Friday, February 29, 2008

Audit: Metro Schools must improve morale, teacher training

By JAIME SARRIO • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • February 29, 2008 Metro Schools must improve leadership, professional development for teachers and parent involvement if it’s going to meet No Child Left Behind requirements, according to a state audit of the district released Friday. The audit focused on the district’s performance and the areas it needs to improve to make progress under federal law. Metro Schools is in “corrective action” status, meaning it’s failed to meet education requirements for four years in a row. As a result, the state now has a say in the district’s affairs. The audit found that moral in the district is low and there is not a clear understanding of expectations from students or teachers and staff. The district also purchases programs that don’t help students meet state testing goals, said Connie Smith, the Tennessee Department of Education official who coordinated the audit. Board members said many of the findings weren’t surprising and that they will work with the state to make sure the recommendations are enacted. Check back to for more details.

Metro works on requests for more sidewalks, bikeways

By SUZANNE NORMAND BLACKWOOD | • | 259-8268 • February 29, 2008 Tom Root, who lives near the Ellington Agricultural Center, said he realizes that now that he's getting older, he needs to exercise more. Sometimes, he walks to the store. He also has a bicycle for himself and one that he and his wife, Glenda, can ride together. "I'm not an exercise nut," he said. But, he added, if there were a bike lane in his neighborhood, he would exercise even more by cycling. It is because of residents such as Root that the subject of improved sidewalks and the addition of sidewalks and bikeways is getting the city's attention. As a way of addressing this issue, Metro Public Works recently held a meeting to gather input from residents on updating the city's Strategic Plan for Sidewalks and Bikeways. The plan establishes the order for new sidewalk construction and improvements based on proximity to neighborhoods, schools, libraries, parks and other facilities that create pedestrian traffic. The new plan will incorporate a "sidewalk matrix," which involves coordinating sidewalk projects with other Metro projects, such as new schools. Phase I of the Bikeways Plan has already been completed, and Phase II is being proposed, said Jim Snyder, capital manager for Metro Public Works. Sidewalks might encourage more walking Karen Van Cleave, who lives in the Percy Priest area, said the sidewalks in her neighborhood are in good condition. "We have some now, but we need more," she said, adding there are many children in the neighborhood who walk to school. She believes more sidewalks would encourage more people of all ages to walk for exercise. Since the Strategic Plan for Sidewalks and Bikeways was adopted in 2003, the city has added and repaired 124 miles of sidewalks; 94 miles of bike lanes; and more than 7,000 wheelchair-accessible sidewalks ramps. Resident wants more than repairs Resident Robin Tate-Johnson questions why more hasn't been done with the funding that has been available. The funding appropriated for the additions and improvements has totaled $83.75 million since 1999. "Where's the money going?" she asked. "It's budgeted to salaries, maps and public input." Tate-Johnson said she feels much of this is unnecessary. Tate-Johnson said she also didn't like how there was no clear distinction about how much of the money was going toward building new sidewalks and how much was simply going toward repairs. "It's somewhat budget-driven," Snyder said. "When you're receiving $5 million a year, you're basically in repair mode." With $20 million, you're more in a position to build new ones while you do repair work, he said. Also, said Snyder, although the majority of the money goes toward building sidewalks and bikeways, some attention needs to be devoted to meetings and maps. "This is a community plan, and we have to bring this information to the community to get their ideas," he said. "Those efforts are necessary to reach out to the citizens of Nashville."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dean: Sounds may have missed best chance for new ballpark

By MICHAEL CASS • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • February 27, 2008 Mayor Karl Dean says the Nashville Sounds will have to show a commitment to invest in their own ballpark and to get the project done before the city will agree to provide them a place to build it. In an interview Wednesday, he expressed skepticism that the Sounds could complete a deal and said the team might have missed its best shot after a plan for a new stadium downtown collapsed last year. “We’re certainly not going to offer a better deal, and we may not be able to offer the same deal,” Dean said. Sounds General Manager Glenn Yaeger said Tuesday that his boss, owner Al Gordon, talked to Dean last week about the team’s future, including the end of its Greer Stadium lease after the upcoming season and the prospect of a new stadium. Dean said there has been no decision on extending the lease, but he is open to hearing a proposal. “I’ll work with them to keep the team in Nashville,” Dean said. The Sounds want to build a new ballpark downtown. They had an agreement with Metro to do that on a prime piece of city-owned, riverfront real estate, but the deal went off the rails when the Sounds and their development partner couldn’t agree on financing last spring. Dean, a former Metro law director, said he would want to be sure a new stadium could be completed and that every party to a deal could live up to its promises. He said the city, which is heading toward a tight budget year in 2008-09, has no deal or understanding with the Sounds for a new stadium right now. “That was frustrating,” the mayor said of last year’s experience. “That is the past. And I don’t want to revisit the past, but at the same time, I have learned from the past.” He also said the Sounds, who are hoping for a state law change that would allow them to collect sales tax revenues generated by a new stadium and surrounding development, should be looking more to the private sector. The mayor’s office wasn’t consulted on the bill. “Maybe they need to be looking beyond public partners,” Dean said. “Maybe they need to be looking for additional private partners.”

Unfinished Homes Sit Stagnant For 2 Years

Neighbors Say Debris Sits On Ground For Weeks Reported By Catharyn Campbell POSTED: 8:57 am CST February 27, 2008 UPDATED: 9:18 am CST February 27, 2008 NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A builder has left unfinished homes sit and deteriorate for years in one area of southeast Nashville. Video: Unfinished Development Becomes Eyesore, Hazard Residents said the project in the Edge-O-Lake neighborhood has been in the works for two years, but the only people who are moving in are transients and vagrants. "Last summer there were lots of beer cans, whisky bottles. We heard gun shots," said Vicky Tataryn of Edge-O-Lake Neighborhood Association. Tararyn has lived in the area for 20 years and is concerned about the quality of the homes, as well as the safety of children. "It started out as a one story house, and it has plywood under it now holding it up," said Tataryn. A few 2-by-4s support the thin wooden walls, and a portion of the home behind it was chopped off so it would fit onto a concrete foundation. Tataryn said the debris sat on the ground for weeks until it was placed in a Dumpster in the front of the home. "What is the value of these houses, and when they sell what does that do to the value of our property?" said Tataryn. Tataryn said she's contacted Metro's codes department several times but her calls and e-mails have not been returned, so she called Metro councilwoman Vivian Wilhoite. "We've been told that in the next couple of weeks we should see some activity here. We've been told they are going to get the property cleaned up. We want to see if they are going to follow up on their word because so far their promises have been broken,” said Wilhoite. While the builder is not doing the job, neighbors hope that the codes department will do their's. "Of course the owner has some responsibility, but the codes department, they are the ones who hold the owners to their obligations,” said Tataryn. Wilhoite said a couple months ago that a new owner received a permit to build on the property, but so far there has been little progress. She said that codes can do little unless the contractor abandons the project for at least a year, which means these people could have to live with this situation for several more months. It is not clear whether the developer has been fined for any infractions. Copyright 2008 by All rights reserved. The link to watch the video: This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

