Archive: Winter 2013

Archive: Winter 2013

Archive: Winter 2013

Metro study might end tonight
February 28, 2013

   For more than a year a group of Haywood County citizens has been studying how a metro or consolidated government might benefit Stanton, Brownsville and Haywood County. Their mission may be completed tonight. Insiders say the group is likely poised to make their recommendation at tonightís session set for 6pm.
There are three governments operating here. Haywood County, the cities of Brownsville and Stanton all have charters and governments. The metro group has been tasked with deciding if merging the governmental operations will be beneficial to residents.
The study group can either suggest the idea be dropped or that local governments organize a charter committee. The charter committee would be charged with writing the rules for metro government. If the charter passes muster with elected leaders, then the proposal would be put to voters.
No one has said what they think the committee will suggest.
The metro study committee was organized at the suggestion of Haywood County Mayor Franklin Smith. The county commission is not bound by the study groupís recommendation.
Tonightís meeting will be conducted at the Justice Complex.


HHS places third in Tennessee Academic Decathlon
February 25, 2013

   In the Twenty-eighth Annual Tennessee State Academic Decathlon competition, Haywood High placed third overall, and brought home 24 medals, one plaque, one trophy, and a scholarship. With 66,000 points possible for a team, the HHS team scored only 139.3 points behind the second-place team. The HHS team also tied with Madison Academic Magnet High School to place second in the Super Quiz event.

Marco Romero and Kia Davis were invited to participate in the prestigious Speech Showcase to deliver their award-winning speeches to the entire group of decathletes from across the state.
Winning individual medals were the following:
Rashad Mann: Silver Medals in Super Quiz and Social Science
Tressa Perez: Copper Medals in Essay, Science, and Literature, Bronze Medal in Art, Silver Medal in Super Quiz
Emily Pugh: Bronze Medal in Interview, Silver Medal in Super Quiz
Jason Elrod: Silver Medal in Super Quiz
Octavius Lanier: Copper Medal in Interview, Silver Medals in Math and Super Quiz
Brent Ward: Copper Medal in Literature, Silver Medals in Art and Super Quiz
Kia Davis: Bronze Medals in Speech and Interview, Silver Medal in Super Quiz
Marco Romero: Silver Medals in Speech, Math, and Super Quiz
Tony Wilbourn: Bronze Medal in Art, Silver Medal in Super Quiz
Tressa Perez was also recognized for being the highest-scoring student on the HHS team. As the highest-scoring senior on the HHS team, she was awarded a $300 scholarship. She also received a plaque for being the fourth-highest scoring student in the Honor Division.
The team and their coaches, Glynn Bridgewater and John Thomas, extend their thanks to all who supported them.


Land sells for $92,000
February 19, 2013

   County government-owned farmland located behind Sunny Hill School was sold this morning at public auction. The 35.67 acre tract brought $92,000. William L. ìSonnyî Howse bought the property.
The land had previously been offered by sealed bid, but was not sold because the bids were too low. The highest sealed bid was just a little over $72,000. Todayís auction started at a minimum bid of $80,000. The public auction was staged in the lobby of the Haywood County Courthouse with County Attorney Michael Banks presiding.
The land was sold to help fund the local match for tornado safe spaces. At last nightís county commission meeting, officials said construction will resume on the Haywood Elementary School structure very soon. Work was halted when the project came in over budget. Modifications to the plan and new bids have made the building affordable.


Tina Turner’s representative visits Brownsville
February 19, 2013

   The West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center was honored to welcome a special guest during the week of January 14, 2013. Rhonda Graam, of Los Angeles, California, spent a week in Brownsville exploring the Center and learning more about the Flagg Grove School restoration project.
Graam, who is Tina Turnerís assistant and has been with her organization since the mid 1960s, met with local officials and others involved in the school restoration. She took the opportunity to tour Nutbush and the surrounding area where Turner lived during her childhood. Gramm also met with the Joe Stephens family who donated the school, visited the original site of the school and heard about the next phases of the project.
Her week in Brownsville also included meeting former classmates of Turner and hearing about their school days together at Flagg Grove and visiting cemetery sites of Turner’s ancestors.
In an email to Center Director Sonia Outlaw-Clark after the visit, Graam says Turner is ìthrilled with all the information and my explorations.î
Restoration efforts continue on the Flagg Grove School. Those wishing to contribute to the project may do so by mail to Friends of the Delta Heritage Center, P.O. Box 1358, Brownsville, TN 38012; or by dropping by the Center at 121 Sunny Hill Cove.

Rhonda Graam, assistant to Tina Turner, is pictured in front of Flagg Grove School during a recent visit to the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center, Brownsville.


Delta Heritage Center makes book donations to Library
February 19, 2013

   Librarian Katherine Horn of the Elm Ross Public Library recently accepted the donation of four books from the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center. In honor of Black History Month, the Center donated books that document influential Black people in our community. Among the books are Women of Haywood by Dr. Cynthia Bond Hopson; I, Tina by Kurt Loder; and Ramblin’ On My Mind and Big Road Blues by Dr. David Evans.

Pictured are (from left) Center Director Sonia Outlaw-Clark, Center Advisory Board members Carolyn Flagg and Becky Booth and Horn.


Delta Heritage Center makes book donations to HHS Library
February 19, 2013

   In honor of Black History Month, the Advisory Board of the Delta Heritage Center has donated two Blues books by music historian Dr. David Evans to the Haywood High School library. The books, Ramblin’ On My Mind and Big Road Blues give new perspectives on the Blues culture and the old traditions and include mentions of Brownsville Bluesmen “Sleepy” John Estes, Hammie Nixon and Yank Rachel. Librarian Julie Dahlhauser attended the Center’s Advisory Board meeting February 13, to accept the donation.

Pictured in front of the Blues mural of the Music Museum are (from left) Carolyn Flagg, Joey Conner, Becky Booth, Dahlhauser, Jerry Wilson and Sonia Outlaw-Clark. Not pictured is Sandra Silverstein.


Brownsville & Haywood County submit proposal for UT project
February 18, 2013

   The proposal from Brownsville and Haywood County to locate the University of Tennesseeís Conference Center and 4-H Camp in Haywood County was delivered on Friday, Feb. 15.
Mayor Franklin Smith said UT officials report that several proposals are on file, meaning a number of West Tennessee locations will be under consideration. Three to five finalists will be chosen by March 15. A final decision is expected in April.
UT plans to build a $35 million camp and conference center somewhere in West Tennessee. Our community proposes to provide UT with about 475 acres and another $1 million in infrastructure improvements. The total package is worth nearly $3 million.


