Wilson County educator named to state education taskforce

Wilson County Schools Deputy Director of Schools for testing and accountability Jennifer Cothron was recently picked to participate in a specialized taskforce to improve testing practices across the state.

Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen established the taskforce in 2015 to seek input from stakeholders on the state’s new TNReady test. In the two years since, taskforce members have met regularly to evaluate the process and discuss possible changes that might improve the overall testing experience for students.

Cothron, who’s served as the district’s testing coordinator for the past three years, said she’s excited to have a seat at the table where decisions are made about testing issues that may need to be addressed.

The special taskforce on student testing and assessment is comprised of 31 members, including McQueen. Ten members of the previous taskforce will remain, while 20 new members were recently appointed. For more information about the taskforce, visit tennessee.gov/education/topic/assessment-task-force.

Staff Reports

Senate special election candidate releases video

Mary Alice Carfi, a candidate for state Senate District 17 in the Dec. 19 special election, released a campaign video Thursday that she said will help educate voters on the upcoming election.

Carfi, a Mt. Juliet attorney who lives in Lebanon, seeks to replace former Sen. Mae Beavers who resigned in September to focus on her gubernatorial campaign. The Democrat nominee’s opponent is Republican state Rep. Mark Pody, a Lebanon insurance agent.

The video tells Carfi’s story of growing up on a farm in Gordonsville, attending Middle Tennessee State University and Nashville School of Law and how she shares values with the people of District 17.

“It’s my job to help people figure out solutions that will work for everyone involved,” Carfi said. “That’s exactly what our state legislators need to do. They need to stop being so concerned about voting down party lines, and work together to solve these problems, to make people’s lives better.”

She said in the video she “never in a million years thought I’d be running for political office, but I decided it was time for me to step up and try to do something that would make the lives of the people in my community better. That’s why I’m running for the state Senate.”

Carfi said she would work for the issues that all Tennesseans care about – affordable and accessible health care, a living wage and quality education.

Early voting will continue through Thursday in District 17, which includes Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon, Smith and Wilson counties. The special election will be Dec. 19.

Voters may view Carfi’s video at youtu.be/5JSbQahzctM.

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.

Dec. 14

International Polished Concrete Institute Certification Course

8:30 a.m.

The International Polished Concrete Institute will present a certification course Thursday, Dec. 14 and Friday, Dec. 15 from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. in Norris. IPCI certification provides professionals with tools, techniques and business support in the concrete polishing, grinding and surface preparation arena. Attendees can expect to learn multiple facets of the industry, from technique to business management. For more information, call 877-472-8200 or visit go2cps.eventsmart.com/events/ipcidecember.

Last-Minute Shopping Event at the Mill

10 a.m.

The Last-Minute Shopping Event will be Thursday, Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Friday, Dec. 15 and Saturday, Dec. 16 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the Mill in Lebanon. Several vendors and merchants will be on hand for the event.

Dec. 15

Last-Minute Shopping Event at the Mill

10 a.m.

The Last-Minute Shopping Event will be Friday, Dec. 15 and Saturday, Dec. 16 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the Mill in Lebanon. Several vendors and merchants will be on hand for the event.

Wilson Bank & Trust president Elmer Richerson Public Retirement Reception

3 p.m.

A public reception for soon-to-retire Wilson Bank & Trust president Elmer Richerson will be Friday, Dec. 15 from 3-5 p.m. at the Wilson Bank & Trust main office at 623 W. Main St. in Lebanon.

Watertown High School Drama Department Presents “Cinderella”

6:30 p.m.

Watertown High School’s drama department will present the play, “Cinderella,” on Friday, Dec. 15 at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 16 at 2:30 p.m. in the school auditorium. Admission is $5 for everyone 5 years old and older.

“The Story that Saved Christmas”

7 p.m.

The Rising Phoenix Players will present “The Story that Saved Christmas” on Friday, Dec. 15 and Saturday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Cumberland University Black Box Theater. Admission is free, and seating is limited, so reservations are encouraged. Contact Brendan Martel via email at bmartel@cumberland.edu with any questions or reservation requests. Join the players for a night of festive fun for the holidays, followed by a reception for all after the show. The Rising Phoenix Players are a youth theater group based at the Cumberland Arts Academy at Cumberland University.

Journey to Bethlehem

7 p.m.

The Journey to Bethlehem drive-through live nativity scene will be Friday, Dec. 15 and Saturday, Dec. 16 from 7-9 p.m. at Lebanon Cumberland Presbyterian Church at the corner of Leeville Pike and Castle Heights Avenue. For more information, call the church at 615-444-7453.

Beer and Hymns at the Capitol Theatre

7:30 p.m.

Beer and Hymns will return Friday, Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m. to the Capitol Theatre at 110 W. Main St. in Lebanon. The event will feature carols after an initial showing of more than 200 people in September. The event will also feature beer from Black Abbey Brewing Co. for sale. Ages 18 and older are requested, and those younger than 21 will not be allowed to drink alcohol. Tickets are $12 and available at capitoltheatretn.com.

Dec. 16

Breakfast with Santa

8 a.m.

Maple Hill Church of Christ will hold breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 16 from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. at 102 Maple Hill Rd. in Lebanon. Santa will be available for pictures from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. The event is free and open to the public. Pancakes, crafts and a bounce house will be available.

Last-Minute Shopping Event at the Mill

10 a.m.

The Last-Minute Shopping Event will be Saturday, Dec. 16 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the Mill in Lebanon. Several vendors and merchants will be on hand for the event.

Community-wide Christmas Gift Wrapping and Open House

1 p.m.

The first community-wide Christmas gift wrapping and open house will be Saturday, Dec. 16 from 1-9 p.m. in the fellowship hall at First United Methodist Church at 415 W. Main St. in Lebanon. There will be refreshments and music. For more information, visit lebanonfumc.com.

Watertown High School Drama Department Presents “Cinderella”

2:30 p.m.

Watertown High School’s drama department will present the play, “Cinderella,” on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 2:30 p.m. in the school auditorium. Admission is $5 for everyone 5 years old and older.

“The Story that Saved Christmas”

7 p.m.

The Rising Phoenix Players will present “The Story that Saved Christmas” on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Cumberland University Black Box Theater. Admission is free, and seating is limited, so reservations are encouraged. Contact Brendan Martel via email at bmartel@cumberland.edu with any questions or reservation requests. Join the players for a night of festive fun for the holidays, followed by a reception for all after the show. The Rising Phoenix Players are a youth theater group based at the Cumberland Arts Academy at Cumberland University.

Journey to Bethlehem

7 p.m.

The Journey to Bethlehem drive-through live nativity scene will be Saturday, Dec. 16 from 7-9 p.m. at Lebanon Cumberland Presbyterian Church at the corner of Leeville Pike and Castle Heights Avenue. For more information, call the church at 615-444-7453.

Dec. 17

Christmas Cantata

10 a.m.

A Christmas cantata will be Sunday, Dec. 17 at 10 a.m. at Cook’s United Methodist Church at 7919 Lebanon Road in Mt. Juliet.

“A Night in Bethlehem” program

5 p.m.

The program, “A Night in Bethlehem,” will be presented Sunday, Dec. 17 from 5-7 p.m. at Fairview Church at 1660 Leeville Pike in Lebanon. During the free two-hour Christmas program, families wander through the bustling Bethlehem marketplace and discover what life was like when Jesus was born. Unlike the typical “living nativity,” everyone will create unique keepsakes as they interact with local shopkeepers who share the Christmas story. And they’ll be able to talk to Mary and Joseph in the stable and hear about the miracle of Jesus’ birth.

Dec. 18

Lessons and Carols

8:30 a.m.

The music ministry will present Lessons and Carols on Sunday, Dec. 17 at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. at First United Methodist Church at 415 W. Main St. in Lebanon. A pancake breakfast will be served between services. For more information, visit lebanonfumc.com.

Dec. 19

High School Equivalency Test

8 a.m.

The Wilson County Adult Education program will offer the high school equivalency test, HiSET formerly the GED, Tuesday, Dec. 19 at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon. For information on taking the test, call 615-443-8731.

