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Dandridge, Tennessee

September 10, 2012



Staff Photo / Jefferson City Fire Department Ladder Truck at Emergency Preparedness Fair
The Jefferson County Municipalities that have expressed interest in expanding their growth boundaries have submitted their revised maps defining the extension lines. In the previous Urban Growth Committee Meeting, Committee Members approved the expansions of growth lines in the Town of Dandridge, Jefferson City, New Market and White Pine. The Mayors of each Municipality informed Committee Members of their intended growth areas, though maps outlining the intended growth boundaries extensions were still in the process of final preparation. Only Dandridge altered its original request made before the Committee during the onset of the Urban Growth Committee consideration, which was during the onset of the Department of Education building program. Originally, the Department of Education had requested that Dandridge extend its growth boundaries to include the areas of Dumplin Valley that would benefit from city infrastructure. Dandridge made the request for a growth extension in that area to assist the Department of Education. The process for growth boundary extension is lengthy and was not completed quickly enough to allow reasonable opening time for Mount Horeb Elementary School, so the Department of Education took other measures to meet their sewer and water needs. In their last meeting held on August 8, 2012, the Town of Dandridge informed the Committee that they were withdrawing their request for expansion in the Dumplin Valley area, however would continue with their request to expand in the area of exit 424. Jefferson City stated their intent to request expansion to clean up boundary lines and White Pine also informed the Committee that it would seek expansion. New Market stated that their intent for expansion was the same during the last convening of the Urban Growth Committee. The process for municipalities to expand their growth boundaries requires County Commission approval, as well as Municipalities approval and public meetings for both the County and independent Municipalities. The Urban Growth Committee will meet on September 26, 2012 at the Historic Jefferson County Courthouse. For detailed maps choose from the following: (Maps are large files and may take a few minutes to load.) [Baneberry, Dandridge, Jefferson City, New Market, White Pine, County Wide]


Future Rewards To Be Independently Based


The Department of Education has confirmed that Jefferson County will no longer have a Goal Card Program. The Goal Card Program, which consisted of a reward discount card that allowed students entrance into Jefferson County Home Ballgames and discounts and rewards at participating Jefferson County businesses, as well as entrance to a rally at the end of the year, has been discontinued. For decades, students that achieved a place on the honor roll received a Goal Card and were invited to the end of the year rally. At the rally, students names were entered for each time they were on the honor roll and a drawing for donated prizes was held. Items such as movies, bonds and bicycles were commonly a part of the reward drawing. The largest prize was a scholarship that was awarded to one Jefferson County Student through the drawings. The Department of Education stated that the recent budget situation required cutbacks in several areas. Supplement money was not available for the Coordinator of the program or other financial obligations of the program. Previous scholarships that were awarded will still be honored. Department of Education Central Office Department Head Mandy Schneitman stated Friday that the individual schools will have their own academic recognition and that it will be up to the Principals of those schools to honor their high academic achievers. In recent years, the Goal Card Program had been reduced due to lower grades (K-2) receiving progress reports rather than traditional letter or number grades. The Goal Card Program, most recently, served student in grades 3-8. Jefferson County High School has its own academic recognition program and has not participated in the rallies. Schneitman stated that independent schools were already providing additional rewards, such as picnics or cookouts. Though the Goal Card Program has been discontinued, the Department of Education still intends those Jefferson County students that achieve academic excellence be recognized and rewarded. Those rewards will now be independently based at the student’s home school, rather than through a County wide program. The Goal Card Program was initially introduced by long time Maury Middle School Principal Tommy Bettis. The Jefferson County Goal Card Program has been cited in a Resolution from the Tennessee General Assembly and has served as a part of some Jefferson County Schools Improvement Plan.


Rare Hantavirus Linked To Yosemite National Park

By Jake Depew, Jefferson County Post Staff Writer

On Thursday, September 6, 2012, another death occurred at Yosemite National Park. The death was caused by hantavirus, a rare and deadly disease that had claimed 3 victims in the prior weeks. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is caused by a virus that is transmitted to humans from the droppings or urine of infected rodents, and manifests itself after 1 to as many as 6 weeks. 7 of the 8 people who were infected over the past two months had been residing in the park’s signature tent cabins in Curry Village. The final person stayed in multiple High Sierra Camps in Yosemite this past July. The park’s tent cabins have been closed down indefinitely as of late August. Extreme renovations are being performed on the cabins, and it is still unknown whether or not this residential project is even possible in the long run, due to such a possible public health risk. The hantavirus symptoms are very similar to that of the flu, and authorities are urging people that may have vacationed to Yosemite National Park over the summer to monitor their health closely, and to seek immediate medical attention if symptoms present themselves. That being said, no evidence shows that the epidemic is necessarily tied to the park, as a whole. Rather, investigations are underway to ascertain whether or not the problem is caused by rodents housing themselves inside of the tent cabins.


White Pine School To Host Enrichment and Extension Program


The Jefferson County Department of Education has been awarded a grant for a STEM program, through the 21st century education grant program. White Pine School will host the STEM enrichment and extension program. The STEM program will be open to White Pine elementary school students and will require application to the program. The STEM program will be conducted after school from Monday –Thursday, and has a multi component design. There will be hands on activities that promote 21st century learning skills of critical thinking, as well as application of knowledge. The program will offer a more cross curricular approach to enrichment and knowledge extension, including a physical component as well as a snack. There will be commitment requirements from participants and teachers will work closely with the students. The STEM initiative is an important part of Tennessee’s educational advancement goals. STEM, which is Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, is a forward thinking program that highlights student problem solving and critical thinking. Sherry Finchum, Director of Elementary Education for the Jefferson County Schools, wrote for the grant and Jefferson County hopes to be able to extend the reach of this and other grants in the future. The new STEM program will kick off on September 17, 2012. The receipt of the grant will allow Jefferson County to make strides in student demographic areas that may highly benefit from an enrichment and extension program. Student selection will begin this week and student busing will be provided through the grant.



There has been a report of dead and dying fish on Cherokee Reservoir. TWRA Fisheries Biologist went out saw dead and dying striped bass along with a few walleye near the dam on the lower end of the reservoir. TWRA advises this is most likely due to the fact that there is very little dissolved oxygen left in the water at depths where the water temperatures are within the fish's range. Where there's cool water, there's no oxygen.

September - National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month


According to a statement by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, September marks the start of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, a time for us to encourage America’s children to develop healthy habits that can last a lifetime.

All kids deserve to experience the positive health benefits of daily physical activity and healthy eating, and have those opportunities available to them.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has developed programs and resources to help children and parents, and they’re available in agencies including the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health’s We Can!! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition)® program.

Over the past 30 years, the childhood obesity rate in America has almost tripled. According to the CDC, in 2010, approximately 17 percent of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years were already obese. Children and teenagers who are obese are more likely to become obese adults. Overweight and obese youth are at greater risk of developing serious adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.

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