Wilson County Fair school exhibits to expand

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

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

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

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

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

Staff Reports

Oak Ridge Boys member talks fair performance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Black joins race for governor

U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., formally announced her decision Wednesday morning to run for Tennessee governor in 2018.

Black has represented Tennessee’s Sixth District, which includes Wilson County, since 2011. Black announced her intentions with a campaign video.

“So what do you think the No. 1 job for our next governor should be? It’s simple: fight for what’s right. Most people in politics say the right things but they never fight for the right things. They’re too meek, or maybe even too weak. I’m Diane Black and I don’t back down,” Black said.

“In Tennessee, we’re conservative and we do things the right way, no matter what Hollywood or Washington thinks about it. We believe in absolute truths: right is right, wrong is wrong, truth is truth, God is God and a life is a life, and we don’t back down from any of it. That’s exactly the kind of governor I will be,” she said.

Black said she has shown the ability to stand up to fellow Republicans when necessary and touted her political background.

“You made me the first woman in history to chair the budget committee for the entire nation. I fought to stop the state income tax. I fought to pass Tennessee’s most important pro-life law ever, and I fought to cut wasteful spending,” she said.

Black said she believes in secure borders, spending cuts and “beating the liberals instead of caving in to them.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

City in search of local artists for public display

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Jacob Smith

jsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Economic group talks Superspeedway

The Wilson County Joint Economic and Community Development Board executive committee discussed the future of the Nashville Superspeedway during Thursday’s monthly meeting.

G.C. Hixson, Wilson County JECDB director, said he and Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto continue to hold meetings with Panattoni Development representatives about the property.

Hixson also highlighted Project Runway, which involves a Nashville developer that submitted a proposal for a project that would require a minimum of 150 acres. The project would serve clients expanding southeastern ground markets.

Hixson said other options have surfaced for the former NASCAR venue, and he expects something to happen for the property.

“It appears to be moving forward, and I think that’s a good move,” Hixson said.

Panattoni, an international commercial real estate development company that specializes in industrial, office and build-to-suit projects, bought the Superspeedway last year from Dover Motorsports for $27.5 million.

Panattoni has not announced its plans for the land or Superspeedway, which opened in 2001 and held four major races a year during its peak, including two NASCAR Nationwide Series races and two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races. 

Hixson also gave an update on the group’s stakeholder survey, which he said is still in development. 

Hixson said the goal of the survey, which will be 20-35 or more questions, is to foster an open communication among the governing bodies in the county concerned with economic development.

The group will create the survey, which addresses present operations, programs and the agency’s purpose. Hixson said the survey would be distributed to municipalities and county leaders, along with other economic development stakeholders.

The group will then organize survey results and general comments into a working document it will share with the various groups during work sessions. The results from the survey will be combined with feedback during work sessions to create a summary document that could serve as a blueprint for an updated strategic plan for the group.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Local dance company wins national title

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Staff Reports

Detectives seek credit card fraud suspect

Photo courtesy of Mt. Juliet police
Mt. Juliet detectives hope someone will recognize a suspect who fraudulently used stolen credit card information.

Mt. Juliet detectives hope someone will recognize a suspect who fraudulently used stolen credit card information.

On May 24, the victim noticed fraudulent activity on his credit card statement, and it was apparent the card information was fraudulently used at Publix at 11207 Lebanon Road to buy more than $2,000 worth of items the previous day.

Detectives tracked when the credit card was used and were able to get surveillance video of a suspected man who used the card.

If anyone has a feeling they possibly know the suspect responsible for the crime, they are encouraged to call Mt. Juliet police at 615-754-2550. Information may also be given anonymously by calling 615-754-8477 or at mjpd.org.

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.

Aug. 10

Senior Health Fair

8 a.m.

The Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center will hold the Senior Health Fair on Thursday, August 10 from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. at the Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center, 2034 North Mt. Juliet Road. The event will feature several vendors that specialize in older adult health and wellness. There will be free health screenings, free information, and door prizes. All seniors are welcome.

The Pavilion Senior Living open house

11 a.m.

The Pavilion Senior Living will hold an open house Thursday, Aug. 10 from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. at the facility at 1409 Medical Center Drive in Lebanon. A ribbon cutting and business after hours with the Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce will begin at 5:30 p.m. To RSVP, call 615-444-5556.

Women in the Lead

11:30 a.m.

Women in the Lead, featuring etiquette tips, proper dining process and cocktail party networking presented by Malika Williams, will be Thursday, Aug. 10 at 11:30 a.m. at Sammy B’s at 705 Cadet Court in Lebanon. The cost is $15 per person. To RSVP, email tonya@lebanonwilsonchamber.com.

Fantasy Book Club

6 p.m.

Harper’s Books in Lebanon will hold it’s first book club meeting Thursday, Aug. 10 at 6 p.m. on the second floor of the Mill, 300 N. Maple St. in Lebanon. The first meeting will offer the opportunity for interested parties to get to know one another and decide on a book. Refreshments will be served and children are welcome to attend.

