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TV’s ‘Fishing University’ to Shoot Episodes in Upper Cumberland

Press release from the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, Sept. 12, 2017:

Area to be Featured on World Fishing Network, Sportsman, and Outdoor Channels

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Internationally televised, Emmy-nominated television show Fishing University will soon make Cookeville-Putnam County home, filming two episodes to air in 2018 and featuring not only area lakes, but local dining, activities and attractions. The film crew, along with hosts/fishing legends Charlie Ingram and Ray Brazier, will arrive in late October, fishing and filming on area lakes with Center Hill Lake already confirmed.

Fishing University holds a viewership of more than 63 million households, airing in all 50 states as well as in 51 additional countries. The Cookeville-Putnam County Visitors’ Bureau is serving as point for the project, viewing it as strategic marketing opportunity to reach a target audience of potential guests seeking an outdoor travel destination.

“When Fishing University reached out to us with their proposal, we knew it would be a natural fit to accompany our other marketing and advertising efforts for 2018,” said Zach Ledbetter, vice president of visitor development for the Cookeville-Putnam County Visitors’ Bureau. “We will not only be able to put a spotlight on the world-renowned fishing opportunities in our region, but also feature the community, culture and activities that guests can experience while visiting.”

“Fishing University filming on beautiful area lakes is an exciting opportunity for Putnam County and the state,” said Kevin Triplett, commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. “This is a testament to the natural assets we have for professional and hobby anglers alike. They can wet a line in more than 50,000 miles of rivers and streams and a half-million acres of lakes. Being featured on Fishing University features those assets, exposes scenic outdoor destinations and gives visitors a chance to explore communities along the water. We are thrilled they have chosen Tennessee and Putnam County.”

Within each 30-minute episode of the show, a 90-second promotional spot will be included. The spots will be created to mirror marketing efforts of the visitors’ bureau. Hosts Ingram and Brazier will also include numerous mentions of their location during each show.

In addition to filming promotional spots and fishing, the hosts and film crew will also present a one-hour program at local schools to share with area youth the importance of attaining an education and the outdoor career options available to them. The session will offer a “q & a” time with discussion of majors such as communications, marketing, biology, wildlife management, and animal husbandry. Each school will have a 2-minute segment within the show.

“We are proud to welcome Fishing University to Putnam County,” said Ben Prine, chairman for the Cookeville-Putnam County Visitors’ Bureau. “Coverage such as this will be seen by an audience of anglers that travel and have expendable income which will be good from both a branding and economic impact perspective.”

The competitive fishing show is packed with how-to tips and tricks of the trade, making it popular among competitive amateur and professional anglers. Viewers of World Fishing Network and the Outdoor and Sportsman Channels tend to spend more time on the water and are more active consumers than those of competing networks.

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Pumpkin Picking Time Arriving Promptly

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Sept. 6, 2017:

More than Pumpkins to Pick on Local Farms This Fall

NASHVILLE– A trip to the pumpkin patch has become standard fare for autumn loving locals, and this year it’s worth looking around for more than great gourds. Many farmers are expanding options for consumers to learn how and where food and home goods are grown or made.

Bountiful Acres Farm near Watertown produces a wide range of personal care products, and found that customers also wanted to learn how to make their own. Owner Sue Dickhaus added a retail store in Lebanon where she hosts soap making classes using the same goat’s milk, honey bee products and herbs her family produces on the farm.

In addition to dairy and creamery tours, Noble Springs Dairy near Franklin hosts farm festivals every Saturday from September 16 through October 28. Their celebrations include pumpkin picking, food trucks at their picnic area, a bounce house and petting zoo.

Greeneville’s Two Roots Vineyard and Alpacas hosts a National Alpacas Farm Days festival September 24 and 25. Visitors can try spinning and weaving in addition to touring the vineyard, picnicking and mingling with the farm’s alpacas.

Most agritourism farms, like Falcon Ridge near Jackson, still offer farm favorites like wagon rides, petting zoos, pony rides, all kinds of fall décor, and pumpkin picking. Family movie nights in the pumpkin patch, praise and worship opportunities for area congregations, and educational corn mazes are also popular fall fare. The Plantation Barn of 1810 in Morristown is a popular wedding venue, and this year plans to host a community wide “trunk or treat” for the first time.

