Blount County Chainsaw Massacre
Yes, I know this is what you are thinking, and you are almost correct.
No body parts found along HWY 321 or HWY 411, but an attack on free speech, personal property and free election campaigning by person(s) unknown, at least for now.
It appears that campaign signs posted by Blount County Commission candidate for the 7th District in Friendsville, Tona Monroe, displeased, to say it politely, someone enough to apparently take a chainsaw to the signs to remove the message.
County Commission candidate Monroe stated:
“I painted some signs, just simple hand-painted, nothing fancy, that said ‘Greene wheel tax you,’ and painted a tire on there just to remind the voters of my district that Greene supported the wheel tax,” Monroe said.
Greene was one of 13 commissioners who voted to hold a special election in June 2013 on whether to levy a $35 wheel tax on automobiles to help plug a shortfall in the county schools’ budget. It failed 8,885 to 4,087.
“It went over 3-1 against in the 7th District,” Monroe said. “In Friendsville in particular — 82 percent of voters voted against it. I thought that would be a very good campaign issue to focus on because he seems to be very much out of touch with what the citizens of the 7th District want, which is a strong fiscal conservative. He’s not been that. I will be a strong fiscal conservative who will focus on cutting waste rather than their family budgets.”
The Wheel Tax referendum which Monroe references has been shot down 3 times now, the latest vote last year which the Commission wasted $80,000 for the referendum vote. Some people may not want this waste of Blount County taxpayer money reminded to the voters.
The Blount County Tax Revolt issued a press release and has offered a $500 reward for information leading to the person who is responsible. Also, they have volunteered to donate 2 more signs for each that have been vandalized.
Media coverage of the event posted in the links below.
Tona Monroe keeps a watchful eye on wasteful spending in support of the Blount County taxpayers with her site Blount County Public Record.
By Chris Butler | Tennessee Watchdog
Universities not keeping good track of student loans, audit says
KNOXVILLE — If you’re a University of Tennessee at Knoxville student on financial aid, it’s possible you could quit going to class outright or even graduate and you would still qualify for that money.
An audit that Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson released last week said it will happen if school officials aren’t watching you carefully.
The audit also said it’s possible to attend another school in the University of Tennessee system, UT-Martin, and receive thousands of dollars in student aid even though your grades don’t measure up.
At UT-Knoxville, auditors took a sample of 40 student loan recipients and discovered that five of them likely already had left school. Other students might have started attending less than half the regular time, auditors said.
UT-Knoxville officials didn’t return Tennessee Watchdog’s request for comment Tuesday.
A list of quick facts on the school’s website didn’t say how many students overall accept financial aid.
“Student enrollment information is extremely important, because it is used to determine if the student is still considered in school, must be moved into repayment, or is eligible for an in-school deferment,” auditors wrote.
The website reports the school has a 66 percent graduation rate.
“For students moving into repayment, the out of school status effective date determines when the grace period begins and how soon a student must begin repaying loan funds.”
In a written response to auditors, UT-Knoxville officials said they would implement stronger standards. Auditors wrote they made similar findings at the school the previous academic year.
The samples were taken from the 2012-13 academic year, as were those for UT-Martin.
Auditors at UT-Martin sampled $392,582 in financial aid — out of a total $51.6 million given — and discovered two students received $18,527, even though they didn’t meet the university’s own minimum academic standards.
In a written response, UT-Martin officials said they concur with those findings, will implement stricter procedures and already have returned that money to the U.S. Department of Education.
UT-Martin spokesman Bud Grimes told Tennessee Watchdog the school has a six-year graduation rate of 46.5 percent.
Two individuals are responsible for handling the school’s student loan applications, Grimes said.
Last year, several students at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro told Tennessee Watchdog that student loans to attend any Tennessee college are extremely easy to acquire and sometimes given to students who aren’t college material.
Those loans don’t just burden students — to a degree, they also burden taxpayers.
University officials hire state employees to process those loans, said Tennessee Higher Education Commission spokesman Russ Deaton. The more student loans given, the more state employees are needed to process those loans.
