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Cumberland County Sheriff Butch Burgess has announced that he will not seek re-election for the position he has held for nearly 16 years in Cumberland County. Burgess says he has strived during his time as Sheriff to improve the department and make the community safer for its children. State law prohibits a Sheriff from endorsing any candidate seeking the position. Burgess says his prayer is that the new Sheriff will “build upon the foundation he leaves behind with “his own ideas, fairness and compassion.”
New health data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows Cumberland County ranks 45th in the state for overall health. Contributing to the results are adult obesity, adult smoking, physical inactivity and adults with diabetes. Putnam County was ranked #9, Van Buren County 27th, White County was ranked 46th, Morgan was 60th and Fentress was ranked 92nd. The healthiest county in our state was Williamson County, with the least healthy being Grundy County. Tennessee ranks 42nd in the country for overall health.
New research by the AAA Foundation for Safety indicates adults text or use their phone while driving more often than high school-aged teens. While the public often cites teenagers as being the most common offenders, a recent survey found that adult drivers ages 25-39 were the most likely to admit engaging in these risky behaviors behind the wheel. Two out of three drivers reported using a cell phone while driving within the past month. 43 percent of adults ages 25-39 reported doing so fairly often or on a regular basis while driving, compared to only 20 percent of teens. Motorists age 60 and up were the least likely to report using a phone while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one out of every ten fatal crashes involves distraction, resulting in more than 3,000 deaths per year.
A poll conducted by Vanderbilt University shows more than three in five Tennesseans support an expansion of Medicaid, though nearly half also have a negative view of the federal health care law. The survey of 800 randomly selected registered voters showed 63 percent favored an expansion of Medicaid, while 34 percent were against it. Last spring Governor Bill Haslam declined to accept $1.4 billion in federal funds to cover about 140,000 uninsured Tennesseans under terms the money was offered. He has been involved in negotiations with the federal government over a special deal for the state, but those efforts have not been fruitful so far.
U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander has replaced his chief of staff after learning the staffer's home was being searched as part of a child pornography investigation. Alexander says that it'll be up to the courts to judge , but "under these circumstances, he cannot continue to fulfill his duties as chief of staff." Alexander named his legislative director, David Cleary, as his new chief of staff. U.S. Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr says Loskarn was arrested based on probable cause for possession and distribution of child pornography charges.