Local News Articles

DTC Proposes Three Bylaw Amendments Subject to Approval by Members at Sept 15 Meeting

September 7, 2012
Dwayne Page

Along with the election of three directors, members of DTC Communications (DeKalb Telephone Cooperative) will be asked to decide whether to approve three proposed amendments in the current bylaws during the annual meeting next Saturday, September 15 in Alexandria.

A prepared news release from DTC states that "proposed amendments to the cooperative's bylaws will be on the ballot and are included in the 2012 DTC Annual Report that was mailed to our members on September 6th. The specific language in the proposed bylaw amendments will be reported by WJLE once they become available

In the news release, DTC CEO, Craig Gates said, "This year's bylaw amendments and the unopposed races of our board members are a testament to DTC's commitment to our members. The first bylaw amendment will allow DTC members to attend the annual meeting throughout the DTC territory, if the Board approves a new location each year. The other bylaw amendments have two objectives: one, it helps DTC ensure that all members are treated fairly and second, it ensures that undue influence from interested third parties will not gain influence over the company." Gates went on to say, "the management team supports the board's decision to bring these bylaws forward for a vote."

Members will decide the issue during the annual meeting on Saturday, September 15th, at the DeKalb County Fairgrounds in Alexandria. Enjoy special live entertainment beginning at 3 p.m. by DeKalb Idol winner, Josh Isaac.

Incumbents Bennie Curtis, Randy Campbell, and Ronnie Garrison are running unopposed in the Alexandria, Liberty, and Smithville exchanges, respectively.

The gates to the DeKalb County Fairgrounds in Alexandria will open at 11:45 a.m., with voting from noon until 4 p.m. The business meeting will begin at 4 p.m. or once the last person in line at that time has voted.

Only DTC members may vote, and each member must present photo identification. For a single membership, only that individual may vote. Either member of a joint membership may vote, but not both. In the case of a business membership, a business affidavit is required.

DTC Communications is a member-owned telephone cooperative established in 1951. The cooperative supplies communication, entertainment, and security products and services to residential and business customers primarily throughout Middle Tennessee.

Two Busted Operating Meth Lab Near DeKalb County High School

September 6, 2012
Dwayne Page
Smithville Police Detectives Brandon Donnell, Matt Holmes, & Officer Chip Avera
Some of the Alleged Meth Lab Components
Bobby Pinegar, Jr.
Mistey Goff

Smithville Police found two people operating a meth lab inside a shed on private property within a few feet of DeKalb County High School Thursday.

M2U00824 from dwayne page on Vimeo.
Chief Randy Caplinger told WJLE that 36 year old Bobby Pinegar, Jr. and 32 year old Mistey Goff are each charged with initiation of a process intended to manufacture methamphetamine, sale and delivery of a controlled substance in a drug free school zone, and reckless endangerment. Bond for each is $60,000 and they will be in court on September 13.

According to Chief Caplinger, Smithville Police Officer Chip Avera was on patrol in the high school parking lot when he spotted smoke coming from a shed behind a brick home on West Main Street. The property is next to the DeKalb County High School campus.

Officer Avera was joined at the scene by Chief Caplinger and Detectives Matt Holmes and Brandon Donnell of the Smithville Police Department. They approached the shed and knocked on the door. After Pinegar opened the door and came out, officers could see inside the shed a green bottle containing liquid. Smoke was coming from the bottle. Other components were also spotted inside the shed that are commonly used in the manufacture of meth including coffee filters, tubing, bottles of unknown liquids, a 20 ounce bottle of a liquid sludge, among other items. Two cellophane bags were also found containing finished meth, ready for sale.

Both Pinegar and Goff were taken into custody.

GED Classes Starting Soon

September 6, 2012
Dwayne Page

Registration for GED classes is scheduled for Monday and Wednesday, September 10 & 12 from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the DeKalb County Complex on South Congress Boulevard

Anyone age eighteen and older may sign up. The ten week course is offered at no charge locally but the cost is $55.00 to take the final GED test. The fee will increase to $120.00 in 2014.

Tom Werling, GED Volunteer Instructor, said after a student registers, a test is given to determine his or her grade level in certain subject areas. "Step two is going to be the TABE Test, Monday September 17 or Wednesday, September 19 at 6:00 p.m. The TABE Test will give us an idea of where you (students) are education wise. We have had people from the second grade (level) all the way to the twelfth grade (level) so this will give us an idea of the books we need to give you and the things we need to do for you," said Werling.

