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District Attorneys Launch New Statewide Teen Pregnancy Awareness Campaign

February 24, 2010
District Attorney General Randy York

District Attorney Randy York and the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference today announced a new campaign including aggressive outreach through social media, printed materials and a major effort to build a statewide network of partners to increase their efforts to fight teen pregnancy.

The statewide initiative represents the second phase of the highly successful What’s the Rush? campaign that raises awareness of the legal, financial and social consequences of becoming teen parents.

“Teen pregnancy has a direct consequence, not just on crime, but on society in general. There’s an inability to care and support that child the way that it deserves. It’s really sad when you see teenagers in court for nonpayment of child support and they’re facing the loss of their driver’s and hunting licenses and the possibility of going to jail,” said General York.

The DAs started the campaign in 2008 in response to the number of court cases involving teen parents throughout the state. Printed materials and a video were created for the DAs to use when visiting schools and civic organizations to educate Tennessee’s youth about the consequences of becoming teen parents.

After receiving a substantial amount of positive feedback, the DAs decided not only to continue the campaign, but to commit more resources to expand its scope to reach even more teenagers. One of the new additions is the social media initiative the DAs will participate in using Facebook, YouTube and MySpace. They will also be working more directly with campaign partners, and sending new and updated materials to schools and medical offices across the state.

The Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference is already partnered with the Tennessee Departments of Human Services, Health and Education; Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians; Tennessee Academy of Physician Assistants; Tennessee School Counselor Association; National Association of Social Workers – Tennessee Chapter; Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks Job Corps Center; Hospital Alliance of Tennessee; and YMCA of Memphis & the MidSouth.

“We are pleased to partner with the district attorneys, who see this problem firsthand,” said DHS Commissioner Virginia T. Lodge. “Continuing and expanding this program can make a difference in communities across Tennessee.”

In the 13th District alone, the most recent statistics from the Tennessee Department of Health show that in one year there were 380 reported cases of teen pregnancy and more than 13,000 cases reported statewide. Statistics from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy show that teen parenthood can lead to a number of legal, financial and health consequences. Those statistics include:

Eight out of 10 teen fathers do not marry the mother of their first child.

Less than half of mothers who have a child before they are 18 years old graduate from high school, and less than 2 percent have a college degree by age 30.

Teen fathers have less education and earn much less money than teenage boys without children.

The children of teen mothers are more likely to be born prematurely and at a low birth weight, which can cause infant death, blindness, deafness, respiratory problems, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, dyslexia and hyperactivity.

Children of teen mothers are 50 percent more likely to have to repeat a grade in school and are less likely to finish high school.

The sons of teen mothers are two times more likely to end up in prison.

The children of teen mothers are two times more likely to suffer abuse and neglect compared to children of older mothers.

For more information about What’s the Rush?, call General Randy York at (931) 528-5015. To learn more and access the campaign materials, please visit www.tndagc.org/whatstherush.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/whatstherushtn

MySpace: www.myspace.com/whatstherushtn

YouTube: www.youtube.com/whatstherushtn

DeKalb Lady Tigers at Grundy County for Region Tournament Opener

February 24, 2010
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County High School Lady Tiger basketball team will make their debut in the Region 4AA tournament Friday night at Grundy County.

Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. and WJLE plans LIVE coverage.

Grundy County enters the Region Tournament as the top seed from District 7 while DeKalb County is the fourth seed from District 8. The winner of this game will advance to the next round on Monday, March 1st at 6:00 p.m against the winner of a game between Cannon County and Bledsoe County.

Cannon County is the second seed from District 8 and Bledsoe County is the third seed from District 7. That game will be Friday night at 7:00 p.m. at Woodbury.

On the other side of the tournament bracket, the Upperman Lady Bees, the top seed from District 8, will host the fourth seeded Sequatchie County team Friday night at 7:00 p.m. while Chattanooga Christian, the second seed from District 7, will host Livingston Academy, the third seed from District 8 at 7:00 p.m. The winners of those games will advance to the next round Monday night at 7:30 p.m.

Omega Apparel Lands Contracts to Add More than 100 New Jobs

February 22, 2010
Dwayne Page
Omega Apparel to Create More Jobs

Omega Apparel of Smithville has been awarded contracts to produce new Army Service trousers and skirts for the U.S. Defense Department which will result in the creation of 112 new jobs here. The contracts are for five years and total approximately $40 million. The new jobs are expected to increase payroll for the operation by $1.8 million.

