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The deadly fungal meningitis outbreak which has killed dozens nationwide is once again making some patients sick again as they are suffering relapses of the disease. According to officials, some patients have found that the infection went into a kind of hibernation and is now resurfacing, causing patients to seek treatment again. Authorities say they are also concerned that the disease could become resistant to the anti-fungal medications doctors are using to treat the illness.
A new educational campaign to increase awareness of a practice known as "smurfing" has been launched in Tennessee. "Smurfing" is the criminal practice of buying cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine to sell to methamphetamine cooks. Buying the medications for a meth cook can result in a felony charge. In the coming months, Tennessee pharmacies will be voluntarily displaying anti-smurfing signage at the point of sale that is designed to inform the public of the serious consequences of their actions. Consumers must show identification and sign their name in order to buy cold medicine in Tennessee. That information goes into a database to track how much of the drug is bought by each customer, but meth makes have skirted the rules by using or even paying other people to buy medicines containing pseudoephedrine
A state audit has revealed problems within the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The report by the state comptroller's office says the department needs to fix problems with safety and its information system. The audit found that since 1994 the department has spent at least $4.3 million to replace outdated information systems with little to show for the expense. The department estimates it will spend another $11.8 million to complete the project.
Retail gas prices moved higher last week after the government struck a deal to reopen and raise the debt ceiling. However, the jump in pump prices was premature, and it's likely they will plateau in the coming weeks. According to AAA, many motorists saw pump prices bottom out near $3 a gallon last week, only to jump upwards of 15 cents overnight after the government shutdown ended. The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.35, which is one cent more than last week. Tennessee's average of $3.18 increased a cent from last week.
The City of Crossville Christmas Parade will be held on Saturday, December 14th with step-off at 4:30 p.m. The parade route will follow the same route as last year, beginning on Stanley, connecting with Main St. and heading north. The Grand Marshal for the 2013 parade will be Denise Melton and The House of Hope. This year's theme is "The Heart of Christmas," submitted by CMC employee Vickie Schulze. Before the parade, several other events will take place including the Breakfast Rotary Club Annual Chili Cook-Off at the Depot, the TAD Center Reindeer Run at 9:00 a.m. and the "Downton Abbey" Premier at 1:30 at the Palace. You are invited to join WCTE-TV for afternoon tea, followed by a Free Premier Screening Party. Dressing in period costume is optional but encouraged (WWI, 1920's era). Tickets are free but you must have one to attend. For ticket info, call 484-6133.Cumberland Medical Center will partner with Flowers Bakery to hand out free hot chocolate and snack cakes from the courthouse lawn the before and during the Christmas Parade. The Grand Prize for the winning entry in the parade is $500. There will also be $100 winners in each category. Entries for the parade will be accepted until December 9th. Categories are: Commercial Industry, School, Horses/Animals, Commercial Retail, Religious, Non-Profit and Vintage/Auto (25 years old and older). Rules, regulations, entry forms, and guidelines, for the Parade are available @ the Palace Theater, or you may go to the City's web-site at www.crossvilletn.gov or contact the Palace Theater at (931) 484-6133