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Friday, Oct. 24, 2014
State government

'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. ...
State achieves balanced budget (05/02/13)
After a great deal of hard work and collaboration, this year's session of the 108th General Assembly finally came to a conclusion on April 19, 2013. Not only did the House and the Senate pass many pieces of important legislation, but more importantly we passed a balanced budget for the State of Tennessee. ...
County jobless rate falls to 8.3 percent (04/28/13)
Bedford County's jobless rate dipped slightly in March, falling to 8.3 percent according to preliminary numbers released by Tennessee's department of labor and workforce development. Labor force estimates for last month showed 20,920 working out of 22,820 in the county's work force, with 1,900 unemployed. The rate fell 0.2 percent from the revised rate reported in February of 8.5 percent. At this time last year, the county's unemployment rate was 9.1 percent...
Career Center to close in June (04/24/13)
Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development Acting Commissioner Burns Phillips announced last week that the department is restructuring its career center network to more effectively serve Tennessee citizens within current budget constraints...
N. Main work in highway budget (04/19/13)
Tennessee Department of Transportation has confirmed that the widening of North Main Street and the next stage of widening U.S. 41A South are both budgeted for construction in the 2013-2014 fiscal year which begins July 1. North Main Street will be widened to include a turn lane from the intersection with Madison streets to just north of Rolling Road. The project will be 1.2 miles...
Tracy, Marsh back livestock abuse bill (04/19/13)
Both of Bedford County's state legislators voted for a bill to require anyone recording or taking photos of livestock abuse to turn images over to law enforcement within 48 hours. The bill was approved in the House on Wednesday with 50 votes -- the bare minimum needed to clear the chamber. The Senate version passed 22-9 on Tuesday...
Businesses join state website (04/12/13)
Tennessee tourism officials showed local business owners how to promote their companies on the state's website during a workshop Tuesday afternoon. The workshop was held at Bell Buckle Banquet Hall and was organized by state and local officials, including the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, Rodney Simmons, and the Shelbyville-Bedford County and Bell Buckle Chambers of Commerce. The web site URL is TNVacation.com...
Transportation funding hits rough spot in road (04/11/13)
State transportation officials briefed area leaders this week about the department's bleak funding outlook in fiscal year 2015 and beyond. About 40 people attended a meeting of the South Central Regional Planning Organization (RPO), which is the transportation coordination group from this region, Tuesday at Henry Horton State Park...
Tracy honored by sheriff's group (04/11/13)
State Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) has been recognized for his work in the State Senate by the Tennessee Sheriffs' Association, receiving their annual "Outstanding Legislative Initiative Award." Tracy received the award at a meeting on April 3 attended by sheriffs statewide in Nashville...
THP sobriety checks set April 26 (04/10/13)
Two Tennessee Highway Patrol sobriety checkpoints are scheduled for Fri., April 26 in Bedford County. Checkpoints will be held at State Route 82 at the nine-mile marker at 9:30 p.m. and on State Route 64 at the 15-mile marker at 11:30 p.m. "Impaired driving is a serious crime that kills more than 16,000 people and injures more than 305,000 others every year in the United States," the THP said in a press release. ...
Tracy honored by development districts (04/07/13)
State Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) has been recognized by the Development Districts Association in Tennessee (TDDA) for legislative achievements benefitting the people of the 14th Senatorial District, which he represents. Tracy received the award on April 2 as the group gathered for a statewide meeting in Nashville...
Wage bill advances in House (04/07/13)
The Committees here at the General Assembly are slowing and 2 of my Committees have closed for the year. I got my bill dealing with abolishing the prevailing wage out of full committee and it now moves to Calendar and Rules and then hopefully to the full floor of the House...
Adult Ed program wins grant (04/05/13)
Bedford County will keep local control of its Adult Education program. The Adult Education office in Shelbyville won a state grant worth nearly $260,000, director Elaine Weaver said. She had been competing for the grant against her counterpart in Warren County. Whoever won the grant got to keep her or his job and administer the adult education programs in a new district that will comprise Bedford, Warren and Coffee counties...