Aug. 11

Mt. Juliet Chamber Community Development Meeting

7:45 a.m.

A community development meeting will be Friday, Aug. 11 from 7:45-9 a.m. at the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce office. The guest speaker will be Wilson County Director of Schools Donna Wright, who will discuss the new Mt. Juliet High School and district technology initiatives. Breakfast will be served. Online registration is required at mjchamber.org for seating.

Aug. 12

Wilson County Republican Party membership meeting

8:45 a.m.

The Wilson County Republican Party will hold a membership meeting Saturday, Aug. 12 at 8:45 a.m. at Courtney’s Restaurant in Mt. Juliet. Guest speakers will be Tennessee GOP chairman Scott Golden and executive director Michael Sullivan.

Stones River Chapter of Gold Star Wives meeting

1 p.m.

The Stones River Chapter of Gold Star Wives will meet Saturday, Aug. 12 at 1 p.m. at the Alvin C. York Veterans Affairs Hospital at 3400 Lebanon Pike in Murfreesboro. Gold Star Wives is a national nonprofit service organization. Anyone living in Nashville and the surrounding area whose spouse died while serving on active duty, or of a service-connected cause, is welcome to attend. For more information, contact Bonnie White at 423-421-2849.

Watertown High School Football Meet the Players Tailgate Event

4 p.m.

Watertown High School’s second annual Meet the Players Tailgate will be Saturday, Aug. 12 from 4-8 p.m. at the school. It will feature inflatables, live and silent auctions, a chance to meet the football team and a barbecue dinner for $10 per plate. There will be a door-prize drawing for a family pass to regular-season athletic events for the year. Tickets are available from players or Ann Watts at 615-330-8611.

Aug. 13

Friends of Fiber meeting

1 p.m.

The Friends of Fiber will meet Sunday, Aug. 13 from 1-4 p.m. in Town Hall at Fiddlers Grove at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center at 945 E. Baddour Pkwy. in Lebnaon. Anyone interested in learning about threads, yarns, spinning and weaving may attend.

Aug. 15

DaVita Dialysis Mt. Juliet Open House

3 p.m.

DaVita Kidney Care will hold an open house Tuesday, Aug. 15 from 3-6 p.m. at 1050 Herschel Drive in Mt. Juliet. The open house will provide an opportunity for the community to tour the center, interact with dialysis care specialists and receive educational materials about kidney disease care and prevention.

Trust-Based Relational Intervention Training

6 p.m.

Trust-based relational intervention training, presented by Amy Bond with Monroe Harding, will be Tuesday, Aug. 15 from 6-9 p.m. at Fairview Church at 1660 Leeville Pike in Lebanon. For more information, call Beth Goolesby at 615-202-5388.

Aug. 16

Mt. Juliet Chamber Connection Luncheon

11:15 a.m.

A Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce connection luncheon will be Wednesday, Aug. 16 from 11:15 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at Rutland Place. The guest speakers will be Wayne Chandler and Steve Neville with the Grand Ole Opry, who will bring a behind-the-scenes look at the Opry. Online registration is required at mjchamber.org.

Aug. 17

Lebanon First United Methodist Church Dinner Theatre

6 p.m.

The play, “Love Letters,” by A.R. Gurney will be featured Thursday, Aug. 17 at 6 p.m. at Lebanon First United Methodist Church’s Dinner Theatre. Admission is $15 per person, and childcare will be available upon request for $10 per child, which includes dinner. Reservations may be made by calling 615-444-3315. The church is at 415 W. Main St. in Lebanon.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5015 meeting

6 p.m.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5015 in Lebanon will meet Thursday, Aug. 17 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, Aug. 17 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.

Aug. 18

Neighborhood Health Open House

Noon

Neighborhood Health medical and dental services will hold an open house Friday, Aug. 18 from noon until 4 p.m. at its facility at 217 E. High St. in Lebanon. Tours, children’s games, prizes, hot dogs, popcorn and icees will be available.

Wilson County Democratic Party Fair Booth

5 p.m.

The Wilson County Democratic Party will have a booth Aug. 18-26 at the Wilson County Fair. It will feature merchandise for sale, free swag, opportunities to meet candidates and more. Anyone interested in volunteering may email contact@wilsoncountydemocrats.org or call 615-549-6220.

Aug. 21

Wilson County Fair Solar Eclipse Event

10 a.m.

The Wilson County Fair will open Monday, Aug. 21 at 10 a.m. for a solar eclipse event. Rides, concessions and exhibits will be available. A viewing area will be at the motorsports arena, and glasses will be provided at admission while supplies last. The eclipse’s totality will be from 1:28-1:30 p.m.

Solar Eclipse Event at the Mill

11 a.m.

A solar eclipse event will be Monday, Aug. 21 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Mill. The event will feature free lunch, free approved glasses, free parking, t-shirts for sale and more. For more information, contact Angela Mueller at angela@surpriseparties.com or 815-761-1946.

