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Top Erlanger Managers Paid Bonuses; State Lawmakers Upset
News Channel 9 Thursday December 11, 2014

Top managers at Erlanger Health System are getting big bonuses after a fight to stay out of the red. News Channel 9 reports the Chattanooga hospital board's move follows a decision earlier this year to freeze vacation time for employees, and the move is not sitting well with some lawmakers. According to Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger, about 99 managers collectively got $1.7 million in bonus money, and that includes taxpayer dollars. Coppinger said taxpayers give about $1.5 million dollars a year to Erlanger. According to News Channel 9, Senator Bo Watson,of Hixon, TN said that he believes the managers could have opted to redirect the money for other use. Watson also said delegates will be looking at a law that allows public institutions to hold private meetings to discuss strategy and whether (Erlanger administrators) have taken advantage of the law to give them the opportunity to do strategic planning outside the public view.
State Senator Todd Gardenshire, R-Chattanooga, District 10, said "it's not right" that the board "didn't put the incentives on agenda (and) did it on a resolution afterward." Gardenshire said he will co-sponsor a bill with Watson to amend current legislation on private meetings and the hospital assessment fee. He added that he will also bring up legislation aimed at Erlanger and its trustees.


Cumberland County Farmers Need to Act Now to Take Advantage of USDA/Soil Conservation Programs
Submitted/Phillip Dixon-USDA-NRCS District Conservationist Thursday December 11, 2014

Now is a great time for all farmers and landowners in Cumberland County to start planning for the 2015 year. The USDA- Natural Resources Conservation Service and Cumberland County Soil Conservation District office are actively assisting farmers and landowners with some super plans for next years planting season. The CSP (Conservation Stewardship Program) is offered to any landowner in Cumberland County with usually greater than 50 acres of either forest land, cropland, pastureland or hay land. This is a reward program for the best landowners/farmers who are protecting their land resources while actively producing some type of Agriculture crop which may be corn, beans, pasture, and hay or forest products. To qualify for this program you cannot have any active erosion or are not going to cut the timber for the next 5 years, which is the length of the CSP contract. Payments range from $2- $12 dollars/acre so it is a small payment but if a landowner has several acres it adds up quickly and this is one payment per year for five years. Another program is the Soil Health/ Cover Crop program, which is offered under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Farmers or landowners who do not have their soils covered during the winter time are losing money along with the most valuable element- Carbon. Carbon is the key to all life which includes the plants and animals that live in the soil. NRCS will cost-share the planting of winter cover on all crop fields in Cumberland County. Cost-share rate for a 5 species mix is $85.00 per acre and is a 3 year program if funded. These are only a few of the many conservation programs and practices offered by the USDA-NRCS office. There are other programs offered by the Cumberland Co. Soil Conservation District funded thru the Tenn. Dept. of Agriculture and US Fish and Wildlife Services. Come by the office located next to the Post office in Crossville for more information or you can call the office staff (Phillip Dixon, Lynn Carey and Janet Dowlen) at 931-484-5442 ext. 3.


Hamburgers On The Grill Set Off SMHS Fire Alarms
Peg Broadcasting News 12:43 p.m. Wednesday December 10, 2014

Hamburgers on the grill set off the fire alarms at Stone Memorial High School Wednesday morning. School officials say they were grilling burgers in the Ag/Science building and someone had neglected to turn on the vents. That set off the fire alarm and the entire school was evacuated. No one was injured and the school was never in any danger of catching fire. Dr. Maddox said Wednesdays mishap presented a fire drill opportunity and the safety procedures in place were executed as practiced by staff and students.


Tennessee Awarded Expanded Preschool Grant
Peg Broadcasting/News Channel 5 Wednesday December 10, 2014

Tennessee is one of 13 states that have been awarded grants to expand the states preschool services. Tennessee will receive $17.5 million from the Federal Government. Five other states received grants for preschool development to all 4 year olds from low and moderate income families.


Crossville tax revenue remains above previous years
Peg Broadcasting News Wednesday December 10, 2014

The Crossville City Manager reports that sales tax collections remain above previous years. For the fiscal year to date collections were at just over $3 million, ahead of last year by $46,000. Wholesale beer taxes are remaining steady, topping last year by $440. City Manager David Rutherford also reported that income from liquor sales is up by $6000 and revenue from building permits is at just over $133,000 for the fiscal year.


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