PLUS program provides health and wellness services to deaf community

By SUZANNE NORMAND BLACKWOOD • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • February 26, 2008 Mike Helms considers the new PLUS Program at the League for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing a "blessing." Before the program existed, services such as counseling, wellness programs and programs to educate people about various health topics were not easily available to people who are hard of hearing, deaf or deaf-blind. Many organizations that are set up to offer these kinds of services "have no foundation to help people who rely on sign language," Helms said with the help of interpreter Jessica Sponseller, who is also the program's director. Some, he added, don't even provide interpreters or transcribers. "Their culture doesn't match," he said. But the PLUS Program will "break down barriers." Wellness, counseling, PLUS more The PLUS (Positive Living for Ultimate Success) Program offers health risk screenings; educational presentations on a variety of health-related topics; intervention programs in weight management, smoking cessation and stress management; counseling services; social activities; and talks on spiritual matters. The League will also provide interpreters and transcribers. Interpreters use sign language and the spoken word. Transcribers transcribe the spoken word into print that shows up on a computer screen. The program, which is through a partnership with Saint Thomas Health Services' Wellness Division, is partly being funded by a $76,000 grant by Baptist Healing Trust of Nashville. "The medical and some the physical are what we're focusing on with Saint Thomas," said Sponseller, who has a master's degree in counseling from Trevecca Nazarene University. Classes in aerobics, dance, yoga and weight management will be offered at the league. Some will be designed specifically for seniors. Participants will also have access to Saint Thomas' Wellness Center and the pool at Baptist Hospital. Sponseller said incentive programs will be offered to motivate participants. Dr. Denny Porr, executive director of the Saint Thomas Wellness Center, will write about various health-related topics, such as cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease, and this information will be interpreted for program participants. Sponseller said there would be support groups, as well as classes on topics such as anxiety, depression, financial management and tax preparation. The financial management portion will teach both adults and youth how to manage money, as well as help adults who are struggling financially. There will also be seminars offered simply to stimulate the mind, Sponseller said. Social activities will be offered at the League and off-site. The program will offer a choir in which members sign the songs. A lifestyle change Among the social activities offered is a "Mommy Lunch." Helms, whose wife, Gina, is involved, said "Mommy Lunch" gives mothers a chance to share their experiences and socialize. The purpose of the "Mommy Lunch" is also to educate mothers about issues related to motherhood. Sponseller said the League is working with area agencies that are already providing counseling to some of its clients. But the services being offered now are limited, and the plan is to offer full counseling services. The spiritual focus of the program will concentrate helping participants in "finding an inner peace, building self-awareness and self-confidence," she said. With the program being so comprehensive and inclusive, Sponseller said, she believes this will encourage consistent participation. The goal is to "make this a lifestyle change, not just a one-time event." 'PLUS can be the answer' Helms, who is on the executive board for the League and on Wellness Advisory Committee, said Nashville is a great place to launch the program. A large number of deaf people live here, but also hard of hearing and the deaf-blind, he said. Helms said many people, especially seniors, are really excited about the wellness portion of the program. This will help them prepare for their futures as older adults, he said. Also, he said, the counseling services offered will add to the confidentiality between the client and the counselor, because, in the past, the client had to go through an interpreter. Helms said encouraging adults in the program to lead healthier lifestyles will help them be better role models for the youth. "The best thing about (the) program," he said, is it will "educate people who have questions, problems. "PLUS can be the answer."

Metro drivers hold keys to declining vehicle thefts

Police say 8% drop in '07 came despite careless motorists By KATE HOWARD • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • February 26, 2008 Car thefts dropped more than 8 percent in Nashville last year to the lowest rate in the city's history. About 2,800 cars were reported stolen in 2007, the lowest raw number since 1989. Police credit the drop to more bait car operations, the closing of some notorious chop shops and more manpower. Slowing their progress, though, is a combination of volunteer victims and opportunist criminals. It took little effort to make off with roughly half of all the cars stolen last year. The keys were inside. "After the fact is a bad time for shoulda-coulda-wouldas," said Sgt. Billy Smith, who supervises Metro's auto theft unit. "Some people are thieves all their lives, and still some wouldn't be if the opportunity wasn't there." When Metro launched its "Park Smart!" program in 2000 to educate the public about taking their keys with them, about 25 percent of cars were easy targets. That percentage has since doubled. Smith said police see most of the thefts at convenience stores or grocery stores, where people run in for one quick purchase. In very hot or cold weather, those who leave their cars running also are targets. To add insult to injury, drivers whose cars are snatched may face further penalties from their insurance companies. Leaving keys in the car is the easiest way to pull off an insurance fraud, said Julie Pulliam of the American Insurance Association. So if nothing else, the filling of claims may be delayed while insurance companies investigate. And when it comes time to renew a policy, insurance companies may opt out. "Even if it's not fraud, and the claim is paid, the insurance company is going to probably think twice about renewing your coverage because of your apparent carelessness or forgetfulness," Pulliam said. As for the other half of last year's car thefts, Smith said, older cars, which are more common on the road, are popular targets of thieves because of their parts. The 37211 ZIP code in south Nashville topped the list with 304 cars reported stolen last year. Also high on the list were the Brick Church Pike area, Antioch, Madison and downtown Nashville. Bait cars abound The auto theft unit has plenty of flashy cars, loaded with GPS equipment, to use as bait when a rash of car thefts breaks out. They also keep a bait fleet that includes golf carts, boats and riding lawnmowers to use wherever problem thefts are occurring. Smith said they sometimes put up a sign in the lot announcing their sting operation. He's not surprised when attempts are still made. "Many of them see the sign and say, 'Nah. The police don't do that,' " Smith said. The bait cars and detectives' undercover vehicles are provided by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, a nonprofit organization that gives assistance and funding for car theft prevention programs. Jimmy Carl Ball Sr., senior special agent with the bureau, said he communicates daily with Metro detectives to discuss emerging trends. "In that area, we try to provide the police with cars similar to the ones that they're stealing in the streets," Ball said. Once the cars have been stolen, they're quickly retrieved by officers waiting nearby. For regular street cars, the process can be much more complicated, since plundered vehicles can end up abandoned, stripped for parts by chop shops or at the bottom of the Cumberland River. Jim Stiles has lived more than 35 years along Bill Creek, where Metro's auto theft detectives and a diver spent an afternoon this month searching for the remnants of stolen cars. Walking his dogs along the railroad tracks that pass over the creek, Stiles pointed to the vacant yard of his neighbor on Lisa Lane, where Metro detectives found the remnants of a chop shop. Six stolen vehicles were found on the property after police arrested a friend of the property owner's grandson for stripping cars to sell parts. Another man used other parts to enhance cars for illegal street racing, police said. The end of the lot is not far from an opening on the creek's bank, where detectives expected to find shells of dumped cars. "People come in here all hours, day and night," Stiles said. "I try to pay no attention, but I know what they're doing." Smith and his unit never did find the Hondas they expected to find from the chop shop, but they came upon another vehicle that day in the Cumberland River off Pennington Bend. The Chevy Cavalier was beaten up but did not seem to have been stripped for parts. They pulled it from the river and discovered it had been reported stolen in North Carolina. The keys were inside.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Dean starts budget hearings Tuesday

