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Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit led a multi-agency investigation that has resulted in the arrest of a former Fentress County medical doctor. Authorities began investigating Vijaya Patibandla in August 2009. At that time, Patibandla was a medical doctor with a practice in Jamestown. A large percentage of Patibandla’s patients were TennCare recipients. The TBI says Agents found that from November 2007 through December 2010, Patibandla was writing illegal prescriptions for controlled substances and was charging TennCare for patients’ visits to get those prescriptions. Patibandla subsequently closed his Fentress County practice and moved to New York, where he has an active medical license. He voluntarily surrendered his Tennessee medical license in 2012. On December 11, 2014, a Fentress County Grand Jury returned indictments against Vijaya Patibandla, charging the 68-year-old with 40 counts of TennCare Fraud and two counts of Theft of Property. On Thursday, Patibandla was arrested at his home in Valley Stream, New York. He will be held on a $150,000 bond pending extradition to Tennessee.
Outage totals are dropping quickly this morning. About 6,100 VEC customers remain without power system-wide. Current outage totals are: Cumberland – 4,200; Fentress – 280; Putnam - 600; White - 740; Overton - 250; and scattered outages in Bledsoe, Polk, and Meigs. The focus continues to be on restoring feeder lines and transformers. Officials report that there are plenty of materials available to complete the work, including poles and transformers.
TIME CHANGE!! Homestead United Methodist Church on Hwy. 68 across from Homestead Elementary, will be distributing boxes of nonperishable food to those in need of food, on Saturday Feb. 28th from 8:00 am-10:00 am. Doors will open at 7:00 am. Please spread the word as there are probably many in our county that need food. If you have any questions call the church office 484-7996 or call 510-1922.
After much discussion and debate in recent weeks, the board of education approved policies for dress codes for staff and students. Approved on 1st reading for all school level and central office personnel, was a policy stating that dresses and leggings for female employees are to be worn no higher than 3 inches above the middle of the knee. For students, the margin is 5 inches. The policies are to be discussed once more for the 2nd and final reading.
The Cumberland County Board of Education made their world wide web debut last night as the regular meeting was streamed live on the Internet. Archived and future meetings will be viewable from the board’s web site at cumberlandcounty.schoolinsites.com.