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Dandridge, Tennessee

December 24, 2012


Santa Makes One Last Stop Before Big Night

Staff Photo

Christmas with Cops For Kids

Staff Photo / L-R / Tiffany Denton, Cassidy Halbig, Officer Jim Potts, Rachel Tignor, Kaitlyn Linkous


Police Officers perpetuated the season of giving last week as they took some local students on a Christmas shopping experience. The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #61, which is comprised of local law enforcement officers, collects funds throughout the year, via donations and fundraisers such as golf and bass tournaments, to fund the annual shopping day for local children that are in need. Last week, 17 Jefferson County students ranging in age from 5 to 17 shopped for themselves and their family, courtesy of the generosity of the Cops for Kids program. The children were treated to lunch at Walmart before being paired with a local Police Officer or Elf Helper from the Criminal Justice class at Jefferson County High School. The children enjoyed spending roughly $100 of Christmas money during the trip and many chose items for family members as well as themselves. Shoppers at the Walmart store were so encouraged by the generosity of the Cops for Kids program that they made spontaneous donations to the program.


Aging Committee Report Delivered to Congress


U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI), Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), the committee’s ranking member, released an official committee report that offers a comparison of international approaches to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care. The report examined five countries—Australia, France, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States—and their approaches to diagnosis, treatment and long-term care options for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and their family members.  The other countries were chosen because they have similar economies to the U.S. and highlight different aspects of the Alzheimer’s challenge for policy makers.

“Alzheimer’s disease is a growing national concern and we must commit to addressing it in the most comprehensive way possible.  There are enormous costs, both personal and financial to this disease,” said Chairman Kohl.  “We urgently need to prepare for the increasing number of Alzheimer’s diagnoses, and how to curb this mounting epidemic.”

“My father had Alzheimer's, so I understand the emotional and financial difficulties facing families dealing with this devastating illness.  I hope this report will help inform the debate in our country over how to provide the best care possible given the significant budgetary and health care challenges presented by increasing cases of Alzheimer’s,” said ranking member Corker.

This report highlights the global efforts to coordinate research and early detection interventions. It also underscores an increasing trend to keep Alzheimer’s patients in their homes for as long as possible, while developing more specialized environments for those who need intensive around-the-clock care.

The Alzheimer’s Association (AA) estimates that in the next 40 years, the cost of Alzheimer’s disease to all payers, including governments, insurance companies and individuals, will total $20 trillion. AA also estimates that 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, valued at $210 billion. In 2012 alone, Alzheimer’s patients and families spent an estimated $33 billion in out-of-pocket costs.  Furthermore, in the last year, Alzheimer’s disease cost $104.5 billion to Medicare and $33.5 billion to Medicaid. These expenses are expected to rise 500 percent over the next four decades.

Since its inception, the Senate Special Committee on Aging has focused on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia as critical public health problems.  The committee has held a series of hearings on the disease and has heard testimony from prominent voices, such as former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, on the importance of continued research, vigilance and appropriate care. 

TDOT Halts Highway Construction for Busy Holiday Travel Period
No Lane Closures on Interstates and State Routes from December 22 to January 2


Road construction will not slow travelers’ busy Christmas and New Year’s travel holidays. The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is once again halting all lane closure activity on interstates and state highways in anticipation of higher traffic volumes across the state.

No temporary lane closures will be allowed for construction on Tennessee roadways beginning at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 22, 2012 through 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 2, 2013.

“Two million drivers are expected to travel Tennessee roadways during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, and we want to do everything possible to minimize delays,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “We also want everyone to arrive at their destinations safely – so buckle up, reduce your speed, avoid distractions, and always designate a sober driver.”

Except for a few long-term closures which must remain in place for safety, all construction related closures will be suspended during the holiday period. Workers may still be on site in some construction zones. Drivers should obey all posted speed limits, particularly in construction areas. Slower speeds are necessary in work zones due to the temporary layout of the roadway and will be enforced. Drivers convicted of speeding through work zones where workers are present face a fine of $250 to $500, plus court fees and possible increased insurance premiums.

“If you and your family are traveling during this holiday period, please do your part to increase safety for everyone by obeying the rules of the road,” said Governor’s Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole. “Drivers will see an increased law enforcement presence on Tennessee’s roadways with a particular focus on stopping impaired drivers.”

AAA predicts holiday travel will increase nearly 2% in Tennessee this year, with 2 million expected to travel by automobile in the volunteer state between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Across the U.S. 84.4 million people are expected to drive to their year-end holiday destinations. Americans will travel an estimated 760 miles round trip.

For up-to-date travel information, motorists may call 511 from any land line or cellular phone or visit www.TN511.com. TDOT is also on Twitter. For statewide travel tweets follow www.twitter.com/TN511. Smartphone users can use the TDOT SmartWay Mobile website at http://m.tdot.tn.gov/SmartWay/ to access TDOT’s SmartWay cameras, incident information and messages displayed on overhead Dynamic Message Signs. Motorists are reminded to use all motorist information tools responsibly. Drivers should refrain from texting, tweeting or using a mobile phone while operating a vehicle. Drivers should “Know before you go!” and check traffic conditions before leaving for their destination.


U.S. Citizen Arrested in North Korea
By: Jake Depew, Jefferson County Post Staff Writer


A North Korean state news agency has reported the arrest of a United States citizen, this past Friday. The Korean Central News Agency reported that Bae Jun Ho entered the nation on November 3rd to carry out a tour, and that, upon being arrested, the man confessed to the still unspecified crime. A U.S. official has anonymously reported that a man named Kenneth Bae had been detained in North Korea for a month, though it is currently unknown if the two names refer to the same man. Bae is a tour operator, and, according to South Korean newspapers, entered North Korea’s port city of Rajin with five more tourists, meaning to undergo a five day tour of the country. A member of the tour had a computer hard disk that “apparently contained sensitive information.” It is currently unknown how efforts to free the man are progressing, and diplomacy between the United States and North Korea is almost nonexistent, especially in the country’s capital of Pyongyang. Any discussions must be made through the South Korean embassy in the area.


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