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Dandridge, Tennessee

December 31, 2012

www.jeffersoncountypost.com


Happy New Year! A Year In Review

Staff Photo
 

2012 Goes In The Books
But Not Quietly!

 

Jefferson County residents awoke on Sunday morning to a dusting of snow across the area, and those that were alert on Saturday night might have seen the local road department trucks rolling to answer the threat of black ice.  Cold weather moved in over the weekend, following a month of Spring like weather in the region. In the month of December, only seven days registered below average temperatures and four of those came in the final days of the month. Three days registered average temperatures and the remaining 20 days brought temperatures registering much higher than normal. In fact, four days in December found temperatures soaring into the low seventies for highs. Though the return to cold days and freezing nights was an anomaly during the last month of 2012, the precipitation was nothing new. Jefferson County saw precipitation 13 days in December, thus far, and has logged 6.48 inches in precipitation, which is well above the monthly average of 4.25 inches. Typically, January is the coolest month for Jefferson County, with average highs running in the mid 40s and average lows falling into the low 20s. January is the month that holds the all time low temperature record for Jefferson County. In the first month of the year in 1985 temperatures plummeted to -26 degrees Fahrenheit.  Those that have spent much time in East Tennessee know that extended forecasts are not reliable in this area, however, the prediction through the first week in January shows a more normal pattern returning to the region. The National Climate Prediction Center is predicting a normal pattern of temperatures in the area for the month of January, with an above average chance of precipitation. The three month prediction shows above average temperatures for February, March and April across the majority of the Nation, including East Tennessee, with above average precipitation in the local area. The long term outlook was prepared on December 20, 2012 and is subject to change, as it is updated mid month every month.

 

Corker to Obama:
Show us Specifics Regarding the $1 Trillion in Cuts You Referred to on Meet the Press

 

In a letter December 30, 2012, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., asked President Barack Obama to lay out specifics regarding the “over $1 trillion in additional spending cuts” he alluded to in his interview with David Gregory of NBC’s Meet the Press which aired this morning.

“In your interview with David Gregory that was broadcast on Meet the Press this morning, you stated that you ‘offered over $1 trillion in additional spending cuts’ in order to reach a major fiscal reform agreement with Congress and avert the fiscal cliff. Unfortunately, you have been silent on the specifics. As you know, Congress must reduce notional concepts to actual legislative text. Members of Congress and the American people cannot judge the merit and long-term fiscal implications of these spending cuts unless you provide concrete detail,” wrote Corker in his letter to President Obama. “As we move forward wrestling with the nation’s fiscal crises, especially the debt ceiling, it would help us to have a concrete plan and legislative language from you.”

On Friday, Corker and Senator Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., proposed their “Dollar-for-Dollar Plan” that would reduce the growth of entitlement spending (Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security) by nearly $1 trillion in order to improve the programs’ solvency. In exchange, Congress would approve the president’s expected request for a $1 trillion increase in the debt ceiling.

Complete text of the letter is attached below and available online here. Senator Corker also appeared on CNN’s State of the Union today where he made a similar challenge to the president. Footage of the interview is available online here.

Dear Mr. President:

In your interview with David Gregory that was broadcast on Meet the Press this morning, you stated that you “offered over $1 trillion in additional spending cuts” in order to reach a major fiscal reform agreement with Congress and avert the fiscal cliff. Unfortunately, you have been silent on the specifics. As you know, Congress must reduce notional concepts to actual legislative text. Members of Congress and the American people cannot judge the merit and long-term fiscal implications of these spending cuts unless you provide concrete detail.

As we move forward wrestling with the nation’s fiscal crises, especially the debt ceiling, it would help us to have a concrete plan and legislative language from you.

Thank you in advance for your prompt response.

Sincerely,

Bob Corker
United States Senator

TDOT Launches New SmartWay Application
Free App for iPhone and Android Provides Customized Traffic Information

 

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has launched a new tool for motorists. The new TDOT SmartWay Mobile App will help drivers navigate Tennessee highways, providing up-to-the-minute customized traffic information. The TDOT SmartWay App is free and available for download in the Apple App Store and Play Store for Android.

“We are excited to be able to provide this tool for motorists, especially on the eve of one of the busiest travel days of the year,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “The features we’re providing can help travelers avoid congestion and have a safer drive to their holiday destinations.”

The home screen for the TDOT SmartWay App is a map, which will locate your current position. Users will see icons on the left hand side of the map for traffic speeds, incidents, cameras, road construction, road conditions, and dynamic message signs. Map views can be customized by simply clicking on those icons.

The bottom of the screen shows the TDOT SmartWay App’s other features:

·       Near Me – Allows users to see traffic incidents, construction, and road conditions near their current location.

·       Notifications – Allows users to set up customized alerts about traffic incidents, construction, and road conditions. Alerts can be set up either by start and end point, or by choosing the county and route. Users can select the time frame to receive notifications, and create multiple notifications.

·       Favorites – From the map screen, users can select a camera, and click “Add to Favorites.” Once selected favorites have been added, users will have the ability to scroll through to see real-time images of their route.

The TDOT SmartWay App was developed by NIC, the state’s chosen eGovernment portal vendor. NIC will provide user support for the application. The Help Desk can be reached 24 hours a day by calling 615-313-0300 or 1-866-8TN-EGOV. For more information, please visit http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/tdotsmartway/mobile.htm.

TDOT asks motorists to use the TDOT SmartWay App responsibly. Drivers should “know before you go!” by checking traffic conditions before leaving for their destination. Motorists should never text, tweet, or use a mobile device while operating a vehicle.

 

North Korean Missile Launch May
Movement of rocket parts may have been to intentionally mislead U.S. intelligence
By: Jake Depew, Jefferson County Post Staff Writer

 

Evidence has arisen regarding the December 12 North Korean missile test launch that is causing concern with United States and South Korean officials. The launch came as a surprise to both the U. S. and Asian allied nations, in spite of extensive intelligence-gathering operations centered around North Korea. U. S. officials are now investigating the likelihood that North Korea intentionally deceived the U. S. and its allies. It is commonly known that North Korea, among several other nations, keeps track of when United States satellites are passing overhead. These satellites captured images of North Korean workers moving parts of a rocket and replacing those parts with newer pieces. With this information, the allied nations believed the missile to be undergoing maintenance, leading to the surprise felt in the successful launch of the rocket. U. S. officials are currently investigating whether or not the movement of rocket parts was used to mislead the observing allied nations, in order to launch the rocket when satellites were not overhead. There is currently speculation as to whether or not the missile parts were from an older model in storage or not. If the parts are from an older model, it is unlikely that they were used in the December 12 launch in any capacity. The missile in question is of a type with the ability to strike over 6,000 miles away, meaning that such a missile could strike the U. S. United States officials have stated that it is extremely unlikely that North Korea could attain a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on such a rocket, and that U. S. missile defense systems are more than adequate to counter such a launch if need be. It is important to note that even in light of this information and due to the unclear nature of the images gathered from U. S. satellites regarding the rocket, it is possible that no deception was intended and that the rocket was never disassembled at all.

 


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