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Tuesday, July 28, 2015
State government

State's top educator pays visit (07/28/15)
Bedford County teachers getting ready for back-to-school received a pep talk Monday from the person at the top -- the state education commissioner. Candice McQueen, Tennessee's education commissioner, visited teachers during the start of their two-day in-service. Superintendent Don Embry said it was the first time the state's top educator has visited, to the best of his knowledge...
Military security studied (07/21/15)
Various state and federal officials are announcing legislative or policy initiatives in response to last week's shootings in Chattanooga. On Sunday, Gov. Bill Haslam issued a directive to Adjutant General Max Haston "to review security policies and procedures at National Guard armories, storefront recruiting facilities, and other installations and take appropriate steps to ensure the safety of Guardsmen, citizens, and property."...
Seat belt fines won't rise until January (07/09/15)
New, higher fines for seat belt offenses don't take effect until Jan. 1, six months later than reported last week in the Times-Gazette. Circuit Court / General Sessions Clerk Michelle Murray had asked the Times-Gazette to help get the word out about the new fines, saying they took effect July 1...
Safety checkpoint locations revealed (07/08/15)
Locations of upcoming "roadside safety checkpoints" have been released by the Tennessee Highway Patrol. A driver's license checkpoint will be held during the week of Saturday, July 11 on State Highway 437 (the Shelbyville bypass) at the 1.8 mile marker...
Teacher assessment creator honored (07/07/15)
Shelbyville native William L. "Bill" Sanders, the statistician and researcher who developed Tennessee's system for evaluating teachers and schools, is the 2015 recipient of the James Bryant Conant Award, one of the nation's most prestigious education honors...
Cascade grad to be state legislative director (07/05/15)
A Cascade High School graduate has been named Gov. Bill Haslam's new legislative director as one of several changes to Haslam's staff. Warren Wells, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, currently serves as deputy director for legislation but will become director for legislation on Aug. 1. Leslie Hafner, the current legislative director, will become senior advisor to the governor...
Unbelted travelers face higher fines (07/02/15)
Failing to wear your seat belt or to have the proper car insurance has just gotten more expensive, according to Circuit Court Clerk Michelle Murray. New laws which took effect July 1 raise the fines for seat belt offenses from $10 for a first offense and $20 for a second or later offense to $25 for a first offense and $50 for second or later offenses. That's more than double...
Notice from the top: TCAT-S program honored at White House (06/30/15)
The Computer Information Technology program at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology -- Shelbyville was recognized at the White House today along with other winners of the 2014 "Excellence in Action" award given by the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium...
It's the law: New rules begin July 1 (06/30/15)
July 1 is the start of the new state fiscal year, and for that reason it's often chosen by state legislators as the date for new state laws to take effect. Here, based on a list submitted by State Rep. Pat Marsh, are just some of the new laws taking effect on Wednesday:...
Jack Daniel's defeats challengers in state legislature (04/08/15)
NASHVILLE (AP) -- Jack Daniel's has turned back the latest challenge to a state law that determines which spirits can be marketed as "Tennessee Whiskey," but upstart distillers hoping their brands make the cut vow the fight isn't over for good. Opponents of the law enacted at the behest of Jack Daniel's in 2013 said they withdrew their repeal measure Tuesday to try to generate more support before next year's legislative session. ...
Disaster relief available (04/03/15)
Bedford and 34 other Tennessee counties have been declared eligible for federal disaster aid by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in response to the ice storm and flooding in February. The action makes funds available to state and local governments, as well as some utilities and not-for-profit organizations. The groups can be reimbursed for up to 75 percent of allowable expenses related to the disaster...
'We're the best': TCAT lives up to boast of success (04/02/15)
Jim Potts, evening supervisor of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology's Shelbyville campus, walks the school's halls with visible pride. "We're the best." Potts said, "We are the premiere workforce trainer in Middle Tennessee. With the Tennessee Promise and now Tennessee Reconnect, we look to make an even bigger economic impact on the workforce here."...
Imagine a 2-lane South Cannon (04/01/15)
Tennessee Department of Transportation has announced a two-year pilot project to narrow South Cannon Boulevard from four vehicle lanes to two, with right-of-way for a commuter trolley running between the two lanes. Work on the project will start in spring 2016, although the trolley isn't scheduled to be built until 2021...
Man accused of TennCare fraud (03/31/15)
A Bedford County man has been charged with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping, or using TennCare to go to multiple providers to obtain controlled substances. Samuel L. Harris, Jr., 40, of Shelbyville was arrested and charged with three counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by doctor shopping, which is using TennCare as payment for the prescriptions, office visit or both...
Managing the Maze: More of northbound North Main now closed (03/25/15)
Motorists should expect traffic on North Main Street to be slow, as crews have closed off lanes north of Colloredo Boulevard in anticipation of more digging. Crews reduced the traffic flow from four to two lanes, with a middle turn lane provided. The closures had already been in place south of Colloredo...
TCAT to hold open house for adult learners (03/25/15)
Tennessee College of Applied Technology -- Shelbyville will host an open house from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday for area adults to sign up for the Tennessee Reconnect grant, a new program that allows Tennesseans to attend a technical college tuition free...
Money available for road work (03/22/15)
Legislation returning millions of dollars to taxpayers in the form of road infrastructure improvements was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee this week. The "County Road Relief Act of 2015" changes the way Tennessee currently manages its State Aid Road Grant Program to make it easier for counties to access state funds to upgrade, repair and improve roads...
It's all about a name (03/20/15)
NASHVILLE -- An exemption for Prichard's Distillery from new legal requirements for selling spirits as "Tennessee Whiskey" is raising constitutional concerns with state Attorney General Herbert Slatery. The state Legislature in 2013 excluded Prichard's from the law passed at the behest of Jack Daniel's that for the first time established rules for which products could label themselves as Tennessee whiskey...
Main Street communities create jobs, generate investment (03/20/15)
Tennessee's 28 Main Street communities have created more than 1,500 new jobs and generated more than $95 million of public/private investment in 2014, according to the state's department of economic and community development. "Tennessee's main streets are such an important part of our state's identity and cultural heritage," Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd said. ...
North Main work extended (03/19/15)
Work on North Main Street has moved to the second phase, with traffic patterns now barricaded to three lanes from Madison Street to the end of the project at Lowes. One lane north and south will be open along with a turn lane. The decision was made after much discussion with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to "keep the project moving since they are behind on the schedule," city public works director Mark Clanton said. The traffic flow will remain like this until the project ends, which is expected in November. (T-G Photo by Brian Mosely)
Annexation limited by new state law (03/15/15)
A new, stronger law governing the annexation process is about to take place, but a state advisory committee says even more changes are needed. In 2013, the state put a moratorium on many types of annexation while laws were being studied. That moratorium was made even stricter last year...
Computing a future: CIT students at TCAT grab bytes of life (03/15/15)
There are many interesting reasons why people choose their career paths. Some people are in it for the money, others want to make a difference, some just happen to land a job and stick with it. Recently, Steve Mallard introduced the T-G to three of his students--each with various reasons for choosing to join the Computer Information Technology (CIT) program at Tennessee College of Applied Technology (T-CAT) in Shelbyville--all of whom are passionate about their field of study...
Pothole patrol makes repairs (03/11/15)
With the ice and snow a thing of the past, state road crews now have their hands full with filling Tennessee's many potholes. Potholes are a normal and expected part of the winter season, said Heather Jensen, Region 3 community relations officer for Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT)...
Two local residents helping Motlow find new president (03/10/15)
Bedford County Mayor Eugene Ray and Shelbyville veteran and Motlow student Antwain Dobbins are among the members of a search advisory committee for a new president of Motlow State Community College. The committee includes three members of Tennessee Board of Regents as well as representatives of Motlow students, faculty, staff and the community at large...
Service: Price of an education (03/10/15)
Wanted: Community service opportunities. High school seniors participating in the Tennessee Promise program need to complete eight hours of community service each semester they receive aid. One mentor, Barbara Pate, said she was excited for the students...
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)
Preserving Webb's history (03/03/15)
The Tennessee government is helping The Webb School preserve relics of its rich history. Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett visited the school on Friday to present a $2,000 grant to the school's Library and Archives Department. The grant will help Webb preserve documents tied to founder Sawney Webb and his extended family, said library director Hannah Little...
State provides funds for restoring old Celebration films (03/01/15)
Bringing images of the past into the present is the purpose of a historic preservation grant given to the Tennessee Walking Horse National Museum in Wartrace. Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett presented the museum with the $2,000 grant Friday...
Keep safe while using candles (02/25/15)
Especially during these winter months, decorative and fragranced candles are popular décor in many homes. However, candles have caused significant loss of life, injury and property damage when used improperly. On the heels of this winter's dangerous ice storm, the State Fire Marshal's Office reminds Tennesseans to always use candles with care...
State park works for healthier citizens (02/25/15)
Henry Horton State Park's "Healthy Park Healthy Person" program is now underway -- an outreach effort to improve the health of the local community and to increase time spent outdoors. "Healthy Park Healthy Person" is an incentive based health program in which participants earn healthy points for participating in healthy activities in the park, taking a healthy class at the park and eating a healthy meal at the Governor's Table Restaurant at Henry Horton...
State grant will fund old TWHNC videos (02/24/15)
A grant presentation will be held Friday at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Museum in Wartrace. Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett will present the museum with a $2,000 grant at 1 p.m. The monies will be used for the restoration, preservation and digitization of past films of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville, according to Philip D. Gentry, president of the museum...
Tracy reschedules town hall meeting (02/20/15)
State Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) has rescheduled his Telephone Town Hall Meeting for Tuesday at 6:10 p.m. The meeting was originally set to take place on Feb. 17 but was cancelled due to the severe weather conditions. Citizens who would like to participate can dial toll free 877-228-2184 and must enter the event identification 113133...