Hiring should begin within two weeks.

The announcement was made Monday by Dick Chase, President; Brian Roberge, Chief Financial Officer; and Chris Roberge, Operations Manager for Omega of Smithville.

Chase says Omega, which currently employs 86 workers, is excited about it's expansion plans. "The new contract will involve hiring production operators, sewers, cutters, material handlers, and clerical staff, about 112 jobs forecasted. We'll have a contract that will produce 176,000 new trousers for the Army in this contract. The garment is called the Army Service uniforms. The Army has chosen to go away from the traditional green that everyone is familiar with and has seen and are transitioning into this new garment. By October 2014, everyone (Army) will be in that new garment."

Omega currently operates out of the two old shirt factory buildings downtown, on either side of Mountain Street. One of those buildings is used for cutting and sewing and the other for warehousing. After a renovation, one of the facilities will be for cutting and warehousing and the other for sewing.

"This has been a very interesting contract for us", said Chase. Because of the expansion, we've had to increase the size of our sewing facility. Currently we have our cutting operation within these four walls (building on the west side of Mountain Street). We're going to have to renovate our building across the street (east side of Mountain Street) and spend a quarter of a million dollars of renovation costs to bring that building up to speed and put our cutting department in that building. Then we'll take that other square footage we have here and add that sewing operation to this existing facility. We will start hiring operators, production people and staff within the next two weeks."

Chase says Omega, which has been in operation since 1994, also produces uniforms for other branches of the military. "We currently have contracts for the Army, and Navy. For the Navy, we have a men's dress trouser and that garment has been made in Smithville since 1988. So every enlisted sailor who goes into the Navy has a broad fall trouser made here in Smithville. We also have the women's Navy slack, both in white and the new black. Then we have the Air Force skirt, Marine Corps skirt, both in green and blue, the mens and women's khaki trouser, the Air Force dress uniform skirt for the women."

All U.S. military uniforms have to be manufactured in the United States or U.S. territories under federal law.

Chase says Omega was in competition with several other states for the contracts. There were ten other bidders for the jobs. "Our ability to win this contract didn't just come from having an exemplary past performance with this company and our participation. This has been a community effort. Smithville Mayor (Taft Hendrixson) has been involved. (County Mayor) Mike Foster has been involved. The county commissioners have been involved. Without their participation in helping us find ways to get our costs to a point where we can be competitive, we might not have gotten this contract. It took some real hard effort on everybody's part to bring it here to Smithville. We were competing against Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico. We knew they were bidding on this. We beat them out because we were able to be competitive both in pricing and in our past performances"

Brian Roberge said other places made offers for Omega to relocate but company officials wanted to stay here. "Jobs are very competitive and many other states are giving a whole lot more to the industries in their states. We were offered quite a bit to move, but we started this program here with Mike (Foster) and his leadership of this county and he made it possible for us to stay here and bring these jobs here."

Chris Roberge added "We're excited to be able to bring 100 new jobs to Smithville. The company has worked hard for fifteen years in this community to make sure that we could provide as much opportunity inside this community as we can. We want to continue to do that and not just for five years, but hopefully for ten, fifteen, and twenty years into the future."

Smithville Mayor Taft Hendrixson said Omega's announcement is reason to celebrate."I'm certainly glad to see that they have gotten this new contract and the approximately 100 new jobs will absolutely be good for our community, especially in these economic times. The military is always going to clothe their soldiers, so that's something we're glad we've got."

County Mayor Mike Foster expressed his appreciation to Omega Apparel and to others who have helped them prepare for this expansion. "We want to thank all the people who have had anything to do with this especially Chris Roberge, Dick Chase, and Brian Roberge. For a company that's been here for fifteen years, they've got a really good track history. They're already providing jobs for 86 people here and this will be another 100 plus. It adds another $1.8 million to the local economy. The best thing about this is it's a five year contract and based on their past performances, it should be ten or fifteen year contracts. It gets some of the county and city buildings renovated and brings new life back down town. I want to thank Don Rigsby from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. He helped put a lot of this together. I also want to thank the Cumberland Investment Corporation, the county commission, and the county industrial development board for their help."

