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.

May 17

Rock the Block

4 p.m.

Rock the Block, featuring food trucks, fashion and fun, will be Thursday, May 17 from 4-8 p.m. at the Lebanon Square. The event is sponsored by the Lebanon Square Merchants, city of Lebanon and Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce.

Celebrate Recovery

7 p.m.

Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered 12-step recovery support group for overcoming hurts, hang-ups and habits, will meet Thursday, May 3 and each Thursday from 7-9:30 p.m. at Fairview Church at 1660 Leeville Pike in Lebanon. For more information, call ministry leader Tony Jones at 615-972-6151.

May 18

Live Music Nights

6:30 p.m.

The Mt. Juliet LifeWay Christian Store will hold its “Live Music Nights,” featuring the Fellowship Worship Band, on Friday, May 18 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the store at 401 S. Mt. Juliet Road, Suite 300. For more information, call 615-758-3707.

May 19

Lebanon Senior Citizens Center Yard Sale

7 a.m.

The Lebanon Senior Citizens Center will have an indoor yard sale Saturday, May 19 from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the center at 670 Coles Ferry Pike in Lebanon. It will feature just about everything for sale. For more information, call 615-449-4600.

Wilson Central FFA Blue and Gold 5K Fun Run

7 a.m.

The Wilson Central FFA will hold its Blue and Gold 5K Fun Run on Saturday, May 19 with registration at 7 a.m. and the race starting at 8 a.m. at Wilson Central High School at 419 Wildcat Way in Lebanon. Registration is open at active.com. For more information, contact Bonnie Holman at 615-417-2253 or holmabon100@wilsonk12tn.us.

Historic Hustle

7:30 a.m.

The first Historic Hustle, a one-three-mile walk and run through Lebanon, will be Saturday, May 19 from 7:30-10 a.m. at the Lebanon Public Square. The $25 registration fee will include entry and an event T-shirt. Children 16 and younger are free. Participants are encouraged to bring their pets. To register, visit historiclebanon.com.

Antique Tractor, Truck and Gas Engine Show

8 a.m.

The Wilson County Antique Power Association will hold its 27th annual Antique Tractor, Truck and Gas Engine Show on Saturday, May 19 at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon. Gates will open at 8 a.m. The entrance to the show will be at the Fiddlers Grove entrance, about a quarter mile east of the main entrance. Signs will be placed at the entrance. The show will feature exhibits of antique tractors, gas engines, antique trucks, farm implements, corn meal grinding, blacksmithing and sawmilling. Several activities for all ages are scheduled throughout the day. Admission is free, however, donations will be appreciated. No fee will be charged for exhibitors. For more information on the show, contact Johnny and Debbie Mitchell at 615-444-6944 or Steve Koons at 615-449-5002. 

Cumberland Presbyterian Church Barbecue Fundraiser

10 a.m.

Lebanon Cumberland Presbyterian Church will hold its annual barbecue fundraiser Saturday, May 19 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the church at 522 Castle Heights Ave. at the intersection with Leeville Pike. Advance orders may be placed by calling Robert Powers at 615-804-1907 or the church at 615-444-7453. One-pound containers of barbecue will be available for $8 each or $40 for whole butts.

MOMS Club of Mt. Juliet-Lebanon Mother and Son Dance

6 p.m.

The sixth-annual MOMS Club of Mt. Juliet-Lebanon’s Mother and Son Dance will be Saturday, May 19 from 6-8 p.m. at the Mt. Juliet Community Center at 1075 Charlie Daniels Pkwy. in Mt. Juliet to benefit Byars Dowdy Elementary School in Lebanon. The theme will be “a royal knight.” The cost is $20 per couple, $5 for each additional son and $10 for each additional mother or grandmother. For information on how to order tickets, visit facebook.com/mothersondanceofmtjulietlebanon. Tickets are also available in person at the Mt. Juliet Community Center.

May 20

Pentecost in the Park

1 p.m.

Faith Lutheran Church will feature Christian bluegrass music Sunday, May 20 from 1-3 p.m. at Don Fox Community Park in Lebanon. Musicians are invited to bring their instruments and to join in on the music and worship for “Pentecost in the Park.” Hot dogs will be provided. The public is encouraged to bring lawn chairs and a dish to share. A freewill offering will be taken for Lebanon’s Compassionate Hands, which provides food and shelter to homeless people during the winter in Wilson County. The Bluegrass Mass on May 20 is a worship celebration that is offered at Faith Lutheran Church on the fifth Sunday of the month throughout the year.

Grant Cemetery Decoration

2 p.m.

Decoration for Grant Cemetery will be Sunday, May 20 at 2 p.m. at the cemetery. Contributions to the cemetery fund may be mailed to Cheryl Henry at 2850 Ben Green Road, Lebanon, TN 37090.

Leeville Cemetery Memorial Service

2:30 p.m.

The 93rd annual memorial service for Leeville Cemetery will be Sunday, May 20 at 2:30 p.m. at Leeville United Methodist Church at 7019 Hickory Ridge Road in Lebanon. Anyone who would like to make donations toward the upkeep of the cemetery may send those in care of Thomas Carney to 705 West Hill Drive, Lebanon, TN 37087.

May 21

Wilson Bank & Trust Operations Center Ribbon Cutting

7:30 a.m.

The Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon cutting and business before hours Monday, May 21 at 7:30 a.m. at the new Wilson Bank & Trust Operations Center at 105 N. Castle Heights Ave. in Lebanon. Breakfast will be included.

Blood Drive

Noon

An American Red Cross blood drive will be Friday, May 21 from noon until 4 p.m. at the Wilson County Veterans Building at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center at 945 E. Baddour Pkwy. in Lebanon. To make an appointment to donate blood, download the free Red Cross blood donor app, visit redcrossblood.org or call 800-RED CROSS. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.

May 22

Watertown Middle School Eighth-Grade Recognition Night

6 p.m.

Watertown Middle School’s eighth-grade recognition night will be Tuesday, May 22 at 6 p.m. in the school auditorium. A reception will follow in the school café. All eighth-grade students will be recognized.

May 24

Honoring America’s Flag

8 a.m.

The West Wilson Exchange Club in Mt. Juliet and Tyler Cates American Legion Post 281 will hold the sixth-annual Honoring America’s Flag event during the Memorial Day weekend. Flags will be set out Thursday, May 24 and displayed from Friday, May 25 with a closing ceremony planned for Monday, May 28. The public is invited to attend and participate in the opportunity to show their support and love for the flag to buy and dedicate a flag in memory of​ or in honor of​ anyone. About 400 flags will be installed at the corner of North Mt. Juliet Road and Division Street, next to the train station. All funds raised from flag sales will be used to support charities in Mt. Juliet and Wilson County. To buy a flag or for more information, contact Nancy Britt at 615-289-7623 or Pat Unger at 615-210-6156.

Blood Drive

12:30 p.m.

An American Red Cross blood drive will be Thursday, May 24 from 12:30-6 p.m. at Immanuel Baptist Church at 214 Castle Heights Ave. in Lebanon. To make an appointment to donate blood, download the free Red Cross blood donor app, visit redcrossblood.org or call 800-RED CROSS. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.

May 26

Mt. Juliet Republican Women Headquarters Grand Opening

1 p.m.

The Mt. Juliet Republican Women will hold a grand opening for its new headquarters Saturday, May 26 from 1-4 p.m. next door to Courtney’s Restaurant at 4066 N. Mt. Juliet Road. Candidates running in the next election will be available to meet, and campaign signs and materials may be picked up during the event.

May 27

Jones Hill Cemetery Decoration Day

2:30 p.m.

Jones Hill Cemetery Decoration Day service will be held Sunday, May 27 at 2:30 p.m. at the cemetery. For more information, call Janet Griffith at 615-464-7237.

June 1

Circle Players’ production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”

7:30 p.m.

Circle Players’ production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” will be Friday, June 1 and Saturday, June 2 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, June 3 at 3 p.m., Thursday, June 7, Friday, June 8 and Saturday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, June 8 at 3 p.m., Thursday, June 14, Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 17 at 3 p.m. at the Z. Alexander Looby Theatre at 2301 Rosa Parks Blvd. in Nashville. Tickets are $20 for Friday-Sunday shows and $10 for Thursday shows plus $1.50 transaction-ticketing fee at circleplayers.net, 615-332-7529 or at the door, if available.

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.

May 17

Wilson County Recreation Committee meeting

5 p.m.

The Wilson County Recreation Committee will meet Thursday, May 17 at 5 p.m. in conference room 1 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

May 18

Wilson County Board of Zoning Appeals meeting

9 a.m.

The Wilson County Board of Zoning Appeals will meet Friday, May 18 at 9 a.m. in commission chambers at the Wilson County Courthouse.

Wilson County Planning Commission public hearing

11 a.m.

The Wilson County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing Friday, May 18 at 11 a.m. in commission chambers at the Wilson County Courthouse at 228 E. Main St. in Lebanon.

Wilson County Planning Commission meeting

Noon

The Wilson County Planning Commission will meet Friday, May 18 at

noon in commission chambers at the Wilson County Courthouse.

May 21

Wilson County Commission meeting

7 p.m.

The WIlson County Commission will meet Monday, May 21 at 7 p.m. in commission chambers at the Wilson County Courthouse.

May 22

Wilson County Ag Extension Committee meeting

5 p.m.

The Wilson County Ag Extension Committee will meet Tuesday, May 22 at 5 p.m. at the Extension office .

May 23

Wilson County Board of Education special-called meeting

5 p.m.

The Wilson County Board of Education will meet in a special-called meeting Wednesday, May 23 at 5 p.m. at the central office at 415 Harding Drive in Lebanon.

– Staff Reports

State to investigate Beavers’ campaign

Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance to look into complaint

Mae Beavers

The Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance will audit Wilson County mayoral candidate Mae Beavers’ campaign funds after a complaint was filed against the former state senator and one-time gubernatorial hopeful.

