Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The most serious calls handled by Metro police, listed by time, crime reported and address. Some reports may be unfounded. Police calls are listed by police precinct or town. When police cannot immediately determine the location of a crime, the address given is that of the police station or hospital where the crime was reported. For a detailed list, search CRIME Sept. 24 Antioch 9:01 a.m., holdup/robbery, 600 block Richards Road 7:37 p.m., holdup/robbery, 600 block Hickory Hollow Terrace Donelson 2:02 p.m., residential burglary, 200 block Fairway Drive Hermitage 12:24 a.m., residential burglary, 200 block Spence Lane 6:41 p.m., cutting/stabbing, 700 block Margaret Robertsn Drive Priest Lake 5:45 p.m., holdup/robbery, 2800 block Smith Springs Road South 12:51 a.m., nonresidential burglary, 5300 block Mt. View Road 5:08 p.m., residential burglary, 200 block Plus Park Boulevard 5:47 p.m., holdup/robbery, 5400 block Bell Forge Lane East 10:48 p.m., holdup/robbery, Chestnut Street and Third Avenue South Una 6:03 p.m., residential burglary, 1600 block Longhunter Lane Sept. 23 Antioch 9:33 a.m., residential burglary, 500 block Piccadilly Row 2:47 p.m., residential burglary, 1400 block Bell Trace Drive Donelson 12:41 p.m., holdup/robbery, 3600 block Bell Road Hermitage 9:24 p.m., holdup/robbery, 900 block Patricia Drive Priest Lake 5:40 p.m., residential burglary, 3300 block Country Ridge Drive 9:36 p.m., residential burglary, 1000 block Carla Court Una 7:24 p.m., residential burglary, 2100 block Longhunter Lane Sept. 22 Antioch 9:53 a.m., residential burglary, 200 block Hickory Hollow Place Donelson 2:06 a.m., nonresidential burglary, 2600 block Lebanon Pike 11:31 a.m., residential burglary, 600 block Ermac Drive 5:03 p.m., residential burglary, 700 block Airways Circle Hermitage 1:41 a.m., holdup/robbery, Lewis Street and Cannon Street 8:59 a.m., nonresidential burglary, 4800 block Lebanon Pike 10:29 a.m., holdup/robbery, 1000 block Riverwood Village Boulevard 2:28 p.m., nonresidential burglary, 3400 block Lebanon Pike 2:45 p.m., residential burglary, 7000 block Panama Drive
Posted by Blogger at 1:56 PM
TUESDAY • September 30, 2008 Metro police are investigating a shooting during a robbery attempt outside a South Nashville home that left one suspect dead and one injured. According to Metro police Randy Hickerson, police have gathered the following account: Officers responded about 10:30 p.m. Monday to a shooting scene outside a home in the 600 block of Tobylynn Drive. Officers determined that a man had arrived home and was unloading his vehicle when two armed individuals wearing ski masks approached him. They brandished what appeared to be firearms and demanded money. The homeowner had a handgun in his hand and fired five shots at the suspects. One of the suspects collapsed at the scene, and the second suspect fled on foot, Hickerson said. The man who collapsed was transported to Southern Hills Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead a short time later. He was 19.About an hour after the shooting, a man was brought to Southern Hills by private vehicle with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. It was determined that this man was the second suspect. He is 23. A weapon was recovered at the scene, Hickerson said. It is a large BB gun that looks like a semiautomatic handgun. Police believe the man who collapsed at the scene was carrying that weapon.The homeowner's handgun could shoot regular rounds or could be used to shoot small shotgun shells, Hickerson said.It was unknown overnight what type of weapon the second suspect carried.The homeowner was not injured in the incident.The investigation, which occurred off of Edmonson Pike in the South Precinct, will continue and will present the facts to the district attorney's office. Any decision on criminal charges will come from the DA's office, Hickerson said.— LEIGH RAY Leigh Ray can be reached at 615-726-5951 or firstname.lastname@example.org.This story has been modified since its original publication.
Monday, September 29, 2008
By ANDY HUMBLES email@example.com 615-726-5939 – • September 25, 2008 A meeting concerning the Harding Place Extension road project will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30 at Hickman Elementary School, 112 Stewarts Ferry Pike, in Donelson. A meeting will also be held at 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2 at Una Elementary School, 2018 Murfreesboro Road. Both meetings will the same information. A brief presentation will be followed by a question and answer period. Representatives of the Tennessee Department of Transportation, Metro Public Works and Nashville Airport Authority are scheduled to be present.Call 741-4777 for information
Friday, September 26, 2008
Because of popular demand, Nashville Zoo and HealthSpring announce a second "Senior Day" at the Zoo. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, Sept. 26, all guests 65 or older will receive free admission to the zoo. In addition, seniors may also receive vouchers from HealthSpring for complimentary food and beverages. Keeper talks will be at various animal exhibits throughout the day, and three animal shows will be presented in the zoo's amphitheater. The young and young-at-heart can also enjoy rides on the Wild Animal Carousel and adventures through Lorikeet Landing with more than 50 Australian parrots. For details, call 833-1534 or visit www.nashvillezoo.org.
Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn complete renovations at locations in the Crossings By SUZANNE NORMAND BLACKWOOD firstname.lastname@example.org 259-8268 • September 26, 2008 The Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn at The Crossings in Hickory Hollow not only have fresh, new looks, their management and owners are hoping recent changes also show a renewed commitment to the area. The recent renovation of Hampton Inn, a Hilton franchise, features new carpeting, new furniture, new drapes and new bedding. "Everything's new in the rooms," said manager Bruce Neal. Microwaves and refrigerators have been added to rooms that did not have them previously, and the rooms' bathrooms feature new granite vanities and light fixtures. The rooms with king-size beds now have walk-in showers, and the rooms with two queen-size beds have tubs. Although the hotel's guests consist of leisure travelers, people visiting family in the area and sports fans, most guests are corporate travelers, Neal said. Thus, many prefer the walk-in shower concept. Some of the rooms with king-size beds also have couches with pull-out sofa sleepers, in case a couple has a small child. Another change is that new artwork has been displayed throughout the hotel, including in the rooms, said Neal. "Hotel artwork is typically bland and boring," he said. But at Hampton Inn, he added, something was wanted that is relevant and would say something about Nashville. For this reason, the artwork consists of photographs of Nashville landmarks, such as the Ryman Auditorium or the Country Music Hall of Fame. The Hampton Inn in Hickory Hollow opened its doors in 1997. "It was time for a complete renovation," Neal said. Also, he added, "Hilton has such strict standards. We love being a Hilton property." Sister hotel also got new look "Our renovation was the most extensive," said Neal. But the Holiday Inn across the street also underwent a facelift. Both hotels are owned by Nath Companies, although Holiday Inn is an Intercontinental franchise. Holiday Inn manager Art Milbert said the hotel underwent "a lot of cosmetic changes, as far as lobby décor and restaurant décor and fixtures." "The rooms had some soft changes with new bedding packages, lighting and modern shower heads, curtains and rods (in) the bathrooms." Hotel managers hope to help area's reputation In an effort to be good neighbors, the hotels donated their old bedding to area charities. Milbert is hoping the donations and the renovations will say that Nath Companies is committed to the area. Although Antioch has a bad reputation because of crime and other factors, "there are a lot of good things going on in this area," he said. "Several people here have really invested in the area."
By Eric Miller • Hendersonville Star News • September 26, 2008 The mayor is running unopposed in the upcoming election, almost certainly ensuring another four years in office, barring an unlikely write-in campaign. With another four years to carry forward his agenda, Mayor Scott Foster said he will continue to work toward his goals of completing road projects in progress and helping the Sumner County Regional Airport expand for the benefit of Hendersonville’s economic development. Short-term goals for Foster include moving forward on infrastructure projects currently in various stages of completion.“First of all, we need to continue those projects that need to be finished,” Foster said. “It takes an enormous amount of time to develop those projects at the state level.”Projects proposed or currently underway include the realignment of Saundersville Road due to be completed in early 2009 that will connect to Indian Lake Boulevard and move beyond it to connect to the Wessington Place neighborhood via Grapevine and Milburn Roads and Scotch Street. Other projects include extending Rockland Road to Center Point Road to provide an alternate route for the Vietnam Veterans bypass and a project to interconnect and resynchronize the traffic lighting throughout the city.Foster considers the highlight of his first term to be the library, which holds its grand opening next week.The new 38,000 square-foot building, more than twice the size of the previous library on Dunn Street that recently closed after 40 years, is scheduled to have a grand opening next week.The new library features a separate story time room for children complete with a built-in, drop-down screen; a separate children’s activity room; meeting space that can be accessed by groups when the library is not open; a separate periodical reading room; four private study rooms; a reading porch and fenced-in garden; and a separate young adults area complete with computers specifically for teens.As his likely second term nears, Foster said he is focused on continuing infrastructure-related projects currently underway and pushing forward on expanding the Sumner County Regional Airport in Gallatin.Expanding the airport will be a big boost to economic development efforts, according to the mayor. A longer runway and more hangar space is needed to attract more corporate headquarters to the city of Hendersonville.Many corporate jets currently can’t land at the airport due to lack of runway space and those that can must have optimum weather conditions to even attempt a landing there, something that has made recruiting corporate headquarters more difficult, Foster said.“We’ve lost several big fish because of the length of the runway at the existing airport,” Foster said, who has been working with the county, airport and other agencies to further expansion efforts. “I think we’ve got tentative support to expand the runway from 5,000 feet to 6,300 feet.”Hanger space is also an issue for potential corporations, Foster said. The airport currently has 15 privately owned single-plane hanger spaces, another 30 owned by the airport and approximately 28 outdoor tie-down spaces and a waiting list of people wanting to use the facilities.Making progress on the airport expansion is contingent on the cooperation of several entities, including the county. When a new county executive is elected in November, the mayor said he will talk to the newly-elected official about moving the project forward. Star News reporter Tena Lee contributed to this article.