Free Solar Eclipse Viewing Event at the Capitol Theatre

11 a.m.

A free solar eclipse viewing event will be Monday, Aug. 21 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre in Lebanon. It will feature a bounce house, concessions, moon pies, funnel cakes, music, glasses and more. Bring a lawn chair for the outdoor view, or sit inside and watch NASA’s live stream.

Aug. 22

Business Before Hours

7:30 a.m.

Wilson County Promotions and the Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce will present a business before hours Tuesday, Aug. 22 from 7:30-9 a.m. at the picnic pavilion in Fiddlers Grove at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon. Breakfast will be provided.

Aug. 30

We Are Messengers at the Capitol Theatre

7 p.m.

Charis Health Center will hold a benefit Christian concert Wednesday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. at the Capital Theater in Lebanon with headliner, We Are Messengers. The night will consist of the band’s hits, worship and testimony. Admission is $15 per person. For more information, call 615-773-5785 or visit charishealthcenter.org.

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.

Aug. 10

Wilson County Board of Education work session

5 p.m.

The Wilson County Board of Education will meet in a work session Thursday, Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. at the central office at 351 Stumpy Lane in Lebanon.

Wilson County Animal Control Committee meeting

5 p.m.

The Wilson County Animal Control Committee will meet Thursday, Aug. 10 at 5 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, Aug. 10 at 6 p.m. at the Town Meeting Hall at 200 N. Castle Heights Ave.

Wilson County Minutes Committee meeting

6:30 p.m.

The Wilson County Minutes Committee will meet Thursday, Aug. 10 at 6:30 p.m. in conference room 1 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

Wilson County Steering Committee meeting

6:45 p.m.

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

Aug. 14

Wilson County Adult Education Advisory Council meeting

Noon

The Wilson County Adult Education Advisory Council will meet Monday, Aug. 14 from noon until 1 p.m. at 107 N. Greenwood St. in Lebanon.

Wilson County Health and Educational Facilities Board meeting

4 p.m.

The Wilson County Health and Educational Facilities Board will meet Monday, Aug. 14 at 4 p.m. at the Joint Economic and Community Development Board office at 115 N. Castle Heights Ave., Suite 102, in Lebanon.

– Staff Reports

Beavers wins straw poll at Rural Tennessee Speaks forum

Gubernatorial candidate and state Sen. Mae Beavers won a straw poll at Saturday’s gubernatorial candidates forum held by the Rural Tennessee Speaks political action committee. 

“Our grassroots focus is already bearing fruit across the state, and my message of returning the Republican Party to governing by principle is resonating because of my record,” Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, said in a statement. “I’m the only candidate who’s been fighting the establishment for over 20 years and effectively advancing conservative policies in Nashville. The bottom line is that conservatives can’t be bought by the moderate millionaires, and there’s more than enough of us to win statewide for the first time in Tennessee’s history.”

Beavers won 66 votes, businessman Bill Lee came in second with 62 and the other candidates tallied 19 votes, combined.

The event was held at the Stewart County Visitors Center in Dover. Each dinner ticket included an entry into a drawing for a Ruger AR-556 rifle.

For more information on Rural Tennessee Speaks, visit ruraltnspeaks.com.

Staff Reports

Encore to present ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’

Submitted to Mt. Juliet News
In “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” a humanoid alien visitor named Klaatu comes to earth, accompanied by a powerful 8-foot-tall robot, Gort, to deliver an important message that will affect the entire human race.

Encore Theatre Co. plans to bring the staged radio drama theatre production of classic, “The Day the Earth Stood Still, directed by Don Breedwell.

Performance dates will be Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. A staged reading, fashioned after the 1954 Lux Radio production, will feature live sound effects, along with historical trivia woven through the storyline.

The phrase, “Klaatu barada nikto,” has appeared repeatedly in fiction and in popular cultures and is one of the most memorable lines of the story for all science-fiction fans. Edmund H. North wrote the screenplay, based on the 1940 science-fiction short story, “Farewell to the Master,” by Harry Bates.

In “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” a humanoid alien visitor named Klaatu comes to earth, accompanied by a powerful 8-foot-tall robot, Gort, to deliver an important message that will affect the entire human race.

In 1995, the film was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry as “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”

Tickets are on sale for $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 60 and older and $10 for children 12 and younger. Visit encore-theatre-company.org, ticketsnashville.com or call 615-598-8950.

Encore Theatre Co. is at 6978 Lebanon Road, just west of Highway 109, in Mt. Juliet. Encore is a nonprofit community theater that has served Wilson County and surrounding areas since 2006.

Staff Reports

Nashville Eastern Railroad donates to St. Jude Children’s Hospital

Submitted to Mt. Juliet News
The Nashville Eastern Railroad recently donated nearly $1,500 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Pictured (back row, from left) are Eric Beyer with Regional Transportation Alliance; Craig Wade with NERR; Terry Bebout with NERR; Amanda Clelland with RTA; (front row, from left) Courtney McMahon with St. Jude; and Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto.

