The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee on March 3, 1994 · Page 4
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The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee · Page 4

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Nashville, Tennessee
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Thursday, March 3, 1994
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E SEN. JOHN FORD A Throws weight at trooper Page 3B I OKI THURSDAY, MARCH 3, 1994 State By BONNA M. de la CRUZ Staff Writer FRANKLIN The county jail overcharged the state $574,000 for housing state inmates and no one caught the mistake for two years, according to a state audit being discussed for the first time at a public meeting tonight "We made an honest mistake on the paperwork that shouldn't have happened," Sheriff Lance Saylor said yesterday. "The state didn't catch it. It's a joint responsibility between us and the state to verify these costs." Saylor said the county will likely pay back the amount for the ;et overcharged by county jal period 1991-93 through deductions each month on the sum the state owes the county for boarding state inmates. The county typically bills the state $800,000 to $1 million annually for the service. "The repercussions are simply the fact that we got money ahead of time ... and the fact we have to pay back the money on a monthly basis simply by the state reducing the amount they send to us," Saylor said. The county charges the state $48 a day for each state inmate it keeps. There are 45 now in Williamson County custody. The recently completed audit by i- V "We made an honest mistake on the paperwork that shouldn't have happened." LANCE SAYLOR Sheriff, Williamson County the state comptroller's office is to be discussed at a meeting of the county commission's Law Enforcement Committee at 6 p.m. today at the county administrative complex, 1321 W. Main St "We haven't verified the numbers yet" Giddens said yesterday, declining to comment further on the audit State auditors met Monday with Saylor, Giddens and County Executive Robert Ring. County officials are to respond in writing to the findings within about two weeks, said Richard Norment assistant to the state comptroller and director for county audits. "Every jail facility operated by county governments that contracts with the state Department of Correction participates," Norment said. "It entails on-site reviews of activities, documents and requests for reimbursements that cover the cost the county incurs for housing state prisoners." Coates guilty of misconduct Also fabricated evidence By BONNA M. de la CRUZ Staff Writer CENTERVILLE, Tenn. Former Hickman County Executive James Coates was found guilty last night of charging twice for mileage and hotel bills and falsifying evidence for an ouster trial. After six hours of deliberations, a jury found Coates guilty on five counts of official misconduct fabricating evidence and conspiracy to fabricate evidence. "We're entirely satisfied," said state prosecutor Don Schwendimann. Coates was not convicted of eight other counts, including five charges of official misconduct misdemeanor theft charges and aggravated perjury. "He's very upset because he feels like he didn't do it" said defense attorney Lee Ofman. Ofman said he has not discussed an appeal with Coates. Coates served as county executive from 1986 until October 1992 when he quit under pressure of three ouster suits brought on by allegations he mishandled the county's budget by allowing it to run a $234,889 deficit The ouster suits were dropped when he resigned. The charge of fabricating evidence stemmed from falsely reconstructed calendars from 1990 and 1991. Coates had said he made up the dates to help in his defense in an ouster suit He said he did it to show jurors how busy the workday routine of being a county executive is. ' The prosecution said it was not until a week after the falsified calendars had been given in depositions that it was learned that they were fake. Jurors said Coates was guilty of double dipping when he was reimbursed twice for a hotel bill in 1991 and mileage on a Jan. 17, 1992 trip. Jurors also found Coates guilty of improperly charg- I Turn to PAGE 2B, Column 1 Elders says seeds of future in doubt Surgeon general: Kids need aid By TAMM1E SMITH Staff Writer V: Comparing today's youth to "seed corn," Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders encouraged a Vanderbilt University audience to commit to saving a generation of adolescents whose growth is endangered by drugs, poverty and violence. "Many of you don t know what seed corn is," Elders explained. "That's the corn you save from the best ears of corn. You save them for planting