Weakley County Press Releases
This page contains press and media releases that contain information pertinent to Weakley County and the state of Tennessee.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sidonia Volunteer Fire Department Purchases New Fire Truck with Help from Community Development Block Grant
TUESDAY, JULY 28, 2014
The Sidonia Volunteer Fire Department is now home to an International 7400 Series Fire Truck.
With supplemental funding from a Community Development Block Grant, the Sidonia Volunteer Fire Department was able to purchase the refurbished truck to replace the fire truck that was lost when the fire station burned in May of 2013.
The newer fire truck has upgraded features with life-saving advantages over the station’s previous fire trucks. The truck is a Class A 3000 gallon pumper and tanker. The previous trucks were either pumpers, used to pump water, or tankers, used to haul water to a fire. The newer model can both pump and haul water, saving firefighters valuable time when emergency arises. The truck also includes an automated external defibrillator (AED), which is used in cases of life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias which lead to cardiac arrest.
The newer truck is also going to save the station, and citizens, more money. Because the truck is a combination pumper and tanker, the station can utilize just one truck and cut insurance costs as well as maintenance expenses.
“This addition will help to decrease response times as well as greatly improve the overall emergency services at work in District 4. It takes a courageous group to do the job, and I hope the truck will provide them some well-deserved relief,” said Tommy Jones, District 4 Commissioner.
With this addition, the department plans to focus its efforts toward lowering the Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating, which is a rating providing statistical information on risk and is calculated by insurance companies that affects homeowner insurance rates.
Sidonia Volunteer Fire Department Chief David Lackey sees a true need being fulfilled with this fire truck.
“This truck is what we need down there. We are working on saving money for the department and the community by lowering the ISO rating. The community is really proud of it,” says Lackey.
The truck was purchased and upgraded by Deep South Fire Trucks, Inc., out of Collins, Mississippi.
cc: Weakley County Press/Dresden Enterprise/WCMT Radio
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Weakley County Polling Map Now Available Online
DRESDEN – Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Weakley County residents can now more easily locate their local ballot box through a new online map provided by Weakley County 9-1-1. The free service, available at www.wc911.com, provides users turn by turn directions from their residence to their respective ballot box. Current ballots may also be reviewed to assist Weakley Countians in becoming more familiar with the process. William Trimble, a GIS Specialists with the Weakley County 9-1-1 Office, was responsible for deployment of the new system. “By using data collected by the 9-1-1 Office and the Election Commission, we were able to design and deploy an interactive map that assists both candidates and voters.” Trimble stated that the system will remain available throughout the year and will be updated as needed.
Click here to access the Weakley County Election Polling Places Map
Recreational Trails Program Grants Announced Today
NASHVILLE – Thursday, August 15, 2013
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau today awarded $1,694,000 in Recreational Trails Program grants to recipients across Tennessee.
“These grants assist local governments and organizations in improving community amenities such as trails, greenways and recreational facilities, making the outdoors more accessible to Tennesseans.” Haslam said. “The health and wellness of our residents is a top priority and these amenities provide another step to make our state healthier.”
The Recreational Trails Program is a federally-funded program established to distribute funding for diverse recreation trail projects. The funds are available to federal, state and local government agencies, as well as non-profit organizations that have obtained IRS 501 (c) (3) status and have a written trail management agreement with the agency that owns the property where the trail project is located.
Recreational Trails Program grants may be used for non-routine maintenance and restoration of existing trails, development and rehabilitation, trailside or trailhead facilities such as restrooms, kiosks and parking lots, construction of new trails and land acquisition for recreational trails or corridors.
“These awards will help fund some outstanding projects, including the development of new greenways and trails and more ADA-compliant facilities,” Martineau said. “We are excited to be in a position to make a variety of recreational opportunities a reality for these communities.”
Funding for RTP grants is provided by the Federal Highway Administration through the federal Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation administers this grant program for the state. The maximum federal share for each project is 80 percent, with RTP grant recipients providing a 20 percent match.
