,

Smithville Mayor and Son Indicted for Theft

Press Release from the Office of Tennessee Comptroller Justin P Wilson, July 25, 2018:

Mayor Hired Son as a City Employee without Board Approval

An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office, in conjunction with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, has resulted in the indictment of Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss and his son Anthony “Tony” Poss.

Investigators found that Mayor Poss created a part time salaried position and hired his son to work for the City of Smithville for $300 a week in August 2017. Tony Poss was paid $8,100 over the next six months.

Mayor Poss failed to follow city policy and the city’s charter by not obtaining approval from the Board of Mayor and Alderman before creating the new job and hiring his son.

The mayor did not advertise the position nor seek applications for it. He also did not have his son complete a job application as required by city policy.

Furthermore, Mayor Poss violated the city’s nepotism policy by hiring and then supervising his son. The policy prohibits city leaders from hiring family members unless a “clear business reason exists.” The policy also prohibits supervising immediate family members.

Tony Poss’ job responsibilities included ensuring irrigation boxes at the city’s golf course were maintained and the city’s pool was kept at an adequate water level. Both of these tasks were already being performed by the public works department and a city contractor. Tony Poss did not maintain time and attendance records for the work he performed.

On July 23, 2018, Mayor Jimmy Poss and his son Tony Poss were each indicted by the DeKalb County Grand Jury. Mayor Poss is charged with theft over $2,500 and official misconduct. Tony Poss is charged with theft over $2,500.

[To read the investigative report, go here, or see below]

INVESTIGATIVE REPORT
City of Smithville

The Office of the Comptroller of the Treasury, in conjunction with the Tennessee Bureau of
Investigation, investigated allegations of malfeasance related to the City of Smithville’s
employment of the mayor’s relative.

INVESTIGATIVE RESULTS

Mayor hired his son without board approval

Without the knowledge or approval of the board of aldermen, in August 2017, Mayor Jimmy Poss created a part-time salaried position and hired his son, Anthony (Tony) Poss, to fill that part-time position at a weekly salary of $300. The city paid $8,100 to the mayor’s son over the next six months.

Mayor failed to ensure compliance with city policy

City documents showed that Mayor Poss assigned the newly created position to the parks department, and neither advertised nor sought applications for the position. The mayor did not require his son to complete a standard application form for employment.

The Smithville City Code, Section 4-204, states: “All people seeking appointment or employment with the city shall complete a standard application form as provided by the municipal government. Employment applications shall be submitted to the treasurer’s office during regular office hours only.”

Mayor failed to seek required board approval

Mayor Poss failed to obtain board approval prior to creating the new job and prior to hiring his son to fill that position, as required by city policy and city charter. The mayor asserted to investigators that he was not required to bring part-time positions before the board for approval. A review of the city policy and city charter revealed that no such exception existed.

The City of Smithville Personnel Policy, Section J, states:

“Pursuant to the City charter, the Mayor has the authority to hire, promote, demote, transfer, suspend, and remove all officers and employees of the City of Smithville with proper Board of Mayor and Alderman approval.”

The Charter for the City of Smithville, Section 3.08, states:

“The Mayor, or the CityAdministrator, if established by the Board, may, with approval of a majority of the Board, make appointments, promotions, transfers, demotions, suspensions, and removal of all employees.”

Mayor violated city nepotism policy

The mayor violated the city nepotism policy by hiring and then supervising his son. Both the city administrator and the public works director were in positions that operationally should have placed them in a supervisory role over the employee in the new position.

Both individuals told investigators, however, that Mayor Poss never instructed them to supervise his son and that they did not supervise his son.

The City of Smithville Personnel Policy, Section E, states:

City of Smithville shall not show favoritism in the recruitment or employment of municipal employees nor in supervision. Immediate family members of City officials, Mayor, and Department Heads shall not be employed by the City unless a clear business reason exists and the hire is approved by the Mayor.… no member of the same immediate family may work in the same department if one of the employees is in a supervisory or management position.

Lack of justification for or accountability of the position

According to the Mayor Poss, his son’s job was to ensure that irrigation boxes at the city golf course were maintained to prevent water lines from freezing. His son was also to ensure the city’s pool was kept at an adequate water level.

