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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Crossville Police Department Names Officers of the Month for January 2017

Press Release: February 27, 2016
Two City of Crossville Police Department officers have received recognition with the issuance of “Officer of the Month” awards for January, 2017.
On January 13, 2017, Sgt. Dustin Lester and Ptl. Daniel Coleman responded to an unresponsive male at an Aster Street residence. The officers immediately began life saving CPR, and restored a pulse. The subject began breathing for a short time but, despite their heroic attempts, later passed away.
On January 18, both officers responded to a Crabtree Road address, where a motor vehicle had fallen on an individual, trapping him underneath. The officers quickly assessed the situation and Ptl. Coleman jacked up the vehicle as Sgt. Lester pulled the man from danger. The gentleman suffered no injury, in part to the officer’s quick actions.
Lastly, on January 27th, 2017, both officers responded to an open “911” telephone line at a Calloway Drive Residence. Upon their arrival, officers found a female lying in a pool of blood. They made entry and found the female to be semi-responsive, suffering from a large laceration on her head. Ptl. Coleman and Sgt. Lester provided medical assistance until paramedics arrived. Both followed up with the female the next day at the hospital. She greatly appreciated their concern and assistance.
These officer’s dedication and professionalism is to be commended. It is with exceptional officers and a determination to maintain the highest levels of service to the citizens of Crossville that our agency will exceed the expectations of our community.

Patrolman Daniel Coleman, left and Sgt. Dustin Lester, right. 

Hazardous Weather Outlook issued for Crossville by NOAA

DAY ONE...Today and Tonight

A line of showers and thunderstorms, with some of the
thunderstorms reaching strong to severe thresholds, may
approach and move through the Tennessee River Valley Region
late tonight. With any strong to severe thunderstorms that do
occur, damaging winds will be the main concern, although large
hail, brief heavy rainfall resulting in localized minor flooding,
and the formation of a few tornadoes can not totally be ruled out.

DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...Wednesday through Monday

A line of showers and thunderstorms, with some of the thunderstorms
reaching strong to severe thresholds, will continue moving across
Middle Tennessee through at least the morning hours on Wednesday.
With any strong to severe thunderstorms that do occur, damaging
winds will be the main concern, although large hail, brief heavy
rainfall resulting in localized minor flooding, and the formation
of a few tornadoes can not totally be ruled out.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Progress continues on Crossville's new Dollar Tree

The building is up and the outside finish is being worked on.  Crossville New Dollar tree across from the Rocky Top 10 theatre.

Crossville's early spring 2017 in photos of the Courthouse, Main Street and more

The early Spring in Crossville has brought out the flowers a coupe seeks early this year.  We have had some gorgeous days for outdoor activities.  Just a few photos of Crossville by Jim Young

The flowers blooming early

Cumberland Co. Memorial Park

Courthouse tower and spring flowers.

War memorial with Courthouse

Hot rod parked on Main Street near the Courthouse.

Friday traffic on Main Street in Crossville.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Crossville Flashback: Another piece of long gone Crossville history-the old Cumberland Truck Stop

The old Cumberland Truck Stop on Highway 70-E near Dorton has been gone for many years.  These photos were taken in 2001 before the shell of the old building was cleared away and while the old neon sign is still there it is pretty much unreadable any more.  There were a number of truck stops along Highway 70 before the Interstate was finished as the old highway was the main road between Knoxville and Nashville from the 1930's through the late 1960's.

At one time, bright neon lights would have guided travelers between Knoxville
and Nashville to the Cumberland Truck Stop. Photo by Jim Young

Now gone, the shell of the Cumberland Truck Stop building. 
Photo by Jim Young

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

WSM Radio looking for talent at Crossville's Palace Theatre!

WSM 650 Radio is looking for musical talent and coming to Crossville to try and find it!

WSM Radio, the home of the Grand Ole Opry, is taking the Show on the Road. Beginning March 11, WSM will visit some of the beautifully renovated historic theatres throughout the south.

March 11 it's The Roxy Regional Theatre in Clarksville TN then March 25, The Palace Theatre in Crossville, TN, April 8, The Palace Theatre in Gallatin ,TN and April 28, The Capitol Theatre, in Lebanon, TN.
Palace marquee photo by Jim Young

Singer/Songwriter contestants will compete for one of three opening performance slots during Tracy Lawrence’s Mission:Possible benefit concert at The Franklin Theatre in Franklin Tennessee on Sunday May 7. One Grand Prize winner will play a solo spot at the new Opry City Stage venue in New York City’s Time Square!

WSM will be at the historic Palace Theatre in Crossville on March 25. Contestants will play two songs, backed up by the famous Grand Ole Opry Band. Three finalists from each round of auditions will move on to the final round to be held at The Capitol Theatre in Lebanon,TN on Friday, April 28.


You can submit your audition footage a few different ways:
1. Upload via SonicBids link at (just click the Road Show banner on the home page carousel).
2. Email either an MP3 or performance video to Julie Wallace at
3. Mail your CD to WSM at 2644 McGavock Pike, Nashville,Tn,37214.
Audition times will be from 1-3PM CT, at the first three sites. The final round will be from 7-9 PM CT

A huge thank you to the City of Crossville for hosting the event!!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Crossville Flashback to 2000: Palace Theatre groundbreaking ceremony was a celebration of restoration efforts.

