The Leader Serving tipton county since 1886 | covingtonleader.com | Vol. 124, No. 39 | thursday, August 5, 2010
Election Day has arrived By Tiffany Holland email@example.com Early voting wrapped up this past Saturday, July 31. However, people still have a chance to vote with the regular Election Day coming up this Thursday, August 5. As election results come in on Thursday, The Leader will keep the public updated constantly by posting the results on our
website, www.covingtonleader. com. They will be posted in front of the pay wall, so people will not have to pay anything to view the elections results. The results and election discussions will also be posted on The Leader’s Facebook fan page that anyone can take part in or just view for information. The Leader will also follow up with details about election results in next week’s paper
and feature photos of several candidates in celebration or on the campaign trail. For those who have not voted yet, this election has several hotly contested seats coming up, with some earning national attention. There are party primaries held for the office of governor, U.S. House, State House and State Senate. This is a general election for the county, with races for
county commissioner, circuit court clerk, county trustee, county sheriff, county court clerk, register of deeds, school board districts 2, 4, 6, 7 and 8, constable districts 1 – 9, and county executive. The offices of circuit court clerk, trustee, register of deeds, sheriff and county executive are running unopposed. Since the last election, some polling locations have
changed. Current polling locations are as follows: ▪ District 1, Precinct 1 Northeast Covington will vote at Collins Chapel C.M.E. Church, located at 303 W. Ripley Ave., Covington ▪ District 2, Precinct 3 Southeast Covington will vote the National Guard Armory, located at 4500 Mueller Brass Road, Covington See vote, page A3
It’s like a heat wave Record-breaking temps bring danger to county By Echo Day firstname.lastname@example.org
Phase II of Project Play took place from Friday, July 30 - Sunday, Aug. 1. Despite the heat wave and excessive heat warnings, hundreds of volunteers participated in the rebuild effort over the weekend. Above, Cendi Ramsey, Covington Mayor David Gordon and other volunteers work to install equipment while organizer Lee Johnston sets the piece in place with a forklift. The playground is nearing its completion. See A2 for more photos. Photo by Tyler Lindsey
Playground rebuild progresses despite heat
By TIFFANY HOLLAND email@example.com
n spite of the heat hitting some of the highest temperatures of the year, hundreds of volunteers showed up this weekend for the rebuilding efforts of Project Play. As the heat beat down on the workers, many men, women, and teenagers remained hammering and drilling away on the playground, which was originally burned down by arsonists in February at Cobb-Parr Park. The work paid off since the project is near completion and no longer requires anymore community rebuilding efforts. Just a few ends need to be wrapped up and safety measures secured until the park
will be opened. Many people also played a part by donating food, water and cooling products for the workers. Even though the heat was intense, most of the volunteers never regretted being involved for a moment. “I really enjoyed it,” said William McMahon, one of the team leaders for Project Play. “I don’t have any kids to play on (the playground) but I think it will just benefit people in the area and bring people out. It turned out really nice. It is even nicer than before.” Several churches brought hoards of volunteers including their youth group, many of the local schools’ coaches and club organizers brought some of their young players and students and dozens of teachers spent their last days of
their summer vacation working to rebuild the playground. On Friday morning alone, there were 178 volunteers, according to people at the site, and many stayed well after the second shift. Children under 10 were not allowed on-site but childcare was available for volunteers. Children ages 10-14 were allowed on-site, but had work one-on-one with a parent or guardian. Those ages 14-17 were also able to participate in construction. Everyone there was doing something, even if they were not building. An opening date for Project Play has not been determined yet, but is smoothly in the works thanks to the hundreds of community members who found a positive way to benefit their community.
Munford accident kills two, injures two By Echo Day firstname.lastname@example.org MUNFORD – An accident claimed the lives of two people in Munford Friday night. According to police reports, a 1999 Ford Mercury driven by Jacob Williams was traveling along Hwy. 51 when it veered off the roadway between Big Creek Drive and Joe Joyner Road and flipped, ejecting three of its four passengers. The accident took place at approximately 11 p.m.
Visitation for Justin Stone will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 6 at Jefferson Mortuary, Millington. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 7 at Munford High School. Interment will follow at Mt. Herman Cemetery, 3492 Quito-Drummonds Road, Drummonds. Repass will be held at Munford High School after interment. He is survived by a daughter, Mykyla Miller; mother Brenda Finnie (Douglas) Hudgins of Munford; father Michael Stone Sr.; sisters Stephanie Finnie and Myisha Stone; and brother Michael Stone Jr. Arrangements for April Lemons were unclear at press time.
Reportedly unrestrainted, Williams and passengers Justin Stone and April Lemons were thrown from the vehicle. A female riding in the passenger seat was wearing her seatbelt and
had to be extricated from vehicle, police said. Stone and Lemons were killed. Williams and the female passenger were flown to the Regional Medical Center in
Memphis where they remain hospitalized. Nearly a week later, the accident is still under investigation by the Munford Police Department. “We’re trying to find out why they veered into the median,” said police chief Jim Harger. “We’re trying to determine the cause and if alcohol was involved.” Persons with information are asked to contact investigators with the Munford Police Department at 901-8375980.
