Senior Rebel Landon Dennis, #5 on the Rebels Basketball team signed today, Tuesday, May 11 to play at the next level. He was seated at the table with his Aunt and Uncle, Jacob and Samantha Berkebile, who helped raise Landon. The Head Coach of Bryan College came to the SCHS library for the signing ceremony. Head Coach Nick Wallace introduced Dennis, saying, "Landon talked to me a long time ago about wanting to play in college. Due to his size, he has only gotten here through a lot of effort and hard work." The Head Coach of Bryan College men's basketball team, Don Rekoske, head coach for 17 years at Bryan, in the Appalachian Athletic Conference, was impressed with Dennis at camp.
Former SCHS Guidance Counselor, Gayla Grise, filed a Civil Lawsuit in the US Middle District Court of TN, in Nashville, January 26. The Standard obtained a copy of the lawsuit last week. She was named as the Plaintiff, while Dr. Ben Duncan, in his capacity as principal of Stewart Co. High School (SCHS), Mike Craig, in his capacity as Director, and the entire Stewart Co. School Board were named as defendants. The suit reads, under allegations, "This is a cause of action brought for deprivation of property rights without due process of law, for wrongful discharge." Grise is claiming in part, "Defendants in their official capacity discharged her from her position as a tenured counselor at SCHS in violation of applicable statutes and rules governing teacher tenure. In addition/or in the alternative, Plaintiff was discharged in violation of applicable Federal and State statutes prohibiting wrongful discharge and/or retaliatory discrimination."
Many of us have had to deal with insurance companies refusing to cover a certain medicine our doctor told us we needed. Even though you may have prescription drug coverage through your insurance, the insurance company will try and regulate the dosage, brand or even amount of the medicine they will cover, despite what the doctor orders. It might not all be the insurance companies fault, however. What is regulating much of drug costs today, are companies called Pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs. Caremark, Express Scripts and Optum Rx are the three largest PBMs. They manage prescription drug benefits on behalf of health insurers, Medicare Part D drug plans, large employers, state Medicaid programs and others. Their role is explained on truveris. com, which describes themselves as, "Pharmacy experts with the analytics and insights to bring objective truths, knowledge and understanding to pharmacy." They describe PBMs this way, "PBMs operate in the middle of the distribution chain for prescription drugs. They develop and maintain lists, or formularies, of covered medications on behalf of health insurers, which influence which drugs individuals use and determine out-of-pocket costs." The original goal of the PBMs was to lower drug costs by negotiating with drug manufacturers. However, according to reports, PBMs negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to determine what level of rebates will be offered from the drug company directly to the PBM for certain drugs to be placed on a "preferred list." This process appears to lack input from medical professionals regarding which drugs may be the best
After making it through all of 2020 without an outbreak at the Stewart County Detention Center, someone finally brought it in the jail. Sheriff Frankie Gray confirmed to the Standard, Monday, January 25, there had been an outbreak in a pod and 23 inmates ended up testing positive earlier this month. Gray just told the Standard today, 17 more inmates and a couple of correctional officers, who could have been in contact with the 23, were tested, but only two inmates came back positive and one of those had already been released. He said they were still not sure who it originally came from. He added there are supplies also coming into the jail every day. Employees deliver meals and inmates eat in the same pods they are originally put in and now there is a Covid pod. The Standard had reported on Gray explaining at the Public Safety Committee meeting, all the efforts the jail had put in to keeping it out all last year, even by not arresting as many people, it was inevitable though as contagious as the coronavirus is. Gray said they originally did the testing after an inmate they transferred to another facility tested positive there. They had tested negative here. Gray said the 23 positive had mostly mild symptoms, headaches, lost sense of taste and smell, only one had more severe symptoms but none needed to be hospitalized. He said most didn't even know they had it until they were tested. Gray told us he went down and personally talked to some of the inmates yesterday and they are feeling better.
The Stewart County Middle School Lady Rebels defeated Houston County 39-17 Monday night, January 18 in the semifinals of the River Conference Tournament. They will play Lakewood Saturday at Henry County High School in the Championship. The Lady Rebels are currently 15-0 on the season. According to Head Coach Boone Smith, Angie Nelson led the Lady Rebels in scoring last night with 16. Namine Bridges added 7. Way to go Rebels, the SCHS Lady Rebels are 15-1 in their season. The future is looking bright for Rebels athletics.