Wilson County Election Commission member Ann Calabria, former president of the Mt. Juliet Republican Women, filed the complaint last month.

“I believe Mae Beavers violated campaign finance laws by transferring $122,000 from her gubernatorial account to a newly created PAC, Patriot PAC, and then accepting money from Patriot PAC, $7,800, into her county mayor account,” Calabria said in her sworn complaint.

The questions surround Beavers’ latest financial disclosures, which show a movement of funds between several accounts associated with the former gubernatorial and current Wilson County mayoral candidate. The funds could indicate an attempt to circumvent rules relative to campaign funding, which, if found true, would be illegal.

Drew Rawlins, Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance executive director, said the group would investigate the movement of funds, and the length of the investigation would be determined by how fast the bureau could recover needed information. Rawlins said he would hope to have the investigation completed in about a month.

Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, withdrew from this year’s gubernatorial race earlier this year after she resigned from the state Senate in August to focus on her campaign for governor. She announced her intentions to run for the Wilson County mayor’s seat in March and will face incumbent Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto in the Aug. 2 election.

She donated $122,000 from her gubernatorial campaign to the Patriot PAC on March 30. The donation came one day after the creation of the PAC, which is chaired by Beavers’ husband, Jerry, and John Brown.

Beavers’ donation was also the only donation the PAC received.

Two of the three expenditures reported by the Patriot PAC were related to Beavers, including a $7,800 donation to “Mae Beavers for Mayor.”

The shifting of funds could indicate an attempt to direct funds she received as a gubernatorial candidate to support her mayoral race through the PAC as a conduit, which would be illegal.

According to the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance rules, there are several factors the office takes into consideration when determining if a conduit was used to circumvent campaign contribution laws, including the number of sources and donors, the length of time the PAC was active, the timing of the relationship between contributions received, the expenditures made and more.

State law allows state candidates to transfer any excess campaign funds to any future state or local campaign that the candidate establishes, which means Beavers could use campaign funds received during her gubernatorial campaign after the August primary and Wilson County General Election. She would not be allowed to use the funds prior.

“I believe the facts above show Mae Beavers violated [state law] by creating an illegal conduit from her gubernatorial campaign to her county mayor campaign,” Calabria said in her complaint. “Not only is this conduit illegal in and of itself, it is an attempt to further skirt campaign laws by attempting to access funds not eligible for direct transfer.”

Calls to Beavers for comment were not immediately returned.

Commission adopts development plan

City approves Station North Preliminary Master Development Plan on narrow vote

The Mt. Juliet City Commission voted to approve the Station North Preliminary Master Development Plan by a vote of three to two at its bi-monthly meeting Monday night.

The proposed plan includes 192 apartment units, 28 townhomes, a 3,000-square-foot two-story commercial building and three parking areas. The site is on Mt. Juliet Road between the railroad tracks and Industrial Drive.

District 4 Commissioner Brian Abston argued against the plan, and took time to go through what he called the “myths and the facts” about the development plan.

“The first thing that I want to do is get rid of the myth about this being a transit-oriented development,” said Abston. “This thing is by the railroad tracks, but as far as being a transit-oriented facility, it’s just not there.”

Abston argued against the apartment complex, saying that every time a developer plans an apartment complex, they claim it will be something innovative, but it never is.

“I’m not saying let’s never do another apartment complex in Mt. Juliet,” said Abston. “I think there’s a lot of other things that we do need to work on before we do that.”

District 3 Commissioner Art Giles echoed Abston’s feelings on the development plan.

“Every one of my constituents, except one who emailed me tonight, while we’re sitting here going over this, who is a city employee, is against this complex,” said Giles. “Every one that I talked to.”

Giles expressed concern with traffic in the area if the apartment complexes were built.

Mt. Juliet Mayor Ed Hagerty, however, was for the development.

“Every single development proposal that comes to this board has pros and cons,” said Hagerty. “Every one. This does as well. Each of our jobs is to weigh the pros and cons and see if it’s a positive to the community, or if it’s a negative to the community, and some of the things you said are on the con side, there’s no question, but you left off a number of other things, too, that were on the pro side.”

Hagerty said the area would be much more likely to turn into a nice, industrial development if the city passed the development plan.

“You mentioned that we have apartments before us every month, and we do. That’s a true statement,” said Hagerty. “And we turn down nine out of 10 of them every single time.”

Vice Mayor James Maness was also for the project.

“I just drove in there today and looked at the property on the way in,” said Maness. “I looked at the property on West Division Street Drive, there, and I looked back behind the train station, what do I see? I see a trailer with some graffiti on it. I went and looked at it on the other side and there’s just stuff stored on the property.”

Maness said the vast majority of these types of projects get shot down, but this project is an opportunity to better an empty lot.

“If this passes, it’s a mistake, that’s my final comment,” said Abston.

The development plan passed the first reading by a 3-2 vote, with Abston and Giles voting against it.

By Jacob Smith

jsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

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.

May 10

Free Arts Build Communities Grant Application Workshop

10 a.m.

The Greater Nashville Regional Council will hold a free Arts Build Communities grant application workshop Thursday, May 10 from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Wilson County Expo Center in Lebanon. The purpose of the workshop is to assist applicants in writing the Arts Build Communities grant applications. Awards range from $500-$2,500, and the applications are due June 30. For more information, contact Rasheedah Pardue at 615-862, 8855, ext. 1018 or rpardue@gnrc.org.

Keith Edmonds Foundation Volunteer Open House

5 p.m.

The Keith Edmonds Foundation seeks volunteers to join in its mission to assist and empower victims of child abuse and to transition them from victim to survivor to thriver. The foundation will hold a volunteer open house Thursday, May 10 from 5-8 p.m. at the foundation office at 155 Legends Drive, Suite N, in Lebanon for anyone interested in becoming a volunteer with the organization. No experience is necessary to volunteer. Volunteers must be 18 years old, and a background check will be required. For more information, call 615-651-0714 or email hello@keithedmondsfoundation.org.

Healing and Horses Fundraiser Dinner

5 p.m.

The annual Healing and Horses fundraiser dinner to benefit Lantern Lane Farm will be Thursday, May 10 with social hour at 5 p.m. and the dinner and program at 6 p.m. at Tuckers Gap Event Center at 2900 Callis Road in Lebanon. Dinner tickets are $100, and table sponsors are available for $1,000. To RSVP or for more information, call 615-973-5454 or visit lanternlanefarm.org.

Lebanon High School Choir Spring Concert

6:30 p.m.

The Lebanon High School choir will hold its spring concert Thursday, May 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the school auditorium.

Celebrate Recovery

7 p.m.

Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered 12-step recovery support group for overcoming hurts, hang-ups and habits, will meet Thursday, May 10 and each Thursday from 7-9:30 p.m. at Fairview Church at 1660 Leeville Pike in Lebanon. For more information, call ministry leader Tony Jones at 615-972-6151.

May 11

Lebanon High School Jazz Band and Percussion Ensemble Spring Concert

6:30 p.m.

The Lebanon High School jazz band and percussion ensemble will hold their spring concert Friday, May 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the school auditorium.

May 12

Mt. Juliet Farmers Market

7 a.m.

Mt. Juliet Farmers Market will officially open for the season Saturday, May 12 from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Charlie Daniels Park in Mt. Juliet. It will also be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-6 p.m. and Saturdays from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. throughout the summer.

Boy Scout Troop 1204 Mother’s Day Pancake Breakfast

7 a.m.

Boy Scout Troop 1204 will hold its ninth-annual Mother’s Day Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, May 12 from 7-11 a.m. at St. Stephen Catholic Community at 14544 Lebanon Road in Old Hickory. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for 5-10 year olds, and children 4 and younger may eat for free. Proceeds will assist to defray the cost of summer camp for the scouts.

Think Green, Think Clean Challenge

8 a.m.

The annual Think Green, Think Clean Challenge will be May 12, beginning at 8 a.m., at participating schools across Wilson County. A celebration will be from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. in Building F at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon and will feature free pizza, ice cream and bottled water, games, face painting, door prizes and the announcement of the winning schools that collect the most litter from the morning.

Single Mom Car Care Clinic

8 a.m.

Any single mother in need of car care may attend the free Single Mom Car Care Clinic on Saturday, May 12 from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Mt. Juliet Church of Christ. It will feature cars washed, cleaned, oil changes, filter changes and more.

Dream Riders Benefit Motorcycle Ride

9:45 a.m.

The second-annual Dream Riders Benefit Motorcycle Ride will be Saturday, May 12 with prayer and pledge at 9:45 a.m. and kickstands up at 10 a.m. at Blue Moon Barbecue at 711 Park Ave. in Lebanon. The cost is $20 per driver and $5 per rider, and all proceeds will benefit Empower Me. Online registration is available at empowermecenter.com. For more information, contact Beth Goolesby at 615-202-5388 or bethgoolesby@empowermecenter.com.

Bark in the Park

11 a.m.

The 18th-annual Bark in the Park to benefit New Leash on Life will be Saturday, May 12 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center at 945 E. Baddour Pkwy. in Lebanon. Admission is free, and the event will feature games, giveaways, agility and lure courses and more. For more information, email director@newleashonline.com or call 615-418-7003.

Team Cagle Event

Noon

Team Cagle will hold a fundraising event Saturday, May 12 from noon until 4 p.m. in Fiddlers Grove at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon. It will feature games, an auction, shooting competition and live performances. The event is for SWAT Team and Deputy Justin Cagle, who suffers from cancer. For more information, email teamjustincagle@gmail.com.

Stones River Chapter of Gold Star Wives meeting

1 p.m.

The Stones River Chapter of Gold Star Wives will meet Saturday, May 12 at 1 p.m. at the Alvin C. York Veterans Affairs 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 on active duty, or of a service-connected cause, is welcome to attend. More information can be received by contacting stonesrivergsw@gmail.com.

Judy Nix Memorial Golf Tournament

1:30 p.m.

