A new report lists heart disease and cancer as the leading causes of death in Dickson County. The Journal of the American Medical Association published a report Tuesday that lists the top 10 causes of death for each county in the United States. Researchers used the death records from the National Center for Health Statistics to categorize the causes of more than 80 million deaths that occurred in the United States 1980-2014. Deaths are assigned to the county of residence at the time of death and the study does not include the deaths of Americans that occurred outside the United States. Researchers say the study provides the most comprehensive look at trends in causes of death based on geographic regions. For each county, the study ranks the causes of death based on the number per 100,000 residents. For Dickson County, the study shows cardiovascular diseases as the leading cause of death with 340 per 100,000 residents per year in that 35-year period. Heart disease was identified as the leading cause of death in most counties across the southeastern United States and is the most common cause of death for the country. Tumors, including all cancers, were the second leading cause of death in Dickson County with 230 per 100,000 residents. The top two causes accounted for 61 percent of annual deaths in Dickson County. The remaining eight causes of death were all less than 100 per 100,000 residents. Neurological disorders were third at 94, followed by chronic respiratory diseases at 67 and diarrhea, lower respiratory and other common infectious diseases completing the top five at 56 per 100,000. Diabetes, urogenital, blood and endocrine system diseases were sixth highest at 54. Transport injuries, which includes all deaths in motor vehicle accidents, came in seventh in Dickson County at 28 per 100,000 residents, followed closely by self-harm and interpersonal violence, which includes suicides and murders, at 25. Cirrhosis and other chronic liver diseases were ninth at 23 and mental and substance abuse disorders rounded out the top 10 causes at 18. The results for Dickson County were not much different from the overall trends across the country. The report does show geographic pockets where certain causes of death are higher than in other parts of the country, some based on economic factors and others believed attributed to environmental factors such as pollution. The study showed the percentage of deaths due to heart problems to be highest along the southern half of the Mississippi River, while violent deaths are more common in western counties and deaths from mental and substance abuse disorders are more common in counties in Kentucky and West Virginia. Other risk factors include unequal access to healthcare and ethnic populations in regions. The county-by-county breakdown is available on the journal’s website, jamanetwork.com.
Dickson County opens tournament action today in the 2016 Above the Rim Invitational at Hickman County High School. The Cougars and Lady Cougars both will be taking on Scotts Hill from Reagan, Tenn., in Henderson County. With an enrollment of less than 500, Scotts Hill plays in District 15 of Class A. The Lady Lions enter today’s game against Class AAA Dickson County with a 7-5 record, having split two games in a pre-Christmas classic at McNairy Central including a 43-point loss to Whitehaven. They have district wins over Adamsville and Jackson Christian. The Lions are 3-9 with a pair of losses at a tournament in Hardin County before Christmas. The Cougars are coming off back-to-back losses at a tournament in Columbia. Today’s games mark the first-ever meetings between Dickson County and Scotts Hill. The Lady Cougars and Lady Lions are scheduled to begin at 1 pm in Centerville. The Cougars and Lions are scheduled for 5:30. Both games will be live on WDKN, 101.5 The One FM, wdkn.com and the WDKN app. The winner of the girls’ game will play the Waverly-Perry County winner at 4 pm Thursday while the losers meet at 10 am. The winner of the boys’ game will meet the Hickman County-Loretto winner at 8:30 pm Thursday while the losers play at 2:30. The tournament concludes Friday. Creek Wood’s Lady Red Hawks will play in a holiday classic in Summertown Thursday and Friday. The Red Hawks are off until the regular season resumes Tuesday.
Former Cougar JeQuan Lewis moved to seventh on the all-time steals list as he led VCU to an 85-51 romp over Howard Tuesday night in Richmond. While Lewis led the Rams with 17 points in only 15 minutes of action, his six steals moved him past Eric Maynor into seventh place with 172 in his career. Howard had no answer for VCU’s quickness as the Rams used a 14-0 run early in the game to build a double-digit lead. VCU’s 48-22 lead at intermission accounted for the most points scored in the first half this season. Lewis hit 4 of 7 from the floor, including 3 of 5 three-pointers, and 6 of 7 free throws. In addition to his 6 steals, Lewis had 5 assists to go over 400 for his career. The 10-3 Rams travel to Fairfax, Va., Friday to open Atlantic10 Conference action against George Mason at 7 pm on the CBS Sports Network. The Vanderbilt Commodores, with junior Rachel Bell from Creek Wood and freshman LeaLea Carter from Dickson County, play their final non-conference game today when they travel to Memphis for a 4 pm contest on ESPNU. Bell leads Vanderbilt with 12.8 points per game while Carter got her first collegiate start in last week’s loss to Louisville. Vandy is 4-1 on the road this season and has won 8 straight over the Tigers. Vandy opens SEC action at Texas A&M Monday.
