Local Weather May 13, 2010 146th YEAR - NO. 1 SERVING CHESTER COUNTY SINCE 1865 Inside! Special 2010 CCHS Graduation Section Chester added to disaster list Chester County has been added to the list of counties in the declared disaster area following the recent weather related events and will be apart of the 42 counties to receive federal assistance announced Gov. Phil Bredesen and the Federal Emergency Management Agency Monday. Bredesen said $28 million has been approved to help with disaster efforts. “We are very pleased with the pace of recovery operations, but we aren’t letting up,” issued Bredesen in a statement. “State agencies and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency will continue working hand-in-hand with FEMA and local partners to make sure those affected by the flooding have access to the resources they need to help rebuild their lives. President Barack Obama has declared Benton, Carroll, Cheatham, Chester, Clay, Crockett, Davidson, Decatur, DeKalb, Dickson, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Hardeman, See page 5-A School house cool down A snorkel truck provided just the right remedy for hot temperatures last Friday for students participating in the annual East Chester Elementary field day. After taking part in running, jumping, and throwing competitions, students enjoyed a cool spray compliments of the Henderson Fire Department. Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lewis, Macon, Madison, Maury, Montgomery, Obion, Robertson, Rutherford, Smith, Stewart, Sumner, Trousdale, Wayne, Williamson, and Wilson Counties federal disaster areas qualifying for individual assistance. Chester County Mayor Troy Kilzer and Henderson City Mayor Bobby King sat in on a teleconference call Monday See FEMA, Page 3-A How to apply for assistance? In order to apply for federal disaster assistance, go to website www.DisasterAssistance.go v, or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Help is available in most languages. The TTY number is 1-800-462-7585. County commissioners vote 17-1 to strip constables of their power A century ago the constable position in law enforcement was not only considered an asset to the community, but an essential service. “The office of constable was created when the sheriff was a one-agent position, when there were no deputies, no justice center, no 911…” explained county attorney John Talbott. “The role they served 150 years ago is not the role they serve today.” Due to what commissioners say is a major liability issue for the county, citing lack of proper training, the board voted 17-1 during the Monday night meeting to abolish law enforcement powers of the Chester County constables. Commissioner Barry Hutcherson was the lone vote, voting to keep them armed. Currently the newly passed resolution would only affect four constables that serve in their residing districts. The resolution goes into effect at the end of their term in August. Rhoda Smith, who is gunning for the sheriff’s position, approached the board in favor of keeping the constables in power. $1.00 “They’re free labor and it doesn’t cost the community a dime if we keep them,” Smith said while commenting her own business has been robbed twice. One commissioner retaliated, “What good is it when a constable writes a ticket, and the judge won’t prosecute the violators?” Chester County resident Jamie Miller, who is running for constable in District 2, approached the board stating ridding the constables of their power would be a bad decision. “They provide a quick response during emergencies,” Miller said. “And they can serve warrants.” Sheriff Blair Weaver said if the board passed the resolution eliminating their powers, the constables would still be able to serve warrants. “And if there’s an emergency, the sheriff has the right to deputize anyone, whatever is justifiable,” explained Weaver. Talbott reminded the commissioners if a constable was acting inappropriately and negligently while serving, any lawsuit filed against the officer would very likely be issued back to the county. “I know we have remote areas in this county, but we’ve never had a problem with our law enforcement officers (deputies) showing up when we need them,” said Commissioner Buddy Richardson. “We’ve got some good law enforcement here, I really see no need in having the constables a part of our law enforcement.” Two sheriff’s deputies are on See COUNTY, Page 3-A Photo by James A. Webb, Independent School board approves tentative budget Jacks Creek principal to say good bye The Chester County Board of Education has given approval to the first draft of its 2010-11 budget. That action came during the board’s regularly schedule meeting Thursday, May 6, at the Board of Education office. The board expects a budget of $16,117,666 with expected revenues of $16,118,292. Of those revenues, more than $13 million will come from the state, and $2,407,000 from local taxes. This budget, if finalized at the next meeting, will be an increase of almost $900,000 over the present school year’s budget. In other business, the board approved several budget amendments, and gave its approval for participation in special programs – Comprehensive Title I, II, III, IV, V, IDEA; Vocational and Perkins; Child Nutrition, Extended Contract; and Technology Plan, Coordinated School Health, PreK. The board gave its approval for the Technology Interventions special course which is not on the approved state list, and must be applied for each year. This is the Credit Recovery Program at the high school which has been judged very successful. Superintendent John Pipkin also recommended, and the board approved, tenure for PreK teacher Rachel Morris. Pipkin explained that Morris’ name had been left off the list which he presented at the March meeting. The board approved some changes to the policy manual which became necessary for the upcoming switch from sixweeks to nine-weeks grading periods. They also made a change in the percentage of end of course exams as part of the final grade. Pipkin gave a report to the board concerning the use of the Race to the Top Grant. In his report to the board about ongoing projects, Pipkin first noted that flooding at Jacks Creek Elementary resulted in the closing of the school on Monday, April 26. However, he noted that quick work by school personnel and volunteers, plus a crew from ServPro of Jackson, prevented the school from being closed much longer. The flooding was discovered Saturday, April 24, due to a clogged drain pipe which resulted in up to two inches of water in much of the new part of the building, and the north side of See SCHOOL, Page 3-A Accident claims life Photo by James A. Webb, Independent Investigators with the Henderson Police Department sort through the evidence to determine the cause of an accident that claimed the life of a Henderson man May 5 at 448 Beechwood St. According to the HPD report, Kenneth Johnson, of Rex Road, was believed to have died trying to start his utility truck from underneath the vehicle when it started and pinned him underneath the right fr ont tir e. Tragically, Johnson, 51, died on his birthday.