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Guest View: Two mass shootings – Just another weekend in today’s America

It’s curious that in response to mass violence so many people struggle to find ways to put on a brave face, or to deflect the real issues.

In Dayton, Ohio, a common refrain this morning is that it could have been worse. A masked man in body armor carrying large-capacity magazines opened fire with a .223 caliber rifle on unsuspecting late-night partiers in a bar district, killing at least nine and wounding an additional two dozen or so. Because it is a popular nighttime gathering place, Dayton police conduct regular patrols and officers confronted and shot the gunman dead within a minute or so, officials said.

So yes, it could have been worse. The police could have been a few blocks farther away. The gunman could have been more efficient in wielding his rifle – make and style still unknown but we all know what kind of gun it was – and the body count could have been much higher.

Metro Creative Connection

That misses the point: There shouldn’t have been a body count at all.

In El Paso, the site of the previous outrageous attack some 12 hours earlier, local officials have pointed out that the alleged gunman who killed 20 people – 20! – and injured more than two dozen others was, in fact, a stranger in town, someone from away. As though that makes a difference to the dead and the wounded. As if Allen, Texas, where the suspected gunman lived, and El Paso are fundamentally somehow different. Are there currents of venality that course through one part of Texas and not another? One part of America and not another?

The gunman in Gilroy – three were killed there – was, in fact, a local and “very much a loner,” a neighbor says. It’s not yet known where the Dayton gunman hails from but it’s a good bet that his driver’s license lists an address somewhere in the general area.

In Virginia Beach, Va., in May, a man who had just resigned from his job in the city Public Utilities department showed up, killing 12. In February, another worker opened fire on his former colleagues in Aurora, Ill., killing five. In November, a former Marine shot up the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, killing a dozen people out for a night of country line dancing.

All local perpetrators. All men. All using firearms.

These aren’t strangers in our midst. These aren’t adherents to radical religious beliefs from the other side of the world. These aren’t agents of a foreign power.

This is us, killing us, with numbing regularity and in disgustingly high numbers.

Politicians, meanwhile, were falling over each other Sunday morning to get camera time on the cable news shows to express their shock and grief. Who can be shocked any more?

What should be shocking us is our political inaction in the case of relentless gun violence. These mass murders grab us by the collective collar and force us to confront the ugliness within society, the sickness within individuals, the cost of deferring to the gun lobby’s ludicrous control over gun laws.

Yet we change nothing.

As traumatic as these mass killings might be, they are just the dramatic tip of the iceberg. So far this year the Gun Violence Archive has recorded more than 8,734 people shot to death and more than 17,300 people wounded or otherwise injured in more than 33,000 incidents. And that doesn’t include firearm suicides, which occur far more often than homicides or accidental shooting deaths.

It’s a safe bet that few of those 33,000 shooters were from “away.”

Here are two tangential elements of last weekend’s mass murders. One of the highest-grossing movies of the weekend is “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” a Quentin Tarantino movie that ends in brutal violence. This isn’t to argue that Hollywood violence begets real world violence. When it comes to movies, art follows life, and a violent nation that turns to depictions of violence for entertainment is in dire need of a psychiatrist.

The second twist is that the killings in Dayton – a man with a motive, a deadly firearm, lots of ammunition and a crowded street – occurred just yards from a local bar that makes its own beer. The name? Toxic Brew.

These days, that says more about our country than “E Pluribus Unum.”

Scott Martelle wrote this column, which appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

IMPACThought: Have faith in God to meet our daily needs

The foundational teaching in the Holy Bible for all believers is simply stated, “…The just shall live by faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 11:39). The “just” are the individuals who have recognized their sinful, condemned position before an all holy God. By God’s grace, they repent and believe the gospel of Christ for the gift of eternal life.

As a child of the Living God, it is essential that we practice our faith every day. We are expected to trust God for every need. The writer of Hebrews reminds us that without faith, it is impossible to please Him. (Hebrews 11:6). Our faith must exceed an intellectual and emotional consent of the facts of Christ. Moreover, it must be a willful, habitual dependence on the provision of God. Our lives are filled with innumerable needs. We are a needy people; it is imperative that we remember that! Yet, we are often tempted to look to many places for assistance in satisfying those needs.

Submitted photo
Jon Shonebarger

Young Christians in their faith experience depend upon their employment, family, friends, credit cards/loans or even the lottery to meet their needs. We are never called upon to meet our own needs! We must learn and grow in grace and knowledge of Christ on our faith journey. Yes, it is the Lord who provides. His name is Jehovah-Jireh. He provides in His abundance, in His time. We MUST learn to eat straight from the hand of God!

A popular misquote of Scripture is the saying, “God helps those who help themselves.” Nonsense! The Bible never says that, nor implies our partnership with God in order to have our needs fulfilled. We are not in cahoots with The One who owns it all and provides it all. Almighty God alone is the sovereign Good Shepherd who feeds His flock and tends to their every need. He is the One who blesses.

Jesus is the all-sufficient Savior! The Scripture declares, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.” (2 Corinthians 3:5). Yes, He is our all sufficient Lord who meets every single need of our lives. The Apostle Paul declared from a prison dungeon, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19).

There are many Christian men and women who state they must take care of their families. Once again, this is faulty reasoning by these Christian fathers and mothers. Jesus taught His disciples that they must, “…seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33). Jesus, in other words, taught this foundational truth of faith – put me first in your life! Pursue godliness. Advance the kingdom through your service and sacrifice. Focus on the spiritual life of faith in Him and He will provide for your physical life.

“The just shall live by faith…” There is a decision every child of God needs to make. Who is the Lord of their life? Who are you depending on? Pride says it is you. Doubt says it is you. Worry says it is you. Fear says it is you. Selfishness says it is you. Christian, we must surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and fully trust Him. Let us pray to our benevolent Father in Heaven. Let us claim the promises of His preserved, inerrant Word. Let’s allow God to reveal His glory to His humble, seeking child. As we receive answers to prayer and our daily bread provided, let us praise His mighty name. God is faithful and worthy of our dependence.

Have a great week and remember, God loves you!

Contact Jon at jtshonebarger@gmail.com.

David Carroll: Alexa hasn’t gotten me lost – yet

I’m not the guy you go to when you need directions. As my wife will gladly testify, I have gotten lost in some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in America. If there’s a wrong turn to be made, I’ve traveled that road. The Clark Griswold character played by Chevy Chase in those Vacation movies may have been based on me.

I was too stubborn (and cheap) to buy a GPS when they first came out. About the time I started getting interested in one, my news photographer bragged that his GPS would lead us to a rural school I had never visited, an hour away from Chattanooga. It took us to a cow pasture, with no classrooms in sight.

