Tag Archives: appalachian

THDA to spend $1.5M patching homes

The Tennessee Housing Development Agency has a new $1.5 million home repair program targeting older houses in economically challenged counties, reports the Kingsport Times-News.

Gov. Bill Haslam has agreed to commit $500,000 of Appalachian Regional Commission funding to the pilot program, while THDA will match the state’s pledge with $1 million of its own funds in order to launch the program early next year.

The program will help patch roofs, fix wiring, update plumbing, and make other repairs for Appalachian families who cannot afford to bring their homes up to code on their own, according to THDA Executive Director Ralph Perrey.

“The Appalachian region includes some areas of Tennessee that are among the most difficult for state agencies to serve despite a high number of families in need,” Perrey said in a prepared release. “It’s important to be creative in order to reach these families, and this program provides us with a unique opportunity to meet that goal.”

This is the first time the state of Tennessee has committed a portion of its ARC funding to a THDA housing program. Under the program, state dollars will be dedicated to 12 so-called “distressed” counties as identified by ARC. The $1 million in THDA funding will be allocated in these areas along with 19 other counties identified by ARC as “at risk.”

…Distressed ARC counties in Tennessee include Bledsoe, Campbell, Cocke, Fentress, Grundy, Hancock, Johnson, Lewis, Pickett, Rhea, Scott, and Van Buren.

At-Risk ARC counties include Carter, Claiborne, Clay, Grainger, Greene, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Macon, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Overton, Polk, Unicoi, Union, Warren, and White.

Haslam, Roe Hand Out Fed Funds, Predict Flow to Falter in Days Ahead

A report from Hank Hayes:
Federal grant dollars were being handed out across Northeast Tennessee Thursday, and recipients were smiling. But a number of those smiles might not be there next year because of anticipated federal government spending cuts, Gov. Bill Haslam predicted.
“The grants we saw today will be harder to come by,” Haslam, a Republican, said after announcing a $145,026 federally funded grant to East Tennessee State University for a habitat at the Gray Fossil Site. “I don’t know that for a fact, but I think a lot of the discretionary programs in federal government, I’m betting, are going to have a cutback. I’m not saying programs like this are going to go away, but I think they will be a lot harder to come by.”
Earlier in the day at the Farm House Gallery and Gardens in Unicoi, about $3.3 million in federal grants and loans were being doled out to 14 projects ranging from water line replacements to buying a new emergency service vehicle.

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More Information, Details on Ford-Shipley and TBI Probe

Hank Hayes has done an in-depth look at the interaction between state Reps. Dale Ford and Tony Shipley and state officials with considerable background on the Board of Nursing issues, all now the subject of a TBI inquiry.
Here’s his rundown:
Tennessee state Rep. Dale Ford couldn’t remember the date, but he recalled a meeting in his Nashville office with two top-level state officials to discuss the fate of three nurses suspended by the state Board of Nursing.
The date was March 7, 2011, and in the meeting with Ford were Dale Kelley, Gov. Bill Haslam’s former senior advisor on legislation, and state Health Commissioner Susan Cooper.
The licenses of the three nurses – Bobby Reynolds II, Tina Killebrew and David Stout, Jr. – were suspended by the state nursing board on March 11, 2010 for a “pattern of negligence or incompetence” related to dispensing drugs and contributing to the deaths of two patients at the now-closed Appalachian Medical Center (AMC) in Johnson City.
On May 5, 2011, the state agreed to a consent order reinstating those licenses. It was signed by a state legal counsel, the acting chair of the state nursing board and the nurses’ lawyers.
And now the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) is looking into whether state lawmakers committed misconduct advocating for those nurses.
According to a Department of Health (DOH) spokeswoman, the meeting at Ford’s office was scheduled to discuss DOH’s regulatory boards.
But Ford, R-Jonesborough, said he asked Cooper to revisit the nurses’ suspensions.

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