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September 5, 2011 www.jeffersoncountypost.com

New School Board Member 
County Commission Votes Judy Cavanaugh 14-7

Staff Photo
September County Commission Meeting
Places new board member to fill Phagan term.

The Jefferson County Commission met on Thursday, September 1, 2011 at the Historic Jefferson County Courthouse.

The meeting was called to order by Commission Chairman Mills. All Commissioners were present.

Jefferson County Mayor Palmieri informed the Commission that Jefferson City and Jefferson County are both in the process of finalizing lease details with Health Management Associates. The County Attorney will review the lease document and it will be presented as a recommendation, from the Mayor, to the Full Commission for consideration.

Budget Committee Chairman Scarlett presented a recommendation from the Budget Committee that the Commission approve a budget amendment for a $100,000 Grant for White Pine School. He stated that the amendment does not have an impact on the budget. The recommended amendment passed unanimously.

Chairman Mills inquired if the Third District came with a recommendation for the placement of a new School Board Member to fill a seat that was vacated by Michael Phagan at the end of July 2011. Commissioner Tabor stated that the Third District recommended Jack Pewitt for the position..

Chairman Mills open the floor for recommendations for the vacant seat. Commissioner Solomon recommended Judy Cavanaugh for the position.

Commissioner Beeler stated that it had been an unwritten policy that the district with the vacancy fill the seat. He said that if the Commission wanted to change the policy then they should wait until there is no vacant seat to do so.

Commissioner Barreiro stated that it is impossible to change a policy that is not written and that each Commissioner should use their own judgment in voting. She went on to say that it is not disrespectful to vote your conscious.

Chairman Mills asked for a roll call vote, each Commissioner stating the name of the candidate to whom they were designating their vote.

Cavanaugh - Kesterson, Maples, Patterson, Cureton, Turner, Solomon, Blevins, Barreiro, Hubbard, Scarlett, Dockery, Tucker, Carmichael and Sheets

Pewitt - Mills, Estes, Tabor, Musick, Baxley, Griffith, Beeler

Judy Cavanaugh was elected 14 to 7 to fill the vacant School Board seat for the remainder of Phagan’s term.  The meeting was Adjourned.

Supernova Peaks on September 8, 2011 
By: Jake Depew

A rare celestial event will occur over the next few days. A supernova will be visible in the handle of the Big Dipper until its brightness peaks on September 8, 2011. Supernovas are most commonly formed when the core of an aging star stops emanating energy. When this happens, the sun collapses into a neutron star, expelling massive amounts of energy. The explosion expels most of the star’s material and sends a shock wave across the interstellar medium at approximately 10% of the speed of light. Supernovas emit as much energy as the original sun does over its entire life span. The supernova in the Big Dipper can be found by locating the last two stars on the Big Dipper’s handle and making an equilateral triangle using those stars as the base and the tip pointing north. The supernova will be located at the tip of the triangle. Unfortunately, the supernova is outside the ability of humans to see with the naked eye. However, the explosion can be seen using a very low-powered telescope. The star from which the supernova was formed is roughly 21 million light years away, meaning that the star burned out 21 million years ago and is just now visible from earth. The light from the explosion will be visible for roughly the next three years. The event will be visible from telescopes as small as six inches for the next year. From that point onward, professional grade telescopes will be required. Again, for all those wishing to see the supernova, the explosion will be brightest on September 8, 2011. 

Labor Day 2011

Exactly 129 years ago today, on September 5, 1882, the United States of America celebrated her very first Labor Day. The first Monday in September was established as a Federal Holiday in 1894 by President Grover Cleveland. His action was in response to public outcry following what was viewed as an extreme response by the Military and the U.S. Marshal Service to the Pullman Strike. The Pullman Strike was a conflict that arose between worker at the Pullman Palace Car Company and the Railroad due to a reduction in wages. The strike stopped mail service and brought large parts of the Nation to a halt. It was President Cleveland’s way to appease groups seeking fair wages and better working conditions from rioting in the streets. Labor Day was his olive branch to the Labor Unions, though a May 1 celebration date was already in place in other parts of the world. The atmosphere was so tense that President Cleveland wanted to quickly establish a day to celebrated the contributions of American workers. In addition, he felt that there might be some political fallout should the United States join the rest of the world in the May 1 holiday. Per Congressional dictate, the holiday is marked by parades and picnics to honor the American worker. Labor Day has long been held as the unofficial end to summer and the Government’s acknowledgement of the spirit and dedication of the American labor force.

Dozens of JCHS Students Failed to be Evacuated During Bomb Threat

Jefferson County High School was evacuated on Wednesday, August 31,2011, after a bomb threat was discovered on a bathroom wall inside JCHS. The school went on lockdown shortly after the message was discovered and, after the stadium was declared clear, the students and staff were moved out of the building and into the stadium. While it was reported that the vast majority of the students and staff were removed from the school in a timely manner, a group of more than three dozen students and staff failed to be informed of the evacuation. It has been confirmed that the Media Center of the school remained on lockdown, however it was never evacuated. The staff of the Media Center was not informed that an evacuation was in progress and no administrator checked the area to be sure that it was empty of students and staff. It is unclear how the Media Center was missed during the building check for explosives. The Media Center is a common student area and is easily accessible to anyone at Jefferson County High School. As per lockdown procedure, the doors to the Media Center were locked and the lights turned off. Students and Staff remained in lockdown during the entire time that the school was evacuated, which totaled around 2 ½ hours. When brought to their attention, the Administration apologized for not informing the staff that an evacuation was in process so that they, in turn, could appropriately direct their students, and themselves, to safety.

Director of Schools Edmonds stated Friday that he had recently been informed of the oversight and was following up on the situation. He went on to say that he was generally please with the smooth process and felt that the staff at Jefferson County High School did a good job in ensuring the safety of the students.

Two Jefferson County High School students were arrested for writing the message that precipitated the evacuation. Reportedly, their intent was to avoid class.

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