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Sunday, July 31, 2016
Bedford County Government

Stories related to Bedford County government

And now, it's down to four jail sites (07/27/16)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners' courthouse and county property committee narrowed its list of potential jail and justice center sites to four Tuesday night. The committee had whittled a previous list down to five sites, but as a result of recent publicity about the county's decision to build a jail and justice center, other property owners had come forward offering to sell the county property. ...
Broadband firm wants to lease old towers at schools (07/27/16)
Athena Broadband wants to lease radio towers at county schools which were installed years ago as part of a now-obsolete communications system. Athena will use the towers to provide its wireless broadband service in the county, according to discussion Tuesday night at Bedford County Financial Management Committee's regular monthly meeting...
Shelter gains $73K grant for upgrades (07/21/16)
Bedford County Animal Control is receiving a $73,000 grant from PetSmart Charities for shelter improvements, director Jack Cooper said during Tuesday night's meeting of Bedford County Board of Commissioners' law enforcement and workhouse committee. The not-for-profit, which is the charitable arm of a for-profit pet store chain, has also made a large in-kind donation of dog food to the shelter...
Locking down a jail location (07/20/16)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners' courthouse and county property committee discussed how to proceed in selecting a site for a new jail and justice center, and agreed to meet again next Tuesday night for a more formal process. The committee wants to have a ranking of potential jail sites so that it can ask its architect, James Langford of Collierville-based Spirit Architecture, begin assessing its two or three top choices...
Start date for new Cascade near May 1 (07/20/16)
School Superintendent Don Embry's comment was short, thankful and to the point. "We'd officially like to thank Mayor (Eugene) Ray and the county commissioners for the tough, hard decision made in building a new Cascade High School and a jail, spending wisely and supporting a jail and schools," Embry, speaking for the Bedford County School System, said at Tuesday night's Bedford County School Board meeting...
Zoning changes sought for store, car lot, chapel (07/20/16)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners' rules and legislative committee voted Tuesday night to recommend three proposed commercial rezonings, sending them to the full commission for approval. Ali A. Ahmad is requesting a zoning change from A-1 (agriculture) to C-2 (commercial) on his property at 4011 U.S. ...
Property assessor seeks re-election (07/15/16)
Ronda Clanton of Shelbyville has announced her candidacy for re-election as assessor of property as an independent in the Aug. 4 general election. Clanton, a graduate of Cascade High School, has lived in Bedford County for the past 41 years. She is married to Randy Clanton. They have four children and four grandchildren. Clanton is a member of The Loft, a nondenominational church...
Real estate is red-hot: Officials (07/13/16)
Bedford County Property Assessor Ronda Clanton and Register of Deeds Johnny Reed, making their quarterly reports Tuesday night to Bedford County Board of Commissioners, both confirmed recent reports that the county's real estate market is on the upswing...
Road superintendent seeks another term (07/13/16)
Stanley Smotherman has announced his candidacy for re-election as Bedford County Road Superintendent as an independent in the Aug. 4 general election. A Bedford County native, Smotherman has worked for Bedford County Highway Department for the past 37 years, serving as superintendent since 2000. He currently serves as secretary/treasurer of Tennessee County Highway Officials Association...
Leadership Bedford: A new look at county (07/08/16)
Have you ever wanted to learn more about the inner workings of Bedford County government and businesses? There's an organization for that. "I learned so much about this county that I didn't know about," said incoming Adult Leadership Bedford president Jason Williams...
New Cascade High, justice center, jail officially on way (07/01/16)
The meeting lasted a mere 20 minutes, with no debate, little discussion, no raised voices and a series of unanimous votes. And yet, Thursday night's special called meeting of Bedford County Board of Commissioners was a milestone, paving the way for a new jail, a new justice center and a new Cascade High School, and paying for it with a hefty tax increase after holding the line on county property tax rates for more than a decade...
Insurance costs eat into school funding (06/30/16)
The Bedford County school board met Wednesday to approve minor, routine budget amendments to close out the fiscal year that ends today. County finance director Robert Daniel said the changes included tweaks to the general purpose school fund and food service fund. The school system received some funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and there were "a lot" of transfers from one department to another, he said...
Judicial center land to be costly (06/29/16)
Members of the Bedford County Commission's finance committee were updated on the progress of talks with owners of potential locations for a new Bedford County jail and judicial center Thursday. Four of 16 owners of properties at the location bordered by Depot, Thompson, East Lane and Deery streets are asking $2,860,000 for their portions of land, comprising 9.5 of 21.25 acres making up the area, finance director Robert Daniel said...
County offices' move in works (06/22/16)
Architect John Davis has drawn up floor plans for using the county-owned bank building on the west side of the square for county offices, county finance director Robert Daniel told the county commission's courthouse and property committee Tuesday night...
School board hears positive summer news (06/22/16)
Bedford County Board of Education buttoned down routine summer business Tuesday night during its monthly meeting, touching on topics ranging from budget and policy updates to the success of the county's summer programs. The extensive agenda moved along efficiently as members worked through brief updates on minor legislative amendments, previewed a budget that will soon be in front of the Bedford County Commission, formed plans to address faculty insurance needs, reminded members of upcoming meetings, and highlighted positive aspects of education taking place this summer even while school's out of session.. ...
Recommended county property tax hike: 36-37 cents (06/16/16)
It will take a property tax increase of 36 or 37 cents per $100 assessed value, depending on a few final calculations, to fund the budgets recommended by Bedford County Financial Management Committee, which met Wednesday morning to discuss final budget plans...
Jail, justice center approved (06/15/16)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday night in favor of a combined 400-bed jail, justice center and workhouse, giving direction to the architect for the project as it moves forward. The county is under a mandate from the state to build a new jail, but due to overcrowding and security concerns at Bedford County Courthouse some officials had recommended that a judicial center also be built...
Restraint urged on jail project (06/14/16)
A small group of citizens gathered in sweltering heat on Monday to discuss the issues surrounding a proposed jail and justice center with several county commissioners. Commissioners Chuck Heflin, Bill Anderson and P.T. "Biff" Farrar have been among those with reservations about the idea of a combined jail and justice center, and have been skeptical of some of the claims made about the need for a certain size jail or a jail laid out a certain way...
Haslam brings industrial park road grant (06/12/16)
Gov. Bill Haslam visited Shelbyville Friday and brought a gift: half a million dollars for the future industrial park, part of a $7.5 million grant for rural communities. "I actually think our rural communities can compete with anybody in the world," Haslam said. "But every now and then we need a little boost, something to help make that happen."...
Jail, school savings found (06/09/16)
Bedford County Financial Management Committee got a little good news Tuesday night -- but also handed out some potential bad news to county departments and non-profit agencies. First, the good news: County Finance Director Robert Daniel said that, based on quotes from the state's loan pool, the payments on a new jail and justice center and a new Cascade High School would be less than originally thought...
Insurance change for school system would cut costs (06/09/16)
The Bedford County Board of Education is considering a proposal to drop health insurance for the spouses of employees if that spouse qualifies for coverage at his or her job. County finance director Robert Daniel recommended the change to the school system's health insurance regulations during a budget meeting Wednesday. If a school system employee has a spouse who works at a job that offers health insurance, that spouse would have to change coverage to his or her employer...
County mayor is guest speaker (06/07/16)
Bedford County Mayor Eugene Ray was the guest speaker for the Shelbyville Lions Club's recent meeting. He is shown with Bill Dearing, club president. Ray spoke on issues facing county government, including the need for a new jail. (Submitted photo)
Combined jail-justice center recommended by committee (06/05/16)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners' courthouse and county property committee, meeting Friday night, recommended that the county build a 400-bed jail and workhouse combined with a justice center. The recommendation was broken down into four separate votes -- one of them unanimous, the other three passing by 3-2 margins...
Jail recertified for another year (06/05/16)
The Tennessee Corrections Institute has recertified Bedford County Jail for another year based on improvements made over the past few months, Sheriff Austin Swing said Friday. But the jail remains under a "plan of improvement" demanded by the state...
Library isn't seeking help paying debts (06/03/16)
The chairman of the Shelbyville & Bedford County Public Library board said that the library is no longer asking the city and the county to help with its debt payments, because the recent sale of the old library has enabled the organization to retire 80 percent of its debt...
School system raises possible (06/02/16)
The Bedford County Board of Education looked at possible raises as part of the 2016-2017 school system budget during a workshop meeting Wednesday. Maintenance director Daniel Kleindienst made a plea to increase the starting pay for custodians, which is $8.29 per hour. He said his secretary checked local restaurants, and eateries like Burger King are starting employees out at a comparable level...
County's numbers don't lie (06/01/16)
If Bedford County were to fund a new high school plus a new jail and justice center, plus a tax increase for county road paving, plus all of the budget requests made by various county departments and non-profit agencies, it would require raising the county property tax rate by more than a third...
Jail decision urged soon (05/27/16)
In a nearly two-hour study session Thursday night, Bedford County Board of Commissioners' courthouse and property committee, along with other county officials and concerned citizens, continued the discussion of what to do about the county jail and judicial system...
Officers halt attempt to pass pot into jail (05/27/16)
A man allegedly attempted to pass marijuana through a broken window of Bedford County Jail before he was stopped by officers Wednesday night. "I can't put it in the window because two cops are watching," Brian Keith March, 46, of Parker Road allegedly said on his cellphone, overheard by approaching officers David Curley and Jody Shelton...
Cascade sewage service unsure (05/25/16)
Architect John Davis told Bedford County Financial Management Committee on Tuesday that he has met with engineers representing the Town of Bell Buckle but hasn't yet gotten a final answer on whether or not the town can or will provide sewer service to the new Cascade High School...
Patriot Award (05/24/16)
Bedford County Workhouse administrator Ted Hewell received the Patriot Award last week from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve office. Patriot Awards honor employers who offer flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence if needed for National Guard or Army Reserve members. Hewell joined the Bedford County Sheriff's Office after 22 years with Rutherford County's workhouse. From left are Sheriff Austin Swing, Hewell and Mary Sons, area ESGR representative. (T-G Photo by David Melson)
County building permit process usually quick: Director (05/19/16)
Bedford County Zoning Director Chris White told Bedford County Board of Commissioners' courthouse and county property committee on Tuesday that getting a building permit is "a 30-minute process" if the proper staff members are in the office. Commissioner Chuck Heflin raised the issue, saying a constituent of his said it was harder to get a building permit in Bedford County than in Franklin, something White disputed...
