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

WEMA tests sirens for system upgrade

Wilson County Emergency Management Agency officials sent out a series of social media notifications last week to alert residents they planned to test the outdoor warning sirens in various areas.

According to WEMA director Joey Cooper, it was to test the sirens so they could be upgraded from analog to digital.

“WEMA has an older system that has not been updated in a number of years,” said Cooper. “The current system is a one-way analog system, and upon activation, there is no way on knowing if they were actually activated without actually hearing it.”

The Wilson County Commission voted on and passed funding for the upgrade to the digital system in June. The new system will allow emergency managers and public safety officials activate and monitor the status of the system.

“The radio shop has been going around to each siren for several months now upgrading the hardware to make the needed upgrade,” said Cooper. “The last two weeks, they’ve been installing the needed software and testing the sirens on an individual and on a zone basis.”

According to Cooper, WEMA officials to be finished with the upgrades and testing by the end of the week.

By Jacob Smith

jsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

St. Jude breaks ground on second Mt. Juliet Dream Home

Xavier Smith • Mt. Juliet News
St. Jude Dream Home sponsors and representatives share smiles during Tuesday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the second Dream Home in Mt. Juliet in the Jackson Hills subdivision.

Construction on the second St. Jude Dream Home in Mt. Juliet received its official kickoff Tuesday as program sponsors and representatives gathered in Mt. Juliet’s Jackson Hills subdivision.

Tickets for the home will be available in the spring, with the giveaway set for June.

The giveaway, which benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, will give people the chance to win several prizes, including a home valued at $450,000, by buying a $100 raffle ticket.

Only a limited amount of tickets will be available, and all proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit St. Jude and its mission to treat and defeat childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. 

This year’s program is possible because of several sponsors, including WZTV Fox 17, Signature Homes, the BIG 98, Two Rivers Ford, Ashley Homestore, Wilson Bank & Trust and national sponsors Brizo, Shaw Floors, Trane, Bosch and others.

The St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway is one of the largest single-event fundraisers for St. Jude nationwide and has raised more than $383 million. All funds raised through the program will help ensure that families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food.

Earlier this year, Alyssa Manfredi, of Hermitage, won a home in Mt. Juliet through the St. Jude Dream Home program.

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

For more information, visit stjude.org/give/dream-home.html.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Bus driver shortage improves for county schools

The Wilson County Schools bus driver shortage situation has drastically improved, according to Jerry Partlow, Wilson County Schools transportation director.

Partlow told the Wilson County Board of Education on Monday all routes were covered throughout the district, which comes about two months after the district approved a $3 hourly pay raise for district drivers.

The $3 pay raise for drivers totaled $708,801 and represented an average of 17.6 percent average pay increase for drivers. Wilson County Deputy Director of Schools Mickey Hall said the starting pay for bus drivers would increase to $17.

“We have actually added routes. We used to have three routes in Spence Creek. We now have six and they are functioning. We added a route to Lebanon High School. We added a [special education] route at Springdale [Elementary School],” Partlow said.

The district has 439 route assignments each day, which include regular morning and afternoon routes, special needs morning and afternoon routes and midday routes.

Partlow said he also had substitute drivers dedicated to Carroll Oakland and Tuckers Crossroads schools and Lebanon High School. He also said the department has six drivers in training.

“It is starting to come together. Thank goodness,” said Partlow, who gave credit to the Wilson County school board and Wilson County Schools human resources department for the turnaround.

Partlow also credited the district’s new app for bus drivers and administrators to handle discipline issues. The app allows bus drivers to file incident reports from their phones, which will be sent to the respective school’s principal and Partlow.

The Wilson County school board received input from district bus drivers earlier this year about causes and solutions for the shortage. Issues raised included a lack of respect from students and parents, inconsistency in handling reports of incidents, the split-shift format that drivers adhere to and driver pay.

In August, the district introduced changes in hopes to attract new drivers to the district, which included offering morning- and afternoon-only shifts for new drivers.

The school board also approved a $5 per hour increase in June for field trip and athletic event bus drivers to make their payment closer to their regular pay, which averages $16 per hour.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Community Calendar and The People’s Agenda

Community Calendar

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

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

9 teens charged in car burglaries

14-17-year-old teens found in Nashville area, some at McGavock High School

Photo courtesy of Mt. Juliet police
Multiple teens were taken into custody for their role in a series of car burglaries in Mt. Juliet.

