Author Archive: David W. Shelton
David W. Shelton has been a designer and illustrator for more than 15 years, and his work has won state and national awards. He is a writer, speaker, and a certified technical trainer and a certified diversity trainer. He is currently CEO and Art Director of Imagine Media Solutions, Inc. David has also been a film critic since 2007, having been a fan of film since he saw the first Star Wars film back in 1977 as a six-year-old. Drawing on a background as a former movie theater manager, his reviews are from the perspective of both a fan of film and a keen understanding of what makes for a great movie — or not!
The Clarksville Montgomery County School System has advised everyone affected to monitor their credit for any indications of identity theft. Yesterday, a group called Spex Security hacked into the CMCSS website gained access to personal information for more than 110,000 people including administration, faculty, students, and former students. A partial list was posted online.
Elise Shelton, Chief Communications Director for the school system, said that notification of the hacking is “is going to all employees’ and students’ telephone contact numbers to best ensure that the message is received.” In a press release, she said that it is important for all employees, former employees, current and former students to know that it is recommended that action should be taken to protect your identity and credit. “While the hacker did release a list of names and personal identifiable information to media and on various websites yesterday, it is likely that there are more individuals affected than are on the list so everyone should be on alert,” she said.
Jim Knoll, Communications Officer for the Clarksville Police Department said that it’s best to monitor your credit for peace of mind. “Simply posting data online is not a crime,” he said. “Companies buy and sell personal data all the time. When someone uses that data to steal your identity, that’s when we need to file a police report.” Several companies, including many banks offer credit monitoring services. “If anyone wants a little peace of mind, then certainly look for your options,” Knoll said. “But peace of mind often comes with a cost.”
Knoll said that the FBI is currently investigating the hack. “We don’t know if they had nefarious intentions of if they were just wanting to make a point,” he said.
For more information on frequently asked questions and options to protect your credit, contact any of the three credit bureaus and/or the Federal Trade Commission:
- Equifax: at www.Equifax.com. The phone number is 888-766-0008
- Transunion: at www.transunion.com. The phone number is 800-680-7289
- Or Expirian: at www.expirian.com. The phone number is 888-397-3742.
Or you can find more information at the Federal Trade Commission website which is FTC.gov/bep/edu/microsites/idtheft
Shelton said that the School System leadership understands this is a difficult situation for everyone, and they are sympathetic to the stress and frustration anyone affected must be feeling. The Social Security Office and the U.S. Attorney’s office have contacted us to say it is not necessary to call either of those agencies about this situation. We will continue to keep you updated as we receive information.
Democrats from across Tennessee gathered on Saturday at Bicentennial Mall for their annual Jackson Day celebration, where former Speaker of the House Jimmy Naifeh was presented with the Ned Ray McWherter Legacy Award.
Several speakers throughout the evening honored the outgoing lawmaker with stories of how he guided them in their own careers.
The evening featured a strong representation from Clarksville. Nashville Mayor Carl Dean opened the event with a welcome message, followed by an passionate invocation from Pastor Tommy Vallejos, associate pastor of Faith Outreach Church and Montgomery County Commissioner for District 14.
Credo Amouzouvik, a combat-wounded retired Army veteran and US Congressional candidate for District 7, led the Pledge of Allegiance. Amouzouvik is also the founder and CEO of the Homeffa Foundation, a humanitarian group based in Clarksville.
Naifeh was introduced by Clarksville City Mayor Kim McMillan, who is the first woman mayor of any of the top five largest cities in Tennessee. Prior to serving as Mayor, she served the Clarksville area for 12 years as a State Representative for District 67, the seat now held by Rep. Joe Pitts. McMillan was also the first woman to serve as House Majority Leader in Tennessee.
Longtime Memphis representative Lois DeBerry shook her fists in the air as she urged the crowd to be excited and be ready to fight during the upcoming election year — an attitude, she said, that was held by the honored former Speaker.
DeBerry, last year’s recipient of the McWherter Legacy Award, presented the trophy to Naifeh.
Photos by David W. Shelton
Democrats from 17 counties gathered for their district convention in Decaturville, Tennessee, today. More than 100 people gathered at Riverside High School to select the delegates from District 7 to declare their support for Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.
Credo Amouzouvik, candidate for Tennessee’s 7th congressional district seat, was selected unanimously as one of the seven delegates, with two competitors withdrawing their candidacy in support of the congressional candidate. Other delegates elected were Merriel Bullock-Neal of Montgomery County, Meryl Rice of Hardeman County, Dave Cambron of Shelby County, Patsy Lewis of McNairy County, and Tony Campbell of Decatur County.
James Braswell was selected as an alternate delegate.
All of the delegates will represent the 7th district in Charlotte, North Carolina this fall in the National Democratic Convention.
Note: An earlier version of this story omitted Merriel Bullock-Neal as a delegate from Montgomery County. Business & Heritage Clarksville regrets the error.
