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DeKalb County Receives TDEC Grant to Upgrade Used Oil Recycling Stations

February 21, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

DeKalb County has been awarded a grant from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to upgrade its used oil recycling stations.

The grant amount for DeKalb County, $88,750 is among $6,041, 629 in grants being awarded to support community recycling efforts in a statewide move to reduce landfill waste.

“The grant funds will pay for replacing and or installing new collection tanks for used oil, canopies, pads, oil pumps, oil filter crushers, and old tank removals at the garbage collection convenience centers where the existing oil collection stations are located at Midway, Keltonburg, Alexandria, Snow Hill, Allen’s Ferry Road, and McMinnville Highway. Grant funds will also be used to provide education and outreach materials,” said County Mayor Tim Stribling.

“TDEC is committed to increasing the diversion and beneficial use of materials that would otherwise end up in landfills or contaminating our waters,” said TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau. “These grants will help local communities meet the ever-growing challenge of finding ways to reuse materials that would otherwise be discarded to benefit our economy and protect our environment.”

Awarded projects fall into one of five categories: Recycling Hub and Spoke, Recycling Equipment, Recycling Rebate, Used Oil and Convenience Centers.

Recycling Equipment Grants were authorized by the Solid Waste Management Act of 1991 and are supported by the Tennessee Solid Waste Management Fund, which is administered by TDEC. The fund receives revenues from a state surcharge on each ton of solid waste disposed in landfills and from a fee on new tires sold in the state. Used Oil Grants are authorized under the Used Oil Collection Act of 1993 and are funded by the Used Oil Collection Fund, which receives its revenues from a fee collected against every quart of oil sold.

Governor Hopeful Craig Fitzhugh Addresses Local Democrats at Mass Meeting (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

February 21, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

State House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh is in the race to become the next Governor of Tennessee.

The twelve term member of the Tennessee General Assembly from Ripley represents the 82nd legislative district including the counties of Crockett, Haywood, and Lauderdale. He spoke Saturday at the DeKalb County Democratic Party Mass Meeting.

Fitzhugh said the three main issues in this campaign are education, health care, and jobs for Tennesseans.

“I’m forgiving everybody the opportunity to have the American dream. What is that American dream? The ability to take care of your family. The ability to give them food, clothing, and shelter. The ability to educate them. The number one issue is education. It is the reason state government exists. There is a provision in our state constitution that says the state of Tennessee must provide a program of free public education. And it doesn’t start in college. It starts in early childhood education. Everybody also needs a high school degree and then training after that. Does that mean a four year or two year degree? Maybe, maybe not. But it means at least some technical training so we can get those better jobs,” said Fitzhugh.

“The most pressing issue is health care. It is a big issue nationally and there are some things we can do at the state level that we haven’t done. The biggest moral failure the legislature has done in the 24 years I have been there is the failure to expand Medicaid. It makes such a big difference. We have forfeited over $4 billion in your tax money that we didn’t take here that is going to other states. The hospital I was born in at Brownsville closed two years ago. It would not have closed if we had expanded Medicaid. Rural hospitals are going to keep closing. Medicaid would have also helped in the opioid crisis,” Fitzhugh continued.

“The third issue is jobs. The Governor says we have the lowest unemployment we’ve had in years. That is right. But we have more people in this state percentage wise working for minimum wage than any other state in the country. What we need is better training for better jobs. And if we can put Broadband in rural areas it will change the way we live. We have got to get it done. The Governor has put money in it but not much,” added Fitzhugh.

Craig graduated from Ripley High School in 1968, where he played varsity baseball, football, and basketball on some of the earliest integrated sports teams. A graduate of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and the UT College of Law, where in 2010 he was a finalist for its Presidency. He served four years active duty in the Air Force as a Captain in the Judge’s Advocate General (JAG) Corps.

He returned to Ripley to practice law. In 1992, Craig joined the Bank of Ripley, where he currently serves as Chairman and CEO. There he created a bank grant program providing more than $300,000 to supplement classroom resources for local public school teachers.

Craig has represented the people of Tennessee’s 82nd legislative district in the Tennessee House of Representatives since 1994, chosen by his colleagues to serve as House Minority Leader. Craig is a strong advocate for public schools, improved health care especially in rural areas, and economic development throughout the state.

Craig has been married for over 40 years. Pam Fitzhugh is a Lauderdale County native who also attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Pam is a retired consultant for hearing-impaired children with the Lauderdale County School System. She previously worked in this capacity for the Dyer County School System.

Pam and Craig have two married children: Elizabeth Molder is a former first grade teacher and her husband Chaz Molder is an attorney in private practice in Columbia; Tom lives in Memphis and works at the Bank of Ripley/Bank of Tipton and his wife, Windy, is a pediatric nurse practitioner at St. Jude. They have four grandchildren: Marley, Hugh, BeBe and Ollie.

Craig is a fourth generation member of First Baptist Church, Ripley. He serves there as a Deacon and Chairman of the Trustees.

Living Well Workshops Help DeKalb County Live Better with Chronic Conditions

February 21, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

For people with chronic health conditions, good medical care is just half of the equation. Equally important is their ability to make healthy decisions, follow their doctor’s recommendations and take care of their condition.

Living Well with Chronic Conditions, a workshop offered in DeKalb County, teaches people with lifelong health conditions to do just that. Participants have less pain, more energy and fewer hospitalizations.

The classes, offered weekly at the DeKalb County Health Department from March 5- April 9, are for anyone with a chronic disease. Chronic diseases are lifelong health conditions and include diabetes, arthritis, HIV/AIDS, high blood pressure, depression, heart disease, chronic pain, anxiety, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and others.

There’s a significant need for support for people with chronic diseases, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls the most common, costly and preventable of all U.S. health problems. They are also the leading causes of death and disability, responsible for seven out of 10 deaths each year.

Living Well workshops are delivered in six two-and-a-half-hour weekly sessions. They are taught by two certified leaders; either one or both are non-health professionals who have a chronic disease themselves and can speak from their own experience.

During the six-week session, participants receive support from trained leaders and other workshop participants, learn practical ways to manage their pain and fatigue, learn about nutrition and exercise options, understand new treatment choices and learn better ways to communicate about their conditions with doctors and family members.

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