The Judy Nix Memorial Golf Tournament will be Saturday, May 12 at 1:30 p.m. at the Pine Creek Golf Club in Mt. Juliet. All proceeds with benefit Alive Hospice. There will be several prizes to be won, a silent auction, barbecue lunch. The cost is $75 per player or $300 per team, and sponsorship opportunities are available. Call or text David at 615-483-7800 or visit pinecreekgolf.net for more information.

Watertown High School Hall of Fame Banquet

6 p.m.

Watertown High School will induct its second class of honorees Saturday, May 12 at 6 p.m. into the Watertown High School Hall of Fame. The inductees will be Debbie Loftis, Bill Robinson and John Donnell Johnson. Tickets are $20 per person and will go on sale Monday, April 2 in the main office at Watertown High School.

May 14

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville Golf Classic

11 a.m.

The 14th annual Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville Golf Classic will be Monday, May 14 at the Golf Club of Tennessee. Tee time will be at 1 p.m. with registration opening at 11 a.m. It will feature lunch, a round of golf and dinner with an awards program to follow, all in support of Habitat of Greater Nashville’s affordable homeownership program. To reserve a spot or for more information, contact Lauren Lane Payne at llanepayne@habitatnashville.org.

Mt. Juliet Republican Women meeting

6 p.m.

The Mt. Juliet Republican Women will meet Monday, May 14 at 6 p.m. at Courtney’s Restaurant at 4066 N. Mt. Juliet Road in Mt. Juliet. The meeting will feature Sixth District U.S. House candidates Bob Corlew, Judd Matheny and John Rose, who will be available for questions.

May 15

Friendship Cemetery Annual Meeting

2 p.m.

Friendship Cemetery will have its annual meeting Tuesday, May 15 at 2 p.m. at the cemetery on Friends Hollow Road off Highway 151 in Hartsville. Donations will be accepted to maintain the cemetery, which was established in 1855. Donations may also be sent to Friendship Cemetery Fund, in care of Mary Lou Thompson, 608 Indian Ridge Circle, White House, TN 37188.

May 16

Mt. Juliet Chamber Connection Luncheon

11:15 a.m.

The Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce will hold its chamber connection luncheon Wednesday, May 16 from 11:15 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at Rutland Place in Mt. Juliet. The guest speaker will be Daryl Farler with Amputee Blade Runners. Online registration is required at mjchamber.com.

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.

May 10

Wilson County Law Enforcement Committee meeting

4:30 p.m.

The Wilson County Law Enforcement Committee will meet Thursday, May 10 at 4:30 p.m. in conference room 1 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

Wilson County Animal Control Committee meeting

5 p.m.

The Wilson County Animal Control Committee will meet Thursday, May 10 at 5 p.m. in conference room 1 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

Wilson County Education Committee meeting

5:30 p.m.

The Wilson County Education Committee will meet Thursday, May 10 at 5:30 p.m. in conference room 1 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

Lebanon City Council work session

6 p.m.

The Lebanon City Council will meet in a work session Thursday, May 10 at 6 p.m. at the Town Meeting Hall at 200 N. Castle Heights Ave.

Wilson County Minutes Committee meeting

6:45 p.m.

The Wilson County Minutes Committee will meet Thursday, May 10 at 6:45 p.m. in conference room 1 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

– Staff Reports

Kenny Martin: Multitasking, driving don’t mix, so don’t do it

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

In an effort to keep the wonderful people we serve safe, happy and healthy, I would like to remind our motoring community about a few of the bad habits I see while traveling our roadways.

I’m hoping this column will help drivers and make them more aware of the unnecessary chances we sometimes take as drivers. 

We’ve all seen drivers talking on cellphones, making notes, reading, eating, changing clothes, shaving, putting on makeup, rolling or combing their hair and so on. And keep in mind, these are things we do as drivers while actually operating motor vehicles on the roadways and highways. Lots of these things are done in heavy traffic situations at high speeds, while others are done in low-speed caution areas like, school zones and construction areas.

With that in mind, and I don’t want to sound as if I’m preaching, but wouldn’t it be much safer to wait until you reach a stop sign or stop light, or simply wait until you’re stopped to attempt these activities? I know we’ve done it thousands of times and gotten way with it.

And I know we think we’re good at it, but accidents happen everyday because of people who thought they were good at something. I think this is like a lot of things we do. We’ve done it for so long, we begin to think certain things will never happen to us. It’s the, “oh, that always happens to the other guy” mentality.

As we all know, the human mind can only translate a certain amount of information in a given time. Trying to do three things at once while operating a motor vehicle is a dangerous practice. Therefore, I am asking that all motorists please try and do better at simply driving. Our fast-paced lifestyles and lack of time put us in situations where we’re forced to take chances at times in futile attempts at making up time. And I personally believe your life isn’t worth risking over making up time.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but it scares me to think that a driver may be reading, making notes or just simply not paying attention while operating a motor vehicle beside, behind or in front of me. I think driving is a serious business that requires one’s full attention. I also think your life is too valuable to lose over drinking or drugged drivers and speeding and non-attentive drivers. Many a wonderful person has been taken from us because of accidents that didn’t have to happen. Some accidents aren’t actually accidents. They are events caused by people in a hurry, not paying attention and inebriated drivers.

In closing, please help yourself and others by paying more attention and slowing down. We like having you around and simply don’t want anything to happen to you.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

Wilson County mayor signs Mental Health Awareness Month proclamations

Submitted to Mt. Juliet News
Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto signs a proclamation that declares Mental Health Awareness Month in Wilson County with Will Voss and Marissa Pollard with Tennessee Voices for Children.

For nearly 70 years, May is annually recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month to help make the public better aware of the many issues associated with mental illness. 

Recently, Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto met with Nathan Miller, director of Cumberland Mental Health Center, an agency of Volunteer Behavioral Health, to discuss the importance of mental health needs and sign a proclamation that declared May as Mental Health Awareness Month in Wilson County.

“While a few may believe challenges with mental illness do not or will not affect them, they may be surprised to learn, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in every five adults in the U.S. must deal with a mental illness condition during their lifetime,” Miller said. “This means essentially 20 percent of the adults living in this local community will have some bout with mental illness during their lifetime.”

One main goal of May proclaimed as Mental Health Awareness Month, according to Hutto, is to make the public aware there are professionals available and accessible to come to the aid of those dealing with mental health issues.

Miller said at Cumberland Mental Health Center and at any of the other centers under the supervision of Volunteer Behavioral Health, a nonprofit organization with mental health centers in 31 Tennessee counties, there are professionals standing by to help individuals and families deal with mental health issues.

“Those suffering from issues associated with mental illness can be found in the workplace, among personal friendships, with immediate and distant family members and virtually in all circles of life where we are in contact with others,” said Miller.

Mental illness is a term that may be applied to a broad and diverse list of concerns, including depression, bipolar disorders, behavioral issues, suicide, addiction and others.

Miller said it is important to know and understand mental illness issues can be treated and help is as near as a local mental health center.

Matters related to mental illness for which Tennesseans should be aware include the fact that depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide; addiction and substance abuse are considered mental health issues; 50 percent of all lifetime mental illness cases begin at 14 years old; and 60 percent of adults and 50 percent of youth 8-15 years old who suffer with mental illness did not receive treatment during the past year.

While much attention continues to be focused on suicide prevention in Tennessee, records produced by the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network show each day in Tennessee an average of three people die by suicide.

As recently as 2016, suicide was still the second-leading cause of death in the state for young people 10-19 years old with one person lost to suicide in the age group each week.

For more information about services and treatments available for those who are dealing with mental health issues including addiction and substance abuse, visit vbhcs.org or call 877-567-6051.

Additionally, Wilson County will join more than 1,100 communities across the country May 10 to celebrate the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day to highlight the importance of children’s mental health. This year, the national focus of Awareness Day is partnering for health and hope, following trauma.

Wilson County promotes access to the services and supports children, youth and young adults with mental or substance use disorders in the Middle Tennessee area to meet their goals at home, at school and in the community.

To celebrate Awareness Day locally, Hutto held a proclamation signing involving Tennessee Voices for Children, the TN Healthy Transitions Initiative and the System of Care Across Tennessee Initiative. Wilson County government will “shed light” on Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on May 10 by lighting up the Wilson County Courthouse in green lights. The building will be illuminated throughout the night in honor of those who battle mental health disorders.

Staff Reports

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.

May 3

Tennova Healthcare-Lebanon Volunteer Auxiliary Sisters at Heart Boutique

7 a.m.

Tennova Healthcare-Lebanon Volunteer Auxiliary will hold its Sisters at Heart Boutique on Thursday, May 3 from 7a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Friday, May 4 from 7 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. in the hospital’s outpatient conference room. It will feature a selection of ladies’ clothing and accessories, featuring the latest spring and summer fashions.

Wilson County Retired Teachers Association meeting

10 a.m.

The Wilson County Retired Teachers Association will meet Thursday, May 3 at 10 a.m. at First Church of the Nazarene in Lebanon. The meeting will include end-of-year activities, along with several guests participating in the program. Anyone who plans to bring a guest should make sure they are counted. The social and hospitality committee will provide a lunch after the meeting with Linda Erwin coordinating lunch. Anyone with questions may call 615-444-0071. The May project will be Wilson County’s New Leash on Life, and needs are baby kitten food, copy paper, Ziploc sandwich bags and Ziploc quart bags.

National Day of Prayer

11 a.m.

The National Day of Prayer for Wilson County will be observed Thursday, May 3 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the sanctuary at Lebanon First United Methodist Church at 415 W. Main St. Several state, county and city official will be there to pray for the country, state, county and city. For more information, call the church office at 615-444-3315 or visit lebanonfumc.com.

