Fair held to inform Mt. Juliet seniors on health issues

Xavier Smith • Mt. Juliet News
Senior citizens and vendors mingle during the Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center Senior Health Fair on Thursday at the center. Seniors received free information about several different services offered throughout the community.

The Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center continued its mission to help local seniors Thursday as the group held its biennial Senior Health Fair.

“The purpose of the health fair is to have different vendors come and explain to our seniors the different services that are available in this community,” said Mt. Juliet senior center director Tanya Graham.

Vendors received information about home health, elder law, physical health and other aspects of a senior’s life.

“It’s just a pressure-free environment where you can come and get information, take it home, absorb it and if you need to reach back out, you have those contacts,” Graham said.

Graham said everyday occurrences, such as phone scams, create difficulties for seniors to dissect authentic information and businesses. The health fair creates an environment that allows seniors to get information from trusted vendors at a trusted location, Graham said.

“This actually opens it up to where those discussions and contacts can happen, and there’s not a scare of going to someone you don’t know,” Graham said.

The fair can also allow serious discussions to start among loved ones.

“A lot of them have family that’s here and they rely on family to take care of those needs. Sometimes, things kind of get overlooked in the day-to-day life. Sometimes, they’ve delayed planning or find themselves in a situation where it’s at the point they need to start to consider assisted living or a nursing home, and they’ve got a spouse that’s not quire ready for that phase,” Graham said. 

Graham said the fair is designed to continue the group’s mission to help local seniors.

For more information, visit mjseniorcenter.org.

Saint Thomas opens new Mt. Juliet location

Xavier Smith • Mt. Juliet News
Dr. Greg James, Saint Thomas Health chief clinical officer, addresses the crowd during Tuesday’s ribbon cutting ceremony and open house at the new Saint Thomas facility in Mt. Juliet.

Mt. Juliet is home to a new Saint Thomas Health center after a ribbon cutting and open house ceremony last Tuesday at the facility.

The full-service center at the corner of Providence Trail and Belinda Parkway is the latest Saint Thomas Medical Partners facility and will offer primary care, family medicine, breast surgery, cardiology, imaging services, integrative medicine, lab services, neurological services, pulmonary, sleep medicine and more.

“We are re-thinking our identity from being experts at taking care of patients in their emergency situations when they’re sick to coming to patients and taking care of you to keep you well,” said Fahad Tahir, Saint Thomas Medical Partners president and CEO. “This center is a manifestation of that commitment and that dream – this idea that we’re going to create a destination in the community that’s close to home and allows patients to take care of their total health.”

Tahir said he experienced heavy traffic on his way to Mt. Juliet for a meeting about a possible facility in the area in the early stages of the process. When he arrived, he described his difficulty with traffic, which local representatives used to highlight the need for a closer facility.

“Immediately, Mt. Juliet went up the list in terms of the priority communities where we needed to expand our presence,” Tahir said.

Same-day and walk-in appointments are available through the center’s express care. Patients can sign up for the service online.

The Mt. Juliet Saint Thomas center hours are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Saint Thomas Medical Partners is one of the region’s largest physician-led medical groups in Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky with more than 550 providers and 39 specialties, covering 32 counties with 99 locations.

For more information, visit saintthomasdoctors.com/mtjuliet.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Economic group talks Superspeedway

The Wilson County Joint Economic and Community Development Board executive committee discussed the future of the Nashville Superspeedway during Thursday’s monthly meeting.

G.C. Hixson, Wilson County JECDB director, said he and Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto continue to hold meetings with Panattoni Development representatives about the property.

Hixson also highlighted Project Runway, which involves a Nashville developer that submitted a proposal for a project that would require a minimum of 150 acres. The project would serve clients expanding southeastern ground markets.

Hixson said other options have surfaced for the former NASCAR venue, and he expects something to happen for the property.

“It appears to be moving forward, and I think that’s a good move,” Hixson said.

Panattoni, an international commercial real estate development company that specializes in industrial, office and build-to-suit projects, bought the Superspeedway last year from Dover Motorsports for $27.5 million.

Panattoni has not announced its plans for the land or Superspeedway, which opened in 2001 and held four major races a year during its peak, including two NASCAR Nationwide Series races and two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races. 

Hixson also gave an update on the group’s stakeholder survey, which he said is still in development. 

Hixson said the goal of the survey, which will be 20-35 or more questions, is to foster an open communication among the governing bodies in the county concerned with economic development.

The group will create the survey, which addresses present operations, programs and the agency’s purpose. Hixson said the survey would be distributed to municipalities and county leaders, along with other economic development stakeholders.

