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Lyons-Chevrolet, First Commerce Bank, Blalock Plumbing and Electric, Ok Tire and Brake, Saddle Creek Golf Club

Moonshine Money


NASHVILLE – Tennessee Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced today the Tennessee preliminary unemployment rate for November was 6.8 percent, three tenths of one percentage point lower than the October revised rate of 7.1 percent. The U.S. preliminary rate for November was 5.8 percent, unchanged from the prior month.

Economic Summary

  • Over the past year, Tennessee's unemployment rate decreased from 7.9 percent to 6.8 percent while the national rate declined from 7.0 percent to 5.8 percent.
  • Total nonfarm employment decreased 1,900 jobs from October to November. The largest decreases occurred in accommodation/food services, retail trade, and administrative/support/waste services.
  • Over the year, nonfarm employment increased 53,900 jobs. The largest increases occurred in professional/business services, trade/transportation/utilities, and durable goods manufacturing.

State Fire Marshal’s Office Urges Fire Safety for Christmas Trees

NASHVILLE – The State Fire Marshal’s Office is reminding Tennesseans with natural, fresh-cut Christmas trees to keep them in water because of the fire risk posed when they are allowed to dry out.

“Properly maintaining a cut Christmas tree’s moisture content by keeping it in water significantly reduces the chance that its needles will dry out and pose a fire hazard,” said Gary West, deputy commissioner of the Fire Prevention Division, Department of Commerce and Insurance.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), structure fires caused by Christmas trees result in an average of six deaths, 22 injuries, and $18.3 million in direct property damage every year. Christmas tree fires are not common, but when they occur, they are likely to be very serious. On average, one of every 40 reported fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in death. A heat source placed too close to the Christmas tree started one of every five (18 percent) of these fires.

To illustrate the short time in which a dry, cut Christmas tree can catch fire and engulf a room in flames, the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s office is distributing this link of a side-by-side comparison of the burn rates of a properly maintained tree and a dried-out tree: http://youtu.be/RNjO3wZDVlA

In addition to keeping natural trees watered, the State Fire Marshal’s Office also shares these Christmas tree safety tips:
Picking the tree

• If you have an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant.
• Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

Placing the tree
• Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 1 inch – 2 inches from the base of the trunk.
• Make sure the tree is at least 3 feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
• Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
• Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.
Lighting the tree
• Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
• Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of LED strands to connect.
• Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
• Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
After Christmas
• Get rid of the tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.
• Check with your local community to find a recycling program.

Develop and practice a home fire escape plan with everyone in your home. The plan should include two ways out of every room and a designated meeting place outside where everyone can be accounted for.

Don’t forget to install smoke alarms on every level of your home and to test them monthly. The State Fire Marshal’s Office has distributed more than 68,000 smoke alarms throughout the state in two years’ time through our “Get Alarmed Tennessee” program. So far, that has resulted in 71 lives being saved. For more information, visit our website at http://www.tn.gov/fire/.

About the Department of Commerce and Insurance: The state Department of Commerce and Insurance is a diverse entity of six divisions charged with protecting the interests of consumers while providing fair, efficient oversight and a level field of competition for a broad array of industries and professionals doing business in Tennessee. Our divisions include the Division of Consumer Affairs, the Division of Insurance, the Division of Securities, the Division of TennCare Oversight, the Division of Fire Prevention, and the Division of Regulatory Boar


NASHVILLE – Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have obtained indictments for a former Marshall County paramedic charged with stealing drugs that were stored on ambulances.

At the request of 17th District Attorney General Robert Carter, TBI agents began investigating Scott Smith on November 19th. Smith was a paramedic employed by the Marshall County Emergency Medical Service. During the course of the investigation, agents developed information that from October 22nd through November 18th, Smith removed controlled substances such as Dilaudid, Morphine and Fentanyl from ambulances while he was working. An audit conducted by Marshall County EMS revealed several packages of drugs stored on ambulances had been tampered with. Agents learned that Smith stole some of the controlled substances, then refilled the packages with saline solution and placed them back into the ambulances. Smith later aided agents in the recovery of the packages that had been tampered with and were still on the ambulances. Smith’s employment with Marshall County EMS was terminated in November.

Wednesday, a Marshall County Grand Jury returned an indictment against the Belfast man, charging him with one count of Theft and one count of Official Misconduct. TBI agents arrested Smith, 38, who was booked into the Marshall County Jail where he was released after posting a $7,500 bond.

Minor Resigns From City Council

At this time we regretfully announce the resignation of Councilman Robin Minor effective December 16th, 2014.

