financial Management Committee Tuesday night not to be complacent...
Miller moved from Community position (04/22/14)
The principal of Community Elementary School has been reassigned to the central office, officials say. Tim Miller is no longer principal of the school in Unionville, School Supt. Don Embry said Friday. Miller was reassigned to the central office for "other duties" for the rest of the school year due to what Embry called "personnel issues."...
Mobile devices allowed at schools 'within reason' (04/17/14)
Students soon will have permission to tweet and text from school in certain circumstances. The Bedford County Board of Education on Tuesday approved certain student uses of mobile devices during school hours. The board's monthly meeting was held at Thomas Magnet School's library instead of the central office; the board occasionally meets at various schools...
Sanders joins race for Dist. 7 commissioner (04/16/14)
Julie Wells Sanders has announced her candidacy for a seventh district seat on Bedford County Board of Commissioners in the May 6 Republican primary. Wells is rehab director for Horizon Health and Rehab and United Regional Medical Center in Manchester. She served as assistive technology coordinator and as occupational therapist for Bedford County school system for 15 years...
Lights, camera, not so much action: Courthouse to be captured (04/16/14)
Bedford County Courthouse is ready for its closeup, Mr. DeMille. A proposal discussed at Tuesday night's meeting of Bedford County Board of Commissioners' courthouse and county property committee would place a camera on top of the county-owned Regions Bank building on the square, pointed at Bedford County Courthouse...
GOP candidates speak out (04/11/14)
Republican candidates for the U.S. Congress were among the speakers at Thursday night's Bedford County Republican Party Reagan Day Dinner. Rather than invite a keynote speaker for the banquet, the party held a candidate forum for state and local GOP candidates...
Livestock removal deal approved (04/10/14)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners, meeting Tuesday night, approved a new contract with South Central Tennessee Development District for removal of dead livestock. The county's bill is going up by 4 1/2 percent over the previous contract, but the county has little choice...
Got junk? It's time to trash it (04/10/14)
After this frigid winter, you've probably got a lot of junk to dispose of. You'll get to do that on your regular garbage day next week as the Shelbyville's public works department will be conducting its spring cleanup Monday through Thursday. Public works director Mark Clanton said the crews will pick up just about anything -- including couches, chairs, household items and latex paint -- with a few exceptions...
Cartwright enters race for county clerk (04/09/14)
Julie Kay Cartwright has announced her candidacy for Bedford County Clerk in the May 6 Republican primary. Cartwright has been a critical care paramedic for 22 years, with eight years of supervisory experience. She has worked in the local emergency room for the past eight years...
Democratic hopefuls speak out at forum (04/09/14)
Candidates in the upcoming Democratic primary stressed their personal stories and qualifications and avoided controversy or criticism of each other during a forum hosted Tuesday night at Bedford County Agriculture and Education Center. The forum was hosted by Bedford County Democratic Party...
Local August election set (04/04/14)
State Rep. Pat Marsh is all but guaranteed re-election to his 62nd district seat in the General Assembly, since no one in either party filed to run against him by Thursday's deadline. Circuit Judge (Part 2) Lee Russell, Chancellor J.B. Cox, District Attorney General Rob Carter and Bell Buckle Mayor Dennis Webb also have no official opposition...
Energy cuts eyed in schools (03/28/14)
Bedford County educators are continuing to study ways to conserve energy -- and save money. The Department of Education's Energy Management Committee met Thursday to discuss energy conservation. Earlier this month the company Cenergistic had offered its services as a consultant to help the system manage energy consumption. Last October, Aramark offered its services for energy management as well. Aramark's Daniel Kleindienst currently serves as the school system's facility manager...
County backs Cunningham zoning decision (03/27/14)
Bedford County has responded to a lawsuit against it over the zoning of Grady Cunningham's property on U.S. 231 North, saying county commissioners acted properly in denying a rezoning request. Cunningham, denied a rezoning for his property at 2506 U.S. 231 North, filed a lawsuit in January in Bedford County Chancery Court against the county, the county commission, and 17 of the 18 individual commissioners, alleging violations of the Open Meetings Act and other procedural violations...
Lawsuit over drug arrest settled (03/27/14)
A settlement has been reached in a federal lawsuit against county officials who were accused of searching the home of a drug suspect without a warrant and assaulting him. According to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Winchester, "all matters have been compromised and settled in this case" involving Troy James Neal...
$9K bill may go unpaid (03/26/14)
Bedford County Financial Management Committee is skeptical of a request that the county pay for $9,000 of extra work on a Safe Routes to Schools project near Harris Middle School. Littlejohn Engineering has presented a request to the county for an additional $9,000 for the contractor -- who wasn't specifically identified during Tuesday night's committee discussion -- who worked on sidewalk projects near the school paid for as part of a Safe Routes to Schools grant...
City considers industrial park issue (03/25/14)
There are likely to be a lot of questions posed in the next few months now that Shelbyville's city council has committed to fund an industrial park. In a surprise vote March 13, the council chose to set aside up to $750,000 over the next three years towards constructing an industrial park, after council member Henry Feldhaus made the motion...
Schools to test new test (03/19/14)
The state will use some Bedford County students next week to field test the new PARCC test. Superintendent Don Embry told the Board of Education on Tuesday that select grades in most schools will take the test. PARCC is a new test that students in 17 states will take during the 2014-2015 year. According to the consortium's website, it is meant to measure Common Core standards...
High-tech maps lead emergency vehicles (03/19/14)
With new technology, Bedford County Fire Department -- and, soon, other emergency departments -- will be able to see real-time maps in their vehicles directing them to the site of an emergency, along with other information, such as the 9-1-1 call history, if any, from that location...
Sunday Conversation: Graham reflects on past, future as he changes careers (03/16/14)
At the end of last month, Chad Graham left his position as director of Bedford County Emergency Medical Services, a position he'd held since 1997, to take a position administering a private medical practice. He had been full-time with BCEMS since 1991...
County sued over zoning denial (03/13/14)
Grady Cunningham, denied a rezoning request for his property on U.S. 231 North after repeated attempts, filed a lawsuit in January in Bedford County Chancery Court against the county, the county commission, and 17 of the 18 individual commissioners, alleging violations of the Open Meetings Act and other procedural violations...
Commission approves stronger rules for canines (03/12/14)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners approved tweaks to the county's animal control regulations as recommended by Commissioner P.T. "Biff" Farrar, who chairs the commission's rules and legislative committee. The rules apply outside city limits; cities and towns establish their own separate rules...
Firm wants to cut school energy costs (03/09/14)
A consulting company has proposed to help the Bedford County school system save millions of dollars in energy costs -- and to use some of those savings as its fee. Cenergistic made a sales pitch Wednesday to the board of education's energy management committee. ...
Fantastic season for local teams (03/06/14)
Two district championships. A region title. Two second-place district finishes. A runner-up region finish. And two sub-state appearances. It's been quite the year for Bedford County basketball. On Tuesday night, the last team standing finished the incredible season in the Class AA sub-state match up featuring the Cascade Champions and East Nashville Eagles...
Healthy upgrade for EMS urged (02/27/14)
Bedford County Emergency Medical Services, due to some aggressive collection of old accounts, is on track to exceed its net revenue for the county's 2013-2014 fiscal year by $250,000, and outgoing director Chad Graham said the county should use $65,000 of that excess to update the ambulance service's computer software...
Better care for pets (02/25/14)
A joint session of Bedford County Board of Commissioners' rules and legislative committee with its law enforcement and workhouse committee made several recommendations Monday night for changing the county's rules governing dog houses and pets kept on tethers or chains.. ...
Graham will resign as EMS director (02/21/14)
Chad Graham has announced that he will resign as director of Bedford County Emergency Medical Services, a position he's held since 1997, at the end of this month in order to take a position as administrator for a local medical practice. Graham had been full-time with BCEMS since 1991...
Shelter definition debated by county (02/20/14)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners' rules and legislative committee and its law enforcement and workhouse committee will meet jointly 4:30 p.m. Monday in the third floor courtroom at the county courthouse to discuss whether changes need to be made in the county's animal control ordinances...
New tech contracts save county money (02/19/14)
Bedford County Board of Education approved three technology contracts Tuesday. The board voted to renew a three-year contract with Pearson School Systems to continue using PowerSchool, a student data management system. The school system has been hosting the program on its own servers, but will switch to state servers, said Terise Rhodes, student management supervisor...