The group will then organize survey results and general comments into a working document it will share with the various groups during work sessions. The results from the survey will be combined with feedback during work sessions to create a summary document that could serve as a blueprint for an updated strategic plan for the group.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Encore to present ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’

Submitted to Mt. Juliet News
In “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” a humanoid alien visitor named Klaatu comes to earth, accompanied by a powerful 8-foot-tall robot, Gort, to deliver an important message that will affect the entire human race.

Encore Theatre Co. plans to bring the staged radio drama theatre production of classic, “The Day the Earth Stood Still, directed by Don Breedwell.

Performance dates will be Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. A staged reading, fashioned after the 1954 Lux Radio production, will feature live sound effects, along with historical trivia woven through the storyline.

The phrase, “Klaatu barada nikto,” has appeared repeatedly in fiction and in popular cultures and is one of the most memorable lines of the story for all science-fiction fans. Edmund H. North wrote the screenplay, based on the 1940 science-fiction short story, “Farewell to the Master,” by Harry Bates.

In “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” a humanoid alien visitor named Klaatu comes to earth, accompanied by a powerful 8-foot-tall robot, Gort, to deliver an important message that will affect the entire human race.

In 1995, the film was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry as “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”

Tickets are on sale for $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 60 and older and $10 for children 12 and younger. Visit encore-theatre-company.org, ticketsnashville.com or call 615-598-8950.

Encore Theatre Co. is at 6978 Lebanon Road, just west of Highway 109, in Mt. Juliet. Encore is a nonprofit community theater that has served Wilson County and surrounding areas since 2006.

Staff Reports

Nashville Eastern Railroad donates to St. Jude Children’s Hospital

Submitted to Mt. Juliet News
The Nashville Eastern Railroad recently donated nearly $1,500 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Pictured (back row, from left) are Eric Beyer with Regional Transportation Alliance; Craig Wade with NERR; Terry Bebout with NERR; Amanda Clelland with RTA; (front row, from left) Courtney McMahon with St. Jude; and Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto.

The Music City Star heated up the rails April 29 with two separate events.

Riders enjoyed round trips to both the St. Jude Rock ‘N’ Roll Nashville Marathon in the morning, sponsored by Famous Footwear, followed by A Toast to Tennessee Wine Festival, sponsored by the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce in the afternoon.

The Nashville Eastern Railroad pledged to donate $5 per rider. Between the two events, 296 riders boarded the train, and $1,480 was donated to the children of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as a result.

“We are honored to have been a part of both events,” said Bill Drunsic with NERR. “When we learned the sponsors were donating ticket sales to St. Jude, we wanted to do our part, as well. We appreciate all the hard work of the county mayor’s office, [Regional Transportation Alliance], St. Jude, Famous Footwear, Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce and everyone involved in the promotion of these events. The MCS was proud to transport folks to and from these events.”

Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said, “The Nashville Eastern Railroad does an outstanding job with the Music City Star, day in and day out. Their commitment to impeccable transit service is without measure. If you’ve never experienced a ride on the train, I encourage you do so. You can avoid parking fees and traffic, and it’s just a great ride to and from Nashville.”

Staff Reports

‘Vision Source’ glasses recalled from local eye care center

Precision Eye Care in Mt. Juliet has issued a recall for eclipse glasses sold from the shop, the group announced on social media.

The business said the recall only applies to the Vision Source eclipse glasses sold last week. Precision staff contacted patients who bought the glasses and said a few glasses purchased by non-patients are still unaccounted.

“If you have this kind only from our office, please return them to us for a full refund and a free replacement from American Paper Optics,” the Facebook post said.

NASA officials and the American Astronomical Society verified five manufacturers making solar eclipse glasses that meet all glasses standards – American Paper Optics, Baader Planetarium – AstroSolar Silver and Gold film only, Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks Optical and TSE 17.

NASA outlined four guidelines for any solar eclipse glasses. They must:

• have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard.

• have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on the product.

• not to be used if they are older than three years or have scratched or wrinkled lenses.

• not made using homemade filters or be substituted for with ordinary sunglasses – not even very dark ones – because they are not safe for looking directly at the sun.

Wilson County will be the center of the national craze Aug. 21 as many parts of the county fall within a few seconds of the maximum amount of totality, or darkness during the solar eclipse. Totality is expected to start around 1:28 p.m.

For more information, visit eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety. 

By Xavier Smith 

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Providence Marketplace to welcome new restaurant Burgerim

Lease negotiations were completed with a new restaurant concept, Burgerim, which is currently under construction outside Belk’s west entrance next to Kirkland’s at Providence Marketplace in Mt. Juliet.