Save up for college with 529 plan (02/20/15)
TNStars College Savings 529 plan has just been recognized as the top direct-sold plan in the nation, according to a press release from the Tennessee Department of Treasury. The No. 1 ranking comes from SavingForCollege.org, which analyzes the investment performance figures for thousands of 529 portfolios and ranks the 529 savings plans from best to worst. ...
Camps offer teachers energy education (02/12/15)
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Office of Energy Programs announces that applications are available online for the 2015 K-12 Energy Education Camps. The four-day educational sessions will provide K-12 educators with information and resources needed to teach the science of energy and energy conservation in the classroom...
Children, heat sources are dangerous mix (02/12/15)
One of the primary causes of residential fire deaths and injuries for children under 10 is playing with a heat source, which includes lighters and matches. It's a nationwide problem that the Tennessee State Fire Marshal's Office hopes parents will address by following some simple safety tips...
Insure Tennessee fails; session begins (02/12/15)
Our main reason for being in Nashville two weeks ago was to work on the Governor's Insure Tennessee plan. We spent most of that time learning about the plan and heard testimonies from people from both sides on the positives and negatives of the plan. It was very complex and complicated....
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...
Insure Tennessee fails in committee (02/05/15)
Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans has failed during a special legislative session. The Senate Health Committee defeated the Republican governor's Insure Tennessee plan Wednesday on a 7-4 vote. Haslam spent 21 months negotiating with federal officials for a special deal for Tennessee that included market-based elements like vouchers to buy private insurance, co-pays and assurances that the state could pull out of the deal if it ended up being more expensive than expected.. ...
Haslam promotes 'Insure Tennessee' program (01/30/15)
MURFREESBORO -- Gov. Bill Haslam, making a tour across the state to stump for his "Insure Tennessee" program prior to a special legislative session next week, portrayed it on Thursday as a reasonable, cost-conscious attempt to address the cost and availability of health care...
Squeeze Play: Work continues to disrupt North Main traffic (01/29/15)
The digging into North Main Street continues as workers relocate utility lines, moving toward a November completion date. But a Tennessee Department of Transportation inspector said Wednesday a sturdy layer of rock underneath the roadway is slowing the work down. Meanwhile, business owners in the construction zone are trying to be patient as access to their parking lots is somewhat limited...
Child safety seat use taught at TFACA (01/28/15)
Lt. Chris Reed of Bedford County Fire Department was among 19 students from across Tennessee attending a course on child safety car seats held last week at the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy (TFACA) on Unionville-Deason Road. Reed and the other students were certified as National Child Passenger Safety Technicians, meaning they can conduct child safety seat inspections, speak about child seat safety and advise parents or guardians on the proper purchase, installation and use of child safety seats.. ...
City officials attend legislative briefing (01/28/15)
Potential state legislative issues that could impact cities across the state were the focus of a Tennessee Municipal League (TML) meeting this week. City manager Jay Johnson, mayor Wallace Cartwright, city recorder Shanna Boyette and treasurer Jamey Owen attended the briefing Tuesday in Murfreesboro...
Hemp growers sought (01/28/15)
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications from farmers and producers interested in growing industrial hemp. In 2013, the Tennessee General Assembly enacted Public Chapter 916 tasking the department with development of a licensing and inspection program for the production of industrial hemp in Tennessee...
College without cost (01/23/15)
The promise of free money for college drew hundreds of high school seniors, parents and mentors to a meeting Wednesday evening at Shelbyville Central High. Tennessee Promise offers two years of higher education with no tuition. The offer applies to community colleges, Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs) and four-year colleges that offer an associate degree. The program will be funded with interest taken from an endowment from excess lottery funds...
New state highway maps available to assist travelers (01/16/15)
The official 2015 Tennessee Transportation Map is now available for travelers. This year's map contains new information to assist motorists, and features a special cover to commemorate the Tennessee Department of Transportation's centennial. The 2015 map contains historical photographs that look back at the development of Tennessee's highway system over the last 100 years. It also highlights State Route 1, the first cross-state highway built by the state of Tennessee...
Health plan isn't drawing support (01/15/15)
NASHVILLE -- Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's plan to offer health coverage to more than 200,000 low-income Tennesseans is getting a tepid response from fellow Republicans in the Legislature -- so much so, that he has yet to find a Senate sponsor for his proposal...
Legislators back in session (01/14/15)
NASHVILLE -- Tennessee lawmakers convened the 109th General Assembly on Tuesday amid abortion rights protests inside the state Capitol. Republican Rep. Beth Harwell of Nashville and Sen. Ron Ramsey of Blountville were re-elected as speakers of the House and Senate, while about 60 protesters outside the chambers shouted into a bullhorn, banged drums and chanted...
A more educated state: Officials want higher number of college grads (01/11/15)
On Friday, the very day when President Obama announced a plan to provide free community college tuition nationwide, attendees at the annual Motlow State Community College legislative briefing discussed the impact that Tennessee Promise, which was one of the inspirations for Obama's proposal, will have on the Volunteer State...
City seeks state grant to study major roads (01/09/15)
Shelbyville's city council voted to apply for a transportation planning grant between the state and city to conduct a major thoroughfare plan study. The Tennessee Department of Transportation will fund most of the grant if approved. A resolution passed by the council Thursday notes that the city has experienced strong growth over the past decade -- with the population hitting 20,335 in 2010, a 26 percent increase since 2000...
Progress and costs: State legislators must balance goals, budget (01/08/15)
State Sen. Jim Tracy and State Rep. Pat Marsh expect Medicaid expansion, schools, roads -- and a tight budget -- to be on the minds as a new session of the Tennessee General Assembly begins this month. "We've got two big things coming up," said Tracy, one of them being the special session on Gov. Bill Haslam's proposed Insure Tennessee program...
State homeowners save on utilities (12/23/14)
Tennessee has some of the lowest residential electric rates in the Southeast, but some of the highest commercial and industrial rates, according to a new report from the Tennessee Regulatory Authority. The Volunteer State has low residential and commercial rates for natural gas, but its industrial rate is one of the highest in the region. And Tennessee is in the middle of the pack when it comes to residential telecommunications costs...
TCAT-S holds first formal graduation ceremony (12/19/14)
Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Shelbyville conducted its first official formal graduation as a college on Dec. 5 at the Shelbyville Central High School auditorium. Previously, as the Tennessee Technology Center, the institution held a simple graduation recognition ceremony at the end of each trimester for students. ...
Officials like new schools leader (12/18/14)
Bedford County officials had positive comments regarding the governor's selection of a state education commissioner. Gov. Bill Haslam announced the appointment Tuesday of Dr. Candice McQueen, a teacher and dean at Lipscomb University in Nashville, as commissioner of the Department of Education. She replaces the embattled Kevin Huffman, who resigned last month...
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...
Haslam reaches Medicaid deal (12/16/14)
NASHVILLE -- Gov. Bill Haslam announced Monday that he has reached a deal with federal officials to expand Medicaid in Tennessee after months of discussions. The governor is touting it as an alternative deal with federal officials. The program, dubbed Insure Tennessee, would provide coverage for the state's uninsured without creating new taxes for Tennesseans...
TCAT gets $970,000 for jobs training (12/12/14)
Gov. Bill Haslam announced Thursday that Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Shelbyville will receive a $970,000 grant as part of the Labor Education Alignment Program (LEAP), a $10 million state program which helps promote post-secondary training that is in line with the specific needs of the workforce in that community...
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. ...
Local man accused of TennCare fraud (12/09/14)
A Bedford County man has been charged with TennCare fraud in Coffee County -- his second charge for the crime. The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with assistance from the Bedford County Sheriff's Department, announced the arrest of Brian K. Tucker, 39...
Special delivery: A memento for Carlton (12/05/14)
Janice Carlton, who celebrates her 80th birthday tomorrow, received a surprise package earlier this week that's making her birthday extra special this year. Carlton's brother, the late Pfc. Cecil Harris, was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in October after his remains were discovered a year ago in France. While serving in the Army during World War II, he went missing in action, and remained missing for nearly 70 years. Carlton and her family attended the ceremony at Arlington, which drew national recognition. That day, the state capitol flew the Tennessee state flag and U.S. flag in Harris' honor. Pictured: Carlton opens the package containing the flags that hung over the state capitol in Nashville. She said she'll be looking for a flag pole so she can display them outside her home in her late brother's memory. (T-G Photo by Sadie Fowler)
Motlow SGA participates in mock legislature (12/02/14)
Members of the Student Government Association (SGA) at Motlow College's Moore County campus recently visited the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature (TISL) in Nashville, according to Sheri Mason, SGA sponsor and assistant director of student services at Motlow. "TISL gives students an opportunity to learn how state government works, such as the role of legislators, lawyers, judges, lobbyists and the media," she said. From left are Mason, Rachel Luzader, Eryn Tripp, Cody Pyle, Dallas Foster, Alma Portillo Villamar, Terry Green and William Shavers. (Submitted photo)
Legislators like Haslam as RGA leader (11/25/14)
Bedford County's two state legislators have praised the election last week of Gov. Bill Haslam as the next chair of the Republican Governors Association, with State Rep. Pat Marsh calling it "a much-deserved honor." Haslam was elected to the post last week in Boca Raton, Fla., succeeding New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez will be vice chair of the organization, the group also announced...
State Habitat receives THDA grant (11/18/14)
Habitat for Humanity of Tennessee received a $500,000 grant from Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) toward the construction of 30 homes statewide. The state Habitat supports the 50 Habitat affiliates serving 62 counties in Tennessee, including Bedford Builds Habitat for Humanity...
