published Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Region Digest: Educators on leave still drawing pay

ATLANTA

Educators on leave still drawing pay

An Atlanta Public Schools official acknowledged the district has continued to pay the six-figure salaries of four area superintendents who were removed after a state investigation found widespread cheating in the system.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the district has continued to pay more than $550,000 in combined annual salaries for them. Authorities say their contracts went into effect July 1 -- four days before the state released its report on the cheating.

Atlanta's school cheating scandal is the nation's largest, with 178 educators named in the investigation that revealed widespread improprieties on standardized tests.

CLEVELAND, Tenn.

Tornado relief center extends aid

The Salvation Army distribution center in Cleveland designed to serve families affected by the April 27 tornadoes with goods, donated items and social services is extending its days of operation and services, according to a news release.

Originally the center, at 2960 Barney's Lane, was to close at the end of July. However, beginning Aug. 1, it will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

No appointment is needed for those whose property sustained major damage or whose homes were destroyed.

For more information, call the Salvation Army at 423-308-3467.

Center plans awards lunch

The Tennessee Small Business Development Center is sponsoring its second annual Rising Star award luncheon Aug. 10 at the Museum Center at Five Points.

Director Brenda Sheehy said the center has helped 349 clients since Oct. 1, 2010, and she expects to triple its client count this reporting period. Of those clients, 10 have secured federal Small Business Administration loans totaling $4 million and 16 have secured non-SBA loans totaling more than $5.6 million, creating 148 new jobs in the region, she said.

The center on the Cleveland State Community College campus recently was awarded a federal jobs bill grant and will hire three more counselors. And MCH, a business owned by Michael and Cathy Hamilton from Monroe County, one of the five counties the center serves, recently received the Tennessee SBA's business of the year award.

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann will be keynote speaker for the noon luncheon.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Ringgold 'open for business'

U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Georgia, told fellow lawmakers Ringgold is "open for business" after April's deadly tornado.

"Ringgold is on the mend and ready to share some of that Southern hospitality it's known so well for," Graves told members of the House in a Monday speech that aired on CSPAN.

Graves encouraged representatives passing by on Interstate 75 to stop at Exit 348 for "gas, a bite to eat, or an overnight stay.

"Enjoy the shops, the sites and the historic downtown and know that you are playing a part in helping this great and resilient community rebuild," he said.

Staff and Wire Reports

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