Burgerim is a casual burger operator that specializes in gourmet mini burgers, custom tailored to satisfy any taste. Patrons can choose from a twin, trio or party pack of 2.8-ounce mini burgers with variety in patty flavors, buns, toppings and sauces. Burgerim also offers sandwiches, salads, wings and options for special dietary needs like vegetarian, vegan or gluten free.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Burgerim into the Marketplace,” said David Heydasch, general manager. “Following the successful introduction of Francesca’s earlier this spring, plus the full remodel of Bath and Body Works in May and the grand re-opening of Fantastic Sam’s Cut and Color later this month, Providence Marketplace continues to re-invent itself as the retail destination of choice for shoppers in Wilson, northern Rutherford and eastern Davidson counties.”

The Burgerim location at Providence Marketplace will be the second in Tennessee and the company’s eastern-most location in the U.S. The company is expanding rapidly, with existing locations in California and Texas and franchised units currently under development from Florida to Connecticut.

Providence Marketplace is the largest open-air shopping center in Middle Tennessee and the largest center between Nashville and Knoxville, with about 830,000 square feet of retail space. The center serves a six-county trade area and features Belk, JC Penney, Kroger and Target, plus national restaurants and specialty shops and a 14-screen Regal Cinema.

Staff Reports

Wilson County BEST Award nominations open

Nominations are now accepted for the fifth annual Businesses Empowering Students and Teachers Awards.

The North Central P-16 Council sponsors the contest. The council is made up of area secondary school educators, higher education leaders and business people and led by Volunteer State Community College. The goal of P-16 is to promote the relationship between education and the value of work, develop a highly trained workforce and create a culture of lifelong learning by positively impacting student success through awareness, advocacy and action.

The BEST Award celebrates the accomplishments of community leaders and supporters, business owners and entrepreneurs. It honors those who share knowledge and expertise, advocate and foster student success in prekindergarten through postsecondary education. The council will award five BEST Awards annually, one in each of the counties served by the North Central P-16 Council.  Public and private businesses or individuals who work for an employer in Macon, Robertson, Sumner, Trousdale and Wilson counties may be nominated or may self-nominate. The recipients of the BEST Awards will be recognized at the October North Central P-16 Council meeting.

The nomination deadline is Aug. 15. To nominate an individual, visit volstate.edu/P16BestAward. For a printed copy of the nomination sheet, call 615-230-3355.

Staff Reports

Mt. Juliet chamber donates to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Submitted to Mt. Juliet News
The Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce presents a $1,000 check to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital from proceeds from the Music City Star’s participation in A Toast to Tennessee Wine Festival. Pictured (from left) are Eric Beyer with Regional Transportation Authority; Courtney McMahon with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; Mark Hinesley, director of the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce; Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto; and Amanda Clelland with RTA.

A Toast to Tennessee Wine Festival made its way back to Wilson County for 2017 and helped out the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital along the way.

Festivalgoers from across the state made their way to the Wilson County Expo Center, many of them by way of the Music City Star. Sponsored by the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce, train tickets for the April 29 event were $12 and donated back to the children of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“We were thrilled to bring the festival back to Wilson County this year,” said Mark Hinesley, director of the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce. “Then, when we were given the opportunity to sponsor the Music City Star, we were even more excited. The icing on the cake was the opportunity to donate the train ticket sales back to St. Jude. Given our involvement in the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway, donating this money just made sense. I appreciate the hard work of the county mayor’s office and the folks at [Regional Transportation Authority] and St. Jude to make this train event possible. We are very excited for next year.”

The chamber made a $1,000 donation.

“Every year we look forward to the marathon train event,” said Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto. “We when learned the wine festival was coming back to Wilson County on the same day, we all jumped at the chance to do an additional train event and raise even more money for St. Jude. The teamwork and partnership of all the involved parties has just been tremendous, and we look forward to future events like this one. Thank you to Mark Hinesley and the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce for your hard work and willingness to give back to the kids of St. Jude, and thank you to St. Jude, RTA and [Nashville and Eastern Railroad Corp.] for all your hard work throughout this process.”

