Wilson County Fair school exhibits to expand

The Wilson County Fair school exhibits will expand to the North Hall of the Expo Center during the fair, which will be Aug. 18-26. 

Each school in Wilson County, including private schools and homeschools, will present a display that depicts the unique characteristics of the school. Included will be examples of superior work completed by students during the prior school year.

This year’s fair theme is “Here Comes the Fun.” Displays and video presentations will share exciting moments from the past school year.

As a new feature of the school exhibits, visit the STEM Building G, where children of all ages can enjoy interactive science, technology, engineering and math centers. STEM allows children to explore, engage and develop the capacity to make changes in our world.

Also included will be a LEGO competition Aug. 19 at 1 p.m. More details are available at wilsoncountyfair.net.

Staff Reports

Oak Ridge Boys member talks fair performance

Longtime Oak Ridge Boys member Joe Bonsall recently shared his thoughts on the group’s performance at the Wilson County Fair, along with the group’s other happenings.

Bates Ford in Lebanon will bring back the Oak Ridge Boys in concert for the second straight year Aug. 21 at 7:30 p.m. Jimmy Comer, vice president of the Wilson County Fair, said last year’s concert was the largest concert in fair history.

Bonsall said the group was excited to make its return to the “greatest fair in Tennessee.”

“It’s a great, great fair. We’re honored to sing there. Last year was a big night for us. I think it was big night for the fair. I got a personal text from Tony Bates with Bates Ford this past year. I gave him a call and we chatted,” said Bonsall, who said the conversation led to the group’s return.

Fans and attendees will enjoy the patented “fast-paced, family-oriented show” the Oak Ridge Boys have featured for decades, according to Bonsall.

“That’s what the Oak Ridge Boys are all about. Mom, dad, the kids and grandma can all come out to hear the Oak Ridge Boys and know they’re going to hear a lot of music, have a lot of fun, and it’s going to be a clean show. They’re going to hear a lot of hits, gospel music, we’ll wave the flag a little bit, and it’ll be a great, fast-paced 90-minute show from the Oak Ridge Boys.”

The group has had a busy summer, according to Bonsall, in part due to the success of the collaboration with Blake Shelton on “Doing it to Country Songs,” featured on Shelton’s 2016 album, If I’m Honest.

“About a year and half ago, Blake called. He’s been a good friend for a lot of years and he loves the Oak Ridge Boys, and we love Blake. He said, ‘What do I have to do to get you all to sing on a song with me?’ I said, ‘Name the time and place, Blake,’” Bonsall said.

Since the song’s release, the group has performed the song live with Shelton at the 2016 CMT Music Awards and five major country music festivals, re-recorded their hit, “Elvira,” with Shelton and received an animated video of the song courtesy of Spotify and Warner Brothers, with Bonsall portrayed as a beaver.

Bonsall said the collaboration allowed the Oak Ridge Boys to reach new audiences, which is on par with the group’s philosophy of non-complacency.

“Whether it’s William Lee Golden, Duane Allen, Richard Sterban or myself, everybody has this thought pattern of keeping this thing going and what can we do today to make it better than last time,” Bonsall said.

The group has enjoyed tremendous success, including a 2015 induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. They charted single after single and album after album, celebrating more than 41 million records sold, two double-platinum albums, and more than 30 top 10 hits, including No. 1 chart-toppers “Elvira,” “Bobbie Sue,” “Thank God For Kids,” “American Made,” among dozens more.

Bonsall said group members enjoy being a part of the group just as much as they enjoy success, which fuels their continued drive.

“We love being the Oak Ridge Boys. I think at this point in our career, the four of us have been blessed, because we’re still feeling good, singing good, playing a lot of shows and just enjoy being the Oak Ridge Boys,” he said.

The group recently recorded a new album, tentatively titled “17th Avenue Revival,” which is set to release next year.

“Let’s keep rocking and let’s keep the Oak Ridge Boys going as long as we can. I think only God will tell us when it’s time to stop singing,” Bonsall said.

By Xavier Smith


City in search of local artists for public display

Mt. Juliet City Manager Kenny Martin is on the hunt for local artists who want to display their work throughout the city.

Martin got the idea after he noticed public art displayed in other cities.

“I’d see these really neat pieces from artisans who had made something,” said Martin. “I just wanted to see if there were any local artists who wanted a place to show their art, or maybe there’s someone who wants to donate it for permanent display.”

The city seeks any kind of art such as metal sculptures, carved figures, statues, monuments and paintings that could be displayed publicly.

“A lot of people make such cool art, but they just can’t find anywhere to display it,” said Martin. “I think that’s half the fun, getting to see something on display and say, ‘I made that.’”

Martin said he’d like to to display a sign or plaque that lists the name of the artist below any art pieces used for display.

“I’m not trying to get anything for free,” said Martin. “I just wanted to give people an opportunity to display their work in public.”

Anyone interested in having his or her art used as public display may contact Martin at City Hall at kmartin@mtjuliet-tn.gov or 615-754-2552.