(Editors note: Seventeen years ago work was just starting on the restoration of the Palace Theatre.)

The effort to save Crossville’s Palace Theater started some 15 years ago; supporters can finally breathe a sigh of relief after Wednesday’s ground breaking ceremony and work on the building moving forward.

Crossville Mayor J. H. Graham told the crowd gathered for the ceremony, “This building will be the cornerstone for the enhancement of the small town character of Crossville.” Graham added that many people have memories of small town life tied to the Palace.

Graham shared that he had his first date with his wife at the Palace Theater to see the movie “Walking Tall.” Graham also said that his parents had gone seen the classic movie “Gone with the Wind” at the Palace.

“This theater shall not be gone with the wind,” promised Graham.

While restoration work was done on the Palace, plywood
protected the already restored neon marquee. (Photos by Jim Young)

Rear of original building that was removed to expand the stage area.
prior to work starting a portion of the rear wall fell during a wind storm

Contractors work on the interior of the theatre.
The stage area is behind the worker in this photo

“Most of us have never seen an uncut diamond,” said Graham. “I feel like I’m standing in front of a diamond in the rough. A building that’s been designed for many uses.”

The Mayor thanked a long list of people including Downtown Crossville Inc., the Greater Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce, the Historical Society and Cumberland County school students who gave their pennies and others.

DCI member Jim Purcell, who acted as master of ceremonies recognized special guest, Joe Edd Hodges. Hodges, long time Cumberland County art educator spearheaded the first efforts to reuse the Palace Theater in the 1980’s. Hodges has been in poor health for several years.

Purcell also thanked the Tennessee Department of Transportation who were instrumental in helping Crossville get the ISTEA grant. ISTEA is a federally funded transportation enhancement program that is paying for part of the renovation so the Palace project can include a tourism/visitors center.

Another important partner in the Palace project according to Purcell is Regal Cinemas, who have their corporate offices in Knoxville. Regal has donated theater seats, projectors and other needed equipment. Regal has also offered their expertise when needed.

Purcell called DCI the glue that held this project together or “this corner would be a parking lot.”

“I don’t think any of us have any idea what impact this project will have on our community,” Purcell told those gathered. “Come back in several months for our grand opening.”

DCI president Dr. Richard Bradley thanked the many familiar faces in the crowd who helped on the Palace effort including Vancenitta Wisdom and Joe Edd Hodges.

Bradley added that “DCI’s work is just starting” as the group works to furnish and operate the theater. Fundraising for items needed to improve the theater facilities will continue as the construction moves forward.

Those who attended the ceremony had a chance to step into the old Palace lobby to see what the building looks like in its current condition. Immediately after the groundbreaking, employees of Pioneer Construction were back at work on the building.

Crossville council OKs agreement on new corporate hanger at airport

The Crossville city council approved a plan discussed during the council's earlier work session on how to handle operation of the new corporate hanger at the Crossville Memorial Airport.

The new hanger is now complete and council also approved the final change order on the construction that reduced the cost of the total project by $13,296. The total cost of the hanger is around $1 million and with a grant, the city's portion of the cost was 5 percent or around $50,000.

Crossville Memorial Airport

There was a short discussion at the work session on the operation of the hanger. The city does not yet know what the average utilities cost will be for the operation nor what kind of demand the hanger will generate and rental revenue. The discussion from airport manager Chris Bennett of Crossville Areo included some typical rental charges for use of hangers at other airports in the area that Bennett researched.

Word for word: Airport hanger discussion

The discussion turned to allowing Bennett to rent the entire hanger from the city allowing him to operate the facility, paying for the utilities and a monthly rental charge while allowing Bennett to keep any fees generated by the use of the hanger.

At the regular meeting, Mayor James Mayberry explained that the city would accept $200 a month rent from Bennett for the use of the hanger. Mayberry moved to approve the agreement that would be amended to the rental agreement the city already has with the fixed base operator.

The motion was supported by councilman Danny Wyatt and with no further discussion, the motion was unanimously approved by all four council members present. Councilman J. H. Graham was unable to attend the meeting.  

Sunday, February 19, 2017

CROSSVILLE FLASHBACK February 2000: Road Improvements to Elmore & near CCHS, Chamber promotes Golf

News from the Crossville city council meeting February 2000
Crossville city council approved moving forward with two road improvement projects that staff and city officials have been studying since last year.
The first project is to help the situation on Elmore Road between Main Street and West Avenue. The state will take the current four lanes, mill the asphalt surface and repave the road striped with five lanes including a center turn lane. The road itself will not be widened, but the lanes adjusted within the current road width. According to correspondence from the Tennessee department of transportation, the two outside lanes will be 11 feet wide while the three remaining lanes will each be 10 feet wide.