The Music City Star heated up the rails April 29 with two separate events.

Riders enjoyed round trips to both the St. Jude Rock ‘N’ Roll Nashville Marathon in the morning, sponsored by Famous Footwear, followed by A Toast to Tennessee Wine Festival, sponsored by the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce in the afternoon.

The Nashville Eastern Railroad pledged to donate $5 per rider. Between the two events, 296 riders boarded the train, and $1,480 was donated to the children of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as a result.

“We are honored to have been a part of both events,” said Bill Drunsic with NERR. “When we learned the sponsors were donating ticket sales to St. Jude, we wanted to do our part, as well. We appreciate all the hard work of the county mayor’s office, [Regional Transportation Alliance], St. Jude, Famous Footwear, Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce and everyone involved in the promotion of these events. The MCS was proud to transport folks to and from these events.”

Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said, “The Nashville Eastern Railroad does an outstanding job with the Music City Star, day in and day out. Their commitment to impeccable transit service is without measure. If you’ve never experienced a ride on the train, I encourage you do so. You can avoid parking fees and traffic, and it’s just a great ride to and from Nashville.”

Staff Reports

Kenny Martin: Be visible while cycling, running, walking

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

Out of serious care and concern for our citizens, I felt compelled to remind everyone of the importance of visibility when walking, biking, jogging or running along our city and state streets and roads.

While driving at night recently, I nearly struck two pedestrians walking along the side of the road.

There was another car travelling the other direction, and with the glare of the lights and the fact that the two walkers were wearing dark clothes, I simply didn’t see them until the last second or so. Quite honestly, it scared me immensely, and thankfully, I was driving the speed limit and was able to see them just in time.

With that said, if you decide to use the streets and roads for walking, jogging, running or biking, please dress accordingly with all proper safety gear and appropriate clothing that can be seen both during the day and at night.

Most of us saw on the news recently where a cyclist was struck by an automobile in the middle of a sunny day. Thankfully that cyclist is going to be OK, but unfortunately many pedestrians and cyclist are seriously injured or killed every day as a result of pedestrian versus vehicle incidents all across our great country.

With Mt. Juliet’s rapid growth comes an even greater need for all citizens to use various safety measures while traveling and utilizing our roadways. For example, with the increasing Mt. Juliet population, there will definitely be an increase in vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle traffic and an even greater need to share the roadways safely.

Daily complaints are received about both vehicular and pedestrian safety and the need for more citizen awareness. Many citizens have reported concerns about pedestrians walking, jogging or riding bikes along the roadways and streets and have asked if a law could be passed that would require or mandate that all walkers, runners, joggers and/or bike riders be required to wear reflective clothing at night and highly visible clothing during the daytime hours. Citizens have also suggested these individuals be required to use lights and flashlights at night for proper illumination and visibility.

I have advised all that I would spread the word and assist in educating as many citizens as possible about both pedestrian and bicycle safety and the need to be highly visible at all times when in or near the roadways.

Therefore, I would like to urge any citizen using the roadways for walking, jogging, running or riding bikes to please wear proper safety equipment when in or near the roadways.

Here are just a few tips to keep you and your family safe and visible when walking, jogging, running or bicycling:

• Walkers, joggers and runners are encouraged to use flashlights and wear highly       reflective and visible clothing at all times.

• Bicyclists are encouraged to wear proper safety equipment as well, including helmet, gloves, eye protection and highly reflective and visible materials on both the clothing and bicycle.

• If walking, jogging or running with your pets don’t forget to include them in your safety plan, as well. They won’t need a helmet, but they will need to have highly visible and reflective markings. Note: most pet stores carry reflective collars and vests for pets.

• If you have a cellphone, carry it in case of an emergency.

• Other safety materials include reflective armbands, vests and ankle straps, just to name a few.

As you can imagine, these are only a few safety measures that you can use to make yourself safe while walking, jogging or riding a bike in or near the roadway. Our roadways are becoming busier everyday and we must do all that we can to make sure that we are safe and visible at all times. The sooner a motorist spots you while driving down the roadway the sooner that motorist can process the needed information in order to make a safe maneuver around you.

Far too many pedestrians are struck and either seriously injured or killed because a motorist didn’t see them until it was too late. We must do all that we can to prepare and protect ourselves. So please be safe and visible out there. We care about you and want to keep you safe.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

‘Vision Source’ glasses recalled from local eye care center

Precision Eye Care in Mt. Juliet has issued a recall for eclipse glasses sold from the shop, the group announced on social media.

The business said the recall only applies to the Vision Source eclipse glasses sold last week. Precision staff contacted patients who bought the glasses and said a few glasses purchased by non-patients are still unaccounted.

“If you have this kind only from our office, please return them to us for a full refund and a free replacement from American Paper Optics,” the Facebook post said.