Davidson County The Davidson County Sheriff's Office and the United States Marine Corps are sponsoring the annual Toys for Tots motorcycle run Saturday at LP Field. Registration for the event is 9:30-10:30 a.m., and bikes will depart LP Field lot G at 11 a.m. The run will end at the Marine Corps Reserve Training Center on White Bridge Road. Lunch and entertainment will be provided. Last year, about 100 bikes participated raising $2,000 and collecting 450 toys. Cost is $20 per motorcycle and an unwrapped toy. For more information, visit www.nashville-sheriff.net. — STAFF REPORTS
By JAIME SARRIO • Staff Writer( Tennessean) • September 26, 2008 Metro school leaders sent computers for needy students to the wrong schools, couldn't find projectors and other equipment when asked and paid some teachers out of the wrong accounts, a state audit released Thursday revealed. Its authors found no evidence of fraud but wrote the district's history of lax bookkeeping and poor internal communication makes the district an easy target for abuse. The Tennessee Department of Education took a deeper look into Metro's finances after a routine spring check-up was stalled by the district's inability to produce paperwork on its spending. The state, which allocates federal grants, slapped a high-risk label on Metro schools in April. The label endangered $35 million in federal funds bound for Metro students and prompted the in-depth audit. In the meantime, state officials installed a new leader over Metro's federal grants office, Kecia Ray, and added new positions to help with the workload, district spokeswoman Olivia Brown said. She said the district is taking other steps to move forward and "be transparent so it is easy to see where the money is, where it went and how it is being utilized." For the next year, the state will monitor how Metro uses its federal funds. Each month, the state will release more federal money as the district proves it has fixed its problems. "This is a very unusual move for the state and one we have not done so tightly before," said Julie McCargar, executive director of the state's office of federal programs. "We're using a lot more control to ensure these things are in place." Other issues found in the audit included: • Metro couldn't ensure grant money was allocated and spent within the grant's approval period. • Metro didn't follow federal regulations in selecting vendors and contractors. • Employees didn't sign documentation of their work. Part of the problem was Metro's short-term approach, McCargar said — fixing problems long enough to get approved for federal funds that year but skipping long-term, systemic changes. The audit stopped short of placing blame for the mismanagement, but McCargar said it was the previous administration. Schools Director Pedro Garcia left in January after conflict with the school board over his management. Garcia didn't return messages requesting comment on the finances. Many must take classes The state is requiring district employees to take classes on how to manage federal funds, and a consultant will visit for weekly progress checks. If the district follows orders, its "high-risk" status will be reviewed again in July. But for some, the damage has already been done. Michael Holt, a taxpayer living in Bordeaux, said he does not think school officials are held accountable for how they handle money. "What you have is people who are educating our children — and that's a deep passion — but I think these people think they are owed any sum of money to do whatever they want to with it," he said. "And they'll spend money rather like it is their own." Mayor Karl Dean said that while he was happy the audit showed no wrongdoing, it's important that the public trust how tax dollars are being spent, especially when education is getting so much of the pie. "Because for me, politically, you're putting your credibility on the line when you say let's give money to education," he said. "There's got to be a sense it is going for the right purposes. It's going to be a challenge continuously."
By WENDY LEE • Staff Writer • September 26, 2008 Stephen Kulinski of Gresham Smith and Partners in Nashville said he has seen a lot of qualified candidates looking for jobs at his engineering and design firm. The problem is, he isn't in a position to hire them. "We're slowing down hiring," said Kulinski, a senior vice president. "We're just being cautious and not hiring people we don't absolutely need." Many local companies said they aren't planning to hire until the end of this year, making job prospects tighter for the area's 45,650 unemployed workers, the latest head count by state officials taken last month. The unemployment rate in the Nashville metropolitan area stood at 5.7 percent in August, state officials said Thursday. That's a slight improvement from July's revised rate of 5.8 percent here, but sharply higher than the 4 percent unemployment rate of August 2007. The data were part of a county-by-county jobless report issued Thursday afternoon by the state Department of Labor & Workforce Development. "Bottom line is nobody has a magic bullet for the economy right now," said Soumen Ghosh, head of the economics and finance department at Tennessee State University. "As long as the economy is in a downturn, I don't think the unemployment situation will be changing. It may further worsen if the credit market is not leveled off." Nashville-based I.C. Thomasson Associates plans to hire only two or three engineers in the next three months, roughly half the number it added a year ago, said John Wimberly, the company's president. Kulinski said his firm is only hiring people to replace open positions or if it's a strategic hire. "We're not sure what's going on with the economy," he said. "Our clients aren't building buildings." Ghosh said sectors most affected by rising unemployment rates have been the service industry, which includes finance and banking jobs, as well as manufacturing. In Tennessee, Williamson County reported the state's lowest county unemployment rate at 4.7 percent, up from a rate of 4.6 percent in July and 4.2 percent a year ago, according to state unemployment data. Perry County had the state's highest county unemployment rate at 16.2 percent in August, up 7.2 percent from a year ago. Retail employee Bob Jenkins had planned to get married on Oct. 4, but now he has pushed back his wedding because he lost his job. Jenkins said he was told last month he was laid off as RiverGate Mall's marketing director. Jenkins, who said he understands the decision was caused by a weakening retail market, had worked 12 years for the mall's parent company, CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. CBL said it does not discuss personnel issues. "I'm 52 years old. It's going to be hard for me to find a job where I am making the same income because the types of jobs I'm experienced in … are limited in this market," Jenkins said.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Hello Friends: The Nashville Airport Authority send me an email with the below information. I want you to be aware of this vital information.Drive with care! Stay safe! Vivian Nashville International Airport Terminal Access Roadway Improvements ProjectProject Will Revamp Roadways Surrounding Nashville InternationalThe Terminal Access Roadway Improvements (TARI) Project is designed to improve traffic conditions on Ring Road, the one-way road that surrounds Nashville International Airport's current short- and long-term parking facilities and offers access to the terminal. You will notice changes beginning October 6, when Phase I of TARI commences. DRIVING TIPS:Nashville International Airport encourages travelers and guests to enter the airport from Donelson Pike (I-40 exit 216B from the west, exit 216 from the east). Please note that all existing parking lots will remain open during construction: valet parking, short-term parking, long-term parking and economy parking. The cell phone/waiting area also remains available. Ample signage will be in place to direct traffic throughout the airport, including the parking areas and roadways. Please allow extra travel time. Phase I of TARI will be split into three sub-phases: * Sub-Phase I (Oct. 2008-May 2009): Entrance to/from I-40 - currently one lane each way separated by a median - will shift to two-way traffic on one side of the median. The cell phone/waiting area will move to the current economy parking lot and will increase in size. Ticket spitters for short- and long-term parking lots will move. *Sub-Phase II (May-July 2009): Ring Road will be extended and routed through current long-term parking lot. * Sub-Phase III (July-Sept. 2009): Demolition of current cell phone/waiting area; finish roadway tie-ins. For up-to-date information on airport construction, please visit http://www.flynashville.com/ and sign up for AIReport, the airport's e-newsletter. Or, tune in to the airport's radio station at 1610 AM. Some frequently asked questions regarding the Terminal Access Roadway Improvements project: Why are you overhauling the airport's roads? TARI will eliminate the need for vehicles to merge and weave through multiple lanes of traffic on Ring Road, and will improve ingress/egress from both I-40 and Donelson Pike. Who pays for the project?TARI is fully funded through state airport entitlement funds and an airport passenger facility charge, which is a small fee built into every airline ticket. No local tax dollars are involved in the project. How will this affect parking? All existing parking lots will remain open during construction. The economy parking lot will be slightly reduced in size, and the long-term lot will undergo minimal reductions during construction. Nashville International Airport recommends that travelers and guests enter from Donelson Pike.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Metro Health Department will offer one-day flu shot clinics at five community locations in addition to Lentz Health Center Monday, Oct. 20. The clinics will be located at area churches, a Metro Police precinct and community centers in East Nashville, Antioch, North Nashville, Madison and South Nashville. Each year about two of every 10 Americans get the flu and most of these cases could be prevented with the flu vaccine.Cost is $20, but the fee will be adjusted for those who cannot pay the full amount. Medicare Part B and TennCare insurance will be accepted. The locations and dates for the one-day flu shot clinics are: October 20th - 24thLentz Health Center, 311 23rd Ave. North, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m..; Tuesday, October 21st, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.October 27thSouth Inglewood Community Center, 1625 Rebecca Ave.; 8 a.m.-3 p.m.October 28thWingate Church of Christ, 99 Thompson Lane; 8 a.m.-3 p.m.October 30thAntioch United Methodist Church, 41 Tusculum Road; 8 a.m.- 3 p.m.November 3rdMadison Church of Christ, 106 N. Gallatin Pike 8 a.m.- 3p.m.November 10thMetro Police Department's North Precinct, 2231 26th Ave. N. 8 a.m.- 3 p.m. For more information, call 340-2100 or visit www.health.nashville.gov.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Surviving the Storm...Southeast Weather Workshop 7 p.m. Tuesday, September 23, 2008, Antioch High School Doors open at 6 PM and the first 100 people will get something special from the Channel 4 news team! You have seen the devastation of what Mother Nature can do in the news recent and past. On the coast lines from Texas to Florida, thriving communities have been pounded by storm surges. And, in own Middle Tennessee from Davidson to Macon counties, we have experienced how tornados can rip a community in a blink of an eye. When devastating storms hit what is your plan to get your family out? Do you leave or stay? What should you do if your child is at school when severe storms hit? How can you prepare? The Channel 4 Pinpoint Weather's "Surviving the Storm" workshop can help. "Members of the Channel 4 news and weather team will provide the Southeast community with answers to many of our questions of what to do when severe weather hits and challenge households to have a plan," says Council Lady Vivian Wilhoite who asked Channel 4's Lisa Spencer to conduct their "Surviving the Storm" workshop at the request of one of her constituents, Lena Prince. Come learn valuable life-saving information that will greatly benefit you and your family and meet the Channel 4 news team Lisa Spencer, Dan Thomas, Nancy Van Camp, Tim Ross and SNOW BIRD too. You can also ask your question before the event by going to News Channel 4 link http://www.wsmv.com/weather/15618899/detail.html. Your question will be answered during the workshop. Some lucky attendee will win a pair of Motorola Talkabout EM1000R two way radios. "Surviving the Storm" Weather Workshop 7 pm, September 23, 2008 Antioch High School (auditorium) 1900 Hobson Pike
