Property Tax Relief for Disabled Veterans, Disabled Persons and Elderly Low-income Homeowners Pass in the House

Tennessee State Representative

Tennessee State Representative – District 67

Nashville, TN – Property Tax Relief for disabled Veterans, disabled persons and low-income elderly homeowners, House Bill 1496/Senate Bill 1675 (Sen. Mark Green, R-Clarksville) passed the House Floor on March 12th, 2018 and is headed by to the Senate Floor for a vote on the amendment which would include the veterans spouse.

This legislation corrects a rule change made in October, 2017 which would have caused individuals to lose their eligibility for tax relief if the veteran, low-income elderly, and disabled person if admitted to a nursing home for an indeterminate amount of time.

Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts

“Thank you to the Montgomery County Veterans Coalition, the County Officials Association of Tennessee and the Tennessee Office of the Comptroller for their help with this legislation,” said Pitts.

Limiting New Statewide Assessments

HB 1855 (Rep. Tim Rudd, R-Murfreesboro) and SB 1806 (Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro) was approved by the House of Representatives on Monday, March 12th, 2018 and should be heard on the Senate Floor next week as well. This legislation will prohibit the Tennessee Department of Education and the State Board of Education from mandating any statewide assessments for any grades or subjects beyond those required as of the 2016-2017 thru the 2021-2022 school years.

Veterans Hiring Preference Legislation

In April, 2012, the “Tennessee Excellence, Accountability, and Management (T.E.A.M.) act was signed into law. Part of this law stated “When invitations to interview candidates are extended, whether for appointment or promotion, and the list of eligible includes any person who has been honorably discharged from the army, navy, air force, marine corps or coast guard or any active federal service in the armed forces of the United Stated, these persons must be invited to interview”.

It also stated “If a veteran is on the list of eligible, and if the minimum qualifications and the skills, abilities, competencies and knowledge of the veteran and any another applicant being interviewed for the position are equal, preference will be given to the veteran for the position.”

This summer it was brought to my attention that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation interpreted “will” as “may”. Thus, House Bill 2006/Senate Bill 2191 (Sen. Jon Lundberg, R-Bristol) was drafted changing the word “will” to “shall” to clarify the Tennessee General Assembly’s original intention.

This bill passed the House Consumer and Human Resources Full Committee on March 14th, 2018 and will be heard on the House Floor on March Thursday, March 22nd, 2018.

Prescriptions during a Disaster

HB 1695 (Rep. Joe Pitts, D-Clarksville) and SB 1670 (Senator Mark Green, R-Clarksville) was passed on the House Floor on Monday, March 12th, 2018 and is now headed to the Governor for his signature. This legislation will allow a pharmacist in this state to dispense to a patient without proper authorization or a valid prescription a 20 day supply of maintenance medication in case of a natural disaster, such as hurricane, tornado, flood, etc.

“Medications for blood pressure, diabetes, etc, can be dispensed to citizens that have been misplaced due to these disasters. This will allow citizens 20 days in order to contact a doctor for a valid prescription. Opioids or scheduled II drugs are not included in this legislation,” Rep. Joe Pitts.

The legislation passed the Senate on March 8th, 2018.

Observation of Students in School

HB 2005 (Rep. Joe Pitts, D-Clarksville) and SB 2018 (Senator Ferrell Haile, R-Gallatin) will require all LEA’s in the State of Tennessee to create a policy to allow a parent or a parent’s designee to observe instruction and other school activities.

“This legislation was brought to me by a group of parents after their county school district approved a policy to prohibit parent observations,” Pitts said. “We should be doing all we can to encourage parental involvement, and policies prohibiting parents from visiting their child’s classroom are unacceptable.” said Pitts.

This legislation will be heard in the Education Instruction and Programs Sub Committee on March 21st, 2018.

Two-Year Deaf Mentor Pilot Project

HB 2149 (Rep. Joe Pitts, D-Clarksville) and SB 2143 (Senator Ferrell Haile, R-Gallatin) was brought to us by a group of citizens advocating for the deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind children. This legislation will establish a two-year deaf mentor pilot project that will assist families and agencies in implementing bilingual and bicultural home-based programming for your children who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind.