Committees to stay same for this year (02/12/14)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday night to keep its four standing committees as is, and also to reappoint John T. Bobo as county attorney. The committees are as follows: l Courthouse and County Property -- Commissioners Bob Davis, Don Gallagher, Billy King, Linda Yockey and Jeff Yoes...
Rhodes enters race for commission seat (02/07/14)
Terise' Rhodes has announced her candidacy for a 4th District seat on Bedford County Board of Commissioners in the May 6 Republican primary. Rhodes is student management supervisor for the Bedford County school system and was previously a math teacher at Shelbyville Central High School. ...
Suit vs. local officials dismissed (02/06/14)
A federal suit filed in 2012 against Bedford County Sheriff's Department and several others has been dismissed with prejudice. Brian Keith Milstead had filed a complaint for violation of civil rights against the sheriff's department, retired Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler, public defenders Andrew Jackson Dearing III and Donna Hargrove, assistant district attorneys Mike Randles and Ann Lacy Filer, along with April Hernandez...
Funds equal jobs: Committee (01/29/14)
The committee that has been researching a new industrial park for Shelbyville and Bedford County reported to Bedford County Financial Management Committee on Tuesday night, asking the county to finance half of a $1.7 million project. Study committee chair Virgil Johnson and other members of the study committee appeared before the finance committee Tuesday night to make their report...
Rogers enters race for circuit court clerk (01/29/14)
Michael Paul "Mike" Rogers of Shelbyville has announced his candidacy for Bedford County Circuit Court Clerk in the May 6 Democratic primary. Rogers, a native of Bedford County, is deputy chief of police for the City of Shelbyville, a position he has held since 1994. Rogers began a career with the police department in 1977 after grauating from the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy...
Warren admits thefts from vets (01/24/14)
Gordon Warren, Bedford County's former veterans service officer, pleaded guilty Thursday to theft of funds from the United Veterans Council and the American Legion. Criminal information was submitted to Circuit Court Judge Forest Durard, bypassing the grand jury, and Warren waived his right to go through that process...
New state rules frustrate teachers (01/22/14)
Teachers are unhappy with state-mandated changes in education, and they're speaking out about it. Tamra King, president of the Bedford County Education Association, shared the results of a teacher survey with the Board of Education on Tuesday. The association emailed the survey to all certified staff (teachers), and 60 percent responded...
Protection for pets in cold urged (01/22/14)
Two of Bedford County Board of Commissioners' standing committees discussed Tuesday night whether the county should adopt stricter regulations on shelters for outdoor pets and on chaining of outdoor animals. Tina Breshears appeared before the rules and legislative committee and before the law enforcement committee to express her concerns about pets kept outdoors with insufficient shelter during bitterly cold weather...
County may get break on new jail (01/21/14)
The consensus is still that Bedford County will need to build a new jail, and the county intends to continue to work in that direction, but it's possible that the state mandate on the county may become slightly less restrictive, according to County Mayor Eugene Ray...
More water on way after commission vote (01/15/14)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday night to apply for a Community Development Block Grant on behalf of Bedford County Utility District to extend water lines along portions of four rural roads. BCUD is independent and non-governmental, but block grants must be applied for by city or county governments. Bedford County has applied for numerous grants over the years on behalf of BCUD and on behalf of Flat Creek Water Cooperative...
Officials explain their jobs (01/08/14)
County officials talked about their departments, and candidates introduced themselves, during Flat Creek Community Club's elected officials night on Saturday. Bedford County Mayor Eugene Ray spoke about the county's financial management, which has been honored in recent months by the Government Finance Officers Association and by Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury Justin Wilson. He said the county has its highest bond rating ever...
Top Stories of 2013: School security and a generous homecoming (12/27/13)
Two quite-different school-related stories continue our countdown of the top 10 local stories of 2013 as determined by a panel of 12 Times-Gazette staff members....
New judge to oversee Hord criminal case (12/24/13)
Arraignment for a former Bedford County detective has been deferred until January so that a new judge can be appointed in the case. Rebecca Hord, 58, of Shelbyville was arrested Monday by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) after she was indicted on charges of theft over $10,000, official misconduct and four counts of forgery by the Bedford County grand jury...
Interim veterans officer gets nod for permanent position (12/20/13)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners' rules and legislative committee has recommended that interim veterans service officer Bill Tipps be hired permanently. "Mr. Tipps has been very accountable," said County Mayor Eugene Ray. "He's been doing a very good job." The Veterans Service Council, representing local veterans organizations, has also recommended Tipps' appointment...
County student scores steady or rising, report card says (12/19/13)
The Bedford County Board of Education heard an overview Tuesday of the system's 2013 state Report Card. Between 2012 to 2013, TCAP achievement results for grades 3-8 in Bedford County held steady in math and social studies (Bs in both years) and reading (Cs both years), said Betty Thames, the school system's instruction supervisor. Science improved from a C to a B...
Designated lot unlikely for towed vehicles (12/19/13)
All or nearly all local wrecker services want to participate in a new system for handling seized vehicles, and so instead of a centralized lot it's likely that each wrecker service will store the vehicles it happens to pick up in the rotation, according to discussion Tuesday night by Bedford County Financial Management Committee...
Jail sites now down to five (12/18/13)
Now five short-list sites remain for a new county jail -- and perhaps, a new justice center. Following its regular meeting Tuesday night, Bedford County Board of Commissioners' courthouse and property committee continued its discussion of jail sites, reviewing the three sites it didn't get to last week. One of those sites was eliminated, as was one of the sites that had been on the "keep" list last week...
Longview residents burning over fire hall (12/18/13)
The agreement signed last summer between the county and the trustees of the inactive Longview Community Club donated the clubhouse site to Bedford County on the condition that it place a fire hall there within three years. But some residents of Longview apparently don't want to wait that long...
Hord asks delay in suit against county (12/18/13)
A former detective facing a number of charges has requested a delay in her federal bias suit against Sheriff Randall Boyce and Bedford County. Late Monday, Rebecca Hord, 58, of Shelbyville, was arrested by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) on Monday after she was indicted by direct presentment by the Bedford County grand jury...
Former detective charged with theft (12/17/13)
A former Bedford County detective was charged Monday with taking more than $10,000 collected by the sheriff's department from registered sex offenders. Rebecca Hord, 58, of Shelbyville was indicted on charges of theft over $10,000, official misconduct and four counts of forgery by the Bedford County grand jury. Hord, who had held the rank of captain, was arrested today by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation...
Jail -- without leaving home (12/12/13)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners, meeting Tuesday night, approved putting electronic monitoring bracelets out for bids. General Sessions Judge Charles Rich is reportedly willing to consider use of the bracelets in some cases. The use of the bracelets would be completely up to the judge, but the county wants the judge to have it as an option...
Library funds: They're in the books (12/12/13)
The "maintenance of effort" rule which prevents local governments from cutting school funding is well-known and has been reported on often by the Times-Gazette. The formula used to compute maintenance of effort is an arcane one, and sometimes local officials aren't sure if they've met the target until the budget is approved by the state...
2 possible jail sites eliminated (12/11/13)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners' courthouse and county property committee continued its discussion of possible jail sites on Tuesday, eliminating two of the nine remaining sites from consideration. The committee held a special called meeting Tuesday night prior to the meeting of the full commission; the committee was only able to make its way through six of the nine short-list sites before it had to adjourn in time for the commission meeting...
County audit earns praise; problems considered minor (11/29/13)
Bedford County was recently praised by Tennessee Comptroller Justin P. Wilson for its financial management, and the county's annual audit was released Friday by the state. The audit covers the 2012-2013 fiscal year which ended June 30. "It's outstanding," said County Mayor Eugene Ray. "We have worked real hard, and the staff has worked real hard, to have the books the way they should be."...
Deputy will get added salary (11/28/13)
Bedford County Financial Management Committee, meeting Tuesday night, approved budget amendments for Bedford County Emergency Management Agency and a proposal to change the compensation for a sheriff's department employee to compensate for additional duties...
Trustee furthers skills to better serve public (11/24/13)
Tonya Davis, Bedford County's Trustee, completed the Local Government Leadership Program earlier this month in Murfreesboro. The invitation-only three-day conference was hosted by the University of Tennessee's Institute for Public Service Naifeh Center for Effective Leadership...
House arrest possible for some inmates (11/21/13)
Bedford County will take bids on electronic monitoring ankle bracelets which could be used to place some convicts under house arrest, according to discussion at Tuesday night's meeting of Bedford County Board of Commissioners' law enforcement committee...
