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VOL. 41 | NO. 39 | Friday, September 29, 2017

Franklin receives infrastructure loans

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The state Department of Environment and Conservation has announced the recipients of low-interest construction loans for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements.

The City of Franklin will receive a $1.5 million low-interest loan for its wastewater treatment plant improvement and expansion project.

The Lincoln County Board of Public Utilities will receive $1,531,250 for a water meter replacements project.

“The State Revolving Fund Loan Program helps citizens enjoy a better quality of life by assisting communities with current and future infrastructure needs for improved environmental health,” says Gov. Bill Haslam who adds that the state “has awarded more than $1.9 billion in low-interest loans since its inception in 1987.’’

In addition to the low-interest construction loans, the state also announced it will provide traditional wastewater loans for the two projects in Franklin and Lincoln County.

The state also awarded a drinking water loan of $166,000 for the Town of Bell Buckle in Bedford County for a water booster station replacement project.

Oral History Association selects MTSU for HQ

One of the nation’s most prestigious and respected groups of historians will be housed at MTSU for at least the next five years.

In its 51st year, the Oral History Association has chosen MTSU for its headquarters and its co-chairs will be Louis Kyriakoudes, director of the university’s Albert Gore Research Center, and history professor Kris McCusker.

“It’s the leading organization for people who engage in the creation of extended oral history narratives with people,” Kyriakoudes said.

The organization boasts a diverse membership of scholars, activists, journalists, psychologists, folklorists and others interested in bringing the historical experiences of both everyday people and elites to light.

“This will … advance MTSU’s research, public engagement and public outreach, both to scholarly and professional environments but also to the general public,” said Kyriakoudes.

Following the unexpected passing last year of association Executive Director Clifford Kuhn of Georgia State University, the group issued a call for proposals for the location of the headquarters.

Kyriakoudes and McCusker wrote the proposal for MTSU with an emphasis on collaboration with many on-campus partners, including the Gore Center, the history department, the public history graduate program, the Center for Historic Preservation, the Center for Popular Music and the College of Liberal Arts.

As an example of oral history, Kyriakoudes cited an interview he conducted with a former resident of the now-defunct Old Jefferson community, which was eliminated so that the Tennessee Valley Authority could build a dam on Percy Priest Lake.

The discipline was popularized greatly in the 20th century by Chicago-based author Studs Terkel, who published oral histories around various themes, including working, war, race, jazz, the Great Depression, movies and religion.

“The Oral History Association’s executive offices are going to help MTSU’s history department (and especially public history graduate program) publicize in substantial ways the exciting work that is going on here and the terrific students we are producing,” McCusker said.

TSU, Meharry join anti-smoking campaign

Four Tennessee colleges and universities have received funding to make their campuses 100 percent smoke and tobacco free.

The participating schools are Tennessee State University, Lane College in Jackson, Meharry Medical College and East Tennessee State University.

The funding is part of a total of $1.2 million in grants from the CVS Health Foundation, in partnership with the American Cancer Society and Truth Initiative.

The overall mission is for 126 U.S. colleges and universities in the U.S. to go 100 percent tobacco-free.

The grants are part of aggressive efforts by all three organizations to deliver the first tobacco-free generation by accelerating and expanding the number of campuses across the country that prohibit smoking and tobacco use.

“We are at a critical moment in our nation’s efforts to end the epidemic of smoking and tobacco use, and expanding the number of tobacco-free college and university campuses is an important step in our efforts,” says Eileen Howard Boone, president of the CVS Health Foundation. “We’re confident our strategy will drive a significant decline in the number of new college-age smokers, and contribute to the progress being made where a tobacco-free generation in the U.S. seems possible.”

TN Farm Bureau adds MyIDCare security

The Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation has announced it now offers its members MyIDCare identity protection services from ID Experts, a concierge-style identity protection and data breach services.

The Tennessee Farm Bureau is the nation’s largest with 600,000 members.

“Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation is proud to partner with ID Experts to offer members monitoring services to detect ID theft and restoration services to assist members who have been victims,” says Bryan Wright, director of membership. “TFBF believes in top-notch service to members and ID Experts has always delivered.”

