Windtree Pines development denied by city commission

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Jake Old 

jold@lebanondemocrat.com

Windtree Pines development denied by city commission

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Jake Old

jold@lebanondemocrat.com

Kenny Martin: Do you know the art of staying positive?

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

With all the major issues we face as human beings, you would think that some people would have better things to complain about. We’ve got human beings starving to death, dying in car crashes and suffering major illnesses, while others live blessed lives but can’t seem to do anything but complain.

They just simply can’t get past complaining long enough to see their many blessings.

We would all be better served if we truly began to count our many blessings. For example, simply waking up healthy is a major victory and blessing. There are many people who awake each and every day to chemotherapy treatments, blood transfusions and other medical conditions, which require surgeries and major hospital stays, but still manage to think positive and be happy. They turn negatives into positives. Complaining usually accomplishes nothing but further despair and gloom.

Nothing is more frustrating or irritating than to hear someone complain about nothing. These are the things we as humans refer to as hill of beans issues. You know, the complaints that don’t amount to a hill of beans.

Life is challenging and life is tough, but complaining won’t solve anything. We need more people thinking positive and talking positive. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to ignore facts and reality about life and its heartaches and hardships. Life is life and it’s not perfect, but it is what we’re given and we must make the most of it.

Sitting around complaining won’t solve anything. Sitting around complaining will only bring others down with you. Therefore, I encourage all human beings to think positive to be positive. Medical studies further show that those who think positive are healthier, happier and more successful. Not to mention more fun to be around.

Here’s a list of a few famous positive quotes:

• “One person can make a difference and every person should try,” — John F. Kennedy.

• “Often our attitude is the only difference between our success and failure,” — Abraham Lincoln.

• “Happiness is not something you find, but rather something you create,” — Anonymous.

• “Our attitude determines our approach to life,” — John C. Maxwell.

In closing, life is so much more enjoyable when shared with laughs, smiles and happy people. So keep your chin up, a smile on your face and keep reaching for the stars and beyond.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

Community Calendar and The People’s Agenda

Community Calendar

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

June 8

Regional Transportation Alliance nMotion Wilson County update

11:30 a.m.

The Regional Transportation Alliance will meet Thursday, June 8 from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Lebanon Golf and Country Club at 1300 Coles Ferry Road for an update on the nMotion strategic plan for Wilson County residents. A complimentary lunch will be served. Pre-registration is required at kbs.wufoo.com/forms/z1r30fue18kifyp.

Women in the Lead Sip and Stroke

6 p.m.

The Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce’s Women in the Lead will hold its Sip and Stroke with Linda’s Art and Design on Thursday, June 8 from 6-9 p.m. at Sammy B’s at 705 Cadet Court in Lebanon. The event will feature painting, heavy hors d’oeuvres and refreshments, including wine. The cost is $35 per person. To RSVP, email tonya@lebanonwilsonchamber.com.

June 9

Mt. Juliet Chamber Community Development meeting

7:45 a.m.

The Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce will hold its community development meeting Friday, June 9 from 7:45-9 a.m. at the chamber office. Breakfast will be served. Online registration is required at mjchamber.org.

Kidz Kamp

10 a.m.

Kidz Kamp, fun and educational classes for children 6-16 years old, will be June 9 and July 7. It will offer new classes, which will interest both boys and girls. The classes are $25 each, which covers the cost and instruction. Classes will start at 10 a.m. and last about two hours, plus the children will have an item to take home with them. Pre-register with Fiddlers Grove is required by calling 615-547-6111 Monday through Saturday. The classes June 9 will be wood burning, beginner sewing, beginner quilting, punch art, fiber weaving, basket weaving, felting and acrylic painting. The classes July 7 will be wood burning, beginner sewing, beginner quilting, basket weaving, fiber arts, corn husk dolls, acrylic painting and jewelry making with wire.  Other classes will be considered, so ask if any others are added.

Wilson County Relay for Life

6 p.m.

The Wilson County Relay for Life will be Friday, June 9 from 6 p.m. until midnight at the west lawn at Wilson Bank & Trust at 623 W. Main St. in Lebanon. For more information, visit relayforlife.org/wilsontn.

“Really Rosie” at the Encore Theatre

7:30 p.m.

Encore Theatre Company will present the musical, “Really Rosie,” on Friday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Encore Theatre, 6978 Lebanon Road in Mt. Juliet. The musical features an all-youth cast of middle and high school students. Doors open 30 minutes before showtime. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $10 for children 12 and under and may be purchased by calling 615-598-8950 or visit encore-theatre-company.org for more information.

June 10

Cedar Glad Tour

9:30 a.m.

Long Hunter State Park will offer an opportunity to experience Middle Tennessee Cedar Glades on Saturday, June 10th starting at 9 :30 a.m. The tour will visit Couchville Cedar Glade, Vesta Cedar Glade and the John and Hester Cedar Glade. The hike leader will be Brian Bowen, the administrator for the Tennessee Natural Areas Program. The fee for the tour is $10. RSVP by June 8 by contacting Loretha Legette at 615-532-0044 or email loretha.legette@tn.gov.

Hummingbird Hints

1 p.m.

