WZTV FOX 17 - Top Stories
February 6, 2013
There is a call for change as a new person takes over Tennessee's Department of Children's Services.
Lawmakers tell interim commissioner Jim Henry that it's time to face the "brutal facts of reality."
It is only his second day on the job, and interim DCS commissioner Jim Henry is called before state lawmakers.
"I'll attack these problems as they exist," says Jim Henry.
The problems plaguing the child welfare agency are well known.
151 children have died in the last three years. There's a faulty data system that's not tracking kids in custody, and a child abuse hotline unable to handle all calls.
Lawmakers say problems have existed for years and it's time to deal with them.
"I just ask the department to look at their procedures, and if they need to be changed, change them," says Sen. Joey Hensley, (R) Hohenwald.
"And the idea that we can fix the problems within this agency without unearthing some very painful things is just not reality," says Sen. Bo Watson, (R) Hixson.
Henry tells the committee that he will bring advocates and providers together to understand the issues and make corrections.
"Being second best in anything is not acceptable. We strive for excellence in Tennessee and we accept nothing short," says Henry.
Henry takes over for former commissioner Kate O'Day who resigned on Tuesday.
Governor Haslam says he has confidence in Henry.
"He understands state government. He understands dealing with the vulnerable population that is DCS. He understands how the provider community works as well," says Governor Haslam.
Henry says he accepts the challenge and is looking forward to it.
"We're not looking to change the world, just make the situation with kids where they're healthy, and also to where they're protected, and where we can get them on the right track in life," says Jim Henry.
Commissioner Henry says he's not just babysitting DCS until a new commissioner arrives. He wants to fix any problems right now.
Jim Henry tells reporters that he wants to have a department that's open, and he welcomes media scrutiny as he makes improvements.
For news updates follow John Dunn on twitter @WZTVJohnDunn
Wednesday, February 6 2013, 06:55 PM CST
Ky. veteran killed in Afghanistan blast
May 17, 2013 23:53 GMT
FORT THOMAS, Ky. (AP) -- A Kentucky veteran who was working as a civilian contractor in Afghanistan has died in an explosion in Kabul that killed at least 15 people including six Americans.
The father of 26-year-old Michael Robert Bradford of Fort Thomas said his son was smart, good in different sports and about to become a father.
Gary "Moose" Bradford, also of Fort Thomas, told The Kentucky Enquirer (http://bit.ly/12i0nVO ) he found about his son's death from Michael Bradford's wife, Sasha, on Thursday afternoon. He said he was in total disbelief.
The couple's first child is due in a few weeks.
Two American soldiers were killed along with four American civilian contractors with DynCorp International, based in Falls Church, Va.
Other survivors include his mother, Linda Bradford of Johnson City, Tenn.
Information from: The Kentucky Enquirer, http://www.nky.com
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ON THIN ICE?
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- He was already on thin ice with the law when he failed to meet the conditions of his probation.