By MICHAEL CASS • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • February 25, 2008 Post a CommentRecommend Print this page E-mail this article Share this article: Facebook Digg Reddit Newsvine What’s this? Mayor Karl Dean will start holding departmental budget hearings Tuesday, about four weeks before his budget recommendations are due. His office announced the schedule today. The meetings, which run through March 5, will be held in the Mayor's Media Conference Room on the first floor of the Metro Courthouse. The mayor's office is asking people to arrive early for each hearing so the door can be closed during the sessions. Dean and his finance director, Rich Riebeling, have predicted a difficult fiscal year ahead and asked departments to propose 5, 10 and 15 percent budget cuts. Riebeling and his budget staff have already met with each department. Dean has to recommend an operating budget for the 2008-09 fiscal year to the Metro Council by March 25. The new year starts July 1.


February 17, 2008 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACTS Jackie Jones @ 862-8400 Ext. 304 Barry McAlister @ 862-8400 Ext. 320 Community Meetings Scheduled to Update Metro Parks’ Master Plan Nashville, TN ---The Metropolitan Parks Department has scheduled five community meetings to give area residents an opportunity to help update the city’s Master Plan for Parks and Greenways. The meetings, planned for various sections of the city, are scheduled for the following dates and locations. Monday, February 25, 2008 6:30 p.m. at Hermitage Police Precinct, 3701 James Kay Lane, Hermitage, TN 27076, Phone: 615-880-1776 Tuesday, February 26, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. at Una Elementary School, 2018 Murfreesboro Road, Antioch, TN 37217, Phone: 615-360-2921 Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at 6:00 p.m. at Z. Alexander Looby Center, 2301 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville, TN 37208, Phone: 615-862-8454 Thursday, February 28, 2008 at 6:30 p.m., Warner Parks Nature Center, 7311 Highway 100, Edwin Warner Park, Nashville, TN 37221, Phone: 615-352-6299 Monday, March 3, 2008 at 6:30 p.m., Parkway Baptist Church, 505 Cuniff Parkway, Goodlettsville, TN 37072, Phone: 615- 865-2325 Citizens unable to attend the meetings can easily provide their input to the plan by logging on to the Parks’ Department website at or writing the Parks Department in care of Master Plan Update, Post Office Box 196340, 37219-6340. The Parks and Greenways Master Plan was adopted by the Metro Parks Board in November 2002, after a year-long public process. Since then, implementation of the plan has resulted in a variety of new projects and addressed system-wide deferred maintenance. To date, Hadley, East, and Hartman community centers have been completed, and the Coleman Community Center will open this spring. The new Parkwood Neighborhood Center has opened, as has the replacement for the McFerrin Neighborhood Center. The South Inglewood center will open this spring as well. Additionally, the Watkins, Kirkpatrick, Looby, Morgan, Napier, Easley, West, Elizabeth, and Cleveland centers have undergone renovations. More than 90 new playgrounds have been constructed at elementary schools and parks under the plan, and the city's first skate park, along with new amenities at Wave Country are complete. Three new nature centers will be completed by the summer, and Fort Negley has been opened with a new interpretive center. Golf courses have seen considerable improvements as well. McCabe was totally renovated, while irrigation systems at Harpeth Hills and Two Rivers were improved, and a new clubhouse constructed at Two Rivers. Master Plan Community Meetings Metro Parks - February 17, 2008 The first phase of new youth soccer complex was built near the airport, and improvements at Harpeth and Heartland soccer facilities were also completed. Sports fields were improved at West, Whitfield, Cedar Hill, and Seven Oaks parks, and a complete renovation of the Warner sports fields is currently underway. New parks have been added to the system at Public Square, Caldwell, Una, and Brookmeade, and Bells Bend and Beaman Parks opened to the public after capital improvements. The department has developed 36.5 miles of trail with approximately 14 miles are under development (planning, land acquisition, design or construction in progress). The greenway initiatives anticipate continued trail development along the Harpeth River Whites Creek, Richland Creek and Mill Creek greenways, and an extension from the Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge to Opry Mills. In addition the Riverfront Redevelopment Plan has been completed, which envisions additional parkland downtown. The Metro Board of Parks and Recreation does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, sex, color, national origin, or disability in admission, access to, or operations of its programs, services, or activities. For TTY (relay service), call 1-800-849-0299. For questions, concerns, or requests regarding the American Disabilities Act call 862-8400.

Hello District 29 Neighbors:

Your attendance is needed and necessary at the Metro Parks Department's meeting at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, February 26, 2007 at Una Elementary (in cafeteria). (See more details below.) Although there will be five meetings held, the meeting on Tuesday, February 26 is the meeting that I hope that you will attend. Please attend this meeting, bring a neighbor and provide your input on the need for full service community center or centers, protected greenways and parks to be established in our immediate area. I will see you at the meeting. These meetings were also advertised in the City Paper, Tennessean, and Beacon Newspapers last week. Gratefully, Vivian Wilhoite Metro Councilmember, District 29 589-2003

Sunday, February 24, 2008

"Gunman Sought In Antioch Shooting, Teen Injured"

Police are investigating an overnight shooting in Antioch. The shooting happened just after midnight Monday on Village Green Drive in the Nashboro Village Complex. Police said two men approached the 18-year-old victim in the parking lot. One man started firing, and a bullet struck the victim in the leg. Medics took him to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he was alert and talking to detectives. Officers are searching for the suspect. If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 74-CRIME . To watch video: Click here! Copyright 2008 by WKRN Nashville Tennessee. All Rights Reserved.