Justice center should be in safe location (05/19/16)
No matter what the final decision is about a new jail and justice center for Bedford County, security should remain atop the list. Over the past few weeks I've heard judges and law enforcement personnel explain concerns about safety around the courthouse and a need for a jail/justice center built with today's security in mind. That security would be hard to obtain by retrofitting the 1935-vintage courthouse, rebuilt similar to the 1870s building that was burned by a mob in 1934...
Confinement and revitalization: Economic benefits of jail, justice system stressed to committee (05/18/16)
Discussion during Tuesday evening's Bedford County Board of Commissioners committee meetings centered around the county's jail plans. During the law enforcement committee meeting, Commissioner Bill Anderson questioned whether it made sense to make Bedford County Workhouse a part of the new jail project as opposed to leaving the current workhouse where it is on Lane Parkway...
No transgender requests received by local school system (05/18/16)
Bedford County schools have not received any requests for restroom accommodations by students who identify as transgender, Superintendent Don Embry said Tuesday. "Quite frankly, it's created quite a firestorm all across the country," he said. The firestorm has not directly touched the local school system, he said. ...
Sheriff asks county for 23 new employees (05/18/16)
Bedford County commissioners have been talking for months about the possible need for a tax increase to pay for a state-mandated jail and a badly-needed high school. But those are capital expenses -- there are also regular operating expenses, the day-in, day-out costs of operating county government, and several county department heads said during budget hearings on Tuesday that they, too, need additional money...
Industrial park granted $500K (05/17/16)
The city-county industrial park is another step closer to being developed thanks to a state grant worth $500,000 for an access road. Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD) announced the grant Monday. It is part of a $7.5 million site development grant program to 15 rural communities to help them finalize infrastructure and engineering improvements for project-ready certified sites...
Not-for-profits line up to seek county funds (05/12/16)
Not-for-profit agencies serving Bedford County presented their contribution requests to Bedford County Financial Management Agency during a hearing Tuesday afternoon at Bedford County Business Complex. The county contributes to a number of different non-profits. ...
Road accepted,developer mayface legal costs (05/11/16)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday night to add Anderson Creek Road to the county road list -- and to file a lawsuit, if necessary, against the developer of Anderson Creek Estates to recover the cost of paving it. The subdivision, in the Longview area, was developed in 2007, Bedford County Road Superintendent Stanley Smotherman told commissioners Tuesday night. ...
Reappraisals arrive (05/05/16)
Bedford County property owners have been receiving reappraisal notices, but Assessor of Property Ronda Clanton said the scheduled reappraisal, which happens every five years, is not related to the county's or city's financial needs. If the county needs new money for jail and school projects, it will have to get that money by deliberately and openly raising the property tax rate, not by relying on or hiding behind the new property values...
Testing vendor fired by state (04/28/16)
Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen on Wednesday borrowed a line from Donald Trump's "The Apprentice" TV show and said, "You're fired," to the company that had been supplying schools with the troubled TNReady tests. McQueen made the announcement during a press conference in Nashville. She said the statewide testing contract with vendor Measurement Inc. (MI) would end immediately...
Cost study asked for Cascade (04/27/16)
Planning is underway on the projected cash flow which would be needed if a new Cascade High School is approved and funded in the coming fiscal year, according to discussion Tuesday night at Bedford County Financial Management Committee. "The project's not funded yet," clarified County Finance Director Robert Daniel...
Cascade principal shows leaders crowded conditions (04/21/16)
Cascade High School principal Tim Harwell gave a tour Wednesday to a handful of county commissioners and a handful of school board members to make the case for building a new facility. "Thank you for your time today," Harwell said. Harwell's tour highlights included:...
County jail likely to be recertified (04/21/16)
Miller Meadows of Tennessee Corrections Institute, following his recent re-inspection of Bedford County Jail, still says the jail does not meet minimum standards for certification but is still recommending that the jail be re-certified, provided that re-certification is tied to a plan of action for replacing the jail...
Cascade High plans proceed (04/20/16)
Even though the Bedford County Board of Education does not have the funds to build a new Cascade High School, it is moving forward with plans to spend the money. County architect John Davis told the board Tuesday that the county finance committee asked for a 28-month schedule for designing and building the proposed school with an opening date of August 2018...
Zoning change approved for site (04/20/16)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners' rules and legislative committee, meeting Tuesday night, recommended a zoning change from A-1 (agriculture) to C-2 (commercial) for a site at 2423 U.S. 41A southeast of Shelbyville. The site already houses a commercial business which dates back to before county zoning was enacted, and which therefore has been protected by a "grandfather clause." The current business includes commercial fencing, nursery sales, building construction and auto auctions...
Schools earn passing grade (04/14/16)
A panel of education accreditation evaluators is recommending the reaccreditation of Bedford County schools. "Of course we're going to recommend accreditation," said lead evaluator Cheryl Allread. She and a team of five other experts from various school districts have spent time in Bedford County studying the schools and administrators and interviewing staff, parents and students...
Superintendent pleased with schools' achievements (04/14/16)
Bedford County School Superintendent Don Embry discussed the challenges and achievements of his three years in office during a presentation Wednesday morning at Shelbyville Rotary Club. "Our folks do a fantastic job overall," said Embry. "I'm very proud of the work that we do." Cascade Elementary and Community Elementary have been named Reward Schools, while Cascade Elementary and Thomas Magnet School have been named Blue Ribbon Schools...
Security on minds of judges (04/13/16)
Bedford County's judges entered pleas for a more secure courthouse -- or future judicial center -- in comments during Tuesday night's county commission meeting. General Sessions Court Charles Rich says he understands nearby merchants' concerns about courts being possibly moved from the square to a proposed judicial center, but the state's orders for a new jail are "a done deal....we have to deal with the reality of the situation."...
Architect explains jail options (04/07/16)
Bedford County Mayor Eugene Ray said the meeting Tuesday night between county officials and the architectural firm for a new jail was productive. "I was pretty impressed with him," said Ray of James Suzuki Langford, president and founder of Spirit Architecture Group LLC, the Collierville-based architectural firm that the county finance department has selected for the project. There's no official contract yet; the county and the architect are still discussing the scope of the project...
Council cold to ECD pleafor city funds (04/07/16)
Shelbyville City Council members were not receptive during a Tuesday workshop meeting to a request by the 911 dispatch service for funding and a contract. The city and Bedford County 911 Emergency Communications District have been communicating for at least three years on a proposed interlocal agreement...
Roads dollars bypass cities (04/06/16)
Tennessee's cities would be entirely left out of a state repayment of highway funds under a new proposal by Gov. Bill Haslam, a Shelbyville official says. Shelbyville City Manager Jay Johnson said he learned Tuesday afternoon that Haslam has changed his plan for paying back $142 million out of more than $260 million the state had long borrowed from highway funds for the general fund...
Jail, Cascade can combine as neighbors (04/01/16)
An architectural firm has recommended that, to save money, the county build a new jail on the same property as a new Cascade High School, so that functions such as food preparation can be combined. The two buildings would be a hundred yards away or so, and a 20-foot-high wall would be erected between them, but each would be connected by enclosed walkway to a third building which would contain Bedford County's largest kitchen. ...
Workhouse approved; jail inmates transferred (03/31/16)
The Bedford County Workhouse on Lane Parkway has passed its yearly inspection by the Tennessee Corrections Institute, Sheriff Austin Swing said Tuesday. "Only inmates who are not considered an escape risk are taken to the workhouse," Swing said. Normally about 70 inmates are kept at the workhouse at any one time. A new ceiling is being installed, Swing said...
Inmate died of natural causes: TBI (03/30/16)
A Bedford County Jail inmate found dead in a holding cell Nov. 23, 2015 died of natural causes, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Monday. Henry Garrett was found unresponsive by a corrections officer, the Bedford County Sheriff's Office said. The jail was placed on lockdown until the TBI was called, which is common in deaths within jails...
2 firefighters prepared for hazmat emergencies (03/25/16)
Two local firefighters -- one from the city fire department and one from the county fire department -- have received the state's highest certification for dealing with hazardous materials. Blane Crump of Shelbyville Fire Department and Adam McKamey of Bedford County Fire Department have been named State Certified Hazmat Specialists. A formal presentation was made Monday by Brent Morse of Tennessee Emergency Management Agency...
Jammed to the max: Cascade squeezes by (03/24/16)
To build and how large to build? Those are the questions facing Bedford County's leaders regarding a new Cascade High School. Even as the Bedford County Commission faces the potential decertification of the jail and a possible state mandate to build a new correctional facility, the growing population means many schools are overcrowded or near capacity. Nowhere is that felt more keenly than at the combined Cascade Middle and High schools serving eastern Bedford County...
Growing pains hit many schools (03/24/16)
The Bedford County school system is experiencing growing pains. "We are definitely seeing growth from Rutherford County," Bedford County Superintendent Don Embry said. Bedford County's population grew 3.5 percent from April 2010 to July 2014, from 45,058 to 46,627, U.S. ...
County tax hike of 15% needed (03/24/16)
Bedford County Finance Director Robert Daniel told Bedford County Financial Management Committee on Tuesday night that his best guess is that it will take about a 15 percent increase in the county's property tax to pay for a new jail and a new Cascade High School...
Livestock removal supported (03/23/16)
Bedford County Financial Management Committee voted Tuesday night to recommend that the county continue its participation in the dead livestock removal program as is, even though one county commissioner believes limits should be placed on it. The program, at county expense, provides free pickup of the carcasses of dead livestock. ...
Hole in column isn't dangerous (03/22/16)
The large hole in a column on the south side of Bedford County Courthouse isn't a major problem, an architect assured officials this morning. "Water got in behind the back side of the column and caused expansion," architect John Davis said after closely inspecting the hole shortly after sunrise today. "It's called 'getting old.'"...