Lessons learned (11/20/13)
The Bedford County Board of Education spent much of its meeting Tuesday discussing two recent incidents: the gun scare last Friday at Shelbyville Central High School and the downtown fire on Monday. Deputy Chief Mike Rogers of the Shelbyville Police Department spoke briefly on the gun scare. Board chairwoman Amy Martin had invited him to the meeting...
Possible jail sites whittled down to 9 (11/20/13)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners' courthouse and county property committee narrowed the list of potential sites for Bedford County Jail from 16 down to 9 on Tuesday night, eliminating sites that the committee considered obvious bad choices. Bedford County Planning and Zoning Director Chris White had researched 16 jail sites. ...
Sanders sues city over disputed land (11/20/13)
A man who bought property from Shelbyville in 1995 only to learn over a decade later that it was owned by the railroad has followed through with his threat to file a lawsuit. Last Friday, Bobby Sanders filed a complaint in Chancery Court against Shelbyville, the county and the Bedford County Railroad Authority, asking to be declared sole owner of the property in question on East Lane Street, and that the title to the land "be quieted fully and forever" against all claims from any and all parties.. ...
Former ECD director indicted on theft charges (11/19/13)
The former director of the county's Emergency Communications District has been indicted on theft charges. Cathey D. Mathis was charged with theft of property over $10,000 by direct indictment following an investigation by the Coffee County District Attorney's Office...
Mayors speak out on issues (11/14/13)
Leadership Bedford members got to hear about a few of the issues facing local government on Wednesday. The class held a local government day at the Shelbyville-Bedford Chamber of Commerce. John Carney, city editor of the Times-Gazette, acted as moderator of the panel discussion between three mayors: Wallace Cartwright of Shelbyville, Eugene Ray of Bedford County and Dennis Webb of Bell Buckle...
County's finances praised by state comptroller (11/13/13)
Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury Justin P. Wilson presented Bedford County Tuesday night with a certificate of excellence from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), praising the county for having disciplined financial management. "I'm really here to compliment you for dealing with difficult issues," said Wilson during Tuesday night's meeting of Bedford County Board of Commissioners...
Merchants support downtown justice center (11/08/13)
Downtown merchants expressed their support Thursday night for a proposal that would keep the county's justice system near the downtown area. Chris White, the county's zoning director, was asked by County Mayor Eugene Ray and the county commission to study potential jail and justice center sites...
Home insurance rates may fall (11/07/13)
Many rural Bedford County residents may eventually see a decrease in their homeowners' insurance premiums due to a much-more-favorable rating given to fire protection in the areas served by Bedford County Fire Department. The New Jersey-based Insurance Services Office, which rates the quality of fire protection at various locations throughout the U.S., has confirmed that some areas of the rural county will be jumping from an ISO rating of 9 to a much-better rating of 5, effective Feb. 1, 2014...
Letter to the Editor, Oct. 31 (10/31/13)
To the Editor: I just read with great interest my Oct. 23 Times-Gazette. The front page article on our new jail really caught my attention. I have to admit I thought it was a great picture, but it left me with several questions. 1. How can the same county which does not have the money to staff a new ambulance building and has had to cut out parts of the last three schools it has built come up with money to fund a study with results like this?...
Railroad funds on the line (10/24/13)
A lawsuit that major railroad companies won against the State of Tennessee puts short-line railroads like the Walking Horse & Eastern at risk, members of Bedford Railroad Authority were told on Wednesday. Some 21 years ago, according to engineer Patrick Conyers, a percentage sales tax on diesel fuel was enacted by the state on railroads. ...
Justice for downtown: Site near the square encouraged (10/23/13)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners' courthouse and county property viewed conceptual drawings Tuesday night for an ambitious plan to build a jail and justice center. County zoning director Chris White, who had been asked to research jail sites, has proposed a short list of three sites, but the most ambitious -- and the one upon which the conceptual drawing was based -- would be a few blocks east of the courthouse square...
County looks at pair of pleas (10/23/13)
Bedford County Financial Management Committee, meeting Tuesday evening, approved routine budget amendments for several county budgets, including the county general fund, the highway department and the school system. Mid-year budget amendments shift money between accounts, or free up money from fund balances, to account for revenues and/or expenses that weren't anticipated when the original budget was drafted...
Rescue Waggin' keeps rolling in county (10/23/13)
Bedford County participates in a national pet rescue program that has resulted in saving more than 2,000 local dogs and puppies over a five-year period. The PetSmart Charities Rescue Waggin' program transported 2,046 dogs and puppies to new homes between 2008 and August of this year, said Christina Tucker, director of Bedford County Animal Control...
Committee: Shelter dogs have sniffles (10/18/13)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners' law enforcement committee, meeting Tuesday night, discussed a health report of animals which had been accepted from Bedford County Animal Control by the Rescue Waggin' program. The program, a part of PetSmart Charities, takes shelter animals from parts of the country where they are in excess and transports them to other parts of the country where they can be more easily placed in homes...
Deputies exempt from policy, says sheriff (10/17/13)
Although county commissioners accused Bedford County Sheriff's Department at recent meetings of having violated the county's vehicle use policy, Sheriff Randall Boyce said on Wednesday that the policy specifically exempts employees such as sheriff's department officers who are subject to being called in in an emergency...
School security studied by board (10/16/13)
Securing perimeters of school grounds should be officials' top priority, an architect re-emphasized to Bedford County's school board Tuesday night. The board followed architect John Davis' advice by voting to purchase toughened glass for areas near entrances of five schools...
Sheriff's vehicles must stay 'home' (10/16/13)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners' law enforcement committee said Tuesday night that the current county vehicle policy prohibits any county employee -- including law enforcement officers -- from taking a county-owned vehicle outside county limits for personal use...
Union Street homes to be put up for sale (10/10/13)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday night to sell the houses on Union Street which until recently housed The Next Step Home. The houses were initially purchased by the county when it owned Bedford County Medical Center. The homes adjoined the hospital property, and the hospital wanted the site in case it was needed for future expansion or development...
231 North rezoning denied following attorney-client session (10/09/13)
Following a 15-minute closed attorney-client session Tuesday night, Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted once again against rezoning Grady Cunningham's property on U.S. 231 North from R-1 (residential) to C-2 (commercial). There was no public debate or discussion on the motion. The vote was 7 in favor of rezoning, 9 opposed, one abstaining and one absent. It would have taken 10 votes to pass the rezoning...
No backing down from either side on 231 rezoning (10/02/13)
Meeting last month, Bedford County Board of Commissioners referred Grady Cunningham's rezoning request back to Bedford County Planning Commission, in the hopes that a compromise could be worked out between Cunningham and the neighbors of the site he wants rezoned...
Net gain for less money: Broadband move considered (09/26/13)
Bedford County Planning and Zoning Director Chris White, who also heads the county's information technology department, presented Bedford County Financial Management Committee on Tuesday night with more details about his plan to transfer the county's broadband network to new Internet providers and use an "air fiber" network based on the roof of the county-owned Regions Bank building on the square...
Funds for library on the books (09/25/13)
The Shelbyville & Bedford County Library Board is close to what it needs for construction of a new library, according to a presentation library representatives made Tuesday night to Bedford County Financial Management Committee. The library board has $1,591,315 in hand or firmly committed, a total which includes a commitment of $1 million from the county. ...
'Urgency' a must for jail site decision, mayor says (09/20/13)
County Mayor Eugene Ray is calling for a sense of urgency for the Bedford County Board of Commissioners' courthouse and property committee to come up with recommendations on possible sites for a proposed new jail. "We need to get some recommendations from the committee," Ray said. "We need to meet with Chris (White) to look at sites for the jail and keep the state officials up-to-date...
School board backs Embry, superintendents' petition (09/19/13)
Bedford County Board of Education, meeting Tuesday night, voted to prepare a resolution in support of a petition by school superintendents critical of Tennessee Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman. School Superintendent Don Embry was one of those who signed the petition...
Safety at issue in schools (09/18/13)
How do you make a school safer? The answers aren't always easy, and every choice can have unintended consequences. That was the dilemma faced by Bedford County Board of Education on Tuesday night as it heard a report from architect John Davis on school security issues...
Cook burned as heat too hot (09/12/13)
A former Bedford County Jail cook faces a preliminary hearing next month for allegedly having sexual contact with an inmate. On Wednesday, Lisa Jean Robinson of Manchester made her second court appearance for an alleged June 26 incident. Robinson allegedly entered a storeroom with a male inmate, according to an affidavit signed by Detective Sgt. Charles Kimbril of the Bedford County Sheriff's Department...