David Carroll

Of course, GPS units have followed fax machines and typewriters into the Obscure Gadget Hall of Fame. Our smartphones and their various apps are more accurate than ever, and we can even choose the voice (and accent) that tells us where to go. One of my female co-workers chose a male voice with a sexy Australian accent. She sure drives a lot these days.

Gone are the days when you could pull over at the fillin’ station to ask a good ol’ boy with a chaw of tobacco how to find the Baptist church. “Over yonder a ways, jest past the holler,” he would say. Today he pulls out his Android and checks his Waze app.

Since we became accustomed to being ordered around while behind the wheel, those mysterious voices have invaded our homes. When I opened my Christmas present from my wife last year, an Amazon Echo featuring “Alexa” was included in the package I had never seen one, and certainly didn’t want one, but it was free, so why not?

Alexa, in case you don’t know, is the disembodied voice of the round little gadget, connected somehow to the Internet. She can answer all your questions, pay your bills, keep up with your appointments, and drive the kids to school. (Sometimes I throw in a little fake news to see if you’re paying attention.)

We plugged her in, and she soon became part of the family. I ask her the temperature (because it’s way too much trouble to turn my head and look at the thermometer), the TV schedule, and Cindy Crawford’s age. Why is this important? It’s really not, but that’s another story.

Even though Alexa is only supposed to react when called upon, (as in “Alexa, what time does Waffle House close?” The answer: “Never”), a friend tells me that Alexa listens even when you are unaware. She said, “One time I was cussing while watching a basketball game on TV and she told me my language was inappropriate.” My wife has expressed similar concerns about this potential eavesdropping, but I’m okay with it. If those nosy Russians are amused by me searching for lost remotes, I’m glad I can brighten their day.

Another friend sent me pics of the holiday outfits her sister makes for Alexa, decking her out in an Easter outfit, a Christmas sweater and a Halloween costume. I believe she sent the pics so I wouldn’t think her sister was crazy. Well, that strategy backfired.

Teachers have to be on alert with homework assignments, because even second graders are savvy enough to get Alexa to do their work for them. She knows ALL the answers.

I also heard from a friend who got Alexa for his 95-year-old mom, because she’s interested in weather. The next time he visited her, she asked him about the forecast. He said, “Mom, all you have to do is ask Alexa.” She replied, “Well, I don’t want to bother anyone.” He said, “Mom, it’s not a person, it’s a computer!” She paused and said, “Oh, there’s a person connected to it somewhere, and she might be busy.”

Finally, a word to the wise: although these chatty devices can be your friend, they can also embarrass you. For instance, your car’s driving directions app might speak up at an inappropriate moment.

This is a true story. A man was rushing to get to a funeral, listening carefully to the step-by-step directions on his phone, with the volume cranked up above the music. He arrived just in time to rush into the church as the preacher was beginning his eulogy about the dearly departed. The preacher solemnly asked, “When dear old Uncle Oswald entered those Pearly Gates, do you know what the Lord said to him?” There was just enough of a pause for my friend’s phone to loudly reply, “You have reached your final destination!”

David Carroll, a Chattanooga news anchor, is the author of “Volunteer Bama Dawg,” a collection of his best stories.  You may contact David at 900 Whitehall Road, Chattanooga, TN 37405, or 3dc@epbfi.com.

Guest View: Green New Deal’s price tag will be too high

Have an extra $2,000 you’d like to throw away?

That’s how much the Green New Deal could raise the average household’s annual electric bill, according to a new study from consulting firm Wood Mackenzie. Transitioning all power plants to clean energy – a central goal of the Green New Deal – would cost American consumers a staggering $4.7 trillion over the next two decades.

The Green New Deal isn’t a serious proposal. Renewable energy sources like solar and wind have their place. But eliminating fossil fuels wholesale would prove prohibitively expensive.

Fortunately, it’s possible to save the environment without destroying the economy.

Introduced by freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), the GND is nothing if not ambitious. The proposal seeks to transition the United States off fossil fuels, ideally within 10 years.

The plan has become a rallying cry for progressives. Numerous candidates running for the Democratic presidential nomination support it. But so far, proponents have mostly ignored the proposal’s cost.

Thanks to Wood Mackenzie’s findings, that’s no longer an option. As the study’s authors point out, the GND would require “a complete redesign of the power sector,” that, among other things, would entail an 11-fold increase in energy production from wind and solar. Such an overhaul would also demand 900 times more energy storage and 200,000 more miles of transmission infrastructure than we currently have.

The study doesn’t even attempt to measure the cost of the GND’s other, non-climate related reforms, like setting up a single-payer health care system or guaranteeing a job to every American. All told, the proposal could cost an incomprehensible $93 trillion – $600,000 per household – according to the American Action Forum.

Thankfully, we don’t have to rely on pie-in-the-sky proposals to combat climate change. Over the last few years, advances in drilling technology have unlocked a glut of clean-burning natural gas. Power plants have switched en masse to this fuel, which is considerably cheaper than dirtier energy sources like coal.

As a result, America recorded a historic drop in greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon dioxide emissions from power plants decreased by 19.3 percent between 2011 and 2017, thanks mostly to the natural gas boom.

The Green New Deal stands no chance of becoming law. Its provisions are already proving so politically toxic that even Sen. Markey, its lead sponsor, didn’t vote in favor when it came up for a roll call vote.

Accelerating the transition to natural gas, by contrast, is politically feasible. It doesn’t require any sacrifices at all – power plants are switching voluntarily to save money.

This lack of sacrifice is important. A new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows that almost 70 percent of Americans support aggressive action on climate change, but just one in three are willing to pay $100 or more in taxes to finance this action.

Of course, renewables can help reduce emissions too. According to the latest projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, however, energy sources such as wind, solar and hydropower will account for just 18 percent of America’s electricity production this year, and 20 percent in 2020.

An all-renewable future simply isn’t realistic in our lifetimes. A lower-emissions future is – thanks largely to cleaner-burning natural gas.

Drew Johnson is a Senior Fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research.

Nathan Miller: Parents hold key to successful school year

As school bells ring across Trousdale County signaling the beginning of another school year, it’s a good time for parents to consider what they might do to help their children have a good and successful school year.

Nathan Miller, director of the Cumberland Mental Center in Lebanon, an agency of Volunteer Behavioral Health Care, said there are a number of options and practices parents may do to insure that their child stays on a road to success during the school year despite issues that could disrupt or detour their progress.

Miller said the decisions a child may make at this stage in his or her life can many times have a lasting impact.

“Parents,” he said, “need to be mindful of this.”

He encouraged parents to know their kids’ friends, their habits, where they spend time outside of school and what they do for recreation or entertainment.

