Tag Archives: grants

Nashville men indicted for allegedly stealing state grant money

News release from state comptroller’s office:
Two Nashville area men defrauded the state of $62,075 in grant funds while claiming they provided addiction recovery services to deceased and incarcerated individuals. This is revealed in a special investigation completed by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office in conjunction with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Clinton Lewis and Andre Trice have each been indicted on four counts of theft by the Davidson County Grand Jury.

Mr. Lewis and Mr. Trice stole the money while doing business as Mount Hopewell Community Development Corporation (Mount Hopewell). Mount Hopewell received funds through the Tennessee Addiction Recovery Program, which is administered by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services.

Mr. Lewis, who served as president, and Mr. Trice, who served as executive director, filed fraudulent requests for payment for addiction recovery services that were never provided. In addition to several “clients” who were either deceased or incarcerated, other individuals had not received addiction recovery services for years or had never received these services.

The state grant funds were deposited into a bank account controlled by Mr. Lewis. He issued checks totaling $60,445 from this account directly to himself and Mr. Trice for personal use.

To view the special investigation online, click http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/repository/IA/mounthopewellcdc.pdf.

Pastor charged with taking state grant for nonexistent program

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has accused the pastor and associate pastor at Nashville’s Mt. Hopewell Baptist Church, Clinton Lewis and Andre Trice, of collecting state grant money for an addiction treatment program that did not exist, reports The Tennessean.

The two men have been under investigation by TBI special agents for the last year.

According to the TBI, Lewis and Trice fraudulently received more than $60,000 in grant money from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for an addiction recovery program they operated as part of the Mt. Hopewell Community Development Corp. The investigation revealed the clients on the list submitted to the state did not actually receive any program services from at least 2011 to 2015.

In some cases, those clients turned out to be deceased or incarcerated, and those listed as counselors in the program didn’t know the program was still operating, according to TBI.

“Although Pastor Lewis is stunned by the Grand Jury’s decision to indict him on these charges, he is comforted in the fact that he will have an opportunity to clear his name of any and all illegal conduct,” Lewis’ attorney, Jamaal Boykin, said. According to Boykin, Lewis still has the strong and full support of his congregation.

Haslam distributes $1M in student veteran grants

News release from Gov. Bill Haslam’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced today the 11 colleges and universities selected to receive the Veteran Reconnect Grant, a competitive grant focused on improving the success of student veterans enrolled in Tennessee colleges and universities.

“From 2008 to 2013, we saw a 200 percent increase in the number of veterans enrolling in our Tennessee colleges and universities,” Haslam said. “Our Veterans Education Task Force has been working to address the unique needs that our service men and women have when they come home and go back to school, and these competitive grants will help 2-year and 4-year schools develop initiatives specifically designed for veterans to be successful in earning a degree or certificate.”

Haslam included in his FY 2015-2016 budget amendment and the General Assembly approved $1 million for the Veteran Reconnect Grant.

A Request for Proposals (RFP) was released in May. Proposals were due July 2 and reviewed by a committee of higher education and veteran service leaders.

Recipients of the Veteran Reconnect Grant include:

Belmont University, $95,000
Chattanooga State Community College, $92,000
Columbia State Community College, $92,797
East Tennessee State University, $95,000
Jackson State Community College, $94,151
Lipscomb University, $80,415
Maryville College, $82,257
Middle Tennessee State University, $90,999
Northeast State Community College, $94,600
University of Memphis, $93,374
Volunteer State Community College, $89,104

The Veteran Reconnect Grant is part of the governor’s Drive to 55 initiative aimed at increasing the number of Tennesseans with a certificate or degree beyond high school. By 2025, 55 percent of the jobs in Tennessee will require a post-secondary credential, and currently only 33 percent of Tennesseans qualify.

Ramsey delivers $2.2M ‘gift’ to home county

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey “hand-delivered a $2.2 million gift to Sullivan County” on Monday, reports the Kingsport Times-News.

Ramsey came to the Sullivan County Commission to unveil plans for an agricultural center that supporters say will provide much-needed meeting space and also contribute to tourism and economic development efforts in the county.

The center is projected to open within a year off Spurgeon Lane along Highway 75, north of Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

A state grant of $2.2 million will be used to purchase (about $500,000) and renovate (about $1.7 million) an existing steel frame building.

Ownership will be transferred to the county, which in turn is tentatively expected to lease the facility for $1 a year to a soon-to-be formed 501c3 nonprofit group that will oversee operation of the agricultural center.

Once remodeled, the building will include a 250-seat conference center.

The University of Tennessee’s Institute of Agriculture Extension Office will move to the facility from its current location in the Sullivan County Office Building at State Route 126 and Blountville Boulevard.

The facility also will serve as a gathering place for the Cattlemen’s Association, which supporters said has experienced such growth in attendance that it has had to travel as far as Abingdon, Va., to find a big enough venue for recent meetings.

TN Historical Commission awards 37 small grants to preservation projects

News release from state Department of Environment and Conservation:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and the Tennessee Historical Commission announced 37 Historic Preservation Fund grants were awarded to community organizations for programs and activities that support the preservation of historic and archaeological sites, districts and structures.

“Protecting Tennessee’s historic places is critical to preserving our state’s heritage,” Haslam said. “Today’s announcement of more than $600,000 in assistance to communities across the state helps ensure that Tennessee’s rich history will continue to be shared with future generations.”