School officer racks up OT hours (09/12/13)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners, meeting Tuesday night, approved payment of up to $7,500 to school resource officer Jason Freeman, whose built-up compensatory time was more than the amount allowed by federal wage law. The actual payment will be only $4,500, said Commissioner Tony Barrett on Wednesday morning...
Cunningham, neighbors urged to talk (09/11/13)
The ongoing saga over Grady Cunningham's request to rezone his property at 2506 U.S. 231 North from R-1 (residential) to C-2 (commercial) has taken yet another turn, as county commissioners, meeting Tuesday night, deferred his latest request for a month in a hope that Cunningham and his neighbors will be able to reach an agreement...
Protection in the air: Firefighters get hazmat training (09/10/13)
The tragedy resulting from the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, is inextricably linked in the public mind with firefighters, who were recognized for their heroic response to the destruction of the World Trade Center and the damage at the Pentagon. This week, as the nation observes the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Bedford County Fire Department is undergoing a week of hazardous materials response training...
Revote set on 231N zoning request (09/03/13)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners will vote again this month on a rezoning request they turned down, for the fifth time, in July. For years, Grady Cunningham has been asking the county to rezone his property at 2506 U.S. 231 North from R-1 (residential) to C-2 (commercial). Commissioners turned him down for the fifth time in July...
School funding is hot issue (08/30/13)
HENRY HORTON STATE PARK -- Education funding was a primary topic of discussion Thursday night as Tennessee County Commissioners Association held one of a series of regional meetings to brief its members on state laws affecting county government, and to solicit questions and comments...
Internet move could reduce county's costs (08/29/13)
Bedford County's recent purchase of the Regions Bank building on the square may be a long-term investment in terms of office space -- Regions Bank still has several years left on its lease, and the county's own lease of space in the US Bank building does as well -- but the building could pay dividends sooner than that as part of a revamp of the county's broadband network...
Railroad Avenue restart nears (08/22/13)
Following a four-month delay, work will kick off sometime after Labor Day on a long-awaited state industrial road project in Shelbyville. Last month, an agreement with seven property owners ended a dispute over right-of-way claims that halted the widening of Railroad Avenue between Newell Rubbermaid and the Shelbyville bypass, State Route 437...
Inmates can't help county (08/22/13)
Bedford County Animal Control, like several other county and non-profit agencies, relies on the labor provided by county inmates, and an unspecified "security issue" which has restricted use of some of the regular inmates. "It's been a rough couple of weeks without inmates," BCAC director Christina Tucker said during Tuesday night's meeting of Bedford County Board of Commissioners' law enforcement committee...
Work time defined for SROs (08/21/13)
School security continues to be an area of concern for education officials. Superintendent Don Embry told the Bedford County Board of Education Tuesday night that he is working out details for a new memorandum of understanding with the Bedford County Sheriff's Department for school resource officers (SROs)...
Veterans officer 'doing a good job' in interim post (08/20/13)
Bill Tipps is serving as interim Bedford County Veterans Service officer, according to County Mayor Eugene Ray, pending Bedford County Board of Commissioners' final decision on the position. "He's doing a good job," said Ray last week. Ray said Tipps started in the position about a month ago. He had been the driver for the office for six or seven years...
Property transfers approved (08/14/13)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners, meeting Tuesday night, voted in favor of two different transfers of property jointly owned by the county and the City of Shelbyville. The first issue was a land swap which is intended to preserve the state project widening Railroad Avenue between Newell Rubbermaid and the Shelbyville bypass, State Route 437...
New Cascade school, jail are a must, mayor says (08/09/13)
Bedford County Mayor Eugene Ray says he concurs with the results of a Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) study on county-by-county infrastructure needs. The Tennessee Infrastructure Alliance has been publicizing TACIR's report...
North Main property may finally sell (08/02/13)
After several attempts over the past few years, the city and county may finally sell off a piece of property on North Main Street. An offer of $150,000 has been made for the home and 0.9 acre lot at 732 N. Main St., which has been put up for bid numerous times over the past five years, with no results...
Railroad Authority again approves land swap (07/30/13)
Bedford Railroad Authority, at a special called meeting on Friday, approved the updated terms of a land swap which is intended to save the Railroad Avenue widening project. "We are very close to getting this project underway," said Shelbyville city manager Jay Johnson...
Railroad Authority approves land swap (07/28/13)
Bedford Railroad Authority, at a special called meeting on Friday, approved the updated terms of a land swap which is intended to save the Railroad Avenue widening project. "We are very close to getting this project underway," said Shelbyville city manager Jay Johnson...
Gas facility proposed in Wheel (07/24/13)
Bedford County is in line for a wholesale natural gas facility as part of a pipeline project called the Renaissance Project being built by Houston, Texas-based Spectra Energy. County Mayor Eugene Ray mentioned the project during Tuesday afternoon's meeting of the county's Financial Management Committee, saying that he's been meeting with various state officials about the project and was scheduled to speak next to Tennessee Department of Transportation...
County gains from higher tax collections (07/24/13)
The county got some positive financial news as Bedford County Financial Management Committee examined year-end budget figures from the 2012-13 fiscal year that ended June 30. The figures were discussed during the committee's regular monthly meeting Tuesday afternoon...
Restart date for Railroad Avenue work uncertain (07/21/13)
A few more steps remain before work can start on the Railroad Avenue state industrial road project, but city officials can't put a date on when it will resume. An agreement reached late Wednesday with seven property owners brought a three-month dispute over right-of-way claims to a end -- which had prompted the state to halt the $2.35 million widening of Railroad Avenue before work even began...
One jail / justice center location would be visible from the square. Is it feasible? (07/18/13)
It's still very preliminary -- at present, the county has no way to pay for a new multimillion-dollar jail, much less a criminal justice center -- but a proposed site was discussed during a special study meeting Tuesday night at Bedford County Courthouse...
Railroad Avenue work can resume (07/18/13)
"We have an agreement." Those words from Shelbyville city manager Jay Johnson Wednesday afternoon signaled the end to a dispute that brought a state industrial road project to a stop three months ago. Since April, the $2.35 million widening of Railroad Avenue has been at a standstill after seven property owners made right-of-way claims to the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT)...
School security upgrade detailed (07/17/13)
Five Shelbyville elementary schools will be getting upgraded security systems this year, focusing on locked doors, with the other area schools following in the near future. The Bedford County School Board approved a measure Tuesday to upgrade security at Thomas Magnet, East Side, Southside, Eakin and Learning Way. ...
County committee backs Railroad Avenue proposal (07/17/13)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners' law enforcement, workhouse and fire committee has recommended, and given its recommendation to, a proposal which would save the endangered widening of Railroad Avenue. The matter might more naturally have come before the commission's courthouse and county property committee, but that committee did not have a quorum present on Tuesday night, with two of the five members out of town and a third having lost a brother this week...
Industrial road at critical point (07/16/13)
Railroad Avenue property owners have until Wednesday afternoon to accept or reject an offer from the city of Shelbyville that could save a state industrial road project. After an attorney/client meeting lasting more than 90 minutes Monday, the vote was made for Shelbyville's city council and Bedford Railroad Authority to trade property that is jointly owned by the city and county...
Land swap may save project (07/12/13)
A proposed land swap between Bedford Railroad Authority and the governments of Shelbyville and Bedford County could be the key to saving a state industrial road project. Bedford Railroad Authority, meeting Thursday morning, voted to approve trading away a 30-foot-wide strip of right-of-way on Railroad Avenue, all the way from Hillcrest Drive to the bypass, in return for a nearly-10-acre parcel jointly owned by Shelbyville and Bedford County...
'No' again on 231N rezone (07/10/13)
For the fifth time, Grady Cunningham asked Bedford County Board of Commissioners to rezone his property at 2506 U.S. 231 North from R-1 (residential) to C-2 (commercial). For the fifth time, commissioners said "no." Observers might have expected a different result this time around, if only because Bedford County Planning Commission, which had advised against the rezoning on earlier attempts, recommended the request in a 5-3 vote last month, with one abstaining...
Nursing home funds pay suit (07/10/13)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday night to take the $582,974 the county owes in a wage and hour lawsuit by sheriff's department employees from proceeds the county had set aside after selling the former Bedford County Nursing Home. The total judgement and attorney's fees in the lawsuit are $872,384, but some of that amount will be covered by the county's insurance policies, leaving the county on the hook for nearly $583,000. ...