Jail repair process underway (03/17/16)
Bedford County Jail is in the process of making the repairs approved last week by Bedford County Board of Commissioners, according to discussion at Tuesday night's commission committee meetings. A representative of Shelby County's jail system visited Shelbyville late last week to assist with looking at the jail's situation...
Rezoning suggested for 231 North location (03/17/16)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners' rules and legislative committee, meeting Tuesday night, recommended a request for rezoning land between 3180 and 3196 U.S. 231 North from C-1 to C-2. Both are commercial zones. Daniel Trott, who made the request, operates a trucking business at the site. Trott would like to add some truck and car sales at the site, and so he's requesting a change to C-2, which allows more and different types of commercial uses...
Household Hazardous Waste event Saturday (03/17/16)
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's mobile household hazardous waste collection service will be in Bedford County on Saturday. Since the program's inception in 1993, more than 322,000 households have properly disposed of more than 21 million pounds of material...
When seconds count: Smart911 can save lives (03/15/16)
Smart911, the system that allows local residents to voluntarily enter information that would be available to dispatchers during a 9-1-1 call, is being honored by the State of Tennessee this Wednesday with the first-ever "Smart911 Awareness Day." Bedford County is one of only a handful of Tennessee communities using the system, along with Nashville, Brentwood, Maury and Wayne counties...
$30K going to jail to help prevent closure (03/09/16)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday night to authorize spending up to $30,000 on renovations to the current jail and passed a resolution pledging to move forward with construction of a new jail in the new fiscal year. Both moves are designed to forestall disaster in early July when Tennessee Corrections Institute's Board of Control meets to consider the county's most recent jail inspection...
Mayor reads to students (03/06/16)
Jail repairs ordered (03/04/16)
For the past four years, Tennessee Corrections Institute has been telling Bedford County that it would not decertify the overcrowded and run-down county jail so long as the county was making good faith progress towards resolving its issues, presumably by building a new jail...
More than 2,700 vote early (02/25/16)
A total of 2,763 Bedford County citizens participated in the early vote period which ended Tuesday for the March 1 election. Of the total, 2,048 voted in the Republican primary while 674 voted in the Democratic primary. The other 41 people voted in the general election -- a county wheel tax referendum -- without voting in either party primary...
County approves budget changes (02/25/16)
Bedford County Financial Management Committee approved mid-year budget amendments Tuesday evening for both the county general fund and the school budget. The amendments were passed at the end of an uneventful 15-minute meeting. Mid-year amendments adjust the budget to account for unexpected revenues and expenditures. These are the second amendments of the fiscal year for each budget...
Grant pays to train teachers (02/23/16)
A $631,686 state grant will promote the professional development of math and science teachers. This is the fourth, and largest, year for the Math Science Partnership grant, said Betsy Norris, grants/e-learning supervisor for Bedford County Schools. Past grant amounts were in the $200,000 or $300,000 range. It is also the final year for the grant...
A big 'thanks' for hard work (02/18/16)
Janyce Adcock, who retired at the first of the year after 24 years as custodian at Bedford County Courthouse, was honored Wednesday with a reception in the courthouse attended by numerous current and former county officials and employees. Adcock, who was known for her hard work and dedication to her job, began working at the courthouse in 1992 and served under three different county mayors -- Paul Parker, Jimmy Woodson and current mayor Eugene Ray...
Officials expect bad report from state jail inspection (02/18/16)
Bedford County Jail was inspected last week, according to jail administrator Tim Lokey's report Tuesday night to Bedford County Board of Commissioners' law enforcement and workhouse committee. "We have not received a report back yet, but it doesn't look good," said Lokey...
School tests resume soon (02/17/16)
Bedford County educators and students are finally starting to learn when year-end testing will take place. Testing could happen anytime between Feb.22 and March 18 following a "snafu" last week, said Superintendent Don Embry during the Board of Education meeting Tuesday. That includes TNReady for reading/language arts, math and social studies tests part 1 (grades 3-8 and high school end of course)...
Annex sale proposal not heard (02/17/16)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners' rules and legislative committee refused Tuesday night to hear a proposal for the sale of Bedford County Vocational Annex to Tennessee Center for Applied Technology - Shelbyville, saying it hadn't been properly considered by the school board...
Rezoning approved for Repo Depot (02/11/16)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners, meeting Tuesday night, approved a rezoning from A-1 (agriculture) to C-2 (commercial) of the old Repo Depot location at 1837 U.S. 41-A North. The site had been the long-time home of Repo Depot, an automobile auction business which predated county zoning and which was therefore allowed under a "grandfather clause" as a pre-existing use within its agricultural zone...
Letter to the Editor, Feb. 11 (02/11/16)
To the editor: Many residents of Bedford County do not realize that we are mandated by the State of Tennessee to build a new jail. We also need several new schools. Our elected officials are very careful with our money, but a new jail and schools are must haves...
Shhhh! No phone calls at the polls (02/05/16)
You can bring your iPhone to the polls, but don't plan on using it to make or receive calls. Early voting will begin Wednesday for the March 1 presidential primary and wheel tax referendum. According to a new state law, you can bring your smartphone to the polling place, but you can't use it for conversations or to take photos or videos, only for looking up information to assist you in your voting decisions...
Sunday Conversation: Williams thrives on serving others (01/31/16)
Chief Deputy Jason Williams of the Bedford County Sheriff's Office is the subject of this week's Sunday Conversation. A Bedford County native and graduate of Cascade High School, Williams recently graduated from the prestigious FBI Academy....
Wheel tax a must: Ray (01/28/16)
Bedford County Mayor Eugene Ray, speaking Wednesday morning to the Shelbyville Rotary Club, discussed the county's jail, school and highway needs, and said the proposed wheel tax -- which goes before voters on March 1 -- is the only way to spread the burden of paying for those projects among a wider swath of the population...
County sales tax numbers up from 2015 (01/28/16)
Bedford County's sales tax numbers are still ahead of where they were last year, although property tax numbers have all but evened out with last year, according to financial reports discussed Tuesday night by Bedford County Financial Management Committee...
We'll build Cascade: Commission (01/27/16)
Bedford County Board of Education and school system officials presented renderings of the proposed Cascade High School to Bedford County Financial Management Committee and other interested county commissioners during a study session Tuesday night. Commissioners reassured the school board that they fully understand the need for the school and intend to build it, one way or another, regardless of the outcome of the March referendum on a county wheel tax...
ID checks ahead soon for schools (01/21/16)
School visitors soon will have to show their ID -- and carry their pictures around on their shirts. Bedford County schools will start conducting sex-offender background checks in February, Superintendent Don Embry told the Board of Education on Tuesday...
CORRECTED: Change addresses parking issues at old Repo Depot (01/21/16)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners' rules and legislative committee voted Tuesday night to recommend rezoning property at 1837 U.S. 41A North from A-1 (agriculture) to C-2 (commercial) for an automobile auction, repair, sales and towing business...
Presenting the new Cascade High (01/20/16)
Introducing the (potential) future Cascade High School. The Bedford County Board of Education viewed architectural renderings of the proposed building during its monthly meeting Monday. The board also discussed plans to meet with the Bedford County Commission...
A little relief may be ahead for county jail (01/20/16)
The opening of a new Corrections Corporation of America-operated state prison in Trousdale County will result in most or all of the state felons being taken out of Bedford County Jail, at least for the time being -- but even without the state felons, the jail is still overcrowded...
Roads, savings and gone: Commission meets for 7 minutes (01/13/16)
It's only January, but Bedford County Board of Commissioners probably set the record for its shortest meeting of the year Tuesday, adjourning after only seven minutes. The commission approved two non-controversial measures. The first was the annual county road listing. The state requires that the county commission approve a list of county-maintained roads each year. There were no changes or additions to this year's list, but it must still be approved each year...
What we need: Growth plans ... but also a jail, school and roads (01/12/16)
Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR), in its annual report on infrastructure needs, has estimated Bedford County to need 149 improvement projects totalling $219 million. The TACIR report shows Bedford County's top five infrastructure needs in the following categories...
City-ECD pact far from ready, officials claim (01/08/16)
A new four-year interlocal agreement between Bedford County Emergency Communications District and the city of Shelbyville for Enhanced 911 service has been submitted to Shelbyville City Manager Jay Johnson for city council approval. However, Johnson said at a council study session Tuesday night, the agreement is far from ready for final discussion -- citing issues with the percentage of funding sought from Shelbyville residents vs, other areas of the county, and dissatisfaction with the quality of emergency dispatching from Bedford County Communications Center.. ...
Smotherman, Clanton unopposed (12/17/15)
Incumbent Bedford County Highway Superintendent Stanley Smotherman and incumbent Assessor of Property Ronda Clanton will be unopposed for re-election on the August 2016 general election ballot. Although both Smotherman and Clanton ran in the Democratic primary in the past, both have elected to skip the March party primary this year and run as independents in the general election...
Election office can't have own vacation policy (12/16/15)
Bedford County Mayor Eugene Ray told the county Board of Commissioners' rules and legislative committee Tuesday night that he's trying to standardize county personnel policies and won't agree to let the county election office have a different vacation policy...
Calvert named to school board seat (12/16/15)
Jamie Calvert was a unanimous choice for the first district school board seat at Thursday's Bedford County Board of Commissioners meeting. Calvert fills the seat vacated after Tammie Patterson resigned after one month. It had previously been held by Dixie Parker for many years until Parker's passing...
County audit pleases mayor (12/10/15)
The Tennessee comptroller's office released its audit of Bedford County government on Wednesday, with only three relatively-minor findings related to computer software and data storage. "I'm pretty happy with the way it went," said County Mayor Eugene Ray on Wednesday. ...
Tech upgrades temporarily cut access to county offices (11/27/15)
If you tried to contact a county office earlier this week and had trouble, it may not just be the holiday schedule. Bedford County's information technology department has been upgrading the county's computer and communications network since Friday, Nov. 20...
County sales tax revenues continue rising (11/27/15)
Bedford County sales tax revenues continue their upward trend -- revenues have been higher than the same month in 2014 for seven or eight straight months now, said finance director Robert Daniel during Tuesday's meeting of the county Financial Management Committee...