With the mercury hovering in the three-digit range for several days, the heat is definitely on. Dangerously hot temperatures have plagued the Mid-South since late last week, making residents uncomfortable at best. “The Mid-South is experiencing a dangerous heat wave with temperatures in the triple digits,” said Action News 5 meteorologist Ron Childers on the station’s weather blog. “These high temperatures coupled with high dew points create extremely high indices making dangerous conditions.” With heat indices reaching up to 126 degrees in some areas, the National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings, encouraging people to limit outdoor exposure. An excessive heat warning is issued when the heat index exceeds 110 degrees for more than two consecutive days. Most of the MidSouth has been under this warning since late last
See heat, page A3
Covington to donate AC units By TIFFANY HOLLAND email@example.com COVINGTON – The Finance and Administration Committee recently approved for money raised by the People Helping People program to be used to donate air conditioning units to needy people who do not have air conditioning in their homes. The committee met on Aug. 8 to discuss matters concerning the budget, where Mayor Gordon stated that there was more than $9,000 in the People Helping People fund. He then suggested that part of it be allocated to needy families for air conditioning units, which will help them during the current dangerous heat wave. Alderman John Edwards made a motion for $5,000 to be earmarked from the fund to go to Delta Human Resources to administer air conditioning units for the people in need. A report from Delta Resources will be given to the city council after the units have been donated. According to Mayor Gordon, he and other city workers are looking tirelessly to find air conditioning units for homes to purchase. At the time of printing, four air conditioners have been found and are going to be distributed immediately. The People Helping People program is administered by the City of Covington to help the elderly, handicapped and needy meet their energy costs by charitable citizens adding a dollar or more to their utility bills. The city then forwards all money received to See units, page A3
This week’s week’s Featured This featuredChurch: church:
Covington • Barretville • Millington • Collierville South Tipton • South Covington Morgage Offices: South Tipton • Millington • Arlington • Collierville
Calvary Baptist Church Turn PageA7 A7forfordetails details Turn to to Page
Area events 8/6/ – 8/8/10 Tax Free Weekend 8/9/10 First Day of School
A2 • Thursday, August 5, 2010 • The Leader
Atoka city officials voice concerns over park rules By Echo Day firstname.lastname@example.org
ATOKA – As construction enters its final stages on Walker Park, several city officials have voiced concerns regarding the safety of residents and the park’s construction. During Tuesday’s meeting, these concerns prompted the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to pass park rules and agree to purchase signage. “We’ve got a problem and we need to address that,” said police chief Jessie Poole. Poole told city engineer Kevin Ledford he was concerned that pedestrian crossing was too close to the intersection of Walker Parkway and Meade Lake Road. “It’s awfully close to that corner, that’s just my opinion.” Poole also asked the board to establish park rules, such as a curfew for minors, and more lighting for parking lots, which will add to the safety of the residents using the facility. The issue of a curfew and posted rules has been brought up in several meetings since the first park on Walker Parkway was completed in 2008, but has never been resolved. “We need to quit talking about it, we need to act on it,” Poole said. The board voted to approve the curfew and, effective immediately, persons under the age of 17 are not permitted to be in any Atoka park after dark without a parent or guardian. Additionally, the board voted to establish city-wide rules for its parks. “There are several things that need to be thought through and posted at the entrances to the parks,” said Ledford. A city official said these measures will be put in place to reduce potential liability to the city. The park committee is set to meet prior to the next board meeting to develop park rules and regulations. The city also voted to put in more lighting at the park. “We need to do that if at all possible to make it more secure for the people who use it,” Poole said. Construction concerns Meanwhile, alderman Earl Billings
www.covingtonleader.com Project Players On July 30-Aug. 1, hundreds of volunteers braved tripledigit temperatures to assist in the second phase of the Project Play rebuilding effort. At left, a team works to assemble the railing and secure the spire on one of the towers. Photo by Tyler Lindsey Below, Martha Lawler, Sharman Coley and Amy Payne worked Friday afternoon to install structural supports. Photo by Echo Day
told the board he was disappointed in the company building the park. In August 2008, the Town of Atoka was awarded a $400,000 grant from the Tennessee Dept. of Environment and Conservation. A matching grant, the town was required to have assets matching $400,000 to be contributed to the construction of the park; a parcel of land worth $400,000 was donated by Munford Development Company and used to meet these requirements. The grant covers park development, parking, lighting, playground and safety surface, soccer field development, trails, restrooms compliant with the American Disabilities Act, park amenities and furnishings. R&R General Contractors bid $530,235 for the completion of the park, of which the town will have to pay $162,235. “We got took big,” he said. “I’ve not seen more than three people working.” Billings is also concerned about the walking track, which he believes has not been constructed properly. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” he told Ledford and the board. “I’ve never seen a track below the dirt or even with the dirt. When it rains, water will go under the black top and freeze it this winter and break (the black top) up! There’s no doubt in my mind, but you’re an engineer and I’m just an old country boy.” Billings said he was worried the town would be sued if the track freezes and a pedestrian falls on it. He is also concerned about the possibility of snakes in the ditches and insulted the park’s design. “I’m responsible for the design,” Ledford said. “In my defense, we put it where we had the land and we built it with the contour of the land.” Ledford told Billings he believed when it was finished, Walker Park would be a nice park for residents. Billings, though, is disappointed the contractors missed their July 2010 deadline. Ledford said the park is “shaping up nicely” and is expected to be completed in the coming weeks, just as soon as Southwest Tennessee Electric can set up the electricity.
