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.”

Tennessee State Parks Provide Strong Support for Local Economies

Tuesday, March 02, 2010 | 10:16 am
New Report Indicates State Parks Pump Millions of Dollars and
Support Thousands of Jobs in Communities Across Tennessee

NASHVILLE – Governor Phil Bredesen and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Jim Fyke announced today the results of a University of Tennessee study that quantifies the significant positive impact Tennessee State Parks have on the state’s economy. The study indicates Tennessee State Parks pump millions of dollars into local economies and create thousands of jobs.

Tennessee Joins National Alliance to Increase Degree Completion

Tuesday, March 02, 2010 | 10:11 am
17 States Join "Complete College America" to Make College Completion a Top Priority
NASHVILLE – Governor Phil Bredesen today announced that Tennessee will join efforts with Complete College America, a national nonprofit organization working to dramatically increase the number of young adults with a college degree or credential. Tennessee will join 16 other states to form the Complete College Alliance, a group of leading states committed to significantly increasing the number of students successfully completing college and closing attainment gaps for traditionally underserved populations. Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia have also joined the Alliance.

Bredesen Celebrates Read Across America Day

Tuesday, March 02, 2010 | 09:37 am
Governor Phil Bredesen joins pre-K students at Bellshire Elementary School in Nashville to celebrate Read Across America Day.
Governor Phil Bredesen joins pre-K students at Bellshire Elementary School in Nashville to celebrate Read Across America Day.
Tennessee Education Association Partners with Governor's Books from Birth Foundation and Tennessee Department of Education Office of Early Learning
NASHVILLE – Governor Phil Bredesen today joined the Tennessee Education Association, Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation and Tennessee Department of Education Office of Early Learning to celebrate the 14th annual Read Across America Day, a project of the National Education Association.
Read Across America Day is the celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Bredesen commemorated the occasion by reading Watty Piper’s The Little Engine That Could to a pre-K class at Bellshire Elementary Design Center School in Nashville.
“Reading to children from the start is one of the best things we can do to prepare them for success in the classroom,” said Bredesen. “I’m pleased to see the work of these partner organizations in focusing Tennesseans on the importance of early childhood education and motivating children to read.”

Improve Your Nutrition from the Ground Up

Monday, March 01, 2010 | 12:48 pm
March is National Nutrition Month®
NASHVILLE – It’s common knowledge that a healthful diet is an important part of a healthful lifestyle, but many people have trouble figuring out what to do when planning an overhaul of their diet. The Department of Health is reminding Tennesseans during National Nutrition Month® this March that an easy way to focus on eating better is to start with the basics.