WECO News: Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Teachers with Morgan County Schools returned to work this morning. Dr. Edd Diden, Director of Schools, explains:

Eco Heating and Air

Diden: “Here at Central Middle this morning, everyone is here for opening in-service. All professional staff comes in and we’ll spend the morning here just in a general meeting introducing new personnel, talking about some changes, and they will meeting in groups – what we call professional learning communities – of content areas and grade level and start to look at some improvement goals for this year.”

Students will not return to the classroom until next week. Here’s Wanda Lane, assistant Director of Schools shares that schedule.

Lane: “Our first day of school for students is Aug. 7 and it’s a little different day for them. It’s a half a day. They report at 11:30 a.m. through 3:30 p.m.”

School administrator David Treece has a new assignment for this new school year as principal at Coalfield School.

Treece grew up in Coalfield and completed school there, and then after college he taught social studies at Coalfield for nine years. After serving five years as assistant principal at Coalfield he was appointed principal and Petros-Joyner Elementary.

Treece talks about his new assignment at Coalfield:

Treece: “It’s very exciting. That’s home and it’s a little be nerve wracking going home and being the principal at the school you grew up in and worked at. It’s a great challenge and I’m very excited about it.”

Oakdale School also has a new principal for this school year.

Mike Barber has been an educator for about 13 years and this will be his first assignment as an educator. Oakdale is his home community and he is a graduate of Oakdale High.

Barber talks about how he feels to be returning to home to work.

Barber: “I’m excited. It’s going to be a challenge for me because it is new. I have absolutely no experience in administration. I am looking forward to the challenge. I know every teacher there. They have respect for me. I have respect for them and I think it’s going to work really well.”

******

It’s been seven years since Wayne “Cotton” Morgan was shot and killed while on duty at the Roane County Courthouse by an inmate’s wife.

This morning former co-workers, friends and family gathered at Morgan County Correctional Complex to dedicate a memorial in his honor.

Chuck Taylor, the chief of staff for TDOC, speaks during the ceremony.

Taylor: “It is with great sadness that we must gather here today to remember our fallen brother who paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

Cathy Posey, Deputy Commission for the TDOC, remembers Aug. 9, 2005 when she first heard the news.

Posey: “We were stunned … just stunned. We thought surely these reports are not true but it turned out to be true. It broke everyone’s heart.”

Debbie Williams who worked with Cotton Morgan for most of his career as a correctional officer was among those attending the dedication.

Williams: “I think the thing that stood out about Cotton most was that he was such a humble man. He was never boastful. He used that wisdom to try to help people, and I’m not only talking about fellow employees – and people talk a lot about the community – but you could really see the example Cotton set for the inmates.”

There were several state officials in attendance including Sen. Ken Yager.

Yager: “I’m glad to participate in this memorial for Cotton. He has a record of service to the nation and the state but what I remember his for is: he’s a man of character.”

State Rep. John Mark Windle says his focus is still on the Morgan family.

Windle: “First of all, I’m so glad for the family. He was such a good guy, so well respected, a hard worker and a Vietnam veteran. I think that’s a reminder to all of us that this can be a very dangerous job.”

Employees at the Morgan County Correctional Complex collected money to pay for the memorial that is in place near the front office of the facility.

Cotton Morgan’s son Dennis shares his thoughts about his father’s form co-workers and friend.

Dennis Morgan: “I think it’s wonderful. I’d like to thank them from the bottom of my heart. They continue to amaze me of their support of our family even after seven years.”

Morgan’s widow Viann was obviously touched by the efforts of her late husband’s former co-workers.

Viann Morgan: “I would like to thank them very much. It’s been an honor to stand and listen to them. For them to honor Cotton in such a way. It’s just unbelievable the friendship and kindness everyone has shown me and I thank them. I thank them all.”

*****

The World’s Longest Yard Sale kicks off on Thursday in front of the Fentress County Chamber of Commerce in Jamestown.

The yard sale runs along the Highway 127 corridor and stretches some 690 miles and across six states, from Gasden, Ala. to Addison, Mich.

This annual event that has grown by leaps and bounds began in Fentress County 25 years ago. Jamestown continues to be its headquarters.

Plans are now being made for this year’s Lancing Heritage Festival. This year’s festival will be held on Saturday, September 29th on the square in downtown Lancing. Festival activities include the Lancing School reunion, historical displays, classic car show, music, food, and much more.

The Lancing Heritage League will host a plate lunch dinner in the Presbyterian Church fellowship hall. Menu and pricing will be announced at a later date. Proceeds from the meal will help fund the Festival.

Crafters, vendors, and community organizations are welcome. No fees are required but donations will be gladly accepted. Electric power is available but on a limited basis. You will need to supply your own shelter, tables, chairs, etc.

For more Festival information, contact Albert Lane at 423-346-3058 or check our page on Face Book search for “Lancing TN”.

The State of Tennessee’s Annual Sales Tax Holiday is held every year on the first Friday in August and ends the following Sunday night. This year’s tax-free holiday weekend begins at 12:01 a.m on Friday, August 3 and ends Sunday, August 5 at 11:59 p.m.

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