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Coffee County Government Meetings WEEK OF APRIL 22, 2019


Tuesday, April 23
5:00 p.m. – Health, Welfare & Recreation Committee

County-Wide Drug Takeback Day April 27

On Saturday, April 27th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Coffee County Anti-Drug Coalition (CCADC), in cooperation with the semiannual Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) national DRUG TAKEBACK campaign, will be partnering with the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office and the Tullahoma Police Department to once again give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by providing a safe, convenient and reliable way to clean out medicine cabinets.
Disposing of unneeded prescriptions can help keep potentially harmful medications out of the wrong hands. You can bring your unused or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications for disposal to either the Manchester First Vision Bank at 2134 Hillsboro Blvd. or Tullahoma Walgreens at 700 N. Jackson Street. The service is free, anonymous and easy to use. Assigned volunteers will be stationed outdoors to accommodate the public’s quick and easy disposal.
In 2017 Coffee County had 81,832 opioid prescriptions dispersed. With a U. S. Census Bureau population estimate of 53,496 that’s enough for EVERY man, woman and child in Coffee County to have at least one and a half prescriptions of opioids! On average, providers in Tennessee wrote 1.4 opioid prescriptions opioid-related year. According to the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Tennessee was 3rd in the nation for opioid prescriptions and 13th in the nation for overdose deaths. Each day in Tennessee at least three people die from opioid related overdoses—more than the daily number of traffic fatalities. In fact, according to a recent University of Tennessee study which looked at county-level data from across the United States it was found that a 10% increase in opioid prescriptions per capita led to a 0.6 percentage point drop in labor force participation rates and a 0.1 percentage point increase in county unemployment rates. The study further concluded that prescription opioids may explain up to half of the decline in labor force participation since 2000. Local employers can confirm these statistics further emphasized by the difficulty to hire drug free employees.
Because the medicines that stay in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse the CCADC initiated the Count It! Lock It! Drop It!® campaign to help combat abuse and theft of medications by offering free medication lock boxes for better security of medications at home. This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue, so important that the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Tennessee enabled 93 of 95 counties in Tennessee to have access to the Count It! Lock It! Drop It!® boxes in 2017.
First Vision Bank in Manchester will also be offering free shredding during the Drug Take Back event. If you would like a free medication Count It! Lock It! Drop It!® box when dropping off just ask for one. For more information on this or other prevention efforts, contact the Coffee County Anti-Drug Coalition at 931-570-4484.

Possible Murder-Suicide in Grundy County

On Wednesday afternoon Grundy County deputies responded to a home on Flat Branch Road, in Tracy City, Tennessee where two people were reportedly dead inside the house.
Sheriff Clint Shrum said that 62-year-old Renee Oliver and 64-year-old Richard Oliver were found deceased.
At this time the sheriff said it appears to be a murder-suicide, Shrum says they believe Richard shot Renee multiple times, before killing himself.
The Grundy County Sheriff’s Office is working to uncover what lead to the incident that took place.

2020 Census Jobs Available

The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting thousands of workers for temporary jobs available nationwide in advance of the 2020 Census. With more than a thousand positions available in the Middle Tennessee area. Recruiters for the Census Bureau will be onsite in Bedford County today (April 19) at a multi-vendor Job fair. The job fair will be located at 220 Tulip Road in Shelbyville, TN. Applicants can also go to to apply for many positions open in Tennessee.
By visiting the website applicants have the opportunity to apply for a range of positions, including recruiting assistants, office operations supervisors, clerks, census field supervisors and census takers. The positions will be located across four Area Census Offices statewide and offer flexible work hours, including daytime, evenings and weekends.

TN Bill Adds New Challenges to Voter Registration Drives

According to state election statistics from November 2018, more than 4 million Tennesseans currently are registered to vote. (Annap/Adobe Stock)

The Tennessee House has passed a bill that aims to clamp down on voter-registration drives.
House Bill 1079, sponsored by Rep. Tim Rudd, R-Murfreesboro, would fine civic groups organizing voter-registration drives upwards of $10,000 for submitting large numbers of inaccurate or insufficient voter registration forms. Advocacy groups and even individuals could be faced with criminal misdemeanor charges.
Charlane Oliver, co-founder and president of the Nashville-based Equity Alliance, said she thinks the penalties outlined in the bill are unnecessarily harsh.
“How do you determine intent, when someone is providing you a form, that you don’t know whether the information is true or not? You have to go off their word, we cannot verify that, and they’re leaving that burden up to groups to do,” she said.
Supporters of the bill, including Secretary of State Tre Hargett, have said HB 1079 is needed to improve election security.
Oliver said local election commissions are supposed to verify voter registration, not the groups helping people register to vote. Last year, she said, a coalition of more than 20 organizations, collectively called the Tennessee Black Voter Project, registered more than 90,000 people across the state, most from majority black areas such as Memphis and surrounding Shelby County.
“And it’s based on the experience that they had back in November, October/November of last year, when we did the Tennessee Black Voter Project,” Oliver said. “This is the driver and motivation for the bill.”
Civic groups often organize voter-registration drives in communities where people lack access to transportation, and in rural areas. Oliver said volunteers are on hand to help people understand the registration process.
“People don’t understand that we have a 30-day cutoff in Tennessee, so you must be registered to vote 30 days in advance,” she said. “But most people are not paying attention until at least two weeks before an election, so it’s too late for them by then.”
Oliver said Tennesseans have a dismal record when it comes to voting. Studies have shown state voter turnout consistently ranks among the lowest in the country.