The investigation revealed that both tasks described by the mayor were already being performed by the public works department and a city contractor. Also, although the mayor supervised his son’s employment with the city, he did not require his son to maintain time and attendance records for the work he performed.

The mayor advised investigators that he did not keep up with the hours his son spent each week performing the tasks. He further advised that his son was paid for the job, not a set number of hours. Tony Poss declined to meet with investigators about this matter. These issues were referred to then local district attorney general.

On July 23, 2018, the Dekalb County Grand Jury indicted Jimmy Poss on one count of Theft over $2,500 and one count of Official Misconduct, and Anthony Poss on one count of Theft over $2,500.

, ,

Seigenthaler-Founded Group Releases Annual ‘State of First Amendment’ Report

Press Release from the First Amendment Center of the Freedom Forum Institute, July 2018:

2018 STATE OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT SURVEY REVEALS AMERICANS CONSIDER FAKE NEWS MORE OBJECTIONABLE THAN HATE SPEECH

Every year the First Amendment Center of the Freedom Forum Institute conducts the State of the First Amendment survey, which examines Americans’ views on freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition, and samples their opinions on contemporary First Amendment issues. The survey, conducted in partnership with Fors Marsh Group, an applied research company, has been published annually since 1997, reflecting Americans’ changing attitudes toward their core freedoms.

This year’s survey revealed that Americans consider fake news more objectionable than hate speech on social media, though both are opposed by large majorities. The survey showed that 83 percent of respondents agreed that social media companies should remove false information, compared to 72 percent who agreed such companies should remove hate speech.

The good news for First Amendment advocates is that, even with those high levels of concern and desire for action, a majority of Americans do not support the government in having the power to require social media companies to remove objectionable content.

In other good news, three out of four Americans (77%) are supportive of the First Amendment and the freedoms it guarantees. Unfortunately, most Americans are generally unaware of what those freedoms are. More than one-third of the survey respondents (40%) could not name a single freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment, and another third of the respondents (36%) were only able to name one. Only one respondent out of the 1,009 people surveyed was able to correctly name all five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. Many more respondents (9%) thought that the First Amendment guaranteed the right to bear arms (a right that is actually guaranteed by the Second Amendment).

In the past year, President Trump has railed against many news media outlets for their critical coverage of his administration, but results show that an increasing number of Americans believe that the media should play such a role: 74 percent of Americans, compared to 68 percent last year, think that it is important for the media to serve as a watchdog on the government. A majority of Americans (70%) don’t think that the president should have the authority to deny press credentials to any news outlets he chooses. Americans also hold journalists to high ethical standards, with most (68%) agreeing that it is necessary for journalists to disclose conflicts of interest to be credible.

Issues involving the freedom of religion remain incredibly divisive. The Supreme Court’s recent decision on the Masterpiece Cakeshop case was limited in scope and did not settle the underlying conflict between religious beliefs and nondiscrimination laws. Survey results (gathered before the decision came out) indicated the American public is still very divided about this unresolved issue: 54.5 percent of Americans believed that the baker in the case should not be legally obligated to create a cake for a gay wedding, while 42 percent thought that the baker should be.

While last year’s survey found that 43 percent of Americans felt that colleges should have the right to ban controversial campus speakers, the 2018 survey delved deeper into this issue, asking respondents about different scenarios where it might or might not be appropriate for a public college to retract an invitation to a controversial speaker. A majority (70%) agreed that a college should be able to retract an invitation to a speaker whose remarks would incite violence or threaten public safety (70%). There was less consensus about what to do with a speaker whose remarks would provoke large-scale protests from students. A little more than half (51%) thought that a college should be able to retract an invitation to such a speaker. Females were more likely to think so than males (57%, compared to 45%), and people who identified as black were more likely to think so than people who identified as white (66%, compared to 46%). When presented with the example of a speaker who would be likely to offend groups or individuals, 42 percent thought that a college should be able to retract their invitation — and interestingly, Southerners were more likely to think so than people from the Northeast or Western United States.

Overall, the results of the 2018 survey showed that even though most Americans can’t name all the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment, they have strong opinions about the specific First Amendment issues that pop up in their lives — in the news, on campus and online.