Restaurant report The following are recent inspection scores for Tipton and North Shelby county establishments:
Corps reopens river to barge traffic DUVALL LANDING - Two Memphis district team members of the Corps of Engineers responded to a potentially deadly chemical spill on the Mississippi River west of Covington on Monday night, July 26, when two towboats collided spilling a highly toxic chemical into the water. From the Corps river engineering section, Mark Manning of Munford and Derrick Smith arrived on the scene of the incident Tuesday morning aboard the Memphis District survey boat Tiger Shark. “The collision ripped a three-feet-long gash in a barge carrying acrylonitrile, dumping the chemical into the water,” Smith said. “We got there at about 1:30 a.m. and assisted the Coast Guard response team in shuttling their staff to and from the wreck.” Smith said their assistance was important since neither the Coast Guard nor local emergency management officials had a response vessel immediately available that was appropriate for the mission. Because of the possible presence of toxic fumes, responders could be moved more safely around the area of the collision inside the Tiger Shark’s enclosed cabin. Acrylonitrile is a chemical used in making plastics and synthetic rubber and
Donaldson’s Produce 100
Midway Grocery 77
Inspected: June 10, 2010
Inspected: May 14, 2010
453 Liberty Church Road Brighton, TN 38011
6213 Highway 59 Mason, TN 38049
Xpress Food Mart 73
Buchanan’s Grocery 90
Hwy. 70 & 79 & 59 Mason, TN 38049
Highway 70 East Mason, TN 38049
Inspected: May 14, 2010
Inspected: May 14, 2010
Tennessee uses a 44 item inspection sheet with a maximum of 100 points; scores of 70 and above pass inspection. Thirteen of the items are considered critical. Critical items, found out of compliance, must be corrected within 10 days. Follow-up inspections are conducted to determine compliance on critical items. Failure to correct critical violations or imminent health hazards result in closure of establishments until corrections are made. Serious or repeated violations may result in revocation of the establishment’s permit. The scores are used as a tool by the state and industry to place a value on compliance to the regulations, educate the operators, and thereby encourage corrective action. Complete records of food service establishments are public records and are available for public viewing at the health department. Scores can also be found online at http://health.state.tn.us.
A publication of THE
See river, page A3
August 5, 2010
Poplar Grove Assembly invites you to hear
Rev. Finis R. “Rufus” Roberts as he brings to you,
This Man Has A Message For You
Celebrating Homecoming 2010
& Bro. Rufus Roberts’ 50 Years preaching Gods word
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Sunday School 10 a.m. • Preaching 11 a.m. • Lunch 12 p.m.
Preaching & Singing Sunday afternoon. Also take this opportunity to met our new Interin Pastor Bro Robert McDaniels
Thursday, August 5, 2010 • The Leader • A3
Family wants answers after sexual assault By Echo Day email@example.com MUNFORD – In mid-June, a Munford High School student was sexually assaulted while attending summer school and nearly two months later, her family is still looking for answers. The victim’s godfather, whose name has been protected for her safety, said he can’t imagine what she must be going through. “What we have is a 15-year-old girl who may never be right,” he said. “She may never trust men again.” He said his goddaughter was assaulted in a bathroom at the school and accuses one 15-year-old of the assault and says a second 15-year-old has been caught on camera standing outside the bathroom while it happened. Because the case involves juvenile victims and suspects, police cannot release many details, only stating the incident occurred at the high school and a 15-year-old male from Lauderdale County has been charged with sexual assault. Tim Fite, director of schools, said the boy charged was not a student in the Tipton County school system last year, but was allowed to take a credit recovery course this summer. “The boy charged will appear before the juvenile judge which will determine placement,” said Fite. The victim’s godfather wants to know why the second boy, who is from Munford, wasn’t charged. Police chief Jim Harger said the second juvenile faces punishment through the school system. “When we reviewed the tapes it didn’t appear to be what he was accused of,” Harger said. “We felt like the school could do more than we could, even if we could get a conviction. The other boy was the one
Continued from A1 week. But the heat is nothing new this summer. Neighboring Shelby County recorded its tenth heatrelated death this summer on Wednesday but only one death this summer has been blamed on the hotter-than-average temperatures. Average temperatures for the first week of August hover around 91 degrees, according to the National Weather Service, but Tuesday the mercury topped 106 degrees, breaking the record high of 104 degrees set in 1934. The heat index Tuesday afternoon reached 122 degrees. Wednesday was no different, with temperatures reaching 104 degrees. The August 4 record was set at 102 degrees in 1947. Overnight temperatures are also setting records. The higher-than-normal temperatures have also brought
unprecedented activity for first responders. Munford/Atoka Fire Chief Jay Bonson told Atoka aldermen Tuesday night his department broke a record, answering 16 calls in 12 hours. At the county’s electric companies, shut-offs have been limited as a matter of safety for customers. The excessive heat warning is expected to expire Thursday evening as a cold front makes its way to the Mid-South. It will bring with it slightly lowered temperatures and increased rain chances, Childers said. Friday’s high is still expected to be in the mid- to upper 90s. A few strong or severe thunderstorms with locally heavy rainfall could accompany the cold front Thursday night and Friday. But don’t get used to the slightly cooler temperatures as triple digits are back in the forecast just in time for school early next week.