Blood Drive

Noon

An American Red Cross blood drive will be Thursday, May 3 from noon until 5 p.m. at Active Life Chiropractic and Rehabilitation at 12920 Lebanon Road in Mt. Juliet. To make an appointment to donate blood, download the free Red Cross blood donor app, visit redcrossblood.org or call 800-RED CROSS. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. All those who come to donate through May 13 will be entered to win one of three $1,000 gift cards to a national home improvement retailer, courtesy of Suburban Propane.

Mt. Juliet Business Block Party

11 a.m.

A Mt. Juliet Business Block Party will be Thursday, May 3 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Mt. Juliet Community Center at Charlie Daniels Park. For more information, visit mtjulietbusiness.eventbrite.com.

Batch & Bushel Farmer’s Market Opening

4 p.m.

The Batch & Bushel Farmer’s Market will open Thursday, May 3 from 4-7 p.m. outside the Wilson County Expo Center in Lebanon. It will be open each Thursday from 4-7 p.m. following and will feature a Pick Tennessee-certified, producers-only market with locally sourced food and beverage stations plus local makers.

Springdale Elementary School Kindergarten Night

4 p.m.

Springdale Elementary School will play host to a kindergarten night Thursday, May 3 from 4-6:30 p.m. for parents to get information on registration for kindergarten at the school. Anyone with questions may submit them to “Let’s Talk” at wcschools.com.

Watertown High School Band and Choir Spring Concert

6 p.m.

The Watertown High School concert band and choir will hold their spring concert Thursday, May 3 at 6 p.m. in the school theater. Admission will be $5 per person. The theme will be “Laugh, Think, Cry.”

Wilson County Republican Party Reagan Day Dinner

6 p.m.

The Wilson County Republican Party’s Reagan Day Dinner will be Thursday, May 3 at 6 p.m. at Tucker’s Gap Event Center at 2900 Callis Road in Lebanon. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. The event will feature Super Talk 99.7’s Brian Wilson at master of ceremonies, Sixth District congressional candidates Bob Corlew, Judd Matheny and John Rose and gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee as keynote speaker. Tickets are $50 each, tables for 10 at $500 or a campaign table for $250 and are available on Eventbrite.

Celebrate Recovery

7 p.m.

Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered 12-step recovery support group for overcoming hurts, hang-ups and habits, will meet Thursday, May 3 and each Thursday from 7-9:30 p.m. at Fairview Church at 1660 Leeville Pike in Lebanon. For more information, call ministry leader Tony Jones at 615-972-6151.

May 4

Tennova Healthcare-Lebanon Volunteer Auxiliary Sisters at Heart Boutique

7 a.m.

Tennova Healthcare-Lebanon Volunteer Auxiliary will hold its Sisters at Heart Boutique on Friday, May 4 from 7 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. in the hospital’s outpatient conference room. It will feature a selection of ladies’ clothing and accessories, featuring the latest spring and summer fashions.

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.

May 3

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, May 3 at 7:45 a.m. at the JECDB office at 200 Aviation Way, Suite 202, in Lebanon.

Lebanon Airport Commission meeting

4 p.m.

The Lebanon Airport Commission will meet Thursday, May 3 at 4 p.m. at the Lebanon Municipal Airport at 1060A Franklin Road.

Wilson County Board of Education work session

5 p.m.

The Wilson County Board of Education will meet in a work session Thursday, May 3 at 5 p.m. at the Wilson County Board of Education Administrative and Training Complex at 415 Harding Drive in Lebanon.

– Staff Reports

Smart Work Zone implemented on State Route 109 widening project

Safety measures include 11 message boards

Photo courtesy of TDOT
Eleven message boards like one near the U.S. 70 intersection are part of the first Smart Work Zone in Middle Tennessee launched this week by the Tennessee Department of Transportation at the State Route 109 construction project in Wilson County.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation launched the first Smart Work Zone in Middle Tennessee this week on the State Route 109 construction project in Wilson County.

The Smart Work Zone includes 11 message boards that provide travel times through the project. The times are calculated in real time through seven radar detection systems throughout the project.

The message boards are placed in Gallatin, on both ends of the project, as well as on U.S. 70 and Interstate 40 to give drivers multiple opportunities to take an alternate route when they see long travel times posted.

The seven-mile portion of State Route 109 serves about 25,000 vehicles a day through the narrow two-lane corridor, including a large number of tractor-trailers. There are few alternate routes once drivers get in the construction zone, so warning motorists in time for them to avoid the area is the goal of the Smart Work Zone, according to TDOT officials.    

Additionally, there are three traffic cameras on the project, which can be viewed by local law enforcement and emergency responders.

State, regional and local officials kicked off the State Route 109 renovation project in early March, marking the start of one of the state’s most important road projects.

The $50 million will bring several upgrades to State Route 109, including additional lanes, shoulders and dedicated turning lanes. The project is expected to be complete in 2020.

The ceremony featured John Schroer, Tennessee Department of Transportation commissioner, Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto, Lebanon Mayor Bernie Ash, Sumner County Mayor Anthony Holt, Rep. Susan Lynn, Sen. Mark Pody, Rep. Clark Boyd and several other state and local officials.

“We’ve been working on this a long, long time,” Schroer said at the kickoff event. “The reason why we’re here today and the reason this is such a great project is that we were able to get the IMPROVE Act passed. The IMPROVE Act allowed us to turn this into one project instead of two projects, which meant we could get it done quicker than we could before.”

The State Route 109 project is one of 10 Wilson County road projects funded through the IMPROVE Act, which the legislature passed last year. Upgrades to the road are set from Highway 70 north to Dry Fork Creek area and from north of Dry Fork Creek to the Sumner County line.

Construction started at Academy Road with a new interchange and will go south from the Cumberland River Bridge.

Schroer praised the work of Lynn on the project. Lynn said she’s been a staunch supporter of renovations on the roadway since she took office.

“It’s been a long time coming, and I thank God for today. We, now, just have to urge everyone please keep driving safely, look out for your neighbor, let someone out, let someone through and have patience,” Lynn said at the construction project’s kickoff event.

TDOT project supervisor Adam Vance outlined several aspects of the project to residents during a meeting in February, including expected lane shifts, road closures and safety measures, including a 10 mph speed limit reduction during construction.

Vance said traffic control and safety measures would be lifted from 5:30-9:30 a.m. and 3:30-6 p.m., as well as during holidays, special events and holiday weekends.

“Not too many days go by in our office that we don’t get a call at the courthouse about 109,” Hutto said at the kickoff. “For us, it is good for Mayor Holt and Sumner County and Wilson County. It’s good for the economic development that will happen along this road. It’s good for the traffic that will come through here. But, No. 1, it’s good for our citizens and visitors that will travel through here.”

Pressure from State Route 109 travelers and corridors on TDOT to improve the heavily traveled stretch of road has increased in recent years with the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization conducting a series of public workshops starting in 2014 to gather information and address concerns.

The number of vehicles that travel State Route 109 daily is expected to rise to about 44,890 by 2038. The roadway sees about 2,150 vehicles during peak hours, while truck traffic makes up 9 percent of the roadway traffic.

For more information on the $51 million State Route 109 widening project from U.S. 70 to the Cumberland River Bridge, visit tn.gov/tdot/projects/region-3/state-route-109-us-70-to-cumberland-river.html.

Lawmakers make TN Ready ‘hold harmless’

School districts can choose to apply 15 percent of test results

State lawmakers agreed to lessen the impact of this year’s Tennessee Ready issues on students and teachers last Wednesday after weeks of debate following several issues with the state assessment.

The compromise between the two legislative chambers eased concerns of educators, parents and school administrators after legislators passed a bill in response to the testing issues.

As a part of the bill, school districts can choose to apply 2017-2018 Tennessee Ready assessment data up to 15 percent of a students’ final grade, and will not be allowed to base termination or compensation decisions on the 2017-2018 Tennessee Ready results.

However, questions remain among parents and educators, including the impact the Tennessee Ready scores will have on Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System scores, which could count 20 percent of a teacher’s overall evaluation at the end of the year, which determines a teacher’s pay.

The TVAAS measures student growth from year to year. In calculating a TVAAS score, a student’s performance is compared relative to the performance of his or her peers who have performed similarly on past assessments.

Wednesday’s compromise bill addressed those concerns and made it so “no adverse action may be taken” against students, teachers, schools or districts based on this year’s assessment.

Lawmakers from both chambers were at an impasse throughout the day, with each side focused on different aspects of the issue.

“This also completely protects teacher’s TVAAS from being negatively impacted from the 2017-2018 Tennessee Ready scores. If the results are good and the teacher wants to use the results they can. If the teacher does not want to use the Tennessee Ready results from this year, the classroom observation portion will replace that portion on the TVAAS,” said state Rep. Clark Boyd. “This gives our teachers the protection they have been asking for from this disastrous Tennessee Ready test. I am proud to have been a part of this.”

“We have worked closely with legislators to advocate for further measures to protect teachers,” said Audrey Shores, Professional Educators of Tennessee chief operating officer. “We are pleased that legislators unanimously provided that students, educators or schools will not be held responsible for unreliable results from the failures of the TN Ready online assessment platform this year.”

Shores said the group would like to see the Tennessee Department of Education host a taskforce on TVAAS in the near future. 

Problems with online portions of the Tennessee Ready state assessment occurred last week, which caused Wilson County Schools and Lebanon Special School District to suspend online testing throughout the week.

McQueen explained the issues and answered questions from legislators during a joint hearing last week.

McQueen said the issues were due to a conflict between the Classroom Assessment Builder and the test delivery system, which previously shared the same login system, causing unacceptable login delays for some students when they tried to access Tennessee Ready. She said evidence suggested the assessment administrator, Questar, and its data center experienced a cyber attack Tuesday from an external source, which caused the second day of delays.

Legislators from both political parties were critical of McQueen, Questar and the continued failures of the state assessment.

Rep. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville, asked McQueen why she felt she shouldn’t resign after the department continued to fail educators and students.