Governor Bill Lee announced Thursday, Jan. 14, special session legislation addressing K-12 student learning loss and the adverse effects on Tennessee students' proficiency in reading and math after extended time away from the classroom due to COVID-19. The email from the Governor's office, stated, "Package Addresses Learning Loss, Reading, Accountability and Teacher Pay." Lee stated, " COVID-19 has disrupted every aspect of education and we are on the cusp of severe consequences for our students if we don't act now. Data suggests TN third graders are facing an estimated 50% drop in reading proficiency and a projected 65% drop in math proficiency." The email also stated, "In addition to learning loss interventions and accountability hold harmless measures, Gov. Lee will propose adding funding for teacher salaries."
The Stewart County Health Department announced new testing hours. Beginning Monday, January 11th, testing will be done at the Stewart County Community Medical Center from 8:30AM-10:30 AM. This is done to allow our staff to prioritize vaccination of the 1A population.
The COVID-19 self-tests will be offered to adults on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On these days, public health staff members at each TDH COVID-19 testing site will provide self-testing kits to adults who wish to be tested. Individuals will remain in their vehicles while completing paperwork and collecting their samples. Health departments will submit the samples for testing.
The Tennessee Sports Writers Association has announced its 2020 season All-State Teams for the Class3A category and three Rebels made the team. On offense, Rebels named to the All-State team were Junior Quarterback #21 Will Page, Senior Wide Receiver #88 Connor Andrews, Page's favorite target for the last two years. On defense, Senior Defensive Lineman #52 Austin Clark. This 2020 Rebels team has had many firsts this year.
The head coaches in TSSAA Region 6-AAA met before Thanksgiving and voted on All-Region picks. Rebels Head Coach Chanz Swartz earned Coach of the Year and Junior Quarterback, #21 Will Page earned Player of the Year in the Region. Senior #88 Connor Andrews earned Most Valuable Athlete. Many more Rebels also won much deserved recognition for the historic season. AP Sportswriters for the state will vote on the official All-State teams by the end of the year, or early in January. We expect to see Rebels on those teams as well. Other Region Awards are listed below.
2020 Region 6 3A All Region Team
Player of the Year- Will Page
Most Valuable Athlete- Connor Andrews
Most Valuable Offensive Lineman- Austin Clark
Most Valuable Running Back- Hunter Knotts
Most Valuable Linebacker- Caleb Mulcahy
Coach of the Year- Chanz Swartz
Assistant Coach of the Year- Jimbo Riner
2020 Region 6 3A All Region Team
All Region Team
All Academic Team
Once again, access to the Cumberland River is limited in most of our county from boat ramps. We first reported on the problem of our coves and bays filling in with silt in May of 2016. It has only gotten worse and will continue without help from the US Army Corps of Engineers to dredge these areas, which is the only answer. Access to the main channel is almost completely blocked from most all public access boat ramps in the county. At a meeting at the Mayors office last year, there was discussion of trying to work with TVA to get equipment to help dredge. The boat ramp behind the courthouse was a major concern. According to our local Corps of Engineers Representative, Jeff Hancock, who was present at the meeting, one thing was the commitment from the Corps to at least dredge the boat ramp at Dover landing. Hancock told the Standard last week, "The Corps is getting ready to dredge at Dover landing behind the courthouse. The last word I heard was it should be this year." He told us the sole purpose is to provide better access at the boat ramp. He said they were waiting on getting contracts finalized, testing and permits but it should happen soon. The levels of Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake still have more than a foot to drop to reach winter pool, which is 354' above mean sea level, which means it's only going to get worse across the county. Hancock said before, "When I first came here, I asked them to give me a price to set up and dredge, and was told it would be very expensive. Our budget keeps getting cut, we've requested many times. This has been an ongoing conversation." He added, "We have a fleet that does the dredging. We're under Corps Resource Management." Last week, before the heavy rain, you could see bottom all the way across the main channel from Dyer's Creek to the river, going under the Dover bridge.