Talks precede Railroad Ave. city decisions (07/02/13)
Shelbyville City Council will meet with its attorney twice this month as members prepare to possibly act on legal issues surrounding a stalled state industrial road project. In April, claims over the right-of way on Railroad Avenue caused the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to stop a $2.35 million dollar widening project in its tracks, and talks between the city and seven property owners haven't resolved the ownership issues...
County tax rate doesn't increase (06/28/13)
Bedford County's property tax rate remains unchanged at $2.27 per $100 assessed value for the fiscal year that starts July 1. The Bedford County Commission voted to keep the tax rate unchanged during a special called meeting Thursday evening. Commissioners performed routine year-end business, such as making amendments to the 2012-2013 budget and to approve the tax rate and the 2013-2014 budgets. ...
BCNH sale money may be used to reduce debt (06/27/13)
The question of what to do with the proceeds from the sale of the Bedford County Nursing Home occupied county officials Tuesday. Some of the Bedford County Financial Management Committee's discussion centered on using a portion of the proceeds to pay down debt...
Davis nominated as county's permanent architect (06/26/13)
John Davis got an endorsement Tuesday to be the county's standing architect. The Bedford County Financial Management Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend Davis Stokes Collaborative of Brentwood to be the county's go-to architect. Davis, a principal of the firm, is a Bedford County native who has had a long-standing relationship with the school system...
School policies aligned with state (06/21/13)
Bedford County Board of Education attended to a number of policy housekeeping details related to the end of the fiscal year during a meeting on Tuesday. Most of the policy revisions were made in response to changes in state law. For example, the emergency preparedness plan was updated to reflect changes in emergency drill requirements. The law currently requires three annual safety drills in addition to monthly fire drills...
Wanted: More local teachers in 3 categories (06/19/13)
School system personnel changes were referenced in Tuesday's Bedford County School Board meeting. Superintendent Don Embry welcomed Karen Scoggins, former principal of Learning Way Elementary School, to her first meeting as assistant superintendent. Embry has filled all the vacant principal positions, and said he hopes to fill the remaining assistant principal jobs in the coming week...
Warren resigns position (06/14/13)
Bedford County Veterans Service Officer Gordon Warren has turned in his resignation, effective June 30, County Mayor Eugene Ray said on Friday. Warren had been the subject of criticism in recent weeks over his work schedule and performance, although he insisted the criticism was a personal attack related to a power struggle within one of the local veterans' groups...
No reprieve in wage and hour judgement (06/14/13)
A federal magistrate has ordered a payment of $872,384, rejecting Bedford County's motion for a reduction in damages and legal fees in a hour and wage lawsuit. In March, an attorney representing the county and Sheriff Randall Boyce sought lower attorney costs and a smaller judgment for five sheriff's department employees who successfully sued for unpaid overtime and retaliation...
Few funding sources available for judgement (06/14/13)
It's the moment Bedford County officials have been dreading for months, and now they will have to come up with up to $872,384 in a wage and hour lawsuit brought against Sheriff Randall Boyce and the county. County Mayor Eugene Ray said Wednesday he'd received notice of the judgment but was waiting on direction from the attorney who represented the county in the case...
4 named assistant principals (06/13/13)
More promotions have been announced in the Bedford County school system. Four assistant principal positions were filled on Wednesday, Superintendent Don Embry said, three of which were filled by promoting teachers. Teachers who were promoted were: Janolyn King, teacher at Cascade Middle School, to assistant principal at Cascade Middle; Josh Young, teacher at Thomas Magnet School, to assistant principal at Harris Middle School; and Neil Watson, teacher at Thomas Magnet, to assistant principal at Cascade High School.. ...
Warren defends veterans work (06/12/13)
Bedford County Veterans Service Officer Gordon Warren, saying he is the victim of a personal attack, defended his performance in office during a meeting Tuesday night of Bedford County Board of Commissioners. Last month, Tennessee Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Many-Bears Grinder, in a letter to Warren, said she was recommending that Warren's accreditation with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs be withdrawn...
2 named to school positions (06/12/13)
Bedford County's new school superintendent Don Embry is spending the early portion of summer break by filling administrative vacancies and hiring teachers. Karen Scoggins has been named assistant superintendent, said Embry, who officially started as superintendent on April 1. Scoggins' appointment leaves the principal's position vacant at Learning Way Elementary School...
EMS board may be disbanded (06/12/13)
Bedford County Emergency Medical Service is in discussions with County Mayor Eugene Ray about whether to disband its board, which has been primarily advisory in nature since the consolidation of county finances in 2007. Bedford County Board of Commissioners had an agenda item Tuesday night to consider a vacancy on the board, but Ray asked that the appointment be deferred because he's discussing with BCEMS Director Chad Graham whether the board is still necessary...
Appeals court backs decision in Ray case (06/07/13)
The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the decision of U.S. District Court in favor of Trustee Tonya Davis and Bedford County in a lawsuit brought against them by Cindy Ray, who served as business manager for the county trustee's office while her mother Peggy Bush was trustee...
New lease on life for Longview club site (06/06/13)
Members of Longview Community Club presented the deed to their clubhouse property to Bedford County on Wednesday, in a ceremony that was bittersweet for those with memories of the site as a hub of community activity. "It's a little sad day for me," said Nell Holden, "but I was willing for it to happen."...
Trial date set for alleged assault by deputy (06/06/13)
A trial date has been set in a federal suit claiming that sheriff's officials searched the home of a drug suspect without a warrant and assaulted him. U.S. Magistrate Judge William B. Carter has set Dec. 10 as the day when a jury in Winchester will hear the case brought by Troy James Neal...
No tax hike in county budget (06/05/13)
Bedford County Financial Management Committee, meeting Tuesday night, recommended a county budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year that does not include any property tax increase. The question of how to pay for a looming $700,000 judgement against the county in a wage and hour lawsuit was left open, with finance committee members saying the money could be taken from proceeds from the sale of Bedford County Nursing Home...
Cunningham zoning plea gains support (06/05/13)
Bedford County Planning Commission, meeting Tuesday night, voted to recommend rezoning of Grady Cunningham's property at 2506 U.S. 231 North from R-1 (residential) to C-2 (commercial). This is Cunningham's fifth attempt to have the property rezoned, and the first time the planners have recommended in his favor. It will be Bedford County Board of Commissioners that will have the final say on whether or not to grant the rezoning...
'$83 deed' actually costs less than $1 (06/05/13)
Local residents continue to receive mailings from a company that offers to send them a copy of their property deed for $83 -- even though such copies are available for less than a dollar from the local register of deeds' office. "I've had about five in the past few weeks brought into the office," said Register of Deeds Johnny Reed...
Veterans officer may lose position (05/30/13)
Tennessee Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Many-Bears Grinder has recommended that Bedford County Veterans Service Officer Gordon Warren be stripped of his U.S. Veterans Affairs accreditation, saying his office hours are inconvenient for veterans, but Warren says he's the target of personal attacks stemming from a power struggle in a local veterans' group...
Commission takes look at budget notes (05/29/13)
Bedford County Financial Management Committee members had a brief walk-through of budget notebooks Tuesday night that they'll study before making a final recommendation on the county's 2013-14 budget. The new county fiscal year officially begins July 1, although if a budget isn't final by that time -- a frequent occurrence -- the county can operate at current year's spending levels under a continuing resolution...
Architects talk to commissioners (05/29/13)
Bedford County commissioners decided months ago to consider hiring a standing architectural firm rather than hiring architectural firms on a project-by-project basis. The school system has had a long-standing relationship with Davis Stokes Collaborative, a Brentwood-based firm with a Bedford County resident as one of its principals, but commissioners want one architectural firm to work on upcoming projects...
Longview clubhouse to become fire hall (05/24/13)
The agreement to give property at Longview for a new fire hall has been finalized, and the deal is now in the process of being filed with the register's office, according to discussion at Tuesday night's meeting of Bedford County Board of Commissioners' courthouse and county property committee...
Teachers earn A's for work (05/23/13)
The Bedford County Board of Education honored retiring teachers and the school system's top educators on Tuesday. Prior to its monthly meeting, which was held at Shelbyville Central High School, the board paid tribute to 22 teachers of the year, ranked by school building and grade division. Three of those teachers were selected as system level winners. Several teachers were unable to attend the ceremony due to other commitments...