Firefighter recruits to graduate today (11/14/14)
State Fire Marshal Gary West was scheduled to deliver the commencement address this morning to the Recruit Firefighter class at the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy on Unionville Deason Road. Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak was unable to attend the ceremony, but offered her encouragement and praise to the recruits...
Six Central students eye two years' free college (11/13/14)
The promise of free tuition has many Bedford County high school seniors thinking of -- and re-thinking -- their college plans. Tennessee Promise offers two years of higher education with no tuition or fees. The offer applies to community colleges, Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs) and four-year universities that offer an associate's degree...
GOP gains to give Tenn. new clout in US Senate (11/05/14)
NASHVILLE (AP) -- Tennessee is about to gain new clout in the U.S. Senate following national gains by Republicans in Tuesday's election. Republicans succeeded in picking up the six seats they needed to take over control of the Senate. That means Sen. Lamar Alexander, who resoundingly defeated Democrat Gordon Ball on Tuesday, is now poised to head the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, while Sen. Bob Corker is set to become chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee...
Mentors begin Tennessee Promise training (11/05/14)
Jennifer Dreis, Regional Coordinator for tnAchieves, conducted a one-hour class attended by 39 volunteer mentors who will help high school students remain eligible for Tennessee Promise scholarships. tnAchieves serves as the partnering organization to Tennessee Promise in 84 counties across the state...
Last day for mentor enrollment (11/04/14)
Today is the last day to register online for mentor enrollment for the Tennessee Promise program. Paper forms are due by Nov. 14. https://www.tnachieves.org/a-mentor
Schools up on annual report card (11/04/14)
The state released its report card on schools this past week, and the news was mostly good for Bedford County schools. "We're very pleased about the gains we have made in the last year," Superintendent Don Embry said. "We're proud of the teachers' and the students' gains."...
Fewer vote early for November election (10/31/14)
A total of 3,557 people voted early for the Nov. 4 general election, fewer than the 3,992 who voted early in the same election four years ago. Early voting ended Thursday evening, although there are some mail ballots arriving which are not included in the above total...
For library, $100K in the books (10/29/14)
Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett visited the site of the new Shelbyville and Bedford County public library on Tuesday, along with State Sen. Jim Tracy and State Rep. Pat Marsh, to celebrate the state's $100,000 grant towards construction of the new facility...
Amendment 4 gives vets right to hold raffles (10/29/14)
Ten years ago, in 2004, the Tennessee Charitable Gaming Implementation Law was signed into law. It gave certain tax-exempt groups the right to hold one fund-raising raffle, or similar chance-based fund-raiser, each year without violating the state's gambling laws...
Voters judge court system (10/28/14)
Article VI, Section 3 of the state constitution begins as follows: "The judges of the Supreme Court shall be elected by the qualified voters of the state." But in 1971, the Tennessee General Assembly adopted a plan for choosing Supreme Court and Appeals Court judges similar to those used by other states...
Amendment 3 would prevent state income tax (10/26/14)
Amendment #3, one of four proposed amendments to the state constitution on the Nov. 4 election ballot, would prohibit the establishment of a state income tax. The amendment has wide support and has been endorsed by Gov. Bill Haslam and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, among others. Over 80 percent of state legislators voted in favor of the measure, according to the "Yes on 3" group which supports it...
'I came to listen:' Eakin teachers tell governor state of education (10/24/14)
Gov. Bill Haslam met with teachers and local school officials Thursday during a visit to Eakin Elementary School, congratulating Eakin on its status as a Reward School due to the growth in student scores. He also asked teachers for their input -- and got it...
Cold snaps mean more heating fires (10/23/14)
With some of the season's first frost warnings happening this week, you should be more aware of fire safety. According to the State Fire Marshal's Office, when the first cold snap of the fall season occurs, a wave of home fires usually follows. That's why State Fire Marshal Gary West is urging Tennesseans to take fire safety precautions now in preparation for the colder nights making way into the state...
State announces Ebola resources (10/23/14)
With Ebola in the news, the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) announced three new information resources for Tennesseans: l Tennesseans with questions about the disease may call a toll-free number to obtain accurate, timely information: 1-877-857-2945. This number will be active starting Oct. 22, 2014...
Yes or No? Abortion rights rest on decision (10/15/14)
Murder. A woman's right to control her body. Right to life. A woman's body. Pro-choice. Pro-life. A baby's life. Yes on 1. No on 1. There are many terms associated with abortion, and which ones you use depend on which side you support. Voters on both sides of the debate will have a chance to have their say in the general elections. Early voting starts today, and election day is Nov. 4...
Practice fire safety this Halloween (10/15/14)
With fall in the air, pumpkins are on porches, and massive amounts of candy are calling! Halloween is just around the corner, and your local and state fire officials want to make sure safety is kept in mind while celebrating this popular October holiday...
Prescription drug abuse is growing problem, says Tracy (10/03/14)
State Sen. Jim Tracy says a drug abuse summit held earlier this week in Murfreesboro was an eye-opener. "What hit me," he said, "is how big a problem that abuse of prescription drugs has gotten in Tennessee." He knew there was a problem, he said, but the statistics presented in a report produced by Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services drove home just how severe the situation has become...
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...
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...
Bedford Lake good place to go fish (09/19/14)
In Bedford County, about 14 miles east of Wartrace and Shelbyville is a small but real gem of a lake. The Coy Gaither Bedford Lake is only 47 acres in size, but anglers and others have been enjoying its offerings for over three-quarters of a century. Its rich history and fishing lore has enamored several generations of Tennesseans...
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...
Respondents not bothered by construction (09/17/14)
More than half of the respondents to a non-scientific Times-Gazette poll say the construction on North Main Street hasn't affected their shopping or dining habits. "I'm used to big city construction," wrote one respondent. "This is nothing." "TDOT [Tennessee Department of Transportation] has done a great job of keeping traffic moving," wrote another. "It especially has not kept me from El Mexico," a restaurant located right in the middle of the construction zone...
Work continues (09/12/14)
Motorists using U.S. 41A South should exercise caution as work continues to widen the highway. Workers have been stopping traffic to allow heavy equipment to do grading work on both sides of the highway. This leg of the project, from State Route 276 (Thompson Creek Road) to west of Rippy Ridge Road, is expected to be complete on or before July 31, 2016. (T-G Photo by Brian Mosely)
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...
Henry Horton Park to host historical tours (09/11/14)
Henry Horton State Park in neighboring Marshall County will host two historical tours in the upcoming months. The first tour, the Homes and Spirits Tour, will be held Oct. 23-25, which will include a bus ride to visit Traveller's Rest for their historic Halloween event, the Jack Daniels Distillery, the historic Polk House and the Athenaeum for their Ghostly Dinner...
MTSU president part of higher education panel (09/11/14)
Middle Tennessee State University President Sidney A. McPhee will be among a group of academic leaders across the state gathering to discuss the state of higher education and the push to produce career-ready graduates. The Nashville Business Journal is hosting the luncheon panel discussion, entitled "Nashville Ahead: A discussion on higher education and workforce readiness." It will be held from 11:50 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24, at the Omni Nashville Hotel, 250 5th Ave. S...
Still open: Life goes on next to construction work (09/10/14)
Some business owners say the widening work on North Main Street is not driving business away, and several are quick to give credit to TDOT and contractors for the way they're handling traffic. "They've assured us they will not cut us off," said Andrea Lovvorn, owner of New Covenant Book Store, adding that the Tennessee Department of Transportation has stayed true to its word. ...
Big green tubes cut down erosion (09/10/14)
With all the construction ongoing on North Main Street, many are wondering about long green tubes snaking alongside the site. No, it's not some sort of invasive species like an anaconda. The tubes are used for erosion control, said Devon Bell, foreman for Civil Constructors LLC -- the company that's widening Shelbyville's main thoroughfare...
A day of honor and remembrance (09/09/14)
Each year, a ceremony of honor and remembrance is held at the Tennessee Fallen Firefighter Memorial, on the campus of Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy on Unionville Deason Road. New names are added to the memorial plaques, and friends and family place roses on those plaques as the names are called out, solemnly, each name accompanied by the ringing of a bell...
Governor attends TWHNC; veterans honored (08/29/14)
State Rep. Pat Marsh uses a Celebration usher's smartphone to take a photo of her with Gov. Bill Haslam. Haslam attended the show Thursday night and was honored at center ring. Thursday was also Veterans' Night, with special patriotic ceremonies. See more photos at http://www.t-g.com/gallery/twhnc-8-28-14. (T-G Photo by John I. Carney)
No new N. Main lane closures ahead until Celebration is over (08/22/14)
There are to be no additional lane closures on North Main Street until after the Celebration is over, city officials said Thursday. "This is an effort by TDOT and the contractor to cooperate with the community," city manager Jay Johnson said. In addition, no work will be done at the intersection of Madison Street and North Main until after Labor Day...
Walk on...it may be faster (08/20/14)
With visitors to the Celebration arriving this week, traffic on North Main Street is expected to pick up rapidly. Work on Shelbyville's main thoroughfare will continue during the 10 days of the National Walking Horse Celebration, according to Heather Jensen, TDOT community relations officer for Region 3...
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...
Deadline nears for wine petitions (08/14/14)
There's only one more week to sign a petition to allow wine sales in grocery stores in Shelbyville. A new state law that took effect in July allows cities and counties with package stores or liquor-by-the-drink to hold referendums on allowing the sale...
Provisional ballots don't boost Tracy (08/13/14)
NASHVILLE (AP) -- Although it is unclear exactly how many provisional ballots remain uncounted in Tennessee's 4th Congressional District's Republican primary, the ballots counted so far make an upset look increasingly unlikely. Scandal-battered U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais held a 35-vote lead over state Sen. Jim Tracy in unofficial results from last week's election...