Mt. Juliet police officers charged several teens Tuesday morning for their involvement in a series of car burglaries in Mt. Juliet.

After a three-month long investigation, Mt. Juliet police, Metro-Nashville police, Brentwood police and Wilson County sheriff’s detectives were able to recover 12 cars, eight guns, a bullet-resistant vest, several electronic devices and other items apparently stolen by the teens in the series of burglaries.

The nine boys arrested were found in the Nashville area. Five were at McGavock High School, two were at home in Hermitage and two were already in custody at an unnamed detention facility. The teens ranged in age from 14-17 years old.

According to Mt. Juliet police Capt. Tyler Chandler, detectives were able to identify the suspects through the help of the community and local news media. Many tips came in from the community after home surveillance video was released, and acting on those tips, detectives were able to identify those responsible.

“Partnership with our community is key, and I’m thankful that our community has the trust in us to give us information to help solve crimes,” said Mt. Juliet police Chief James Hambrick. “Today is a result of community partnerships, a good working relationship with or law enforcement partners and fantastic investigative work. I truly hope other youth, who are thinking about committing crime, understand that there are consequences to their actions.”

Each of the teens was charged with various crimes related to theft of property, vehicle burglary and conspiracy to commit vehicle burglary.

Hambrick said he urged people the community to continue to always lock their cars and never leave valuables inside, which include firearms and electronic devices.

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

Traffic restrictions announced for Saturday’s Mt. Juliet Christmas parade, half marathon, 5K

The Mt. Juliet Christmas parade and Holiday Half Marathon and 5K will have traffic on North Mt. Juliet Road tied up Saturday for most of the midday.

Starting at 10:45 a.m., Mt. Juliet Road will be closed completely to traffic from Charlie Daniels Parkway to West Wilson Middle School in preparation for the day’s events. Mt. Juliet’s residents and visitors should plan ahead and be aware to avoid getting stuck in traffic.

The Mt. Juliet Holiday Half Marathon begins near 10:45 a.m., just after the road closure, followed by the 5K at 10:55 a.m. at West Wilson Middle School. The parade begins at 11 a.m. It is imperative spectators for the parade and races are parked and off Mt. Juliet Road by 10:45 a.m. In the interest of public safety, parking is prohibited on any sidewalk or grassy area adjacent to the sidewalk during the day.

The traffic restrictions for Saturday in Mt. Juliet include:

• Mt. Juliet Road will be closed from Charlie Daniels Parkway to Clearview Drive from 10:45 a.m. until 1 p.m.

• the right northbound lane of North Mt. Juliet Road will be closed from Clearview Drive to Old Mt. Juliet Road behind Valley Center Shopping Center from 10:45 a.m. until 3 p.m.

• the right eastbound lane of Lebanon Road will be closed from North Mt. Juliet Road to Benders Ferry Road from 11 a.m. until noon.

• the southbound lanes of Golden Bear Gateway will be closed from Lebanon Road to Rutland Drive from 11:20 a.m. until 2 p.m.

• the westbound lane of East Division Street will be closed from Rutland Drive to Clemmons Road from 11:40 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

• Old Lebanon Dirt Road will be closed from Old Mt. Juliet Road behind Valley Center Shopping Center to East Division Street from noon until 3 p.m.

“The goal of the Mt. Juliet Police Department is to make sure the safety of motorists, spectators, pedestrians and participants,” said Mt. Juliet police Capt. Tyler Chandler. “If you are attending the parade or races, the police department suggests that you arrive prior to the 10:45 a.m. street closures. This will allow plenty of time to find parking. If you are not attending the parade, you may want to avoid the Mt. Juliet Road corridor to reduce your frustration with the road closure and large volume of traffic.”

Chandler said after the parade, there would be a large amount of vehicle and pedestrian traffic along Mt. Juliet Road in the center of town.

“Take your time, and please be considerate,” he said. “Normally, the traffic after the parade will clear out in about 30 minutes. It is estimated that the parade traffic will be clear around 1:30 p.m.”

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. 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

$5,000 reward offered in gun store burglary

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with the Mt. Juliet Police Department and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, offered a reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for stealing guns from nRange in Mt. Juliet.

On Nov. 26, nRange at 9904 Lebanon Road in Mt. Juliet was broken into, and about 16 guns were reported stolen to Mt. Juliet police. ATF investigators were in the process of determining the exact number of guns stolen.

