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TBI AGENTS ARREST, CHARGE MURFREESBORO MAN IN ELDERLY WOMAN’S MURDER

NASHVILLE – Special Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have arrested and charged a Murfreesboro man in connection to the murder of his neighbor.

TBI Special Agents began investigating the death of Lois Jean Espy on Monday, February 23rd, the same date deputies from the Bedford County Sheriff’s Department found the body of the 86-year-old woman on Mullins Mill Road. During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information which led to her neighbor, William Russell Brace, as the individual responsible for Espy’s death in her Murfreesboro apartment on or around February 22nd, as well as the subsequent placement of her body in Bedford County.

This morning, Agents arrested and charged Brace with one count of First Degree Murder. At the time of this release, the 60-year-old Murfreesboro man was being held in the Rutherford County Jail without bond. The investigation into the circumstances surrounding Espy’s death continues, with the cooperation of the Bedford County Sheriff’s Department and the Murfreesboro Police Department.

 
Town of Cornersville Listed in Top 10 Safest Cities

According to the real estate website movoto.com Cornersville is listed as one of the top ten safest cities to call home in the state of Tennessee. With nearly 6.5 million residents, Tennessee is known for many different types of music, from rock and roll to country, as well as the one of "The King", Elvis Presley. However, many of the larger cities are also known for having crime issues. The other sities listed in the top ten safest cities with Cornersville are: Eagleville, Bethel Springs, Minor hill, Elkton, Big Sandy, Clifton, New Market, Kingston Springs, and Signal Mountain.

 
Veterinarians Urge Caution In Light Of Beneful Lawsuit

FRANKLIN, Tn. – Veterinarians from BluePearl Veterinary Partners are urging pet owners to be cautious and consult their family veterinarians if they have questions stemming from a class-action lawsuit claiming a popular dog food is harming pets.

 

The lawsuit, filed earlier this month in California federal court, claims thousands of dogs have become ill or died as a result of eating Beneful dry kibble.  The suit alleges the food contains toxins, and lists propylene glycol and mycotoxins as potentially harmful substances found in the food.

 

Nestle Purina PetCare Company, the maker of Beneful, calls the lawsuit “baseless” and maintains the food is safe. But the news is generating concern among pet owners.

 

Additionally, people should be aware of common signs of distress, including lethargy, decreased activity, decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucus), increased water consumption and/or increased urination.

 
MASH Applications Deadline Extended To March 15

COLUMBIA, TN — Students who will be juniors or seniors in the next school year and are interested in pursuing careers in health care have another opportunity to apply for the 2015 Maury Academy for Students in Health (MASH) program. Due to the recent weather conditions,  applications will now be accepted through March 15.

 

MASH, which will be conducted June 8-19, is a two-week summer health careers camp for high school students interested in learning about health professions. Students interact with a variety of health care experts, including physicians, registered nurses, medical technologists, radiologic technologists, respiratory therapists and pharmacists. During the program, students learn about physical assessment, casting, suturing, medical terminology and much, much more. Considerations will be made for those interested in job shadowing after the program.

 

Applicants must be a junior or senior for the 2015/2016 school year and demonstrate scholastic ability measured by transcript and GPA. Applications are available online at mauryregional.com. For more information, call 931.380.4047, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit mauryregional.com/volunteerservices.htm.

 
Agriculture Census Shows Tennessee Growing Strong

Value of Products Sold Grows 129 Percent in 15 Years

SPRING HILL, Tenn. — Tennessee farmers and producers have seen demand for their farm-fresh, locally produced items steadily increase in recent years according to the most recent USDA Agricultural Census. Consumers have become more aware of the benefits of eating local food, including fruits, vegetables and meats.

For example, the Census reports the number of farms selling direct to consumers grew from 2,694 to 3,679, an increase of 36.6 percent. Even more important to the Tennessee economy is the parallel growth in the increased value of agricultural products sold directly to consumers. That is, from 1997 to 2012, the value of agricultural products sold increased from more than $8.3 million to more than $19.1 million, an increase of 128.9 percent. In both cases, Tennessee’s statistics outpaced the national average.