Catch the election results for free at our website, covingtontonleader.com, and chat about the election with us on our Facebook page, facebook.com/covingtonleader.
munity, located at 228 Quito Drummonds Road, Drummonds ▪ District 7, Precinct 19 - Austin Peay will vote at
is highly flammable and toxic. There is also evidence indicating it may have carcinogenic properties when ingested in high doses. Because of the highly dangerous situation the Coast Guard established a safety zone. The zone is a seven-mile reach from the site of the collision southward and all traffic on the river was closed. This area is north of Randolph in Lauderdale County. Smith said the river closure caused a backup of 32 vessels and their tows above and below the safety zone. Reports say that three crewmen from the towboat Dixie Express were taken to a Memphis hospital complaining of
respiratory problems. One man was released but the other two were kept for treatment. When inhaled for less than an hour, acrylonitrile can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness and other symptoms according to the Environmental Protection Agency. “A Corps contractor was in the area constructing bendway weirs and also had to stop work and leave the area,” Smith added. Following initial investigations and after ensuring there was no more leakage, Coast Guard officials reopened the river around 6 p.m. on Tuesday. The Corps contractor went back to work once the traffic backup cleared the area.
Continued from A1 Delta Human Resources. People Helping People offers one-time assistance. It serves as a “stop gap” measure to those in need, not an on-going source of assistance. And recipients come from all walks of life, yet due to genuine hardships such as debilitating illness or recent unemployment, their financial resources are thoroughly exhausted. Money for this program was also earned at the Music on the Square events where People Helping People made food and beverages available for purchase, with the funds going to this cause. Delta Resources, a federal program, has the wherewithal for evaluating each person’s situation and which person or persons have the highest need for air conditioning, such as the elderly and young children. The motion was approved and Mayor Gordon said this project would go into the works as soon as air conditioning units are found. If Covington citizens would like to donate money to People Helping People, you can go online to www.covingtontn.com and go to the lower right corner and fill out the form or contact Covington City Hall.
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Wednesday’s temperature reached more than 103 degrees in Tipton County, breaking a record set in 1947.
Continued from A1
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Continued from A2
who (allegedly) committed the sexual assault.” With the new school year beginning, the victim’s godfather worries for her safety as well as the safety of other students. “I want to know why he’s going to be allowed to attend this high school and possibly endanger other females?” The Tipton County Student Handbook lists punishments for various infractions. There is none listed for incidents sexual in nature. Fite said the student from Munford will appear before the Student Disciplinary Hearing Authority next week. “They are not allowed on school grounds until all hearings have taken place,” Fite said. The victim’s godfather said he’s frustrated because he’s not receiving answers to his questions from the school board, from police or anywhere else. “I’ve fought two combat tours in Iraq to help people I don’t know,” he said. “It doesn’t seem like they are the type of people who want to help. It’s devastating and I’m frustrated because this is all falling on deaf ears.” He said his quest for answers has consumed his everyday life. He has even contacted Rep. Jimmy Naifeh, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and other officials at the state level. “I’m not finding any answers. Somebody out there has to have one.” He said his goddaughter is a straight-A student who now doesn’t want to go back to school. “I’ve been in bad situations in my life … and I can’t imagine what this would do to a 15-year-old girl.” The 15-year-old who allegedly committed the assault is set to appear in court on Aug. 16. The other boy, Fite said, is expected to have a disciplinary hearing next week.