Reed honored as Tennessee's top register (11/24/15)
Bedford County Register of Deeds Johnny Reed was honored Nov. 12 at the 2015 County Officials Association of Tennessee awards ceremony, held during the group's conference at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis. Reed was chosen 2015 Outstanding Register of the Year by COAT and received the COAT Exemplary Service Award. In addition, he received a Leadership Award from the Tennessee Registers Association, of which he is president...
We're not alone: Maury County also has courthouse issues (11/22/15)
Even as Bedford County debates courthouse security issues and the long-term home of the county's judicial system, Columbia and Maury County are going through a very similar debate. Recent news stories and opinion columns in The Daily Herald of Columbia reveal arguments and counter-arguments very similar to those heard in Bedford County in recent years...
Workhouse inmates' injury pay studied (11/20/15)
Bedford County will consider the issue of who is responsible for emergency on-the-job medical expenses resulting from injuries when a county workhouse inmate is sent to work for a non-county agency or a different government. During Tuesday night's meeting of Bedford County Board of Commissioners' law enforcement and workhouse committee, commissioner Bill Anderson asked whether there had been a change in policy which made outside agencies responsible for such medical bills...
Taxing times ahead: Officials (11/19/15)
State Sen. Jim Tracy, Bedford County Board of Commissioners member Don Gallagher and Bell Buckle Mayor Dennis Webb discussed the challenges their governments face during a forum Wednesday morning for Leadership Bedford and Youth Leadership Bedford members...
It's official: Wheel tax on ballot (11/11/15)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners formally approved Tuesday night what they approved in principle last month -- asking voters to approve a $50 wheel tax in a March 2016 referendum. Three-quarters of the revenue from the tax, if it is approved, will support school projects -- primarily a new building for Cascade High School -- and a state-mandated new jail. The other 25 percent will support county roads...
Sheriff's office attempts to keep cool (10/28/15)
When Bedford County Sheriff's Office advertised for a new five-ton central heat and air conditioning unit, one of the three bidders told the sheriff's office that even though the previous unit had been five tons, that really wasn't sufficient for the size of the building...
Domestic violence awareness marked with proclamation (10/22/15)
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month; Bedford County Mayor Eugene Ray and Circuit Court Clerk Michelle Murray signed a proclamation on Wednesday, joined by representatives of Haven Of Home, the domestic violence shelter and agency serving Bedford, Coffee, Franklin, Lincoln, Marshall and Moore counties...
School board member resigns (10/21/15)
Bedford County's newest school board member is now an ex-member. Tammie Patterson vacated her chair on the Bedford County Board of Education as of last Thursday, Chairwoman Amy Martin announced Tuesday night at the board's monthly meeting. Patterson wrote a letter saying she "deeply regretted" that she did not have the time to commit to the board...
Inmate amends suit against county (10/21/15)
A Bedford County Jail inmate has filed an amended federal suit claiming that his medical needs are not being addressed. Sedrick Darion Mitchell, 37, of Landers Street filed suit in June against the Bedford County Sheriff's Office, Dr. Kenneth Mathews, Capt. Jerry Sircy, and Sheriff Austin Swing...
Clanton responds to greenbelt talk (10/20/15)
Bedford County Assessor of Property Ronda Clanton has offered what she said were clarifications of several points made by participants in last Friday's meeting about the greenbelt law. Clanton told the Times-Gazette on Monday that an example was mentioned at the meeting in which a junkyard was supposedly classified as greenbelt property. Clanton said this is incorrect; only the part of the property being used for farming is classified as greenbelt, not the part used for the junkyard...
Greenbelt law violators sought (10/18/15)
Tennessee's greenbelt law is supposed to protect farmers from commercial encroachment and to encourage property to be set aside as forest land or public open space, by giving the property owner a break on property taxes. But Bedford County officials meeting on Friday to discuss the law say it's being abused by some landowners and that the county should do more to ensure that only those who legitimately qualify for greenbelt protection receive it...
Stronger security for court (10/15/15)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday night to approve a courthouse security plan which, once fully implemented, will close the first floor entrances and require all visitors to enter through the basement and, on court days, pass through a metal detector...
It's a dirty job, but .... (10/15/15)
Joanus Fordham of the Bedford County schools maintenance department lays sod outside the Central Office on Tuesday. The sod work was part of a project that included rebuilding the sidewalk to the main entrance, making it level with the door and eliminating the need to step up to enter. According to the maintenance department, they performed the project using their own staff for a cost of less than $2,000, versus spending between $3,500 to $4,000 by hiring an outside company. (T-G Photo by Jason Reynolds)
Wheel tax details approved (10/14/15)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners approved the drafting of a $50 wheel tax resolution, which will be put before voters as a referendum on March 1, 2016. The resolution will set aside 75 percent of the tax proceeds to go towards jail and school construction, with 25 percent to go towards county roads. The tax will apply equally to cars and motorcycles; an attempt by commissioner Jimmy Woodson to secure a lower rate for motorcycles was rejected...
Industrial park loan bids taken (10/06/15)
Shelbyville officials opened bids Monday for loans to buy 86 acres of land for the new city-county Commerce Business Park, with a local bank having the lowest interest rate. Invitations for bids were sent through Raymond James, the city's financial advisor. Responses were received from First Community Bank of Bedford County, which offered the lowest interest rate of 3.225529 percent, and First Tennessee Bank...
Buckling down on safety (10/02/15)
Tennessee Highway Patrol and local law enforcement officials said during an event on Thursday that a new grant-funded safety enforcement program could save lives if it can convince more drivers to buckle up. The highway patrol has been selected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to conduct a pilot program in "occupant safety enforcement" in Bedford and Hawkins counties, both of which have had a large number of traffic fatalities linked to the lack of seat belt use...
City council backs TVA grant (09/30/15)
Shelbyville's council signed off Tuesday night on a contract with the Tennessee Valley Authority for a grant to partially fund the new city-county Commerce Business Park. The agreement was executed for the $350,000 grant on behalf of the city of Shelbyville at a special called meeting. The city now must borrow the money for the land...
County seat belt use will be eyed (09/30/15)
NASHVILLE (AP) -- Bedford County will be one of two counties in Tennessee involved in a national pilot program involving seat belt use statistics. The Tennessee Highway Patrol said fatal crashes have increased in Bedford and Hawkins counties due to lack of seat belt use...
Letter to the Editor, Sept. 24 (09/24/15)
Dear Editor, Catching up on events while I was out of town, I see that a referendum on a $50 per vehicle wheel tax is likely to be in the ballot in March. I have two vehicles which will be subject to that wheel tax if it is approved and two motorcycles for which I will be getting antique classifications and tags before said referendum...
New school board member (09/23/15)
Bedford County Clerk Donna Thomas administers the oath of office Tuesday to Tammie Patterson just prior to the Board of Education meeting at Shelbyville Central High School. Patterson is the new school board member from District 1 (Cascade) and replaces the late Dixie Parker. (T-G Photo by Jason Reynolds)
Wheel tax recommended again (09/23/15)
Even though they'd already voted to do so during a special called meeting on Aug. 30, Bedford County Financial Management Committee voted again Tuesday night at their regular monthly meeting to recommend a $50 wheel tax which would be put before voters in March...
Security plan for courthouse moves forward (09/23/15)
Bedford County Financial Management Committee voted Tuesday night to recommend the proposed courthouse security plan to the full county commission. The plan would hire two new deputies and one new corrections officer who would be assigned full-time to the courthouse. In addition, first-floor access to the courthouse would be closed to the public. The public would have to enter the building through the basement, where a walk-through metal detector would be operated...
Clerk stops performing marriages (09/23/15)
Bedford County Clerk Donna Thomas said Tuesday she stopped performing civil marriage ceremonies all the way back in February -- simply because it was taking too much time and doesn't generate revenue for the county, not because of any reason related to this summer's Supreme Court decision...
Property details uncertain (09/16/15)
Bedford County has two parcels of property for sale near Bedford Lake -- but if you want to know the exact boundaries of your purchase, you'll need to hire your own surveyor. Bedford County Board of Commissioners has already voted to sell the two parcels, which the county picked up years ago and which don't have road access. But the commission's courthouse and county property committee, which met Tuesday night, is still trying to work out the details...
Committee approves TVA grant (09/11/15)
The city/county Commerce Business Park oversight committee voted Thursday to enter into a grant agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority -- moving forward on a project that's been in the works for years. The agreement will be subject to a legal review by city attorney Ginger Shofner and county attorney John T. Bobo...
Patterson chosen for school seat (09/09/15)
A friend of Dixie Parker's family will fill her vacant seat on the Bedford County school board. Tammie Patterson was unanimously approved 17-0 for the First District position by the Bedford County Commission at its September meeting Tuesday night. Commissioner Billy King was absent...
School leaders attend meeting of peers (09/06/15)
Several members of the Bedford County Board of Education attended a fall district meeting of the TSBA on Sept. 1. The Tennessee School Boards Association (TSBA) hosted the district meeting at South Lincoln Elementary in Lincoln County. "TSBA Fall District Meetings gives our staff the opportunity to connect with school board members from every part of the state so that we not only hear their concerns but also provide them with the support they need to help them make the best decisions for the children and schools in their communities," said TSBA executive director Tammy Grissom.. ...
Register to vote -- and spread the word (EXTENDED ONLINE VERSION) (09/03/15)
Call them selfies with a purpose. September is National Voter Registration Month, and as we look toward another presidential election season, state and local officials say now is the perfect time to make sure you're registered to vote. The next election in Bedford County will be on March 1. ...
$50 wheel tax recommended (09/01/15)
Members of Bedford County Financial Management Committee hope that, in March 2016, Bedford County voters will approve a $50 per vehicle wheel tax, as an alternative to raising the property tax to pay for a new jail, a new Cascade High School, and paving of county roads...
Commissioners talk needs at annual meeting (08/28/15)
CHAPEL HILL -- County commissioners from throughout southern Middle Tennessee were told Thursday night that it's unlikely the General Assembly will take any action soon on the state's highway and infrastructure problems. "I honestly don't think anything is going to happen this year," said Charles Curtiss, executive director of the Tennessee County Commissioners Association (TCCA) and a former state legislator himself, during a TCCA regional meeting held at Henry Horton State Park...
