HEADLINES

Community organizations host free COVID-19 drive thru test site in East Jackson

Lane college, Code Red Ministerial Alliance, and Church Alive partnered to offer free COVID-19 testing in Jackson today. Church Alive is a health outreach nonprofit offering medical service to under served communities. “We adjusted our business model to focus mainly on providing access to testing in areas where it may not be as easily accessible", says Church Alive Director of business development, Darcell Streeter. Jackson residents and students from Lane College drove thru to be tested. One Lane student says students need more resources like this. “A lot of students don’t have health insurance, you know that’s very costly and it just keeps everybody safe, just giving this out. You know?",

Lane College athletics will host a non partisan voter registration drive

Lane College’s athletic department will host a voter registration drive this upcoming weekend, and the Vice President of Student affairs tells me this is an excellent way to reach a younger audience. “Definitely. If these people are the leaders and get the degree, they will be the leaders; the supervisors will be the preachers. If they don’t stress the importance of voting, we have failed,” said Daryl Mcgee, Vice President of Student Affairs at Lane College. The event is the last leg of The I’m Black, and I vote tour for The Equity Alliance, a non-partisan organization based in Nashville. Sarita Alston, the organizer of west Tennessee events, says the drive is open to the public. “We are aim

More people move into Madison County, realtors see homes selling fast

Realtors in Madison County are saying there are a limited number of homes on the market right now and this boom is sales is surprising for them in the midst of a pandemic. “In march we weren’t really sure how it was going to go. We did take a little bit of a dip in April and did not close as many homes in April", says realtor for Town and Country Realtors, Madaline Hudson. Madaline Hudson has been selling homes for over a decade and says she never imagined houses selling so fast in the pandemic after the drop in April. Hudson mentioned why homes are going fast. “We are seeing an influx of people fleeing from weather events, whether its fires or hurricanes, wanting to move somewhere where it

THE REEMPLOY TENNESSEE INITIATIVE COULD BRING STRESS ON UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMANTS

The Reemploy Tennessee Initiative is in full effect requiring unemployment claimants to look for work to remain eligible. According to the department of labor, residents must contact at least three potential job leads a week. In Jackson, several organizations, including the salvation army, get people back into the workforce. “So what we do with our clients or people who are in need is one of our coaches that have experience with professional development will work with individuals,” said Commanding Officer, Marc Cancia. Cancia says the coaches assist with resume writing and identifying the right job placement skills. “To either create a resume or identify a job that will be suitable for them

A new website helps people with special needs

Caring for a child with special needs or a disability is no easy task. when Christopher Myers’s son Taylor, was diagnosed with autism, he and his wife immediately began digging for helpful resources. “At his one-year baby check, his pediatrician told me and my wife that he had significant developmental delays. So in this situation, we decided to ramp up talking to people, pediatricians neurologists,” said Myers. Most parents are not prepared to care for a special child, but when they are faced with the challenge, they need as much information they can get. Myers created ReAbility as a resource guide. “ReAbility, is a clearinghouse platform that provides realtime information for special needs

Travel Local: 42nd Annual Blue Grass Festival

Blue Grass is a staple sound in parts of Tennessee. Hardin county and Savannah, Tennessee are some of those places. The area continues to bring the music to life through the 42nd Annual Blue Grass Festival. “42nd Annual Blue Grass Festival and of course Mr. Wayne Jerrolds heads that up every year. He’s a staple in the blue grass world and a staple in Hardin county and savannah", says Executive Director for Savannah Main Street, Larae Smiley-Sliger. The festival started in the late 70’s to honor Blue Grass musicians, now it has become an annual traditional to many. Wayne Jerrolds began the festival and invited well known musicians to be a part of it. “Some of the biggest names in blue grass.

Local non-profits fight hunger during COVID-19

Millions of Children and families living in America face hunger and food insecurity every day. “So as a result of the pandemic, it is now estimated that one in six Americans will be facing hunger, and so that’s kind of a sobering statistic,” said Gracie Sloan, who is the Marketing and Events Coordinator at RIFA in Jackson. Even while hunger is an issue nationwide, food banks in several cities are closed, but RIFA remains open giving to those in need. “Thankfully, we have not had to close our doors or anything like that; the community has been so generous in providing for us still,” said Sloan. However, the pandemic decreases the amount of food that is available for distribution at RIFA. As m

Jackson Generals Baseball Club prepares for Jerry Lawler event

The Jackson Generals Baseball Club is preparing for hundreds of Jerry Lawler fans to arrive this weekend. Although they have hosted a number of events before now they have to take into account the on going pandemic. “We’re excited, we spent the better part of the last week getting the ball park cleaned and disinfected. Jerry Lawler is a pretty big name here in west Tennessee so, we’re excited to host an event of this magnitude", says general manager of the baseball club, Marcus Sabata. With safety guidance from city and county agencies the ball park recently hosted high school graduations and travel baseball tournaments, so that guidance will continue this weekend to make sure the event is s

Dr. Fauci says Coronavirus cases could increase as the temperature decreases

We are no longer in the summer season, and cooler temperatures are right around the corner. On Tuesday, Dr. Fauci spoke at a virtual festival hosted by the Atlantic, and he is worried about the upcoming season. “The concern I have now - and I’m giving you more of an answer than you want - is that we're entering into the fall and into the winter, and that means there's going to be more indoor things than outdoor things,” said Dr. Fauci Fauci, a member of the White House Coronavirus task force says that being indoors leads to a higher chance of spreading the virus. in a recent interview on CNN, he tells medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, that everyone’s situation is different. “Indoors f

CDC releases guidance for Halloween, local officials give their guidance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just released guidance for Halloween activities. The CDC says many of the traditional activities associated with Halloween are high risk for contracting COVID-19, like a major activity trick or treating. Director of the Jackson Madison County Regional Health Department, Kim Tedford, says the strategic planning committee in Madison county recently talked about the upcoming holiday. “We’ve discussed that and we are not putting anything out regarding tick or treating this Halloween. We do want to encourage people to social distance when they can", says Tedford. Tedford mentions a lot of the activities are outside so the risk may be a little lower t

Travel is picking back up, but is the hotel industry seeing the increase?