Staff Reports

Shop tax free in Tennessee during last weekend in July

NASHVILLE – Tennessee retailers will not collect sales tax on more than 150 different items during the 12th annual sales tax holiday.
From July 28-30, shoppers can save nearly 10 percent on clothing, school supplies and computers, as students prepare for the back-to-school season. State and local taxes will not be collected on clothing, school and art supplies that cost $100 or less per item and computers that cost $1,500 or less.
State Department of Revenue officials remind people the weekend of savings is not exclusive to students or Tennesseans. Anyone who wants to shop in Tennessee during the last weekend of July will be eligible to save on sales tax.
“The sales tax holiday for back-to-school items is another way to put more money back in the pockets of Tennesseans. We encourage Tennesseans to take advantage of this tax break as they prepare their children for the upcoming school year,” said Gov. Bill Haslam.
Legislators passed a new law in 2016 that moved the sales tax holiday a weekend earlier than it was in the past. The sales tax holiday is now the last weekend in July, instead of the first weekend in August. This year, the sales tax holiday begins July 28 at 12:01 a.m. and ends July 30 at 11:59 p.m.
“We want to remind Tennesseans about this important opportunity for savings. It’s available to everyone and only happens one weekend a year,” said Revenue Commissioner David Gerregano.
For more information about the sales tax holiday, including a complete list of tax-exempt items and frequently asked questions, visit tntaxholiday.com.
The Department of Revenue is responsible for administering state tax laws, motor vehicle title and registration laws and the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The department collects about 87 percent of total state revenue. During the 2016 fiscal year, it collected $13.5 billion in state taxes and fees and more than $2.6 billion in taxes and fees for local governments. To learn more about the department, visit tn.gov/revenue.

Staff Reports

Wilson County bakers should get ready for the fair

Submitted to Mt. Juliet News
The Wilson County Fair baking contest will begin taking entries Aug. 17 from 3-6 p.m. at the Expo Center. Closed judging will begin at 6 p.m. at the Expo Center.

All Wilson County bakers, it’s time to get those recipes ready to enter the Wilson County Fair baking contest.

The Wilson County Fair baking contest will begin taking entries Aug. 17 from 3-6 p.m. at the Expo Center. Closed judging will begin at 6 p.m. 

“We are excited this year to be featured in the new Expo Center,” said Debbie Stephens, baking contest chairman. “It will be sad leaving the East-West Building, where we have had our exhibits for many years.  We look forward to seeing everyone this year in a new venue. “

This year’s winners will be displayed in the baking shop. Entrants must be at least 19 years old or older. In the past, six categories were available, including quick breads, yeast breads, cookies, pies, cakes and candy. There will first-, second- and third-place money and ribbons in each lot.  There will be a grand champion awarded in each category. The grand champions will receive a ribbon and special gift.

“We are proud to announce something new this year,” Stephens said. “On Saturday, Aug. 19, there will be a Cornbread Challenge.” 

All entries must be received between 11 a.m. and noon. Open judging will begin at noon. Prizes will be $100 for first, $75 for second and $50 for third. 

“We appreciate Shenandoah Mills sponsoring this event,” Stephens said. “This is not just cornbread, but a creation made with cornbread mixture in the dish. Examples would be fiesta bakes, chicken pot pie, all varieties of stuffing, corn pudding, all varieties of casseroles, tamale pie, etc.  We encourage everyone to come up with your own original recipe.”

All information regarding the baking contest may be found at wilsoncountyfair.net; visit competitions/food/baking and cornbread challenge.

Staff Reports

Developer discusses Mt. Juliet Road project

Xavier Smith • Mt. Juliet News
Michael Murphy with Cumberland Advisors discusses the potential 21-acre Northtown Village development on North Mt. Juliet Road during a recent open house at the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce office.

Mt. Juliet residents got their first look at revised plans for a North Mt. Juliet Road development recently during an open house at the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce office.

Michael Murphy, of Cumberland Advisors, along with Mt. Juliet Commissioner Ray Justice met with residents regarding revised plans for the proposed Northtown Village, a planned development of 274 apartment units and about 10,000 square feet of mixed retail and commercial space on N. Mt. Juliet Road and Lebanon Road, adjacent to the West Wilson Utility District building.

Plans for the project were deferred in January after the planning commission failed to approve a land use amendment associated with the project in December.

“Primarily, the difference relates to the architecture. This plan has one mixed-use building that we anticipate having one to two restaurants that will be open to the general public. That promotes interaction with the community,” Murphy said.

Murphy said the group also made improvements to the façade and accessibility within the buildings, along with traffic improvements requested by city staff.

One major traffic improvement includes a proposed traffic signal on Lebanon Road, along with one on N. Mt. Juliet Road, which Murphy said would alleviate traffic in the N. Mt. Juliet Road and Lebanon Road intersection.

“We’ve incorporated every change and everything the city has wanted us to do. We’re trying to meet the city and be a member of the community and looking forward to participating in the community,” Murphy said.

Other plans include one-, two- and three-bedroom units, along with vast greenway space for connectivity to Charlie Daniels Park and other city trails.

“The changes have made it even better than it was before. I am more in favor of the concept of the project and I’ll let the planning staff and planning commission work through the actual project itself, making it functional,” Justice said.

Justice said he would rather the proposed development than the other option, which could be a storage area for the West Wilson Utility District.