(Pictured above left to right: County Mayor Mike Foster, Omega President Dick Chase, Omega Operations Manager Chris Roberge, Omega Chief Financial Officer Brian Roberge, and Smithville Mayor Taft Hendrixson)

Sheriff's Department Makes Arrest in Theft Case

February 22, 2010
Dwayne Page
Matthew Malachi Lawson
Amanda Pinegar
Jeremy Edward Woodard
Paul Cox Herron Jr

A 26 year old Smithville man was charged last week in a theft investigation by the Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says Matthew Malachi Lawson of Haley Road Smithville was arrested on Wednesday, February 17th and charged with theft of property under $500. During an interview of Lawson, detectives found him to be in possession of a tea set. After an investigation into where the tea set came from, detectives charged Lawson with theft of property when they discovered that he had stolen the tea set from a residence on South College Street in Smithville. Bond for Lawson was set at $2,500 and he will appear in court on March 25th.

On Wednesday, February 17th, deputies while on patrol, spotted a vehicle parked in a field. Two people were sitting in the automobile. The officer asked them if they had anything illegal on them and 28 year old Amanda L. Pinegar of Roy Foster Road, Smithville handed him a marijuana grinder that contained marijuana. Pinegar was charged with simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia and her bond was set at $2,000. She will appear in court on March 18th.

On Friday, February 19th, a deputy stopped a vehicle on Highway 70 West for several traffic offenses. Upon speaking to the driver, the officer asked for his drivers license. The driver said that he did not have the license on him, but he identified himself as Gary Woodard and provided his date of birth and social security number. When the deputy checked the information, he discovered that the man's license was suspended. He was placed into custody and taken to the Sheriff's Department. The officer, still not satisfied, investigated further and discovered that the man is actually 30 year old Jeremy Edward Woodard of Sparta Pike, Watertown. Woodard's license was revoked. Woodard was charged with a third offense of driving on a revoked license and criminal impersonation. His bond was set at $4,500 and he will appear in court on March 11th.

On Saturday, February 20th, deputies were called to Highway 70 West to check out a reckless driver. The suspected vehicle was stopped on highway 70 West and 62 year old Paul Cox Herron Jr. was found to be the driver. He appeared to be intoxicated. Herron had a strong odor of alcohol on his person and he failed all field sobriety tasks performed. Herron admitted that he had drank eight beers earlier. Herron was charged with driving under the influence and his bond was set at $1,000. He will appear in court on March 18th.

Food Check-Out Week Spotlights Healthy Eating on a Budget

February 22, 2010

As the economic squeeze continues, many Americans remain concerned that the cost of a healthy diet is out of reach. However, according to an Agriculture Department study, the cost of eating healthy hasn't changed as much as some less-healthy alternatives. Eating healthy food while on a budget does require smart shopping.

Farm Bureau's Food Check-Out Week, February 21-27, focuses on helping Americans learn how to stretch their grocery dollars with healthy, nutritious food. America's farmers and ranchers are committed to producing safe, healthy and abundant food. And they share a common concern with consumers when it comes to putting nutritious meals on the table while sticking to a tight budget.

The good news: a recent USDA report favorable supports the economics of healthier eating. Recent food price data show that prices for unprepared, readily available fresh fruits and vegetables have remained stable relative to dessert and snack food, such as chips, ice cream, and cola. Therefore, as defined by food in the study, the price of a "healthier" diet has not changed compared to an "unhealthy" diet.

Farm Bureau's Food Check-Out Week is aimed at helping American consumers learn how to shop effectively to put nutritious meals on the table with fewer dollars. Here are tips for better nutrition on a tight budget. Have a plan: Know your food budget and plan nutritious meals and snacks you'll prepare at home that include fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Prepare a shopping list and stick to it. Compare prices, clip coupons and check ads for foods you know you need. Don't shop when you're hungry.

Now in its twelfth year, Food Check-Out Week also highlights America's safe, abundant, and affordable food supply, made possible largely by American's productive farmers and ranchers. According to the most recent information from the USDA's Economic Research Service, American families and individuals spend, on average, less than 10% of their disposable personal income for food.

Smithville Police Release Weekly Report on Crime News

February 19, 2010
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police have released a weekly update on crime news.

50 year old Rudy Pineda of 274 Smith Road was arrested on Friday, February 12th for public intoxication. K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow received a call of a possibly intoxicated person being detained by off duty officer Corporal Travis Bryant at Wal-Mart. Corporal Bryant said that Pineda approached him while he was in the store and was obviously intoxicated. Upon contact with Pineda, Officer Tatrow found him to be unsteady on his feet and he had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage about his person. Pineda had trouble walking and nearly fell several times. Bond for Pineda was set at $1,500 and his court date is February 25th.