Wheel tax details to be studied (08/27/15)
Bedford County Financial Management Committee will hold a study session on Monday to discuss specifics for a proposed county wheel tax, after receiving background information on the tax during its regular monthly meeting, which was held Tuesday. Commissioners believe some sort of additional revenue will be necessary to fund a new jail and a new Cascade High School, and want to put a wheel tax proposal before voters during the March election. ...
Competitive bid change proposed (08/27/15)
Back in May, Bedford County, taking advantage of a newly-passed state law, increased the minimum purchase that must be put out for sealed bids from $10,000 to $25,000. Now, three months later, county finance director Robert Daniel wants to adjust the minimum purchase for which competitive quotes must be sought, raising it from $2,500 to $5,000...
Courthouse security proposal backed (08/26/15)
After some discussion, Bedford County Financial Management Committee agreed Tuesday night to send a courthouse security proposal to the full commission. County Finance Director Robert Daniel and County Mayor Eugene Ray had asked whether Bedford County Sheriff's Office could get by with hiring only two new employees rather than three, but Chief Deputy Jason Williams said all three were needed...
State assessors name Clanton top member (08/26/15)
Bedford County Assessor of Property Ronda Clanton was recently named Member of the Year for the Tennessee Chapter of the International Association of Assessing Officers (TIAAO). In presenting Clanton with the award, President Ryan Cavanah said, "Ronda has been involved in TIAAO for a number of years and is always willing to help in anything needed. ...
Service animal policy under consideration by school board (08/23/15)
The Bedford County Board of Education is looking at adopting a policy to govern the use of service animals in schools. During its monthly meeting Tuesday, the board considered adopting a boilerplate policy from a state education group that addresses service animals...
Courthouse safety plan progresses (08/19/15)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners' law enforcement committee voted Tuesday night to move a courthouse security plan forward, sending it to Bedford County Financial Management Committee, which will meet next week. The plan would close off the four first-floor doors of the courthouse to public entry, forcing entrance to the building through the basement, where a walk-through metal detector would be installed...
County schools go wireless in next few weeks (08/19/15)
Middle and high school students soon will be browsing the Internet via Wi-Fi from their desks, in the halls and in the lunch lines. All but two of the schools should be ready to go wireless right after the horse show break, said Ben Barrett, director of technology for the Bedford County Department of Education. He made the report during a presentation Tuesday to the Board of Education...
County personnel policies updated (08/13/15)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners, meeting Tuesday night, approved changes to the county's personnel policies. The county's current maternity leave policy was deleted and the county's policy was brought in line with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act...
Judge dismisses lawsuit against jail (08/13/15)
Another handwritten suit against the Bedford County jail has been dismissed by a federal judge. Joseph Richard Fredrickson had demanded $750,000 in damages for suffering, distress and mental and emotional pain. U.S. District Judge Curtis L. Collier dismissed the suit this week, since Fredrickson failed to make a filing fee or an application to proceed in "forma pauperis" -- a Latin legal term meaning "in the character or manner of a pauper."...
Closing courthouse doors: Security plan proposed (08/12/15)
Law enforcement and judicial officials presented a plan to Bedford County Board of Commissioners Tuesday night for securing the Bedford County Courthouse by closing all four first-floor entrances to the public. Except for prisoners, entry to the courthouse would be through the basement, where a walk-through metal detector would be installed. ...
CORRECTED: Midstate trustees gather; tax talk, horses on group's agenda (08/07/15)
Trustees from across Middle Tennessee discussed the difficulties of collecting personal property tax from businesses, and saw a demonstration by a Tennessee walking horse, during a meeting Thursday on the Celebration grounds. Bedford County Trustee Tonya Davis is president of the Middle Tennessee Trustees Association. She hosted the group in Shelbyville for one of its quarterly meetings...
Detective headed to TBI Academy (08/07/15)
Serving the public in a job he loves makes the hard work worthwhile for Detective Sgt. Scott Jones of the Bedford County Sheriff's Office. That's one reason he's looking forward to one of the biggest honors in his almost 20 years in law enforcement -- attending the TBI Academy...
Jail claims dismissed by federal judge (08/06/15)
A federal suit filed by two Bedford County Jail inmates citing overcrowding and a lack of medical attention has been dismissed by a federal judge. Jermaine Pillow and Christopher J. Harris Jr., demanded a jury trial and a total of $920,000 in damages last November...
Midstate trustees to see walking horses (08/04/15)
County trustees from throughout Middle Tennessee will gather in Shelbyville on Thursday to talk about the issues -- and to watch a demonstration of the Tennessee Walking Horse. Bedford County Trustee Tonya Davis, current president of the Middle Tennessee Trustees Association, scheduled the midday meeting on the Celebration grounds in Shelbyville. More than 30 of the region's 41 trustees are expected to attend, along with other dignitaries, vendors and guests...
Oversight of race tracks passes to counties (08/02/15)
Effective last month, the State of Tennessee got out of the business of regulating race tracks and drag strips, turning that authority over to local counties. County Mayor Eugene Ray said Friday that he knows of no concerns about Duck River Raceway Park, a dirt-racing track near Wheel, and the county has no plans for any new regulations...
Inmate sues over alleged jail conditions (08/02/15)
An inmate has filed a federal civil rights suit against Bedford County Jail, demanding $2.2 million for a variety of claims. Matthew G. Cooper claims after he was taken into custody on a charge of aggravated assault, he was "issued a thin sheet of plastic, with no cushion, on which to sleep," saying that the jail refers to it "as a mattress."...
Wheel tax talk waits a month (07/29/15)
Bedford County Financial Management Committee deferred discussion of the wheel tax issue for a month, saying more study is needed about what vehicles might be included if the county decides to approve a tax. County Finance Director Robert Daniel said he could prepare revenue projections for the committee, but in order to do so he needs to know which vehicles are to be taxed. ...
Glover recognized on retirement (07/29/15)
A reception was held for Joyce Glover on the occasion of her retirement from Bedford County Department of Finance. From left are Glover, Finance Director Robert Daniel, Glover's son Randy, and County Mayor Eugene Ray. (Submitted photo)
Greenbelt review could profit city (07/28/15)
A possible review of "greenbelt property" by Bedford County could be important for Shelbyville as well. An audit of those properties was recently recommended by The University of Tennessee's County Technical Assistance Service. Bedford County Board of Commissioners could have approved the audit earlier this month but decided to postpone action so they could study the idea further...
Sunday Conversation: Stephenson finds life's mission in serving veterans (07/26/15)
T-G: Tell us a little about your role at the Bedford County Veterans Office. Stephenson: I am the administrator for the Veterans Service Office. I schedule appointments for our DAV (Disabled American Veterans) officer Jessie Purdom to visit with the veterans and help with their needs....
Chief deputy will attend FBI Academy (07/23/15)
Ten years of hope and hard work are paying off with acceptance to the FBI National Academy for one of Bedford County's law enforcement leaders. Chief Deputy Jason Williams of the Bedford County Sheriff's Department will be attending for 11 weeks late this year....
Two offices on March 2016 ballot; wheel tax also likely (07/23/15)
Only two Bedford County offices -- property assessor and road superintendent -- will be on the ballot for the March 1, 2016, local primary elections. Candidates for the two offices can pick up petitions from the county election office starting Sept. 11. Petitions must be turned in by Dec. 10...
Wheel tax could go on ballot (07/22/15)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners' rules and legislative committee voted Tuesday night to formally ask the county's Financial Management Committee to draw up a wheel tax proposal to be placed on a county-wide ballot in the March election. The county is faced with the need to build a new jail or face de-certification of the existing jail; officials also say Cascade High School is desperately overcrowded and in need of a new facility. ...
No nominee for school board yet (07/22/15)
There's no nominee yet for the vacant District 1 school board seat of Dixie Parker, who died July 10 at her home in Bell Buckle. School board members and school officials are still being consulted. The county commission will appoint a successor who will hold the seat until the next county-wide general election in August 2016. ...
Missing 'Mrs. Dixie': School board member honored (07/22/15)
The Bedford County Board of Education took time to remember one of its own during its monthly meeting Tuesday. Board members paid tribute to the late Dixie Parker from District 1, who died July 10 of natural causes. "I lost one of my best friends," board chair Amy Martin said. She added that she did not know Parker at all until about 12 years ago. "She was one of the most kind, loving, caring persons."...
New jail urged: Current facility can't be rehabbed, expert says (07/16/15)
Jim Hart of the University of Tennessee County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS) threw cold water Wednesday night on a recent proposal to solve the county's jail problems by expansion at the current jail site. "I don't think that expanding the current facility ... is a feasible option," said Hart....
Audit finds $94K more tax dollars (07/15/15)
Bedford County Finance Director Robert Daniel reported Tuesday night to Bedford County Board of Commissioners that his most recent audit of sales tax and Hall Income Tax accounts has brought in $94,491 in additional revenue -- revenue that should continue going forward...
McMahon remains at large (07/14/15)
A series of unique circumstances may have contributed to the ability of inmate Tristan McMahon to escape from Bedford County Courthouse a week ago today, Sheriff Austin Swing said Monday. But lessons have been learned -- and inmate transport procedures are changing -- as a result of McMahon's flight, Swing and sheriff's Capt. Tony Barrett said...
TVA study final hurdle for commerce business park (07/09/15)
The city is waiting for the Tennessee Valley Authority to complete an environmental study on land for a commerce business park before closing on a $600,000 note for the project. When the study is completed, TVA will release the matching funds for the park -- a $350,000 grant going toward the purchase of the property...
Property assessor's office closed next week (07/08/15)
The Bedford County Property Assessor's Office will be closed to the public from Monday through midday Friday of next week. Employees will be undergoing training for a newly-installed computer system, Property Assessor Ronda Clanton said. The office will re-open at 1:30 p.m. Friday, July 17...
No tax hike for Cascade: Commissioners hold rate steady (07/01/15)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners, in a special called end-of-fiscal year meeting, decided not to increase the property tax rate by 35 cents to get a faster start on construction of a new Cascade High School. Commissioners approved county budgets and kept the current tax rate, $2.27 per $100 assessed value, as the old fiscal year drew to a close Tuesday night. Today, July 1, begins a new state and local fiscal year...
