MarionCountyMessenger.com https://marioncountymessenger.com The Sequatchie Valley's Most Trusted News Source... Mon, 10 Sep 2018 15:06:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://i0.wp.com/marioncountymessenger.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/cropped-favicon.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 MarionCountyMessenger.com https://marioncountymessenger.com 32 32 114146871 Burns Cemetery annual ‘Dinner on the Ground’ scheduled for Saturday at Noon https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/09/burns-cemetery-annual-dinner-on-the-ground-scheduled-for-saturday-at-noon/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/09/burns-cemetery-annual-dinner-on-the-ground-scheduled-for-saturday-at-noon/#respond Mon, 10 Sep 2018 14:45:44 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3456 Burns Cemetery will have its annual “Dinner on the Ground” event on Saturday, September 15th, at 12:00PM (Noon) at the cemetery. Paper products and tea will be provided. Bring a dish to share and join friends and family, in an opportunity to join with others interested in caring for this small cemetery. All are welcome. …

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Burns Cemetery will have its annual “Dinner on the Ground” event on Saturday, September 15th, at 12:00PM (Noon) at the cemetery.

Burns Cemetery (Photo: FindAGrave.com)

Paper products and tea will be provided. Bring a dish to share and join friends and family, in an opportunity to join with others interested in caring for this small cemetery. All are welcome.

Burns Cemetery is located at 9220 TN-150 on Sequatchie Mountain. If you have questions please call Elaine Andrews at 423-942-5568.

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State Comptroller’s Office Creates New Maps that Highlight Land Use https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/09/state-comptrollers-office-creates-new-maps-that-highlight-land-use/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/09/state-comptrollers-office-creates-new-maps-that-highlight-land-use/#respond Mon, 10 Sep 2018 14:27:15 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3454 The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has launched a much-anticipated online tool that makes it easy to see how land is being used across the state of Tennessee. The Comptroller’s Land Use Model (LUM) will be a valuable resource for people working in economic and community development, urban planning, transportation development, and more. The online maps allow …

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The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has launched a much-anticipated online tool that makes it easy to see how land is being used across the state of Tennessee.

The Comptroller’s Land Use Model (LUM) will be a valuable resource for people working in economic and community development, urban planning, transportation development, and more.

The online maps allow users to quickly see how each parcel of land within a city or county is currently being utilized. Each property is color-coded and classified with categories such as single and multi-family dwellings, office spaces, general commercial uses, industrial sites, and agricultural timber lands.

The LUM originated in the former Local Planning Assistance Office of the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD). Since the closure of ECD’s planning division in 2011, the LUM has not been produced. The Comptroller’s Office has now redeveloped and improved this tool using data from the 84 counties on Tennessee’s IMPACT computer-assisted mass appraisal system.

“This data will be very useful for anyone who wants to analyze how land is being utilized across the state,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “We are pleased to offer this tool to each of the counties who use the IMPACT system. We believe the land use model will fill a gap in the planning and economic development community.”

The Comptroller’s Office will update the county land use maps semi-annually. Users can access maps in PDF form or with GIS software.

To access the Land Use Model, go to: http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/lg/LandUseMain.asp

To access the page specifically for Marion County, go to: http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/lg/LandUseDistrictMaps.asp?c=Marion&s=Land%20Use%20Maps

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Grundy County man wanted in connection with recent thefts https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/09/grundy-county-man-wanted-connection-recent-thefts/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/09/grundy-county-man-wanted-connection-recent-thefts/#respond Mon, 10 Sep 2018 13:39:42 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3442 The Grundy County Sheriff’s Office is looking for Ronald Cody Fults, who is wanted in connection with recent thefts in the county. Fults is 5-ft, 6-inches tall and weighs approximately 130 lbs. He has blonde hair and blue eyes. Last Wednesday, Fults fled from deputies when they attempted to take him into custody for a …

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The Grundy County Sheriff’s Office is looking for Ronald Cody Fults, who is wanted in connection with recent thefts in the county.

Fults is 5-ft, 6-inches tall and weighs approximately 130 lbs. He has blonde hair and blue eyes.

Last Wednesday, Fults fled from deputies when they attempted to take him into custody for a string of recent thefts.

He is also known to have outstanding warrants in Marion County for vandalism and theft of property.