A state study of the number of wrecks put the road’s accident rate at almost three times the state average. The short one-third of a mile stretch has tallied 130 accidents in the last three years, 40 of those were rear-end type accidents.
The city’s piece of the project will be to replace the sensor loops in the road that operate the automatic traffic signals and adjust the signal heads as necessary. Public Works director Richard Campbell has estimated the cost to the city at around $5,000.
The other road improvement project approved by council was to make Stanley Street and Fourth Street three lanes in the area of Cumberland County High School. In addition to the road widening proposed, the city plans to build a one-lane drive from Stanley Street across the front lawn at CCHS as a quick student drop off or pick up area. The city has been studying the congestion problems caused by both the morning and afternoon school traffic rush for several months at the request of school officials.
The total estimated cost for the complete package is $75,000. The state will fund around $45,000 of the project leaving about $30,000 to be paid for out of the city’s budget. Council members discussed the fact that their intentions have been to use their portion of the additional sales tax revenue from last year’s sales tax increase referendum for road improvements. Sales tax collections from the holiday shopping season increased dramatically over previous years. October and December sales tax revenue increased over $100,000 with November almost that much.
Both road improvement projects were approved by a unanimous vote of the council.
Don Hinch updated the city council on tourism and different ways the Chamber of Commerce promotes the local area to potential visitors. In addition to a brochure promoting overall tourism, the chamber has started promoting a trademarked logo and slogan of Crossville as the golf vacation capital of Tennessee. According to Hinch an estimated 400,000 rounds of golf were played in Cumberland County last year.
The Chamber has developed a multi-page golf brochure, the 2000 Lifestyle magazine and placed ads in the state tourism and golf magazines. Currently, through a state tourism grant chamber employees man the two Cumberland County I-40 rest areas during daylight hours. An estimated 200,000 vehicles stop in at the rest areas while it is manned and visitors have a chance to ask questions and pick-up information on area attractions.
Council also passed a resolution in opposition to action considered by the state legislature that would balance the state budget by reducing the so-called state shared taxes returned to Crossville. Currently the city receives almost $1 million a year from the program and estimates city property taxes would have to raised by 60 cents per $100 of value to offset the loss of all that state funding. Currently city property taxes are 70 cents and the increase would nearly double property owners’ city tax bill. City taxpayers could also face an increase in their county property tax bill of nearly 44 cents per 100 value.
In other action, council:

  • Commended public works director Richard Campbell for his “exemplary” service as interim city manger;
  • Recognized Crossville Elementary third grader Barbara Brady as the student of the month. Teacher Glenn Linebaugh said Barbara was an excellent student with excellent behavior and helped others;
  • Directed city attorney Lanny Colvard to send a letter to Highways, Inc. requesting payment for the estimated $7,000 to $10,000 still owed to the city.
  • Increased city attorney Colvard’s hourly billing rate from $100 to $125 per hour.
  • Deferred action on a request by the Art Circle Library for further study and deferred action on establishing Martin Luther King Day as a city holiday.

Students Christopher and Glup recognized at February city council meeting

Two young people were recognized during the February Crossville city council meeting, one as Martin Elementary student of the month and one for their artistic talent.

Isabelle "Belle" Christopher was recognized as the Martin student of the month for the character trait of respect.  Seventh grader Belle is in Mrs. Bowen's class and was described as setting "a fine example to her peers in the area of respect."  She is also a leader among her classmates.

Belle Christopher, 2nd from right, receives her plaque from Crossville Mayor
James Mayberry, right.  Belle was accompanied by her parents. 

Young artist Jimmy Glup was recognized for his artistic talent and the drawings he has done of some of the city's trucks.  Two drawings of the city's street sweeper are amazingly detailed and have been framed for hanging at the city offices.  More recently Jimmy also drew one of the city's snowplow trucks in action as well.  Mayor Mayberry praised the young man's talent and said he is a favorite of the street department employees.

Jimmy Glup, left and Mayor Mayberry hold Jimmy's framed art work
that the city was impressed enough with to have framed.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Contract for sale of property for Shooting Sports Park approved by city council

Crossville city council approved a sales agreement to transfer part of the city's Dorton area landfill property to the non-profit group that will operate the new shooting sports park once it is built.

City attorney Will Ridley and county officials have been working on the agreement for several weeks to try and put the deal together to allow the project to move forward with an attraction that proponents hope will attract tournaments and and shooters from Middle and East Tennessee.

City council video discussion on shooting sports park property sale

Council,man Danny Wyatt moved that the contract be approved with the provision that if the funding for the project is not received by December 31, 2017 that the property will revert back to the city. The contact already included a provision that should the property stop being used as a shooting park that the property would also revert back to the ownership of the city.

Wyatt's motion was supported by councilwoman Pamala Harris. With no calls for any further discussion, the motion was approved with four votes in favor. Councilman J. H. Graham was absent from the meeting.

The city charter requires a 30 day advertising period before the sale can become final. The total acreage to be transferred is 146 of the approximately 218 acres originally purchased by the city for use as a landfill. Some 37 acres was used for a landfill but was closed many years ago and remains under the auspices of the state environmental department for monitoring.

The shooting sports park has been under discussion for almost 2 years with funding coming from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency using money comes from the federal excise tax on ammunition.  

