Consumer Affairs Advises Tennesseans to Beware of Census Scam Artists

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 | 01:11 pm
NASHVILLE - With the U.S. Census under way, the Division of Consumer Affairs wants to remind Tennesseans that scam artists often use the guise of government-related programs to steal from the unwitting. “Government-benefits fraud is more prevalent than credit card fraud,” says Consumer Affairs Director Mary Clement. “We don’t want Tennesseans to fall prey to identity theft or worse.”

Burn Permits Required Through May 15

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 | 01:05 pm

Nashville – Visible signs of spring are beginning to emerge as warm temperatures and sunny skies push back the doldrums from what has been one of the coldest winters on record. As Tennesseans begin to take advantage of this weather to do some yard work around the home or farm, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry wants to remind folks that if they are considering conducting an open burn, a burn permit is required in advance of such activity.

Model Good Food Choices and Kids Will Follow

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 | 11:08 am

Parents Reminded to Set the Standard During National Nutrition Month®

NASHVILLE – Children learn their habits, attitudes and beliefs from their parents and other caregivers, including their willingness to try new, healthy foods. During National Nutrition Month® this March, the Tennessee WIC Program encourages adults to be good role models to teach children how to appreciate nutrition and enjoy healthful eating.

Children in 52 Tennessee Counties Receive Free Books

Monday, March 15, 2010 | 01:05 pm

Donation by Appalachian Regional Commission allows books for more than 185,000 children in Appalachian Tennessee

NASHVILLE-More than 185,000 children in Middle and East Tennessee counties will have the chance to develop their vocabulary, improve school readiness and grow a love for reading after a generous donation by the Appalachian Regional Commission, with assistance from the East Tennessee Development District. The $100,000 donation will be matched by the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation (GBBF) to ensure that free, high-quality, age appropriate books are sent each month to registered children in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program.

New Western Mental Health Institute Opens

Monday, March 15, 2010 | 08:51 am
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Commissioner (TDMHDD) Virginia Trotter Betts hosted the grand opening of the new Western Mental Health Institute today.
The new facility includes a state-of-the-art “treatment mall” where patients will spend the majority of the day in a classroom atmosphere receiving services including counseling, medication management, case management, and other psychiatric inpatient services. The facility will also house a telemedicine pilot program in collaboration with Carey Counseling Center in Union City, Tenn., in an effort to reduce unnecessary transportation to the institute for mental health assessments.

Recovery Act Funds to Provide More Intercity Bus Service Options to Tennesseans

Tuesday, March 09, 2010 | 01:43 pm
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Transportation will use federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to provide rural residents with better access to daily public transit. Vice President Joe Biden announced federal approval of TDOT’s plan to use $3.1 million in Recovery Act funds to expand direct intercity bus routes on Friday, March 5. The funds will be used by existing intercity bus carriers to purchase 23 buses, security equipment, support vehicles, computers, intelligent transportation system software, for ADA enhancements to vehicles and preventive maintenance. TDOT announced the first intercity bus routes in the state in March 2009. The program provides fixed route public transportation services between rural areas and the state’s urban centers.

Division of Consumer Affairs Offers Tips to Protect Children's Privacy

Thursday, March 04, 2010 | 02:20 pm
NASHVILLE - As National Consumer Protection Week gets under way March 7-13, the Consumer Affairs Division would like to highlight the importance of protecting children's privacy.
National Consumer Protection Week reinforces the importance of consumer education on issues such as identity theft, online fraud and other deceptive and fraudulent practices. This is also a time to stress the need in protecting children’s privacy. Whether they are studying, socializing, playing games or learning, kids are spending a lot of time online. Parents must ensure kids make smart and safe choices when they are online. Your child’s personal information and privacy are valuable – to you, to them and to marketers.

President Extends Unemployment Insurance Deadline

Thursday, March 04, 2010 | 01:41 pm
Claimants Get More Time to Transition into Existing Benefit Extensions
NASHVILLE – An emergency act signed into law Tuesday night by President Obama will allow many of Tennessee's unemployed more time to receive unemployment benefits. The measure extends the eligibility period from February 28 to March 30 to transition into existing extended benefit programs. The new law; however, does not add additional weeks of benefits to any of the existing federal extensions of unemployment insurance. 

Tennessee Named Finalist in Race to the Top Competition

Thursday, March 04, 2010 | 11:17 am
NASHVILLE — Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen announced today that Tennessee is one of 16 finalists in the first round of the federal government’s Race to the Top competition, which will award $4.35 billion in competitive grants designed to encourage and reward states that are pursuing education innovation.
The U.S. Department of Education announced the first-round finalists earlier today. Forty states and the District of Columbia submitted applications in January.
“I’m very pleased we’ve been named a finalist for the first round of funding, and believe that’s due to our shared commitment to making significant and meaningful improvements to K-12 education,” said Bredesen. “Tennessee is considered competitive in Race to the Top by national education reform experts because of the continued efforts we’ve demonstrated to public education reform. I want to thank the General Assembly, which adopted further landmark education reform legislation earlier this year with the support of the Tennessee Education Association and educators across the state. I have no doubt this was a significant part of our success.”

Bredesen Names Appointments to Teacher Evaluation Advisory Committee

Tuesday, March 02, 2010 | 03:37 pm

NASHVILLE – Governor Phil Bredesen has appointed nine men and women to serve on the Teacher Evaluation Advisory Committee established by the recently enacted Tennessee First to the Top Act of 2010.

“I am grateful to the individuals willing to serve in this capacity to help move Tennessee public education forward in bold, new ways,” said Bredesen. “I am confident that with the level of experience each of these Tennesseans brings to the table, we can accomplish this goal for teachers and their students across the state.”