Dec. 20

Mt. Juliet Chamber Connection Luncheon

11:15 a.m.

The Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce will present its chamber connection luncheon Wednesday, Dec. 20 from 11:15 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at Rutland Place. It will be a networking luncheon presentation from C.J. Hutsenpiller. Early registration is $18 by Dec. 19 at noon and $23 for late and non-member registration at mjchamber.org.

Dec. 21

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5015 meeting

6 p.m.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5015 in Lebanon will meet Thursday, Dec. 21 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.

Longest Night Service

6:30 p.m.

The Longest Night Service will be Thursday, Dec. 21 at 6:30 p.m. in Bryant Chapel at First United Methodist Church at 415 W. Main St. in Lebanon. Anyone with a loss in his or her life that interferes with the joy of Christmas is invited to attend. For more information, visit lebanonfumc.com.

Fiddlers Grove Model Train Club

7 p.m.

The Fiddlers Grove Model Train Club will meet Thursday, Dec. 21 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.

Dec. 22

Blood Drive

1 p.m.

An American Red Cross blood drive will be Friday, Dec. 22 from 1-6 p.m. at Quality Centers for Rehabilitation and Health at 932 E. Baddour Pkwy. in Lebanon. To encourage donations, all those who come to give blood or platelets will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last. To donate blood, download the American Red Cross blood donor app, visit redcrossblood.org or call 800-RED CROSS to make an appointment or for more information.

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.

Dec. 14

Lebanon City Council work session

6 p.m.

The Lebanon City Council will meet in a work session Thursday, Dec. 14 at 6 p.m. at the Town Meeting Hall at 200 N. Castle Heights Ave.

Wilson County Development and Tourism Committee meeting

6 p.m.

The Wilson County Development and Tourism Committee will meet Thursday, Dec. 14 at 6 p.m. in conference room 1 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

Dec. 18

Wilson County Law Enforcement and Finance committees meeting

6:15 p.m.

The Wilson County Law Enforcement Committee and Finance Committee will meet jointly Monday, Dec. 18 at 6:15 p.m. in conference room 1 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

Wilson County Minutes Committee meeting

6:45 p.m.

The Wilson County Minutes Committee will meet Monday, Dec. 18 at 6:45 p.m. in conference room 1 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

Wilson County Commission meeting

7 p.m.

The Wilson County Commission will meet Monday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. in commission chambers at the Wilson County Courthouse.

Dec. 19

Watertown Planning Commission meeting

5:30 p.m.

The Watertown Planning Commission will meet Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall at 8639 Sparta Pike.

Lebanon City Council meeting

6 p.m.

The Lebanon City Council will meet Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 6 p.m. at the Town Meeting Hall at 200 N. Castle Heights Ave. A public hearing will be at 5:55 p.m.

Watertown City Council meeting

6:30 p.m.

The Watertown City Council will meet Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall at 8639 Sparta Pike.

Staff Reports

Wilson County selects new tourism director

Amy Nichols

Wilson County has tapped Amy Nichols as its new tourism director to fill the position vacated by Jenny Bennett in October.

Nichols most recently worked with the American Cancer Society after eight years with the Walt Disney Co., in roles that included the Disney Vacation Club, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Disney Event Group and Walt Disney’s Creative Entertainment.

Her experience with Disney ranged from sales, convention services and entertainment production for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and the Disney Cruise Line.

Nichols’ experience in the hospitality and tourism industry began with Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky, managing social, corporate and signature events, such as the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks.

She graduated from Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, Indiana, with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a double concentration in marketing and management.

The Mt. Juliet resident is married to her husband, Jason, and has a daughter, Lucy.

Wilson County human resources director Von Barr received more than 57 applications for the position. The county put together a committee to review applications and conduct interviews.

“They have done an outstanding job, and we appreciate all of their hard work,” said Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto. “…The committee went through all 57 applications and had a difficult time narrowing them down to two finalists. We appreciate all the interests in the tourism director position. Myself, along with Penny Carroll, interim director, conducted a final round of interviews, and we are excited to name the new tourism director of Wilson County, Amy Nichols.”

Along with Barr, the committee consisted of Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce president Melanie Minter, who also served as the committee’s chairman; Watertown Chamber president Pam Wiggins; Mt. Juliet Chamber president Mark Hinesley; Wilson County Tourism Committee chairman Sue Vanatta; Wilson County hotel representative Connie Bullington; Expo Center marketing director Charity Toombs; and Lebanon economic development director Sarah Haston.

Hutto said Nichols received an official offer Thursday, and she would start work Dec. 21 or earlier, if possible.

“Penny Carroll, [tourism] executive assistant, has been serving as our interim director and doing a fantastic job of not letting the tourism department skip a beat,” Hutto said. “…Again, we thank Penny Carroll for her leadership, and we look forward to this team doing a great job for all of Wilson County.”

Staff Reports

City discusses $200K land buy

The Mt. Juliet City Commission discussed an ordinance to appropriate $200,000 from the emergency services fund to buy land to build a new fire station.

Phil Jack, who was confused as to why the board discussed buying the land for $200,000 when it was previously donated to the city, brought up the issue in the citizens’ comments section of the meeting.

The land in question is 3 acres currently owned by the Wilson County Board of Education. The plan is to use it for a new District 1 fire station.

“I want to know, did the [homeowners] not donate the property or did the school board not donate the property?” said Jack. “Who was involved with the discussions, those who initially offered the property? Now we’re at the point where there is $200,000 you’re asking to be paid for the piece of property. I think there needs to be full disclosure.”

Commissioner Ray Justice tried to explain what happened from his point of view.

“What you were discussing was a discussion on pending litigation,” said Justice. “The pending litigation is when we were trying to settle a lawsuit between us and the Wilson County Board of Education; when we started talking about the property to begin with. They were actually trying to work through the process and give us credit for some of the things we had done for the school board, and that was their way of doing it. Since then, that died. It is illegal for them to give or donate a piece of land to anyone because it was purchased with public money.”

The $200,000, according to Justice, will be used to build a fire hall in District 1 where he said is greatly needed.

The ordinance passed unanimously.

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.

Dec. 7

Cumberland Ignite Lab Grand Opening

10 a.m.

The grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the Cumberland Ignite Lab will be Thursday, Dec. 7 at 10 a.m. at 104 E. Main St. in Lebanon. The initiative was made possible with a Main Street entrepreneur grant awarded to Historic Lebanon earlier this year from the Tennessee Main Street program.

Women in the Lead

11:30 a.m.

The Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce will present the Women in the Lead networking event with Cable Nashville CEO Susan Huggins on Thursday, Dec. 7 at 11:30 a.m. at Sammy B’s at 705 Cadet Court in Lebanon. Tickets are $15 per person. To RSVP, call 615-444-5503 or email tonya@lebanonwilsonchamber.com.

Watertown High School Christmas Concert

6 p.m.

The Watertown High School band will hold its Christmas concert Thursday, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. in the school auditorium. Admission will be $5 per person.

Audience of One Productions presents “Annie”

6:30 p.m.

Audience of One Productions will present the family friendly musical, “Annie,” on Thursday, Dec. 7 through Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre in Lebanon. Tickets are $20 for adults and $13 for children 3-11 years old. For tickets or more information, visit capitoltheatretn.com.

Dec. 8

Audience of One Productions presents “Annie”

6:30 p.m.

Audience of One Productions will present the family friendly musical, “Annie,” on Friday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre in Lebanon. Tickets are $20 for adults and $13 for children 3-11 years old. For tickets or more information, visit capitoltheatretn.com.

Centerstage Theatre Co. presents “Miracle on 34th Street”

7:30 p.m.

Centerstage Theatre Co. will present “Miracle on 34th Street” on Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Winfree Bryant Middle School on Leeville Pike in Lebanon. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students and are available at brownpapertickets.com, or at Iddy & Oscar’s on the Lebanon Square.

Dec. 9

Lebanon Antiques and Uniques Expo

9 a.m.

The Lebanon Antiques and Uniques Expo will return Saturday, Dec. 9 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Wilson County Expo Center at 945 E. Baddour Pkwy. in Lebnaon. Free parking and admission will be available. For more information, visit bothbarrels.us.