ATF offers a reward of up to $2,500, which will be matched by the NSSF for a total of up to $5,000.

Anyone with information may contact the ATF at 800-283-4867, the Mt. Juliet police tip line at 615-754-8477 or at mjpd.org to submit anonymously. Information may also be sent to the ATF via the mobile app reportit.com by using the Nashville field division as the location.

Staff Reports

Real Mamas of Mt. Juliet pay off school lunch debts for students

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Godwin
The Real Mamas of Mt. Juliet sell hats and T-shirts to raise money to pay off school lunch debts for local students. Pictured (from left) are Stephanie Godwin, Angela LeGrand, Marquita Hall and Carmelita Stafford.

A group of moms in Mt. Juliet came together and paid off the student loan debts at 11 schools in Mt. Juliet.

Stephanie Godwin started the Facebook group, “Real Mamas of Mt. Juliet,” in September with the intent to do some good in the community.

“I just felt like there was a lot of negativity about our county, about our schools, about our teachers and about our parents,” said Godwin. “I wanted to start something that was a little more positive.”

In just one month, the group had about 500 members and a partnership with Sister Whimzy Clothing and Gift Boutique in Mt. Juliet. The group started selling T-shirts to buy lunches for students who couldn’t afford them at local elementary schools.

“I have a lot of teachers and principals come into my boutique, and I would talk to them about stuff,” said Godwin. “They told me that they had a ton of kids who couldn’t afford breakfast and lunch and weren’t getting to eat at home. They were taking money out of their own pockets so these kids could eat. Kids can’t perform, they can’t do well on these tests we give them, when they’re not getting to eat. Instead of griping, I wanted to put hands and feet to the problem.”

The T-shirts sold by the group cost $24.99 and $5 from each purchase goes to helping out children in elementary schools.

In October, the group had raised enough money to buy 55 lunches each for students at Stoner Creek Elementary School and Mt. Juliet Elementary School, but they hadn’t reached their goal yet.

This month, the group raised enough money to totally pay off the meal debts at 11 schools in Wilson County. The schools that received donations from Real Mamas were Stoner Creek, Springdale, West, W.A. Wright, Rutland, Elzie D. Patton, Lakeview, Gladeville and Mt. Juliet elementary schools and West Wilson and Mt. Juliet middle schools.

The group raised more than enough money to pay the lunches off and decided to use the remainder for more good deeds.

“We decided to use the leftover money to help out a less-fortunate family with Christmas,” said Godwin. “We still had money left over after that. What I’m hoping to do is build a relationship with some of the cafeteria managers in the county and when they have kids who build up a debt and can’t eat, we can come in and pay it off.”

Godwin wanted to do something to inspire a spirit of giving within her own children, and she said it’s worked.

“My daughter is in sixth grade at Mt. Juliet, and now her and her friends have started doing this thing where they take $1 to school with their lunch,” said Godwin. “If they see another kid who isn’t eating, they’ll buy lunch for them.”

In three months, the Real Mamas project has gone from an idea Godwin had for a Facebook group to other cities with parents who want to start a branch.

“We’re trying to make the Real Mamas brand a little more universal,” said Godwin. “I’ve been contacted by people from Lebanon, Gallatin and Hendersonville. So it’s been pretty crazy. We just had our first board meeting.”

The Real Mamas T-shirts may be purchased at Sister Whimzy at 2396 N. Mt. Juliet Road in Mt. Juliet, and donations may be made to the Real Mamas project at any Wilson Bank & Trust location in Wilson County.

Kohanski ranks No. 1 on The Voice iTunes Charts

Mt. Juliet native shares her inspiration on NBC talent show

Photo courtesy of Trae Patton • NBC
Mt. Juliet’s Chloe Kohanski sings ‘Call Me’ by Blondie during the top 10 elimination episode of The Voice on Monday night on NBC. Kohanski called the song her biggest inspiration.

After ranking No. 1 on the iTunes charts last week, Chloe Kohanski sang once again for audience votes to keep her spot on NBC’s “The Voice.” 

Contestants were instructed to choose songs from their biggest inspirations. Kohanski sang “Call Me” by Blondie.

After her live performance, coach Blake Shelton said, “There’s not much left to say after that. I don’t even need to sell it.” 

