Comptroller: Former Wayne County Schools staff took nearly $320,000

July 30– Four former employees of the Wayne County public school system are to blame for a $319,134.58 shortage in school accounts, Tennessee Comptroller Justin P Wilson said Tuesday. 

The Comptroller’s Office, in conjunction with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service began investigating after comptroller auditors discovered discrepancies during their annual audit. 

The office said investigators confirmed the former grants coordinator and three former bookkeepers received $183,474.25 in unauthorized payroll payments and classified them to teacher salary account codes. These payments were in addition to their budgeted salaries.

Investigators also uncovered personal purchases on the school system’s Walmart credit cards. These purchases included more than $77,176.69 in gift cards and related fees, as well as $58,483.64 in groceries and personal items. The credit cards were assigned to the former General Purpose School Fund bookkeeper.


McNairy County commissioner fatally injured in Counce

July 28– McNairy County Commissioner Charles Garrison of Stantonville died Friday evening, reportedly due to injuries sustained in a workplace incident at Packaging Corporation of America in Counce.

Sources say Garrison, 63, was injured in a forklift-related incident late afternoon or early Friday evening. PCA has yet to issue a statement regarding the incident.

PCA, which has its own fire rescue and emergency medical response facilities, requested an air evacuation for Garrison.  He was transported to Jackson-Madison County Medical Center. It is not currently known whether Garrison died at the scene, at the hospital, or en-route.


Governor visits Savannah, delivers checks totaling nearly $600,000 to city, county

July 24– Gov. Bill Haslam stopped by Savannah this afternoon to visit the new Tennessee Street Park and announce three grants totaling $585,517 will fund three area projects for the city and Hardin County.

A $243,913 transportation alternative grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) will fund phase II of the Pedestrian Sidewalk Project in Savannah, including construction of sidewalks on the east side of Tennessee Street from the southwest corner of the new Tennessee Street Park to Main Street. Sidewalks will also be installed along the north side of Main Street from the downtown district to Hogohegee Drive, which will connect the historic Cherry Street Mansion and the Tennessee River Overlook.

A $250,000 Local Park and Recreation Fund grant from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) for Hardin County and the city of Savannah will be used at the Hank DeBerry Complex to remove existing poles and fixtures at the ball fields and make upgrades to underground wiring and electrical panels to accommodate new energy efficient lights.

A $91,604 Clean Energy Grant from TDEC will be used to make Savannah’s City Hall more energy efficient by installing energy efficient ceiling lights, replacing 10 HVAC units with an energy efficiency of SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) 13, reconstructing a 4,600 square foot section of flat roof with energy saving materials to reduce energy consumption for heating and cooling purposes, and constructing vestibules at the main three entrances to City Hall.

The total estimated annual energy usage reduction is estimated to be 27,601 kWh, which is equivalent to 19.5 metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions. The estimated yearly savings for the upgrades will be approximately $3,126.


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