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80 Years Ago

Archives 02-25-2009



Overton County to receive $1.2M in education funds
Reflections on the weather
LRH promotes February as American Heart Month
Red Cross training set for March 7 at TTU

Overton County to receive $1.2M in education funds
As a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was signed into law on February 17, it is estimated that Overton County Schools will receive an additional $1,248,000 to fund education programs for disadvantaged and disabled children, according to Congressman Bart Gordon.

“This money will allow Overton’s school district to continue educating children that need help most,” Gordon said. “In these tough economic times, Overton County might have been forced to cut back funding for their special education programs to continue providing basic government services.”

For fiscal year 2009, Overton County School Schools will receive an estimated $498,000 to fund educational programs for low-achieving students and $750,000 to educate children with disabilities. These funds will allow the school district to further close the achievement gap for disadvantaged children and improve the educational outcomes for disabled students.

“With people spending less money, the county is not receiving enough in sales tax revenue to sufficiently fund these programs,” explained Gordon.

“Without the additional $1.2 million, it is hard to see how Overton would be able to continue its efforts to educate these especially needy students.”

Tennessee’s 95 counties are estimated to receive a total of $174,210,000 in federal grants for low-achieving student education programs (also known as Title 1-A programs) and $229,486,000 for special education programs (or IDEA programs).

“We must ensure that all children receive the education needed to compete for 21st Century jobs,” Gordon said. “These much-needed funds will prevent the current economic crisis from getting in the way of this.”

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Reflections on the weather

Darren Oliver photo
Overton County’s roller coaster weather continues with snow falling over the area Saturday night and temperatures predicted into the 60 degree range later this week.

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LRH promotes February as American Heart Month
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) death rates are declining, but CVD is still the No. 1 cause of death in the United States, with risk factor control remaining a challenge for many people, according to the most recent data from American Heart Association’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2009 Update.  

Physicians at Livingston Regional Hospital agree, and want to make sure everyone becomes more educated during February, which is “American Heart Month”.

Samantha McLerran, M.D. at The Livingston Clinic, said, “While CVD deaths do appear to be decreasing, there are approximately 80 million American adults who currently have some form of the disease; that’s one out of every three adults. 

“The prevalence of many related risk factors is increasing, including obesity and diabetes. There are nine major factors, including six that can be managed, which put people at greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke. 

“The three risk factors that can’t be changed include advanced age, heredity (including family history and race), and gender. The six key risk factors that people can treat or modify include smoking cigarettes, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, obesity/overweight, and diabetes. By focusing on these risks, people can lower their risks for
heart attack and stroke.”

Claiming nearly a million lives each year, CVD has been the leading cause of death in the United States every year since 1900, except during the 1918 flu epidemic. A recent study shows that the decrease in U.S. deaths due to heart disease suggests that approximately 47% of the decrease was attributable to evidence-based medical therapies and 44% to changes in risk factors in the population (data from1980 to 2000). For example, from 1965 to 2006, smoking in the U.S. declined by 50.4% among adults ages 18 and older.

The percentage of people who are overweight and obese is increasing.

“In particular, people are struggling more with their weight,” Dr. McLerran said. “Approximately 67% of adults are overweight, with half of those actually considered obese. And, perhaps even more frightening, nearly 32% of children and adolescents ages 2–19 are overweight or obese. Statistics tell us that at least 70% of children who are overweight will grow up to be overweight adults.”

Connected to the problem of weight is the increasing incidence of diabetes. It has been projected that diabetes prevalence will more than double between 2005 and 2050. Diabetes is defined as a fasting blood glucose level of 126 milligrams per deciliter or more.

About a third of the more than 15.1 million people with diabetes don’t know they have it, and another 59.7 million have prediabetes (a fasting blood glucose level between 100 and 125 milligrams per deciliter), which greatly increases the risk of diabetes.

At least 65% of people with diabetes die from some type of cardiovascular disease.

Perhaps the best known of the risk factors is smoking, which raises the risk of coronary heart disease death two to three times. In spite of the awareness of these risks, prevalence remains high with 46 million U.S. adults who are daily smokers. In 2007, 1 million people started smoking cigarettes daily.

Of these daily smokers, nearly 41% were under age 18.

The first step in the fight against heart disease is to have an annual physical with a primary care physician who will evaluate all of your risks and can assist in creating a plan to reduce risk.

The following are a few steps people can take to fight heart disease, according to Dr. McLerran:

•Limit your intake of fat and sugars.

•Try to avoid foods with saturated fats and trans fats.

•Limit your intake of sodium and salt .

•Eat plenty of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy products

•Stop smoking.

•Start an exercise program that keeps you physically active 30 to 60 minutes a day.

•Choose meat and poultry that are lean and include more fish in your diet.

•If you drink alcohol, limit your intake to 1 -2 glasses a day

•Most importantly, people need to become aware of the symptoms of both heart attack and stroke and the importance of taking quick action.

“We want to make sure that everyone knows that heart attacks and strokes are life-and-death emergencies, and that every single second counts,” Dr. McLerran said. “Everyone should know the symptoms, and if they see or have any of them, immediately call 9-1-1.

“Today heart attack and stroke victims can benefit from new medications and treatments unavailable to patients in years past. For example, clot-busting drugs can stop some heart attacks and strokes in progress, reducing disability and saving lives. But to be effective, these drugs must be given relatively quickly after heart attack or stroke symptoms first appear.”

The following are heart attack warning signs:

•Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes
back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.   

•Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.   

•Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.  

•Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.   

The following are stroke warning signs: 

•Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.   

•Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.   

•Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.   

•Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.   

•Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

Not all of these signs occur in every heart attack or stroke. Sometimes they go away and return.

Livingston Regional Hospital is a 114-bed facility serving the Upper Cumberland Region.

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Red Cross training set for March 7 at TTU
American Red Cross, in partnership with UPS, is hosting disaster preparedness training for the Upper Cumberland Region. This training is part of “Join the 10,000-the Red Cross” campaign to recruit and train 10,000 volunteers now, making Middle Tennessee and the Upper Cumberland the most prepared region in the country for a disaster.

In the course, volunteers will be taught the various ways they can respond to a disaster through American Red Cross. They will also be given life-saving tips on how to prepare themselves and their families for the next disaster.

The free training will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 7 in the Tennessee Tech University School of Nursing auditorium, located at 10 West Seventh Street in Cookeville.

The training is open to anyone, however, participants must register at www.nashvilleredcross.org or by calling (931) 528-3475.

Major Gifts Officer Mary Frank Madera, with the Cookeville Red Cross office, said, “We need more Red Cross volunteers in the Upper Cumberland trained to help us respond to the next disaster. This ‘Join the 10,000’ training is the first step Tennesseans in this region can take to be part of a community wide effort, neighbors helping neighbors.”

Participants in the course will not only learn how to become a Red Cross volunteer and how to be safe themselves during a disaster, but they will also hear stories from seasoned volunteers who have responded to several disasters across the country. These volunteers will help participants decide how they would like to respond to the next disaster as a Red Cross volunteer.

The Nashville Area Regional Chapter oversees 36 counties and six Red Cross community chapters in Middle Tennessee. The 17 counties served directly by the Chapter include Cheatham, Clay, Davidson, DeKalb, Dickson, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Robertson, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, Van Buren, White, and Wilson counties.

American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization, led by volunteers, that provides relief to victims of disaster and helps people prevent, prepare, and respond to emergencies. American Red Cross is not a government agency.

All disaster assistance is free, and is funded solely by local donations. To make a gift call (615) 250-4300.

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