“What I have seen there since I was a kid is a big open field. We’re going to take an open field that produces very little property tax or anything to the community now and the project itself will start building in that area and turn it into what I’m looking at as sort of a village concept,” Justice said.

Murphy and Justice said, based on traffic studies, the development would produce less traffic than a big-box retail, such as Lowe’s, or a fast-food restaurant.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Economic group talks new projects

Xavier Smith • Mt. Juliet News
The Wilson County Joint Economic and Community Development Board executive committee reflected on a busy June and discussed the status of several projects during last Thursday’s monthly meeting.

The Wilson County Joint Economic and Community Development Board executive committee received an update last Thursday on the group’s activities and new and current projects in the county.

G.C. Hixson, Wilson County JECDB executive director, said the group had a busy June with several meetings, appointments and events, including RECon, the annual global conference sponsored by the International Council of Shopping Centers.  

The group used the four-day event to attract retailers, shopping center owners and developers to Wilson County. Each city leaders also held meetings to attract retail to their respective cities.

Hixson and Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto also met with Panattonni Development representatives last month to discuss potential assistance and incentives for the Nashville Superspeedway property.

Panattoni, an international commercial real estate development company that specializes in industrial, office and build-to-suit projects, bought the Superspeedway last year from Dover Motorsports for $27.5 million.

Panattoni has not announced its plans for the land or Superspeedway, which opened in 2001 and held four major races a year during its peak, including two NASCAR Nationwide Series races and two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races. 

Hixson also highlighted several new and current projects in the area.

New projects were codenamed Renaissance, Blue Wave and Palm.

Project Renaissance features an Asian-based solar corporation that desires a location to build a 450,000-square-foot “solar cell” manufacturing operation. The group prefers 25-40 acres on rail, but would consider other alternatives.

The project has a $180 million investment estimate and employment demand of 1,100 positions.

Project Blue Wave would be a $30 million investment on a 325-person consumer products manufacturing facility that requires 25-50 acres. A critical component for the project is accessibility of subsurface water to be purified by the company and then used in the manufacturing process.

Project Palm features a Japanese client that seeks to build an additional tier-one manufacturing facility. The company requires maximum “industrial setting” of 30 acres with “shovel-ready” sites preferred. Phase one of Project Palm would include construction of a 150,000-square-foot facility.

Representatives for Project Instrument will revisit three Wilson County sites next week. Project Instrument features an international music company that seeks to build a 100,000-120,000-square-foot center that would serve as its U.S. headquarters, showroom, customer service center and distribution facility.

The JECDB is also finalizing PILOT documents for Project Source.

The project features a global manufacturer and distributor of medical products and devices. A site in Beckwith Farms Development off Interstate 40 in Mt. Juliet is under final consideration.

The company would build a 260,000-square-feet specialized e-commerce and distribution service center. 

The project would require an investment of $18.5 million in real and $1.5 million in personal property values. The first phase of employment would require 30 employees with pay that would average more than $32,603 per year. 

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Haslam highlights grocery tax cut at Mt. Juliet business

Xavier Smith • Mt. Juliet News
Chris Houston, owner of Houston’s Meat and Produce in Mt. Juliet, welcomes Gov. Bill Haslam, Rep. Susan Lynn and Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto, as well as others to the store last Thursday. Haslam visited Houston’s to highlight the 20-percent reduction in the state’s grocery tax that took effect July 1.

Governor, other leaders visit Houston’s Meat and Produce

Gov. Bill Haslam visited Houston’s Meat and Produce in Mt. Juliet last Thursday to tout the state’s grocery tax reduction, which took effect July 1 as a part of the IMPROVE Act.

The IMPROVE Act created the largest tax cut in state history while delivering a safe, reliable and debt-free transportation network, according to Haslam. The IMPROVE Act cuts $125 million in sales tax on groceries by reducing the tax rate from 5 to 4 percent and is a net tax savings for average Tennessee families – a fact confirmed by the Americans for Tax Reform, an organization that opposes all tax increases as a matter of principle.

“We live in a very conservative state, and there was no way we were just going to go and raise a tax like the gas tax – no matter how badly it was needed – without addressing the other side,” Haslam said.

The state’s gas tax increased by 4 cents for every gallon Saturday as a part of the IMPROVE Act, which prioritizes 962 road and bridge projects across all of Tennessee’s 95 counties, addressing a $10.5 billion backlog in repairs and updates.

“We’ve reduced the cost of government, and we’re returning those dollars in tax cuts. The sales tax on food is a tax that all Tennesseans pay, and the IMPROVE Act is a conservative and responsible plan that puts dollars back into the pockets of all Tennesseans by cutting the grocery tax and directly addresses how we fund our roads and bridges for the first time in 30 years,” Haslam said.