Breakfast with Santa

9 a.m.

Breakfast with Santa will be Saturday, Dec. 9 from 9-11 a.m. at Cook’s United Methodist Church at 7919 Lebanon Road in Mt. Juliet.

Mt. Juliet Christmas Parade

11 a.m.

The Mt. Juliet Christmas parade will be Saturday, Dec. 9 at 11 a.m. on North Mt. Juliet Road. The theme will be “Christmas in a galaxy far, far away.”

Watertown Christmas Parade

2 p.m.

The Watertown Christmas parade will be Saturday, Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. on Main Street. Lineup and float judging will begin at 1 p.m. at Round Lick Baptist Church, and the parade will end at Optics. To enter a float in the parade, visit Jim’s Antiques on the square.

Lebanon Christmas on the Square

2 p.m.

Lebanon’s Christmas on the Square will be Saturday, Dec. 9 from 2-6 p.m. at the Lebanon Square. It will feature food trucks, photos with Santa, letters to Santa, carriage rides, a family photo holiday booth, live Christmas music, a performance by the cast of “Annie the Musical,” an outdoor movie, hair tinsel, hot chocolate, market vendors in the Arcade and shopping.

Centerstage Theatre Co. presents “Miracle on 34th Street”

2 p.m.

Centerstage Theatre Co. will present “Miracle on 34th Street” on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Winfree Bryant Middle School on Leeville Pike in Lebanon. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students and are available at brownpapertickets.com, or at Iddy & Oscar’s on the Lebanon Square.

Audience of One Productions presents “Annie”

6:30 p.m.

Audience of One Productions will present the family friendly musical, “Annie,” on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre in Lebanon. Tickets are $20 for adults and $13 for children 3-11 years old. For tickets or more information, visit capitoltheatretn.com.

Dec. 10

“Breath of Heaven” musical

11 a.m.

The Christmas musical, “Breath of Heaven, will be Sunday, Dec. 10 at 11 a.m. at First Church of the Nazarene at 812 N. Cumberland Ave. in Lebanon. The sanctuary choir will present the musical. For more information, call 615-444-6585.

Possumtown Christmas Parade

1 p.m.

The Possumtown Christmas Parade will be Sunday, Dec. 10 at 1 p.m. in front of Friendship Christian School. Donations will be accepted for needy families in Sneedville and Hancock County.

Southside School open house and ribbon cutting

4 p.m.

An open house and ribbon cutting to view the renovations at Southside School will be Sunday, Dec. 10 at 4 p.m. at the school at 1224 Murfreesboro Road in Lebanon.

“Outstanding in Their Field” musical

4 p.m.

The children’s music ministry will present “Outstanding in Their Field” on Sunday, Dec. 10 at 4 p.m. at First United Methodist Church at 415 W. Main St. in Lebanon. A reception will follow in the fellowship hall. For more information, visit lebanonfumc.com.

Blood Drive

Noon

An American Red Cross blood drive will be Monday, Dec. 11 from noon until 6 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church at 1655 W. Main St. in Lebanon. To make an appointment, download the free Red Cross blood donor app, visit redcrossblood.org or call 800-RED CROSS. To learn more about RapidPass, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

Dec. 12

City of Lebanon Retirees Group meeting

9 a.m.

The city of Lebanon Retirees group will meet Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 9 a.m. at Shoney’s Restaurant at 814 S. Cumberland St. in Lebanon. The group is comprised of and limited to people who have retired from Lebanon municipal government. The group meets the second Tuesday of each month from September to May.

Watertown Middle School Christmas Concert

6 p.m.

The Watertown Middle School band will hold its Christmas concert Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. in the school auditorium.

Tyler Cates American Legion Post 281 meeting

6:30 p.m.

The Tyler Cates American Legion Post 281 will meet Tuesday, Dec. 12 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.

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.

Dec. 7

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

Wilson County Public Works Committee meeting

3:30 p.m.

The Wilson County Public Works Committee will meet Thursday, Dec. 7 at 3:30 p.m. in conference room 1 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

Lebanon Airport Commission meeting

4 p.m.

The Lebanon Airport Commission will meet Thursday, Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. at the Lebanon Municipal Airport at 1060A Franklin Road.

Wilson County Animal Control Committee meeting

5 p.m.

The Wilson County Animal Control Committee will meet Thursday, Dec. 7 at 5 p.m. in conference room 1 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

Wilson County Law Enforcement Committee meeting

5:30 p.m.

The Wilson County Law Enforcement Committee will meet Thursday, Dec. 7 at 5:30 p.m. in conference room 1 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

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.

Nov. 30

Blood Drive

12:30 p.m.

An American Red Cross blood drive will be Thursday, Nov. 30 from 12:30-6 p.m. at Immanuel Baptist Church at 214 Castle Heights Ave. in Lebanon. To make an appointment, download the free Red Cross blood donor app, visit redcrossblood.org or call 800-RED CROSS. To learn more about RapidPass, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

The Lebanon Democrat state Senate special election forum

6 p.m.

The Lebanon Democrat will hold a political forum for voters to hear from candidates in the District 17 state Senate special election Thursday, Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. in the Bill and June Heydel Fine Arts Center at Cumberland University. The forum will provide the only chance for voters to see both candidates vying for the District 17 state Senate seat in the same room answering questions and discussing issues. Wilson County attorney Mary Alice Carfi is the Democrat candidate, and Mark Pody, an insurance agency owner and current state representative, is the Republican candidate. The forum will be free and open to the public.

Rally for Allie

6:30 p.m.

The Rally for Allie, a celebration of life and opportunity in honor of Allie Johnson, will be Thursday, Nov. 30 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Wilson County Expo Center in Lebanon. The free event will feature entertainment, food, a T-shirt fundraiser, guest speakers, therapy animals, painting and activities.

Wilson Central Wildcat Theatre presents “Metamorphoses”

7 p.m.

Wilson Central Wildcat Theatre will present the play, “Metamorphoses,” on Thursday, Nov. 30 and Friday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 2 at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 3 at 2:30 p.m. at Wilson Central High School’s auditorium. Early-bird tickets for $5 each will be available through Sunday, Nov. 19 at rayke5.wixsite.com/wildcattheatre/metamorphoses. Tickets after that will be $10 for students and $15 for adults.

Dec. 1

Free Clothing Store

9 a.m.

The free clothing store will be open Friday, Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. until noon for anyone in need of clothes for men, women and children, as well as toiletry items, at Life Church at 3688 Hwy. 109 in Lebanon. Free breakfast will also be served. For more information, visit lifechurchfamily.com.

Spaghetti Dinner

5 p.m.

The Watertown High School cheer team will hold a spaghetti dinner fundraiser Friday, Dec. 1 from 5 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. The team is raising money to go to a national competition that takes place in February. The cost for the dinner is $10 and includes a salad, spaghetti, bread, dessert and a drink. 

Wilson Central Wildcat Theatre presents “Metamorphoses”

7 p.m.

Wilson Central Wildcat Theatre will present the play, “Metamorphoses,” on Friday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 2 at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 3 at 2:30 p.m. at Wilson Central High School’s auditorium. Early-bird tickets for $5 each will be available through Sunday, Nov. 19 at rayke5.wixsite.com/wildcattheatre/metamorphoses. Tickets after that will be $10 for students and $15 for adults.

Christmas Concert at Cumberland University

7 p.m.

Cumberland University’s choir will be holding the annual Christmas concert on Friday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. in Memorial Hall’s Baird Chapel. Various Cumberland groups will perform, and Santa himself may make an appearance. Admission is free. Make reservations with Molly Agee at 615547-1331.

Dec. 2

Wilson County Retired Teachers Association meeting

10 a.m.

The Wilson County Retired Teachers Association will meet Saturday, Dec. 2 at 10 a.m. at the First Church of the Nazarene in Lebanon. The service project for December will be the annual donation drive for the WCRTA scholarship fund.  Liberty State Bank will provide the meal, and reservations are required. It will be the last meeting until March. Anyone with questions may call 615-444-0071 or 615-449-4117.

