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Haslam Announces Decreased Unemployment Rates in All 95 Counties
tn.gov/Peg Broadcasting News Friday September 22, 2017

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips today announced that unemployment rates decreased last month in all 95 counties and significantly dropped in many rural counties, which often have the highest unemployment rates in the state. The county figures were released one week after the state posted an August statewide unemployment rate of 3.3 percent - the lowest in recorded history.

This is the third time in 2017 in which county unemployment rates decreased statewide. The rates also dropped in all 95 counties in February and April.

While Rhea County has Tennessee's highest unemployment rate at 6 percent, its August 2017 figure decreased by a full percentage point from the previous month, and some 400 new jobs are being created there by Nokian Tyre. The company announced earlier this year it was locating its first North American manufacturing facility in Dayton, Tenn., and Haslam on Wednesday joined company officials and county and city leaders there to break ground on the future site.

Davidson and Williamson counties have the state's lowest unemployment rates at 2.7 percent. Davidson County dropped three-tenths of a percentage point from July, while Williamson County's rate was down four-tenths of a percentage point. Nine of the state's lowest unemployment rates can be found in middle Tennessee counties. Sevier County is also among the top 10 lowest in the state.

The August unemployment rate is less than 5 percent in 81 Tennessee counties. Fourteen counties have unemployment rates for the month ranging from 5.1 and 6 percent.

The August statewide unemployment rate of 3.3 percent was down one-tenth of a percentage point from July while the preliminary U.S. unemployment rate increased last month one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.4 percent.


Improperly Installed Part Caused 2015 Helicopter Crash
AP Friday September 22, 2017

An Army report says an improperly installed part caused a helicopter to crash in rural Tennessee, killing the two 101st Airborne Division pilots aboard. A U.S. Army Aircraft Incident Report obtained this month by USA Today Network-Tennessee says the Apache helicopter, which took off from Fort Campbell in December 2015 on a routine training mission, essentially came apart in mid-air before crashing to the ground and bursting into flames.


6th person accused of defrauding Dolly Parton wildfire fund
AP Friday September 22, 2017

A sixth person has been accused in a scheme to defraud a fund established by famed country music artist Dolly Parton for victims affected by deadly Tennessee wildfires last year.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports a grand jury returned an indictment on Sept. 12 alleging a woman conspired to steal $10,000 from the Dollywood Foundation's My People Fund between December and May.

Candy Joy Jeffries Brocuglio is accused of conspiring to use property addresses and other information to apply for monthly checks that weren't designated for her.

Another indictment says Brocuglio forged a signature to write herself a check for $25,000.

Five others were charged earlier this month in connection with the alleged scam.

The Dollywood Foundation says the fund helped 900 families with about $9 million in the first six months after the fires.


TN Dept. of Environment and Conservation/Peg Broadcasting News Friday September 22, 2017

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has proclaimed Oct. 8-14 Earth Science Week in Tennessee, which will help promote awareness of the importance of geoscience.

As part of Earth Science Week, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's Tennessee Geological Survey, in partnership with the American Geosciences Institute, has a limited number of Earth Science Week toolkits to distribute to science teachers across the state. Educators interested in receiving an Earth Science Week toolkit may contact Ron Zurawski at Ronald.Zurawski@tn.gov or (615) 532-1502. The toolkits are free of charge while supplies last. For more information about Earth Science Week, please visit www.earthsciweek.org.

The 2017 Earth Science Week theme is "Earth and Human Activity," and this year's learning resources and activities engage young people and others in exploring the relationship between human activity and the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. This year's theme promotes public understanding and stewardship of the planet, especially in terms of the ways people affect and are affected by these Earth systems.

Governors across the United States will join Gov. Haslam in issuing proclamations that support Earth Science Week, reaching more than 50 million people across the country and around the world. As in years past, individuals and groups will celebrate Earth Science Week by participating in events in all 50 states and several other countries.


Man Arrested After Allegedly Swinging Hatchet at Walmart
Peg Broadcasting News Friday September 22, 2017

A Pennsylvania man was arrested Wednesday after Crossville Police were notified about a man walking around the store while swinging a hatchet. Authorities caught up with 27-year-old Zachary Aaron Gathercole shortly after 1 a.m. as he was exiting the store. Gathercole also was reportedly carrying knives. Police say he admitted to the recent use of methamphetamine and seemed paranoid. Gathercole said he took a knife out of the package at Walmart because he was afraid he was going to be hurt. In the process, he had cut his finger and was bleeding. Gathercole presented a danger to himself and was arrested for Public Intoxication.


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