Stewart County Schools Director Mike Craig made the decision today to close school the rest of this week. Craig said Dr. Lee called and strongly recommended they close. Dr. Robert Lee's office, Tennova Medical Clinic in Dover said they have seen a high number of flu and strep cases today and yesterday on top of what they had last week when schools closed Thursday, Friday, and Monday of this week trying to stop the spread of flu. Dover Family pharmacy said they have written a large number of prescriptions for flu in the last week and the number is rising, filling even more today and yesterday. Craig said starting tomorrow, all after school activities are canceled as well, they are planning on going back on Monday, Feb. 10.
As many know, a stoplight has been in the works at the Trace for some time, and was scheduled to start this summer. The Standard was told recently, this has been pushed back. Kathryn Schulte, Community Relations Officer for the Tennessee Dept. of Transportation, mentioned that the project was scheduled to let in August, but unfortunately had to be moved to the October letting. The term 'let' in highway construction projects means, by definition, "The date by which bids are opened."
Schulte stated, "Closing on the last tract is now complete, but it wasn't finalized in time to get the project into the August letting. This was the tract on the McDonald's property. When working with large corporations it's not uncommon to encounter delays with this process. A few weeks prior to the letting, the construction department will set time on the contract. At that time we will know when the project is scheduled to be completed." According to Mayor Robin Brandon, it will take eight months to set the poles which will be this time next year before the new light is installed at that location. Brandon stated, "This is very disturbing to our citizens and we are unclear if this was a local or corporate decision on the part of McDonald's."
A photographic War Memorial honoring our country's fallen military from the War on Terror since 9/11 is at the Stewart Co. Visitors Center, through Friday, May 31, from 8 am - 4:30 pm. It includes service members from TN who have died during service since 911. Cory Hewitt, who was killed in a suicide bombing in December of 2004 is the only one representing Stewart Co. in the somber memorial. The Opening Ceremony introducing the memorial was from 4-6 pm Friday, May 24. Veteran Service Officer, Kathy Freed spoke and honored local sponsors and presented their representatives with a Certificate. Sponsors included, Keith Tester with VFW Post 4730; Daniel Hyleman with Houston/Stewart Disabled American Veterans; Mayor Robin Brandon with the Stewart County Mayor's office; Don Bailey with the American Legion Dover Post 72; and Melissa Parker, Ski Witzofsky, and Kathy Veazey with the Stewart Co. Arts & Heritage Council.
Indian Mound woman, Charlene Thompson set up a display of her family members who served for the opening ceremony. She had a display of her great grandfather, grandfather and father's many military decorations and information about their service to our country. Her great grandfather, Major Harry Packard served in the Philippines during WWII and survived the Bataan Death March but was killed by friendly fire on a POW ship. Her grandfather, Brigadier General Edmund Thompson, served in Vietnam and the office he had in the Pentagon was hit in the 9/11 attacks. Her father, Sergeant First Class Matthew Thompson served in the Cold War. Thompson said, "Memorial Day was not created for sales or BBQs, or trips to the beach. It was created as a special day to remember those we've lost who gave us the freedom to do those things. I'm happy most Americans won't ever know what it's like to get that knock or phone call. I wouldn't want any family to know that feeling. I wish everyone could understand what military families, especially Blue and Gold star families feel around this time of year when we see how much Americans forget that today is about remembering."
US Congressman for Tennessee's 7th Congressional District, Mark Green, was at the Stewart Co. Visitors Center for a brief Town Hall discussion, Monday, April 22 at 2 pm. There was a large turnout at the meeting which was listed in the Standard Event Calendar last week. Green talked about the team he has set up and introduced them. Green said, "I believe we have built a very good team, we cover 19 counties, I obviously can't be everywhere at one time. We hired some extra field reps, I believe being responsive to people is the biggest thing that makes an elected or appointed official good at their job." Green introduced Mark Crane as Field Representative for our area. A Retired Night Stalker, with multiple trips to Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Green. His office is located at 128 N. Second St. in Clarksville.