Bill pushes minority contracts for Metro

By JANELL ROSS • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • February 24, 2008 Mayor Karl Dean and at least two members of the Metro Council think they have the solution to a problem that has vexed Metro government for decades: Local women- and minority-owned business owners are awarded a paltry share of public contracts. Legislation filed Friday with the Metro Council would overhaul the way companies compete for Metro contracts and the way they are awarded. The 18-page bill is the work of Metro's legal department and a consultant who studied Nashville's business environment for the past three years. The bill was sponsored by District 32 Councilman Sam Coleman and Councilwoman Megan Barry, who serves at-large, and is supported by Mayor Karl Dean. The first of three votes will be at the March 4 council meeting. "It gives us more of a chance than we had before," Coleman said. Between 1999 and 2003, Metro government's major agencies — city government, the airport, transit and housing authorities, schools and Nashville Electric Service — collectively awarded all but 7.62 percent of their construction work to companies owned by white men, according to a separate study released last summer. White, male-owned companies were also awarded all but 5.3 percent of the agencies' professional services contracts, and all but 9.54 percent of goods and services work. Dean made the issue of women- and minority-owned business participation part of his campaign. During his first 100 days in office, he appointed a committee to suggest changes in the way Metro does business with private companies. He also moved the director of Metro's Disadvantaged, Minority and Small Business Assistance program into the mayor's office as a special assistant. "Nashville is a diverse city," Dean said in a statement Friday. "We need to do everything we can to make sure this diversity is reflected in the way our city government does business. It's good for our economy, and it's just the right thing to do." The bill filed Friday calls for a new oversight office that will evaluate bids and proposals the purchasing committee deems best for compliance with Metro's nondiscrimination practices. The office will verify that contractors made an effort to subcontract or work with female- or minority-owned businesses and that the agreements between contractors and subcontractors are legitimate. Businesses that violate the city's requirements when submitting bids can be temporarily suspended or barred for an unspecified period from vying for Metro work. The bill will also establish annual benchmarks for participation by women and minorities. They are not quotas or goals and will not inform how contracts should be awarded, said Janel Lacy, Dean's press secretary. Darek Bell, owner of Bell and Associates Construction Co. Inc. and vice president of Ray Bell Construction Co. Inc., said he's used to the requirements in the bill from working in Atlanta, Birmingham and Knoxville, where they already exist. "It's kind of surprising that it has taken Nashville this long," said Bell, who also sits on the advisory committee formed by Dean. "… If you look at the cities where these kinds of measures are already in place, they have a much stronger DBE (disadvantaged business enterprise) contractor community. It seems to make a difference. And I think it's pretty clear Nashville has some work to do." At this point, the bills' approval is not a given. "It's an issue that merits discussion," said at-large Councilman Charlie Tygard. "But with the financial condition of this city, I am not willing to pay any premium for goods and services or adhere to any type of quota. … And what I will really be looking at is the cost." The Finance Department is working to determine the finical impact of the proposal, said Lacy.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

School put on lockdown as teens captured in thefts

Juveniles suspected in rash of break-ins By NATALIA MIELCZAREK • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • February 23, 2008 Three Nashville teens took a school bus Friday morning to get to class, but were spotted shortly afterward heading with guns to the nearby woods, Metro police said. The teens, all students at Antioch High School's freshman academy, were captured hiding under portable classrooms on the Thomas A. Edison Elementary campus, which was put on lockdown during the incident. The teens stashed the guns — stolen in a burglary that morning — in the woods, and all the weapons were recovered, police said. "There are possibly more arrests to come," Lt. Damian Huggins with the Hermitage Police Precinct said at a news conference Friday. "We're focusing our efforts on truancy stings. We have our eyes and surveillance on our high schools and middle schools." The teens are among at least seven juveniles — some with prior burglary charges — arrested in the past couple of days with suspected connections to 40 burglaries this year in the Percy Priest Lake area. The arrests are part of an ongoing effort to curb juvenile crime, which has risen by 56.9 percent between 2006 and last year, Huggins said. Police suspect that the three teens taken into custody Friday are members of a ring that breaks into homes during work hours to steal computers, game systems and guns. Police also interviewed 13 other people in connection with the burglaries, Huggins said. Three other Antioch High School students were arrested Thursday on charges of burglary and theft and are believed to be members of the ring, Huggins said. Metro schools spokesman Woody McMillin declined to comment on the Friday arrests.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Man critically injured in downtown shooting

A man is in critical condition after being shot in a parking lot in downtown Nashville overnight, Metro police said. Police answered the call that came a little after 2 a.m. Wednesday. Police think an attempted robbery in the parking lot at 2nd Avenue South and Molloy Street went awry after words were exchanged between two men, Metro police Capt. David Imhof said. One of the men pulled out a gun and fired, injurying the other, Imhof said. The victim was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center and was in critical condition. He was taken to surgery, Imhof said. Police are looking for the suspect, whom they described as a black man wearing a white shirt and a black stocking cap and who was in a white four-door sedan. Police are also looking for a vehicle of interest, a silver SUV, that was at the scene. If you have any information on this incident, call Metro police. — LEIGH RAY Posted by MS I must leave additional information on this area of town last night. I had gone out for a special Dinner last night at the "Melting Pot" on 2nd avenue. I was dropped off at the front door of the restaurant and 2 seconds away from the door. I had two people stop me to ask for money. I also noticed that 2nd avenue was very dark and scary. That scene put a damper on my dinner and I also saw that the business in this establishment was down from what it usually was. I miss the times of going to some great establishments located on 2nd avenue and I am not sure if I will travel that way again soon. In the middle of the night I am watching the news and find that someone got shot later last night near to where I was earlier that night. Why are there not any police patrolling this area at night? Why are half the street lights out? Comment posted by MS

Council approves $11.5 million loan increase to General Hospital

By MICHAEL CASS • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • February 19, 2008 Nashville’s struggling city hospital will be able to use another $11.5 million to finish the current budget year after the Metro Council approved a loan extension and increase tonight. The council voted 34-3 to help Nashville General Hospital at Meharry, which serves many poor and indigent patients who have no medical insurance. The hospital will have another year to pay off the loan, which is now almost $32 million. Metro also has provided the Metro Hospital Authority more than $256 million in subsidies over the past five years. The hospital authority runs Nashville General independently of the city’s central government but receives funding from it. Several council members said they were voting reluctantly for the measure as a short-term financial fix. They said the city needs to start coming up with long-term solutions for the hospital’s problems. Dr. Reginald Coopwood, the hospital authority’s CEO, said he was pleased with the loan changes and understood the council’s larger concerns.