▪ District 3, Precinct 6 - Tipton West will vote at Garland Community Center, 1598 Garland Drive in the Garland community ▪ District 4, Precinct 10 - West Atoka will vote at Atoka United Methodist Church, 609 Atoka Munford Ave., Atoka ▪ District 4, Precinct 11 - East Atoka will vote at Gateway Baptist Church, 1915 Rosemark Road, Atoka ▪ District 5, Precinct 12 - Munford will vote at the city’s board room, located in between the police and parks and recreation departments at 69 College Street, Munford ▪ District 6, Precinct 14 - Southwest Tipton will vote at Poplar Grove United Methodist Church in the Drummonds com-
Austin Peay Elementary, located at 474 Academic Drive in the Mt. Carmel/ Clopton community ▪ District 8, Precinct 21 - West Wilkinsville voters will vote at St. Mark’s M.B. Church, 3220 Wilkinsville Road ▪ District 9, Precinct 22 - Brighton will vote at Brighton Community Center Persons who have moved or are unsure about their polling location or precinct may visit the Tipton County Election Commission at 113 Church Street in Covington for assistance. On election day, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, please call the election commission at 901-476-0223.
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Thursday, August 5, 2010
Finding the truth in political problems
“President Obama has President Obama is decided that there will not a Muslim either, no longer be a “National as many claim; he has Day of Prayer” held in been associated with the May. He doesn’t want to Church of Christ since offend anyone. Where the 1980s and considwas his coners himself a cern about Christian. All of offending this information Christians can be found in last January so many places, when he I won’t even list allowed the them. It isn’t hidMuslims to ing. hold a day What bothers of prayer on me most about the capitol Internet ON THE RECORD these grounds. As rumors isn’t that an American TIFFANY CARR HOLLAND people believe Christian them without “I am offended.” If you checking the facts (I agree, copy and paste no believe things all the matter what religion you time that turn out to be are. This country was false), but that people built on freedom!!” consider this so imporThis comment has tant. been sent to me in email I went to a National and seen on Facebook by Day of Prayer ceremony myself a countless numheld on the Covington ber of times. Therefore I Court Square with 70 or feel the need to address so other people. Every it. After all, it is election Christian in town cerseason even if there isn’t tainly did not show a Presidential election. up. But I am not sayThis statement above ing just because you is completely and entire- didn’t go out and celly untrue. There is a ebrate National Prayer National Day of Prayer. Day that you are not There was one last year, Christian. That would this year and probably be wrong because many will be next year too. people had jobs and National Prayer Day things that must be done began with President at that time, right? They Truman in 1952 when he could’ve celebrated it in signed a bill proclaimprivate, right? I imaging it. In 1988, President ine the president of the Reagan made a set date United States could easfor the day on the first ily fall in this category Thursday in May. as well. Last year President With the problems Obama decided not with the economy, to host an ecumenical healthcare, taxes, oil, the service in the White environment, political House in observance of corruption… (and the National Day of Prayer, list goes on.) is this realbut instead opted to ly the biggest complaint observe the occasion pri- many people seem to vately. He DID continue find with the president? the tradition of issuing I should think not. a presidential proclaOf all the reasons to mation designating it point out that President National Day of Prayer Obama and his adminand he did not cancel istration are doing a it, but even stated that lackluster job, there are prayer is something he so many more important does every day anyway. problems to focus on. In fact, when a fedThere certainly are eral judge ruled that enough things to find National Day of Prayer fault with in the White was unconstitutional, House that are entirely the Obama administratrue and no need to tion is the defendant. make things up.
Nuclear power is green power Forty years ago, at the time has the lowest per capita carbon of the first Earth Day, emissions and among the Americans became cheapest electricity costs deeply worried about in Western Europe. Italy, air and water polluBritain, Finland and tion and a population Eastern Europe all are explosion that threatexploring new reactors. ened to overrun the Russia, India, China and planet’s resources. Japan are moving ahead. Nuclear power was South Korea is selling seen as a savior to reactors to the United these environmenArab Emirates. tal dilemmas. It These countries could produce large realize that exploding amounts of low-cost, populations demand reliable clean energy. large amounts of cheap, Unlike oil, nuclear SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER reliable electricity to power did not need to help create jobs and lift be hauled in leaking people out of poverty. tankers from countries that didn’t And nuclear power provides just like us. Unlike coal, it didn’t that. The National Academy of spew tons of pollution out of Sciences in a 2009 report said smokestacks. that the cost of nuclear power is Then Three Mile Island and equal to or lower than natural gas, Chernobyl happened. The world wind, solar, or coal with carbon pulled back, fearful of nuclear capture. Reactors can operate for technology – even though no one 80 years while wind and solar was hurt at Three Mile Island. last about 25 years. And nuclear In fact, no one has ever died as reactors operate 90 percent of the a result of a nuclear accident at time while wind and solar are an American commercial nuclear only available about a third of reactor or on a U.S. navy ship the time. (Remember: wind and powered by reactors. Chernobyl solar power can’t be stored today was the tragic result of a flawed in significant amounts.) Most technology never used in the people don’t want their lights and United States. Still, the United computers working only when States hasn’t licensed a new reacthe wind blows. tor since 1978. Nuclear plants occupy a fracNow the rest of the world tion of the land required for wind is returning to nuclear energy. or solar. For example, 20 percent France is 80 percent nuclear and of U.S. electricity comes from
104 nuclear reactors on about 100 square miles. Producing the same amount of power from wind would require covering an area the size of West Virginia with 183,000 fifty-story turbines as well as building 19,000 miles of new transmission lines through scenic areas and suburban backyards. Nuclear fuel is available in the U.S. and is virtually unlimited. We don’t have to drill for it. We don’t have to mine it nearly as much as we do for coal. And thanks to technology, we can safely recycle “nuclear waste” and turn most of it into more fuel. After recycling, the French are able to store all of their final waste from producing 80 percent of their electricity for 30 years in one room in La Hague. A more recently realized benefit of nuclear power is its ability to combat climate change. Nuclear power emits zero greenhouse gases. Today it produces 20 percent of our nation’s electricity but 70 percent of our carbon-free electricity. Wind and solar provide less than 2 percent of our electricity and 6 percent of our carbon-free electricity today. The United States uses 25 percent of all the energy in the world. At a time when we need to produce large amounts of clean power at home at a cost that will not chase jobs overseas looking for cheap energy, Americans can’t afford to ignore nuclear power.