Councilman Minor has served the citizens in Ward 5 since June 2007, at which time he was elected. Councilman Minor was elected for another 4 year term in June of 2011.

He served as Council representative on many boards such as the Planning & Zoning, Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, Power, Recreation, and Cemetery Boards.

Many things have been accomplished during his service as Councilman, and we thank him for his time and dedication to the City of Lewisburg and our citizens.

Councilman Minor's contributions have been many and we wish him the very best with any and all of his future endeavors.

Workforce Development Recieves $10 Million For LEAP Projects

The City of Lewisburg, Marshall County and the State of Tennessee recognize that Workforce Development is the top issue facing manufacturing today. So, we are proud to announce a series of Workforce Development and Training improvements to the region thanks to our partners - Gov. Bill Haslam, The State of Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, the South Central Tennessee Workforce Board, the South Central Tennessee Development District, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Pulaski, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Shelbyville, the Spot Lowe Technology Center in Lewisburg and several local industries.


LEAP Grants

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam recently announced recipients of the Labor Education Alignment Program competition, a state effort focused on increasing opportunities for Tennesseans to obtain a certificate or degree beyond high school that is aligned with the needs of the workforce in their communities.


Funded by a $10 million appropriation by the General Assembly, the LEAP competition required applicants to respond to a competitive Request for Proposals that was released in September. Proposals were reviewed and selected by the Governor’s Workforce Subcabinet, consisting of Commissioners and staff from the following agencies:
-         Tennessee Board of Regents
-         Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
-         Tennessee Department of Education
-         Tennessee Department of Human Services
-         Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development
-         Tennessee Higher Education Commission


Lewisburg and Marshall County are pleased to announce that two regional projects were selected for the funded inlcuding:

South Central Tennessee Development District - TCAT Shelbyville - $970,000.00
South Central Tennessee Workforce Alliance - TCAT- Pulaski - $970,000.00


The first project will create an Industrial Maintenance Technology program administered by TCAT-Shelbyville in a city-owned facility in downtown Lewisburg. The program will fund a computer classroom, industrial equipment laboratory and an instructor to teach the Industrial Maintenance Technology program to students in Marshall County.


The regional program will also create classrooms and labs for the training in Bedford County, Franklin County and Lincoln County.


The project is a collaboration of TCAT-Shelbyville, the South Central TN Development District and the Economic and Community Development organizations in each community working with local industries.


In Lewisburg, Marshall County provided $5,000 in matching funds, the Lewisburg Industrial Development Board provided $1,000 in matching funds, the City of Lewisburg provided the facility in which the program will operate and several Lewisburg industries pledged funding and equipment donations for the program including Calsonic Kansei North America, Nichirin and Berry Plastics.


The second LEAP project awarded funding was a collaboration between the Gattis Regional Leadership Group, the South Central TN Workforce Board and TCAT-Pulaski. This project will create a Certified Production Technician curriculum for the middle and high school technology centers in the 8-county region along with the purchasing of equipment for the centers including Machining equipment, PLC equipment, Robotic Welders and 3D Printers.


The Spot Lowe Technology Center in Lewisburg will be the recipient of the new training equipment and has already begun assigning three of its instructors to take the required training to become certified to teach the Certified Production Technician (CPT) training.


The CPT training will allow high school students to graduate as a nationally certified production technician and receive dual-enrollment credits from TCAT-Pulaski so that students will have a shorter time and less tuition toward their Advanced Manufacturing Certification.


Speaking of TCAT-Pulaski, the technology college held a open house on December 16 for its new Advanced Manufacturing Training Center. The upgraded AME center has new Engel Injection Molding machines, new 3D printing machines, new PLC testing and training equipment capable of running Siemens or Allen Bradley systems and more.


The new state-of-the-art training center was developed through conversations with industries in the region on the needs of their workforce in training and development.


TCAT-Pulaski has also begun using its Routsis Online Plastics Certification Training program that allows students to take their training online from the classroom or in their homes or places of work. Using this technique, students can take the bulk of the certification training at their own pace before finishing up their hands-on training and taking their certification testing.


The Routsis Online Training program was funded for one year with assistance from Marshall County and the Marshall County Joint Economic and Community Development Board.


Thanks to all the partners for developing and implementing a series of Workforce Development programs that will insure Lewisburg and Marshall County are training and providing the best workforce to its new and existing industries for years to come.

Offices to Close for the Christmas Holiday

1. All Marshall County Offices in the Courthouse, Courthouse Annex, and Hardison Annex will be closed on Wednesday, December 24th through Friday, December 26th. All three building will reopen on Monday, December 29th at regular office hours.