State helps job searching process (08/13/14)
Are you looking for a job? The state would like to help. The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development operates a job-hunter's website, Jobs4TN.com. The website posts listings as well as resources like salary information. The department also offers a Career Coach van for job fairs and other events. There is a van for each division in the state...
Detour! North Main work begins (08/12/14)
Contractors place caution markers as Shelbyville police divert traffic from North Main Street, which will be widened to five lanes over the next year. After a delay, the work began Monday. Tentative completion date is November 2015. (T-G Photo by Brian Mosely)
Smoother walk into downtown (08/12/14)
More sidewalk improvements are slated for downtown as Shelbyville was presented with a $361,440 transportation alternative grant Monday. The project includes replacement of nearly 2,000 feet of existing sidewalks and improvements to four intersections north of the public square...
College for free in state (07/31/14)
Incoming high school seniors are being given a chance to do something their parents or grandparents never did -- go to college for free. There are a number of caveats and hoops to jump through with the program, Tennessee Promise, but the opportunity is valuable: two years of higher education with no tuition or fees. ...
Mentors needed for tuition program (07/31/14)
More than 25,000 Tennessee students are expected to apply for a free tuition program, and mentors are needed to help them navigate the lengthy process. Tennessee Promise will pay for two years' tuition for qualifying colleges (see main story on Page 1). Before they are enrolled, they must attend two sessions with mentors, said one of those mentors, Wayne Dillingham...
Back-to-school sales tax holiday nears (07/29/14)
With school starting soon, parents are looking for the best bargains they can find. Help is here. Tennesseans can buy certain items without paying sales tax Friday through Sunday. Shoppers can save nearly 10 percent on clothing, school supplies and computers...
Mobile units bring equivalency testing as GED alternative (07/25/14)
The Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development is offering a new service, via the department's three "Career Coach" vehicles, to Tennesseans lacking a high school diploma. The mobile Career Centers have become certified testing sites for the new High School Equivalency Test (HiSET)...
North Main snarl nears as construction to begin (07/24/14)
Shelbyville officials have been working for eight years to have a center turn lane added to North Main Street -- and now, the construction is about to begin. With the project tentatively set to start Monday, residents are being urged to start looking at alternate routes...
Survey: Life's better for kids but help still needed (07/23/14)
Kids in Tennessee are better off than they were a year ago, but there is still work to be done, according to an annual study. Tennessee rose from a ranking of 39th to 36th in a measurement of child well-being called KIDS COUNT National Data Book. Tennessee was among the five states with the biggest improvements since 2013...
Now, it's your turn (07/17/14)
Early voting for the Aug. 7 primary and general elections begins Friday and runs through Aug. 2. All early voting takes place in the basement of Bedford County Courthouse, regardless of where your election-day precinct is located. You don't need a reason to early vote; it's open to anyone...
N. Main wait's almost over (07/17/14)
July 28 is the date that work will begin on the long-awaited widening of North Main Street. That's the word handed down this week after a busload of top Tennessee Department of Transportation officials stopped in Bedford County. As part of a statewide tour, they visited the area Tuesday to look at the widening of North Main and check on the ongoing construction between Shelbyville and Tullahoma on U.S. 41A...
TDOT commissioner visits Shelbyville (07/16/14)
Tennessee Commissioner of Transportation John Schroer visited Shelbyville on Tuesday as part of a tour of Tennessee Department of Transportation projects statewide. Schroer visited North Main Street (U.S. 231), which will soon be widened, but had to cancel a planned visit to the already-underway widening of U.S. 41A between Shelbyville and Tullahoma. From left are County Mayor Eugene Ray, State Rep. Pat Marsh, State Sen. Jim Tracy, Schroer, Shelbyville Mayor Wallace Cartwright, Shelbyville Public Works Director Mark Clanton, State Rep. Mike Sparks of Smyrna and Bedford County Highway Superintendent Stanley Smotherman. (T-G Staff Photo)
County honored by financial management (07/16/14)
Joe Kimery of the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury's office appeared before Bedford County Board of Commissioners last week to present County Mayor Eugene Ray, Finance Director Robert Daniel, and Daniel's staff with the county's fifth consecutive award for excellence in financial management and reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association. Kimery said only eight counties received the award last year, with Bedford County being the smallest. He praised Ray, Daniel, the school system and highway department, and commissioners themselves for the county's financial management. From left are Ray, Kimery, Daniel, and finance department staffers Lori Schuler, Pat Thomas, Mary Anna Mitchell and Joyce Glover. (T-G Photo by John I. Carney)
Fellowship to address education issues (07/10/14)
The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) is launching the Tennessee Educator Fellowship, a program that will provide Tennessee teachers an opportunity to have a greater impact on key state-level education policy issues. The Tennessee Educator Fellows will be led by Tennessee teacher Cicely Woodard...
Keep kids safe from heat stroke (07/09/14)
Between 2005 and 2013, 13 Tennessee children died from heat-related causes, with nine of those deaths occurring in vehicles. In the United States, heat stroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related death for children under the age of 14...
One lane only: Work continues on Railroad Avenue (06/27/14)
Utility relocation is complete on the Railroad Avenue state industrial access road project and pavement construction is ongoing, reducing traffic to one lane from Stanley Boulevard to the Shelbyville bypass. The $2.35 million project will improve truck access to the city's industrial area. City manager Jay Johnson said the project is going "very well." (T-G Photo by Brian Mosely)
TCAT among nation's best (06/24/14)
The Computer Information Technology program at Tennessee College of Applied Technology/Shelbyville was one of six programs nationwide to win the inaugural "Excellence in Action" awards from the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc)...
Tennessee Downtowns adds Shelbyville (06/20/14)
Shelbyville has been selected to participate in the Tennessee Downtowns program, the state announced Thursday. Tennessee Downtowns is a competitive community improvement program for cities and counties seeking to revitalize traditional commercial districts. It's affiliated with the Main Street program, which is designed to teach citizens about comprehensive, sustainable downtown revitalization and historic preservation...
UPDATED: Legislators call for Huffman to resign (06/20/14)
The debate surrounding delayed TCAP scores continues to grow heated, with 15 lawmakers calling for the ouster of the state's embattled education commissioner and the governor's office calling the request a "political stunt."...
THP gears up for Bonnaroo traffic (06/11/14)
It's that time of year again. Since 2002, Manchester has hosted one of the nation's most popular live music events -- the annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Held on a 700'acre farm, the four-day, multi-stage event showcases a diverse assortment of musical styles and performers. Thousands of people attend, and Manchester becomes their temporary home for several days each June...
TCAP scores delay earns failing grade (06/10/14)
Some lawmakers are continuing to question a delay in the release of student testing results. In late May, the Tennessee Department of Education delayed the release of TCAP quick scores, which are used in many students' final grades. However, the department released the results a week sooner than it had initially indicated...
Ervin's moo-ving on (06/05/14)
Gay Ervin says she has "the most perfect job in the whole wide world." And yet, she said she knew the time was right to retire. Ervin has spent the past 23 years working at the University of Tennessee Extension. She's worked with 4-Hers, organized environmental awareness events for school children, and served as the county's recycling coordinator...
Water flowingnear Liberty (06/05/14)
Water is now running freely through a culvert under State Route 130, and some county-owned property near Liberty School is being drained as a result. "It's draining at this time," said neighbor Gene Ray, who had been concerned about the flooding, on Tuesday afternoon...
Barrett named to state Election Commission (06/04/14)
Former State Rep. Donna Barrett has been appointed to fill a vacancy on the Tennessee State Election Commission. Commissioner Barrett, principal of The Barrett Group, is a recognized leader in cost control strategies. Prior to her founding The Barrett Group, she spent 10 years serving as a Tennessee State Representative, representing Middle Tennessee.* ...
TDOT: Wetland is local problem (06/03/14)
Tennessee Department of Transportation has clarified why it believes it isn't responsible for a poorly-drained area of county-owned property near Liberty School. TDOT spokesperson Heather Jensen said late last week that a culvert in question under State Route 130 is upstream from the area...
Haslam defends delay on TCAP (05/29/14)
NASHVILLE (AP) -- Gov. Bill Haslam says state education officials were simply being cautious when they initially decided to delay the release of students' assessment scores. The Department of Education had informed school superintendents that the delay in TCAP scores was needed because of a change in assessments. The scores are used in the calculation of final grades for students primarily in grades 3 through 8...
Democratic gubernatorial candidate to visit (05/27/14)
John McKamey, a Democratic candidate for governor, will hold a meet and greet event at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 8, at Microtel Inn & Suites, 1207 North Main St. McKamey is a former Sullivan County mayor, educator and coach. He served for more than 20 years on the Sullivan County Commission. ...
Sky lanterns' hazards prevent public use (05/21/14)
To ensure that special events are celebrated safely, the State Fire Marshal's Office wants to remind Tennesseans of legislation passed in 2011 concerning sky lanterns. They are to be operated only by licensed fireworks professionals. Sky lanterns, also known as Chinese lanterns or wish lanterns, are unmanned airborne paper lanterns fueled by a flame. ...
'Roadside safety' checkpoints planned (05/01/14)
Three roadside safety checkpoints will be held in Bedford County during the next two weeks, law enforcement officials say. Sobriety checkpoints will be held the week of May 5 on U.S. 41A South at Mullins Mill Road by the Bedford County Sheriff's department and the week of May 9 at an unspecified location on U.S. 41A by the Tennessee Highway Patrol...