New teachers budgeted (05/22/13)
The Bedford County Board of Education approved a proposed budget Tuesday. The proposed 2013-2014 budget includes estimated revenue of $52.4 million, total available funds of $57.3 million and total expenditures of $54.9 million. Former Superintendent Ed Gray, acting as a budget consultant, said the proposed budget would not cut any teachers or school-level administrative jobs. ...
Offenders may fund book program (05/22/13)
Bedford County Imagination Library, which gives books to young children every month from birth to age 5, needs money -- and would like to get it from offenders passing through the court system. But county commissioners who heard the request Tuesday night say the proposal must be studied carefully to make sure it's legal...
County wants funds back (05/15/13)
The Bedford County Commission wants to replace E911 funds allegedly misspent by a former dispatch director. An audit released last month by the Division of Local Government Audit of the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury accuses former com center director Cathey Mathis of $46,807 in undocumented or questionable purchases...
Solid waste authority becomes advisory committee (05/12/13)
The county's solid waste authority voted to dissolve itself Thursday, becoming an advisory committee that will meet as needed. The county is not permitted to have two authorities since Bedford County joined the Interlocal Solid Waste Authority (ISWA) last year...
School pay may rise, board says (05/08/13)
Bedford County school employees could be in store for a raise in the fiscal year starting July 1. The Board of Education's budget committee looked at a draft budget Tuesday that calls for employee raises. The budget has estimated revenue of $56.9 million, a decrease of $1.25 million...
Show appreciation to teachers (05/07/13)
Teacher Appreciation Week in the U.S. is recognized the week of May 6-10. This week offers us the perfect opportunity to let teachers know how thankful we are for their efforts. Teachers work to open student's minds to ideas, knowledge and dreams and keep American democracy alive by laying the foundation for good citizenship. A teacher fills many roles: as a listener, explorer, role model, motivator and mentor...
Funds asked for higher EMS pay (05/02/13)
During budget hearings Tuesday night, Bedford County Emergency Medical Services director Chad Graham asked the county's Financial Management Committee for a salary adjustment for his employees -- separate from whatever county-wide pay increase is considered by the county commission -- in order to recruit and retain paramedics...
Pay hikes for county uncertain (05/01/13)
Most of the county agencies presenting budget requests to Bedford County Financial Management Committee during hearings Tuesday night have held the line on general administrative expenses. It remains to be seen what percentage pay increase the committee will recommend for county employees. A first draft budget, with a 3 percent pay raise plugged in as a starting point, will be prepared for the committee to consider based on the requests which have been turned in...
Sirens' costs to be eyed (05/01/13)
A cost proposal for installation of tornado sirens at more locations in the county was presented to Bedford County Financial Management Committee on Tuesday night. Finance committee member Joe Tillett had asked Bedford County Emergency Management Agency to prepare the proposal...
Ambulance rates may rise (04/25/13)
Bedford County Emergency Medical Services, the county-owned ambulance service, may soon be raising most of its rates. BCEMS director Chad Graham presented a proposal for a new rate schedule Tuesday night to the county's Financial Management Committee...
Non-profits seek county donations (04/24/13)
Local non-profit agencies presented their contribution requests to Bedford County Financial Management Committee on Tuesday, as the committee begins the county's budget process for the 2013-14 fiscal year. It's likely to be a tight budget year for the county, with cutbacks in state and federal funding and the prospect of major capital projects on the horizon, but the committee did get a little good news on Tuesday: county property tax collections actually had a strong month in March, with some taxpayers who missed the Feb. ...
Railroad Avenue talks ahead (04/24/13)
After consulting with the city's attorney, Shelbyville's council voted to meet with Railroad Avenue property owners to resolve an issue that has brought a state industrial access road project to a halt. The $2.35 million dollar project was put on hold by the Tennessee Department of Transportation after residents produced a deed that many involved in the project had no knowledge of, raising questions about the right-of-way...
Trial scheduled in Hord suit (04/23/13)
A federal magistrate has set a trial date involving a lawsuit filed by Bedford County's former child abuse investigator. A jury will convene March 31, 2014 in Chattanooga to hear the case filed by Rebecca Hord against Bedford County and Sheriff Randall Boyce...
White studies possible jail sites (04/18/13)
Bedford County Planning and Zoning Director Chris White, charged with identifying possible sites for a jail, reported to Bedford County Board of Commissioners' courthouse and property committee on Tuesday night that he's still studying. White said a number of property owners and real estate agents have approached him since reports that the county will probably need to build a new jail due to overcrowding. He's looking at 15 different properties...
E-911 payback put on hold (04/17/13)
Members of the Bedford County Emergency Communications District (E-911) board indicated Tuesday night that they may have to wait to see whether criminal charges are filed against former com center director Cathey Mathis before taking action to seek reimbursement for the money she's alleged to have misspent...
Community Middle SRO requested (04/17/13)
Bedford County's Board of Education is requesting that the county supply a full-time school resource officer for Community Middle School. Board member Ron Adcock made the motion during Tuesday's meeting. Chad Graham amended the motion to clarify that the request is for SRO coverage whenever the Sheriff's Department ends its extended school coverage. Off-duty deputies are filling in as acting SROs at schools that do not have trained SROs...
Budget work in progress (04/17/13)
Bedford County school officials are continuing to work on the draft budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. The Board of Education's budget committee met Monday with County Finance Director Robert Daniel. The state is looking at providing a 1.5 percent raise for some teachers whose salaries are funded by the Basic Education Program (BEP), said former interim Superintendent Ed Gray, who is working with the Board of Education as a consultant...
Recycling change pays off for county (04/14/13)
The county's solid waste authority got good news with their quarterly recycling figures. The contract the authority made in February with PSC Metals for recycling scrap metal is paying off in a big way. Highway superintendant Stanley Smotherman reported that received $7,694.47 for the first three months of the year for scrap metal...
911 at issue (04/12/13)
City, county and Emergency Communications District (E-911) officials met Thursday morning to clear the air over com center funding issues and learn more about state laws governing com centers from Curtis Sutton, assistant director and general counsel to the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board...
Busy, short meet (04/10/13)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners approved two budget amendments, adjusted two probation fees, and authorized a vehicle swap that had already taken place between the sheriff's department and the drug task force. "Tonight, we've got a chance to have perhaps the shortest meeting we've had this year," said County Mayor Eugene Ray after calling the meeting to order...
Audit hits former E-911 director for purchasing (04/02/13)
An investigative state audit of Bedford County Communications Center charges former director Cathey Mathis with $46,807 in undocumented or "questionable purchases," including clothing from well-known clothing chains, from the com center's uniform line item, electronics, furniture and various dining and travel expenses...
City to study request for E-911 financial help (03/31/13)
The city council will discuss a request for financial help and an interlocal agreement from the county's E-911 District on Tuesday. However, making such an agreement could mean a hike in Shelbyville's property taxes. The request was made earlier this month by District chairman Mark Thomas, who explained they have been providing dispatch services to the city at no cost for years, with no agreement in place...
Future steps: Committee recommends industrial park site (03/27/13)
A study committee recommended Tuesday night to Shelbyville Industrial Development Board, along with a room full of city and county officials, that the city and county purchase land north of Frank Martin Road for a new industrial park. Both city and county governments are in tight budget conditions, but the good news is that the committee has also arranged with local banks to finance the proposed purchase...
County revenues keep falling (03/27/13)
A month ago, facing dismal revenue numbers, Bedford County Finance Director Robert Daniel told the Financial Management Committee that the real sign of the county's fiscal situation would be the month of February, during which property taxes are due...
Council can help county get grant (03/26/13)
Shelbyville's council will meet briefly tonight to approve some left over items from earlier in the month and to help a county group get a grant. The council will look at singing an interlocal agreement for "administrative services" by the city for the Bedford County Joint Economic Development Board...
No voting at schools: Educators (03/22/13)
With an increasing emphasis on school security in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, some are questioning whether it's a good idea to have a polling place at a school on a day when school is in session. Commissioner Linda Yockey raised the issue Tuesday night during the meeting of Bedford County Board of Commissioners' courthouse and property committee...
Suit vs. sheriff, jailers dismissed for good (03/22/13)
A 2009 federal lawsuit against the sheriff and jailers over an alleged beating which was thrown out once has been dismissed again, and cannot be brought back. This week, U.S. District Judge Harry S. Mattice "dismissed with prejudice" a suit brought by Christopher L. Richardson, for failure to prosecute...
