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Obion County Chamber News

solar-arrayAs a large producer of grapes and a connoisseur of wine, Bill Sanderson had a dream to own a Winery that offered a Tasting Facility and Event Hall. Construction costs and future operating expenses were a major obstacle for business owners, Bill and Marjie Sanderson. Discussing his idea with employees of the Union City Area Office, Mr. Sanderson learned about the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). He was intrigued by the thought of owning a Solar Array that could power his tasting room at White Squirrel Winery while reducing energy costs and the carbon footprint of the business. His research of Solar Energy and Solar Companies in the area soon led to a partnership with Gibson Electric Membership Corporation, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Rural Development, and Solar & Renewable Power Systems. The 10kW solar array was designed to meet the power needs of the White Squirrel Winery, and any energy created over and above what it takes to power the facility may be sold back to TVA. Presently, the system is producing about twice the energy needed to operate the facility.

lawrence-soundLowrance Sound Company is a family owned and operated professional multi-media integration company founded in 1975. They specialize in four broad fields: audio, video, lighting, and acoustics. Services include: consultation, design, procurement, sales, installation, service, repair, and A/V system rentals.

Baptist OneCare, Baptist Memorial Health Care's new electronic health record powered by Epic software, went live at four Baptist hospitals, including Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union City, on March 1. Baptist Memorial Hospital-Booneville, located in Booneville, Miss., Baptist Rehabilitation-Germantown, located in the metro-Memphis area and Baptist Memorial Hospital-Huntingdon in Huntingdon, Tenn., also went live.

November Business Matters WLJT TVWLJT loves the Obion County Chamber! Monica Cochran, General Manager and CEO of WLJT, and I were so pleased to be able to support the chamber and sponsor the November Business Matters. We enjoyed sharing information about West Tennessee's public television station with fellow chamber members. We answered questions about programming and why WLJT is not on satellite in Obion County. It all comes down to the way the FCC decides what television market each station is aired in. But it's important to remember that we are still West Tennessee's public television station, and we rely on your support! WLJT is in your local schools, WLJT is at The Obion County Public Library and WLJT is active in your community. We help encourage a lifetime love of learning by brining special educational events that show children that learning IS fun!

Bouncing Back from Lost JobsA community that lost a major employer is bouncing back quickly. When a Goodyear plant closed in 2011, the unemployment rate in Union City, Tennessee jumped to 18%. Now less than four years later, that number is being cut in half. The efforts of state and local agencies helped to revitalize the area. Obion County Economic Development Director Lindsay Frilling said its thanks to businesses likes Greenfield Products expanding and new ones coming in like MIA Seating. Darius Mir, CEO of MIA Seating, or Made in America Seating, chose Union City out of 17 locations to build his plant.

Programs-benefit-from-3-Star-grantsThe entire community will benefit from $10,000 worth of ThreeStar Grants awarded to Obion County programs. Grants of $5,000 each were presented to the Obion County Sheriff's Department for implementation of the TipSoft text message and email alert system and to the Obion County School System for its Back Pack Program. The Obion County Joint Economic Development Council made the application for the grants. The Governor's ThreeStar Program, administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development is designed to focus on areas identified as critical to ensuring the success of Tennessee communities. Those five pillars include jobs and economic development, fiscal strength and efficient government, public safety, education and workforce development and health and welfare.