Parents need to be watchful for changes in behavior, periods of depression, frequent mood swings, periods of withdrawal, a variance in sleep habits and other signs that may be signals of excessive peer pressure, bullying, relationship issues, drug use, or other unstable or mental health concerns.

“It’s important,” Miller said, “to recognize these issues early and to seek professional help.”

To help provide for your child to have a good school year Volunteer Behavioral Health Care offers the following:

  • Set back to school sleep schedules to help get school routines back in order. Have and enforce regular sleep schedules for school days and weekends that ensure adequate sleep.
  • Encourage activities that take place after school (community volunteering, tutoring, athletics, etc.) to keep your kids active.
  • Encourage reading. (Less television, computer time, computer games.)
  • Try to show your kids how to plan and organize. Show them the importance of scheduling time for study, recreation, and time with friends and other activities. Teach them to know what is most important and to organize their “to do” lists with priorities in mind. A good tool for this could be a calendar or scheduler.
  • Have an understanding about limiting time to be spent watching television, playing screen games, chatting on the internet, or talking and texting on the cell phone.
  • Reserve time for family. Have specific times for family conversations on a regular basis.
  • Encourage a good healthy diet and frequent exercise.
  • Visit your child’s school. Meet with teachers. Ask what you might do to better prepare your child for his or her school work. Let the teacher know you are available and accessible if there is something you should know about your child’s progress in school. Provide your cell phone number and email address.
  • Don’t be timid to know what your child’s school assignments and homework are. Show you’re interested in their work. Ask for detail and explanations about what they’re studying.
  • Dedicate an area in your home that is reserved for homework and study where there won’t be interference with television or distractions.
  • Set good, attainable, reasonable goals. Goals could include hours dedicated to studying each day, a specific number of books to read, or an academic grade point average.
  • Have a reward system when goals are met, a trip to a NFL or favorite college game, a special dinner or desert, etc.
  • Always be positive and encouraging. Let them know you have confidence in them. That you believe they will succeed if they try.

Community Calendar: Aug. 8, 2019

POLICY: Information for the Community Calendar submitted in person, by mail or fax is due by noon Monday for publication. Items mailed should be typed or printed and sent to: Community Calendar, The Hartsville Vidette, 206 River St., Hartsville, TN 37074 or brought to the office during business hours. Free listing of nonprofit events, community club and government meetings. We reserve the right to reject or edit material. Include name and phone number in the event we have questions.

GOVERNMENT MEETINGS:

Monday, Aug. 12

7 p.m. – Planning Commission

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Planning Commission will meet in regular session in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

Tuesday, Aug. 13

4 p.m. – Board of Zoning Appeals

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Board of Zoning Appeals will meet in the courthouse.

6 p.m. – Election Commission

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Election Commission will meet in the office of the Administrator of Elections, 214 Broadway.

Thursday, Aug. 15

6 p.m. – School Board

The Hartsville/Trousdale County School Board will meet in the offices of the Board of Education, 103 Lock Six Road.

7 p.m. – Parks & Recreation Committee

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Parks & Recreation Committee will meet in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

Monday, Aug. 19

6 p.m. – Budget & Finance Committee

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Budget & Finance Committee will meet in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

7 p.m. – County Commission

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Commission will hold a special called meeting in the courthouse for the first reading of FY2020 budget resolutions and ordinances.

Tuesday, Aug. 20

7 p.m. – County Commission

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Commission will hold a special called meeting in the courthouse for the public hearing, second and third readings of FY2020 budget resolutions and ordinances.

Monday, Aug. 26

7 p.m. – County Commission

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Commission will hold its regular monthly meeting in the upstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

Tuesday, Aug. 27

10 a.m. – Emergency Communications District Board

The Trousdale County Emergency Communications District Board will hold a special called meeting in the sheriff’s station, 210 Broadway, to open sealed bids for a simulcast radio system.

5 p.m. – Water Board

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Water Board will hold its regular monthly meeting in the county mayor’s office.

OTHERS:

Celebrate Recovery

Celebrate Recovery holds weekly meetings at Hartsville’s Community Pregnancy Center at 7 p.m. each Tuesday.

Month of Sundays

All area Churches of Christ will host Sunday night services with fellowship meal afterwards through Aug. 25. Aug. 11 at Philippi Church of Christ, led by Morrison Street. Aug. 18 at Antioch, led by Hartsville. Aug. 25 at Morrison Street, led by Philippi. Please join us for great singing, sermons and loving fellowship!

Christmas for Kids Cake Walk

The Christmas for Kids Cake Walk will be held Saturday, Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. in the auditorium at Trousdale County High School. 25 cents per walk to support this great local cause! Call 615-450-5756 or 615-374-9503 for more information.

Homecoming

Smith Chapel AME Bethpage will celebrate its annual Homecoming on Sunday, Aug. 11. 11 a.m. speaker will be Rev. Fred Beasley, pastor of Smith Chapel. 2:30 p.m. guests will be Rev. Sean Cook and Key Stewart United Methodist Church of Gallatin. We invite everyone to come join us! Call William Fuqua, 615-812-5479, for more information.

Class of 1999 Reunion

TCHS Class of 1999 will hold a 20-year reunion at Sammy B’s restaurant in Lebanon on Saturday, Aug. 17, beginning at 6 p.m. Advance payment of $20 per person is needed by Aug. 1 for attendance.

Missionary Day

Williams Chapel Church will be celebrating its Missionary Day on Sunday, August 18 at 11 a.m. Our guest speaker will be Minister Shervonda Caples of Nashville. Everyone is cordially invited to worship with us!

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels is looking for volunteer drivers to deliver meals in Trousdale County one day a month to elderly clients outside Hartsville city limits. Call 615-374-3987.

American Legion

To all veterans, please consider joining the American Legion Post 56 of Trousdale County. We meet at the Ambulance Service office (across from Stagecoach market on Highway 141) at 8 a.m. on the second Saturday each month. We have a good crowd but always need more members to share their service experiences and help the people of Trousdale County. Contact Bill Painter (615-519-5033, billpainter37@yahoo.com) for more information.

Adult Education

FREE GED/HiSET CLASSES! The Adult Learning Center holds adult education classes each Wednesday at the middle school. Call 615-374-1131 to schedule an appointment.