Grant recipients were selected through a scoring process with careful consideration given to the projects that met the selection criteria and expressed the greatest local recreation need.
City of Martin: Awarded $200,000 - To construct a multi-use trail to extend the current Brian Brown Greenway to downtown Martin.
City of Dresden: Awarded $200,000 - To dedicate the property as park land and to develop a multi-use pathway along an abandoned railroad bed.
To learn more about the RTP grant program and other recreation or conservation-based grant programs available in the future, please visit http://tn.gov/environment/recreation/grants.shtml. For more information about the RTP grant program, contact Gerald Parish at 615-532-0538 or Gerald.Parish@tn.gov.
137 Early Literacy Computer Stations Go To Public Libraries, Family Childcare Programs
NASHVILLE – Wednesday, July 31, 2013
The Governor’s Children’s Cabinet co-chaired by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and First Lady Crissy Haslam has awarded 137 children’s computers to public libraries and family childcare programs across Tennessee.
The AWE Early Literacy Stations feature more than 60 educational software titles spanning seven curricular areas all focused on supporting early learning in children. These educational programs use engaging graphics to draw young children to learning.
“Giving a child the necessary building blocks to learn to read is critical to a child’s education and future success, and it is exciting that so many communities across Tennessee took advantage of this opportunity,” Gov. Haslam said.
Computer station recipients were chosen through a competitive process run jointly by the Children’s Cabinet, the Tennessee State Library and Archives, and the state Department of Human Services. Computer award recipients demonstrated a commitment to promoting early literacy and engagement of families.
“Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are 3-4 times more likely to drop out in later years.” Mrs. Haslam said. “We are excited to provide these valuable tools to boost early literacy in communities across Tennessee”
Computer stations have been awarded to selected public libraries in the following counties in Weakley County:
Dr. Nathan Porter Library - Greenfield
Sharon Public Library
Household Hazardous Waste Mobile Collection Service in Montgomery, Sevier and Weakley Counties on March 23
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 | 01:01 pm
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s mobile household hazardous waste collection service will be in Montgomery, Sevier and Weakley counties on March 23.
“Our household hazardous waste mobile collection service provides the people of Tennessee with a safe, environmentally friendly way to dispose of unwanted household chemicals and other potentially hazardous wastes at no cost,” said Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau. “This service travels across the state holding collection events in local communities, and we encourage all Tennesseans to take advantage of the opportunity to utilize it.”
On Saturday, March 23, any Tennessee resident may bring his or her household hazardous waste to the following locations. (Note that hours listed indicate the local time for events.)
Montgomery County – Veterans Plaza at 350 Pageant Lane in Clarksville from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. The local contact for this HHW collection event is Pete Reed at (931) 648-5751.
Sevier County – Sevierville Municipal Complex at 110 Gary Wade Blvd. from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. The local contact for this HHW collection event is Laura Howard at (865) 774-6677.
Weakley County – Weakley County Convenience Center at 608 County Maintenance Rd. in Dresden from 8 a.m. until noon. The local contact for this HHW collection event is Deborah James at (731) 364-6798. Since the program’s inception in 1993, households have properly disposed of more than 20 million pounds of material. HHW material is considered flammable, toxic, reactive and/or corrosive and should not be placed with regular garbage.
Typical items to dispose of include cleaning fluids, pesticides, mercury thermometers and thermostats, fluorescent bulbs, lithium and button batteries, aerosols, adhesives, medications, brake fluid, swimming pool chemicals and paint thinner. Items not accepted include ammunition, explosives, alkaline batteries, paint, electronics, medical waste and any items from a school, commercial business or agri-business.
Many counties and municipalities meet the needs of local residents by providing collection of batteries, oil, paint, antifreeze and electronic scrap – or BOPAE as it is sometimes called. When handled correctly, these BOPAE materials are minimally hazardous, but inappropriate for collection at household hazardous waste events. Contact your local city or county solid waste department to find BOPAE collection sites in your area.
