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Motorists nationwide are paying the cheapest price at the pump since 2010. So says AAA-The Auto Club Group. The average price of gas has now fallen below the $3 mark in 17 states, including Tennessee. A big factor is the price of oil, which continues to fall with low demand and production in the U.S. at almost a 30-year high. The nationwide average price for a gallon of regular is $3.05, down six cents from a week ago. The statewide average in Tennessee is $2.79, down nine cents. Only South Carolina has cheaper gas. And, in Crossville, the price of regular averages $2.78 a gallon, down seven cents.
Katharine Killen, Community Relations Director for the Knox County Health Department confirms that a traveler from West Africa is being monitored for Ebola. Killen says this is standard CDC procedure for travelers who come from Ebola affected areas and that this process is occurring across the nation, not just in Knox County. So far, the person does not have symptoms of Ebola, has been instructed to take his or her temperature twice a day and must report to the Knox County Health Department at least once per day for 21 days. This person is allowed out in public, but there are some travel restrictions and they are not permitted to use public transportation. Director Killen says all Tennessee Health Departments are carefully monitoring for signs of Ebola, but what most people need to be concerned about this time of year is flu season.
Stone Memorial High School will soon be getting an indoor batting facility. At Thursday’s meeting, the Board of Education was informed that the current outdoor batting facility is leaning. SMHS has enough space for and indoor batting facility and all the money and materials to construct it have already been obtained. Since the project will not require funding from the Cumberland County School system, the BOE gave the green light for construction to begin before bad weather sets in.
The Cumberland County Board of Education has recognized the need for a School Resource Officer at every school, for a total of 8 SRO’s, and is hoping the issue will be resolved soon. The Schools and Education Committee of the Cumberland County Commission voted to transfer $233,000 to the Sheriff’s Department to hire additional officers. Currently, four SRO’s have to split their time between two schools. This has also created a situation where the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department is short on patrol officers. Superintendent of Schools Donald Andrews reported the County Attorney was creating an inter-local agreement between the county and the Board of Education.
A new deep mine operation has been approved by Tennessee and federal officials to allow coal extraction from Dayton Mountain. Officials with Iron Properties of Dayton, Tennessee say that the coal mine at the larger of the two sites, the 127-acre Liberty Mine, could be in operation by 2017 and initially employ a little less than 100 people. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that's one-third of the anticipated 300 jobs the Rhea County operations are expected to eventually create. The salary for an underground miner is more than $50,000 a year in a county where the median household income in 2012 was $34,842. Companies elsewhere in the world use the type of coal mined in Appalachia and in Rhea County to make steel. The article did not specify how many local people the mine would employee or if workers would be brought in from other mining operations.