City budget hit hard by state law (04/30/14)
A change in state law dealing with the mixed drink tax will result in some decrease in revenue for Shelbyville. It does not mean that taxes will be going up, instead, cuts will have to be made to the budget, the city manger said. In the early 1980s, a state law provided that mixed drink tax proceeds collected where liquor by the drink is allowed would be distributed 50 percent to the city or county and the other half to local schools...
Beware of contractor scams in wake of storm damage (04/30/14)
Earlier this week, storms and tornados ravaged the southeast with communities across Tennessee beginning to recover and repair the damage. Tennessee's Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak offers recovery and repair tips for individuals affected by destructive weather...
County gets $36K in tobacco funds (04/24/14)
Bedford County Health Department has received $36,611 from the state's tobacco settlement money to help reduce preschoolers' exposure to second-hand smoke. Dr. David Reagan, chief medical officer for Tennessee Department of Health, made the presentation on Wednesday at the health department offices on Dover Street. County Mayor Eugene Ray, Shelbyville Mayor Wallace Cartwright, State Sen. Jim Tracy and State Rep. Pat Marsh were among those in attendance...
Outdoor safety (04/23/14)
KABOOM! It's time for spring storms to roll through Tennessee again, and the State Fire Marshal's Office is reminding residents to keep safety in mind when lightning is imminent. "Lightning strikes can cause fires. As the spring's warmer weather gives rise to storm activity, we want Tennesseans to know what the risks and precautions are," State Fire Marshal and Commerce & Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak said...
Lawyer warned over how funds deposited (04/22/14)
A Bedford County attorney has received a public censure from the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Tennessee Supreme Court. Christopher Paul Westmoreland received the censure on April 15, according to a press release The board stated that on five occasions between March and December 2012, Westmoreland deposited client settlement funds into his operation account instead of his trust account...
Legislative session comes to a year's end (04/20/14)
We are finishing up the 108th Legislative Session this week. That means that we are through with session for the year. ...
Blue Ribbon honors (04/16/14)
Thomas Magnet School Principal Janice Womble attended a Tennessee School board meeting April 11. Kevin Huffman, Tennessee education commissioner, presented her with a plaque marking the school's status as a National Blue Ribbon School as well as a proclamation signed by Gov. Bill Haslam. (Submitted photo)
North Main hassles to begin soon (04/15/14)
Nearly two years from now, when the widening of North Main Street is completed, drivers may wonder how they could have ever lived without it. However, before that happens there will be plenty of digging, detours, and inconveniences for motorists and businesses...
911 surcharge change influenced by local group (04/13/14)
A group founded by Bedford County emergency communications officials has succeeded in changing state law governing how 911 surcharges are applied -- and the change will reduce some users' phone bills while increasing others. A bill increasing funding for local communications centers from mobile telephone surcharges has passed both houses of the General Assembly and is on its way to Gov. Bill Haslam...
N. Main about to get wild (04/11/14)
Construction will begin on the long awaited widening of North Main Street within the next two to three weeks, it was announced Thursday. "As we enter this two-year period, there's going to be a lot of disruption and inconvenience," city manager Jay Johnson said, asking the public, property owners and businesses to "give us patience and give us time."...
GOP candidates speak out (04/11/14)
Republican candidates for the U.S. Congress were among the speakers at Thursday night's Bedford County Republican Party Reagan Day Dinner. Rather than invite a keynote speaker for the banquet, the party held a candidate forum for state and local GOP candidates...
Local August election set (04/04/14)
State Rep. Pat Marsh is all but guaranteed re-election to his 62nd district seat in the General Assembly, since no one in either party filed to run against him by Thursday's deadline. Circuit Judge (Part 2) Lee Russell, Chancellor J.B. Cox, District Attorney General Rob Carter and Bell Buckle Mayor Dennis Webb also have no official opposition...
City, Chamber team for Downtowns try (04/03/14)
Shelbyville and the Chamber of Commerce will be joining forces to apply for the Tennessee Downtowns Program. Planning and community development director Amanda Rhinehart told the city council Tuesday that the program is commonly known as "Main Street Lite" -- designed to help cities without certified Tennessee Main Street programs become prepared for that designation...
Wine in groceries: What next? (04/03/14)
Now that Gov. Bill Haslam has signed the "Wine in Grocery Stores" bill into law, what steps will Shelbyville have to take to make it a reality? In anticipation of that question, the city manager has met with the county's election commissioner to learn procedures needed to hold a referendum...
County jobless rate increases slightly (04/01/14)
Bedford County's jobless rate rose slightly in February to 6.8 percent, according to preliminary numbers released by the state department of labor and workforce development That's only a hike of one tenth of one percentage point from the revised January rate of 6.7 percent, and 2.2 percent lower than the rate at this time last year -- 9 percent....
Help build trails Saturday at Henry Horton State Park (03/28/14)
Henry Horton State Park will host a Volunteer Trail Building event on Saturday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Join the park to build a 1.5-mile expansion to the Hickory Ridge Trail inside the park. The addition of the Hickory Ridge Trail expansion will bring the total miles of trail inside Henry Horton to 11 miles. Nine miles of the trail will be accessible from a single trailhead at the Wilhoite Mill Trail on Highway 31A, on the north side of the Duck River...
Youth step out for Kick Butts Day (03/21/14)
Bedford County youngsters from the Boys & Girls Club joined thousands of peers across the country to take part in Kick Butts Day March 19. The national day of activism empowers children and teenagers to be leaders in efforts to stop youth tobacco use...
Clearing land for 41-A widening (03/21/14)
Crews are taking down hundreds of trees for the next phase of four-laning U.S. 41A South to Tullahoma. Workers have been busy on the highway and Shipmans Creek Road clearing land for a job that will include grading, drainage, the construction of a concrete I-beam bridge and paving from State Route 276 (Thompson Creek Road) to west of Rippy Ridge Road. This leg of the project is expected to be complete on or before July 31, 2016, according to TDOT. (T-G Photo by Brian Mosely)
BEP meeting next week in Nashville (03/21/14)
The task force charged with studying Tennessee's state education funding formula will meet for the first time next week at the capitol. Gov. Bill Haslam appointed this task force to take a fresh look at the Basic Education Program, or BEP, which underwent its last significant revision seven years ago. The purpose of this task force is to review the distribution of available resources in a responsible manner...
Schools to test new test (03/19/14)
The state will use some Bedford County students next week to field test the new PARCC test. Superintendent Don Embry told the Board of Education on Tuesday that select grades in most schools will take the test. PARCC is a new test that students in 17 states will take during the 2014-2015 year. According to the consortium's website, it is meant to measure Common Core standards...
Hundreds take 'drive' at license kiosk (03/16/14)
The self-service driver's license renewal kiosk on the first floor of Bedford County Courthouse has been used 737 times since it was installed in November 2012, according to Dalya Qualls of Tennessee Department of Safety. "We are pleased with the self-service kiosk program," said Qualls in an e-mail on Wednesday, "as it provides citizen another option to renew or replace their driver licenses and it reduces the wait times in our driver services centers. ...
Common Core delay backed by House (03/14/14)
The Tennessee House voted 82-11 Thursday to delay the implementation of Common Core for math and English/language arts for two years. The House on Wednesday approved delaying the new standards, but the Senate will have to sign off as well before Common Core will be delayed. The PARCC testing also has been delayed for two years, pending Senate approval...
March 12 proclaimed AEDC Day in Tennessee (03/14/14)
The Tennessee Senate and House of Representatives officially declared March 12 as Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) Day at a proclamation presentation earlier this week. Rep. Judd Matheny and Sen. Janice Bowling presented a House Joint Resolution 718 to honor and commemorate AEDC due to the Complex's crucial role in keeping the United States on the cutting edge of aerospace...
Common Core opposition grows (03/13/14)
Opposition is mounting against Common Core on both the grassroots and legislative levels. On the legislative level, state Rep. Rick Womick, R-Rockvale, is sponsoring a bill, HB2332, that would stop the implementation of Common Core standards as of July 1. That bill is being deferred in the House Education Subcommittee until the end of the session...
Burning permits needed, say officials (03/13/14)
With Spring drawing near, residents are beginning to take advantage of the mild weather to do some outdoor work around the home or farm. However, if you are considering doing outdoor burning, a burn permit is required, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry says...
Arts plate unveiled (03/12/14)
The Legislative Arts Caucus, Tennesseans for the Arts and the Tennessee Arts Commission along with arts leaders from across the state recently announced a new Arts specialty license plate, which is now available at County Clerk offices in Tennessee...
Snow, ice can't stop state legislators (03/09/14)
We started out the week with a real mess on our hands. Ice and snow all over Nashville and a lot of unknowns. Government offices were closed, but they told us that we were still having Legislative Session and we hoped for a quorum. ...
Training program (03/06/14)
Applications for Tennessee Downtowns, a competitive education and training program for communities seeking to revitalize traditional commercial districts, are now being accepted by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. The program is open to communities with downtown commercial districts established at least 50 years ago and whose citizens are ready to organize efforts for downtown revitalization...
Drilling for new traffic signal (03/06/14)
Workers from S&W of Murfreesboro were busy Tuesday drilling where a traffic signal is tbe placed at the Depot Street-Bethany Lane-Coney Island Road intersection. Speed limits were lowered last August at the accident-prone intersection. The work is being paid for with state surface transportation funding. (T-G Photo by Brian Mosely)
Bid accepted for North Main work (02/26/14)
A bid for the long-anticipated widening of North Main Street has been approved by the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Civil Constructors LLC bid $6,440,807.58, it was announced Tuesday. According to data from TDOT, the estimated project cost was $5,858,849.83...
Short week doesn't lack productivity (02/23/14)
We had a short and busy week this past week. Monday was a holiday, President's Day, so we had to cram four days of legislative work into three and it has gone by quickly. We are hearing a lot more bills in the committees and also have many more bills on the House floor to vote on...