so you can grow the next year's crop." When you're starving, you eat that seed corn, Elders explained. In the same way, adolescents are endangered, and all of us should be concerned about it she said. ELDERS Elders, the 16th U.S. Surgeon General, has had a controversial six months in office. She has come under attack for supporting family planning and sex education in the schools and for suggesting that legalizing drugs could be a way to fight the drug war. More recently, she has taken on the tobacco industry for marketing to adolescents. She has asked the Federal Trade Commission to ban the cartoon-like Joe Camel in cigarette advertisements and wants the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate cigarettes. She was equally outspoken about smoking yesterday. "We've known for 30 years it's been a killer," she said, her talk part of the school's Martin Luther King Jr. lecture series. "The industry recruits 3,000 of our adolescents per Turn to PACE 2B, Column 1 - Id ' UtkLi J 111 .-.yXNm If " " miWirnf . ; ;T t i ; f .3 JfrTtUtoZZZ"1 C lW"l i-'-Wig;iftA. ' " ": t I ' " The transformation of North Nashville rfM Kelly Miller Smith Memorial Bridge opened yesterday rift Widening of Jefferson Street w will be completed in 3-4 weeks Redevelopment District ongoing ONew Kroger store will be completed by November O i Bicentennial Mall will be completed in 1996 T', Farmer's Market Robert Johnson Staff State Sen. Thelma Harper does the honors in a different kind of ribbon-cutting for Smith Memorial Bridge. New bridge honors Kelly Miller Smith ByTINI THAN Staff Writer The opening of the newly built Kelly Miller Smith Memorial Bridge is the first link toward restoring the Jefferson Street area to its former prominence, Mayor Phil Bredesen said yesterday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Named after a popular Nashville minister and civil rights activist, the bridge replaces the old Jefferson Street Bridge. It was officially opened yesterday morning after being under construction since May 1992. "The opening of this bridge marks the beginning of a lot of changes you'll see in the area changes that we hope will return the area to some of the grandeur that it once enjoyed," Bredesen said. The bridge spanning the Cumberland River connects North and East Nashville. In the next several weeks, plans to widen Jefferson Street to Eighth Avenue North will be completed and a Kroger Superstore will be built nearby by the end of the year. The area has been designated as a redevelop- Th TENNESSEAN Turn to PAGE 2B, Column 1 o mil 14 N Xyr ..AJfC -. V- Storm's aftermath: How did Metro do? Communication, elderly among report's concerns By GAIL KERR Staff Writer Improving communication with the public and requiring nursing homes to have generators are two of the suggestions made to Mayor Phil Bredesen yesterday in an evaluation of how Metro handled the ice storm of "94. Bredesen said he will share the report with the Metro Council, and he is planning how to improve each point "Overall, I believe this was a good test and demonstration of what Metro can do when everyone pulls together," wrote Jim Thacker, director of Metro's Office of Emergency Management, adding that there were severe problems in emergency planning. Metro Councilman Ronnie Steine filed a resolution yesterday asking the mayor to create a task force to evaluate how the storm was handled. "We essentially have already done that," the mayor said. During the ice storm that hit last month, 700,000 homes in Metro were without power, some for two weeks. The Nashville Electric Service used 150 crews to get the lights back on. The problems the report points out There was no system to handle an overload of people calling 911. Coordination of information released to the media "was very poor," and radio was under utilized. "Accurate situation assessments were slow in being released. For the first few days, the public was lead to believe that repairs would be relatively quick." More accurate information would have allowed families to make plans, the report says. Home healthore patients have grown t Turn to PAGE 2B, Column 1 wntm J f Renee Elder COMMENTARY Effort aims to weed out crime New "weed-and-seed" efforts in Nashville neighborhoods are not the work of the Metro Beautification office. Nor will they be part of this weekend's Lawn and Garden Show. These weed-and-seed projects have taken root in Nashville's inner-city areas, where crime, not lawn care, creates a hotbed of concern. "We want to weed out crime from high-risk neighborhoods and seed them with good social programs," explains Bill Venson of the Mayor's Office on Drug Policy, which is promoting the weed-and-seed concept The drug policy office