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Archives 05-26-2004

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Firefighters injured at Heard Ridge fire
Warm weekend weather brings dazzling colors to sky
Overton residents express concern about job security

 

 

Firefighters injured at Heard Ridge fire

Five firefighters were given medical treatment after fighting a fire in the Taylor's Crossroads area Saturday night, May 22.

According to reports, members of Taylor's Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department were dispatched to the Heard Ridge home of Larry and Christine Reeder around 6:25 p.m.

The family was reportedly not home when the fire started, but came home and found that the house was on fire.

Manpower was called in from Monroe Volunteer Fire Department and East Clay Volunteer Fire Department, as well as from Pickett County.

As a result of battling the blaze, four firefighters were transported to Livingston Regional Hospital, and one firefighter was treated at the scene. Larry Young was struck by falling ceiling materials, and the other four firefighters suffered from smoke inhalation or heat exhaustion.

Two cats were in the house; one escaped, but the other perished.

The home was destroyed. Firefighters fought the blaze for four hours, and remained on the scene for another two hours making sure the fire was extinguished.

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Warm weekend weather brings dazzling colors to sky

Becky Meredith/OCN staff
An orange ball of fire glowed down Sunday night, May 23 in a delightful sunset witnessed in the Monroe Community. In addition to the bright flashes of orange colors, hues of pink, purple, blue, lavendar, and yellow also contributed to a magnificent view for those who watched the entire event.

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Overton residents express concern about job security

During a recent "Call Your Congressman" event, Overton County residents told U.S. Representative Bart Gordon that job security remains a priority for them at a time when college tuition, health care costs, and grocery prices are soaring.

"Moms and dads are worried their jobs may be sent overseas as companies rush to cut costs and find cheaper labor," Gordon said after the recent telephone call-in event. "We need to focus our energy on measures that will actually help businesses grow jobs here, not overseas.

"If we hope to grow new industries, provide new skills to unemployed workers, and foster the economic conditions that will allow us to eliminate our federal deficit, we have to invest in more research and development programs. These types of programs help our nation's small businesses stay competitive.

"Small, innovative companies are the backbone of this nation's economy, and anything we can to do to help them will only reap bigger dividends down the road. And the huge American firms that take jobs away from hard-working Americans only to send them overseas should be stripped of any tax credits they may be getting from the government," he said. Good jobs, Gordon pointed out, are the key to keeping Middle Tennessee a desirable place to live and raise a family.

Good jobs help parents send their children to college, provide health care for their families, and buy groceries to feed their families, he said.

"College tuition has gone through the roof," Gordon said. "Last year, average college tuition costs rose more than 14 percent. That's scary for families who also have to worry about paying for health care and groceries, not to mention gasoline for their automobiles."

Gordon said Congress needs to do more to help families ensure their children get an opportunity to attend college. Increasing the maximum amount of Pell grants and other student-aid assistance is one way to do that, he explained.

"That's why I am disappointed by the administration's proposed education budget for next year," Gordon said.

In addition to other shortcomings, it freezes maximum funding for Pell grants at $4,050, the same level they have been for the past two years, he said. The proposed budget also cuts funding for Perkins loans by $100 million and freezes or eliminates funding for campus-based student-aid programs.

"Giving our children the opportunity to attend college shouldn't mean saddling them with an inordinate amount of debt," Gordon said. "Pell grants and Perkins loans are means by which low-income students can attend college and get the skills they need to be good providers for their families.

"And it's a way to ensure that we have a workforce capable of filling the jobs needed for today's dynamic, high-tech world."

Callers also told Gordon that health-care costs are getting outrageous.

"Some people cannot even afford the premiums on their employer-sponsored health-insurance plans," Gordon said. "According to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, average monthly premiums increased 13.9 percent last year, the third straight year of double-digit increases.

"We have 43 million Americans who have no health insurance right now, many of them small-business owners. We have to do a better job of providing coverage and keeping costs down.

"One thing we could do is allow small businesses to band together so they could negotiate lower insurance rates for themselves and their employees. That would help keep down the cost of health care for all of us," the congressman added.

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Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570
tel 931.823.6485
fax 931.823.6486
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