Find fall farm activities and products with the Pick Tennessee mobile app or here. Most on-farm activities depend on good weather, so call ahead and check the farm’s social media posts before traveling.

Pick Tennessee is the farmer to consumer service of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and offers farm, farmers market, and farm product directories as well as seasonal recipes. Follow Pick Tennessee on social media.

TN Library Association Statement on Charlottesville Rioting

Press Release from the Tennessee Library Association, August 30, 2017:

TLA Statement on Events in Tennessee and Virginia, August 2017

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Library Association (TLA) respects the First Amendment rights of citizens to freedom of speech and the right to peacefully assemble. We are grateful that the recent demonstration in Knoxville was nonviolent after news of the events in Charlottesville, Virginia in the past weeks. These events caused us to reflect upon on our values regarding the diversity and inclusion of all people in our membership and more broadly in the communities in which our members serve. Our organization proudly supports the American Library Association’s (ALA) position on the recent tragic violence in Charlottesville and joins them in affirmation of the statement issued by ALA President Jim Neal. ALA released the following statement:

“The ALA expresses our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those lost and injured during this weekend’s protests in Charlottesville, Virginia. We will not forget their efforts to enlighten and safeguard their communities from bigotry while opposing racist, anti-immigrant, anti-GLBTQ, and anti-Semitic violence. We stand in solidarity with the people of Virginia as well as anyone who protests hate and fights for equity, diversity and inclusion.”

“The vile and racist actions and messages of the white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups in Charlottesville are in stark opposition to the ALA’s core values. No matter the venue or the circumstance, we condemn any form of intimidation or discrimination based on culture, ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Our differences should be celebrated, and mutual respect and understanding should serve as the norms within our society.

“The ALA supports voices of hope as such actions mirror the library community’s efforts to abolish bigotry and cultural invisibility. As we recently stated, ‘we must continue to support the creation of a more equitable, diverse and inclusive society,’ and we will do this through the work of our members and through resources such as Libraries Respond.”

–The TLA 2017 Executive Board

About the Tennessee Library Association

The mission of the Tennessee Library Association (TLA) is to promote the establishment, maintenance and support of quality library services for all people of the state; to cooperate with public and private agencies with related interests; and to support and further professional interests of the membership of the Association.

TN Tourism Boom Continues

PRESS RELEASE from the State of Tennessee, Aug. 23, 2017:

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Kevin Triplett announced today Tennessee tourism’s direct domestic and international travel expenditures reached an all-time record high of $19.3 billion in 2016, up 4.7 percent over the previous year, as reported by the U.S. Travel Association.

For the 11th consecutive year, tourism topped $1 billion in state and local sales tax revenue, reaching $1.7 billion. That marks a 6.7 percent increase over 2015, higher than the national growth of travel related state tax revenues. Tourism generated 176,500 jobs for Tennesseans, a 3.3 percent growth year over year.

“More people from around the world continue to visit Tennessee each year,” Haslam said. “The $1.7 billion in sales tax revenue and job growth are good news for everyone in Tennessee. The hard work of the tourism industry, led by the Department of Tourist Development and Tennessee Tourism Committee, continues to produce record results and dedication to boost Tennessee’s economy.”

Five counties exceeded one billion in travel expenditures including Davidson ($5.996 billion), Shelby ($3.335 billion), Sevier ($2.217 billion), Hamilton ($1.060 billion), and Knox ($1.056 billion). All 95 counties saw more than $1 million in direct travel expenditures in the economic impact of tourism and 19 counties saw more than $100 million.

“The economic impact growth of the tourism industry is a result of guests from around the world discovering everything that makes Tennessee ‘The Soundtrack of America,’” Commissioner Triplett said. “It starts with what we have; the music, history, culture and experiences. It is enhanced by how those things are managed. The authenticity and Southern hospitality from our communities and partners create an environment for our guests in a way not only that helps them enjoy their stay but motivates them to return. These numbers are a reflection of Tennessee becoming a destination of choice. But a critical component of this is they do not include the staggering capital investments being made by tourism partners across the state to enhance the experience.”