Step three will be the OPT test, Monday and Wednesday September 24 and 26 at 4:00 p.m., which is the official practice test for the GED program, according to Werling. "The GED test is divided into five categories, Reading, Writing, Social Studies, Science, and Math. To get your GED you just need to average 450 in each one of the those areas. The new GED test will be coming out in 2014. It will be a computer based test and it will be harder. The fee will also be going from $55.00 to $120.00 for the test. Right now it is $55.00. There is no charge or fee for the classes here in Smithville. We'll provide you the books you need. We teach on a one to one basis because of the variance in the education level of the people we will be seeing," said Werling.

For more information call 931-528-8685.

Department of Safety to Hold Special Saturday Hours to Issue Voter Photo IDs

September 6, 2012

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security today announced that it will open eight of its driver service centers, including the one in Putnam County on the first Saturday of October and November to give citizens additional opportunities to obtain photo identification in order to vote in the upcoming state and federal general election. The centers were chosen based on the size of the populations they serve and the response from citizens to centers that were opened on Saturdays before the primary election.

The Cookeville Center is located at 4600 Jefferson Avenue

A new state law effective this year requires citizens to present a federal or state-issued photo ID to vote at the polls. The law also requires the Department of Safety and Homeland Security to issue photo IDs for voting purposes at no charge.

As of September 6, 2012, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security had issued 22,355 photo IDs for voting purposes. The vast majority (20,967) of those issued were non-photo driver licenses converted into photo driver licenses, while 1,388 were original photo identification cards.

"Any citizen who needs a photo ID for voting purposes may obtain one at no charge by visiting any of our 51 driver service centers during normal business hours. As an added service, we are again opening certain centers for special Saturday hours to make sure everyone has an opportunity to get a photo ID," Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said.

"Once again, the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security is demonstrating its strong commitment to helping Tennesseans get the proper identification needed to vote. We are pleased to continue to partner with Commissioner Gibbons and his colleagues in their efforts to encourage civic participation," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said.

The eight driver service centers will be open from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 6 and Saturday, November 3. The centers will issue voter photo IDs and convert non-photo driver licenses into photo driver licenses only. No other services will be available during these special hours.

To minimize the possibility of wait times during Saturday hours, groups or organizations planning to make a group visit to a driver service center should schedule an appointment by calling Melissa Long at 865-712-4908 (east Tennessee contact) or Rochelle Bryant at 931-242-7282 (west Tennessee contact).

For more information on the new voter photo ID law, including acceptable forms of photo identification and documents needed to obtain a photo ID for voting purposes, please visit the Department of Safety and Homeland Security's website at www.tn.gov/safety

Rachel Robinson Announces Write-In Campaign Against Diane Black

September 5, 2012
Rachel Robinson

Rachel Robinson, a Cookeville native, has announced that she will be launching a formal write-in campaign as a Democrat running in the 6th Congressional District race.

She stopped by WJLE Wednesday on a campaign visit to DeKalb County.

In announcing her candidacy, Robinson addressed the reasons she is entering this race. “Watching national news coverage of the recent Republican primary, I was angry and embarrassed. This area deserves so much better than being an example of the worst in national politics. At a time when people are fed up with the un-ending partisan gridlock in Washington, our Congresswoman is running on the fact that she’s the most extreme Congress member of all.

“So many people I spoke with shared my sentiment. We were frustrated there was no Democrat on the ballot. We were frustrated with the job Diane Black has been doing. We were frustrated that our Congressional race was a national joke, but most importantly, we were frustrated that we felt like we didn’t have anyone fighting for us.”

In her announcement, Robinson expressed opposition to Congresswoman Black’s support of the Ryan Budget, which would end Medicare as it currently exists, and expressed special disbelief that the Congresswoman had failed to introduce or vote for a single jobs bill during her entire tenure in Congress.

“I work three jobs to make ends meet,” Robinson said. “I buy my own health insurance, because none of those three jobs provide it. The fact that our Congresswoman has done nothing in two years to bring new, quality jobs to our district is completely unacceptable.”

While acknowledging that her campaign will be tough, Robinson also expressed that she had full belief in the benefits of running. “The many ignored people in the 6th district deserve a voice, and if I can, I will give that to them. Representing people in Congress is about more than being an activist with an agenda; it’s about being an advocate,” she said.