The Dickson County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office to enhance drunk-driving enforcement through the holiday season. The statewide “Booze It and Lose It” campaign is part of a national mobilization to prevent drunk driving. The Dickson County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting DUI saturation patrols over the New Year’s holiday weekend in an effort to decrease the number of impaired drivers on the roadways and help ensure everyone arrives safely to their destination in the New Year. “We have strict laws with extra enforcement efforts related to DUI, yet many people still make a selfish choice to drive impaired,” said Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe. “The Dickson County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with the THSO, will be working extra patrols this holiday season to prevent and detect DUI drivers. If you choose to ignore the law and drive under the influence, know we will be working to provide you with a sober ride, though the destination will not be home or another place of celebration, it will be the Dickson County Jail. Help us keep Dickson County safe and make a choice to join us and drive responsibly.” Increased state and local messaging about the dangers of drunk driving, coupled with sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols, aim to drastically reduce alcohol-impaired driving. “This time last year, there were 223 lives lost to impaired-driving crashes across Tennessee,” said THSO Director Vic Donoho. “Our partnership with local law enforcement is vital to combat drunk driving this holiday season.” A single DUI conviction can cost an individual $5,000 or more, in addition to jail time. An offender also could be required to attend drug and alcohol treatment, a victim impact panel or install an ignition interlock device inside his or her vehicle. “Any penalty imposed by law pales in comparison to the injury or death of a loved one,” Bledsoe said. The THSO provides grant funding to support the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office’s efforts during the “Booze It and Lose It” holiday enforcement campaign. For more information about the THSO, visit tntrafficsafety.org.
Dickson County Mayor Bob Rial will start the new year with a state of the county update at the January luncheon for the Dickson County Chamber of Commerce. The luncheon for chamber members is $13 and will be at noon Monday, Jan. 9, at GreyStone Golf Club at 2555 Highway 70 East. On a recent Power Lunch program, Rial said the first priority of the new year for the Dickson County Commission will be a proposal for a new school. Rial has already outlined to the county commission and school board how the county’s improved financial status has put it in a position to borrow up to $40 million for school capital projects in 2017 without needing a property tax increase to pay for the additional debt. The Dickson County School Board is expected to make its pitch for a middle/high school in the Burns area early next year with hope to begin construction this spring and open in August 2019. In preliminary discussions between the commission and school officials, Rial has said he also wants to know how the school board plans to come up with the money to operate the new school. Estimates have ranged as high as $4 million in annual operating costs. Rial has said it would take a 44-cent property tax increase to create that additional revenue while school officials have said not all of that money will necessarily come from new revenues and some could come from savings in other parts of the school system. The mayor also has said the county is in a position to borrow up to $30 million in 2017 for other county capital projects, which could include a new criminal justice center to alleviate overcrowding in the Dickson County Courthouse Annex and improve security by putting all of the county’s courts and supporting offices in one location. The commission already has approved the purchase of 2.2 acres on Highway 49 next to the Courthouse Square for the new center and Rial has said he expects to issue a request for qualifications soon to begin design work. The commission also has approved the purchase of property on West Iron Hill Road on which it plans to build a new station for the Dickson County Emergency Medical Service and a volunteer fire department. The county plans to use surplus funds for that project without having to borrow money. The capital plan also could include funds for work at the Dickson County Public Library, which re-opened last week after a section of exterior wall fell on Nov. 20. The mayor has said a new library building and county government satellite office in Dickson could be part of a future capital project. The deadline for chamber members to RSVP for the luncheon is Tuesday, Jan. 3. Reservations can be made by calling the chamber at 615-446-2349.