“Hardly a day goes by without an organization experiencing a cyberattack exposing sensitive personal information of Americans,” says Tom Kelly, president and CEO of ID Experts.

“While physical safety remains important, it is increasingly necessary for consumers to pay special attention to their digital safety. We designed our MyIDCare identity protection services specifically with this in mind.”

ID Experts is the largest provider of identity protection products and services to both the federal government and U.S. healthcare industry, covering more than 25 million individuals.

MyIDCare includes an easy-to-use web app that monitors for financial, cyber and healthcare fraud, alerting users when suspicious activity is detected

Estate sales franchise company expands

Raleigh-based Blue Moon Estate Sales, an estate sales franchise company, has announced it is planning to expand to Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga.

Blue Moon entered the Memphis market in August.

Co-founder Deb Blue plans to create eight to 10 Blue Moon territories statewide over the next two years.

Since officially launching its franchise opportunity, Blue Moon has opened more than 15 locations across North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Tennessee and Mississippi.

The initial franchise fee is $30,000 for a population base of 450,000 with ongoing royalties of 5 percent of gross sales. This fee includes extensive training, marketing materials, and customized IT work.

HealthTrust partners with CHRISTUS Health

Nashville-based HealthTrustSM, a healthcare performance improvement company, has joined forces with CHRISTUS Health, an international faith-based nonprofit.

An agreement has been signed in which HealthTrust becomes the total spend management partner and exclusive national group purchasing organization for the Dallas-based Catholic health ministry. The agreement is effective November 1, 2017.

By joining with HealthTrust, CHRISTUS hospitals expect to see a significant, immediate savings.

“This agreement will help us fulfill the promise to consistently deliver on high-quality, cost-effective healthcare. We’re also ensuring our experts in the field have the optimal GPO resources so they can continue to provide first-class patient care,’’ says Randolph Safady, CHRISTUS chief financial officer and executive vice president.

The company will also benefit from HealthTrust’s ability to impact physician preference items and purchased services through the engagement of inSight AdvisorySM solutions.

“I am honored to welcome CHRISTUS Health to our membership and proud of our ability to contribute operational insights that drive sustainable value beyond the initial portfolio savings,” says Ed Jones, president and CEO of HealthTrust.

“We look forward to working collaboratively to ensure quality patient care and delivering innovative health solutions that honor our respective missions and core values.’’

Nashville in Top 10 for young professionals

A new SmartAsset survey shows that Nashville is in the Top 10 in the U.S. as a city in which young professionals are finding satisfying work and enjoying the quality of life.

Nashville came in 6th because of plentiful jobs and lots of entertainment and music.

The survey reports Nashville has a young adult unemployment rate (for those between the ages of 25 and 34) of just 3.25 percent and over 4.2 percent of establishments are dedicated to the arts, entertainment or recreation.

The report also adds that Nashville has a thriving young professional class with just under 20 percent of the residents between the ages of 25-34 and over 87 percent of those residents are in the workforce.

In addition, the survey findings note that Nashville is better for young professionals than Memphis. Memphis residents between the ages of 25 and 34 have an unemployment rate above 10 percent, while in Nashville the same statistic is 3.25 percent.

SmartAsset’s Top 10 list:

  • Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Minneapolis
  • Seattle
  • San Francisco
  • Amarillo
  • Nashville
  • Salt Lake City
  • Overland Park, Kansas
  • Austin
  • Anchorage

Social Justice Center opens at Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt University has opened its new Student Center for Social Justice and Identity on the third floor of the Sarratt Student Center.

The new space represents Vanderbilt’s continued investment in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion across the institution.

“One of the things I am most proud of is our commitment to inclusive excellence,’’ says Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos. “We need to be more inclusive. This is the way forward – going into the world with healing, justice, empathy, passion, knowledge and insight – and we can do it.

In addition to being the home of the Multicultural Lounge, the new Social Justice Identity student center integrates the university’s identity centers – the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center, KC Potter Center, and Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center – as well as the offices of Inclusion Initiatives and Cultural Competence, Transition Programs, University Chaplain and Religious Life and International Student and Scholar Services.

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