NASA officials and the American Astronomical Society verified five manufacturers making solar eclipse glasses that meet all glasses standards – American Paper Optics, Baader Planetarium – AstroSolar Silver and Gold film only, Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks Optical and TSE 17.

NASA outlined four guidelines for any solar eclipse glasses. They must:

• have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard.

• have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on the product.

• not to be used if they are older than three years or have scratched or wrinkled lenses.

• not made using homemade filters or be substituted for with ordinary sunglasses – not even very dark ones – because they are not safe for looking directly at the sun.

Wilson County will be the center of the national craze Aug. 21 as many parts of the county fall within a few seconds of the maximum amount of totality, or darkness during the solar eclipse. Totality is expected to start around 1:28 p.m.

For more information, visit eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety. 

By Xavier Smith 

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Eye doctor offers safest ways to view eclipse

Ming Wang

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

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

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

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

Wang will offer answers to questions such as:

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

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

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

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

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

Q. What should I do if this happens?

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

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

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

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

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

Staff Reports

Committee OKs school budget

Wilson County district’s needs assessment also discussed

The Wilson County Budget Committee approved the Wilson County Schools 2017-2018 budget last Tuesday and discussed the district’s needs assessment list without taking any action.

The committee approved the $141-million budget after the Wilson County school board approved the budget Monday night during a special called meeting. Wilson County Schools deputy director Mickey Hall said most expenses in the budget were relative to new staff, the opening of Springdale Elementary School in Mt. Juliet, teacher pay, infrastructure and more.

Commissioner Wendell Marlowe initiated conversation about the needs assessment list before the meeting adjourned, implying the issue was too urgent to delay discussion.

Items on the list included funding for bus driver pay raises, a digital transformation plan, a new high school in Mt. Juliet, a summer roofing program and a 4 percent raise for teachers.

The biggest financial need is for the new high school in Mt. Juliet on property adjacent to W.A. Wright Elementary School, estimated at $110 million.

Wilson County Finance director Aaron Maynard said it would cost 12-18 cents on the tax rate to fund the Mt. Juliet high school, dependent upon how the debt payment is structured. Maynard also reiterated his statements following last year’s tax increase, noting the county would be strapped for funds for future school construction projects until 2025, based on projections, noting any project would likely require a tax increase. 

“I just know that we’re going to have to have a place for these kids and just turning a blind eye to the building program is just – I think it’s a fool way to run a business. You’re going to have to have a place to put the students, and if you wait, it’s going to cost more,” Marlowe said.

Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto rejected Marlowe’s “blind eye” remark and said the county has financed several building projects in recent years, including a new middle school in Gladeville and several renovation projects.

“I don’t know that we’ve turned a blind eye to our building program. We, finally, don’t have any portables. I think we’ve worked hard,” Hutto said. “I think everybody knows we’re just trying to balance it right now. It’s a tough call.”

“I just know when we built Lebanon High School, we went around and around and around for about two years. Before we spend $110 million, I’d like to see us go around at least once,” committee chairman Mike Justice said.

Wilson County Schools director Donna Wright noted the district has about 515 more students than when schools closed in May, noting six additional students joined Mt. Juliet last Tuesday.

“We’re going to hit some diminish in returns at Mt. Juliet High School at a certain point. What will happen is the courses that make it very unique – especially when you look at advanced placement and honors courses – you’re going to have to hit those core requirements at the expense of those other sections. You’re going to have to move west to east. But, the thing is we have two other high schools that are popping [2,000 students],” Wright said.

“At the current rate we’re going now, a year from now, you’re looking at Mt. Juliet having close to 2,500 kids. They’re above 2,200 right now. Lebanon and Wilson Central are both knocking on that 2,000 door. Watertown is growing every day. We don’t have room around those schools to put anymore portables,” Wilson County school board chairman Larry Tomlinson said.

Tomlinson said the board would “step up and meet that challenge” if construction of a new high school is delayed.

“We don’t have any other choice. If we don’t have a school, then when we go to rezoning, it’s going to come from the west toward the east, then we’re going to have some real serious issues when we think about what we have to do with them then,” Tomlinson said.

The group also lightly discussed other options for funding school building projects aside from property taxes. Tomlinson and Justice agreed it would take several meetings between the groups to determine a suitable, feasible plan.

Maynard said the current school administration and commission could be in their situation due to former members of each body.

“There’s not been a year that I’ve been here that we have not had schools under construction, three, four or five renovations – there’s not been a single year,” said Maynard, who highlighted Justice’s comments about time spent debating Lebanon High and other projects.

“I don’t know how many years that fight went on. That was before I got here. But, we spent so much time fighting over building schools – or the then-administration and commission – spent so much time fighting over schools that we didn’t actually build any. Now, we’re playing catch up for the fact that, historically, people sat on their hands and didn’t want to raise property taxes and we didn’t get the schools built when we needed,” Maynard said.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

600-plus more students added

Mt. Juliet High School currently has more than 2,200 students enrolled

More than 600 students have joined the  Lebanon city and Wilson County schools districts to start the year, with numbers expected to grow.