Wilson Central Wildcat Theatre presents “Metamorphoses”

2:30 p.m.

Wilson Central Wildcat Theatre will present the play, “Metamorphoses,” on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 3 at 2:30 p.m. at Wilson Central High School’s auditorium. Early-bird tickets for $5 each will be available through Sunday, Nov. 19 at rayke5.wixsite.com/wildcattheatre/metamorphoses. Tickets after that will be $10 for students and $15 for adults.

Historic Places Tour

5 p.m.

The 10th annual Historic Places Tour will be Saturday, Dec. 2 from 5-8:30 p.m. throughout Lebanon. The tour is self-guided, and participants may start at any of the sites. For convenience, locations will be listed on the back of advance tickets and at historiclebanon.com. Tour tickets are $10 in advance, available at the Historic Lebanon office at 324 W. Main St. or the Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce office at 149 Public Square in Lebanon. Tickets will be available the night of the tour for $12 at 104 E. Main St. and any at of the tour locations.

Dec. 3

Children’s Christmas

11 a.m.

The children’s Christmas event will be Sunday, Dec. 3 at 11 a.m. at First Church of the Nazarene at 812 N. Cumberland Ave. in Lebanon. It will feature singing, hand bells and reading parts. For more information, call 615-444-6585.

Lebanon Christmas Parade

2 p.m.

The Lebanon Christmas Parade will be Sunday, Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. at the former Lebanon High School on Harding Drive. It will travel Park Avenue to East Main Street, around the Lebanon Square, exit to West Main Street and end at Liberty State Bank and D.T. McCall & Sons on West Main Street. The cost to participate in the parade is $25 per entry. Participants may request to be judged on overall appearance, creativity and adherence to theme for a chance to win cash prizes in one of five divisions, church, commercial, civic, youth and horse. Applications are available online at lebanonwilsonchamber.com or at the chamber office at 149 Public Square in Lebanon. The theme will be “Christmas Movies Come to Life.” Participants are encouraged to choose a Christmas movie theme for their entry. The grand marshal will be famed country music artist and actress Irlene Mandrell. 

Wilson Central Wildcat Theatre presents “Metamorphoses”

2:30 p.m.

Wilson Central Wildcat Theatre will present the play, “Metamorphoses,” on Sunday, Dec. 3 at 2:30 p.m. at Wilson Central High School’s auditorium. Early-bird tickets for $5 each will be available through Sunday, Nov. 19 at rayke5.wixsite.com/wildcattheatre/metamorphoses. Tickets after that will be $10 for students and $15 for adults.

Keyboards at Christmas

6 p.m.

Keyboards at Christmas, featuring the finest seasonal music for all to enjoy, will be Sunday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church at 304 W. Main St. in Lebanon. It will feature an organ, piano, four choirs, a sing-along and more. For more information, visit fpclebanon.org.

Dec. 4

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1004 meeting

5 p.m.

Chapter 1004 of the Vietnam Veterans of America will meet Monday, Dec. 4 and the first Monday of each month in the Veterans Building at the James E. Ward Agriculture Center in Lebanon. Meetings start at 5 with several members showing up early. All Vietnam and Vietnam-era veterans are urged to attend. Membership will be discussed on request. Associate members will serve food. Call Doc Kraft at 615 477-8088 for more information.

Dec. 7

Watertown High School Christmas Concert

6 p.m.

The Watertown High School band will hold its Christmas concert Thursday, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. in the school auditorium. Admission will be $5 per person.

Dec. 9

Lebanon Antiques and Uniques Expo

9 a.m.

The Lebanon Antiques and Uniques Expo will return Saturday, Dec. 9 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Wilson County Expo Center at 945 E. Baddour Pkwy. in Lebnaon. Free parking and admission will be available. For more information, visit bothbarrels.us.

Mt. Juliet Christmas Parade

11 a.m.

The Mt. Juliet Christmas parade will be Saturday, Dec. 9 at 11 a.m. on North Mt. Juliet Road. The theme will be “Christmas in a galaxy far, far away.”

Watertown Christmas Parade

2 p.m.

The Watertown Christmas parade will be Saturday, Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. on Main Street. Lineup and float judging will begin at 1 p.m. at Round Lick Baptist Church, and the parade will end at Optics. To enter a float in the parade, visit Jim’s Antiques on the square.

Lebanon Christmas on the Square

2 p.m.

Lebanon’s Christmas on the Square will be Saturday, Dec. 9 from 2-6 p.m. at the Lebanon Square. It will feature food trucks, photos with Santa, letters to Santa, carriage rides, a family photo holiday booth, live Christmas music, a performance by the cast of “Annie the Musical,” an outdoor movie, hair tinsel, hot chocolate, market vendors in the Arcade and shopping.

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.

Nov. 30

Lebanon Comprehensive Plan Task Force Committee meeting

9 a.m.

The Lebanon Comprehensive Plan Task Force Committee will meet Thursday, Nov. 30 at 9 a.m. at the Town Meeting Hall at 200 N. Castle Heights Ave.

Wilson County Board of Education work session

5 p.m.

The Wilson County Board of Education will meet in a work session Thursday, Nov. 30 at 5 p.m. at the central office at 351 Stumpy Lane in Lebanon.

Lebanon City Council work session

6 p.m.

The Lebanon City Council will meet in a work session Thursday, Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. at the Town Meeting Hall at 200 N. Castle Heights Ave.

Dec. 1

Road Commission meeting

9 a.m.

The Wilson County Road Commission will meet Friday, Dec. 1 at 9 a.m. at the Road Commission office, 970 Tennessee Blvd. in Lebanon. The Urban Type Public Facilities Board will meet after the Road Commission.

Dec. 4

Wilson County Board of Education meeting

5 p.m.

The Wilson County Board of Education will meet Monday, Dec. 4 at 6 p.m. at the central office at 351 Stumpy Lane in Lebanon.

Wilson County Library Board meeting

5:30 p.m.

The Wilson County Library Board will meet Monday, Dec. 4 at 5:30 p.m. at the Lebanon-Wilson County Public Library.

Dec. 5

Wilson County Emergency Management Agency Committee meeting

5 p.m.

The Wilson County Emergency Management Agency Committee will meet Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 5 p.m. in conference room 1 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

Staff Reports

Lebanon Democrat plans state Senate special election forum

The Lebanon Democrat will hold a political forum for voters to hear from candidates in the District 17 state Senate special election Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. in the Bill and June Heydel Fine Arts Center at Cumberland University.

The forum will provide the only chance for voters to see both candidates vying for the District 17 state Senate seat in the same room answering questions and discussing issues.

The General Election will be Dec. 19 for the Senate seat vacated by Mae Beavers when she decided to focus on her run for Tennessee governor. Counties that make up District 17 include Wilson, Cannon, DeKalb, Smith and Macon. Early voting for the General Election will be Nov. 29 through Dec. 14.

“Even though we will be two days into early voting, it will still give voters a chance to hear from the candidates about issues affecting Wilson County, District 17 and Tennessee,” said Jared Felkins, The Democrat’s editor. “We would never suggest voters not go to the polls and vote, but it might be important to wait until after this forum to cast a ballot.”

The forum will be free and open to the public.

Wilson County attorney Mary Alice Carfi is the Democrat candidate and said it’s time for some “common sense” in the Senate.

“Republicans have held the majority since the 2010 elections,” said Carfi. “They have had ample opportunities to improve the of working families in our state, but instead have put party interests before improving the health care, jobs and education for our citizens.”

As a general practice attorney, Carfi often works with people who have differing opinions.

“It’s my job to bring these people together, to compromise when and where it’s necessary, so that a positive result can be agreed upon by all parties,” she said.

Mark Pody, an insurance agency owner and current state representative is the Republican candidate and listed his top priorities as conservative fiscal policies and bringing high-paying jobs to the district.

“We need to limit the size and scope of government. Not every good idea should be a government idea,” said Pody. “Many good ideas are best done by individuals, churches and nonprofits; not by state government.”

Pody said he believes in smaller government as close to the local level as possible.