Everyone Proudly Voted
There ain’t nothin’ no better than a festive occabales on a mule pulled flat bedded trailer really sion in the South. Especially in the hot summer sul- involves. So it’s best we get one of us that undertry air when you can’t get yo’ breath. Going to the stands and will help us. polls and makin yo’ mark provided the opportunity My Fellow Americans can dwell that a few for some socializin’, eatin’ and down home good up weeks before the election the citizens were remindto date communicatin’ (No gossipin’ was allowed). ed, “it ain’t long before votin’. By the time they Neither was any wide open lyin’ permitted journeyed to Stewartville Lodge to cast but the truth might be stretched maybe a their vote the entire population was enerfifteen foot plow line or so. gized to be part of a movement. Friends, the northern end of Shelby Ease back in time. No television, little County was fortunate to have Mr. Paul radio except music and farm reports with as he was affectionately referred to as the just Lone Ranger and Green Hornet serials leader of the congregation. All of the in the afternoon. Some news about folks citizens respected and admired him and we never heard of, much less met. We had ‘Miss’ Sarah to watch over his flock. The newspapers about folks runnin’ for politimajority of the families in these rural comcal office, but our farmer friends were runSOUTHERN RAISIN' nin’ to slop the hogs, gather eggs and milk munities depended on him to look out for O TIS GRIFFIN them as most were dirt farmers too busy Bessie. in the field for an up date concerning poliTo ensure everyone got to make their tics. If the word philosophy entered into the conver- mark. (to select yo’ man) Simple! A good Southern sation concerning politics the answer was, “let Mr. term. Mr. Paul knew how many and who were Paul handle it as he’s smart in them things and I’ll eligible to vote. Transportation was furnished with go along with him.” school buses, and trucks loaded down headed to the The way this thing worked I found out years precinct? All of the businesses were shut down and later from Daddy on our front porch talks was employees helped out. fairly simple. Needs and wants out in the counThe workers at the bank, Mrs. Ollie Mae try were different from folks down in the middle McClanahan, Mr. G. K, Spencer and Miss Marie of Memphis. We need roads, good schools, safety Dismon were the paper handlers. Mr. Roy Stovall, and money to put in a crop which correlated with Emerson’s granddaddy, Phil’s Daddy, Mr. Howard low taxes. Now a fella’ with a white shirt and tie and Mr. Sparks, provided the ice cold refreshments that sits behind a desk just don’t understand what usually tea, Double Colas, R. C.’s and Nehis on pullin’ a misery stick down the cotton rows in the the miserable hot days. Food such as huge pots of blazin’ sun or chunkin’ hundred pound lespedeza greens, beans, pork with pans of corn bread and THE LEADER USPS 136-120 “Tipton County’s NEWSPAPER Since 1886” 2001 Highway 51 South Covington, Tennessee 38019 Published Every Thursday by Tipton County Newspapers, LLC PHONE 901-476-7116 www.covingtonleader.com
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biscuits were available after votin’. Mr. Williams, Gail’s Daddy and Mr. Wayne, the store butchers, fed many a hungry soul. Neighbor, this was one time the scattered communities united, celebrated and felt good about participating. Daddy proudly said, “the best I remember everyone that could vote got to make their own mark.” Daddy continued with, “downtown sent a fella’ out here to check to make sure things were done right.” Further, “this stranger wasn’t very friendly as he just kind of walked around and done a little snoopin’.” Daddy finished with, “he talked to Mr. Paul occasionally and tried to gab with some finished voters but they just walked away.” Visibly upset, Daddy ingrained in me with, “you just can’t trust ’em carpet baggers as I recollect what they done to my granddaddy back in the Delta.” Once the votes were correctly counted, witnessed by Mr. high hat Snoopy, Mr. Paul thanked everyone, hoped they had a good time and told them to stop by if they needed anything. I was too young to understand, but legend has it many times only one candidate out of several on the ballot sheet actually got any votes. All’s well that ends well! Just another day of goin’ to the polls in our wonderful South…GLORY! All of my faithful country readers are cordially invited to my Southern Raisin’…book signing… August 15th at the Patriot Bank in Millington beginning at 2 PM.