TROUSDALE SENIOR CENTER:

Thursday, Aug. 8

8:30 a.m. – Trip to Mennonites (lunch at Griddle’s Country Cooking)

Friday, Aug. 9

9 a.m. – SAIL Exercise

10 a.m. – Tai Chi

11 a.m. – Yoga

Noon – Rook games

12:15 p.m. – SAIL Chair Exercise

Monday, Aug. 12

8:45 a.m. – Speaker Megan Lee, Library Director

9:30 a.m. – Wii Bowling

12:30 p.m. – Traveling Harts at Brooksdale Gallatin, Gallatin Ctr. Of Rehab

Tuesday, Aug. 13

9 a.m. – SAIL Exercise

10 a.m. – Yoga

11:30 a.m. – Mystery Lunch

Wednesday, Aug. 14

9 a.m. – Line Dancing

11 a.m. – SAIL Chair Exercise

Noon – Rook games

12:30 p.m. – Bible Study

Sheriff’s Reports: Aug. 8, 2019

Editor’s Note: The following are suspects booked in the Trousdale County jail during the specified timeframe. All persons charged are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

July 30

Trista Renee King, 27, of Bethpage, was charged with attachment by Deputy Jeffery Butcher. Bond was set for $1,000 and General Sessions court date was set for Sept. 12.

Jonathon Scott Brown, 47, of Westmoreland, was charged with criminal simulation, possession of stolen property, worthless check, reckless endangerment by THP Trooper Cothron. Bond was set for $4,500 and General Sessions court date was set for Sept. 13.

Jason Adam Ford, 25, of Hartsville, was charged with domestic assault by Deputy Jake Ayers. Ford was released on his own recognizance and General Sessions court date was set for Sept. 13.

Ericka McKenzie Baker, 18, of Carthage, was charged with probation violation by Deputy James Killmon. No bond was set and General Sessions court date was set for Aug. 19.

Aug. 1

Colin Demario Trimble, 26, of Carthage, was charged with failure to appear by Deputy Brad Basford. Bond was set for $3,000 and General Sessions court date was set for Aug. 9.

Austin Riley Berry, 24, of Hartsville, was charged with criminal trespass by Deputy Brad Basford. Bond was set for $1,000 and General Sessions court date was set for Aug. 23.

Tyler Wade Street, 31, of Hartsville, was charged with criminal trespass by Deputy Brad Basford. Bond was set for $1,000 and General Sessions court date was set for Aug. 23.

Aug. 3

Larry Gene Burnley, 62, of Hartsville, was charged with bond conditions violation by Deputy Jeffery Butcher. Bond was set for $3,000 and General Sessions court date was set for Aug. 9.

Natalya Danelle Jones, 31, of Lebanon, was charged with driving on suspended license by Deputy James Killmon. Jones was cited to court and General Sessions court date was set for Sept. 13.

Jacob Ray Thaxton, 19, of Hartsville, was charged with possession of alcohol under 21, contributing to delinquency of minor by Deputy Travis Blair. Thaxton was cited to court and General Sessions court date was set for Sept. 13.

Aug. 4

Gerald Dion Blair, 45, of Castalian Springs, was charged with failure to appear, harassment by Deputy Jeffery Butcher. No bond was set and General Sessions court date was set for Aug. 23.

Summer Backpack Program fills area need

Hartsville’s Summer Backpack Program completed its fourth year on Saturday with its annual cookout, at which school supplies, backpacks and shoes were distributed to around 60 Trousdale County children.

The Summer Backpack Program came about through cooperation between multiple community groups, including the school system, Hartsville Rotary Club, Church of the Firstborn and Hartsville United Methodist Church.

Submitted photo
Volunteers help pack food boxes as part of the Summer Backpack Program.

Each Saturday morning during the summer, volunteers gathered at the Church of the Firstborn to pack food boxes that were then distributed to families in need. Volunteers also delivered boxes each week to those unable to make it to the church for pickup.

The summer numbers were down somewhat in 2019, with an average of 40 to 50 boxes going out each Saturday. In 2018, that number was closer to 60 to 70 each week.

“I think we had a great crowd that came to our backpack program,” said Kathy Atwood, who helped organize the summer program. “It’s really important for our community to know how much we appreciate the support we receive for the program, both during the school year and the summer.”

During the school year, volunteers will pack food bags to be distributed to participating students each Friday.

“Most of the families work with are working or have had something happen where they couldn’t work any more,” Atwood said. “These families try hard and we just try to help them and our students have a good school year.”

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

Farm Bureau honors essay contest winners

Submitted photo

Pictured are the winners of Trousdale County Farm Bureau’s essay contest.

Fifth-grade students participated by writing an essay titled “Why is Agriculture Important?”

Winners from left were Dylan Kennedy, Jackson Arkle, Hunter Cothron (grand prize winner) and Abigail Parris. Not pictured is Kenidy Hatter.

Farm Bureau Women’s Committee representatives Mary Grace Gregory and Judy Woodard presented awards to the students.

Two women charged with smuggling items into CoreCivic prison

Two women were arrested in separate incidents last week at Hartsville’s CoreCivic prison and charged with attempting to introduce contraband into the facility.

On July 28, Kathy Darlene Johnson, 41, of Portland, was arrested by Trousdale County deputies after allegedly being spotted on video passing an object to a prisoner she was visiting.

Photos courtesy of Trousdale County Sheriff’s Department
Kathy Johnson

According to the arrest affidavit, staff at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center located the object, which was determined to be bags of heroin wrapped in electrical tape. There were reportedly 58 grams of heroin in the package.

Johnson was charged with introduction of Schedule I drugs into a penal facility, possession of Schedule I with intent to distribute and unlawful drug paraphernalia.

She was booked into the Trousdale County Jail and was released on $14,500 bond. Johnson is scheduled to appear in general sessions court on Aug. 23.

On July 24, Barbara Carter Green, 56, of Granville, was arrested and charged with introducing a phone into a penal facility and introducing drugs into a penal facility.

Green, who was employed at the prison, was taken into custody by officials of the Tennessee Department of Corrections and details of the charges were not immediately available.

CoreCivic spokesman Brandon Bissell issued the following statement:

Barbara Green

“On Wednesday, July 24, Correctional Officer Barbara Green was arrested for introduction of contraband into Trousdale Turner Correctional Center. The incident was immediately reported to Trousdale County Sheriff’s Office and our partners at the Tennessee Department of Correction. We are cooperating fully with the investigation and the arrested individual’s employment has been terminated.

“CoreCivic has a zero-tolerance policy for the introduction of contraband into our facilities and our actions in this matter reflect that.”

Green was booked into the Trousdale County Jail and released on $3,000 bond. She is also scheduled to appear in general sessions court on Aug. 23.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

Look Back: Oettel’s store was once one of Hartsville’s jewels

This month, we are going to look at some recent donations to our Historical Society Archives.

As always, we plead with people to never throw out old newspaper clippings, business records, photos and family documents. So often these things fill in a missing part of our local history and are just what we were looking for!

