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Thursday, July 28, 2016
State government

City steps toward sidewalk improvements (07/26/16)
The city of Shelbyville is moving forward with downtown renovations. State Sen. Jim Tracy and Rep. Pat Marsh presented the city with a mock check Monday for $799,888 for Phase 4 of the Downtown Sidewalk Enhancement Program. See photo, page 2. Work in progress...
People with disabilities can open special accounts (07/26/16)
On June 13, Tennessee became the second state in the nation to open enrollment for ABLE accounts, a savings program for people with disabilities, the Community Development Center reported this week in its newsletter. At a news conference at Legislative Plaza, Tennessee State Treasurer David Lillard spoke briefly on the program and presented a short video showing some of the people who will benefit from ABLE TN. ...
TN Promise scholars can work at parks (07/21/16)
If you are in need of a way to complete some community service hours before your next deadline, join all 56 state parks across Tennessee on July 23, according to tnAchieves. Tennessee State Parks is offering a variety of volunteer events across the state on July 23 to help Tennessee Promise Scholars log community service hours required to meet their scholarship commitments. ...
Police work to stop DUI drivers, speeders (07/21/16)
Shelbyville police continue to organize saturation patrols against speeders and DUI offenders with help from a grant by the Tennessee Governor's Highway Safety Office. But statistics included in a spring 2016 grant application show much work remains to be done, according to department accreditation manager Aimee Davis...
Motlow student meets with house speaker (07/21/16)
Motlow State Community College spring graduate Summer Stevens, right, recently visited with the Tennessee State Speaker of the House Beth Harwell in Nashville to talk about what it takes to be successful in the political world. Stevens, who is continuing her education at Belmont University majoring in political science, was accompanied by Motlow State president Anthony Kinkel. (Submitted photo)
Study: 13 percent of state residents lack broadband (07/20/16)
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development released today a study it commissioned to assess the current state of broadband access in Tennessee and options for increasing access and utilization. Strategic Networks Group and NEO Connect, global leaders in broadband consulting, conducted the study on behalf of the department...
Back-to-school tax break now a week earlier (07/19/16)
Tennessee's back-to-school sales tax holiday is now a week earlier than in the past, due to legislation passed by the General Assembly. This year's holiday will be July 29-31, because the holiday now starts on the last Friday in July rather than the first Friday in August...
New looks for Jack (07/14/16)
LYNCHBURG -- Gov. Bill Haslam cut the ribbon Wednesday on a renovated Barrel House 1-14 at the Jack Daniel Distillery, setting the stage for a dramatic change in how the 150-year-old distillery welcomes more than 300,000 visitors each year. Haslam said that wherever he travels throughout the world, people associate "Tennessee" with two entertainers and the iconic whiskey brand...
TCAT-S receives $50K grant (07/12/16)
U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday announced a $50,000 grant to Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Shelbyville which will be used to purchase training equipment for its industrial maintenance program. In late 2014, Gov. Bill Haslam announced a $970,000 Labor Education Alignment Program (LEAP) grant which allowed TCAT to expand its industrial maintenance classes, which are held not only at the main campus on Madison Street but also at satellite locations in Lewisburg, Winchester and Fayetteville.. ...
Five lanes make all the difference (07/08/16)
Roadwork on North Main Street took new turns this week as the traffic patterns changed at least twice. During mid-week, vehicles were forced to run through a zigzagging maze of barrels and cones near the Colloredo Boulevard intersection. (T-G Photo by Jason Reynolds)
State hires new vendor for testing (07/07/16)
The Tennessee Department of Education selected a new vendor Wednesday to move forward with student assessments after the TNReady exam turned out to be anything but. The department announced Wednesday that it has selected Questar, a national company that specializes in assessments, to run the year-end tests...
Grant to help students aim toward future (07/06/16)
Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced on Friday that Bedford County has been approved for a $25,000 ThreeStar Competitive Enhancement Grant to develop workforce readiness programs for local school children. Bedford County was one of 11 counties for which ThreeStar Competitive Enhancement Grants were announced on Friday...
State taking applications for recycling grants (07/06/16)
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) is now accepting applications for Recycling and Waste Reduction Grants, as well as Recycling Rebates. The application period began July 1, and applications are due Oct. 3. "Recycling directly impacts manufacturers in Tennessee who reuse materials collected in their manufacturing process," said TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau. ...
Pedal while you study (07/01/16)
The Clayton-Glass Library on the Moore County campus of Motlow State Community College recently added four stationary bikes to enable students to get a little exercise while they study or work on a laptop or tablet. The bikes, called Fit Desks, were added at the suggestion of library director Stuart Gaetjens. Giving the bikes a test ride are, from front to back, library staff member Bob Shine, Gaetjens, and recent Motlow graduate Lucas Crismond of Manchester. (Motlow College photo)
Columbia State named as a technology leader (07/01/16)
Columbia State Community College was recently recognized by the Center for Digital Education as a top 10 winner of their 2015-2016 Digital Community Colleges Survey, an award honoring community colleges for their efforts using technology to deliver curriculum and improve services offered...
Drop-outs to be offered new program by National Guard (06/23/16)
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; Maj. Gen. Max Haston of the state Military Department; and Department of Children's Services (DCS) Commissioner Bonnie Hommrich announced Wednesday that Tennessee has been approved by the U.S. Department of Defense for a National Guard Youth ChalleNGe program...
Lynchburg, Manchester chosen for development (06/22/16)
Lynchburg and Manchester are among the 12 Tennessee commnities selected to participate in the fifth round of the Tennessee Downtowns program. The others were Ashland City, Crossville, Dickson, Gainesboro, Hohenwald, Humboldt, Lenoir City, Livingston, Wartburg and Woodbury...
Haslam brings industrial park road grant (06/12/16)
Gov. Bill Haslam visited Shelbyville Friday and brought a gift: half a million dollars for the future industrial park, part of a $7.5 million grant for rural communities. "I actually think our rural communities can compete with anybody in the world," Haslam said. "But every now and then we need a little boost, something to help make that happen."...
Governor discusses state education (06/12/16)
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam spoke to the Times-Gazette Friday on education issues after presenting the community with a $500,000 grant to build a road for the industrial park. The topics were: The governor recently signed a bill that requires school districts to screen students in kindergarten through second grade for dyslexia with a program provided by the Department of Education. Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) was a co-sponsor on the Senate side...
Motlow, WGU renew agreement (06/10/16)
Dr. Anthony Kinkel, Motlow State Community College president, and Dr. Kimberly Estep, WGU Tennessee chancellor, recently celebrated and re-signed an articulation agreement that has allowed more than 85 Motlow State faculty, staff and graduates to further their education. The articulation agreement offers all Motlow State graduates and staff discounted tuition at WGU Tennessee. (Submitted photo)
Motlow nursing grads (06/03/16)
Motlow State Community College graduated 57 nursing students during commencement ceremonies on May 7. The evening before graduation, nurses took part in the annual nurse pinning ceremony inside Nisbett Center on the Moore County campus. Pictured are Bedford County nurses, from left, Terri Sharp and Laura Underwood. (Submitted photo)
Legislature fights executive overreach (06/02/16)
On Monday, we celebrated Memorial Day and reflected upon the price paid for the freedoms we enjoy. The fact that many men and women bled and died for them is among a host of reasons that it is so important that we preserve them. Since the birth of this nation, our freedoms have been grounded in the U.S. ...
Motlow expands mechatronics options (06/01/16)
Motlow State Community College is bringing its nationally recognized mechatronics program to the Fayetteville campus beginning with the fall 2016 semester, according to a press release. "We are very pleased to be able to bring this program to Fayetteville," said Fred Rascoe, dean of career and technical programs at Motlow. "I am excited for Motlow, and for the local high schools and industries around Fayetteville that will benefit."...
Motlow awarded $25,000 grant (06/01/16)
Motlow State Community College was recently selected to receive a Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Student Engagement, Retention, and Success (SERS) grant for the 2016-2017 academic year in the amount of $25,000. The SERS grant is based on a TBR initiative that focuses on institutions using high impact practices (HIP) identified by the American Association of Colleges and Universities. ...
Civil Air Patrol honorsTracy (05/31/16)
The Volunteer State, with the support of state senators Jim Tracy and Bill Ketron, will play a big role this summer in helping the volunteer civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force celebrate its 75th birthday. National leadership of Civil Air Patrol, organized just days before the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor propelled the U.S. into World War II, will come to Nashville in August for its annual national conference...
Changes ahead for adult education (05/26/16)
The woman who has been executive director of adult education in Bedford and two other counties reported on dramatic changes to the way the program is organized during a report Wednesday morning to Shelbyville Rotary Club. Until 2013, each county in Tennessee could manage its own adult education program. In 2013, the programs were consolidated by the state, and Bedford County's program won a contract to manage a three-county area consisting of Bedford, Coffee and Warren counties...
North Main relief by August? (05/25/16)
All five lanes of North Main Street will be open -- though not totally complete -- by the first week of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in late August. At least, that's the latest word from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, according to City Manager Jay Johnson and Public Works Director Eric Pierce...
Edwards enters race for state representative (05/24/16)
Sharon Kay Edwards of Shelbyville has announced her candidacy for the 62nd District State House of Representatives seat in the Aug. 4 Democratic primary. Edwards is children's services coordinator for the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Library. She was previously children's librarian and program coordinator for the Lannon Library in Tullahoma. She is also a former freelance writer for the Times-Gazette...
Tracy named TWF Legislator Of The Year (05/24/16)
Tennessee Wildlife Federation has named State Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) its legislator of the year. The award was presented last week in Nashville. "It is an honor to be recognized by this outstanding organization," said Tracy. "I appreciate the opportunity to partner with them to ensure future generations of Tennesseans continue to have the opportunity to enjoy our state's precious natural resources, including the right to hunt and fish." (Submitted photo)
State selects new testing firm (05/19/16)
The Tennessee Department of Education has brought in industry titan Pearson to score the troubled TNReady year-end tests in an $18.5 million emergency contract. "This will include scoring high school End of Course exams, Part I grade 3--8 tests, and any completed Part II grade 3--8 exams," according to a department press release. "High school score reports, as well as grade 3--8 raw data, will be shared in fall 2016 as we have previously communicated."...