By Jacob Smith


Local dance company wins national title

Submitted to Mt. Juliet News
Members of Testimony, a group of nine Mt. Juliet teens with Diamond Academy of Dance, accept an 8-foot trophy and prize money after they are named national grad champion at the July 2 Rainbow Dance Competition in Panama City, Fla.

Mt. Juliet dance studio, Diamond Academy of Dance, returned home with the “National Grand Champion” title from the July 2 Rainbow Dance Competition in Panama City, Fla.

Hip-hop dancer and academy instructor Justin Jenkins choreographed the award-winning routine.

“Our girls worked countless hours to perfect this performance, and their hard work paid off as their name was called on the stage as the winner,” said Diamond Academy of Dance owner Taylor Corlew Jenkins. “It’s so rewarding, as a coach, to see their dreams become a reality.”

Out of the 45 teams in the competition, the group of nine Mt. Juliet teens, called “Testimony,” took the highest honor, receiving an 8-foot-tall trophy and cash prize. The Diamond Academy team took home several other high-point awards, but this one was the icing on the cake.

Diamond Academy of Dance began its seventh season Aug. 7 and will soon begin training for a new competitive season. The local community voted the academy “Best Dance Studio” for three consecutive years and again in 2017.

For information on classes or registration information, contact diamondacademyofdance@gmail.com, visit diamondacademydance.com or find it on Facebook and Instagram @DiamondAcademyofDance.

Staff Reports

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

Eye doctor offers safest ways to view eclipse

Ming Wang

Dr. Ming Wang, owner of the Nashville-based Wang Vision Cataract and LASIK Center, offered information recently on how to protect eyes as millions witness the Aug. 21 solar eclipse.

Wang said there is only one safe way to look directly at the sun, and that’s through special-purpose “solar filters,” which are called solar eclipse glasses.

According to Wang, there are four companies in the U.S. that make and sell solar eclipse glasses that meet the international safety standard ISO 12312-2. Wang has a supply of the proper solar eclipse glasses and will give a free pair to each attendee at a special solar eclipse educational seminar Aug. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at his office.

At the seminar, Wang will explain and demonstrate the proper way to use the glasses. Additionally, he will answer all attendee questions about safe solar eclipse viewing and how to prevent eye injuries, which could lead to loss of sight. Viewing the eclipse without proper eye protection can be very harmful. He will answer all seminar attendee questions about the safe solar eclipse viewing to prevent eye injuries and possible sight loss. 

Wang will offer answers to questions such as:

Q. Can I use my cellphone to take a photo or a video of the eclipse, or can I use a telescope?

A. “Yes, but only if you do it in the right way. First of all, cameras and telescopes actually concentrate, focus and amplify light intensity.  Therefore, looking through these devices with naked eyes is, in fact, more dangerous than looking with only the naked eyes themselves.

“The proper way of doing this is to put the proper solar eclipse glasses in front of the camera or telescope where the solar eclipse glasses are closer to the sun. Do not put the solar eclipse glasses directly on your face and then look through your cellphone or telescope.”

Q. What will be symptoms of solar eye damage and when will this typically happen?

A. “Symptoms typically happen within a few minutes or hours. The symptoms are watery and sore eyes, light sensitivity, a blind spot in the center, things appear usually colored, things appear to be distorted and blurry and inability to see details.”

Q. What should I do if this happens?

A. “See an ophthalmologist or optometrist right away as you may have suffered solar eye damage.”

Many of the special glasses are currently on back order and since total solar eclipse is so rare, once in a lifetime, people are buying them like crazy. Wang has an adequate supply of the proper safest glasses for distribution at his special Aug. 17 public solar eclipse educational seminar.

There will be limited seating at the seminar, so anyone interested in attending and receiving a free pair of the recommended solar eclipse glasses can get additional information or register by calling Wang Vision Institute at 615-321-8881.

The seminar will be at Wang Vision Institute at 1801 W. End Ave., Suite 1150, in Nashville.

Wang is the CEO of Aier-USA and director of Wang Vision 3D Cataract and LASIK Center. He may be reached at drwang@wangvisioninstitute.com or by visiting wangcataractlasik.com.

Staff Reports

Local youth rock historic Nashville venue

Xavier Smith • Mt. Juliet News
Lauren Kleeberg, Railey Cunningham, Ashton Hall, Lamar Wade and Genesis Juarez perform during the Rock Zone Unplugged last Wednesday at the Bluebird Café in Nashville. The group is a part of the Rock Zone School of Music based in Mt. Juliet.

Dozens of young Mt. Juliet musicians rocked the historic Bluebird Café last Wednesday and showcased their talents to a packed audience.

Musicians as young as 7 years old performed at the venue – which continues to draw tourists, songwriters and fans from all around the world – as a part of Rock Zone Unplugged, presented by the Rock Zone School of Music, based in Mt. Juliet.

The children hoped to receive the same magic from the venue as past performers, which include Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney and more.