Monday, September 22, 2008
TDOT sets Harding Place Extension Meetings TDOT wants Public Comments TDOT will conduct public meetings on Tuesday, September 30, 2008 and Thursday October 2, 2008 to discuss a proposed extension of SR-255 (Harding Place), from Donelson Pike/Ezell Pike to I-40 in Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County, TN. * The meeting on Tuesday, September 30, 2008 will be held from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., at Hickman Elementary School Gymnasium, 112 Stewarts Ferry Pike, Nashville, TN 37214. * The Thursday October 2, 2008 meeting will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Una Elementary School Cafeteria, 2018 Murfreesboro Road, Nashville, TN 37217. **The SAME materials will be presented at BOTH meetings.**
Posted: Sep 21, 2008 04:45 PM CDT Updated: Sep 22, 2008 01:51 PM CDT WKRN Channel 2 Gas shortage keeps some workers at home Businesses are feeling the effects of Middle Tennessee's gas shortage. At the Loveless Cafe in Bellevue several employees called out of work over the weekend because they were out of gas. "We had a couple [Saturday] that couldn't make it in because of gas and it wasn't, they just couldn't find it in their neighborhoods, you know, or by the time they got through the line there was none left," explained manager Frances Davis. "...I think we had one or two the day before, but it really hasn't been as much of a problem as we were afraid it was going to be." Davis said employees were able to leave work to go fill up when gas arrived at the Shell station beside the restaurant. By lunchtime that Shell had already run dry. Overall Davis said business at the restaurant remains strong. "The tourists it hasn't slowed them down at all. They come to Nashville [and] they've got us on their destination," she said. "They are going to come out no matter what it takes. The locals, we see a lot of them especially during the evenings, during the week. We get an awful lot of local business and pretty much they don't let gas prices slow them down either or the gas shortage." The shortage in Nashville is the worst in the southeast. More than half of the city's stations are without fuel Monday and stations lucky enough to receive shipments are flooded with drivers and dry again in a matter of hours. Most of the fuel in Middle Tennessee comes from a pipeline that starts in Houston, which had only been full sporadically since Hurricane Ike hit Texas last weekend. In a statement issued Friday, however, Governor Phil Bredesen said it was running at full capacity. Industry officials have said the long lines and thus the shortage can be blamed on consumers' panic buying and constantly topping off their tanks. Emily LeRoy, associate director of the Tennessee Oil Marketers Association, said some Nashville stations reported double their usual fuel sales volume last week.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Metro police say Carlos Tejeda, 16, of Nashville was killed in a gang-related shooting Friday night. In a news release, police said one of two Hispanic men in their late teens or early 20s shot the McGavock High student from a stolen Nissan Altima. They said someone in the car called to the teen "using a gang reference" before shooting him in the chest. He died at the scene, on D Ville Drive southeast of Nashville International Airport. An Altima matching the description of the shooter's vehicle was stolen 10 minutes earlier at the Woodbridge apartment complex in South Nashville. — LACEY LYONS (Tennessean)
Posted by Blogger at 8:32 AM
Friday, September 19, 2008
Posted: Sep 19, 2008 01:02 PM CDT Updated: Sep 19, 2008 01:40 PM CDT WKRN News Channel 2 Gas has become harder and harder to find across the Mid-State, creating long lines and flaring tempers at several area stations. Most of the fuel in Middle Tennessee comes from a pipeline that starts in Houston. Mike Williams, executive director of the Tennessee Petroleum Council, said until refineries damaged in Hurricane Ike are up and running, drivers will continue to see problems at the pump. "We're in a very unusual circumstance right now where the refineries aren't operating at full capacity," he told News 2 earlier this week. "Tennessee depends mostly on a pipeline that comes from Houston to New Orleans to Atlanta to Chattanooga to Nashville and Knoxville. That's where most of our gasoline comes from." The pipeline is called the "Colonial Pipeline" and it distributes 95 million gallons of fuel every single day across the United States. "The pipeline has been running slowly because there's no fuel to put in the other end of it," said Williams. "You can't get some out of this end if you don't put some in the other end." In Williamson County, the three gas stations at the corner of Highway 96 and Royal Oaks Boulevard in Franklin had no gas Friday morning. In Brentwood, at the corner of Mallory Lane and Moore's Lane, stations had gas but also had long lines of frustrated drivers. State officials said the shortage can be blamed on "panic buying." Emily LeRoy, associate director of the Tennessee Oil Marketers Association, said some Nashville stations reported double their usual fuel sales volume for a week since Hurricane Ike came ashore in Texas. Tennessee Emergency Management Agency spokesman Jeremy Heidt called the situation in Nashville a "temporary pinch point." He said while Knoxville had similar problems earlier in the week, the city was receiving adequate delivery and prices had dropped. Memphis and Chattanooga also reported no problems obtaining fuel, Heidt said. The average price for a gallon of regular gas in Nashville Friday was $4.08, down four cents from Thursday. The nation average Friday was $3.75 a gallon. Consumers can report suspected price gouging at www.tn.gov/consumer or by calling 615-741-4737 or 1-800-342-8385. Consumers need to provide the name of the gas station, address, the price and grade of gas.
Police Search For 2 People Connected To Shooting Channel 4 News POSTED: 11:13 am CDT September 19, 2008 UPDATED: 12:22 pm CDT September 19, 2008 NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Police say a convenience store worker was fatally shot and killed in south Nashville Friday morning. The shooting occurred at a Discount Beer Market store near Nolensville Road and Old Hickory Boulevard around 10:30 a.m. Witnesses said two Hispanic men wearing bandanas walked into the market and opened fire on the clerk. Police were searching for the alleged shooters. Robbery was thought to be the motive.
Let us see what is going on in the neighborhood: Antioch 12:47 a.m., holdup/robbery, at Edge O Lake Drive and Murfreesboro Pike 2:02 a.m., residential burglary, 300 block Mountainhigh Drive Hermitage 8:44 p.m., holdup/robbery, 3500 block Albee Drive 8:53 p.m., residential burglary, 4500 block Brooke Valley Drive Priest Lake 4:50 a.m., shooting, 3500 block Country Way Road South 3:14 a.m., holdup/robbery, 70 block Lafayette Street 5:57 a.m., holdup/robbery, at Plus Park Boulevard and Murfreesboro Pike 10:13 a.m., residential burglary, 300 block Ash Forge Drive 2:34 p.m., holdup/robbery, 1800 block Wild Oats Court Una 2:33 a.m., holdup/robbery, 2200 block Murfreesboro Pike Sept. 13 Antioch 10:57 p.m., holdup/robbery, 100 block Hickory Hollow Terrace 11:02 p.m., holdup/robbery, 2500 block Murfreesboro Pike Hermitage 9:05 a.m., nonresidential burglary, 1500 block Lebanon Pike 10:38 a.m., nonresidential burglary, at Bridgestone Park 5:46 p.m., residential burglary, 1000 block Hickory Hill Lane 6:13 p.m., residential burglary, 5600 block Old Hickory Boulevard 7:45 p.m., nonresidential burglary, 3300 block Hamilton Church Road South 2:43 a.m., residential burglary, 2300 block Forest Lake Drive 9:22 a.m., residential burglary, 6100 block Mt. Pisgah Road 7:07 p.m., residential burglary, 2700 block Glenrose Avenue Sept. 12 Antioch 2:53 p.m., residential burglary, 1500 block Hickory Highlands Drive 4:31 p.m., residential burglary, 5100 block Highlander Drive 10:30 p.m., residential burglary, 700 block Arbor Ridge Drive 11:31 p.m., residential burglary, 800 block Cedar Pointe Parkway Donelson 5:06 p.m., residential burglary, 200 block Trails Circle 8:38 p.m., holdup/robbery, 3100 block Lincoya Bay Drive Hermitage 5:37 a.m., shooting, at Lewis Street and Robertson Street 3:12 p.m., shooting, 900 block Murfreesboro Pike 7:11 p.m., holdup/robbery, 200 block Fesslers Lane South 8:22 a.m., residential burglary, 200 block Imperial Drive 9:56 a.m., cutting/stabbing, 1200 block Second Avenue South 7:37 p.m., holdup/robbery, 5100 block Harding Place Sept. 11 Antioch 6:40 p.m., shooting, 4500 block Xavier Drive Hermitage 4:03 a.m., holdup/robbery, 800 block Glastonbury Road 5:40 p.m., nonresidential burglary, 200 block Foxwood Lane 7:33 p.m., residential burglary, 8100 block Bonnafair Drive Priest Lake 4 p.m., residential burglary, 3300 block Westcliffe Circle South 4:14 a.m., holdup/robbery, 300 block Plus Park Boulevard
Posted by Blogger at 1:58 PM
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Enclave Totally lost in the question of whether or not Metro taxpayers should be paying for health insurance for present and former council members is the more important question of why medical, pharmaceutical, and insurance costs have been allowed to skyrocket pushing up the cost of coverage in the first place. The medical industry is a glaring demonstration that the pretense of trickle down economics does not work.Good health care only goes to those who have the most money. And former council members like Adam Dread, who seems to want to make the rest of us feel sorry for the reality that he would have to pay what every modest income family does, are well connected to seats of power and can leverage better health care than constituents. Dread wrote a letter lobbying to keep his health benefits, and he had enough political capital from his days merry-making on the Metro Council to get 33 sponsors out of 40 total members to seal passage (WITH Mayor Karl Dean signing to approve last February): Charlie Tygard Rip Ryman Tim Garrett Erica Gilmore Megan Barry Eric Crafton Michael Craddock Sam Coleman Buddy Baker Vivian Wilhoite Randy Foster Greg Adkins Jerry Maynard Erik Cole Karen Bennett Phil Claiborne Sean McGuire Sandra Moore Frank Harrison Lonnell Matthews Pam Murray Jim Hodge Jim Gotto Darren Jernigan Keith Durbin Carl Burch Robert Duvall Edith Taylor Langster Duane Dominy Carter Todd Walter Hunt Bo Mitchell Jason HollemanWhile these members did vote basically to give the very same health care to Council Members as is given to all full time Metro employees, the larger question is whether they are using their leadership positions working with organizations trying to leverage reforms in health care so that their own constituents can receive the kind of coverage currently reserved for Adam Dread. If they worked to encourage tight regulation of the industry, they would not have to encumber taxpayers as much to benefit themselves.Moreover, other part-time employees are just as worthy of the benefit as they are. Metro should cover school crossing guards, who work 25 hours a week in all kinds weather protecting our children, but they are only going to do so if concerted efforts are made to motivate sweeping changes to our health care system, which shouldn't be only available to the council members.And while the media may continue to ignore the executive role that Mayor Karl Dean plays in signing and not vetoing these bills, I'm not going to do likewise. The Mayor is just as reponsible as is the Council for any obligations the taxpayers have as a result of extending coverage.