State releases disciplinary action report (05/18/16)
Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI)'s Division of Regulatory Boards has released its latest Disciplinary Action Report, which compiles the actions taken by its boards and commissions during the month of April. David Phillip Daniel of Shelbyville was listed by the Motor Vehicle Commission for a $1,000 consent order related to possession of open titles...
Industrial park granted $500K (05/17/16)
The city-county industrial park is another step closer to being developed thanks to a state grant worth $500,000 for an access road. Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD) announced the grant Monday. It is part of a $7.5 million site development grant program to 15 rural communities to help them finalize infrastructure and engineering improvements for project-ready certified sites...
Mom, daughter bond while earning degrees (05/11/16)
Smyrna residents Barbara Adkerson and Amber Morton will enjoy an extra-special Mother's Day after both earned master's degrees Friday, May 6, in MTSU's inaugural College of Graduate Studies commencement ceremony. With 15 family members from as far away as Virginia and Ohio joining them in Murphy Center for the ceremony, mom Adkerson, 55, received her Master of Business Administration, and daughter Morton, 28, earned her master's in education in teaching English as a second language...
Motlow, UTC sign dual admissions agreement (05/11/16)
Motlow State Community College and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga recently signed a dual admissions agreement that will enable Motlow State students to transfer with ease to UTC after earning their associate's degree. ...
TDOT: Light on U.S. 231 not needed (05/06/16)
The Shelbyville city government is looking at various traffic improvements that could be made over the next several years. The Tennessee Department of Transportation reported to the city in an April 15 letter that a traffic signal is not warranted on U.S. 231 at Airport Business Park Drive...
New law prevents funding thefts (05/03/16)
State Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville, said a bill passed this year by the General Assembly would have prevented the theft of $162,000 in grant funds meant to feed hungry children. A special investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller's Office has found that Jeannette Jives-Nealy stole $162,165 in federal grant funds...
THP announces May checkpoints (05/03/16)
The Tennessee Highway Patrol has announced its roadside checkpoints for May. Driver's license: Friday, May 27, 2 p.m., Highway 64 East at the 15-mile marker. Driver's license/Sobriety: Friday, May 6, 11 p.m. Highway 64 East at the 15-mile marker; Friday, May 20, 11 p.m., U.S. 231 North at the 15-mile marker...
Durham governs in exile (04/29/16)
NASHVILLE -- Amid the frenzied negotiations, flaring tempers and occasional frivolity marking the end of another Tennessee legislative session, one lawmaker stayed conspicuously alone and quiet. While Republicans and Democrats held emergency caucus meetings to discuss the latest twists in the legislative endgame, Rep. Jeremy Durham sat silently at his desk in the largely deserted House chamber...
Testing vendor fired by state (04/28/16)
Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen on Wednesday borrowed a line from Donald Trump's "The Apprentice" TV show and said, "You're fired," to the company that had been supplying schools with the troubled TNReady tests. McQueen made the announcement during a press conference in Nashville. She said the statewide testing contract with vendor Measurement Inc. (MI) would end immediately...
The Bible and the First Amendment (04/14/16)
MURFREESBORO -- Tennessee would become the first state in the nation to make the Bible its official state book if Gov. Bill Haslam signs legislation recently passed by the General Assembly. Haslam has raised questions, as has Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, about the constitutionality of such a law...
State House honors Big G driver for record (04/13/16)
Tennessee Representative and Chair of the House Transportation Committee Jimmy Matlock recently sponsored a resolution to recognize and honor Danny Smith of Big G Express upon his selection as the Truckload Carriers Association 2015 Company Driver of the Year...
Scammers falsely claim seniors are lottery winners (04/13/16)
A devious lottery scam involving the promise of cash prizes to winners in exchange for "small" payments threatens to make losers out of unsuspecting Tennessee senior citizens. The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) has commenced an investigation into the alleged wrongdoing and is warning senior citizens, their families, and caretakers about the lottery scam. The incident in question occurred in the Clarksville area but may also be occurring elsewhere in Tennessee...
Wine sales in supermarkets near July start (04/12/16)
It's less than 90 days until supermarkets in Tennessee are allowed to begin selling wine. In Shelbyville, Kroger, Walmart and Food Lion have been approved at the local level for wine sale, according to interim city recorder Anna Mai. The stores also require state approval...
E-Verify upgrade heads to Haslam (04/08/16)
A bill sponsored by Bedford County's two state legislators to ensure that newly-hired employees are in the state legally was passed unanimously by the Tennessee House of Representatives and now goes to Gov. Bill Haslam for his signature. House Bill 1830 / Senate Bill 1965, sponsored by State Rep. Pat Marsh and State Sen. Jim Tracy, is targeted at businesses which, under the previous law, could simply pay a one-time $500 fine for the crime of hiring illegal aliens...
State Fire Marshal urges caution with outdoor burning (04/07/16)
As fire crews contain hundreds of acres of wildfire that are currently burning in Tennessee, the State Fire Marshal's Office wants to remind the public to be aware of outdoor-burning safety precautions. "Negligent outdoor burning can lead to death, injury, property loss and environmental damage," said State Fire Marshal and Commerce & Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. "Care must be taken to ensure that burnings are conducted safely."...
Roads dollars bypass cities (04/06/16)
Tennessee's cities would be entirely left out of a state repayment of highway funds under a new proposal by Gov. Bill Haslam, a Shelbyville official says. Shelbyville City Manager Jay Johnson said he learned Tuesday afternoon that Haslam has changed his plan for paying back $142 million out of more than $260 million the state had long borrowed from highway funds for the general fund...
Thumbs down for texting and driving (04/06/16)
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the state of Tennessee is promoting a campaign it calls "Thumbs Down to Texting and Driving." The Tennessee Governor's Highway Safety Office and the Department of Safety and Homeland Security have joined in the effort. They're asking social media users to post a selfie giving the "thumbs down" symbol using the hashtag #ThumbsDownTN...
Training takes to the road (04/05/16)
New equipment and classes are being added at the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy near Deason, officials say. The Mobile Training Tower, which is expected to arrive this summer, will be 3.5 stories and have multi-scenario capability including bailouts, hose line, confined space, and drafting...
Training takes to the road (04/05/16)
New equipment and classes are being added at the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy near Deason, officials say. The Mobile Training Tower, which is expected to arrive this summer, will be 3.5 stories and have multi-scenario capability including bailouts, hose line, confined space, and drafting...
State natural areas host 30 events for public (04/05/16)
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has proclaimed April 9-17 as Tennessee State Natural Areas Spring Celebration Week. Guests are invited to attend any of the 30 naturalist-led activities of these ecologically significant areas. "April is a great time of year to explore and enjoy the native wildflowers and other species protected within our state natural areas," said Roger McCoy, director of Tennessee's Natural Areas Program. ...
State plans funds for 41A widening (04/01/16)
The state's latest three-year transportation program, announced this week, includes construction funding in the next fiscal year for the next phase of widening U.S. 41A between Shelbyville and Tullahoma. Construction funds for the segment from State Route 276 to Jenkins Road are included in the 2017 fiscal year plan as announced this week. The 2017 fiscal year begins July 1...
June 30 finish projected for North Main widening (03/31/16)
The Tennessee Department of Transportation estimates the North Main Street widening could be done in a matter of months. TDOT estimates the project will be done by June 30, said Kathryn Schulte, community relations officer. The original contract completion date for the widening project in Shelbyville was Nov. 30, 2015, Schulte said. The contractor, Civil Constructors LLC, has not been granted a time extension by TDOT and is being fined daily for the delays ($1,000 per day)...
Motlow to host Transfer Fair Tuesday (03/31/16)
The Motlow State Community College Moore County campus will host a Transfer Fair on Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to noon in the Eoff Hall lobby. Fifteen four-year colleges have confirmed their participation. "The Transfer Fair brings the major four-year college and university transfer representatives onto the Motlow campus in one setting," said Brenda Cannon, director of student and campus relations. ...
Road funding may be repaid (03/30/16)
State Sen. Jim Tracy of Shelbyville, who complained last year about money that had been "raided" from the state's highway fund from 2001 to 2007 and used for other state expenses, praised Gov. Bill Haslam for using part of a state budget surplus to pay some of that money back...
Inmate died of natural causes: TBI (03/30/16)
A Bedford County Jail inmate found dead in a holding cell Nov. 23, 2015 died of natural causes, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Monday. Henry Garrett was found unresponsive by a corrections officer, the Bedford County Sheriff's Office said. The jail was placed on lockdown until the TBI was called, which is common in deaths within jails...
Dyslexia legislation advances in state senate (03/27/16)
Some education advocates say Tennessee is on the cusp of making a major breakthrough in helping dyslexic students. The Tennessee Legislature's Senate Education Committee last Wednesday passed a bill 9-0 that requires school districts to screen students in kindergarten through second grade for dyslexia with a program provided by the Department of Education...
Motlow lives up to state Promise (03/23/16)
Motlow State Community College led the state's colleges this semester in retaining Tennessee Promise scholarship students, data show. The college tied for first with a retention rate of 87 percent, said President Dr. Anthony Kinkel, citing Tennessee Board of Regents data. Jackson State Community College also ranked at 87 percent...
Tuition-free training available at TCAT-Shelbyville (03/23/16)
Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Shelbyville will host an open house from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, April 2, for area adults to sign up for the TCAT Reconnect grant, a program that allows Tennesseans to attend a technical college tuition free...
Prisons hold academy for citizens (03/23/16)
The Tennessee Department of Correction is accepting applications for the spring 2016 Citizens' Correctional Academy. The academy is a four week/six session program designed to give Tennesseans an in-depth look at the state's largest law enforcement agency. Classes will be held every Tuesday evening during the month of May in Nashville...
Panel looks to prepare students for workforce (03/23/16)
Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen unveiled on Tuesday a roster of state business, education, and community leaders to serve on the Career Forward Task Force, a group designed to examine and explore ways to better engage students in their academic preparation, personal and social development, and workplace readiness...
Motlow Reconnects with adult students (03/23/16)
Motlow State Community College staff members are putting the wheels in motion to reconnect with prospective adult students who have completed some college courses but have yet to complete enough to graduate. This effort is part of Tennessee Reconnect, which is crucial to Gov. Bill Haslam's Drive to 55 campaign, an initiative that aims to ensure that at least 55 percent of the state's population holds a college degree or certificate by the year 2025...