Hospitality experts are seeing a trend of hotel closures in big cities due to COVID-19, but hotel managers here in west Tennessee say they are not seeing that trend just yet. In March and April of this year travel halted and for hotels travel is the main contributor to their business. Guest services manager, Tyler Stewart, says those months were tough. “We didn’t think it was going to affect us as much, but when it first started literally we dropped all the way down. Of course we had to do a couple of layoffs", says Stewart. And they saw immediate effects. Stewart added, “It got to the point where we were almost just looking at each other because no one was walking in.” According to a report

Highway I-40 dedicated to Trooper Matt Gatti

It has been a little over a year since the state trooper Matthew Gatti was laid to rest after being killed in the line of duty on i-40, just outside Jackson. "He was a trooper, he was a public servant, but he never forgot who God was to him,” said Christopher Gatti, father of the late state Trooper. Those are some of the remarks, Christopher Gatti, Matthew Gatti’s father, gave at a ceremony at the old country store. Many gathered to witness the dedication of part of i-40 to the late state trooper. In a public charter presented by State Representatives Ed Jackson and Chris Todd, at mile marker 73, ending at exit 74 is “Trooper Matthew ‘Matt’ Gatti memorial highway. “We were both very honored

Made In Tennessee with Exit 87 BBQ

“When truck drivers and local travelers get off on exit 87, they see a concession stand preparing homemade food.” The smell of bbq fills the air as customers get out of their vehicles and walk up to order. “We started about 15 years ago. I came out and sit in the middle of this parking lot and started serving truck drivers,” said Joshua Wadley, owner of Exit 87 BBQ. The customer base expanded to bbq lovers just passing through for a quick bite to eat. “The thing is a lot of people stop by because they can get their food, good food, homemade food in two and a half minutes and back on the road with a full stomach and a smile,” said Wadley. A homemade breakfast sandwich is one tasty treat that

JMCSS students return to school for in person learning

Students are back in the classroom for in person learning here in the Jackson Madison County School System. And the students first step on the day was to step up and get their temperature taken. A hand full of students walked into the doors of schools across the city of Jackson. At JCM Early College High School only 9th and 10th graders were in the building along with teachers and administrators. The rest of the students who chose the in person option are on a staggered schedule to limit the amount of students in the building at one time. One freshman says her first year of high school was already scary enough, then COVID-19 was added on. “I’m kind of nervous because it’s a totally different

Local rehab center see's an increase in patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 pandemic affects those who are struggling with addiction. “From COVID-19, it showed the need and necessity for treatment in general,” said Frankie Elliot, operations manager at Aspell rehab center in West Tennessee. According to health officials, there is an increase in drug use and overdoses this year because of the covid-19 pandemic. One of the scariest times was probably about a month and a half, two months into the COVID pandemic, we started noticing the uptick of overdoses,” said Elliot. The coronavirus put treatments off for a few weeks. “There was no place for people to go to, to receive not so much treatment services, but long term recovery services, and it limited that and

Travel Local: Wayne Jerrolds River Park

I’m here in downtown Savannah, Tennessee a place known for its catfish and its music and after talking to many people, one name continues to come up. Wayne Jerrolds. Through a journey of late night fiddling competitions, songwriting, movie appearances… and even inventing Wayne Jerrolds has become a well known musician. “There at Lexington High School in the auditorium to 2 o'clock in the morning battling it out. Had 17 years of it, I had 13 and 2nd the other times", says Jerrolds. At the age of 10 he wanted to be apart of his school band. After years of trying to come up with money to afford an instrument his mom bought his first fiddle at the age of 16. Jerrolds adds, "later she did buy me

Members of the Tennessee Army National Guard return home from deployment

As the Tennessee Army National Guard returns from their deployment in the Middle East, Veterans gather on Madison County bridges to welcome them home. The 194th Engineer Brigade left in October of 2019 with 128 men and women from west Tennessee. “These guys have been gone for a year; they’ve been doing the work for the country, representing the interest of the United States. We want them to know how much we appreciate what they’ve done for us,” said Rober Jones, member of the West Tennessee Veterans Coalition. Jones said when he came back, there was not a welcome home event. “Quite frankly, the guys from Vietnam never got a welcome home. The veteran’s coalition here in Jackson is gonna make

Tri-County Fair opens for the first time at Clay Hill Motor Sports

In the middle of a field usually where monster trucks and motorcycles get ready for shows, now sit cotton candy booths, rides, and fair games for the Tri County Fair. After taking a car ride from Jackson one fair goer says she is glad to finally be at a fair. “I was excited and at the same time when we first couldn’t find it I was a little bit sad, but when we had found it I was real excited", says fair goer, Moriyah Roberson. Clay Hill Motor Sports in Atwood,Tennessee brought in their first fair and those who are apart of it say its good to be working. “This was the first year our fair season was cancelled. So, it seems like everything is back on track and we are glad to be working. This fa

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