If you have any information related to his whereabouts, you’re asked to please contact Sgt. Larry Sims or Captain Josh King with the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office at 931-692-3466 (Ext. 5)…or your local authorities.

 

 

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Fatal shooting in Sequatchie County over weekend leads to suspect’s arrest https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/09/fatal-shooting-in-sequatchie-county-over-weekend-leads-to-suspects-arrest/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/09/fatal-shooting-in-sequatchie-county-over-weekend-leads-to-suspects-arrest/#respond Mon, 10 Sep 2018 13:31:05 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3439 A Sequatchie County man has died after being shot by another man over the weekend. Sequatchie County Deputies were called to a residence at 5398 Henson Gap Road in the Lewis Chapel community after shots were reported as being fired at the location. Upon arrival, officers found a white male laying partially in a ditch …

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Paul D. Coffman, Jr.,

A Sequatchie County man has died after being shot by another man over the weekend.

Sequatchie County Deputies were called to a residence at 5398 Henson Gap Road in the Lewis Chapel community after shots were reported as being fired at the location.

Upon arrival, officers found a white male laying partially in a ditch and partially in the roadway who had sustained a single gunshot wound to the chest. The victim was transported to Erlanger Primary Care in Dunlap by Puckett EMS where he died as a result of his injuries.

The victim has been identified as 21-year-old Logan Lepard of Sequatchie County.

During the investigation into the incident, it was discovered that the suspect, 21-year-old Paul D. Coffman, Jr., fired several rounds from a 9-millimeter handgun, one of which struck the victim. The shooting occurred in the roadway in front of the suspect’s residence.

Sheriff Swanger says Lepard and some friends showed up to suspect’s home. A possible motive for the shooting is still under investigation.

The sheriff says the victim and suspect knew each other; however, it’s not clear how well.

Pictured: 21-year-old Logan Lepard, who died as a result of a gunshot wound over the weekend (Photo: Sequatchie County Sheriff’s Dept. Facebook).

Coffman was taken into custody and charged with Criminal Homicide as a result of the investigation. He is now being held without bond at the Sequatchie County Jail awaiting a court date. The Sequatchie County Sheriff’s Department is leading the investigation.

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TN Economy Could Shift with Record Community College Enrollment https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/09/tn-economy-shift-record-community-college-enrollment/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/09/tn-economy-shift-record-community-college-enrollment/#respond Mon, 10 Sep 2018 12:55:26 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3446 CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – It’s back to school for people of all ages in the Volunteer State, as a record number of adults head to college through the state’s Tennessee Reconnect program. The grants are available to residents age 25 and older to earn an associate’s degree or technical certificate. The program has seen more than …

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – It’s back to school for people of all ages in the Volunteer State, as a record number of adults head to college through the state’s Tennessee Reconnect program.

The grants are available to residents age 25 and older to earn an associate’s degree or technical certificate. The program has seen more than 31,000 applications – almost double what was expected.

Mike Krause, executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, said the interest level is indicative of the need.

“We think that that is happening even as our economy is strong because we’ve made an unprecedented offer to these adult students, that they can attend community or technical college tuition-free,” he said, “and that opportunity is one that’s nowhere else in the nation.”

Krause cited the program as one reason community-college enrollment is on the rise in Tennessee when it has been on the decline in other parts of the country. The low unemployment rate means more people are working, and federal funding cutbacks to higher education also have had an impact.

Krause said 48 percent of the people applying for Tennessee Reconnect make less than $25,000 a year, which means they might be living below the poverty line, depending on the number of people in their household. He added that, in the long term, the program will shape the state’s workforce as well as the students’ futures.

“Something important is going on in Tennessee right now that is not going on anywhere else in the nation,” he said. “The opportunity here is for a higher-education credential to transform these Tennesseans’ ability to earn a living income.”

Krause said about two out of three enrollees are women, many looking to support their family and be a role model for their children. He said they’ve heard several anecdotal stories about parents and kids starting college together this semester.

Tennessee Reconnect info is online at tnreconnect.gov, and information on the community-college enrollment trend is at insidehighered.com.