THP plans checkpoints for March, April (03/22/16)
Tennessee Highway Patrol checkpoints for April have been announced. Driver's license checkpoints are set for 3 p.m. Friday, April 22 on Highway 64 East at the 15 mile marker; Safety belt checkpoints will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, April 1 on State Highway 437 (the Shelbyville bypass) a half-mile north of State Highway 64; Wednesday, April 13 at 7 p.m. ...
Household Hazardous Waste event Saturday (03/17/16)
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's mobile household hazardous waste collection service will be in Bedford County on Saturday. Since the program's inception in 1993, more than 322,000 households have properly disposed of more than 21 million pounds of material...
Teachers urged to be Promise mentors (03/17/16)
"A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus." -- Martin Luther King, Jr. I wanted to tell you about House Bill 1642 which encourages public school teachers to be Tennessee Promise scholarship mentors. ...
Welfare fraud bill approved by Senate (03/17/16)
Legislation aiming to reduce fraud and abuse in Tennessee's welfare system was approved by the State Senate this week. The proposal makes substantial changes to the way the Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) contracts and monitors third-party agencies that receive taxpayer money to feed children and adults...
Tourism grants available to counties, cities (03/16/16)
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced applications for the Tourism Enhancement Grant are now available for counties or cities to enhance or create new tourism infrastructure to increase economic impact. "Tourism development is economic development. ...
Armories gain security upgrades (03/10/16)
Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) and State Rep. Pat Marsh (R-Shelbyville) announced March 3 that the Tennessee House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation that allows for homeland security upgrades that the Tennessee Military Department will implement at armories and recruiting stations around the state...
$30K going to jail to help prevent closure (03/09/16)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday night to authorize spending up to $30,000 on renovations to the current jail and passed a resolution pledging to move forward with construction of a new jail in the new fiscal year. Both moves are designed to forestall disaster in early July when Tennessee Corrections Institute's Board of Control meets to consider the county's most recent jail inspection...
Motlow remains TBR's fastest-growing (03/08/16)
Motlow State Community College continues to lead all Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) institutions in enrollment and full-time equivalency (FTE) growth, based on preliminary numbers for the spring 2016 semester. Motlow similarly outpaced all TBR institutions in the fall 2015 semester, establishing Motlow as the fastest growing college in Tennessee and among the fastest growing in the nation...
State parks welcome spring with hiking (03/03/16)
Tennessee's 56 State Parks are hosting statewide hikes and a photo contest on March 19 to celebrate the coming of spring. All hikes will be guided by Park staff who can speak to the natural, cultural and historical treasures that Tennessee State Parks has to offer. ...
Marsh bill nullifies local hire rule (02/26/16)
NASHVILLE -- The Republican-controlled state House gave final approval Thursday to a bill nullifying a local hiring requirement approved by Nashville voters last year, sending the measure to Gov. Bill Haslam's desk. The ballot measure that earned 58 percent of the vote in August requires contractors on public construction projects worth more than $100,000 to assign at least 40 percent of work hours to employees who live within the city -- and that 10 percent go to low-income residents...
Grant pays to train teachers (02/23/16)
A $631,686 state grant will promote the professional development of math and science teachers. This is the fourth, and largest, year for the Math Science Partnership grant, said Betsy Norris, grants/e-learning supervisor for Bedford County Schools. Past grant amounts were in the $200,000 or $300,000 range. It is also the final year for the grant...
Signing day: Tomorrow's skilled workforce steps up (02/19/16)
A national signing day was held Thursday in Shelbyville, but it was not for athletic stars -- it was for talented students who will become the next generation of industrial workers. Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Shelbyville (TCAT-S) participated in the National CTE Letter of Intent Signing Day. ...
Affordable options for college: Motlow president touts 'working class' jobs (02/18/16)
The president of Tennessee's fastest growing college shared some insights on higher education Wednesday with the Shelbyville Rotary Club. Dr. Anthony Kinkel of Motlow State Community College discussed the factors behind the growth and challenges facing today's college students, including Tennessee Promise...
Teachers get reprieve from testing (02/18/16)
Tennessee's teachers will not be punished over the state's TNReady difficulties, Gov. Bill Haslam announced Wednesday. Haslam's proposal calls for teachers to choose whether to include student results from this year's inaugural TNReady test in their evaluation scores, according to a press release from the governor's office...
No penalty for TN teachers over testing flap (02/17/16)
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced Wednesday morning that teachers will not be penalized over the failed online tests known as TNReady. Teachers would have the choice to include or not include student results on the paper version of the tests in their evaluation scores, depending on whether the results benefit them, according to a press release by the governor's office. ...
State increases funds for park development grants (02/17/16)
Governor Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) announced today an increase in grant funding to the 2016 Local Parks and Recreation Fund (LPRF). The LPRF will now offer a maximum grant application request amount of $500,000 for the 2016 grant cycle...
State releases disciplinary report (02/17/16)
Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI)'s Division of Regulatory Boards has released its latest Disciplinary Action Report, which compiles the actions taken by its boards during the month of January. The Division of Regulatory Boards protects the health and safety of citizens through boards, commissions and programs by ensuring that persons meet minimum professional standards, by responsively and timely handling complaints and by providing consumer education on regulated professions and industries. ...
Answers wanted on testing failure (02/12/16)
State education saw two major occurrences this week: the failure of a new year-end assessment and the death -- at least for now -- of school vouchers. The online version of TNReady, a replacement for TCAP, failed when an unknown number of schools around the state tried to log in to conduct one round of English testing; the exams had been broken into time blocs to avoid overloading the system...
Students show off history knowledge (02/12/16)
Nearly 300 students from throughout the state will begin competing this month for the opportunity to represent their schools at Tennessee History Day. Tennessee History Day is an affiliate of National History Day, an event that was started in 1974 to help students experience history outside of the traditional classroom setting. ...
Parks issue challenge to get outside (02/12/16)
Tennessee State Parks recently launched a year-long "Adventure Challenge" where families and individuals are encouraged to get outside across the state. In this free program, participants earn points based on different adventures. The challenges include hiking a new trail, attending an interpretive program, getting a stamp in your Tennessee State Park Passport, and much more...
Schools wait for new test (02/11/16)
Education officials across the state continue to deal with the failure of an online testing network that left every public school scrambling to do year-end assessments. The Tennessee Department of Education announced defeat Monday in the quest for statewide online testing, at least for this academic year...
Another major expansion planned at Jack Daniel (02/11/16)
An expansion of Jack Daniel Distillery will bring 30 new jobs to the area, officials announced Wednesday. A $140 million investment by Brown-Forman Corp. will be used to construct two new barrelhouses as well as modify and expand the existing bottling facility to provide additional bottling and shipping capacity to meet future demand...
Walking Horse Museum receives $3,300 grant (02/10/16)
The Tennessee Walking Horse National Museum has received a $3,300 state grant. The Tennessee State Library and Archives has awarded grants to 29 organizations, including the Wartrace museum, to preserve historical records and improve the facilities where those records are stored. In all, the State Library and Archives awarded more than $95,000 worth of archival development grants across the state...
Shhhh! No phone calls at the polls (02/05/16)
You can bring your iPhone to the polls, but don't plan on using it to make or receive calls. Early voting will begin Wednesday for the March 1 presidential primary and wheel tax referendum. According to a new state law, you can bring your smartphone to the polling place, but you can't use it for conversations or to take photos or videos, only for looking up information to assist you in your voting decisions...
Motlow sees improvements in remedial students results (02/04/16)
Motlow State Community College incoming freshmen who required remedial coursework achieved dramatically-better results in their college-level courses in the Fall 2015 semester following a change in how such remedial coursework is structured. Almost 70 percent of Motlow incoming freshmen require remedial instruction in math, reading or writing. ...
Report details operations of charter schools in state (02/03/16)
The Comptroller's Offices of Research and Education Accountability (OREA) has released a report that examines the way charter school facilities are funded in Tennessee. The report provides information on the facilities arrangements for Tennessee's charter schools and describes efforts in Tennessee and other states to provide charter schools with facilities-related assistance...
Tennessee Promise deadline nears (01/27/16)
Feb. 15 is a critical deadline for three important requirements for Tennessee high school students who wish to attend Motlow State Community College and take advantage of the Tennessee Promise scholarship. By Feb. 15, student applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); they must complete a Motlow admissions application; and they must attend their first mandatory Tennessee Promise meeting coordinated by TN Achieves...
Cancer drugs not all equal (01/26/16)
Imagine this: You have cancer, and you're discussing treatment options with your oncologist. There are two options. One is administered intravenously and the other is taken orally. Ideally, the choice between the two should be based on which is best for your medical needs, but there's a major financial consideration...
Interactive state maps show school district info (01/26/16)
The Tennessee Comptroller's Offices of Research and Education Accountability (OREA) has created two new interactive maps featuring a wide range of education data at the school and school district levels. The maps illustrate the state House of Representatives and Senate legislative districts overlaid with school district and school level information, according to a press release by the comptroller's office...
No seat belt? Dum-dum! (01/22/16)
Dum-Dums and Smarties are among the tools being employed by the Tennessee Highway Patrol and local law enforcement as part of a grant to increase seat belt usage in Bedford County. Law enforcement and local government officials met Thursday for a three-month update on the year-long grant-funded program. ...
A little relief may be ahead for county jail (01/20/16)
The opening of a new Corrections Corporation of America-operated state prison in Trousdale County will result in most or all of the state felons being taken out of Bedford County Jail, at least for the time being -- but even without the state felons, the jail is still overcrowded...
Rainy training day (01/19/16)
Support crew trainees attach a cargo load to a helicopter, which then takes off in the rain on Friday. The Tennessee-Kentucky Wildland Fire Academy conducted the class to train 20 firefighters to work as helicopter crew, said instructor Scotty Myers (not pictured). The Wildland Fire Academy finished its annual training program for nearly 600 students from across the country Saturday at the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Academy. (T-G Photos by Jason Reynolds)
Online voter registration proposed by state lawmakers (01/17/16)
Two state legislators have introduced a bill which would allow Tennesseans to register online as voters. The online registration would only apply to those who have a valid Tennessee driver's license or a state-issue alternate photo ID, and would check the address information supplied by the voter against what the state already had on file...
