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Free Flu Vaccine Now Available at the DeKalb Health Department

January 5, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Health Department is offering flu vaccines at no charge to patients. Influenza activity is widespread in Tennessee, so it’s extremely important for anyone over six months of age to get a flu shot now.

The flu vaccine is especially important for infants, young children, pregnant women, adults over age 50 and for those with chronic medical conditions. The flu shot remains the best protection we have against influenza.

The DeKalb County Health Department clinic is currently offering flu vaccinations at no cost to patients until vaccine supplies are depleted. Patients may walk in to request a flu vaccine any time during regular clinic hours. OR Appointments must be made to receive flu vaccine, and are now being scheduled at the clinic.

“Getting a flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, family members and others from the flu and help keep our community healthy,” said DeKalb County Health Director Michael Railling. ”We urge everyone who has not received a flu shot yet, to get one now.”

It’s also important to help prevent the spread of flu and other winter viruses by practicing good health habits:
•Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer
•Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
•Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
•Stay home if you are sick

For more information about the flu and free flu vaccines, call the DeKalb County Health Department at 615-597-7599.

New Permanent Drug Take Back Box Now Available in Alexandria

January 5, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

There’s a safe place for old prescription drugs, and it’s not in the medicine cabinet.

Thanks to the DeKalb Prevention Coalition, two permanent drop boxes are now available in DeKalb County for you to dispose of old or unwanted prescription medications in order to keep potentially unsafe medicine from hurting children, fueling drug abuse or polluting the environment.

The newest drop box location is inside the Alexandria City Hall building. It’s available to anyone during normal business hours at city hall but especially to residents in the Alexandria, Liberty, and Dowelltown communities. The other drop box is at the Smithville Police Department inside the City Hall building. It has been available to the public for over four years.

The drop-off points are part of the DeKalb Prevention Coalition’s effort to bring more awareness to safe medication storage and help citizens dispose of pills or other medications they don’t need anymore.

“The first step is to make people, especially parents, aware of the problem. If we’re able to help one family through education, awareness and the practical solution these drop boxes offer, it’s absolutely worth doing this program,” Lisa Cripps, Coordinator of the DeKalb Prevention Coalition told WJLE Thursday.

“Last fall we met with Alexandria Police Chief Chris Russell and asked if he would be interested in having a drop box for medications in the western end of our county. He said he would love to have that so we started the paperwork in the fall and we got approval of it by October. The drop box has been mounted at city hall and became ready for use in December. We deposited our first medications Thursday. I’m thrilled to have it there for the people of Alexandria, Liberty, and Dowelltown and even surrounding counties,” said Cripps.

According to Cripps, DeKalb County is fortunate to receive a second drop box.

“The state gets so much money every year for the drop boxes and you have to apply for those. They only awarded five or six this year across the state so we were really lucky to get one of those. We put our application in early and felt like we had a good chance for it,” she said.

“Having two drop box locations in this county is going to be wonderful. We have the one at the Smithville City Hall and its great. We have used it a whole lot and we will continue to use it a lot. But its really good to have one in the western part of the county close to where people in the rural areas don’t have to travel longer distances,” Cripps said.

“If anyone has a loved one who has passed away and they don’t know what to do with their prescriptions bag it up and bring it in to the Smithville City Hall or the Alexandria City Hall and dispose of that medication. We know that prescription medications are a part of everybody’s life but if it is unused or out of date, drop it off at one of our drop boxes to keep it environmentally safe,” Cripps concluded.

The DeKalb Prevention Coalition also helps sponsor a local effort on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day every April and October to encourage residents on those days to come out and drop off any unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription medication for safe disposal at city hall in downtown Smithville.

Process Becomes Faster to Register New Boats in Tennessee

January 5, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

Until recently, the purchase of a new boat in Tennessee required the owner to take the bill of sale to the local courthouse to account for taxes. After having made that trip, another was required to complete the registration process required for new boats.

Using technology provided by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s license vendor, boat owners can now complete the second step, registering their new boat, using home computers or smart phones.

“You could always mail in your new boat registration paperwork, but so many people are anxious about getting everything done at once, “ said Susie Spriggs, TWRA License Division chief. “ Now a new boat owner can complete the process without having to visit a second office or wait for the mail.”

Once taxes have been taken care of, completing a new boat registration requires visiting and clicking on the “Boat Registration” menu atop the agency’s website.

“It’s a simple process,” she said. “Just follow the application prompts and in a few minutes you will have your boat registered. A registration card and decal will be in the mail two business days following approval.”

“Once those taxes have been taken care of, you can register a boat online for up to three years,” said Spriggs. She also noted that boat registrations could be set up to automatically renew, further removing any time spent on the renewal process.

The TWRA is the agency that enforces boating laws in Tennessee, which includes checking that boats are properly registered when on the water. While new boat registrations have also required several steps to finalize, boat registration renewals have been easier to complete.

She did point out that registration and hull identification numbers (HINs) are important in the application procedure. The agency has been updating thousands of incorrect hull numbers, which could create an online issue for some boaters attempting to register boats. If a hull number has not been updated, the registration cannot be completed. However, the agency will receive a message to contact the boater.

“Applicants should make sure to add a telephone number and email address to the customer profile,” urged Spriggs. “We will provide as much help as possible.”

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