Russ Deaton also said that if you process student loans at a Tennessee university you likely have the safest job on campus, even when college presidents make drastic cuts elsewhere.
Federal guidelines help see to that, Deaton said.
Such was the case during the most recent recession, when funding for Tennessee’s colleges and universities dropped, and more of higher education’s revenue came from tuition increases, he said.
“The student loan industry, as you can probably guess, has a lot of federal regulations and paperwork attached to it,” Deaton said when asked if these student loan processors, who are state employees, could ever face downsizing when money is tight.
“Most of those financial aid offices are already slammed and understaffed. I doubt that presidents would look there first.”
The U.S. government made $50 billion off student loans in 2012, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Deaton said campuses generally don’t do independent credit checks or risk analyses on students who apply.
Image credit: http://tennessee.watchdog.org
Hey, I am all for efficiency but this is highway robbery, pun intended. The tickets may be legitimate but when he role of local police officers, in this case from Jackson Tennessee, seemed to be reduced to working to produce revenue for the government entity verses protecting the welfare and safety of the population something is way wrong.
If this is police work I would think we could hire some kids at minimum wage to perform the duties and lighten the burden on the taxpayers.
You are a revenue source: New Technology Lets Cops (that’s 1 cop) Issue a Ticket Every 1.2 Minutes
Please explain to me how this little racket does anything to “serve” or “protect” the residents of Jackson Tennessee. I’m sure it generates a lot of money for the city though. The Sheriff of Nottingham did a similar thing back in the day.
Should we really have cops hiding in construction sites with super sensitive radar guns just trawling the local byways for speeders and bonuses?
Of course we shouldn’t. Almost everyone probably agrees that we shouldn’t. And yet somehow this sort of thing just keeps happening over and over and over.
(From The Free Thought Project)
“They’re talking about having officers blend in, put on a construction hats and blend in with a construction zone,” said Deputy Chief Barry Michael, Jackson Police Dept. “They’d be running radar but look like one of the regular construction workers…getting a citation maybe in the mail and maybe getting multiple citations will hopefully get people’s attention to slow down.”
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
About Nick Sorrentino
Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.
Blount County Tax Revolt Issues Endorsements for Local Primary Elections
Here are the endorsements for the May 6, 2014 local County Primary elections, along with a School Board endorsement for the August 7 primary.
We have endorsed the following candidates for:
County Commission Republican Primary:
District 1 Seat A: Archie Archer
District 1 Seat B: [no endorsement]
District 2 Seat A: Mike Akard
District 2 Seat B: Douglas Benton
District 3 Seat A: Sean Thompson
District 3 Seat B: Chipper Wyatt
District 4 Seat A: Linda King
District 4 Seat B: Karen Miller
District 4 Seat C: [no endorsement]
District 5 Seat A: [no endorsement]
District 5 Seat B: Wade Masters
District 6 Seat A: Thomas Cole
District 6 Seat B: [no endorsement]
District 7 Seat A: Troy Ball
District 7 Seat B: Tona Monroe
District 8 Seat A: [no endorsement]
District 8 Seat B: [candidate withdrew]
District 9 Seat A: [no endorsement]
District 9 Seat B: Steve Simon
District 10 Seat A: Jamie Daly*
District 10 Seat B: Larry Henry
County Commission Democrat Primary:
District 4 Seat A: Richard Neal Hutchens
General Sessions Judge:
Division 2: Kenlyn Foster
County School Board:
District 7: Stan Giles*
For other positions, please check back later. There is a chance there may be one more endorsement.
Don’t forget, early voting is April 16 through May 1. Election Day is May 6.
Click here for a printable list. You can print this and stick it to your fridge as a reminder,
or give copies to your neighbors. Here’s the URL for hand outs. http://blountcountytaxrevolt.com/
* Stan Giles was originally endorsed for District 10 seat A. He dropped out to run for School Board District 7. Our endorsement follows him, and we are supporting Jamie Daly for Seat A. The school board election will take place in August. I will update this with specific dates.