Ranger Rawlings will give a talk on attracting hummingbirds to residential yards on Saturday, June 10 from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the area 2 picnic area at Long Hunter State Park, 2910 Hobson Pike in Hermitage. The event is an opportunity for anyone to learn how to bring hummingbirds to the yard.

Sister Act at Chaffin’s Barn

6 p.m.

The musical comedy “Sister Act” will be performed Saturday, June 10 at 6 p.m. and Sunday, June 11 at noon at Chaffin’s Barn at 8204 Hwy. 100 in Nashville. It will be an AARP weekend, and all members will get a 25-percent discount. A prime-rib buffet will be served before the show. For more information, call 615-646-9977 or 800-282-2276.

“Really Rosie” at the Encore Theatre

7:30 p.m.

Encore Theatre Company will present the musical, “Really Rosie,” on Saturday, June 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Encore Theatre, 6978 Lebanon Road in Mt. Juliet. The musical features an all-youth cast of middle and high school students. Doors open 30 minutes before showtime. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $10 for children 12 and under and may be purchased by calling 615-598-8950 or visit encore-theatre-company.org for more information.

June 11

Sister Act at Chaffin’s Barn

Noon

The musical comedy “Sister Act” will be performed Sunday, June 11 at noon at Chaffin’s Barn at 8204 Hwy. 100 in Nashville. It will be an AARP weekend, and all members will get a 25-percent discount. A prime-rib buffet will be served before the show. For more information, call 615-646-9977 or 800-282-2276.

“Really Rosie” at the Encore Theatre

2 p.m.

Encore Theatre Company will present the musical, “Really Rosie,” on Sunday, June 11 at 2:30 p.m. at the Encore Theatre, 6978 Lebanon Road in Mt. Juliet. The musical features an all-youth cast of middle and high school students. Doors open 30 minutes before showtime. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $10 for children 12 and under and may be purchased by calling 615-598-8950 or visit encore-theatre-company.org for more information.

June 12

Mt. Juliet Republican Women meeting

6 p.m.

The Mt. Juliet Republican Women will play host to gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee and his wife, Maria, at its next meeting Monday, June 12 at Courtney’s Restaurant in Mt. Juliet. The meeting will start at 6 p.m. with an optional dinner and at 7 p.m. for the speaker.

Setting Sail

6 p.m.

Learn about boating amenities offered at Long Hunter State Park and go for a kayak cruise on Couchville Lake on Monday, June 12 at 6 p.m. at Long Hunter State Park, 2910 Hobson Pike in Hermitage. The event will be held at the Area 2 boathouse. Participants must be at least 6 years old and sign up in advance at tnstateparks.com/parks/events/long-hunter. A receipt is required for admittance to the event.

Wilson County Democrat Party meeting

6:30 p.m.

The Wilson County Democrat Party will meet Monday, June 12 at 6:30 p.m. in the School Exhibit Building at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon. The guest speaker will be Administrator of Elections Phillip Warren with the Wilson County Election Commission, who plans to speak on candidate recruitment and support, candidate resources and other information for those considering running for office in 2018.

June 13

Tyler Cates American Legion Post 281 meeting

6:30 p.m.

The Tyler Cates American Legion Post 281 will meet Tuesday, June 13 and the second Tuesday of each month at Rutland Place at 435 N.W. Rutland Road in Mt. Juliet. Social time begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by the meeting at 7 p.m.​ All veterans are invited to attend. An American Legion Auxiliary Unit is also part of the post. New members are welcome to join. Former members or transfers from other posts are also invited to join. For more information, contact Pat Unger, commander, at 615-210-6156.

Symphony on the Lawn

5:30 p.m.

The Nashville Symphony will perform Tuesday, June 13 at 7 p.m. on Cumberland University’s Memorial Lawn during the annual Symphony on the Lawn. Rei Hotoda will conduct the family friendly. Pre-concert activities include a performance by the Bert Coble Singers, the Cumberland Arts Academy Suzuki players and the Nashville Symphony’s “instrument petting zoo.” Pre-concert activities will begin at 5:30 p.m. Admission is $5 but is free for children and students. Tickets are available at the Catron Alumni House on Cumberland’s campus, Cox’s Gifts and Jewelry, Del Webb, the Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce office, Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce office and at the gates. In case of inclement weather, the concert will take place in the Dallas Floyd Gymnasium on Cumberland University’s campus.

– Staff Reports

The People’s Agenda

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

June 8

Wilson County Animal Control Committee meeting

5 p.m.

The Wilson County Animal Control Committee will meet Thursday, June 8 at 5 p.m. in conference room 1 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

Wilson County Education Committee meeting

6 p.m.

The Wilson County Education Committee will meet Thursday, June 8 at 6 p.m. in conference room 1 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

Wilson County Minutes Committee meeting

6:30 p.m.

The Wilson County Minutes Committee will meet Thursday, June 8 at 6:30 p.m. in conference room 1 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

Wilson County Steering Committee meeting

6:45 p.m.

The Wilson County Steering Committee will meet Thursday, June 8 at 6:45 p.m. in conference room 1 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

Wilson County Budget Committee meeting

7 p.m.

The Wilson County Budget Committee will meet Thursday, June 8 at 7 p.m. in conference room 1 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

June 12

Wilson County 911 Board public hearing

3:45 p.m.