More megasite details
February 18, 2013

   Last week state governmentís Jimmy West provided the Brownsville Board of Mayor and Aldermen with an update on development progress at the megastite. The nearly 4,000 acre tract located near I-40ís Exit 42 is officially known as the Memphis Megasite.
Last night West provided the same update to the Haywood County Commission. In todayís report we provide some details.
ï The State of Tennessee has already invested $110 million in the project: $40 million to purchase the 3,840 acre site, $59.7 million in additional appropriations, and $10.4 milion kicked in from the Tennessee Dept. of Transportation.
ï The Megasite is being designed to pump 3 million gallons of water a day, from the Memphis Sands aquifer which is deep below the site;
ï The wastewater from the megasite will be pumped 14 miles to a new wastewater facility to be constructed on South Washington Street in Brownsville, and then pumped to the sewage lagoons north of Brownsville. The treated water will be pumped into the Forked Deer River;
ï TVA will supply the electricity to the site; they are in the planning and scoping phase, determining the best route for electric lines;
ï I-40 Exit 42 Interchange Improvements will begin early this summer and will be completed summer 2014;
ï State Route 222, which runs through the middle of the site, will be re-routed, running on the far east side of the tract;
ï Texas Gas and ANR gas company are willing to serve the site with natural gas;
ï Millington Telephone and AT&T are capable of providing telecommunications to the site;
The firm that managed the development of the Nissan site in Canton, MS ñ Buzz Canup (ca NUP) has been hired to help market the megasite; the website is


County personnel rules changed to help ambulance workers

   An amendment to Haywood Countyís Personnel Policies was approved by the Haywood County Commmission Monday. The amendment will give paramedics and EMTs 12 hours of sick-leave a month, instead of 8. Paramedics and EMTS work 12-hour shifts and Mayor Franklin Smith explained that making the sick-leave change would keep a 12-hour shift worker from having to use one-and-a-half days of sick leave when they are sick and have to miss their 12 hour shift.

Fish and wildlife service on to next steps in expansion of wildlife refuges

   The regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has sent a letter to landowners and others interested in what the government is contemplating for the expansion of Chickasaw and Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge.
In her two-page letter Cynthia Dohner directs interested parties to an Internet site that includes a 179-page study. She also invites the public to a meeting in Ripley February 19.
The report offers the Serviceís suggestion for the protection of certain sections of Hatchie River bottomís eco-system and the expansion of the two national wildlife reserves.
An earlier letter and subsequent meeting held late last year had some landowners concerned that the government might be about to force them to sell land. In an e-mail received yesterday by Brownsville Radio, Randy Cook, Refuge Manager at the West Tennessee National Refuge Complex, continued to assure that no property will be condemned and no landowners will be forced to sell. Cook says the Service only buys acreage from ìwilling sellers.î
According to Cook, the Wildlife Service has no immediate plans to buy any property and there is no money allocated to fund purchases. ìWe are going through a planning process that, if approved, would allow us to buy propertyÖwithin the proposed acquisition boundary.î
At next weekís meeting in Ripley officials will explain their findings and also receive comment. Comments must be submitted by March 29.
Cook says the final plan will be completed in May and submitted to the Serviceís Washington headquarters for final consideration.
Facts about the report and meeting
What: Public Meeting to discuss US Fish and Wildlife Service proposed expansion boundaries
Where: Ripley Technology Center, 127 Industrial Drive, Ripley, TN
When: February 19, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Where to find the report: Edited Hatchie Draft CCP.pdf

Hunter education classes scheduled in Haywood County
February 14, 2013

   Got a young outdoorsman in your home? To get set for the 2013/2014 hunting season, anyone born after January 1969 is required, before they may purchase a hunting license, to take the state approved Hunter Education course. Rex Barnes teaches the class in Haywood County.
Barnes says the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission is now providing most of the course via the Internet and the on-line class is required prior to the final date for testing and practical instruction. This link will take you to the class registration:
The test and shooting portion of the class will be taught in a 4-hour session March 15 at Zion Baptist Church starting at 6pm. Participants must register on-line prior to the class and also take the class before March 15. For more information, contact Rex Barnes at 772-6240.

HMS Beta Club inducts 64 new members
February 14, 2013

   In a ceremony on February 11 in the Haywood Middle School cafeteria, 64 new members were inducted into the Junior Beta Club. This is the first Beta Club induction at Haywood Middle School that now includes the sixth, seventh and eighth grades. There were 36 sixth graders inducted, 21 seventh graders and seven eighth graders. There are 33 other eighth-grade members.
HMS Principal Yvette Blue welcomed members, students and guests to the ceremony. Senior HMS Beta members conducted the ceremony and welcomed HHS Beta Club officers Katora Holmes and Molly McAdams as guest speakers. Assistant Principal Charles Byrum also assisted with the ceremony. HMS Beta Club officers are Mikayla Flagg, Elliot Garrett, Victoria Perry, Noelita Hall and Will Chapman. Sponsors for the group are Jane Jameson and Mary Jane Williams.

Senior HMS Beta Club Members

Cynthia Cardona, Will Chapman, Xavier Currie, Rashadda Dancy, Adara Donald, Trevor Ferguson, Mikayla Flagg, Elliot Garrett, Angel Goodrich, Noelita Hall, Aniyah Harwell, Morgan Hendrix, Isaiah Hess, Brennan Holloway, Taylor Ann King, Stephen Leath, Emily Martin, Pablo Martin, Tachia Middlebrooks, Madison Milton, Telecia Nelson, Cory Newble, Maggie Owen, Victoria Perry, Mary Wyatt Pettigrew, Allison Pilant, Hannah Riley, Pablo Sagahon, Felescia Sanders, Jacob Smith, Brandon Taylor, Taylor Waddell, and Laurel White.

New HMS Beta Club Members

Brittain Adams, Sam Banks, Mary Ashton Barden, Cornisha Barnes, Riley Barr, Alexiis Bean, Candace Berry, Briana Bond, Keyshauna Bond, Jamal Bunch, Carlisle Clagg, Victoria Colbeck, Jordan Cone, Lashadia Conner, Amelya Cooper, Kendra Currie, Tyler Dickens, Jamya Douglas, Mattie Ford, Leslie Fox, Timothy Frederick, Patrick Gaines, Bria Grant, Haley Hendrix, Alexis Hines, Karoline Hobock, Calen Johnson, Kylah Johnson, Adam Jollo, McKenzie Kelly, Colbie Killen, J. T. Lea, Selena Leal, Kaitlyn Leath, Mikala Leath, Bond Lonon, Destiny McFarland, Tyler Morton, Karsen Neal, James Nelms, Everett Pettigrew, Jackson Pettigrew, Isaiah Polk, Markel Polk, Macy Reed, Ellie Riddle, Grayson Robinson, Jessie Ross, Emily Russell, Sadie Sharpe, Christine Siegler, Hunter Siler, Hunter Smothers, Brierra Starks, Ellington Steele, Jaylon Taylor, Tristan Taylor, Caitlyn Thompson, Janiya Thompson, Sam Thornton, Lane Ward, Kirsten Watson, Alex Williams, and Ashlei Williams.

