Archive: Feb-Mar 2008

Archive: Feb-Mar 2008

Archive: Feb-Mar 2008

Local unemployment rate increases slightly in January

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development released the unemployment figures on March 6, and the Haywood County rate increased from 7.7 percent in December to 8.1 percent in January. The local rate was 6.8 percent in January 2007.In surrounding counties, all but one also saw an increase in unemployment rates. Lauderdale County went from 7.7 percent in December to 8.7 in January. Tipton County also saw an increase to 6.5 percent from 5.7 percent in December. Crockett County’s rate increased from 7.0 to 8.4 in January, and only Fayette County saw a decrease from 7.7 in December to 7.5 percent in January.

The state and national rates, both 5.0 percent in December, decreased to 4.9 percent in January. The unemployment rates increased in 89 Tennessee counties, decreased in four counties and remained the same in two counties.

Landfill open on Saturday mornings

Clinton Neal of the Haywood County Solid Waste Department announced that the county Landfill will begin opening on Saturday mornings from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 8. There will be no cost to Haywood County citizens for any waste from yard clean-up. For more specific information, call 772-7975.

Chamber sponsors small business seminar

Richard Carraway, Director of Retail Development with the Brownsville-Haywood County Chamber of Commerce; She’rri McClellan, Director of SMOB; and Sharon Taylor McKinney, West Tennessee Enterprise Specialist, welcome early participants to the small business seminar sponsored by the chamber.

The Brownsville/Haywood County Chamber of Commerce sponsored a Small and Minority-Owned Business Assistance Program (SMOB) seminar Wednesday, February 27, at the chamber office.

SMOB Director She’irri McClellan led the seminar. Other state officials present were Sharon Taylor McKinney, West Tennessee Enterprise Specialist with the Business Enterprise Resource Office (BERO), and Ron Acree, Tennessee Small Business Development Centers (TSBDC) Director whose office is in Jackson.

According to Director McClellan, “Entrepreneur and small business development is a critical piece to the state’s overall economic development strategy. The initiative was developed by Governor Phil Bredesen and the state legislature and is designed to help small- and minority-owned businesses that do not have access to regular bank loans. The State of Tennessee is taking additional steps to increase the number of small businesses and ensure their success.” The SMOB will target Tennessee businesses with annual gross receipts of less than four million dollars.

SMOB is a multi-faceted business assistance program, offering technical assistance and financing opportunities to qualified businesses in the 95 counties of Tennessee. Business loans are capped at $125,000.

According to Richard Carraway, Director of Business Development with the local chamber, SMOB has been well received. “This is truly an exciting program for small business,” he said. Carraway added that about 20 applicants are in the process of applying for SMOB loans and requesting technical assistance. He is hopeful that the program will start issuing loans within the next several months.

Director McClellan said “All applications are reviewed to determine what level the business should enter the program and may result in some businesses being able to qualify for loans sooner than others.”

Anyone interested in learning more or signing up with the SMOB program may contact Richard Carraway at the Brownsville-Haywood County Chamber of Commerce at (731) 772-2193 and set up an appointment. “I’ll be glad to assist any small business,” he said.
”The first step is to fill out the one-page application and begin work on the business plan.”

City loses former alderman, newspaperman, businessman

Herman Doyle Burroughs

Brownsville is mourning the loss of one of its former alderman, Doyle Burroughs, 79, who died early Tuesday morning, March 4, 2008. He was also a long-time Brownsville States-Graphic employee, a businessman and a farmer.

Burroughs, who served as alderman for Ward 2 for 10 years, was first elected in 1992. During his tenure as an alderman, under the leadership of Mayor Webb Banks, the city saw a growth of budget from about $2.5 million to $5.2 million. The city also experienced growth in industry and city services.

“I have known Mr. Doyle for more than 30 years, and I don’t think I have ever met a man who was more genuine, sincere and honest,” said Brownsville Mayor Webb Banks. “He always wanted to do what he thought was best for the city of Brownsville. We should all appreciate his contribution to this community; he was a great city servant.”

Possibly his greatest contribution to the community was his part in providing Brownsville with a newspaper as an employee of the Brownsville States-Graphic for 47 years. He started part-time at the age of 13, and at the age of 20 went full-time and learned to use the Linotyper that was the technology of the day. In 1971, the technology went to off-set printing, and in 1987, Burroughs was there to make the transition from phototypesetting to computer typesetting.

After retirement, Burroughs continued his farming operation, which he had done for many years “on the side” and later opened a printing business, Quick Printers. He retired again, then several years ago opened A & B Printing with his grandson, Matthew Alexander, and granddaughter-in-law, Kristy.

Burroughs was a veteran of the U. S. Army, serving in France and in Germany during his 21-month tour of duty in the early 1950s. He was a charter member of the Brownsville Moose Lodge.

The widower of the late Ann Burroughs, Burroughs is survived by his daughter, Lynn Burroughs Forshea and her husband Ronnie; a grandson, Matthew and his wife Kristy; and a granddaughter, Amy Forshea.

Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or the Brownsville-Haywood County Humane Society.

Castellaw elected to serve as WTIA officer

Regie Castellaw, manager of the City of Brownsville Utility Department, is the new secretary/treasurer of the West Tennessee Industrial Association (WTIA). Danny Wheeler, CEO of the Jackson Energy Authority, is the new president and Karl Dudley, General Manager of the Pickwick Electric Cooperative is the association’s vice president.

The Association, with offices in Jackson, is in its 52nd year of providing industrial and economic development assistance to the 21-county region in West Tennessee.

The officers will lead the association’s efforts to attract and retain jobs in the region. At the WTIA Annual Meeting, 2007 President Robert Hagewood reported six new plants and 61 expansions in 2007, accounting for 2,315 jobs.

Justice Complex hot topic at County Commission meeting

Haywood County commissioners spent a lot of time Monday night, February 18, discussing the criminal justice complex — then they voted to continue research that can better determine the cost of the project.

Commissioners voted unanimously to support the recommendation of the jail committee – and that is to take another step – called programming.

The programming session takes about a week and requires county officials and architects to determine the space to be included in the complex with the ultimate goal of determining the actual cost.

As it stands right now, it appears the complex will almost surely cost more than the $15 million dollars approved by the commission – but probably less than the $16.5 million most recently discussed. That will likely change once the programming phase is completed.

Still most controversial is the question of location.

County Mayor Franklin Smith allowed a number of people in Monday night’s large audience to speak. Merchants near Wal-Mart, a city alderman, the chairman of the school board and residents who live near the proposed sites along Dupree all spoke in opposition of the locations along the bypass.

So what happens next? On March 10 planners and county officials will begin their weeklong programming session. Shortly after that officials will have new numbers that should more accurately tell us all what the building will cost.

Grant for two new parks

County Commissioners approved an application for a grant to build the Park of Dreams and a new proposed skating park. Earlier this month the city board passed a similar measure. If the grant is approved, city and county government will have to provide about $276,000 – or half – of the total grant. Some funding will come from private contributions. Right now the project has about $15,000 in the bank from private contributions and a promise of $15,000 worth of concrete from B. T. Redi-Mix.

No to EPA proposals

The county will go on record as opposing Environmental Protection Agency proposals that could strengthen air quality requirements. Haywood County Mayor Franklin Smith said if the new EPA standards pass, Haywood County would be in violation of air quality standards, as will 36 other counties in the state. Smith said the National Association of Manufacturers says the new rules will cost the state jobs and that there is no “scientific evidence” supporting EPA’s position.

Fees should stay in county

Haywood County is joining with other counties in the state lobbying for new legislation that could keep a few dollars that have been going to the state at home.

Register of Deeds Steve Smith said this week his office collects a 5 percent fee for recording certain transactions and half of that money is sent to the state to fund select county government retirement accounts. Smith said the retirement accounts are fully funded and the state is now keeping the cash in its general fund. The legislation would stop the flow to the state. Smith says it amounts only to about $7,000 annually.

City board presents new animals ordinance

Pit Bull dogs and “other dogs declared vicious” could be on the way out in Brownsville. City aldermen passed on first reading a revised version of the rules that allow animals in Brownsville when the city board met in regular session Tuesday, February 12.

Center to the new rules is the focus on vicious dogs and, specifically, pit bull dogs. Under the ordinance pit bulls should become extinct within the city limits after the current generation.

The new rules require that pit bull owners – who plan to keep their animals – follow a number of rules. Among them, owners must purchase a permit that includes a $45 annual fee. The new rules, which are pretty stringent, state how the dog must be confined and restrained when not in confinement. Owners must submit photos of their dogs to city hall and carry a liability insurance policy with a $100,000 limit. These dogs may not be sold or transferred.

If a pit bull gives birth, the puppies must be taken from the city limits within 6 weeks. And no new pit bulls can be brought in. As previously mentioned, the current generation ends pit bull residency in Brownsville.

What is absent from the new rules is any limitation on how many pets a Brownsville resident may own. As you know, city fathers have discussed limiting the number of dogs and cats, but the new rules introduced last night ignore that discussion.

The animal ordinance doesn’t become law until a second reading – when a public hearing will also be held at the meeting in March. To read the entire ordinance, go to, click on the City of Brownsville, then “Ordinances.”

New parks in the city’s future

The Park of Dreams and a new skating park got a shot in the arm when city fathers agreed to apply for a state grant and commit lots of matching money to the project. The board’s action allows the Brownsville-Haywood County Parks and Recreation Department to apply for a $276,00 state grant. But city and county government, who plan to split the match, must provide the same amount.

The two parks – the Park of Dreams in the Industrial Park – and the skating park near East Side School – will cost nearly $553,000.