A Wilson County 911 Board public hearing on the proposed budget for the upcoming year will be Monday, June 12 at 3:45 p.m. at the 911 office at 1611 W. Main St. in Lebanon.

– Staff Reports

Fire and ice theme adds sparkle to Phoenix Ball

Bailey Wrenne • Mt. Juliet News
One of the premier charity events in Tennessee, the 34th annual Phoenix Ball black tie gala to benefit Cumberland University was attended Saturday evening by hundreds of prominent Middle Tennesseans and their guests and raised thousands of dollars for scholarships and other programs of the university. The theme was fire and ice.

The 34th Phoenix Ball on Saturday to benefit Cumberland University has come and gone, leaving memories of flickering flames, sparkling snowflakes and wonderful fun.

The entire interior of the Dallas Floyd Gymnasium on the Cumberland campus was wrapped in shimmering white fabric while icy blue lights reflected off it. High above in the center of the room, a snow-making machine blew a shower of artificial flakes every few minutes that glittered in the lights as they softly fluttered to the floor below

Tables accommodating 10 guests each sat ready to handle the 404 attendees. Centering each was a tall branch that sprouted several smaller limbs. These were painted a glistening white, hung with crystals and rhinestones representing ice cycles and “planted” in a tall cylinder covered in sparkly paper. The linens were silver as were the trays under each plate, and the dozens of pieces of silverware.  Between all that and several crystal glasses at each place setting, the lights couldn’t help but reflect, making everything seem to come alive.

The parade of the guests began at Baird Chapel where a bar was set up, hors d’oeuvres passed around and silent auction items made available for bidding. The party convened for dinner in the gym at 7:30 p.m. There followed a welcome and remarks by Cumberland president Paul Stumb. Stumb then introduced the Phoenix Ball committee chairs, and Scott Lawrence, former alumni board president, gave the invocation.

The five-course dinner opened with firecracker shrimp with watermelon salsa. The second course consisted of fried-green tomatoes with creamy sriracha sauce. A roasted beet salad made up the third course. The main course was presented, featuring a fork-tender filet mignon with bacon cream sauce, sweet potato au gratin and roasted asparagus. Dessert included white chocolate cinnamon mousse with fresh berries on the side.

Following dinner, Stumb introduced Jackie and Chuck Cowden who will play host to the 2017 Patrons’ Party, “Fire & Ice in Paradise,” on June 23. He then introduced Ray Hubner with Compass Auctions and Real Estate who handled the live auction.

Music and dancing by the Downtown Band followed closing remarks from Stumb. The band was in full swing.

By Bonnie Bucy

Living Writer

Do you know what makes a good father?

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

A father is someone who will be there for his child, a man who will teach his child right from wrong, love from hate and responsibility. A father will also teach leadership, sportsmanship, compassion and teamwork. A father can’t claim the title of a father unless he is truly involved in his child’s life.

Any man can participate in the making of a child, however, only a real father can claim the status and title of a father. To those that are somewhat lacking in the father department, there is no time like the present to start being a true father to your child. To those who are lacking, you really don’t know what you are missing. You’re missing being called daddy, pops, dad and father. You’re missing out on first words, first steps and first discoveries.

If, for some reason, you chose because of personal reasons not to be involved in your child’s life, for the best interests of the child, then I applaud you for making the right and best choice for your child. If you chose not to get involved in your child’s life because you didn’t want to burden or trouble yourself with taking responsibility for your actions, then shame on you. Please take these statements to heart and get involved in your child’s life. Be a father; be a positive role model in your child’s life. Imagine the pride, joy and excitement of watching your child grow, flourish and blossom.

Being a father isn’t something you just throw away. Being a father is an honor given by God. Don’t waste the ultimate gift. Don’t wait another day at being the father you know you should be. Children don’t ask to be born. That is why they deserve your love and support. Be there to wipe the tears from their eyes when they scrape their knees or hurt. Be there to share in happy times, as well as sad times. Your child needs you.

To all good dads, pops, daddy’s and fathers, happy Father’s Day. You guys are great, should be proud and should never forget the awesome gift being a father is. Please never ever forget how precious and important being a father is in your child’s life. They need and depend on you. 

Kenny Martin is city manager of Mt. Juliet.

Beavers announces run for governor

Mt. Juliet senator pledges staunch conservative platform

Xavier Smith • Mt. Juliet News
State Rep. Mark Pody hugs Sen. Mae Beavers after announcing her run for governor of Tennessee on Saturday at Charlie Daniels Park.

Tennessee Sen. Mae Beavers formally announced her bid for governor of Tennessee on Saturday at Charlie Daniels Park in Mt. Juliet.

State Rep. Mark Pody introduced Beavers to the crowd, naming her the Iron Lady, harking back to the title given to England’s late prime minister Margaret Thatcher. Pody said Beavers’ determination to do what she thought was right, despite the popular vote, made her a strong force within the state.

Beavers, in making the announcement, introduced her family, saying they were her biggest supporters, and her family was the most important people in her life.

“No elected official ever serves without the love and support of their family, and I just want to say today how much I love and appreciate them,” she said.

