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 smallbusiness.advocate@cot.tn.gov<mailto:smallbusiness.advocate@cot.tn.gov>.

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: tn.gov/education/accountability/reward_2013.shtml.


Thankful For The Relationship Between McCallie And Ridgedale Community

I would like to thank all the leadership at McCallie for allowing us to use the ROC for holding the Ridgedale annual Christmas party. It is very ironic that the initial meeting Patricia Rogers held to see about forming a community association in Ridgedale was held 23 years ago in December.  Miss Rogers' vision to end the decay and blight surrounding her and her mother was ... (click for more)

Never Has So Many Owed So Much To So Few

In the last two weeks our area has faced unprecedented tragedy, from the school bus accident to our local fires to the tornadoes and fires to our northeast. To our magnificent police, fire, first responders, state officials and FEMA employees, I can only repeat the eloquent words of Sir Winston Churchill in his response to the bombing of England by the Nazis to the RAF: "Never ... (click for more)

Curtis Coleman Sentenced To 144 Months For Dealing Heroin

Curtis Allen Coleman, 41, of Dayton, Ohio, was sentenced to serve 144 months in prison by Federal Judge Travis R. McDonough for heroin distribution in Chattanooga. Coleman pleaded guilty in August to a federal indictment charging him with, among other things, conspiracy to distribute heroin.  According to information on file with the United States District ... (click for more)

Red Cross Continues Tornado Relief In Southeast Tennessee

After tornadoes and strong straight-line winds moved through Southeast Tennessee on Tuesday evening, Red Cross mobilized more than 70 volunteers, provided shelter for displaced residents, and is working to ensure that emergency needs are being met for everyone who was affected.   “We are working very closely with our local Emergency Management Agencies and community partners ... (click for more)

Both CCS Teams Win By 24 Points Over Boyd-Buchanan

Chattanooga Christian basketball coach Eddie Salter holds some really tough practices with his Chargers and he expects them to transfer that high-energy to game day. It seemed to work on Thursday night as Salter’s Chargers raced to a 21-5 lead after the first quarter and never looked back as they improved to 6-1 with the impressive 64-40 non-district win over visiting Boyd-Buchanan. ... (click for more)

Hamilton Heights Shines In Win Vs. Memphis East On ESPN2

Cousins Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander sparked Hamilton Heights’ strong second half Thursday night as the Hawks pulled away to beat Memphis East 72-64 in a prep basketball game televised by ESPN2. Walker, a Virginia Tech signee, led the Hawks with a game-high 23 points, including 16 in the second half when he made four 3-pointers. Alexander, a Kentucky ... (click for more)