By Chris Butler
Audit: School employee used nearly $500,000 on iTunes, jewelry
A former Alcoa City School District employee who oversaw federal funds took nearly $500,000 in taxpayer money to use for herself, according to an audit Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson released Tuesday.
The former employee spent the money on her home mortgage, food, jewelry, clothing and iTunes songs, Wilson said. She even invested some of that money in a local gym, according to the audit.
Unlike many other state audits involving theft of taxpayer money, in which authorities already have indicted the accused government employee, officials haven’t arrested the employee yet, and they haven’t publicly identified her.
“Due to the fact that federal money is involved, this matter has been referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Knoxville,” said Cortney Dugger, spokesman for Tennessee Ninth Judicial District, in a statement to Tennessee Watchdog.
Dugger couldn’t say whether local or federal officials, or both, would prosecute the case, assuming an arrest is made.
Director of Schools Brian Bell didn’t return Tennessee Watchdog’s messages seeking comment Tuesday, and neither did anyone at Knoxville’s U.S. State Attorney’s Office.
According to the audit, the former school district employee, who assisted the school district’s federal projects administrator, diverted the half-million dollars from the district and two professional organizations — the Tennessee Attendance Supervisors Steering Committee and the East Tennessee Attendance Supervisors Association — where she served as treasurer .
The audit also said the school district reimbursed her for 70 work-related trips that she didn’t actually take.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation assisted with the investigation, which covered almost six years, comptroller spokesman Blake Fontenay said in a news release.
The audit also said the school district and the two professional organizations didn’t properly oversee how the employee spent taxpayer money.
On Friday the office of Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn issued the following press release regarding her renewed fight against FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules and introduction of H.R. 4070, the Internet Freedom Act.
Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chair Marsha Blackburn today renewed her fight to block the FCC’s efforts to implement new net neutrality rules. In response to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s announcement this week that the FCC would begin the process of rewriting the agency’s Net Neutrality rules, Blackburn has introduced H.R. 4070, the Internet Freedom Act of 2014.Congressman Blackburn’s legislation would block the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules from 2010 by stating they shall have no force or effect and prohibits the FCC from reissuing new Net Neutrality rules.
“In typical fashion, the Obama Administration is proving once again that they will stop at nothing to restrict our Internet freedom. Despite having their regulations rejected by a federal appeals court, Chairman Wheeler has decided to press forward with the effort to implement these overreaching rules.
“Net Neutrality is the Fairness Doctrine of the Internet. Once the FCC has a foothold into managing how internet service providers run their networks they will essentially be deciding which content goes first, second, third, or not at all. It’s time for Congress to slam the FCC’s regulatory back-door shut, lock it, and return the keys to the free market. My legislation will put the brakes on net neutrality and protect our innovators from these job-killing regulations.”
Earlier this year, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the FCC’s net neutrality rules, which were first proposed in 2010 by former Chairman Julius Genachowski. Congressman Blackburn has been leading the fight against the Obama Administration’s net neutrality rules and first introduced the Internet Freedom Act during the 112th Congress.
Also on Friday Rep. Blackburn appeared on Fox News to discuss the FCC’s efforts to control content over the broadcast airwaves and online, the First Amendment and Net Neutrality.
By The Associated Press Posted: Feb 18, 2014 6:39 PM ET | Last Updated: Feb 18, 2014 6:44 PM ET
Nun Megan Rice gets 3 years for Tennessee nuke plant break-in
Fellow activists Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli sentenced to more than 5 years
An 84-year-old nun has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison for breaking into and defacing a storage bunker holding bomb-grade uranium in a peace demonstration at a Tennessee weapons plant.
Megan Rice was sentenced Tuesday along with activists Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli. The men were sentenced to more than five years in prison.
The three activists cut through three fences on July 28, 2012, and reached a storage bunker that holds the nation’s primary supply of bomb-grade uranium.
They painted messages, hung banners and threw blood on the bunker wall.
While officials claimed there was never any danger of the protesters reaching materials that could be detonated or used to assemble a dirty bomb, the break-in raised serious questions about security.
