Yesterday on Around and about, we talked to Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Suzanne Bailey on the state allowing children to fall through the cracks. She explained one way for us to ban together as a community to fight the increase in Juvenile crime over the past 20 years and to help children in the community is to all ban together in a collaborative effort to address the issue. One way to do that, she says, is by volunteering through the Juvenile Court System.
Once children to come into the system, a volunteer, who has given of their own time and their own heart to help, may be the only adult in that child’s life that has spent time talking to them or listening to them, According to Bailey.
One of the volunteers programs is an auxiliary probation officer or APO program. It is for those willing to work with children who have been referred to court for the first time concerning a delinquency.
The Foster Care Review Board deals with dependant, neglected and abused children. The board sits in on cases of children who have been in foster care. Bailey explains that the state has responsibility too when it comes to children in foster care. The responsibility of the parent are set out as well as the responsibility of the department by the Foster Care Review Board.
Court Appointed Special Advocates are volunteers referred to as CASA’s. In Spanish, CASA means home. In today’s juvenile justice system CASA refers to someone trained by a judge to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. Bailey said it’s the most critical volunteer position for the judicial court because she said the judges can only make decisions on the proof before them. Casa’s work with others to gain evidence in juvenile cases.
Bailey says the volunteer positions are essential to the court system.
Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Suzanne Bailey. For more information on volunteer services with juvenile court call 423-209-5232.
The Austin Hatcher Foundation for pediatric cancer was announced as a finalist in the Pepsi® Refresh Project for the month of August. The Foundation’s application “Hatch’s house of hope: Empowering children with cancer and their families” was selected as a finalist from a pool of thousands of applications. Competing against other finalists in the $250,000 category, supporters can go online or text to vote for the foundation each day during the month of August. The finalist with the most votes at the end of the month will win the $250,000. VOTE by texting 101703 to Pepsi (73774) and go to http://www.refresheverything.com/hatcherfoundation
“We are excited to have been chosen to compete for the month of August, and hope that we can get as many people voting for us each day as possible,” said Amy Jo Osborn, President of the Austin Hatcher Foundation. “Voting only takes seconds out of everyone’s day and $250,000 will go a long way to help Hatch’s provide these necessary services for pediatric cancer families.”
Anyone can vote for the Austin Hatcher Foundation’s grant proposal once each day during August. Voting is an easy way to show support. To learn more about the Foundation and its participation in the Pepsi® Refresh project, visit http://www.hatcherfoundation .org or refresheverything.org/. For daily reminders to vote, become a fan of the Austin Hatcher Foundation on Facebook and Twitter (facebook.com/AustinHatcherFoundation) and (twitter.com/austinhatcherfo)
Juvenile crime has gone up and down during the past two years in Hamilton County. That according to the Hamilton County Juvenile Court annual report. That report indicates that in 2009, there were no murder charges attributed to juveniles compared to one in 2008; 373 assaults, compared to 481 in 2008; 102 aggravated assaults, compared to 89; 10 arson-related charges compared to 4; and 147 charges of possession of a controlled substance compared to 169; and 24 thefts of over 10,000 dollars compared to 4. According to Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Suzanne Bailey, in all, juveniles are committing more crimes than 20 years ago, and those crimes are more serious. Bailey spoke at the Jewish Cultural Center last week. She discussed how state government has allowed children to slip through the cracks.
She said many children in the community simply escape help in that way. But of those that do become involved in the juvenile court system, many have mental health needs.
Bailey who has been an elected judge for 20 years and served as a judicial referee for 8 years prior to that says that the damage done to some of these children isn’t recognized until the child is older.
Payne explains that primary services are kept but preventative services that could keep children from becoming criminals or committing suicide fall by the wayside. Fortunately, she says, in Hamilton County there still remain a lot of good services.
Bailey said something you didn’t see 20 or 30 years ago that you see now is children being sexually abused by their peers.
Bailey says that she hopes as a community we will soon be looking at a true collaboration. She says if the community can come together and collaborate on the services provided to make sure there are no duplications and that the money is being used as wisely as possible to make sure the last dollar is garnered from those services.
Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Suzanne Bailey. Tomorrow, Judge Bailey will discuss volunteer programs available within the local juvenile court. For more information on Hamilton County Juvenile Court as well as volunteer programs available call 423-209-5232.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI works with families and individuals to help understand and cope with the effects of mental illness in their daily lives. Their mission includes education, advocacy, and support programs. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in four adult Americans have a diagnosable mental disorder and one in seventeen have a serious mental illness. NAMI works to reduce the stigma of mental illness with the hope that more people will seek treatment.
Many people with serious mental illness end up in our prison system. According to a 2003 study by the Human Rights Watch, the incidence of diagnosed mental illness in the prison system is four times greater than that of the general population. NAMI Chattanooga is working with other mental health organizations and local law enforcement agencies to develop a crisis prevention intervention training program to better prepare law enforcement officers dealing with mentally ill citizens in the community. In September NAMI will host Heads, Hearts, and Hands, a conference in Chattanooga that will include a breakfast honoring the crisis intervention officers in our area.
The funding being announced today will support regional planning efforts that integrate housing, land use, economic and workforce development, transportation, and infrastructure investments in a manner that empowers jurisdictions to consider the interdependent challenges of economic competitiveness and revitalization; social equity, inclusion, and access to opportunity; energy use and climate change; as well as public health and environmental impacts. The program places a priority on partnerships, including nontraditional partnerships including arts and culture, philanthropy, and bringing new voices to the regional planning process.
The program will support a number of activities related to the development and implementation of integrated long-range regional plans including, but not limited to:
engaging residents and stakeholders substantively and meaningfully in the development of the shared vision and its implementation.
identifying affordable housing, transportation investment, water infrastructure, economic development, land use planning, environmental conservation, energy system, open space, and other infrastructure priorities for the region;
establishing performance goals and measures;
providing detailed plans, policies, and implementation strategies to be implemented by all participating jurisdictions over time to meet planning goals;
Sustainable Communities Network Case Studies writes about Chattanooga’s efforts in the mid 1980′s to “restore air quality and become a sustainable model of sustainability.” The study sites Chattanooga Venture, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, Chattanooga City Council among others along with participation from the community as taking on the task to clean up the city “on all fronts-environmental, social, economic.” Here’s an excerpt from the study:
Diverse groups of community members united and literally used brown paper and markers as they brainstormed, debated, categorized and organized their concerns. The result of the many community meetings was a set of 40 goals for the city to achieve by the year 2000. These goals fell under the categories of future alternatives, places, people, work, play and government . The goals were as diverse as creating a distribution and transportation center to strengthening the downtown area to solving existing problems in the area of air, water, toxic waste and noise pollution to strengthening the day care system and creating after and before school programs. Today, many of the original goals have been realized.
Mayor Ron Littlefield says that the new plan calls for multi-state, multi-jurisdictional cooperation as Chattanooga has moved from a place of “shrinking stagnation” to one of growth which brings issues like education and infrastructure into play. In his State of the City Address for 2010, Littlefield commits to pursuing “a course of creating ‘green infrastructure’ as an alternative to our past practices of grey infrastructure below and impervious structures above ground.” He uses the city of Philadelphia to exemplify potential cost-savings of integrating green infrastructure:
Philadelphia estimated that it would take $16 billion of pipes and holding areas over the next fifteen years just to meet their requirements and those of EPA and the state of Pennsylvania.
Unfortunately, for all of that expenditure they would get no visible benefit. (Kind of like the plumbing in your home, it’s necessary, but not the focal point of the home.)
They have found that by putting green infrastructure on the surface (holding areas, landscaping, trees) that they can meet their requirements for 10% of that cost (or $1.6 billion instead of $16 billion). In the process they accomplish multiple objectives: Communities and Business Districts are revitalized. Recreation areas are created. The city is more attractive and healthier. And, thousands of jobs will be created in process. None of that happens by just expanding the city’s plumbing by adding more pipes and pits underground.
