Narcs Over Crossing Guards For Rutherford County
On Monday, Rutherford County sheriff Robert Arnold proposed to the Cou
nty Commission’s Public Safety Committee to continue funding six current narcotics officers, while terminating 52 of Rutherford County schools’ 68 current crossing guard positions. This decision is one of many decisions increasing Rutherford County’s police presence. Despite having less crime and even a lesser population than many other counties, Rutherford County is home to more police officers than any other Tennessee county.
Arnold claims that the officers are a “victim of their own success”, having made a large enough amount of arrests to require more funding.
This begs the question: how many stories have YOU heard involving children being injured or killed by automobiles in a school zone? These crossing guards, also very successful, are the true victims, not to mention, there are numerous school zones where crossing guards are as necessary for traffic flow as they are safety.
Sheriff Arnold’s decision is yet another in a long string of actions further placing Rutherford County “behind the times”. In 2011, as most are learning, the war on drugs is becoming less and less fruitful.
In a county where the platform of “family values” is often stood upon by the left and the right, this decision against the safety of school children is, to be blunt, appalling.
Missing pieces - family wedding date
When I first started trying to piece together bits of my family tree, I realized early on that it was impossible to simply type in a few names on a search engine and come up with all the answers. I don’t doubt that it’s possible for those families who’ve done a lot of research and posted their findings online to easily locate their family history online, but for many of us it takes time and lots of online searches and hands on investigation of old documents.
Sometimes it also just takes a bit of persistence. When I first started doing online research to see what I could find, I had gone to several of the easy to find genealogy websites such as Ancestry.com, Genealogy.com, and FamilySearch.org. There were some bits and pieces on Ancestry’s website, but there were also some huge question marks.
At first, I found the sites confusing since my knowledge of genealogy was limited. With repeated use, the sites are far more user friendly, although it’s still not always possible to type in some names and find all the answers. Genealogy research is a giant puzzle at best, and finding the missing pieces is like a treasure hunt with pieces floating here and there.
Last night I returned to one of the sites which I’d found so confusing when I first started trying to track down my family’s past - FamilySearch.org. I typed in a few things with no new results, and then to my great surprise I actually found something new (to me).
I knew that James Jackson Davis had married Geneva Tennie (Tennessee) Lewis in 1890. That was the extent of my knowledge, and since I wasn’t working hard on that line I hadn’t done any further research to find out a date or a location. To my surprise, I located what I believe to be their marriage data. They were listed as J.J. Lewis and Tennessee Lewis, wedding date December 25, 1890 in Rutherford County, Tennessee.
It’s not a huge find compared with locating a treasure trove of pictures or handwritten documents, but it was a piece of the puzzle that I hadn’t found elsewhere yet. So it’s today’s highly polished trophy of a find.
Day 8: It's nearly impossible to find out who you will be voting for in TN
Recently Tennessee went through a redistricting process, and while I don’t fully understand why, I imagine that part of the reason was to confuse things for people who aren’t really on top of what district they’re in and who they are going to be asked to vote for.
It took me about 20 minutes of research to find out what House and Senate districts I’m in now, and I still can’t get a clear consensus on who I’ll be voting for in the TN Senate race. The US House is finally clear: I’m in the DesJarlais/Stewart race after being moved from District 6 to District 4. The US Senate seat up for election is Bob Corker’s, easy peasy.
In the TN House, I’m in District 34. Ok, great. If I look at the sample ballot from the Rutherford County election commission, I’m told I can vote for either the incumbent Rick Womick or the challenger Luke Dickerson, and this matches a candidates list that I got from the Tennessee General Assembly’s website.
But it all becomes a shit-show when I start looking for information regarding what local Senate race I will be voting in.
According to the TN General Assembly’s website, I am in TN Senate District 14 and Bill Ketron is my senator “after redistricting.” The Tennessee Department of State confirms that I’m in District 14, but they give me a PDF of candidates that tells me Jim Tracy is my senator (and is in the race I’ll be voting for). The sample ballot I downloaded from the Rutherford County Election Commission also tells me that I’ll be voting for Jim Tracy.
So who do I trust? The Rutherford County Election Commission and the TN Department of State seem like two departments I should be able to trust, right? But then what about the Tennessee General Assembly? They’re the only ones to even mention redistricting, and they say that I’m in Bill Ketron’s district. Except I can’t find anything that talks about him being in a race.
All of this is made even weirder by the fact that the election is less than a month away and I have not received even one piece of campaign junk mail at my house. The rational part of my brain is happy about this, because it makes my recycling bin lighter. But the conspiracy theorist in me believes this is all just part of a plan to confuse me into not voting since I’m a Democrat in a very, very red state.
I am not a moron, I promise. I should be able to find reliable, trustworthy information between these three sources, yet I can’t. I can honestly say now—after trying to find an answer to my simple question of “What TN House district am I in, and who will I be voting for/against in the election next month?”—that I can see why people don’t vote. There is no way something this simple (who is my state Rep. and who is he up against this election) should be this difficult to figure out.
And honestly, if I can’t decide who to trust between the State Department, the General Assembly or the Election Commission, how am I to trust that my vote will even be counted accurately?
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