However, the increase in demand is only half the story. Farmers must successfully grow and market the food that consumers want. Value-added agriculture is a term that includes the production, processing, marketing and sales of local products, as well as the business analysis and development required to make the enterprise successful.

Every five years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports on the value of farm products within Tennessee and the nation. Beginning in 1997, the report also included value-added agriculture measurements. Included were questions about the number of farms with direct sales to consumers, the statewide value of farm products sold directly to consumers, and the average sales per farm. The latest report, with results from 2012, has just been released.

Robert Burns, University of Tennessee Extension assistant dean for agricultural and natural resources, sees only positives for the state’s agricultural community from such results. “The way food is produced and marketed in the U.S. has undergone significant changes over the past few years. Tennessee farmers have stepped up to meet the challenges and are continuing to refine their expertise as conditions evolve,” he said. “As part of the state’s land-grant university system, UT Extension is ideally suited to offer educational and training opportunities to help our producers succeed.”

In particular, UT Extension’s Center for Profitable Agriculture has the targeted mission of working with Tennessee farm enterprises to help them grow and prosper. With programs such as the Farmers Market Boot Camp, Direct Farm Marketing for Success and the Tennessee Value-Added Beef Program, the Center for Profitable Agriculture is involved in all the value-added areas the USDA report showcases.

Another example of an important growth area in agriculture is agritourism and recreational services, including such things as farm and winery tours, hayrides, and hunting and fishing. While the number of farms in Tennessee offering these services increased by 20.8 percent from 2007 to 2012 (510 to 616 farms), the value of agritourism and recreation increased by 83.1 percent in the same period, from $6.5 million to $11.9 million. The average agritourism sales per farm increased 51.6 percent ($12,759 to $19,342) in this five-year period. The average sales growth per farm during this period on a national level was negative, at -12.5 percent.

Some farms also sell value-added products involving processing, such as fruit jams, jellies and preserves or beef jerky. Floral arrangements are also marketed. In 2012, 3,551 Tennessee farms reported such activities, an increase of 30.6 percent from 2007. This increase is significantly higher than the national growth of 20.9 percent during the same period. Tennessee now ranks sixth in the nation in this category.

Rob Holland, director of UT’s Center for Profitable Agriculture, sees even more development potential for the state’s agriculture industry. “As the USDA Census results show, Tennessee has shown significant growth in many areas over the last several years. The roles of value-added agriculture, direct marketing and agritourism strengthen our farms’ diverse offerings and provide added sales revenues. Our Center staff works closely with farmers and producers across the state to analyze and develop their enterprises in whatever ways work best for them. We applaud their hard work.”

To see the Value-Added Agriculture in Tennessee: A Summary of 2012 Census Results, go to the UT Extension publications website and enter the title in the search engine. For more information about the Center for Profitable Agriculture, visit center’s website: ag.tennessee.edu/cpa.

The Center for Profitable Agriculture is a joint effort of University of Tennessee Extension and the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation. The UT Institute of Agriculture provides instruction, research and outreach through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch, including its system of 10 research and education centers, and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.


 
TDCI Warns That Price Gouging Is Illegal

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) is cautioning consumers to be alert to potential price gouging following February’s deadly winter ice storms that swept across Tennessee.

 

Tennessee’s price gouging laws make it unlawful for individuals and businesses to charge unreasonable prices for essential goods and services including gasoline, food, ice, fuel, generators, lodging, storage space, and other necessities in direct response to a disaster regardless of whether that emergency occurred in Tennessee or elsewhere. The price gouging law also makes it unlawful to charge a price that is grossly in excess of the price charged prior to the emergency. This price gouging act is triggered when a disaster is declared by the state or by the federal government. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency declared a State of Emergency at 9 p.m., CST, on Monday, Feb. 16, 2015.

 

Penalties for violations of the act are up to $1,000 per violation. Additionally, the Tennessee Attorney General in conjunction with TDCI’s Division of Consumer Affairs can request that a court issue injunctions and order civil penalties of up to $1,000 for each violation. The state can also seek refunds for consumers.