Felkins will serve as moderator for the forum, which will allow both Pody and Carfi the chance to give opening remarks before each will answer questions selected by The Democrat staff. Questions from the public are encouraged and may be submitted for consideration via email to editor@lebanondemocrat.com or on Facebook @lebanondemocrat or Twitter @wilsonconews.

“We are interested in learning where candidates stand on issues that impact our community,” said Felkins. “This forum, which should make for an interesting evening, is one way local voters can become educated and make the best decision at the polls.”

Staff Reports

Land sale possible for new fire hall

Wilson County school board to discuss

Image courtesy of Wilson County Schools
Plans show the 3-acre tract of land on North Greenhill Road that may be the site of a new fire hall in Mt. Juliet.

The Wilson County Board of Education is expected to discuss the potential sale of 3 acres of land to Mt. Juliet for a future fire hall.

The 3 acres of land is a part of 65 acres of land the district proposes to use to build a new high school in Mt. Juliet on North Greenhill Road. The Mt. Juliet City Commission approved a resolution earlier this month to offer the purchase to the Wilson County school board.

Under the resolution, the Mt. Juliet would purchase the land for $200,000, would only use the land for the fire hall and will not be allowed to sell the land for other uses.

Mt. Juliet has included the land in previous discussions and potential settlements with the district, specifically the liquor-by-the-drink lawsuit settlement discussions.

Last year, the school board balked at including the 3 acres in a settlement agreement. Board member Wayne McNeese and former board member Don Weathers opposed the move for various reasons.

“We are talking about giving them a piece of land that we don’t own. Secondly, we don’t know if we’re going to get the approval from the county commission to buy. I think this is the cart before the horse,” McNeese said last year. “I think a good neighbor is what we need to be. These 3 acres, to us, can’t fit into what we’re going to use. Being a good neighbor, I don’t have a problem giving them that if, No. 1, it’s used for a fire hall only.”

Weathers said he believed the district would ultimately lose too much money in the agreement.

In March, the Mt. Juliet City Commission voted to alter the terms of the lawsuit agreement to include the 3 acres. In the previous agreement, the city would agree to waive any and all future fees that are within its authority up to $380,000 that are related to building, renovation and development of new and existing schools.

The school board will meet Thursday at 5 p.m. in a work session and Monday at 6 p.m. in its regular meeting at the central office at 351 Stumpy Lane in Lebanon.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

State House candidate calls for end to private prisons, private probation offices

Jeremy H.G. Hayes, a candidate for the District 57 state House seat, called for an end to private prisons and privately run probation offices.

CoreCivic is the nation’s largest private prison system and is publicly traded. The Nashville-based company has made billions of taxpayer dollars from the imprisonment of inmates. CoreCivic was also involved in several lawsuits, due to the abuse of its employees on inmates.

Providence Community Corrections a probation company based out of Rutherford County was also involved in legal battles. A lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Nashville, alleges the company violated racketeering laws by extorting money through “the wrongful use of fear.” In the lawsuit, it was discovered nearly one-fifth of Rutherford County inmates were imprisoned due to an inability to pay probation fees. Under Tennessee law, it is illegal to revoke a person’s probation for not having the means to pay their probation fees.

“I am unequivocally opposed to private prisons and private parole companies,” said Hayes. “In no way should we ever allow companies to profit from the destruction of a family. This creates a system where companies are motivated to keep people in prison or on parole, instead of helping the people overcome whatever led them to being in that position. This is an issue that should cross party lines. It is important that we give people the opportunity to overcome their past. If people make mistakes, they should have to face the consequences of their actions. However, we must also give them an opportunity to overcome their mistakes and become productive members of society.

“Unfortunately, the current system is not set up to help people. It is set up to keep cycling people through the prison and probation system so these companies can turn a profit. We must end the current system of incentivizing private businesses to profit from the destruction of families and instead focus on helping people.

“I am a strong supporter of finding a solution to our communities’ drug and alcohol epidemic. I believe people use substances to fill a void they have in their life and mask pains. We have an opportunity to help cure the root issue of these addictions and potentially change the course of history for their family. When we cure a person, and they are no longer addicted to a substance, their children and family will grow up in stronger home. When elected, I will support any cause and/or group, which works to cure addictions. Through Christ all things are possible.”

Hayes is running for the District 57 state House seat as a Republican. He is challenging Republican incumbent Rep. Susan Lynn and Republican Wilson County Commissioner Dan Walker. 

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

Staff Reports

Lynn to serve on new state Wellness Caucus

NASHVILLE – State Rep. Susan Lynn said Wednesday she will serve on the new Wellness Caucus, created by members of the Tennessee General Assembly and in collaboration with the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness.

The caucus is chaired by state Rep. Ryan Williams, R-Cookeville, and Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson. It consists of 37 members – including 28 Republicans – from both the House and Senate who will study and propose new solutions to health and wellness issues in communities across the state.

While Nashville is considered a health care hub for the nation, Tennessee still remains one of the least healthy states in the country. About one in four adults smokes and one in five high school students uses tobacco. Additionally, 33 percent of the state’s population is classified as obese, and type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure are at near-epidemic levels in all regions of the state.

Caucus members will help shape future public policy so that Tennesseans impacted by some of these adverse health conditions are able to make lifestyle changes that will improve their overall health outcomes.

“As an elected official, the health and well-being of our residents is one of my main priorities,” said Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet. “I believe this opportunity will provide unique perspective into some of the health issues impacting our citizens; additionally, it will allow us to create new solutions to these issues which will lead to improved health trends across our state.”

For more information about the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness, visit healthiertn.com.

Lynn serves as the chair of the House Consumer and Human Resources Subcommittee. Lynn is also a member of the House Consumer and Human Resources, House Finance Ways and Means and House Ethics Committee, as well as the Joint Fiscal Review Committee. She lives in Mt. Juliet and represents House District 57, which includes Wilson County. Lynn may be reached by email at rep.susan.lynn@capitol.tn.gov or by calling 615-741-7462.

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.

Nov. 24

Ignite Missions Honduras Christmas Tree Sale

8 a.m.

Ignite Missions Honduras in Mt. Juliet will have its Christmas tree sale beginning Friday, Nov. 24 from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. at the corner of South Hartmann Drive and Hickory Ridge Road in Lebanon. It will remain open weekdays from 4-8 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. A white tent and signs at the road will direct visitors. A variety of size trees and other types of Christmas decorations will be available. Sam and Peggy Feazel will have coffee, a fire pit going and movies on the side of the tent. For more information, visit ignitemissions.org. Funds from the project will go to the mission in Honduras.

Nov. 25

Lebanon Christmas Tree Lighting

5 p.m.

The annual Lebanon Christmas tree lighting will be Saturday, Nov. 25 on the Lebanon Square. Mayor Bernie Ash will light the tree.

Nov. 28

Hal Parrott Retirement Reception

1:30 p.m.

Hal Parrott with Wilson County Farm Bureau recently announced his retirement after 30 years of service. A reception for Parrott will be Tuesday, Nov. 28 from 1:30-4 p.m. at the Wilson County Expo Center in the south hall meeting room A. Parrott’s replacement, Ryan Ingram, will also be on hand for greetings.

Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber Renewal Holiday Social

5:30 p.m.

The Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce will hold its Renewal Holiday Social on Tuesday, Nov. 28 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in Baird Chapel on the Cumberland University campus. It will feature adult beverages and holiday hors d’oeuvres. Those who plan to attend should RSVP to tonya@lebanonwilsonchamber.com by Nov. 21.

Nov. 30

Lebanon Democrat state Senate special election forum

6 p.m.

The Lebanon Democrat will hold a political forum for voters to hear from candidates in the District 17 state Senate special election Thursday, Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. in the Bill and June Heydel Fine Arts Center at Cumberland University. The forum will provide the only chance for voters to see both candidates vying for the District 17 state Senate seat in the same room answering questions and discussing issues. Wilson County attorney Mary Alice Carfi is the Democrat candidate, and Mark Pody, an insurance agency owner and current state representative, is the Republican candidate. The forum will be free and open to the public.

Wilson Central Wildcat Theatre presents “Metamorphoses”

7 p.m.