Reported by: Stephanie Carson

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Report Card: Rheumatic Diseases Painful in TN, Literally, Figuratively https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/09/report-card-rheumatic-diseases-painful-tn-literally-figuratively/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/09/report-card-rheumatic-diseases-painful-tn-literally-figuratively/#respond Mon, 10 Sep 2018 11:50:59 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3444 NASHVILLE, Tenn. – People in Tennessee with arthritis and other rheumatic conditions confront pain in their body, and in their lifestyle, according to a report card released this month from the American College of Rheumatology. The college gives Tennessee a C grade in terms of quality of life and access to certified doctors in rheumatic …

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – People in Tennessee with arthritis and other rheumatic conditions confront pain in their body, and in their lifestyle, according to a report card released this month from the American College of Rheumatology.

The college gives Tennessee a C grade in terms of quality of life and access to certified doctors in rheumatic disease, which is the grade most states received.

But Dr. Christopher Mecoli, a rheumatologist at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, says the state gets a D grade in affordability because most insurers require patients to pay for a percentage of their prescription cost, versus a flat rate.

“There are some issues as it pertains to affordability in Tennessee,” he states. “Drugs used to treat rheumatic diseases can be extremely expensive. They can cost tens of thousands of dollars a year.”

Rheumatic diseases include arthritis, gout and lupus, and 100 other conditions. The conditions impact 1 in 4 Americans, and the most recent numbers estimate 91 million people, including individuals who may be undiagnosed.

Treatment for the illnesses cost $140 billion annually, which exceeds the annual cost of cancer care.

Mecoli says that around 300,000 children have rheumatoid arthritis, and adds there’s a shortage of people in Tennessee trained to treat children.

“Rheumatic diseases are not just diseases affecting the elderly,” he points out. “There are actually hundreds of thousands of children who live with arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. There are actually not nearly enough board-certified pediatric rheumatologists.”

Nationwide, there is one rheumatologist for every 40,000 people, but in Tennessee, there is one for every 55,000 people – making treatment particularly hard for the state’s rural communities.

Reported by: Stephanie Carson

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Local free tax service looking for volunteers https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/09/local-free-tax-service-looking-volunteers/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/09/local-free-tax-service-looking-volunteers/#respond Thu, 06 Sep 2018 14:05:22 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3449 A local free tax service is looking for volunteers for the upcoming tax season beginning in January. Are you looking for an opportunity to help other folks? Want to donate some time to your community? Here is your chance!  The VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Free Income Tax Service is in need of your help. The …

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A local free tax service is looking for volunteers for the upcoming tax season beginning in January.

Are you looking for an opportunity to help other folks? Want to donate some time to your community? Here is your chance!  The VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Free Income Tax Service is in need of your help.

The VITA program will be starting its fourth year in Marion County this tax season. During the last tax season, the South Pittsburg and Whitwell tax sites completed over 650 federal income tax returns and over 150 State income tax returns, returning over $1,000,000 in tax refunds to taxpayers. And the best part? The tax service is free!

This free tax service is sponsored by the IRS and local community organizations. The people who help complete the tax returns are community volunteers who want to help others. Interested in being a VITA volunteer?  These are some highlights for an ideal volunteer:

  • Do not need to have any previous tax knowledge or be a tax “expert.”

  • Have a desire to help others that stress-out over taxes.

  • Must be able to use a computer and access the Internet.

  • Be able to volunteer at least 4 or more hours per week (Jan 15th – April 16th, 2019).

  • Complete the tax program training before mid-January.

  • Successfully pass the IRS on-line tax program certification tests.

The tax program training is hands-on, one-on-one, show and tell, using materials provided by the IRS. You will learn where to enter the various types of income and expenses in the software program which does most of the work calculating and printing the returns. Training usually starts after mid-October and runs through mid-January (not during holiday weeks of course).

The VITA program is a very rewarding experience. You meet all sorts of interesting people, get to visit with taxpayers and prepare their taxes for free. Our primary focus is to provide our taxpayers with an accurate tax return that includes the most deductions possible within the tax law. There is no pressure to rush through your work or to prepare as many tax returns as possible to meet some imaginary goal or revenue projection. We strive to educate and make the tax process less intimidating for our taxpayers.

Both locations will operate on an “APPOINTMENT ONLY” basis. Taxpayers call to make appointments so we know how many tax returns will be scheduled that day.  Sometimes we get unexpected walk-in taxpayers, so we do what we can to help them as time permits. The Whitwell site will be open on Thursdays, and the South Pittsburg site will be open every day except Thursdays (hours of operation have not been set at this time).  Normally, volunteers work 4-5 hours (morning or afternoon) a few days per week but if you can only commit to 4 hours per week, we would be happy to have you.