City and county leaders agree to provide land for University of Tennessee project
February 13, 2013 – Reported by Martha Lyle Ford

The Brownsville Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously passed a resolution endorsing the City of Brownsville and Haywood County governmentís proposal to the University of Tennessee to locate a 4H Camp and Conference Center on land jointly owned by the City and County. The 475 acre tract is located in the I-40 Advantage Park which is located at the bypass and Windrow Road
The proposal deadline is this Friday. Several other West Tennessee counties are also vying for UTís $35 million investment.
Megasite update
According to Jimmy West, the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Developmentís megasite manager, all of the projects to prepare the megasite are moving along on or ahead of schedule. West presented a report to board members Tuesday. Installation of infrastructure including water, wastewater, electricity, railroad access, telecommunications, and gas supply are all in progress.
Two projects of particular interest involve the Tennessee Department of Transportation. The first is the construction of access from I-40 at Exit 42 to the megasite. Construction will start this summer with projected completion by summer 2014.
The second project is re-routing State Route 222 which currently runs through the center of the Mega Site. TDOT has completed environmental impact studies and determined that the best route will be for the highway to be shifted to the east, passing near Muex Corner. Negotiations are underway with landowners affected by the re-routing.
The megasite now has a website. It is
CITY AUDIT Accountants from Cowart Reese and Sargent CPAs presented the Cityís financial audit for 2012 to the Board and Mayor. Leaders say Brownsvilleís finances are in good shape and there were no findings which required additional investigation.
The Board unanimously passed, on 1st reading, an ordinance to rezone portions of Dupree Street between North Washington Avenue and East Main Street. The measure is the result of requests made by some of the property owners on Dupree.
The ordinance would reclassify some properties to bring the zoning designation in line with the propertiesí actual use. There will be a public hearing at the next City Board meeting, on March 12th, when the ordinance has a second reading.
The Board unanimously approved resolutions to allow city officials to apply for a Tennessee Community Development Block Grant for up to $500,000 for improvements and repairs to the sewer system.
Brownsville will apply for a grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation to improve the street crossing at Meadow and Key Corner Streets, adjacent to Webb Banks Park. The improvements focus on safety near the Middle School.
The City will use the funding to build a sidewalk on Meadow Street from the Haywood Middle School entrance to Key Corner Street, and place signs and warning signals on Key Corner at the intersection.
2012 Stats
Heritage Center
The Delta Heritage Center hosted a whopping 22,000 visitors in 2012, including guests from 44 different countries!
Central Dispatch
Total 911 Calls 25,150
Ambulance 3409
Animal Control 48
Fire Department 659
Sherriffís Dept 3565
Police Dept 13,700
Brownsville Police Chief Chris Leaís summary report for 2012 presented some interesting statistics:
There was a 21% decrease in ìmajor crimesî in 2012 from 2011
Drug Arrests increased 32%, largely due to the addition of a full-time narcotics officer in 2012
Total car crashes in the City decreased by 24% in 2012
DUI arrests increased by 22% Ö Chief Lea said he doesnít think there are more drunks on the roads, but rather police are doing a better job catching them.
The BPD secured $88,033 in grants in 2012to provide additional personnel, salaries, upgrade equipment and improve services
BPD won First Place in the TN Traffic Safety Award, receiving the highest overall score of Tennessee Law Enforcement Agencies in the 25-50 man department size.
Board approved a permit for Relay for Life, to be held Saturday, June 8 from 5-11 p.m. This will be the first time the event will be held on Court Square. This yearís theme is ìRain or Shine, Itís Relay Time!î

UT project: Brownsville and Haywood County leaders appear all in
February 4, 2013

   With a proposal deadline just a few days away, Brownsville and Haywood Countyís political leaders are preparing to offer the University of Tennessee a package worth $3 million. The incentives are an effort to lure a $35 million UT 4-H and conference center to Brownsville.
At a joint meeting attended by all of the members of the Brownsville City Board and the Haywood County Commissionís budget committee late yesterday, the group unanimously decided to offer UT the entire I-40 Advantage Industrial Park. The property is located south of the Brownsville bypass and west of Windrow Road. The tract extends west to the CSX railroad, crossing Sugar Creek.
Mayor Jo Matherne proposed the tract be known henceforth as the I-40 Advantage Park, dropping the word ìindustrial.î If UT takes the deal there will be no land left for industrial development.
The project includes a 4-H camp but leaders say it is much more. Mayor Matherne said, ìSure itís a 4-H camp 7 weeks out of the year but the other 45 weeks itís a meeting and convention center.î They say it could employ up to a dozen workers. Yet leaders donít have a precise estimate of economic impact.
Taxpayers, via city and county governments, paid $1.975 million for the 475-acre farm. Monday afternoon political leaders agreed to ante up another near $1 million in additional improvements including installation of utilities and construction of recreational lakes. Mayors Matherne and Smith say they will lobby the Brownsville Energy Authority ó asking them for at least $250,000. UT has been browsing all over West Tennessee for just the right site. Haywood County is among several West Tennessee suitors eager to host. At least 8 governments may submit a proposal by the February 15 deadline.
A video presentation about UTís camps and convention centers can be seen at
Other notes from the Monday meeting
ï Mayor Smith says though UT is seriously searching for a location, they donít yet have the money to fund the development. He says university officials will ask the state legislature to contribute the cash.
ï The Brownsville/Haywood County proposal would provide the property in a long-term lease. The ìdollar-a-yearî lease is satisfactory with the developers, according to Smith.
ï In addition to the contribution of land and improvements, city and county governments will be giving up just under $30,000 a year in farm rents.
ï Local leaders hope the state department of transportation will fund road improvement. The plan is to make Windrow Road a three-lane highway from the bypass to the city limits.
ï Mayor Jo Matherne said the city and county will have to begin looking for new land suitable for industrial development. ìThe need for industrial property is still here,î Matherne said. ìWeíre going to have to find some more land thatís suitable.î The city and county bought the Windrow Road land because there is little property left in the Dupree Street industrial park.
ï Mayor Franklin Smith said the county commission has given him permission to proceed with negotiations but Mayor Jo Matherne said an official word wonít come from the city until their regular board meeting next week. That seems just a formality as all of the city board members were in agreement at yesterdayís meeting. Since yesterdayís session was not an official meeting, a vote could not be held.

School land sale back on ó county added value
February 1, 2013

   There have been a lot of land sales at ìthe east door of the courthouseî over the years ó but never one that was helping to provide money for tornado shelters. Until now.
The 30-plus acre tract is located behind Sunny Hill School. School and county leaders decided to sell the taxpayer-owned farmland to help pay the local match for the multi-million dollar tornado safe spaces planned for two schools. Haywood County Mayor Franklin Smith has set February 19 as the date for the public auction. County Attorney Michael Banks will auction the land at 11 a.m.
The county commissionís budget committee, with only one dissenter, voted to sell the property when sealed bids were opened last month. But the county commission said ìno.î Commissioners opposed to the sale rejected the budget committeeís recommendation saying they want more money than the two buyers were willing to pay. The two bids were within a few hundred dollars of each other and were just under $73,000.