The grants awarded from the Historic Preservation Fund allocated to the Tennessee Historical Commission have been awarded to community and civic organizations for projects that support the preservation of historic and archaeological resources. Awarded annually, 60% of the project funds are from the federal Historic Preservation Fund and 40% of project funds come from the grantee.

Grants are competitive and this year the Tennessee Historical Commission reviewed 63 applications with funding requests totaling approximately $1.9 million. This year’s selection included archaeological surveys, design guidelines for historic districts, rehabilitation of historic buildings, posters highlighting the state’s history and archaeology and brochures related to historic tourism. One of the grant priorities is projects that are in Certified Local Governments, a program that allows communities to participate closely in the federal program of historic preservation. Ten Certified Local Government communities were awarded grants this year. Additional priorities include areas experiencing rapid growth and development, other threats to cultural resources, areas where there are gaps in knowledge regarding cultural resources and the restoration of the state’s historic buildings that are owned by civic or nonprofit organizations. Properties that use the restoration grants must be listed in the National Register.

The grant recipients and/or sites of the projects include:
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Haslam hands out grant check, likened to Santa

A lively crowd met Gov. Bill Haslam on the courthouse lawn in Pikeville, where he delivered a check for $500,000 to fund the extension of water lines to residents in the city and county who are using tainted well water, reports the Chattanooga TFP. Some residents’ tap water is tainted with bacteria, such as E. coli.

“The water out there is so bad the dogs won’t drink it,” said development district Executive Director Beth Jones, quoting the original application for the state grant.

She said the district gets requests for three times the number of grants it has to actually give out every year. Grants are competitive and awarded based on several factors, including the financial need of a municipality and the number of low-income residents positively affected by a grant.

Also, some of the prerequisites are based on census numbers.

“This is one of those programs that meets all that criteria,” Jones said.

…Bledsoe County Mayor Bobby Collier said hopefully work on the water line extensions will begin by the upcoming summer and be completed by summer 2015.

…”I was going to tell [Haslam],” Collier said, regretting a lost opportunity. “I thought Santa Claus had a beard and a red suit. Apparently he drives a black Escalade.”

$4 Million in Fed Funds Go to Eight Education Leadership Programs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Department of Education plans to use nearly $4 million in federal education funds to pay for eight leadership development programs.
The grants are part of the $500 million the state won three years ago in the national Race to the Top education grant competition.
Officials say eight recipients received grants, which were awarded to organizations in partnership with one or more school systems.
They are to be used to either develop or replicate programs aimed at increasing leader effectiveness and improving student outcomes.
Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman said one main requirement of the grants was to show evidence that the proposed programs are sustainable.

Note: For a list of the grant recipients and programs forom the Department of Education, click on this link: TNLEAD_Grant_Recipients_Overview.pdf

Haslam’s New Budget Adjustment Adds $45 Million for ‘Fast Track’ Grants

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration on Tuesday rolled out its amendment to the appropriations bill, which includes nearly $45 million to increase the amount of cash grants available to companies looking to invest in Tennessee.
The measure allows the state to provide Fast Track grants for retrofitting, relocation, office upgrades or temporary space for companies investing in Tennessee.
“The money is linked to two or three potential employee expansions or new locations here,” Haslam told reporters after a speech to the state Chamber of Commerce. “We’re not there yet, but we wanted to put something in the budget.”
The state has appropriated more than $200 million to the program over the last three budget years and Haslam proposed pouring another $80 million for last year and this year.
Other items in the budget amendment include:
— $5 million from the tobacco settlement for health programs.
— 3 million for planning for the State Library and Archives and State Museum.
— $1.4 million for peer support centers run by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
— $1.3 million for infrastructure at Rocky Fork State Park;
— $1 million for a nursing program at Parsons Center of the University of Tennessee-Martin.
— $1 million for the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.

TN Green Grants: Gardens, Stormwater, Etc.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Five projects across the state have been awarded grants totaling $127,500 to fund green infrastructure and low-impact development projects.
Awards from Tennessee’s Green Development Grant Program include $25,000 to install rain gardens for three Memphis schools.
A $28,000 award will help Knoxville separate its stormwater runoff from its sewage, remove pollution from the runoff and help it infiltrate the ground.
Chattanooga’s $28,000 grant funds its Low-Impact Development Excellence Award program to recognize projects using innovative green technologies.
Athens will use its $28,000 grant to test experimental cleaning technologies on local roads, trails and parking lots.
The Southeast Tennessee Development District will receive $18,000 to help 15 municipalities and five counties develop land use regulations to improve stormwater runoff quality.
The grants require a 20 percent local match.

Haslam Hands Out Grant ‘Jackpot’

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam rolled into this small city Tuesday with four poster-sized, ceremonial “big checks” to hand out, and Oliver Springs took home the lion’s share of those awards, reports The News Sentinel.
“Anderson County, Clinton and Oliver Springs have hit the jackpot today,” Haslam said during his brief visit. He handed out grants worth $961,000.
Haslam has made it a policy when possible to visit cities and counties for grant announcements.
“We’re really on the initial leg of announcing some CDBG grants across the state,” he said. “We get a lot of applications for this money,” he said of Community Development Block Grants, “and we can’t fulfill nearly as many requests as we have.”
Haslam said the CDBG grants — federal money funneled through the state — are focused on smaller communities and their infrastructure needs.
“They are for the real nuts and bolts of what cities and counties do.” Oliver Springs received a $500,000 CDBG grant for improvements to its water system and water treatment plant, along with a $100,000 Local Parks and Recreation Fund award.