Davis: A true Tennessee volunteer (04/05/13)
Bedford County Trustee Tonya Davis has won the Governor's Volunteer Star Award. Davis said she received the award during a March 4 statewide conference on volunteerism in Cool Springs. "I was humbled by it," Davis said. "Being a volunteer is a blessing, to give your service. We are here to serve above self."...
National Public Health Week (04/03/13)
Tennessee Public Health Association is observing National Public Health Week this week, April 1-7. The theme is "Public Health Makes Cents: Save Lives Save Money." Focus areas for this year's celebration include ensuring a safe, healthy home for families; providing a safe environment for children at school; creating a healthy workplace; protecting those on the move; and empowering a healthy community...
Haslam rejects Medicaid expansion; Marsh, Tracy, DesJarlais praise decision (03/28/13)
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced Wednesday that he won't pursue expanding the state's Medicaid program to help cover the uninsured as part of the federal Affordable Care Act. Haslam told a joint session of state lawmakers that that he decided not to do that because he prefers a third option to use federal money to subsidize private insurance. The federal government hasn't accepted that proposal...
Elimination of wage law means more bids (03/24/13)
I started my biggest bill in committee this week. This proposed legislation seeks to eliminate the Prevailing Wage law in contracting and construction in Tennessee. This is the wage that companies must pay their workers when working on state projects. It is mired down with wage surveys and unnecessary paperwork and contentious with many workers...
Adult education program still competing for grant (03/20/13)
Tennessee's adult education programs are still on track to be combined into a multi-regional network despite rumors that have swirled around this week about a change in the state's plans, officials say. Rumors had speculated that adult education would be moved out of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development and into the Board of Regents system following a March 12 Senate Commerce Committee meeting on Labor's budget. ...
Panel discusses better performance (03/15/13)
Bedford County hosted a regional education discussion panel Thursday that focused on improving school performance. The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) organization brought together educators from across South Central Tennessee to share their ideas. The event was held at Shelbyville Central High School's library...
NW bypass expansion draws support (03/14/13)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted to support completion of the northwest portion of the Shelbyville bypass (State Route 437). The extension, if the state decides to build it, would run from the current end of the bypass on U.S. 231 North (Murfreesboro Highway) west and south to State Route 64 West (Lewisburg Highway)...
Safety checkpoints scheduled by THP (03/14/13)
Two driver's license roadside safety checkpoints are scheduled during April in Bedford County by the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Checkpoints will be held at the Midland Road-Whiteside Road intersection at 10 a.m. Monday, April 1 and the 18-mile marker on State Highway 64 at 10 a.m. Monday, April 15...
17th Judicial District may remain same (03/12/13)
At a Monday press conference, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey unveiled a consensus plan for judicial redistricting that would leave the 17th Judicial District untouched. The 17th District includes Bedford, Lincoln, Marshall and Moore counties. The districts were last drawn nearly 30 years ago in 1984. Circuit judges, district attorneys and chancery court judges serve by judicial district...
Ramsey visits county (03/08/13)
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, in Shelbyville for a fund-raiser for Jim Tracy's congressional campaign, said that the chances for the bill to allow wine sales in supermarkets are promising. "It's looking better every day," Ramsey told the Times-Gazette...
Heated week in legislature flies by (03/04/13)
This week flew by at the Capitol as more heated legislation came into committees and session. My welfare reform bill, Senate Bill 244, passed through the Senate during Monday session. This bill would put restrictions the businesses in which public assistance EBT cards may be used, by prohibiting individuals from using them in liquor stores, adult cabarets, tobacco shops, and tattoo parlors. ...
History of sessions explained (03/04/13)
It has been a good week here in the legislature this week. Things are still very busy, but there seems to be more order to the madness. It may be because we are starting to get use to the busyiness and fast pace. I passed three of my bills through the full committees this week and they will be hitting the house floor next week.
County to fund adult school (02/22/13)
A meeting of county, school system and Shelbyville Rotary Club officials on Thursday concluded that the best way for the county to pursue continued control of the Adult Education program is simply to budget it under the school system. The state, which provides much of the funding for adult education, is moving towards a more regional approach and has decided to group Bedford, Coffee and Warren counties together, under a single director...