Regents leader urges more education spending (01/10/16)
MOORE COUNTY -- John Morgan, outgoing chancellor of Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR), said Friday that the community colleges, universities and Tennessee College of Applied Technology locations which report to TBR need a 4.6 percent budget increase, as recommended by Tennessee Higher Education Commission...
DHS hit by new Tracy bill (01/06/16)
State Sen. Jim Tracy has filed legislation aimed at correcting what he says are serious problems within the Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS). The bill would, among other things, force DHS to justify its continued existence to the legislature between now and July 2017...
Education, roads drive state issues (12/31/15)
State Rep. Pat Marsh and State Sen. Jim Tracy anticipate that education and roads, as is often the case, will be among the big items in the upcoming legislative session. Marsh said the House will go into session at noon on January 12. Legislators will receive their annual ethics training. Marsh said he anticipates this spring's session will be a short one, because legislators will be anxious to return to their districts to campaign...
Local stitchers help decorate Governor's trees (12/20/15)
Members of the Shelbyville Satellite Group, part of Cheekwood Chapter of the Embroiderer's Guild of America, contributed ornaments decorating three trees in the entrance of Conservation Hall at the Tennessee Residence in Nashville, home of the Governor and first lady...
Healthier Tennessee considers Bedford (12/18/15)
The Governor's Foundation for Health and Wellness announced Tuesday that Bedford County has been named a candidate for official designation as a Healthier Tennessee Community. Healthier Tennessee Communities encourage and enable more physical activity, healthy eating and tobacco abstinence at the local level. The program takes a community-wide approach to improving Tennesseans' health by engaging the local leaders of cities, towns, counties and neighborhoods...
Tracy: Road work must be funded (12/17/15)
State Sen. Jim Tracy, in a presentation Wednesday to the Shelbyville Rotary Club, said Tennessee must deal with transportation funding issues in the next two years, and noted the importance of transportation and education to recruiting new industry and creating jobs...
States regain more control over schools (12/10/15)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Those federally mandated math and reading tests will continue, but a sweeping rewrite of the nation's education law will now give states -- not the U.S. government -- authority to decide how to use the results in evaluating teachers and schools...
Christmas survives on UT campus (12/09/15)
NASHVILLE (AP) -- The University of Tennessee's chancellor said Tuesday that an online memo advising employees to make sure holiday celebrations aren't Christmas parties in disguise was "poorly worded" and that oversight of the website where it was posted has been reassigned...
Local art displayed at governor's home (12/09/15)
Tammy O'Connor, a stained glass artist from the area, is displaying her work in a prestigious locale: the governor's residence. O'Connor's artwork is part of an exhibit, the fifth annual Tennessee's Home for the Holidays, at the Tennessee Residence, where Gov. Bill and First Lady Crissy Haslam live. The free open house began last week and runs through Thursday, Dec. 17. Randy McCurdy, a glass artist from Wartace, is also among the featured artists...
Local student honored at mock legislature (12/04/15)
Twenty-four students from the University of Tennessee at Martin traveled to the 46th general assembly of the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature on Nov. 12-15 with a reputation to defend. They returned with a record-breaking number of awards and three new state offices, including the 2016 TISL governor's seat...
Motlow email had unintended info (12/02/15)
Motlow State Community College is addressing a data breach affecting its students -- but it wasn't the work of hackers. The college sent an e-mail Nov. 24 to its own faculty and staff. The e-mail included a spreadsheet which was supposed to be a simple list of names of students receiving Tennessee Promise scholarship benefits, so that the students could be reminded about their community service obligations...
Motlow students attend mock legislature (12/02/15)
Four Motlow State Community College student leaders gained first-hand knowledge of how state government operates by attending as delegates to the 46th General Assembly of the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature (TISL) at the State Capitol in Nashville, Nov. 12-15...
December checkpoints announced by THP (11/24/15)
Driver's license, safety and alcohol checkpoint locations for December have been announced by the Tennessee Highway Patrol. They are: Dec. 1, 7 p.m., State Route 437 (the Shelbyville bypass) at mile marker 1.8, safety belt Dec. 13, 7 p.m., Midland Road-Whiteside Road intersection, safety belt...
Textbook draws concern (11/20/15)
Advanced placement world history students are getting new textbooks soon despite one school board member's concerns over possible proselytization. The Bedford County Board of Education voted 5-1 Tuesday to adopt a textbook for a new freshman-sophomore advanced placement class at Shelbyville Central High School. The class has gone without a text but has used supplemental materials this semester, officials said...
Tennessee parks offer free hikes Friday, Nov. 27 (11/20/15)
Tennessee State Parks will offer free, guided hikes at all 56 of its parks on Friday, Nov. 27, the day after Thanksgiving. This is the second year for this event, and one in a "The After Thanksgiving Hikes are a perfect way to spend time with family and friends," said TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau. "Our parks are beautiful this time of year, and we want everyone to enjoy what our parks have to offer."...
Taxing times ahead: Officials (11/19/15)
State Sen. Jim Tracy, Bedford County Board of Commissioners member Don Gallagher and Bell Buckle Mayor Dennis Webb discussed the challenges their governments face during a forum Wednesday morning for Leadership Bedford and Youth Leadership Bedford members...
Tuition program still needs mentors (11/18/15)
Bedford County is nearly finished recruiting mentors to help enact Tennessee Promise but needs a last-minute boost, an organizer says. "We are very, very close," said Graham Thomas, tnAchieves Director of Community Partnerships. "Mentors provide the necessary support system and encouragement that Tennessee Promise students need to be successful."...
Eight added to Tennessee Women's Hall of Fame (11/18/15)
Eight women from all three grand regions of the state were inducted this year into the Tennessee Women's Hall of Fame, a program of the Tennessee Economic Council on Women. An astronaut, a judge, a civil rights pioneer, a community activist, a United States Air Force career woman, the founder of a school, a cultural change-agent and a scientist were inducted...
State wants to recognize history preservationists (11/18/15)
The Tennessee Historical Commission is now accepting nominations for its Certificate of Merit Awards to honor individuals or groups that have worked to preserve Tennessee's cultural heritage during 2015. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 31. "Much of our work at the Tennessee Historical Commission focuses on efforts to preserve and restore historic structures, and we wish to honor worthy preservation projects," Patrick McIntyre, state historic preservation officer and executive director of the Tennessee Historical Commission said. ...
Motlow State offers GED, HiSET exams in 2015-16 (11/18/15)
A high school diploma remains the primary ticket to many entry-level jobs. In most cases, it's also the prerequisite for advancement in employment, occupational training and postsecondary education. The high school equivalency diploma provides adults with the opportunity to grow, whether it is through further education, enhanced employment or stature within the community...
Motlow campuses offer COMPASS test (11/18/15)
Motlow State Community College is offering the COMPASS Assessment Test on the Moore County, Fayetteville, McMinnville and Smyrna campuses for new students planning to enroll for the 2016 spring, summer or fall semesters. Before taking the test, students must have on file in Motlow's admissions office the following: a completed admissions application, official high school and/or college transcripts, and if applicable, official test scores. ...
Road projects on back burner (11/12/15)
A county-by-county listing of backlogged highway projects and new ones from the governor's office includes the first phase of the western loop of the Shelbyville bypass, among other projects. But work can't even be considered on the new loop for at least seven years...
State tourism commissioner visits (11/05/15)
Tennessee Tourism Commissioner Kevin Triplett met with representatives of Shelbyville, Bedford County and other communities Wednesday at the Chamber of Commerce to discuss the importance of attracting visitors. Following the talk, Triplett toured Shelbyville's public square. (T-G Photo by Brian Mosely)
Federal grants available for historic preservation (10/30/15)
The Tennessee Historical Commission will begin accepting grant applications for historic preservation projects on Nov. 1. These federally funded grants will be available after Congress passes the federal budget. The exact amount of funds available for grants is not known but it is expected to be in the range of $250,000. ...
Operation Blackout protects state's youth (10/29/15)
As trick-or-treaters put the final touches on their costumes, the state's Department of Correction (TDOC) is already taking additional measures to keep them safe this Halloween with the launch of Operation Blackout. Operation Blackout is a yearly, massive statewide sweep to ensure registered sex offenders under TDOC supervision follow strict guidelines for the fall season and Halloween...
Mentors needed to help in Tennessee Promise (10/29/15)
Bedford County's partnering organization for Tennessee Promise needs 80 local volunteer mentors to work with high school seniors from the Class of 2016. The time commitment is small, about one hour per month, but the impact is significant as volunteers assist students navigating the college-going process and encourage them to reach their full potential...
Officials attend state economic conference (10/21/15)
With an industrial park now in the works on the north side of Shelbyville, city officials attended a conference in Nashville last week for tips. Last week, members of the city council attended the annual Governor's Economic Development Conference in Nashville...
Driver center of the month (10/15/15)
Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security has named the Shelbyville Driver Services Center on Railroad Avenue as its center of the month. From left are regional manager Rochelle Bryant, district manager Glyndora Graves, Teresa Pendergrast, Earnest Kenly, manager Ronda Wilder, and Michael Hogan, director of license issuance. Vickie Caneer is not pictured. Wilder had been named the department's employee of the month. (Submitted photo)
Islam lessons criticized (10/13/15)
The teaching of Islam has been a hot button topic lately in Tennessee -- and nationally -- and is involved in an expedited review of state school standards. The increased scrutiny has sped up the state's review of Social Studies standards, with some critics calling the coursework "indoctrination."...
Distillery honored by state for export business (10/13/15)
Jack Daniel Distillery is one of three Tennessee firms that were recipients of the Governor's Award for Trade Excellence (GATE), it has been announced. The GATE Award honors small, medium and large sized companies that have achieved excellence in engaging in global trade...
Money needed for roads: Haslam (10/07/15)
MURFREESBORO -- Gov. Bill Haslam said Tuesday that a long-term revenue plan is needed to address Tennessee's growing list of unfunded road projects, and that one-time money won't fix the problem. The Republican governor spoke to a conference of the Transportation Coalition of Tennessee in Murfreesboro...
Buckling down on safety (10/02/15)
Tennessee Highway Patrol and local law enforcement officials said during an event on Thursday that a new grant-funded safety enforcement program could save lives if it can convince more drivers to buckle up. The highway patrol has been selected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to conduct a pilot program in "occupant safety enforcement" in Bedford and Hawkins counties, both of which have had a large number of traffic fatalities linked to the lack of seat belt use...