Public meeting on downtown quality of life set for Monday

By MICHAEL CASS • Staff Writer • February 19, 2008 The public will have a chance to talk about "issues affecting the quality of life downtown" at a meeting Monday, the Metro Council announced today. Members of a new task force will host the meeting from 4 to 6 p.m. in the auditorium of the Nashville Public Library, 615 Church St. The council created the task force at the same time it approved a new law that prohibits aggressive panhandling in Nashville - and bans any panhandling at certain times. The group plans to "create an action plan for improving the quality of life downtown," according to a news release. For more information, call the Metro Council office at 862-6780. Posted by MS

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Metro debt may drive up water bills

Rate hikes could reach double digits By MICHAEL CASS • Staff Writer(Tennessean) • February 20, 2008 Several years of “double-digit annual rate hikes” might be needed to pay for Metro Nashville government’s upcoming water and sewer building projects, a major rating agency said in downgrading the city’s credit. At the same time, the two other major rating firms have put the city on notice that its credit for other building projects could be lowered if it doesn’t put its financial house in better order. The Tennessean reported last week the reserve funds Metro sets aside to pay off debt on most projects dropped by more than $50 million in the past two years, forcing a rethinking of what the city can afford to build. Late Tuesday, Fitch Ratings reduced Metro’s bond rating for about $375 million in outstanding debt on water and sewer projects because of declining reserve funds, reduced financial flexibility and significant building needs. The agency downgraded Metro from an AA rating to AA-, it said in a news release. The top possible rating is AAA, but AA is considered good, said Metro Finance Director Rich Riebeling. Fitch’s announcement read, in part: “Fitch believes the overall reduction in reserves leaves Metro with little flexibility to address growing capital needs. Further, Fitch believes the growth in Metro’s capital plan coupled with a prolonged period of rate inaction will likely compel double-digit annual rate hikes over the next several years.” Metro Councilwoman Emily Evans, who used to work in municipal finance and keeps a close eye on the city’s water and sewer program, said she expects a rate increase in Metro’s next operating budget. The city hasn’t raised water and sewer rates since 1996, and it cut sewer rates in 1999. “I don’t think it would be prudent to avoid it any longer,” Evans said. Riebeling said “some form of rate increase” would be required to fund capital projects for Metro Water Services. “How much of one is the question,” Riebeling said. “When we make a recommendation, we’ve got to be comfortable that it’s enough to do the job but as low as possible for ratepayers.” A rating downgrade can make it more expensive for the city to borrow money. But Evans said the Fitch downgrade is “modest enough” so that it won’t have much impact on Metro’s ability to borrow for water and sewer projects. Outlook turns negative The other rating agencies, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, changed Metro’s outlook for $315 million in general-obligation bonds, which are repaid with property tax revenues, from “stable” to “negative.” Riebeling said Fitch had already given Metro a negative outlook after voters won the right in 2006 to decide whether the city can raise property taxes. “Reserve levels are currently not commensurate with the rating level, and continued draws on reserves without any long-term, recurring fiscal solutions would lead to a downgrade,” Standard & Poor’s wrote Wednesday. None of the agencies downgraded the city’s credit for general-obligation debt. But they want to see improvement, Riebeling said. “We understand the issues, we know the problems, and we’re going to try to make it better,” he said.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Performance of Metro social services chief criticized

Board meets this week to review controversial director's contract By MICHAEL CASS and JANELL ROSS • Staff Writers (Tennessean) • February 19, 2008 The head of Metro's social services programs, criticized for failing to make recommended changes, may find out this week whether she gets to keep her job. Executive Director Gerri Robinson oversees an agency that works to help the city's poorest residents, especially the elderly, disabled and homeless, through programs such as "meals on wheels" and in-home care for seniors. It has about 90 employees and an $8.7 million budget. Councilman Jim Gotto of Hermitage said Robinson has "totally refused" to carry out a reorganization of services that auditors recommended just before she was hired in 2004. He hopes she's ousted. "Quite frankly, I just don't think she's done a very good job," Gotto said. "Change is very much needed." Robinson defended her leadership, pointing to her department's accreditation last year by a national organization. She said she loves the work, which pays her $123,771 a year. "This is my dream job," she said. The ultimate decision on Robinson's fate will fall to the Social Services Board of Commissioners, which meets Wednesday to review Robinson's performance and contract. Proposal, audit conflict The meeting comes after almost a year of upheaval in the department. Three of seven commissioners resigned last spring after the board voted 3-2 to give Robinson an 8 percent raise. A fourth commissioner also quit for job-related reasons, leaving the body unable to meet for eight months. (Because the board couldn't meet to approve the minutes of the March meeting and Robinson's contract had expired, she actually never received the raise.) Mayor Karl Dean appointed four new commissioners after he took office last fall. The board started meeting again in December. On Dec. 27, Robinson recommended eliminating the department's Planning and Coordination Unit as a way to deal with possible budget cuts in the next fiscal year. The unit works to identify social service needs and develop long-range plans for meeting them. According to the official minutes of the meeting, Robinson explained that the unit isn't required by law and that government's role is "to provide safety net services." But the proposal ran counter to the 2004 audit, which said Social Services should "assume the role of planner and coordinator" and "discontinue being a direct service provider." Dr. Frank Boehm, a new board commissioner, objected to Robinson's idea, saying the planning unit was "vital to (Metro Social Services') business model," according to the minutes. Like most other board members, Boehm declined to comment for this story. But Metro Councilman Erik Cole, who represents part of east Nashville, said Robinson's proposal was "astonishing." "There is a role to play in the coordination of services and needs assessment," said Cole, who serves on a Metro commission working to end chronic homelessness. Cole said the Social Services board's Personnel Committee voted 2-1 last week to recommend that the board give Robinson a three-year contract extension. The possibility of an extension without a "thorough, credentialed evaluation" of Robinson was "very problematic," he said. Assisted in transition Robinson said the department tried to outsource its largest remaining services, nutrition and in-home care for senior citizens, but didn't get much response. "If there's a market out there, and the private sector can pick up the slack, they aren't telling us about it," she said. Gwendolyn K. Harris, chairwoman of the Social Services board, said Robinson has helped the department make the transition from service provider to primarily a research and referral agency. Robinson said the department had 400 employees just five years ago. Harris said Robinson has refused to give in during tumultuous times. "Her job has been hell, to put it mildly, and ours has been a challenge," Harris said. "But I commend her because she stayed in there and stuck with us." Metro Finance Director Rich Riebeling admonished Robinson last month for proposing a list of budget reductions that began with service cuts. But the list was approved by the board at the Dec. 27 meeting, Harris said. "Change is not always perceived as being an improvement," Harris said. Renette Miller, 34, is a single mother of three who lives in south Nashville and works as a home health aide. She describes her experiences with Social Services as mixed. She has been handed off from one agency to another while her finances are dwindling. Miller approached Social Services last month at the suggestion of a church friend. Miller recently had the flu, had to take time off from work and lost several days of pay. She said she'll need help paying her rent March 1. Social Services referred her to the Metro Action Commission, the agency that has taken over immediate family financial assistance. "I think they want to help. They sound like the want to help…," Miller said. "but I've got two weeks before I'm in real trouble."