Survey conducted and supported by Fors Marsh Group

READ THE FULL REPORT: https://www.freedomforuminstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/2018_FFI_SOFA_Report.pdf

,

New State Laws in Health Care Taking Effect July 1

Press release from the Tennessee Medical Association, July 13, 2018:

The following bills passed by the 2018 General Assembly are effective July 1, 2018 and may be of special interest to physicians since they could require action or reporting. Others are for information only. Contact the TMA Legal Department at 800-659-1862 or becky.morrissey@tnmed.org with any questions.

Action required by physicians

Solicitation of Accident and Disaster Victims by Health Care Prescribers – PC 638
Health care prescribers, their employees, agents, or independent contractors may NOT conduct in-person solicitation, telemarketing, or telephonic solicitation of victims of disasters or accidents to market services of the healing arts related the accident or victim. Exceptions and other requirements are detailed in Section III of the Law Guide topic Advertising.

Extremely Dense Breast Tissue – PC 750

In 2013, the General Assembly passed a law requiring notification to patients when breast imaging shows the patient has dense breasts based on data established by the American College of Radiology. The notification language was updated with this 2018 legislation. The required language is found by clicking on the link to the public chapter.

Nonresidential Office-Based Opiate Treatment – PC 978

Important changes are made to the definition of nonresidential office-based opiate treatment facility. It includes, but is not limited to, stand-alone clinics, treatment resources, and individual physical locations occupied as the professional practice of a prescriber(s) licensed pursuant to Title 63 (physicians). The new definition will expand the number of physician practices that will come under the definition and subject to licensing by the state.

Requirements for Prescribing and Dispensing of Opioids – PC 901

Prior to prescribing more than a three-day supply of an opioid or an opioid dosage that exceeds a total of a 180 MMEs to a woman of childbearing age (ages 15-44), a prescriber must take certain steps. See section X) A) of the Law Guide topic titled Prescriptions.

Governor’s Bill, Tennessee Together – PC 1039

This legislation was filed to address the state’s opioid abuse epidemic. TMA was actively engaged in providing input and amending the filed bill to ensure that it did not unreasonably obstruct patients in legitimate pain from getting the care they need. There are several changes to opioid prescribing that physicians must follow. See section X) B) of the Law Guide topic titled Prescriptions for the specific restrictions.

Information Only – No reporting/action required by physicians

Direct Administration of Buprenorphine Mono – PC 674

An exemption was added to the list of times buprenorphine mono or buprenorphine without naloxone may be used for the treatment of addiction. This exemption states that it may be used for the treatment of substance use disorder pursuant to a medical order or prescription order from an MD or DO. This does not permit it to be dispensed to a patient in a manner that would permit it to be administered away from the premises on which it is dispensed. See section VIII. B) 4) (d)(ii) of the Law Guide topic titled Prescriptions.

Maintenance of Certification – PC 694

This bill passed in 2018, due in large part, to the advocacy efforts of TMA. This law details how hospitals and insurance plans may or may not differentiate between physicians that have maintenance of certification and those that do not when it comes to facility privileges and credentialing. See the Law Guide topic titled Maintenance of Certification for the details of this new law.

Down Syndrome Information Act of 2018 – PC 773

A healthcare provider who renders prenatal or postnatal care or a genetic counselor who renders genetic counseling may, upon receipt of a positive test result from a test for Down syndrome, provide the expectant or new parent with the information provided by the department under this part. The Department of Health will make information available on its website to share with patients.

Barter of Goods and Services as Payment for Healthcare Services – PC 1037

A physician may accept goods or services as payment in a direct exchange of barter for healthcare services provided by the physician if the patient to whom the healthcare services are provided is not covered by health insurance coverage. A physician who accepts barter as payment in accordance with this section shall annually submit a copy of the relevant federal tax form disclosing the physician’s income from barter to the physician’s licensing board. This law shall not apply to any healthcare services provided at a pain management clinic.

,

TTU Slugger Bringing Home National Recognition

Press Release from Tennessee Tech Sports Information Service, May 21, 2018:

Strohschein tabbed semifinalist for Golden Spikes Awards

(Story by By Mike Lehman)

DURHAM, N.C. – Tennessee Tech junior designated hitter/outfielder Kevin Strohschein was named a semifinalist for the 2018 Golden Spikes Award, announced by USA Baseball Monday.

Presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, the 41st Golden Spikes Award, which honors the top amateur baseball player in the country, will be presented on June 28 in Los Angeles.

