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Dandridge, Tennessee

November 14, 2011

For Rush Strong & White Pine Schools
Staff Photo / Returning Salutes at JCHS Night Of The Patriots

Jefferson County School Board

The Jefferson County School Board held its regular Monthly Meeting on November 8, 2011 at New Market Elementary School.

The Meeting was Called to Order by Chairman of the Board Potts. 

Director of Maintenance, Transportation and Capitol Projects Phagan presented the Board with a Flag that was flown, by request of Veteran Bill Walker, for Jefferson County Schools, in Afghanistan. The Board recognized and thanked Veterans for their service to the Nation.

Upon a Motion from Vines and a 2nd from Jarnigan the Board approved Consent Agenda Items.


Board Member Vines made a motion to extend a settlement proposal of $75,000 to Community Tectonics, with a non disparagement stipulation, that would require a response within 10 days of the receipt of the letter and would release all individuals. 2nd Loy - Passed unanimously.

Citizen Elizabeth Finchum addressed the School Board regarding the bonus for non certified employees and extended her appreciation for the action taken. She requested that the Board further consider a raise for non certified employees.

Board Member Bradley made a motion to accept for review and adoption policy numbers 1.101, 1.400, 2.804, 5.106, 1.808, 4.600 and the energy conservation policy. 2nd Jarnigan 

Vines questioned if weighted grades were considered in the policy and Dr. McFall, of the Department of Education, stated that Jefferson County follows the uniformed grading policy. Bradley’s motion passed unanimously.

Director of Jefferson County Finance Helton presented Amendment #3 to the Federal Budget. Motion to accept was made by Solomon. 2nd Cavanaugh - Passed unanimously.

Don Devine, Technology Supervisor, addressed the Board concerning the state of technology in the schools. Devine stated that he was in the process of piecing together grants to provide technology that is needed in classrooms. Board Member Bradley stated that he would like to see numbers for funds needed for upgrades and requested that Director of Schools Edmonds and Devine bring back that information to the Board. Bradley stated that he would like to consider the use of fund balance for the necessary upgrades.

Dr. Edmonds addressed the Board concerning the need for additional property adjacent to Rush Strong School and White Pine School. He stated that Rush Strong is in serious need of property, as they have no parking and sewage needs may result in the loss of the playground. Phagan informed the Board that the only property adjacent to the school is on the verge of foreclosure and could be available shortly. Board Member Loy stated that the need was very real for Rush Strong and urged the Board to consider purchasing the property next to the school. Board Member Cavanaugh stated that she is concerned that the White Pine property floods and inquired if other property had been considered. Phangan stated that no other property was available and that he felt that the proposed property could be made sufficient for the school’s needs. Dr. Edmonds requested that the Board consider taking an option on the Rush Strong and White Pine Property. He stated that he is aware that the timing is not good and that the request will compete for resources from the County Commission, however the needs are time sensitive. Board Member Jarnigan stated that he felt that the request could compete with the renovation of JCHS that will come before the Budget Committee. Edmonds stated that he, too, regretted the timing, however the Rush Strong property may go on the block for purchase and another opportunity may not present itself. Loy encouraged the Board to consider the Rush Strong Property and Cavanaugh stated that she was not opposed to securing property for White Pine but would like to know the cost to make it viable. Solomon made a motion to allow Director of Schools Edmonds to move on options for three parcels of land (combined total of nearly 1 acre in Rush Strong and, also, the White Pine property). 2nd Loy - Passed 6-1 (Jarnigan No)

Dr. Edmonds presented the Textbook Selection Committee and upon a motion from Loy and 2nd Jarnigan approved unanimously the recommendation.

The Board was informed that School Bus Drivers do not meet the criteria for full time employment.