Posted by Blogger at 9:29 AM
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Antioch UMC fair joins in fun of low-cost community activities this time of year By SUZANNE NORMAND BLACKWOOD • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • September 16, 2008 About 20 years ago, the Antioch United Methodist Church Fall Fair began with just a few booths. "We started out very simple," said event coordinator Mary Jane Hurt. Now, she said, "at least 1,000 people go through our doors," a number about four times as big as the church's congregation. Antioch United Methodist Church will join many other churches, schools and non-profit organizations throughout the country in a tradition that celebrates harvest time, a time to reap the rewards of hard labor. Ann Dale, director of the Tennessee Agricultural Museum, which has its Music and Molasses Festival each October, attributes the strong tradition of fall festivals to several reasons. "Fall is a new season. You've got the crisp air. It's a happy time for school children. They're back in school. Also, added Dale, fall festivals have always been a tradition of farm life. "It's at time when farm families are harvesting crops." This year's Antioch United Methodist Church Fall Fair will be Oct. 4 and will feature a flea market; a bake sale; a craft store; live and silent auctions; and a barbecue luncheon. There will also be a farmers' market with local produce, homemade jams and jellies, and locally produced honey. Children's activities will include a dress-up area, inflatables, pony rides and carnival games. Church fair serves fundraiser Church members start planning for each year's festival immediately after the festival of the previous year, said the Rev. Jay Voorhees, the church's pastor. Much discussion goes into planning the menu and coordinating the flea market, craft store, bake sale and the carnival, he said. Members must also begin contacting local vendors for donations toward the auctions. The event serves as a fundraiser, with the first 10 percent being used as a tithe. After that, "whatever we make, we'll give half of that away," Voorhees said. For the past five years, the church has given more than half of its proceeds to charities outside the church. Last year, it gave more than $10,000 to local agencies. Organizations that have benefited include The Campus for Human Development, Community Care Fellowship, Feed America First, Second Harvest Food Bank and the Bethlehem Center's Camp Dogwood project. There is no charge for admission to the event. Proceeds mostly come from the flea market, bake sale, auctions and food sales, Voorhees said. Auction affected some by economy Voorhees said a slow economy generally does not affect attendance, although it does make it harder to get donations for the auctions. But even so, there is not a particular fundraising goal, he said. The main purpose of the festival is to serve as an outreach opportunity. The festival is publicized citywide, although most who attend live in Southeast Davidson County. "This is a big deal for us," said Voorhees, adding it allows the church to form relationships that otherwise might not exist. Given the church's location, "it's very easy to become insulated from the world around us," he said. "We see this as a way to get involved in the surrounding neighborhood. Our Fall Fair is a means by which we invite our neighbors to come sit awhile and talk." Some of the fair's guests end up joining the church, said Hurt. "(They) like what they see and come back to stay with us," she said. The fair, Voorhees said, "gives us an opportunity to show love to our neighbors in real and tangible ways."
By SUZANNE NORMAND BLACKWOOD • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • September 17, 2008 When Jerry Lafferty was campus director of National College of Business & Technology's Pikeville, Ky., campus, he would often say the college was one of the town's "best kept secrets." But that soon changed, and the area began to be identified by the campus. Now, Lafferty, who was recently named director of the college's Nolensville Road campus, is hoping that will happen here. Lafferty has been chosen to lead the campus in its expansion phase, which includes introducing new programs and construction of a new $6 million campus at 1638 Bell Road. The new location is just down the road from the Nolensville Road intersection with Old Hickory Boulevard-Bell Road. The 30,000-square-foot two-story building will have 15 lecture rooms, three computer labs, an information systems engineering lab, a medical lab, a library, a student lounge and administrative space. "Our continued enrollment growth in Middle Tennessee means we need additional classroom space," said Cyndee Perdue, regional director of operations for National College, in a news release. "The new campus location will also allow us to introduce new academic programs, such as information systems engineering, that require specialized facilities and equipment." Information Systems Engineering will be an associate's degree program, and a related diploma program in desktop support will be offered at the new location. National College began operating in Nashville in 1991. In 2006, it established a second campus in Madison. Students say classes are convenient Lafferty, who previously led the college's Louisville campus, the largest in the 24-campus system, said he believes National College is "like a sleeping giant ready to take off." But, he added, although it's great to have a nice, new building, it's the students and the programs that make up the college. Ernest McClain, who is pursing a double major in business management and accounting and has been at the Nolensville Road campus two years, said he believes the college's name is more recognizable now than in years past. It's the "flexibility" and "convenience" of the classes, though, that seem to draw students, said McClain, who made the dean's list last spring. "That's what attracted me," he said. Shannon Harris, who also made the dean's list last spring and is studying to be a medical assistant, said she learned about the college through a friend, who is also a student. Harris is considering a double major in medical coding and billing and says the classes are very convenient for her as a mother of two. "The atmosphere is great," she added. "I'm excited about the new campus."
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Saturday Night Live nailed it on this one. I loved it. This is so very funny. I watched it Saturday and in case you missed it, I wanted to share this laugh with you. Vivian Gov. Palin and Senator Clinton address the Nation Saturday Night Live http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/clips/palin-hillary-open/656281
By MICHAEL CASS • Staff Writer • September 16, 2008 The Metro Council just elected Dawn Deaner to be Metro’s public defender for the next 20 months. Deaner, an associate public defender since 2003, takes over the position that Ross Alderman held until his death in a motorcycle accident last month. She will be eligible to run for countywide election in May 2010. Deaner received 26 of 39 votes, defeating four other candidates on the first ballot. Contact Michael Cass at 259-8838 or email@example.com
More than 15,000 parents who are not paying child support face losing their driver’s, professional and/or recreational licenses if they don’t pay up soon. Letters from the Department of Human Services warning delinquent parents are being mailed now, informing parents that if they are behind at least $500 in their child support and haven't made a payment in more than 90 days, they could lose their licenses. More than 20,000 licenses could be revoked. Revocation letters have been sent to non-paying mothers and fathers in every county in Tennessee, covering more than 2,250 cases in Davidson County, 4,500 in Shelby County, 1,350 in Knox County and 1,150 in Hamilton County. At least 18,000 driver's licenses could be revoked. More than 400 professional licenses issued by the Departments of Commerce and Insurance, Health and Education are also at risk. About 1,200 hunting and fishing licenses will also be subject to revocation. There are currently 260,000 child support cases under court order in Tennessee. Of these, roughly 55 percent pay their court ordered support in a timely manner. —RACHEL STULTS (Tennessean)
Monday, September 15, 2008
By: Nate Rau, firstname.lastname@example.org Posted: Monday, September 15, 2008 2:18 am Councilman Parker Toler a former water department employee, says the public works committee could impose an incremental rate increase for water and sewer. Matthew Williams/The City Paper To continue with story:http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/news.php?viewStory=62799
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By KATE HOWARD • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • September 15, 2008 Rapidly rising gasoline prices became a moot point at some Middle Tennessee markets this weekend as the stations ran out of gas. Nashville-area stations started feeling the effects of Hurricane Ike on Friday, the morning the storm bore down on Texas. Many stores in Williamson County have been out of gas since that night, and pumps across Nashville have been bagged to let consumers know they can't fill up there. "It seems to be pretty much countywide," said Williamson County Sheriff's Cpl. Mark Livengood. "Several (stations) are out of everything but premium, and several are just completely out." Livengood said the shortage hasn't led to any law enforcement problems, and officers haven't seen any increase in stranded motorists. But travelers are frustrated. "Friday and Saturday, we had people coming in and saying they couldn't find gas anywhere," said Ashley Felts, a cashier at the Mapco Express on Hillsboro Road in Franklin, which has been out of fuel since Friday. "They were using our phone book." Shortages have been reported across Nashville as well, including at stations in the West End area and in Donelson. Many are stores in the Mapco chain. A Mapco representative couldn't be reached Sunday night and other industry sources were not available to explain the reasons for the shortages. Metro boosts reserves Hurricane Ike battered the heart of the U.S. oil industry: Federal officials said a number of production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico were destroyed, though it was too soon to know how seriously that would affect oil and gas prices. Pump prices jumped above $5 per gallon in some parts of the country Sunday as the hurricane, which caused less destruction than feared, left refineries and pipelines idled. Fuel reserves for Metro Nashville vehicles have been increased at the request of Mayor Karl Dean, to ensure that gas is available for the city's public safety officers, Metro police spokesman Don Aaron said. "If an officer has difficulty finding fuel at neighborhood gas stations, he or she can drive to a government pump," Aaron said. While Nashville Fire Department officials have noticed the bagged pumps, drivers have been diligent about topping off their trucks, said spokesman Ricky Taylor. "We're trying to stay on top of it, because we know it could get critical on us also," Taylor said. Far beyond areas struck directly by high winds and flooding, Ike left behind a bizarre pattern of prices at gas pumps, with disparities of more than $1 a gallon in some states, and even on some blocks. "We're on the other side of the looking glass," said Claire Raines, who lives near Knoxville. "I just passed three gas stations with prices that ran from about $3.50 to close to $5 within walking distance." Differences of more than $1 a gallon in the price of regular gas were reported in Smyrna and Nashville. Average prices exceeded $4 per gallon in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, South Carolina, Hawaii and Alaska, according to auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express. States fed directly by refineries along the Gulf Coast were particularly hard hit and supply may be sporadic for the next few weeks with refineries shut down, said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst with the Oil Price Information Service. Whatever pain is being felt at U.S. gas pumps probably will be a very brief phenomenon, analysts said. The Associated Press contributed to this report.Contact Kate Howard at 615-726-8968 or email@example.com.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Parents, if you’re interested in participating in this year’s Walk to School Day with your child, mark your calendars. The day has been set for Wednesday, Oct. 8. Nashville hosts one of the largest International Walk to School Days in the country.Last year, 42 schools and about 7,000 people across Davidson County walked to school.This year, MNPS hopes to increase that number of participating schools to 50.Walk to School Day is one of the events during Walk Nashville Week. This week-long celebration seeks to spotlight walking as a component to healthy living.