Chaos reigns at final bill deadline (02/21/13)
Chaos was in full swing last week at the Capitol as the Senate of the 108th Assembly met the final bill submission deadline, closing the opportunity for further legislation to be introduced this year. Meeting in session three times last week, the Senate took advantage of many opportunities to approve and discuss bills...
Food stamp fraud bill passes committee (02/21/13)
State Sen. Jim Tracy's (R-Shelbyville) bill to curb abuse of purchases made through Electronic Benefit Transaction (EBT) cards used by recipients of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program passed the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on Wednesday. Senate Bill 244 prohibits use of a welfare recipient's EBT card in liquor stores, adult cabarets and casinos or gambling facilities...
Adult education grant try backed (02/20/13)
The school board is looking at ways to keep the adult education program's administration in Bedford County. It was recently revealed that the state is cutting by about half the number of local supervisors of adult education programs. One person will administer Bedford County's program along with the programs in Warren and Coffee counties...
Gun permit lists show worthiness: Ramsey (02/19/13)
NASHVILLE -- A National Rifle Association-backed effort to block public access to handgun carry permits goes too far for Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, one of the top gun rights advocates in the Tennessee General Assembly. Ramsey told The Associated Press that the ability to scrutinize the identities of people with handgun carry permits strengthens arguments that gun enthusiasts are worthy of carrying loaded firearms in public...
State cuts may impact adult school (02/14/13)
Bedford County is essentially in a competition with Warren County to maintain control of the adult education program, officials say, and Bedford County Board of Education could play a role in the decision. Tennessee Department of Labor's Division of Adult Education, the state agency that oversees adult education, is going through a massive downsizing and reorganization, said Elaine V. ...
State to speed up bypass work (02/07/13)
Following a near fatal accident this past weekend, state transportation officials have told the city that safety enhancements for a dangerous intersection on the Shelbyville Bypass will be expedited. Late Sunday evening, a Ohio woman was critically injured at the dangerous State Highway 437-Fairfield Pike intersection, after being struck by an alleged drunk driver...
Ready, set, go! Session begins (02/07/13)
The 108th Legislative Session is back in full force. After adjourning last May, we are back and moving very fast in this new session. We began on Jan. 8 and elected our leadership, with Beth Harwell being re-elected as the Speaker of the House. Speaker Harwell assigned members to various committees and appointed Chairmen for each committee...
Tracy, Norris appointed to TACIR (02/06/13)
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) has appointed State Sen. Mark Norris (R-Collierville) and State Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) to the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR). TACIR was created to research federal, state, and local government relations and make proposals for improvement to the legislature...
Bypass work a priority: Council (02/05/13)
The city council is expected to ask Tennessee to make Shelbyville's bypass "a community priority" when they take action during their regular meeting next week. But other road projects are already high on the state's "to do" list, and completing the bypass would be a multi-year process...
Tracy files EBT abuse, excise tax relief bills (02/01/13)
State Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) and State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) have filed legislation in the Tennessee General Assembly to curb abuse of purchases made through Electronic Benefit Transaction (EBT) cards used by recipients of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program...
Judge hopefuls have until Feb. 14 to apply (01/30/13)
Local attorneys have until Valentine's Day to apply for a judge's seat that will become vacant later this year. The state's judicial nominating commission has announced they are accepting applications for the Circuit Court vacancy in the 17th Judicial District which will be created by the retirement of Judge Robert Crigler on May 31...
Crigler's final verdict: Retire (01/25/13)
A familiar face in Bedford County's court system has announced his upcoming retirement. Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler will be stepping down from the bench effective May 31. He had been appointed in 2005, replacing Judge Charles Lee, and was elected in 2006...
License kiosk quickly draws many users (01/25/13)
Earlier in the week, Tennessee Department of Safety held a formal announcement ceremony for the self-service driver's license kiosks it's been installing statewide. But that's old news in Bedford County, where 93 applicants have accessed the self-service kiosk at the Bedford County Courthouse since Dec. 4, 2012, according to Dalya J. Qualls of the Tennessee Department of Safety...
