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State Representative Clark Boyd Supports Efforts To Curb Caller ID Spoofing

March 20, 2019

State Representative Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon) is cosponsoring an initiative to strengthen penalties against caller ID spoofing.

As introduced, House Bill 1245 increases the civil penalty amount from $10,000 to $25,000 per violation that the attorney general and reporter may recover in an action against a person who commits the offense of caller identification spoofing. The bill also clarifies that each call received by a subscriber wherein the caller identification information is misleading or inaccurate constitutes a separate violation for purposes of imposing the civil penalty.

“Over the last year I have heard from countless people in the district about the amount of phone calls they are receiving on a daily basis often times from organizations who are using caller ID spoofing as a way to scam people,” said Representative Boyd. “Tennessee is now taking steps to address this issue, and House Bill 1245 moves us in the right direction to deter spoofing. Although this is an issue that is primarily under the jurisdiction of the FCC at the federal level, I will continue to support this initiative and others that curb this growing issue, and I encourage Tennesseans to be mindful and alert when answering phone calls.”

Clark Boyd represents House District 46. Representative Boyd is the chairman of the Consumer and Human resources Committee. He also serves as a member of the Calendar & Rules Committee, Select Committee on Rules, & the Commerce Committee.

Parker Seeks Pay as DeKalb EMA Director

March 19, 2019
By: Dwayne Page

DeKalb County’s Emergency Management Agency Director would like to apply for a federal grant through TEMA which if approved would provide matching funds for the local operation. But in order to get the grant the county must have a paid EMA director.

Charlie Parker, DeKalb County’s EMA director, has served in the role for 16 years without pay. He met with the budget committee of the county commission recently to formally submit his proposed spending plan for the 2019-20 fiscal year which includes a salary for himself of $5,200 to $6,000 for the new year depending upon the grant match.

The mission of the county emergency management agency is to mitigate the potential effects of the various hazards that might impact the county, to prepare for the implementation of measures which will preserve life and minimize damage, to respond effectively to the needs of the citizens and local jurisdictions during emergencies, and to provide a recovery system to return the county and its communities to a normal status as soon as possible after such emergencies. The EMA director coordinates with local first responders and emergency services in the aftermath of flooding, storms and other disasters that may occur in the county.

If approved, Parker said an Emergency Management Performance Grant would reimburse the county up to 50% of its costs for EMA operations which would be $13,800 including the director’s salary under the 2019-20 proposed budget.

The EMPG grant provides a means of improving the local program since it requires the county EMA to establish a goal and set objectives to reach it. There are quarterly reports to discuss methodology and success. This funding program supports all areas of non-disaster objectives such as planning, preparedness, and response ability and greatly enhances the county EMA’s ability to provide emergency response and recovery at all levels. Currently there are 71 counties statewide participating and DeKalb is one of only three counties in middle Tennessee still not taking part in the EMPG program.

“My proposal is to pay the director position a $200 biweekly salary to cover some of the time involved with EMA which includes preparing reports; training; disaster assessment; hazardous materials response and reporting; attending state, regional and local meetings; maintaining and updating the DeKalb County Emergency Operations Plan and the Hazard Mitigation Plan; serving as Chairman of the Local Emergency Planning Committee, as well as other job functions,” said Parker.

The reason for the requirement that the county have a paid EMA director to be eligible for the grant is to ensure someone is in charge of the program.

“They (TEMA) want someone who is committed to doing an emergency management program and has a presence in the county. They don’t want the county getting the grant money and then maybe spending it on other things,” Parker said.

According to Parker, the county meets all other requirements for the grant program and would stand to gain if it moves forward with a paid director.

“I have been fortunate to have been doing this for 16 years and I have made several contacts through EMA. I have had them (TEMA) approach me before when they had money left over at the end of the year and wanted to put it in our EMPG program but couldn’t do it because we didn’t have one (EMPG program). I’ve had the regional director say we can get you (DeKalb EMA) in the program but you (county) don’t meet all the guidelines. If we could start into this program and begin building and growing it the grant will basically pay 50% of everything that we do. When we get ready to buy a new vehicle, it would pay 50% of that but not in the first year. We would have to build it up for a year or two until we got into the system,” Parker continued.

“The biggest drawback of the grant is because it is a reimbursement grant the money will not be reimbursed until next year. I feel we owe it to the citizens of DeKalb County to be as prepared as we can and we have to start somewhere if we ever expect the county to grow and have anything. The exact amount is not known at this time but DeKalb County should receive from $5,000 to $6,000 back this first year of the grant if approved,” he said.

Parker said the county’s EMA operation needs to be more active because TEMA expects local jurisdictions to be better prepared to help themselves first.

“We eventually need to start doing something with our county. The new TEMA director has emphasized that when a disaster comes through that it starts and ends on the local level and he wants each county to do their part. We can call in state and federal resources depending upon how large it (disaster) is but if there is a tornado at the same time in Rutherford, Warren, or Putnam County we may not be first on the list. We have to be able to take care of some of this on our own for a certain period of time before more help arrives. We have an excellent group of emergency personnel between the sheriff’s department, fire department, and rescue squad but we need to have more resources for them too along with some organization,” Parker said.

Disaster relief funds have been made available locally in the past thanks to the work of the DeKalb EMA and damage assessments are underway now due to the recent flooding which could result in more assistance.

“In years past we got several thousands of dollars back to our utilities because of an ice storm. Caney Fork Electric Cooperative recovered $75,000,” said Parker.

“Recently I have been in contact with the local highway department making road damage assessments because of the flooding. There is an estimated $80,000 in damage to roads and we’re looking at getting state and federal assistance for that,” added Parker.

The budget committee took no action on Parker’s request but will consider it when finalizing the 2019-20 spending plan to send to the county commission.

DeKalb County Cattlemen’s Association Annual Meeting Next Week

March 19, 2019
By: Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Cattlemen’s Association will be hosting their Annual Meeting on Tuesday, March 26th at 6:00 PM.  The meeting will take place in the auditorium of the DeKalb Community Complex. The guest speaker for the night will be Gary Williams and will be speaking on nutrition and the use of minerals. Also remember, the Heifer Raffle that will take place that night as well. Tickets are $10.00 and are available at the Co-op, UT Extension Office, and First Bank (see Sandra Wall). There will also be several other prizes given away as well.

All current members and new members are welcome. Annual dues are $20 and can be paid at the door. If you haven’t attended before and are interested in Beef Production or Agriculture, please come join us. Meetings typically take place quarterly and a meal is served. We involve a variety of guest speakers that present information beneficial to anyone involved in the Agricultural Industry. Please      e-mail  or call 615-597-4945 for more information.

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