Inmates test positive at Madison County Jail, health officials expect to see more

Over 400 inmates were recently tested for COVID-19 here at the Madison County Jail, health officials say depending on the number of positives that come back the jail will be in a tough situation. An inmate at the Madison County Jail was released earlier this week, they took a COVID-19 test and that test came back positive. The person had been an inmate at the jail since January of this year, giving the health department a reason to test all the inmates. “In this situation what prompted the testing was an inmate that was released that went for testing and tested positive", says regional director for the Jackson Madison County Regional Health Department, Kim Tedford. The initial positive case

Many possibly facing eviction after the CARES ACTS ends, there is help for those in need

The Cares Act is no longer in effect, and even though many are expected to face difficult times, landlords are allowed to file eviction notices, and many will face homelessness. For those who need support and guidance, local organizations are willing to do all they can to give individuals and families a sense of stability. The Regional Inter-Faith Association (RIFA) is a local organization whose mission is to provide aide for spiritually. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, staff members at RIFA noticed an influx of clients. “Before the cares act was available, we definitely saw an increase in the number of clients and patrons who were walking through our door, many for the first

A Soldier's Child Foundation and Tennessee National Guard buy toys for kids

A local organization and the Tennessee National Guard are walking up and down these aisles to make sure that hundreds of kids have at least one gift to open up on their birthday. “It’s rewarding in a way I didn’t expect it to be, knowing that these kids have gone through something like what they’ve gone through", says Sergeant Swanson. A Soldiers Child and the Tennessee National Guard teamed up to buy birthday presents for children who lost a parent that served in the military. Although COVID-19 set them back a few months, founder of A Soldiers Child, Daryl Mackin says it would not stop them. “And we’re in stage two and we’re in stage three and we’re back in stage two and it’s like can we do

The progress of COVID-19 cases in Madison County while under a mask mandate

According to Mayor Scott Conger, decreasing the number of coronavirus cases is a collaborative effort. "As a whole, we’re not washing our hands, we’re not covering our face,” says Conger. When it comes to covering your face or wearing a mask, the question is, are the masks working? The Jackson Madison County Regional Health Department’s director says that if residents were to follow the guidelines, there could be some overall improvement. “If everyone was wearing them like they’re supposed to be wearing them, I think that we would see a different number than what we are seeing today”, says Kim Tedford, the director. In a recent report from the health department, there are over 900 COVID-19 c

Governor Bill Lee announces school reopen plan, parents are concerned

In march millions of students in Tennessee did not return to school due to COVID 19 concerns. Leaving educators with the question how will school reopen and now that question is being answered. “We fully support reopening our schools with in-person learning as the best option", says Governor Bill Lee. Lee announced that schools should reopen soon with in-person being the best option. The Jackson Madison County School System along with districts surrounding have already released their plans, including virtual and in person options. JMCSS has over 4,000 students already registered to do virtual or cyber school starting in the fall. Lee adds, “what we want to provide for you is choices that you

A local Assisted Living Center's residents are not happy about Tennessee's visitation guidel

At the Cades Center, only employees are allowed to enter the building, and today I spoke with the Active Administrator, over the phone and we discussed how residents are responding to these visitation guidelines. “We’ve had lots of changes, no one coming in, and no one going out,” says Jenny Diffie who is the administrator at the Cades Center. Visitors prohibited from going in out of nursing homes or assisted care facilities are described as a regrettable but necessary hardship by governor lee. The cades center is an assisted living home. according to administrator Jenny Diffie, some residents understand the importance of social distancing but others are still having a hard time with the adj

Local organization remembers lynching victims in Madison County

These bars are what’s left of the Madison County jail that Eliza Woods and John Brown sat in before they were lynched. Eliza Woods and John Brown were only two of the many African Americans lynched in Tennessee. Woods and Brown were lynched on the east side of the Madison County court house in the late 1800’s. “The lynchings for Eliza Woods and John Brown happened right here almost exactly in this area right here where we are standing", says director of the Jackson Madison County Community Remembrance Project, Cindy Boyles. The Jackson Madison county Remembrance Project worked for over a year to get a historical marker to memorialize Woods and Brown. Now that it is in place they hope the com

Over a dozen deaths due to COVID-19 in Madison County

“One death is too many but 14 is certainly too many. And you know I get so tired of people saying the mortality rate is low. It may be low. But if you’re one of those 14 family members it’s not low to them", says director of the Jackson Madison County Regional Health Department. The Jackson Madison County Regional Health Department is now reporting 14 deaths related to COVID-19 in Madison County. Tedford says there needs to be something more done as cases continue to rise. “You know, we don’t want to go backwards but you can’t just sit back and let these numbers continue to climb", she adds. Tedford and Jackson city mayor Scott Conger say enforcing the mask mandate is difficult with lack of

Made in Tennessee: The Green Frog Coffee Company

Today, the Green Frog Coffee Company is a local attraction offering more than specialty drinks and food items. The owner says that growing up on a dairy farm inspired many of the recipes in the entrees. “Of course, as a child, I grew up on a dairy farm. Just the experience of being out in nature and watching things being planted grown and then enjoyed at the dinner table was just a phenomenal experience,” says Timmy Jonson, who is the owner of the Green Frog Coffee Company. Jonson and the rest of the employees put forth many efforts to bring that same experience to the customers. “We try to use the rawest ingredients we can find in our food. Like the syrups, we use for our coffees, they’re n

