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State Officials Visit Raider Academy

CCRA eventCoffee County Raider Academy recently hosted Tennessee Department of Education Assistant Commissioner, Dr. Vicki Kirk, and South Central Core Executive Director, Mr. Bill Byford. The CCRA goal of academic excellence for all students was evident as Dr. Kirk and Mr. Byford visited classrooms. “It was an honor for Dr. Kirk and Mr. Byford to visit CCRA. Our faculty and staff are committed to providing students a rigorous education, all while teaching students to become positive stewards of our world. I am proud of our students, faculty, and staff, and look forward to continued growth,” said Angela Gribble, Principal.

Motlow Students Perform Well in the Classroom

Motlow 3Motlow State Community College incoming freshmen who required remedial coursework achieved impressive results in their college-level courses in the Fall 2015 semester.
Almost 70 percent of Motlow incoming freshmen require remedial instruction in math, reading or writing. Prior to the fall 2015 semester, students had to complete remedial courses before enrolling in the associated introductory (gateway) college course. Consequently, very few of these students ever enrolled in, much less completed, gateway courses in math and English. Due to this lack of progression, less than 10 percent graduated.
Beginning in the fall 2015 semester, Motlow implemented a new remediation, or learning support, model. Students enrolled in remedial math also enrolled in gateway math during the same semester. Students enrolled in remedial writing also enrolled in gateway English. With the implementation of the new model, the remedial students’ success rate in the college-level math course nearly quadrupled, improving from 17 percent to 66 percent in one semester. The success rate of remedial reading and writing students in the college-level English course doubled. This success has resulted in hundreds more students completing gateway courses as compared to previous semesters.
Motlow looks to reap significant long-term benefits from the success of the remediation model as it impacts multiple funding formula success indicators such as student retention and graduation rates.

School Board continues Search for Director of Schools

city schoolsThe Manchester Board of Education is continuing to work through the process of hiring a new Director of Schools.
During a recent work session school board members used a grading system to help judge each applicant. Board member Lisa Gregory said she didn’t want the grading system to be the exclusive judge of who gets an interview.
The top ranking applicants were Jan Harris, of Huntsville; Sharon Harper of Chattanooga; William Childers, of Grundy County followed by Sharon Edwards.
The next school board meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 8.

CDC and TDH Wanting You to get your Flu Shot

Theflu2 Tennessee Department of Health has been advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that reports of influenza are increasing across the country. TDH officials are asking all Tennesseans who have not yet had their annual flu vaccine to do so immediately, helping to protect themselves and to prevent the spread of the illness to others. CDC and TDH also urge persons with flu-like illnesses who are at risk of severe illness with influenza due to some health conditions to seek care promptly to determine if treatment with influenza antiviral medications are needed. These health conditions include:

  • children aged younger than 2 years;
  • adults aged 65 years and older;
  • persons with chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular (except hypertension alone), renal, hepatic, hematological (including sickle cell disease), metabolic (including diabetes mellitus) or neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions (including disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve and muscle such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy [seizure disorders], stroke, intellectual disability [mental retardation], moderate to severe developmental delay, muscular dystrophy or spinal cord injury);
  • persons with immunosuppression, including that caused by medications or by HIV infection;
  • women who are pregnant or postpartum (within two weeks after delivery);
  • persons aged younger than 19 years who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy;
  • American Indians/Alaska Natives;
  • persons who are morbidly obese (i.e., body-mass index is equal to or greater than 40); and
  • Residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities.

The CDC estimates there were approximately 19 million influenza-associated visits to clinics and doctors’ offices in the 2014-2015 flu season and 970,000 hospitalizations.

Report Highlights Long-Term Cost of Smoking in TN

Smokers in Tennessee spend an average of $93,000 over their lifetime on their habit, which is less than in many other states. (placardmonceur/morguefile)

Smokers in Tennessee spend an average of $93,000 over their lifetime on their habit, which is less than in many other states. (placardmonceur/morguefile)