If you are interested and think you have what it takes to be a VITA volunteer, please call 423-580-0042 to volunteer in South Pittsburg, or 423-463-7148 to volunteer in Whitwell. This is a tremendous way to give to the community and to have a rewarding experience in so doing. We look forward to your support!

 

 

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Cybersecurity: The New First Line of Defense https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/09/cybersecurity-new-first-line-defense/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/09/cybersecurity-new-first-line-defense/#respond Mon, 03 Sep 2018 15:03:57 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3458 As the nation’s largest public power utility, TVA works around the clock to ensure that information and industrial control systems are well protected, but cybersecurity threats are real. Over the past several years, TVA has heightened its cybersecurity capabilities and improved preparedness for cyber incidents that could impact the electric power grid. Andrea Brackett, director …

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As the nation’s largest public power utility, TVA works around the clock to ensure that information and industrial control systems are well protected, but cybersecurity threats are real. Over the past several years, TVA has heightened its cybersecurity capabilities and improved preparedness for cyber incidents that could impact the electric power grid.

In the face of ever-increasing cybersecurity threats worldwide, TVA operates a state-of-the-art Cybersecurity Operations Center within its Chattanooga office complex.

Andrea Brackett, director of TVA’s Cybersecurity group, tells us more about how TVA works to predict, protect, detect and respond when it comes to cybersecurity.

Prepared 24/7

“Cybersecurity is a hot topic these days and frequently in the national news,” says Brackett. “In reality, it’s a challenge that we’ve seen growing for several years. For example, major breaches were announced last year by Equifax and Yahoo. The energy sector is another very popular target for cyber crime.”

That’s why, according to Brackett, TVA has invested heavily in state-of-the-art monitoring systems and equipment for a new Cybersecurity Operations Center that opened its doors in October 2017. This is where TVA’s core cybersecurity team monitors the cyber activities taking place across the company and collaborates to share intelligence and build mitigating strategies.

“The Cybersecurity Operations Center monitors systems 24/7 and closely tracks not only local and national cyber activity, but foreign threats as well, including those posed by nation states,” says Brackett. With cyber crime on the rise, TVA sees tens of thousands of attempts daily. TVA’s cybersecurity professionals have identified and blocked hacking activities including those conducted by nation states that pose ongoing threats.

Advanced Intelligence

“We are in a unique position as a federal utility,” explains Brackett. “We have a close and ongoing relationship with our federal intelligence community partners such as the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Energy. This advanced intelligence allows us as a federal entity to better prepare and respond to cyber threats often earlier than our industry peers.”

TVA adheres to an array of industry and government regulations, including those set forth by the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), the National American Electric Reliability Corporation—Critical Infrastructure Protection (NERC-CIP) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) among others. These regulations add to Cybersecurity’s capabilities.

“Our comprehensive Cybersecurity program aligns with industry best-practices to predict, protect and respond to threats. As an industry we gather intelligence and collaborate with neighboring utilities and the Electricity—Information Security Analysis Center (E-ISAC) to stay alert and informed of emerging cyber threats.”

TVA has also provided outreach summits for local power companies to learn more about enhancing cybersecurity in their space.

Reliable Power for You

Brackett says that while a cyber attack is always a threat, TVA’s isolated and layered defense system is designed to ensure reliable electricity is available. “TVA has never experienced a power outage due to a cybersecurity attack. You are much more likely to see a power outage due to a weather related event or wildlife interference than a cyber event.”

Employees are the first line of defense against cyber threats and the key to success in TVA’s program, according to Brackett. “Not only do we have a well-trained and experienced staff, but we provide regular company-wide awareness training to all employees. We could not have a successful program without the support of those who work with TVA’s critical systems.” Among other things, employees learn the importance of identifying and reporting suspicious emails, using only secure USB drives and to never share their passwords with others.

“Although you may not visibly see our team out working in a power plant or on our transmission lines, they are an integral part of supporting these assets for safety and reliability of power in the Valley. If something does happen, we are equipped to deal with it quickly.”

The bottom line for power consumers? “We’re making sure that power is delivered to your home.”