Robinson grew up in Cookeville, TN, and attended Cookeville High School. After graduation, she attended University of Memphis where she pursued both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Upon returning to Cookeville, she began work as an adjunct instructor at both Volunteer State’s Livingston Campus as well as Tennessee Technological University, where she currently teaches English Composition. In addition, she is pursuing her EdS degree from TTU and serves her church as the Director of Children’s and Youth Ministries.

Engaged in her community throughout her life, Robinson currently volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, and she participates in many other community events and organizations including WCTE-TV’s Great TV Auction, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and the Cookeville Fall Fun Fest.

Dailey & Vincent to Host Third Annual Helping Hands Charity Concert

September 5, 2012
Dwayne Page
Dailey & Vincent

Dailey & Vincent are set to host their third concert for their Helping Hands Charity, on Saturday, September 29 at the Jackson County High School Gymnasium in Gainesboro. The show starts at 5:00 p.m.

Since its inception, The Dailey & Vincent Helping Hands Fund, administered through the Cookeville Regional Medical Center Foundation, a 501©(3) organization, has raised over $60,000. It exists to provide financial assistance to disadvantaged children of Tennessee's Jackson and DeKalb counties to meet immediate medical, nutritional and educational needs not covered by insurance or other means.

Funds raised by the concert will be divided evenly for use in Jackson and DeKalb counties.

Concert tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door and are available in Smithville at Cantrell Furniture or Mapco Express or by calling Julie Vincent (615-418-5759). Tickets are also available online at www.daileyvincent.com.

Susan Conley Appointed CEO for DeKalb Community Hospital and Stones River Hospital

September 4, 2012
Susan Conley

Susan (Sue) Conley, FACHE, has been named Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for DeKalb Community Hospital (DCH) and Stones River Hospital (SRH) by the Upper Cumberland Healthcare Initiatives (UCHI) Board and Capella Healthcare in consultation with the hospital’s Board of Trustees. She begins the new position on Monday, October 1.

“With over 20 years of experience in a variety of healthcare leadership roles, Sue brings outstanding qualifications to this role,” said Mark Medley, President of Hospital Operations for Capella. “With the opportunities ahead of us I, along with the board members, believe Sue is the right leader to help these hospitals reach their fullest potential. We all have great confidence in Sue’s ability to work with all of the hospitals’ constituents to lead both organizations through the transitional years ahead.”

Conley comes to DCH and SRH from Van Buren, AR, where she has been serving as CEO of Summit Medical Center, a 103-bed acute medical/surgical hospital. Prior to this, she served as CEO at Mesa Vista Regional Hospital in Mesquite, NV; and as COO at a number of hospitals including 492-bed Sparks Health System in Fort Smith, AR; Medical Center of South Arkansas in El Dorado, AR; and Brownwood Regional Hospital in Brownwood, TX. She also served as an Assistant Administrator and Laboratory Supervisor after beginning her healthcare career as a Medical Technologist.

Conley earned a B.S. degree in biology (cum laude) from Hardin Simmons University, Abilene, TX; and a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from Trinity University, San Antonio, TX. She has earned Fellowship status in the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE).

Conley will be moving to the area in the next month with her husband Allen. She has two grown children, a daughter JoBeth who lives in Sacramento, California, and a son Michael who lives in London, England. She has two grandchildren.

About DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospitals

DCH and SRH are a part of the Capella-Saint Thomas system of hospitals, a joint venture between Capella Healthcare and Saint Thomas Health, along with sister hospitals Highlands Medical Center in Sparta and River Park Hospital in McMinnville. There are approximately 80 physicians on the combined medical staffs, representing nearly every medical specialty. Both are accredited by The Joint Commission. Established in 1969, DCH is a 71-bed hospital located in Smithville. The hospital offers 24-hour emergency services and comprehensive diagnostic, medical, surgical and rehabilitative services. The hospital has enjoyed a long history of medical excellence having been named one of the 100 Top Hospitals® in America by Thomson Reuters (formerly Solucient) for five years. Established in 1980, SRH is a 60-bed hospital located in Woodbury. The hospital provides 24-hour emergency care as well as surgical procedures, same day outpatient services, cardiac rehabilitation services, and comprehensive imaging services. Through the Riverside Center, a full range of mental health services for older adults is available, with intensive inpatient services at a 14-bed gero-psychiatric unit at the hospital.