Our item this week is a small bit of memorabilia from a business that was an integral part of Hartsville for a half-century but is now gone – Oettel’s Jewelry Store.

A little background first.

Submitted photo
This small paper item is a reminder of one of Hartsville’s most popular businesses in the late 1900s – Oettel’s Jewelry. Many a married couple got their wedding rings from this family-owned store on Main Street.

Mr. Albert Oettel was born a long way from Trousdale County: he was from Wisconsin!

In fact, it took a war to get him to the sunny South!

As America mobilized for World War II, a young Al Oettel enlisted in the United States Army. He took his basic training in California and Oklahoma. Then like so many young men in 1942, he was sent to Middle Tennessee to take part in “the maneuvers.”

The maneuvers were a very large training exercise that involved a dozen Middle Tennessee counties, including Trousdale! As young soldiers hiked, camped, learned to drive tanks and cross rivers in pontoon boats and even parachuted into local fields and farms, they also met local beauties and fell in love.

So it was that Al Oettle met and fell in love with Athalene Mai Carter. She was from Smith County originally and was working at the munitions plant in Old Hickory when they met.

After the war, which included Al’s being in the Battle of the Bulge and the taking of Ludendorf Bridge, the couple married.

Al and Athalene moved to Kansas City, where he attended the Kansas City School of Watchmaking. He also studied jewelry repair.

In 1947 Mr. and Mrs. Oettle moved to Hartsville, where Al opened up Oettle’s Jewelry, offering the latest in watches and jewelry, including wedding rings.

Most people will remember Oettel’s in its location on Broadway. For a few years it was in the downstairs of the old skating rink building and after a fire in 1984, it moved to its last location on Main Street just down from the Post Office.

Al and Athalene’s daughter, Connie, joined her father in the business, first as a helper then as a partner, and then she ran it herself after his retirement.

In 1982, Connie wrote a history of the store for The Vidette recounting how things had changed over the years. In 1945, you could buy a nice diamond ring for $500. Gold was worth $37 an ounce. And people would charge their purchases and pay their bills when their tobacco sold!

Connie recalled the funny things that men would say when trying to pick out the perfect ring for their girlfriends.

She also told the story about a man who bought his wife a diamond Bulova watch for Christmas. Around the same time, a young man bought one for his mother. And then right before the holiday, a lady came in and picked out and paid for a diamond Bulova for herself because she was sure her husband wouldn’t buy her one and she knew what she wanted for Christmas.

It turned out that all three watches were for the same person!

Refunds were made and the watches sold to other people in time for Santa, but the Oettel family got a laugh out of that shopping spree!

Which reminds us of the item we received for our archives and museum.

It is a small item, folded and colorful, with “My Wish List” on the front. Unfolded, as you see in this week’s picture, it says, “All I want for” and here the person fills in the blank with a holiday or birthday, then the word “is” followed by another blank and finished with “and I saw it at 106 West Main St., Hartsville.” At the bottom, in large letters is “Oettel’s Jewelry.”

These were handed out to potential customers, who could fill them out and lay them about the house for a spouse or parent or sweetheart to see.

Sounds like clever merchandising to me!

Today, we can go online and see if a person has a wish list at Walmart or Amazon. Al and Connie Oettel were ahead of the game there!

The competition of big-name stores and the allure of shopping at a big-city mall drove a lot of Hartsville stores into closing. Sadly, Oettel’s Jewelry was one of them.

We miss the small-town charm of shopping with your neighbors, walking from store to store during the holidays and the smiles and friendly hellos from people like Al Oettel and Connie. But their memory lingers on, thanks to this donation to our Historical Society.

Jack McCall: Growing older, but not before I have lived

You might say I am a big fan of the Nashville Symphony. I especially enjoy the symphony pops series.

Over the years I have enjoyed appearances by Tony Bennett, Dionne Warwick, Jose

Feliciano, Martina McBride, Riders in the Sky and John McDermott, just to name a few who have performed with the pops.

The Schermerhorn Symphony Center is one of the premier symphony concert halls in all of America. If you have a chance to attend any performance there you are in for a treat. As they say, “There’s not a bad seat in the house.”

Across the Miles
Jack McCall

When I learned that Johnny Rivers was performing with the pops, I marked my calendar. The night he came to town my wife, Kathy, and I took in the pops.

The week before, I was having a conversation with one of my son’s friends. I casually mentioned to him that I was going to see Johnny Rivers perform with the pops at the Schermerhorn next week. He gave me that furrowed brow, strange-eyed look that asked, “Who is Johnny Rivers?”

“You’ve never heard of Johnny Rivers?” I asked.

He shrugged his shoulders and gave me that strange-eyed look again. His reaction gave me pause to crunch a few numbers. I began by noting my son’s friend is 38 years old.

Johnny Rivers had major hit songs in the 1960s.

I would be reminded at the concert that Mr. Rivers’ career was at its zenith when a British band called The Beatles came on the scene in 1964. His was one of the few American music acts that didn’t immediately go into a downward spiral because of the British group’s popularity.

When I arrived early at the Schermerhorn, I was almost giddy with excitement. We took our seats in the balcony and watched the people as they began to file in. It soon became obvious to me that most of the ones attending this event had grey hair.

I further noted that a few were using walkers to get around. And many were having a little trouble negotiating the steps in the balcony. Then I had the thought, “This is an older crowd.” I had another thought: “I’m just one of the younger, old ones.”

I would realize later as Mr. Rivers did a few modified dance steps on stage and “played a guitar like ringing a bell” that he was all of 78 years old. He teased the audience by saying, “I know some of you came just to see how old I looked.”

Ever since I turned 55 and started on what I call “the downhill side of 50,” I have been giving more thought to the reality of growing old.

So when do we really become “old?” I’ve recently met some people in their fifties whom I considered old – really old. At the same time I’ve had the privilege lately of meeting three individuals in their nineties whom I would consider young. Maybe we could all take a lesson from Caleb in the Old Testament. Read Joshua 14:7-14.

In a world system that places so much emphasis on youth, I can’t help but believe that aging saints comprise one of the greatest earthly assets in the kingdom of God. There is a wisdom that comes with the accumulated experience of many years, especially in the area of prayer. Effectual prayer is a skill honed by practice over many years. Our greatest prayer warriors should be those of the graying hair. We must never underestimate our value in the kingdom’s work.

I have always treasured Robert Frost’s poem, “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening.” One stanza reads:

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.”

May we as God’s aging children rededicate ourselves to accomplishing much in the miles we have to go before we sleep.

And along the way, I’m going to take in a few more concerts.

