Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

September 24, 2012

Demolition Derby to benefit CASA

CROSSVILLE — When children are pulled from their homes and separated from their parents, a dedicated group of volunteers steps in to ensure the best interests of that child are presented to the court.

"These children have been ripped out of their homes," said Lee Chiomos, Cumberland County CASA program director. "They are worried and scared. Sometimes they've been separated from their siblings. They have questions. We are the voice for these children so they can grow up in a stable, loving home."

Court Appointed Special Advocates are trained volunteers appointed by a judge to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. The Cumberland County program is operated by the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency and is supported by grant funds and donations.

In 2011, CASA had 13 advocates working with 41 children in Cumberland County. Chiomos said that number could be doubled if there were enough volunteers, but funding is needed to provide the extensive training necessary. It costs $950 per child per year to have a CASA volunteer. The costs of foster care can range from $16,000 up to $60,000. Statistics show that children can usually transition through the judicial system more quickly with the help of an advocate. The children are also less likely to re-enter the system.

To help raise funds to support the program, CASA is holding a demolition derby, set for Oct. 6 at the Cumberland County Community Complex. Donations of food for concessions and sponsorships are needed to make the event a success, as are volunteers to work at the event. Sponsorships will be recognized the night of the derby with announcements  and banners, as well as on the CASA website,

Cumberland County CASA has been up and running for about two years, but Chiomos said many in the community don't understand the vital role of the advocates.

"We conduct an independent investigation about where children should be placed," she said. "We speak for the child, and we work closely with the Department of Children's Services."

Many times, children want to remain with their parents, even though that might not be the best place at that time. Advocates help explain the situation to the child and answer their questions about court proceedings.

"Court proceedings can be scary for the kids," Chiomos said. "We explain what's happening and that we want to represent their needs."

Advocates stay with a case from open to close, usually about a year. They meet a minimum of two to three hours a month with the child, but Chiomos said she's yet to see an advocate that didn't meet with the child almost weekly. They also work closely with DCS and meet with the attorneys for the children.

"The advocates bond with the child and make sure they are safe and their needs are being met," Chiomos said. "A lot of times, they'll open up to us and tell us what they're feeling and what they've gone through."

Those conversations, as well as information gleaned from visits to the home environment, foster home and school, goes into a detailed report that is given directly to Judge Larry Warner.

"CASA gives the court extra, independent eyes, and the analysis is focused only on the dependent and neglected children of our county," Warner wrote in a statement.

The oct. 6 event will begin at 6:30 p.m., and admission will be $10 for those age six and older. Children under 6 years of age will be admitted free. There will be classes for four cylinder, stock V8 and modified, with prizes for first, second and third place. Drivers can register for $25 per class. Inspection and registration begin at 4 p.m. and the drivers will meet at 6. All proceeds benefit Cumberland County CASA.

For more information, or to become a sponsor or volunteer, call 261-3814, 261-1311, or 267-6559.

Text Only
Area News
  • Cruikshank cattle called Cumberland County home

    Sept. 23, 1903, Chronicle reports, “The members of the Christian Church here are preparing to erect a church building on the corner lot facing Webb Avenue and the Rockwood Road. Dr. Thomas Snodgrass owned a block of lots near the Academy (Webster Academy) and before he died made the offer of a corner lot for the building of a Christian Church.

    August 1, 2014

  • Steak and Potatoes Field Day set Aug. 5

    The annual Steak and Potatoes Field Day, sponsored by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, will once again showcase the research and outreach activities at UT’s Plateau AgResearch and Education Center.

    August 1, 2014

  • Man dies while in custody

    The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating the death of a man who died while in custody of local law enforcement.

    August 1, 2014

  • Hole in one highlights day one of Women's Open

    Haverly Harrold of Johnson City, TN, recorded a hole-in-one on the par 3, 11th hole in the first day of play at the 16th annual Golf Capital of Tennessee Women's Open at Stonehenge Golf Club Thursday.

    August 1, 2014

  • BOE recognizes city.jpg City praised by school officials

    The Cumberland County Board of Education, represented by Director of Schools Donald Andrews, right, recognized the city of Crossville, represented by City Manager David Rutherford, left, and Crossville Mayor J.H. Graham III, center, at its July 24 meeting with a certificate of appreciation for the city’s continued support of education in Cumberland County.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Report of missing child turns out false; one charged

    A man living in Crossville set off a major search by law enforcement officers and about 40 employees of a retail store after he reported a small child missing. He later recanted and has now been charged with a misdemeanor charge.

    July 31, 2014

  • tourism-granville.jpg Tourism talk dominates roundtable meeting

    Tourism is big business in Cumberland County and the state of Tennessee.
    Tennessee state officials visited the Crossville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce and provided a wealth of information for a roundtable discussion County Mayor Kenneth Carey Jr. organized.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • School system closes budget with more in reserves than planned

    The school system is going to end the year with a little more in its reserves than originally thought, Bob Scarbrough, transportation/maintenance supervisor and acting CFO, at the July 24 meeting of the Cumberland County Board of Education.
    "We believe there will be $4.7 million in the fund balance, which is quite a bit better than anticipated," Scarbrough said.

    July 31, 2014

  • Investigation into assault continues

    A Sparta Hwy. man found with lacerations to the back of the head told Cumberland County sheriff's deputies he was assaulted at a residence on Hwy. 70 N, but doesn't know why.

    July 31, 2014

  • Theft, arson of storage shed reported

    Someone broke into a storage shed and stole several items and, to add insult to injury, set the storage building on fire, according to a Cumberland County Sheriff's Department report.

    July 31, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014