Friday, September 12, 2008
CRIME LOG These are the most serious calls handled by the Metro police, listed by time, crime reported and address. Some reports may be unfounded. Police calls are listed by police precinct or town. When police cannot immediately determine the location of a crime, the address given is that of the police station or hospital where the crime was reported. Antioch 8:48 a.m., residential burglary, 1700 block Arbor Ridge Drive Donelson 2:30 p.m., residential burglary, 200 block Stewarts Ferry Pike Hermitage 3:11 a.m., residential burglary, 7000 block Bonnalake Drive 12:17 p.m., nonresidential burglary, 800 block Briley Parkway 12:42 p.m., holdup/robbery, 5100 block Old Hickory Boulevard 2:27 p.m., cutting/stabbing, at Lafayette Street and Lewis Street 6:56 p.m., residential burglary, at Maxwell Road and Lavergne Couchville Pike 9:22 p.m., holdup/robbery, 1600 block Lebanon Pike Priest Lake 1:30 p.m., residential burglary, 100 block Del Crest Drive Una 2:29 a.m., residential burglary, 1400 block Doubletree Lane 1:17 p.m., residential burglary, 1400 block Doubletree Lane Sept. 6 Antioch 1:34 a.m., residential burglary, 1500 block Bell Trace Drive 10:58 a.m., rape, at Rice Road Hermitage 1:17 a.m., holdup/robbery, 5800 block Old Hickory Boulevard 12:41 p.m., holdup/robbery, 70 block Maury Street 7:55 p.m., holdup/robbery, 1000 block Murfreesboro Pike 11:25 p.m., residential burglary, 200 block Millwood Drive Sept. 5 Antioch 10:19 a.m., rape, at Richards Road 12:17 p.m., holdup/robbery, 900 block Richards Road Donelson 4:12 p.m., residential burglary, 3200 block Priest Woods Drive Hermitage 7:24 a.m., nonresidential burglary, 1800 block Air Lane Drive 11:53 a.m., residential burglary, 1900 block Hobson Pike 12:05 p.m., holdup/robbery, 200 block Bonnalynn Drive South 3:27 p.m., holdup/robbery, 300 block Harding Place 7 p.m., holdup/robbery, 100 block Plus Park Boulevard 9:29 p.m., holdup/robbery, 800 block Murfreesboro Pike 10:42 p.m., holdup/robbery, 700 block Bell Road Una 6:55 a.m., nonresidential burglary, 2500 block Murfreesboro Pike Sept. 4 Antioch 3:11 a.m., residential burglary, 1200 block Bell Road 2:45 p.m., holdup/robbery, 2400 block Murfreesboro Pike Hermitage 7:19 a.m., nonresidential burglary, 4700 block Lebanon Pike 9:50 a.m., residential burglary, 1900 block Dabbs Avenue Priest Lake 10:27 a.m., residential burglary, 100 block Islandia Drive South 8:03 a.m., rape, at Second Avenue South 8:48 a.m., holdup/robbery, 5300 block Mt. View Road 9:35 p.m., holdup/robbery, 30 block Shepard Street
Davidson County The Metro Public Health Department continues to spray a section of Antioch after two more batches of mosquitoes collected in late August tested positive for West Nile virus. The mosquitoes were trapped near the intersection of Bell Road and Murfreesboro Road. The department planned to spray Thursday, if conditions permitted, and to spray again Monday. Spraying will begin at 7 p.m. in selected areas within the following boundaries: South of Nashboro Boulevard and Smith Springs Road, west of Owendale Drive and Butler Road, north of Anderson Road and Bell Road and east of Murfreesboro Road. Four mosquito samples collected from July 17 to Aug. 15 have tested positive for the West Nile virus. Health department officials will trap more mosquitoes Tuesday to be tested for the virus. "Having repeated positive mosquitoes over a period of time in one residential area is very rare in Davidson County," Bill Paul, director of health, said in a statement this week. "We are taking additional, targeted action because these conditions represent a significant public health threat." The department also has stepped up efforts in the Antioch area to kill mosquito larvae, remove standing water and caution residents to avoid mosquito bites. For information, contact mosquito control at 340-5668. — JENNY UPCHURCH firstname.lastname@example.org
Earlier shooting raises concerns By TOM KREAGER • Staff Writer • September 12, 2008 Metro officials have added security for some football games this season after a shooting in McGavock's parking lot during a basketball game last season. Security will be heightened tonight because of expected large crowds for Maplewood's game at Hunters Lane and Pearl-Cohn's game at Whites Creek, said Ralph Thompson, the assistant superintendent for student services for Metro Public Schools. This will mark the first time that Metro officials have hired security to search cars, Thompson said. There also have been more security wands used as metal detectors at stadium entrances. "There is definitely more security than last year," said Thompson, who added that the shooting last November served as a "wake-up call" for Metro. "We always have had basic security. We had that at that game where it occurred." Every game will not have an increase in security. Rivalry games and contests where tips of possible trouble are received generate the need for more security, Thompson said. A minimum of four officers, who are off-duty police officers, are hired to work high school games in Metro. Hunters Lane Athletics Director Chip Sullivan said at least 10 security officers will work the Warriors' game tonight. That includes two patrol cars — one car will be helping to direct traffic. At Whites Creek, Thompson said about six security officers will work the game. Prevention or panic? Reaction from parents has been mixed. "There is a need for added security because of the student rivalries," Hunters Lane parent Mary Clark said. "There is a lot of bad blood between some schools." "I never felt unsafe last year," Antioch parent Gretchen Cantrell said. "I think (the Antioch) area gets a bad rep. I defend Antioch. I guess it would depend on where I'm at. At (Antioch High) I'm fine. Some of it is overblown." But parents don't know what goes on behind the scenes, Thompson said. School officials sometimes get tips leading to the need for more security. No tips involving the games at Hunters Lane or Whites Creek have been received, Thompson said. "When we can prevent something from happening we want to do that," Thompson said. "Parents may say, 'What's the big deal? Nothing happened.' That's a good sign." Metro's budget covers up to four officers per game. Any additional officers are paid through the school's general athletic fund. Security officers are paid $25 an hour with a minimum of four hours. Sullivan said an officer with a patrol car costs between $70-80 an hour. Games in Rutherford, Sumner, Wilson and Williamson counties range between $80-85 per officer. None of those counties uses security wands. Principals outside Metro also gauge the need for increased security by the opponent. "If it's an 8-0 team playing an 0-8 team we may have six," Riverdale Principal Tom Nolan said. "But we'd probably have more if it were two 8-0 teams because it would be a bigger game. "We consult with our (school resource officers) before the season and make another judgment call a week or two before the game." Big-game decisions Oakland Principal Butch Vaughn said 14 officers — including two mounted patrolmen — worked the season-opening game with Class 5A rival Riverdale, and there were about 6,000 fans. Tonight for Oakland's homecoming game with Franklin County, six security officers will be used. "I'd rather have too many and not need them than not enough and need them," Vaughn said. Last week six security officers were used for Ravenwood's home game with Franklin, which had about 3,000 fans. That's two more than games that don't pit two Williamson County teams against each other, Ravenwood Athletics Director Patrick Whitlock said. Bill Tollett, athletics director at Class 1A Eagleville, said two officers are at every home game. All security costs come out of the football team budget in Rutherford, Sumner and Wilson counties. In Williamson, costs are taken out of each school's general athletic budget.