When transporting materials to the site, place containers in sturdy boxes lined with newspaper to prevent spills and cross-contamination in the trunk of a car or back of a truck. Be sure to keep materials away from children and pets. Materials should be kept in the original container whenever possible. If not, place the waste in a plastic jug with a secure lid and label its contents.
For more information on the household hazardous waste mobile collection service, please call 1-800-287-9013 or visit www.tn.gov/environment/swm/hhw.
TSBA Announces 2012 Healthier Schools
Challenge Award Recipients
TSBA partnered with the State Department of Education’s Office of Coordinated School Health to offer a Tennessee’s Healthier Schools Challenge award program. United Healthcare graciously agreed to be our corporate underwriter by providing funding to the Coordinated School Health programs across the state. Scott Bowers, CEO for United Healthcare and Rebecca Johns-Wommack, Executive Director of the Tennessee Coordinated School Health Department helped present awards to the 57 systems that successfully completed this challenge.
“We are utterly impressed with the partnership of The Tennessee School Board Association and the State Department of Education – Office of Coordinated School Health who have come together to teach our children the important connection between healthy behaviors and their academic success. To help advance this good work, we whole heartedly support the Tennessee Healthier School’s Challenge program and we commend those that have taken the time to help make a difference in the health and well-being of our children,” said Scott A. Bowers, plan president with United Healthcare Community Plan.
The Healthier Schools Challenge wis a voluntary, statewide initiative recognizing school systems for their participation in merging health with academics to create student success. This initiative was designed to motivate school board members, school administrators, faculty, staff, parents and students to create healthier school
environments, encourage adoption of healthy behaviors and promote the connection between health and academic success. The Healthier Schools Challenge includes twelve possible criteria to complete. There were 57 systems that completed at least 8 out of the 12 criteria.
Platinum Level Recipients (11 out of 12 criteria completed):
• Perry County
• Anderson County
• Cumberland County
• Gibson County
• Johnson City
• Lincoln County
• Oak Ridge
• Oneida Special
• Polk County
• Roane County
• Scott County
• Sevier County
• Washington County
• Weakley County
Gold Level Recipients (10 out of 12 criteria completed):
Silver Level Recipients (9 out of 12 criteria completed):
Bronze Level Recipients (8 out of 12 criteria completed):
The Tennessee School Boards Association, a statewide, nonprofit organization, is a federation of the state’s local school boards. The mission of the Tennessee School Boards Association is to assist school boards in effectively governing school districts. Through the years, TSBA has helped school boards and their members reach their highest potential through association programs, meetings and services. TSBA also provides school board members a collective voice in matters of legislation and public education concerns. To learn more about TSBA, visit our website at www.tsba.net.
• Bradford Special
• Greene County
• Hamblen County
• Hawkins County
• Johnson County
• Lawrence County
• Maury County
• Meigs County
• Decatur County
• Fentress County
• Giles County
• Grainger County
• Hancock County
• Henderson County
• Knox County
• Lake County
• Lauderdale County
• Lenoir City
• McMinn County
• Newport City
• Obion County
• Shelby County
• Stewart County
• Warren County
• Blount County
• Bradley County
• Dayton City
• Crockett County
• Dyer County
• Sullivan County
• Trousdale County
• Union City
Weakley County 911 Achieves PowerPhone’s Total Response Accreditation
MADISON, CT – On September 18, 2012,
Weakley County 911 in Dresden, Tennessee, completed PowerPhone’s quality assurance program to successfully achieve Total Response Accreditation.
This important designation serves as a mark of excellence in the emergency communications industry. Weakley County undertook a dynamic process to identify best practices and promote high quality performance measures. Through this process they have validated their commitment to quality and accountability in emergency call handling.
Following adoption of and training in PowerPhone’s Total Response police, fire and emergency medical dispatch protocols, Weakley County committed to a formal accreditation process as part of their ongoing adherence to providing the highest standard of care in the industry.
