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.

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADAMS, CHRISTOPHER STEPHEN  8729 MILLARD LEE LANE CHATTANOOGA, 37416  Age at Arrest: 35 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County FAILURE TO APPEAR --- ADAMS, KAREN ANNETTE  1707 FOUT STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37407  Age at Arrest: 56 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County PASSING ... (click for more)

City Attorney Proposes New Policy To Dispose Of City Records

City Attorney Wade Hinton proposed a new policy for the retention and disposition of city records at Tuesday afternoon’s City Council meeting.   “Unfortunately we have had a culture of ‘Keep Everything,’” Attorney Wade stated, referring to the city documents that have been “floating” around since the 1980s. “The unfortunate thing is that we keep these documents all over…and ... (click for more)

A Thankful List

David Jeremiah said it best, that we have a tendency to concentrate on the things we don’t have rather than what God has already blessed us with.  Perhaps, he said, it is because there is not enough parchment available in this world to record all God’s bountiful blessings should we try to list them. This Thanksgiving let us gather our family close to us, whisper a prayer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vote DesJarlais Out!

There are two good bills in both the Senate and the House of Representatives right now that are directly aimed at the sadistic villains who derive some sick pleasure out of torturing helpless Tennessee Walking Horses. They call it “soring,” where caustic materials are lathered into a horse’s forelegs and then wrapped in plastic so they’ll cook. Sometimes they use nails or screws ... (click for more)

Red Bank Girls Stay Unbeaten With 53-51 Win Over Soddy Daisy

The Red Bank Lionettes pulled out a 53-51 victory over the Soddy Daisy Lady Trojans on Tuesday night at Red Bank's Susan Ingram Thurman Gymnasium, but the win was more signicant for Red Bank coach Bailey McGinnis than probably any she'll celebrate the rest of the season. You see, her older brother Drew Lyness is the Soddy Daisy coach and he had bragging rights after winning both ... (click for more)

UTC Basketball: Women Host Arkansas State Tonight at 6:30 p.m.

The UTC women's basketball team (3-2) host undefeated Arkansas State (3-0) tonight at McKenzie Arena at 6:30 pm. The Mocs lost to Tennessee 59-57 Monday and host UT-Martin Saturday at 6 p.m. before No.1 UConn comes to town next Monday at 6:30 p.m. UTC is led by Keiana Gilbert with 12.6 pppg and Jas Joyner with 10.2 ppg. As a team, UTC is outscoring opponents, 56.2 to 52.6. ... (click for more)