School land sale to be scheduled
January 29, 2013

   The county commission’s budget committee met late yesterday and decided to hold a public auction to sell about 35 acres of farm ground owned by the school board. The property is located behind Sunny Hill School.
The budget committee says the bidding will start at $80,000 – that’s about $8,000 more than the sealed bids the county commission rejected last week. Many commissioners believe the land will sell for more than the two groups submitting the sealed bids were willing to pay.
Proceeds from the land sale will go toward the cost of multi-million dollar tornado safe spaces to be located at county owned schools. The new structures are paid for mostly using state and federal grant cash.
The county’s auction will be absolute – meaning the farmland will be sold if someone bids $80,000 or more. The auction is expected to be scheduled for sometime in the next two weeks — though the date and time were not set at yesterday’s meeting.

County to meet with city on 4-H complex
January 29, 2013

   County government officials will urge Brownsville’s leaders to join with them in making about 200 acres available to the University of Tennessee for the development of a 4-H camp and meeting complex. Mayor Franklin Smith wants to offer UT the south end of the new industrial park located on Windrow Road.
City and county governments own the property. Taxpayers paid $5,000 per acre for the property for the purpose of industrial park development.
UT is exploring building a complex in West Tennessee and representatives have visited just about every West Tennessee county in search of an ideal location. Haywood County’s site, according to leaders, is ideal based on the university’s specifications.
If UT should select the property, less than 200 acres would be left for development at the new industrial park site.
City government must agree for the project to move forward.

2013 Regional Academic Decathlon results
January 29, 2013

   Once again, the Haywood High School Academic Decathlon team proved to be strong contenders. The team competed in the regional contest Saturday, January 26, 2013, and won 27 medals, 3 plaques, and the third place trophy.

Individual medal winners were as follows:
Brent Ward: Copper Medal in Economics; Bronze Medals in Science, Music, and Super Quiz; Silver Medals in Art and Literature
Tressa Perez: Copper Medals in Science and Literature; Bronze Medals in Art and Super Quiz
Tony Wilbourn: Bronze Medals in Math and Super Quiz
Kia Davis: Copper Medal in Music; Bronze Medal in Super Quiz; Silver Medal in Math
Marco Romero: Bronze Medal in Super Quiz; Silver Medal in Math
Jason Elrod: Copper Medal in Music; Bronze Medal in Super Quiz; Gold Medal in Math
Emily Pugh: Bronze Medals in Math and Super Quiz
Rashad Mann: Bronze Medals in Math and Super Quiz
Octavius Lanier:Bronze Medals in Literature, Economics, and Super Quiz
Kia Davis won a plaque for being the fifth-highest scorer in her division. Tressa Perez received a plaque for being the fourth-highest scorer in her division, and Brent Ward won a plaque for being the third-highest scorer in his division.
This year is the 28th year for Academic Decathlon competition in Tennessee. For the twenty-eighth consecutive year, Haywood High School will have a team in state competition. Other West Tennessee schools participating were Madison Academic Magnet High School (first place), Obion County Central High School (second place), and Liberty Technology Magnet High School.
State competition will be held on the Austin Peay State University campus in Clarksville, February 22-23.
Mr. John Thomas and Miss Glynn Bridgewater are the HHS Academic Decathlon coaches, and they join the team in thanking faculty, staff, and administrators who has helped in the team’s success.

Congressman Stephen Fincher visits HHS
January 29, 2013


Haywood High School juniors and seniors met U. S. Congressman Stephen Fincher on Monday, January 28, when he visited the school. He spoke to the students about his time in office and about Washington, D. C., and allowed them to ask questions. One student asked about gun legislation and another about healthcare. After the question and answer session, he took the opportunity to talk to some of the students individually and meet the teachers. Congressman Fincher is a native of Crockett County and lives in Frog Jump where he is a managing partner in Fincher Farms, a seventh generation West Tennessee based agribusiness. He was recently sworn in to serve his second term representing the 8th District in Tennessee.

Chamber names Haywood County’s best-of-the-best at Tuesday night banquet
January 23, 2013

   Brownsville Haywood County Chamber of Commerce leadership unveiled the yearís most coveted awards at their annual banquet Tuesday night.
Awards went to:
Ambassador of the year – Marty Williams †
Volunteer of the Year – Any Wynn †
Educator of the Year – Latricia Bond †
Recycler of the Year – Moore Insurance, Richards / Cummings Real Estate / Delta Insurance †
Small Business of the Year – Conner Real Estate †
Business of the Year – Dr. Clarey Dowling, MD† †
Industry of the Year – Lasco Fittings †
Man of the Year – Dr. Jack Pettigrew †
Woman of the Year – Teresa Russell

Haywood County Commission meeting
January 22, 2013 – Reported by Martha Lyle Ford

   The Haywood County Commission and County Mayor met Tuesday evening with 20 commissioners and the mayor present. County Clerk Sonya Outlaw and County Attorney Michael Banks were also in attendance. A crowd of approximately 20 county employees and citizens were in the gallery.
Mr. Walter Brown opened the meeting with prayer. The minutes from the November commission meeting were approved.
The two main topics of the meeting were discussion of selling some county farmland and the possibility of having a conference center and 4-H camp in the county.
First, the land sale: At the November commission meeting, a motion was approved to advertise the sale of 35. 67 acres — by sealed bid — of county-owned land behind Sunny Hill School; the money would be used as in-kind matching funds for the Safe Space building project.
Two bids were received; a bid of $75,107.01 was submitted by Hendrix and Sons, and a bid of $75,025 was received from Hilltop Farms. The high bid worked out to be $2,105.60 per acre. In a meeting earlier in the afternoon, the County Commission Budget committee voted 5-1 to recommend that the property be sold to the highest bidder. Commissioner Richard Jameson was the only vote against the sale at that price.
Mayor Smith stated that the bids were lower than hoped for; several commissioners commented of area farmland being sold for up to $3,500 an acre. A motion to sell the land to the highest bidder (for approximately $2,105.60 an acre) did not pass. Ten commissioners voted yes, 9 voted no, and one abstained. The next step is that the Budget Committee will meet and set a minimum bid and will re-bid the property with an announcement in the newspaper next week.
The new bids will be received and opened prior to the next County Commission meeting on February 18.
UT conference center and camp
The University of Tennesseeís Extension Service plans to build a $35 million conference center and 4-H camp somewhere in West Tennessee and Haywood County is going to submit a proposal that it be here. UT has similar facilities in Greenville in East Tennessee and Columbia in Middle Tennessee.
The West Tennessee 4-H Center is envisioned to be a large, state-of-the-art educational center for UTís 4-H camping program and UT Extensionís programming. It will be an educational center in youth development, agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, and resource development. It will also be a place for family reunions, conferences and retreats.
Some of UTís specific requirements for a site are: at least 200 acres, a large lake, feeling of seclusion or privacy, close proximity to a hospital, close to interstate, and close to retail stores. County officials recently met with UT officials and showed them two possible Haywood County sites: one is next to the County Landfill and the other is part of the Industrial Park. The Landfill site would require the purchase of additional land from a private landowner; the second site is owned jointly by the City of Brownsville and Haywood County.
The Commission voted unanimously for County officials to submit a proposal for consideration by the February 15 deadline. The proposal would name the Industrial Park site as 1st choice. The Brownsville City Board will have to agree to propose that site before the matter can go forward.
UT officials have visited 19 of the 21 counties in West Tennessee. A selection is expected in April
Education Committee report
The Education Committee and the Budget Committee met jointly on Jan 17Ö Kenneth Emerson of the Haywood County Schools reported then that the renovations at Haywood High are on track and all work should be completed by August 2013 for the beginning of the new school year. It was also reported that Henson Construction and their engineers have come up with a net savings of $163,900 on the tornado safe shelter project.
The Education Committee will meet on February 4 to discuss school safety.
Standing Committees approved
The membership of all of the Commissionís Standing Committees remains unchanged from last year. These memberships were approved by the commission.
Tearing them down
The old Highway Building on North Washington Street and a house on Poplar Corner Road ñ owned by the county from a property sale ñ will be coming down soon. The commission unanimously accepted a bid from Tom Mann to demolish the properties for $6,700. The only other bid was submitted by Tim Guyeski for $19,981.
Conservation Board
Eddie Ferrell was unanimously approved to serve on the Conservation Board. He takes the seat previously held by Mike Matheny.
Sign resolution (or, The Signs They Are AíChanging)
A resolution to amend the Haywood County Zoning Resolution establishing additional sign regulations was distributed to Commissioners for their review. The matter will be on the agenda of the next commission meeting on February 18.