Unemployment increases slightly (01/25/13)
Bedford County's jobless rate rose a half a percentage point during the last month of 2012, the state department of labor and workforce development announced Thursday. According to preliminary figures released by the state, the county's unemployment rate in December was at 8.3 percent -- 0.5 percent higher than reported for November...
Tax season help with unemployment benefits (01/23/13)
Those who received unemployment benefits in Tennessee during 2012 will be able to access the information they need for income tax purposes online. By going to the state Department of Labor & Workforce Development homepage at https://tdlwd.tn.gov/ui1099/ , a person can enter their birth date or the same PIN used to certify or inquire on their unemployment claim...
Sobriety checkpoints set for February (01/22/13)
Three sobriety checkpoints will be held in Bedford County during February, the Tennessee Highway Patrol said Monday. Checkpoints are planned for: l U.S. 41A at the 3.9 mile marker, 10 a.m. on Fri., Feb. 1 l State Route 82 at the 6.5 mile marker, 10 p.m. on Fri., Feb. 8...
Tracy urges Congress to balance budget (01/18/13)
NASHVILLE -- The federal government should act now in practicing fiscal responsibility according to State Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville), who filed a resolution in the Tennessee State Senate urging Congress to immediately adopt a balanced budget. Forty-nine states, including Tennessee, maintain balanced budgets through a constitutional requirement or by state statute...
Northwest bypass action urged (01/16/13)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners will consider a resolution to ask the state to complete the northwestern leg of the Shelbyville bypass, State Route 437. The bypass had been requested by community leaders for decades. Its first, six-mile leg, connecting U.S. 231 north of Shelbyville to U.S. 41A (New Tullahoma Highway) east of Shelbyville, opened in August 2011...
Officials lukewarm about wine sales (01/16/13)
Bedford County's two top law enforcement officers say they have mixed feelings about a petition urging state legislators to vote against allowing wine sales in grocery stores. Wine is now only available in package stores in Tennessee. More than 100 police chiefs and sheriffs from across the state -- including Shelbyville police chief Austin Swing -- have signed the petition, organized by a group calling itself Tennessee Law Enforcement for Strong Alcohol Laws...
Legislators have great expectations for new session (01/15/13)
Tennessee General Assembly convened last week to begin a new session, doing some administrative business before taking a two-week break to allow legislators to move into their new offices or do other business. The legislature will reconvene Jan. 28 to hear Gov. Bill Haslam's "State of the State" address...
Agriculture courses 'spring' up at MTEC (01/15/13)
If one of your New Year's resolutions is to jumpstart a new farming career or become more knowledgeable in your current agriculture job, the spring semester offers opportunities galore at the Middle Tennessee Education Center in Shelbyville. This month, MTEC, which is a joint project of MTSU and Motlow State Community College, will offer four agriculture classes designed for students interested in one of Tennessee's most diversified economic fields...
Citizens' Trooper Academy takes applications (01/15/13)
Tennessee Highway Patrol is accepting applications for the spring session of its Citizens' Trooper Academy in Nashville. The first session begins Monday, March 11, 2013. Sessions will run from 6-9:00 p.m. weekly. The academy consists of approximately 24-30 hours of training. It is designed to develop a better understanding and awareness of the Tennessee Highway Patrol and its parent agency, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security...
Bridge construction continues (01/11/13)
A section of the new bridge on Belmont Avenue is moved into place as other sections wait to be moved off the transport trucks. (T-G Photo by Jim Davis)
Tracy to seek House seat (01/02/13)
State Sen. Jim Tracy was scheduled to announce his candidacy for the 4th District U.S. House of Representatives today at a midday press conference in Murfreesboro. The election will be held in 2014. Tracy, a Republican from Shelbyville, will run for the seat currently held by Republican Scott DesJarlais, a physician from South Pittsburg. He's the second Republican to announce interest in challenging DesJarlais for the seat, with the current session of Congress not even started yet...
Tracy hosts Christmas event in Murfreesboro (12/27/12)
State Sen. Jim Tracy and his family hosted a community Christmas Breakfast at the Doubletree Hotel in Murfreesboro on Saturday. Over 800 people from across the 14th District and elsewhere in the state attended and brought donations for the Toys for Tots program...
