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Police Looking for Coupon Criminals

Investigators are hoping to identify two individuals who are using fraudulent coupons at Walmart. An unknown black male and female have targeted Walmart on many occasions to commit their crimes. Using fraudulent coupons, the suspects go to a self-checkout kiosk and load money onto gift cards. It is believed that these individuals are the same suspects in similar crimes around Nashville.

Walmart’s surveillance system captured the unknown man and woman entering and leaving the store. In addition, the vehicle they were driving was captured on camera outside the store. Investigators hope someone in the community will recognize these individuals and vehicle from the surveillance video so they can be apprehended.

Male Suspect

Male Suspect

Male Suspect

Male Suspect

Female Suspect

Female Suspect

Female Suspect

Female Suspect

Suspect Vehicle

Suspect Vehicle

Suspect Vehicle

Suspect Vehicle

Anyone with any information regarding this crime is encouraged to call the Mt. Juliet Police Department at (615) 754-2550. Information can also be given anonymously by calling (615) 754-TIPS (8477) or via the Mt. Juliet Police Department website at http://www.mjpd.org/ .

Concerns on budget cuts for the Tennessee National Guard strike home

an editorial by Johnathon Schleicher

 

Major financial cuts were proposed by the Secretary of Defense earlier this year for the fiscal budget 2015 in an effort to decrease military spending.

 

The fiscal budget proposal has sparked many concerns throughout the state of Tennessee and in the armed services due to the drastic budget cuts and restraints it will demand from the military.

 

According to a press release, the proposed budget, which calls for a total of $791 billion in new spending, has called for cuts that will cause the active duty component of the Army to eliminate the Kiowa Warrior helicopters.  The Kiowa helicopters are currently in service by the National Guard, and have been utilized throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and were even called into service during the Tennessee Floods. For the Tennessee Army National Guard, that means the 30 Kiowa helicopters in service are going to be sent to the proverbial chopping block.

 

The effects of these cuts may potentially cause two of Tennessee’s three flight installations, located in Jackson, Louisville and Smyrna, to close. The budget cuts and loss of these facilities are estimated to cost 692 Soldiers their jobs, which includes another 113 full-time civilian positions to be cut.  Units like the TNG 1-230th Aviation will be directly affected. The unit is currently on active duty orders preparing for deployment, which means if support is not delivered from the budget limitations, the 1-230th will deploy, serve their country and then return home and potentially be forced to give up their aviation assets.

 

Losing Soldiers and jobs are not the only losses the TNG is facing. According to the fiscal state budget of 2015, the TNG is scheduled to lose $248,000 in tuition assistance. This will directly affect the Soldiers in the TNG who want to pursue a college education.

 

To put that sting into perspective, one Hellfire missile costs roughly $70,000 to produce. If you stop the production of eight Hellfire missiles, you save $280,000, which is much more than the amount of tuition assistance scheduled to be lost.

 

 

Larry McKnight, Executive Director of the National Guard Association of Tennessee, commented that while the majority of our politicians can agree that cuts need to be made, the budget proposal is making cuts in the wrong areas, and the National Guard has been a critical part of mission success in multiple theaters.

 

“We all agree that there has to be cuts, but those doing the cutting need to understand that the National Guard is not a ‘complimentary force’ as we have been portrayed by our active duty counterparts,” McKnight said. “We are an ‘integral’ part of this nation’s defense at the national and state level.”

 

When asked if he believes that Congress or active duty thinks the NG is just a supplementary force, McKnight put the National Guard’s service into perspective.

 

“Actually, the senior leadership on the active side have made the comment that the National Guard is a ‘complementary’ force for the Army,” McKnight said. “I have to ask the question, who would they have deployed in the place of the National Guard? If it weren’t for the Guard, what would the active duty do? That is an interesting thought process. How can we ‘compliment’ the Army when we are an integral force?”

 

McKnight went on to add that the NG has become a big part of the total force concept, and that the TNG was “the best kept secret in the United States.”

 

To supplement the idea that the NG is not a complimentary force: According to Brigadier General DeLuca, the Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve comprise more than 80 percent of the Engineer Regiment. That is not “complimentary.”

 

McKnight is not the only authoritative figure who thinks the Army needs to readdress their priorities. Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) 7th District addressed the senate earlier this month and specifically called attention to the budget proposal, the TNG and the effect that the loss of the Kiowa helicopter will have on it.

 

“It is going to increase spending by $791 billion. That’s right, billion with a ‘b,’ Blackburn said. “You would think we had all this money to spend. When you look a little deeper, you see that the priorities are all askew in this budget.”

 

In order to mitigate the damage done to the TNG by the fiscal budget proposal, a bill titled “H.R.3930, “The National Commission on the Structure of the Army Act” has been proposed to the senate. According to a press release, the piece of legislation was devised to halt the Kiowa Warrior’s retirement, leaving the 30 that the TNG own in their current service, until a review of the Army’s force structure has been completed.

 

Freezing the plan to remove the 30 helicopters in the TNG is only one of H.R. 3930’s functions. It is also designed to maintain the NG’s current reported end strength number of 350,000 until February 2016. It is important to note that retention and unit strength have been paramount this year. Some units, like the 190th, have even gone so far as to set a standard to accumulate 8 recruits a year for those in leadership.