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Major closures on I-40 bridge
Memphis. - Crews are preparing to conduct the first of several months of major lane closures as work to seismically retrofit the Interstate 40/ Hernando DeSoto Bridge over the Mississippi River continues. August 3, 2010 through mid-September - The I-40 Eastbound exit one off-ramp to Front Street, Riverside Drive and the Tennessee Welcome Center will be closed. All traffic will be detoured to Exit 1B at Danny Thomas Blvd. to Poplar Avenue, Front Street, and Jefferson Avenue. A detour map is attached. This is the first of three phases of major lane closures on the bridge through the mid-November. Crews will be replacing a large seismic joint on three bridge piers. During the second phase, which begins September 7, crews will reduce I-40 to one lane in each direction until the week of November 15. In addition, phase three will require
crews to close the I-40 westbound entrance ramp from Front Street and Riverside Drive in mid-October through mid-November. TDOT has created a project website, http:// www.tn.gov/tdot/ i40hd/, to keep the public informed about the upcoming project and will distribute brochures and posters to area businesses to further spread the word about the upcoming closures. For more information on travel conditions across the state visit the TDOT SmartWay website at www.tn.gov/ tdot/tdotsmartway/ <http://www.tn.gov/ tdot/tdotsmartway/> or dial 5-1-1 from any land-line or cellular phone. TDOT is also on Twitter. For up to date travel information for the Memphis area follow Memphis511 <http:// www.twitter.com/Nashville511> on Twitter or follow TN511 <http:// www.twitter.com/ TN511> for statewide updates.
School zones back The Tennessee Highway Patrol is gearing up for the school year with a heightened enforcement campaign to keep children safe in and around school zones. Cracking down on motorists who disregard laws designed to protect children and monitoring school zones and bus stops are just a few components of the enforcement effort. “As thousands of students return to the classroom on foot or in school buses, we want to remind everyone to be extra cautious around school zones,” said Department of Safety Commissioner Dave Mitchell. “The goal of the Tennessee Highway Patrol is to help local law enforcement and schools protect children from drivers who may be distracted, impatient or careless.” State Troopers are urging motorists to be alert, slow down and be careful in school zones, while also encouraging caregivers to educate children on safety measures when walking, biking or riding the bus to school. Motorists should be aware that the speed limit is 15 mph in school zones and the fine for speeding in a school zone is up to $500 dollars. It is also against the law to pass a school bus when it is stopped and loading or unloading passengers. The driver can be fined no less than $250 and up to $1,000. “Motorists can expect stiff penalties for driving unsafely in school zones and for placing our children at risk while doing so,” said THP Colonel Mike Walker. “But there is no punishment more
severe than the lifelong guilt and remorse for hitting or killing a child. We are asking everyone to do their part to help a Tennessee child make it to school and home safely.” In 2009, State Troopers issued 5,445 citations in school zones. Of those citations, 973 were speeding violations, while one citation was handed out for passing a stopped school bus. Since 2006, there has been a 15.9 percent decrease in the number of crashes occurring in school zones between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and the hours of 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. There was also a 13.5 percent decline in the number of school busrelated crashes between those same hours. Each day, 25 million children in the United States ride school buses, including 600,000 in Tennessee, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The National Safety Council (NSC) reports approximately 26 students were killed while they were entering or exiting a bus in the U.S. last year. Close to 800 children are killed annually and many more injured going to and from school in a vehicle other than a school bus, according to the NSC. For more facts, figures & safety tips, please see the attached Safety Tips and visit our Web site: www. TN.Gov/Safet The Tennessee Department of Safety’s mission is to ensure the safety and general welfare of the public. The department encompasses the General areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education, motorist services and terrorism prevention.