Drug test charges could be reduced (03/21/13)
Bedford County offenders on probation are currently being charged $35 for a drug test that costs the county only $4 -- and that means that in many cases, probation officers aren't ordering the drug tests very often because they know the offenders won't be able to pay...
Jail sites will be studied (03/20/13)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners' courthouse and county property committee, meeting Tuesday night, discussed the process for evaluating sites for a new county jail. County planning and information technology director Chris White, who has both law enforcement and property development experience, gave the committee a proposed form that he will use to evaluate potential sites...
Adult education program still competing for grant (03/20/13)
Tennessee's adult education programs are still on track to be combined into a multi-regional network despite rumors that have swirled around this week about a change in the state's plans, officials say. Rumors had speculated that adult education would be moved out of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development and into the Board of Regents system following a March 12 Senate Commerce Committee meeting on Labor's budget. ...
ISWA changes increase local paperwork (03/17/13)
Revamping the state plan to include Bedford and Moore County in the Interlocal Solid Waste Authority (ISWA) means a lot of paperwork, the county's authority was told. In a short meeting Thursday, highway superintendent Stanley Smotherman briefed the county's solid waste authority on the latest ISWA meeting in Fayetteville this week...
6 teachers to be hired (03/15/13)
The Bedford County Board of Education plans to hire six teachers to be spread between elementary and secondary schools, according to outgoing interim Superintendent Ed Gray. Gray laid out several budget revelations during a Budget 101-style workshop Wednesday that included several members of the Board of Education as well as incoming superintendent Don Embry. ...
Finance committee discussion becomes spirited (03/14/13)
A special called meeting of Bedford County Financial Management Committee to discuss law enforcement and school security issues failed to have a quorum Wednesday, and so no business could be conducted. But the meeting still led to some spirited discussion of the county's financial needs...
NW bypass expansion draws support (03/14/13)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted to support completion of the northwest portion of the Shelbyville bypass (State Route 437). The extension, if the state decides to build it, would run from the current end of the bypass on U.S. 231 North (Murfreesboro Highway) west and south to State Route 64 West (Lewisburg Highway)...
Jail, school needs tax finances (03/13/13)
The state or federal governments can force a county to build a new jail sooner than they can force one to build a new high school. And yet, Bedford County commissioners say both are needed here. County Mayor Eugene Ray updated Bedford County Board of Commissioners Tuesday night on last week's meeting with personnel from Tennessee Corrections Institute, which sent the message that the current jail overcrowding can't be addressed by any other means and the county would need to build a new jail. ...
New jail a must: Study (03/07/13)
When Bob Bass and his colleagues prepared to drive to Shelbyville to meet with Bedford County officials, they thought they'd be able to show the county some alternatives to building an expensive new jail. They thought wrong. Bass works for Tennessee Corrections Institute, the state agency that inspects and certifies local jails. ...
Lawyers fight county try to cut damages (03/06/13)
Lawyers are describing an effort by Bedford County to reduce damages from a recent lawsuit "baseless," also stating they are entitled to full legal fees. Last week, the county filed documents seeking lower attorney costs and a smaller judgment for five sheriff department employees who successfully sued the county and Sheriff Randall Boyce for unpaid overtime and retaliation...
Wilson supports school security, urges look at private firm (03/03/13)
County commission member J.D. "Bo" Wilson says he supports the idea of a security presence in county schools, but wants to make sure it's done in a fiscally responsible way, and, according to figures provided by Wilson, using a private security firm as opposed to sheriff's department employees could save the county hundreds of thousands of dollars a year...
County wants fewer, no damages in suit (03/01/13)
Bedford County has filed a motion to either reduce or throw out the awarded damages in a lawsuit involving the sheriff's department, or hold a new trial. A federal jury awarded substantial damages last month to David Sakich, Kevin Holton, Scott Jones, former detective Todd Hammond, and maintenance worker Jeremy Beech, who sued the county and Sheriff Randall Boyce under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) over unpaid overtime, and retaliation for reporting the matter to officials...
Fees in lawsuit called 'excessive' (02/28/13)
An attorney representing Bedford County in a costly wage and hour lawsuit is objecting to "excessive" legal fees in the case -- asking they be slashed by almost 40 percent. Earlier this month, a federal jury awarded damages to members of the sheriff's department who sued the county and Sheriff Randall Boyce for unpaid overtime, and retaliation for reporting the matter to officials...
Spending cutbacks feared if tax revenues keep falling (02/28/13)
Bedford County Financial Management Committee discussed a rather bleak picture for county finances on Tuesday night. County sales tax revenue, prior year's property tax revenue, prior year's court collections and mineral severance tax proceeds are all running behind where they were at this point a year ago. Current year property tax collections are ahead, but not enough to make up for the lag in other areas...
Embry to lead schools (02/27/13)
Newly appointed Bedford County School Superintendent Don Embry said on Tuesday evening that his first priorities will be to meet with his predecessors to talk about the state of the school system, especially its tight financial situation. The Bedford County Board of Education appointed Embry, principal of Shelbyville Central High School, as superintendent during a special called meeting at 5 p.m...
School officers to stay, for short term (02/27/13)
Bedford County Financial Management Committee will allow the current system of law enforcement officers at county schools to remain in place while the county looks for a less-expensive solution, possibly involving private security guards...
UPDATED: School finalists to be named (02/26/13)
The Bedford County School Board will meet this evening to further narrow down the list of candidates for superintendent, as well as to talk about budget basics. The final two candidates will be announced at the 5 p.m. special called meeting. However, board chairwoman Amy Martin has said previously the board members may go ahead and select one of the three candidates as superintendent...
County to fund adult school (02/22/13)
A meeting of county, school system and Shelbyville Rotary Club officials on Thursday concluded that the best way for the county to pursue continued control of the Adult Education program is simply to budget it under the school system. The state, which provides much of the funding for adult education, is moving towards a more regional approach and has decided to group Bedford, Coffee and Warren counties together, under a single director...
City firefighters will serve as first responders (02/21/13)
Effective March 1, Shelbyville Fire Department will take over the job of medical first response for emergencies within Shelbyville, a job previously done (and still done in the rural areas) by Bedford County Fire Department. First responders, as defined by Tennessee, are specially-trained personnel, sometimes volunteers, who provide first aid or prepare an emergency scene while waiting for trained medical personnel (such as paramedics, emergency medical technicians, doctors or nurses) to arrive. ...
WHTA asks county for contribution to Trainers Show (02/21/13)
Walking Horse Trainers Association has asked Bedford County to consider a contribution, like the one made by the city of Shelbyville, in support of the 45th annual National Walking Horse Trainers Show March 14-16. The full county commission, which must approve the expenditure, won't meet until March 12, just two days before the show, but its rules committee forwarded the request to the finance committee, which will meet next week...
Adult education grant try backed (02/20/13)
The school board is looking at ways to keep the adult education program's administration in Bedford County. It was recently revealed that the state is cutting by about half the number of local supervisors of adult education programs. One person will administer Bedford County's program along with the programs in Warren and Coffee counties...
School officers' patrols may end (02/20/13)
The 40-day agreement to place law enforcement officers in county schools will expire March 1, prior to the next county commission meeting, so it's not clear if the officers will be able to remain after that time, until and unless county commissioners re-authorize the program...
Eugene Ray honored for service to county (02/17/13)
Eugene Ray is a Christian, family man, good neighbor, community activist, businessman, as well as a political advocate. He is a native of Bedford County, more specifically; he was born and raised in Shelbyville....
State cuts may impact adult school (02/14/13)
Bedford County is essentially in a competition with Warren County to maintain control of the adult education program, officials say, and Bedford County Board of Education could play a role in the decision. Tennessee Department of Labor's Division of Adult Education, the state agency that oversees adult education, is going through a massive downsizing and reorganization, said Elaine V. ...
Superintendent hopefuls explain qualifications (02/14/13)
Even though the candidates for Bedford County superintendent were interviewed publicly Monday, board members continue to consider their qualifications and will name their choice within two to three weeks....
A matter of paying, not blaming (02/14/13)
On Tuesday night, I covered a meeting of Bedford County Board of Commissioners at which, among other items of business, the county's attorney, John T. Bobo, reported on the wage and hour lawsuit against the county by former sheriff's department employees...
