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.”


Tennessee Highway Patrol Accepting Applications For August Trooper Cadet Class

The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) is accepting applications for an August 2017 trooper cadet class.  If you are looking for a career that affords you opportunities to achieve your goals, then the THP is where you belong.  It is a multi-faceted, full-service, statewide law enforcement agency that has numerous divisions that are guaranteed to interest the participant. ... (click for more)

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist And Author Isabel Wilkerson To Give DIVERSIFY Luncheon Keynote Presentation

Isabel Wilkerson, author of The New York Times bestseller “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration,” will give the keynote speech for the DIVERSIFY luncheon June 23, presented by EPB and the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce.    “The Warmth of Other Suns,” the basis of Ms. Wilkerson’s DIVERSIFY presentation, explores the impact of decades ... (click for more)

County School Teachers To Get 3% Raise Under Balanced County School Budget

Hamilton County Schools teachers are slated to get three percent pay increases under the balanced budget approved by the School Board on Thursday afternoon. That comes on top of a two percent hike last year. Lee McDade, assistant superintendent, said a large influx of cash came from the state, and Governor Bill Haslam outlined that it was to raise the pay level for teachers. ... (click for more)

Law Enforcement Shuts Down Convenience Store Near College Hill Courts As Public Nuisance

Law enforcement on Thursday took steps to shut down a convenience store near the College Hill Courts as a public nuisance. The action was taken after District Attorney Neal Pinkston filed a petition with Criminal Court Judge Tom Greenholtz about the Westside Shop. The store is operated by Salma Ambo, and the real property is owned by AAA Investment Properties LLC. The petition ... (click for more)

White Coat Syndrome And The Medical System - And Response (2)

Today I wish to share what I am feeling as a patient in our medical system. I am too old to put on airs at this point, and this is too pervasive of a problem for me to contain.   As I enter my AARP years, I am faced with so many medical encounters that evoke all kinds of uncomfortable feelings. I dread physician’s appointments riddled with government regulatory hypocrisy, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: County Commissioners Not Getting Bang For Their School Bucks

The Hamilton County School Board passed a balanced budget to present to the County Commission at a Special Called Meeting on Thursday night. They also attached a prioritized list of $24.5 million in critical needs for the County Commission to consider that will never see the light of day. The long and short of it is easy to see -- the County Commissioners have had enough. It ... (click for more)