As the latest winter storm moved across my region yesterday afternoon people were heading home, stopping to pick up any last minute supplies en route, waiting to see what the reality would bring come morning after a day of ever changing weather forecasts. Reality painted a beautiful winter landscape over night as shown below from a few quick photos taken this morning.
Last night many people, myself included, checked online to one of the local media websites to see what businesses would be closed due to the winter snow storm. A long list of city and county offices, schools, manufacturing facilities, day care centers and others were listed as expected. There are many factors that come into play, such as public safety, availability of employees due to travel conditions and school / day care closings, delayed delivery of supplies affecting manufacturing, rural routes that would make school bus travel impossible, plus everyone enjoys a snow day, which may be most applicable to the municipal closings.
When reading the updated local closings this morning, after taking time to enjoy the winter snowfall all around me, one thing is strikingly apparent. Money is never closed. Even in this day of online purchases and banking the brick and mortar locations will not let a winter snow storm interrupt transactions. The retail giants are open should anyone have been asleep the last few days and were not aware of the winter storm moving in. The financial institutions are listed as open, averaging a 1.5 ~ 2 hour delay. Not to worry, a bit of snow will not curtail your opportunity to help generate more profits for the banks. In contrast a Baptist church is listed as closed today. I am sure there is a moral to the story when winter weather closes a church but not a bank. I will let you ponder that one for awhile.
Hoping all drive safe, stay warm and enjoy the beautiful scenery before the sunshine turns today into another pretty memory.
Story behind The Prophets of Oak Ridge
Published by NextNewsNetwork
OAK RIDGE, TN | An 84-year-old nun in currently held in jail for damaging a nuclear facility operated by the U.S. military. The Judge in the case has ordered Sister Megan Rice and two other defendants arrested with her to pay $53,000 in restitution. Sentencing was delayed until February 18th, due to snow. Government prosecutors are calling for the three to each spend between five and nine years behind bars.
On July 28, 2012, three activists were arrested as they cut a fence at a nuclear facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. They splashed blood on warehouse, and used the substance to write passsages from the Bible on walls. Sister Rice was accompanied by Michael Walli, a worker at a daycare center, and Gregory Boertje-Obed.
The Y-12 National Security complex was the production site for uranium used in the 1945 Hiroshima bombing. That facility currently stores enough highly-enriched uranium to build 10,000 nuclear weapons.
The trio call themselves “Transform Now Plowshares.” This is a reference to a biblical passage, telling of a time when humans will beat their swords into plows. Government officials are doing their best to keep media away from the jailed activists.
Paul Magno is an activist from the Transform Now Plowshares Support Group. He is one of the few people who has regular contact with Rice and her cohorts.
Magno is our guest on the show today. We will talk about the actions of the three activists, as well as the motivations behind the illegal act. We will discuss current nuclear policy in the United States, as well as the possible future of Rice and her fellow activists.
Download your free Next News “Heroes & Villains” Poster here: http://nextnewsnetwork.com/the-2013-h…
Meet the Next News Team: http://youtu.be/2QnNKwQ2WkY
Tennessee Jailers Torture Restrained Inmate
Published by NextNewsNetwork
RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tennessee — A newly released video shows detention deputies at Tennessee’s Rutherford County Jail pepper-spraying a detained individual while he was locked into a restraint chair. The victim, who had been detained on a charge of “resisting,” put up no visible struggle. An officer identified as Deputy James Vandermeer can be seen inserting pepper spray into the gap in the “spit shield,” an appliance that covers the victim’s face. After the shield was removed ten minutes later, the inmate can be seen convulsing and crying for help for an hour and fifteen minutes. He never received medical attention. Vandermeer — who had previously been fired for a DUI arrest — claimed in his official report that the inmate had been “combative,” an assertion contradicted by the video evidence.
Download your free Next News “Heroes & Villains” Poster here: http://nextnewsnetwork.com/the-2013-h…
Meet the Next News Team: http://youtu.be/2QnNKwQ2WkY