38 year old, Jennifer Ruth Barber of Clarksville, TN, was booked into SC jail, last night, Tuesday April 9 at 11:55 pm, on several counts, including: Manufacture/sell/deliver/possession of Schedule II Substance, promotion of methamphetamine manufacture, possession of a handgun while intoxicated, possession of a weapon during felony, driving while in possession of meth, altering, falsifying or forging an auto title, driving under influence, driving un-insured, unlawful removal of registration decal, unregistered vehicle, unlawful drug paraphernalia, simple possession or casual exchange, speeding 21 miles over the speed limit, and two counts of violation of the light law. Stewart County Public Information Officer, Paulette Redman told the Standard, Barber was pulled over on Hwy 120 in Stewart Co. She had 60 grams of Methamphetamine, a weapon, and $1,300 cash when she was taken into custody. Officer Bo Riner made the stop and Deputy/K9 Handler Shane Keatts brought Stormy, the Sheriff's Office trained dog out and found the drugs. Barber's court date is scheduled for April 16, her total bond is $140,000.
After three commissioners resigned in two weeks, just ahead of the end of their two year terms, the new Stewart County Election Commission met, Tuesday, April 2, at 4:30 pm. There were all new members except for one, long time Democrat Commissoner, Nellie Settle. They met to select a chairman and go over organizational procedures for new commissioners. Three Republican replacements were appointed by the State Election Commission, Monday, April 1, after being recommended by District 75 State Rep., Bruce Griffey. The three, who were expected to be placed on the commission, Tim Borens, Robert Girndt and Carol Lovin were all sworn in at the meeting. Lovin was named Chairman. One surprise, long time Stewart Co. resident, Jane Bagwell, was named by the State Election Commission to replace the Democrat Commissioner who resigned last week. Bagwell was at the meeting but couldn't vote yet because she has not been made official. Settle is considered a hold over and said she will wait to be sworn in with Bagwell. We will have more on the first meeting of the new commission in next week's Standard.
According to the US Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District, they are in the process of reclassifying the Lock C site in Montgomery Co., TN, on the Cumberland River, from Multiple Resource Management (MR)-Low Density Recreation to MR-Future/Inactive Recreation Area. A press release sent to the Standard, stated in part, "This designation will allow the Corps to reassign the area to the U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Campbell. The Lock C site has historically been used by the Army to transport equipment on the Cumberland River and, in 2018, the Corps issued a Permit to Fort Campbell for the purpose of loading and unloading barges along the shoreline of a 14.64-acre portion of the site. The permitted area has visual remnants of the old lock wall, contains a rudimentary boat ramp, and currently receives light recreational usage from boaters and bank fishermen. The Army has subsequently requested more proprietary control over the area and the Corps has agreed to reassign the area to Fort Campbell. This reassignment would allow the Army to construct security fencing, gates, and barricades to restrict public access to the site."
One of only two Democratic representatives on the Stewart Co. Election Commission turned in her resignation today, effective immediately. Democrat Martha Vaughn turned in a letter of resignation at the local Election Commission office at 1:50 pm, before a 4:30 called meeting. Chairman Kyle Mallory said it was a surprise. The resignation didn't leave enough, a required three Commissioners, for a quorum to vote. They were able to officially lock the ballot boxes after someone from the State Election Commission gave the okay with one Republican Election Commissioner, Mallory, and one Democrat Election Commissioner, Nellie Settle, who has been on the commission for many years. Two Republican Election Commissioners resigned on March 12, 2019. Vaughan resigned today, leaving only two. Mallory said he will not be appointed and there should be four new Election Commission members, three Republicans and one Democrat appointed by the state legislature, April 1, 2019. We will have more on this story in next week's Standard.
SCHS Class of 2018's Valedictorian, Sunshine Coombs, won the new car given away this year at the Peppers Automotive Grade-A-Car Giveaway, held Sat., July 21 in Paris, TN. Coombs has been featured in the Standard many times while at SCHS including on the front page in April when she signed a commitment to Murray State University for a Presidential Fellowship scholarship that covers tuition, housing, and meals for up to eight semesters. She came by the Standard office Monday in her new ride, a 2018 Toyota Corolla. Coombs said, "There were about 70 students from 20 counties there. I could not hear anything and when they first announced, I heard Sunshine but didn't know if I had won money or the car. I couldn't believe it and still can't." She said her old car had more than 170,000 miles on it and the air conditioning didn't work.