Door-to-door solicitation ordinance needs amending

A Nashville door-to-door book-selling company has challenged the city’s door-to-door solicitation ordinance, and city attorney Michael Banks and MTAS lawyers say if we fight – we lose. Banks told alderman and the mayor that the ordinance “is broad and vague and unconstitutional.” The city board didn’t say how they might deal with the current challenge, but Lawyer Banks said he and MTAS lawyers would rewrite the rules for the board’s consideration.

Police cars

The city is getting two new cars and at Tuesday night’s city board meeting, aldermen accepted the low bid for two new Chevys.

New mowers for the city

Aldermen and the mayor say they’ll be sending a thank-you note to Cub Cadet. The local manufacturer is supplying the city with six new lawn mowers. It’s the third time the Cincinnati-based company has provided a fleet of mowers. Cub Cadet also supplies mowers, all free of charge, to county government and to the parks and recreation department.

In other business, aldermen passed on a second reading the adoption of the 2006 International Building Codes, and on first reading an ordinance to consider new flood control regulations.

Leadership Class project to “mark” history

Leadership class members have taken as their community project to begin an effort to put historical markers in the county’s outlying communities. This sign, erected in 2000 by Friends of Wellwood and the Haywood County Historical Society, will serve as a model for the signs in other communities.

The 2008 Leadership Haywood County Class is on a historical mission. They want to put historical markers in outlying Haywood County communities. The project is quite costly, about $1,500 per sign, but their idea is to start the initiative, then encourage citizens and other groups and organizations to join in to eventually help complete the project.

Using the Wellwood Community sign as a model, Leadership Class members will begin a fund-raising effort to erect as many signs as they can this year. Part of the equation will be to spark an interest in the communities so that families may want to contribute to a sign. The Leadership class will partner with Brownsville-Haywood County Historical Society members, who will participate by writing the information for the signs and ordering them.

“We know that many people who live in our rural areas are the second, third, fourth generation in that community, and they hold this part of their history dear,” said Leadership class member Rita Hathcock. “This county has such a rich, colorful history, and it all began in the outlying communities that surround what became downtown Brownsville. We want to help acknowledge the importance of these communities in the historical development of this county.” Any community residents who would like to participate in the project may call Hathcock at 772-3700, or any other class members.

Members of the 2008 Leadership Haywood Class and who they represent are Kim Anthony, Haywood Park; Mae Bufford, Dynametal; Rita Hathcock, Brownsville Radio; Diane Hooper, Sugar Creek Retirement; Katherine Horn, Elma Ross Public Library; Natalie Lane, Insouth Bank; Steve McCool, Haywood Company; Harrell Nation, First United Methodist Church; Nick Nichols, First State Bank; Becky M. Overton, First South Bank; Janice Reed, Reed Real Estate; Chad Ross, MTD Products; and Bob Scifres, Lasco.

Leadership Haywood County is a Brownsville-Haywood County Chamber of Commerce- sponsored organization that informs and trains future leaders of the community. Members attend 10 sessions that help them gain knowledge and awareness of Brownsville-Haywood County in areas of education, law enforcement, economic development, local government and infrastructure, quality of life and state government. The program is managed by a Leadership Alumni Board of Directors.

Obama/Huckabee are county winners

The unofficial results of the Tennessee Presidential Preference Primary in Haywood County are in but will not be certified until after February 15, which is the deadline for military ballots. The total number of votes is 2,996, more than double the number of votes in the 2004 primary.

Barack Obama is the unofficial winner among Democrats voters in the county, while Mike Huckabee carried the most votes among Republican candidates.

Locally, Democrats Obama received 1,279 votes; Hillary Clinton finished with 768 votes, and John Edwards received 38 votes. Republicans Mike Huckabee received 431 votes, John McCain finished second with 265 votes, and Mitt Romney finished third with 101 votes.

Administrator of Elections Andrea Smothers reported that a total of 687 people voted early. This number included nursing home residents’ votes, absentee ballots and people who voted at the courthouse. The number of Democratic ballots requested in early voting were 462 while the number of Republican ballots requested was 225.

These numbers are high compared to early voting figures in the 2004 primary. Only 141 people voted early in that year, and the total vote count, including those who voted at the precincts on Election Day that year, was only 1,208.

Unemployment up slightly in December

Haywood County’s unemployment rate is up slightly, from 7.8 percent in November to 7.9 percent in December. In comparison to other surrounding counties, three others were up, one remained the same, and only one county experienced a decrease in the unemployment rate.

Crockett County’s rate is 6.9, up from 6.0 in November. Fayette County’s rate remained the same at 7.9 percent, and Hardeman County’s rate dropped from 8.1 percent in November to 7.7 in December. Both Lauderdale and Tipton counties experienced increases, from 7.5 to 8.0 percent in Lauderdale, and from 5.1 to 5.7 percent in Tipton.

The rates increased in 76 counties, decreased in 10 counties, and remained the same in nine counties. The state’s rate also saw an increase from 4.7 percent in November to 5.0 percent in December. The nation’s unemployment rate is 4.8 percent, up from 4.5 percent in November.


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