Opioid Strike Force Takedown Includes Charges Against Manchester Doctor and Tullahoma Nurse Practitioner

Pill photo by (Twenty20)

Attorney General William P. Barr and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex M. Azar III, together with multiple law enforcement partners, on Wednesday announced enforcement actions involving 60 charged defendants across 11 federal districts, including 31 doctors, 7 pharmacists, 8 nurse practitioners, and 7 other licensed medical professionals, for their alleged participation in the illegal prescribing and distributing of opioids and other dangerous narcotics and for health care fraud schemes.
On April 16, 2019, a federal grand jury indicted Dr. Harrison Yang, 75, of Manchester, Tennessee, with healthcare fraud violations.
This case was investigated by the FBI, HHS-OIG, DEA, and TBI.
U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey said, “Today is an example of how our office is working with our law enforcement partners in the Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force to identify and prosecute dishonest medical professionals and others engaged in health care fraud schemes involving illegal prescription, distribution, possession, and use of opioids.”
The charges involve individuals contributing to the opioid epidemic, with a particular focus on medical professionals involved in the unlawful distribution of opioids and other prescription narcotics, a priority for the Department. According to the CDC, approximately 115 Americans die every day of an opioid-related overdose.

In a sperate case, Nurse Practitioner Jonathan White, 49, of Tullahoma, Tennessee, was indicted on three counts of healthcare fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. According to the indictment, White and co-conspirators were employed by MedManagement Inc., which managed Pain MD located in Franklin, Tennessee. Pain MD operated pain and wellness clinics throughout Middle Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. Between 2010 and continuing through 2015, the indictment alleges that White and two others provided services to patients, namely “Tendon Origin Injections,” which were neither medically necessary nor physically possible and provided medically unnecessary durable medical equipment and then submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE. These services were said to further the company’s business model by increasing revenues and to personally enrich Pain MD providers and executives. The indictment further alleges that White and the co-conspirators trained other providers on methods to increase productivity, including methods on how to control the patient and allow them to treat patients with such medically unnecessary injections and threatening to dismiss them as patients and stop writing prescriptions for narcotic pain medication if they did not comply. According to the indictment, White and others submitted more than $3.5 million in false claims to Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE.

Anti-Abortion Lawmakers Refocus Efforts

While an effort to enact an abortion heartbeat bill failed last week, anti-abortion lawmakers have refocused their efforts to enact a “trigger” bill that would ban abortions in Tennessee should the Supreme Court alter or overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
The trigger bill, formally known as the “Human Life Protection Act,” had taken a back seat in the General Assembly to the heartbeat bill, which would have banned abortions after a fetal heartbeat could be detected-typically about six weeks into a pregnancy.
But even as the heartbeat bill gained traction, including the support of Gov. Bill Lee, some lawmakers grew cautious about the certain legal challenges-and the high cost- that would follow. The heartbeat measure has been deferred to a summer study session, effectively killing the bill this year.
On Tuesday, a majority of the House health committee voted in favor of the trigger bill, sending it to the House Finance, Ways and Means committee.

Tennessee could soon Ban Hand-Held Cell Phone Use while Driving

A bill banning most cell phone use while driving could soon be one of Tennessee’s new rules of the road.
The measure passed the State House in a close vote. The bipartisan bill, which is up for a vote in the Senate next week, will likely face similar circumstances there as well.
Tennessee ranks No. 1 in deaths due to distracted driving according analysis of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration.
The new bill would allow for hands-free devices to be used while driving. Violators would have to pay a $50-dollar fine if cited, but not right away. First-time offenders would be sent to driving school.

Motlow Top Performing Institution among all Colleges and Universities in The College System of Tennessee

Motlow State Community College is the top performing institution among all colleges and universities in The College System of Tennessee, according to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC).
The numbers affirming this recognition are a product of a review of the state’s higher education performance funding formula that was published this spring. Based on Motlow’s stellar performance, THEC recommended the college receive an increase of 16.6 percent for the 2019-2020 academic year in order to further its service to a growing number of students.
Tennessee’s higher education funding model was launched as part of a comprehensive reform agenda in 2010 called the Complete College Tennessee Act. The state’s formula accounts for 100 percent of taxpayer dollars spent to operate public colleges and universities. T

Coffee County School Board Special Called Meeting – April 22, 2019

1343 McArthur Street
Manchester, Tennessee 37355
Telephone: 931-723-5150 Facsimile: 931-723-8285
TO: All Board Members
FROM: Brett Henley, Chairman
SUBJECT: Special Called Meeting
DATE: April 22, 2019
TIME: 4:30 p.m.
PLACE: Coffee County Board of Education
I. Call to Order
II. Agenda Items
1. Appoint Interim Director of Schools
2. Request to video record the May 13, 2019 board meeting
3. 2019-2020 Budget
***This portion of the meeting is closed to the public***
I. Executive Session

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