Emergency agencies lose in county budget talks (06/19/15)
In order to make next year's budget balance, Bedford County Financial Management Committee voted Thursday to deny several requests by emergency service agencies and abandon the county's plan to install a new fuel management system. The committee also voted to keep contributions to non-profit agencies at the same level as in the current fiscal year, denying increases to agencies that had requested them...
Livestock deal renewed (06/12/15)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday night to approve renewing a contract with South Central Tennessee Development District and Appertain Corp. for disposal of dead livestock. Commissioners rejected an attempt to make the county's largest users of the service pay for it themselves...
Hord case cited in state audit (05/29/15)
The office of Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury Justin Wilson has released its reports of cash shortages, caused by theft, fraud or other problems in local government. One report covers county governments, while the other covers cities and towns, and other government-related agencies such as utility districts...
Move ahead for county offices (05/28/15)
Bedford County wants to move several fee offices from rental space in the US Bank building on the north side of the square into the former Regions Bank building, now owned by the county, on the west side of the square. The county had been under the gun, with the lease on that US Bank space set to expire at the end of this month. But now, the county has negotiated a new lease which will let the county offices stay where they are for another year while the county makes plans for moving them...
New law allows county to spend up to $25K without bids (05/28/15)
Bedford County Financial Management Committee recommends that the county take advantage of a newly-passed state law and raise the maximum purchase that can be made without advertising for sealed bids. Currently, in Bedford County, any purchase of $10,000 or more must be advertised and put out for bid, with sealed bids accepted. ...
Expansion of current jail proposed (05/27/15)
Bedford County Sheriff's Department has proposed -- as an option, not a recommendation -- that the county consider expanding Bedford County Jail at its current location. This would be accomplished by tearing down the house which currently houses jail offices; those offices would be moved into the former state unemployment offices facing North Main Street, on a parcel adjoining the jail and sheriff's department property, if the county is able to buy the facility from the state...
County finally rid of surplus houses (05/14/15)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday night to sell two county-owned houses on Union Street to high bidder James Farrar for a total of $92,000. That figure is dramatically less than the appraisal on the houses, but is in line with what a neighboring house sold for recently, and it gets the houses back onto the county tax rolls...
County must pay Hall $200K more (05/10/15)
Bedford County has been ordered to pay over $200,000 in legal fees and front pay to a former county corrections officer. In March, a jury awarded $385,000 to Virginia Lynn Hall for being fired in violation of the Tennessee Human Rights Act, determining she was owed for back pay, humiliation, and embarrassment...
Clubhouse returned to Longview (04/15/15)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday night to return the former Longview Community Club to its trustees after plans to put a fire station there never materialized. The club, which is currently inactive, gave its clubhouse and property to the county two years ago with a written agreement that the county would build a fire station there within three years. It now looks like that's not going to happen...
Business park plan still in 'good shape' (04/10/15)
"We're in good shape!" Those words from Shelbyville & Bedford County Chamber of Commerce CEO Allen Pitner summed up the feelings of the city/county commerce business park oversight committee Thursday after some major hurdles were overcome this week...
Progress continues toward business park (04/03/15)
Everything is coming into place for the proposed city/county business park, members of the oversight committee were told Thursday morning. City manager Jay Johnson told the committee the state is reviewing their application for a certificate of need and public purpose, and a hearing is set for next Tuesday...
Jail lawsuit moved to federal court (04/03/15)
A civil rights suit alleging a Bedford County Jail inmate was refused medicine last year has been moved to federal court. David Gifford II is demanding at least $1,950,000 in punitive and compensatory damages, claiming that he was hospitalized after being denied medication for his condition as a insulin-dependent diabetic...
Mathis admits guilt (04/01/15)
The former director of the county's Emergency Communications District (ECD) pleaded guilty Tuesday to theft over $10,000, making restitution to the ECD. Cathey D. Mathis made the plea before senior judge and former Tennessee Attorney General Paul G. Summers. She was placed on three years unsupervised probation as part of her no contest plea. Summers also ruled Mathis was eligible for judicial diversion...
Texts land teacher in trouble (03/31/15)
A longtime Cascade High School math teacher has been charged with solicitation of a minor in alleged texts to a student. James David Sanders, 58, of Idle Drive in Shelbyville was arrested Sunday. Sanders allegedly texted inappropriate messages to a 17-year-old girl in one of his classes, according to the Bedford County Sheriff's Department...
Business park oversight committee holds first meeting (03/26/15)
The city and county's commerce business park oversight committee met for the first time Wednesday to examine the ongoing progress toward making the dream of an industrial park a reality. An interlocal agreement for the park was approved by the Shelbyville City Council and Bedford County Commission this month. The minutes of those meetings, plus the agreement, have been sent to the state...
County seeks budget advice (03/25/15)
Bedford County commissioners are looking for advice about how to meet the county's needs -- such as a new jail and a new Cascade High School. The issue of how to pay for major capital expenditures was on the minds of the county's Financial Management Committee, which met Tuesday night...
Fired jailer awarded $385K (03/24/15)
A Bedford County jury has awarded a former corrections officer $385,000 in damages following a civil trial over her firing in 2012. The jury found that Virginia Lynn Hall was terminated from her position at Bedford County Jail in violation of the Tennessee Human Rights Act, awarding damages following a four-day civil trial last week...
Beauty, danger at courthouse (03/19/15)
A massive tree on the west side of Bedford County Courthouse would cause damage if it were to fall, and it also blocks the view of the courthouse from a new video camera on the roof of the county-owned former bank building nearby. Bedford County Board of Commissioners' courthouse and county property committee wants to bring in an arborist to try to study the tree and determine whether it's healthy. If it is, the arborist will be asked for advice on how far the county could go in cutting it back...
Union St. houses could be used to house homeless (03/18/15)
Bedford County has been trying, without success, to sell two houses on Union Street, which were once bought as potential expansion property for Bedford County Medical Center and which most recently housed a women's halfway house, the Next Step Home...
School project in 2 years? (03/13/15)
Bedford County could consider building or renovating a school in two years, assuming no new revenue sources like a tax increase happen before then, officials said. The Bedford County Board of Education held a working meeting Thursday to discuss a building program and preliminary budget details for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. No official action was taken as the meeting was for planning purposes. The board's regular monthly meeting will be Tuesday, March 17...
County workers honored for ice storm work (03/12/15)
Several county officials, during the quarterly department reports at Tuesday night's meeting of Bedford County Board of Commissioners, praised local personnel for their work during the recent ice storms and winter weather. "In this county, nobody lost their life because of those storms, and a lot of counties can't say that," said Bedford County Emergency Management Agency director Scott Johnson. Johnson said County Mayor Eugene Ray would be making a more formal recognition at a later date...
Ex-deputies awarded $75K each (03/11/15)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday night to approve a settlement with former Bedford County Sheriff's Department employees David Sakich and Kevin Holton, each of whom will receive $75,000 after having been dismissed last September. Sakich and Holton had been among the plaintiffs in a high-profile wage and hour lawsuit against the county during the administration of the previous sheriff, Randall Boyce. ...
Investigation reviewed (03/10/15)
Bedford County detectives, Sheriff Austin Swing and Chief Deputy Jason Williams visited Tennessee Bureau of Investigation headquarters in Nashville Wednesday to review the homicide investigation of Lois Espy with TBI agents involved. TBI Director Mark Gwyn and Austin Swing addressed the attendees on the importance of working together, especially when dealing with cases such as Espy's. (Submitted photo)
Sleety blast: Another winter storm leaves roads messy (03/05/15)
Winter-weary Bedford County was hit with another wave of frozen precipitation overnight -- this time, primarily sleet and ice. Bedford County Schools and the School-Age Care Program were closed today, as were Bedford County government offices and Tennessee College of Applied Technology...
County follows auditors' advice (03/04/15)
When the state published its audit of Bedford County government covering the 2013-14 fiscal year, one of the findings was that while Bedford County created an audit committee in 2007, it wasn't active, and there were no records of it having even met...
City, county ready for winter weather (03/04/15)
Both Shelbyville Public Works and Bedford County Highway Department say they've got enough road salt for another bout of winter weather, as predicted for tonight. "We're good," said city Public Works Director Mark Clanton. "We've got enough to last the rest of the winter."...
New landfill cuts county's costs (02/26/15)
Interlocal Solid Waste Authority's new contract with the BFI landfill at Walter Hill in Rutherford County will actually save the county some money, Highway Superintendent Stanley Smotherman told Bedford County Financial Management Committee Tuesday night...
Criminal case against Hord disappears (02/25/15)
The criminal case against Bedford County's former child abuse investigator, who was charged with theft, has been retired. Rebecca Hord, 59, of Shelbyville was indicted in 2013 for theft over $10,000, official misconduct and four counts of forgery. According to an agreed order, the theft charges have been retired for two years, and if all conditions set for Hord are completed, the court could be petitioned to dismiss the case and expunge her record...
Friday becomes a school day, but... (02/25/15)
Sorry, students: Your day off on Friday just became a school day. Unless a snowmageddon hits -- and another cancellation is very possible. The Bedford County Board of Education voted on Tuesday to replace Friday's staff development day on the academic calendar with a regular school day...
Rezoning request gains backing (02/25/15)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners' rules and legislative committee has added its recommendation to a rezoning request on State Route 64 between Wartrace and Fairfield. Hawkins & Price LLC and Hawkins Asphalt Paving LLC are requesting the rezoning so that they can build a new shop and office building...
Ex-inmate files suit against county (02/25/15)
A former Bedford County Jail inmate is demanding nearly $2 million in a civil rights suit alleging he was refused medicine while in custody last year, which he claims resulted in hospitalization. David Gifford II asks at least $1,950,000 in punitive and compensatory damages...
Voters say 'yes' to no school (02/24/15)
The overwhelming majority of those responding to a non-scientific Times-Gazette poll believe that local school officials make the right choice most of the time when deciding whether or not to close schools due to weather. A decisive 85 percent of the 233 respondents said officials make the right call most of the time...