Originally from Mt. Juliet, Kohanski said she tried out for the show to expand her horizons beyond Nashville.

“I played everywhere pretty much in Nashville like the End and Exit/In and the Basement, the East Room, kind of all over the place, but I never really left Nashville,” Kohanski said.

After she graduated from Donelson Christian Academy in 2012, she spent a year at Cumberland University in Lebanon with a double major in English and music before she dropped out to focus on her music. While playing in a local band, Kohanski worked at Billy Goat coffee shop in Mt. Juliet, Starbucks in Mt. Juliet and Starbucks in Lebanon.

“I just didn’t really want to go to school and just wanted to be able to pursue music. I worked a couple of different jobs, just whatever I could do to pay my bills so I could keep playing music,” Kohanski said.

She said her appearance on The Voice gave her more confidence in her musical ability, and now with the final round of eliminations heating up, she feels like she’s earned her place on country music star Blake Shelton’s team.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Kohanski said. “Blake is really fun and really down to earth and cool. He encourages me to be myself and just really get into my creative process. He’s a true fan of my voice, and that is just really awesome.”

Kohanski’s performance of ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ by Bonnie Tyler ranked No. 1 on the show’s iTunes charts, and she was America’s top pick to stay on the show during the latest round of eliminations. Shelton even mentioned on the show Monday that Kohanski brings some steep competition.

“Everyone here has their own opinion about who is the frontrunner in this competition,” Shelton said after her performance. “I tell you, Chloe just set the bar.”

As far as life on the show goes, Kohanski said most of her time is taken up by practicing her next song, filming for the next show and recording. 

“I definitely didn’t expect to make it this far in the show. I honestly didn’t expect to make it past the blind auditions,” Kohanski said. “I feel so humbled. I’ve really developed my artistry here.”

She said she feels her biggest competition is herself, and the other competitors she sees as friends on the same journey.

Her favorite moment so far on the show was her performance of “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Fans chose the song through tweets to her, and she said worked hard to express her artistic identity.

“I put a lot of time and effort into the visual and the vocals and just every aspect of the performance,” Kohanski said.

As the live performance rounds of The Voice continue, the fate of the competitors rests in the hands of the audience, which means anyone who wants for Kohanski to win should vote for her. Participants can cast up to 10 votes on nbc.com, buy Kohanski’s song on iTunes, stream the song on Apple Music 10 times for one vote and download The Voice app to vote.

Each week, the bottom three competitors Tuesday night have a chance to stay on the show with the Twitter instant save. Singers with the lowest number of votes go home until only one remains to win the grand prize, a record deal.

Watch for Kohanski’s next performance on The Voice on Mondays and Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on NBC. In Wilson County, the channel is WSMV Channel 4 out of Nashville.

Deputies catch school vandals

Jared Sullivan

Wilson County school resource officers charged two Mt. Juliet High School students with vandalism last Wednesday, nearly a week after a janitor found spray-painted obscenities Thanksgiving Day throughout the school.

Deputies David Appelhans and J.P. Tuggle discovered empty spray-paint cans close to the property Tuesday morning, which led to the charges of the two students. Surveillance cameras recorded the two students at the Mt. Juliet Walmart at 1:43 a.m. Thanksgiving Day buying two facemasks and four cans of spray paint, which deputies believe were used to vandalize the school.

According to Wilson County sheriff’s Lt. Scott Moore, the two suspects broke out a back window at the high school at about 3 a.m. and spray painted obscenities throughout the school for more than an hour. Moore said several spray-painted penises were among the obscenities.

The juvenile was charged with burglary, taken to Youth Services and will appear in Wilson County juvenile court.

Jared Andrew Sullivan, 18, of Hermitage, was taken to the Wilson County Jail and booked on charges of burglary and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Court dates weren’t set Wednesday on either suspect.

“The SROs at Mt. Juliet High School were diligent in their efforts in finding evidence that linked these two students to the crime,” said Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan. “Once we obtained the empty spray-paint cans, we were able to track the transaction that was made at the Mt. Juliet Walmart Supercenter, as well as the identities of the suspects.”

Janitors and other Wilson County Schools officials spent the better part of the Thanksgiving break cleaning up the obscenities before students arrived Monday for classes.

“We were able to get it all cleaned up before students came back,” said Wilson County Schools’ Jennifer Johnson. “The janitors just had to do some extra work over the break.”