Lauren Kleeberg said she was excited to perform at the historic venue.

“People come from all over to hear the talent at the Bluebird. I hope to be discovered there,” Kleeberg said.

The musicians performed original pieces, as well as cover songs, through solo and group performances.

Rock Zone School of Music was founded in April 2014 and is an afterschool program serving more than 200 children. Students are mentored and get to experience performance opportunities in venues across the country.

Teachers teach the musicians to arrange music, stage presence and how to perform individually and as a part of a band. Students learn to perfect their craft on stage and in live music concerts.

Rock Zone features afterschool childcare, private lessons, summer programs and more. Programs offered include voice academy and instruments such as guitar, bass, drums, piano, synthesizer and saxophone.

For more information, visit rockzonemusic.com, email contact@rockzonemusic.com, or call 615-562-0070.

By Xavier Smith


Walter named SilverSneakers finalist

Submitted to The Democrat
Mt. Juliet Senior Center fitness instructor Deborah Walter accepts her finalist award during a recent SilverSneakers banquet.

She keeps folks kicking at Mt. Juliet Senior Center

Deborah Walter, Mt. Juliet Senior Center’s fitness instructor, was named a SilverSneakers 2017 instructor of the year finalist.

Walter has instructed for 16 years. She started her career as a personal trainer and later went into teaching water exercise. She took her first SilverSneakers training in 2005 and started teaching group exercise for SilverSneakers, among other classes. She started teaching at the fitness center in Mt. Juliet 11 years ago when it opened as a new facility.

Walter stays busy and is dedicated to her work. She’s currently teaching 17 classes a week such as tai chi, yoga, chair yoga, SilverSneakers classic, SilverSneakers circuit, balance and strength and strength and cardio.

“I love teaching fitness. I love taking trainings. I love studying and helping the older population be strong, flexible and balanced,” said Walter.

SilverSneakers is a national program that focuses on older adults. It encourages them to interact with other adults and keep their health maintained and in control.

“The reason I wanted to get involved was mainly to help people live healthy long lives and be as agile, strong, flexible and balanced as possible throughout their life and to be social with other folks,” said Walter.

Walter doesn’t just teach the older crowd. She taught a mat yoga class for students as young as 16. She has also taught children’s classes.

Walter said with the older folks, there is an aging population. Baby Boomers are a large part of the population. Many are retiring and need to find something to do. According to Walter, exercise is something in which they are interested.

In the SilverSneakers program, there are contraindications for older adults. With a lot of the moves, they have to be careful not to hurt shoulders, hips and aging joints.

“A lot of the things that you might find in a 20-year-old class you would not find in this type of class,” said Walter.

They do not get down on the ground, they don’t hyperextend the joints, they don’t overstretch, and they only do what they’re comfortable doing.

“Like, for example, the knee-bend for squats. We can only squat as low as 90 degrees but no more,” said Walter.

She said she loves working with the people and having fun with them. She enjoys watching her students work to be healthy and strong.

By Kaitlin Vantrease


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

New program aims at dueling at the Hermitage

Photos courtesy of Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage
Historic re-enactors demonstrate to audiences what a duel would be like during the 1800s as part of the new program at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage entitled ‘The Duel: Art of the Southern Gentleman.’

The Hermitage opened its new program, “The Duel: Art of the Southern Gentleman” on Thursday.

The program aims to teach people in the modern day why dueling was so prevalent in early American society, as well as what a real duel was like as opposed to how Hollywood movies have portrayed it.

A narrator explains the historical significance, as well as the rules of the duel, and two actors portray what a duel would have looked like, from the challenging all the way through the duel itself.

“Folks get a chance to learn all about dueling and why people dueled and what it meant to be a Southern gentleman in the 1800s,” said Jason Nelson, vice president of marketing and sales at The Hermitage.

The program gives visitors the opportunity to witness, and even participate in, a dueling demonstration performed by historic re-enactors.

It runs each Thursday through Sunday at various times throughout the day and comes with the price of admission to the grounds.

The launch of “The Duel: Art of the Southern Gentleman” is part of a 12-month series of special events and programming offered at the Hermitage to commemorate Jackson’s 250th birthday, which was March 15.

For more information about “The Duel: Art of the Southern Gentleman” and other visitor experiences offered at the Hermitage, visit thehermitage.com.  

By Jacob Smith


CrossFit Mt. Juliet to hold competition to raise funds for Battle Flag Ranch

CrossFit Mt. Juliet plans to make an impact during an upcoming fundraiser for Battle Flag Ranch.

About 120 competitors signed up to compete in the third annual “Battle For the Flag” event July 29 at CrossFit Mt. Juliet at 1710 N. Mt. Juliet Road.

The money raised will be will be used for equine-assisted counseling for combat veterans and their families. Battle Flag Ranch has no paid staff or board members, and 100 percent of funds raised and donated directly impact veterans and their families.