Strohschein becomes the first ever Golden Eagle named as a Golden Spikes Award semifinalist and is one of just 25 players in the nation to make the list. He also was named a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy.

Both Strohschein and Chambers represent the first Golden Eagle players named as Dick Howser Trophy semifinalists. The junior slugger has helped lead Tech to a consensus Top-25 national ranking, – currently as high as No. 18 by Perfect Game – a program-record 46 victories, an Ohio Valley Conference-record 27 league wins and the OVC regular season title. Winners of 37 of their past 39 games, the Golden Eagles also set the OVC record with a 28-game winning streak from Mar. 13 to Apr. 28

The first player in OVC history to win both Rookie and Player of the Year in the same season back in 2016, Strohschein leads the Golden Eagles with 93 hits, 16 home runs and a .694 slugging percentage. He is batting .396 in 53 games on the year, totaling 62 runs, 16 doubles, three triples, 60 RBI and a .453 on base percentage.

Beginning with the announcement of semifinalists, a ballot will be sent to the Golden Spikes Award voting body consisting of national baseball media, select professional baseball personnel, previous Golden Spikes Award winners and select USA Baseball staff, totaling a group of over 200 voters. From Monday, May 21 through Sunday, June 3, the voting body will select three semifinalists from the ballot to be named as Golden Spikes Award finalists and fan voting will simultaneously be open on GoldenSpikesAward.com. Selections made by the voting body will carry a 95 percent weight of each athlete’s total, while fan votes will account for the remaining 5 percent.

The finalists will then be announced on Wednesday, June 6. Beginning that same day through Friday, June 22, the voting body and fans will be able to cast their final vote for the Golden Spikes Award winner.

Brendan McKay took home the prestigious award last year, joining a group of recent winners that include Kyle Lewis (2016), Andrew Benintendi (2015), A.J. Reed (2014), Kris Bryant (2013), Mike Zunino (2012), Trevor Bauer (2011), Bryce Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009), Buster Posey (2008), and David Price (2007).

The winner of the 41st Golden Spikes Award will be named on Thursday, June 28, at a presentation in Los Angeles. The finalists and their families will be honored at the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Award Dinner that evening at Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles.

USA Baseball has partnered with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation to host the Golden Spikes Award since 2013. The Foundation was formed to honor legendary USC and USA Baseball Olympic team coach, Rod Dedeaux, and supports youth baseball and softball programs in underserved communities throughout Southern California.

Changes to Center Hill Lake Master Plan Drawn Up

Press release from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District Office, May 4, 2018:

Public invited to workshop, open house for CHL Master Plan revision

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 4, 2018) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District invites the public to a workshop for the Center Hill Lake Master Plan revision from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at the DeKalb County Community Complex in Smithville, Tenn. The open house is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, May 24, 2018 at the Center Hill Lake Resource Manager’s Office in Lancaster, Tenn.

The purpose of this workshop and Open House is to provide the public with an opportunity to comment on the proposed improvements to the current 1984 Master Plan. An associated draft Environmental Assessment (EA) will also be available for review and comment and have a concurrent public comment period.

Resource Manager Kevin Salvilla said that this gives the public an opportunity to review the elements that make up the master plan and provide comments. There will be no formal presentation so the interested parties can stop by any time between 6 to 8 p.m. at the workshop or any time between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Open House.

A link to the draft copy of the Master Plan can be viewed prior to the public events by visiting https://cdm16021.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16021coll7/id/6703/rec/1 and will also be available for review at the workshop and Open House.

You may also request a copy of the documents by emailing a request to CenterHillLake@usace.army.mil. Written comments and requests will be accepted at the workshop, Open House, emailed to CenterHillLake@usace.army.mil or mailed to the Center Hill Lake Resource Manager’s Office at 158 Resource Lane, Lancaster, TN 38569. All comments and requests must be received by the Resource Manager’s Office no later than Friday, June 22, 2018 to be considered.

The DeKalb County Community Complex is located at 712 South Congress Blvd, Smithville, TN 37166 and the Center Hill Lake Resource Manager’s Office is located at 158 Resource Lane, Lancaster, TN 38569.

For any questions pertaining to the public workshop or the Master Plan Revision, please call the Center Hill Lake Resource Manager’s Office at 931-858-3125.