Staff Reports

Officials investigate fatal fire

Unidentified man’s body found in home

Mt. Juliet fire Chief Jamie Luffman and Mt. Juliet police Capt. Tyler Chandler spoke Monday night about what they knew about a home fire where an elderly man’s body was found at 701 W. Division St. in Mt. Juliet.

According to reports, a Mt. Juliet officer was flagged down Monday at around 4:03 p.m. for a garage 

Mark Bellew • All Hands Fire Photos
Mt. Juliet firefighters battle a home fire where a man’s body was found Monday afternoon at 701 W. Division St. in Mt. Juliet.

fire. Fire and police crews found a detached garaged that was used as an apartment heavily engulfed in fire.

“It looked like a storage facility,” said Luffman. “Anybody driving by would look at it and think that it might be a garage that belonged to one of the residents, but it’s basically split down the middle. The east side is mostly storage, and then the west side is a living area.”

Police found the body of one of the two people living there inside; police have since found the other person alive.

“Anytime you have a deceased person found during a structure fire, it has to be investigated. We have to determine what happened,” said Chandler. “It’s too early to speculate about any cause of death at this time.”

Police didn’t release the residents’ names, as the medical examiner had not identified the body.

Reportedly, none of the surrounding neighbors were related to the residents.

Luffman said the cause of the fire had not yet been determined, but his agency, along with Mt. Juliet police investigators, the state fire marshal’s office and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents were investigating it.

“It’s dark, and weather conditions are changing,” said Luffman on Monday evening. “A lot of the information and data that they want to get will be readily available first thing in the morning at first light. So they’ll be back here first thing in the morning.”

The area around the structure fire was closed from about 4:30 p.m. until 9 p.m.

“Anytime you have a deceased person on a scene, you know, it’s hard on our firefighters and on our law enforcement officers, but definitely, you know this person’s a family member to someone, and our thoughts and prayers go out to that family,” said Chandler.

Investigators said Tuesday they do not believe foul play was involved.

Hobby Lobby, Nothing Bundt Cakes coming to Mt. Juliet

Businesses continue their migration to Wilson County as Hobby Lobby and Nothing Bundt Cakes have announced plans to move to Mt. Juliet, according to Mt. Juliet City Manager Kenny Martin.

Martin announced the businesses in an update on the city, distributed Wednesday morning.

Nothing Bundt Cakes will occupy the former Ace Hardware Store on N. Mt. Juliet Road, according to Martin. Nothing Bundt Cakes, which specializes in hand-decorated cakes, has a few locations in Middle Tennessee, including Hendersonville, Murfreesboro and Nashville.

Hobby Lobby will go in the former Gander Mountain building on Belinda Parkway in the Providence Marketplace area. Ashley Furniture HomeStore recently opened in the former H.H. Gregg building, also on Belinda Parkway.

Martin also announced census takers would begin door-to-door surveying Dec. 2 for the city’s special census.

Responding online, by phone or mailer will keep a census taker from coming to a resident’s home. To respond, visit cityofmtjuliet.org, call 615-773-6298 or return a mailer in a postage-paid envelope.

Mt. Juliet currently receives state-shared tax dollars based on the population from the city’s special census in 2015, which revealed a population of 28,159, almost 4,000 more residents than the 2010 census showed.

Mt. Juliet leaders said the city has experienced tremendous growth since the 2015 census, and the next federal census is not scheduled until 2020. Leaders said additional income from the special census could help the city improve roads, parks, greenways, sidewalks, public safety, public works and recruit new industrial and retail businesses.

Information needed to complete the census are address and the first and last name of everyone living in a household, including any person who lives away from home such as college students or military personnel.

Information collected will be kept confidential and only used by the city for the special census. Information will not be shared, sold, rented or given to any other entity or business.

Forms will be sent in the mail to residents who do not complete their census information online.

Completed forms may also be returned to Mt. Juliet City Hall sewer billing department at 2425 N. Mt. Juliet Road.

For more information, email 2018specialcensus@mtjuliet-tn.gov or call 615-773-6298.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Fire burns home near Mt. Juliet

Mark Bellew • All Hands Fire Photos
Wilson Emergency Management Agency firefighters fight a house fire Saturday evening just outside of Mt. Juliet.

Wilson Emergency Management Agency firefighters responded to a house fire call Saturday evening just outside of Mt. Juliet.