Spay Day proclaimed (02/14/13)
Bedford County Commissioner Denise Graham, right, presented a proclamation for Spay Day USA, Feb. 26, by County Mayor Eugene Ray to Middle Tennessee Spay and Neuter Clinic. Representing MTSNC, from left, are its board president, Anita Epperson; volunteer Kathy Anderson; veterinary director Megan Betzelberger DVM; and executive director Kimberly Warren. (T-G Photo by John I. Carney)
Judgment offsets savings (02/13/13)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners faced both good news and bad news, in quite comparable dollar amounts, during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night. Commissioners approved a refinancing of $8.4 million in outstanding debt from a 2003 school bond issue, a refinancing which Commissioner J.D. "Bo" Wilson said would save the county somewhere in the neighborhood of $700,00 to $800,000...
School trio discusses state's goals (02/13/13)
The Bedford County Board of Education continues to consider the merits of three candidates for superintendent. Additional questions will be featured Thursday....
Finalists for schools job talk to board (02/12/13)
The three candidates for Bedford County school superintendent interviewed for the job Monday night. Members of the Bedford County Board of Education asked the same questions to each candidate....
Ex-jailer allowed cell phone, tobacco (02/08/13)
A former Bedford County correctional officer received three years probation after admitting he smuggled forbidden items -- a cell phone and tobacco -- into the jail in exchange for money. Jeremy Ryan Tyre, 25, of Fort Circle, Wartrace pleaded guilty Thursday to official misconduct and introducing contraband into a penal institution...
Hopefuls for schools chief to speak out (02/07/13)
The search for Bedford County's next superintendent will move forward on Monday when the school board interviews the three finalists. Members of the public are welcome to attend the interviews, but only to observe, not to participate, said board chairwoman Amy Martin...
Detectives win lawsuit vs. county, sheriff (02/03/13)
A federal jury has awarded over $375,000 to individuals suing Bedford County and Sheriff Randall Boyce for unpaid overtime -- as well as for retaliation after reporting the matter to officials. However, sources have explained to the T-G that the damage and attorney fees paid could total close to $1 million...
Local applicants remain in school superintendent search (02/01/13)
Bedford County's next school superintendent will be a familiar face to many residents. The Bedford County Board of Education on Thursday narrowed the list of candidates from 10 to three -- all of them local. Those candidates are Don Embry, principal of Shelbyville Central High School; Karen Scoggins, principal of Learning Way Elementary School; and Janice R. Womble, supervisor of secondary education for Bedford County schools...
Sales tax fall hurts county (01/23/13)
Bedford County's current-year property tax collections are running ahead of where they were a year ago, but the overage is cancelled out by lagging performance in sales tax and in prior-year property tax collections. That was the message at Tuesday night's meeting of Bedford County Financial Management Committee, where county finance director Robert Daniel presented his monthly analysis...
County finalizes bank building purchase (01/22/13)
Bedford County finished purchasing the Regions Bank building from State Rep. Pat Marsh on Friday. From left are Harold Segroves, real estate agent; Tonya Davis, trustee; Marsh; Bedford County Mayor Eugene Ray; County Commissioner Linda Yockey; and County Attorney John T. Bobo. (T-G Photo by Jason Reynolds)
E-911 sees revenues fall (01/17/13)
Bedford County Emergency Communications District (E-911), like similar groups across the state, is fighting a decrease in revenue as customers drop traditional land lines for mobile phones and for Internet-based telephone services. Local communications centers are funded by a surcharge on landlines; there's also a surcharge on mobile and Internet phone service, but that goes to the state, not to the local com centers...
Longview land offered for fire station (01/17/13)
The trustees of Longview Community Center, which has become little-used in recent years, have offered the property to Bedford County if the county will place an active fire station on it within three years, according to discussion at Tuesday night's meeting of Bedford County Board of Commissioners' courthouse and property committee...
Northwest bypass action urged (01/16/13)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners will consider a resolution to ask the state to complete the northwestern leg of the Shelbyville bypass, State Route 437. The bypass had been requested by community leaders for decades. Its first, six-mile leg, connecting U.S. 231 north of Shelbyville to U.S. 41A (New Tullahoma Highway) east of Shelbyville, opened in August 2011...
School superintendent finalists to be determined soon (01/16/13)
Bedford County Board of Education will narrow the list of superintendent candidates to four or five finalists on Jan. 31. The board decided during its monthly meeting on Tuesday that each board member would develop an individual list of six candidates he or she was interested in interviewing. The board will hold a special called meeting at 5 p.m. Jan. 31 to select the top candidates from those short lists...
Grand jury packs into courthouse basement (01/15/13)
A lack of space at Bedford County Courthouse resulted in grand jury arraignments being held in a basement hallway Monday. With child support hearing on the first level, a civil trial in the second floor chambers and chancery court set for the third floor, Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler was forced to move proceedings to the only place left available...
Search for a leader: Schools get 11 applications for top job (01/09/13)
Eleven people have applied for the position of Bedford County Superintendent of Schools, and copies of their application packets were given to Bedford County Board of Education members during a special called meeting on Tuesday. Monday was the application deadline, and school board chairman Amy Martin said the post office box set up for the superintendent search was not checked until Tuesday morning, meaning no one knew in advance who had applied...
County to buy bank building from Marsh (01/09/13)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday night to purchase the Regions Bank building on the square from State Rep. Pat Marsh for $315,000, plus any closing costs. The money will be taken from the county's proceeds from selling the former Bedford County Nursing Home...
Deputies to patrol all schools (01/09/13)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners, meeting Tuesday night, formally approved the placement of sheriff's deputies in local schools, which began on Monday, for 40 days while the county studies the best long-term approach to school security. A study committee will be appointed, and a consultant from the Tennessee Risk Management Pool, the county's insurance carrier, will be asked for input in the long term...
Schools' security to increase (01/06/13)
Parents concerned about their children's return to Bedford County classrooms Monday can find some relief in knowing there will be an increased law enforcement presence. Police officers are checking city schools regularly, a new security officer will be posted at Thomas Magnet School, and the county will attempt to place an officer at each of the other schools...
Few problems found in county audit (12/28/12)
Bedford County government had only minor audit findings in its annual audit, which was released last week. The audit, prepared by the state Comptroller of the Treasury's Division of Local Government Audit, covers the 2011-2012 fiscal year which ended June 30...
School security issue studied (12/21/12)
The Bedford County Board of Education allowed ample time for discussion of school safety this week, responding in particular to parent concerns about a Dec. 12 incident at Thomas Magnet School, but additionally to re-address safety concerns in county schools in light of the tragic events in Newtown, Conn. just a week ago...
Location changed for detectives' pay trial (12/20/12)
The location, but not the date, has been changed for a trial over a federal lawsuit filed by four detectives who claim the sheriff and Bedford County owe them for unpaid overtime. A notice issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge William B. Mitchell Carter Wednesday now states that the trial in the case will be held at the federal courthouse in Chattanooga, not Winchester, on Tues., Jan. 22, 2013...
County may buy Regions building (12/19/12)
Bedford County Financial Management Committee and Bedford County Board of Commissioners' courthouse and property committee, each meeting Tuesday night, recommended that the county purchase the Regions Bank building on the square from State Rep. Pat Marsh for $315,000...
More SROs possible (12/19/12)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners will consider hiring seven new school resource officers (SROs), at a total cost of $257,572, according to discussion at Tuesday night's meeting of the county's Financial Management Committee. SROs are law enforcement officers who are assigned to schools but employed by the sheriff's department. They provide security but may also participate in teaching safety classes, interacting with students, and so on...
Parents complain about Thomas threat (12/19/12)
It's been an insightful week for educators and administrators nationwide. Locally, a perfect storm of events aligned last week and served to highlight security flaws in the Bedford County school system. A Thomas Magnet School parent had made specific threats against the school, inferring that if an anticipated diagnosis of cancer were made this week, he'd return to the school with a gun and start shooting...
Error forces solid waste authority to rebid recycling contracts (12/16/12)
Due to a paperwork error, the county's solid waste authority voted to rebid the contracts for scrap metal recycling early next year. Acting chairman David Gordon said they "were taking the blame for this," explaining that the bid requests did not specify if the firms would accept electronics and computer monitors. He said county attorney John T. Bobo would check to see if the bid form was correct before it was given out again...
Jail full of problems: Inspector (12/13/12)
The state's senior jail inspector, Bob Bass, said he wasn't "the jail police" and repeatedly stressed that his purpose wasn't to tell the county it needed to build a new jail. "I hope you don't have to build a jail," said Bass. "I'd rather build schools than a jail."...