State tests online tests -- and discovers a few slowdowns (10/02/15)
Educators across the state held a dry run Thursday of their ability to efficiently conduct online testing of students. The plan was to troubleshoot the state's ability to have thousands of students taking online tests at the same time, said Ashley Ball, director of communications for the Tennessee Department of Education. The troubleshooting effort was called Break the MIST; MIST refers to the name of the testing platform...
County seat belt use will be eyed (09/30/15)
NASHVILLE (AP) -- Bedford County will be one of two counties in Tennessee involved in a national pilot program involving seat belt use statistics. The Tennessee Highway Patrol said fatal crashes have increased in Bedford and Hawkins counties due to lack of seat belt use...
Clerk stops performing marriages (09/23/15)
Bedford County Clerk Donna Thomas said Tuesday she stopped performing civil marriage ceremonies all the way back in February -- simply because it was taking too much time and doesn't generate revenue for the county, not because of any reason related to this summer's Supreme Court decision...
MTSU guarantees scholarships for brightest students (09/23/15)
There's a message prospective Middle Tennessee State University students and their parents will be hearing during upcoming preview days, the nine-city True Blue Tour and other recruiting-related activities. MTSU admissions and academic staff will be informing them guaranteed scholarships will be available for freshmen who meet the requirements and apply by Dec. 1...
People say 'no' to public records fees (09/17/15)
NASHVILLE (AP) -- Lawmakers are asking taxpayers to weigh in on a proposal to charge people to view public records, and the taxpayers' response so far is clear: No. The meetings were organized by the state Office of Open Records Counsel at the behest of lawmakers who want to change the current law that allows custodians to charge for copies but not for simply inspecting records...
TCAT to host TN Promise event (09/16/15)
Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Shelbyville will host TN Promise Scholarship Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 26 for current high school seniors and parents to learn about the Tennessee Promise Scholarship. Representatives from Student Services will be available to provide information related to applying for the TN Promise scholarship as well as TCAT's own admission and enrollment process. ...
Musical honors (09/10/15)
State Sen. Jim Tracy recently posed for a photo with George Hensley of Fayetteville and presented him with a proclamation signed by Ron Ramsey, speaker of the state Senate, honoring his songwriting career. His honors include four awards from the Northwest Alabama Music Publishing Co.'s songwriters contests. His career began in 1981 and he has written 18 gospel songs and 12 country songs. He also has performed in 48 benefit concerts in Lincoln County. Hensley was born in Bedford County. (T-G Photo by Jason Reynolds)
TCAT graduates, perfect attendance honored (09/09/15)
Summer 2015 night graduates from the Tennessee College of Applied Technology -- Shelbyville include (front row, from left) Russell Phipps, Maria Yesenia Campillo Carmona, Norma Santiago, Duane Abeare II, Timothy Joseph Parks, Dakota R. Smith, Zach Seibers Trenton Moody and Richard Seth Alexander. (Submitted photo)
Tracy to travel state on highways issue (09/04/15)
Gov. Bill Haslam has been traveling across the state to discuss infrastructure needs, and now State Sen. Jim Tracy of Shelbyville, who heads the Senate Transportation and Safety Committee, is scheduling his own series of meetings across the state to discuss the issue...
Register to vote -- and spread the word (EXTENDED ONLINE VERSION) (09/03/15)
Call them selfies with a purpose. September is National Voter Registration Month, and as we look toward another presidential election season, state and local officials say now is the perfect time to make sure you're registered to vote. The next election in Bedford County will be on March 1. ...
Tracy against 2016 state gas tax hike (09/02/15)
NASHVILLE (AP) -- Add the chairman of the state Senate transportation committee to the list of opponents of raising Tennessee's gas tax in 2016. Republican Sen. Jim Tracy of Shelbyville, who heads the transportation panel in the upper chamber, said Tuesday that there isn't enough time to put together a comprehensive road funding proposal for the upcoming legislative session...
Man faces new charges of doctor shopping (09/01/15)
Coffee County authorities have charged a Shelbyville man with doctor shopping for prescription drugs, using TennCare as payment. Samuel L. Harris, Jr., 40, of Shelbyville was indicted by the Coffee County grand jury -- charged with two counts of fraudulently obtaining controlled substances by doctor shopping and two counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud...
Commissioners talk needs at annual meeting (08/28/15)
CHAPEL HILL -- County commissioners from throughout southern Middle Tennessee were told Thursday night that it's unlikely the General Assembly will take any action soon on the state's highway and infrastructure problems. "I honestly don't think anything is going to happen this year," said Charles Curtiss, executive director of the Tennessee County Commissioners Association (TCCA) and a former state legislator himself, during a TCCA regional meeting held at Henry Horton State Park...
State students show slight gain on ACT (08/27/15)
Tennessee public high school students showed a slight gain statewide on the ACT, according to data released Wednesday by the state Department of Education. For the third straight year, Tennessee public high school students improved on the ACT, administered to all students statewide, according to a press release from the Tennessee Department of Education. The average composite increased from 19.3 last year to 19.4 this year, adding to what has been a three-year pattern of growth for the state...
Promising future for Motlow newbies (08/25/15)
Tennessee Promise students began fall classes around the state Monday, and Motlow State Community College has more than 1,300 freshmen benefitting from the program's free tuition. "I think we have a larger number of students this year because of the Tennessee Promise," said Jim Myers, executive director of financial aid...
Billions needed for roads (08/21/15)
Tennessee has a backlog of $6 billion worth of highway projects that are on the books, in the pipeline, in the planning stages. All that's missing is the $6 billion to actually move them forward. "We haven't done anything to address how we pay for roads and bridges since 1989," said Gov. Bill Haslam on Thursday during the Shelbyville stop on a series of meetings on the state's transportation needs...
State tourism at all-time high; local revenue up as well (08/19/15)
Gov. Bill Haslam and state tourism commissioner Kevin Triplett announced during a special event at the Ryman Auditorium on Tuesday that tourism's direct domestic and international travel expenditures reached $17.7 billion in 2014, up 6.3 percent, and an all-time high for the state. ...
Governor to talk roads during visit (08/18/15)
Gov. Bill Haslam will be in Shelbyville Thursday to discuss the state's highway and infrastructure needs -- and how to pay for them. Last month, the governor's office announced a series of 15 meetings at various locations across the state, including Shelbyville, to discuss the state's transportation funding challenges, as the governor considers the idea of raising the gas tax for the first time in 25 years...
Offices may charge for viewing records (08/14/15)
NASHVILLE (AP) -- State officials are seeking input on whether government offices should be able to charge citizens to inspect public records. Current state law allows charges for copying records, but inspection is generally free. Earlier this year, legislation was introduced to permit charges for inspection. The Office of Open Records Counsel will make recommendations to the General Assembly on the issue by Jan. 15...
THP hoists injured hiker to safety (08/12/15)
An injured hiker was airlifted from a remote area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park by the Tennessee Highway Patrol last weekend. Joey Watson, 20, a college student from Eldorado, Illinois, slipped while hiking trails. Medics from the National Park Service reached Watson but determined he was injured too seriously to hike out on his own. They stayed with him until the THP's aviation division and special operations troopers could reach the area...
Business tax seminar (08/12/15)
Registration is open for the seventh annual 2015 Tennessee Business Tax Seminar Series presented by the Tennessee Department of Revenue and MTSU's Department of Accounting. The seminar will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, at the DoubleTree Hotel, 1850 Old Fort Parkway in Murfreesboro. It is designed to provide current, in-depth information on Tennessee tax issues to business owners, CPAs and other interested parties...
TCAT-Shelbyville recognizes 'overachievers' (08/12/15)
Manuel Moreno and Justin Nunley recently received additional certificates for completion of "Industry Applications of Advanced Math and Trigonomic Principles" at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Shelbyville. Moreno and Nunley, both welding students, volunteered to take the advanced math class after completing their regular math studies for the welding program...
Tracy: Highway funds 'raided' (08/11/15)
State Senate Transportation Committee chair Jim Tracy of Shelbyville on Monday called for repayment of $280 million which he said was "raided" from the state's highway fund from 2001 to 2007 and used for other state expenses. Tracy said he would submit an appropriations amendment to the state budget upon the legislature's return in January calling for the full repayment of the funds over the next two years...
State reports on taxes (08/05/15)
Shelbyville's city council received a report Tuesday dealing with delinquent collections to the city. The Tennessee Department of Revenue has reviewed names of active businesses that the city believed to be non-compliant in filing business tax returns with the state...
Haslam road trip to stop locally (07/29/15)
Gov. Bill Haslam announced Tuesday that he will kick off a 15-stop tour of Tennessee, including Shelbyville, to highlight the state's transportation funding challenges as he considers a proposal to increase the gas tax for the first time in 25 years...
State's top educator pays visit (07/28/15)
Bedford County teachers getting ready for back-to-school received a pep talk Monday from the person at the top -- the state education commissioner. Candice McQueen, Tennessee's education commissioner, visited teachers during the start of their two-day in-service. Superintendent Don Embry said it was the first time the state's top educator has visited, to the best of his knowledge...
Military security studied (07/21/15)
Various state and federal officials are announcing legislative or policy initiatives in response to last week's shootings in Chattanooga. On Sunday, Gov. Bill Haslam issued a directive to Adjutant General Max Haston "to review security policies and procedures at National Guard armories, storefront recruiting facilities, and other installations and take appropriate steps to ensure the safety of Guardsmen, citizens, and property."...
Seat belt fines won't rise until January (07/09/15)
New, higher fines for seat belt offenses don't take effect until Jan. 1, six months later than reported last week in the Times-Gazette. Circuit Court / General Sessions Clerk Michelle Murray had asked the Times-Gazette to help get the word out about the new fines, saying they took effect July 1...
Safety checkpoint locations revealed (07/08/15)
Locations of upcoming "roadside safety checkpoints" have been released by the Tennessee Highway Patrol. A driver's license checkpoint will be held during the week of Saturday, July 11 on State Highway 437 (the Shelbyville bypass) at the 1.8 mile marker...
Teacher assessment creator honored (07/07/15)
Shelbyville native William L. "Bill" Sanders, the statistician and researcher who developed Tennessee's system for evaluating teachers and schools, is the 2015 recipient of the James Bryant Conant Award, one of the nation's most prestigious education honors...