State Representative Joe Pitts presented a check for $20,000 from the Education Foundation to the Clarksville Montgomery County School System during a Business After Schools event at Rossview High School last night. The check is a final payment of a pledged $50,000 that was awarded to the school system to help purchase technology for all of the schools in the county.
Director of Schools Mark Harris noted that most of the area’s schools have “21st century technology,” but this check would go even further. “Because of their (the foundation’s) efforts,” Harris said, “we will be able to have 21st century technology throughout the system.”
The jovial reception of the large check, however, was just the beginning of the evening. Dr. B.J. Worthington, director of instruction and curriculum for the school system, gave a short presentation on the STEM program. It was based, he said, on a singular question: “How do we make our students more competitive throughout the world?”
The program, which places a primary emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, began its pilot two years ago at Kenwood High School, Kenwood Middle School, and Moore Elementary School, and is now being taught throughout all of the area’s schools. “Every middle school has STEM in the 8th grade,” Worthington said, “As well as all of the high schools in the 9th grade.”
The program is highly competitive and garners impressive results. School board member and vice-chair Horace Murphy pointed out that the STEM program enjoys a 100% graduation rate. Plus, graduates are eligible for scholarships at Austin Peay State University. “Austin Peay has the fastest engineering degree in the country,” Murphy said. He said that the accelerated program that Austin Peay offers is directly due to involvement from Hemlock Semiconductor.
The evening presented a science fair of sorts, with students at all levels displaying their projects driven by a STEM-related challenge. Even third graders at Rossview Elementary participated, as they presented a study on how music instruments can be made or how to keep hot chocolate warm — on a cold day.
Sango Elementary 5th graders also got in on the STEM act as they presented prototypes for sailboats, a lunar landing module, and a slingshot. Their slingshot, like most of the other projects, had to be created from scratch, and each element had to be studied, right down to how the “air resistance” affected the projectile – a grape. “What do we call that resistance?” the teacher asked.
“Drag,” the group said in unison with a confidence rarely seen in 10-year-olds during a public presentation.
The presentation was anything but a drag for Clarksville Foundry owner Charlie Foust. “It’s encouraging to see these kids studying engineering,” Foust said with a wide grin. “I was raised in engineering.” Engineering plays a major role in his iron work business, which has been in operation since before the Civil War.
Rossview Middle School students each presented projects regarding motion. One device was used to measure the speed of a person as he backed up at several intervals. Two others focused on vehicles and a mode of transportation. One was a marble that traveled down a toboggan-style path, while the others were mechanisms that propelled their respective vehicles. One used the expelling air from a balloon, while the other used the centrifugal force of a mouse trap to drive its wheels.
Rossview High School freshmen used their projects to study ways to improve traffic flow or to redesign a beverage can. As with all of the other projects, each phase required intense study, repetition, and prototyping. For the beverage can project, each can would be subjected to a series of tests to determine how they are affected by pressure, heat, cold, and the design process itself.
Jeannie Bownan, algebra teacher at Rossview, said that STEM isn’t “just a program, it’s a way of thinking.” It requires that students use math to explain science, and science to demonstrate mathematics and technology. Every element of STEM is used to reinforce the other.
“The new world currency is education,” Murphy said. He pointed out that for every engineer that the US graduates, China graduates four and Mexico graduates three. The STEM program, as he sees it, is an opportunity to raise the stakes for our children and give them a fighting chance in a global economy.
Photos by David W. Shelton
I’ll just go right ahead and say it. The right wing never ceases to shock me with its level of collective ignorance and complete lack of even a basic grasp of reality. The latest example is a stunning trumped-up “controversy” over a requirement that all employers include contraception coverage as part of their medical insurance plans.
The “controversy” in this case is that churches and church-related businesses are demanding to be exempt from the requirement. The policy primarily applies to religious colleges, hospitals, and other groups owned and operated by churches. In fact, churches have always been exempt:
Group health plans sponsored by certain religious employers, and group health insurance coverage in connection with such plans, are exempt from the requirement to cover contraceptive services. A religious employer is one that: (1) has the inculcation of religious values as its purpose; (2) primarily employs persons who share its religious tenets; (3) primarily serves persons who share its religious tenets; and (4) is a non-profit organization under Internal Revenue Code section 6033(a)(1) and section 6033(a)(3)(A)(i) or (iii). 45 C.F.R. §147.130(a)(1)(iv)(B).
Let me make one thing clear. This policy is not a part of any imaginary “war on religion” as some of our right wing commentators like to insist. This is entire controversy is little more than a thinly-veiled an attack on women.
Before anyone starts with the shrilling of “war on religion,” I should point out that the policy in question was found on on the US Department of Health and Human Services website on a page entitled “Women’s Preventive Services: Required Health Plan Coverage Guidelines — Affordable Care Act Expands Prevention Coverage for Women’s Health and Well-Being.” That’s right. It’s a page specifically dedicated to women’s prevention coverage.
