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Dandridge, Tennessee

December 10, 2012

www.jeffersoncountypost.com


SPREADING A LITTLE CHRISTMAS CHEER!

Staff Photo / Jefferson City, TN Christmas Parade 2012
 

Special Called Meeting of Jefferson County Commission
Commission Votes To Temporarily Move $12 Million Jefferson Memorial Foundation Funds

Staff Photo
 

The Jefferson County Commission held a Special Called Meeting on Tuesday, December 4, 2012 in the Historic Jefferson County Courthouse.  The meeting was called by Jefferson County Mayor Palmieri at the request of Commission Chairman Mills for the purpose of discussion and action related to the depository institution for Jefferson Healthcare Funds. The meeting was Called to Order by Chairman Mills. Absent from Roll Call were Commissioners Patterson, Tabor, Cureton, Turner, Solomon, Blevins, Barreiro and Scarlett.

Mayor Palmieri stated that Jefferson Memorial Board Member (the combined Jefferson City / Jefferson County Board that oversees Jefferson Memorial Foundation Funds) Mike Long contacted local banks, at the request of the Board, for rates and interest in receivership of $12,330,943 in funds that must be moved from their current investment location. The move will be short term in nature and the Board will seek a long term home for the funds. The Board recommendation was for a short term placement at Regions Bank, as they returned with the most attractive rates and terms. The Mayor informed the Commission that the Jefferson City Council had accepted and approved the Board recommendation.

Commissioner Griffith made a Motion to accept the Board recommendation and place the funds (short term placement per Board) at Regions bank. 2nd Akard

Commissioner Dockery inquired if the determination had been made if the funds are considered private or public money. Dockery also requested information of the correct amount of the endowment principal, as principal cannot be used for philanthropic interests. Jefferson County attorney Drinnon stated that, after extensive inquiry to governmental agencies, the general conclusion is that the money is public, however the situation is unique and governmental agencies are reluctant to go on record with their opinion. He said that there is the possibility that the funds can have less restrictive investment options. Jefferson County Director of Finance Helton stated that the endowment is $12 million.

Members of the Commission inquired if the investment in Regions Bank is secured and was informed by Drinnon that the investment is considered a secured investment. Helton stated that the Board will be consulting a financial advisor for safe investment longer term options that will yield a larger return. The Board will consider information provided by the financial advisor and return to Jefferson City and Jefferson County with a recommendation for longer term housing of the funds.

The motion presented by Commissioners Griffith and Akard was unanimously Approved. The meeting was Adjourned.

 

New Carson-Newman online option for high school students “hard to beat”

 

Carson-Newman is now enrolling for its new Dual Enrollment Online Courses for the spring semester. The new option allows students to earn high school and college credit for the same course, online. The opportunity is open to both high school juniors and seniors. The preferred deadline for spring enrollment is December 17.

Melanie Redding, C-N’s director of Undergraduate Admissions, says that C-N’s dual enrollment has proven to be an attractive choice for high school students looking ahead, and that the new online option is a great addition.

“Dual enrollment is an excellent way for students to get a jump on college,” says Redding. “We’re excited to be able to now offer some of these courses online. It’s just really hard to beat the flexibility and convenience these online courses offer students.”

Redding also notes that now with the online option, high school students can take C-N courses whether they live in Bristol, Chattanooga or anywhere in-between.

Online courses include: Art Appreciation, Writing and Literary Studies, Music Appreciation, and Understanding Human Behavior.

Those interested can email C-N’s Admissions Office at admitme@cn.edu, or call 865-471-3223. Additional online information may be found at: www.cn.edu/dualenrollment

Dandridge and County Shared Funding
Paving Way For New Signal Light at JCHS Intersection

 
Image courtesy of Tennessee Department Of Transportation
 

The Town of Dandridge and Jefferson County have approved shared funding of $200,000 for lane improvements needed to secure a signal light at the intersection of Hwy 92 and Dumplin Valley. Tennessee Department of Transportation has secured grant money that will be used to purchase the light and some upgrades have already been completed by TDOT to Hwy 92 in the area of the intersection in anticipation of the installation of the light.

The signal installation portion of the project may not be in the construction phase until 2014, according to information provided by TDOT Community Relations Officer for Region 1, Mark Nagi. As late as last week, Town of Dandridge Administrator Brian McCarter stated the he was hopeful that the signal light installation could be, if not completed, under construction by Fall of 2013. Nagi stated that the project will use federal funds and that a project delivery process, which includes environmental review, is necessary. Nagi said that TDOT has requested that the delivery and design project be expedited, however the current timeline puts designs prepared by the end of 2013 and construction in 2014. McCarter stated that the local contribution to the project, which deals with turn lane construction at the intersection, including lane alignment, should take place in Spring/Summer of 2013.

McCarter expects that the Town of Dandridge will take point on the project, though it is unclear how much, if any, involvement beyond shared funding that the County will want with the issue. The portion of the County funds are slotted to come from school system fund balance. Originally, the signal light issue was brought to the forefront by the Department of Education.

After intensive study, it was determined by TDOT that the intersection had a much higher than average accident rate and, therefore, was eligible for a signal light. TDOT anticipates that the construction of two new schools on either side of Dumplin Valley will add to the congestion of the area. The current timeline suggests that the signal light may not be installed before the opening of the new Patriot Academy and will coincide with renovations to Jefferson County High School.

 

Syrian Civil War Spreading
Rebels gaining in the North
By: Jake Depew, Jefferson County Post Staff Writer

 

The Syrian civil war spread into Lebanon on Sunday, December 8. Reports indicate that there were four fatalities from gunfire in clashes that took place in the city of Tripoli. Rebel forces have recently gained influence in Northern Syria, as well as near Damascus. the United Nation's Special Representative for Syria and the Arab League, Lakdhar Brahimi, met with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov in Geneva to discuss the state of Syria’s conflict. The three representatives agreed that the conflict was growing progressively worse, and have stated that a political end to the conflict is “still necessary and possible.” A number of allied nations have called for Assad to step down from his leadership in Syria, in order to stop the violence.

Russia has recently been criticized for supporting Assad’s regime. In response to these accusations,  Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has stated that the country did not back Assad: rather, Russian officials do not want to negotiate over Assad in any way, be that in defense or condemnation.

The Syrian government has reportedly assured Lavrov that any weapons of mass destruction, chemical or otherwise, will never be used in the conflict. Lavrov has stated that the primary concern at this time for Assad’s regime is to keep these weapons from falling into the hands of the resistance. Lavrov has gone on to urge fellow nations of the U.N. to press for a cease-fire “in one voice,” return U.N. observers to the area in larger numbers, and begin political discussion once again.

 

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