There will be one pilot project in each of the 3 grand divisions and after the two-year pilot program the Department of Education shall evaluate the pilot project and its three programs to determine whether the project and programs should be continued or replicated.

If you have questions about the above or other issues of concern, please call me at 615.741.2043, or email me at




Bill Ketron, Bristol TN, Clarksville TN, Deaf, Ferrell Haile, Gallatin-TN, HB 1496, HB 1695, HB 1855, HB 2005, HB 2006, HB 2149, Joe Pitts, Jon Lundberg, Mark Green, Montgomery County Veterans Coalition, Murfreesboro TN, Nashville TN, Prescriptions, Property Tax Relief for Veterans, SB 1670, SB 1675, SB 1806, SB 2018, SB 2143, SB 2191, Tennesse State Representative, Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee Excellence Accountability and Management Act, Tennessee General Assembly, Tennessee House of Representatives, Tennessee State Board of Education, Tim Rudd, Veterans

Tennessee Athletics
UT Lady Vols

Nashville, TN – No. 12 Tennessee erased a 16-point first-half deficit and closed within three in the third quarter but couldn’t overcome No. 8 South Carolina, falling 73-62 in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament at Bridgestone Arena.

Freshman Anastasia Hayes led Tennessee (24-7) in scoring, tying her career high of 17 points. Senior Jaime Nared posted a double-double for Tennessee with 15 points and 13 rebounds, playing her ninth 40-minute game of the season.

A’ja Wilson led South Carolina (24-6) with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Alexis Jennings also recorded a double-double for the Gamecocks, logging 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Tennessee Lady Volunteers forward Cheridene Green (15) South Carolina Gamecocks guard Doniyah Cliney (4) and Tennessee Lady Volunteers guard Anastasia Hayes (1) battle for positioning on a free throw during the first half of the SEC Conference Tournament at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)
Hopkinsville Community College

Hopkinsville, KY – Hopkinsville Community College (HCC) student Joshua Rozmarynowski, 20, of LaFayette, Kentucky has been selected to travel to NASA’s Stennis Space Center February 20-23 to participate in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) onsite experience.

Rozmarynowski has been selected as one of 171 community college students from across the U.S. to be part of the NCAS onsite experience.

Hopkinsville Community College student Joshua Rozmarynowski
APSU Sports Information

Clarksville, TN – Designated hitter Parker Phillips hit a grand slam to punctuate a seven-run second inning as Austin Peay State University’s baseball team posted a 15-8 series-opening victory against Indiana State, Friday, at Raymond C. Hand Park.

Austin Peay Baseball gets win over Indiana State at Raymond C. Hand Park, Friday. (APSU Sports Information)
APSU Sports Information
APSU Softball

Bowling Green, KY – Morgan Rackel picked up her first NCAA Division I shutout, Friday afternoon at the WKU Softball Complex, as the Austin Peay State University’s softball team picked up a 5-0 victory over tournament host Western Kentucky, that followed an opening loss to Evansville that morning, 4-1.

Any shut is impressive, but Rackel (3-2) held a WKU team off the board, which came in averaging 7.5 runs per game and a .349 team batting average.

Austin Peay Softball beats Western Kentucky 5-0 Friday afternoon in Bowling Green, KY. (APSU Sports Information)
#16 Tennessee Vols vs. Georgia Bulldogs

Saturday, March 3rd, 2018 | 5:00pm CT
Knoxville, TN | Thompson-Boling Arena | TV: SEC Network

Tennessee Volunteers – UT Vols

Knoxville, TN – With a chance to at least claim a share of the SEC Championship, 16th-ranked Tennessee wraps up the regular season against Georgia in Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday. The game tips at 5:00pm CT and will be televised live on SEC Network and streamed online via WatchESPN.

The Volunteers (22-7, 12-5 SEC) can claim a share of the regular-season championship with a win, but if Auburn loses to South Carolina and UT wins, Tennessee would pass the Tigers for the top spot in the SEC and would be the outright champion after being picked to finish 13th in the preseason. The Vols sealed their top-2 finish on Tuesday with a dominating win at Mississippi State behind 24 points from Admiral Schofield. The junior forward is averaging 21.7 ppg and 7.3 rpg during UT’s three-game winning streak.