Expect delays at local bridge (12/20/12)
Motorists who travel in and out of Shelbyville on Belmont Avenue/State Highway 130 should expect delays of 15 to 30 minutes due to work on the Sydney "Bud" McGrew Memorial Bridge spanning Duck River today and Friday. Workers will begin setting eight 140-foot steel beams into the ground for the reconstruction. (T-G Photo by Brian Mosely)
TTCS student is regional finalist in state program (12/20/12)
Jon Beiler, an Industrial Maintenance student at the Tennessee Technology Center at Shelbyville, was recognized as a regional finalist in the Tennessee Technology Center Outstanding Student of the Year program. Jon attends TTC-Shelbyville through Nissan Decherd, where he was chosen to participate in their maintenance apprenticeship program...
Teledyne EMS to expand Lewisburg facility (12/19/12)
Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty along with officials from Teledyne Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) announced yesterday the company will expand its Lewisburg manufacturing facility to accommodate a new product line...
Jail full of problems: Inspector (12/13/12)
The state's senior jail inspector, Bob Bass, said he wasn't "the jail police" and repeatedly stressed that his purpose wasn't to tell the county it needed to build a new jail. "I hope you don't have to build a jail," said Bass. "I'd rather build schools than a jail."...
Mediator appointed in ECD lawsuit (12/13/12)
A mediator has been selected to arbitrate a lawsuit filed by the county's Emergency Communication District (ECD) and other districts against a telephone company over 911 charges. Former Judge Lew Conner has been approved by a federal judge, and has agreed to handle the county's case against BellSouth, now known as AT&T...
Phillips leaves huge legacy (12/13/12)
Clarence "Pete" Phillips, 87, who represented Bedford County in the state House of Representatives for 30 years and chaired its powerful calendar committee, died Wednesday afternoon at Heritage Medical Center....
Governor addresses Farm Bureau meeting (12/11/12)
FRANKLIN -- Gov. Bill Haslam last week asked Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation leaders at their convention to develop a plan next year for agricultural growth, and Marshall County farmers reacted positively. Such an economic development plan should be practical, actionable and affordable, the governor said. If farmers deliver such a plan, then the Haslam administration will be their partner in making those ideas become a reality, he said...
Driver's license center to close for renovations (12/10/12)
Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security has announced that Bedford County Driver Service Center, located at 1304 Railroad Avenue in Shelbyville, will temporarily close this Friday and Monday for facility renovations. The center will reopen for normal business hours at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 18...
State park issues walking challenge (12/07/12)
The 50-Day Challenge at Henry Horton State Park challenges individuals and families to walk 50 miles in 50 days through Feb. 28, 2013. "Henry Horton State Park is a terrific place to walk, with a variety of hiking trails," said park manager Randy Whitworth. "We hope members of the community will accept our challenge and also cheer on their co-workers, family members and friends to get a jump on a healthy start to 2013."...
State constitutions on display (12/06/12)
You have a rare opportunity this week to see the handwritten Constitutions of Tennessee as part of the opening of the Tennessee Judiciary Museum. To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the building that houses the Tennessee Supreme Court, original handwritten versions of the three state constitutions will be on display for the public for the first time...
State Supreme Court to hear quarry case (12/05/12)
Shelbyville's city council voted unanimously to appeal an ongoing lawsuit over a proposed rock quarry to the Tennessee Supreme Court. Following an attorney/client meeting, the council chose to authorize city attorney Ginger Shofner, together with the Tennessee Municipal League's Risk Management Pool and outside counsel Farrar & Bates, to file the appeal in the matter of Wright Paving vs. the City of Shelbyville...
Easier renewal: New DL kiosk placed (12/05/12)
A new self-service kiosk for renewing driver's licenses was installed Friday on the first floor of Bedford County Courthouse. It's part of a statewide effort that Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security officials hope will reduce wait times at driver's license testing centers...
