Two Hamilton County Volunteers Recognized At Governor's Volunteer Stars Award Program

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Maya Thirkill and Amelia Sullivan are Hamilton County’s winners of the 2013 Governor’s Volunteer Stars Award.  They were honored along with winners from other Tennessee Counties Monday night at the sixth annual Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards Program in Franklin. 

According to state generated statistics, Tennessee has about 1.3 million volunteers.  The Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards Program recognizes outstanding volunteers from each of Tennessee’s 95 counties.  Nominations are submitted to the County Mayor who chooses one youth winner and one adult winner.  This year, Mayor JimCoppinger received dozens of nominations for volunteers from local service organizations.  Though each of the volunteers submitted were outstanding, Ms. Thirkill and Ms Sullivan were chosen unanimously by a committee.  

Youth Winner:  Maya Thirkill

Maya has served as a member of the Girls Inc. IMPACT (Infant Mortality Public Awareness Campaign of Tennessee) for two years.  IMPACT’s mission is to reduce the number of infant deaths; a big job since Hamilton County has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the state.  At only 15, Maya is already a gifted speaker and often works to educate people through in-person appearances and public service announcements.  In addition, Maya networks with other local service agencies to strengthen partnerships and recruit team members.  Maya’s current projects include working to translate IMPACT’S public service announcements into Spanish and organizing a community health fair in one of Hamilton County’s high risk neighborhoods.

Adult Winner:  Amelia Sullivan

Ms. Sullivan has worked in the NICU at TC Thompson Children’s Hospital as a “Volunteer Cuddler” for 16 years.  Though babies in this advanced unit are given highly specialized care, they still need a loving touch.  Ms. Sullivan is there to hold them and rock them when their parents can’t be.  She also assists nurses by diapering, feeding, and bathing the babies.  As the veteran volunteer, Ms. Sullivan also helps by interviewing volunteer applicants and providing their training.  Because of her dedication and longevity, the hospital placed a plaque in the ward that reads, “This bed is given in honor of Amelia Sullivan, to benefit the many babies who will start their lives here.”

Mayor Coppinger said, “I’m proud to have volunteers like Maya and Amelia in our community.  They demonstrate their commitment to making the lives of others better by giving of themselves; one of the most sincere ways to truly make a difference.”


City Of Chattanooga Public Works Revises Refuse Collection Center Policy

The City of Chattanooga’s Public Works Department is revising the policy at the City’s Refuse Collection Centers and upgrading technology to continue to provide this crucial service to citizens and to reduce improper use of the center by some landlords and contractors. Currently, all landlords and contractors are not permitted to dispose of items at the Refuse Collection Centers ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Department Increases Traffic Enforcement Efforts

Chattanooga Police are working to change driver behavior and address traffic violations throughout the city. Increased enforcement efforts by CPD’s Traffic Unit addressed infractions on I-75, I-24, Highway 153, and Highway 27 on Wednesday.  The increased enforcement is conducted in areas determined by data models generated through CPD’s Crime Analysis Unit and complaints ... (click for more)

2 Homes Totally Destroyed By Fire On Sunday In Separate Blazes

Two homes were totally destroyed by fire in separate blazes on Sunday afternoon. At  5 p.m. , a neighbor called 911 reporting a house fire at 3910 Fairmont Pike on Signal Mountain. Walden's Ridge Emergency Services responded and arrived on the scene reporting a fully involved house fire. A mutual aid response was requested for additional manpower and apparatus ... (click for more)

Signal School Study Says Under Own School System Much More Could Go To The Classroom; Lennon Says Getting Land, Buildings A Major Issue

A panel studying a new school system operated by Signal Mountain concluded that much more money could go directly into the classroom, helping students further increase their potential.   However, County School Board member Kathy Lennon said how the town would be able to acquire the land and buildings is a major issue.   A group of Signal Mountain residents ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Eye Of The Storm

There is a very serious building in Norman, Okla., that houses the nation’s Storm Prediction Center for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service. According to a Four-Day Forecast released on Sunday, north Alabama and the Chattanooga area are in the middle of the bulls eye for the United States. Yes, it was about 40 degrees and sunny ... (click for more)