Rep. Graves Votes To Allow Swift Punishment Of Senior VA Officials

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Rep. Tom Graves and the U.S. House approved a bill to streamline the process for terminating senior management officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs who are failing to perform their duties.

“Reports about the awful treatment of America’s veterans are growing more disturbing every day,” said Rep. Graves. “The men and women who answered the call to serve, and in many cases rushed into harm’s way on behalf of our country, should not return home only to die waiting in line for the care we promised to provide.

Fixing the VA requires accountability, and this legislation helps provide it by allowing the swift termination of senior officials who have failed to do their jobs.”

Specifically, the Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act of 2014 (H.R. 4031) gives the Secretary of Veterans Affairs the authority to remove a VA employee of the Senior Executive Service —federal employees in a management capacity— from the Department or from federal service entirely, if such action is warranted. This new authority would replace the slow, multi-step process for removing SES employees that is currently in place.

Judge Finds Young Guilty Of Lesser Charge In Fatal Wreck On Highway 58

Judge Tom Greenholtz on Wednesday found William Henry Young guilty of a lesser charge in a fatal traffic accident on Highway 58. The judge, who heard the case without a jury, ruled the 56-year-old former TVA employee guilty of criminally negligent homicide. He had been charged with vehicular homicide. Sentencing will be in December. Judge Greenholtz dismissed charges ... (click for more)

Dalton Woman Killed, 2 Others Injured In Wreck In Whitfield County; Funeral For Joan Lutz Is Saturday

A woman was killed and two other people injured in a wreck on Reed Road in Whitfield County on Monday afternoon. The Georgia State Patrol said a car driven by 18-year-old Skylar James Williams of Tunnel Hill went across the center line on a curve of the southbound lane. The car struck a Lincoln Town Car being driven by Joan Allie Lutz, 85, of Dalton. She was killed. Injured ... (click for more)

Accountability Doesn't Have To Be A Bad Word

Am I making a difference? Isn’t that the basic question we all ask ourselves, and seek to demonstrate to others?  Ronald Reagan said:  “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.”   We would argue teachers do not have that problem either.    Educators make a huge difference ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Saving A Life & More

About 40 years ago I was at an afternoon football practice when one of those who was also watching from the fence was bitten by a bumble bee or yellow jacket or whatever it was and almost died from anaphylactic shock. Luckily an athletic trainer had an EpiPen, jammed it into the man’s thigh and it is believed to have saved the victim’s life. For years I kept an EpiPen on the top ... (click for more)

Taylor Luthringer, Thomas Porter Win Region Cross Country

COOKEVILLE – Tuesday was a pretty good day for the Signal Mountain cross country teams. Not only did they celebrate with both individual winners in the Region 4-A/AA races, but both teams finished in the top three and will advance to the state meet, which will be held at Nashville’s Percy Warner Park a week from Saturday. Taylor Luthringer and Thomas Porter captured the individual ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Draws Top Ranked Greeneville, CCS Opens With Madison Magnet

For the second year in a row, Notre Dame drew the top-ranked Greeneville in the opening round of the TSSAA Class A/AA state tournament.  Notre Dame is scheduled to play Greeneville on Wednesday at 8 p m. (EST)  in Murfreesboro. CCS will play Madison Magnet in the first round on field #1 at 7:30 p.m. (EST) . CCS and Greeneville met in the state championship game ... (click for more)