Wilson Central Wildcat Theatre will present the play, “Metamorphoses,” on Thursday, Nov. 30 and Friday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 2 at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 3 at 2:30 p.m. at Wilson Central High School’s auditorium. Early-bird tickets for $5 each will be available through Sunday, Nov. 19 at rayke5.wixsite.com/wildcattheatre/metamorphoses. Tickets after that will be $10 for students and $15 for adults.

Dec. 1

Wilson Central Wildcat Theatre presents “Metamorphoses”

7 p.m.

Wilson Central Wildcat Theatre will present the play, “Metamorphoses,” on Friday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 2 at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 3 at 2:30 p.m. at Wilson Central High School’s auditorium. Early-bird tickets for $5 each will be available through Sunday, Nov. 19 at rayke5.wixsite.com/wildcattheatre/metamorphoses. Tickets after that will be $10 for students and $15 for adults.

Dec. 2

Wilson Central Wildcat Theatre presents “Metamorphoses”

2:30 p.m.

Wilson Central Wildcat Theatre will present the play, “Metamorphoses,” on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 3 at 2:30 p.m. at Wilson Central High School’s auditorium. Early-bird tickets for $5 each will be available through Sunday, Nov. 19 at rayke5.wixsite.com/wildcattheatre/metamorphoses. Tickets after that will be $10 for students and $15 for adults.

Historic Places Tour

5 p.m.

The 10th annual Historic Places Tour will be Saturday, Dec. 2 from 5-8:30 p.m. throughout Lebanon. The tour is self-guided, and participants may start at any of the sites. For convenience, locations will be listed on the back of advance tickets and at historiclebanon.com. Tour tickets are $10 in advance, available at the Historic Lebanon office at 324 W. Main St. or the Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce office at 149 Public Square in Lebanon. Tickets will be available the night of the tour for $12 at 104 E. Main St. and any at of the tour locations.

Dec. 3

Wilson Central Wildcat Theatre presents “Metamorphoses”

2:30 p.m.

Wilson Central Wildcat Theatre will present the play, “Metamorphoses,” on Sunday, Dec. 3 at 2:30 p.m. at Wilson Central High School’s auditorium. Early-bird tickets for $5 each will be available through Sunday, Nov. 19 at rayke5.wixsite.com/wildcattheatre/metamorphoses. Tickets after that will be $10 for students and $15 for adults.

Dec. 4

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1004 meeting

5 p.m.

Chapter 1004 of the Vietnam Veterans of America will meet Monday, Dec. 4 and the first Monday of each month in the Veterans Building at the James E. Ward Agriculture Center in Lebanon. Meetings start at 5 with several members showing up early. All Vietnam and Vietnam-era veterans are urged to attend. Membership will be discussed on request. Associate members will serve food. Call Doc Kraft at 615 477-8088 for more information.

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.

Nov. 27

Mt. Juliet City Commission meeting

6:30 p.m.

The Mt. Juliet City Commission will meet Monday, Nov. 27 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall at 2425 N. Mt. Juliet Road. A public hearing will be at 6:15 p.m.

Nov. 28

Wilson County Industrial Development Bond Board

4 p.m.

The Wilson County Industrial Development Bond Board will meet Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 4 p.m. at the Joint Economic and Community Development Board office at 200 Aviation Way, Suite 202, in Lebanon.

Wilson County Ag Management Committee meeting

5 p.m.

The Wilson County Ag Management Committee will meet Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 5 p.m. in the Gentry Building at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon.

Staff Reports

Simpson turns love of reading into volunteer opportunity

Editor’s Note: The following is one in a series of stories highlighting past Wilson County Governor’s Stars Awards nominees. The deadline to nominate volunteers for this year’s class is Dec. 15. To nominate a youth or adult volunteer, visit lebanondemocrat.com/gvsa.

Mt. Juliet News File Photo
The 2015 Wilson County Governor’s Volunteer Stars state adult nominee Peggy Simpson is pictured with Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto.

Peggy Simpson has volunteered with Wilson Books from Birth for as long as it’s been around in Wilson County.

The program started in July 2005 in Wilson County when the Dolly Parton Imagination Library was replicated as Wilson Books from Birth.

“I grew up a block from the library and rode my bicycle there almost every day to check out the books,” said Simpson, who serves as the director of Wilson Books from Birth. “I have always loved reading. Reading is a passion. As an adult, I can see the value of reading. It is a lifetime skill. Everything we do depends on reading.”

Wilson Books from Birth sends free, high-quality, age-appropriate books to children whose parents sign up for the service each month from birth until they reach 5 years old.

“I saw it as opportunity to get books in the home, encourage parents to read with their children and instill a love of reading in children at an early age,” Simpson said.

And because of her volunteerism, Simpson was nominated as a 2015 Wilson County Governor’s Volunteer Star and went on to represent the county at the state awards.

“I was honored to be nominated,” she said. “But, I saw the nomination as recognition of all the volunteers who help with the Imagination Library program in our community.”

Wilson County is currently accepting nominations for the 2017 Governor’s Volunteer Star Awards, and there’s an easy way to nominate a worthy local volunteer.

The annual award recognizes “outstanding volunteers from each of Tennessee’s 95 counties,” according to the Volunteer Tennessee website.

“We know the value of calling attention to someone’s service and sacrifice; the military does this extremely well, but even in the military, someone has to submit the proper paperwork in order to recognize that special someone,” said Wilson County committee member John McMillin. “Honestly, nominating someone for outstanding volunteer service isn’t a lot of work to reward someone’s dedication, hard work and creativity.”

Nominations for youth and adults may be made. Nominations for Wilson County honorees will be accepted through Dec. 15. At that time, a committee will go through the nominees and select one youth and one adult to send on to the state level, but all of the nominees will be honored locally.

“The deadline to get them in to the state is Dec. 30,” McMillin said.

McMillin, who is executive director of United Way of Wilson County and the Upper Cumberland, said, “from my standpoint I’m thankful for a volunteer no matter what level.

“I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with volunteers in this county who are simply amazing. I’m happy to be working with the county mayor and our local Volunteer Stars award committee to search these people out and be able to give some recognition where it is truly deserved.”

Anyone can nominate someone for a Governor’s Volunteer Star Award. Nomination forms may be picked up and dropped off at various sites, including the United Way office, the county mayor’s office, the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce office, the Watertown Public Library and at The Lebanon Democrat office. Again this year, nominations may be made online at lebanondemocrat.com/gvsa.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for people to nominate volunteers for this deserving honor in Wilson County,” McMillin said.

The Wilson County awards ceremony will be in January where all of the local nominees will be honored.

Participating counties, including Wilson, will name one outstanding youth and one outstanding adult volunteer. Those named a 2017 Governor’s Volunteer Star will gather in Franklin in February to be honored and celebrate volunteerism in Tennessee.

Staff Reports

Work to begin on Central Pike interstate access

Mt. Juliet will begin work to create an Interstate 40 exit at Central Pike just west of the Mt. Juliet Road interchange after the Federal Highway Administration approved the request.

Andy Barlow, Mt. Juliet deputy public works director, said the Federal Highway Administration approved the city’s request for the I-40 exit, which begins the potentially 10-year process of making the access a reality.

“It’s going to be a long process. It’s a first step, but if you don’t have that approval, it’s dead, and you don’t get the project,” Barlow said.

Barlow said the city received approval for the project in the early 2000s, but was also focused on the Beckwith Road interchange project. Barlow said the administration’s project acceptance was good for seven years, which required the city to resubmit the project for approval.

The project was also included in the IMPROVE Act, which is expected to bring in $278 million for 962 Tennessee Department of Transportation projects currently on backlog. Ten Wilson County projects are included in the IMPROVE Act.

“I’m very excited. There were a lot of people who were against the IMPROVE Act, and it’s great to see it already working for the county,” Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet, said.

Barlow said the approval starts the now-eight year clock to start the project. He said the construction of the interchange would take 18-24 months, which would follow 18-24 months of environmental work and 18-24 months of right-of-way acquisitions.

“If you add these things up, you can see how months turn into years,” Barlow said. “I would say it could be completed in five years if miracles happen, but 10 years is more realisitic.”