She said when she “first ran for office in 1990, I brought a clear and concise set of principles to the county commission. As a state representative and now senator, I’ve carried these values and principles with me every step of the way.

“Today is to take those conservative values and principals, the sanctity of life, small and efficient state government, limited and constitutional national government, transparency and accountability of our elected officials, low taxes, commitment to the second amendment, respect for individual liberty and most importantly reliance upon our creator God. It’s time to take those values and principles to the next level.”

After the event at a press conference, Beavers said she believes because of the threat of terrorism, the country needs to vet those refugees who are coming into the country. She said the federal government is not giving the states any information on the refugees before they come to the state. That is something, if she is elected governor, she would like to change.

“We want to keep an eye on them while they’re here to make sure they don’t do harm,” she said.

She said frugal spending is a key issue and will be in her campaign. She pointed out she voted against the gas tax that was recently approved because of the surplus in the government that can be used for roadwork.

At the event were two factions vocal in their opinions. The Wilson County Democrat Party, chaired by Amanda Holloway, were out in force holding signs with the hashtag, #blockedbymae. They protested her values and the various bills and other things she supported in the legislature.

“We’re here today because she has basically refused to listen to her constituents,” Holloway said. “She’s only catering to the small minority of her base that follow her, and she’s refusing to listen to any other opinion who thinks otherwise.  A couple of months ago, she went on a tirade against a couple of constituents who were asking basic questions about some of the policy that she was supporting.”

She said that’s why the group uses “#blockedbymae” as its tag line.

“She has been supporting legislature about social issues about gay marriage, abortion and transgender rights,” Holloway said. “She focuses all of her energy on the bathroom, the bedroom and guns, when she needs to be focusing on things that matter to all Tennesseans such as infrastructure, health care and jobs. Those are things that really matter to all Tennesseans, and if she can’t see that then she doesn’t have any business being governor of the state of all of Tennessee.”

There were a few people who were Beavers supporters carrying American flags and signs who supported national issues such as the Paris Accord, and revival of the coal industry. Attempts to interview them were declined. They simply said, “thank you” and walked away.

The two groups did come together for a few minutes, but it was a peaceful confrontation.

Denning shares video tips with chamber

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, follow Denning on Twitter @GammaLiz.

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

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

By: Xavier Smith

XSmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Did you know? God is in control of everything

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

Everyone knows that life can be tough. Everyone at one time or another in their lifetime, no matter how young or how old, has endured tough times, heartache and setbacks. It’s simply a part of life. How we handle those tough times and setbacks can mean the difference between success and failure, happiness and sorrow. There are many things in our lives that we can turn to when things aren’t going our way.

Some people turn to drugs, alcohol, violence and even suicide. These are all desperate actions that need not happen. We as humans have many options to turn to. Some turn to food for comfort. Most of us turn to pets, family and friends. But your best option in time of need is God for God has all the answers to your questions, problems and prayers. What may seem like a huge pothole in your life today, will seem like a mere bump in the road tomorrow if you turn to God.

Keeping priorities straight and your mind on the right track requires prayer, patience and understanding. Other options for keeping your mind on the right track are inspirational quotes. I have included a few inspirational quotes.

• “A person’s true wealth is the good he or she does in the world,” — Mohammed.

• “Don’t ask for a light load, but rather a strong back,” — Unknown.

• “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog,” — Dwight D. Eisenhower.

• “If the going is real easy, beware, you may be going down hill,” — Unknown.

• “When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on,” — Franklin D. Roosevelt.

• “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail,” —Ralph Waldo Emerson.

• “Never, never, never give up,” — Winston Churchill.

As you can see, it’s not the getting down in life that matters. It’s how you handle adversity and setbacks that gives you the power to get up and fight harder. So please remember to hang in there and keep your chin up, because God is in control.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

Unemployment rate decreases in Wilson, all counties

Unemployment rates for April decreased in all 95 counties, according to data released Thursday by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

“One year ago, we had eight counties with an unemployment rate above 6 percent,” said Commissioner Burns Phillips. “This April, only two counties in the entire state reached that level. While we still have work to do, it is clear Tennessee is making progress in putting people to work.”

Wilson County’s unemployment rate in April was 2.9 percent, down from 3.7 percent in March. In April 2016, the unemployment rate was 3.2 percent.

Wilson County had the fourth-lowest unemployment rate behind Williamson, Davidson and Rutherford counties, respectively, and shared the same rate as Sumner County.

Wilson County’s rate in April represented 1,980 unemployed workers compared to a 68,460-person workforce and does not include those who did not file with the labor department or no longer receive benefits.

Lebanon’s rate for April decreased 1.1 percent from March to 3.3 percent. The city’s rate represented 480 unemployed workers compared to a 14,290-person labor force. 

Mt. Juliet’s rate for April landed at 2.9 percent, a 1 percent decrease from March. The rate represented 490 unemployed workers compared to a 17,070-person work force.

The Nashville-Murfreesboro metropolitan area, which includes Wilson County, came in at 2.9 percent. The rate represented 28,460 unemployed workers compared to a 995,020-person workforce.

Tennessee’s unemployment rate for April landed at 3.7 percent, a 0.8 percent decrease from March. The statewide rate represented 116,300 jobless workers compared to a 3.16-million-person workforce.

