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Local News for Thursday, April 15th

Here is your Cleveland, Tenn. | Bradley County, Tenn. news on mymix1041.com, sponsored by Toyota of Cleveland:

In news today…

Life Care Center of Athens is welcoming a new executive director, Jaimme Preston. 

Preston has 10 years of experience in senior care, including serving in business development and administrator roles at Garden Plaza of Greenbriar Cove in Ooltewah, Tennessee.

Preston, formerly Jaimme Masingale, is no stranger to Athens. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business and finance from Tennessee Wesleyan University and served as administrator in training at Life Care Center of Athens for a year and a half.

From the Chattanooga Times Free Press…

The retirement of 10th Judicial District Circuit Court Judge Larry H. Puckett has drawn two applicants for replacing him, one short of the number required under state law, so that means Gov. Bill Lee could throw a third name into the hat.

Puckett, 69, has served in the post since his appointment Dec. 22, 1997, and his retirement will end almost a quarter-century on the bench in the 10th Judicial District’s Bradley, McMinn, Monroe and Polk counties. His retirement is effective July 1, about a year before his term expires in 2022.

The commission began accepting applications March 25, and the deadline for submitting them was April 8. Athens, Tennessee-lawyer David Mitchell Bryant and Cleveland, Tennessee-lawyer Michael Everett Jenne applied for the post through the Trial Court Vacancy Commission, but Tennessee law requires three applicants, officials said.

So now, under the law, the governor can fill the vacancy with any person who is qualified to serve as a circuit court judge in the district, according to the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts.

There is no timeline mentioned on the appointment.

He retired before the end of his term, Puckett said, to allow the appointed replacement to gain experience on the bench before they decide whether to run for the seat in August 2022.

From WRCB Channel 3…

Gov. Bill Lee on Tuesday announced that one of North America’s largest manufacturer of COVID-19 testing swabs will establish a new manufacturing and distribution operations in Tennessee.

Puritan Medical Products, a medical supplies manufacturer headquartered in Maine, will open a factory in Orlinda, Tennessee, state officials said in a news release. The project will result in 625 jobs over the next five years. 

Puritan has played a major role in the U.S.’s efforts to conduct enough testing to help corral the coronavirus pandemic. The company’s total production of flock tip swabs and foam swabs has increased from 15 to 20 million swabs a month to 70 to 90 million per month. 

The Tennessee factory is expected to produce up to 200 million swabs per month. 

In news today…

Beiersdorf on Wednesday announced it would begin in January 2022 to gradually ramp down production operations at its Cleveland, Tennessee plant with full closure expected in the third quarter of 2022. 

Beiersdorf acquired the plant as part of its acquisition in 2019 of Coppertone. Following the acquisition, Beiersdorf performed an extensive and thorough review of the Cleveland facility to determine the long-term opportunity for the site. That review concluded in March 2021.

Despite this plant closure, the majority of Coppertone production will remain in the United States with third-party manufacturers. The corporate management, marketing, research and product development for the Coppertone brand also will remain in the United States.

Beiersdorf informed employees at the plant Wednesday of the ramp down. Over the next 16 months, the company will work with employees to help them connect with opportunities to build the next chapter of their careers. That support will also include a comprehensive severance package.