2. The office of Town Hall in Cornersville will be closed on December 25th and 26th for the Christmas Holiday’s. The office will re-open on Monday December 29th at the regular hour of 7:30 am.

3. The Marshall County Extension Office will take the University of Tennessee Holidays again this year. Their office will be closed December 22-26, 2014. They will reopen for December 29-31, 2014 and will be closed January 1, 2015 and will reopen January 2, 2015.

4. The Marshall County Board of Public Utilities at 624 West Commerce St., Lewisburg will be closed December24th, 25th, and 26th for the Christmas holidays. They will reopen Monday, December 29th at 8:00 a.m.

Cyber-Santa: Be Cyber-Secure

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Free shipping, daily deals, gift-wrapping, even gift recommendations are filling consumers’ email accounts along with online ads tailored to your web searches as Tennesseans shop for the holidays.

“The bad guys only have to be right once, but we have to be right all the time when it comes to making sure our connection is secure,” Tennessee Chief Information Officer Mark Bengel said. “This is especially true during the holiday shopping season, when many people like to shop online.”

Bengel oversees the Office for Information Resources (OIR), which provides direction, planning, resources, execution and coordination in managing the state’s information systems needs.  This includes the job of making sure state systems are secure.

“Unfortunately, with the convenience and lure of online deals, consumers can also be exposed to online scams, tricks and the possibility of data theft,” OIR Security Chief Sese Bennett said. “There’s no need to abandon online shopping, but we need to be aware of steps that will help protect consumers from cyber-grinches.”

Bennett offers several tips for consumers:

  • Use secure passwords for all online accounts – including email. It's one of the simplest and most important steps to take in securing your devices, computers and accounts. Best practice: use pass phrases instead of hard-to-remember complex passwords, such as song lyrics, bible verses, favorite quotes or scientific facts. Pass phrases when combined with upper case letters and unique characters or numbers are much more difficult to compromise and provide better protection of your data.
  • Do not use public computers or public wireless web access for your online shopping. Public computers may contain malicious software that steals your credit card information when you place your order.
  • Pay by credit card, not debit card. Debit cards do not have the same consumer protections as credit cards.
  • Do not respond to pop-ups. When a window pops up promising you cash or gift cards for answering a question or taking a survey, close it.
  • Do not click on links or open attachments in emails from financial institutions or vendors. Be cautious about all emails you receive even those from legitimate organizations, including your favorite retailers. The emails could be spoofed and contain malware. Instead, contact the source directly.

Bennett cautions that scammers also target senior citizens, who are using the web for email, shopping and banking in greater numbers every year.   “Banks, financial institutions and even retailers will not typically provide a special link in an email, but will ask the consumer to log in to their web page,” Bennett said.  “If you have someone in your family or community new to internet shopping, make sure they know how to avoid scammers year-round, especially around the holidays.”

Information on many current scams can be found on the website of the Internet Crime Complaint Center:  http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx

State Fire Marshal's Office Offers Turkey Fryer Safety Tips

Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to gather and enjoy a festive day of good food and thanks.  For the chief cook, it is a time to show your best dish and wow your hungry guests.  It is important to take precautions when preparing a delicious meal especially if you are using a turkey fryer.


Outdoor, gas-fueled fryers cook up juicy turkeys in a fraction of the time it takes to roast one in an indoor oven. However, the State Fire Marshal’s Office is joining the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in discouraging the residential use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil because they pose an enormous risk for injury.

“Outdoor fryers heat gallons of cooking oil to very high temperatures to cook the turkey,” said State Fire Marshal Gary West.  “The risk of this oil being spilled is significant, and the resulting injuries can be severe.”

Turkey fryer hazards:

  • The fryers are often bumped or tipped over when the turkey is put in or taken out, presenting a greater risk for the oil to splash or spill. Outdoor fryers that come with a stand pose the greatest risk of tipping.
  • The oil is heated to such a high temperature for frying that the vapors could ignite, resulting in a fire.
  • If you use a turkey fryer during rain or snow, the risk of injury is increased. When rain or snow hits the hot oil, the oil can splash or turn to steam, which can cause burns.
  • Numerous fires have ignited when fryers have been brought indoors or into a garage to keep the appliances out of the rain.
  • Moving the turkey from the fryer to a serving plate presents another chance of contact with hot oil.
  • Turkeys that are not completely thawed may cause the oil to splash, which can cause burns.
  • Children have been severely burned when running into turkey fryers while playing nearby.


It is recommended that consumers utilize the oil-free models that are available or seek commercial professionals to prepare this entrée. Fried turkeys can be ordered from some supermarkets and restaurants during the holiday season.  Caution should always be used when using any kind of deep fryer. From 2009-2013, Tennessee fire departments responded to 70 fires involving deep fryers. Three civilian injuries and $1.96 million in direct property damage resulted.