To read more on the dam safety project, visit the Nashville District webpage at http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/Missions/Current-Projects/Construction/Center-Hill-Dam-Safety-Rehabilitation-Project/.

The public can also obtain news, updates and information about Center Hill Lake on the lake’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil/Locations/Lakes/Center-Hill-Lake, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/centerhilllake/.

For more information about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District, visit the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps.

State Comptroller Questions Overton/Pickett Emergency Communications Spending

Press Release from the Office of Tennessee Comptroller Justin P. Wilson, April 22, 2018:

The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has identified $84,097.95 of questionable expenditures within the Overton/Pickett Emergency Communications District. The district provides enhanced 911 emergency telephone service for Overton and Pickett Counties.

Comptroller investigators question the use of district funds for a variety of purchases including $18,700.12 in food. The district purchases food on a regular basis and investigators question whether many of the food items and supplies are used solely for district-related purposes. These purchases included alcohol, medications, and a variety of purchases at groceries and restaurants.

The questionable expenses also include the district director’s use of the district’s credit cards to purchase $678.05 in fuel while on multiple personal out-of-state trips. District board members were not aware the director used his assigned district vehicle for personal out-of-state travel.

Investigators have also raised questions about the purchase of equipment such as a $3,599.95 massage chair for the district’s office, and a drill press and sand blast cabinet, which are located in the Emergency Management Agency building.

Other questionable expenditures for training classes, public relations, travel payments in excess of policy, possible conflict of interest purchases, and items that are not exclusively used in district operations are noted in the investigative report.

Comptroller investigators attempted to speak with all full-time employees of the district. However, the majority of the full-time employees declined to meet with investigators; therefore, investigators were unable to confirm whether many of the district’s purchases were for the benefit of the district and its employees or for personal benefit.

“Many of the problems noted in this report can be attributed to oversight,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “District board members must do their part to ensure accountability. This includes discussing and approving major spending and reviewing credit card transactions.”

Investigators have shared their findings and recommendations with the district attorney general for the Thirteenth Judicial District and with the Thirty-first Judicial District, district attorney general Pro Tem.

To view the investigation online, go to: http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/ia/

If you suspect fraud, waste or abuse of public money in Tennessee, call the Comptroller’s toll-free hotline at (800) 232-5454, or file a report online at: www.comptroller.tn.gov/hotline. Follow us on twitter @TNCOT

Media contact: John Dunn, Public Information Officer, (615) 401-7755 or john.dunn@cot.tn.gov

Jeff Woods Construction Wins Best Booth Award at UC Home & Garden Show

Press Release from the Upper Cumberland Home Builders Association, March 23, 2018:

Exhibit Winners at 2018 Upper Cumberland Home & Garden Show

COOKEVILLE, TN – At the Upper Cumberland Home & Garden Show in Cookeville, the Home Builders Association presented awards to exhibits, based on effective marketing of company and products.

Jeff Woods with Larry Suggs, HBAUC president.

The winner of “Best of Show” was Jeff Woods Construction.

Best Large Exhibit was Bath Fitter. Best Small Exhibit was Pampered Chef.

The metal awards were custom made for the event by JCL Metals. The Home & Garden Show included over 175 exhibits that featured a variety of products and services for homes and outdoor living. For more information about the Home & Garden Show, visit www.uchba.com.

, ,

Register Now for 2018 Guided Waterfall and Wildflower Tours

Press Release from the State of Tennessee, March 20, 2018:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee State Parks is offering vacation packages that take visitors on guided tours through some of the state’s most scenic waterfalls, swimming holes and wildflower trails.

Spring, summer and fall tours will take participants through Tennessee’s Highland Rim and Cumberland Plateau, an area nationally-known for its cascades, gorges, rock houses and waterfalls. Tours include folklore and history shared by State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath and Park Ranger Cara Alexander, educational and interpretive programs unique to each location, meals and transportation.

