Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Latest News

Weather observers say Cookeville finished the month of April with 6.39 inches of precipitation, and we've started the month of May with a lot of rain as well. Flooding has not been as much of an issue locally as it has in other parts of the state, but Michael Detwiler, the man who runs the cookeville weather guy website from Bilbrey Park says we've recorded some three inches of rain since the precipitation began on Friday when typically, for all of May, we receive just 4.71 inches. He says heavy rain falling around the area on Sunday should lighten up somewhat on Monday and says we MIGHT even see some sunshine by Tuesday.

After tangling with deep freezes and dry soils for the last couple of years, officials say the area's strawberry crop seems headed for sweet success. Rob Beets with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture says most growers had steady, well timed rains through a cool spring, which determines most of a berry’s size. Then, the area saw a period of sunny and hot weather -- and since sunshine is what makes berries grow sweet, conditions are right for an outstanding crop of strawberries. Locally grown strawberries are available at the Farmer's Market on Mahler Avenue in Cookeville and also at farms like Amazing Acres on Old Kentucky Road in White County; the Berry Patch on Oak Street in Livingston and Malco Produce Farm in the Overton County part of Bennett Lane, Cookeville. For more information, go to the website

Several 8th grade students from Algood School went to Chattanooga last week as part of an online learning program. The 8th graders have been taking online classes from a Hamilton County teacher, through the "E for Tennessee" virtual education program and went to the Tennessee Aquarium to get a first hand look at what they've learned online. The 8th graders also get high school credit in their physical science and oceanography courses.

Final plans are being put in place for an event on Wednesday in Cookeville intended to celebrate the birthday of William Shakespeare, which is intended as a fund raiser for the Stephens Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse. The show at Twin Oaks banquet hall on Broad Street includes both a dinner theatre production and a meal intended to reflect Shakespearean times. Tickets to the event are $25 dollars apiece. For more information, call 520-4726.

The Putnam County Adult Literacy Council and the Putnam County Adult Education program will once again be holding an event called "Write Voices" this year. That's W-R-I-T-E. It is scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Wesley Arena Theatre. Organizers say Write Voices is an evening of essays, narratives and poems written by Adult High School students and read by local performers. This year, 68 entries were received from students at the Adult High School. The topics range from film reviews to love poems to the earthquake in China -- all written by people who are working on earning their GED or learning English as a Second Language.

Cookevillle has joined Murfreesboro and Chattanooga as one of the cities interested in hosting the 2010 and 2011 high school football tournaments put on by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Assocation. Representatives from Chattanooga and Cookeville submitted bids by the end of Friday’s TSSAA business hours, joining Murfreesboro as potential hosts for the state’s eight football championship games for the next two years. TSSAA executive director Ronnie Carter said the deadline was Friday at midnight, but he would likely accept bids until Monday morning -- in part because Murfreesboro officials e-mailed their bid after the office closed. Bids will be awarded during the TSSAA Board of Control’s June 10 meeting. This is the first bid under the new TSSAA guidlines, which require a minimum monetary bid amount. For football, that bid is $231,000 per year.

The Cookeville and Algood post offices will once again be participating as the National Association of Letter Carriers, Rural Carriers, and the United States Postal Service conduct the annual "Stamp Out Hunger" food drive, on Saturday May 9th. People should recieve a card in their mail box this week as a reminder. Organizers say the need for charity is greater than ever, so they encourage local resident to hang their donations on or near their mail boxes so the carrier can pick them up. You're also reminded to check the expiration dates on the items you are donating because the food banks can not give out outdated goods.