Learn about Chamber activities at annual banquet

The Hartsville-Trousdale Chamber of Commerce will be holding its annual Celebration and Recognition Banquet on Tuesday, Aug. 6, at noon in the Community Center, 301 E. Main Street.

This event is open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend. It is a great opportunity to learn about the Chamber’s activities this past year and get a preview of what the Chamber has planned for 2019-2020, and the great ways you can become involved!

Natalie Knudsen

Your Chamber sponsors numerous events supporting education in the community including Career Day, mentors for Tennessee Promise and the Little Free Library. The Chamber works to promote businesses through Open House Shopping Days, ribbon cuttings, business profiles, local speakers at our monthly Chamber meetings, one-on-one counseling through the Tennessee Small Business Development Centers and promotion through our new website. Our community outreach efforts include the Community Thanksgiving Celebration and Meal, Christmas at the Courthouse and Parade, Music in the Park and a new project to celebrate Trousdale County football.

Individually the members of our Board of Directors serve in numerous organizations and support their activities, in addition to their duties on the Board.

We also recognize several important groups and individuals in our community at the meeting including Business of the Year, Citizen or Volunteer of the Year, Civic Group of the Year, Government Official of the Year and Best Looking Business.

This is also a chance to learn more about the Board of Directors for your Chamber. Our retiring board members are honored and our new members are introduced.

Along with the business part of the celebration, we feature drawings for numerous door prizes from local businesses as well as a live auction for our special items. All proceeds from the auction go to fund the work of the Chamber in your community.

And let’s not forget lunch! Pork chops, hash brown casserole, green salad and cut fruit will be catered by Piggly Wiggly with a dessert buffet provided by the Board of Directors. Lunch is available for $10 but you are welcome to attend the meeting without purchasing lunch.

Speaking of celebrating and fun, please take time to attend the Trousdale County Fair from Aug. 8-10. There will be a great lineup of fun and entertainment for everyone. Please visit the Fair’s new website for more information at trousdalecountyfair.org.

In the past several weeks, we’ve been looking at the appearance of Hartsville and simple things we can do to improve. Today, I’d like to talk a little about Broadway.

Most of the time, I’m keeping my eyes on the road while my mind is thinking of a million other things. However, riding on the horse-drawn wagon in parades definitely gives you a new perspective heading down Broadway.

Broadway is a well-traveled route for visitors and locals and it offers both the best – and the worst – of Hartsville’s appearance. We have several well-kept appealing businesses and a beautiful new fire station mixed in with poorly kept rentals, empty buildings and dirty parking lots. I hope readers will send practical, low-cost ideas on how we can improve this area’s appearance.

Lamar Alexander: Budget agreement isn’t perfect, but necessary

The United States is experiencing robust economic growth.

Over six million new jobs have been created since President Trump was elected. The unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in nearly 50 years, at 3.7 percent.  Our country’s gross domestic product (GDP) was projected to be 1.9 percent over the next 10 years, but thanks in large part to the first major tax reform in 31 years, GDP is now 3.1 percent.

Higher GDP and lower unemployment leads to higher family incomes, more revenues for the federal government, and better jobs.

And last week, President Trump and congressional leadership announced a two-year budget agreement that supports our military and benefits Tennessee.

What this new two-year agreement does is important.

Lamar Alexander

First, it suspends the debt limit — the amount that the United States can borrow – in order to avoid a global financial crisis.

Second, it raises the defense and non-defense discretionary budget caps — or the amount of money that the appropriations committee can spend on our national defense, our veterans, national laboratories, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory, biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health, and national parks, including the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

There has been a lot of chest beating about how this budget agreement adds to the deficit, and it is appropriate to be concerned about the deficit.

But what’s inappropriate is blaming our $22 trillion national debt on funding for our national defense, national parks and national laboratories. The problem is mandatory spending on entitlements, including Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Discretionary spending — which is the type of spending in this budget agreement — was only 31 percent of all the money the federal government spent in 2018. This type of spending is under control. According to the Congressional Budget Office, discretionary spending has risen at about the rate of inflation the past 10 years, and is projected to continue to rise at about the rate of inflation over the next 10 years.

The real driver of our out-of-control federal debt is mandatory or entitlement spending.

Over the next 10 years, mandatory spending, including the interest on the debt, will increase from 69 percent of total federal spending to 78 percent, while discretionary spending will decrease from 31 percent of total federal spending to about 22 percent.

Congress cannot balance the budget with cuts to discretionary spending. We should consider a plan like the Fiscal Sustainability Act, which former Senator Bob Corker and I introduced, to reduce the growth of entitlement spending by nearly $1 trillion over 10 years.

I urged my colleagues this week to support this new two-year budget agreement, and to those who are worried about the federal debt as much as I am, I encourage them to remember that our spending problems come from Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and entitlements, not national defense, our national parks, and the many other important priorities that are funded in this bill.

Lamar Alexander (R-Maryville) represents Tennessee in the U.S. Senate.

Guest View: Trump administration misses chance to lower drug costs

The Trump administration recently axed a proposal that would have saved American patients billions of dollars by requiring insurers to share discounts they negotiate with drug companies directly with patients.

The proposed rule would have changed Medicare Part D, which provides prescription drug coverage to more than 40 million elderly Americans. Part D plans are administered by private insurers who receive government subsidies.

Insurers employ “pharmacy benefit managers” to design their drug benefits. PBMs negotiate with drug companies to determine which drugs a plan will cover.

The three biggest PBMs handle 70 percent of all prescriptions filled in the United States. Just last year, drug makers gave out $166 billion in discounts and rebates.

However, these discounts don’t make their way into patients’ pockets. PBMs keep some of the rebates for themselves – and pass the bulk of the savings to insurers, who use them to reduce premiums for all beneficiaries.

Lower premiums are great. But this system puts the sickest patients at a disadvantage.

Patients who have chronic diseases often need multiple medications to manage their conditions. Regardless of how low their premiums are, they face co-pays or coinsurance whenever they fill a prescription.

Imagine a blood thinner with a $300 list price. An insurer may acquire that drug for $150, thanks to a 50 percent discount negotiated by its PBM. But the insurer wouldn’t let patients know about that discount. Instead, it would charge them coinsurance or a co-pay based on the $300 list price. If that coinsurance is 30 percent – a not uncommon rate – then patients would pay $90 out-of-pocket.

By contrast, if patients’ coinsurance were based on the discounted price – what the insurer actually pays for the drug – their cost-sharing would be just $45.

In other words, this system all but guarantees that Americans overpay for drugs.

Had the rule taken effect, it would have reduced patients’ out-of-pocket burden and made drugs more accessible. By one estimate, patients could have saved around $57 billion over the next decade.

