Corker Says VA Problem Much Deeper Than 1 Person; Chuck Fleischmann Also Responds To Shinseki Resignation

Friday, May 30, 2014

Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) released the following statement Friday regarding the resignation of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric Shinseki:

“I appreciate Secretary Shinseki’s military and public service to our country, and while a change in leadership was necessary the problems run much deeper than one person,” said Senator Corker. “The administration must work with Congress to solve the chronic, systemic problems that exist within the VA so that our nation’s veterans can receive the quality and timely care they deserve.”

Senator Corker and Senator Lamar Alexander recently wrote to Secretary Shinseki calling on the VA to conduct a “thorough, open and transparent” audit following reports of neglect at some medical facilities, including allegations that up to 40 patients may have died because of delayed care at the Phoenix VA Health Care System. The senators urged the department to consider using a third-party auditor to ensure the review “is independent and transparent," and also asked the VA to provide specific information regarding the average time Tennessee veterans are waiting for care at VA facilities.

The senators also wrote to Under Secretary Petzel, who has since resigned, requesting an update on the implementation of recommendations made in an October 2013 VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) report entitled “Healthcare Inspection Emergency Department Patient Deaths Memphis VA Medical Center (MVAMC) Memphis, Tn..”

Last week, Senators Corker and Alexander joined 23 of their Senate Republican colleagues in requesting an immediate Senate investigation “into reported mismanagement, incompetence, and corruption” within the VA health care centers throughout the country.

Congressman Chuck Fleischmann released the following statement:

“I would like to thank General Shinseki for his years of service to our nation.  However, his resignation alone will not fix the systemic problems within the VA. The men and women who put their lives on the line for our freedoms deserve the absolute best care. I have seen firsthand the inefficiencies within the system through my experiences with my father, and I have worked to increase veterans’ access to first-class care with the opening of three new VA clinics in East Tennessee. However, there is still much more that must be done to fix this flawed system. I am hopeful the President will work with Congress to implement real changes for our veterans.

"The VA scandal is the latest item on a growing list of the Obama administration neglecting and misleading the American people. Our constituents are angry with the administration’s refusal to acknowledge wrongdoing and address these critical issues in meaningful ways. It is deplorable that this latest offense comes at the expense of those who have given the most to our country, and we must fix this broken system."

UTC Goes On Lockdown Thursday Night Due To Armed Robberies On Campus

UTC went on lockdown on Thursday night when two armed robberies were reported on campus. Students were told at 11:18 p.m.: "UTC ALERT Three suspects in a downtown armed robbery may be in vicinity of campus. Use caution. Lock doors. Report suspicious activity to 911Police are investigating two reported armed robberies at UTC." School officials said there was a holdup in a ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: AARON, BRANDON LEE  1623 PERIGMORE EAST RIDGE, 37343  Age at Arrest: 18 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- ARNOLD, GREGORY ANDREW  1612 JOINER RD CHATTANOOGA, 37421  Age at Arrest: 26 years old Arresting Agency: Red Bank ... (click for more)

Regulations As A Whole On Signal Mountain

A few years ago I was flying over Chattanooga on my way to Atlanta.  The sun had just come up and I enjoyed picking out Signal Mountain’s location, on Walden’s Ridge, in the morning light.  What was amazing was that I could not tell that a town existed under the tree canopy.  I hope that the same can be said 10, 20, or even 50 years from now.  During last ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Must Learn To Tell

On July 4th of this year, FBI agents – acting on a tip -- arrested Alexander Ciccolo, a 23-year-old with known mental problems, as he carried a duffel bag full of automatic-attack weapons. Moments before, he had bought the illegal firearms from an undercover informant outside of Boston. As agents later scoured his apartment, they found bomb-making equipment including a pressure ... (click for more)

Healthy Silverdale Takes Down Grace For 5-1A Volleyball Title

With season-long injuries healed and a full contingent of players available, Silverdale Baptist Academy completed a run for the District 5-1A volleyball tournament championship by sweeping Grace Baptist Academy, 3-0, on Thursday. The game scores were 25-22, 25-20 and 25-18. The host Lady Seahawks advance to the Region 3-1A tournament on Monday at Sale Creek and will play ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Wins 7-AA Volleyball Over Notre Dame

Notre Dame and Signal Mountain seem to bring out the best in each other, at least when the sport is volleyball. These were the top two teams in District 7-AA this fall.  Signal got the top seed based on its 3-0 win at Notre Dame after the Lady Irish had taken a 3-1 match at Signal early in the season. But with all the chips on the line for the 7-AA tournament championship, ... (click for more)