The national unemployment rate for April was 4.4 percent, a 0.1 percent decrease from March. The national rate represents more than 7 million unemployed workers compared to a workforce of about 160 million people.

By: Xavier Smith

XSmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Stumb speaks of service at annual Memorial Day ceremony

Veterans gather to pay tribute to fallen Armed Forces comrades

Jacob Smith Mt. Juliet News
Veterans from all different service branches gathered Monday to honor past and present military members in honor of Memorial Day.

Wilson County’s annual Memorial Day ceremony kicked off a day of remembrance Monday morning at the Wilson County Veterans Memorial Plaza.

Veterans from each branch of service came to the ceremony to honor past and present members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Cumberland University president Paul Stumb was the featured speaker at this year’s ceremony. Stumb served in the Navy and Naval Reserves for more than 25 years as a cryptology officer.

Retired Lt. Col. Jim Henderson served as master of ceremonies. Henderson led attendants in a moment of silence before introducing Bob Haley for the welcome address. Haley is commander of American Legion Post 15.

Haley led the posting of the colors ,as well as the Pledge of Allegiance and posting of service flags. He also introduced McKenzie Williams from Tuckers Crossroads School who sang the national anthem.

Haley then took a member to honor the Gold Star Mothers in attendance. American Gold Star Mothers is an organization of mothers who have lost a son or daughter in the service of the country.

Stumb then took the podium and told a story of former director of the CIA and retired Gen. David Petraeus. Petraeus served more than 37 years in the Army and was part of the Central Intelligence Agency until his retirement in 2012.

Stumb quoted Petraeus in telling a story of the day Petraeus found out that he was accepted to West Point Military Academy.

“[That day], two of my teachers took me aside and essentially told me the following: ‘David you’re a smart guy. You don’t have to join the military; you should go to college instead.’ I could easily write a theme defending West Point and the military as I did that day, explaining that the U.S. Military Academy is an elite institution. That it’s actually statistically much harder to enlist in the military than it is to get into college. That serving the nation is a challenge that all able-bodied men and women should at least consider for a host of reasons. But I won’t. What I will say is that when a 16-year-old kid is told that attending West Point is going to be bad for his future, then there’s a dangerous disconnect in America. Entirely too many Americans have no idea what kind of burdens our military is bearing,” Stumb said of Petraeus.

Stumb went on to address a drop in number of citizens who have served the country since World War II.

“In World War II, 11.2 percent of the nation served for four years,” said Stumb. “During the Vietnam era, 4.3 percent of our nation served in 12 years. Since 2001, the last 16 years, only 0.45 percent, less than one half of 1 percent, of our population has served.”

Stumb concluded his speech with a thank you to those who served in the past, as well as those who are currently serving.

“Thank you to the 11.2 percent, and to the 4.3 percent, and thanks to the 0.45 percent who continue to serve our nation today and who are prepared to join the thousands of others who have given their lives so that we might enjoy the freedoms that we do today,” said Stumb.

After the speech, the ceremony concluded with the laying of wreaths, a 21-gun salute and the playing of “Taps.”

By: Jacob Smith 

intern@lebanondemocrat.com

City honors Run for the Wall participants

More than 500 veterans ride motorcycles to Washington

Photo courtesy of Facebook
Mt. Juliet fire Chief Jamie Luffman and his department’s firefighters set up on the Beckwith Road overpass at Interstate 40 to honor participants in Run For the Wall, a group of more than 500 veterans who ride motorcycles from California to Washington, D.C.

Mt. Juliet firefighters, police officers and citizens gathered to honor members of Run For the Wall on May 22.

Ride For the Wall consists of more than 500 veterans who ride motorcycles from California to Washington, D.C. to honor veterans killed while serving, as well as promote awareness to those missing in action.

A post was set up on the Beckwith Road overpass at Interstate 40, the route used by the motorcyclists. All those who came out waved to the veterans as they rode past.

Run For the Wall was started in 1989 by James Gregory and Bill Evans, two Vietnam veterans who traveled across American on motorcycles.

There’s a small charge for those who participate in the run, plus they pay their own expenses such as lodging. Organizations and people met along the way often offer support in the form of donations or free meals.

The trip is a 10-day ride from Ontario, Calif. to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., where the ride officially ends.

During the journey across the country, the group makes stops at memorials, veterans’ hospitals and schools.

Participants range in age from 8 to 80, and include fathers, mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers; veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan; active duty military; supporters; friends and family.

For more information about Run For the Wall, visit rftw.us.

Staff Reports

Beavers to run for governor

She plans to hold event Saturday to make official announcement

Mae Beavers

State Sen. Mae Beavers plans to announce her run for Tennessee governor Saturday after she debated the idea earlier this year.

Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, will formally announce her bid Saturday at 1 p.m. at Charlie Daniels Park in Mt. Juliet, according to a release.

“Over the past several weeks, it has become increasingly clear that conservatives in Tennessee are looking for bold leadership that will not shrink from standing up and speaking up on the key issues facing our state,” Beavers said in a statement. “President Donald J. Trump is taking the lead in Washington to ‘drain the swamp’ there, but we have our own swamp in Tennessee, and I intend to do the same thing in the Volunteer State.”