Two major panels were convened recently on the issue. One was held by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and the other by popular radio show host and Fox News star Sean Hannity. I’ll give you three guesses as to how many women were on these panels.
The Republican-controlled House committee actually blocked testimony from a female witness. Apparently, Rep. Darryl Issa (R-California) only wanted clergy on the panel — not the women the policy would impact.
The Hannity panel had more than a dozen men on its panel (and no women), including religious leaders who blathered about “being willing to die” for their beliefs. Yeah. They are willing to die to keep women from getting the birth control they need. Good luck with that, boys.
For the sake of humor (and knowing that it would get a fair amount of shock value), I posted the following status update on my Facebook page recently:
NEW RULE: To decide on birth control policies or testify on religious panels about who gets birth control coverage in health insurance, you cannot have a penis.
I was encouraged by the fact that nearly everyone who “liked” the post was a woman. Apparently, I tapped into something that actually made sense.
Being a man, and a gay man at that, I really don’t have a dog in this hunt. As such, it gives me a certain amount of objectivity on certain issues, contraception being one of them.
As I said before, it’s a women’s issue. Contraception is often a way of life for women — and not just to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Many women are prescribed hormonal birth control pills to help control their menstrual periods.
I’d like to think that conservative and religious leaders would have learned their lesson by now to stay out of women’s uteruses. Interestingly, they’re buckling down on this issue.
Really, now. What man is truly qualified to comment on menstrual periods? Our “weaker sex” often has to deal with abdominal pains that would cause us big, burly, macho men to double over. Every. Twenty. Eight. Days. A good way to manage those cramps is, you guessed it, birth control pills.
So how widespread is contraception coverage? According to the Guttmacher Institute, nine out of every ten insurance policy already includes contraception coverage. All federal insurance plans include it. More than half of the states in the union have laws requiring prescription contraception coverage.
Sixty-three percent of reproductive-age women who practice contraception use nonpermanent methods, including hormonal methods (such as the pill, patch, implant, injectable and vaginal ring), the IUD and condoms. The remaining women rely on female or male sterilization.
Contraceptive choices vary markedly with age. For women younger than 30, the pill is the leading method. Among women aged 30 and older, more rely on sterilization.
And that’s not including the birth control pills that are prescribed for hormonal regulation. Once again, the “religious liberty” folks are far more concerned with how their premium dollars are spent than whether or not the women who work for them have coverage for their contraception (yet they demand that secular tax dollars are spent for school vouchers).
Quite simply, the facts are not on the conservatives’ side on this issue. Especially since the latest announcement from the White House has clarified that religious employers (colleges, hospitals, etc.) are still required to provide contraception coverage, but insurance companies will absorb the costs of that coverage.
I’m not really sure how things will look once the dust settles. It’s becoming more clear that the women — whose lives the birth control issues affect directly — are going to have the last word. I can imagine just what the conservative men are going to end up saying eventually:
Note: This post was also published on David’s personal blog, Skipping to the Piccolo.
The Clarksville Home & Garden show, presented by the Clarksville Chamber of Commerce and Furniture Connection, is being held at the Foy Athletic Center at Austin Peay State University, 259 Marion Street. Dozens of local and regional businesses are on display. Business & Heritage Clarksville was there, and we proudly present a gallery of photos of this weekend’s event.
Photos by David W. Shelton
Two houses on Nadia Drive were hit by gunfire last night. One of the homes were occupied with 15 people, including 12 children. According to a press release from Jim Knoll, Public Information Officer for the Clarksville Police Department, police received 911 calls at about 10:30 p.m. The callers reported shots being fired in the area of Nadia Drive. When officers arrived in the area, they found 3697 and 3701 Nadia Drive which are side by side, had been struck by gunshot rounds.
The house at 3697 Nadia Drive had three adults and 12 juveniles inside The juveniles ages ranged from less than one year to ten years of age. The residents had heard approximately six to eight gunshots outside. Bullets appeared to have struck the inside and outside of the house. There were holes found inside of two of the bedrooms where there were multiple children residing and a flat screen TV had been hit. None of the occupants had been struck by the gunshot rounds.
The house at 3701 had two adults, a male and female, inside when the gunfire occurred. One of the adults heard several loud pops and went outside to investigate. He noticed that the house and a vehicle had been damaged by gunfire. One of the rounds hit the front of the house and entered the garage area. The bedroom where the couple was sleeping is directly behind the garage area where the round entered.
The investigation is ongoing and there is no additional information to release at this time.
The National Weather Service has issued a significant weather advisory for Cheatham, Dickson, Humphreys, Montgomery, Perry, Robertson, and Stewart Counties. At 11:08 a.m. CST, the service doppler radar was tracking a line of strong thunderstorms entering Northwest Middle Tennessee moving east at 45 mph.
These storms will be near the Clarksville area by 11:45 a.m. Winds are expected to be between 40 and 50 mph and may uproot shallow trees.
Stay with Business Clarksville for more on this developing weather situation.