|Tuesday, December 10, 2013|
|Haslam wants agreement with HHS on TennCare expansion|
Gov. Bill Haslam has written a letter to federal officials laying out what he thinks is needed to expand Medicaid in the state, following almost nine months of talks but no concrete progress. He announced Monday that a letter sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius describes the status of his “Tennessee plan” which would offer Medicaid to more of the poor in Tennessee. Haslam’s office released the two-page letter Monday afternoon. It recaps discussions between Tennessee and federal officials and points out some sticking points in negotiations but offers no new suggestions. “I hope the outcome of this is for HHS to say, ‘OK, let us sit down and have serious conversations with you about how we do move forward on that,’ ” Haslam told reporters. “We’ve been having those conversations, but I think our point is, let’s put it on paper.” Haslam, a Republican, said in March that he would delay a decision on expansion of the state’s Medicaid program, TennCare, in the hope that the federal government would agree to let Tennessee offer coverage modeled on private health insurance.
|Jenkins and Freeman sentenced|
Judge Ben Hooper heard a number of cases Monday in Cocke County Circuit Court, including the cases of two men who violated their probation. In October, 2011, Philip Bradley Jenkins, 23, Airport Road, Bybee, along with a co-defendant pleaded guilty to charges they burglarized 16 homes, but during the last burglary the home owner held them at gunpoint till officers arrived. At that time Jenkins said he had allowed drugs to control his life. Judge Hooper gave him a ten year sentence, ordering that one year be served in jail and that the balance be served on probation. But Monday, Jenkins was back before Judge Hooper charged with fifteen probation violations. The court talked about the relationship between drugs and home burglaries in the community. "Our problems in this county are killing us," he told the defendant. "We must give some consideration to the victims." The judge then ordered Jenkins to serve the ten year sentence. Jeremy John Freeman, 28, Mulberry Street, Newport also appeared before Judge Hooper on a four probation violation charges. The defendant said he had attended New Hope Drug Rehab in Sevier County on two occasions, but the program was not effective. Freeman said the program didn't address effective ways to deal with drug addiction except through Bible study. He told the court that the program "was like a Bible camp," and was not effective. More recently however, Freeman has been attending narcotics anonymous classes at Helen Ross McNabb Clinic, while in custody. He said that program is helpful because it "is helping me learn new techniques” for dealing with drugs. Judge Hooper ordered Freeman to serve a six year sentence but it will be served in the Cocke County Jail, so the NA classes can be continued.
|Committee agrees to waive interest and penalty on back property taxes.|
Members of the Cocke County Finance Committee decided Monday evening to recommend the waiver of interest and penalties on the property tax owed on a West Broadway, Newport business. Lori Wright of Wright's Swimming Pools, purchased the property in 2009, and was under the impression that she had paid the owed property taxes. It wasn't till later that she learned the tax she had paid was personal property tax. Although the tax notices were sent to Wright's residence she told the committee that she doesn't get mail at her home, but at a post office box. Wright agreed to pay the property tax but asked that the penalties and interest totaling $1,480 be waived. The committee agreed to recommend the waiver to the full Cocke County Legislative Body. County Tax Attorney Jeff Greene told the committee that he has received offers to purchase two pieces of property that were previously offered for sale to collect the owed property tax. Greene said he has received an offer of $14,200 for the former Wilma's II restaurant on the Greeneville Highway, and an offer has been made to purchase a property on Centerview Street for the back taxes. There were no bidders when the properties previously were offered for sale at a delinquent property tax sale.
|Committee approves permitting expanded landfill|
Members of the Cocke County Landfill Committee meeting Monday evening approved a plan to permit the expansion of the Cocke Country landfill. Recently ten acres of land adjacent to the current landfill were purchased to extend the life of the site. The current site is expected to be full within a year, according to Engineer Jake Greear, of McGill and Associates. Greear said permitting the new site, which has six acres of usable property, likely will take about a year. The committee voted to approve a proposal for the increased recycling of tires in the community. Currently residents are restricted to bringing in a maximum of four tires per trip, and the county currently pay $2.00 to recycle each passenger tire and more for truck tires. David Veridal said because of the restriction on the number of tires accepted, some residents are throwing their tires along the roadway. He serves on a community group, Remove Illegal Dumpsites (RID), which is working to address the dumping of tires and other garbage along roadways in the community. He reported that the county has received a grant of more than $90,000 from TDOT and he said a portion of the grant will be used to pay for the disposal of up to a dozen tires per trip. Plans are to accept tires on January 11 and on the 18th, in a trailer parked at the landfill site on Old Asheville Highway.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013Haslam wants agreement with HHS on TennCare expansion
Jenkins and Freeman sentenced
Committee agrees to waive interest and penalty on back property taxes.
Committee approves permitting expanded landfill
Monday, December 09, 2013State wants execution date for Nicky Sutton
Corker on Iran
No evidence that would-be burglar was struck by gunfire
Dolly schedules concert to benefit Imagination Library
Farmers and the indegent want a Farm Bill for Christmas
Saturday, December 07, 2013Motions heard in double murder
Two indicted for marijuana and weapons offenses
Three busted at Family Inns East
Friday, December 06, 2013Del Rio Christmas Bazaar
Tennessee Disability Coalition
State of Emergency issued for West and Middle Tennessee
TransLift is missing
Thursday, December 05, 2013TVA shuffles it's green power program
Parrottsville parade on Saturday
Thanksgiving highway fatalities
Wheelon indicted on animal abuse charges