Previous stories:

Friday, February 17, 2017

Crossville Flashback--Starlite Drive-In Theatre schedule from October 1972

For many years, Crossville Tennessee had a drive in Theater on Highway 70-E near Rock Quarry Road.  The Starlite Drive-In was very popular with local residents for watching movies and other social activities.  This calendar dates from October 1972, the final month of movies for that year.  A fascinating variety of movies are on the schedule from Sophia Loren in Lady Liberty to Macbeth. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Chamber chooses consultant for Target Industry Analysis and Workforce Development Strategy.

The Crossville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce has selected Younger Associates of Jackson, Tennessee to consult on the completion of a target industry analysis and workforce development strategy for Cumberland County. The work will begin on February 22nd and is anticipated to wrap up in early May with a presentation of findings.

Chamber of Commerce

An RFP was created in mid-November with responses due by mid-December from companies who are in the business of assisting communities with such studies and six proposals were received. After preliminary scoring of the proposals, video conferences were held with five companies and the presentation of Younger Associates was preferred by a strong majority of those who had been involved in some aspect of the selection process. The bottom line to the RFP came down to two primary questions:

1.       Since Cumberland County has an excellent location (Interstate 40 cuts through the County), how can we position ourselves to be attractive to small-medium industrial interests and what companies (clusters) might find Cumberland County an attractive location for future expansion, and
2.       What workforce development strategy should we follow to not only help us in attraction of new investment; but, serve the current needs of existing industry?

“One of the attractive features to Younger Associates approach was their analysis of the workforce and drawing conclusions from that information,” noted Chamber President, Brad Allamong. “Their proposal included final report presentations to TECD and TVA, was within budget, included an additional 80 hours of consultation beyond the end of the project and very importantly was from a company who is based in Tennessee and aware of similar Tennessee challenges in meeting workforce demands.”

Some of Younger Associates clients include: Central Virginia Partnership, Baton Rouge Area Chamber, Greater Jackson Alliance in Mississippi, the North Alabama Council of Local Governments, the Greater Memphis Chamber and the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce. Ray Evans, Economic Development Director for the Plateau Partnership Park and one of the City’s representatives on the committee to select the consultant, said “I believe the selection of Younger Associates is an excellent choice for the community. The committee’s comfort level with Sharon Younger was extraordinary.”

Sharon Younger is the President of Younger Associates and she has worked with TVA to develop successful strategies for recruiting the plastics and automotive industries into the Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi region. Her firm worked with TVA to analyze the economic impact of the megasite program by analyzing the activity in five megasites and the strategies for developing two additional megasites. She has over twenty-five years of experience in her field and is a frequent speaker at national conferences for professional organizations. 

Wind Energy continues to grow as a strong competitor for energy generation but south behind.

"Wind power is the largest source of renewable energy in the United States. But a broad swath of the country has had no large, commercial wind farms — until now. A new one with 104 towers is up and running near Elizabeth City, N.C., where it spans 22,000 acres."

Even General Motors is pushing the use of wind power and plans by the end of this year to run its Arlington Texas plant on 100 percent wind power.  It currently operates on 50 percent wind power. 

Map of proposed Cumberland Co. wind farm near Crab Orchard

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Undercover Narcotics Investigation Leads to Search Warrant Execution by Police

On Monday February 13, 2017, Crossville Police Department Narcotics Detective’s most recent efforts led to a raid and search warrant service on a residence located at 1039 Browns Creek Drive, in Crossville, TN. Following an in-depth investigation and undercover operations, this residence, located in Cumberland County, is the latest example of the Crossville Police Department’s resolve to eliminate the sale of illicit narcotics within our community.
1039 Browns Creek Drive
With the completion of this most recent effort and upon completion of the narcotics investigation, Grand Jury Indictments will be sought for resident Timothy Barnes Sr. – 50 and other involved residents; Shirley Barnes – 45 and Angela Barnes – 23. 

All charges are pending the outcome of the completed investigation. Assisting with the operation were Crossville Police Department, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, 13th Judicial Drug Task Force, and the HIDTA / TBI Drug Task Force. A special thank you goes out to all agencies involved in the completion of this dangerous task.

New Crossville city manager expected to start March 6, already working on city budget.

Crossville's new manager Greg Wood is expected to officially start March 6 but has already received information on the city's upcoming budget preparation and is reviewing the data so he'll be up to date when he starts.

After ten months since the last professional city manager David Rutherford was removed from the position, Crossville has seen two two interim city managers and several employee morale issues.

The council has been searching for a manager for nearly 6 months and received some 40 applications. The council narrowed the list down to 6 and during the interview process three of those candidates dropped out of the running before the city selected Wood of Baker Florida for the position.

Council initially made the offer to Wood in a special called meeting February 7 and approved the draft of an employment contract during the regular council meeting February 14. The motion to approve the contract was unanimous with four votes in favor. Councilman J. H. Graham was absent as he continues to recover from recent surgery.

Council approves new city manager contract

In addition to the two year contract at a salary of $80,211 with a possible 10 percent raise in 6 months, the agreement includes a 6 month severance deal if Wood is not fired for cause. The effective date of the employment is March 6th and Wood will receive up to a $2500 moving allowance. Wood also receives health, disability and life insurance, a vehicle to drive and a $50 a month cell phone allowance.