Tax cut would hit city (02/20/14)
Proposed legislation that would eliminate or reduce the Hall tax -- a 6 percent state levy on income from dividends and investment -- could take money away from Shelbyville's coffers. The question posed by city manager Jay Johnson is what would replace that funding...
New bids submitted for North Main widening (02/20/14)
New bids have been submitted for the widening of North Main Street after previous bids were rejected for being "too expensive" -- but the numbers haven't changed that much. According to the apparent low bids for the Feb. 14 letting, Civil Constructors LLC made an offer of $6,440,807.58, while Highways Inc. bid $6,597,994.95...
Assisted living facility deemed deficiency-free (02/19/14)
Celebration Way, assisted living by Americare announced that the facility was deemed deficiency-free during its recent survey by the Tennessee Department of Health. The survey is conducted annually and is a comprehensive review of the facility's entire operation...
MTEC celebrates 4th with coffee (02/19/14)
For four years, the Middle Tennessee Education Center has brought university classes closer to Midstate residents who don't live close to a college. The joint project of MTSU, Motlow State Community College and Bedford County government will celebrate its four-year anniversary with a coffee from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday at the center, 200 Dover St. in Shelbyville. The event is free and open to the public...
Tracy's bill offers sinkhole coverage (02/18/14)
State Sen. Jim Tracy has sponsored a bill he says will make sinkhole coverage available for purchase in Tennessee. According to a newsletter from Tracy's office, the bill "creates objective standards to determine if a covered sinkhole loss has occurred based on determination of building standards approved by ANSI, which is the most widely-recognized accrediting agency for building standards."...
Meeting coaches and constituents (02/16/14)
"Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress." --Nicholas M. Butler I had a great week this past week meeting with several people from our district. Monday evening I had the honor of presenting a proclamation to Coach Phillip Fulmer and his wife, Vicky. ...
Free college is great idea (02/13/14)
"I continue to believe that if children are given the necessary tools to succeed, they will succeed beyond their wildest dreams!" -U.S. Senator David Vitter This past Monday evening, Governor Haslam presented his "State of the State" address. ...
State offers nature observer training (02/09/14)
The Tennessee Naturalist Program is accepting applications for this spring's 2014 program at Paris Landing State Park. The program will be held March 17-19 and 24-26, according to a press release from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation...
Poll: 'Yes' to wine in grocery stores (02/07/14)
By a two-to-one margin, participants in a non-scientific poll at the Times-Gazette web site say they'd vote in favor of wine in grocery stores if a local referendum were held. The issue has been hotly debated in the Tennessee General Assembly for several years now. ...
MTSU poll: Tennesseans unsure DCS is protecting foster kids (02/07/14)
More than twice as many Tennesseans say that the Department of Children's Services is not doing a good job keeping children in the foster care system safe than say that DCS is doing a good job, but most say they are unsure or don't know. Thirty-five percent of Tennesseans say DCS is not doing good job of keeping children in the foster care system safe. Only 17 percent say DCS is doing a good job. A plurality of 48 percent say they are unsure how good of a job DCS is doing...
Teacher license change shelved (02/02/14)
The Tennessee School Board has shelved -- for now -- a controversial change to teacher license renewals. The board voted Friday to undo a policy that would have tied teacher license renewals to in-class assessments and scores using students' testing scores. However, the board will look at the issue again at its April meeting...
Tenn. Senate passes supermarket wine bill 23-8 (01/31/14)
NASHVILLE (AP) -- Voters would decide whether their cities or counties allow wine to be sold in supermarkets and convenience stores, under a bill passed by the state Senate on Thursday. The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro was approved on a 23-8 vote after the companion bill was revived in the House this week...
Bids let again for N. Main widening (01/24/14)
Bids for the widening of North Main Street have been let again by the state, after they were rejected last month for being too high. The 249-page contract was listed on the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) construction division's website this week, and the bids will be opened Feb. 14...
Propane regulations loosened by state during cold snap (01/23/14)
Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Julie Mix McPeak issued an order this afternoon to exempt Tennessee home and business owners from propane delivery restrictions in order to obtain needed propane. "Heating homes and businesses is a priority during this cold weather snap," said McPeak. "This order allows individuals to purchase propane from any dealer with available resources to help keep Tennesseans warm and in business while we manage these frigid temperatures."...
County may get break on new jail (01/21/14)
The consensus is still that Bedford County will need to build a new jail, and the county intends to continue to work in that direction, but it's possible that the state mandate on the county may become slightly less restrictive, according to County Mayor Eugene Ray...
TDEC seeks environmental achievers (01/09/14)
NASHVILLE -- The Department of Environment and Conservation is inviting Tennesseans to submit nominations for the Governor's 2014 Environmental Stewardship Awards. The awards recognize Tennesseans who go above and beyond to protect the state's diverse environment...
State officials speak their minds (01/07/14)
County and state elected officials talked about their responsibilities, and a few candidates got to introduce themselves, during Flat Creek Community Club's elected officials night on Saturday. Today, we'll focus on the two state officials...
Safety helps you start the year alive (12/31/13)
Does your New Year's plans involve a cozy night at home or a big night out on the town? Whichever choice you make tonight, the the State Fire Marshal's Office is hoping you add fire safety to the celebration agenda. Celebrating a new year with consumer fireworks has been a long standing tradition in America, but thousands of people, most often children and teens, are seriously injured each year through their use...
Teacher licensure plan draws fire (12/17/13)
Bedford County Board of Education may join a statewide chorus of educators' voices in opposing the use of a certain measurement in approving teacher licensure. The Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS) is a measurement of how much a student grows from year to year. The system is controversial for some educators because they say it is too complex to understand, among other issues...
Former detective charged with theft (12/17/13)
A former Bedford County detective was charged Monday with taking more than $10,000 collected by the sheriff's department from registered sex offenders. Rebecca Hord, 58, of Shelbyville was indicted on charges of theft over $10,000, official misconduct and four counts of forgery by the Bedford County grand jury. Hord, who had held the rank of captain, was arrested today by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation...
City police receive state accreditation (12/13/13)
Three years of hard work by Shelbyville's police department has resulted in state accreditation, it was announced Thursday evening. Chief Austin Swing and his staff have been working toward the goal since 2010, and city manager Jay Johnson called it "a true milestone for the department."...
Library funds: They're in the books (12/12/13)
The "maintenance of effort" rule which prevents local governments from cutting school funding is well-known and has been reported on often by the Times-Gazette. The formula used to compute maintenance of effort is an arcane one, and sometimes local officials aren't sure if they've met the target until the budget is approved by the state...
New state products site is finger pickin' good (12/11/13)
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture unveiled a new look and improved features for the popular Pick Tennessee Products consumer site this week. A simplified, phone friendly logo icon and increased Web capabilities are part of a push by the department to maximize its consumer and producer services, according to the department...
Use caution with heat sources this winter (12/11/13)
The cold snaps are finally here, and the state's fire marshall is reminding folks to be cautious in the use of alternate heat sources. Tennessee Fire Marshal and Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak says that the colder weather means many people will begin to heat their homes with fireplaces, woodstoves and space heaters...
Road work bids won (12/10/13)
A Nashville-area construction company has submitted low bids for two vital highway widening projects in Bedford County. The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) received bids for work on North Main Street and U.S. 41A South to Tullahoma from Highway Inc. of Brentwood...
Garden club assists state's first lady (11/28/13)
One of Volunteer Garden Club's state projects is to help Tennessee's First Lady with flowers in the Executive Mansion. Ten Designers were asked to help with Decorations for a fundraising luncheon to improve the gardens and landscaping. Two were from the Volunteer Garden Club, June Gilmore and Becky Nichols...
Trooper put on leave over hunting claim (11/26/13)
A Shelbyville-based state trooper has been placed on discretionary leave with pay after being accused of a hunting violation last week. Trooper Barry Qualls allegedly shot and killed a deer on a 46-acre privately-owned tract of land on Highway 64 West, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol...
Complete GED by Jan. 1, or you'll start from scratch (11/21/13)
Adults trying to earn their high school equivalency diploma are facing some new challenges, including higher costs, and may have to redo all their previous work. "It's going to be interesting," said Elaine Weaver, director of the Adult Education office in Shelbyville...
TCAT hosts business seminar (11/21/13)
Leroy C. Cunningham, Business Development Specialist with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center in Murfreesboro, TN, recently addressed the students of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Shelbyville. The purpose of the seminar was to provide students interested in starting a business a broad overview of the many things with which they'll be confronted as entrepreneurs. ...
TCAT honors outstanding student (11/21/13)
Ty Carrington of Chapel Hill, a drafting and CAD Technology student at Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Shelbyville, was named as the local school's Outstanding Student of the Year. The announcement was made by Ivan Jones, director of TCAT-Shelbyville, during a recognition luncheon for all nominees at Legends Restaurant...
Fire Academy graduates fall class (11/17/13)
Austin Bruce of the Normandy Volunteer Fire Department was one of 18 firefighters from across the state graduating Friday from the fall recruit class at the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy on Unionville-Deason Road. Located on 330 acres in northern Bedford County, this state-of-the-art training facility has been a "home away from home" for the recruits during the 10-week class...
Widening of roads on state project list (11/13/13)
Two transportation projects in Bedford County are included in the Tennessee Department of Transportation's latest list of road work. Bids will be accepted next month. The widening of U.S. 231 and U.S. 41A in Bedford County are among 43 contracts offered, including 62 projects in 86 counties...
State ranks first in education gains (11/08/13)
Tennessee is the fastest improving state in the nation for gains in education, officials announced Thursday. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) released its 2013 report card Thursday. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and former Gov. Phil Bredesen announced the results during a press conference at West Wilson Middle School in Mt. Juliet...