Director of Schools Edmonds distributed an estimate of the Operating Costs Projected for the Freshman Academy and Mount Horeb Elementary School. He listed the projected costs for both projects at $465,874. Edmonds stated that he hopes that numbers of students will fall correctly when the redistricting process begins for the new elementary school and that they may have to take in numbers to make it fall right. Vines made a motion to approve the document to go to the Budget Committee for review. 2nd Solomon - Passed unanimously.

No action was taken on the Interscholastic Athletic Policy, as it was passed to the Policy Committee.  The Meeting was Adjourned. 


Secretary Hargett Commends Jefferson County Clerk Rick Farrar 

on Assistance with Free Photo IDs

Secretary of State Tre Hargett commended Jefferson County Clerk Rick Farrar for providing free photo identification for Tennesseans to help them meet the requirements of a new voting law. Under the new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, voters will be required to show state- or federally-issued photo IDs to cast ballots in Tennessee elections.

Jefferson County is one of 30 counties across the state re-issuing driver licenses with photos at no cost to registered voters who currently have licenses without photos.

“I think we’ve needed this for a long time,” Clerk Farrar said. “Most of the people of our county have been pretty good about following through with this new requirement.”

The free photo IDs are only available for people who do not have other forms of acceptable ID but wish to vote. In addition to driver licenses with photos, other acceptable forms of ID, even if expired, include:

  • U.S. passports

  • Military identification cards

  • Gun permits with photos

  • Department of Safety and Homeland Security photo IDs

  • Federal or state-issued photo IDs, with the exception of college student IDs

“I am grateful that Rick Farrar and 29 other county clerks have joined the Department of Safety and Homeland Security in making free photo IDs readily available for Tennesseans who need them,” Secretary Hargett said. “This new law is important because it is a tool that can help reduce the potential for voter fraud. It is equally important that eligible voters have proper identification when they visit the polls. Thanks to the efforts of Rick Farrar and his staff, it will be more convenient than ever to get that type of identification.” 

County clerks have agreed to provide this service through March 12, 2012.

Pharmaceutical Robbery Streak Killer Claims

First Shot Was Accidental
By: Jake Depew, Jefferson County Post Staff Writer

On Thursday, November 10, 2011, a man who killed four people in a Riverhead, New York pharmacy was sentenced to life in prison. David Laffer, the killer in question, had already plead guilty to first degree murder in regards to the robbery this past June. According to Laffer, he committed the robbery because he had lost his job and needed medication for his wife. Even though he has received life imprisonment, Laffer still claims that he had no intention of killing four people when he walked into the pharmacy: he says the first shot was an accident and that, in the confusion, he panicked. Regardless of his claims, Laffer received five lifetime sentences: four for each of the first degree murder charges, and an umbrella charge for multiple murders. Authorities found the murder weapon disassembled in Laffer’s home.  Laffer’s wife, Melinda Brady, admitted to driving the couple’s getaway car: she has since plead guilty to robbery charges and has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. This crime marks the most disastrous case in what has been a pharmaceutical robbery streak that has swept the nation in the past year.

Rescue Efforts Still Underway in Turkey
In Aftermath of 5.7 Quake
By: Jake Depew, Jefferson County Post Staff Writer

On Wednesday, November 9, 2011, a magnitude 5.7 earthquake rocked eastern Turkey. More than 100 civilians are trapped under debris at the time of this writing, and rescue efforts have been underway since the night of the earthquake. So far, there have 7 confirmed casualties and as many as 45 people have been safely rescued. A total of 25 buildings were destroyed by the earthquake. Of these 25, only 3 had any people in them, as the area was still under repair for the damage done by October’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The earthquake has been measured to have occurred at 9:23 p.m. (2:23 p.m. Eastern Time), and the epicenter of the blast was located 9 miles south of the town of Vans, with a depth of 3 miles. The full extent of the damage caused is currently unknown, and all architectural recovery plans are only in a stage of infancy. Still, rescue operations are working around the clock to help those who may have been trapped in the rubble.

© Copyright 2011 The Jefferson County Post All Rights Reserved

November 14, 2011 Go To Page

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