Cascade grad to be state legislative director (07/05/15)
A Cascade High School graduate has been named Gov. Bill Haslam's new legislative director as one of several changes to Haslam's staff. Warren Wells, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, currently serves as deputy director for legislation but will become director for legislation on Aug. 1. Leslie Hafner, the current legislative director, will become senior advisor to the governor...
Unbelted travelers face higher fines (07/02/15)
Failing to wear your seat belt or to have the proper car insurance has just gotten more expensive, according to Circuit Court Clerk Michelle Murray. New laws which took effect July 1 raise the fines for seat belt offenses from $10 for a first offense and $20 for a second or later offense to $25 for a first offense and $50 for second or later offenses. That's more than double...
Notice from the top: TCAT-S program honored at White House (06/30/15)
The Computer Information Technology program at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology -- Shelbyville was recognized at the White House today along with other winners of the 2014 "Excellence in Action" award given by the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium...
It's the law: New rules begin July 1 (06/30/15)
July 1 is the start of the new state fiscal year, and for that reason it's often chosen by state legislators as the date for new state laws to take effect. Here, based on a list submitted by State Rep. Pat Marsh, are just some of the new laws taking effect on Wednesday:...
Jack Daniel's defeats challengers in state legislature (04/08/15)
NASHVILLE (AP) -- Jack Daniel's has turned back the latest challenge to a state law that determines which spirits can be marketed as "Tennessee Whiskey," but upstart distillers hoping their brands make the cut vow the fight isn't over for good. Opponents of the law enacted at the behest of Jack Daniel's in 2013 said they withdrew their repeal measure Tuesday to try to generate more support before next year's legislative session. ...
Disaster relief available (04/03/15)
Bedford and 34 other Tennessee counties have been declared eligible for federal disaster aid by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in response to the ice storm and flooding in February. The action makes funds available to state and local governments, as well as some utilities and not-for-profit organizations. The groups can be reimbursed for up to 75 percent of allowable expenses related to the disaster...
'We're the best': TCAT lives up to boast of success (04/02/15)
Jim Potts, evening supervisor of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology's Shelbyville campus, walks the school's halls with visible pride. "We're the best." Potts said, "We are the premiere workforce trainer in Middle Tennessee. With the Tennessee Promise and now Tennessee Reconnect, we look to make an even bigger economic impact on the workforce here."...
Imagine a 2-lane South Cannon (04/01/15)
Tennessee Department of Transportation has announced a two-year pilot project to narrow South Cannon Boulevard from four vehicle lanes to two, with right-of-way for a commuter trolley running between the two lanes. Work on the project will start in spring 2016, although the trolley isn't scheduled to be built until 2021...
Man accused of TennCare fraud (03/31/15)
A Bedford County man has been charged with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping, or using TennCare to go to multiple providers to obtain controlled substances. Samuel L. Harris, Jr., 40, of Shelbyville was arrested and charged with three counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by doctor shopping, which is using TennCare as payment for the prescriptions, office visit or both...
Managing the Maze: More of northbound North Main now closed (03/25/15)
Motorists should expect traffic on North Main Street to be slow, as crews have closed off lanes north of Colloredo Boulevard in anticipation of more digging. Crews reduced the traffic flow from four to two lanes, with a middle turn lane provided. The closures had already been in place south of Colloredo...
TCAT to hold open house for adult learners (03/25/15)
Tennessee College of Applied Technology -- Shelbyville will host an open house from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday for area adults to sign up for the Tennessee Reconnect grant, a new program that allows Tennesseans to attend a technical college tuition free...
Money available for road work (03/22/15)
Legislation returning millions of dollars to taxpayers in the form of road infrastructure improvements was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee this week. The "County Road Relief Act of 2015" changes the way Tennessee currently manages its State Aid Road Grant Program to make it easier for counties to access state funds to upgrade, repair and improve roads...
It's all about a name (03/20/15)
NASHVILLE -- An exemption for Prichard's Distillery from new legal requirements for selling spirits as "Tennessee Whiskey" is raising constitutional concerns with state Attorney General Herbert Slatery. The state Legislature in 2013 excluded Prichard's from the law passed at the behest of Jack Daniel's that for the first time established rules for which products could label themselves as Tennessee whiskey...
Main Street communities create jobs, generate investment (03/20/15)
Tennessee's 28 Main Street communities have created more than 1,500 new jobs and generated more than $95 million of public/private investment in 2014, according to the state's department of economic and community development. "Tennessee's main streets are such an important part of our state's identity and cultural heritage," Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd said. ...
North Main work extended (03/19/15)
Work on North Main Street has moved to the second phase, with traffic patterns now barricaded to three lanes from Madison Street to the end of the project at Lowes. One lane north and south will be open along with a turn lane. The decision was made after much discussion with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to "keep the project moving since they are behind on the schedule," city public works director Mark Clanton said. The traffic flow will remain like this until the project ends, which is expected in November. (T-G Photo by Brian Mosely)
Annexation limited by new state law (03/15/15)
A new, stronger law governing the annexation process is about to take place, but a state advisory committee says even more changes are needed. In 2013, the state put a moratorium on many types of annexation while laws were being studied. That moratorium was made even stricter last year...
Computing a future: CIT students at TCAT grab bytes of life (03/15/15)
There are many interesting reasons why people choose their career paths. Some people are in it for the money, others want to make a difference, some just happen to land a job and stick with it. Recently, Steve Mallard introduced the T-G to three of his students--each with various reasons for choosing to join the Computer Information Technology (CIT) program at Tennessee College of Applied Technology (T-CAT) in Shelbyville--all of whom are passionate about their field of study...
Pothole patrol makes repairs (03/11/15)
With the ice and snow a thing of the past, state road crews now have their hands full with filling Tennessee's many potholes. Potholes are a normal and expected part of the winter season, said Heather Jensen, Region 3 community relations officer for Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT)...
Two local residents helping Motlow find new president (03/10/15)
Bedford County Mayor Eugene Ray and Shelbyville veteran and Motlow student Antwain Dobbins are among the members of a search advisory committee for a new president of Motlow State Community College. The committee includes three members of Tennessee Board of Regents as well as representatives of Motlow students, faculty, staff and the community at large...
Service: Price of an education (03/10/15)
Wanted: Community service opportunities. High school seniors participating in the Tennessee Promise program need to complete eight hours of community service each semester they receive aid. One mentor, Barbara Pate, said she was excited for the students...
Investigation reviewed (03/10/15)
Bedford County detectives, Sheriff Austin Swing and Chief Deputy Jason Williams visited Tennessee Bureau of Investigation headquarters in Nashville Wednesday to review the homicide investigation of Lois Espy with TBI agents involved. TBI Director Mark Gwyn and Austin Swing addressed the attendees on the importance of working together, especially when dealing with cases such as Espy's. (Submitted photo)
Preserving Webb's history (03/03/15)
The Tennessee government is helping The Webb School preserve relics of its rich history. Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett visited the school on Friday to present a $2,000 grant to the school's Library and Archives Department. The grant will help Webb preserve documents tied to founder Sawney Webb and his extended family, said library director Hannah Little...
State provides funds for restoring old Celebration films (03/01/15)
Bringing images of the past into the present is the purpose of a historic preservation grant given to the Tennessee Walking Horse National Museum in Wartrace. Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett presented the museum with the $2,000 grant Friday...
Keep safe while using candles (02/25/15)
Especially during these winter months, decorative and fragranced candles are popular d├ęcor in many homes. However, candles have caused significant loss of life, injury and property damage when used improperly. On the heels of this winter's dangerous ice storm, the State Fire Marshal's Office reminds Tennesseans to always use candles with care...
State park works for healthier citizens (02/25/15)
Henry Horton State Park's "Healthy Park Healthy Person" program is now underway -- an outreach effort to improve the health of the local community and to increase time spent outdoors. "Healthy Park Healthy Person" is an incentive based health program in which participants earn healthy points for participating in healthy activities in the park, taking a healthy class at the park and eating a healthy meal at the Governor's Table Restaurant at Henry Horton...
State grant will fund old TWHNC videos (02/24/15)
A grant presentation will be held Friday at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Museum in Wartrace. Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett will present the museum with a $2,000 grant at 1 p.m. The monies will be used for the restoration, preservation and digitization of past films of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville, according to Philip D. Gentry, president of the museum...
Tracy reschedules town hall meeting (02/20/15)
State Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) has rescheduled his Telephone Town Hall Meeting for Tuesday at 6:10 p.m. The meeting was originally set to take place on Feb. 17 but was cancelled due to the severe weather conditions. Citizens who would like to participate can dial toll free 877-228-2184 and must enter the event identification 113133...
Save up for college with 529 plan (02/20/15)
TNStars College Savings 529 plan has just been recognized as the top direct-sold plan in the nation, according to a press release from the Tennessee Department of Treasury. The No. 1 ranking comes from SavingForCollege.org, which analyzes the investment performance figures for thousands of 529 portfolios and ranks the 529 savings plans from best to worst. ...
Camps offer teachers energy education (02/12/15)
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Office of Energy Programs announces that applications are available online for the 2015 K-12 Energy Education Camps. The four-day educational sessions will provide K-12 educators with information and resources needed to teach the science of energy and energy conservation in the classroom...
Children, heat sources are dangerous mix (02/12/15)
One of the primary causes of residential fire deaths and injuries for children under 10 is playing with a heat source, which includes lighters and matches. It's a nationwide problem that the Tennessee State Fire Marshal's Office hopes parents will address by following some simple safety tips...
Insure Tennessee fails; session begins (02/12/15)
Our main reason for being in Nashville two weeks ago was to work on the Governor's Insure Tennessee plan. We spent most of that time learning about the plan and heard testimonies from people from both sides on the positives and negatives of the plan. It was very complex and complicated....
Embry urges legislators not to change education standards (02/11/15)
Bedford County Superintendent Don Embry is one of 114 superintendents calling on the General Assembly to leave school standards as they are. The Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents sent a letter Tuesday to all state legislators asking them to take no action on education standards during this session...
License stickers go high-tech (02/05/15)
It's a simple thing -- an inch tall, an inch and a half wide, made of reflective material and sticky on the back. But for the staff of Bedford County Clerk Donna Thomas, license tag renewal stickers are a big part of their business. That's why a new method for printing the stickers on demand was a big deal for the office on Tuesday...