Under the IMPROVE Act, a total of 962 projects throughout the state are set to start within the next eight years, including 10 Wilson County road projects. 

Among the Wilson County projects are two highly debated roadways in State Route 109 and South Mt. Juliet Road. The State Route 109 project is designated for the roadway from Highway 70 and north to the county line at Dry Fork Creek. The 7.5 miles of work is estimated to cost $18.5 million. The South Mt. Juliet Road project is estimated to cost $25.4 million to address the area between Central Pike and Providence Way. 

The IMPROVE Act also cuts business taxes for manufacturers by $113 million and has already helped attract manufacturing jobs to the state. In May, Nokian Tyres cited the IMPROVE Act as a major factor in its decision to invest $360 million in a new tire manufacturing facility in Dayton that is expected to create 400 new jobs, according to Haslam.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

St. Jude dream home winners announced

Submitted to Mt. Juliet News
This year, Alyssa and Isaiah Manfredi, of Hermitage, saw one of their dreams come true – and it only cost them $100. The winner of Nashville’s St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway said she was surprised and honored to be one of the hundreds of winners across the country to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

This year, Alyssa Manfredi, of Hermitage, saw one of her dreams come true – and it only cost her $100.

The winner of Nashville’s St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway said she was surprised and honored to be one of the hundreds of winners across the country to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“We are in complete shock,” Manfredi said.

“We are so overwhelmed. We never expected to win,” said her husband, Isaiah.

The couple donates to St. Jude each year around Christmas. Alyssa Manfredi was inspired to get a ticket when she heard radio personality Bobby Bones sharing about the giveaway on The BIG 98.

“They said the house was in Mt. Juliet, and when we first moved from Pennsylvania three years ago, Mt. Juliet is where we really wanted to live,” Alyssa Manfredi said. “So I figured it would be good way to support St. Jude.”

Estimated to be valued at $450,000, the single-family home was built by Signature Homes and is in the Jackson Hills subdivision in Mt. Juliet. The home is about 3,300 square feet and includes four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a custom playroom and gourmet kitchen.

Not only does the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway benefit the new homeowner, but also the patients of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital who are battling cancer and other deadly diseases.

For the past 27 years, St. Jude has given away more than 450 houses and raised more than $370 million in ticket sales, making it the largest single-event fundraiser for the hospital.

It’s because of programs like this that families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel housing or food, so they can focus on helping their child live.

The construction of a home would not be possible without the support of the community and loyal sponsors, including WZTV Fox 17, Signature Homes, The BIG 98, Two Rivers Ford, Ashley Homestore, Crowe Horwath and national sponsors, Brizo, Shaw Floors and Trane.

“We’re excited for the winners Alyssa and Isaiah, and pleased that this program has and always will be a win-win for everyone involved,” said Tyler Belcher, from Signature Homes, builder of this year’s St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway. “Fundraisers like this one allow St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to continue striving to find the answers to save every child with pediatric cancer or other life-threatening diseases through its lifesaving research.”

Those who reserved a ticket to win the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway or attended the open house could enter to win additional prizes. For a complete list of winners and prizes, call 800-746-6713 or visit dreamhome.org.

Staff Reports

2 new businesses pop up in north Mt. Juliet

Submitted to Mt. Juliet News
Universal Supply Co. is one of two new businesses that recently opened in north Mt. Juliet. Universal Supply is a heating and air conditioning unit supplier. The other business to open is For Social Graces, which specializes in dog training.

New businesses appear to be popping up everywhere in north Mt. Juliet.

For Social Graces and Universal Supply Co. are two of the newer business in north Mt. Juliet on Lebanon Road.

Previously operating in the back of Tractor Supply Co., For Social Graces was at 12007 Lebanon Road for a little more than a year. Owner Chelle Ziegler is a certified professional dog trainer and earned a certification in canine first aid and CGC evaluator.

The business was a hit among Mt. Juliet pet owners. Ziegler said they mainly serve working dog parents who need a way to exercise and mentally stimulate their pups in a safe and controlled area while they are at work or taking care of other things.

It’s not just a doggy daycare. For Social Graces is for people who seek guidance in raising their dog or have issues that need addressing. The importance of having good manners starts immediately for the dog in today’s society, according to Ziegler. It also offers self bathing in stainless tubs. This offers people an easy way to get their dog clean and dry and leave the mess behind.

Ziegler said her business is set apart by customer service.

“We hold ourselves to a high level of excellent customer service and care for the dogs,” Ziegler said. “The dogs are never left unsupervised, and we train our employees to know dog behavior and communications so that we can separate and integrate them safely.”