“We are incredibly proud to be the first 911 center in America to be accredited in all three disciplines with PowerPhone’s Computer Aided Call Handling,” said Jamison Peevyhouse, Emergency 911 Director for Weakley County. “Over a year of hard work, dedication and quality assurance, our agency came together with a commitment to provide the most superior service to the citizens of Weakley County.”
The communications center began with a self-evaluation of their call handling and dispatch function to help establish benchmarks against which future operations could be compared. With the help of Cory Friend, PowerPhone’s Professional Services Director and public safety veteran, Weakley County was able to define optimal quality assurance standards and an action plan to adhere to these standards.
During this process, Weakley County has had a percentage of the calls answered randomly reviewed for protocol compliance. The department has undertaken rigorous documentation of its goals, policies and procedures, and stakeholder involvement. Dispatchers and Supervisors have participated in intense quality assurance training in order to obtain tools and techniques to enhance their strengths, remedy shortcomings, and learn to confront future challenges.
“If you are talented, passionate, and driven, it’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when,” said Cory Friend, PowerPhone’s Professional Services Director. “There was never a doubt that Weakley County would become accredited. They are an agency that is always striving to be better, always striving to be ahead of the game. Now that they have this backing of quality assurance training and best practices, their level of service provided to callers and responders will be even further enhanced.”
Weakley County 911 was recognized for their accomplishments at the 27thAnnual TN Emergency Number Association Conference on September 23. The Accreditation presentation included the unveiling of a special banner and official certificate, as well as a pinning ceremony presented by members of PowerPhone to the dispatchers and supervisors of Weakley County.
Weakley County Government Promotes Civic Engagement
and Transparency with Social Media
FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2012
Weakley County Government is integrating social media into local government. The implementation is designed to provide citizens an “instant service” for questions such as where to pay a bill, traffic tickets, meeting schedules, and more.
Using Twitter, Facebook, and Wordpress, the goal is to increase citizen participation and interest. Locals can “tweet” a request for information, and get answers in real time.
The Communications Department of the Department of Finance will be moderating these sites in conjunction with the Weakley County Website, www.weakleycountytn.gov, which is continuously monitored and updated.
“There are resources here designed for citizens to use, and we want to communicate those services,” said Shawn Francisco, Director of Finance for Weakley County.
The addition shows Weakley County’s commitment to adhering to standards for transparency in government. Other efforts for increasing community involvement include live “Tweeting” of calls coming into the Weakley County 9-1-1 Center on the evening of July 4th. This project has been tested in other areas and has proven to be very effective.
Exact times for the Live Tweet will be released on Facebook, Twitter, and the Weakley County website soon, and our Twitter user name is @weakleycountyTN.
For more information, call 731.364.5429.
Media Contact: Erica Miller Moore, 731.364.5429, firstname.lastname@example.org
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan Applauds Student Achievement Gains in Tennessee
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012 | 10:15 AM
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan released a statement Wednesday congratulating Tennessee on its continued statewide improvement on the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, or TCAP.
"Through Race to the Top, Tennessee took on extraordinarily difficult work in a relatively short period of time,” said Duncan. “Early signs of widespread academic progress are not only encouraging but inspiring, and will help lay the ground work for further success as Tennessee continues its commitment to leading the nation in education reform."
Under Duncan’s leadership at the U.S. Department of Education, Tennessee became one of the first states to win Race to the Top funding in 2009 and went on to receive a waiver from certain parts of No Child Left Behind in 2012. Tennessee strives to raise standards and improve student outcomes through its First to the Top reforms, and Gov. Bill Haslam and Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman this week announced that statewide test scores continued to grow for a second year in 2012.
This year’s improvement appears to be the largest aggregated gain in the history of the TCAP assessments. Statewide scores are posted at the Tennessee Department of Education’s website.
For more information, contact Kelli Gauthier at (615) 532-7817 or Kelli.Gauthier@tn.gov.