Insure Tennessee fails in committee (02/05/15)
Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans has failed during a special legislative session. The Senate Health Committee defeated the Republican governor's Insure Tennessee plan Wednesday on a 7-4 vote. Haslam spent 21 months negotiating with federal officials for a special deal for Tennessee that included market-based elements like vouchers to buy private insurance, co-pays and assurances that the state could pull out of the deal if it ended up being more expensive than expected.. ...
Haslam promotes 'Insure Tennessee' program (01/30/15)
MURFREESBORO -- Gov. Bill Haslam, making a tour across the state to stump for his "Insure Tennessee" program prior to a special legislative session next week, portrayed it on Thursday as a reasonable, cost-conscious attempt to address the cost and availability of health care...
Squeeze Play: Work continues to disrupt North Main traffic (01/29/15)
The digging into North Main Street continues as workers relocate utility lines, moving toward a November completion date. But a Tennessee Department of Transportation inspector said Wednesday a sturdy layer of rock underneath the roadway is slowing the work down. Meanwhile, business owners in the construction zone are trying to be patient as access to their parking lots is somewhat limited...
Child safety seat use taught at TFACA (01/28/15)
Lt. Chris Reed of Bedford County Fire Department was among 19 students from across Tennessee attending a course on child safety car seats held last week at the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy (TFACA) on Unionville-Deason Road. Reed and the other students were certified as National Child Passenger Safety Technicians, meaning they can conduct child safety seat inspections, speak about child seat safety and advise parents or guardians on the proper purchase, installation and use of child safety seats.. ...
City officials attend legislative briefing (01/28/15)
Potential state legislative issues that could impact cities across the state were the focus of a Tennessee Municipal League (TML) meeting this week. City manager Jay Johnson, mayor Wallace Cartwright, city recorder Shanna Boyette and treasurer Jamey Owen attended the briefing Tuesday in Murfreesboro...
Hemp growers sought (01/28/15)
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications from farmers and producers interested in growing industrial hemp. In 2013, the Tennessee General Assembly enacted Public Chapter 916 tasking the department with development of a licensing and inspection program for the production of industrial hemp in Tennessee...
College without cost (01/23/15)
The promise of free money for college drew hundreds of high school seniors, parents and mentors to a meeting Wednesday evening at Shelbyville Central High. Tennessee Promise offers two years of higher education with no tuition. The offer applies to community colleges, Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs) and four-year colleges that offer an associate degree. The program will be funded with interest taken from an endowment from excess lottery funds...
New state highway maps available to assist travelers (01/16/15)
The official 2015 Tennessee Transportation Map is now available for travelers. This year's map contains new information to assist motorists, and features a special cover to commemorate the Tennessee Department of Transportation's centennial. The 2015 map contains historical photographs that look back at the development of Tennessee's highway system over the last 100 years. It also highlights State Route 1, the first cross-state highway built by the state of Tennessee...
Health plan isn't drawing support (01/15/15)
NASHVILLE -- Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's plan to offer health coverage to more than 200,000 low-income Tennesseans is getting a tepid response from fellow Republicans in the Legislature -- so much so, that he has yet to find a Senate sponsor for his proposal...
Legislators back in session (01/14/15)
NASHVILLE -- Tennessee lawmakers convened the 109th General Assembly on Tuesday amid abortion rights protests inside the state Capitol. Republican Rep. Beth Harwell of Nashville and Sen. Ron Ramsey of Blountville were re-elected as speakers of the House and Senate, while about 60 protesters outside the chambers shouted into a bullhorn, banged drums and chanted...
A more educated state: Officials want higher number of college grads (01/11/15)
On Friday, the very day when President Obama announced a plan to provide free community college tuition nationwide, attendees at the annual Motlow State Community College legislative briefing discussed the impact that Tennessee Promise, which was one of the inspirations for Obama's proposal, will have on the Volunteer State...
City seeks state grant to study major roads (01/09/15)
Shelbyville's city council voted to apply for a transportation planning grant between the state and city to conduct a major thoroughfare plan study. The Tennessee Department of Transportation will fund most of the grant if approved. A resolution passed by the council Thursday notes that the city has experienced strong growth over the past decade -- with the population hitting 20,335 in 2010, a 26 percent increase since 2000...
Progress and costs: State legislators must balance goals, budget (01/08/15)
State Sen. Jim Tracy and State Rep. Pat Marsh expect Medicaid expansion, schools, roads -- and a tight budget -- to be on the minds as a new session of the Tennessee General Assembly begins this month. "We've got two big things coming up," said Tracy, one of them being the special session on Gov. Bill Haslam's proposed Insure Tennessee program...
State homeowners save on utilities (12/23/14)
Tennessee has some of the lowest residential electric rates in the Southeast, but some of the highest commercial and industrial rates, according to a new report from the Tennessee Regulatory Authority. The Volunteer State has low residential and commercial rates for natural gas, but its industrial rate is one of the highest in the region. And Tennessee is in the middle of the pack when it comes to residential telecommunications costs...
TCAT-S holds first formal graduation ceremony (12/19/14)
Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Shelbyville conducted its first official formal graduation as a college on Dec. 5 at the Shelbyville Central High School auditorium. Previously, as the Tennessee Technology Center, the institution held a simple graduation recognition ceremony at the end of each trimester for students. ...
Officials like new schools leader (12/18/14)
Bedford County officials had positive comments regarding the governor's selection of a state education commissioner. Gov. Bill Haslam announced the appointment Tuesday of Dr. Candice McQueen, a teacher and dean at Lipscomb University in Nashville, as commissioner of the Department of Education. She replaces the embattled Kevin Huffman, who resigned last month...
Tax help will stay (12/18/14)
State Rep. Pat Marsh said on Tuesday that there are no plans to do away with the state-funded property tax relief program. Bedford County Trustee Tonya Davis had discussed her concerns about the program during a report to Bedford County Board of Commissioners earlier this month. The Times-Gazette incorrectly reported that those concerns had to do with the 2014-2015 fiscal year, when actually they were about future fiscal years...
Haslam reaches Medicaid deal (12/16/14)
NASHVILLE -- Gov. Bill Haslam announced Monday that he has reached a deal with federal officials to expand Medicaid in Tennessee after months of discussions. The governor is touting it as an alternative deal with federal officials. The program, dubbed Insure Tennessee, would provide coverage for the state's uninsured without creating new taxes for Tennesseans...
TCAT gets $970,000 for jobs training (12/12/14)
Gov. Bill Haslam announced Thursday that Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Shelbyville will receive a $970,000 grant as part of the Labor Education Alignment Program (LEAP), a $10 million state program which helps promote post-secondary training that is in line with the specific needs of the workforce in that community...
Tax relief program in jeopardy (12/11/14)
Trustee Tonya Davis told Bedford County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday night that the state is looking at dropping funding for its property tax relief program but that she and other trustees want to rally support to preserve it. Low-income senior citizens, the disabled, and disabled veterans and their widows or widowers are currently eligible to receive tax relief. ...
Local man accused of TennCare fraud (12/09/14)
A Bedford County man has been charged with TennCare fraud in Coffee County -- his second charge for the crime. The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with assistance from the Bedford County Sheriff's Department, announced the arrest of Brian K. Tucker, 39...
Special delivery: A memento for Carlton (12/05/14)
Janice Carlton, who celebrates her 80th birthday tomorrow, received a surprise package earlier this week that's making her birthday extra special this year. Carlton's brother, the late Pfc. Cecil Harris, was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in October after his remains were discovered a year ago in France. While serving in the Army during World War II, he went missing in action, and remained missing for nearly 70 years. Carlton and her family attended the ceremony at Arlington, which drew national recognition. That day, the state capitol flew the Tennessee state flag and U.S. flag in Harris' honor. Pictured: Carlton opens the package containing the flags that hung over the state capitol in Nashville. She said she'll be looking for a flag pole so she can display them outside her home in her late brother's memory. (T-G Photo by Sadie Fowler)
Motlow SGA participates in mock legislature (12/02/14)
Members of the Student Government Association (SGA) at Motlow College's Moore County campus recently visited the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature (TISL) in Nashville, according to Sheri Mason, SGA sponsor and assistant director of student services at Motlow. "TISL gives students an opportunity to learn how state government works, such as the role of legislators, lawyers, judges, lobbyists and the media," she said. From left are Mason, Rachel Luzader, Eryn Tripp, Cody Pyle, Dallas Foster, Alma Portillo Villamar, Terry Green and William Shavers. (Submitted photo)
Legislators like Haslam as RGA leader (11/25/14)
Bedford County's two state legislators have praised the election last week of Gov. Bill Haslam as the next chair of the Republican Governors Association, with State Rep. Pat Marsh calling it "a much-deserved honor." Haslam was elected to the post last week in Boca Raton, Fla., succeeding New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez will be vice chair of the organization, the group also announced...
State Habitat receives THDA grant (11/18/14)
Habitat for Humanity of Tennessee received a $500,000 grant from Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) toward the construction of 30 homes statewide. The state Habitat supports the 50 Habitat affiliates serving 62 counties in Tennessee, including Bedford Builds Habitat for Humanity...
Firefighter recruits to graduate today (11/14/14)
State Fire Marshal Gary West was scheduled to deliver the commencement address this morning to the Recruit Firefighter class at the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy on Unionville Deason Road. Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak was unable to attend the ceremony, but offered her encouragement and praise to the recruits...
Six Central students eye two years' free college (11/13/14)
The promise of free tuition has many Bedford County high school seniors thinking of -- and re-thinking -- their college plans. Tennessee Promise offers two years of higher education with no tuition or fees. The offer applies to community colleges, Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs) and four-year universities that offer an associate's degree...
GOP gains to give Tenn. new clout in US Senate (11/05/14)
NASHVILLE (AP) -- Tennessee is about to gain new clout in the U.S. Senate following national gains by Republicans in Tuesday's election. Republicans succeeded in picking up the six seats they needed to take over control of the Senate. That means Sen. Lamar Alexander, who resoundingly defeated Democrat Gordon Ball on Tuesday, is now poised to head the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, while Sen. Bob Corker is set to become chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee...