Beavers identified terrorism and abortion as her top priorities.

“The terrorist threat from radical Islam not only impacts other countries or major cities in our own country – that threat is also targeted at our communities and our families in Tennessee, and I intend to make security a centerpiece of my campaign,” Beavers said.

She said she intends to focus on campaign promises after the election if she is voted in as governor.

“As governor, I will make sure that Tennessee focuses on protecting children before they are born and then providing them a safe and secure environment to grow up in after they are born,” said Beavers, who said the security extends to “making sure that men don’t go into the bathrooms and locker rooms of little girls.”

Beavers said she intends to focus on Tennessee taxpayers, which would include a full effort to repeal the recently approved gas tax portion of Gov. Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act.

“I didn’t lead the fight against a state income tax and spend the last several decades in public office working against tax increases in order to have a Republican majority legislature impose a tax increase on fuel while we have a $2 billion surplus,” she said.

Beavers served as chair of the Tennessee Republican delegation to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last year.

Beavers said in February the idea to run for governor emerged after several phone calls and comments from supporters, many of whom she spoke with at the Wilson County Republican Party Convention.

Beavers sponsored several bills during the latest legislative session that drew both support and criticism.

The Wilson County Republican Party Executive Committee expressed support for Beavers and fellow legislator Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, and their Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act and “Bathroom Bill” legislation. Both bills failed this year.

She was elected to the state Senate in 2002 and represents Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon, Smith and Wilson counties. 

Beavers will face Congresswoman Diane Black, Randy Boyd, Sen. Mark Green, House Speaker Beth Harwell, Bill Lee and Sen. Mark Norris in the Republican primary.

By: Xavier Smith

XSmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Shepard trial set for November

Ex-Wilson Central coach’s case granted continuance previous six times

Michael Shepard

A criminal trial date was set May 23 in the case of Michael Shepard, a former teacher and softball coach at Wilson Central High School who was charged last summer with statutory rape.

The trial is scheduled for Nov. 15-17, with motions set for July 11.

Shepard, 36, previously pleaded not guilty to two counts of statutory rape by an authority figure.

A continuance was granted in Shepard’s case the previous six times he was scheduled to appear before Judge Brody Kane in Wilson County criminal court.

Shepard was arrested at his home in July 2016. The Wilson County Board of Education accepted resignation during a July 2016 special called meeting, which was held to bring charges against Shepard for termination since he was a tenured teacher at the school.

Shepard was relieved of his coaching duties after he became the center of an investigation.

According to Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan, the criminal investigation also involved a student at the school, but the details weren’t released.

Shepard taught algebra and geometry at Wilson Central from 2009-2016. His first season as head coach of the softball team was 2010.

The Lady Wildcats had a state championship appearance in 2014 and won the Class AAA state championship in 2015 with Shepard as head coach.

By: Jake Old

jold@lebanondemocrat.com

Planning commission approves borrow pit rules

The Wilson County Planning Commission approved stricter rules on borrow pits, where landowners dig up soil to export and sell outside for uses outside of their property.

In Middle Tennessee, several borrow pits have been set up under the guise of a pond, according to Tom Brashear, Wilson County planning director.

New rules would require increased buffers and stabilization at the site, as determined by Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation standards. They would come in the form of an amendment to the county’s street ordinance.

Brashear said the requirements would allow the county to better enforce existing laws regarding borrow pits.

Brashear also said the county is forced to address the issue due to changing regulations in nearby counties that brought borrow pits to the area.

“Other people will look at it and say ‘well, you’re not solving the problems, you’re just pushing them off onto the next guy,’” Brashear said. “There’s alligators on every side of this issue.”

The recommendation will go to before the Wilson County Urban Type Facilities Board. That board will consider the opinion of the planning commission and make a recommendation to the Wilson County Commission.

Brashear said the end result could be different.

“Lots of changes could be made by the time county commission sees it and makes a decision,” he said.

In other business, the commission approved a sketch plat for Hawthonre Valley Phase 3, which includes 133 lots, and preliminary plans for the Dobson, Hall and Barney property that includes four lots on Richmond Road and the Roy P. Nothern Estate that includes three lots on Cairo Bend Road.

By Jake Old

jold@lebanondemocrat.com

Hayes announces candidacy for state House

Jeremy Hayes

Jeremy H.G. Hayes, co-chairman for President Donald J. Trump’s Wilson County campaign, announced his candidacy for state representative in District 57.

Hayes served as co-chair for the president’s campaign in Wilson County, as well as raised nearly $1 million to fund the “Lift the Vote” tour Steve Gill used to travel to battleground states during the presidential election, encouraging Christians to vote.

Hayes is a Mt. Juliet native and earned his bachelor’s degree at Middle Tennessee State University before completing two master’s degrees at Cumberland University in education and business. Hayes is a local business owner since 2010 and put on events with Tim Tebow, Dinesh D’Souza, Phillip Fulmer and this past year helped raise money to send a Mt. Juliet teen to the Endeavour Games, also known as the Paraplegic Olympics, in Oklahoma through his Youth Football Camp, where the teen earned several gold medals.