About Capella Healthcare and Saint Thomas Health

Capella Healthcare partners with communities to build strong local healthcare systems that are known for quality patient care and exceptional service. Based in Franklin, Tenn., Capella owns and/or operates 15 acute care and specialty hospital facilities in seven states. For more information, visit www.CapellaHealthcare.com Saint Thomas Health is the market share leader in Middle Tennessee with 6,500 associates serving the region. Saint Thomas Health’s regional health system consists of five hospitals – Baptist and Saint Thomas Hospitals and The Hospital for Spinal Surgery in Nashville, Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro and Hickman Community Hospital in Centerville – and a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures in diagnostics, cardiac services and ambulatory surgery as well as medical practices, clinic and rehabilitation facilities. Saint Thomas Health is a member of Ascension Health, a Catholic organization that is the largest not-for-profit health system in the United States. For more information, visit www.sths.com.

Sheriff's Department Finds Meth Lab While Serving Warrant, Makes Arrest in the Case

September 4, 2012
Dwayne Page
Danny Ray Murphy
James Allen Hesson
Gregory Eugene Neal
Michael Brandon Redmon
Cory Lee Crabtree
Virginia Dawn Ayala
William Elton Eisenmann

Officers of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department found a meth lab while serving a warrant at a residence on Evins Mill Road last week.

31 year old Danny Ray Murphy of Shady Drive, Smithville is charged with the initiation of a process to manufacture methamphetamine. His bond is $50,000 and he will be in court on September 13.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, August 30 sheriff's department deputies and a drug detective went to the residence on Evins Mill Road to execute a warrant on someone there. As officers arrived, they saw three or four people running from the home into the woods. While officers were searching the property, Murphy emerged from the field. As the drug detective spoke with Murphy, a deputy saw smoke coming from the field where Murphy had been and alerted the detective, who went to investigate and found a meth lab. Two, one pot bottles and numerous components were also found along with empty Mucinex D blister packs. Murphy's car was searched and a bag containing an empty draino can was found inside the trunk and an empty box of Mucinex D. Murphy was taken to the jail for an interview and but he told the drug detective that he had nothing to say at that time.

35 year old James Allen Hesson of Bethel Road, Smithville is charged with violation of the sex offender registry law. His bond is $50,000 and he will be in court September 13. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, August 31, Hesson violated the sex offender registry law by being on school property where children were present. Hesson was told to leave the school grounds due to his being a sex offender and that he was not to be within one thousand feet of the school property line. Shortly thereafter, Hesson was found in the back yard of property adjoining the high school where he was watching children at play during a sports event after regular school hours. Sheriff Ray said that Hesson is well aware that he is not to be near school property

31 year old Virginia Dawn Ayala of Circle Drive, Dowelltown is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence and a second offense of driving on a revoked license. Her bond is $6,000 and she will be in court September 13. She was further issued citations for simple possession of methamphetamine and hydrocodone. Sheriff Ray said that a sheriff's department drug detective observed a vehicle traveling in the middle of the roadway on East Bryant Street in Smithville. The automobile was stopped on Walker Drive. Ayala was the driver. Upon speaking with her, the detective noticed that her speech was very slow and slurred. She could not keep her eyes open. Ayala submitted to but performed poorly on several field sobriety tasks. She was very unsteady on her feet. Ayala submitted to a blood alcohol test. She had a prior DUI against her on April 25, 2008. A check of her license showed that they were revoked for DUI. Her prior offense of driving on revoked was on July 8, 2009. A female correctional officer was summoned to the scene to search Ayala and found on her a plastic baggie containing one hydrocodone pill and another baggie which held a white rock substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine.

42 year old Gregory Eugene Neal of Sparta Highway, Sparta is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident with property damage, and theft under $500 for possession of stolen property. His bond is $9,000 and he will be in court on September 20. He was further issued citations for violation of the implied consent law, violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance), and failing to change the address on his license.

Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, September 1 a sheriff's department deputy was called to investigate a hit and run traffic accident on Hurricane Bridge, in which one vehicle exiting the bridge had sideswiped another stopped at the traffic light there. The outside mirror on the victim's automobile was gone and the driver's side exterior was scratched from the impact. The officer spotted the vehicle that left the scene and stopped it at Northside Elementary School. Neal was the driver. The outside mirror on the driver's side of Neal's vehicle was broken. Upon speaking with Neal, the deputy noticed that his speech and movements were slow and he was unsteady on his feet as he got out of the vehicle to perform field sobriety tasks. He submitted to but performed poorly on all tasks. He refused to submit to a blood alcohol/drug test. Neal did not have any proof of insurance and the officer learned that Neal had moved but hadn't changed the address on his license. Meanwhile, when a computer check was made of the tag on Neal's vehicle, it revealed that the tag had been stolen. Sheriff Ray said that a further investigation found that the tag was stolen on the same day, September 1 on East Broad Street. Earlier in the day, Smithville Police Officer Travis Bryant had taken a report from the victim who reported that the tag was removed from his truck.

28 year old Michael Brandon Redmon of Holcomb Road, McMinnville is charged with aggravated burglary and violation of an order of protection. His bond is $13,500 and he will be in court on September 13. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, August 26 Redmon allegedly entered the residence of a family member on McMinnville Highway with the intent to commit a theft and assault. Entry was made by breaking out glass in a door. He then kicked open the door. Sheriff Ray said Redmon has an order of protection against him and is aware that he is not to be near this residence. The victim said he has tried to avoid Redmon because he is afraid of being assaulted by him. Redmon broke into the home, even while he was being ordered by the victim to leave.

45 year old William Elton Eisenmann of Hurricane Creek Road, Woodbury is charged with criminal impersonation and his bond is $2,500. He is being held without bond for failure to appear in court on a probation violation in General Sessions Court. He will be in court on September 20.

According to Sheriff Ray, a deputy responded to a call of a suspicious man in the Liberty area on Sunday, September 2. Central dispatch informed the officer that the man was last seen on Tubb Street. The deputy spotted the man walking along Highway 70 in Liberty and knew him to be Eisenmann. He also knew that Eisenmann had warrants against him. The officer spoke with the man but he said his name was actually Mark Anthony Eisenmann and that his date of birth was June 10, 1983. After the deputy was provided a booking sheet, Eisenmann confessed that he had lied about his real name.

32 year old Cory Lee Crabtree of Rosewood Lane, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. His bond is $1,000 and he will be in court September 20. He was also issued citations for failing to heed a traffic control device and violation of the implied consent law. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, September 2 a deputy saw a vehicle run a stop sign at the intersection of Jefferson and Keltonburg Road. The automobile then crossed the fog line and center line several times. The deputy stopped the vehicle, which was driven by Crabtree who had a strong odor of alcohol on his person. Crabtree admitted to having been drinking. The officer asked him if he thought he had drank too much to drive. Crabtree's response was "yes". Crabtree submitted to but performed poorly on several field sobriety tasks. He was very unsteady on his feet and he refused to submit to a blood alcohol test.

High Speed Pursuit Results in Arrest of Wilson County Burglary Suspect, Second Man Remains at Large

September 4, 2012
Dwayne Page
Davien Brown

A 33 year old Lebanon man is in custody but DeKalb and Wilson County authorities have been unable to find a second person following this morning's high speed pursuit which ended after the suspects ran their Jeep Cherokee into a corn field and fled on foot shortly after 1:00 a.m. near the intersection of Highway 146 (Short Mountain Highway) and Highway 83 (New Home Road).

The man arrested, Davien Brown of Oak Dale Drive, Lebanon, and the other man, who may have already left the area, are suspects in a burglary overnight at L& C Market in Watertown. A cash drawer from the store, containing money was found in the Jeep Cherokee along with boltcutters, believed to have been used to break into the store. The suspects are believed to have committed nine burglaries within the last seven days in Wilson County.

Sheriff Patrick Ray told WJLE that the suspects were almost caught red handed this morning after Wilson County authorities responded to a call alerting them to the Watertown break-in. As officers arrived, the Jeep Cherokee sped away, but they got in behind the vehicle and started a pursuit.