34 year old Royce D McCrary of 490 Halls Hollow Road was arrested on Monday, February 15th for driving on a revoked license and for being an habitual offender. Officer Scott Davis received information that McCrary was an habitual offender and was driving his vehicle. Officer Davis conducted a traffic stop on Bryant Street and requested a record check which revealed McCrary to be an habitual offender. Bond for McCrary was set at $1,000 and his court date is March 4th

21 year old Randall C Evans of 672 Blue Springs Road was arrested on Tuesday, February 16th for public intoxication. Officer Scott Davis was dispatched to the area of Walkers towing in reference to a motorist assist. Evans said he was driving the vehicle but began trying to push it to Jewel's Market when he ran out of gas. Evans had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage about his breath, slurred speech and his eyes were blood shot and watery. He admitted to drinking. For his safety and due to his intoxicated level, he was placed under arrest. Bond for Evans was set at $1,000 and his court date is March 18th.

On Thursday, February 18th, K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow arrested 22 year old Molly Sue Lawrence of 318 West Broad Street for two violations of probations in Putnam County.

Also on Thursday, February 18th, Sergeant Randy King arrested 42 year old Christopher Joseph Cantrell of 300 Wade Street for domestic assault. Bond for Cantrell was set at $1,000 and his court date is February 25th.

Meanwhile, anyone having information on the following offenses is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.

On Saturday, February 13th Officer Matt Farmer took a report of a green and yellow Yardman push mower with a Tecumseh and large wheels that was taken from the back of a pickup truck parked at the residence of 605 East Main Street. The mower was taken around January 27th.

On Wednesday, February 17th Sergeant Randy King took a report of an NEF New England .22 L.R. revolver that was taken from a home in the city sometime since February 2009.

Also on Wednesday, February 17th Sergeant Randy King took a report of burglary at 218 West Broad Street apartments. According to the victim, she went home after spending time with her mother between February 15th and 17th and discovered that someone had taken all her belongings from the apartment. Some of the items taken included two TV's, maroon leather chair and loveseat, two end tables and DVD's.

Any information received that will help Smithville Police solve any criminal offense will be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential

The Smithville Police Department has also recently received complaints of a scam targeting the elderly. According to citizens, people are approaching elderly homeowners requesting to do odd jobs around their residence. They are requesting payment before service is rendered and then they do not return to provide services. Anyone approached by such persons should not pay until service is completed. Also anyone having information regarding such activity is requested to contact the Smithville Police Department or the tip line at 464-6046.

Hunter Tramel Named Class of 2010 Valedictorian at DCHS

February 19, 2010
Dwayne Page
Hunter Tramel
Wesley Blair

DeKalb County High School has released the names of this year's Honor Students including the 2010 Valedictorian Hunter Tramel and the Salutatorian Wesley Blair.

Tramel is the son of Ronnie and Phyllis Tramel of Smithville. Blair is the son of Mellissa Page and Freddy Blair both of Smithville.

Students among the top twenty five senior academic ranking from numbers one to twenty five are as follows:

Hunter Tramel, Wesley Blair, Grant James, Caleb Spencer, Meagan Sullivan, Hunter Poteete, Seth Willoughby, Amanda Ours, Reddy Munagala, Cynthia Woodward, Tyler Harbaugh, Tiffany Young, Haley Snyder, Erica Neely, Jared Adams, Dakota Dexter, Payne Denman, Nicholas Goff, Caroline Carter, Kendra Foutch, Kyle Hogue, Jessica Fox, Lindsey Harden, Austin Garrett, and Gabrielle Byford.

Students earning "Highest Distinction" with a grade point average of 3.8 to 4.0 are:

Hunter Tramel-Valedictorian 4.0, Wesley Blair- Salutatorian 4.0, Grant James 4.0, Erica Neely 4.0, Hunter Poteete 4.0, Caleb Spencer 4.0, Meagan Sullivan 4.0, Seth Willoughby 4.0, Cynthia Woodward 4.0, Jared Adams, Caroline Carter, Payne Denman, Dakota Dexter, Kendra Foutch, Jessica Fox, Austin Garrett, Nicholas Goff, Tyler Harbaugh, Kyle Hogue, Reddy Munagala, Amanda Ours, Haley Snyder, and Tiffany Young

Students earning "High Distinction" with a grade point average of 3.6 to 3.79 include Gabrielle Byford, Axyl Chalfant, Tyler Dunaway, Kayla Ellis, Sabrina Griffin, Lindsey Harden, Katie Nixon, and Katelyn Stutts.

