WZTV FOX 17 - Top Stories
January 17, 2013
It is a problem that really stinks.
Homes across Middle Tennessee are being overrun with skunks, and the animals are causing some major damage.
Besides the obvious odor, skunks are destroying duct work, and insulation, and making nests inside crawl spaces.
Experts say it's as bad as they have ever seen it., and in January, the problem only gets worse.
"All along the walls there is a ton of fecal accumulation," says Ryan Hall.
Ryan Hall has been spending a lot of time under people's homes.
Skunks are finding their way into crawl spaces. The reason -- love is in the air.
"Right now it is skunk mating season," says Hall.
Hall, and his company Animal Pros, help remove the animals.
He has already trapped four skunks here.
They've left more than 200 pounds of feces, destroyed duct lines, and ruined the vapor barrier.
"This year especially, the skunks are in full force all over," says Hall.
Skunks often dig holes to get inside. They're looking for food, warmth, and shelter.
Skunks also love to get in through your crawl space vents. Experts say make sure there's a heavy duty screen over those areas.
Homeowner Bonnie Blaylock says the skunks have caused $15,000 worth of damage under her home. There's also that horrible smell.
"When they're sitting right underneath your house, and it just stays there, and stays there, and stays there, it's pretty hard to bear," says Bonnie Blaylock.
The Blaylocks have resorted to extreme measures just to get some sleep.
"I just took a little surgical mask and sprayed it with lavender, and that's how I slept with this on, and the covers up over my nose, because otherwise it's like cutting onions, your eyes are just running and it's really bad," says Blaylock.
Skunks may be looking for love, but they're leaving behind big problems.
"It doesn't matter where you're at, if you're in Middle Tennessee, skunks are going to be around," says Hall.
Ryan Hall says the skunks are especially bad in Antioch, Murfreesboro, and Brentwood.
Metro Animal Control is also getting a lot of calls.
This problem isn't going away. Skunks will start having their babies in February.
For news updates follow John Dunn on twitter @WZTVJohnDunn
Tuesday, January 22 2013, 05:56 PM CST
Haslam's chief deputy Claude Ramsey to retire
June 19, 2013 16:41 GMT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Gov. Bill Haslam says chief deputy Claude Ramsey is retiring at the end of August to spend more time with his family in Chattanooga.
The Republican governor said in a news release on Wednesday that the 70-year-old Ramsey has been integral to his administration on key initiatives that include civil service reform, economic development efforts, workforce development training and improved operation of state government.
Ramsey was elected to the General Assembly in 1972 where he served four years in the House. He was Hamilton County's mayor for 16 years.
His last day on the job is August 31.
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