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Alexander, Ball to Appear at TN Farm Bureau Candidate Forum

Press release from the Lamar Alexander Campaign for U.S. Senate; September 17, 2014:

Lamar Alexander’s campaign for re-election today released the following statement from the senator on the Tennessee Farm Bureau candidate forum scheduled for Oct. 16:

“I have accepted an invitation from the Tennessee Farm Bureau for a candidate forum at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville. This will be a good opportunity to remind Tennesseans that my opponent is just one more vote for Barack Obama’s agenda, and that a vote for me is a vote for a new Senate majority that will lead the country in a different and more conservative direction.”

Haslam Announces TTI Floor Care Expansion in Cookeville

Press release from the office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; August 25, 2014: 

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty along with TTI Floor Care North America officials today announced the company will invest in its Cookeville facility by adding additional manufacturing capacity to introduce new product lines and support existing product transfers. TTI Floor Care North America will create 211 new jobs in Putnam County, nearly doubling its workforce over the next five years.

“I want to thank TTI Floor Care for expanding its Cookeville operations and providing more than 200 jobs to Tennesseans,” Haslam said. “When a company chooses to increase its presence in Tennessee, it speaks volumes to others about our business-friendly environment, and this announcement supports our goal to make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

As TTI Floor Care’s operations expand and product lines are moved to Cookeville, the company plans to return portions of their production capacity from China and Mexico.

“The percentage of Tennesseans working in the manufacturing sector is 1.3 times the national average, and this figure underscores our state’s unbeatable manufacturing momentum and workforce capability,” Hagerty said. “TTI Floor Care is one of the many successful global companies located in Tennessee, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the company’s efforts to bring high quality manufacturing jobs back to Tennessee and for further investing in our state.”

TTI Floor Care North America is one of the largest floor care manufacturers in North America and home to Hoover, Dirt Devil and Oreck vacuum cleaners. The Cookeville facility supports the company’s manufacturing, assembly and distribution operations, and
will receive extensive building upgrades and infrastructure improvements through the expansion. TTI also maintains a call center at the Cookeville location.

“We are extremely pleased to expand our operations in Cookeville, which will support our leading position within the North American floor care market,” Simon Lawson, president of TTI Floor Care North America, said. “The Cookeville facility provides us with a number of advantages including a skilled, tenured workforce and a central location for shipping to a majority of the U.S. quickly and efficiently. We want to express our appreciation to Cookeville, Putnam County and the state of Tennessee for supporting our expansion in the Cookeville area.”

“This is a great day for Cookeville and the Highlands region,” Dr. Bob Bell, chairman of the Industrial Development Board of Cookeville, said. “These are good, well-paying jobs that will provide economic opportunity for numerous families in the area. On behalf of the Industrial Development Board, I wish TTI Floor Care many years of continued success.”

“TVA congratulates TTI Floor Care on its announcement to invest and create jobs in Cookeville,” John Bradley, TVA senior vice president of economic development, said. “TVA and Cookeville Electric Department are pleased to assist TTI through our partnership with the state of Tennessee, the Industrial Development Board of Cookeville, and the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber.”

TTI Floor Care North America develops and manufactures vacuum cleaning products and floor care appliances including upright vacuum cleaners, carpet washers, hard floor cleaners and hand-held vacs. The company sells its products through a network of retailers to customers in the United States.

Interested persons can visit http://ttifloorcare.com/careers/ to learn more about available positions.

Texas-Based Academy Sports Plans Distribution Center in Cookeville

Press Release from the State of Tennessee, Aug. 8, 2014:

New Distribution Center Brings $100 Million Investment in Putnam County

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty along with Academy Sports + Outdoors officials announced today the company will build a new 1.6 million square foot distribution center on more than 200 acres in Cookeville to support continued company growth. The premier sports, outdoors and lifestyle retailer will invest $100 million and create approximately 700 new jobs in Putnam County over the next five years.

“I want to thank Academy Sports + Outdoors for its investment in Tennessee and the hundreds of new jobs they’re bringing to Cookeville and Putnam County,” Haslam said. “Tennessee’s geographic location is a big advantage for companies distributing their product, and today’s announcement supports our goal to make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

“Tennessee’s strength in transportation and logistics paired with its ideal central location make our state a stand out choice for companies that deliver quality products to their customers each and every day,” Hagerty said. “As a state, we strive to foster a business environment that is both appealing to new companies and accommodating to our incumbent industries, and I couldn’t be more pleased to see Academy Sports + Outdoors choose Cookeville for its newest distribution operations.”

Academy Sports + Outdoors will begin construction on the facility this month and plans to become operational in early 2016. The site is located south of Old Stewart Road along Interstate 40 on the west side of Cookeville. This will be the company’s third distribution center.