Water, sewer funds granted (11/05/13)
Bell Buckle and Wartrace heard good news Monday in the form of large Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for upgrades on water and sewer systems. A total of $200,000 will be going for sewer system rehabilitation in Bell Buckle, while Wartrace will receive $549,450 for water system work...
Crash reports to be distributed online (11/05/13)
Effective immediately, the public may retrieve Tennessee collision reports online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The cost of an online collision report is $10. Citizens may continue to visit any local THP district office or law enforcement agency to purchase crash reports or request a copy be sent through U.S. mail. The fee for these options remains $4...
Fisher named state's best (10/31/13)
Cascade Elementary Principal Martha Fisher has been named the top principal in the state. The Tennessee Department of Education named Fisher as 2013-2014 Principal of the Year Tuesday during a statewide conference for education leaders. Fisher, her family and Bedford County School Superintendent Don Embry were in attendance. Marcia Melton, supervisor of K-12 instruction in Cannon County, was named Tennessee's 2013-14 Supervisor of the Year...
Railroad funds on the line (10/24/13)
A lawsuit that major railroad companies won against the State of Tennessee puts short-line railroads like the Walking Horse & Eastern at risk, members of Bedford Railroad Authority were told on Wednesday. Some 21 years ago, according to engineer Patrick Conyers, a percentage sales tax on diesel fuel was enacted by the state on railroads. ...
THP fires Boleyn due to violent traffic stop (10/22/13)
A state trooper stationed in Bedford County for years has been fired because of alleged actions during a traffic stop, the Tennessee Highway Patrol said Monday. Trooper Tommie Boleyn was dismissed following an internal investigation into allegations that he violated THP policies and procedures Aug. 31 in Shelbyville, according to Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons and THP Col. Tracy Trott...
Permits a must for burning (10/15/13)
State officials are reminding Bedford County residents to obtain a free permit before doing any outdoor burning this season. The Division of Forestry requires the permits from Oct. 15 until May 15. Call 1-877-350-BURN (2876) between 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday...
Video producer named to state panel (10/15/13)
The man who shot a world-famous music video in Wartrace six years ago has been named to the Tennessee Film, Entertainment & Music Commission. Director/Producer Shaun Silva, Owner of TackleBox Films and FORWARD Post Production was named to the commission according to an announcement by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty...
Scam watch: Unhealthy tricks target health insurance buyers (10/10/13)
Scammers are already targeting the new health care act. But armed with tips from the Tennessee Department of Commerce, you can avoid being tricked into handing over your money to a criminal. Open enrollment in Tennessee's marketplace began Oct. 1; however, bogus websites appeared online for more than a year before the launch date...
Next phase of 41A work near (09/25/13)
About $17 million worth of work to expand another portion of U.S. 41A South is planned for the coming year, as well as a new bicycle trail geared toward school safety. The reconstruction and widening of the busy highway -- from Rippy Ridge Road to State Route 276 (Thompson Creek Road) -- will be the third phase of the project...
Common Core at heart of heated debate (09/22/13)
The Senate Education Committee held hearings Thursday and Friday on Common Core State Standards. The hearings were open to the public and were broadcast online. Different groups and people on Twitter blasted those with whom they disagreed. A total of 44 states, including Tennessee, have been working hard to implement Common Core, teaching the curriculum ahead of the 2014-2015 deadline for implementation...
Funds help law enforcement keep roads safer (09/20/13)
Bedford County law enforcement received four grants totalling over $34,000 this week to help fund DUI enforcement. The Governor's Highway Safety Office (GHSO) awarded $21.1 million in grants to 370 Tennessee agencies to support highway traffic safety efforts...
School board backs Embry, superintendents' petition (09/19/13)
Bedford County Board of Education, meeting Tuesday night, voted to prepare a resolution in support of a petition by school superintendents critical of Tennessee Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman. School Superintendent Don Embry was one of those who signed the petition...
State offers new resource for investors (09/18/13)
While some people are comfortable handling their own investments, many are not. The Securities Division with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance wants to show consumers where to turn for help with their investments. "Investing is complicated process," says Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. "If you are not comfortable handling your own investments it is important to solicit the help of a financial services professional who can help you make the right decisions."...
UPDATE: Education leaders say state's not listening (09/13/13)
Bedford County School Supt. Don Embry is joining with more than 60 of his counterparts in sharing their concerns with the governor about Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman. Dr. Dan Lawson, Tullahoma City Schools superintendent, wrote a letter to Gov. Bill Haslam and members of the legislature during a state superintendents meeting earlier this week. Lawson said he will wait until the middle of next week to mail the letter to give superintendents a chance to add their names...
Fire Academy hosts memorial ceremony (09/06/13)
Firefighters lost in the line of duty will be honored at the Tennessee Fire and Codes Enforcement Academy's annual memorial service at 4 p.m. Saturday. The academy is located on Unionville-Deason Road in northern Bedford County. Department of Commerce and Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Julie Mix McPeak will provide remarks...
School funding is hot issue (08/30/13)
HENRY HORTON STATE PARK -- Education funding was a primary topic of discussion Thursday night as Tennessee County Commissioners Association held one of a series of regional meetings to brief its members on state laws affecting county government, and to solicit questions and comments...
231 North repaving to start soon (08/30/13)
Motorists heading to Murfreesboro should expect some delays over the next few months while road work is completed. Starting next week, resurfacing will kick off on U.S. 231 North/North Main Street between Moreland Avenue and Highway 82 East. Alternating lane closures can be expected Tuesday and Wednesday from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. in order to mill the roadway, according to Deanna Lambert, Community Relations Officer for TDOT Region 3,...
Use caution when dealing with home repair contractors (08/28/13)
After a very wet summer, it's important for Tennesseans to make sure that any needed home repairs are serviced by a licensed contractor. "We encourage individuals to vet contractors through verify.tn.gov or through the Board for Licensing Contractors before signing on the dotted line," said the Regulatory Boards Assistant Commissioner Bill Giannini. "Never pay cash and always, ALWAYS, verify before you pay any money!"...
MTSU business professor honored (08/28/13)
MURFREESBORO -- The MTSU Foundation celebrated 17 faculty members for their outstanding work and service to the university and community with special awards at last week's Fall Faculty Meeting in Tucker Theatre. Highlighting the recognition was the Career Achievement Award presented to Dr. William F. "Bill" Ford, professor of economics and finance and holder of the Weatherford Chair of Excellence in Finance in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business...
TennCare fraud cases alleged (08/27/13)
A Shelbyville woman is facing charges of TennCare fraud following a recent indictment. Heather Dawn Deskins, 29, of Shelbyville, was recently arrested on charges she fraudulently obtained TennCare health care insurance benefits on two separate occasions, even though she was allegedly not eligible for the program...
Railroad Avenue restart nears (08/22/13)
Following a four-month delay, work will kick off sometime after Labor Day on a long-awaited state industrial road project in Shelbyville. Last month, an agreement with seven property owners ended a dispute over right-of-way claims that halted the widening of Railroad Avenue between Newell Rubbermaid and the Shelbyville bypass, State Route 437...
School system status rises to 'achievement' (08/22/13)
Bedford County Board of Education received an update Tuesday on the system's progress in student testing. "Bedford County is now in achievement status in the achieve category" in TCAP testing, Assistant Superintendent Karen Scoggins said. That means the county met more than 50 percent of its goals, she said...
Progress and potential: State releases TCAP data (08/20/13)
Two Bedford County schools received high marks from the state Monday, while certain student groups were identified as needing more attention by educators. The Tennessee Department of Education gave Community Elementary School the Progress designation and Thomas Magnet School the Performance designation...
Teacher licensing reforms pass, but will be delayed (08/18/13)
The Tennessee Board of Education on Friday voted 6-3 to implement controversial teacher licensing reforms but to hold off on carrying out the changes until August 2015. Prior to the board meeting, Bedford County Superintendent Don Embry said local educators are concerned about the proposed law...
N. Main upgrade to take 2 years (08/08/13)
City officials met Monday with engineers and state transportation managers to review plans to widen North Main Street -- a job expected to take up to two years. The status meeting at the Tennessee Department of Transportation's Nashville office was attended by city manager Jay Johnson and public works director Mark Clanton, along with Diane Rosenburg of consulting engineering firm Gresham Smith, which is designing the project...
Common Core: Higher standard or government overreach? (08/08/13)
As the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible says, there is nothing new under the sun. That's true in schools as well, where students and teachers face a never-ending array of regulations. One of the main changes in education is the continued switch to Common Core standards, a move which some call a much-needed reform and others call an overreach by government to create nationalized education...
Licensing, pay draw teachers' concern (08/08/13)
Even as teachers continue to adjust to Common Core standards, they must face additional issues. Those issues include the following: One of the latest proposed changes involves making it harder to obtain and keep a teaching license. The Tennessee Board of Education continues to study proposed changes to tie teacher licenses to student achievement. ...
We won't be shopping, say poll respondents (08/02/13)
Two-thirds of Times-Gazette website readers responding to a non-scientific poll say they don't shop any more during the annual state sales tax holiday than they do during a normal weekend. That may simply reflect the fact that the tax break is benefitting those it's intended to benefit...
Bedford jobless rate continues rise (07/26/13)
The county's jobless rate rose again in June, and some Tennessee economists are having trouble explaining why this has become a trend across the state. Bedford County's unemployment rate leaped to 9.3 percent, according to preliminary numbers released by the state department of labor and workforce development...
State's debt ratio rated nation's best (07/26/13)
A recent study shows Tennessee's debt ratio is the lowest in the nation, and two state legislators say that's a sign of good management. The state comptroller's office said in a release this week that the study was conducted by New York-based Fitch Ratings, one of the country's top bond rating agencies...