School board to open land sale bids today
January 22, 2013

   What will 35 acres of farmland owned by the school board bring at auction? This afternoon at 4:30 sealed bids will be opened at the courthouse.
The property is located just west of Highway 76 South behind Sunny Hill School. The school board, in cooperation with the Haywood County Commission, decided to sell the farm to raise money needed to match a grant that will fund a tornado shelter at Haywood Elementary and possibly another at the middle school on Haralson Street.
The last farm sold by county government ó located behind the old county jailó brought well over $2,000 per acre. The school property could potentially bring much more.
The shelters ó also known as safe spaces ó will double as classrooms and provide additional valuable areas for teaching, according to officials. Some work has been completed on the East Side building but work stopped when bids came in over original estimates. New specifications were written and leaders expect to accept bids Thursday afternoon they hope will be within the grantís spending limits.

Tennessee unemployment benefit tax information now available
January 20, 2013

   1099-G forms provided online and mailed to claimants
Recipients of Tennessee unemployment benefits during 2012 will be able to access the information they need for income tax purposes on the state Department of Labor & Workforce Development homepage: on Saturday, January 19, 2013. They can also go straight to the log-in page:
By entering their birth date or the same PIN they used to certify or inquire on their unemployment claim, claimants can view a summary of total unemployment benefits paid to them, view the total amount of federal income tax withheld, and print a summary of this information.
The department also began mailing the IRS Form 1099-G to more than 245,888 benefit recipients on January 14, 2013. The forms will reach claimants no later than January 31, 2013. The U.S. Postal Service will not forward 1099-G forms.
Recipients of unemployment benefits are not required to submit a copy of their 1099-G form with their income tax return. If claimants do not receive their form in the mail and do not have access to the Internet, any Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development Career Center allows use of a computer to print the needed form. Claimants unable to visit a Career Center and not having Internet access may send a written request, including their name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, and phone number, with signature, to:
Special Services Unit
TN Department of Labor & Workforce Development
220 French Landing Drive
Nashville, TN 37243-1002

Tina Turner expressing interest in her hometown ó assistant visits
January 18, 2013

   We all know why Tina Turner gave fame to the Nutbush Community ó itís because she was born there. Nutbush City Limits was written and performed by Turner and was a smash hit in the summer of 1973 according to Billboard magazine. However, since leaving here as a child and becoming very famous worldwide, Tina hasnít seemed to otherwise pay much attention to her old hometown.
That may be changing. Brownsville Radio learned that Turner sent what could be her closest business associate to Brownsville for a visit, and she spent several days here.
Community leaders met with Rhonda Graam who Delta Hertiage Center Director Sonia Outlaw-Clark calls ìassistant to Tina Turner.î Outlaw-Clark is Haywood Countyís frontline to tourism and spearheaded the effort to begin the restoration of Flagg Grove School, the one-room schoolhouse Tina Turner first attended.
Outlaw-Clark said Graam, ìÖhas been in town this week learning more about the Delta Heritage Center and its plans for Flagg Grove School. She examined the school and the restoration efforts that have been made so far and heard about the next phase of the project. She also visited the original site of the school and talked with Joe and Pam Stephens and others involved with the school’s move and fundraising efforts.”
So this sets us up to wonder. What have Brownsville officials asked of Turner? Sources told us nothing so far except for her best wishes. Why did Turner send her personal assistant to Brownsville? If anybody knows for sure, they arenít telling.

Stay tuned.

Some schools closed Tuesday – NWS warns
January 15, 2013

   Schools are closed (Tuesday January 15) in Haywood County and in Madison County. School officials, acting on an abundance of caution and listening to weather forecasters, made the decision early this morning.
The real news of the day may develop later. Weather forecasters warned yesterday that a new system might develop today that could dump some ice on us. According to the National Weather Service, the chances have increased. Much of West Tennessee is in the NWS winter storm warning area. Some forecasts suggest temps will never increase much past freezing today and they are also reporting we could see as much as a third of an inch of ice. Stay turned for more information.

Schools double-down on safety – drills this week
January 15, 2013

   Haywood County Schools will be conducting safety drills this week. The Brownsville Police Department will be assisting the schools in some of the drills.
School officials say to not be be alarmed if you see several police cars or policemen†around school buildings this week. The schools will be practicing lock-down procedures and visitors will not be able to enter a school during a practice session. There will be morning and afternoon drills, but none will interfere with regular drop off or pick up time for the students. If you happen to be visiting a school during a drill, be prepared to participate in the drill and follow all directions.

Rain fills ponds and river
January 14, 2013

   Rain – something we havenít see much of in a long time. Hatchie River water has run out of its banks and farm ponds are full for the first time in months.
Sheriff Melvin Bond said there has been some minor flooding but only Herbert Willis Road is closed due to water.
The University of Tennesseeís Institute of Agricultureís rain gauge – which resides on a far just north of Brownsville – measured 5.24 inches of rain in the last few days. It started raining last Wednesday and finally wrapped up yesterday. The gauge reports 3.11 inches fell Sunday.
The river gauges report the Hatchie River at 16 feet at Bolivar and about 12 feet at the Highway 76 bridge in Haywood County. The Hatchie has been at a level of 6 to 8 feet for months.