According to Sheriff Ray, his department received a call at 12:52 a.m. from Wilson County authorities notifying them that the pursuit was approaching DeKalb County. Sheriff Ray said one of his deputies took over the pursuit on Highway 70 near DeKalb West School at 12:56 a.m. and the chase continued east at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour until the Jeep Cherokee turned right on New Home Road near Kilgore's Restaurant. As the suspects reached the end of New Home Road, they ran the Jeep across the intersection of Highway 146 (Short Mountain Highway) and through a corn field, before stopping. The suspects baled out of the Jeep and fled on foot at 1:05 a.m. Six minutes later, at 1:11 a.m., Sheriff Ray said a call came in from the 5000 block of Short Mountain Highway. The residents there reported that they had heard the sirens and got out of bed to see what was happening. About that time, they heard someone trying to open their back door. They turned on the back porch light and saw a man holding a flashlight running away from the home.

Sheriff Ray said DeKalb and Wilson County Sheriff's Department deputies and detectives converged on the scene to begin the search. A Wilson County K-9 was brought in and a call was placed for a THP aircraft, but no aerial search could be arranged due to weather conditions. A reverse 911 call was made to residents within a two mile radius alerting them about the search for the missing suspect. At 2:54 a.m. one of the suspects, Brown, was taken into custody after he was located in the corn field by the Wilson County K-9. He was not armed. To make sure Brown was not seriously hurt by the K-9 bites he received, DeKalb EMS was called to the scene to check him out.

State Readies for Fifth Round of Standard Spend Down

September 3, 2012

The TennCare Standard Spend Down program will again offer open enrollment opportunities to new applicants on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012 beginning at 6 p.m. CST.

Standard Spend Down is available through a waiver to the Medicaid program for a limited number of qualified low-income individuals, or those with high, unpaid medical bills who are aged, blind, disabled, or the caretaker relative of a Medicaid eligible child. Eligible individuals must have enough unpaid medical bills to meet the "spend down" threshold to qualify for coverage.

"We are pleased to once again open enrollment in the Standard Spend Down program to Tennesseans who need additional assistance," said Department of Human Services Commissioner Raquel Hatter. "This service certainly benefits people with high medical bills who are not already receiving TennCare benefits."

A special call-in phone line through DHS has been set up for interested applicants. The only way to request an application is by calling the toll-free number -- 1-866-358-3230 -- which will be open between 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. CST on Sept. 13. Operators will close the phone line once 2,500 applicants call in. In previous open enrollment periods, 2,500 calls had been taken within one hour. If 2,500 calls are not received on Sept. 13, the phone lines will be open from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on subsequent weekdays until 2,500 interested applicants call in.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to check eligibility qualifications before calling in. More information on the Standard Spend Down program and more detailed eligibility criteria are available here.

The toll-free number system is used to ensure equal access to Tennessee citizens interested in this program. DHS will send applications to all callers who are not already on TennCare and will review their eligibility for any open Medicaid categories and the newly opened Standard Spend Down category. Advanced notifications will be made to the public and other stakeholders prior to subsequent openings of the application request line.

Standard Spend Down Eligibility:
•In addition to being aged (65 or older), blind*, disabled,* or a caretaker relative,

•An individual must meet certain income restrictions, or be able to "spend down" qualifying unpaid medical bills to that limit. (*To be considered blind or disabled, an individual must meet standards set by the Social Security Administration.)

The following shows the income limits:
Household Size 1 (Monthly Income $241)
Household Size 2 ( Monthly Income $258)
Household Size 3 (Monthly Income $317)
Household Size 4 (Monthly Income $325)
Household Size 5 (Monthly Income $392)
Household Size 6 (Monthly Income $408)

Applicants also must not have resources that:
•Exceed $2,000 for a family of one and $3,000 for a family of two with an additional $100 added per additional individual in the family.

•A person's unpaid medical bill must have been accrued within the past 90 days. Medical bills paid by the applicant within the past 30 days may count towards meeting an applicant's spend down requirement.

Pregnant women and children still are eligible for the Medically Needy Spend Down program.

The ONLY way to request an application for the TennCare Standard Spend Down Program is through the toll free number 1-866-358-3230. Individuals interested in accessing the Standard Spend Down call-in line who are deaf/hard of hearing/speech impaired and using a TTY (text telephone) device should first call the Tennessee Relay Service at 1-800-848-0298. They will be prompted to enter the number they are trying to reach (the call-in line #) and a communications assistant will act as the go-between. Those wishing to apply for other TennCare categories should contact their local DHS county office, call the Family Assistance Service Center at 1-866-311-4287 during normal business hours, or visit www.tennessee.gov/humanserv/.


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