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The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is joining the Tennessee Department of Health to encourage Tennesseans and private water well owners in the state to observe National Ground Water Awareness Week March 10-16. National Ground Water Awareness Week highlights the importance of the state's underground water resources. It also is designed to raise awareness among private water well owners on the importance of yearly testing and proper well maintenance to prevent illness. According to the Department of Health, at least three outbreaks of waterborne illness related to the consumption of water from a private well or spring have been investigated in Tennessee since 2007. These outbreaks resulted in 16 persons becoming ill. Recommendations to well owners include testing private water supplies annually for bacteria and chemical contaminants. In some areas where karst or limestone geology predominates, filtration through the earth is not effective; continuous purifying treatment such as home filtration, distillers or chlorinating systems are often necessary for drinking water to be reliably free of contamination.
We'll be springing forward tonight. Don't forget to set your clock ahead one hour before going to bed as daylight saving time will being at 2 am on Sunday. This switch will cost you an hour of sleep, but you'll gain that hour back in daylight in the evenings. Since 2007, daylight saving time in America has run from the second Sunday of March through the first Sunday of November. All U.S. states except Hawaii and most of Arizona observe daylight saving time.
Your pet no longer has to be restrained during transport in Tennessee. According to WBIR, the House unanimously approved a bill that would do away with a leash law for dogs and cats while being transported. Several members went so far as to howl like a dog in jest as the chamber voted 96-0 on Thursday to pass the bill sponsored by Republican Representative Pat Marsh of Shelbyville. The only restraint now required during transport is for animals that might have rabies. The Senate passed its version of the bill on a 30-0 vote, and now the bill is headed for the governor's desk.
Tennessee Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes says the state's total tax collections for February mark the seventh consecutive month of positive growth this year. WBIR reports that Emkes said Friday that overall February revenues were $744.3 million, which is $5 million more than the state budgeted. He said sales tax collections showed modest growth, as did several of the smaller tax categories. The sales tax collections were $3 million more than the estimate for February. The general fund was over by $12 million.
An effort has been renewed to weaken the law that prevents Tennessee government officials from conducting public business in private. According to WBIR, Williamson County Commissioner Bob Barnwell has contacted officials across Tennessee to urge state lawmakers to pass a bill to allow private meetings among local government officials as long as a quorum isn't present. Current law forbids members of a local legislative body from meeting privately to deliberate on public business. It does not ban officials from speaking to each other during chance encounters or from other conversations. Gov. Bill Haslam and the speakers of the House and Senate expressed reservations about a similar proposal last year, and the bill was withdrawn early in the session. Barnwell, who spearheaded the effort last year, didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.