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Thursday, August 5, 2010 • THE LEADER • A5
What is sales tax weekend? When is Tennessee’s Sales Tax Holiday? Sales Tax Holidays begin every year at 12:01 a.m. on the first Friday in August and end at 11:59 p.m. the following Sunday. During this time, Tennesseans can enjoy tax-free purchases on certain clothing, school and art supplies and computers. What’s Tax-Free? Tax-free items include clothing with a price of $100 or less per item, school and school art supplies with a price of $100 or less per item and computers with a price of $1,500 or less. These items are exempt from state and local sales tax in Tennessee during the holiday. Local governments are held harmless and are reimbursed lost sales tax revenues by the state. Who Can Participate? Any individual can make a tax-free purchase during the holiday. However, items purchased for use by a trade or business are not exempt. Can I Order by Mail, Telephone, E-Mail or Internet? The holiday also includes purchases of qualified items sold via mail, telephone, e-mail or Internet if the customer orders and pays for the item and the retailer accepts the order during the holiday for immediate shipment, even if deliv-
What if I Want to Place an Item on Layaway or Pay for an Item That is Currently On Layaway? Qualified items previously placed on layaway are exempt when the final payment is made during the holiday. Items are also exempt if placed on layaway during the holiday and the final payment is made after the exemption period. When Did Sales Tax Holidays Start in Tennessee? Tennessee Code Annotated 67-6-393 established annual sales tax holidays in Tennessee in 2006. The first Sales Tax Holiday was August 4-6, 2006, saving Tennesseans about $15 million. Since then, Tennesseans have enjoyed $8 to $10 million in tax savings each holiday
An average of six school-age passengers are fatally injured inside school buses each year, but an average of 16 are killed getting on and off the bus. More than half of the children killed in school bus-related crashes are ages five to seven years old. “Inattention” and “failure to yield” were factors most often reported by police in those crashes. The Tennessee Department of Safety’s Pupil Transportation division of the Highway Patrol inspects school buses from school districts across Tennessee annually. During the 2009-10 school year, 10,595 buses were inspected with 1,138 being placed out of service. All school bus drivers in Tennessee must attend an annual training course in order to receive and maintain the school bus endorsement on their Driver Licenses. During the 2009-10 academic year, more than 12,000 received training. In 2009, State Troopers issued 5,445 citations in school zones across the state. Of those citations, 973 were issued to drivers who were speeding, while one driver was cited for passing a stopped school bus. An estimated 440,000 to 480,000 public school buses navigate roads and highways in the United States each year, traveling approximately 4.4 billion miles. School buses are nearly nine times safer than passenger vehicles. But children must take care when boarding or leaving buses. Young children are most likely to be injured around school buses because they: Hurry to get on or off the bus Act before they think Have little experience with traffic Assume motorists will see them and will wait for them to cross Don’t always stay within the bus driver’s line of sight Drop something as they are getting off the bus and run into the path of the bus to pick it up. SAFETY TIPS: FOR CHILDREN--GETTING ON AND OFF THE BUS SAFELY: Always remain in direct eyesight of the bus driver; Get to the bus stop in plenty of time; Take 10 giant steps back from the curb while waiting for the bus and 10 steps when exiting the bus; Never try to get anything left on the bus after exiting; Never reach underneath the bus; Always follow the driver’s directions for how to cross the street;
Be alert to traffic and look both ways; Always cross in front of the bus, but only when the bus driver signals it is safe to do so. Have a safe place to wait for your bus, away from traffic and the street. Stay away from the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver signals you to enter. Use the handrail to enter and exit the bus. When exiting, look before stepping off the bus to be sure no cars are passing on the shoulder (side of the road). Move away from the bus. Before crossing the street, take 10 “giant steps” out from the front of the bus, or until the driver’s face can be seen. Wait for the driver to signal that it’s safe to cross. Look left-right-left when coming to the edge of the bus to make sure traffic is stopped. Keep watching traffic when crossing. Be aware of the street traffic around you. Drivers are required to follow certain rules of the road concerning school buses. However, not all do. Protect yourself and watch out! FOR PARENTS: Supervise children to make sure they get to the stop on time, wait far away from the road and avoid rough play. Teach your child to ask the driver for help if he/she drops something near the bus. If a child bends down to pick up something, the driver cannot see him/her and the child may be hit by the bus. Have your child use a backpack or book bag to keep loose items together. Make sure clothing and backpacks have no loose drawstrings or long straps that could get caught in the handrail or bus door. Encourage safe school bus loading and unloading. If you think a bus stop is in a dangerous place, talk with your school office or transportation director about changing the location.
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Vehicles moving in the opposite direction as the bus are also required to stop unless they are on a divided highway. Never pass on the right side of the bus where children are entering and exiting. This is illegal and can have tragic results! WHEN RIDING A BIKE: Mind all traffic signals and/or the crossing guard -- never cross the street against a light, even if you don’t see any traffic coming. Walk your bike through intersections. Walk with a buddy. Wear reflective material...it makes you more visible to street traffic. WHEN RIDING IN A CAR: You might have heard before that most traffic crashes occur close to home...they do. Safety belts are the best form of protection passengers have in the event of a crash. They can lower the risk of injury by 45%. You are four times more likely to be seriously injured or killed if ejected from the vehicle in a crash. Everyone needs to be buckled up properly. That means older kids in seat belts, younger kids in booster seats and little kids in child safety seats.
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FOR DRIVERS: Yellow flashing lights on the bus indicate that it is preparing to stop and load or unload children. This means cars need to slow down and prepare to stop. It is illegal to pass a school bus with its red flashing lights and stop signal arm activated. Vehicles may not pass until the flashing red lights and signals are turned off or when the bus driver motions them through. Vehicles traveling in the same direction as the bus are always required to stop.
995 Hwy 51 N. • Covington, TN 38019 476-5432 • Closed Wednesdays
What if the Item is Backlogged or on Backorder? If a customer wishes to order a certain tax-free item during the holiday and it is not in stock, the item remains tax-free upon delivery. In other words, backlogs and backorders outside the buyer’s control will not affect the exempt status of tax-free items. Intentionally delayed sales are taxable.
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