Those earning "Distinction" with a grade point average of 3.2 to 3.59 include Paulina Alfaro, Matthew Antoniak, Reeves Beller, Elicia Cantrell, Samantha Coe, Rachel Cunningham, Brandon Dyer, Abram Edwards, Whitney Gann, Jaylen Garrett, Jessica Goldstein, April Hale, Ethan Hale, Stephanie Hobbs, Conner Jones, Sasha Knowles, Abigail Laprad, Layne Mathis, Tyler McCloud, Brad Michaels, Travis Neal, Zachary Odom, Morgan Page, Micah Prichard, Kristian Puckett, Myra Tramel, and Joseph Vickers..

The Class of 2010 at DeKalb County High School will graduate on May 21st at 7:00 p.m.

Legislative Update from State Senator Mae Beavers

February 19, 2010
Dwayne Page
State Senator Mae Beavers

The following is a legislative update from State Senator Mae Beavers

Bills concerning healthcare, the economy and taxes were among the major pieces of legislation that advanced in the State Senate this week. In addition, budget hearings occurred in all of the Senate Committees, as budget reductions and economic proposals continue to be debated.

Tennessee Senate approves Health Freedom Act to protect rights of citizens to choose whether or not to participate in any future federally mandated health care program

The Tennessee Senate approved legislation this week by a vote of 26-1-5 to protect the freedom of Tennessee patients to make their own health care choices, regardless of any future federal action. The bill, called the Tennessee Health Freedom Act is sponsored by Senator Mae Beavers.

“Never in our history has the U.S. government required its citizens, as a condition of residency, to purchase a particular product from a private company or government entity,” said Senator Beavers. “This act seeks to protect the rights of Tennesseans to choose what type and quantity of health insurance to purchase.”

Beavers said the legislation, Senate Bill 3498, would protect a citizen’s right to participate, or not participate, in any healthcare system, and would prohibit the federal government from imposing fines or penalties on that person’s decision. She said it does not seek to “nullify” any federal law, as it would still allow individuals the option to participate in a federal program. However, the bill acknowledges the right of Tennesseans to refuse to participate in a government-run health insurance program. It also calls on the state’s Attorney General to take action in the defense or prosecution of rights protected under the legislation.

“The mandate to buy health insurance does not regulate the health care insurance markets – it regulates the doing of nothing,” added Beavers. “If Congress really had the power to regulate such an activity, there would be no limits to its power. They could mandate the purchase of anything, yet the Supreme Court recently made it clear it will strike down federal statutes based on such an unlimited assertion of power. It is not inconceivable if they can do this, they could mandate that each of us buy a Chevrolet every year so we can help pay off the loans that were made to that industry.”

Action on the bill will now move to the House of Representatives, where it is sponsored by Representative Beth Harwell (R-Nashville), and Representative Terri Lynn Weaver (R- Lancaster).

Constitutional amendment prohibiting income tax and payroll tax advances

A resolution advanced through the Senate Judiciary Committee this week calling for a constitutional amendment to clarify prohibition of an income tax and a payroll tax in Tennessee. The amendment, Senate Joint Resolution 763, specifies that the legislature shall be prohibited from passing either an income tax or a payroll tax, which is a tax on employers that is measured by the wages they pay their workers.

There have been several cases before the Tennessee Supreme Court throughout the state’s history that have upheld that the income tax is unconstitutional. The most recent case was decided in 1964, and this case has never been overturned. However, elected officials in Tennessee have proposed both an income tax and a payroll tax in recent years.

“We must ensure that Tennessee remains a state where businesses and people want to locate,” said resolution co-sponsor Mae Beavers. “I worked hard in the 1990s and 2000s to make sure an income tax was defeated in the legislature, and this amendment hopes to put this issue to rest once and for all.”

Issues in Brief

Music and Pornography File Sharing – The Senate approved legislation this week co-sponsored by Senator Mae Beavers aimed at preventing child pornography by adding that any unauthorized “covered file-sharing program” to the list of unfair or deceptive acts under Tennessee’s Consumer Protection Act. The practice, also known as Peer to Peer File Sharing (P2P) can be used for legitimate purposes, but is predominately used to illegally copy millions of copyrighted works and has served as a massive distribution system for pornography, including child pornography.

