JACKSON, Tenn. — As the year comes to a close, the leader of the Jackson-Madison County School System says he’s happy to be home.

“It’s good to come home. It’s been everything my family and I hoped it would be,” Dr. Eric Jones said.

Jones is completing his first year as the leader of the district. He says this first year has been rewarding.

“I’m most proud of our community. There has been a lot of traction and attention shown to our school system in a positive direction. Our teachers have really bought into the work that’s happening inside the classrooms,” Jones said.

Jones says he came into the year with a goal.

“School climate and culture was high on the list,” Jones said

Jones says the feeling inside the classroom from the principals down to the students was very important. He says that has improved, but it’s not where it should be.

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He also says the district put new procedures in for the year.

“We implemented a new instructional framework designed on literacy; also, our program alignment and workforce development,” Jones said.

Jones kicked off the year holding community meetings, hearing from parents and getting feedback. He says it’s something his team wants to get back to doing.

“We need to do more of it. Quite frankly, we started out doing great with it, but then the job took over. This summer, we need to get back on the trail and listen to the feedback from the community,” Jones said.

WBBJ asked how has progress been on improving the buildings. Many are more than 50-years-old.

“It’s slow moving, but it’s moving forward and we are still moving toward our capital plan. We have identified a significant amount of needs,” Jones said.

The majority of Jackson-Madison County School Board members are not seeking reelection, something Jones says might not be a bad thing.

“I think it could be a positive thing. I think it’s all about building relationships and sitting down with each board member (and) finding out what they wish to accomplish,” Jones said.

Jones says he is eager and ready to continue to lead the district for years to come.

“My mindset is to say humble and hungry. Don’t let the first year be the best year we have. It’s all about progress and moving forward,” Jones said.

JACKSON, Tenn. — A sea of red, white and blue as far as the eye can see.

More than 1,000 flags were lined up honoring those who have served and are still serving. It also honored those who are first responders as well as children who were lost to child abuse.

“The future are our children,” said Retired U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John Castellaw. “It’s so important that they have the care and support and the resources they need to have a good start in life so that they can have those values that is so important to us as a nation.”

The ceremony was not only a way to raise awareness of child abuse, but also as a way to honor those who have sacrificed their time serving our country.

“The first responders, I think, and the military share some values and unity of purpose,” Castellaw said. “Others before self, and that’s what we need in America today.”

Air Force veteran Robert Bruce Vandiver, Sr. said this ceremony makes him proud to have served.

“It was one of the greatest experiences of my life being able to be in the military and experience all the good things that happened and the growth it gave me,” Vandiver said.

Castellaw says, regardless of race or religion, anyone should have the freedom to serve for the country.

“Anybody that feels that they need to serve this country, that they wanna put their lives on the line, that they are patriotic and love this country, you should be able to serve,” Castellaw said.

The flags for the display were able for purchase at $25 each. All the funds raised for the event went towards supporting the Jackson Exchange Club and the Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse.

JACKSON, Tenn. — The Boys & Girls Club of Jackson is gearing up for their summer program.

“We focus on the summer ‘brain gain’ instead of the summer learning loss,” Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Sabrina Anderson said.

Summer camp starts May 29 and ends July 13. They’ve got lots of activities planned that will take students all over Jackson.

“We’re going to be going swimming, we’ll go to the movies, we’ll be going to the Jackson Generals for the Super Splash Day,” Anderson said.

They’ll even visit the Boys & Girls Club in Brownsville for a game day.

The Jackson-Madison County Library is also preparing for their jam-packed summer.

“The library has eight weeks of summer library programs for all ages throughout the summer,” Jenci Spradlin, adult services librarian, said. “We kick that off June 2 and we end up on July 28, and there’s going to be things to do every single day of the week.”

The theme for the library this summer is “libraries rock.” They’ll host everything from movie sing-a-longs to a rock, paper, scissors tournament.

“Everything for our summer program is free,” Spradlin said. “And also with our summer program we have challenge sheets for different age groups with different activities to do.”

And every person that completes a challenge sheet will get a ticket for a free admission to the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.

If you’re looking to get outside this summer, the City of Jackson has several playgrounds to take your kids to all summer long. The Recreation and Parks Department also has several things planned including soccer camps, tennis camps and even an astronomy party.

For information about preteen vaccinations, visit the Centers for Disease Control website.

JACKSON, Tenn. — Three people have been indicted in U.S. District Court in Jackson after investigators found marijuana growing in a Madison County home.

William Bryan Cisco, 43, of Jackson, Michael Boutin, 58, of Oregon, and Tawni Boutin, 56, of Oregon, were indicted Monday by a federal grand jury.

According to a news release, investigators with Jackson-Madison County Metro Narcotics searched a home in Madison County and found a marijuana grow operation inside.

The release says investigators seized 20 pounds of marijuana and three pounds of butane hash oil from the home and a tour bus on the property.

Investigators also seized 11 firearms, $7,000, a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, and the tour bus.

All three are charged with knowing and manufacturing or attempting to manufacture marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and attempting to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana and marijuana concentrates.

Cisco faces an additional charge of possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Michael Boutin and Tawni Boutin have previously been featured on the Discovery Channel show “Weed Country” as marijuana farmers.

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