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Written by Bill Peoples
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Nashville, TN – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District announced today that it is continuing its flood control operation by using flood control storage in Lake Barkley to help mitigate the ongoing flood event on the Ohio River. This may cause minor high water impacts to communities along the Cumberland River in Lyon and Trigg Counties in Kentucky, and Stewart and Montgomery Counties in Tennessee.

Releases from Barkley Dam on the Cumberland River in Kuttawa, KY, are being reduced today as the Ohio River flood crest passes downstream. This reduction in discharge contributes to lowering the crest on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, thereby reducing flood risk at cities such as Paducah, KY, Cairo, IL, Memphis, TN, Vicksburg MS, and New Orleans, LA.

Cumberland River may rise due to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood Control operation at Lake Barkley.
APSU Sports Information

Clarksville, TN – While most college students will take their Spring Break to, well, take a break, Austin Peay State University volleyball junior setter Kristen Stucker will at least start her Spring Break under the microscope of the U.S. Women’s National Team’s coaching staff and evaluators.

You see, Stucker was one of 234 athletes from 89 colleges and universities across the nation to be invited to the U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryouts which will be held March 2nd-4th at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

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Clarksville, TN – On Wednesday, February 28th, 2018, around 8:15pm, Clarksville Police report a woman was riding a bus and had a large amount of money stolen from her wallet. The victim accidentally left her wallet on the bus and the couple in the video may have taken it. They got off of the bus at Adkins Street and Providence Boulevard.

Anyone who can identify the man or woman in the video can contact Detective Coleman, 931.648.0656, ext 5589, TIPSLINE, 931-645-8477 , or go online and submit a tip anonymously at

#12 Tennessee Lady Vols vs. #8 South Carolina

Friday, March 2nd, 2018 | 6:00pm CT
Nashville, TN | Bridgestone Arena | TV: SEC Network

Nashville, TN – No. 12/12-ranked Tennessee (24-6, 11-5 SEC) faces No. 8/8 South Carolina (23-6, 12-4 SEC) in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament at 6:00pm CT (7:00pm ET) Friday at Bridgestone Arena.

This will mark UT’s 100th SEC Tournament game, standing at 78-21 entering the contest. Tennessee also will be seeking its 25th win of the campaign, which would mark the 35th such season victory total all-time and the fourth occasion under Holly Warlick.

The Lady Vols, who tied for fourth in the SEC regular-season standings (one game out of second place), slid to a No. 7 seed by virtue of a tiebreaker with No. 4 LSU, No. 5 A&M and No. 6 Missouri. South Carolina tied for second in the standings and earned the No. 2 seed by tiebreaker over UGA.

Tennessee Women’s Basketball takes on South Carolina in the OVC Tournament Friday at Bridgestone Arena. (Tennessee Athletics)

Clarksville, TN – On Thursday, March 1st, 2018, around 10:00pm, local law enforcement was made aware of a potential threat against Kenwood Middle School which was supposed to occur on March 2nd, 2018.

The Clarksville Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, and Clarksville Montgomery School Officials all worked in concert to expeditiously investigate the threat.

A juvenile was charged after making threats of violence toward Kenwood Middle School faculty and students.Efforts will beautify Greenway and Billy Dunlop Park
Clarksville Parks and Recreation Department

Clarksville, TN – The City of Clarksville’s trails and parks need constant maintenance, so the Clarksville Parks and Recreation Department schedules volunteer maintenance days throughout the year.

This spring, the community is encouraged to join in the effort to help maintain the cleanliness of two of the City’s most popular recreation spots.

Clarksville Greenway Trails Cleanup Volunteers
Clarksville Police Department – CPD

Clarksville, TN – On Thursday, March 1st 2018, around 3:30pm, the 911 Center received a call about a man threatening suicide and reportedly had a gun. When officers arrived the man fled into a field at the end of Huntco Drive. At some point, a firearm was displayed but, the man never pointed it at anyone except himself.