 

In addition to home repair services and building supplies, some may need gasoline and emergency supplies and services. These goods and services are also subject to the price-gouging laws. Problems that sometimes arise after a natural disaster include price gouging (in which a business unreasonably raises rates on essential goods and services during a state of emergency or in response to a disaster), as well as fraud or misrepresentations in the areas of home repair and debris removal. For example, a fraudulent operator may take upfront monies promising to do a home repair or to remove debris and vanish without completing the work.

 

Consumers may also get shoddy repairs from unlicensed contractors, or they do not receive the goods and services at the promised price.

Here are some tips for consumers to remember in the aftermath February’s winter storms:

  • Avoid high pressure sales tactics urging you to act quickly before signing a contact. Take time to make a good decision.
  • Do not pay money upfront. Wait until the job is finished.
  • Ask questions and get references from people you trust before hiring someone to do work for you.
  • Get the whole deal in writing. If a contractor promises you something, get it in writing.
  • Keep a record of your property damage and any repairs made to your property. Take photos during the repair work and afterward. You should also take photos of any repair work you believe was not done correctly.

If you have a problem with a business, you can file a complaint at www.tn.gov/consumer or call toll-free 1-800-342-8385. Consumer Affairs has a price gouging online complaint form at http://tn.gov/consumer/PriceGougeCmplnt.shtml.

 
Henry Horton State Park Announces “Healthy Park Healthy Person” Program

Chapel Hill, Tenn. – Henry Horton State Park announced the “Healthy Park Healthy Person” program today. The program is an outreach effort to improve the health of the local community and to increase time spent outdoors.
“Healthy Park Healthy Person” is an incentive based health program in which participants earn healthy points for participating in healthy activities in the park, taking a healthy class at the park and eating a healthy meal at the Governor’s Table Restaurant at Henry Horton. Those healthy points can be redeemed at Henry Horton for rewards, including discounts and giveaways at the park and incentives from local businesses.
Participants in the program are encouraged to engage with other “Healthy Park Healthy Person” members through social media by posting photos of themselves hiking trails in the park, walking a round of golf, eating a healthy meal at the restaurant or canoeing the Duck River. Participants are encouraged to use the hashtag #hhsphealth on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
For more information about “Healthy Park Healthy Person,” visit www.hhsphealth.com or https://www.facebook.com/hhsphealth, or contact Ryan Jenkins at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 931-364-7724.
Henry Horton is a 1,532-acre state park with four hiking trails, featuring an abundance of wildlife such as wild turkey, deer and many kinds of wildflowers. The park offers hours of family enjoyment whether it's swimming, fishing along the Duck River, playing volleyball or basketball or just having a picnic. Henry Horton State Park also is well known for its championship 18-hole golf course, inn and cabins, campgrounds and trap and skeet range. For more information about the park, please call the park office at (931) 364-2222 or visit http://tnstateparks.com/parks/about/henry-horton.
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TN STARS College Savings 529 Rcognized as Number One

TNStars™ is the #1 College Savings Plan in the Country for 2014 Investment Performance

 

TNStars College Savings 529 plan has just been recognized as the top direct-sold plan in the nation. TNStars™ is a program of the Tennessee Department of Treasury. The number one ranking comes from SavingForCollege.org, who analyzes the investment performance figures for thousands of 529 portfolios and ranks the 529 savings plans from best to worst. The latest report released compares one-year investment performance as of December 31, 2014. TNStars™ investment options rank number one in the nation.

 

TNStars™ is designed to give Tennessee families high quality investment options at a low cost to help them put aside money for higher education expenses, while enjoying certain tax advantages and special incentives. Tennesseans can invest directly with the program, without having to go through a financial advisor. Money can be withdrawn from a TNStars™ account tax-free as long as it is used for qualified post-secondary education expenses.

 

In a time when there has been much news regarding who benefits from 529 plans, TNStars™ serves families of all income levels. TNStars™ surveyed those who opened new accounts from September through December 2014 and learned more than half of all new accounts were opened by families making less than $100,000 combined annual household income. Fifteen percent of all new accounts in Tennessee in that time frame were actually opened by families making less than $50,000 annually.