These savings would have been good for people’s health. High out-of-pocket costs frequently cause people to stop taking their medicines as prescribed. This phenomenon, called “medication non-adherence,” is responsible for 125,000 American deaths annually.

Now that the Trump administration has killed this sensible reform, patients may never see these savings. That’s a shame.

President Trump promised Americans he was “going to get prescription drug prices way down.” Unfortunately, it seems like the status quo has triumphed over patients once again.

Sally C. Pipes is President, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy at the Pacific Research Institute. Her latest book is The False Promise of Single-Payer Health Care (Encounter 2018). Follow her on Twitter @sallypipes.

Glenn Mollette: How much social media is too much?

Social media is just like Mom’s apple pie; it’s not good to eat a whole pie every day.

Over 3 billion people are social media users worldwide. While social media helps keep the world connected, social media addiction is becoming a global problem that keeps growing. As of 2018, one third of the global population used social media.

Internet and social media addictions continue to grow as our dependence on technology increases. Over 210 million people suffer from Internet and social media addictions worldwide.

A 2018 study found that teens who spend 5 hours per day using their phones were almost twice as likely to exhibit depressive symptoms than counterparts who dedicated only one hour on their phones. The relationship between excessive mobile use and depression appears to be strongly inked to gender with 58 percent more females than males experiencing depressive symptoms. A recent study containing over 23,500 participants between the ages of 16 and 88 found that being a young single female was most strongly associated with displaying addictive social media behavior. Addictive social media behavior was also strongly related to narcissistic personality traits and low self-esteem.

Social media addiction doesn’t just affect behavior during the day; it even damages the ability to sleep. A study found that 71 percent of Americans sleep with or next to a mobile device. Some 47 million people in America do not get enough sleep and 55 percent more teens were sleep deprived in 2015 than in 1991. Exposure to screens before bed is a large factor in exacerbating sleep disorders. Thirty-five percent of people using phones less than average experienced sleep difficulty compared to 42 percent of those with average or above average phone usage.  Forty-five percent of people check social media instead of sleeping and roughly 10 percent of teens check their phones more ten 10 times per night.

Fifty percent of people driving are checking social media. Ninety percent of drivers admit to using smartphones behind the wheel. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that each day nine people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured as a result of smartphone use while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teens are the largest group reported for distracted driving.

Over 240 million Americans check Facebook daily, or 74 percent of all Americans. The majority of Americans use Facebook and most users check the app daily. Approximately 68 percent of Americans have an account and 51 percent report checking Facebook several times daily.

Question – is it possible you might accomplish more of what you want and need to do if you would spend less time on social media? Another question – Is social media making you a better and happier person?

Is it possible you should cut back on your daily portion of social media?

Contact Glenn Mollette at GMollette@aol.com.

IMPACThought: Live a life of purpose, without regrets

Every believer in Jesus Christ is looking forward to the day when they see their Saviour, face to face. The moment they cross over from this temporal world, into eternity. Heaven awaits each person who has been saved by the grace of God, by faith in the crucified, risen Christ. As you come before the Lamb of God, you can only imagine what that precious moment will be like!

It is a provocative thought for a Christian: What will you do when you see your Saviour that day? Will you humbly fall at His feet in worship? Will you run to embrace Him? Will you shed tears of joy? Will you stand immobilized, amazed in His presence? Will you utter words of thanks and praise when you see your Lord and your God? Oh, what a moment!

The Book of Revelation, Chapter 1, verses 13-15, describes what the risen, glorified Jesus Christ looks like: “…the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes were as a flame of fire; And His feet like unto fine brass as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.”

Submitted photo
Jon Shonebarger

It is important to point out that most artists’ depiction of Jesus Christ does not match the Biblical revelation of His genuine appearance! Here, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is presented in His glory. I would encourage every believer, as you bow and pray, to visualize by the mind’s eye of faith, this image of Christ. Indeed, this is the One to whom we bow and worship. This is who you will meet as you enter the gates of Heaven!

The wonderful revelation of Heaven is that we will forever be with the Lord. The song “Amazing Grace” says, “When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun; we’ve no less days, to sing God’s praise, than when we’ve first begun!” (John Newton).

As we enter heaven, we will behold the throne of God and of the Lamb, with the river that flows from the throne. We will see the Tree of Life which yields her fruit every month. There will be no more sin (curse). We will serve Jesus and His name will be written on our foreheads. There will be no more night or light from the sun because the Lord God gives light to each one of His children.

The child of God is promised to reign with Christ forever and ever. Jesus assures the reader of Revelation 22, that these sayings are faithful and true; they will shortly come to pass. Jesus declares, “Behold, I come quickly!” We are promised blessing as we keep the sayings of the prophecy of the Book of Revelation.

The certainty of Jesus’ words should stir our souls. His words are faithful. His words are true. He has promised that He is coming quickly. What are we doing in preparation of seeing our Saviour face to face? What unfinished business do we have in our lives? Which loved ones still need a relationship with Christ before it is eternally too late? What works will we present to Christ as a testimony of our life’s service to Him? What crowns will we receive for being a good and faithful servant, entering into the joy of our salvation?

The greatest burden of the soul is regrets. While the child of God is assured eternal life by their faith in Christ, a life with unmet opportunities burdens a soul. We must live a Christian life of purpose, striving every day to live for Jesus and to work in His vineyard. Our life of purpose produces fruit that will remain long after we are gone. The fruit we produce in Christ will grow His Kingdom and impact others for all eternity.

We must labor for our Master while we still have opportunity. Our lives and time, are drawing to a rapid close. We must work while it is still daytime! What a blessed hope awaits us! Let us live in expectation of seeing Jesus.

Have a great week and remember, Jesus loves you.

Contact Jon at jtshonebarger@gmail.com.

David Carroll: No silencing me over mail-in rebates

I’m still waiting for my latest mail-in rebate. Unlike many American consumers, I’m watching this one like a hawk.

I’ve saved my store receipt, my rebate receipt, and all of the instructions, and I’ve copied each one. The dishwasher manufacturer and the big-box store that sold me the dishwasher are gambling that I’ll forget about it. But I’ll show them.

First, a little history. About 15 years ago, I made a decision I soon came to regret. We needed a dishwasher. I could either spend a lot of money and get a quiet one, or I could spend far less money and get one… well, not as quiet. Against my wife’s wishes, I opted to go cheap. I mean, how much louder could it be?

David Carroll

Well, let me put it this way. If neighbors look toward the sky, wondering why a 747 is flying over your home – you might have a loud dishwasher.

For 15 years, our TV viewing, our meals and even our sleep have been interrupted by the monster in the kitchen. It sits there, grinding away, water splashing, dishes crashing and loud slurping noises that sound like the Tasmanian Devil is snorting the supply from the Tennessee River.