If frying your own turkey is an absolute must, the following safety measures should be carefully followed:

  • Turkey fryers must always be used outdoors and a safe distance from buildings and other flammable materials.
  • Never use turkey fryers indoors or on a wooden deck.
  • Make sure the fryer is used on a flat surface to prevent accidental tipping.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
  • Never let children or pets near the fryer, even if it is not in use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.
  • To prevent spillover, do not overfill the fryer.
  • Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.
  • The National Turkey Foundation recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every five pounds of weight.
  • Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease or oil fire. If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call the fire department by dialing 911.


Enjoy your Thanksgiving feast, but remember to be extra cautious when using a turkey fryer.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is a division of the Department of Commerce and Insurance, which works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee. Visit our website at www.tn.gov/fire for more fire prevention tips.  Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

Chapel Hill Citizen of the Year

Rex Messick, owner of Rex's Foodland in Chapel hill, has been chosen as Citizen of the Year. Rex began his career int he grocery business as a pre-teen boy racking bottles and filling drink boxes. At the age of 16, he began working for a market in his hometown of Andalusia, AL. He later began a 14 year career with Delchamps, Inc. in Mobile, AL as an apprentice meat cutter and worked his way up the career ladder to Training Director for the entire chain of Delchamps stores which at one point numbered in excess of 100 stores. In 1976, he opened his own store in Wilmer, AL which he operated for 10 years and in 1986 became Retail Counselor and Tennessee Division Manager for Mitchell Grocery, Inc. a large wholesale grocer.

In January of 1996, Rex purchased Moorehead Grocery in Chapel Hill. Due to the rapid growth in population in the Chapel Hill area he expanded his business by building the 25,000 square foot store as well as developing the surrounding property on the south side of town. Rex's development led the way in subsequent growth of this part of Chapel Hill. His strict requirements concerning signage and building appearance raised the bar for commercial construction in Chapel Hill. His attention to aesthetics has set the standard for the future.

Rex's emphasis on customer service and quality products has provided the citizens of Chapel Hill and the Surrounding area a grocery store rarely found in a small town and rural area. His belief in hard work and integrity has worked to instill that positive attribute to his employees. Rex's Foodland's Smart Shopper Program alone benefits 30 + non-profit organizations in the Chapel Hill area and his support of the schools in Chapel Hill and their arts and sports programs are unequalled.

Chapel hill is a much better place in which to live because of the contributions of Rex Messick and his family. The citizens of Chapel Hill are proud to honor him as Citizen of the Year.

Holiday Season Can Be Difficult For Seniors Coping With Depression Or Grief

LEWISBURG, Tenn. — The holidays are a joyous time of year that most people anticipate with excitement. Unfortunately, for older adults who may be struggling with depression or loss, the emotions of the holiday season can often bring despair.


According to Beth Sweeney, director of Senior Life Solutions at Marshall Medical Center, there are many factors that can cause a person to feel blue during the holiday season.


“The holidays often remind us of family members and friends who are no longer with us, as well as traditions of the past. For older adults who are already dealing with health issues, grief or depression, the swell of holiday emotions can sometimes be overwhelming,” said Sweeney.


To help those who may be struggling with emotions during the holidays, family members and friends are encouraged to keep a check on older family members and neighbors who may be alone. During holiday gatherings, Sweeney recommends taking steps to ensure that the festivities are enjoyable for everyone.


“In addition to reminiscing about past holiday celebrations, consider ways to make new memories that everyone—from the youngest to the oldest—can enjoy,” Sweeney said. “If you know an older relative or friend who is struggling with their emotions, consider referring them to a program that can provide them with support and tools to cope with their feelings.”


Senior Life Solutions offers outpatient assistance for older adults dealing with behavioral health issues. Referrals can be made by anyone, including a family member, friend or physician. Programs include group activities, individual and group therapy and more. For more information about Senior Life Solutions, call 931.270.3685.


Suspicious Fires Cause Concern

There has recently been several suspicious fires in both Lewisburg and Marshall County. Everyone's help is needed in solving the cause of these fires. If anyone has any information that might be of help, please contact the Marshall County Sheriff's Department at 359-6122, the Lewisburg Police Department at 359-4044, or the Tennessee Arson Hotline at 1-800-762-3017. The calls to the Tennessee Arson Hotline can earn a cash award of up to $1500.00. Reports of suspicious vehicles or activity in these areas can also be reported to Marshall County Crime Stoppers at 359-4867. All calls and information will be kept confidential.


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