“CrossFit Mt. Juliet makes people fitter in a positive friendly environment,” said Paul Kevetter with CrossFit Mt. Juliet. “CrossFit is the most effective physical fitness program in the world, and it is our passion to bring it to as many people as possible. We are focused on making people’s lives better by enhancing their fitness. CrossFit Mt. Juliet is what will forge those strong bonds of friendship that will become a priceless benefit of joining. And because CrossFit Mt. Juliet makes giving back to the community a priority, 100 percent of the proceeds raised during our Battle for the Flag event will be donated back to Battle Flag Ranch.”

Battle Flag Ranch is a nonprofit that provides free short-term respite to and high-impact retreats for combat-weary veterans and their equally weary spouses and families.

“Our vision is to develop a model of healing that integrates evidence-based therapies with a safe and peaceful space and to improve physical, emotional, spiritual and economic well-being for our nation’s combat veterans and their families,” said co-founder Jason Henry.

For more information on Battle Flag Ranch, contact Henry at 615-969-8014 or jason@battleflagranch.com.

Staff Reports

Mt. Juliet young artists sell out Bluebird Café

Lauren Kleeberg

No other place in Nashville has seen so many prolific songwriters of different genres come through its doors like the Bluebird Café.

The small venue that consists of 20 tables continues to draw tourists, songwriters and fans from around the world, but how many of these songwriters are as young as 7 years old?

On Wednesday, Rock Zone School of Music in Mt. Juliet will hold Rock Zone Unplugged – an event that will showcase young artists ages 7-17 – at noon to a sold-out audience at the Bluebird Café. The children hope to experience the same “blessings” that their idols like Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks and Kenny Chesney received from this venue when they initially launched their careers.

“I’m excited to be performing at such a cool place,” said 12-year-old singer-songwriter Lauren Kleeberg, of Mt. Juliet. “People come from all over to hear the talent at the Bluebird. I hope to be discovered there.”

The bill includes local talent that have also had the opportunity to sharpen their skills performing at places like the Hard Rock Café, B.B. King’s House of Blues and even a gig in Canada and other parts of the U.S. Rock Zone Unplugged is an all-ages event and tickets were previously available directly at rockzonemusic.com.

Rock Zone School Of Music was founded in April 2014 and is based out of Mt. Juliet. It is an after-school program serving more than 200 children from kindergarteners through seniors. Besides private instruction, students are encouraged to work in bands and groups. Students are mentored and get to experience performance opportunities in venues across the country.

Staff Reports

Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center to hold open house

The Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center will hold an open house Aug. 3 from 4-6 p.m. to showcase the center’s various activities.
Participants from several of the activities and classes that are held weekly at the center will be present and available for discussion on their respective activities.
The focus will be on the activities offered and the services provided.
There are several activities available at the center, and center staff said they have a great group of regular participants. The event will provide an opportunity for those interested in becoming more involved or joining the center to tour the facility and ask questions about programming.
“This is an opportunity for the public to better understand the services provided,” said Mt. Juliet senior center director Tanya Graham. “The hope is that people will spread the word about what we are and what we do so that we can continue to build our participant base.”
The Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center serves as a community resource, as well as an activity center. The center provides helpful information on topics of interest to seniors such as Medicare information, AARP tax assistance, support groups, lunch and learns and more.
The center offers an assortment of programming that can help seniors to stay active in the community, but the camaraderie and solidarity are considered the most important aspects of the center’s role.

Staff Reports

Open auditions scheduled for Encore Theatre comedy

Encore Theatre Co. will hold open auditions for the September performances of the comedy, “The Kitchen Witches,” by Carolyn Smith.
Auditions will be Sunday and Monday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Encore Theatre at 6978 Lebanon Road, just west of Highway 109, in Mt. Juliet. James Bealor will direct the play.
Roles available will include Dolly Biddle – a 50-something portly little cherub of a woman with high energy, and a Russian accent will be required; Stephen Biddle – a 30-something, nervous, prematurely balding man; Isobel Lomax – a late-40s or early-50s Martha Stewart-esque, fashionable accessory laden lady; and Robbie or Roberta the camera operator – who can be a man or woman, late-20s to early-30s, intimidating-looking character with a goth look, and visible tattoos are a big plus. Robbie or Roberta has minimal lines, but the role will also serve a set changer for the show.
The story is about Isobel Lomax and Dolly Biddle, two “mature” cable-access cooking show hostesses who have hated each other for 30 years, ever since Larry Biddle dated one and married the other. When circumstances put them together on a television show called the Kitchen Witches, the insults are flung harder than the food. Dolly’s long-suffering TV producer son Stephen tries to keep them on track, but as long as Dolly’s dressing room is 1 inch closer to the set than Isobel’s, it’s a losing battle. The show becomes a rating smash as Dolly and Isobel top both Martha Stewart and Jerry Springer.
The auditions will be cold readings from the script. A resume with headshots will be helpful but not required. Performance dates will be Sept. 8-10 and Sept. 15-17.
Now in its 11th year, Encore Theatre Co. is a nonprofit community theater that serves Wilson County and surrounding areas.