It would usually hold back its loudest belches for the most dramatic pauses on our favorite shows. “Doctor, did the results come back?” “Yes, and you’ll want to listen carefully. We’ve never seen anything like this. We can say with 100 percent certainty that John is going to… ROARRRR…” Yes, that’s been life with our low-priced, thunderous dishwasher.

But like all cheap machines, it had an expiration date. That dishwasher served up its last loud volcanic eruption a few weeks ago. Unlike the loss of some household appliances, there were no tears, and no sadness in our home. Instead my wife laid down the law, as wives can do so well. “This time,” she said in tones that would have drowned out the old dishwasher, “we’re getting a quiet one!” Just before ducking a potential flying frying pan, I said charmingly, “Yeah, like I wanted all along.” I should have ducked a wee bit lower.

So on the next trip to the big-box store, my orders were clear: get the quietest dishwasher on the floor. Our friendly salesperson pointed to the most expensive one of course, assuring me it wouldn’t rouse a mouse. But, lucky me! For a limited time only (probably through 2023) I would get a $100 rebate!

Well, I’m supposed to anyway. I was handed a series of cash register receipts with rocket-scientist level instructions on how to apply for a mail-in rebate. Laid end-to-end, they would reach the Canadian border. After following step-by-step rules on what to fill out, which receipts to send, and how to lick the stamp, I was to send this bulging envelope to a small Texas town that probably has 37 post office boxes. Yet the intentionally confusing address was something like “Big Box Store Summer Dishwasher Beyonce Lava Lamp Gluten-Free Promotion, PO Box 4893659275692, Tiny Town, Texas 5745345-563463.

Obviously, now that I’ve paid full price for the dishwasher, they do everything they can to discourage me from actually sending in the rebate form. There’s a reason they didn’t just knock $100 off at the checkout counter.

They’re betting that I will look at the multiple receipts, the confusing instructions and the complicated address, and then throw up my hands and say, “I’ll do this later!” Or they’re hoping I’ll misplace the paperwork. Either way, they’re betting I’ll never get around to it. Surveys show 50-70 percent of us never send in for the rebate. The company sold the dishwasher at full price, so they’re happy.

And wouldn’t it be a shame if I failed to remember one of those detailed instructions, or missed a number on that lengthy address? If I do anything wrong, they’re more than happy to send a card with this message: “Your rebate submission was incomplete, or incorrect. We are unable to process your request.”

Having been burned before, I took extra time and caution to do everything just right, and made copies of it all. Several weeks passed, with no response, and no way to track my rebate online, although their website said I could do that 10 days after the purchase. So, I went back to the store, and a nice lady made a few phone calls and learned that yes, my rebate request had been received, “and was being processed.”

Several more weeks have passed, and their website says my rebate is still being processed. I’m sure they’re thinking, “He’ll forget about it,” but I won’t. If I have to, I will drive directly to Tiny Town, Texas to claim my hundred bucks.

In the meantime, I got one thing right. I now have a quiet dishwasher. It may be running now, I can’t say for sure.

David Carroll, a Chattanooga based news anchor, is the author of “Volunteer Bama Dawg,” a collection of his most popular columns.  You may contact David at 900 Whitehall Road, Chattanooga, TN 37405 or 3dc@epbfi.com.

Trousdale sees local sales tax receipts boost in June

Trousdale County saw an 8 percent jump in local sales tax collections in June, according to figures released by the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration.

Trousdale County collected $307,554.04 in state sales tax and $103,530.61 in local sales tax in June. Both were up respectively from $286,850.51 (up 7.21 percent) and $95,736.52 (up 8.14 percent) in June 2018.

Trousdale County also collected $13,211 in income tax in June, as well as $32,862.69 in motor vehicle tax, $24,882.34 in realty transfer & mortgage tax and $1,712.18 in business tax.

Commissioner Stuart McWhorter announced that overall June revenues in Tennessee were $1.6 billion, which is $92.5 million more than the state budgeted.

“Total revenues in June were notably higher than expected and continue to confirm the strength of the Tennessee economy,” McWhorter said in a press statement. “Eighty percent of the tax growth for this month compared to June 2018 was from combined sales tax and franchise and excise tax receipts. All other tax revenues, taken as a group, were also more than the June estimates.

“With one revenue reporting month remaining in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the state should outperform the revenue estimates set for the year.”

On an accrual basis, June is the 11th month in the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

Sales tax revenues were $35.1 million more than the estimate for June and they were 8.18 percent more than June 2018.

Year-to-date revenues for 11 months were $649.2 million more than the budgeted estimate. The general fund recorded $589.7 million more than budgeted estimates and the four other funds $59.5 million.

The budgeted revenue estimates for 2018-2019 are based on the State Funding Board’s consensus recommendation of Nov. 27, 2017 and adopted by the second session of the 110th General Assembly in May 2018. Also incorporated in the estimates are any changes in revenue enacted during the 2018 session of the General Assembly. These estimates are available on the state’s website at tn.gov/content/tn/finance/fa/fa-budget-information/fa-budget-rev.html.

Rose-backed robocall bill passes U.S. House

Last week, the “Stopping Bad Robocalls Act,” which Congressman John Rose cosponsored, obtained final passage in the U.S. House to end the frustrating, deceitful, and oftentimes harmful calls which plague Tennesseans and folks across the country.

John Rose

“In this day and age, all of us know far too well how frustrating and constant robocalls have become,” said Congressman Rose in a press statement. “While we all share great frustration with these calls, it is important to remember the many seniors and other vulnerable groups who have fallen victim to the deceitful financial scams, among other harms. The bad actors driving these calls are actively using loopholes and evading the law to increase their bottom line. It is time to require rulemaking by the FCC to stop these bad actors. Americans are asking for the peace, protection, and privacy this legislation aims to bring, and I am proud to have cosponsored this bill to finally stop this nonsense.”

H.R.3375 requires the FCC to prioritize consumer privacy, mandates consumer consent to receive robocalls, requires carriers verify caller ID listings, and designs the framework necessary for the FCC to hold bad actors accountable. The bill was introduced on June 20, 2019, and passed out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on July 17, 2019. The bill obtained final passage on July 24, 2019, with strong bipartisan support (429-3). Congressman Rose cosponsored the legislation, along with his Tennessee colleagues Congressmen Roe, Burchett, Kustoff, Cooper, and Cohen.

Rose represents Tennessee’s Sixth Congressional District and resides in Cookeville with his wife, Chelsea, and their son, Guy. The Sixth District includes Cannon, Clay, Coffee, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Robertson, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, White, and Wilson counties as well as portions of Cheatham and Van Buren counties.