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Archives 02-20-2008

News

Volunteers still needed in Macon County
Computers stolen from middle school

January state revenues lower than expected
Project Lifeline to help ward off foreclosure

Volunteers still needed in Macon County



Darren Oliver photo
Volunteers from across the state help in the cleanup effort in Macon County on Saturday, Feb. 16.

Darren Oliver photo
A mattress stuck in a tree is a reminder of the force of the tornado that destroyed homes in Macon County two weeks ago.



Above, National Guard equipment helps remove debris from a devastated area of Macon County. More heavy equipment such as dump trucks and loaders are needed in the cleanup effort.

Crews with the Tennessee Storm Task Force have removed more than 230 dump truck loads of debris and wood chips from the Macon County area since operations began Sunday, Feb. 10.

Tennessee Department of Transportation is coordinating the multi-agency operation, which includes Tennessee National Guard’s 913th Engineer Company of the 230th Engineer Brigade, Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division, Department of Environment and Conservation, Department of Safety, Clay County Highway Department, Macon County Highway Department, and Macon County EMA.

Crews began removing debris Sunday, Feb. 10. As of 8 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, TDOT crews had removed 27 dump truck loads of wood chips and 45 dump truck loads of debris, while the National Guard recorded 165 loads of debris removed.

Task Force cleanup operations are continuing in Macon County. Crews will not be removing debris from private property. 

Crews are working along set routes and will be making several return trips to affected areas. Any Macon County residents with debris removal needs may call the Tornado Volunteer and Donation hotline at (866) 596-4483 and their location will be reported to Tennessee Storm Task Force headquarters for inclusion in debris removal sites.

People wishing to donate their services to the cleanup effort should contact the Tornado Volunteer and Donation hotline at (866) 586-4483.

For additional information about the recovery efforts contact the TEMA and FEMA joint field office media desk at (615) 372-0940 to speak with either a TEMA or FEMA public information officer.


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Computers stolen from middle school

Livingston Police Department officers are currently investigating a burglary at Livingston Middle School.

A teacher visiting her classroom around 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14 reported 22 laptop computers, valued at approximately $19,000, were missing from the school. Missing were 4 Dell laptops, 8 Hewlett-Packard laptops, and 10 Apple iBook laptops.

The laptops do not have bags and may not contain all the cords or chargers for use. They did not contain any personal information, according to school personnel.

A dark colored 4-door vehicle, possibly a Toyota Camry, may be involved in the burglary, according to Livingston Police.

Overton County schools were closed due to flu at the time of the burglary. Two days before the computers were reported stolen, a glass door had been broken at the school and the opening had been temporarily repaired with plastic. The perpetrator, or perpetrators, apparently gained entrance to the school through that opening.

 

 

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January state revenues lower than expected

Business tax collections offset a drop in sales tax collections for January in Tennessee. Overall January revenues were nearly $1.1 billion and $110,000 less than the state budgeted, according to State Finance & Administration Commissioner Dave Goetz.

“This is the first time in more than three decades that sales tax receipts for December dropped below the previous year, yielding a negative growth rate,” Goetz said. “It confirms what retailers have already reported, that consumer spending was disappointing in December.”
On an accrual basis, January is the sixth month in the 2007-2008 fiscal year.

The general fund was overcollected by $3 million, and the four other funds were undercollected by $3.1 million.

Sales tax collections were $26.6 million less than the estimate for January. The January growth rate was a negative 1.36%. For six months, revenues are undercollected by $86.1 million. The year-to-date growth rate for six months was 2.39%.

Franchise and excise taxes combined were $37.8 million above the budgeted estimate of $142.8 million. For six months, revenues are undercollected by $35.7 million.

Gasoline and motor fuel collections for January decreased by 10.53% and were $171,000 below the budgeted estimate of $71.5 million. For six months, revenues are overcollected by $2 million.

Tobacco tax collections were $3.3 million below the budgeted estimate of $26.5 million, and for six months they are $43.6 million under the budgeted estimate.

Year-to-date collections for six months were $182.2 million less than the budgeted estimate. The general fund was undercollected by $183.2 million, and the four other funds were overcollected by $1 million.

The budgeted revenue estimates for 2007-2008 are based on the State Funding Board’s consensus recommendation adopted by the first session of the 105th General Assembly in June of 2007.

 

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Project Lifeline to help ward off foreclosure

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander is urging Tennesseans concerned about a potential foreclosure to take advantage of a new program to aid homeowners.

Project Lifeline, a partnership coordinated by the federal government among some of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders, will work with individual homeowners on a step-by-step plan to help them modify their loans and remain in their homes. The program would allow some homeowners to pause foreclosure for 30 days while they work with their lenders.

“With a single phone call to their lender, Americans facing foreclosure may be able to keep their homes,” Sen. Alexander said. “Project Lifeline is a good step toward boosting confidence in the housing market and helping preserve the American dream for those facing possible foreclosure.”

Project Lifeline will apply to borrowers who are at least three months late on payments, prime borrowers, and those with poor credit histories, and will give step-by-step instructions to help.

Homeowners must do the following to be evaluated for a loan modification:

•Call their loan servicer within 10 days of receiving the notice.

•Tell the loan servicer they have received the letter, they want to stay in the
home, and they are willing to seek counseling, if necessary.

•Provide updated financial information so the loan servicer can explore the appropriate solution.

To learn more about Project Lifeline call 1-888-995-HOPE.

Sen. Alexander has been urging action to help homeowners and last month cosponsored legislation (S. 2566) introduced by Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) to provide a $15,000 tax credit over three years to anyone purchasing a newly constructed home, a foreclosed home, or a home where foreclosure is pending.






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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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