“After months and months and months into years of failures, your department has failed. It’s time for you to resign and step aside and let somebody else come in and try their hand,” Stewart said. “It’s not a comment on you as a person, but as a manager, you have been unable to get control of this problem, and I think you should explain to this committee why you should the person going forward to even address it.”

The questioning and criticism continued for almost two hours, as several legislators expressed their frustrations with the situation.

“We have some pretty tough guidelines for our teachers, especially when it comes to testing. Matter of fact, committee, if there is a breach while a teacher is proctoring a test, she can be severely dealt with from the Department of Education. It’s no joke. For several years now, there’s been a problem, and I feel like we are wanting and forcing to hold our teachers accountability, all the while I don’t k now that we’re really holding ourselves accountable,” said Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby. “There are an immense amount of circumstances that surround taking the test on that side, but I feel like we don’t offer very many excuses for that side, but year after year we’re offering excuses for our side.”

“It’s an unfair stress to put on children that are already stressed out. A lot of times I think we forget just how stressed these babies are, and just how much our education system is focusing a little too much on testing. I believe in standardized tests because you have to have a measure of success, but at the same time, these children, these teachers, these administrators, these principals have done what they’re supposed to do, and to have a test failure like this is ridiculous,” said Rep. Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis.

This year’s problems follow a series of issues that surrounded the Tennessee Ready exam and its implementation, including last year, which saw more than 9,000 exams scored incorrectly by exam vendor Questar Assessment.

Students in third through eighth grades were unable to take the exam the previous year, as the previous state exam assessor failed to launch an online test and was unable to deliver testing materials to districts in time.

The delays and miscues prompted parents and administrators to question the reliability of the state assessment, as well as the impact it has on students and educators.

The inconsistency prompted Wilson County Director of Schools Donna Wright to declare the 2015-2016 school year a hold harmless year for Tennessee Ready scores in the district.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Chamber gets hiring, decision-making tips

The Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce received hiring and decision-making tips Wednesday during its monthly luncheon from James Fields, president of Concept Technology.

Fields shared several tips for hiring personnel, keying on his experience with his company, which grew from one to more than 50 employees in five years. Fields said employers should know their target number of hires, have potential employees display their ability to do the work, talk to potential employees for more than an hour and hold group interviews.

Fields also highlighted his company’s key decision-making model – the triangle.

“This is a model we use in all of our decision making – big and small,” Fields said. “Any time we make a change, we take it back to the triangle, which is balancing the needs of clients, the team and the business.”

Fields said in the world of technology, things constantly change and evolve, which requires constant use of the triangle.

“If we do something that is great for our clients, good for our team members and good for our business, then that’s like a win-win-win,” Fields said. “But, if one of those three corners of the triangle is getting a bad deal, then we’re probably not thinking about this right and probably going back to the drawing board.”

Fields also highlighted the inner triangle, which focuses on humility, curiosity and vulnerability of employees.

“If you think about the people you worked who were terrible teammates…they certainly don’t demonstrate these characteristics,” Fields said.

The meeting also featured an interactive portion that required members to highlight and share their best practices when it comes to hiring.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.co

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.

April 26

Crisis Intervention Workshop

2 p.m.

A crisis intervention workshop will be Thursday, April 26 at 2 p.m. at the Lebanon Senior Citizens Center at 670 Coles Ferry Pike. Leah Pastula, crisis director at Volunteer Behavioral Health, will present information on how to assess a crisis, de-escalation tips, intervention partners, coping with crisis, skilled problem solving, suicide prevention, coping with the aging process and medical crisis counseling. Humana will provide goodie bags.

Rutland Elementary School Kindergarten Night

3 p.m.

Rutland Elementary School will play host to a kindergarten night Thursday, April 26 from 3-6:30 p.m. for parents to get information on registration for kindergarten at the school. Anyone with questions may submit them to “Let’s Talk” at wcschools.com.

Pickett-Rucker United Methodist Church 152nd Anniversary

6 p.m.

Pickett-Rucker United Methodist Church will celebrate its 152nd anniversary Thursday, April 26 at 6 p.m. with a pre-anniversary fellowship dinner; and Sunday, April 29 at 10 a.m. with a praise and worship service.

Mt. Juliet Parks Department Trivia Night

6 p.m.

The Mt. Juliet Parks Department will hold trivia night Thursday, April 26 from 6-9 p.m. at the Mt. Juliet Community Center. The cost is $35 per person, or a table is $250. It will feature a light dinner and participants showing off their vast knowledge of useless facts. Prizes will be awarded. Proceeds will benefit the Mt. Juliet parks system.

Celebrate Recovery

7 p.m.

Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered 12-step recovery support group for overcoming hurts, hang-ups and habits, will meet Thursday, April 26 and each Thursday from 7-9:30 p.m. at Fairview Church at 1660 Leeville Pike in Lebanon. For more information, call ministry leader Tony Jones at 615-972-6151.

Wilson County Tea Party Meet and Greet the Candidates

7 p.m.

The Wilson County Tea Party will hold its Meet and Greet the Candidates event Thursday, April 26 from 7-9 p.m. at Music Valley Baptist Church at 7104 Lebanon Road in Mt. Juliet. All voters and candidates for school boards, county and state offices in any of the counties in the Sixth Congressional District are invited. The event is sponsored by the Wilson County Tea Party and newly revitalized Tennessee Sixth Congressional District Tea Party. For more information, call Rob Joines at 615-305-5455 or Tom Hoffman at 615-403-0010.

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.

April 26

Wilson County Ag Management Committee meeting

5 p.m.

The Wilson County Ag Management Committee will meet Thursday, April 26 at 5 p.m. in the Gentry Building at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon.

– Staff Reports

Haslam OKs Sunday liquor sales

Bill Haslam

Residents can now buy wine and spirits on Sundays after Gov. Bill Haslam signed the measure into law this week.

Rep. Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, and Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, sponsored the bill, which would allow wine and alcohol sales during the same hours allowed for beer sales, which include Sundays.

Previously, wine and liquor sales were prohibited from Saturdays at 11 p.m. until Mondays at 8 a.m.

Lawmakers approved the measure earlier this month.

State law now allows liquor sales from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. every Sunday and holiday, excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Liquor stores will be able to sell on Sundays immediately, while grocery stores will be able to sell on Sundays, beginning Jan. 1.

The legislation comes almost two years after wine sales became more widespread in the state. The passage of the wine in grocery stores legislation represented the most comprehensive change in alcoholic beverage law in the state’s history. 

Nearly 650 stores across the state sold wine during the first year after the law took effect.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Lawmakers pass Tennessee Ready amendments

State lawmakers passed two bills relative to Tennessee Ready last Thursday and are expected to vote on a final bill this week.

Tennessee Ready online assessment issues plagued districts across the state this week, including Thursday, one day after state lawmakers questioned Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen on previous Tennessee Ready issues.

Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet, and Rep. Clark Boyd, R-Lebanon, expressed their discontent with the issues.

“You have expressed your concerns to me about Tennessee Ready, and I want you to know that I hear you loud and clear, and I share those same concerns. This entire process has been extremely frustrating and upsetting for our parents, teachers, principals, superintendents and most importantly – our students,” Boyd said.

“I want to apologize on behalf of the state of Tennessee for the terrible issues with Tennessee Ready. The House was in session on Tuesday as the problems began. We were shocked and angry to learn of the trouble as we broke for lunch at noon,” Lynn said.

The representatives and other House members passed a bill Thursday in response to the issues.

As a part of the bill:

• Tennessee schools will not receive a letter grade for the 2017-2018 school year.

• Tennessee Ready will not count toward teachers’ evaluations and students’ final grades for the 2017-2018 school year.

• Tennessee Ready tests will be given on paper for the 2017-2018 school year.

The state Senate also approved a bill in response to the testing issues. As a part of that bill:

• Tennessee schools will not receive a letter grade for the 2017-2018 school year.

• school districts will not be allowed to base termination or compensation decisions on the 2017-2018 Tennessee Ready results.

• school districts can choose to apply 2017-2018 Tennessee Ready assessment data up to 15 percent of a students’ final grade.

• none of the Tennessee Ready assessment data will be used to determine if a school is a priority school, unless the data is favorable.

“As you can see, there are differences between the House and Senate bills. These differences will be settled in talks over the weekend, and by Monday we will vote on a final bill,” said Lynn, who said she preferred the House version of the bill. “The Senate does not mention using paper tests, and in Wilson County, we do not have any priority schools, so that portion would never affect us. And per the Senate bill, the 2017-18 Tennessee Ready test can still count toward teachers’ evaluations; they just cannot be used to terminate or determine compensation for a teacher.”

However, questions remain among parents and educators, including the impact the Tennessee Ready scores will have on Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System scores, which could count 20 percent of a teacher’s overall evaluation at the end of the year, which determines a teacher’s pay.

The TVAAS measures student growth from year to year. In calculating a TVAAS score, a student’s performance is compared relative to the performance of his or her peers who have performed similarly on past assessments.

“Our intention was to protect the teacher, the school and the student,” said Boyd, who said Thursday he felt the bill accomplished that. “I will definitely check into this and see if we missed something with regard to teachers’ evaluations.”

“Student morale is a key component of how well a student does on a test. Losing work, being disrupted mid-exam and constant delays affect students negatively. We are concerned this will impact scores to the detriment of students, teachers and schools,” said Tennessee Education Association President Barbara Gray. “We are approaching a point where the entire testing system is becoming questionable. Students who start and stop exams may suffer emotionally or become distrustful, which may hurt concentration.”
Problems with online portions of the Tennessee Ready state assessment started Monday and continued Tuesday morning, which caused Wilson County Schools and Lebanon Special School District to suspend online testing for the second straight day.

Wilson County Schools suspended online testing in sixth through 12th grades at about 10 a.m. Students in third through fifth grades were not impacted because their exams were taken with paper and pencil.

The district faced similar issues Monday morning, the first scheduled day for testing, which caused officials to suspend testing. Tuesday was the first day of testing in the Lebanon Special School District.

McQueen explained the issues and answered questions from legislators during a joint hearing Wednesday.