The fire started at 9:40 p.m. on the porch at a home at 718 Poplar Drive. The first unit that arrived reported no flames could be seen from the street. Once they got their gear and neared the home, they found the homeowner and a neighbor who were trying to fight flames with a garden hose.

The fire involved the covered porch area and had extended into the wall and eaves of the home.

A second fire unit arrived, and the majority of the fire was extinguished. Additional units also responded to the scene. Crews made entry into the home and found small pockets of fire and hotspots in the exterior attic walls. Firefighters were able to find, get to and extinguish the fire.

WEMA officials said the fire apparently started at a gas barbecue grill on the covered porch. The homeowner said he was cooking on it, but he turned off the grill two hours earlier. The exact cause of the fire remained unknown, but the gas grill appeared to be the cause.

No injuries were reported, and the residents were allowed back in the home. A property restoration company arrived and boarded up the open exterior attic wall.

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

Four teens captured, stolen gun recovered after chase

Four teenage boys were arrested early Tuesday morning after Mt. Juliet police officers chased a stolen car into Nashville where officers used a spike strip to stop the car.

According to Mt. Juliet police Cpt. Tyler Chandler, the chase began when an officer saw a driver commit a traffic violation on Mt. Juliet Road. When the officer tried to stop the car, which was confirmed stolen out of Nashville, it fled.

Mt. Juliet officers chased the car to Briley Parkway in Nashville where Metro-Nashville officers used spike strips to stop the car.

After stopping, four passengers ran from officers on foot but were caught.

A gun, reported stolen from a Rutherford County gun store, was found in the car.

Detectives responded to the scene to process evidence, and the investigation remained ongoing.

Staff Reports

Encore Theatre Co. to hold open auditions for first show of 2018

Encore Theatre Co. will hold open auditions for the comedy, “Jeeves in Bloom,” adapted by Margaret Raether and directed by Barbara Hartman.

Auditions will be Dec. 3-4 from 6:30-8:30 p.m., and performance dates will be Jan 19-21 and Jan. 26-28.

Auditions will be at the theater at 6978 Lebanon Road, just west of Highway 109 in Mt. Juliet and will consist of cold readings from the script. Resume and headshots will be helpful and appreciated, but not required.

Roles will be available for two women and five men. The playing ages for the characters are flexible. The show takes place in Worcestershire, England. Therefore, English accents are necessary except for the role of Anatole, who is French, so a passable French accent is required.

Characters will include:

• Bertram “Bertie” Wilberfore Wooster – the hapless hero. He’s endowed with a handsome fortune and a limited brain.

• Jeeves – Bertie’s valet and, in Bertie’s words, “one of the wonders of the world.”

• Dahlia Travers – Bertie’s aunt and a fearless soul. She alone, among Bertie’s gaggle of aunts, appears rather fond of Bertie, despite referring to him as “young blot” and “idiot nephew.” She publishes Milady’s Boudoir, a women’s newspaper.

• Thomas Portarlington Travers – Dahlia’s husband. Tends to become apoplectic on the subject of taxes, but is kept in tranquil spirits by the superb meals dished up by his chef, Anatole.

• Augustus “Gussie” Fink-Nottle – a teetotaler bachelor pal of Bertie’s who has, “a face like a fish,” according to Bertie. Gussie wears horn-rimmed spectacles and is a noted newt fancier.

• Madeline Basset – a pretty girl, as Bertie says, “in a droopy, saucer-eyed way.” Her conversation tends to revolve around elves, gnomes, flowers and small furry creatures.

• Anatole – highly skilled, highly temperamental French chef employed by Dahlia Travers. He’s often referred to as “God’s gift to the gastric juices.” He speaks limited English and threatens violence at the least hint of culinary criticism.

The peaceful English countryside may never be the same after Bertie Wooster and his unflappable valet, Jeeves, pay a visit. What starts as a plan to pair tongue-tied, amphibian-loving Augustus Fink-Nottle and fanciful, poetry-loving Madeline Basset quickly goes awry. Soon, Bertie is fending off Madeline’s amorous advances, reluctantly participating in an attempted burglary and fleeing attacks from a homicidal French chef. With the stakes this high, the solution must lie with the one and only Jeeves.

Now in its 11th year, Encore Theatre Co. is a nonprofit community theater that serves Wilson County and surrounding areas.

Staff Reports