has recently awarded more than $20,000 in grants to Nashville neighborhoods where crime is flourishing. Eric Avery, head of the Office on Drug Policy, has also formed a committee to cultivate federal support for the weed-and-seed effort Some 21 cities nationwide have programs up and growing. The Nashville panel which includes VS. Attorney Tom Roberts, District Attorney General Torry Johnson, Avery and Venson, among others met Tuesday to plan its strategy. Members hope to rake in $1.5 million in federal funding over ine next it monins. The beauty of the programs is their flexibility, Venson says. They are adapted to the specific needs of each community by placing citizens groups in a pivotal role. For example, using their $5,000 Metro grant, residents of Sam Levy Homes initiated a recreation program at the nearby Magness-Potter Community Center to lure young people off the streets and away from drugs. In Belmont-Hillsboro, folks tunneled their $3,000 into a Neighborhood Watch effort, buying police whistles, a mobile burglar alarm for, use by vacationing neighbors, and establishing a hot line to report crime. "It's a grass-roots approach, and I think it's workable," Venson says of the overall concept "These communities are really serious about making a difference." Other neighborhoods in the first wave of weed-and-seed programs include Sunnyside Community Citizens, Organized Neighbors of Edge-hill, and residents associations at the Lane Garden and Cumberland ViewCheatham Place public housing developments. IIP- I. . jMxnAM! knulrnt so loi we ve suuiiaui cu a ucunci- ball tournament and an essay contest for the young people, and we're also using it to buy office supplies," says Brenda Morrow, of the Organized Neighbors of Edgehill, which received a $5,000 grant Edgehill was one of the first neighborhoods in town to initiate a partnership with the Metro Police Department They host monthly get-togethers with patrol officers to improve dialogue and germinate mutual respect That's exactly what Nashville needs more of, Venson says. "It's what weed-and-seed is supposed to do," he adds. "It's a holistic approach to crime problems. Sure, you need law enforcement, but you need prevention as well. It may take some time, but I think the effort is going to be worth it" Renee Elder covers community issues for The Tennessean. Call her at 259-8882. WILSON Children can learn safe handling of BB guns in an all-day class Saturday at James E. Ward Agricultural Center. Sponsored by Wilson County Junior Chamber of Commerce, the class will be from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Boys and girls ages 8-15 are eligible. Cost for the day is $5, which includes lunch. BB guns and all equipment will be furnished. Ten children have already signed up. For more information or to reserve a spot call Tab Kirkland at 444-0303 days or 443-1791 nights. - USA BENAV1DES CHEATHAM Phil Bredesen, Metro mayor and Democratic gubernatorial hopeful, will be among candidates attending Cheatham County Democratic Party's pancake supper at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Sycamore Middle School on Old Clarksville Highway. Cost Is $5 per person. Tickets are available at the door or In advance from members of the county Democratic Party. Area high school students will discuss issues with the candidates. Jerry Hamlin is chairman of the party and fund-raising event PAUL OLDHAM HI SECTION EDITORS Regional editor. Cindy Smith, 259-8095. Day: Frank Gibson, 726-5907; Tommy Goldsmith, 259-8090; Lisa Green, 259-8095; Robert Sherborne, 259-8080. Nightweekend: Chuck Clark, 259-8090; Dwight Lewis, 726-5928; Bev Winston, 259-8090; George Zepp, 259-8091. Fas 259-8093. - NIDSTATE Planting a tree this spring? if you buy one that wears a "Plant a Tree in Tennessee" tag, your community will get $1 to buy trees for local projects. Save the tag, and you'll also get a 20 discount on your next tree purchase. The promotion starts tomorrow, on Arbor Day. The certified Tennessee-grown trees are available from landscape and garden centers across the state. Sponsors are the state Department of Agriculture and the Tennessee Nurserymen's Association. PAUL OLDHAM MONTGOMERY Cash awards would be paid to city employees who submit suggestions that would improve city services, under a proposal to be considered when the Clark s- ville City Council meets at 7:30 tonight The proposal calls for a bonus to be paid for ideas implemented that save money, im prove customer service, promote employ ee safety and health, or improve quality of life for Clarksvillians. A review committee would recommend to the mayor the amount of any cash awards. TERRY BATEY 4

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