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MOUSETAIL-EXCELLENCE IN INTERPRETATION AWARD
   Mousetail Landing State Park received the West Tennessee Excellence in Interpretation Award at the recent 2015 Tennessee State Parks Management meeting.
   Parks nominated for this award have demonstrated the ability to provide high quality and varied interpretive activities at their park.
   Interpretive activities may include, but are not limited to, presentations, guided hikes, workshops, living history, games, workshops, weekly, monthly and annual schedule or events, special events, interpretive panels, wayside exhibits, interpretive trail guides, and much more.
   Over the past year, Mousetail has increased the number and type of interpretive programs. A highlight is their Halloween in the Park program, which features costume and pumpkin carving contests, and a haunted hay ride.
   Mousetail’s guided backpacking and overnight hikes highlight the park’s beautiful trails. In 2014, park staff reached out to a local Easter Seals group that now visits the park weekly to experience new activities.
   The junior fishing rodeo continues to grow and now includes canoeing as well as water safety programs. The ranger staff work with an outdoor classroom on a weekly basis during the summer months, allowing students to participate in programs that include crayfish crawls, water pollution monitoring classes, nature hikes, tree identification and pelt programs.
   Mousetail reaches out to hunting enthusiasts by offering hunter safety classes and archery programs. Park and area culture and history are interpreted with programs such as Deaf Maggie Sayer’s Life and Weem’s String Band Music programs.
   The park staff is in the process of building several bird of prey cages to add to their programming efforts.
Mousetail is a 1,247-acre area located on the east banks of the Tennessee River. The park has day-use, three-mile trail, and an overnight, eight-mile trail.

LINDEN GAS RATES DROP, COST OF WATER INCREASES
   Linden utility customers will see rate adjustments for both natural gas and water.
Mayor Jim Azbill explained the changes this way in an email to the Review:
   Due to changes in cost, the Town of Linden announces the following utility rate changes.
The natural gas bills that our customers will receive February 1 will reflect a lower rate because of reduced gas cost.
   The current rate is $10 per MCF with a minimum bill of $10.
   The new rate is $9.00 per MCF with a minimum bill of $10. This a savings of almost 10 percent.
   The water bills that you receive March 1, 2015 will reflect an increase as follows: 0 to 2,000 gallons will increase by $2 to $22.60 plus tax. Each 1,000 gallons after 2,000 will increase by $1.50.
   For example
--If you are a minimum user your bill will increase $2.
--If you use 3,000 gallons your bill will increase $3.50.
--If you use 4,000 gallons your bill will increase $5.
--If you use 5,000 gallons your bill will increase $6.50.
--If you use 100.000 gallons your bill will increase $150.

OVERALL DECREASE IN E-911 SURCHARGES FOR PHONES
   A uniform, statewide 911 surcharge that went into effect January 1 means reductions for residents, but could result in funding decreases for the Perry County E911 Communications District.
   In April of last year, the Tennessee General Assembly approved the 911 Funding Modernization and IP Transition Act of 2014 which established a single $1.16 charge per month for residential and business lines in the state.
   What that means locally is a drop from $1.50 per month for landline phones and $3 per month for business lines to the new standard surcharge of $1.16 for each.
   “We’ll be affected somewhat,” E911 Coordinator Cynthia Mercer told the Review. “There will be some drop in revenues.”
   However, some counties could receive higher revenues—especially for residential land lines.
Madison County, for example, had the lowest residential rate in the state at 45 cents per month, but a business line rate of $1.64.
   Many counties across the state had the same rates as Perry County—the highest in the state, $1.50 and $3.
   Still unknown is how cellular phone surcharges will affect county revenues.
   The new act adjusted the cell phone from $1 to $1.16.
   Mercer said cell surcharges in the past went into a pool and the money was distributed according to population—every three months. She was not sure if that system of disbursement would continue.
   Tennessee Emergency Communications Executive Director Curtis Sutton said, “The…Act…will provide the resources necessary to ensure that the citizens of Tennessee receive the best 911 service available.”
   The state also said the surcharge will support the Next Generation 911 program designed to provide better information to first responders, allowing them to quickly assess an emergency and respond promptly with necessary equipment and personnel.
   For comparison, former residential and business surcharges in the counties bordering Perry:
--Benton, 65 cents and $2;
--Decatur, 65 cents and $2;
--Hickman, $1.59 and $3;
--Humphreys, $1.50 and $3;
--Lewis, 65 cents and $2;
--Wayne, $1 and $2.50.

 
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