Click link below: http://www.nashville.gov/mc/analysis.htm
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Crafton changes wording to try to satisfy critics By MICHAEL CASS • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • September 11, 2008 Eric Crafton is trying to regroup. Now that the Tennessee Supreme Court has refused to expedite his appeal to get the English-only initiative on Metro's Nov. 4 general-election ballot, Crafton is focusing on a winter special election and reworking his proposal to appease his critics. On Wednesday, the Metro councilman said a new drive requiring Nashville's government to communicate only in English would include language allowing the city to make exceptions for health and safety reasons. "We want to demonstrate that we're trying to be reasonable, that we want to listen to what people are saying while still making English the official language," Crafton said Wednesday in a phone interview. Crafton said new petition postcards would be mailed to some registered voters today or Friday. The petition would call for a special election on Thursday, Jan. 22, at a cost to taxpayers of about $350,000, to hold a referendum on changing the Metro Charter. Crafton's effort to get on the Nov. 4 general-election ballot was denied by a Davidson County chancellor last week. This week the Tennessee Court of Appeals and state Supreme Court shot down his attempts at appeal. The twin rulings effectively ended his bid to have the English-only issue decided this fall. Crafton's previous petition did not specify that Metro could make exceptions to the English-only law, but critics said the new wording wouldn't make much difference. "By excluding any provision for health and safety exceptions, the charter amendment will be ruled unconstitutional in about 10 minutes after it passes," Councilman Mike Jameson said via e-mail. "Mere assurances that necessary exceptions could be added later probably doesn't change that." The Metro Council passed a law in 2007 requiring the government to do business in English "except when required by federal law or when necessary to protect or promote public health, safety or welfare." Then-Mayor Bill Purcell vetoed the council's action, in part because city attorneys said even that version could be challenged on First Amendment grounds. Crafton said his own lawyers are confident the latest proposal would withstand legal scrutiny.
Job one is startup funds, regular revenue; legislature and voters must approveBy CHRISTINA E. SANCHEZ • Staff Writer • September 11, 2008 Each city has set up fees or taxes to guarantee millions of dollars for mass transit. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and other community leaders say it's time to stop talking about doing something like that in Middle Tennessee and get on with it. "In areas like Nashville or the suburban areas or the more rural areas, there is increased desire from the public to see mass transit," Dean said Wednesday, two days after he issued the challenge in a speech to the Rotary Club of Nashville. "The public expects us to get something done. We are closer than we ever have been before." Nashville and some of its suburbs have bus service. The 10-county Regional Transportation Authority operates a commuter train, express buses and vanpools. But recent service cuts, fare hikes and budget shortfalls add pressure to find the means — and the will — to guarantee a way to fund those services. Leadership Middle Tennessee, an organization that promotes regional planning, will talk about how to get sustainable funding and other regional transportation issues at a meeting today in downtown Nashville. Figuring out what the revenue source might be is just a small piece of the puzzle. The long and complicated process would require approval from the legislature, and probably voters, before anything would be implemented. Also, leaders would have to determine who or what agency would handle the funding. Tax groups are watching Advocates for responsible taxation say they will wait to hear about any proposals before they pass judgment on talk of creating another tax. Ben Cunningham, spokesman for Tennessee Tax Revolt, said he would want details. "As far as taxpayers are concerned, it is way too early to be talking about a tax," Cunningham said. "We need to see what is being proposed, and we need to tie down the cost very closely. You have to tell us why you need a dedicated funding source and what benefit we'll get from it." Don Bailey, who commutes an hour each way between Dickson and Nashville, has dreams of a commuter rail line that he could take to work. He spends about $600 a month on gas and would prefer to pay for a monthly transportation pass. He said he would entertain the idea of an extra tax or a fee, depending on the proposal. "Food and gas taxes would concern me; people are already struggling," said Bailey, who works at Vanderbilt. "If it was a tax on luxury items or a tax on vehicle tags, I could go for that." Dean has been meeting with county and city mayors from communities surrounding Nashville, as well as with regional planning groups, to discuss how to move forward. "The first step is to get authorization from the state to receive funding and collect funding, and then the next step would be identifying the source," he said. "There have been several recent success stories where this was approved in other cities." Officials in Allegheny County, Pa., home to Pittsburgh, passed in January a 10 percent tax on poured alcoholic drinks in restaurants and bars as well as a $2-a-day rental car fee. The combined taxes are expected to generate at least $30 million annually to operate mass transit, and anything above that amount will go toward capital transportation projects, said Kevin Evanto, communications director for the county. "We are also looking toward public-private partnerships to expand some of our systems, including for possibly expanding rapid transit from downtown Pittsburgh to the Pittsburgh airport," Evanto said. "We are trying to be creative." In Birmingham, Ala., beer bought in bars provides about $2 million toward transit funding. And in Charlotte, N.C., a half-cent sales tax is dedicated to transportation. Funding remains issue Funding transportation in Middle Tennessee has been a challenge. Two of the region's major mass transit agencies struggled through the budget process to fund public transportation for the 2009 fiscal year. Dollars had to be stretched to do the same with less and expenses had to be reduced. Nashville's Metro Transit Authority cut some routes, reduced service and stopped providing buses in July for the Regional Transportation Authority's relax and ride Gallatin-to-Nashville route. The RTA's Music City Star commuter rail budget has a $1.7 million shortfall, which could be filled pending a multi-way deal involving MTA and state and local governments. MTA is also slated to take over the financial operations of the Star on Nov. 1. "Dedicated funding is not a new topic in the region. It has just become more pronounced," said Michael Skipper, director of the Nashville Metropolitan Planning Organization. "Because there is not a dedicated funding source, we're going to go though a pretty cumbersome budget process every year." With the scheduled October opening of MTA's new indoor-transit station on Charlotte Avenue and a soon-to-be-restored express bus between Gallatin and Nashville, leaders want to make sure they can provide current services and grow transportation options in the region. Bus rapid transit and light rail are often mentioned as potential expansion projects, said Paul J. Ballard, chief executive officer for the MTA. Pending approvals, Ballard also will become head of the RTA when the MTA takeover begins. "We need to start to come together and see, how do we pay for these things," Ballard said. "We can go out and get 50 percent federal money to do that, but beyond that there has to be a long-term commitment
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Dear Friends: Below is a press release from Dr. Bill Paul of the Metro Health Department informing area residences of District 29 of their plans to spray this week. I am not fond of spraying but I do believe that ample notification for folks like my son who has asthma can be informed and not go outside. I do have concern about the signs that the Health Department uses to alert folks about the spraying and have asked that Dr. Paul contact me to discuss further. I will update you on this matter. Vivian Mosquito Control Update Information below may also be found on the Health Department's website: http://www.health.nashville.gov/"> area is very rare in Davidson County" said Bill Paul, M.D., Director of Health. "We are taking additional, targeted action because these conditions represent a significant public health threat." Spraying will take place on Thursday, September 11 and again Monday, September 15th, weather permitting. Spraying will occur in selected areas within the following boundaries: South of Nashboro Boulevard/Smith Springs Road West of Owendale Drive/Butler Road North of Anderson Road/Bell Road East of Murfreesboro Road Spraying will begin at dusk (7 p.m.) and nighttime hours when female Culex mosquitoes are most active. If it rains, or winds are greater than 10 miles per hour, then the Health Department will reschedule spraying. Health Department staff will return to the area on Tuesday, September 16 to trap mosquitoes. Trapped mosquitoes will be sent to the Tennessee Department lab to be tested for West Nile virus. The Health Department will utilize ultra low volume (ULV) application of sumithrin/piperonyl butoxide (Anvil 2+2) by licensed technicians on trucks to control adult mosquitoes. Anvil 2+2 is registered by the Environmental Protection Agency for use in residential and recreational areas. The first batch of mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile virus in Antioch July 17th. The Health Department increased trapping and testing efforts in the area to determine if there was sustained transmission of infection or if this was an isolated occurrence, and also stepped up efforts to remove standing water, apply larvicide, and notify residents to avoid mosquito bites. Despite these actions, a second batch of mosquitoes tested positive July 31, a third batch collected the first week of August tested positive, and a fourth batch collected August 15 test positive documenting sustained transmission of the virus in this area. Health Department officials continue to monitor standing water areas and apply larvicide when mosquito larvae are present. Mosquito traps are monitored twice weekly in all areas within Davidson County. The Health Department uses several modes of communication to notify community members of when and where spraying will occur in an effort to reduce surprising residents and give them time to go indoors if they choose. Spray Notification: * Distribution of news releases and map of specific boundaries to Nashville news media. * Spray notification announcement with maps placed on the Health Department's website. (www.health.nashville.gov) * Spray notification details placed on Health Department telephone hotline (340-5668). * Signs placed 48 hours in advance at spray boundary entries notifying residents of spraying. * Use of Reverse 911 technology to send spray notification details to all households within the planned spray area with a telephone. * Inform those who have submitted cell phone numbers to the Health Department. * Spray notification maps and details placed on Metro 3 (Cable channel 3). * E-mail spray notification specifics with maps to Mayor's office and Mayor's Office of Neighborhoods. * E-mail spray notification specifics and maps to Metro Council Members. * E-mail spray notification specifics to Health Department "Health E-Mail" Subscribers. * Health Department staff drive through each neighborhood within the boundaries two hours leading up to spraying to inform those outside that spraying will occur. * Each spray team is made up of a two vehicles: * The lead vehicle is in place to provide last minute notification and reduce surprises. (If necessary, the person in the lead vehicle will radio the person in the spray vehicle to turn off the spray unit to allow those who are outside time if they choose to go inside their home.) * The second vehicle is the truck with the spray unit. Each spray truck is equipped with yellow flashing lights. It is important to know the spray unit sounds similar to a chainsaw and that the compressor continues to operate even when the spray has been turned off. The pesticide, Anvil 2+2 has been used for many years for mosquito control in residential areas. It will be applied in accordance with the EPA label and state regulations. The ultra-low-volume (ULV) spray applies approximately 3 ounces of compound per acre of land. Individuals who choose to reduce their exposure may take the following steps: * Remain indoors during and 30 minutes after spraying occurs. * Close windows and doors in your home during the spraying process. * Do not allow children or pets to follow the Mosquito Control truck while spray unit is engaged. * Make yourself as visible as possible if you are outside when the trucks are in your area. * Make sure pets are indoors or out of the front yard during the spraying process. West Nile virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes carrying the virus. Human cases of the virus have been rare in Davidson County, with five cases and one death. The Health Department recommends that everyone take steps to protect from mosquito bites: * Limit time outdoors at dusk and nighttime hours when mosquitoes are most active. * If you must be outdoors then wear a CDC recommended mosquito repellent that contains either Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, or N-N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET). * Wear shoes, socks, long sleeve shirts and pants when outdoors during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most prevalent. Clothing should be light colored and made of tightly woven materials to keep mosquitoes away from the skin. Pant legs should be tucked into shoes or socks, and collars should be buttoned. Light colored clothes are less attractive to mosquitoes. * Make sure all your windows and doors have screens and are in good repair. Spraying and larviciding will not fully eliminate the presence of mosquitoes. The health department stresses taking the necessary measures to reduce mosquitoes in your neighborhood: * Reduce or eliminate all standing water in your yard - especially in children's toys, bird baths, clogged gutters, tires, flowerpots, trashcans, and wheelbarrows. * Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with Gambusia fish. * Apply mosquito dunks in standing water areas on your property. * Cut back overgrown vegetation (mosquito hiding areas). The Metro Public Health Department has a mosquito control information hotline with a recorded message about mosquito control efforts in Davidson County - 340-5668.