During the interview, Greg Wood was asked for a series of words to describe himself and he responded that he was “genuine, a simple man, compassionate, logical, not taking himself too seriously and a team player.”

When asked about his impressions of Crossville, Mr. Wood said that “Crossville was a great place to live.” He said he had looked around and found out some things adding, “None of it scared me off.”

Greg Wood currently lives in Baker Florida. He holds a masters of public administration from the University of West Florida. From 2013 to 2016 Mr. Wood served as the county administrator of Harris County Georgia. From 2010 to 2012 he served as the county manager for Jasper County Georgia and from 2007 to 2009 as the county administrator of Holmes Co. Florida and similar experience back to 1984 along with a time in the military.

Wood did receive one of the highest ratings from the UT Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) consultants who ranked the initial list of candidates last November based on their experience.

The search for a city manager got underway in August last year with an initial deadline set for applications at the end of September and that deadline was extended twice because of a November election and new council members taking seats in December.   

Mr. Wood's resume is below:

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Patrol Captain promotion announced by Crossville PD.

The City of Crossville Police Department is proud to announce the promotion of a new Patrol Captain, CPT. Chris Kendrick. The promotion will be made effective Sunday, February 19th, 2017.

CPT KendrickCPT. Kendrick has been employed as a full time police officer with the Crossville Police Department since 1999. Cpt. Kendrick is the K-9 Division Supervisor and handler, Field Training Officer, Tactical Response Unit Sniper, firearms instructor and has had many years of experience as a Patrol Division Shift Lieutenant.
Capt. Chris Kendrick

CPT. Kendrick was recognized as the Crosville Police Department’s Officer of the Year in 2002 and 2005. He was also awarded with the Medal of Valor in 2005. As a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, he was recognized with an Officer of the Year Award in 2004. Additionally, CPT. Kendrick has received 13 Officer of the Month Awards, 9 Letters of Merit and 4 Letters of Commendation

Monday, February 13, 2017

Crossville Post Office damaged by car that crashed through front windows.

Info from Crossville PD press release: On Monday February 13, at approximately 12:18 PM, a 68 year old female was attempting to park a 2003 Ford Focus station wagon in one of the front parking spaces of Crossville’s United States Post Office, at 240 Old Jamestown Highway. The driver stepped on the accelerator pedal, mistaking it for the brake pedal, sending the vehicle over the curb, across the sidewalk and front landscaping, then on into the front of the building.

Photo courtesy of Crossville Police Department

The vehicle crashed through the glass windowed front wall of the service counter area and came to rest against the counter. There were 3 bystanders in the area who received minor injuries and were transported to Cumberland Medical Center by Cumberland County E.M.S. ambulance. The driver was also transported to Cumberland Medical Center for evaluation of any possible injury. There are no criminal charges pending, at the time of this release.

This is the second time a vehicle has crashed through the windows and into the Crossville Post Office since it opened.  

Repairs were underway Monday evening at the Crossville Post Office
Photo by Jim Young

Clean up underway after front window and interior damage to
Crossville Post Office. Photo by Jim Young

Scammer trying to sell unauthorized tickets to Palace Theatre events.

When purchasing tickets online or on the phone for events at the Historic Palace Theatre
please make sure you are going thru the Palace Theatre website event calendar  or calling
the Palace direct at (931) 484-6133.

 A scammer company, boxofficevertified (dot ) com has paid for its name to show up in Google searches and are attempting to sell tickets acting as an agent for the Palace Theatre. This company has NO affiliation with the Palace Theatre, City of Crossville, or, the authorized ticket agent.  

If you believe you have made a purchase In error from this company, please contact
your bank or respective credit card companies.

Palace photo by Jim Young

Changes coming in Personnel Board membership following resignations after meeting on French grievance.

Two members of the Crossville Personnel Board members resigned following the January 11 meeting to hear the grievance filed by city parks and recreation director Tammie French against then interim city manager Steve Hill.  Those leaving the board are members John Eldridge and Brooks Boston, both elected by the Crossville city employees. 

Members of the Crossville Personnel Board, city staff and observers
listen as the board hears the Tammie French Grievance 
at their last meeting on January 11, 2017.

The Personnel board includes 5 members including 2 elected by city employees, 2 appointed by the city council and one appointed by the city manager. The process of replacing the two resigning members who were elected by the city employees is now underway.

The city ordinance on the personnel board says that “No member of the Personnel Board shall be employed by or be an official of the city, nor shall be a member of any local, state or national committee of a political party or an official or member of a committee in any partisan political group or organization, nor shall hold or be a candidate for any elective office. No member of the Personnel Board shall be an immediate family member (wife, husband, son, son-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, mother, mother-in-law, father, father-in-law, brother, brother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, step-parent, stepchild, grandmother, or grandfather) of any employee or elected official of the City of Crossville.”