 

The defense budget has been a controversial topic for the last few years, and they have cast a grim light on the TNG fiscal budget for 2015. As of now, Congressman Stephen Fincher (R-TN) 8th District, Congressman Diane Black (R-TN) 6th District and Blackburn have signed to support H.R. 3930.

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Three Pets of the Week

Time for some Adopt a Pet Pets of the week from the Mt. Juliet Animal Shelter. Aliyah the domestic short haired cat is about 3 years old and was found as a stray. She is a very sweet girl and has a BEAUTIFUL COAT OF COLORS, white, orange, and black.  Jasper is a very macho manly American Short Haired cat who enjoys a good rub down then wants to be in the sun stretched out and left alone. He does not get along with other cats, and they are not sure about dogs. Does well with children. And finally Chico, a Chihuahua daschund mix. He is blond with some white spots. He was found abandoned at one of the local vets offices with two other animals. He is a cute little dog and seems to be friendly. They call him the Mexican Jumping Bean, as he loves to bounce and play. His favorite toy is a tennis ball and he is pretty good at fetch. Check out these pets at the Mt. Juliet Animal Shelter, on Petfinder, and On Facebook.

InfantSEE Day

Tuesday, April 22nd is InfantSEE Day! Hoping to increase awareness of the importance of eye care for children, Precision Eye Care in Providence Commons will perform comprehensive eye exams for babies 6-12 months of age at no cost. Call 758-2344 to schedule your child’s appointment.

Trivia Night

Modern Woodmen of America is holding a Trivia Night for a Matching Fund Project at Charlie Daniels Park on Saturday, April 12th, from 6pm to 8pm. The cost is $25.00 per person or $100.00 per 6-person table. Modern Woodmen of America will match up to $5-thousand dollars to help construct a new Frisbee Golf Course and possibly an additional Bark Park at the new Jones Family Park on North Mt. Juliet Roard just north of Old Lebanon Dirt Rd. Contact Betsy or Josh Conner at 553-2278.

Camp Horizon 5K

The Camp Horizon 5K is on Saturday, March 29th at 9AM. The runners participating help Kids suffering from cancer to enjoy activities at Camp Horizon free of charge.For more information, log on to camphorizontn.org. To Register to Run, go to active.com

THP Aviation Training

The Tennessee Highway Patrol’s Aviation Unit recently trained for emergency rescue missions in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with rangers from the National Park Service and the Tennessee State Parks, and first responders from across east Tennessee. The training exercises, which took place in the Cades Cove area of the park, focused on air rescue and evacuation practices. The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) is the only state agency that operates helicopters in its aviation section.
According to Captain Bob Eckerman, who oversees THP’s Special Operations Section, the recent training session was specifically focused on rescue of people trapped in mountainous terrain.
This type of training is standard for the Aviation Unit, which has been conducting rescue missions for years. In late 2012, the National Park Service requested the THP’s assistance to rescue a missing hiker in the Smoky Mountains who had been stranded for several days in waist-deep snow. The successful rescue took approximately 45 minutes and included a 17-mile flight to the top of the mountain where the hiker was located.
The Nashville based Bell Huey is the only aircraft on the THP’s fleet with the cargo capacity to be equipped with a motorized hoist used for lowering troopers and retrieving victims; it has also been used for relief efforts, including delivering supplies during natural disasters.
In addition to the Bell Huey, the THP operates four Bell Jet Ranger 206 helicopters. There is at least one helicopter and pilot based in each of the state’s grand divisions, including Jackson, Nashville, and Fall Branch. Each helicopter in the fleet is equipped with LoJack Police Tracking Computers that track signals emitted from stolen vehicles.
The Jet Ranger helicopters also operate forward looking infrared cameras (FLIR). This equipment utilizes heat signatures on the ground to locate individuals. The Aviation Unit is routinely called upon to assist local law enforcement in finding suspects attempting to avoid apprehension and missing persons. In these situations, the pilots provide air support as they maintain radio communication with dispatchers and troopers on the ground during vehicle and foot pursuits.
The THP Aviation Unit is also part of the Governor’s Marijuana Eradication Task Force. The pilots fly the Jet Ranger helicopters in search of illegal marijuana crops in remote locations across Tennessee. The pilots then guide law enforcement on the ground to the locations to take enforcement action. The THP uses the Bell Huey helicopter during Task Force operations when it is necessary to lower troopers into areas where marijuana crops are found.
So the next time you see a chopper overhead, you never know–it could be the Highway Patrol, and you never know what mission they might be on.

MJCA Starts the Spring Sports Season

Mt. Juliet Christian Academy baseball had a 2 and 3 start to the week, with a 10-7 win over Hillwood and a 14-4 win over Red Boiling Springs, but two tough losses by 10 or more to Knoxville Webb. The Saints will have a busy week coming up, as they travel to McGavock on Monday, Lighthouse Christian Tuesday, and return home Thursday for Pearl Cohn and Saturday for Hillwood. The Saint soccer team took a tough loss to open the season, dropping a 6-0 decision against the Fightin’ Feet of The Webb School. And softball travels to Ezell-Harding on Tuesday.

Tree Sale

The American Legion Auxiliary Unit 281 here in Mt. Juliet is ready for orders for their 4th Annual Tree Sale. Many trees to choose from, each is only $17.00. They’re hardy & healthy. For more information contact Kathy at 288-2971 or by email A-U-X 2-8-1 at comcast dot net. Orders and payment must be received by March 22nd for a March 29th pick up date.