By SAM HATCHER
Years ago a very ambitious group of local African-Americans decided to set out on a mission to publish a book about Black history in Wilson County.
Their task consumed many months.
They interviewed families, gathered notes, requested photographs, looked at historical registers and combed the heritage of African-Americans in Wilson County like never before.
Their work was finally published in 1999 with the help of many on their committee and others in the community.
By GEORGE ROBERTSON, M.D.
I was on the second floor balcony of the June Bee motel when all of a sudden the pages turned on my writing paper upsetting a bottle of pills on the mildewed table where I perched overlooking the ocean. It would’ve been a scary thing if I had thought it was some sort of paranormal phenomenon, but I knew right away the cause. All around in the night things were happening and it would have become easy to become frightened by them if I hadn’t appreciated their source. It was apparent that the wind had stirred the pages of my book and made me have to pick up all the tablets strewn on the table top.
I knew it was the wind because I could feel its effect on my face, the slight force that is, of its presence. I could also feel the cooling of its passage on my arms, a pleasant sensation in this tropical climate that if encountered at the other extremes of the earth’s location, the polls might be unpleasant and even life-threatening. And yet now, with the sun down and its infrared heat rays still engulfing me, the wind made the surroundings enjoyable, almost blissful, because of its soothing effects.
By Commissioner GERALD NICELY
Tennessee Department of Transportation
It's a frightening sight most Tennesseans will never forget - a portable classroom swept away by floodwaters floating down Interstate 24 in Nashville, crashing into dozens of vehicles already stranded in several feet of water. As the rain continued to fall those first few days of May, each image broadcast on the local news seemed to be more devastating than the last.
Disasters of this magnitude can easily overwhelm their victims. But once again, we have all seen the indomitable spirit of Tennesseans, and the sheer determination to survive and rebuild. We have all also seen numerous acts of kindness and generosity, not just with neighbors helping neighbors, but strangers coming to the aid of strangers. Some of our own employees stayed on the job even as they suffered devastating personal losses, while others stepped up to cover for co-workers to ensure operations continued as normally as possible.
For TDOT, the disaster response began when flash flooding from creeks spilled onto major interstates and state highways. TDOT Maintenance personnel worked around the clock with state and local law enforcement agencies and highway departments to close flooded roads. TDOT's HELP units responded to dozens of incidents, and were critical in the efforts to assist stranded drivers. Personnel at Nashville's Transportation Management Center kept a watchful eye on TDOT's cameras and continued to dispatch HELP Units even as floodwaters threatened their building and personal vehicles parked outside. Countless TDOT employees stayed on the job for days with little sleep to ensure the safety of the motoring public and to reopen roads as quickly as possible.
BY CHELSEA BURNETT
The Wilson Post
With the recent discussion of renovating Pickett Rucker United Methodist Church, one probably becomes curious of the exact history of such an amazingly historical building.
Pickett Rucker United Methodist Church, the oldest brick building in Wilson County, was birthed from the original Pickett Chapel. Built in 1827, the church, which was the first in Wilson County, began as a predominantly white place of worship. The property that would eventually house the church was bought in 1802 by John Irwin, who paid a combined total of $98 for it and seven other properties. Irwin then sold the empty lot to a Joseph Johnson.
In 1812 the Methodists purchased the vacant site for $75 with the plans to erect a church. As a racially mixed church, the enslaved African American worshipers were seated in the balcony. Eventually, in 1866, the ex-slaves were given the opportunity to purchase the church building, then called Seay Chapel, and make it their own. The exact transaction relating to this switch is dated July 18, 1866.
Gov. Phil Bredesen and Environment and Conservation Commissioner Jim Fyke announce more than $1.9 million in Recreational Trail Program grants to be awarded to recipients across Tennessee.
In Wilson County, the City of Lebanon will receive $80,000 for continued development of the Cedar City Trail.
“These grants help local governments and organizations enhance or expand community assets like trails, greenways and recreational facilities,” Bredesen said. “I’m extremely pleased this year’s grant awards will allow us to help 29 community projects become a reality across Tennessee.”
By JENNIFER HORTON
The Wilson Post
A home at 1728 Orchard Drive in Lebanon sustained damage in a fire that occurred during a severe thunderstorm that moved through Wilson County Wednesday afternoon.
Although no official cause of the fire has been determined, it is believed that lightning may have responsible as the flames and heavy smoke were coming through the roof in the back portion of the house.
There were no injuries reported. The fire was reported at 2:56 p.m. Orchard Drive is off Maple Hill Road.
By SAM HATCHER
The Wilson Post
Things have changed in the Gulf.
On Tuesday a local couple vacationing at Orange Beach near Gulf Shores, Ala., reported to The Wilson Post that the resort area was essentially clear of any oil from the oil spill off the coast of Louisiana.
On Wednesday, Dr. Larimore Warren and his wife Wendi called and said things had changed overnight.
According to Larimore, the early morning tide on Wednesday apparently brought in the first appearance of oil at Orange Beach.
From Post staff reports
The 2011 Tennessee Teacher of the Year Finalists have been announced and among them is Debbie Vaughn, who teaches fifth grade English as a Second Language (ESL) at Castle Heights Upper Elementary.
The Tennessee Department of Education composed the list of finalists based on the outstanding effort and care the teachers demonstrate on a daily basis.
Timothy Webb, commissioner of Education, said, “I am very proud to have such outstanding teachers in this state.” He added, “Teacher of the Year is about just one teacher, but I want to thank all of our teachers for the tremendous work in ensuring the success of every single Tennessee student.”
JODY ATWOOD TO COACH SOFTBALL
LEBANON -- Erica Powell has resigned her post as softball coach at Friendship Christian School following a successful four-year run.
A graduate 1996 graduate of FCS, Powell, 32, rang up a record of 119-56 and took her Lady Commanders to the Class A state tournament all four seasons.
Baseball and football assistant coach Jody Atwood has been named as Powell's replacement.
A graduate of Lebanon High, Atwood, 33, pitched for Cumberland University 1996-1999. In 2000, he served as a graduate assistant under the guidance of Coach Woody Hunt.
Coach Atwood worked at Wilson Central High from 2001-2006. He came to FCS in 2007, working with football and baseball. He will continue his football responsibilities in the fall.
FCS has hired former Riverdale High and East Tennessee State softball standout Darci Gilbert as an assistant coach and teacher in the elementary school.
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