McQueen said Monday’s issues were due to a conflict between the Classroom Assessment Builder and the test delivery system, which previously shared the same login system, causing unacceptable login delays for some students when they tried to access Tennessee Ready. She said evidence suggested the assessment administrator, Questar, and its data center experienced a cyber attack Tuesday from an external source, which caused the second day of delays.

Many parents have said they don’t feel assured personal student information wasn’t accessed and compromised in the possible attack.

McQueen said there is no evidence at this time that student data or information was compromised, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation does not currently have a criminal investigation underway into Tuesday’s incident, although representatives said they would be willing to perform one.

Legislators from both political parties were critical of McQueen, Questar and the continued failures of the state assessment.

Rep. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville, asked McQueen why she felt she shouldn’t resign after the department continued to fail educators and students.

“After months and months and months into years of failures, your department has failed. It’s time for you to resign and step aside and let somebody else come in and try their hand,” Stewart said. “It’s not a comment on you as a person, but as a manager, you have been unable to get control of this problem, and I think you should explain to this committee why you should the person going forward to even address it.”

The questioning and criticism continued for almost two hours, as several legislators expressed their frustrations with the situation.

“We have some pretty tough guidelines for our teachers, especially when it comes to testing. Matter of fact, committee, if there is a breach while a teacher is proctoring a test, she can be severely dealt with from the Department of Education. It’s no joke. For several years now, there’s been a problem, and I feel like we are wanting and forcing to hold our teachers accountability, all the while I don’t k now that we’re really holding ourselves accountable,” said Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby. “There are an immense amount of circumstances that surround taking the test on that side, but I feel like we don’t offer very many excuses for that side, but year after year we’re offering excuses for our side.”

“It’s an unfair stress to put on children that are already stressed out. A lot of times I think we forget just how stressed these babies are, and just how much our education system is focusing a little too much on testing. I believe in standardized tests because you have to have a measure of success, but at the same time, these children, these teachers, these administrators, these principals have done what they’re supposed to do, and to have a test failure like this is ridiculous,” said Rep. Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis.

This year’s problems follow a series of issues that surrounded the Tennessee Ready exam and its implementation, including last year, which saw more than 9,000 exams scored incorrectly by exam vendor Questar Assessment.

Students in third through eighth grades were unable to take the exam the previous year, as the previous state exam assessor failed to launch an online test and was unable to deliver testing materials to districts in time.

The delays and miscues prompted parents and administrators to question the reliability of the state assessment, as well as the impact it has on students and educators.

The inconsistency prompted Wilson County Director of Schools Donna Wright to declare the 2015-2016 school year a hold harmless year for Tennessee Ready scores in the district.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Vehicle emissions bill passes Senate

It could take years to gain federal approval to end testing

NASHVILLE (TNS) – A bill that attempts to end mandatory vehicle emissions testing in Hamilton and five other Tennessee counties passed a final floor vote Monday afternoon in the state Senate.

But while the bill awaits Gov. Bill Haslam’s signature, its stated goal of halting emissions testing on cars and trucks won’t happen overnight.

In fact, it could take three or more years to develop alternatives to the testing program, used to lower air pollution, and also take them to federal regulators and win approval there, according to a Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation official.

Final say-so will have to come from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which calls the shots on federal Clean Air Act requirements and the steps needed to cut air pollution levels and ensure continued compliance with air quality standards.

“The bill ends the inspection and maintenance [emissions testing] program in Tennessee if EPA approves,” said Kim Schofinski, a spokeswoman with TDEC, in an email response to Times Free Press inquiries.

She noted TDEC still continues to work on submitting another plan to EPA, based on a 2016 law passed by state lawmakers that sought to exempt new vehicles from the emissions testing.

The “total process to obtain EPA approval could take three years or more depending on many variables, including the speed of federal action,” Schofinski added. “Substitute measures will need to be taken if the analysis demonstrates that the elimination of emissions testing will interfere with air quality.”

Two Hamilton County lawmakers who are leading the charge to end vehicle emissions testing said they remain confident DEC and local officials will be able to develop less intrusive alternatives to vehicle testing if that step becomes necessary.

Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, and Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah, said they believe Hamilton, Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson counties can follow paths blazed by Shelby County to get out of its emissions testing program. Knox County avoided it entirely by restricting truck speeds in a broad area.

Watson and Carter filed the bill this year after TDEC officials announced last summer that all of Tennessee’s 95 counties are now fully compliant, or in EPA jargon in “100 percent attainment,” on federal ambient air quality requirements for ozone and particulate matter.

Hamilton, Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson counties all have EPA-approved vehicle emissions testing programs they have used to lower emissions as the state sought to meet federal Clean Air Act provisions mandating safer air quality.

Local officials, as well as TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau, raised concerns about the bill initially.

It’s not immediately clear what impact the Tennessee Valley Authority’s move to shut down three of its coal-fired power generating plants in Tennessee and Alabama since 2005 will have. The plants were major polluters.

The initiative co-sponsored by members of the Wilson County legislative delegation, state Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet, and state Rep. Clark Boyd, R-Lebanon, requiring counties to take all necessary steps to end mandatory vehicle emissions testing in Tennessee passed in the House chamber last week.

The bill was approved by a 96-0 vote tally by House members and would apply to residents of Wilson County where emissions testing is still required prior to vehicle registration or renewal.

The 1990 Federal Clean Air Act required the state to develop more restrictive regulations to control air pollution from mobile sources in counties, which were not meeting the Federal Standards for air quality.

Currently, testing is done on vehicles with a model year of 1975 and newer if they are powered by a gasoline or diesel engine and weigh up to 10,500 pounds. More than 1.5 million vehicles went through emissions testing in Tennessee last year in the six counties where it is required.

“Vehicle emissions testing is a process that creates avoidable stress and financial burdens for our working families,” said Lynn. “House Bill 1782 moves Tennessee away from mandatory vehicle emissions testing which benefits our citizens and doesn’t create any harmful environmental side effects.”

The idea for House Bill 1782 came following a report from the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation released in August that showed all 95 Tennessee counties met federal air quality health standards.

“Vehicle testing is not only time consuming but seems to disproportionally affect people who can least afford to make repairs to their cars.” said Boyd. “The people of Wilson County have been loud and clear in their support of this legislation to end emissions testing. I have heard them and am proud to be a sponsor of this legislation.”

The bill would require the state to end a state testing contract for Hamilton, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson counties in 2019 unless the EPA has not acted.

Davidson County has its own contract, which expires in 2021, Watson recalled.

The bill would do away with the $9 testing fee, most of which now goes to the state to pay for the five-county emissions testing contract. But in order to avoid getting slapped with an expenses analysis that might have made the bill harder to pass, it includes a provision allowing county commissions vote to keep a $4 fee on title and tag issuance. Of that, $3 would go into the county’s general fund and $1 to county clerks.

Editor Jared Felkins contributed to this report.

By Andy Sher

Chattanooga Times Free Press

 

Commission amends alcohol laws

Both amendments to city code deal with businesses that serve alcoholic beverages

The Mt. Juliet City Commission passed an ordinance that amended the alcoholic beverages section of the city codes during the consent agenda portion of its meeting Monday night.

The amendments were made to allow new permit holders to buy alcohol and not be in violation of the alcoholic beverage laws. According to the city code, beer permits for on-premises consumption shall maintain an annual ratio of $5 of gross sales for each $1 of wholesale beer purchases.

The annual ratio, according to the city code, would be calculated at the end of each calendar year.

The new amendments changed the code so the ratio could be calculated 12 months after a business opened, so the law would not punish businesses that aren’t open for 12 months as of Dec. 31.

A section was also added that clarified if a complaint is made about a business that is open less than 12 months and the ratio is less than $2.50 of food sales for every $1 in beer purchases, the Alcoholic Beverage Board can suspend the permit for up to two months. A second violation of the provision in a 12-month period would result in revocation of a permit.

A public hearing was held prior to commissioners’ vote on the amendment, but no one came forward to speak on it.

The commission will meet again May 14 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall on North Mt. Juliet Road.

By Jacob Smith

jsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

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.

April 18

Hiring Event

9 a.m.

A hiring event will be Wednesday, April 18 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the American Job Center inside the College of Applied Technology building at 415 Tennessee Blvd. in Lebanon. Participants should register on jobs4tn.gov, bring a resume and two forms of identification. Employers that will be there include Bridgestone, Wilson County government, Nissan, Panera Bread, Metro Industrial, Ryan’s Restaurant, Hire Dynamics, Leviton and more. For more information, contact Katrina Moss at 615-494-4278 or katrina.moss@tn.gov.

Mt. Juliet Chamber Connection Luncheon

11:15 a.m.

The Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce will hold its connection luncheon Wednesday, April 18 from 11:15 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at Rutland Place. The guest speaker will be James Field, president of Concept Technology, who will share tips for an award-winning company culture. Online registration is required at mjchamber.org.

Credit and Finances Classes

7 p.m.

Classes to help rebuild credit, pay off debt and be better prepared for retirement will be Wednesday, April 18 and Wednesday, April 25 at 7 p.m. at Life Church at 3688 Hwy. 109 in Lebanon. The instructor has years of experience in the banking and loan industry and will share knowledge on how to get wealth. For more information, visit lifechurchfamily.com.

Audience of One presents “Little Women”

7 p.m.

Audience of One productions will present the musical, “Little Women,” on Wednesday, April 18, Thursday, April 19 and Friday, April 20 at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 21 at 10 a.m. and Sunday, April 22 at 3 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre in Lebanon. The April 18 show will feature an understudy performance with discounted tickets for $10 each. Tickets for all other shows will be $20 for adults and $13 for children 3-11 years old and seniors 60 and older. To buy tickets, visit capitoltheatretn.com. “Little Women” is a musical with book by Allan Knee, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein and music by Jason Howland.

April 19

Wilson County Schools Teacher Recruitment Fair

3:30 p.m.