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008
WKRN Channel 2 Posted: Sep 9, 2008 10:43 AM CDT Updated: Sep 9, 2008 01:19 PM CDT A 17-year-old senior at Antioch High School in Nashville was arrested Tuesday morning after a gun was found in the trunk of the car the student was driving. Police said the .45-caliber pistol was located during a random search by school security. While the gun was not loaded, a magazine containing seven bullets was also found in the vehicle. The teen told police he borrowed the car and did not know the gun was in the trunk. He was charged with carrying a gun on school property in juvenile court.
Mayor Karl Dean has asked the Metro Development and Housing Agency to oversee redevelopment of Nashville's downtown riverfront and will include redevelopment funding in his capital spending plan, he plans to announce today. "The Cumberland River should be a focal point of our city," Dean said in a news release. The city's riverfront plan, which a consultant completed more than 18 months ago, includes parks and play spaces, greenways, boardwalks, piers, a public fountain at the end of Broadway and an "urban forest" of trees in some of LP Field's parking lots. The plan also envisions private development along the Cumberland. Ed Owens, a principal in charge of planning and urban design at Gresham Smith and Partners for the past 10 years, will be MDHA's waterfront redevelopment director. Chris Koster, who directs riverfront development for Metro Parks, will continue to lead the Parks projects. — MICHAEL CASS (Tennessean)
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Staff Reports • September 9, 2008(Tennessean) An Antioch High School junior who was taken to the hospital Monday morning was found to be drunk and under the influence of marijuana, Metro Police reported. The 16-year-old student had a blood alcohol level above the legal limit and tested positive for marijuana use. He was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center after becoming ill during class. The student said he had bought a small amount of a liquid intoxicant from another student in the school parking lot Monday morning, but he was unable to provide the seller’s name, police said.In a separate incident last week, a 17-year-old McGavock High School student was hospitalized after taking a liquid intoxicant that he said another student gave to him.That liquid has been identified by the TBI Crime Laboratory as 1,4 Butanediol, an industrial solvent known by some users as “One Comma Four,” “One Four Bee,” or “One Four B-D-O.” The substance produces effects similar to GHB, the so-called date rape drug. It slows central nervous system functions, reduces breathing rate and slows reflexes.
Monday, September 8, 2008
By MICHAEL CASS • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • September 8, 2008 Mayor Karl Dean put forward a five-tiered approach to improving Metro schools in a speech this afternoon. Dean told the Rotary Club of Nashville that his focus will be on student engagement; teacher recruitment and development; expanding job opportunities for students; increasing school choice, and transforming existing schools by developing "smaller learning communities." "Improving schools can no longer wait," Dean said in a speech to mark the end of his first year in office. He was inaugurated on Sept. 21, 2007.
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WKRN Channel 2 Sep 8, 2008 01:37 PM CDT A 16-year-old junior at Antioch High School in Nashville was transported to the hospital Monday after ingesting what police are calling a "liquid intoxicant." Police said the student vomited during class and had slow cognitive functions but did not loose consciousness. The student told police he bought the liquid from a fellow student in the parking lot before the start of school Monday. He was unable to give the seller's name. Police said an investigation is underway. Last Wednesday, a 17-year-old McGavock High School student was rushed to the hospital after ingesting a liquid believed to have affects similar to the drug Ecstasy. The previous Friday two teens became ill at the Maury County Fair after ingesting what is believed to be a similar liquid. The liquid is thought to be homemade and contain butanediol. Side effects of the drug can include red, puffy or blotchy skin, especially around the face. Police have not said whether the Antioch student ingested a similar liquid.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Music City Star Game Day Express tickets are now available for special trains in September that will run on dates the Tennessee Titans play home football games. FiftyForward Donelson Station and Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce are among those selling tickets. Tickets are also available at the Riverfront Station 6:30-9 a.m. and 3:30-6 p.m. weekdays. They can be purchased online at www.MusicCityStar.com. Tickets are $15 a person roundtrip and $20 a person on game day. Regular Music City Star tickets are not valid for the Game Day Express. The train will leave Lebanon at 10 a.m., the Martha station at 10:15 a.m., Mt. Juliet 10:25 a.m., Hermitage 10:35 a.m. and Donelson 10:50 a.m. and arrive at Riverfront Station at 11:05 a.m. The train will leave Riverfront Station 45 minutes after the game concludes
The Colon Cancer Alliance and the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center will conduct "Conversations About Colo rectal Cancer" at 9 a.m. Sept. 20 at the Vanderbilt University Student Life Center, 310 25th Ave. S. The educational seminar will teach patients how to initiate and maintain an open dialogue with their doctors, as well as present information and options on treatment strategies. All colorectal cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, family and friends are invited to attend. Nurses and other health-care professionals are also encouraged to attend. To register for the Nashville seminar, call 1-877-422-2030 or complete the online registration form at www.ccalliance.org. — ANGELA PATTERSON email@example.com
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Thursday, September 4, 2008
By JANELL ROSS • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • September 4, 2008 Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman has just ruled that the English-only proposal can not appear on Davidson County ballots Nov.4. The judge's ruling affirmed the Davidson County Election Commission's 3-2 decision last week to leave the measure off the ballot because Metro Legal advised the commission that the Metro charter forbids more than one petition-driven referendum in a two-year period. A measure that ultimately gave Davidson County voters some control over tax increases appeared on a Davidson County ballot in Nov. 7, 2006.The commission did, however, certify that the English-only measure had received the necessary 10,103 registered voter signatures to be eligible to appear on the ballot. Last week, Councilman Eric Crafton and a group known as Nashville English First, the driving forces behind the measure, filed suit against the commission seeking to overrule its reading of the Metro Charter.Crafton indicated Thursday that he intended to appeal Bonnyman's ruling.