Staff Reports

Wilson County Fair Flower and Rose Show to bloom with new additions

Submitted to Mt. Juliet News
Recently, Edwina Reeder, president of the Gardeners’ Guild, Laleta Shipper, chairman of the flower show, and Linda Spencer, chairman of the Rose Show, visited Trice’s flower garden. Pictured (from left) are Reeder, Shipper, Trice and Spencer.

The Wilson County Fair Flower and Rose Show will have a new home for the 2017 fair in the Arnett Building C at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon. 

Entries for the flower and rose show will be Aug. 17 from 2-6:30 p.m.

The flower show is sponsored by the Wilson County Gardeners’ Guild, established in 1982. Alice Trice is an active charter member of the organization. Recently, Edwina Reeder, president of the Gardeners’ Guild, Laleta Shipper, chairman of the flower show, and Linda Spencer, chairman of the Rose Show, visited Trice’s flower garden.  Trice plans to have several entries in the 2017 fair and hopes to win the Hale Moss Award for most flower-show entries. 

The rose show will have new lots for a table arrangement for a garden party, tall arrangement staged on tall pedestal to celebrate the “Here Comes the Fun” fair theme and a dry arrangement on a hat. On Aug. 23 at 4 p.m. Jeff and Jennifer Harvey will discuss rose arranging for the home.

The flower show will have “Ask the Expert Nightly” on 11 different topics such as flower arranging, decorating, bonsai, edible flowers, roses, herbs, violets and trees.

The flower show will feature new classes, including green, white and other monochromatics, floating, herb and sunflower arrangements. 

A favorite will be the fair theme arrangement, “Here Comes the Fun” and the year of the sunflower. The winner will incorporate the fair theme and sunflowers in an arrangement. 

New also at the flower show will be lots, most unusual container with plant and most unusual flower in container. There will be a new class for miniatures under 8 inches and air plants. 

Staff Reports

Local woman inaugural winner of scholarship from Chattanooga Symphony and Opera

Submitted to Mt. Juliet News
Mt. Juliet High School graduate Arianna ‘Katie’ Shea was named the first recipient of the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera’s Kayoko Dan Conducting Scholarship.

The Chattanooga Symphony & Opera announced Arianna “Katie” Shea as the recipient of its first Kayoko Dan Conducting Scholarship.

The first of its kind for the 85-year-old organization, the scholarship will offer Shea a unique opportunity to work directly with the CSO’s music director Kayoko Dan during the 2017-2018 season.

“I have had many mentors who guided me as a young conductor. It is not possible to pay them back, so I have decided to ‘pay it forward’ by mentoring a younger generation of conductors. I am looking forward to the opportunity to connect with the next generation of leaders of the symphonic world,” said Dan, who will celebrate her seventh year as the CSO’s music director and conductor in September.

Shea was born in Fairbanks, Alaska and grew up in Mt. Juliet, where she began her musical studies at 12 years old when she joined her school’s choir and began taking violin lessons. In high school, Shea played violin in the Mt. Juliet High School Orchestra, “Strings of Gold,” as well as the school’s smaller ensemble, Chamber Strings.

Upon graduation, she attended Lee University where she completed a bachelor of arts degree in music with a vocal emphasis. While at Lee, she studied voice with Lenena Brezna and Dale Thomas and conducted with Jonathan Rodgers. In addition, she was a member of Choral Union and the Ladies of Lee, as well as the Lambda Eta chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota.

Currently, Shea is a graduate student at Lee University, where she is pursuing a master’s of music degree in choral conducting.

For more information about the Kayoko Dan Conducting Scholarship, visit chattanoogasymphony.org/conducting-scholarship.

Staff Reports

Don’t put it off until tomorrow or next week

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

How many times have you said, “I’ll do that tomorrow or next week?” and before you know it, another day, month or year has passed. It’s so easy to get caught up in life and forget about the simple things.

The simple things in life can also be the things we take for granted. The things we unintentionally ignore or put off or aside. You know, the calls to grandma or grandpa, a relative or a dear friend. The visit we meant to make at the hospital or the card we meant to send for a birthday. These are just a few of the things that before you know it, tomorrow has come and gone.

The end result can often lead to missed opportunities and no opportunity for a second chance or redemption. As the old saying goes, ”Why put off until tomorrow, what you can do today?” We must take time to call a family member or friend. We must not leave home or go to bed upset or mad at a loved one. We must cherish what we have today, for we might not have it tomorrow. Second chances are hard to come by. Here is your chance to start living for today.

Don’t put your life on hold. Start living life to the very fullest. As we all know, life is very short and can be taken in the blink of an eye. So why rush it away or regret what we didn’t do yesterday?

Today is the start of the rest of your life. You know and I know that you deserve to be happy and healthy. The way to attain this very paramount goal is to start talking less about work and more about life, love, family, fun, living and more importantly God, who we all know has the answer to all our prayers and questions.

