WECO News: Morgan County Executive Don Edwards Vetos Budget

Today is the 10-day deadline for Morgan County Executive Don Edwards to veto the budget adopted by 16 of 18 county commissioners on July 30. Edwards shares his decision.

EDWARDS: “I felt like it was not in the best interest of the Morgan County taxpayer and therefore yesterday afternoon late, I filed my veto with the Morgan County Clerk.”

Edwards goes on to explain how he arrived at the decision to veto the budget.

EDWARDS: “The County Commission, the county commissioners basically had no discussion on my proposal to cut property tax rates. And there was also, very much I felt like, some inefficiencies in the budget itself.”

Now Morgan County Commissioners have 20 days to override Edwards’ veto. Chairman Susie Kries explains her next step.

KRIES: “I’m gonna have to give five days notice of a special called meeting to address the County Executive’s veto and I’m planning on Aug. 20 at 7 o’clock.”

Kries goes on to express how she feels about Edwards’ decision to veto the budget.

KRIES: “I just feel it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money. We spent months trying to balance the budget and we did a lot of cuts, which we hate to do, but it was necessary. And I feel like we’ve done the best we can do with it.”

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Morgan County has seen an increase in the number of meth labs during the first six months of 2012.

Tennessee’s Meth Task Force issues a law enforcement sensitive report on the number of meth labs seized across the state, according to Kristin Helm, the public information officer for TBI.

Morgan County Chief Deputy Steve Cochran talks about Morgan County’s standings.

COCHRAN: “It’s attributed to us working our informants, my officers getting here and working knock and talks and citizens calling in. Last year we broke a record for Morgan County in meth lab seizures and we’ve already surpassed the number this year.”

Cochran says it’s just part of the job.

COCHRAN: “We are giving emphasis to it just like we are to the pill epidemic to everything else. It’s just something that we see that we have to do and we’re going out and doing it a hundred percent.”

Morgan County has seen a 600% increase in meth labs for the first six months of 2012 compared with 2011. Only four other counties have seen a larger increase, those being Unicoi, Weakley, Lauderdale and Bedford.

Morgan County has had 14 meth labs this year, however 19 counties have reported seizing 14 or more.  Statewide the total number of seizures in 2012 through the month of June is 906, compared to 2011’s 753.

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 roane-stateIf you are unemployed or under employed, Roane State Community College has a special 14-week no-cost, high-tech training program designed with folks just like you in mind.

An informational meeting is planned for Thursday, Aug. 16 at the Roane State’s Morgan County campus.  Chandy Hensley with Roane State explains:

HENSLEY: “AMTEC is Advanced Materials Training and Education Center on the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It offers classes that are designed to give students that competitive edge in advanced manufacturing.”

The program takes approximately 14 weeks to complete, and participants are trained to work as manufacturing technicians.

Courses include OSHA safety certification, computer skills, basic lean manufacturing, basic machining and measuring, basic plumbing and basic computer-aided drafting and design (CADD).Hensley says there is one especially important point for interested people to understand.

HENSLEY: “Our training gives employees the skills employers are seeking for a highly skilled workforce.”

The AMTEC meeting will be held Thursday, Aug. 16 from 5-7 p.m. in Room 110 on the Morgan County campus of Roane State. Call (865) 481-5436 to reserve your seat. The campus is located at 150 Longview Drive in Wartburg.

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CASA of the Ninth Judicial District will be the beneficiary of a special Give Back event today.

The Ruby Tuesday restaurants in Lenoir City and Harriman will give 20 percent of all proceeds to CASA if you will print out a flyer and present it to your waitress when paying.

The flyer is available on CASA’s website at www.casaninth.org.”  CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children.

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