School board takes on bullies
January 9, 2013

   The Haywood County School Board is on its way to taking a tough stand on bullying. This week school board members passed on first reading a new policy on Student Discrimination/Harassment and Bullying/Intimidation and Cyberbullying.
The policy applies to both students and school system employees. Workers could be terminated if officials determine they have committed an offense covered under the new policy.
Recently a child in West Memphis Arkansas committed suicide reportedly as a result of bullying.
The school board will consider final passage of the policy at its next meeting.
Read the proposed policy here
See story produced by WMC on the West Memphis incident here

Five HHS students earn membership in 30+ Club
January 9, 2013

   Five Haywood High students recently scored 30 or above on the ACT to qualify them for membership in the schoolís elite 30+ Club. Three seniors earned this recognition, John Connor Coulston, Amy Davis and Emily Pilant, and two sophomores, Emma Kaye Baumheckel and Ryan Watson.
Other members of the 30+ Club are HHS seniors Molly McAdams, Rebecca Pearson and Chris Parker; and 2012 graduates Reeves Garrett, Taylor Primrose, Seth Tillman, Kaitlyn Schwarz, Madison Eubanks, Daniel Evans and Kaylee Avant. The club was organized in the 2009-2010 school year with Anna Baumheckel and Andrew Pearson as the charter members. Other members are Audrey Pattat, Alex Primrose, Nathan Peace and Breanne Sills, who graduated in 2010 and 2011.
Senior John Connor Coulston is the son of Cindy Coulston and the late Jimmy Coulston. He is chief editor for WHHS News, a member of the Beta Club, French Club, Skills USA, the Junior Humane Society and the Library Club. He also serves as sound engineer for the HHS Drama Department. He plans to attend Middle Tennessee State University next fall.
Amy Davis, the daughter of Stark and Julie Davis, is also a senior. She is a member of the HHS Band, the Yearbook staff, Beta Club and the Library Club. She is also a member of the tennis team and will be in the Drama Departmentís play this year and volunteers for the Backpack Project. She attends Skyline Church of Christ in Jackson and plans to attend Harding University, Lipscomb University or Oklahoma Christian University.
Emily Pilant, a senior and the daughter of Stan and Dee Pilant, is co-editor of the HHS Yearbook staff and is a member of the Bible Club. She attends Victory Life AIG Church in Somerville and sings in the churchís Youth Band and Praise and Worship Team. She hopes to attend Union University and major in English. Emily believes it would be interesting to become a writer one day. She also hopes to travel to Italy, India and New Zealand in the future.
Sophomore Emma Kaye Baumheckel is the daughter of Ragan and Andy Baumheckel. She is a member of the Mock Trial Team, participated in the HHS Production of Liíl Abner last year and will participate in Legally Blonde this year. Emma is active in the Brownsville Baptist Church Youth Group and has participated in mission trips and helped with Vacation Bible schools. She also volunteers for the Anderson ECC Family Resource Center. Her goals are to graduate at the top of her class, attend a four-year college and major in the healthcare field.
Ryan Watson, son of James and Rebecca Watson, is also a sophomore. He is a member of the HHS Spanish Club and FFA. He is also a member of Harmony Baptist Church. His plans are to attend college and major in engineering.

Brownsville City Board of Aldermen and Mayor
January 8, 2013 – Reported by Martha Lyle Ford

   News from the City Board meeting last night Ö Martin Luther King Day parade set Ö city parking regulations changed Ö and trash pick up is about to cost more.
The Brownsville City Board of Aldermen and Mayor held its regular monthly meeting last night with all board members present.
Three special guests assisted with the opening ceremonies of the meeting: Jackson Pettigrew, Justin Jacocks and Everette Pettigrew, members of Boy Scout troop #68, led the invocation and pledge of allegiance. The three young men are working on their Citizenship in the Community merit badge. The Board of Aldermen unanimously approved the minutes from last monthís meeting.
Reverend OG Stewart presented an application for a parade permit on behalf of the Haywood County Branch of the NAACP. The Aldermen and Mayor approved the permit for a parade honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, January 21. The parade will begin at 10:00 at the Carver-Dunbar Center on Jefferson Street and will follow its tradition route down Jefferson, up East Main, around the Courthouse and back to Carver-Dunbar.
Two ordinances
The Board passed two ordinances, both on second readings: Ordinance #895 amends the 2012-13 budget, passed in July, and will increase

  • Special Projects by $6,000
  • Law Enforcement by $131,358
  • Fire Department by $5,000
  • Community Development by $2,020,000

Ordinance #896 amends various parking regulations within the City of Brownsville and is intended to:

  • Encourage appropriate location, design and number of parking spaces to ensure a safe level of service
  • Reduce any undue congestion to streets and avoid conflicts between vehicles and pedestrians,
  • Minimize the costs to businesses associated with excess parking

The proposed amendments to the cityís parking regulations included in the ordinance came from the work of the Regional Planning Commission.
New Resolutions
Three new resolutions were introduced and unanimously passed: One resolution deals with how much itís going to cost to have your trash picked upÖand itís getting more expensive. The Board unanimously approved resolution 837 which increases the ìrates for residential and commercial refuse collectionî. Starting February 1, residential trash pick up from can or carts will increase from $16 per month to $20 per month. Rates for churches will be $22.39 per month Ö for small businesses it will be $30.81.
Mayor Matherne noted that this is the first time since 2006 that rates have been reviewed and raised. She added that the cost of trash collection has increased during that time period, particularly the costs of fuel and equipment.
Alderman Simmons pointed out that the alternative would be for residents to pay a private contractor ñ such as Waste Management ñ to deal with their trash. Residents of surrounding towns and cities that use this method end up paying more than Brownsvilleís rates and have inferior service.
A second resolution authorizes the Mayor to submit a grant application to the State for up to $750,000 to fund sidewalks, landscaping and other transportation measures. If the City receives the grant, the plan is to utilize the funds for improvements on East Main Street. The resolution states that the City will be responsible for the local cash match of 20% of the construction costs (up to $150,000) and preconstruction costs, not to exceed a total of $250,000 for all local funds.
The third resolution adopted a compliance manual regarding Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The resolution states: ìThe following statement shall be deemed as the City of Brownsvilleís title VI policy statement: ëIt is the policy of the city of Brownsville to ensure that no citizen shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.î
The 19-page manual outlines what the statement means and how it is implemented.
Board appointments
Alderman Leon King recommended that Joe Crook be re-appointed to the Citizen Review Board for another term. The measure was unanimously approved.
Fire Chief Mark Foster reported that the department responded to 35 calls during the month of December: 18 in the county and 17 in the city.
During the 12 months of 2012, the department responded to 506 calls Ö an increase of 5 calls from 2011. They also conducted 20 prevention & education programs with impacting 1330 people, and distributed 74 smoke detectors.
Brownsville Energy Authority reported that beginning January 1, an average residential electric bill in the City will decrease approximately 2.5% due to TVAís Fuel Cost Adjustment.
Brownsville Police Chief Chris Lea reported that, overall, the City experienced ìa quiet holiday.î Even so, the department responded to 1213 calls for service during December.
Slum Clearance efforts continue Ö Code Enforcement officer Rene Hendrix reported that she

  • made 6 personal calls to property owners about properties to be properly maintained
  • issued two letters to property owners regarding unmaintained properties
  • addressed 5 properties about trash violations
  • conducted title searches on three abandoned properties (one on Iola, one on Dixon and one on Drake)
  • has 10 files open on junk vehicles