In closing, the answer to all of life’s questions can’t be found in Popular Mechanics, TV Guide, People or Cosmopolitan. The answer to all our questions can only be found in the Bible.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

Community Calendar and the People’s Agenda

Community Calendar

POLICY: Items for the Community Calendar may be submitted via email at editor@lebanondemocrat.com, in person at The Democrat’s office at 402 N. Cumberland St., by mail at The Lebanon Democrat, 402 N. Cumberland St., Lebanon, TN 37087 or via fax at 615-444-0899. Items must be received by 4 p.m. for the next day’s edition. The calendar is a free listing of nonprofit events, community club and government meetings. The Democrat reserves the right to reject or edit material. Notices run on an as space is available basis and cannot be taken over the phone. Include a name and phone number in case of questions.

July 6

CASA of Wilson County Reverse Draw

5:30 p.m.

The Wilson County Court-Appointed Special Advocates will hold its Reverse Draw on Thursday, July 6 at 5:30 p.m. at the Wilson County Expo Center at 945 E. Baddour Pkwy. in Lebanon. Tickets are $100 each, and the last ticket drawn will receive $10,000. For more information, visit wilsoncountycasa.org.

July 7

Kidz Kamp

10 a.m.

Kidz Kamp, fun and educational classes for children 6-16 years old, will be Friday, July 7. It will offer new classes, which will interest both boys and girls. The classes are $25 each, which covers the cost and instruction. Classes will start at 10 a.m. and last about two hours, plus the children will have an item to take home with them. Pre-register with Fiddlers Grove is required by calling 615-547-6111 Monday through Saturday. The classes will be wood burning, beginner sewing, beginner quilting, basket weaving, fiber arts, corn husk dolls, acrylic painting and jewelry making with wire.  Other classes will be considered, so ask if any others are added.

July 8

Honor Ride for Veterans

8 a.m.

The fifth-annual Honor Ride for Veterans motorcycle ride will be Saturday, July 8 with registration at 8 a.m. and kickstands up at 10:30 a.m. at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon. The cost is $20 per rider and $10 per passenger and will include a T-shirt. For more information, call Michael McPherson at 615-444-2460.

Stones River Chapter of Gold Star Wives meeting

1 p.m.

The Stones River Chapter of Gold Star Wives will meet Saturday, July 8 at 1 p.m. at the Alvin C. York VA Hospital at 3400 Lebanon Pike in Murfreesboro. Gold Star Wives is a national nonprofit service organization. Anyone who lives in Nashville and the surrounding areas whose spouse died while serving active duty or of a service-connected cause may attend. For more information, contact Bonnie White at 423-421-2849.

July 10

Republican Women of Wilson County meeting

6 p.m.

The Republican Women of Wilson County will meet Monday, July 10 at 6 p.m. at Beloved Acres, the home of Mack and Jane Hollis. The speaker will be state Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, R-Lancaster. New members are welcomed. For information and/or directions, call 615-444-5294 or email belacres@dtccom.net.

July 11

Tyler Cates American Legion Post 281 meeting

6:30 p.m.

The Tyler Cates American Legion Post 281 will meet Tuesday, July 11 and the second Tuesday of each month at Rutland Place at 435 N.W. Rutland Road in Mt. Juliet. Social time begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by the meeting at 7 p.m.​ All veterans are invited to attend. An American Legion Auxiliary Unit is also part of the post. New members are welcome to join. Former members or transfers from other posts are also invited to join. For more information, contact Pat Unger, commander, at 615-210-6156.

July 14

Neddy Jacobs Days


Neddy Jacobs Days will be Friday, July 14 from noon until 8 p.m. and Saturday, July 15 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Fiddlers Grove at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon. The event will feature Americana music, food and drinks, children’s activities, artisan crafts and more. Admission is $3 for adults, and children under 10 are free.

July 15

Wilson United Soccer League registration

9 a.m.

The first in-person registration for Wilson United Soccer League’s fall-season registration will be Saturday, July 15 at 9 a.m. at the Castle Heights Soccer Complex. For more information, visit wilsonunited.org.

Blue Devil Show-N-Shine Benefit Car Show and Silent Auction

9 a.m.

The Blue Devil Show-N-Shine Benefit Car Show and Silent Auction will be Saturday, July 15 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Lebanon High School. The show will benefit the Lebanon High School band and is sponsored by the Good Wheel Cruisers Car Club.

There will be top 50 awards plus best of show, best General Motors, Best Ford, best Mopar, best ratrod, best motorcycle, club participation and longest distance driven. Registration is from 9 a.m. until noon for a $20 fee, and awards will be at 3 p.m. To register or more information, call Tom Loftis at 615-604-3554 or Bill Cook at 615-499-8192.

Neddy Jacobs Days

10 a.m.

Neddy Jacobs Days will be Saturday, July 15 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Fiddlers Grove at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon. The event will feature Americana music, food and drinks, children’s activities, artisan crafts and more. Admission is $3 for adults, and children under 10 are free.

July 17

Dr. Cary Harbrecht Memorial Chamber Summer Scramble

11 a.m.