In another record previously announced during National Travel and Tourism Week, 110 million people visited the state in 2016, up 4.4 percent from 2015, as reported by D.K Shifflet & Associates. An increase in leisure travelers also led to a jump in overnight stays. Tennessee places among the Top 10 travel destinations in the U.S. for the third consecutive year and is considered a top retirement destination.

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development doesn’t achieve these numbers alone. In 2011 Gov. Haslam appointed the Tennessee Tourism Committee, made up of tourism leaders in both the public and private sectors. The Committee is chaired by Colin Reed, Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. The department also works with local convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce and city and county leaders in all 95 counties to draw people to the state.

For more information, contact Jill Kilgore, public relations media manager for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, at 615-927-1320 or by email at Jill.Kilgore@tn.gov.

For a complete breakdown of the 2016 Economic Impact for county by county in Tennessee, click here.

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Tennessee is the birthplace of the blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly, and rock ‘n’ roll— delivering an unparalleled experience of beauty, history, and family adventure, infused with music, that creates a vacation that is the “Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.”

Explore more at tnvacation.com and join other Tennessee travelers by following “tnvacation” on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.

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Comptroller Releases Info on Student Data Privacy Law

Press Release from the Office of the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, August 17, 2017:

The Comptroller’s Office of Research and Education Accountability (OREA) has released a report that answers some common questions about student data privacy in Tennessee. The Q & A provides information on state and federal laws that protect K-12 students’ privacy.

In general, student data privacy refers to efforts to maintain the confidentiality of information that identifies individual students. The term “student data” is broad, encompassing almost anything that a student creates in school or that identifies an individual student.

Student data is not limited to social security numbers or test scores. Student data can encompass school work, class behavior, or even a student’s location. A key question to ask is whether a piece of information identifies an individual student or uses personal information about an individual student – if the answer is yes, then that information can be considered “student data”.

State and federal laws protect student data privacy by governing the actions of either a school employee, a member of the public, or a third-party vendor or technology operator. The new publication explains state laws in Tennessee that protect student data privacy. One of the laws – the Data Accessibility, Transparency and Accountability Act – gives the state more control and oversight regarding Tennessee public school employees’ collection of student data, and strengthens parental rights with respect to student data privacy. The Tennessee General Assembly passed this law in 2014.

Another law is the Student Online Personal Protection Act, passed in 2016, which primarily addresses the actions of third parties outside of Tennessee schools and districts. This law regulates vendors/contractors or other third parties operating online services used by students. The three primary federal laws related to student data privacy are also covered in the Comptroller’s publication.

School districts may take steps to protect student data privacy beyond what the laws require. However, those additional protections are likely to cost more in time or money.

OREA is a division within the Comptroller’s Office that is charged with providing accurate and objective policy research and analysis for the Tennessee General Assembly and the public. To view the full report online, go to: http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/OREA/

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Putnam Co. Library Hosting Acclaimed Author of Historical Fiction in Sept.

PRESS RELEASE from the Putnam County Library, August 2, 2017:

The Putnam County Library Friends proudly presents the 10th Annual Dinner With An Author. This year’s dinner will be held on Friday, September 15th at 6:30 p.m. at the Leslie Town Centre, which is located at 111 West 1st Street in Cookeville, Tennessee.

The guest author this year is Ruta Sepetys, the 2017 winner of both the Carnegie Medal (the UK’s most prestigious award for children’s literature) and the Golden Kite Award for Young Adult Literature from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Ms. Sepetys is a New York Times bestselling author of Out of the Easy and Between Shades of Gray. Her most recent book is Salt to The Sea.

Sepetys’ writing can be described as deeply researched historical fiction that appeals to both adults and students.

A movie adaptation of Between Shades of Gray entitled “Ashes in the Snow” is in production.

Her books have been published in over fifty countries and thirty-six languages. Prior to becoming a novelist, Ms. Sepetys enjoyed a career in the music industry. She now proudly calls Tennessee home.

Tickets for this event are $35 and will be on sale from August 14th – September 12th at both the Putnam County Library and at CPAC. This year, tickets may be ordered online through CPAC at http://www.cookeville-tn.gov/ls/cpac/.