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State Comptroller report says Grundy Highway Department misused county resources https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/08/state-comptroller-report-says-grundy-highway-department-misused-county-resources/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/08/state-comptroller-report-says-grundy-highway-department-misused-county-resources/#respond Mon, 27 Aug 2018 14:12:01 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3452 An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has revealed that the Grundy County Highway Department has been performing work on private properties and cemeteries not allowed under state law. In one situation, the Highway Department has performed various work on an individual’s farm over approximately nine years. The Highway Superintendent has cattle on the farm. …

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An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has revealed that the Grundy County Highway Department has been performing work on private properties and cemeteries not allowed under state law.

In one situation, the Highway Department has performed various work on an individual’s farm over approximately nine years. The Highway Superintendent has cattle on the farm. The work has included bulldozing stumps and hauling the stumps, dirt, and old tile to fill in a hollow on the farm.

More work was done on another farm which is farmed by an acquaintance of the Highway Superintendent. Highway Department employees drove a bulldozer onto the property and “cleaned up” a wooded area. Investigators could not determine if the Highway Superintendent received any compensation for the work.

Other work has been performed at various Grundy County cemeteries. The Highway Department also maintained a portion of a private road which is owned by a department employee.

State law (Section 54-7-202(d), Tennessee Code Annotated) prohibits using county equipment, supplies or materials for work outside of official county road purposes.

Comptroller investigators also noted the Highway Superintendent allows employees to work on their personal vehicles in the department garage during work hours. This activity is also prohibited by state law.

Comptroller investigators have reviewed their findings with the district attorney general for the Twelfth Judicial District.

To view the investigative report online, go to: http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/ia/.

If you suspect fraud, waste or abuse of public money in Tennessee, call the Comptroller’s toll-free hotline at (800) 232-5454, or file a report online at: www.comptroller.tn.gov/hotline. Follow us on twitter: @TNCOT

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Marion County Democratic Party announces regular meeting on Aug. 14th https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/08/marion-county-democratic-party-announces-regular-meeting-aug-14th/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/08/marion-county-democratic-party-announces-regular-meeting-aug-14th/#respond Fri, 10 Aug 2018 12:46:41 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3415 Katie Tillman, the Chair of the Marion County Democratic Party, has announced our next regular meeting. This meeting will be a time to regroup and find out how you can help moving forward with the General Elections. To add a little extra incentive we will be adding pizza to the equation. The Pizza Party General …

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Katie Tillman, the Chair of the Marion County Democratic Party, has announced our next regular meeting.
This meeting will be a time to regroup and find out how you can help moving forward with the General Elections. To add a little extra incentive we will be adding pizza to the equation.

The Pizza Party General Election Kickoff will be held on Tuesday, August 14th, 6:00 PM CDT at the Marion County Democratic Headquarters…located at 33 Courthouse Square in Jasper at the corner of Main and Betsy Pack Drive.

For more information call Katie Tillman at 423-680-9964.

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South Pittsburg man indicted, charged in 2017 infant homicide case https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/08/south-pittsburg-man-indicted-charged-2017-infant-homicide-case/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/08/south-pittsburg-man-indicted-charged-2017-infant-homicide-case/#respond Thu, 09 Aug 2018 12:25:48 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3413 Special agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, working alongside the South Pittsburg Police Department and Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, have obtained indictments for a Marion County man in connection to the 2017 death of his girlfriend’s infant son. At the request of 12th District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor, TBI agents joined the …

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Jonathan Beaumonte

Special agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, working alongside the South Pittsburg Police Department and Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, have obtained indictments for a Marion County man in connection to the 2017 death of his girlfriend’s infant son.

At the request of 12th District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor, TBI agents joined the investigation into the circumstances leading to the death, on December 13th, 2017, of an 11-month-old Marion County boy.

During the course of the investigation, authorities developed information leading to Jonathan Beaumonte, 22, as the individual responsible for the crime.

On Monday, the Marion County Grand Jury returned indictments, charging Beaumonte with two counts of Felony Murder, one count of Aggravated Child Abuse, and one count of Aggravated Child Neglect.

Authorities arrested Beaumonte today without incident and booked him into the Marion County Jail on $20,000 bond.

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Election Results – Aug. 2nd, 2018 https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/08/election-results-aug-2nd-2018/ https://marioncountymessenger.com/2018/08/election-results-aug-2nd-2018/#respond Thu, 02 Aug 2018 23:50:00 +0000 http://marioncountymessenger.com/?p=3410 LIVE Election Results from MarionCountyMessenger.com

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LIVE Election Results from MarionCountyMessenger.com

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