The Ordinance also sates the duties and responsibilities of the Personnel Board as follows:
“(a) Represent the public interest in the improvement of personnel administration;
(b) Advise the City Council and the City Manager on problems concerning personnel administration; and
(c) Hear appeals of any employee covered by this chapter relative to personnel actions taken by the city in which the employee feels grieved, as long as the employee has exhausted the grievance procedures provided in the rules and regulations. The Personnel Board may revoke, modify or sustain the personnel action being appealed. The Personnel Board shall have the right of subpoena, the power to examine witnesses under oath, the power to compel the appearance of a witness and the power to require the production of evidence by subpoena. During the review, both the appealing employee and city or other person whose actions are being reviewed shall have right to be heard publicly, be represented by any person the appellant desires and to present evidentiary facts. At the hearings of the appeals or grievances, technical rules of evidence shall not apply. All appeals shall be concluded as expeditiously as possible and in accordance with the requirement and procedures set forth in the personnel rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter. The cases shall be final. However, nothing in this section purports to preclude judicial review.”

The city employees are notified and have 5 days to nominate possible candidates. That took place last week and the city manager then determines the qualifications of the candidates and prepares the ballots that are distributed to the city employees. The ballots are tabulated by the manager with two city employees selected at random to observe the ballot counting and the results are certified.  

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Story from NPR

About a third of Tennessee students who graduated from high school in 2015 did so without earning the necessary credits. That revelation came late last month in a report by the state's education department — a report meant to explore why so many Tennessee students are having trouble in college. 

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (right) speaks at Cane Ridge High School 
while Senator Mark Norris looks on. A recent audit found 
that one in three high school graduates hadn't fulfilled the 
state's graduation requirements.
Dawn Majors/Courtesy of the Office of Governor Bill Haslam

Link to story

Saturday, February 11, 2017

City manager candidate Greg Wood has taken council's offer--final approval could come Tuesday night.

It appears that the City of Crossville's new city manager will be Greg Wood and final approval could come as soon as Tuesday's council meeting.

According to Mayor James Mayberry, tasked with negotiating with candidate Greg Wood who was selected in a special called meeting last Tuesday, Wood has accepted the offer and agreed to the terms of a 2 year contract proposed. The only contingency remaining is a background check though Mayberry said Wood had held a high level of clearance when he was in the military and it is hoped the results of that check will be available by Tuesday night.

A draft contract is up for review by the council though sources say Wood has already agreed to the terms and signed the contract. Mayberry said Wood had a few loose end to tie up before he would come to Crossville but information on the city's budget will be forwarded to him and he will start reviewing the budget right away.

In addition to the two year contract at a salary of $80,211 with a possible 10 percent raise in 6 months, the agreement includes a 6 month severance deal if Wood is not fired for cause. The effective date of the employment is March 6th and Wood will receive up to a $2500 moving allowance. Wood also receives health, disability and life insurance, a vehicle to drive and a $50 a month cell phone allowance.  Wood's resume is below.

Tuesday night's meeting schedule starts with the Audit Committee meeting starting at 4:45 followed by a closed executive session with the attorney at 5:15. The executive session could last up to 30 minutes and a beer board meeting will be held at 5:45 with the regular meeting to begin at 6:00 PM.

The council's agenda will take up operations of the new corporate hanger at the Crossville Memorial Airport. The hanger has been in use for a period of time but no discussion of fees, utilities and operational concerns have been addressed. Council is also expected to approve a final change order on the project, a reduction of $13,000 in the final cost.

Councilwoman Pamala Harris is expected to be appointed to a vacancy on the City Lake Commission and council is expected to handle two requests for sewer service out side the city limits.

Other agenda items council will consider:
  • Changes to the public records ordinance and policy,
  • Third reading on the property tax freeze,
  • Loan agreement on Air Force jet Miss Nettie,
  • Street closings for monthly cruise-ins,
  • Property transfer for Shooting Sports Park,
  • Quail Hollow airport property.

Friday, February 10, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: Written warning to marketing director Loggins one of Hill's last acts as interim manager

Crossville marketing director Billy Loggins received a written warning placed in his personnel file two days after the Personnel Board meeting that revealed a long string of internal instant messages between Loggins and Parks and Recreation secretary Amy Hester.

The warning is signed by then interim city manager Steve Hill and Loggins and is dated Friday January 13.  Under supervisor's remarks is the notation, "Talked with Mr. Loggins about appropriate use of the city's instant messaging system."  The action may have been one of the last official acts by Hill since the next week was a holiday Monday followed by a called meeting a noon Tuesday when Hill was dismissed as interim city manager.
Crossville Marketing Director  Billy Loggins

The warning did not address the derogatory image of Crossville Mayor James Mayberry that Loggins had received in his city email from Mr. Hill in July of 2016.

Loggins Questioned about messages and emails. 

Instant messages between Loggins, Hester and Hill

Copy of the written warning from Billy Loggin's personnel file.

Amy Hester lost her job the following week after the messages came to light and she was found to have been doing work for Loggin's without the authorization of her supervisor Tammie French.  French still has a personnel complaint on file against Loggins for his actions.

French Requests Harassment Investigation

We have requested an update on the complaint.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Council asked to clarify personnel issues over rehiring retirees and retirement costs

Rehiring a previously retired city employee has turned into much more of a problem then the city initially believed and also more costly.