Last year, Congress passed legislation to require P2P programs to provide consumers with notice as to which of their files will be shared publicly and requiring the user to activate the function that would share their files. However, it is the state’s responsibility to protect its consumers. This legislation, Senate Bill 3407, amends Tennessee’s deceptive trade practices law so that the state will have the authority to take action to inform and protect citizens. It would also alert the developers and distributors of file sharing programs that if they want to do business in Tennessee, consumers must be informed first.

Second Amendment Rights – The full Senate has approved a bill that allows individuals to transport an unloaded rifle or shotgun in a privately-owned motor vehicle. The bill, Senate Bill 2390, would apply as long as the rifle or shotgun does not have ammunition in the chamber or cylinder, and no clip or magazine containing ammunition is inserted in the rifle or shotgun or is in close proximity to the weapon. Currently, it is illegal to carry your weapon in your vehicle even without ammunition in the chamber, a law many hunters are not aware of.

The LOOP- A Legislative Update from State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver

February 19, 2010
State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver

The following is a legislative update from State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver

Hello Folks of the Fortieth! We are in full swing. All thirteen House Committees and twenty- four subcommittees are meeting on a regular basis. Budget Hearings are still in progress for the next few weeks, giving us a better snapshot of the state’s financial situation.

Economic Efficiency Legislation moved out of sub-committee this week. House Bill 3007 encourages departments to implement ways to reduce costs. As a legislator I cannot be afraid to do things differently. Words like consolidate, merge, reduce, and change should be embraced more by government and not feared. We must honestly evaluate the areas that are important and not mess with focusing resources on areas that are inconsequential. Last week in Education Committee I voted on a bill that would have eliminated unnecessary study committees. We need more legislation like HB2535 that removes excessive costs and limits government.

As a main co-sponsor of the Interlock Bill HB2768 I am excited to report that this bill is moving through Judiciary Committee next week. This is legislation that will literally save lives. DUI repeat offenders will be required to have this device installed on their vehicle. In addition, repeat DUI offenders will have portions of their fines sown back into our Critical Access Hospitals and Law Enforcement Departments who treat and see first hand the horrific results of DUI. This law is a step in the right direction.

Just to remind you, most bills that increase fiscal expenditure will not pass this session. As I continue our work, and despite a critical financial climate, this session has kept me focused on the infrastructure needs of my district. In particular, I am concerned with advancing vital projects such as: improving our bridges, roads, and completing our connection to high speed internet. These instrumental projects will ultimately go a long way to improving our job outlook. I am committed to this process and staying the course.

As I address serious issues concerning budget decisions, I am reminded of an old saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results”. What we are experiencing today has been in the making for a long time, through growth of government and wasteful spending. However, in order to bring a true recovery we must make cuts and shrink spending, support legislation that limits government, and allow the economy to heal so job growth can get back on its feet again and, thus, consumer confidence can be restored. Although, the tunnel is longer than we would like, there is light at the end of this tunnel.

The Week Ahead
We have, for several years, filed and supported legislation that would require any member of the Tennessee General Assembly convicted of a felony to forfeit their state health insurance benefits. House Bill 2349 was approved by the State Government Subcommittee this week, and has been placed on the agenda in the House State and Local Government Committee for next week. The bill would require any member of the legislature to forfeit state health insurance benefits provided the conviction was in relation to their elected office, and would not apply retroactively or to family members who might be covered.

Also, next week there will be bills that focus on new legislation pertaining to illegal immigration. House Bill 0262 requires that all written examinations for driver license or intermediate driver license be in English. House Bill 0791 expands the offense of identity theft to include when someone knowingly obtains, possesses, buys, or uses the personal identifying information of another, including any dead or fictitious person, to obtain or attempt to obtain employment. House Bill 2744 creates a misdemeanor offense of possessing an open container of alcohol within the passenger area of a vehicle on a public highway. House Bill 2685 authorizes employers to require English be spoken in the workplace if necessary to conduct the employer’s business. All in all, it appears to be a productive week.

In closing, I would like to add that it is always a pleasure to see constituents from the district, whether it is to voice concern over legislation or visit the capitol and see where state law happens. Please, do not hesitate to call my office. It is truly an honor to serve you, The Great Folks of the Fortieth!