A house at 529 Robin Street will soon be demolished.
During his report, Alderman Leon King expressed his constituentsí concerns about the vacant building at the intersection of Tibbs Road and McLemore Street, known as ìthe old Cobb property.î Mayor Matherne stated that dealing with the delinquent property is a top priority for the new year.
Building Inspectorís report
Building Inspector Jerry McClinton gave a report on his departmentís activity for 2012. There were 183 permits issued, 67 being new construction permits. All this amounted to over $12 million construction valuation.
Delta Heritage Center
Delta Heritage Center report showed that the Center hosted over 22,000 visitors in 2012, approximately 2,000 more than in 2011.
Brownsville City Clerk Jessica Frye reported that the City has collected approximately $4,000 in liquor tax revenue from the one liquor store which has opened to date.
Vice Mayor Carolyn Flagg submitted a lengthy report for her Ward 2 outlining the many activities and accomplishments of 2012. She also announced that there will be a Neighborhood Watch meeting on February 7 at the WOW beginning at 6:00.
And Alderman Averyheart said that we are looking forward to the ìbest year of our lives in Haywood County in 2013!î

End of 2012 brings end to all Federal extensions of unemployment benefits
December 26, 2012

   An estimated 30,000 Tennesseans will see immediate stop in assistance.
The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is warning the approximately 30,000 unemployment claimants who are receiving federally extended unemployment insurance that they are facing the abrupt end of those benefits when the program expires January 2, 2013.
Congress created the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) program in 2008 to provide unemployment benefits to workers who have exhausted the first 26 weeks of state benefits (maximum). The original legislation has been amended 10 times since it became effective July 6, 2008.
ìWe want to alert claimants that they are fast approaching the end of federal extended benefits,î said Labor Commissioner Karla Davis. ìEUC08 assistance was created as a stopgap measure for the long-term jobless until they could get work. With that ending in a couple weeks, we encourage claimants to use and to visit one of our Career Centers across the state for help in finding jobs.î
The last payable week for all claimants receiving EUC08 federal benefits will be the week ending December 29, 2012, meaning claimants will certify for that week and receive their last payment the first week of January. All claimants in the EUC08 programó no matter how many weeks they were initially notified they would receive, what tier of EUC they are in, or the amount of balance in that tier ó will receive their last EUC08 payment during the first week of January.
After January 2nd Tennessee will return to the system in which an approved new claim could have a maximum of up to 26 weeks of Tennessee Unemployment Compensation benefits.
Additional updates will be provided on the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development website at is a database of more than 90,000 jobs from job orders placed directly by Tennessee employers as well as job from major job search engines corporate sites. Once registered, jobseekers can easily connect with employers and be notified when jobs for which they are qualified are posted.
The Tennessee Career Centers are a network of offices across the state where job seekers can get assistance and career information. Each center offers Internet access, workshops, job placement, recruitment, and training referrals.

Sheriff, deputies, jailers and volunteers serve up Christmas lunch
December 26, 2012

   Youíve heard about Meals on Wheels and you know the Senior Citizens Center cooks hot meals for seniors everyday. But like everybody else, they take a day off now and again and Christmas is one of those days. Sheriff Melvin Bondís department stepped up to help on Christmas Day.
The county jailís kitchen works everyday ó no matter what ñ and so do deputies. So the sheriff, cooks and some volunteers worked Christmas Day to deliver 51 hot plate lunches to meals on wheels recipients. The volunteers served turkey and dressing, sliced ham, greens, yams and flat cake.

Russell: ìWe can never be too cautiousî – Schools review security
December 18, 2012

   Second only to discussion about new laws resulting from the Newtown Connecticut tragedy, there is plenty of talk about school security across the United States.
Haywood County Superintendent of Schools Teresa Russell says system policies include everyday protections and crisis protocols. The middle school and high school have fulltime police officers in the schools everyday.
Russell says the crisis management plan is studied at the beginning of each year and periodically during the school session. In light of the Connecticut school shooting she says the systemís leadership will be conducting additional reviews. ìAll schools have plans in place in case an intruder enters the building,î Russell said. Nost Haywood County school doors are locked ó but not all. Main school entrances are not locked. Visitors are required to report to the school office where a staff member provides them with visitorís passes if appropriate. Outsiders are often escorted if they must venture out into the school. Main school entrances are monitored by security cameras, as are other critical areas.
ìSafety is a priority of mine and I want all parents to know that I take the well being of their children very seriously. I want all parents and guests to work with the schools and to be understanding when we ask for identification, ask that you take time to sign in and even be escorted to and from places in the buildings,î Russell commented.
School Resource Officers, employees of the Brownsville Police Department, are assigned to both the high school and middle school. The officers carry side arms. Police officers also frequently visit Sunny Hill School.

Christmas delivery calendars marked for Saturday
December 18, 2012

   With more than $25,000 on deposit, volunteers are set this week to spend it all on needy Haywood Countians with delivery set for Saturday morning.
The money was donated during the Brownsville Radio Christmas Basket Radiothon December 7. Mayor Franklin Smith is the cosponsor and, with help from volunteers is buying food, candy and toys this week.
Like the cash, the program depends on volunteers to donate time and cars, trucks and vans to help deliver. The baskets will be ready by 9am Saturday and will be delivered from the Brownsville Utility Departmentís gas warehouse located on the bypass.

Tennessee Celebrates 376th Birthday of the National Guard
December 12, 2012

   Soldiers and Airmen of the Tennessee National Guard will gather on Thursday, December 13th to celebrate the 376th Birthday of the National Guard.
The military organization we know today as the National Guard came into existence with a direct declaration on December 13, 1636. †On this date, the Massachusetts General Court in Salem, for the first time in the history of the North American continent, established that all able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 60 were required to join the militia.
The first known Tennessee militia mobilization was organized by Capt. Evan Shelby in 1774. His company of 49 militiamen, including his son, Isaac, and many prominent citizens of the self-governing Watauga settlement (Tennesseeís present day Sullivan and Carter counties) were called to service. On August 17 they marched from their homes to join the assembling Virginia regiments. This marked the first time ìTennesseansî deployed for war as a militia and stands as the Birthday of the Tennessee National Guard.
The Tennessee Birthday Celebration, on Thursday, will begin at 10:00 a.m. in the lobby of the Tennessee National Guard Headquarters, 3041 Sidco Drive, Nashville.
For more information, contact the Joint Public Affairs Office at 615-313-0633.