The average smoker in Tennessee will spend $93,000 dollars on his or her habit over a lifetime, according to new data from the personal-finance website WalletHub. Lifetime health-care costs are even higher, at $113,000, and tobacco-addiction specialist Donna Borowski said finding the motivation to quit comes down to very personal reasons. “One of my most favorite tools to use when coaching patients is get them to think about why it would even be important,” she said. “What they’re wanting for themselves around their health, around their future. It begins to gel a little bit more.” While lifetime costs of smoking sound high, the state actually has the seventh-lowest out-of-pocket costs, compared with the rest of the country. For example, New York residents spend more than double that over a lifetime. Much of the variance is attributed to different tobacco taxes between states. WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said Tennessee is not unlike its neighbors. “So there is still not a lot of taxes on cigarettes. The cost per pack is going to be a lot cheaper than some other states,” she said. “You’ll find that it’s really joined with some similar company here. Most of the top 10 states are all in the South.” For those who want to quit, Borowski said, taking a strategic approach can lead you toward success. “Why are you wanting it? And if we can ground you in that, then let’s talk about what your barriers are and what’s going to motivate you,” she said, “and then, let’s use the medicines – because they work.” Experts also advise smokers trying to quit to take it one day at a time, don’t carry cigarettes with you, and be aware of routine situations that might trigger your urge to smoke. The study is online at

New Ruling from Supreme Court could effect Parents

court2The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that parents have a constitutional right to be treated fairly during court proceedings in which they face losing their children but they cannot appeal termination orders on the grounds that their appointed attorneys were ineffective. In criminal cases, defendants have a right to a competent attorney. The court, in its opinion last week, said adopting the same standard in parental termination cases has the potential to drag out court cases for years and cause serious harm to children. Children cannot be adopted until the litigation is over. In its ruling, the court added additional safeguards in the appeals process to make sure that parental rights aren’t wrongfully severed.

Homecoming is Saturday at Motlow College

Motlow sportsMotlow State Community College will welcome students, alumni, friends and supporters to the Moore County campus on Saturday, Feb. 6, for the annual Homecoming celebration.
The Student Government Association sponsors the event, which commences at 1 p.m. in Nisbett Center. Homecoming activities are centered on the men’s and women’s basketball teams hosting Roane State Community College. The men’s game begins at 2 p.m. and the women’s game follows at 4 p.m.
Motlow student organizations have submitted nominations for homecoming king and queen, and the student body will vote during the week of homecoming. Mr. and Ms. Motlow representatives from the Moore County, Fayetteville, McMinnville, and Smyrna campuses will participate in the ceremony by crowning and sashing the king and queen.
The homecoming court will be presented during half-time of the men’s game, which will be approximately 2:45 p.m. David Weathers, a Motlow alumnus who had a very successful professional baseball career, will be inducted into the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association Hall of Fame in a ceremony between games at approximately 3:30 p.m. Weathers played at Motlow in 1987-88 and went on to a successful 19-year major league baseball career. His jersey was retired by Motlow in 2011.

Names of Fire Victims Announced

Fire takes two lives on Lloyd Boynton Road in the northern part of Coffee County... Photo by Barry West

Fire takes two lives on Lloyd Boynton Road in the northern part of Coffee County… Photo by Barry West

A deadly fire was reported just before midnight on Tuesday evening Jan 26, 2016 on Lloyd Boynton Road in the northern part of Coffee County.
Authorities have now released the names of the deceased, 65 year-old Brenda Joyce Clark and 62 year-old Evalardo “Joe” Ortiz. You can read funeral arrangements on our website.
All local volunteer fire departments were summoned to scene because when the emergency workers arrived on the scene the mobile home was fully engulfed.
The home and a vehicle were a total loss.
Coffee County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Billy Marcom says that authorities have not been able to determine the origin of the fire so the cause has yet to be established.

Woman Arrested for Counterfeiting

counterfeit3A Tullahoma resident was arrested Jan. 27 on a charge of criminal simulation or counterfeiting. Stacey Baker, 39, of Freeman Street was arrested after a fake $20 bill was passed at Krystal on North Jackson Street.
In a warrant obtained by Tullahoma Police Detective Johnny Gore states that information was gathered that she was the one who had been producing the bills. The warrant alleges that she admitted to producing the bills and gave officers copies of the bills that had been produced.
The warrant stated that Baker had produced several bills that have been passed recently in the Tullahoma area.
A police report states that Baker showed officers the computer and printer that she had been using to produce the bills and showed where several pieces of paper with copies of money on them were stored under a bed.
Her bond was set at $250,000.

Gas Prices Drop Slightly

gas prices 4Gas prices continue falling at a rate of a half cent a day, despite increases in the price of oil last week. Crude prices rose more than $3 last week, while the national average dropped 3 cents. Pump prices have fallen 25 out of the past 30 days. The current average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $1.61 in Tennessee.
“Motorists enjoyed the lowest gas prices for the month of January since 2009, largely due to crude oil supply outpacing demand,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group.
In Coffee County this week prices have dropped with Manchester falling to a low of $1.49 and Tullahoma’s low price is $1.52.

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