“Wilson County has been under attack at the state and county level for far too long. We have county commissioners who voted to give themselves pay increases while raising our property taxes, and people at the state level who have refused to protect our children, raised the gas tax when our state has a $2 billion surplus and voted against our own state Constitution (Copeland Cap). It is time that we have true representation brought back to our district,” said Hayes.

“I will work to lower our taxes, give teachers the freedom to teach, protect our children and stop the out-of-control spending that is taking place at the state level. Unlike other politicians, our campaign will not accept donations from special interest groups. I will work for you and your family, not lobbyist groups and the companies they represent. I am proud to be from Wilson County and will fight for Wilson County.”

Hayes is running for state representative in District 57 and cited the main reasons for announcing his campaign were to help families who are struggling because of establishment politicians and special interest groups benefiting from backroom deals while hurting the public, the gas tax and to protect the community’s children.

For more information on the Hayes campaign, visit jeremyhghayes.com.

Staff Reports

Qualifying deadline less than year away for 2018 elections

The qualifying deadline for the Aug. 2, 2018 federal and state primaries and Wilson County general election is less than a year away.

Qualifying will end April 5, 2018 at noon. There are no elections scheduled for Wilson County in 2017.

The election in August 2018 will determine who represents Wilson County residents at home, in Nashville and in Washington. The Wilson County general election will include county mayor, trustee, register of deeds, court clerk, circuit court clerk, 25 county commissioners, sheriff, five constables and three school board members all running for four-year terms. The Lebanon Special School District will elect one member for a six-year term on its board of education. There will also be a Republican and Democratic primary for governor, U.S. Senate, 6th District U.S. Congress, 17th District state Senate, the 46th and 57th District state representatives and 17th Senate District state Republican and Democratic committeemen and committeewomen.

Wilson County Administrator of Elections Phillip Warren said the first step in running for office is to complete the petition process. Petitions may be picked up for the August 2018 election starting Jan. 5, 2018 at the Wilson County Election Commission office at 203 E. Main St. in Lebanon. Generally, 25 signatures of qualified voters living in the candidate’s precinct, district or zone are required. Qualifications, duties and information about the local offices can be found in the 2017-2018 voter handbook. The handbook is in its third edition and was updated for the election cycle. It is available on the Wilson County Election Commission website at wilsonvotes.com.

Some candidates may not wait until January to announce their intention to seek office. Announcing candidacy can be done before petitions are available, but funds cannot be raised or spent by a candidate until a campaign treasurer is appointed. Appointment of a campaign treasurer is a critical first step that can be done any time with forms and instructions accessible at wilsonvotes.com.

Voters who want to be involved in elections in a meaningful way are encouraged to consider serving as a poll official. To learn more about the opportunities available as a poll official visit wilsonvotes.com and submit a poll worker application. For each election, the Election Commission appoints and trains poll officials to serve on Election Day at the 31 precincts and at the five early voting sites.

“Even though the next election is a year away, preparation is a daily activity at the Election Commission,” Warren said. “Voter registration maintenance is a major part of our daily activity as we get ready for the next election. Remember, when you move, please update your voter registration, along with your driver’s license and mail.”

To learn more about elections, voting and how you can be involved with Wilson County elections, contact the Wilson County Election Commission at 615-444-0216 or online at wilsonelections.com.

Staff Reports

State Fair names award in honor of Hale Moss

The Tennessee State Fair’s Distinguished Service Award, presented annually at a special ceremony during the fair’s 10-day run in Nashville, will be named in honor of the late Charles Hale Moss, of Mt. Juliet.

Moss died in April at 68.

Members of the Tennessee State Fair Association board of directors approved the motion to name the award in honor of Moss at its May meeting, citing his many contributions to the State Fair, agriculture and his leadership role in reviving the Wilson County Fair into becoming one of the South’s best county fairs.

John Rose, TSFA board chairman, said the board’s decision to name the distinguished service award after Moss was “appropriate and fitting because of Hale’s lifelong commitment to agriculture in Tennessee, his volunteer work with the State Fair as well as his tireless efforts in leading the development of his home county fair [the Wilson County Fair] into arguably one of the nation’s best county fairs.”

Moss, who served as president of the Wilson County Fair for every year since 1979 except one, was instrumental in seeing the fair’s quality and achievements recognized locally and on a national stage and led the fair to astonishing attendance records that in recent years have soared above the 500,000 mark, attracting visitors from multiple states all of Tennessee’s 95 counties.

Moss, who was inducted into the Wilson County Agricultural Hall of Fame in April, taught agriculture at Lebanon High School for four years, and then in 1973 entered the family’s business in Mt. Juliet, which primarily sold feed, fertilizer and other agricultural products. He and family members, including his wife, Brenda, later transitioned the business into Moss’ Florist and Garden Center.

A graduate of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and an active leader in 4-H and FFA, Moss served as beef cattle superintendent of the Tennessee State Fair Advisory Board from 1977 to 2005.

The State Fair Distinguished Service Award is presented each year during the fair to the person or people who make significant contributions to help develop and maintain the traditions of the Tennessee State Fair.

The Tennessee State Fair is a 10-day annual event held on the state fairgrounds in Nashville. For more than 150 years, the State Fair has showcased the accomplishments of the citizens of Tennessee and brought family friendly entertainment for all to enjoy. This year’s theme is “Tennessee Proud.”