Barlow said he believes improvements to Central Pike could accompany or come as a result of the interchange, which could boost development of all types in the area. He said he believes the interchange’s close proximity to Providence Marketplace could boost the area’s development quicker than the Beckwith Road area.

Barlow said the city would meet with Tennessee Department of Transportation staff in the next few months to create a plan for the project.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Wilson County 911 Board continues co-location talks

 

Jacob Smith • Mt. Juliet News
Members of the Wilson County 911 Board talk about co-locating dispatchers to the 911 office during their monthly meeting Monday.

The Wilson County Emergency Communications 911 Board discussed the logistics for the proposed co-location plan that involves other Wilson County emergency agencies during its monthly meeting Monday afternoon.

Director Karen Moore introduced Jimmy Lichtenstein from AT&T to talk about the proposed dispatch systems for the co-location.

According to Lichtenstein, the Wilson County location would receive eight desktop locations, as well as eight phone locations for dispatchers, for any of the emergency departments that were located there.

“If you co-locate, then we can make better use of the hardware,” said Lichtenstein. “There’s cost savings there.”

Lichtenstein said the new system could be installed once it was ready within 30-45 days.

Representatives from Mt. Juliet police and Wilson County Emergency Management Agency were at the meeting to see how the proposed plan would affect their agencies.

Board chair David Hale believed the co-location should happen around the same time the new system would be installed to save money.

“If we’re going to, and I believe we are going to, move forward with co-location, I believe we should schedule all this so it all occurs at the same time,” said Hale.

Also discussed at the meeting were the building plans to determine if the building can fit enough dispatch stations to house multiple emergency departments.

“All of you know me well, and you know that I believe in doing business with hometown folks,” said Hale. “If you’re from somewhere else when the building’s done, you can pack up and go home. If you’re here and you have to look at it every day, you’re more apt to be mindful of what you’re constructing.”

The board voted on the four proposals it had received and chose Studio Oakley Architects for the design.

After voting on the proposals board member and former Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe moved to go to recess subject to the call of the chair, which means the board won’t officially adjourn until Hale calls the board back for another meeting.

Ashe felt this would give the board time to discuss what Studio Oakley could do before moving forward.

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.

Nov. 16

Tennova Healthcare-Lebanon Volunteer Auxiliary Fundraising Sale

7 a.m.

The Tennova Healthcare-Lebanon Volunteer Auxiliary will hold an everything $6 fundraising sale Thursday, Nov. 16 from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Friday, Nov. 17 from 7 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. in the hospital’s outpatient classroom. It will feature a wide selection of products, including jewelry, scarves, socks, gadgets and more, at factory-direct pricing. Profits from the sale will benefit patients and the local community.

High School Equivalency Testing

8 a.m.

The Wilson County Adult Education program will offer the high school equivalency test, formerly the GED, on Thursday, Nov. 16 at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Lebanon. For information on taking the test, call 615-443-8731.

Small Business Saturday Kickoff Rally

8:30 a.m.

The Small Business Saturday kickoff rally for Lebanon retailers will be Thursday, Nov. 16 at 8:30 a.m. at the Town Meeting Hall at 200 N. Castle Heights Ave. in Lebanon. Free breakfast will be served, and retailers are encouraged to bring a door prize to be given during Small Business Saturday on Nov. 25. To RSVP, email tonya@lebanonwilsonchamber.org.

Lebanon Youth Baseball Hitting Facility ribbon cutting

4 p.m.

A ribbon cutting for the Lebanon Youth Baseball Hitting Facility will be Thursday, Nov. 16 at 4 p.m. at the facility on Park Drive in Lebanon.

Wilson Living Holiday Expo Gala

5 p.m.

The ninth annual Wilson Living Holiday Expo Gala will be Thursday, Nov. 16 from 5-9 p.m. at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon. It will feature a meet-and-greet session with comedienne Heather Land, as well as lots of local vendors. Tickets are $12 per person in advance or $15 at the door. To buy tickets, visit wilsonlivingmagazine.com.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5015 meeting

6 p.m.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5015 in Lebanon will meet Thursday, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. and on the third Thursday of each month in the Veterans Building at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center. Any veteran who has been awarded a campaign medal or combat medal for any hostility is eligible for membership, verified by the veterans’ DD 214 Form. Presently, Post 5015 is having success in rebuilding its post and becoming active in district and local events. It is not a Lebanon post, but a countywide post. To learn more, contact Post Commander John Marshall at jtmarshall2@icloud.com; Senior Vice Commander Ken Kackley at hkenkjr@aol.com or Junior Vice Commander Harold W. Weist at grnmarine@tds.net.

Fiddlers Grove Model Train Club

7 p.m.

The Fiddlers Grove Model Train Club will meet Thursday, Nov. 16 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.

Visiting Poet Anders Carlson-Wee Lecture at Cumberland University

7:30 p.m.

Cumberland University’s School of Humanities, Education and the Arts will play host to visiting poet Anders Carlson-Wee on Thursday, Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Heydel Fine Arts Center. Carlson-Wee will share his knowledge and experience of being a professional poet during his talk, “Trains, Travel and the American Poet.” He has “hopped trains” with his brother and fellow poet, Kai Carlson-Wee, and traveled across America to write his stories in powerful narrative form and lyric poems. The lecture will be free and open to the public.

Cirque Italia

7:30 p.m.

The Cirque Italia water circus will make its return to Lebanon on Thursday, Nov. 16 and Friday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18 at 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. in the white and blue big-top tent at the Lebanon Outlet Marketplace at 1 Outlet Village Blvd. near the Nike Clearance Store. Tickets are between $10-$50, depending on availability and offers one free child admission with each full-priced paying adult ticket in levels two or three. Call 941-704-8572 to find out the promo code. The box office will open Tuesday, Nov. 14 and will be open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on non-show days and from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. on show days. Tickets may also be purchased at cirqueitalia.com/tickets.

Nov. 17

Tennova Healthcare-Lebanon Volunteer Auxiliary Fundraising Sale

7 a.m.

The Tennova Healthcare-Lebanon Volunteer Auxiliary will hold an everything $6 fundraising sale Friday, Nov. 17 from 7 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. in the hospital’s outpatient classroom. It will feature a wide selection of products, including jewelry, scarves, socks, gadgets and more, at factory-direct pricing. Profits from the sale will benefit patients and the local community.

Mt. Juliet Chamber Business Boost

11:15 a.m.

The Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce will present its Business Boost series Friday, Nov. 17 from 11:15 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the chamber office. The guest speaker will be Katie Adkisson with Reed Public Relations, who will speak about a fresh approach to marketing for small businesses. Registration is $15 for chamber members and $25 for non-members. Online registration is required at mjchamber.org.

Dancing Lights of Christmas opening day

5 p.m.

The Dancing Lights of Christmas, formerly found at Jellystone Park in Nashville, will officially open Friday, Nov. 17 at 5 p.m. at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center at 945 E. Baddour Pkwy. in Lebanon.

Lions’ Night at Courtney’s Restaurant

5:30 p.m.

The Mt. Juliet Lions Club will present Lions’ Night Friday, Nov. 17 from 5:30-8 p.m. at Courtney’s Restaurant. The restaurant will donate a portion of the night’s receipts to the club, and a silent auction will be set up with the club accepting donations. The Elderberrys, an entertainment group led by Lions Club member Steve Myatt, will entertain diners while they eat and shop at the silent auction. Performers expected to be at the event will be Lion Sue Ann Busby, Melanie Chapman, Steve Dobson, Sandy Evans, Bill Manley, Don Price, Tim Stephenson and Myatt.

Cirque Italia

7:30 p.m.

The Cirque Italia water circus will make its return to Lebanon on Friday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18 at 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. in the white and blue big-top tent at the Lebanon Outlet Marketplace at 1 Outlet Village Blvd. near the Nike Clearance Store. Tickets are between $10-$50, depending on availability and offers one free child admission with each full-priced paying adult ticket in levels two or three. Call 941-704-8572 to find out the promo code. The box office will open Tuesday, Nov. 14 and will be open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on non-show days and from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. on show days. Tickets may also be purchased at cirqueitalia.com/tickets.