The area surrounding the field was cordoned off by officers and Crisis Negotiators and The Tactical Unit were called out to the scene.

Suicidal Man was taken into Custody this morning by Clarksville Police Department and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

Clarksville, TN – On a recent February afternoon, Dr. Korre Foster, Austin Peay State University associate professor of music, sat in his office, looking surprisingly alert. It’s been a busy year for the University’s famed choral program, and with a raise of his eyebrows, Foster said he intends to maintain its strong reputation.

“We continue to become more well known,” he said. “Schools from Memphis want to come three hours just to perform here with us.”

APSU Chamber Singers

What to do During Severe Weather Situations

Montgomery County Government Tennessee

Montgomery County, TN – Ready or not, the severe weather season is upon us. It began with unseasonably warm temperatures last week followed by strong winds and tornados that impacted more than 150 homes and hundreds of people in our community. Planning for severe weather can help tremendously.

It is strongly recommended that rural and municipal residents use a NOAA weather alert radio which can be purchased for less than $50.00 at several local stores or online. There are also free and low-cost severe weather apps including the NOAA app and apps from News Channels 2, 4 and 5.

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Clarksville, TN – After 30 years as a studio artist, Paul Collins now works exclusively in public spaces.

For each of new project, the Austin Peay State University associate professor of art spends two weeks painting at sites chosen for their history, politics or public use. This March, Collins will present seven of these projects in a new exhibition, “Fortnight Session,” at Zeitgeist Gallery in Nashville Tennessee.

Austin Peay professor Paul Collins new exhibition, “Fortnight Session,” on display at Zeitgeist Gallery in Nashville.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Pasadena, CA – Much like detectives who study fingerprints to identify the culprit, scientists used NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes to find the “fingerprints” of water in the atmosphere of a hot, bloated, Saturn-mass exoplanet some 700 light-years away. And, they found a lot of water. In fact, the planet, known as WASP-39b, has three times as much water as Saturn does.

Though no planet like this resides in our solar system, WASP-39b can provide new insights into how and where planets form around a star, say researchers. This exoplanet is so unique, it underscores the fact that the more astronomers learn about the complexity of other worlds, the more there is to learn about their origins. This latest observation is a significant step toward characterizing these worlds.

Using Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, scientists studied the “hot Saturn” called WASP-39b – a hot, bloated, Saturn-mass exoplanet located about 700 light-years from Earth. By dissecting starlight filtering through the planet’s atmosphere into its component colors, the team found clear evidence for a large amount of water vapor. (NASA, ESA, G. Bacon and A. Feild (STScI), and H. Wakeford (STScI/Univ. of Exeter))Gas Prices Point Lower, For Now

Tampa, FL – Gas prices moved higher last week, as was forecast by AAA. However, prices at the pump are beginning to trend lower yet again.

Tennessee gas prices increased 2 cents last week, before declining a penny during the weekend. The state average of $2.32 is 11 cents less than a month ago, yet motorists are paying 25 cents per gallon more than this time last year.

Gas Prices are Most Expensive for the Month of March in Four Years.
Stop signs will go up at Second, Third street intersections
City of Clarksville – Clarksville, TN

Clarksville, TN – Traffic signals at two Main Street intersections will be replaced with stop signs Friday in an ongoing effort to calm vehicular traffic in downtown Clarksville and make it more pedestrian-friendly.

The work will be on Main Street at Second and Third streets and may include temporary closing of the intersections and detouring of local traffic on Friday, March 9th, 2018. Motorists are advised to avoid the area if possible that day.

Main Street traffic signals at Second and Third streets will be replaced with stop signs on Friday, March 9th. The intersections may be closed and the street detoured during the work on Friday. Motorists are urged to avoid the area that day.
APSU Sports Information
APSU Baseball

Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay’s baseball team begins a five-game Spring Break road trip with a pair of nonconference contests. The Governors will face nationally-ranked Ole Miss in a 6:30pm, Tuesday contest in Oxford, Mississippi. Austin Peay then will meet Samford in a 6:00pm, Wednesday affair in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Governors (8-3), off to their third-best start in program history, return to action after winning their third-straight weekend series – winning two of three from Indiana State last weekend.