DeKalb Democratic Primary to Feature Three Contested Races for County Wide Offices

February 18, 2010
Dwayne Page
County Clerk Mike Clayborn
County Clerk Candidate Glynn Merriman
County Clerk Candidate Chris Smithson
County Mayor Mike Foster
County Mayor Candidate Robert (Bob) Snyder
Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen
Register of Deeds Candidate Clarence Trapp

The May 4th DeKalb County Democratic Primary will feature three contested races for county wide public offices, county clerk, county mayor, and register of deeds, and three contested races for the county commission in the third, fourth, and fifth districts. All other candidates will be unopposed.

Today (Thursday) at noon was the qualifying deadline for Democrats running in May and for Republicans and Independents running in the August 5th DeKalb County General Election.

County Clerk Mike Clayborn will be seeking his third term. His opponents in the Democratic Primary are Glynn Merriman and Chris Smithson. The winner will be unopposed in August.

County Mayor Mike Foster will also be seeking his third term, facing a challenge from Robert (Bob) Snyder in the Democratic Primary. The winner will be unopposed in August

Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen, seeking his seventh term, will face Clarence Trapp in the Democratic Primary. The winner will be unopposed in August.

Road Supervisor candidate Jimmy Sprague will be unopposed in the Democratic Primary but he will take on the Republican incumbent Kenny Edge in the August General election. Edge will be seeking his sixth term.

Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack, seeking her third term, will be unopposed in the Democratic Primary and the August General Election.

There will be no democratic candidates for Sheriff and Trustee this year. Both Republican Sheriff Patrick Ray and Republican Trustee Sean Driver, running for their second terms, will be unopposed in August.

Circuit Court Judge Amy Hollars will be unopposed in both May and August in her bid for election to finish her father, Judge John Turnbull's unexpired term. Hollars was appointed by Governor Bredesen in October, 2008 after her father submitted a notice of physical disability. Judge Turnbull, who held the position since 1989, officially left the bench on June 15th, 2009. He was last elected in 2006 and his term expires in 2014.

District Attorney General Randy York will also be unopposed in both May and August as he seeks election to fill the unexpired term of Bill Gibson, who resigned in July, 2008. York was appointed by Governor Phil Bredesen in September, 2008 to fill the vacancy until the election. Gibson's term expires in 2014.

The three contested races for the county commission in the May Democratic Primary are in the third, fourth, and fifth districts.

In the third district, Democratic Incumbent Jerry Scott, seeking a fifth term, is up for re-election. Other democrats in the race are Roy Merriman, who served on the commission for one term from 2002 to 2006, and Bradley Hendrix. Two can be nominated. The winners will be unopposed in August.

In the fourth district, Democratic Incumbent Wayne Cantrell will be seeking re-election to a fifth term. Other democratic candidates are Ronald H. Rogers, David L. McDowell, and Jesse Baker. Mr. Baker served on the commission from 2002 to 2006. Two can be nominated. The winners will be unopposed in August.

In the fifth district, Democratic Incumbent John D. Green is seeking re-election to a third term. Other democrats running are Johnny Ringo Colwell, Randy Braswell, and Bobby R. Taylor. Two can be nominated. The winners will face opposition from Republican Jerry Adcock and Independent Lloyd Emmons in the August General Election. Two will be elected in August.

In the seventh district, Democratic Incumbent Larry Summers is running for re-election. Jimmy W. Poss is also a democratic candidate. Two can be nominated. Summers served three terms on the commission from 1978 to 1990 and another three terms since 1998. Poss served on the commission for three terms from 1994 to 2006. They will face opposition from Independent Richard (Dick) Kinsey in the August General Election. Two will be elected in August.

First District Democratic Incumbent Elmer Ellis, Jr. will be unopposed in May. Then in August, both he and Republican Incumbent Mason Carter will be unopposed for re-election, since two can be elected. Both Ellis and Carter are seeking their second terms.

Second District Democratic Incumbent Jack E. Barton, III, seeking a second term, will be unopposed in May. In August, both he and Republican Incumbent Bobby Joines will be unopposed for re-election, since two can be elected. Joines is running for his third term.

In the Sixth District, Democratic Incumbents Jeff Barnes and Marshall Ferrell will be unopposed in both the May Primary and the August General Election. Both Barnes and Ferrell are seeking their third terms on the commission.

Administrator of elections Dennis Stanley reminds all candidates they must file a campaign treasurer form or a campaign financial exemption with the local election commission office as soon as possible. This includes candidates in the upcoming Democratic Primary and Republican and Independent candidates running in the August general election.


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