The Putnam County Library Friends is a non-profit organization that supports and promotes the use, services, and facilities of the Putnam County Library System. Proceeds raised by this event and other activities directly impact the Library. The PCL Friends is a proud and dedicated supporter of the Library’s Summer Reading Program.

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Caney Fork Trout Fishing Tourney to Benefit Wounded Vets

PRESS RELEASE from Project Healing Waters of Cookeville, July 22, 2017:

On Saturday, August 12th, Project Healing Waters is sponsoring a wading only, Fly Fishing Trout Tournament on the Caney Fork River, below Center Hill Dam at Long Branch Day Pavilion.

Beginning at 7 a.m. to 12 noon. Registration is from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. The entry fee is $50.00, limited to 100 people.

  • Grand prize for the longest trout caught will be a Jackson Mayfly Kayak, valued at $2,000.
  • Second prize for second longest trout caught will be a custom built St. Croix fly rod, valued at $600.
  • Third prize for third longest trout will be an Orvis Encounter fly rod, valued at $250.
  • Additional prize drawing will be held at the end of the tournament.

For further information, contact Pat Dudney at 931-261-3068.

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) began in 2005 serving wounded military service members at Walter Reed Army Medical Center returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since then, PHWFF has expanded nationwide, establishing its highly successful program in Department of Defense hospitals, Warrior Transition Units, Veterans Affairs Medical Centers and local programs.

Our PHWFF program in Cookeville has been in existence for about 3 1/2 years. We are a 501c3, not for Profit Corporation. Currently we serve about 50 veterans in the Cookeville area.

We meet the first Thursday night of each month at 6p.m. in the
Cookeville High School lecture hall. Through this program we contribute to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of veterans. Veterans are equipped with fly rods, waders and a fly tying kit. Local volunteers teach them the art of fly tying and fly fishing. Our program is free and available to any veteran who may have an interest in what we have offer.

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June Unemployment Lowest in TN History, says State Labor Dept.

PRESS RELEASE from the State of Tennessee, July 20, 2017:

Tennessee has rate of 3.6 percent for June 2017

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips today announced Tennessee’s unemployment rate for June 2017 was 3.6 percent, the lowest in Tennessee recorded history.

The June 2017 preliminary seasonally adjusted rate surpasses the previous low of 3.7 percent from March 2000. The state has not experienced an unemployment rate below 4.0 percent since it was 3.9 percent in February 2001.

“What’s truly exciting about today’s news is that this is a statewide story,” Haslam said. “Today more than ever, businesses have a choice of where to grow or expand, and because of the policies this administration has put in place working with the General Assembly, we’re seeing the job growth that comes when businesses choose Tennessee.”

June’s rate declines four-tenths of a percentage point from the May revised rate of 4.0 percent. Amid notable improvements in Tennessee’s unemployment rate, the national preliminary rate increases by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month to 4.4 percent, lingering in the 4.0 percentile.

“When a state’s rate declines during a national uptick in unemployment, that’s something to note,” Phillips said. “Just seven years ago more than 10 percent of Tennesseans were out of work. One of Governor Haslam’s top priorities has been to make Tennessee the best state in the southeast for high quality jobs. All indications point to that priority becoming a reality.”

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TN State Parks Have an Official Beer

PRESS RELEASE from the Brewers Association of Small and Independent Craft Brewers, July 19, 2017:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 19, 2017)Tennessee Brew Works has partnered with the Tennessee State Parks by creating a new Tennessee State Parks Beer, “State Park Blonde Ale,” with a portion of sales benefiting the mission of Tennessee State Parks.

The Tennessee State Parks and Tennessee Brew Works teams met almost two years ago. Sharing ideas over a common bond of craft beer with aims to better our land and community, they quickly became friends. Since then, they have been actively discussing projects and possible ways for the two organizations to optimize their synergies.

“Together we have found a way to make delicious Tennessee Brew Works craft beer and support Tennessee State Parks with our State Park Blonde Ale. We proudly support the mission of Beer StylesTennessee State Parks as they preserve and protect our natural resources,” said Christian Spears, founder and owner, Tennessee Brew Works.