Wilson County Schools director Donna Wright said last Tuesday’s numbers showed 515 more students joined the district from the final day of school in May. The district has eclipsed 18,000 students with the additions.

Wilson County school board chairman Larry Tomlinson said Mt. Juliet High School boasts more than 2,200 students, while Lebanon and Wilson Central high schools are approaching 2,000 students each.

The district added about 750 students on the first day of the 2016-2017 school year, with 440 of those additional students in the district’s high schools.

Lebanon Special School District superintendent Scott Benson said the district had 3,824 students at Tuesday’s end, up 94 students from May. The district has added more than 150 students from the same point last year.

Benson said the district got off to a “terrific start” Tuesday, while Wright and other Wilson County Schools leaders expressed similar sentiments. The county experienced issues at Wilson Central on opening day when it was believed the school ran out of food during lunch periods.

Principal Travis Mayfield addressed the rumors Tuesday and said the school did not run out of food just certain items.

“We had a much greater number of students who ate in the cafeteria [Tuesday] than previous years. I have heard that some students didn’t get to eat and for that I’m sorry. I wouldn’t want my own kid not to eat, and therefore I don’t want that to happen to yours either,” said Mayfield, who said lunch lines in most lunch periods were full due to delays associated with the first day, such as students not knowing their lunch number.

“Also, the cafeteria manager has prepared for a greater number of students for today and the rest of the month,” he said.

Wilson County Schools transportation director Jerry Partlow said he was “relatively pleased” with the start of the school year. Partlow said the district has utilized drivers from specialty routes, such as the Nashville School for the Blind and Genesis Learning Centers, since their routes don’t begin until next week. 

Partlow said there were also drivers in training, but the district still has a shortage of drivers. The district has about 130 drivers to cover more than 200 routes, and Partlow said he would like to add 12-15 drivers.

“We just ask people to be patient with us,” Partlow said.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Unemployment rate rises in all counties

Unemployment rates increased in all of Tennessee’s 95 counties in June after every county saw unemployment rate shrinkage in May, according to data released Thursday by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

“We’ve seen this type of increase in the June county unemployment rates every years since the state started keeping records in 1976,” said TDLWD Commissioner Burns Phillips.

Phillips said June is typically the month when recent high school and college graduates enter the workforce and have yet to find employment, adding to the jobless count across the state.

Wilson County’s unemployment rate in June was 3.3 percent, up from 2.2 in May and 2.9 percent in April. In June 2016, the county’s unemployment rate was 4.1 percent.

Wilson County had the third-lowest unemployment rate behind Davidson and Williamson counties with 3.1 and 3.2 percent unemployment rates, respectively. Sumner, Cheatham and Rutherford counties followed with a 3.4 unemployment rate.

Wilson County’s rate in June represented 2,300 unemployed workers compared to a 69,330-person workforce and does not include those who did not file with the labor department or no longer receive benefits.

Lebanon’s rate for June rose to 3.9 percent from 3.3 percent in May. The city’s rate represented 560 unemployed workers compared to a 14,490-person labor force. 

Mt. Juliet’s rate for May landed at 3.2 percent, a 1 percent decrease from April. The rate represented 550 unemployed workers compared to a 17,270-person work force.

The Nashville-Murfreesboro metropolitan area, which includes Wilson County, came in at 3.3 percent. The rate represented 33,340 unemployed workers compared to a just more than one million-person workforce.

Tennessee’s unemployment rate for June landed at 3.6 percent. The statewide rate represented 114,400 jobless workers compared to a 3.16-million-person workforce.

The national unemployment rate for June was 4.4 percent, a 0.1 percent increase from May. The national rate represents more than 6.9 million unemployed workers compared to a workforce of about 160 million people.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Beware of counterfeit solar eclipse glasses

Submitted to Mt. Juliet News
NASA officials warned people against companies that seek to profit from counterfeit solar eclipse glasses as sales begin to rise before next month’s solar total eclipse.

NASA officials warned people against companies that seek to profit from counterfeit solar eclipse glasses as sales begin to rise before next month’s solar total eclipse.

Wilson County will be the center of the national craze Aug. 21 as many parts of the county fall within a few seconds of the maximum amount of totality, or darkness during the solar eclipse. Totality is expected to start around 1:28 p.m.

The rare total solar eclipse – first in Tennessee since 1869 – has created a rush to find solar eclipse glasses designed to protect viewer’s eyes during the event.

NASA ambassador Theo Wellington addressed the solar eclipse with the Wilson County Commission earlier this year and said just because viewers can look at the sun during the solar eclipse and not experience any physical pain, doesn’t mean damage won’t happen.

Wellington told the story of a teenager in India who rejected instructions and chose to stare at the eclipse.

“The doctor told him he had a cute little crescent-shaped scar on the back of his retina. Your retina does not have any pain receptors. You don’t know when you’re doing it damage. That will be the subject of many safety talks,” she said.

