http://www.morgancountynews.net/todaysnews/rss.xml en Making the Call http://www.morgancountynews.net/content/making-call <img src="http://www.morgancountynews.net/sites/www.morgancountynews.net/files/imagecache/thumb85/ronnie_wilson_1.jpg" alt="Morgan County Director of Schools Ronnie Wilson says he would rather be safe than sorry when making the decision to close schools. " title="Morgan County Director of Schools Ronnie Wilson says he would rather be safe than sorry when making the decision to close schools. " align="left" hspace="6" /><p> Morgan County Director of Schools Ronnie Wilson knows it&rsquo;s important for children to be in school.</p> <p> However, he isn&rsquo;t going to risk the life of a child in inclement weather and he says the safety of children is the deciding factor when it comes to making the decision to close schools in Morgan County.</p> <p> &ldquo;Safety more than anything else is what we look at,&rdquo; Wilson said last week. &ldquo;We have to be able to get the kids to school and home from school in a safe manner.</p> E-911, EMA ready for cold weather http://www.morgancountynews.net/content/e-911-ema-ready-cold-weather <img src="http://www.morgancountynews.net/sites/www.morgancountynews.net/files/imagecache/thumb85/matthew_brown.jpg" alt="Morgan County E-911 Director Matthew Brown checks on recent current conditions at the E-911 center. Brown and Morgan County Emergency Management Agency Director Jody Zorsch spend countless hours preparing for cold weather scenarios in the county." title="Morgan County E-911 Director Matthew Brown checks on recent current conditions at the E-911 center. Brown and Morgan County Emergency Management Agency Director Jody Zorsch spend countless hours preparing for cold weather scenarios in the county." align="left" hspace="6" /><p> With more than two more months of winter weather in store, Morgan County E-911 Director Matthew Brown and Morgan County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Jody Zorsch will be working together with several county and state agencies to keep area residents as safe as possible.</p> Ice cold courthouse http://www.morgancountynews.net/content/ice-cold-courthouse <img src="http://www.morgancountynews.net/sites/www.morgancountynews.net/files/imagecache/thumb85/court_house_1.jpg" alt="Morgan County Clerk Cheryl Collins, right, along with staff members Pam Bunch, left, and Jessica Varner stand in front of one of the space heaters purchased by the county last week." title="Morgan County Clerk Cheryl Collins, right, along with staff members Pam Bunch, left, and Jessica Varner stand in front of one of the space heaters purchased by the county last week." align="left" hspace="6" /><p> The New Year got off to a frosty start at the Morgan County Courthouse as a heating malfunction left most of the bottom floor of the facility nearly as cold as the frigid temperatures outside on Tuesday.</p> <p> &ldquo;The system we have is a very complicated system at the court house and is unlike any other heat pump system we have at any other county building,&rdquo; Morgan County Executive Assistant T.J. Aytes said. &ldquo;When we came to work Tuesday we found out the lower level offices were without heat. It was pretty cold that morning.</p> Fleischmann excited about opportunities for area http://www.morgancountynews.net/content/fleischmann-excited-about-opportunities-area <img src="http://www.morgancountynews.net/sites/www.morgancountynews.net/files/imagecache/thumb85/fleischmann.jpg" alt="U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann listens to a question during a recent trip to East Tennessee. Fleischmann spoke about the tax bill recently signed into law, the opiod crisis in America, and opportunities for Morgan County in the future." title="U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann listens to a question during a recent trip to East Tennessee. Fleischmann spoke about the tax bill recently signed into law, the opiod crisis in America, and opportunities for Morgan County in the future." align="left" hspace="6" /><p> Before Congress kicked off its 2018 session earlier this week, U. S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann talked with Morgan County News last week to give an update on what he feels was a great 2017, and what he believes are the toughest challenges facing Washington D.C. in the upcoming year.</p> New law affects school zones http://www.morgancountynews.net/content/new-law-affects-school-zones <p> At the start of the New Year several new laws went into effect in the state of Tennessee. Two of which have an impact on schools in Morgan County.</p> <p> The first law states that anyone over the age of 18 traveling in an active school zone cannot be talking on a cell phone. They must be using a hands-free device. Anyone under 18 cannot use a hands-free device or a cell phone in any manner.</p> <p> The fine for breaking the new law is $50.</p> <p> Morgan County Director of Schools Ronnie Wilson supports the new legislation.</p> Unemployment rate remains low in Morgan County http://www.morgancountynews.net/content/unemployment-rate-remains-low-morgan-county <p> Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) Commissioner Burns Phillips recently announced unemployment rates in November remained low across the state and the vast majority of Tennessee counties continue to experience rates below 5 percent.</p> <p> Morgan County&rsquo;s unemployment rate for November was 4.1 percent. That number is the same as October, and is 2.2 percent less than the November 2016 unemployment rate of 6.3.percent.</p> Drug abuse driving up health care costs at jail http://www.morgancountynews.net/content/drug-abuse-driving-health-care-costs-jail <img src="http://www.morgancountynews.net/sites/www.morgancountynews.net/files/imagecache/thumb85/jail_health_care.jpg" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> It&rsquo;s no secret that Morgan County has a drug problem.</p> <p> However, what many people do not know is that when drug abusers are taken off the streets and placed in jail that there are high medical costs to the county when an inmate suffers withdrawals.</p> Freels seeks drug rehab facility at Plateau Park http://www.morgancountynews.net/content/freels-seeks-drug-rehab-facility-plateau-park <img src="http://www.morgancountynews.net/sites/www.morgancountynews.net/files/imagecache/thumb85/freels.jpg" alt="Morgan County Commissioner Dennis Freels believes Plateau Partnership Park would be an ideal location for a drug rehabilitation facility for Morgan County." title="Morgan County Commissioner Dennis Freels believes Plateau Partnership Park would be an ideal location for a drug rehabilitation facility for Morgan County." align="left" hspace="6" /><p> Two big problems facing Morgan County heading into 2018 is overcrowding at the county jail and drug addiction.</p> <p> Both seem to go hand-in-hand as the majority of inmates at the county&rsquo;s jail are there on drug related charges, many of which are repeat offenders.</p>