Attackers strike in parking lot, laundry room

Separate incidents leave a man stabbed, a teen shot; neither is critically hurt A man was stabbed Monday night in a south Nashville apartment complex laundry room, and an 18-year-old was shot less than two hours later in the parking lot of a condo and apartment complex in south Nashville. Metro police Capt. David Imhof said early Tuesday morning that police were still investigating both cases and conducting interviews. Thompson Place Apartments A man was in the laundry room of the Thompson Place Apartments around 10:45 p.m. Monday when a man and a woman approached him. The man had a sharp object and stabbed the victim, Imhof said. The attacker and the woman, whom police describe as white, in her mid-30s, with blonde hair and wearing a brown shirt and brown pants, left in a red, four-door Chevy Trailblazer. It's not known yet if anything was stolen from the stabbing victim. The victim went back to his apartment, and his roommate took him to Southern Hills Medical Center. The injuries were in his head area, but they were not considered life-threatening, Imhof said. Nashboro Village Police responded to a call just before 12:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Nashboro Village complex, in the 100 block of Village Green. A teen, 18, was in the parking lot along with some other people when two young men, at least one of whom was armed with a gun, approached. Numerous shots were fired, and the teen was hit, Imhof said. The teen was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. His injuries were not considered life-threatening. Imhof said police are trying to ascertain the motive for the shooting. Detailed descriptions of the young men who approached the group were not available. Both incidents occurred in Metro's Hermitage Precinct. — LEIGH RAY(Tennessean)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Metro chief wants own DNA lab

By KATE HOWARD • Staff Writer(Tennessean) • February 17, 2008 Nearly 600 cases passed through the Metro Police Department's forensics lab last year, and the bullets, guns and fingerprints collected at crime scenes were inspected one by one. That's because the century-old facility, a converted garage behind the department's James Robertson Parkway headquarters, has one microscope to compare bullets, one machine to enter ballistics information into the database, and one room to test confiscated guns. Because the integrity of evidence demands separate work space for each case, forensic examiners with fresh homicide cases often have to wait their turn. The lack of space is the reason the Police Department is studying a move into a new facility. But Chief Ronal Serpas has been lobbying for the funds to add more than space. He wants to stop sending his department's DNA analyses to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's crime lab and get the capabilities to analyze them in-house, prioritizing cases as crime trends dictate. "The TBI does a great job with DNA, but there's 400 police departments knocking at the door of the TBI," Serpas said. Old fire facility studied Metro police submitted 179 cases for examination to the TBI last year, said Joe Minor of the agency's forensics department. That accounts for about 17 percent of the total caseload at Nashville TBI headquarters. Cases important to the public, such as the December theft of two Davidson County Election Commission laptops containing Social Security numbers of 337,000 voters, require a letter from the district attorney general's office asking the TBI lab to bump them up on the list. "If we have our own DNA lab, we don't have to ask anyone for permission," Serpas said. The department got about $500,000 last year to study a possible renovation of the Nashville Fire headquarters for a new lab, and Serpas said he plans to look into the possibilities of making DNA analysis one of its primary exports. Posted by MS

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Important Information Repeated Again - Please pass these phone numbers to your friends

This is being posted again because many people I have talked to in the last few weeks had no idea these phone numbers even existed. Keep these phone numbers handy. Do you have any information about a crime? If so, pleases call 742-7463. You may receive -a cash reward up to $1,000.00, and you do have to give your name. CALL NOW, time means money! You can make a difference. Do you have information concerning possible drug activity? If you do, call 244-3673 and you may be eligible for a cash reward. You do not have to give your name and you can remain anonymous. Please leave a comment to let us know if you feel that the crime is on the rise in District 29. You do not have to leave a name. I would like to forward this information onto people that state that the crime rate is very low in our District. Thank you! MS

Woman, 74, Attacked By Purse Snatcher

Mary Hamilton Attacked While Returning Home From Shopping Reported By Cynthia Williams POSTED: 4:40 pm CST February 15, 2008 UPDATED: 7:06 pm CST February 15, 2008 NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A 74-year-old Antioch woman who was headed home with a Valentine's Day surprise for her husband was attacked by a purse snatcher who was hiding in her garage. Video: Antioch Woman, 74, Attacked By Purse Snatcher Mary Hamilton is a petite woman with four grandchildren, but she was not a pushover for the attacker. "He came from in between those two houses and when I turned, he was right in my face," said Hamilton. It was broad daylight on Thursday when Hamilton returned home with a few bags of groceries and a special surprise for her husband, Jim, of 50 years. Cradling Jim's hyacinth, and managing a balancing act with an arm load of groceries, Hamilton couldn't have been more astonished at realizing she wasn't alone in her garage. "And he was here and he just started grabbing, and I realized what he was doing he was trying to get my purse," said Hamilton. The stranger took off with her purse and she went right after him. "He took off running, and I took off running after him because I wanted to see which way he was going," said Hamilton. The purse snatcher got away, but not without a fight. "I hurt my hand, and it does hurt," said Hamilton. At home on Friday, she expressed few regrets about how she handled the situation. "I work out. No, I'm not afraid," said Hamilton. Despite her toughness, she is thankful to still be around for her children, grandchildren and husband. "Oh yes, thankful. Yes ma'am, because it could've been bad," said Hamilton. Channel 4 spoke with Metro Police on Friday, and they said they do have some good leads in this case, but no one has been arrested. Hamilton said she was glad the thief escaped with her Liz Claiborne bag and not her more expensive Coach purse. To watch video "Click Here"

Top Metro schools administrator resigns

By Natalia Mielczarek • Staff Writer Tennessean • February 15, 2008 One of Metro school district’s top administrators, Ben Wright, submitted his resignation this afternoon, effective March 21, the district’s communications office said. Wright, who was hired seven months ago, oversaw principals, area directors and guidance counselors, career and technical education and magnet schools. The district didn’t give a reason for Wright’s resignation. A call placed to Wright this afternoon hasn’t been returned. Wright’s resignation comes weeks after the departure of the schools Director Pedro Garcia, who was released from his contract after more than six year. The 75,000-student district is now looking for an interim direction and is likely to launch a national search for the permanent position this spring.