The fair will open Sept. 8, run for 10 days, and close Sept. 17. For more information about the Tennessee State Fair, including how to become a sponsor, visit tnstatefair.org.

Staff Reports

Do you know about child and teen safety measures?

I would like to take a moment to remind all parents of the importance of using good child and teen safety measures and making children and teens aware of stranger danger and predators.

As many of us have seen many times from news shows, predators are constantly on the prowl. They use everything from toys to the internet to lure innocent and trusting children and teens. To think any person would harm or attempt to harm a child absolutely outrages me. As human beings and parents, we have enough to worry about without having to worry about some sick individual harming our children. Mt. Juliet is a wonderful place to live, shop and raise a family, but unfortunately, predators know no boundaries when it comes committing their evil acts.

With that in mind, did you know that every day, 2,300 children are reported missing in the United States? The hard work of dedicated people and technology resources can bring back as many as 90 percent of these children. The question is what happens to the other 10 percent?

A missing child is a parent’s worst nightmare. Statistics show in 1990, there were more than 650,000 missing persons reported to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center. In 1994, there were 954,896 reports, an increase of more than 43 percent. The FBI estimates out of all the entries, 85-90 percent were children. Applying to the 85 percent estimate there were at least 812,000 missing child reports filed or 2,225 children reported missing in the United States every day in 1994. That is why it is so important to take all preventive measures available to assure that this parent’s worst nightmare never happens.

Helpful tips for protecting your child include:

• Don’t let your child wear clothing with his or her name on it except for sporting events where parents and guardians are present. Allowing your child to wear his or her team jersey with their name on it while out playing could give a predator an opportunity at gaining your child’s trust. A child will tend to pay attention or acknowledge someone calling out their first name and assume that the person knows them. Using last names on jerseys is a much safer practice than first names.

• Videotape and take pictures of your child two or three times per year, including profile shots, do not leave children unattended while shopping, visiting with friends or unattended in automobiles.

• You also want to watch your teen’s use of the internet and other teen computer sites. Predators are known for luring children and teens with any and all measures, including cellphone and texting.

We should also know the whereabouts of our children at all times. Children should know the importance of advising their parents and guardians where they will be and where they are going, contact phone numbers and addresses. Children should also have emergency contact information on them at all times with as much information about them as possible, including address, phone numbers and parent’s names. We must be aware of our surroundings at all times and use extreme caution in all areas. We must be on guard even in public places. The days of predators only attacking and abducting in dark alleys and in the dark of night are long over. Today’s evil and sick predators are bold criminals who act upon impulse knowing no time frames, no boundaries and no mercy for their victims. That’s why we must use any and all preventive measures when preparing and protecting our children. No time spent on this most paramount of issues is a waste of time or troubling when it comes to our children. We must also do all we can to alert our teens as well. Although they may not feel like children any longer, they will always be our children, and they still lack the necessary tools and experience to know what to look for in a predator.

My heart cries out for the many parents suffering the unknown whereabouts of their child. We all know children are God’s greatest gift, a treasure sent from Heaven above, and we must do all we can to protect them. 

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

Wilson economic leaders to RECon for business

Submitted to Mt. Juliet News
The Wilson County Joint Economic and Community Development Board will have a booth to attract potential business and provide information about Wilson County, Lebanon, Mt. Juliet and Watertown at the annual RECon later this month in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS – This month, thousands of public officials will gather to meet with more than 37,000 attendees at the largest retail real estate event in the world to seek out potential private partners and development opportunities for their communities.

In an effort to promote additional economic development, enhance the local tax base and create new jobs, Wilson County Joint Economic and Community Development Board assistant director Tammy Stokes will travel to Las Vegas to attend RECon, the annual global conference sponsored by the International Council of Shopping Centers. 

The four-day event will feature educational sessions on retail and economic development issues, engaging keynotes and a myriad of networking and dealmaking opportunities.  Last year, RECon’s more than one million square feet of exhibiting space expanded to include 25 professional development workshops with world-class speakers and high–level courses, the Technology Lab, providing a firsthand look at the future of real estate and technology along with a professional development day – providing further ground to bolster ICSC’s estimate that about 50 percent of all industry deals are conceived of or consummated at RECon.

“ICSC’s RECon is an opportunity like no other if you are trying to create or encourage any type of retail real estate development in your community,” Stokes said. “In just four days, we will be able to meet and build relationships with the leading shopping center developers, owners and retailers who may not have otherwise been aware of the economic development opportunities in our community.”

In addition to the public officials who attend the event, nearly 100 cities, economic development agencies and other public sector groups will exhibit at this year’s convention. Public sector groups began exhibiting at the event in 1982 as a way to increase awareness about the development opportunities in their communities.

The Joint Economic and Community Development Board’s booth will feature information about Wilson County and its municipalities of Lebanon, Mt. Juliet and Watertown. During the convention, members from Wilson County and its three cities plan to meet with shopping center owners, developers and retailers and highlight why Wilson County is the place to be, Stokes said.

ICSC serves the global retail real estate industry. It provides its 70,000-plus member network in more than 100 countries with resources, connections and industry insights, and actively works to shape public policy. For more information about ICSC, visit icsc.org.

Staff Reports