State event honors victims of violent crime (12/05/12)
The 10th annual Tennessee Season to Remember -- honoring victims of violent crime -- will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in downtown Nashville. Due to renovations at the State Capitol, it will be held this year at First Baptist Church in downtown Nashville. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and First Lady Crissy Haslam will host the event...
Inmates move to prison (12/04/12)
Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC) has moved 35 state inmates out of Bedford County jail to assist with local overcrowding, according to a letter from the department to State Rep. Pat Marsh. County Commissioner Joe Tillett, who received the letter from Marsh, furnished a copy to the Times-Gazette...
Railroad Ave. work to spring forward (11/30/12)
Hampered by a number of delays over the past year, work on expanding Railroad Avenue is at last set for the spring. City officials held a meeting before the Thanksgiving holidays in Nashville with representatives of the Tennessee Department of Transportation and all the utilities involved in the project, which has been delayed a number of times due to unresolved issues with relocating services such as phones, gas, power and cable...
$500M payout entices Powerball ticket buyers (11/28/12)
A lot of people with crossed fingers are waiting on tonight's Powerball lottery results, and with $500 million on the line, can you blame them? Local merchants who sell the tickets around Shelbyville say that they've been selling plenty -- mostly in the early mornings, or evenings after folks get off work...
Beer next year OK'd for Henry Horton (11/28/12)
Table service at the Henry Horton State Park restaurant will include beer next year, according to the food and beverage director for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. Beer and wine are already served at other Tennessee parks, and Marshall County's Beer Board on Monday authorized the state park at Chapel Hill to offer beer at its group lodge for conferences...
THP announces local December checkpoints (11/27/12)
The Tennessee Highway Patrol has announced its sobriety and driver's license roadside safety checkpoints for December in Bedford County. Checkpoints will be held: FRIDAY, DEC. 14: Driver's license roadside checkpoints, 6 p.m., U.S. 41A at the 0 mile marker and 8 p.m., State Route 82 at the 6.5 mile marker; sobriety checkpoints, 9 p.m., State Route 82 at the 9 mile marker and State Route 64 at the 15 mile marker...
Wanted: More MTEC students (11/16/12)
Bedford County Mayor Eugene Ray, in his quarterly report to Bedford County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, made reference to efforts to keep Middle Tennessee State University's presence in Shelbyville. Asked on Wednesday about those remarks, Ray said that MTSU would like to see higher student numbers, including more Bedford County students, at Middle Tennessee Education Center, the facility operated by MTSU and Motlow State Community College in the county-owned Bedford County Business Complex on Dover Street.. ...
More money going to airport (11/15/12)
Shelbyville will be receiving much more state and federal funding to pay for needed repair work at the city's airport. An extra $1,425,000 is being added to the city's current contract of $1,658,000 to perform the rehabilitation of the airport's parking ramp, to go along with work to be done on the taxiway...
School vouchers require caution (11/15/12)
A business, or a non-profit that acts like a business, has two different types of costs: fixed and variable. Imagine a fast-food restaurant selling hamburgers. The cost of the ground meat would be a variable cost. The more hamburgers you sell, the more ground meat you need to buy -- but that's OK, presumably, because you're bringing in extra revenue from all those extra hamburgers you're selling. The cost is, for the most part, linked to revenue, and so it's self-supporting...
Water grant flows to Flat Creek (11/06/12)
Flat Creek Water Cooperative will receive a $450,000 community development block grant (CDBG) for water line extension, Gov. Bill Haslam announced on Monday. Because CDBGs must be applied for by a municipality -- a city, town or county -- Bedford County applied for the grant on Flat Creek Water Cooperative's behalf, as it also does for Bedford County Utility District, alternating between the two as necessary...
Bids submitted for major bypass safety upgrades (11/06/12)
Two unidentified companies have submitted bids to the Tennessee Department of Transportation for the Shelbyville bypass safety improvement project, with a projected completion time given. TDOT released a review of State Route 437, which makes a number of safety recommendations, earlier this year...
State to appeal library ID ruling (10/26/12)
MEMPHIS -- After winning a ruling that upheld Tennessee's new law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls, election officials said they will ask the state Supreme Court to step in because the decision also ordered them to accept an ID issued by the Memphis public library...