Tennesseans brace for higher electric bills atop other rising prices

By NAOMI SNYDER • Staff Writer Tennessean • February 16, 2008 Electric customers can expect to see their bills go up by $4 to $7 per month on average starting April 1 as electric suppliers throughout the region pass on the Tennessee Valley Authority's rate hike. The TVA approved a 7 percent increase at a board meeting Friday, citing rising demand for electricity and the need for more power generation. Some customers thought the rate increases would hit them harder in the midst of other high prices for food and gas and a slower economy overall. "The timing is off,'' said Nashville Electric Service customer Arzaa Bryant, who has seen his work slack off as a mortgage broker. "With the economy in a bad situation already, it's going to make things so much worse right now." Bryant, who has three children, said he pays about $300 per month for electricity at his 3,500-square-foot home, not counting what it costs him to heat the place. He has started his own marketing event company to help make up for a slower housing market. Area distributors of TVA electricity, including Nashville Electric Service, said they would pass along TVA's rate increase to their customers. Posted by MS

Cops learned late that Metro knew when laptops stolen

Davidson Election chief says all information passed along By MICHAEL CASS • Staff Writer Tennessean• February 16, 2008 On Jan. 2, as anxious Nashville voters worried they would become victims of identity theft, Metro police announced that they had learned the likely time of the theft of two laptop computers bearing the Social Security numbers of 337,000 Nashville voters. But workers of the Davidson County Election Commission and other Metro employees had known the likely time of the theft for a week, according to e-mails examined by The Tennessean. County Election Administrator Ray Barrett said the election commission didn't sit on any information, but he could not explain the seven-day lag. "We turned everything we knew over as quickly as we knew it," Barrett said. "I can't say when the police got it. Did I pick up the phone the first minute I knew it? No. But we gave them all that we knew." Employees of the election commission and Metro Information Technology Services had learned on Dec. 26 that a computer router stolen along with the laptops had been unplugged at 9:45 p.m. on Christmas Eve, the e-mails show. The time of the router going offline seemed to pinpoint the time of the break-in. But police didn't learn until Jan. 2, the day officers told the public, that the router had been unplugged at 9:45 p.m. on Dec. 24, police spokesman Don Aaron said this week. "Detective (Rick) Mavity did not know that until the day we put it out," Aaron said. "I remember thinking that was a pretty important fact. … We were speaking about a broad range of dates then." Machines recovered Sandy Cole, director of Metro Information Technology Services, was out of the office on Friday and did not respond to a message left on her voice mail. The computer router and two laptops were stolen from the election commission's offices on Second Avenue South. Police recovered the machines on Jan. 17, and tests indicated the sensitive data had not been viewed or copied. The e-mails show that a Metro information systems analyst sent a log for the router to Kathy Charlton-Deshotels, the election commission's information systems adviser, at 12:11 p.m. Dec. 26. About three hours later, another employee asked Charlton-Deshotels whether it was true that "some equipment" was missing. She wrote back at 3:28 p.m. that she had reported the serial number for a Cisco router to the police. "The great news is ... Don King was able to provide exactly when the Router was shut down according to his log apparently sometime on 12/24/2007 around 9:45 p.m.," Charlton-Deshotels wrote, copying the message to Barrett. Aaron said both Metro agencies cooperated with every request from police investigators. Ultimately, he said, the time it took for police to get the router information didn't harm the investigation, which turned on DNA analysis of blood left behind by the thief, who cut his hand during the burglary. Barrett said it was Charlton-Deshotels, in fact, who told police about the blood after officers missed it on an initial sweep of the election commission's offices. Posted by MS

Friday, February 15, 2008

Briefs: Education alliance holds meeting

Tennessean 2/15/2008 The next meeting of the Community Education Alliance is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, in room C407 on the fourth floor of the Metro Nashville Public Schools' building, 2601 Bransford Ave. The meeting will be a joint meeting of the alliance and the Central Community Council and is being held to bring everyone up to date on community education activities. Guests are asked to enter through the Customer Service Center entrance from the Berry Road parking lot. Red Cross needs blood donations after tornadoes The recent tornadoes that ripped through Middle Tennessee caused numerous injuries, sending many people to area hospitals for treatment. Many of these patients will require donated blood to treat their injuries. The American Red Cross continues to receive requests from area hospitals for units of type O-negative blood. As a result, the supply of type O-negative blood is low and expected to drop to even lower levels. Although every blood type is important, type O donors play a critical role in maintaining the blood supply. Type O negative is often called the universal blood type, because it can be transfused to a person with any blood type. The American Red Cross is encouraging people with type O-negative and type O-positive blood to donate as soon as possible. A blood drive is scheduled for 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at Ezell-Harding Christian School, 574 Bell Road. For more information, call 250-4300. Edmondson library hosts Umoja bingo The Edmondson Pike Branch Library, 5501 Edmondson Pike, invites children of all ages to have fun with history and learn about famous African-Americans during a game called "Umoja: African-American History Bingo!" Umoja is a Swahili word meaning "unity." The event will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16. For details, call 880-3957.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Residents invited to meeting at Glencliff Elementary on Metro sidewalks, bikeways

Submitted by KATIE YOUNG • McNeely Pigott & Fox Public Relations • February 13, 2008 A series of community meetings will be held to update the public on the Strategic Plan for Sidewalks and Bikeways for Davidson County and to solicit input from the community. Among the meetings will be one for Zone 5, which will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at Glencliff Elementary School, 120 Antioch Pike. The original Strategic Plan for Sidewalks and Bikeways, completed in March 2003, is under review by Metro Public Works and the Metro Planning Department and will be updated based on the Sidewalk Priority Index (SPI) and other factors. The SPI establishes the order for new sidewalk construction and improvements based on proximity to neighborhoods, schools, libraries, parks and other facilities that create pedestrian traffic. "I want to encourage residents from all parts of Nashville to participate in these community meetings," Mayor Karl Dean said. "We've made great strides in recent years to accommodate walkers and cyclists. Going forward, we want to make sure decisions about new sidewalks and bikeways are based on the most current information. "No one knows our communities' needs better than the people who live in them, and their input is critical to this process." The strategic plan provides: (1) recommended pedestrian and bicycle networks; (2) design standards for constructing sidewalks and bikeways; (3) criteria for establishing priorities for repair, improvements and new construction; (4) recommended changes to relevant ordinances and regulations; (5) public education and enforcement recommendations; and (6) an assessment of the funding mechanism. Since the plan was adopted in 2003, the city has added and repaired 124 miles of sidewalks, 94 miles of bike lanes and more than 7,000 wheelchair-accessible sidewalk ramps. For more information about the sidewalks and bikeways strategic plan, visit

