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Dandridge, Tennessee

May 21, 2012 www.jeffersoncountypost.com

SCHOOL BOARD FIRST LOOK AT BUDGET
May require cuts before presentation to County Commission
Staff Photo / "Carry The Load" / Coleman Ruiz Greeting Dandridge Elementary 5th Grade Class on 1700 Mile Relay
Error In Previous Figures
Results in $2,679,000 deficit
 

The Jefferson County School board met last Tuesday to discuss and review their proposed budget prior to their presentation to the Jefferson County Budget Committee, which is slotted to take place Thursday, May 24, 2012.  During the last regular School Board meeting, the Board was presented with a preliminary budget that appeared to be around a $1.3 million dollar increase over last years budgetary needs. On Tuesday, the Board was informed by Director of Jefferson County Finance Helton that the numbers are actually much further apart than originally thought. Due to an error, the totals for the vocational portion of the budget were omitted from the previous figures and the actual total is $2,679,000 deficit for the proposed 2012-2013 fiscal year. Helton stated that the figure includes a State mandated raise for certified personnel and an increase in health insurance, as well as an increase in classified retirement. The 9% health insurance increase makes up around $335,000 of the deficit and retirement contribution for classified employees contributes $125,000 to the total. The increase in operational costs for the new elementary school are slightly over a quarter of a million dollars and are within the half a million dollar funding amount approved by the County Commission. The operational costs are also a part of the total tally. Director of Schools Edmonds stated that the largest portions of expenditures are personnel related and he hopes to make any cuts necessary through attrition. School Board member Loy asked if there would be any saving in cutting 100 day contracts and was informed that the number of 100 day contracts has dwindled and therefore cutting the remaining contract would not result in the amount of eliminating one full time position. Chairman of the Board Potts and Loy both expressed their desire to include an increase for classified employees and a step raise for certified employees in the 2012-2013 fiscal year. Potts stated that she would like to see exactly where the previous year’s fund balance increases were coming from to identify areas that might be tapped for employee increases. The total of BEP funds, which are received from the State, will not be available until later in the Summer and Helton is waiting to see if unused funds from the current fiscal year will, once again, roll into Fund Balance. The School Board will meet again this Tuesday to work on budget cuts and look at total projection, both including and without wage increases.


Chestnut Hill Home Invasion - Turns Out To Be Hoax

 

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department was on alert last Wednesday when a woman living in the Chestnut Hill area said that she had been the victim of a home invasion and shooting. Joy Lounders called her husband on Wednesday evening to tell him that she had been shot in the process of fending off a home intruder. Lounders’ husband called a neighbor to check on her and the neighbor called in the alleged incident to E-911. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department was on the scene shortly after the 8:29 pm call came in and remained on the scene until shortly after midnight. Sheriff McCoig stated that it become evident that some of the information provided by Launders did not connect well with the evidence. Lounders stated that she had witnessed a man outside her home and went to retrieve a gun. When she returned to the room, the man was inside her home. She said that they struggled for the gun and that she was shot twice, once in the leg and once in the back, in the process. Sheriff McCoig stated that shell casings from a 380 semi automatic weapon were found at the scene, however their location was not consistent with Lounders’ story.  Lounders was transported to UT hospital via Lifestar and Chief Deputy Carter and Deputy Sergeant Moyer followed her there for an interview. During the interview process, Lounders admitted that she had fabricated the entire event and had, in fact, shot herself. She was due to report to jail the following Monday for a DUI sentence. Sheriff McCoig stated that information released by Lounders describing the imaginary assailant could have resulted in the tragedy of mistaken identity. He said that he is consulting with the District Attorney regarding further charges.

 

Corker Votes to Debate Republican Budgets, Says Three Years without Budget in Senate Is “Total Failure of Leadership”

 
WASHINGTON – As the Senate considered debating a series of budget proposals offered by Republicans and President Obama, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said the Senate’s failure to pass a budget in three years represents “a total failure of leadership” and is contributing to Washington’s unsustainable deficits and putting the future of Social Security and Medicare in jeopardy. Corker voted to debate budgets offered by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, R-Pa. He voted against proceeding to Obama’s budget, which received zero “yes” votes. None of the proposals considered received enough votes to advance in the Senate.