The Dr. Cary Harbrecht Memorial Chamber Summer Scramble golf tournament will be Wednesday, July 17 at Five Oaks Golf and Country Club in Lebanon. Registration and lunch begins at 11 a.m. with a shotgun start at noon. Prizes will be awarded in three flights for first through third and for any holes in one. An awards ceremony will follow the tournament, and lunch and dinner will be provided. For team and sponsorship information, call 615-444-5503.

July 19

Mt. Juliet Chamber Connection Luncheon

11:15 a.m.

The Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce’s connection luncheon will be Wednesday, July 19 from 11:15 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at Rutland Place. Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto will present his State of the County address. Hutto will reflect on the growth in 2016 and give the scoop on what to expect for the remainder of 2017. Registration is required at mjchamber.org. Early registration by July 18 at noon is $18, and late registration is $23. Seating will be limited.

July 20

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5015 meeting

6 p.m.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5015 in Lebanon will meet Thursday, July 20 at 6 p.m. and on the third Thursday of each month in the Veterans Building at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center. Any veteran who has been awarded a campaign medal or combat medal for any hostility is eligible for membership, verified by the veterans’ DD 214 Form. Presently, Post 5015 is having success in rebuilding its post and becoming active in district and local events. It is not a Lebanon post, but a countywide post. To learn more, contact Post Commander John Marshall at jtmarshall2@icloud.com; Senior Vice Commander Ken Kackley at hkenkjr@aol.com or Junior Vice Commander Harold W. Weist at grnmarine@tds.net.

Fiddlers Grove Model Train Club

7 p.m.

The Fiddlers Grove Model Train Club will meet Thursday, July 20 and each third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Fiddlers Grove Train Museum at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon. This is an all-scale model railroad club. During the meeting, everyone will share their knowledge and introduce the hobby to folks new to the interest. The Train Museum has an extensive O-gauge layout and a small HO-scale layout with plans to expand the HO track. The club is open to anyone interested in model train railroads. For more information, contact Ron Selliers at trainslayer53@gmail.com.

“Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” at the Capitol Theatre

7 p.m.

Audience of One Productions will present the Broadway musical, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” from Thursday, July 20 through Sunday, July 23, Tuesday, July 25 and from Thursday, July 27 through Saturday, July 29 at 7 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre in Lebanon. Tickets are $13 for 3-5 year olds and $20 for those 5 and older. For tickets and more information, visit capitoltheatretn.com.

– Staff Reports

The People’s Agenda

POLICY: Items for the Government Calendar may be submitted via email at editor@lebanondemocrat.com, in person at The Democrat’s office at 402 N. Cumberland St., by mail at The Lebanon Democrat, 402 N. Cumberland St., Lebanon, TN 37087 or via fax at 615-444-0899. Items must be received by 4 p.m. for the next day’s edition. The calendar is a free listing of government meetings and government-related events. The Democrat reserves the right to reject or edit material. Notices run on an as space is available basis and cannot be taken over the phone. Include a name and phone number in case of questions.

July 6

Joint Economic and Community Development Board Executive Committee meeting

7:45 a.m.

The Joint Economic and Community Development Board Executive Committee will meet Thursday, July 6 at 7:45 a.m. at the JECDB office at 115 N. Castle Heights Ave., Suite 102, in Lebanon.

Lebanon Airport Commission meeting

4 p.m.

The Lebanon Airport Commission will meet Thursday, July 6 at 4 p.m. at the Lebanon Municipal Airport at 1160A Franklin Road.

Wilson County Animal Control Committee meeting

5 p.m.

The Wilson County Animal Control Committee will meet Thursday, July 6 at 5 p.m. in conference room 1 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

Wilson County Education Committee meeting

6 p.m.

The Wilson County Education Committee will meet Thursday, July 6 at 6 p.m. in conference room 1 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

Wilson County Minutes Committee meeting

6:30 p.m.

The Wilson County Minutes Committee will meet Thursday, July 6 at 6:30 p.m. in conference room 1 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

Wilson County Budget Committee meeting

7 p.m.

The Wilson County Budget Committee will meet Thursday, July 6 at 7 p.m. in conference room 1 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

– Staff Reports

Did you know it takes a 50-50 partnership?

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

Oh to be in love. Most everybody has been in love at one time or another in his or her lifetime. And what a wonderful feeling being in love is. It seems as if the person you love more than anything can do no wrong.

There’s nothing you won’t do for them and nothing anyone can do to keep you away from them. You’re on cloud nine and life is good. But suddenly, seemingly overnight, things start to change.

The little things that never seemed to bother you before start bothering you, the patience you once showed is starting to fade and your enormous flower and gift giving is a distant memory.

You ask yourself, what went wrong, we were once so happy, and now we’re acting just like everybody else. You’ve become just another ordinary couple surviving life and its daily events. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. For example, we all know someone who’s been in love before; at first everything is great and wonderful but as time passes so does the love. It happens to most everyone who’s been in love before and I think I’ve found the perfect solution for lasting love and happiness.

