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Local News Stories from 92.3 WNPC
Thursday, December 18, 2014

In a news story earlier this week, the NewsSource reported on the appointment of Kevin Benton as Emergency Management Director for Cocke County. We reported that Benton replaces David Cody but should have said the appointment is a replacement for Patrick Sheldon. Sheldon resigned some time ago as EMA Director, and more recently Cody resigned as Fire/Emergency Coordinator. But Pam Lowe, Administrative Assistant to Cocke County Mayor Crystal Ottinger says Cody was not serving in the role of EMA Director at the time of his resignation. Cocke County Mayor Crystal Ottinger says Cody's position will not be filled. The NewsSource strives for accuracy and we are glad to set the record straight.

This ATM "is a rip-off"
Newport police are investigating a recent vandalism of an ATM machine which a customer had described as "a rip-off". Patrolman Jeremy Beard said the incident occurred at the Zoomers Exxon on the Cosby Road, on Monday. Manager Timothy Cooper told the officer a white male looked at the ATM inside the convenience store and then told the clerk, "I'm a government employee and the ATM has been ripping people off". The customer then began taking photos of the machine before he reached into the rear and tore out the wiring, disabling the ATM. The amount of damage to the machine has not been determined.

McQueen appointed state Education Commissioner
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has announced that Dr. Candice McQueen, a teacher and dean at Lipscomb University in Nashville, will join his cabinet as commissioner of the Department of Education. “Lipscomb’s College of Education produces some of our state’s best teachers, and Candice gets a lot of credit for that,” Haslam said. “She has taught in a classroom, so she brings both the experience of being a teacher and of preparing teachers to teach. I am grateful for her willingness to serve in this role, and I know she’ll do a great job as we continue our efforts to provide a quality education for all Tennessee students.” McQueen’s college and teacher preparation programs have been highlighted at the state and national levels for excellence in teacher preparation design and teacher candidate outcomes. The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) released a statement on the announcement saying ........................ The selection of Dr. McQueen to lead the Tennessee Department of Education is an important moment for our state, our educators, and our students. Dr. McQueen’s experience as a classroom teacher, a pioneer in providing high-quality training and support to educators, and a leader in higher education makes her uniquely qualified for this role. Most important, however, is Dr. McQueen’s relentless focus on what is best for students. She is a collaborative leader who has a track record of working with Tennessee educators, parents, policymakers, and community leaders to advance work that improves student achievement, from great teaching in every classroom, to higher academic expectations for all students, and strong leadership throughout schools and districts.

ABLE Act to benefit those with disabilities
A bill aimed at promoting financial stability for individuals with disabilities now awaits the president's signature after winning approval by the U.S. Senate. The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act allows people with disabilities to save money without jeopardizing their eligibility for Social Security and Medicaid benefits. That's key for financial security and independence, says Melanie Bull, public policy director for the Tennessee Disability Coalition. "It allows you to live and lead a more productive life," says Bull. "It gives you some economic self-sufficiency and allows you to have a lot more flexibility with your employment, your health care, supplementary income, things like that." Under current law, a person with a disability can't have assets worth more than $2,000 without forfeiting program eligibility. The ABLE Act allows for a savings account of up to $100,000. These accounts would accept deposits from the family and friends of an individual with disabilities. Carrie Hobbs Guiden, executive director of The Arc Tennessee, says they would also be tax-exempt when used for qualified expenses such as education, housing and health care. "So, if you have extra medications and you have to pay co-pays, and you can't afford those, it would help for that," she explains. "If you have a job and you're able to work, but you don't have transportation because you can't drive, it would help you pay for a driver to get you to and from your job." It's estimated that about 170,000 Tennesseans will be able to work and grow their savings without fear of losing their benefits once the ABLE Act is signed into law.

Senators want input on TVA apointees
U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker say they want more input into TVA board appointees. They have threatened that no future nominees to the public utility board will be confirmed unless the two senators are consulted. "If they don't recognize our constitutional responsibility to advise and consent, we're not going to confirm their nominees," Alexander said. Last week the Senate voted to confirm Ronald Walter of Memphis and Virginia Lodge of Nashville to the nine-member TVA board. Both Tennessee senators voted to confirm Walter and Lodge, but they complained the White House had not sought their input about the nominees. Corker said he also was concerned the nominations process might have been influenced by a real-estate developer pushing to privately finance the completion of TVA's unfinished, twin-reactor Bellefonte nuclear plant in northeastern Alabama. Walter and Lodge were confirmed after signing letters agreeing to recuse themselves from any decisions involving the businessman in question, Franklin Haney. Prior administrations have made it a practice to seek the input of senators from their own party before nominating someone from the senators' home states for a federal position. But the President is a Democrat, and the senators are Republicans.

Law agencies probe Greeneville infant deaths
The Greeneville Police Department has announced it is investigating the deaths of two infants whose bodies were found inside a home, and they have been joined by the TBI and Department of Children's Services. . Wednesday morning, emergency crews found the bodies of two siblings, a 13-month-old and a 2-month-old, inside the house on North. Hardin St. After their discovery, the infants — whose identities were not released — were transported to Takoma Regional Hospital. Although the cause or causes of the infants’ deaths had yet to be determined, police said foul play is not suspected. Emergency crews responded to the house after Greene County 911 received a call at around 7:48 a.m. reporting an infant was in distress. Paramedics found the 13-month-old inside the house and began resuscitation attempts. It was during those attempts that officers found the other infant.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

  • Clarification
  • This ATM "is a rip-off"
  • McQueen appointed state Education Commissioner
  • ABLE Act to benefit those with disabilities
  • Senators want input on TVA apointees
  • Law agencies probe Greeneville infant deaths

    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

  • Teens charged with recent arson fires
  • Switzer arrest
  • Coalition for a Healthy Tennessee

    Tuesday, December 16, 2014

  • Webster jailed following Saturday evening crash
  • Haslam announces Insure tennessee
  • Tennessee argues for no gay marriage
  • CLB says no to home inspections

    Friday, December 12, 2014

  • Jeff County structure destroyed by fire
  • Hurst presented with severance package
  • Tennessee spends little to curtail tobacco use
  • Public's assistance needed in capture of suspect
  • Paul pleads to sex offender violation
  • Cockrum gift to Carson Newman
  • Cocke County arson fires
  • Two Newport crashes
  • Cocke County audit is completed

    Thursday, December 11, 2014

  • Williams indicted
  • Ramsey charged with animal cruelty
  • GSMNP to celebrate a traditional Christmas
  • Bigamy charge dismissed
  • Tennessee gets Pre-K money
  • Harwell re-elected House speaker

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