Wilson County Schools will hold its third-annual teacher recruitment fair Thursday, April 19 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at the central office at 415 Harding Drive in Lebanon. Administrators from each school will be present to allow potential teachers to make a first impression. Anyone with questions or for more information may contact Deanna Barnes at 615-453-4676 or barnedea100@wcschools.com.

W.A. Wright Elementary School Kindergarten Night

4 p.m.

W.A. Wright Elementary School will play host to a kindergarten night Thursday, April 19 from 4-6 p.m. for parents to get information on registration for kindergarten at the school. Anyone with questions may submit them to “Let’s Talk” at wcschools.com.

Elzie D. Patton Elementary School Kindergarten Night

5:30 p.m.

Elzie D. Patton Elementary School will play host to a kindergarten night Thursday, April 19 from 5:30-7 p.m. for parents to get information on registration for kindergarten at the school. Anyone with questions may submit them to “Let’s Talk” at wcschools.com.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5015 meeting

6 p.m.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5015 in Lebanon will meet Thursday, April 19 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.

Meet and Greet with Wilson County Board of Education member Tom Sottek

6:30 p.m.

Wilson County Board of Education member Tom Sottek, who represents Zone 3 primarily in Mt. Juliet, will hold a meet-and-greet event Thursday, April 19 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Wright Farms Clubhouse at 814 Harrisburg Lane in Mt. Juliet. Refreshments will be provided.

Lebanon High School presents “Guys and Dolls”

7 p.m.

Lebanon High School will present the musical, “Guys and Dolls,” on Thursday, April 19, Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 22 at 2 p.m. in the school auditorium. The cast and crew, which consists of 54 Lebanon High School students, are directed by Cayla Sweet in theater, with Brenna Fitzgerald in choir and Tyler Cross in dance. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and children 7 years old and older. Children younger than 7 will be admitted free. Tickets may be purchased at the door or online at the Lebanon High School website under online payments.

Audience of One presents “Little Women”

7 p.m.

Audience of One productions will present the musical, “Little Women,” on Thursday, April 19 and Friday, April 20 at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 21 at 10 a.m. and Sunday, April 22 at 3 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre in Lebanon. Tickets are $20 for adults and $13 for children 3-11 years old and seniors 60 and older. To buy tickets, visit capitoltheatretn.com. “Little Women” is a musical with book by Allan Knee, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein and music by Jason Howland.

Celebrate Recovery

7 p.m.

Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered 12-step recovery support group for overcoming hurts, hang-ups and habits, will meet Thursday, April 19 and each Thursday from 7-9:30 p.m. at Fairview Church at 1660 Leeville Pike in Lebanon. For more information, call ministry leader Tony Jones at 615-972-6151.

Fiddlers Grove Model Train Club

7 p.m.

The Fiddlers Grove Model Train Club will meet Thursday, April 19 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.

April 20

Country Living Fair

10 a.m.

The Country Living Fair will be Friday, April 20, Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Wilson County Expo Center and James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon. Gates will open Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21 at 8:30 a.m. for early-bird ticketholders. Tickets are $13 for a one-day admission in advance and $18 at the door. Three-day weekend passes are available for $15 in advance and $25 at the door. An early-bird three-day weekend pass is available for $40 and grants early admission April 20-21 at 8:30 a.m. For children 16 and younger, admission is free. For tickets and additional information, including a list of vendors, contact Stella Show Management Co. at 866-500-FAIR or stellashows.com. For tickets and additional details, visit countryliving.com/fair.

Lebanon High School presents “Guys and Dolls”

7 p.m.

Lebanon High School will present the musical, “Guys and Dolls,” on Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 22 at 2 p.m. in the school auditorium. The cast and crew, which consists of 54 Lebanon High School students, are directed by Cayla Sweet in theater, with Brenna Fitzgerald in choir and Tyler Cross in dance. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and children 7 years old and older. Children younger than 7 will be admitted free. Tickets may be purchased at the door or online at the Lebanon High School website under online payments.

Mt. Juliet Christian Academy presents “Singin’ in the Rain”

7 p.m.

Mt. Juliet Christian Academy’s high school drama students will perform “Singin’ in the Rain” on Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 22 at 2 p.m. Doors will open 30 minutes prior to each performance. Tickets will be available at the door for $10 per adult and $7 per student. Cash and checks will be accepted. Also, concessions will be available before the show and during intermission. Mt. Juliet Christian Academy is at 735 N. Mt. Juliet Road. The performance will be in the gymnasium.

Audience of One presents “Little Women”

7 p.m.

Audience of One productions will present the musical, “Little Women,” on Friday, April 20 at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 21 at 10 a.m. and Sunday, April 22 at 3 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre in Lebanon. Tickets are $20 for adults and $13 for children 3-11 years old and seniors 60 and older. To buy tickets, visit capitoltheatretn.com. “Little Women” is a musical with book by Allan Knee, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein and music by Jason Howland.

April 21

Mile-Long Yard Sale

7 a.m.

The Mile-Long Yard Sale will be Saturday, April 21 from 7 a.m. until throughout Watertown. It will feature hundreds of booths, thousands of shoppers, antiques, flea market items, tools, collectibles, food and more. For booth rental information, call 615-237-1777 or visit watertowntn.com.

Country Living Fair

10 a.m.

The Country Living Fair will be Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Wilson County Expo Center and James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon. Gates will open Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21 at 8:30 a.m. for early-bird ticketholders. Tickets are $13 for a one-day admission in advance and $18 at the door. Three-day weekend passes are available for $15 in advance and $25 at the door. An early-bird three-day weekend pass is available for $40 and grants early admission April 20-21 at 8:30 a.m. For children 16 and younger, admission is free. For tickets and additional information, including a list of vendors, contact Stella Show Management Co. at 866-500-FAIR or stellashows.com. For tickets and additional details, visit countryliving.com/fair.

Free Grocery Giveaway

3 p.m.

Life Church in Lebanon will sponsor a free grocery giveaway Saturday, April 21 at 3 p.m. in the Kids World daycare parking lot on Cumberland Street in Lebanon. The event is open to everyone. For more information, visit lifechurchfamily.com.

Pickett-Rucker United Methodist Church 152nd Anniversary

4 p.m.

Pickett-Rucker United Methodist Church will celebrate its 152nd anniversary Saturday, April 21 at 4 p.m. with a musical with several choirs from the community; Thursday, April 26 at 6 p.m. with a pre-anniversary fellowship dinner; and Sunday, April 29 at 10 a.m. with a praise and worship service.

Lebanon High School presents “Guys and Dolls”

7 p.m.

Lebanon High School will present the musical, “Guys and Dolls,” on Saturday, April 21 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 22 at 2 p.m. in the school auditorium. The cast and crew, which consists of 54 Lebanon High School students, are directed by Cayla Sweet in theater, with Brenna Fitzgerald in choir and Tyler Cross in dance. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and children 7 years old and older. Children younger than 7 will be admitted free. Tickets may be purchased at the door or online at the Lebanon High School website under online payments.

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.

April 19

Nashville and Eastern Railroad Authority meeting

11 a.m.

The Nashville and Eastern Railroad Authority will have an executive committee meeting Thursday, April 19 at 11 a.m. at its office at 206 S. Maple St. in Lebanon. Lunch will be served at noon, and the authority’s quarterly meeting will begin following lunch.

Lebanon Housing Authority Board of Commissioners meeting

4 p.m.

The Lebanon Housing Authority Board of Commissioners will meet Thursday April 19 at 4p.m. at the Upton Heights administrative office.

Wilson County Planning and Zoning Committee meeting

6 p.m.

The Wilson County Planning and Zoning Committee will meet Thursday, April 19 at 6 p.m. in conference room 1 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

April 23

Lebanon Airport Commission special-called meeting

4 p.m.

The Lebanon Airport Commission will meet in a special-called meeting Monday, April 23 at 4 p.m. at the Lebanon Municipal Airport at 1060A Franklin Road.

Mt. Juliet City Commission meeting

6:30 p.m.

The Mt. Juliet City Commission will meet Monday, April 23 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall at 2425 N. Mt. Juliet Road. A public hearing will be at 6:15 p.m.

April 24

Wilson County Joint Economic and Community Development Board meeting

7:30 a.m.

The Wilson County Joint Economic and Community Development Board will meet on Tuesday, April 24 at 7:30 a.m. at 200 Aviation Way in Lebanon in the second-floor conference room.

Lebanon Public Service and Transportation Committee meeting

3:30 p.m.

The Lebanon Public Service and Transportation Committee will meet Tuesday, April 24 at 3:30 p.m. at the Town Meeting Hall at 200 N. Castle Heights Ave.

April 26

Lebanon City Council work session

6 p.m.

The Lebanon City Council will meet in a work session Thursday, April 26 at 6 p.m. at the Town Meeting Hall at 200 N. Castle Heights Ave.

– Staff Reports

Kenny Martin: Getting an F isn’t always bad

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

In school, we always hated or feared getting an F on a paper, report, project or most importantly a report card. As a result you might not have been a big fan of the letter F. But an F isn’t always bad.

For example, without the letter F we wouldn’t be able to spell words such as future, fun, fast, festive, festival, fair, first, food, fuel, flight and football.

All words we really like. But the more I think about the letter F, the more I think about faith, family and friends. Without those three words the rest of the letters that begin with the letter F really wouldn’t mean near as much.

In other words, we should always embrace and keep faith, family and friends in our lives. Unless we take time to realize what life is all about and it’s many blessings, it will be difficult to truly enjoy and appreciate it to the fullest. 

Another wonderfully important word that starts with F is forgiveness. As human beings, we are not perfect, and are flawed in various ways. As a result, we sometimes don’t get things just right, perfect or as we hoped for or planned.

I now truly understand how precious the letter F can be. Without it, we would be hard pressed to understand just how blessed we are to have faith, family and friends in our lives. So, please live life to the fullest by embracing and enjoying your friends and family.