“We are extremely grateful to Governor Haslam, Economic and Community Development Commissioner Hagerty, the Industrial Development Board, Mayor Swallows, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and all the city of Cookeville and Putnam County officials for their efforts in making Cookeville the future home of Academy Sports + Outdoors’ third distribution center,” Academy Sports + Outdoors CEO and President Rodney Faldyn said. “We’ve been an active member of the Tennessee community for over 15 years through our stores, and we’re looking forward to further our commitment to the state and local communities through the addition of our new distribution center.”

“I am ecstatic to welcome Academy Sports + Outdoors to Cookeville and look forward to our continuing community partnership,” Cookeville Mayor Matt Swallows said. “I appreciate the joint effort and hard work involved from the project coordinators, state of Tennessee, the Cookeville City Council, city manager and staff, as well as the Putnam County Executive and Commission, the Chamber of Commerce and IDB Board. We have proven that great accomplishments can be made when working together as a team for the betterment of our community and region. We are very pleased to add a new business to our area while contributing to positive growth in Cookeville and Putnam County.”

Academy Sports + Outdoors currently operates nine stores in Tennessee with a 10th store planned to open this fall in Memphis. The company is headquartered in Katy, Texas with a distribution facility there as well as a second distribution center in Jeffersonville, Georgia.

“We are extremely excited that Academy Sports + Outdoors has chosen to locate in Putnam County,” Putnam County Executive Kim Blaylock said. “Our county, the city and chamber have worked hard to bring new jobs to our county, and the state has been a great partner as well. It is a big win for the people of Putnam County and the Upper Cumberland region.”

“Attracting and retaining quality jobs and investments in our region is a fundamental part of TVA’s mission,” TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson said. “TVA and Upper Cumberland EMC congratulate Academy Sports + Outdoors on selecting Cookeville as its new home and commend the many state and local partners for their roles in winning a project of this magnitude for a community that clearly earned it.”

The company will begin initial hiring in Fall 2015. Individuals interested in careers can visit www.academy.com/careers to apply for available positions.

About Academy Sports + Outdoors
Academy Sports + Outdoors is a premier sports, outdoor and lifestyle retailer with a broad assortment of quality hunting, fishing and camping equipment and gear along with sports and leisure products, footwear, apparel and much more. The Texas-based company operates 178 stores throughout Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. The Academy Sports + Outdoors philosophy is to deliver an unparalleled shopping experience by providing convenience, offering a broad selection of quality products, delivering exceptional customer service and selling the right stuff at everyday low prices. For more information about Academy Sports + Outdoors visit academy.com, facebook.com/academy, twitter.com/academy, pinterest.com/academy, youtube.com/academy and instagram.com/academy.

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
Tennessee was named “2013 State of the Year” for economic development by Business Facilities magazine. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies which help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. The department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web: tn.gov/ecd. Follow us on Twitter: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tnecd.

Former State Trooper Indicted on DUI, Illegal Handgun Possession

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Safety; August 8, 2012: 

NASHVILLE — The Department of Safety and Homeland Security today announced that a former state trooper assigned to the Cookeville District had been indicted by a Putnam County grand jury on criminal charges.

Jonathan Reed was indicted for driving under the influence and possession of a handgun while under the influence. Both charges are class A misdemeanors and carry possible sentences of up to 11 months and 29 days in jail. Reed was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department.

The indictment stems from a criminal investigation into an incident on March 27 in Putnam County. Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott terminated Reed in June for “gross misconduct” following an internal investigation into the incident. Reed did not appeal the termination and did not seek a minimum due process hearing.

The internal investigative file will remain closed to the public until the criminal case against Reed has concluded.

Anti-Tax Tootin’ in Giles Co.

Horn-honking motorists stepped up the pressure on Giles County officials Monday, who dropped their bid for a county wheel tax, WKSR in Pulaski reports.

County commissioners were set to consider a resolution asking the Tennessee Legislature for permission to enact a $50 wheel tax. One commissioner said the resolution had already been pulled from the agenda Friday, and state Rep. Eddie Bass said there would not be time to pass the bill this legislative session, which may end this week.

But as WKSR reports, a healthy dose of the First Amendment in the form of “car horns blaring from the street below” surely didn’t hurt.

Meanwhile, the budget talks in Cookeville are heavy on the honey, low on the vinegar.

The city estimates it will take in $100,000 in tax from liquor sales in the first full year for package stores to be permitted there, the Herald-Citizen reported last week. The city’s $21 million proposed budget for the 2012 represents a more than 5 percent increase over this year, with no property tax increase.