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Please Join Mayor Karl Dean For a Town Hall Meeting on Education

Monday February 11, 2007 Time: 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Maplewood High School 401 Walton Lane Nashville, TN 37216 For further information please call 862-600

District 29 Crime Update Meeting Photos

Friday, February 8, 2008

District 29 Crime Update Meeting Minutes

District 29 Crime Update Meeting Minutes Hermitage Police Precinct Thursday February 7, 2008 A very big thank you to the members of the Priest Lake Presbyterian Church for the opportunity to conduct the Crime Update Meeting at their church. Council Lady Vivian Wilhoite, presiding Opening of the Meeting –Prayer by Reverend Paul Burns Introduction of the of the Guest Speaker-Council Lady Vivian Wilhoite Discussed the continuous meetings to keep everyone abreast of the crime situation I District “29” and through the entire Nashville area. Thanked everyone from the community for attending the meeting. Introduced Chief Ronal Serpas Metropolitan Nashville Davidson Police Department- Chief Ronal Serpas 1) He states that they are only notified of about ½ the crimes that have been committed. • The department has stopped reading fiction about how to police people • Have a professional police attitude- every person should be helped by a police person no matter what the problem • The police have started to do things to help people better 2) Auto theft has not been lower then it is now (2007 reports) 3) Burglaries are lower now then they were in 1965 4) People that are releases from prisons are the ones causing most of the crimes 5) January 1, 2008 “Crooks with Guns” law is passed. Repeat offenders that are affected the most by this law. 6) Out of 70% of armed robberies, 40% of the crimes committed are by criminals that have been convicted on a felony charge. 30% have committed some type of crime. This is an ongoing, uphill battle. 7) Narcotic arrests higher now then ever before. Dealers are running a business and they are only concerned about making money. A drug arrest that takes place in a car where there is also a gun found carries a stiffer penalty. 8) Gangs- the idea of gangs has been going on for a long time. The differences with the gangs we have now are that members change to other gangs and they are not looking to make a lifetime commit to any one gang. 9) Some kids might dress like they are in gangs but they are not. The new dress code has helped this situation. 10) From August 2007 through October 2208 three days a week time are spent to monitor gangs and their activities. Extra money spent on overtime has been used to control gang problems. What is needed for the next four years have a stronger police department and be able to obtain more officers 1) Need to be able to offer better pay and benefits to be able to obtain more police 2) Better education for the community 3) More Precincts in Nashville 4) More Precinct Staffing 5) Need to have DNA lab- being able to use DNA samples would solve more crimes 6) Trying to get some Police Officers to patrol neighborhoods 7) Crimes against you are usually by some one you know Questions for Chief Ronal Serpas Q) What about the safety at Bicentennial Mall? A) Perhaps better lighting and different policing methods In general, Nashville has a higher % of crime reduction than other cities. Q) What does a Sheriff do? A) Not a law official, maintance of prisons and prisoners, serving warrants. The Police department has the criminal responsibility. Introduction of Commander Michelle Richter - Hermitage Precinct If you see a criminal try and get a good description of person, car, anything you can get to help. There was a 3% decrease in the crime rate in 2007. Questions of Michelle Richter Q) Man and woman that are homeless keep coming into Cablegate, what can we do? A) Nothing unless they are committing a crime or panhandling. Q) Nashboro Village – What about the high crime rate? A) Nashboro Village has been a roller coaster ride. Management has been working hard to correct issues. They have changed the Section 8 status. Met with management to try and get better lighting. Q) Are there many gangs around here? A) Not really, just a few. At one point there was a gang issue when they were living in vacant apartments. Q) In Cane Ridge there is a new High School is being built, have the police evaluated what will happen with the gangs between Antioch High School and the new one? A) They will have support there. The new dress code is making a large difference. Q) Vivian Wilhoite asked how we can obtain truancy reports? A) Looking to have a link added to this blog Q) Are the Police around when blasting is happen? A) NO, but if people think the vibrations are too much, make the police department aware and they can find someone to measure the blasting. If blasting is going to happen and you are within 300 feet you should be notified by the city. Q) The speeding around Antioch has gotten worse. Can you post a speed limit? A) It is a societal problem and is very difficult to change Q) I have been living in the condos in the Nashboro Village area for 7 years and feel the crime rate has drastically increased. A) Setup a Neighborhood Watch Closing by Vivian Wilhoite That is the crime update. These meetings are for the public to voice their concerns. We need to strengthen our relationship with the Police Department. Further updates will be posted, to keep the district up-to-date on all important issues. It is very important that more people start getting involved and attend the Crime Update Meetings. If you know people in your neighborhood that might not have access to a Computer please make them aware of the meetings. Spread the word and let’s strengthen “District 29” and make our neighborhoods a great place to live. Posted on the side of the blog are important phone numbers to keep on hand to report a crime or information concerning possible drug activity. Do not be afraid to use them. Crime Stoppers 74-CRIME (742-7463) Drug Activity 244-DOPE (244-3673) You do not have to give your name! Just make the call! Start a Neighborhood Watch Group. If you are interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch Group in your neighborhood please send an email to fullcircle148@aol and leave name, area you live and contact information. Have a great Weekend! Posted by MS

Monday, February 4, 2008

Hello District 29 Neighbors-"Crime Update Meeting for Southeast Davidison, District 29"

“Crime Update Meeting for Southeast Davidson, District 29” Time: 6:00 – 7:30 pm Thursday, February 7, 2008 Priest Lake Presbyterian Church 2787 Smith Springs Road Chief Ronal Serpas Metropolitan Police Department and Commander Michelle Richter and Officers Hermitage Precinct Dear District 29 Neighbors: Please attend the Crime Update Meeting on Thursday, February 7, 2008 at the Priest Lake Presbyterian Church. Chief Ronal Serpas will share with us the State of Crime for Southeast Davidson and the Nashville community. Additionally, Commander Michelle Richter and the staff from the Hermitage Precinct which patrols District 29 and the surrounding area will provide an update on crime activity in the area, provide follow-up information from the October meeting, and give up tips for increased safety. There will be an opportunity for questions. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to bring to their attention occurrences in the community and remain anonymous. Please attend. Bring a neighbor. Bring your concerns. If you have questions, please contact me at 589-2003 or send me an email by visiting Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. This is an effort to keep you informed. I look forward to seeing you at the gathering. Gratefully, Vivian Wilhoite Metro Councilmember 589-2003