Sometimes doing so may require a little faith and forgiveness.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

Beavers hurls insult at woman

Jerry Beavers uses derogatory epithet at Wilson GOP meeting

A Republican state committeeman candidate used a derogatory epithet when he referred to a woman Saturday morning during the Wilson County Republican Party meeting.

Dolores Mackey said incident started after Wilson County mayoral candidate Mae Beavers spoke during the meeting about several issues, excluding recent questions surrounding her campaign finances.

The questions surround Mae Beavers’ latest financial disclosures, which show a movement of funds between several accounts associated with the former gubernatorial and current Wilson County mayor candidate. The funds could indicate an attempt to circumvent rules relative to campaign funding, which, if found true, would be illegal.

“I asked her about the articles about her campaign funds and she responded that she hadn’t done anything wrong,” Mackey said. “I pointed out that after more than 20 years in office, she should know campaign finance laws.”

Mackey said Mae Beavers’ husband and Republican state committeeman candidate, Jerry Beavers, then stood up and accused Mackey of being a troublemaker. Mackey said Jerry Beavers also condemned her for her vote to retain Lynn Harris as Wilson County administrator of elections years ago.

The pair exchanged words until Jerry Beavers then called her a “b—-” in front of the crowd of about 20 people, according to Mackey.

“The room seemed surprised, and as he sat down, he mumbled ‘stupid bitch,’” Mackey said.

Mackey said Jerry Beavers later apologized for his outburst, but did not apologize to her personally.

Mackey said she and her late husband worked on Mae Beavers’ campaign for Senate, but parted ways due to the Beavers’ treatment of campaign volunteers and joined Susan Lynn’s campaign for state House of Representatives.

“We were very close to the Beavers family for about two years,” said Mackey, who said she was not surprised Jerry Beavers used the insult.

“He’s always been very defensive of her,” she said. “I understand him using that kind of language, and I have no doubt he’s used that language about me before, but it was shocking that he would use in room like that.”

Calls from The Democrat to both Mae and Jerry Beavers were not returned Monday.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

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.

April 12

Women in the Lead

11:30 a.m.

The Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce will present Women in the Lead, featuring guest speaker Amber Hurdle, author of “The Bombshell Business Woman, on Thursday, April 12 at 11:30 a.m. at Sammy B’s at 705 Cadet Court in Lebanon. Tickets are $15 per person. To RSVP, email tonya@lebanonwilsonchamber.com.

Cumberland University Focus Art Show

4:30 p.m.

The annual grand finale of the student art shows at Cumberland University, the Focus Show, will open Thursday, April 12 from 4:30-6 p.m. with a reception that will include the announcement of awards. The Focus Show had more than 80 entries, from which judge Susan DeMay, professor of ceramics at Vanderbilt University, selected 45. The artistic media represented are painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, neon, mixed media, graphic design, photography and pen and ink. Thirty art students entered the show. The Focus Show is displayed in the Adams Gallery of the June and Bill Heydel Fine Arts Center, which is open daily from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. The gallery is free and open to the public.

Gladeville Elementary School Kindergarten Night

5 p.m.

Gladeville Elementary School will play host to a kindergarten night Thursday, April 12 from 5-7 p.m. for parents to get information on registration for kindergarten at the school. Anyone with questions may submit them to “Let’s Talk” at wcschools.com.

Wilson Books From Birth Imagination Dinner

6:30 p.m.

Wilson Books From Birth will hold its annual Imagination Dinner on Thursday, April 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Wilson County Expo Center at 945 E. Baddour Pkwy. in Lebanon. Table sponsorships for eight are available for $250. Call Wilson Books from Birth at 615-444-5586 to sponsor a table. The dinner follows a “wacky waiter” format. By sponsoring a table, patrons can select a person to be their waiter for the evening. The Imagination Dinner benefits Wilson Books from Birth, a division of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Wilson County. The literacy service mails one age-appropriate book each month to every child in Wilson County from birth to 5 years old at no cost to the family.

April 13

Mt. Juliet Chamber Community Development meeting

7:45 a.m.

The Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce will hold a community development meeting Friday, April 13 from 7:45-9 a.m. at the chamber office. Amy Nichols, director of the Wilson County Convention and Visitors Bureau, will be the guest speaker. Registration is required at mjchamber.org.

A Soldier’s Child Foundation Dinner Banquet

6 p.m.

A Soldier’s Child Foundation will hold its ninth-annual dinner banquet Friday, April 13 at 6 p.m. at the Mill in Lebanon. Tickets are $50 each or $400 for a table for eight. To purchase tickets, visit asoldierschild.org/events/annual-dinner-banquet. For more information, contact Cathy Stufflebean at 615-220-1600 or cathy@asoldierschild.org. A Soldier’s Child Foundation serves Gold Star children of fallen servicemen and women from all U.S. military branches. ASC acknowledges all deaths during active duty and any deaths post military service, due to service related injuries or illnesses. This includes suicides from PTSD-related deaths.

Winfree Bryant Middle School presents “The Mad Tea Party”

7 p.m.

Aviator Drama will present “The Mad Tea Party” on Friday, April 13 at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 14 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 15 at 2 p.m. in the Winfree Bryant Middle School auditorium. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students.

April 14

Hearts Take Flight

9 a.m.

Hearts Take Flight, a tug-of-war event against a King Air 350 plane to benefit the Arc Tennessee, will be Saturday, April 14 at 9 a.m. at Hollingshead Aviation at the Smyrna-Rutherford County Airport. The Arc Tennessee is a grassroots, nonprofit, statewide advocacy organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Founded in 1952, the Arc Tennessee is affiliated with the Arc United States and works collaboratively with local chapters across the state.

Wilson County Republican Party meeting

9 a.m.

The Wilson County Republican Party will meet Saturday, April 14 at 9 a.m. at Logan’s Roadhouse at 1006 Cumberland Center Blvd. in Lebanon. The guest speaker will be Mae Beavers, a candidate for Wilson County mayor.

Shine the Light

10 a.m.

Shine the Light, a child abuse awareness event by the Keith Edmonds Foundation, will be Saturday, April 14 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Nokes-Lasater Field, Cumberland University’s football field, at 400 Harding Drive in Lebanon. All ages will be able to enjoy the variety of activities, including inflatables, face painting, a dunk tank, corn hole, games, food and music. And it will all be free. The Wilson County school with the highest number of students in attendance will be awarded the annual Joshua Osborne award. The award is named in memory of the victim of one of Wilson County’s worst cases of child abuse. For more information on the event and the Keith Edmonds Foundation, visit keithedmondsfoundation.org.

Senior Adult Resource Fair

3:30 p.m.

The Senior Adult Resource Fair will be Thursday, April 14 at 3:30 p.m. at Rutland Place at 435 N.W. Rutland Road in Mt. Juliet. A panel discussion will be at 6 p.m. Registration is available at gracenaz.com/seniorfair or 615-822-9233.

Wilson County Civic League Annual Fundraiser

6 p.m.

The Wilson County Civic League will hold its annual fundraiser Saturday, April 14 at 6 p.m. in Baird Chapel on the Cumberland University campus. The theme will be “Be a Part of the Solution: Sexual Violence Prevention” and will feature guest speaker Shan Foster, senior director of external affairs with YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee. Tickets are $40 each. For more information, call 615-449-0719.

Winfree Bryant Middle School presents “The Mad Tea Party”

7 p.m.

Aviator Drama will present “The Mad Tea Party” on Saturday, April 14 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 15 at 2 p.m. in the Winfree Bryant Middle School auditorium. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students.

Staff Reports

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.

April 12

Wilson County Election Commission meeting

5 p.m.

The Wilson County Election Commission will meet Thursday, April 12 at 5 p.m. at the Election Commission office at 203 E. Main St. in Lebanon.

April 16

Wilson County Commission meeting

7 p.m.

The Wilson County Commission will meet Monday, April 16 at 7 p.m. in commission chambers at the Wilson County Courthouse.

April 19

Nashville and Eastern Railroad Authority meeting

11 a.m.

The Nashville and Eastern Railroad Authority will have an executive committee meeting Thursday, April 19 at 11 a.m. at its office at 206 S. Maple St. in Lebanon. Lunch will be served at noon, and the authority’s quarterly meeting will begin following lunch.

April 23

Mt. Juliet City Commission meeting

6:30 p.m.

The Mt. Juliet City Commission will meet Monday, April 23 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall at 2425 N. Mt. Juliet Road. A public hearing will be at 6:15 p.m.

– Staff Reports

911 Board discusses renovation costs

The Wilson County 911 Board discussed the cost of its upcoming remodeling and renovation of the building at 1611 W. Main St. in Lebanon at the group’s monthly meeting Monday.

Wilson County 911 director Karen Moore gave the board an update on what Studio Oakley, the organization whose concept designs the board approved in February, has done.

“Hopefully we can get the construction drawings, hopefully, before the end of this month,” said Moore.

Board chairman David Hale suggested the board make a motion to allow Hale to approve the documents proposed by Studio Oakley subject to the counsel’s review of the documents.

“I think that we’ll complete this project under $1 million, which is less than half of what we have in our reserve, still allowing us to keep a healthy reserve,” said Hale. “We have always tried to maintain a healthy reserve here, so if they said tomorrow, ‘There’s no more money,’ we could keep the doors open for an extended period of time.”

The board unanimously approved a motion to allow Hale to sign the documents from Studio Oakley after they were read and approved by the counsel.

Moore also took time during the meeting to talk about National Public Telecommunicator Week, and asked that board members show their appreciation for the dispatchers who work hard every day.

“We’re very appreciative of not only our 911 call-takers, but our sister agencies, Mt. Juliet, WEMA, Sheriff’s Department, Lebanon PD,” said Moore. “They work strange hours and they work almost every weekend and, if we need them, they’ll work overtime. Words don’t do it justice for what they do.”

By Jacob Smith 

jsmith@lebanondemocrat.com