WKRN Channel 2 A McGavock High School student is recovering after ingesting a liquid believed to have similar affects of Ecstasy. Police said Shayne Colvin, 17, got the drug from a classmate at school Wednesday morning. Unresponsive, Colvin was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center and placed in intensive care. His mother, Lisa Swiderski, received a call from the school around 9 a.m. Wednesday about what had happened. Swiderski blames what she terms a "drug culture" at McGavock High School for the reason her son is in the hospital. Swiderski admits this isn't her son's first experience with drugs. "We found marijuana in his books, in his room, different places stashed in his room. I say, ‘where are you getting this from?' He says, ‘you can ask anybody. You can get drugs in between classes.'" Swiderski said she is against drug use. "We don't do drugs at home. I'm dead set against drugs. We don't even drink at our home. We have no liquor in our home," she told News 2. "It can happen to any family. Nobody is excluded." She also said that Wednesday wasn't her first contact with school officials about drugs. Each time she says they say, "We'll take care of it," but it never gets resolved. "Is it going to take a death of a child for somebody to finally get around to doing something about it?" Swiderski asked. Charges against the classmate who supplied the liquid are pending an analyst of the liquid. The student has been suspended from school. The drug Colvin ingested is a clear liquid drug that is believed to be a designer drug similar to Ecstasy. The main ingredient is Butanediol and it is homemade. Side effects can be red or puffy, blotchy skin, especially around the face.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
On Thursday, September 4, 2008 at 1:30 pm (that's tomorrow folks!) in Chancery Court I, 4th floor of the Metro Courthouse, 1 Public Square, there will be a hearing before Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman. The proponents of the proposed "English Only" referendum filed a law sue in chancery court after the Davidson County Election Commission voted 3-2 not to place the "English-Only" resolution on the 2008 November ballot. First come, first served for seating in the court room. Thanks, Vivian
That is what is being considered by the Office of Open Records Counsel (OORC), in conjunction with the Advisory Committee on Open Government (ACOG). The announcement clear in regards to details. Here is a chance for your voice to be heard regarding what is reasonable charges for copies of public records, as well as the policy related to charges for frequent and multiple requests. Vivian REMINDER WHAT: Public Hearing on the Proposed Fee Schedule for Public Records Requests WHEN: Friday, September 5, 2008 WHAT DO I DO? 1. Please read the press release and proposed fee schedule and policy below. 2. Testifying: If you have concerns and would like to testify in person, please contact John Holloway of the TML staff immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-255-6416 to ensure your place on the agenda. 3. Written Comments: If you are unable to attend the hearing in person, you may submit written comments via email to email@example.com or to the Office of Open Records Counsel at 505 Deadrick Street, James K. Polk Building, Suite 1700, Nashville, TN 37243, before the close of business on Friday, September 5. Any written comments received after September 5 will not be considered. NOTE: As a member of the Advisory Committee, TML will not be testifying. Therefore, it is incumbent upon each municipality to ensure its concerns are considered. Previous Release: On September 5, 2008, at 9:00 a.m. CST, in Room 16 of Legislative Plaza, 6th Avenue, in downtown Nashville, the Office of Open Records Counsel (OORC), in conjunction with the Advisory Committee on Open Government (ACOG), will hold a public hearing to seek input regarding charges for duplication of public records. The purpose of the hearing is to give both Tennessee records custodians and citizens an opportunity to comment on factors to be considered by the OORC and the ACOG when developing the schedule of reasonable charges for copies of public records, as well as the policy related to charges for frequent and multiple requests. Both oral and written comments, limited to the fees proposed in the Schedule and Policy Comment Form (click here to access the Schedule and Policy Form), may be submitted. It is imperative that municipalities that have objections or input participate in this hearing. Municipalities that wish to comment at the hearing must contact TML (firstname.lastname@example.org ) prior to Thursday, September 4, 2008, so that we can make sure you are included on the schedule. Each participant commenting will be limited to three (3) minutes. Written comments for consideration at the hearing must be received by the OORC before the close of business on Wednesday, September 3, 2008, and may be submitted by email to email@example.com or delivered to OORC at 505 Deaderick Street, James K. Polk Bldg., Suite 1700, Nashville, TN 37243. Please copy TML on any written comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or 226 Capitol Boulevard, Suite 710, Nashville, TN 37219. Visitors to the Legislative Plaza are required to pass through a metal detector and must present photo identification. Individuals with disabilities who wish to participate in this meeting should contact the OORC to discuss any auxiliary aids or services needed to facilitate such participation as soon as possible to allow time to provide such aid or service. Tennessee Municipal League 226 Capital Boulevard Nashville, TN 37219
Leadership Donelson-Hermitage group looked at feasibility of free or low-cost services By ANDY HUMBLES • Staff Writer • September 3, 2008 When Tom Ozburn was chief operating officer at Summit Medical Center, he saw too many people using the emergency room as a primary care office. So as a member of Leadership Donelson-Hermitage, he proposed that his team research the feasibility of a free or low-cost health clinic for the community. Ozburn couldn't continue with the project because of a job change; he became chief executive officer at Southern Hills Medical Center. But Team Hands On continued to pursue the concept and provided a business plan to the Leadership Donelson-Hermitage board before graduation. Team investigated concept The project team was one of three making up the 10th class for Leadership Donelson-Hermitage. Every year the new members are broken up into teams to perform a service project that leads to graduation. "Our conclusion was there is a need for something like that in the community,'' said team member Susan Sizemore. "A lot of people said, 'Boy, that would be a big help.' '' Team Hands On met with health-care personnel and providers and visited free clinics. The team also studied statistical data of the Donelson-Hermitage, Old Hickory and West Wilson County area, such as numbers of low or uninsured people and the indigent population. Staffing and space needs, legal requirements, and startup and land costs in the Donelson-Hermitage area were all considered, as were ongoing costs of the operation. Free and low-cost clinics generally rely on nurses and doctors willing to donate time, corporate and private donations, fundraising drives and events. The team's business plan allowed for one paid executive director at about $45,000 a year. The plan also cited a need for a co-payment based on a sliding scale according to income for services that ranged from $10 to $40. Agencies can check out plan A clinic would not be a project taken on by Leadership Donelson-Hermitage, executive director Deann Bradford said. But the business plans are available for interested organizations. "The biggest obstacle would be money,'' Bradford said. "If a church or organization that already has property did it, then they could incorporate it with what they do.'' At least one church has shown an interest in developing the idea, but Bradford wouldn't name it. Ozburn's role turned out to be more limited with his move to Southern Hills effective near the start of 2008. He was at Summit about 2½ years. He believes people in need of health care but without adequate insurance often eventually go to a hospital for treatment with more problems than if they were receiving frequent primary care on the front end. "A lot of people use ER as a primary care office because they don't have any other avenue, and that is the most expensive way to receive health care,'' Ozburn said. "These patients will be cared for one way or another. Either on the front end, or the back end when they enter the facility very sick and ill." For information visit www.leadershipdh.com. Contact Andy Humbles by telephone at 726-5939 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Free child safety event blends fun with advice Brentwood Journal news reports • September 3, 2008 BRENTWOOD — Parents can create free child identification kits for their children at the DNA Lifeprint Child Safety Event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Andrews Cadillac and Land Rover Nashville, 1 Cadillac Drive in Maryland Farms in partnership with United Way of Williamson County. A D.A.R.E. officer with the Brentwood Police Department will be available to answer parents' questions about child safety, the Governor's Books from Birth Foundation will be onsite to sign up children for the free book program, and children can tour a Brentwood Fire Department fire truck. The number of fingerprinting stations at this year's event will be doubled after hundreds of families lined up for hours to have their children fingerprinted last year. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children recommends that parents keep current, easily accessible information about their children, such as fingerprints, digital photographs, DNA samples and medical records. "The big turnout at last year's child safety event showed us that parents are eager to have a child identification kit that would allow them to work quickly with law enforcement if their child were reported missing," said Nelson Andrews, general manager of Andrews Cadillac and Land Rover Nashville. The cost of the DNA Lifeprint kit (dna-lifeprint.com) is underwritten by the dealership at no cost to parents and includes: • A FBI-certified 10-digit Biometric Fingerprint Profile, which is the newest and most advanced technology for obtaining fingerprints. • A DNA Identification Kit that parents use at home to preserve a child's DNA sample, which can be distributed immediately to law enforcement agencies nationwide if a child is reported missing. • A high-resolution, full-color digital photograph of child. • A Child Safety Journal to record vital information that law enforcement officials need immediately after a child is reported missing, such as height, weight, eye and hair color, date of birth and unique physical attributes such as eyeglasses or braces.
Money held over concerns about use By JAIME SARRIO • Staff Writer • September 3, 2008 Metro schools went without millions in federal grants last school year because of a misfire during the application process that eventually led to a shakeup of top-ranked administrators. The school district, which is now under partial state control for failing to meet performance benchmarks, was not awarded the money on time because of concerns over how the $2.7 million grant would be spent. At same the time, the district was trying to get permission to spend an additional $800,000 being withheld for similar concerns. As a result, some of the district's lowest performing schools went a full year without additional money for resources to meet state testing benchmarks. Some are still waiting for money in hopes they can use it this school year. Teachers at Maplewood High are waiting on additional training, students are waiting on books to prepare for the ACT college entrance exam and administrators are waiting on funds to promote parent involvement, said Principal Julie Williams. "It's quite a bit of money," she said. "We have a lot of schools in trouble and will continue to be if they keep snatching the money back and forth." Schools and districts are eligible for additional federal money, depending on their demographics and test scores. The money is allocated by the federal government and then distributed to local districts by the state. Trouble in Metro schools' federal grants office began during the 2006-07 school year. The district ended the year with an additional $800,000 because an after-school tutoring program, which was successful at the elementary level, flopped when expanded into middle and high schools. Students didn't take advantage of it, and the money wasn't spent. Instead of repossessing the money, the state chose to let Metro find another use for the funds. But state officials weren't satisfied with the district's choice, a new high-tech education program Metro wasn't even sure it had the computers to support. The state approved a portion of the grant, but it would be a full year before the remainder of the money was spent. During the same period, the district applied for another pot of money to use during the 2007-08 school year. That application, for $2.7 million, was denied because the district wanted to again use much of the money for after-school programs in middle and high school. A small part of the money was eventually approved to pay for school staff. State makes change When the state gained control of the district's finances and staffing in August 2007, the federal program's office was the first to receive a face lift. State leaders promoted Kecia Ray from within the district's federal programs department to assistant superintendent. "This was a symptom of a larger problem they had, and it wasn't just that office. It was the whole central district and how that office interacted with other offices," said Julie McCargar, head of federal programs for the Tennessee Department of Education. "We're much more comfortable with the decision making at the district (now)." This school year, Metro is eligible for $5.4 million in federal grants: $3.3 million in new federal money and $2.1 million left over from last year. This is on top of a $620.7 million operational budget and $62 million in miscellaneous grants the district is expecting to receive. "Considering the fact that some of these schools made adequate yearly progress without the total access to all the resources that were allocated at the district is pretty good," McCargar said. "What that also means is that with additional resources, the schools could make dramatic improvement, and we're hopeful it is going to happen." District officials said they created a grant coordinator position to help with the process and acknowledged that they're taking a different approach to doling out dollars. "We weren't always looking at the best way to serve schools and be proactive," said spokeswoman Olivia Brown. "There were needs to do things in a different way, not only to meet the needs of schools, but to make sure all the reports were done correctly," Brown said. Gina Perez, a parent at H.G. Hill Middle, which is a high-need school, said she was surprised to find out about the delay in funding, but she hopes the district will make good use of the funds when they finally arrived. "I hope if they pump money into the system, they pump it into something different," she said.