Thursday , 21 June 2018

Thursday, May 18th

From the Tennova Healthcare Cleveland News Desk, here is your news for Thursday, May 18th, on Mix 104-1 and Talk 101-3 The Buzz.

From the Cleveland Daily Banner…

The Bradley County Commission gave unanimous approval Monday to the $75 million budget proposed by the Bradley County School system.

The budget, with expenditures totaling $73,011,860 versus this past year’s $70,963,151, funds 2 percent raises for all salaried Bradley County Schools employees, also funds step raises, and contains more than $1 million worth of capital projects.

It passed the Bradley County Board of Education during its regular session last week.

One of the obstacles faced by the system this year was a reduction of $438,000 in BEP funding than had been previously anticipated.

Director of Schools, Dr. Linda Cash explained that amount was taken out of the system’s fund balance to take care of one time capital outlay costs which then brought the budget into balance.

Also in news today…

Cleveland City Schools Board of Education approved the BLADE (Blended Learning and Digital Enhancement) Project this year. BLADE is Cleveland City Schools 1:1 device initiative for both staff and students. Their mission is to foster an innovative culture that brings together the best methods and practices of teaching with current technologies to promote new and relevant learning opportunities for students. Through blended learning, Cleveland City Schools seeks to personalize the educational experience for our students, thus producing students that are college and career ready.

Director of Schools, Dr. Russell Dyer stated, “The BLADE Project will allow our teachers to personalize learning to the individual student.  In no way will a technology device ever replace a teacher, but the idea is to provide the teacher will the tools necessary to continue with innovative practices in the classroom.  In reality, our students are already living in a digital world.  Our job is to harness that digital world and help our students to be positive digital citizens.”

The first step in implementing this initiative is to provide Apple MacBook Air laptops to teachers. The Technology Department began the process of distributing laptops at each school this week. Over the summer, representatives from each school will be trained by Apple professionals. These educators will then provide professional development for their school colleagues during the August inservice days. Beginning in January 2018, all 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students will receive a Google Chromebook for classroom and home use.

The Cleveland Daily Banner reports…

Fourth District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn said Tuesday he expects the investigation into allegations of wrongdoing by Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson to be done “soon.”

In his first public remarks on the investigation since taking the lead role almost a year ago, Dunn told the Cleveland Daily Banner he understands the frustrations of Bradley Countians who are waiting for answers.

The investigation began due to a litany of accusations made by Bradley County Commissioner Dan Rawls.

Dunn — who serves Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson and Sevier counties — was named to the case last June. Tenth District Attorney General Steve Crump recused himself from the case as is normal protocol as well, because Watson had contributed to Crump’s campaign.

Dunn said he had “run into a little hitch” at the first of the month when the TBI agent who was leading the investigation left the agency to work for another district attorney.

His office was also involved with the case of the Ooltewah High School students who were charged with assaulting a teammate while visiting Gatlinburg.

It has been “a full plate” for Dunn’s staff and investigators.

Dunn acknowledged in the Watson case “we need to say something, and that is we will have completed our investigation soon.” He said another agent has been assigned by the TBI for the Watson case. Dunn said once the agent completes the investigation, those findings will be brought to his desk.

He said if there are “matters of concern,” those would be taken up in front of a Bradley County grand jury.

Dunn expressed his own frustration at not being able to clear the matter faster, and how slowly the system can sometimes work.

This has been your local and state news. You can get news anytime by visiting our website,, powered by Pioneer Credit. From the Tennova Healthcare Cleveland News Desk, this is Jeremy Gault reporting.