In response to the call for safety, many went to several outlets, including Walmart and Amazon, to find suitable solar eclipse glasses, which NASA said isn’t as easy at it appears.

NASA outlined four guidelines for any solar eclipse glasses. They must:

• have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard.

• have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on the product.

• not to be used if they are older than three years or have scratched or wrinkled lenses.

• not made using homemade filters or be substituted for with ordinary sunglasses – not even very dark ones – because they are not safe for looking directly at the sun.

NASA and the American Astronomical Society verified five manufacturers making solar eclipse glasses that meet all standards – American Paper Optics, Baader Planetarium – AstroSolar Silver and Gold film only, Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks Optical and TSE 17.

For more information, visit eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety.

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.

Aug. 4

Free Clothing Store

9 a.m.

The Free Clothing Store will be open Friday, Aug. 4 from 9 a.m. until noon at Life Church at 3688 Hwy. 109 in Lebanon. The store is open to everyone, and everything is free. There will be clothes and accessories for men, women and children. Some toiletries will also be available. For more information, visit lifechurchfamily.com.

Alive Hospice Ribbon Cutting

11:30 a.m.

Nonprofit Alive Hospice will soon open a new Lebanon office and will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house Friday, Aug. 4 at 11:30 a.m. at High Street Quarters, 205 W. High Street, Suite 102 in Lebanon The community is invited to meet Alive leaders and team members, learn more about Alive Hospice and enjoy refreshments. Joining in the celebration will be public officials, the Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce, the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce and the Tennessee Christian Chamber of Commerce, as well as health care providers, neighbors and the community at large. To RSVP, visit AliveHospice.org/wilson or call 615-346-8418.

Blood Drive

2 p.m.

An American Red Cross blood drive will be Friday, Aug. 4 from 2-6 p.m. at the Mt. Juliet Community Center at 1075 Charlie Daniels Pkwy. in Mt. Juliet. To schedule an appointment to donate, visit redcrossblood.org or call 800-RED CROSS.

Oakland FCE Club Ice Cream Social and Auction

6 p.m.

The Oakland FCE Club will hold its annual Ice Cream Social and Auction on Friday, Aug. 4 at 6 p.m. at Friendship Christian School cafeteria at 5400 Coles Ferry Pike in the Possumtown community. For more information, call Ruby Margo at 615-443-4171.

Aug. 5

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1004 Breakfast

7 a.m.

Chapter 1004 of the Vietnam Veterans of America will meet Saturday, Aug. 5 and the first Saturday of each month at 7 a.m. at Courtney’s Restaurant at 4066B N. Mt. Juliet Road in Mt. Juliet.

Lebanon Goldwing Road Riders Association Motorcycle Chapter meeting

9 a.m.

The Lebanon Chapter of Goldwing Road Riders Association will meet Saturday, Aug. 5 at 9 a.m. at Ryan’s at 405 S. Cumberland St. in Lebanon. Breakfast is at 9 a.m., and the meeting starts at 10 a.m. The group is open to all motorcycle makes and models. Anyone interested in riding motorcycles with two or three wheels and having a good time is welcome. For more information, call Andrew or Debbie Smith at 615-784-9772.

Wilson Amateur Radio Club meeting

6 p.m.

The Wilson Amateur Radio Club will meet Saturday, Aug. 5 at 6 p.m. in room 122 of Labry Hall at Cumberland University. Anyone may attend. For more information, call Tom Parker at 615-587-2337.

Aug. 7

Republican Women of Wilson County meeting

11:30 a.m.

The Republican Women of Wilson County will meet Monday, Aug. 7 at 11:30 a.m. at the Lebanon-Wilson Chamber of Commerce office at 149 Public Square in Lebanon. The speaker will be Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan. The public is invited to bring a lunch or go with the club to a local restaurant following the meeting. For more information, call Julie Brockman at 615-405-4613.

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1004 meeting

5 p.m.

Chapter 1004 of the Vietnam Veterans of America will meet Monday, Aug. 7 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. Auxiliary members will serve food. Call Doc Kraft at 615 477-8088 for more information.

Aug. 8

Tyler Cates American Legion Post 281 meeting

6:30 p.m.

The Tyler Cates American Legion Post 281 will meet Tuesday, Aug. 8 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.

Aug. 10

Senior Health Fair

8 a.m.

The Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center will hold the Senior Health Fair on Thursday, August 10 from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. at the Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center, 2034 North Mt. Juliet Road. The event will feature several vendors that specialize in older adult health and wellness. There will be free health screenings, free information, and door prizes. All seniors are welcome.

Women in the Lead

11:30 a.m.

Women in the Lead, featuring etiquette tips, proper dining process and cocktail party networking presented by Malika Williams, will be Thursday, Aug. 10 at 11:30 a.m. at Sammy B’s at 705 Cadet Court in Lebanon. The cost is $15 per person. To RSVP, email tonya@lebanonwilsonchamber.com.