Have you ever wondered where writers get their ideas? Some famous authors say they’re inspired by dreams. Others say they eavesdrop on conversations, and steal dialogue. Susan Gregg Gilmore writes Southern literature, and today, she’s going to talk to us about her inspiration. If Gilmore’s name sounds familiar, it’s probably because her debut novel, Looking For Salvation at the Dairy Queen, was a best-seller and a book club favorite.
On August 17th, Gilmore’s new novel was released. It’s a work of Southern literature, a story about forbidden love, civil rights, and Nashville high society. It’s called… The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove. The inspiration for it came from a couple of unusual sources… one was something Gilmore saw in a basement, and the other was a guest at a dinner party.
As the heat wave continues to keep Tennesseans seeking shade, the state has seen more than 20 deaths related to heat illness. Knowing the impact of excessive heat on the human body and how to spot the signs of danger could save your life. The Center for Disease Control defines extreme heat as temperatures that are hotter and/or more humid than usual. The extreme and sustained heat we have been experiencing has contributed to heat related illness and death in Tennessee.
To protect yourself from heat related illness and possibly death it is important to know the signs of danger. Protect yourself from exposure to heat, especially during the hottest part of the day, and drink plenty of fluids to replace what your body has lost through the natural cooling response of sweat.
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency provides precautions to help Tennesseans avoid heat related illness as the heat index soars this August. The NOAA issues excessive heat warnings and provides a better understanding of the heat index and how the heat wave can impact you at their website.
When a Chattanooga man got an ultimatum from his employer, move to Atlanta, or lose your job, he took a bad situation and made it work for him. Michael Goins took that opportunity to create My wonderfulwalls.com, a web site where parents can go to find stencils to paint their children’s rooms.
MyWonderfulWalls.com is for nurseries, or the rooms of children up to about the age of 12.
Goins says the business is at a point now when it’s paying for itself and he just paid himself for the first time, about three weeks ago.
He describes the process of making a kit that will be purchased and used to decorate a child’s room. He and his wife do everything themselves.
The web site gets about 500 hits a day and he says he enjoys being a stay at home dad and running his web-based business.
Chattanooga’s organization that’s mission is to empower and engage Chattanooga’s Latino population through advocacy, education and inclusion has a new facility. LaPaz Chattanooga recently moved from The Saint Andrews Center in Highland Park to a building of its own located at 1402 Bailey Avenue. Laurie Cook is development and communications director for LaPaz. She says the non-profit organization was able to move through a grant from the Lindhurst Foundation.
An open house at the building is set for 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, August 19th.
Stacy Johnson, executive director of LaPaz, says the new facility Is more accessible to the community.
LaPaz is Chattanooga’s resource for the Latino Community. The organization advocates on behalf of the Latinoc community by informing Chattanooga as a whole on Latino Issues, such as population .
Johnson says Chattanooga has a very large Latino Community. In the show, she discusses one of the most difficult issues some Latino’s face when immigrating to the U.S.
She says it’s also important that Latino’s immigrating here do not lose their native language.
LaPaz most recently helped Latino children and their parents register for school.It’s just one of many things that LaPaz Chattanooga does in the community. Johnson explained that Eastside Elementary has a large English as a Second Language program.
The high rates of Latino immigration into the United States have been newsworthy for many years. Chattanooga has been a relatively recent destination, but in the last few years thousands of Latinos have come to work in our region. This population has many immediate needs: housing, employment, education, healthcare, language training, and an understanding of how to live and work in our culture. LaPaz provides a link between Latino immigrants and the community.
For more information on LaPaz Chattanooga visit lapazchattanooga.com or call 423-624-8414.
Craniofacial deformities impact one out of every 600 births in America. These deformities are often not life threatening but can be difficult to live with. FACES is a nonprofit organization that assists families with support and transportation costs for the medical procedures that will change a child’s life.
Encouraging donors to Adopt a Face for a specific child helps FACES provide services. Donors will choose a child to support and often communicates with the family as they work with medical experts to repair the craniofacial deformity. The children often face multiple surgeries spanning years of their lives. Donors are asked to support a child for three years if possible.
You can volunteer to work with FACES or Adopt a Face by calling 1-800-332-2373 or 423-266-1632.