Zoning granted for new industry (02/12/15)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners, meeting Tuesday night, rezoned property at 3319 U.S. 231 North from A-1 (agriculture) to C-1 (commercial). Two Creeks LLC had requested the rezoning so that it can operate a light industrial operation which fabricates stainless steel for food product test kitchens. The work will be done inside an existing 114-foot by 45-foot barn on the site, and cattle will continue to be raised on the property...
Embry urges legislators not to change education standards (02/11/15)
Bedford County Superintendent Don Embry is one of 114 superintendents calling on the General Assembly to leave school standards as they are. The Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents sent a letter Tuesday to all state legislators asking them to take no action on education standards during this session...
License stickers go high-tech (02/05/15)
It's a simple thing -- an inch tall, an inch and a half wide, made of reflective material and sticky on the back. But for the staff of Bedford County Clerk Donna Thomas, license tag renewal stickers are a big part of their business. That's why a new method for printing the stickers on demand was a big deal for the office on Tuesday...
Ready to do business: Industrial park price agreeable, city says (02/05/15)
Shelbyville's city council is expressing support for buying land on Frank Martin Road for the long-anticipated commerce industrial park. Following several weeks of discussion, the final offer from Peoples Bank of $925,000 for the 86.5 acres tract "is agreeable," according to a letter from mayor Wallace Cartwright to Chamber of Commerce CEO Allen Pitner...
Numbers-crunching: Deal comes close to completion (02/05/15)
The pieces are starting to come together for a commerce business park in Bedford County. As it is now, the city and county would kick in $600,000 each -- totaling $1.2 million, plus a grant of $350,000 from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). That amount should be enough to bring utilities to the property, to build approximately 100 feet of road and other items. Because of the TVA grant, they may be able to do more than that, city manager Jay Johnson said...
Mathis asks for judicial diversion (02/03/15)
A special judge has delayed accepting an plea agreement from the former director of the county's Emergency Communications District (ECD), who is accused of theft. Cathey D. Mathis was to stand trial Monday for theft of property over $10,000. However, senior judge and former Tennessee Attorney General Paul G. Summers said while there was no need for a jury trial and both sides had reached an agreement, one legal matter remained -- if Mathis qualified for judicial diversion...
Appreciation on Liberty's menu: School board treated to brunch (01/31/15)
School board members stuffed themselves with treats Friday morning while being entertained by Liberty School students. The early morning event was a "thank you" for board members for all they do for the students and staff. Liberty school intervention counselor Sarah Perry coordinated the brunch, but a lot of work was done by members of the school's new National Junior Honor Society, as well as the student council, providing the drinks and food...
County can save $227K on bond (01/29/15)
Bedford County has the opportunity to refinance one of its school bond issues, and expects to save about $227,000 in interest by doing so. A "call date" deadline is coming up in April which allows the county to pay off the bond issue and refinance it at more favorable interest rates, county finance director Robert Daniel told the county's Financial Management Committee on Tuesday night...
Officials outline jail needs (01/22/15)
Bedford County officials met with state jail officials on Tuesday night as part of the continuing discussion of the need for a new county jail. Jim Hart of the University of Tennessee County Technical Assistance Service is currently doing a study of the county's jail needs, while Bob Bass and Miller Meadows are with Tennessee Corrections Institute, the state agency that certifies local jails...
Courtrooms in bank building costly: Official (01/22/15)
Bedford County Planning & Zoning Director Chris White told the county commission's courthouse and county property committee Tuesday night that it would be "cost-prohibitive" to use the county-owned Regions Bank building for courtrooms. Commissioner Linda Yockey told the committee that the county needs to come up with a plan for using the space in the courthouse, the Regions Bank building and Bedford County Business Complex on Dover Street...
Guest column: Officials need more accountability (01/22/15)
In Shelbyville-Bedford County, why is it when these "qualified elected officials" make reckless decisions, they are never held accountable? For instance, the lawsuits seem to be never questioned when they occurred. I further don't understand why they seem to enjoy getting re-elected...
Cascade High School need emphasized (01/21/15)
The Bedford County Board of Education wants to meet with county commissioners to discuss the need for a new Cascade High School. The board decided during its monthly meeting Tuesday to resubmit its 10-year capital plan to the Bedford County Commission. The board had submitted the plan last August. Superintendent Don Embry suggested the board resubmit the plan since both the board and the commission had some turnover after the recent election...
No change on committees (01/15/15)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners re-elected County Mayor Eugene Ray as its chairman Tuesday night, reappointed all commissioners to their current committee seats, and appointed Commissioner Chuck Heflin and County Finance Director Robert Daniel to the committee for the planned industrial park on Frank Martin Road...
Ask for Cascade, Embry told (01/14/15)
Bedford County School Superintendent Don Embry mentioned the need for a new Cascade High School during his regular three-month report to Bedford County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday night. In response, commissioner Bill Anderson asked Embry when the school system was going to make a formal request...
Discussions continue about industrial park (01/04/15)
A proposed inter-local agreement between the county and city on the envisioned industrial park on Frank Martin Road is still in the discussion stage. Two "wide ranging" meetings have been conducted with county officials, according to city manager Jay Johnson...
County in need of income (12/19/14)
Commissioner Don Gallagher told Bedford County Financial Management Committee Thursday night that the county needs help from the University of Tennessee's County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS) to prepare a capital improvement plan, while commissioner Tony Smith said the county needs to look at adopting a wheel tax...
Tax help will stay (12/18/14)
State Rep. Pat Marsh said on Tuesday that there are no plans to do away with the state-funded property tax relief program. Bedford County Trustee Tonya Davis had discussed her concerns about the program during a report to Bedford County Board of Commissioners earlier this month. The Times-Gazette incorrectly reported that those concerns had to do with the 2014-2015 fiscal year, when actually they were about future fiscal years...
Video to alert of Wartrace blockages (12/18/14)
A new project, funded by a homeland security grant, will place video cameras at the railroad crossing in Wartrace so that emergency dispatchers will know as soon as possible when the railroad tracks there are blocked. Bedford County Emergency Management Agency director Scott Johnson reported on the project during Tuesday night's meeting of Bedford County Board of Commissioners' law enforcement committee...
E-learning grows in popularity (12/17/14)
The Bedford County Board of Education heard a presentation on online high school courses during a short meeting Tuesday night. Betsy Norris, grants and e-learning supervisor, described the current status of the online program, called Bedford E-Learn. The program gives priority to at-risk students, but there are various reasons students may enroll. Norris works closely with graduation coaches...
Tax relief program in jeopardy (12/11/14)
Trustee Tonya Davis told Bedford County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday night that the state is looking at dropping funding for its property tax relief program but that she and other trustees want to rally support to preserve it. Low-income senior citizens, the disabled, and disabled veterans and their widows or widowers are currently eligible to receive tax relief. ...
City studies industrial park proposal (12/09/14)
Bedford County and Shelbyville officials are looking at details that could go into an interlocal agreement dealing with an industrial park on Frank Martin Road. Last week, city manager Jay Johnson and city mayor Wallace Cartwright met with county mayor Eugene Ray and county attorney John T. Bobo to discuss the proposed agreement...
City studies industrial park proposal (12/07/14)
helbyville officials are looking at details that could go into an interlocal agreement dealing with an industrial park on Frank Martin Road. Last week, city manager Jay Johnson and city mayor Wallace Cartwright met with county mayor Eugene Ray and county attorney John T. Bobo to discuss the proposed agreement...
Veterans office open every day (12/02/14)
Bedford County veterans have a new contact at the courthouse. Veterans Service Officer Bill Tipps resigned due to health issues. While an official replacement has not yet been named, a new system means that, for the first time, the veterans office in the courthouse is open every weekday during normal office hours...
Another suit filed over jail conditions (11/30/14)
Yet another federal civil rights lawsuit has been filed over alleged conditions at the Bedford County jail. The suit, filed by Jason L. Russo, demands a jury trial and $550,000 in damages, and is worded nearly identically to two other suits filed by inmates at the jail over the past month...
Sales tax collections rise sharply (11/27/14)
Bedford County's sales tax collections for October, representing retail sales from August, were up strongly compared to the same month in 2013, according to reports at Tuesday night's meeting of the county's Financial Management Committee. The county took in $629,926 in sales tax revenue, compared to $584,335 in 2013, a difference of $45,590...
Coaches help students graduate (11/21/14)
Bedford County Board of Education took a moment during its meeting Tuesday to remember a local legend. "I want to take a moment to remember a great man that this community lost this weekend," Chairwoman Amy Martin said of the late T-G sports and police editor Bo Melson. "He covered some of the most historical events of Bedford County."...
CORRECTED County awaits fire insurance maps (11/20/14)
It's been more than a year, and the county still hasn't received the maps it's requested from the Insurance Services Office showing exactly which properties fall under new fire protection ratings. In 2013, the county learned that it had gotten a more favorable rating for fire protection from ISO, which is not a government agency but rather a private organization funded by the insurance industry...
More inmates sue over alleged jail conditions (11/20/14)
Another federal civil rights lawsuit has been filed by two inmates locked up in the county jail, citing overcrowding and a lack of medical attention. Inmates Jermaine Pillow and Christopher J. Harris Jr., are demanding a jury trial and a total of $920,000 in damages, making many of the same allegations detailed in litigation filed by Joseph Moody earlier this month...
New jail a must, county committee says (11/20/14)
"Unless something happens, we've got to build a jail .... We are mandated, without a doubt," said County Mayor Eugene Ray during discussion at Tuesday night's meeting of Bedford County Board of Commissioners' law enforcement and workhouse committee...
Sunday Conversation: An Ironman with a soft spot for animals (11/16/14)
Jack Cooper, subject of this week's Sunday Conversation, recently became head of Bedford County Animal Control. In addition to answering the questions we sent him, Cooper also wanted to say this: "I'd like to thank Chris Tucker for her dedication to the people and animals of Bedford County and the good things she accomplished while serving at BCAC."...
Suit adds to urgency for new jail (11/13/14)
The federal lawsuit against the county by a Bedford County Jail inmate has lent added urgency to the county's ongoing discussion of a new jail. "The biggest thing that's going on is, I'm being sued," Sheriff Austin Swing told Bedford County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday night...