Crossville Human Resources manager Leah Crockett explained part of the problems to the city council during a work session Tuesday saying that the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) has ruled that because of the way the city is now doing retirement, any rehired employees must be put back on the more expensive TCRS program.

In 2013 the city opted to leave the TCRS program and all new employees after July 1, 2013 went onto a program similar to a 401k that requires an employee put in at least 5 percent of their salary that is matched by the city. An employee can put in more and the city will match up to a maximum of 8 percent of the salary. Previous employees are able to stay on the TCRS program that requires no contribution from the employee and the city deposits 18 percent of the employee's salary toward the TCRS retirement program.

Crossville city council members discuss questions raised by HR Director
Leah Crockett over retirement complications of hiring previous retirees.

After some initial confusion, the TCRS has finally determined that rehiring a previous retiree means that employee must stop collecting any retirement payments if they had started them and they must go back on the TCRS program increasing the city's costs.

Crockett told the council that she needed some direction from council as currently there was no policy on the hiring of a previous retiree in the personnel policy. “There has been a little bit of miscommunication that has gone on between the city and TCRS,” explained Crockett. Initially last year TCRS had given guidance on a retired employee returning to work and receiving retirement pay but the information turned out to be incorrect and TCRS is working to straighten out the information. Crockett said she was waiting on written information from TCRS on their ruling.

Ms. Crockett explained that TCRS had a special session just about the situation at Crossville and they have told Crossville that any employees returning to work must be returned to the TCRS program at the more costly contribution rate. The initial information last year was that a rehire would instead go on the new retirement program through the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).

“Normally entities don't rehire” a retiree to return full time explained Crockett. She added that as she understands what TCRS is saying, if a rehired retiree stays 3 years or longer then their service and benefit is recalculated and it could cost the city even more money. “There's nothing in the handbook, policy or charter or anything that indicates how we are going to handle this,” added Crockett.

Crockett said the policy needs to speak to if an employee retires from our service are we going to hire them back with no questions or if we have stipulations such as a waiting time before rehiring, or an employee could only return in a part-time capacity.

Councilman Danny Wyatt said, “I believe TCRS has set our policy for us, hadn't it?

Crockett also said that even without a buyout, a city retiree is paid a retirement incentive after a number of years of between $2000 and $3500. Should the city pay that bonus again if a retiree retires a second time with more years of service based on the TCRS standard after being rehired?

Wyatt added that now that the city knows this it would be up to the HR department and the new city manager to work this out. “You bring a retired employee back, there's a pretty good reason why you did, he was good at his job,” said Wyatt.

Crockett said, “Council has to set the policy and approve the handbook. For there to be a policy, council has to approve that.”

Further issues could crop up if an employee goes to another job and then after a few years were to come back to a job with Crossville it appears the city would again have to put them back on the more expensive TCRS program.

Council discussed delaying any immediate action until the new city manager starts and they plan to take up the matter at a future meeting.

The current problem has come out of the recent rehiring of former police chief David Beaty who retired 2 years ago as well as the previous hiring of Steve Hill as the interim city manager. Hill has since been removed from that position.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

City Council picks Greg Wood as manager with contingencies

3 council members approved Greg Wood to offer the city manager position with final contingencies to be negotiated.

Councilman Danny Wyatt abstained from voting saying he wanted an additional face to face meeting before deciding.

Council also approved a 2 year contract with a 6 month buyout provision for severance if not fired for cause.  Offer is also contingent on a good background check.
Additional decisions discussed including making an offer of $80,000 starting salary with 10% raise in 6 months and council approval. Also a $2500 moving allowance.

The motion was approved with 4 ayes.

Council will meet in the future as needed to follow up on the decision.

Songs by Jim Young from the WCPT-TV Saturday Nite Jamboree (circa 1979)

The Saturday Nite Jamboree was a 3 hours live country/bluegrass music show that was produced by WCPT-TV in Crossville TN from the around 1977 through about 1980 and had appearances by Cumberland Plateau bands that would come in from Jamestown, Sparta and other places as well.  In addition, there were special guests including Phil Campbell, Steve Kaufman and many more.  The show was replayed each Sunday afternoon.  Almost none of the show remains except for a single one hour tape that was rescued and digitized by the talented folks at the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound in Knoxville.  Here are two songs from what remains of the Saturday Nite Jamboree.

Tall Pines, played on the Autoharp by Jim Young. I learned this
song from Danny Bailey and Red Rector of the Cas Walker Farm & Home Hour.
This was an old Bill Monroe song.

The Old Home Place, originally by the Dillards of The Andy Griffith Show fame.
Another one I learned from the Farm & Home Hour band.

WCPT-TV Studio Camera

Lost tape of Frazier Moss from the WCPT-TV Saturday Night Jamboree

Fiddlin' Frazier Moss of Cookeville Tennessee was a national treasure and a true artist of old time fiddle music.  Here is a brief bit of one of his appearances on the WCPT-TV Saturday Night Jamboree.  I was the host of the show from 1979 through about 1981 or so and the show was originally broadcast live from the Main Street studio location and by the time this video was made the studio had moved out to Genesis Road and the building where Stonehaus Winery is now located.