Fans of Tennessee Brew Works will recognize the beer’s distinctive label artwork, created by Nashville native Bryce McCloud. The State Park Blonde Ale features the image of State Naturalist, Randy Hedgepath. Randy has served the park service for more than 30 years, working as a Ranger Naturalist at South Cumberland and Radnor Lake State Parks. He was appointed State Naturalist by the Tennessee State Parks in 2007. As a former National Park Service Interpretive Specialist, Randy is also one of the most sought after interpretive specialists in the southeastern United States.

Tennessee Brew Work’s State Park Blonde Ale is light, crisp American blonde session ale with subtle floral notes, created with high quality grains and hops. The new beer will be distributed throughout Tennessee and served on draft and in bottles at the Tennessee Brew Works Taproom, 809 Ewing Avenue in downtown Nashville and the Tennessee Brew Works kiosk at the Nashville International Airport.

“Tennessee Brew Works and Tennessee State Parks have combined our mutual appreciation for local craft brew, spectacular landscapes and the great stories of our state. Utilizing Tennessee Brew Works craft beer sales for the benefit of our Tennessee State Parks system is a perfect pairing.

A portion of the sales of the State Park Blonde Ale will be provided to the Tennessee State Parks Conservancy, our non-profit partner, and used to support efforts to preserve and protect our state’s natural and cultural assets. We look forward to the release of the State Park Blonde Ale statewide this month,” said Brock Hill, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Deputy Commissioner.

About Tennessee State Parks

From its beginning in 1937, Tennessee State Parks were established to protect and preserve the unique natural, cultural and historic resources of Tennessee. The public interest has also been served by a variety of benefits for citizens and communities produced by our state park system, promoting stronger communities and healthier citizens across the state through diverse resource-based recreation while conserving the natural environment for today and tomorrow – preserving authentic Tennessee places and spaces for future generations to enjoy. There are 56 Tennessee State Parks to explore.

About Tennessee Brew Works

Tennessee Brew Works was born from a love for craft beer. A startup which began over a home-brew session, they ultimately celebrated their first professional brew in August 2013. Tennessee Brew Works is 100% owned and operated by folks in Tennessee. They are guided by their motto: “We work hard to create high quality craft beer that makes Tennessee proud. Our culture places importance on family, friends, and community, and we hope you’ll be a part of it.”

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Sparta Green Market and Grassroots Artisans Hold Joint Event July 21

PRESS RELEASE from the Sparta Green Market. July 15, 2017

Contact: Margaret Petre
spartagreenmarket@gmail.com
Phone: 615-477-8801

SPARTA, TN – The non-profit Sparta Green Market’s 2017 third event of the season opens July 21, 4-7PM at Metcalfe Park near Liberty Square with a full pavilion of vendors, musicians, and entertainment for the kids.

Due to a rainout last weekend, Grassroots Artisans will be located adjacent to Metcalf Pavilion during the Green Market event.

The Artisan group was “created by a group of four individuals to revitalize Sparta and White County’s economy,” says Wendell Rust, co-founder. The event is held monthly in downtown Sparta and features local artists and crafters and the products they create.

Margaret Petre, Sparta Green Market event chair and founder, says, “We are expecting nearly double the number of venders and crafters. There will be local farmers, cattlemen, bakers, produce growers, face painting artists, balloon animals, and honey producers for the third market of the season.”

Popular keyboardist, Whitney Newport, is back for her third season as the featured entertainer.
The Sparta Green Market is the place for growers who have honey, seasonal plants, vegetables, meat, fruits, and flowers to meet hungry patrons in an entertaining atmosphere.

Ms. Petre says, “Patrons can expect top quality products from the Sparta area.” According to Tennessee Department of Agriculture, acceptable Farm Products include, but are not limited to: farm produce, plants, eggs, honey, meat, cheese, decorative gourds, herbs, animal fibers, and cut flowers.

Ms. Petre continues, “An evening event in Sparta is a good way for families and friends to eat dinner downtown, visit local businesses, enjoy the Green Market, and listen to a free bluegrass concert starting at 7PM. We encourage everyone to support downtown Sparta, enjoy the free entertainment, educational booths, locally grown meat, veggies, fruit, honey, flowers, eggs, and much more.”

Sparta Green Market is a “Green” outing so please bring reusable bags for produce and other goods. No smoking allowed and please do not bring pets to the event.