Mt. Juliet was chosen for her business because of the need of this type of service in the community, the high traffic volume and the building and property available with Lineberry Properties. Ziegler said she loves Mt. Juliet is so dog friendly.

“I love seeing the upgrades going on in North Mt. Juliet,” most of which are Lineberry Properties,” she said.

To make an appointment with For Social Graces, visit forsocialgraces.com or call 615-939-5757.

Universal Supply Co. is the newest business in Mt. Juliet. It recently had its grand opening June 23. Located next door to For Social Graces at 11969 Lebanon Road, it’s a heating and air conditioning unit distributorship and offers services and units to business and homeowners.

Universal Supply Co. has a variety of heating and cooling units, condensate, air ducts, thermostats and more. It offers materials dedicated specifically to the HVAC business. Universal Supply has an extensive inventory of heating and cooling equipment from brands specific to the region.

Richard Walters, owner of USC, said their service sets them apart from any other similar business.

“We have a complete team that offers great service and dedication,” Walters said. “Our people really go a step above and beyond. Our clients are not just a number. Our people really care about what they do and what they are putting out there.”

Walters chose the location for his business because he saw a need for the type of service in the community. He has lived in the area for four years and said he loves the people of Mt. Juliet. He said he enjoys the fact that Mt. Juliet is a quaint town right on the outskirts of the larger Nashville. The way Mt. Juliet is revitalizing the older structures in the north part of the city is impressive to Walters. He has seen cities just bring in new business to one part of town and build new, leaving the old to sit empty.

Find Universal Supply Co. by calling 615-288-4845, visiting its Facebook page or via  email at ethan.moss@universalsupplyco.net.

Mark Lineberry with Lineberry Properties said he is proud to be a part of revitalizing the north end of Mt. Juliet. He grew up in Mt. Juliet and has seen the city transform through different stages.

“Change is inevitable, and we must embrace it,” Lineberry said.

Staff Reports

Windtree Pines development denied by city commission

The Mt. Juliet City Commission denied preliminary plans for a residential development at the site of the Windtree Pines Golf Course during Monday’s commission meeting.

The plans, which were considered in the second reading Monday after the first reading was approved in April, included 351 single-family homes on about 184 acres.

In April, commissioners debated at length about putting in a roundabout on Nonaville Road. City engineer Andy Barlow recommended the roundabout.

The roundabout was a cause for concern among commissioners again Monday, as there was some worry that many traveling through the area will haul boats and trailers through the roundabout. Commissioners also had general traffic concerns.

Ray Justice, who is the commissioner for the district where the proposed development is located, was strongly opposed to the roundabout.

Mayor Ed Hagerty, Justice and Brian Abston voted against the preliminary plans.

In April, commissioners agreed to allow developer Danny Hale to voluntarily contribute an additional $1,250 per lot to go toward additional improvements in the area, rather than the normally recommended amount of $2,500 per lot. Hale would have also been responsible for putting in sidewalks going to Lebanon Road.

In the preliminary plans, the existing amenities center would have remained, and a community swimming pool would have been built. The site also would have dedicated green space that would include an existing lake.

According to Hale, if the project were approved, it would take 10 years before it was completed.

If the developer wishes to attempt to move forward with a modified version of the project, it will need to go before the Mt. Juliet Planning Commission and, if approved, may then be reconsidered by the city commission.

By Jake Old 

jold@lebanondemocrat.com

Windtree Pines development denied by city commission

The Mt. Juliet City Commission denied preliminary plans for a residential development at the site of the Windtree Pines Golf Course during Monday’s commission meeting.

The plans, which were considered in the second reading Monday after the first reading was approved in April, included 351 single-family homes on about 184 acres.

In April, commissioners debated at length about putting in a roundabout on Nonaville Road. City engineer Andy Barlow recommended the roundabout.

The roundabout was a cause for concern among commissioners again Monday, as there was some worry that many traveling through the area will haul boats and trailers through the roundabout. Commissioners also had general traffic concerns.

Ray Justice, who is the commissioner for the district where the proposed development is located, was strongly opposed to the roundabout.

Mayor Ed Hagerty, Justice and Brian Abston voted against the preliminary plans.

In April, commissioners agreed to allow developer Danny Hale to voluntarily contribute an additional $1,250 per lot to go toward additional improvements in the area, rather than the normally recommended amount of $2,500 per lot. Hale would have also been responsible for putting in sidewalks going to Lebanon Road.

In the preliminary plans, the existing amenities center would have remained, and a community swimming pool would have been built. The site also would have dedicated green space that would include an existing lake.