Local Stewart County man, Lane Lewis, son of Donnie and Rhonda Lewis of Indian Mound is currently filming a short film, partially on site in Dover. Stewart County folks should be aware, some filming took place Wednesday, July 11 around 11:30 am on Hood St., between Vine and Church streets behind the SC courthouse. Additionally, Dover Police Chief, Kim Wallace is allowing use of one police uniform and one police car for an individual scene to be shot in the same location, Sunday night, July 15. "A young woman who is left homeless after the death of her parents, struggles with her faith in both God and humanity," is the synopsis for the film, titled "Found at the Steps." Three Eighteen Productions, based out of Stewart County, is putting the 15-20 minute film together. Co- Producers Lewis and Kaitlyn Williams are excited about the short film. Lewis, who is also the Director, said the company plans for the film to first have a festival run, and may be released as soon as mid-to-late August 2018. Actor Stephen Shore, who is flying in from New York for a production at the Roxy Theater in Clarksville, will portray the part of the officer, and Williams will portray the lead role in the Christian film.
Land Between the Lakes , Ky./Tenn. - July 5, 2018 - According to officials at LBL. A man was injured by a bison inside the restricted area of the South Bison Range in Stewart County on July 4 at Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. The 37 year old male was treated by Stewart County Emergency Medical Services and transported by helicopter to Vanderbilt Medical Center where he remains in stable condition. "We continue to stress to the public that bison and elk are wild animals," said Curtis Fowler, wildlife technician at Land Between the Lakes. "Bison will aggressively protect their calves by confronting any perceived threat. Their sharp horns and hooves are unforgiving and they can react surprisingly fast." Fowler encourages the public to use this very unfortunate incident as a reminder to never enter restricted wildlife enclosures. There are two bison enclosures at Land Between the Lakes. The South Bison Range offers limited viewing from the Woodlands Trace National Scenic Byway. The Elk and Bison Prairie offers an opportunity to drive through and observe animals in their native habitat from the safety of their vehicle.
The Standard received a press release from the TBI Tuesday, July 3, stating, "An investigation by Special Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in an indictment for a former sheriff's detective in Stewart County in connection to the December suicide of his acquaintance. On December 2nd, at the request of 23rd District Attorney General Ray Crouch, TBI Special Agents began investigating the shooting death of a man at a home on Lower Cross Creek Road in Indian Mound. During the course of the investigation, Agents determined the shooting was self-inflicted and involved the service weapon of off-duty Stewart County Sheriff's Deputy David Evans (DOB 2-27-69). The investigation further revealed that, before the man's death, Evans permitted him to ride in his patrol unit while the man drank alcohol and used the lights and siren inappropriately. After the two returned to the man's home, and while the deputy was inside the house, the man retrieved the deputy's service weapon from his patrol unit and shot himself. On Monday, the Stewart County Grand Jury returned an indictment, charging Evans (who resigned his position with Stewart County) with one count of Official Misconduct. Today, authorities booked him into the Stewart County Jail on $1,000 bond." District Attorney General Ray Crouch told us last month the case was to be presented to the May Grand Jury but was delayed until July.We first reported on the story in the December 5, 2017 Standard in the story with the headline, "Indian Mound Man Dies; Early Reports Say He Shot Himself with Deputy's Gun."In February of this year, we confirmed Evans was the off duty investigator involved, very little information was released on the incident from the TBI, or the Stewart Co. Sheriff's Office.
McDonalds of Dover held their Grand Re-Opening Ceremony, Thursday, May 3. They started a complete remodel in March of this year but was able to keep the drive-thru open during most of the construction. The restaurant had to close completely for the final inside work. General Manager Katherine Sexton said there were well over 200 people by 5 pm on Thursday. At 9 am there was a Flag Raising Ceremony with the Dover Post 72 American Legion and a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with the Stewart Co. Chamber of Commerce. The actual Grand Re-Opening Ceremonies were held 3:30pm-5:30pm with the Dover Police, Stewart Co. Fire Rescue and LBL with activities and hand outs. The Dover Police Dept. offered a ChildPrint ID Kit for parents and fingerprinted kids. Fire Rescue let kids check out the fire truck. There were door prizes and coupons handed out to all in attendance. Besides a completely new look, they have also added a modernized dining area, self-order kiosks, KidzPlace entertainment systems, digital menu boards, free Wi-Fi, and mobile order and pay. You can check them out at 1505 Donelson Parkway in Dover.
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