Special Thanks to the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound (TAMIS) for rescuing this old 3/4 inch video tape for posterity. 

Info on Frazier Moss from David Holt's website.

First song is Take Me Back to Tulsa and the 2nd is Down Yonder

Unknown band performing on the Saturday Night Jamboree.
(Let us know if you know who any of these folks are.)

Monday, February 6, 2017


The City of Crossville Police Department is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) for its annual Seatbelts Are For Everyone (SAFE) campaign. This statewide initiative is designed to increase seatbelt usage and child passenger safety restraint usage through the implementation of occupant-protection programs, public events, and checkpoints throughout local communities across Tennessee. The SAFE campaign begins February 1, 2017, and concludes on August 1, 2017.

“Safety starts with your commitment to protect yourself and your family. Buckle up, your kids are watching. They may just want to be like you!”- Lieutenant Brian Eckelson
2017 will be the fourth year that the THSO has sponsored the SAFE campaign. Last year yielded the following results:

1,717 child restraint violations
21,562 seat belt citations
723 other seat belt enforcement activities

“In 2015, Tennessee’s average seatbelt usage rate was 86.23%,” said THSO Director Vic Donoho. “Last year, we soared to 88.95%. Through increased education, enforcement, and community involvement, we’re striving for ninety percent or higher.”

This year, participating agencies will pay special attention to nighttime seatbelt enforcement. Tennessee has seen a disproportionate percentage of unrestrained fatalities between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 5:59 a.m.

Historically, approximately fifty percent of Tennessee’s traffic fatalities are unbelted. That percentage increases to nearly sixty when nighttime crashes are examined

Schedule of city meetings for 2-7-17 through 2-16-17

Tuesday, February 7 – 5:00 p.m. – Council Work Session
 6:00 p.m. – Special Called Beer Board
 6:30 p.m. – Special Called Meeting

Thursday, February 9 – 2:00 p.m. – Joint Economic Development Board

Monday, February 13 – 3:00 p.m. – Tree Board

Tuesday, February 14 – 5:15 p.m. – Audit Committee
   5:45 p.m. – Beer Board
   6:00 p.m. – City Council

Thursday, February 16 – 12:00 noon – Planning Commission

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Crossville Flashback:19 Years ago Palace over budget, Fire and Police Department get new Tech.

 After bids on the Palace Theater restoration project came in higher than expected, City Council voted Tuesday night to put the project on hold until they are assured that the project can be completed within the available funds.
Council formally acted to reject all bids received at the January bid opening in which the low bid on the Palace restoration totaled some $300,000 over available funds. Councilman John Dooley said he felt the project was out of control, and made a motion that the project not be started unless a usable facility is possible within the budgeted funds available. According to Mr. Dooley, the definition of a usable facility should include stage equipment, lighting, sound equipment, seat renovation and installation.
City Manager Hugh Walker told council he sat in on the recent meeting of the Mayor’s Palace Committee and said, “The committee is working hard to bring the project in within the amount of money.”
Dooley’s motion passed with five yes votes.

The Crossville Fire Department will soon have a high tech piece of equipment that can help save lives and fight fires. The Karins Iris thermal imager allows a firefighter to find people or fire hot spots in zero visibility using infrared technology. The only drawback to the unit is its high cost, $25,000.
Representing the Noon Rotary Club, Crossville businessman Scott Shanks advised city council that over the last four months, the group had raised $12,500, or half the cost. Shanks asked the council to match Rotary’s donation and approve purchase of the unit for the fire department.
Councilman Boyd Wyatt, Sr. made a motion for the city take the money from unappropriated fund balance and purchase the equipment. The motion passed unanimously. Following the vote, Councilman Dooley said, “We’ve never had anything like this happen to us before.”
The Crossville Police Department will also soon go high tech with the purchase of a laser speed gun. Council approved the purchase of one laser speed measurement unit for the low bid of $2,994.
Police Chief David Beaty said the laser units are more accurate and can more easily target a specific vehicle by sighting through the device. Beaty added that the unit can also be used to accurately measure long distances for both accident and criminal investigations.
In other action:
* Council approved up to $20,000 for around 6 “Welcome to Crossville” signs. According to sign proponent and Crossville Chronicle Publisher Pauline Sherrer, the signs would allow civic clubs such as Rotary, Lions and Exchange to post their emblems and meeting times at the city limits. Sherrer said, “Sparta and Dayton have very nice welcome signs and it is time for Crossville to step out too.”
Councilman John Dooley moved to approve the proposal and have a budget amendment prepared. The motion passed unanimously.
* Council recognized Laura Swallows as Crossville Elementary’s student of the month. Swallows is the daughter of Dale and Judy Graham Swallows and is in the third grade.
* Council received a gift of two framed posters for display at City Hall from Professional Services Group (PSG) promoting the recycling of biosolids. According to Clark Anis, PSG’s local manager, 900 dry tons of biosolids were recycled last year. The fertilizer was applied to 1000 acres with an equivalent value of $26,000.

* Council appointed Patty Galan to the city’s Personnel Committee. Galan operates Tery Wayne, Inc. a local manufacturing company.