According to Hale, if the project were approved, it would take 10 years before it was completed.

If the developer wishes to attempt to move forward with a modified version of the project, it will need to go before the Mt. Juliet Planning Commission and, if approved, may then be reconsidered by the city commission.

By Jake Old

jold@lebanondemocrat.com

Wilson Bank & Trust celebrates 30 years by giving back

Wilson Bank & Trust, known as Middle Tennessee’s Community Bank, is marking its 30th year in business by donating $30,000 to charities in the communities it serves.

Additionally, each of the bank’s branches and other work group divisions will give at least 30 hours of volunteer time to charities it selects.

The celebration kicked off last month with a caravan tour of executives from Wilson Bank & Trust to area branch locations. Offices also started presenting a $1,000 check to each of their selected nonprofits.

“When we first opened our doors in 1987, we could not have imagined the day when we would celebrate 30 years of serving our community,” said CEO Randall Clemons. “Our customers are the people who brought us to this day. They have placed their trust in us and we, in turn, have worked every day to exceed their expectations. This donation we are making back to the community is our way of saying thank you to all those who have brought Wilson Bank & Trust to this very proud moment.”

Clemons was one of a group of Lebanon business leaders who founded Wilson Bank & Trust in 1987 after recognizing the need for a locally based financial institution. On Feb. 1, 1987, the first share of stock was sold, and Clemons was hired as the bank’s first employee. The first location was in a small, two-bedroom home near downtown Lebanon.

Now, 30 years later, the bank has grown to 26 full-service branch locations in eight Middle Tennessee counties with more than 105,000 customers. Most recently, the bank announced its expansion into Williamson County, and it will open its first branch in downtown Nashville on West End Avenue in the summer.

Wilson Bank & Trust remains an independent, hometown bank owned by thousands of stockholders who gather each year in Lebanon for a picnic with employees. And despite its expansion, Wilson Bank & Trust has stayed true to its core value of community service, investing hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years in area schools, charities, sports leagues and county celebrations and fairs.

“We are honored to serve Middle Tennessee and are proud to work with such a dedicated team of employees, several who have been with us for all of our 30 years,” said Clemons. “We would not be where we are without their continued dedication, not just to our business, but also to the communities we serve. The best part of this anniversary is being able to celebrate with them.”

One of the top banks in the South in stability, products, technology, growth and earnings, Wilson Bank & Trust currently operates 26 full-service offices in eight Middle Tennessee counties, offering a full range of financial products that include secondary market mortgage loans and online banking services.

Staff Reports

Denning shares video tips with chamber

Xavier Smith Mt. Juliet News
Liz Denning, owner of Gamma Blast Studios, discusses questions businesses need to ask before shooting video content Friday during the latest Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce Business Boost. Denning shared her seven-step method to video marketing with the group.

Mt. Juliet small business owners learned strategies for video marketing Friday during the latest installment of the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce’s Business Boost series.

“Any business that needs to communicate emotions or legitimize themselves should be using video,” said Liz Denning, owner of Gamma Blast Studios.

Gamma Blast Studios specializes in visual storytelling and digital marketing with clients such as Nissan, HGTV and the Nashville Predators. Denning also writes the video blog, Vidruptive.com.

Denning said with current technology, any person or company could be its own movie studio and publish content. She said businesses – small and large – are intimidated by the perceived difficulty of creating video content.

She shared her seven-step strategy with the group, noting several steps take place before a recording device is used.

“There are a lot of people who start doing video, and they don’t do any sort of planning at all,” Denning said.

She said businesses should create a content plan or strategy before filming and ask basic questions about the intended audience and their desires, as well as the desired end result.

“In our world, content is a business asset. The reason you’re creating content for your business is to get more business. It’s not just because it’s fluffy and nice. There’s an end goal and measurement around that,” she said.

Denning said the plans should have clear targets and calls to action from consumers.

“It’s surprising to me that a lot of people create content, and then they don’t tell people what they want them to do with it,” she said.

Entertainment was also a main talking point for Denning, who said the content should capture the audience.

“You have to entertain or give something to people that’s interesting to them so they continue to watch. It’s not that you have to be the latest viral video entertainer. You don’t; but there has to be some likeability there. You have to entertain people a little bit, and it has to be culturally relevant,” she said.

For more information, follow Denning on Twitter @GammaLiz.

The Business Boost is the chamber’s bi-monthly series of informative and interactive small business education sessions led by some of the area’s top professionals.

The next session will take place July 28 and feature Tim Shaver with Sandler Sales Institute. Shaver will discuss time management for professionals. To register for the event, visit mjchamber.org and click on chamber events.

By: Xavier Smith

XSmith@lebanondemocrat.com