Specific tours offered in 2018 are:

  • Waterfalls & Wildflowers Photography Workshop & Tour: April 13-15; locations include Cumberland Mountain State Park, Ozone Falls, Piney Falls and the Head of the Sequatchie; led by published Nature Photographer Byron Jorjorian.
  • Spring Waterfall Tour: April 27-29; locations include Cumberland Mountain State Park, Fall Creek Falls State Park, Ozone Falls, Piney Falls and Lost Creek Falls.
  • Summer Swimming Hole Tour: July 16-18; locations include Edgar Evins State Park, Rock Island State Park, South Cumberland State Park and Cummins Falls State Park.
  • October Waterfall Tour: October 1-3; locations include Cumberland Mountain State Park, Burgess Falls State Park, Colditz Cove State Natural Area, Cummins Falls State Park, Frozen Head State Park and Rock Island State Park.
  • November Waterfall Tour: Nov. 14-16; locations include Cumberland Mountain State Park, Fall Creek Falls State Park, Ozone Falls, Piney Falls and Lost Creek Falls.

All tours are $350/person and include meals, taxes, gratuities, interpretive programming and transportation. Onsite lodging, including camping or cabins, is available at an additional cost.

Complete itineraries and registration information can be found at https://tnstateparks.com/about/tennessee-state-parks-vacation-packages.

$9.6M for Industrial Site Preparation Sent to TN Communities

Press Release from the Office of Governor Bill Haslam, March 21, 2018:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe announced today that 25 communities will receive more than $9.6 million in Site Development Grants.

The Site Development Grant program is part of the larger Rural Economic Opportunity Act passed in 2016 and updated in 2017.

“By making our rural communities ready for investment and economic success, we help them attract jobs and more opportunities for citizens,” Haslam said. “I congratulate the Site Development Grant program recipients and look forward to watching as they thrive and bring new businesses to our state.”

The grants are intended to help rural communities overcome barriers to site certification and prepare them to receive an economic development project that creates jobs in their community. These funds assist communities in finalizing infrastructure and engineering improvements for project-ready certified sites.

“We want to help these rural communities up their game and increase their close rate by making our rural county site inventory among the most attractive and project-ready in the world,” Rolfe said. “We are proud to see these 25 communities taking the initiative to invest in themselves and look forward to seeing their future success.”

“Each of the recipients is taking a major step to enhance their community and with the assistance of the site development grants, they are given the opportunity to compete for jobs and business,” TNECD Assistant Commissioner for Community and Rural Development Amy New said. “The Site Development program shows great return on investment, and I am thankful that the investment from the Rural Economic Opportunity Act will continue to help many more communities in the years to come.”

The Site Development Grant program works in cooperation with the department’s Select Tennessee Site Certification program.

“Through its Site Development Grant program, TNECD has awarded $21.6 million over three years to communities throughout Tennessee,” TNECD Site Development Director Leanne Cox said. “These grants are a valuable resource for local economic development projects, demonstrating Tennessee’s proactive approach to industrial development and support for further growth and job creation.”

Applications were reviewed by an advisory committee made up of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Austin Consulting, Tennessee Valley Authority, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Department of Transportation and the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development.

,

Appalachian Center for Craft Connects Kids with Art Skills

Press Release from Tennessee Tech University, March 21, 2018:

Middle schoolers learn crafts hands-on at Craft Center

Tennessee Tech University’s Appalachian Center for Craft hosted students from Janis Nunnally’s eighth grade art class from Upperman Middle School as part of its Outreach Program recently.

Students chose a medium in which to work and got hands-on experience in that craft. They made hooks in blacksmithing, enameled copper, made glass beads, learned clay hand-building and slip decorating techniques, carved wooden spoons, Shibori dyed silk, and, on the second day of outreach, a book-making class was offered.

Nunnally has been bringing her students to the Craft Center for years.

“Taking UMS eighth graders on their annual trip to the Appalachian Center for Crafts is always a wonderful experience,” Nunnally said. “The students discover a world outside of their community while finding out that they can create amazing things!”

During the more than thirty years of its existence, this outreach program has served tens of thousands of students from the Upper Cumberland and from as far away as Memphis and Chattanooga. The program allows eighth through 12th grade students to experience college-level, hands-on art activities in professionally equipped studios on the craft center campus.

“The students got the opportunity to create projects that we are not able to do at school,” Nunnally said. “They did amazing work and were so proud of their artwork. It is a joy to work with Gail Gentry on this field trip, she is always able to be calm and make it all work!”

It is funded in part by the Tennessee Arts Commission. To learn more about the Appalachian Center for Craft, visit https://www.tntech.edu/craftcenter/.