Austin Peay Baseball plays Ole Miss Tuesday in Oxford. Start time is 6:30pm. (APSU Sports Information)
APSU Sports Information
APSU Softball

Brentwood, TN – Junior third baseman Danielle Liermann earned the first Ohio Valley Conference in-season honor of her career Monday afternoon, being named adidas® OVC Softball Player of the Week, as announced by the conference office.

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Clarksville Police Department – CPD

Clarksville, TN – Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan administered the oath of office to seven new Clarksville Police Department officers at the Clarksville Police Department training facility. The room was filled with family, friends, and well-wishers.

The new officers will be trained in-house at the Police Department until they begin the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy on April 1st, 2018.

(L to R) CPD Chief Al Ansley, Alyssa Wade, Elizabeth Horton, Andy Gonzalez, Alan Greenman, Brandan Wells, Derek Meyer, and Donald Garrett Jr., and Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan.
Dodging the Roadkill – A Biker’s Journey

Clarksville, TN – I recently posed the question on my Facebook page about how my fellow riders handle tailgaters. As expected, the responses ran the gamut of opinions.

I can’t say that I have had many instances of tailgaters running up on me, but occasionally, I’ll encounter someone who appears out of nowhere and it scares the living HELL out of me. Not being as experienced as some of you, I still get a little “jittery” when someone’s too close to me.

In my opinion, there’s not a lot of options to dealing with someone who wants to get a real close look at your license plate. If you’re on the interstate, and you’re in the passing lane, you can only wait until you can move to the cruising lane and let the idiot get past you.

Interstate Traffic
Instant Peay Play – APSU Sports

Clarksville, TN – If you were to ask any baseball or softball coach, including Austin Peay State University’s head baseball coach Travis Janssen or head softball coach Rodney DeLong, they would both tell you just how much pitching matters to a successful and winning team.

And while it is still very early-on in their respective season’s, both seem to have pitching staffs put together that can answer the challenges facing them and give their respective teams a chance to win ball games.

Austin Peay Baseball and Softball teams have begun the season with solid pitching. (APSU Sports Information)
Clarskville’s Roxy Regional Theatre

Clarksville, TN – Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s book about a boy, his insect friends and their amazing journey across the ocean on a giant piece of fruit sets sail this month on the corner of Franklin Street and First Street in Historic Downtown Clarksville.

A musical treat for the entire family to enjoy, “James and the Giant Peach” opens at the Roxy Regional Theatre on Friday, March 9th, at 6:00pm. In keeping with the theatre’s traditional pay-what-you-can opening night, all tickets not pre-sold at the regular ticket price will go on sale at 5:30pm that evening for a $5.00 minimum donation.

Seth Hatch stars in “James and the Giant Peach” at the Roxy Regional Theatre, March 9th – March 31st.

Dallas, TX – New medicines to fight heart disease, updated guidelines for strokes and high blood pressure, and research into genome editing are among the top heart disease and stroke advances in 2017, according to the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke.

The Association, one of the top funders of heart- and stroke-related research worldwide, has been compiling an annual top 10 list of major advances in heart disease and stroke science since 1996. Here, in no particular order, are the organization’s picks for leading research accomplishments published in 2017.

American Heart Association identifies most impactful scientific discoveries for Heart Disease and Stroke. (American Heart Association)
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Pasadena, CA – NASA’s InSight spacecraft has arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California to begin final preparations for a launch this May. The spacecraft was shipped from Lockheed Martin Space, Denver and arrived at Vandenberg.

The launch period for InSight opens May 5th and continues through June 8th. InSight will be the first mission to look deep beneath the Martian surface, studying the planet’s interior by listening for marsquakes and measuring the planet’s heat output. It will also be the first planetary spacecraft to launch from the West Coast.

Personnel supporting NASA’s InSight mission to Mars load the crated InSight spacecraft into a C-17 cargo aircraft at Buckley Air Force Base, Denver, for shipment to Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The spacecraft, built in Colorado by Lockheed Martin Space, was shipped February 28, 2018, in preparation for launch from Vandenberg in May 2018. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin Space)

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