After many years of close listening to my elders and speaking with many happy couples who have been married and happy for years, I’ve finally got it. The simple solution and way to stay and be happy is to think positive and be nice to one another.

In other words, don’t stop doing the things you did when you first fell in love and never forget that a happy and loving relationship requires a fifty-fifty partnership. It’s that simple.

Let me explain. When most people first meet the love of their life and fall in love they do everything together and for one another. They go out of their way to make each other happy and do special things just because they love each other. But for whatever reason that changes for most couples over time. Falling in love is sort of like buying a shiny new car, if you don’t wax and polish it the paint and chrome will begin to fade and chip away overtime time leading to a very dull and neglected vehicle. And the same holds true for a happy and healthy relationship.

So in closing, the solution to a happy relationship is to honor, cherish and adore one another each and everyday for life and not just when the relationship is new. Taking time to honor the ones you love will enable your relationship and love to stand the test of time all while maintaining that new love feeling.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

MTSU student from Mt. Juliet flies across the country

Submitted to Mt. Juliet News
Gabriella Lindskoug (left) and Jordan Cantrell sit in the cockpit of their airplane during the Air Race Classic, a cross-country airplane race for female pilots.

She participated in cross-country Air Race Classic for female pilots

Two Middle Tennessee State University students recently completed the Air Race Classic, a cross-country airplane race for female pilots.

Gabriella Lindskoug, of Mt. Juliet, and Jordan Cantrell, of Nashville, worked together on team No. 77, White Lightning. The two students are the first from MTSU to complete the race.

The 2,648-mile race took Lindskoug and Cantrell through 14 states in four days, where the team made eight stops – Coshocton, Ohio; Indianapolis; Decorah, Iowa; Bemidji, Minn.; Spencer, Iowa; Abilene, Kan.; Ardmore, Okla.; and Plainview, Texas – before making its final landing at the Santa Fe Municipal Airport in New Mexico.

The team departed from Frederick Municipal Airport in Maryland on June 20, and a local television station recorded the takeoff.

Lindskoug and Cantrell finished 26th out of the 53 teams. Of the teams competing, 15 were collegiate teams and many of the others included professional airline pilots with thousands of hours of experience.

According to the Air Race Classic’s website, pilots in the race range from 17-90 years old and come from a variety of backgrounds, including students, teachers, doctors, pilots, business owners, professionals and air traffic controllers.

Teams consisted of at least two female pilots, and they were required to fly only during daylight hours in four days to make flybys at each timing point before landing at the terminus location.

This year’s race also included Ariel Tweto, one of the stars of the Discovery Channel show, “Flying Wild Alaska.”

Lindskoug said in a Facebook post the competition was an extraordinary opportunity.

“I cannot put into words what an incredible experience this was,” Lindskoug said.

“One day we woke up in Indianapolis, then we were paddle boarding on Lake Bemidji, and now we are in New Mexico. This has been absolutely wild. I have met so many great women from across the country in aviation and have made lifelong friends. The aviation industry is an incredible community and I’m still shocked I get to fly for a profession.”

Cantrell is a private single-engine land and sea pilor, with 260 hours logged. She is a pre-med student at MTSU with a major in psychology and minors in chemistry and aerospace, as well as a researcher in the NASA Focus Lab at the university.

“I have dreamed of racing airplanes since I was a little girl,” Cantrell said. “I am racing to become a better and safer pilot as well as to see a lot of the United States that I have not had the pleasure of flying over yet.”

Cantrell is the owner of Cantrell’s Airbnb in Springwater, which bills itself as the oldest bar in Tennessee, as well as the vice president of Bald Eagle Enterprises. She is also a PADI-certified SCUBA diver and a beekeeper who started her own honey label.

Submitted to The Democrat
Gabriella Lindskoug (right) and Jordan Cantrell, both students at Middle Tennessee State University, stand in front of a sign on campus. The two students participated in a cross-country airplane race for female pilots.

Lindskoug is a commercial single-engine land pilot with a complex endorsement and a current instrument rating with 204 hours logged.

Lindskoug is an honor student pursuing a degree in aerospace with a professional pilot concentration. Her goal is to become a fighter pilot with the Air National Guard and work for a major airline.

Aviation runs in Lindskoug’s family, as her grandfather flew fighters for the Swedish Royal Air Force and her father flies Boeing 767s for American Airlines.

When she’s not flying, Lindskoug rides for the MTSU equestrian team and plays guitar. She is a member of the Alpha Omega Pi sorority, the Middle Tennessee chapter of the 99s and the MTSU Air Raiders chapter of Women in Aviation International.

Lindskoug and Cantrell said they are both grateful to their sponsors, Signature Flight Support, the Southeast Chapter of American Association of Airport Executives, Michael Baker International and Landrum & Brown. They are also grateful for the support and guidance from Wendy Beckman, professor and interim department chair at MTSU, and Tom Bibb with the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority.

For more information about the race, visit airraceclassic.org.

Staff Reports