Nov. 18

Tennessee Turkey Games and 5K – Mile Costume Fun Run

7:30 a.m.

The first Tennessee Turkey Games and 5K – 1-Mile Costume Fun Run will be Saturday, Nov. 18 at Charlie Daniels Park in Mt. Juliet. A portion of the proceeds from the games will benefit the Special Olympics of Tennessee. Starting at 7:30 a.m., there will be a costume fun run, where the best turkey-dressed runner will win a cash prize. At 8 a.m., there will be a 5K, and following the award ceremonies for both runs, the turkey events will be held, including the frozen turkey toss, frozen turkey sprint, frozen turkey team relay and frozen turkey lift. For more information, email info@tnfamilyfitnessgames.com or call 615-541-9857 or Melody Engle at 615-518-0317.

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.

Nov. 16

Lebanon Housing Authority Board of Commissioners meeting

4 p.m.

The Lebanon Housing Authority Board of Commissioners will meet Thursday, Nov. 16 at 4 p.m. at the Upton Heights administrative office.

Wilson County Insurance Committee meeting

4:30 p.m.

The Wilson County Insurance Committee will meet Thursday, Nov. 16 at 4:30 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, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. in the Town Meeting Hall at 200 N. Castle Heights Ave.

Nov. 20

Wilson County Commission meeting

7 p.m.

The Wilson County Commission will meet Monday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. in commission chambers at the Wilson County Courthouse in Lebanon.

Nov. 21

Lebanon Planning Commission preliminary meeting

11 a.m.

The Lebanon Planning Commission will hold a preliminary meeting Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 11 a.m. at the Town Meeting Hall at 200 N. Castle Heights Ave.

Lebanon City Council meeting

6 p.m.

The Lebanon City Council will meet Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. in the Town Meeting Hall at 200 N. Castle Heights Ave. A public hearing will be at 5:55 p.m.

Staff Reports

Mt. Juliet Chamber celebrates new home

Xavier Smith • Mt. Juliet News
Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce members smile in front of the new chamber office building Wednesday during its grand opening. The building recently received signage, although the group has operated out of the new office for months.

The Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce officially celebrated its new office Wednesday after months of operating out of the building on East Division Street.

Chamber staff officially began working in the new Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce office building last year after they spent 12 years on West Caldwell Street.

The group leases 3,400 square feet of the 24,000-square-foot office complex across from the Mt. Juliet train station on East Division Street. The facility is nearly four times bigger than the West Caldwell Street building.

Chamber president Mark Hinesley said the new space is a compliment to anyone who has done, does or will do business in Mt. Juliet.

The building’s location adds to the growing downtown region of Mt. Juliet, which also boasts Jet’s Pizza, Bar-B-Cutie and more.

“This is the heart of Mt. Juliet. If you look at the distance between [Interstate 40] and Highway 70, it is the heartbeat of Mt. Juliet, and that was always my vision – this become something that is significant and the center of Mt. Juliet,” said Seth McDowell with Agilitas Property Development last year.

Hinesley said the move allows the group to be in a central location in Mt. Juliet and more meeting and parking space for guests. He also said the new move comes at a time when the collaboration between Wilson County chambers are growing.

For more information, visit mtjulietchamber.org.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Mt. Juliet dedicates two new parks

Jacob Smith • Mt. Juliet News
The city of Mt. Juliet dedicated two parks Monday, Eagle Park and Robinson Park. State Rep. Susan Lynn also presented a check for $10,000, which was used to build a guardrail next to Eagle Park.

Mt. Juliet officials dedicated two of the city’s newest parks Monday after citizens donated land and worked to bring the parks to fruition.

The city dedicated Eagle Park on West Division Street. The park was an Eagle Scout project for John Forth with Troop 150. It’s a bicycle park aimed at increasing safety and awareness for young cyclists. Children can learn to ride a bike at the park, as well as the rules of the road.

State Rep. Susan Lynn had the idea to build a guardrail along the street next to the park she saw how nervous parents were about its close proximity to cars.

“At the time, I had five grandchildren, and we enjoyed bringing them to this new park,” said Lynn. “It’s absolutely wonderful, and the children love it, but coming here, even the first time, you could feel that traffic was swift. Parents were sort of helicoptering around their children just because they could feel the swift traffic.”

Lynn proceeded to put in a budget amendment for $10,000 at the General Assembly and used the money to build the guardrail.

Mt. Juliet Mayor Ed Hagerty praised the community for coming together to get the park built.

“This is probably the best example of a true public-private partnership,” said Hagerty. “We had a private party, the Eagle Scout John who was involved, we had the [Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee] involved, we had the state of Tennessee involved, and we had the city involved. That is the best way to get projects accomplished.”

Eagle Park is 100 yards long, 40 yards wide and in the shape of a figure eight as a mini-road course.

The Robinson Park dedication took place at 11:30 a.m. at the corner of Mt. Juliet Road and Old Lebanon Dirt Road.

Bill and Phyllis Robinson with Robinson Properties donated 11 acres to the city to create the park. It features a half-mile wrap-around hiking trail and outdoor fitness equipment.

“I think parks are important, because sometimes you can be going through a hard time in life, and you can just come to a park and walk around and think,” said Mt. Juliet City Manager Kenny Martin.

Girl Scouts with Troop 425 worked to turn the park into a Certified Wildlife Habitat.

The park offers homes to birds, bees, bats, ladybugs and butterflies.

“We hear a lot about how people want more parks and recreation areas,” said city Commissioner Brian Abston. “In the last three or four years, that’s the direction we’ve been going ,and with these two parks today, we’re continuing to move in that direction.”

By Jacob Smith

jsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

City to get Gold Star marker

Ceremony scheduled for Saturday at City Hall to unveil new veteran sign

The Lake Forest Acres Garden Club will dedicate a Gold Star memorial marker Saturday at 11 a.m. at Mt. Juliet City Hall.

The Gold Star marker honors families of men and women killed in the U.S Armed Forces. The group dedicated a Blue Star memorial marker at Mt. Juliet City Hall last year, which honors all men and women who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces, past and present. 

The keynote speaker for the event will be Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder. Grinder joined the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs after she retired as a colonel from the Tennessee Army National Guard with more than 35 years of service.

Gold Star father Michael Stansbery, combat veteran and former Marine, will also speak during the event. His son, Michael L. Stansbery, of Mt. Juliet, died in 2010 in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. Stansbery was a Wilson Central High School graduate.

Other speakers will include Mt. Juliet City Manager Kenny Martin and Mt. Juliet police Chief James Hambrick.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

City OKs Music City Star resolution

Commissioners discuss whether $30,000 contribution is necessary, required

The Mt. Juliet City Commission passed a resolution regarding the Music City Star after much discussion at its regular meeting Monday night.

The resolution amended the fiscal year budget to allow for a $30,000 contribution to the Regional Transportation Authority, which operates the Music City Star, as a means to end the conflict between the city and the RTA.

The resolution came after RTA officials said Mt. Juliet wasn’t paying its share of the fees for the Music City Star for the last four years.

Commissioners argued the payment was voluntary and had gone toward other city needs they felt were more pressing.

“I had put out a challenge that if anyone could produce any paperwork or contracts on any of these agreements that I would pay the first $100 of that,” said Vice Mayor and District 2 Commissioner James Maness. “No one has produced anything, and I believe the city attorney will confirm that, as well.”

The resolution passed by a 4-1 vote, with District 4 Commissioner Brian Abston casting the no vote.

“I respect the fact that [Mayor Ed Hagerty] is on that board and needs to do this,” said Abston. “I’m not going to vote for it. I’m not going to support it. I wish the train could do what it was originally supposed to do and take a lot of people off the road. I don’t see it ever doing that.”

Hagerty offered his insight into why he felt the contribution was a good idea for both the city and the Music City Star.

“Nashville is putting out a $5.2 billion mass transit program. It’s going to the referendum in May,” said Hagerty. “If we can be a part of the solution in any way, even with this contribution to RTA, I think it’s worth taking that step and doing so. I’m supporting this. The effort for mass transit in Middle Tennessee is a good one.”