Mentors begin Tennessee Promise training (11/05/14)
Jennifer Dreis, Regional Coordinator for tnAchieves, conducted a one-hour class attended by 39 volunteer mentors who will help high school students remain eligible for Tennessee Promise scholarships. tnAchieves serves as the partnering organization to Tennessee Promise in 84 counties across the state...
Last day for mentor enrollment (11/04/14)
Today is the last day to register online for mentor enrollment for the Tennessee Promise program. Paper forms are due by Nov. 14. https://www.tnachieves.org/a-mentor
Schools up on annual report card (11/04/14)
The state released its report card on schools this past week, and the news was mostly good for Bedford County schools. "We're very pleased about the gains we have made in the last year," Superintendent Don Embry said. "We're proud of the teachers' and the students' gains."...
Fewer vote early for November election (10/31/14)
A total of 3,557 people voted early for the Nov. 4 general election, fewer than the 3,992 who voted early in the same election four years ago. Early voting ended Thursday evening, although there are some mail ballots arriving which are not included in the above total...
For library, $100K in the books (10/29/14)
Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett visited the site of the new Shelbyville and Bedford County public library on Tuesday, along with State Sen. Jim Tracy and State Rep. Pat Marsh, to celebrate the state's $100,000 grant towards construction of the new facility...
Amendment 4 gives vets right to hold raffles (10/29/14)
Ten years ago, in 2004, the Tennessee Charitable Gaming Implementation Law was signed into law. It gave certain tax-exempt groups the right to hold one fund-raising raffle, or similar chance-based fund-raiser, each year without violating the state's gambling laws...
Voters judge court system (10/28/14)
Article VI, Section 3 of the state constitution begins as follows: "The judges of the Supreme Court shall be elected by the qualified voters of the state." But in 1971, the Tennessee General Assembly adopted a plan for choosing Supreme Court and Appeals Court judges similar to those used by other states...
Amendment 3 would prevent state income tax (10/26/14)
Amendment #3, one of four proposed amendments to the state constitution on the Nov. 4 election ballot, would prohibit the establishment of a state income tax. The amendment has wide support and has been endorsed by Gov. Bill Haslam and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, among others. Over 80 percent of state legislators voted in favor of the measure, according to the "Yes on 3" group which supports it...
'I came to listen:' Eakin teachers tell governor state of education (10/24/14)
Gov. Bill Haslam met with teachers and local school officials Thursday during a visit to Eakin Elementary School, congratulating Eakin on its status as a Reward School due to the growth in student scores. He also asked teachers for their input -- and got it...
Cold snaps mean more heating fires (10/23/14)
With some of the season's first frost warnings happening this week, you should be more aware of fire safety. According to the State Fire Marshal's Office, when the first cold snap of the fall season occurs, a wave of home fires usually follows. That's why State Fire Marshal Gary West is urging Tennesseans to take fire safety precautions now in preparation for the colder nights making way into the state...
State announces Ebola resources (10/23/14)
With Ebola in the news, the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) announced three new information resources for Tennesseans: l Tennesseans with questions about the disease may call a toll-free number to obtain accurate, timely information: 1-877-857-2945. This number will be active starting Oct. 22, 2014...
Yes or No? Abortion rights rest on decision (10/15/14)
Murder. A woman's right to control her body. Right to life. A woman's body. Pro-choice. Pro-life. A baby's life. Yes on 1. No on 1. There are many terms associated with abortion, and which ones you use depend on which side you support. Voters on both sides of the debate will have a chance to have their say in the general elections. Early voting starts today, and election day is Nov. 4...
Practice fire safety this Halloween (10/15/14)
With fall in the air, pumpkins are on porches, and massive amounts of candy are calling! Halloween is just around the corner, and your local and state fire officials want to make sure safety is kept in mind while celebrating this popular October holiday...
Prescription drug abuse is growing problem, says Tracy (10/03/14)
State Sen. Jim Tracy says a drug abuse summit held earlier this week in Murfreesboro was an eye-opener. "What hit me," he said, "is how big a problem that abuse of prescription drugs has gotten in Tennessee." He knew there was a problem, he said, but the statistics presented in a report produced by Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services drove home just how severe the situation has become...
School vouchers get failing grade from lobbyist (09/30/14)
CHAPEL HILL-- School vouchers, if approved, would be "the greatest nightmare counties have ever faced," said Charles Curtiss, the executive director of Tennessee County Commissioners Association (TCCA), during a regional meeting held Monday at Henry Horton State Park...
Bypass finish asked by Marsh, Tracy (09/19/14)
State Sen. Jim Tracy and State Rep. Pat Marsh have added their voices to local officials asking the state to consider completing the western leg of the Shelbyville bypass, State Route 437. Tracy and Marsh released a copy of a letter, dated Thursday, which they sent to Tennessee Commissioner of Transportation John Schroer in support of the bypass. Tracy chairs the Senate Transportation Committee...
Bedford Lake good place to go fish (09/19/14)
In Bedford County, about 14 miles east of Wartrace and Shelbyville is a small but real gem of a lake. The Coy Gaither Bedford Lake is only 47 acres in size, but anglers and others have been enjoying its offerings for over three-quarters of a century. Its rich history and fishing lore has enamored several generations of Tennesseans...
More than $50K drives safe roads (09/18/14)
Local law enforcement received grants this week to support highway traffic safety efforts. The Shelbyville Police Department received $30,384.29 for alcohol enforcement while the Bedford County Sheriff's Department got $19,820 for enforcement efforts...
Respondents not bothered by construction (09/17/14)
More than half of the respondents to a non-scientific Times-Gazette poll say the construction on North Main Street hasn't affected their shopping or dining habits. "I'm used to big city construction," wrote one respondent. "This is nothing." "TDOT [Tennessee Department of Transportation] has done a great job of keeping traffic moving," wrote another. "It especially has not kept me from El Mexico," a restaurant located right in the middle of the construction zone...
Work continues (09/12/14)
Motorists using U.S. 41A South should exercise caution as work continues to widen the highway. Workers have been stopping traffic to allow heavy equipment to do grading work on both sides of the highway. This leg of the project, from State Route 276 (Thompson Creek Road) to west of Rippy Ridge Road, is expected to be complete on or before July 31, 2016. (T-G Photo by Brian Mosely)
Commission urges state to complete Shelbyville bypass (09/11/14)
Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday night for a resolution again asking the State of Tennessee to consider finishing the Shelbyville bypass by extending it west and south to State Route 64 near Thompson Shop. The resolution had been suggested by local Chamber of Commerce officials...
Henry Horton Park to host historical tours (09/11/14)
Henry Horton State Park in neighboring Marshall County will host two historical tours in the upcoming months. The first tour, the Homes and Spirits Tour, will be held Oct. 23-25, which will include a bus ride to visit Traveller's Rest for their historic Halloween event, the Jack Daniels Distillery, the historic Polk House and the Athenaeum for their Ghostly Dinner...
MTSU president part of higher education panel (09/11/14)
Middle Tennessee State University President Sidney A. McPhee will be among a group of academic leaders across the state gathering to discuss the state of higher education and the push to produce career-ready graduates. The Nashville Business Journal is hosting the luncheon panel discussion, entitled "Nashville Ahead: A discussion on higher education and workforce readiness." It will be held from 11:50 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24, at the Omni Nashville Hotel, 250 5th Ave. S...
Still open: Life goes on next to construction work (09/10/14)
Some business owners say the widening work on North Main Street is not driving business away, and several are quick to give credit to TDOT and contractors for the way they're handling traffic. "They've assured us they will not cut us off," said Andrea Lovvorn, owner of New Covenant Book Store, adding that the Tennessee Department of Transportation has stayed true to its word. ...
Big green tubes cut down erosion (09/10/14)
With all the construction ongoing on North Main Street, many are wondering about long green tubes snaking alongside the site. No, it's not some sort of invasive species like an anaconda. The tubes are used for erosion control, said Devon Bell, foreman for Civil Constructors LLC -- the company that's widening Shelbyville's main thoroughfare...
A day of honor and remembrance (09/09/14)
Each year, a ceremony of honor and remembrance is held at the Tennessee Fallen Firefighter Memorial, on the campus of Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy on Unionville Deason Road. New names are added to the memorial plaques, and friends and family place roses on those plaques as the names are called out, solemnly, each name accompanied by the ringing of a bell...
Governor attends TWHNC; veterans honored (08/29/14)
State Rep. Pat Marsh uses a Celebration usher's smartphone to take a photo of her with Gov. Bill Haslam. Haslam attended the show Thursday night and was honored at center ring. Thursday was also Veterans' Night, with special patriotic ceremonies. See more photos at http://www.t-g.com/gallery/twhnc-8-28-14. (T-G Photo by John I. Carney)
No new N. Main lane closures ahead until Celebration is over (08/22/14)
There are to be no additional lane closures on North Main Street until after the Celebration is over, city officials said Thursday. "This is an effort by TDOT and the contractor to cooperate with the community," city manager Jay Johnson said. In addition, no work will be done at the intersection of Madison Street and North Main until after Labor Day...
Walk on...it may be faster (08/20/14)
With visitors to the Celebration arriving this week, traffic on North Main Street is expected to pick up rapidly. Work on Shelbyville's main thoroughfare will continue during the 10 days of the National Walking Horse Celebration, according to Heather Jensen, TDOT community relations officer for Region 3...
Reward Schools to be named (08/20/14)
The state will release the names of two or three local Reward Schools on Thursday, Superintendent Don Embry says. Reward Schools are those the Tennessee Department of Education identifies annually as having the highest overall performance or growth...
Deadline nears for wine petitions (08/14/14)
There's only one more week to sign a petition to allow wine sales in grocery stores in Shelbyville. A new state law that took effect in July allows cities and counties with package stores or liquor-by-the-drink to hold referendums on allowing the sale...
Provisional ballots don't boost Tracy (08/13/14)
NASHVILLE (AP) -- Although it is unclear exactly how many provisional ballots remain uncounted in Tennessee's 4th Congressional District's Republican primary, the ballots counted so far make an upset look increasingly unlikely. Scandal-battered U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais held a 35-vote lead over state Sen. Jim Tracy in unofficial results from last week's election...
State helps job searching process (08/13/14)
Are you looking for a job? The state would like to help. The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development operates a job-hunter's website, Jobs4TN.com. The website posts listings as well as resources like salary information. The department also offers a Career Coach van for job fairs and other events. There is a van for each division in the state...