Six-figure federal grant to largely fund radio upgrades for local firefighters

AUG. 16– The Hardin County Fire Department has received a federal “Assistance to Firefighters Grant” for $325,546 from the Department of Homeland Security.

Under the grant requirements, the local department is to contribute 10 percent – or $32,554. According to county Fire Chief Melvin Martin, the entire combined total of $358,100 will be used for a complete overhaul of the department’s communications equipment.

“Communications is a vital link in everything we do – if we don’t have solid, effective communications we can’t do our jobs. It’s a vital link between us and 911 dispatchers, our response, between each other, and ensuring public safety,” Martin said.

The grant award says the purpose of the Assistance to Firefighters program is to “protect the health and safety of the public and firefighting personnel against fire and fire-related hazards.”

In the grant, HCFD is named as the host department for handling the application process and administration of the grant, but the communications project will also benefit the Savannah, Saltillo and Crump fire departments.

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Tourism Department celebrating Farmers Market Week on Wednesday

AUG 8– It’s National Farmers Market Week – Aug. 7-13 – a time to celebrate the farmers, ranchers and local food businesses, as well as the communities that support them. 

 In downtown Savannah, River City Farmers Market is open each Wednesday in Court Square around the gazebo from about 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market features 12-15 varying vendors, offering local farm-fresh food and artisan crafts, including tomatoes, squash, beans, berries, meats, eggs, breads, pastries, granola, jams, jellies, flowers, quilts, body care products, and more. The Market runs from mid-April through mid-November. 

“We are celebrating on Wednesday, Aug. 9 with a full array from our vendors, some special giveaways and lots of samples,” said Beth Pippin, Hardin County Tourism director and River City Farmers Market promoter. “Stop by for some healthy goodies and samples from UT Extension’s Emily Gray. Register for door prizes, enjoy the fun with a live radio remote with WKWX, just come check it out!” 

Interested vendors should contact the Hardin County Convention & Visitors Bureau at 731-925-8181.

Regarding the city of Savannah’s plans to relocate the Farmers Market to different nearby location on Main Street, Pippin said, “All the vendors are excited about the new building for next season; hopefully we will be in it before the crops all come in.”

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Killing Crump? City's future up for discussion at Aug. 7 public meeting

 AUG. 4-- A public meeting likely to include discussion of whether the financially challenged city of Crump should be eliminated is set for 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

Crump Mayor Glen Spencer said at the city board’s July 25 meeting that he set up a session for the officials to review options regarding issues that have recently arisen, including the possibility of unincorporating.

The July 25 Board of Mayor and Alderman meeting was attended by an audience of approximately 30 people, possibly the largest group in several years.

Several Crump citizens commented before and after the meeting that they had hoped to discuss those very questions with the board, which abruptly adjourned without the customary opening of the meeting for public comment.

Spencer said Municipal Management Consultant Ronnie Neill, of the Memphis office of the Municipal Technical Advisory Service, which advises municipalities on laws and regulations regarding local government, will meet with the board.

“This is a meeting to answer, basically, questions that I’ve been asked and that (Neill) has been asked. We’re going to look at deannexation and surrendering the city charter, and what has to be done (if the city chooses that option) – we’re going to look at property taxes, city stickers, business licenses, everything – all of our options,” Spencer said.

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