 

Currently, all families who open savings account with TNStars™ can receive up to $375 in incentives. Some families will qualify for a four-to-one match of up to $1500 per child. Money saved in a TNStars 529 account, including any extra incentives, can be used not only for post-secondary education tuition and fees, but also additional related expenses such as course books, room and board, and equipment and supplies required for attendance and enrollment at a qualified institution.

 

Research shows that children with a college savings account are six to seven times more likely to attend a four-year college, compared to children with no dedicated account. To learn more about opening a TNStars™ account or participate in this nationally top-ranked college savings program, visit www.TNStars.com.

 

 
EXTREME WEATHER CAN IMPACT LIVESTOCK
When cold weather strikes, safeguard your herd

NASHVILLE— As the temperatures plummet and the icy conditions take hold, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture is urging citizens to take steps to keep livestock safe and healthy.

“Most livestock tolerate cold weather well,” state veterinarian Dr. Charles Hatcher said. “However, extreme temperature changes can have a dramatic impact on an animal’s health and performance.”

Access to fresh water is a must. Stock tanks and ponds should be monitored closely and any ice should be broken if freezing occurs.

Quality hay, feed or forage is critical. Livestock will consume more hay during cold weather as their bodies use the material to create heat during digestion. If you are not already feeding grain, consider adding it as an additional source of nutrition. A parasite control program will also ensure that feed is being digested and used appropriately.

While a barn, shed or roofed shelter is ideal during a winter storm, they aren’t always necessary. A natural barrier, like a row of trees or a bank, can provide coverage to block the wind and provide some relief from precipitation.

Finally, check your livestock daily, as health problems can worsen more quickly in extreme weather situations. Special attention should be paid to animals that are very young or very old, as they may be less able to tolerate the conditions. Consult your veterinarian with any questions or concerns.


The state veterinarian is responsible for monitoring for animal disease and promoting animal health in Tennessee. The office works with private veterinarians, animal pathologists and disease diagnostic laboratories to identify diseases and determine the cause of animal deaths.

 

 
PROTECT YOUR PETS FROM THE COLD

This is a reminder to be sure that pets are properly protected from this extreme cold.

If you are aware of a pet that is not properly cared for, please call 993-7520 for animals inside the City of Lewisburg and 993-6745 for those outside the city limits.

 
Reward Is Offered For Information On The Bethdirei Church Break-ins

On two different occasions, between the dates of January 25th 2015 and February 14th 2015, the Bethbirei Church was vandalized.  Both incidents resulted in the breaking of the stain glass windows to which rocks and concrete blocks were thrown through the windows.  The first incident occurred between the dates of January 25th 2015 and February 1st 2015 and resulted in damages valued at $3,000.  The second incident occurred around the date of February 14th 2015 and resulted in damages valued at $3,500.  The Marshall Co Sheriff’s Office is asking that anyone with information regarding these incidents to contact the Marshall Co. Sheriff’s Office at 931-359-6122 or to contact Crime Stoppers at 931-359-4867.  A reward is being offered in the amount up to $1,500.

 
Bob Edens Inducted Into The TSSAA Hall of Fame

The 2015 TSSAA Hall of Fame inductees have been selected.  Eight new members will be inducted into the TSSAA Hall of Fame at the annual luncheon at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Murfreesboro on Saturday, April 18, 2015.

Two administrators, three coaches, two officials, and one contributor will be inducted that day to join others in the annual gathering of those selected since the process began in 1982.

Those being inducted at this year’s luncheon are: Dan Black, administrator from Bradford; the late V. F. Goddard, administrator from Alcoa; Bob Edens, coach from Lewisburg; Charlie Harper, coach from Brentwood; Ernie Smith, coach from Nashville; Doug Dennett, official from Hixson; James Herbert, official from Memphis; and Wanda Belt, contributor from Madison.

The Hall of Fame luncheon will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 18.

Bob Edens—Spent over 20 years as football coach at Marshall County High School. Overall record of 169-79 and won 1984 TSSAA State Championship. The field house at Marshall County was dedicated in his honor. Retired from coaching in 1999, and in 2001 he became the Principal of Cornersville High School, where he retired after the 2013-14 school year.

 
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