North Main plans move nearer start (07/25/13)
With the long awaited widening of North Main Street set to begin next year, Shelbyville's public works department is working closely with the state to keep the inevitable detours and traffic hassles to a minimum. Bids are scheduled to be let in December for the 1.2 mile project -- widening North Main to include a center turn lane from the intersection with Madison Street to just north of Rolling Road...
Veterans can pre-register for military cemeteries (07/23/13)
Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder announced this week a new online pre-registration form which will allow veterans and their families to be pre-approved for burial in the state veterans cemeteries. Traditionally, funeral directors contact the nearest state veterans cemetery when they receive a request to bury the remains of a veteran or dependent who previously expressed interest in burial at one of the four locations. ...
Farmer's market at Henry Horton State Park (07/19/13)
Henry Horton State Park is offering a farmers' market on Saturday mornings and Wednesday afternoons through Oct. 23. Held at the park's picnic area, all farm and garden products are grown locally, providing nearby residents with fresh and healthy produce choices...
Grant award recipients announced (07/18/13)
State Rep. Pat Marsh of Shelbyville has released the list of grant award recipients from Tennessee Arts Commission for Fiscal Year 2014 (July 1, 2013- June 30, 2014). Eakin Elementary School made the list receiving $3,500 for this upcoming school year. This money will be used to enhance arts education in the school...
A school by any other name: TTCS now TCAT (07/14/13)
Tennessee Technology Center at Shelbyville has a new name but the same mission. The school is now called the Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Shelbyville. State Sen. Jim Tracy and State Rep. Harry Brooks sponsored the name change bill in the General Assembly, and Gov. Bill Haslam signed the bill into law. The name change recognizes that the TTCS is a post-secondary higher education institution and part of the Tennessee Board of Regents University and Community College system...
Land swap may save project (07/12/13)
A proposed land swap between Bedford Railroad Authority and the governments of Shelbyville and Bedford County could be the key to saving a state industrial road project. Bedford Railroad Authority, meeting Thursday morning, voted to approve trading away a 30-foot-wide strip of right-of-way on Railroad Avenue, all the way from Hillcrest Drive to the bypass, in return for a nearly-10-acre parcel jointly owned by Shelbyville and Bedford County...
Grant helps county tire recycling roll (07/12/13)
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau on Tuesday announced 44 grants, including one for Bedford County in the amount of $31,074, to help recycle tires and reduce the number going to landfills...
Hydrant issue dries up (07/10/13)
An issue over an unusable fire hydrant that could have put a snag into an upcoming sidewalk project has been quickly resolved. City council members and officials expressed concern last week about the hydrant at 200 E. Depot St., which had been covered with black plastic for seven years -- until Tuesday...
Spirits on the menu: Council approves of microdistilleries (07/09/13)
To allow microdistilleries to operate within Shelbyville, all the city council will have to do this week is -- nothing. A resolution will be before the council dealing with a new bill passed amending state law -- making the manufacture of liquors and beer lawful. The law went into effect July 1...
Hydrant concerns threaten sidewalk upgrades (07/05/13)
An unusable fire hydrant near the square is causing concern for city officials over who pays for it and how it may impact upcoming renovations, with one city councilman calling the situation "crazy." Last week, the city received a grant for over $300,000 from Gov. Bill Haslam for sidewalk improvements on East Depot Street, as well as Brittain and Holland streets on the west side of Shelbyville's downtown...
Welding instructor attends workshop (07/03/13)
A Shelbyville welding instructor attended a welding metallurgy professional development workshop held in Chattanooga last month. The Engineering Technology Division of Chattanooga State Community College along with Weld-Ed, a National Science Foundation-funded welding education program, hosted the workshop from June 10-14 at the college's Center for Advanced Technologies. ...
THP out to stop impaired drivers (07/02/13)
The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security and the Tennessee Highway Patrol plan an impaired driving enforcement campaign for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday weekend. This traffic safety effort will feature an aggressive "No Refusal" enforcement, beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday and ending at 11:59 p.m. Sunday...
Gift from governor: Haslam announces sidewalks grant (06/26/13)
Shelbyville received the first state grant of the new fiscal year Tuesday -- personally presented by the governor. Gov. Bill Haslam awarded a check for $315,296 to improve sidewalks in Shelbyville's historic downtown. The grant is a 80/20 split, with Shelbyville kicking in the rest...
Governor to visit Shelbyville today (06/25/13)
Gov. Bill Haslam is dropping by Shelbyville today to present a transportation grant. According to a spokesman from the governor's office, Haslam will make the presentation today at 4:45 p.m. in front of the Capri Theatre on Depot Street. Officials with the city of Shelbyville confirmed today's visit, but would not comment on the amount or subject of the grant...
Council may step in over road issue (06/18/13)
Shelbyville's city council may take action soon to get a state industrial road project moving again. Talks have been ongoing between the city and seven property owners on Railroad Avenue over right-of-way concerns with a state industrial access road project. Those issues caused the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to bring the $2.35 million dollar project to a halt in April...
Career Center staff await final closure (06/18/13)
The folks who have helped those in Bedford County find employment will soon be out of a job themselves -- the only problem is, they don't know when their last day will be. There's a sign on the door of the Tennessee Career Center on North Main Street stating the office will be closing and moving to Tullahoma today, but workers at the career center have been told to show up for work on Wednesday, due to a court ruling in Nashville...
Durard named circuit judge (06/13/13)
Shelbyville attorney Forest A. Durard Jr. has been appointed as circuit court judge for the 17th Judicial District. The appointment, which fills the slot left by Robert Crigler, who retired May 30, was announced by the office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam...
Shelbyville again an alternate route for avoiding Bonnaroo traffic (06/12/13)
As in years past, Tennessee Department of Transportation's list of alternate routes for travelers hoping to avoid Bonnaroo-related backups on Interstate 24 includes a route passing through Shelbyville. For over a decade, the Middle Tennessee city of Manchester in Coffee County has hosted one of the most popular live music events in the country - the annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. ...
City, lawyers to discuss Railroad Ave. (06/04/13)
Shelbyville's city council will hold an attorney/client meeting this afternoon dealing with possible litigation over right-of-way concerns with a state industrial access road project. In April, the $2.35 million dollar project on Railroad Avenue was brought to a halt by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) after residents produced a deed many involved in planning the project had no knowledge of...
Tracy named to transportation policy committee (06/04/13)
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) on Monday announced the appointment of State Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) to the Council of State Governments (CSG) Transportation Public Policy Committee. The committee brings together leaders from across the nation to address state and national transportation and infrastructure concerns...
Veterans officer may lose position (05/30/13)
Tennessee Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Many-Bears Grinder has recommended that Bedford County Veterans Service Officer Gordon Warren be stripped of his U.S. Veterans Affairs accreditation, saying his office hours are inconvenient for veterans, but Warren says he's the target of personal attacks stemming from a power struggle in a local veterans' group...
Learning Way visits Nashville (05/26/13)
State Sen. Jim Tracy greeted students and teachers from Learning Way Elementary School on May 13 when they attended a play at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville. The group enjoyed Dinosaur Petting Zoo, created by ERTH, a theater based in Sydney, Australia...
MTSU offers new master's in management degree (05/22/13)
MURFREESBORO -- Starting in the fall, Middle Tennessee State University will offer a new master's degree in management geared toward professionals in the workforce looking to advance in their careers. The Tennessee Board of Regents recently gave final approval for the Master of Science in Management program through the Jennings A. ...
THP checkpoints scheduled for June (05/22/13)
Four Tennessee Highway Patrol checkpoints are scheduled for June. Driver's license checkpoints will be held June 8 at the Midland Road-Whiteside Road intersection, June 21 on State Route 64 at the 18 mile marker and June 28 on State Route 82 at the 6.5 mile marker. A sobriety checkpoint will be held June 28 on State Route 82 at the 9 mile marker...
Health department employees recognized (05/22/13)
This year, the Tennessee Department of Health started a new employee recognition program. Each year, The Annual Public Health Excellence Awards will be presented at the local level. This year in the South Central Region two Department of Health employees based in Bedford and Marshall Counties were recognized for their efforts in public health. The awards were presented April 19 at the Marshall County Health Department...
Marsh, Tracy 'disappointed' by veto (05/14/13)
Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday vetoed a bill that would require images documenting animal abuse be turned over to law enforcement within 48 hours, saying his main concern is its constitutionality. State Attorney General Bob Cooper last week said in a legal opinion that the measure would be "constitutionally suspect" because it could violate Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination and for placing burdens on news collection....
Railroad Ave. talks continue (05/09/13)
Discussions are ongoing to resolve issues connected to a state industrial access road project so work can continue. Attorneys and surveyors are continuing to research right-of-way concerns that brought the $2.35 million dollar project on Railroad Avenue to a halt last month...
THP plans license, sobriety checkpoints (05/08/13)
The Tennessee Highway Patrol will conduct two driver's license roadside checkpoints and one sobriety checkpoint later this month. Driver's license checkpoints are planned for State Route 82 at the 6.5 mile marker at 9 p.m. Friday, May 17, and State Route 64 at the 15 mile marker at 6 p.m. Friday, May 24. The sobriety checkpoint is scheduled for Friday, May 24 at 11:30 p.m. on U.S. 41A at the 23 mile marker...
Student test changes ahead (05/02/13)
Educators want parents to know of pending changes to some of the mandatory tests students take at the end of every school year. In 2014-2015, two school years from now, Tennessee third- to 11th-graders in math and English and language arts classes will test to the Common Core State Standards instead of TCAP, said Janice Womble, supervisor of secondary education in Bedford County. ...