Aug. 11

Mt. Juliet Chamber Community Development Meeting

7:45 a.m.

A community development meeting will be Friday, Aug. 11 from 7:45-9 a.m. at the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce office. The guest speaker will be Wilson County Director of Schools Donna Wright, who will discuss the new Mt. Juliet High School and district technology initiatives. Breakfast will be served. Online registration is required at mjchamber.org for seating.

Aug. 12

Stones River Chapter of Gold Star Wives meeting

1 p.m.

The Stones River Chapter of Gold Star Wives will meet Saturday, Aug. 12 at 1 p.m. at the Alvin C. York Veterans Affairs Hospital at 3400 Lebanon Pike in Murfreesboro. Gold Star Wives is a national nonprofit service organization. Anyone living in Nashville and the surrounding area whose spouse died while serving on active duty, or of a service-connected cause, is welcome to attend. For more information, contact Bonnie White at 423-421-2849.

Aug. 13

Friends of Fiber meeting

1 p.m.

The Friends of Fiber will meet Sunday, Aug. 13 from 1-4 p.m. in Town Hall at Fiddlers Grove at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center at 945 E. Baddour Pkwy. in Lebnaon. Anyone interested in learning about threads, yarns, spinning and weaving may attend.

Aug. 16

Mt. Juliet Chamber Connection Luncheon

11:15 a.m.

A Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce connection luncheon will be Wednesday, Aug. 16 from 11:15 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at Rutland Place. The guest speakers will be Wayne Chandler and Steve Neville with the Grand Ole Opry, who will bring a behind-the-scenes look at the Opry. Online registration is required at mjchamber.org.

Aug. 17

Lebanon First United Methodist Church Dinner Theatre

6 p.m.

The play, “Love Letters,” by A.R. Gurney will be featured Thursday, Aug. 17 at 6 p.m. at Lebanon First United Methodist Church’s Dinner Theatre. Admission is $15 per person, and childcare will be available upon request for $10 per child, which includes dinner. Reservations may be made by calling 615-444-3315. The church is at 415 W. Main St. in Lebanon.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5015 meeting

6 p.m.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5015 in Lebanon will meet Thursday, Aug. 17 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, Aug. 17 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.

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.

Aug. 3

Joint Economic and Community Development Board Executive Committee meeting

7:45 a.m.

The Joint Economic and Community Development Board Executive Committee will meet Thursday, Aug. 3 at 7:45 a.m. at the JECDB office at 115 N. Castle Heights Ave., Suite 102, in Lebanon.

Lebanon Airport Commission meeting

4 p.m.

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

Aug. 4

Wilson County Road Commission and Urban-Type Public Facilities Board meetings

9 a.m.

The Wilson County Road Commission will meet Friday, Aug. 4 at 9 a.m. at the Road Commission office in Lebanon. The Urban-Type Public Facilities Board will meet immediately following the Road Commission.

Aug. 7

Wilson County Library Board meeting

5:30 p.m.

The Wilson County Library Board will meet Monday, Aug. 7 at 5:30 p.m. at the Lebanon-Wilson County Public Library.

Aug. 10

Wilson County Board of Education work session

5 p.m.

The Wilson County Board of Education will meet in a work session Thursday, Aug. 10 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, Aug. 10 at 6 p.m. at the Town Meeting Hall at 200 N. Castle Heights Ave.

Staff Reports

Providence Marketplace to welcome new restaurant Burgerim

Lease negotiations were completed with a new restaurant concept, Burgerim, which is currently under construction outside Belk’s west entrance next to Kirkland’s at Providence Marketplace in Mt. Juliet.

Burgerim is a casual burger operator that specializes in gourmet mini burgers, custom tailored to satisfy any taste. Patrons can choose from a twin, trio or party pack of 2.8-ounce mini burgers with variety in patty flavors, buns, toppings and sauces. Burgerim also offers sandwiches, salads, wings and options for special dietary needs like vegetarian, vegan or gluten free.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Burgerim into the Marketplace,” said David Heydasch, general manager. “Following the successful introduction of Francesca’s earlier this spring, plus the full remodel of Bath and Body Works in May and the grand re-opening of Fantastic Sam’s Cut and Color later this month, Providence Marketplace continues to re-invent itself as the retail destination of choice for shoppers in Wilson, northern Rutherford and eastern Davidson counties.”

The Burgerim location at Providence Marketplace will be the second in Tennessee and the company’s eastern-most location in the U.S. The company is expanding rapidly, with existing locations in California and Texas and franchised units currently under development from Florida to Connecticut.

Providence Marketplace is the largest open-air shopping center in Middle Tennessee and the largest center between Nashville and Knoxville, with about 830,000 square feet of retail space. The center serves a six-county trade area and features Belk, JC Penney, Kroger and Target, plus national restaurants and specialty shops and a 14-screen Regal Cinema.

Staff Reports