Haslam Announces Retirement Of TEMA Director Jim Bassham

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Gov. Bill Haslam on Thursday announced the retirement of Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) Director Jim Bassham effective April 7. 

Mr. Bassham led TEMA through the response to hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Gustav; devastating tornadoes that ripped through Tennessee in 2006 and 2008; the Nashville floods in 2010; tornadoes through the Southeastern part of the state in 2011; and the flooding of the Mississippi River in West Tennessee in May 2011.

“Tennessee is grateful to Jim for his service through some of our state’s toughest times dealing with severe weather,” Governor Haslam said. “Under Jim’s leadership, TEMA has become a national model for emergency management.”

The TEMA director is charged with the responsibility for ensuring that state and local governments are prepared to deal with disasters and emergencies that affect Tennesseans. In addition, the director has the responsibility to help prepare citizens to deal with emergencies and the aftermath.

Before taking the helm at TEMA in July 2003, Mr. Bassham served as the assistant adjutant general-air for the Tennessee National Guard from 1995 until 2002.

“Jim Bassham took TEMA to a new level in emergency preparedness and has worked tirelessly to improve services provided to the citizens of Tennessee,” Maj. Gen. Max Haston, the adjutant general and commissioner of the Military Department, said. “He established the standards by which others are measured."

Governor Haslam also announced that Department of Safety and Homeland Security Assistant Commissioner David Purkey would serve as the interim TEMA director through June 30. A permanent director will be named at a later date.

Mr. Purkey will continue serving as assistant commissioner of Safety and Homeland Security during his time as interim TEMA director. Before serving as assistant commissioner, Mr. Purkey served as director of the Emergency Management Agency for Hamblen County and as a Tennessee state trooper, an agent with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and mayor of Hamblen County.

“David brings a wealth of experience to his new task and understands the importance of cooperation between state and local governments,” Governor Haslam said.

“David has done an excellent job of retooling and changing the focus of homeland security efforts in order to have a greater impact on our state’s safety.  He is a top notch manager,” Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said.


Bradley County Woman Involved In Drug Ring Gets 63 Months In Federal Prison

Deborah Ruth Haney was sentenced on Monday to serve 63 in federal prison for selling meth. She appeared before Judge Sandy Mattice. Agents said Ms. Haney was in a drug ring with Lena Roberts, Joseph Varnell and others from July 2014 to February 2015. On Nov. 17, 2014, law enforcement conducted a controlled buy at Ms. Haney's residence in Bradley County. A confidential informant ... (click for more)

Upcoming Bradley County Commission Agenda

Click  here  for the Bradley County Commission agenda. (click for more)

Tennessee River Gorge Trust Trail Warriors Make You Want To Take A Hike

Trail warriors of the Tennessee River Gorge Trust make you want to take a hike.  The Tennessee River Gorge Trust staff and volunteers make a huge difference in the Chattanooga community and have been making the outdoor areas around the River Gorge clean and protected for more than 30 years.  They deserve to be recognized and praised for all of the hard work they have ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Bible In Gatlinburg

The day after fire rained and reigned in Gatlinburg, Isaac McCord, 24 and from Tullahoma, was picking up debris at the popular Dollywood attraction. The theme park had minimal damage compared to the hundreds of structure either lost or severely damaged in Sevier County. He picked up a piece of paper that was in a puddle of water, beneath a bench. “It was one of the most surreal ... (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)