Leadership hears leaders (11/13/14)
Leadership Bedford members heard about a few of the issues facing local government on Wednesday. The class held a local government day at the Shelbyville-Bedford County Chamber of Commerce. The Times-Gazette's John I. Carney served as moderator. The discussion was held with Shelbyville mayor Wallace Cartwright and Anita Epperson, assistant to Bedford County Mayor Eugene Ray...
County chases industrial park grant (11/13/14)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners is still working with the state to gain approval of borrowing $600,000 for its half of a proposed industrial park, according to discussion Tuesday night at the commission's regular monthly meeting. The state, which has begun taking a more active role in regulating local government debt, had raised questions about the county's plans and was asking to see a feasibility study of the proposed park...
Inmate sues over jail conditions (11/07/14)
A Bedford County inmate has filed a federal civil rights against the current and former sheriff, claiming jail overcrowding and lack of medical attention. Joseph Moody is demanding $420,000 for the violation of his civil rights -- "for being housed in such cruel conditions," also alleging the jail did not provide his medication, for pain and suffering, and "not following the rules of the state."...
State audit describes 5 findings (10/31/14)
The state comptroller's office has released its audit of Bedford County for the 2013-14 fiscal year, and there are five findings -- undesirable or improper situations identified by the auditors. The state, for the second year, said the billing software used by the School-Age Care Program does not have proper safeguards and should be updated or replaced. ...
Lower cost smooths paving plan (10/31/14)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners, in a special meeting Tuesday night, approved a $2 million hot mix program to re-pave county roads, The special meeting was called because the county had a chance to finance the program through a capital outlay note at a five-year rate of 1.53 percent, which county finance director Robert Daniel said was "a great rate."...
State: Can you afford it? (10/30/14)
State regulators are questioning whether or not Bedford County can borrow money to build a new industrial park, according to discussion Tuesday night at a special called meeting of Bedford County Board of Commissioners. The state's division of local finance has said that the county can't use an inter-fund loan -- borrowing from itself -- and can't use the debt service fund for such a project...
Safety glass in future for county schools (10/24/14)
The Bedford County Board of Education approved a bid for safety glass for schools during its monthly meeting Tuesday. The low bid of $163,500 was awarded to Sain Construction of Manchester. That business is also known as Landers Construction, said John Davis, an architect who consults with the school system...
Too many inmates...but relief's near (10/24/14)
Bedford County Jail, which is rated to hold 108 inmates, housed 154 at one point last week, but the state is in the process of taking 30 felons away in hopes of relieving the overcrowding. The jail issue was discussed during Tuesday night's meetings of Bedford County Board of Commissioners' standing committees, including the law enforcement committee and the courthouse and property committee...
County agrees to industrial park funding (10/16/14)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners came out strongly in favor of the proposed business / industrial park on Frank Martin Road Tuesday night, committing to spend up to $600,000 on the project. The city and county have each agreed to cover $600,000 towards the total Phase I cost of the project, $1.2 million. ...
Some square parking will be permit-only (10/16/14)
Bedford County will make 50 of the 75 parking spaces on the north and east sides of the county courthouse permit-only and will issue permits to county employees. The plan was approved Tuesday night by Bedford County Board of Commissioners. The county controls the 75 parking spaces inside the L-shaped concrete island that wraps around the north and east sides of the parking lot. The spaces outside that island are controlled by the City of Shelbyville and aren't affected by Tuesday night's action...
Decision delayed: Water is there for industrial park, but cost is an issue (10/01/14)
Action on annexing and zoning land for a proposed industrial park will be deferred until November by Shelbyville's city council. A public hearing on a revised plan of services for the park is scheduled next week, and a resolution adopting it is scheduled to be passed by the council...
School vouchers get failing grade from lobbyist (09/30/14)
CHAPEL HILL-- School vouchers, if approved, would be "the greatest nightmare counties have ever faced," said Charles Curtiss, the executive director of Tennessee County Commissioners Association (TCCA), during a regional meeting held Monday at Henry Horton State Park...
Commission urged to show support for industrial park (09/25/14)
Bedford County Financial Management Committee wants more study of how the county could pay for its half of a proposed industrial park, but park proponents say the county's support is needed immediately if the project is to be considered for TVA grant funding that could dramatically reduce its cost...
Bypass finish asked by Marsh, Tracy (09/19/14)
State Sen. Jim Tracy and State Rep. Pat Marsh have added their voices to local officials asking the state to consider completing the western leg of the Shelbyville bypass, State Route 437. Tracy and Marsh released a copy of a letter, dated Thursday, which they sent to Tennessee Commissioner of Transportation John Schroer in support of the bypass. Tracy chairs the Senate Transportation Committee...
More than $50K drives safe roads (09/18/14)
Local law enforcement received grants this week to support highway traffic safety efforts. The Shelbyville Police Department received $30,384.29 for alcohol enforcement while the Bedford County Sheriff's Department got $19,820 for enforcement efforts...
CORRECTED: Parking verdict possible (09/18/14)
Bedford County is considering making the inside portion of the courthouse parking lot available for parking by permit only. The idea was discussed Tuesday night by Bedford County Board of Commissioners' rules and legislative committee, which placed it on the agenda for the full commission meeting next month...
82 new teachers hired (09/17/14)
The Bedford County school system has hired 82 new educators out of about 200 applicants since the end of last school year. Human resource manager James Claybourne provided that data Tuesday during the school board meeting. Thirty out of 80 applicants from a first-ever job fair in May were hired...
Security upgrades for rural schools approved (09/17/14)
The second phase of school security upgrades was approved Tuesday. The Bedford County Board of Education approved a $75,168.33 capital outlay for electronic upgrades to elementary schools in the unincorporated portions of the county. Phase I was carried out last year at elementary schools inside the city limits...
A career filled with change for Smith (09/14/14)
Thomas Smith sits relaxing in his back yard in Shelbyville, and after working full time for 58 years, many would say he's earned it. He's currently enjoying his retirement after two careers -- 28 years as Bedford County's Circuit Court Clerk, and his first job right out of high school that lasted 30 years -- a route salesman for a local milk company...
Commission urges state to complete Shelbyville bypass (09/11/14)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday night for a resolution again asking the State of Tennessee to consider finishing the Shelbyville bypass by extending it west and south to State Route 64 near Thompson Shop. The resolution had been suggested by local Chamber of Commerce officials...
First day for new officials (09/03/14)
County Clerk Donna Thomas, right, who formally took office on Monday, goes over procedures with long-time office employee Ann Marie Morton on Tuesday, Thomas' first normal work day. (T-G Photo by John I. Carney)
Tillett, Wilson look back at achievements (08/29/14)
At one point during Thursday night's meeting of Bedford County Financial Management Committee, Commissioner J.D. "Bo" Wilson asked a question about one of the monthly reports. County Finance Director Robert Daniel didn't have an immediate answer to the question, but offered to check the matter out and report back to Wilson at the next meeting...
New assistant principals named (08/22/14)
Bedford County Superintendent Don Embry has named two new assistant principals. Tracy Watson, guidance counselor at Cascade Elementary School, has been named the new assistant principal at Thomas Magnet School. Robyn Ayres, teacher at Learning Way Elementary School, has been named the new assistant principal at Cascade Elementary School...
Corrections training possible in old school (08/21/14)
Tennessee Department of Corrections wants to use the old Harris Middle School / Central High School building on Elm Street for training exercises. The request was presented to Bedford County Board of Commissioners' law enforcement committee and to the courthouse and property committee on Tuesday night. The courthouse and property committee must approve all such requests on a case-by-case basis; the request was presented to the law enforcement committee as a courtesy...
Committee changes await next meeting (08/21/14)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners' rules and legislative committee, meeting Tuesday night, voted to place commission appointments, and the election of a chairman and chairman pro tem, on the agenda for the Sept. 9 meeting of the full commission...
Reward Schools to be named (08/20/14)
The state will release the names of two or three local Reward Schools on Thursday, Superintendent Don Embry says. Reward Schools are those the Tennessee Department of Education identifies annually as having the highest overall performance or growth...
SCS's $21K request gains easy approval (08/14/14)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted 14-1 on Tuesday night to give a $21,000 increase in the county's contribution to the Soil Conservation Service. The county has a list of non-profit agencies to which it contributes. The Soil Conservation Service, which received $37,000 from the county in 2013-14, requested an additional $21,000 from the county -- for a total of $58,000 -- in 2014-15, to make up for lost state and federal grant money, saying that without the extra $21,000 it would be forced to cut staff, and would be able to bring less assistance money into the county for individual landowners.. ...
Painting memorializes Nance (08/14/14)
Tom Nance died in 2007 at the young age of 39, shocking the community and many who had known the amiable third-generation attorney and family man, who served as Chamber of Commerce president in 1996. Mary Morton, Nance's mother, donated a 2006 painting of the Bedford County Courthouse to the county Tuesday night, so that it can be hung at the courthouse in Nance's memory. The painting is by artist Gwen Pedigo, who's also painted the Rutherford County courthouse...
New clerk gets ready (08/13/14)
County Clerk-Elect Donna Thomas, left, shadowed outgoing County Clerk Kathy Prater as Prater took minutes during Tuesday night's meeting of Bedford County Board of Commissioners. Prater, who did not seek re-election, will leave office at the end of the month after 28 years of service. Thomas was elected last week to succeed her. Look for details of the commission meeting in Thursday's Times-Gazette. (T-G Photo by John I. Carney)
It's Ray all the way; Swing, Thomas, Murray elected (08/08/14)
Bedford County Mayor Eugene Ray held off a challenge from Thomas Smith to win re-election Thursday night, while Austin Swing defeated Rod Stacy to become the county's next sheriff. Donna Thomas won the office of county clerk over four opponents, while Michelle Murray defeated Mike Rogers for the office of Circuit Court clerk...
City plans for business park annexation (08/07/14)
Shelbyville officials are moving forward with plans for a proposed business park on Frank Martin Road. The plan calls for beginning the process to annex the entire piece of property into the city limits and zoning it industrial. If for any reason the city doesn't purchase the land, it would not go through with the agreement, but the council is trying to get the measures "into the pipeline."...