Be a blessing to those in need: Public Guardianship for the Elderly Program seeks help
December 12, 2012

   The Christmas season is in full swing and Southwest Tennessee Develoment District’s Area Agency on Aging & Disability is seeking help to provide an extra blessing to each of its 15 clients who are in the Public Guardianship Program. District Public Conservator, Susan Unger, is their legal or court appointed advocate. She acts as a “granddaughter” to each client — she takes them to the doctor, pays bills, purchases groceries, and helps out in other ways as needed. In short, Unger, through the statewide Public Guardianship Program, provides legal guardianship for persons 60 years of age and older who are unable to manage their own affairs and who have no family member, friend, bank or corporation both willing and able to act on his or her behalf.
It is at this time of year that SWTDD reaches out to individuals, businesses and churches in the area for help in making this Christmas memorable for its clients. Because these very special people have no one to buy Christmas gifts for them, the Public Guardianship Program would like to facilitate having at least one gift for each client. The majority of these disabled elderly clients receive no income other than their Social Security or Supplemental Security payments; most live in area nursing homes, but three of them are able to live in their own home or apartment.
“I am happy to do the shopping, wrapping and delivery for anyone who would like to make a monetary donation toward purchasing gifts for our clients,” says Susan Unger, Public Conservator. “Or, if a person or group would like to sponsor an individual, I am willing to provide information about an appropriate gift for that special client. Church or civic groups may choose to sponsor a client from their particular county or town.î
Please contact Susan Unger by phone at 731-668-6405 or by e-mail at if you are interested in helping make Christmas a happier time for these individuals or if you are interested in hearing more about the Public Guardianship for the Elderly Program. Unger is available to speak to civic or church groups about the guardianship services available to Tennesseeís disabled elderly citizens through this program. For more information about SWTDD, visit

Schools take a stand on state education
December 12, 2012

   The Haywood County School Board met on Tuesday night and the board approved Superintendent Teresa Russell’s request to organize a baseball team at Haywood Middle School.
The board approved support for three resolutions drafted by the Tennessee School Board Association that will be presented to our Tennessee Legislators:
1) That the Haywood County Board opposes any legislation to create a statewide or alternate authorizer for charter schools that would bypass local elected boards of education and usurp the responsibilities entrusted to them by their constituencies.
2) The Haywood County Board of Education opposes any legislation or other similar effort to create a voucher program in Tennessee that would divert money intended for public education to private schools.
3) The Haywood County Board of Education encourages the Tennessee General Assembly to place the interest of students above any other by recognizing the value of appointed superintendents and rejecting any attempt to revert to superintendent elections.

Brownsville City Board of Aldermen and Mayor
December 12, 2012 – Reported by Martha Lyle Ford

   News from the City Board meeting last night Ö the cityís second liquor store receives it Certificate of Compliance Ö thieves better beware Ö a young hero is honored Ö and city employees get Christmas bonuses. The Brownsville City Board of Aldermen and Mayor held its regular monthly meeting last night, Tuesday, December 11, 2012. All members were present.
After an invocation by Alderman Reverend Averyheart and the pledge to the American flag, the Board unanimously approved the minutes from last monthís meeting.
Liquor store application
The Board voted 4 to 1 to approve Dr. Tom Russellís application for a Certificate of Compliance to sell retail alcoholic beverages in Brownsville. In order to be approved, Russell had to pass a criminal background check, secure a suitable location, and prove that he meets all residency provisions. Russellís liquor store will be located at 156 South Dupree Street, in the strip mall adjacent to the Haywood County Justice Complex. Ward 1ís Alderman Leon King voted against the application. Russell, who appeared before the Board last night, said that the next step will be to make application to Tennesseeís Alcoholic Beverage Commission in January. If all continues to go well with the process, he anticipates the store will open by early February. Prime Time Liquors, the cityís first liquor store, is already opened on Anderson Avenue at I-40ís Exit 56.
Increased police patrols
Brownsville Police Chief Chris Lea reported that all of the divisions of the Department, including the Criminal Investigation Division, have ramped up patrols all over town due to the holiday season. Neighborhood watch programs are also increasing their observations. Last Friday, police arrested a burglar in-the-act of robbing a home on North Washington after a watchful neighbor called to report suspicious activity.
Young hero
Chief Lea, Central Dispatch Director Starla Singleton and the Board of Aldermen and Mayor recognized 7-year old Jeremy Enciso for displaying extraordinary bravery when he recently called 911 to report a medical emergency involving his mother. Director Singleton praised Jeremy for the calm, intelligent manner in which he reported the incident saying he was able to answer all of the necessary questions regarding his motherís condition. Jeremy was presented with a Certificate of Bravery from the Brownsville Police Department. His dad, Edgar, attended the meeting with him.
City employeesí bonuses
The Board unanimously approved Christmas bonuses for all full-time City of Brownsville employees. Each employee will receive $250 while part-time employees will receive $50.
2 ordinances
The Board approved two ordinances, both on first readings: Ordinance #895 amends the 2012-13 budget which was passed in July and Ordinance #896 amends various parking regulations within the City of Brownsville.
The budget amendments would increase
Special Projects by $6,000,
Law Enforcement by $131,358,
Fire Department by $5,000, and
Community Development by $2,020,000.
Mayor Matherne stated that this is the only time that the 2012-13 budget would be adjusted. A public hearing on the matter will be held and a second reading will occur at the Board of Aldermen and Mayor meeting in January.
The second ordinance is intended to:
Encourage appropriate location, design and number of parking spaces to ensure a safe level of service
Reduce any undue congestion to streets and avoid conflicts between vehicles nad pedestrians, and
To minimize the costs to businesses associated with excess parking.
A side benefit of the measure would be reducing the volume and velocity of storm water which drains off of paved parking areas.
The proposed amendments to the cityís parking regulations included in the ordinance came from the work of the Regional Planning Commission.
New police cars
The Cityís 4 new Police cruisers are ready to be picked up and will put on the streets asap. The vehicles are 2013 models and are fully equipped with standard police package.
Board appointments
Two Board appointments were approved: Madeline Matheny will join the Library Board and Sylvia Jones will join the Brownsville Housing Authority Board.
Fire dept.
Fire Department Captain David Smith issued a reminder to all residents to be mindful of space heaters and faulty heaters as the weather gets colder. The Fire Department has free smoke detectors for residents who own their homes.
Delta Heritage Center
Delta Heritage Center Director Sonia Outlaw-Clark reported that the Centerís year-to-date attendance figures are 11% ahead of 2011ís figures. She also announced an upcoming art exhibit by area artist John Sadowski to be called ìTwo Sides to Every Story.î Sadowski is known locally for his paintings of Brownsville businesses and buildings.

Fish and Wildlife service talks Hatchie land purchases
December 11, 2012

   A public meeting scheduled for Wednesday evening will help Hatchie River bottom landowners better understand a letter asking if theyíd like to sell their property. Randy Cook, project leader for West Tennessee Refuges, wrote the letter. Cook works for the US Fish and Wildlife Service and helps manage Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge in Haywood County.
According to a press release and Cookís letter, the Service is proposing to expand the acquisition boundaries of Chickasaw and Lower Hatchie National Refuges. The plan could include the purchase of land in Haywood County, and many Haywood County landowners who are in the designated acquisition area have received the letter.
Cook told that sellers must be willing to sell. He says the Service does not condemn property. ìPlease be advised that the policy of the Service is to acquire land only from willing sellers. This is not a plan to take land through condemnation or by any other means other than purchasing lands from willing sellers,î Cook states in his letter.
The meeting to discuss the proposal is set for 6pm Wednesday night at the Brownsville Haywood County Chamber of Commerce.
Cook said there are no funds for additional acquisition but depending on the interest from landowners future appropriations may be discussed.
He supplied documents to provide some insight as to what the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service is proposing:
LPP Scoping Landowner Letter.pdf
LPP Scoping Press Release and Map.pdf
LPP_Economic Benefit Briefing.pdf


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