Two business owners have different experiences during COVID-19

This city is the home to many local business owners who rely heavily on their day to day customers. even though COVID-19 cases continue to rise, this virus affects different business owners in different ways. One business never closed during the pandemic “I think we’re very fortunate that we were allowed to continue to operate,” said Dennis Mitchell, the owner of an automotive shop. Another had to close down immediately with no warning. “Well, of course, we had to shut down and we had to shut down for 6 weeks to two months,” said Maurica Edwards who is the owner of a hair salon on Carriage House Drive. Since businesses are now open, both have different experiences. Dennis Mitchell is the own

Pet Spotlight: Meet Maggie

For more details on how you can adopt this sweet dog named Maggie, visit www.fhhas.org or call 731-249-9443.

Educators receive dozens of new books before the school year begins

In June I spoke with Jackson resident, Brianna Kline. She had a goal to donate books that show diversity to classrooms across Madison County. Today she is delivering those books. From rallying community members to donate books through phone calls and social media to finally getting books in the hands of teachers and librarians in Madison County. Educators that received the books say they were excited to know they could start a new school year with new books. “I was so excited it is so wonderful, I love getting donations because we don’t always get money to buy books so its always wonderful", says librarian, Amy Vinson. Amy Vinson is the librarian at North Parkway Middle School, she received

Haywood County Schools suspend uniform requirement for upcoming school year

Soon students will be returning to classrooms across the country, whether it’s in person or virtually. Here in Haywood County leaders are making changes that may help parent’s pockets. The Haywood County School Board recently voted to approve the suspension of uniform dress code for the 2020- 2021 school year. The suspension of uniforms, I’m fine for it", says parent, Angela Keita. The superintendent of schools, Joey Hassell, says this idea came from a number of parents concerned about spending a lot of money on new uniforms. “Would there be a possibility of no uniform dress code this year, just to assist with other costs, because we know that unemployment is up", says Hassell. Now that the

West Tennessee is under a heat advisory, too hot for pets to be outdoors

The summer temperatures are hot, and as much as you want to go outside and play with your furbabies, animal health experts say otherwise. “Dogs and cats, in particular, they can’t sweat like humans do,” said Sierra Wilson, who is a licensed vet tech at the Jackson Animal Care Center. Wilson says that heat can cause significant health issues for your pet. “Dogs with all that extra fur, they get excessively hot very quickly, leave them outside for even just a few minutes, with no shelter, no shade no water, they could get overheated very quickly,” said Wilson. Many pet owners love to keep their fur friends close by, but some places do not allow animals inside. Wilson says if they are tagging a

Personnel Placements LLC gives away prizes to job seekers

Searching for a job is not easy, and now more than ever, people need as many resources as possible to move one step closer to a successful career. Personnel Placements LLC has been that resource for nearly 30 years and continues to employ people even during a recession. “Right now at personnel placements, we have numerous job openings,” said Karen Skelton who is the regional sales director for Personnel Placements Those job openings include an assortment of occupations “We place for everything from clerical, to manufacturing, to distribution to assembly.” Right now, workers out there have a chance to get more than just a job. “We came up with the idea to help people get back to work as soon

UT Extension helps with masks giveaway in Madison County

Jackson, TN - As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the area, community partners pitch in to held the Jackson Madison County. Community partners pitch in to help the Jackson Madison County Regional Health Department continue serving the community. Madison county has seen a record high of new COVID-19 cases in the past few weeks, which caused a mask mandate to be put in place by the local health department. While some residents are against it, some say they need the masks. “I have health issues, I don’t dare go without one", says resident, Richard Roden. After searching for a reusable mask and having no luck, Richard Roden says he was glad to hear there was a mask giveaway. Rode

The financial toll of a health pandemic

The Cares Act Bill serves as a safe boat, keeping families afloat during this recession. It even decreased the number of bankruptcy filings from last year in West Tennessee. “In 2019 for instance, in the month of July, we had in the Western District of Tennessee, we had a total of 1,675. For this year, according to bankruptcy attorney Verner Smith, the number of people who filed is closer to one thousand. Smith, who has been practicing law for over 30 years, says that the cares act provides the funds for many Tennesseans to pay their bills. “We have what we call a $600 stipend if you will for unemployment, that goes on top of regular unemployment benefit, that has saved them financially,” Th

Made in Tennessee: KB's Auto Service Center

One local man took what he learned in high school and turned it into a family business. Owner of KB's Auto, Kevin Bankston started working with cars when he was 16. “I graduated from JCM back in 1980 and from auto shop went to work for my brother and I've been doing mechanic work ever since", says Bankston. But he never thought his high school courses would lead to him being a business owner. “Get to this point, no, I never thought about that", he adds. Bankston opened his first auto shop 14 years ago after being there for over a decade their business outgrew the location and they recently opened a new location just a year ago. He says those classes at Jackson Central Merry High School were

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