Rep. Watson: Moving Tennessee Forward

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - by Rep. Eric Watson
Rep. Eric Watson
Rep. Eric Watson

Over the last several weeks, myself and others have joined with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community to announce numerous major business expansions from all across the state. With these expansion projects, thousands of jobs have been created, as well as, millions of dollars invested into local Tennessee communities.  Companies like Gap, Surface Igniter, Dot Foods, and Miller Industries will move their headquarters here or expand their current space.  

When companies expand their existing space in Tennessee that says a lot about the current economy.  When companies are moving their headquarters here that says a lot about the state of Tennessee.

In 2010, I was proud to have been a part of the TN General Assembly that established the Office of Small Business Advocate.  My family owns a small business within the Bradley County area.  Small businesses are vital to Tennessee.  The OSBA is the primary contact for Tennessee small business owners who need assistance with specific business issues or have general questions about state agencies, regulatory compliance, or other business-related topics.  In addition, if a small business owner feels that his or her business has been subject to unfair enforcement actions by a state agency, the business owner can seek assistance and relief from the OSBA.  With 97 percent of the companies in Tennessee being classified as “small businesses,” the Office of Small Business Advocate provides an invaluable resource to business owners across the state, providing help and information to the entrepreneurs who are the backbone of creativity and job production in Tennessee.  To contact Tennessee’s Small Business Advocate, Lauren Plunk, call 615.401-7806 or email her at<>.

I am thrilled to announce that Benton Elementary School has been recognized as a Reward School by the Tennessee Department of Education.  The designation means the schools are in either the top five percent of all schools in the state for annual academic growth or the top five percent for overall academic achievement.  The Reward School program spans 52 districts across the state and includes 169 total schools.  Republican leaders praised the news, thanking teachers, administrators, and students for all their hard work in achieving the important educational goals.  The 2012-13 Reward Schools made their impressive accomplishments during a year when Tennessee saw consistent gains on the statewide Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program testing. As schools across the state made improvements and reached higher levels of proficiency, the Reward Schools led the way in overall school performance.  A complete list of Reward Schools can be found by visiting:

Haynes Exemplifies Effective Leadership

Our county commissioner is Marty Haynes.  Over the last few months we have been reminded that effective leadership builds trust.  Marty has kept his word to be accountable to voters and govern with conservative principles.  County Mayor Jim Coppinger’s budget was balanced with spending prioritized.  Marty joined a few other commissioners in voting for that ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Banjo Boy’s Secret

There is a wonderful email now making the rounds that shows Billy Redden standing in front of the Walmart store where he now works in Clayton, Ga. There is nothing remarkable about the picture because Billy’s looks have changed considerably in the last 40-odd years. But back in the early 1970s, his face was memorized by millions upon millions of people and he was universally known ... (click for more)

Toddler Killed In Car Accident On Boy Scout Road Friday Morning

A toddler was killed in an auto accident Friday morning.  Hamilton County Sheriff’s deputies responded to an accident with injuries at the 1000 block of Boy Scout Road at approximately 11 a.m. on Friday. Upon arrival, deputies found a single car accident involving four passengers. Three of the four passengers were transported to a local hospital and the ... (click for more)

Triple Murder Suspect, Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitive, Captured In New Orleans

Less than a day after being placed on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Top 10 Most Wanted list, Daniel Lee Henry was captured Saturday night in New Orleans, La.  Shortly after 8:30 CST, Henry, 38, was taken into custody without incident at a hotel by authorities from the United States Marshals Service Task Force, which includes law enforcement officers from the New ... (click for more)

Arkansas Ground Game Pounds Tennessee, 24-20

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – At least Tennessee didn’t blow a double-digit lead late. Arkansas wiped out the Vols’ 14-0 lead in the first half in front of 101,265 fans at Neyland Stadium and went on to dump Tennessee, 24-20, Saturday night in Southeastern Conference football action. It was Tennessee’s second straight loss and the win snapped the Razorbacks’ three-game skid. ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Tennessee Falls To Arkansas, 24-20