“Since the Senate last passed a budget 1,113 days ago, Congress has spent over $10 trillion of taxpayer money. This inability to perform even the most basic responsibility of government is a total failure of leadership and represents everything the American people hate about Washington,” Corker said. “Republicans have offered serious budget plans to reduce our long-term deficits, reform the tax code, and restore solvency to Social Security and Medicare. Meanwhile, the president ignores his deficit commission and proposes only more spending, and the Democratic leadership in the Senate offers no solutions. As we fail to deal with the unsustainable growth of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, we are piling up tremendous amounts of indebtedness for future generations and slowing the economic recovery. There is nothing that would cause our economy to lift off more quickly than implementing pro-growth tax reform and entitlement reform and passing longer-term budgets and discretionary spending caps that would put this nation on sound footing. I hope that is what we do before the end of this year.”

The Senate is required by law to pass an annual budget but has not done so in three years. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., refused to bring a budget up for a vote this year citing passage of the Budget Control Act of 2011. The non-partisan Senate parliamentarian later ruled against Reid, saying the Budget Control Act did not remove the requirement for the Senate to propose a budget by April 1. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., attempted to markup a budget in the committee but ultimately pulled the proposal from consideration.

The House of Representatives passed the Ryan budget on March 29.

Mt. Horeb Elementary & Piedmont Schools Zoning List Available

[Get Complete List Here]
 

The Jefferson County Department of Education has made available the street zoning list for the affected areas of Dandridge, Jefferson City, Piedmont and Mt. Horeb. Students should have or will receive a letter if they are in the areas that are impacted by the zoning changes. The list was compiled and provided by the Jefferson County Department of Education Transportation Department.

 

2012 National Safe Boating Week, May 19-25

Launches with Reminder for Boaters to ‘Wear It!’
 

Life jacket wear is one of the most effective and simple life-saving strategies for safe recreational boating

– As the weather starts to warm up, we’re all anxious to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Families and friends gather together to enjoy the outdoors, travel on vacation and spend time on the water – boating, fishing, sailing, and more. It’s important to remember the safety precautions to take during all of these recreational water activities.

But, with approximately 500 people drowning each year from recreational boating accidents, it is imperative to push the message of “Wear It!”: wear your life jacket at all times while you are on the water. 

This year during National Safe Boating Week, and throughout the boating season, the National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) is working with their partner organizations to encourage safe and responsible boating, including the practice of always wearing a life jacket, and being alert and aware while on the water. Safe boating saves lives – so, for this year’s North American Safe Boating Week (May 19–25, 2012) and throughout the boating season remember to “Wear It!”

“Accidents on the water can happen much too fast to reach and put on a stowed life jacket,” said Virgil Chambers, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council. “It’s important that everyone wears a life jacket while on the water. There's no reason why you, your family and friends, can't have fun on the water while also choosing to always wear a life jacket.”

U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in three-fourths of recreational boating fatalities in 2010, and that 88 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets. That’s why boating safety advocates continue to push for increased and consistent life jacket wear on the water.

“A life jacket can't save your life unless you “Wear It!,” said John Johnson, executive director of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). “Today’s life jackets are comfortable, stylish and easy to wear. In fact, they don’t even have to be ‘jackets’ anymore. The old-fashioned, bulky orange life jacket most people are used to has been replaced with innovative new options we want all boaters to know about, including the new inflatable styles. There are even life jackets for our four-legged friends!”

Life jackets are now lighter, less obtrusive and more attractive than ever before. The new inflatable life jackets allow the mobility and flexibility for activities like boating, fishing, paddling or hunting and are much cooler in the warmer weather. There are many different varieties of inflatable jackets ranging from those that inflate instantly when submerged in the water to those that are manually inflated. All are designed to be more comfortable and wearable than the traditional life jacket.

“Make sure your time on the water with family and friends is filled with splashes and smiles,” continued Chambers. “No matter the water activity or life jacket style chosen – and always remember to ‘Wear It!’”

The North American Safe Boating Campaign unites the efforts of a wide variety of boating safety advocates, including NASBLA, the Canadian Safe Boating Council and the many members of the National Safe Boating Council. The campaign is produced under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. Partners hold local events, teach classes, distribute educational materials and perform free Vessel Safety Checks, among other activities.

About the National Safe Boating Council

The National Safe Boating Council represents over 330 U.S. and Canadian organizations committed to reducing boating accidents and enhancing the boating experience. Visit www.SafeBoatingCampaign.com for campaign materials and additional safe boating resources.


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May 21, 2012 Go To Page

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