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Showing 9 articles from September 23, 2011.

General News

Charges filed in Tuesday's standoff

A 17-year-old female victim involved in an incident where a 17-year-old male barricaded himself inside a home on Tuesday, Sept. 20, on Central Pike, has been released from the hospital and returned to her home as charges are set to be filed against three individuals involved.

Det. Sgt. Jeff Johnson of the Wilson County Sheriffs Department, who is leading the investigation, said Thursday that Jenna Nicole Baird, 26, of 7711 Central Pike, Mt. Juliet, and James Jordan Fisher, 21, of 4036 Elizabeth Drive, Hermitage, are to be charged in the incident.

The 17-year-old male is in custody in Rutherford County and is to be charged as well. Both 17-year-olds are reported runaways.

The four were all reportedly living at the home of Bairds grandmother at the Central Pike address, where deputies went on Tuesday to investigate reports of a runaway living there.

When deputies arrived at the home, the 17-year-old male barricaded himself inside, leading to a stand-off of more than three hours.

The 17-year-old and Fisher were taken into custody after deputies entered the home and found the 17-year-old female bound and beaten with cuts on her neck.

Baird is in custody at the Wilson County Jail with no bond until her court date on Oct. 4. She was appearing in court on Tuesday on previous charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Also, Fisher is in custody at the jail on $20,000 bond. He was arrested on charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and harboring a runaway. Johnson added that Fisher was reportedly in a relationship with the 17-year-old female.

She (the victim) and Fisher were apparently in a relationship and were living in a detached garage at the home, Johnson said.

Johnson also said Baird and the 17-year-old male were reportedly in a relationship.

There will be more charges filed against Fisher, Johnson said, adding that Baird and the 17-year-old male will face additional charges as well.

In his investigation, Johnson said the suspects told him the 17-year-old girl ran away from home and was picked up by the 17-year-old male, and the pair then picked up Fisher and later Baird at a local Walmart. The group then went to the home on Central Pike.

Johnson said the 17-year-old female left the home on foot on Monday and was seen by a Sheriffs Deputy who pulled up beside her in his patrol car to see if she needed assistance. Johnson said the girl told the patrolman she was OK and didnt need a ride anywhere.

They saw her talking to the patrolman and thought she was telling him where they lived and were snitching on them, Johnson said of Fisher, Baird and the 17-year-old male.

When she returned to the home, Johnson said Baird, Fisher and the 17-year-old male allegedly bound the girl with Duct tape, assaulted her and cut her neck. Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe said Tuesday that a rifle and Bowie knife were found in the home.

Johnson said he is still in the process of determining which charges will be filed against the three individuals.

We are still working with the District Attorneys Office to determine the charges, he said.

By PATRICK HALL, The Wilson Post /

Dead Land doubles the scares

Raring for a scaring? Dealing for a chilling?

Mad monster maker Dana Chapman can satisfy your desire for a night of fright with a tour of her Dead Land Haunted Woods, a Halloween-themed attraction that lies off Highway 231 between Lebanon and Murfreesboro.

Last years edition of Dead Land attracted 9,000 souls seeking to have the daylights scared out of them. For this spooking season the mistress of the macabre has added another eerie trail and doubled the number of bizarro citizens that inhabit her forest of fear from 40 to fourscore (80).

Weve got twice the actors and twice the trail, said Chapman, who lived in Wilson County for 20 years before moving to Lascassas in Rutherford County this past year.

We have a whole new trail called The Portal, where anything goes as far as monsters and frights. And we have The Curse, the original trail that goes with the Dead Land story."

Each path winds through the forest for three-quarters of a mile and takes about 30 minutes if you walk (some cant help but run). The site features tunnels filled with snakes and spiders, a hearse, a cemetery, an open grave and other frights too numerous to mention, much less spoil the fun.

Among the horrifying creatures hikers may encounter along the weird and wooly way are the Pumpkin Man, werewolves, the Butcher, a troll, hags, a scarecrow, a Confederate zombie, the Grim Reaper, white-winged vampires and Murderoni (dont ask).

The majority of the scare actors hail from Wilson County as about 50 of the cast resides in Lebanon, Mt. Juliet, Watertown and Norene. Another 30 or so come a haunting from Murfreesboro, while Woodbury in Cannon County donated three spine-tingling thespians.

This year, four families signed on as Dead Land actors giving a whole new meaning to the term the family that preys together. These include a mom and pop and their two kids, a mother-and-daughter combo and two father-daughter duos.

Chapman summed up her spooktacular site as a family-owned and operated haunted attraction that is in a real haunted woods. She said it best suits those ages 9 and older.

Our visitors tell us they love it. Dead Land is very different from the typical haunted attraction because most places set it in a house, and very few places set it outside completely, Chapman said.

Besides getting their pants scared off, visitors can take their pictures with their ghoul friends. There is also a communal bonfirenot for burning witchesfor roasting marshmallows and hot dogs.

People love to sit around the bonfire with their friends and roast hot dogs and marshmallows before they go on to the next trail, said the hostess with the ghostess.

The Dead Land concession stands offers burgers, hot dogs, French fries, soup, hot chocolate, soft drinks and coffee. What? No ghost toasties?

Dead Land

Haunted Woods

Dead Land Haunted Woods offers brave souls looking for a scary trail their choice of two hikes, each three-quarters of a mile long. Hours are 7 p.m.-midnight every Friday and Saturday now through Oct. 29. Admission is $15 per trail or $25 for both. Located about 10 miles south of Lebanon on Highway 231 (7040 Murfreesboro Road) and about two miles past Cedars of Lebanon State Park, Dead Lead Haunted Woods is not recommended for children under the age of 9. Guests should wear proper running shoes (no flip-flops). For more info, go to

By KEN BECK, The Wilson Post
Writer Ken Beck may be contacted at

Decision expected soon on 'Project Tango'


After more than a month of secret planning, Project Tango may be approaching a big reveal as city and county officials provide a few details on the clandestine project that could bring a new corporation to Lebanon and Wilson County and up to 1,700 jobs as well.

Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said the company that could locate here has two opportunities in the community. While Hutto would not elaborate on the specifics of the opportunities, he did note that one could bring 400 to 500 jobs while the second could supply between 1,000 and 1,200 jobs.

There are a couple of options there within Project Tango, Hutto said.

Hutto and Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead have been very reserved in revealing information about Project Tango since its inception. Craighead said they have been working on the project for some time and hope to land at least one of the opportunities.

We are hoping to hear something very soon, he said. If we get it, it could bring several hundred jobs.

Hutto indicated the company contacted city and county leaders more than a month ago about moving into Wilson County. Since that time, the companys name has been kept secret as well as the nature of the jobs it could bring. Hutto said the jobs the company would bring with it have an average hourly compensation of around $16.50.

Lebanon and Wilson County are in competition with several other cities and counties, Hutto said, adding the local community could land one or both opportunities from the company.

A chance for job opportunities is there and thats a good thing for us and for our citizens, Hutto said.

Hutto and Craighead noted that Project Tango has been a coordinated effort between the two governments and the Joint Economic &Community Development Board of Wilson County.

G.C. Hixson has been heading up the charge for Wilson County, Hutto said. Hixson is the executive director of the JECDB.

Hixson felt the company would reach a decision on where to locate within the next 30 days at the most. He said it could be as early as two weeks when a decision is made. Hixson indicated the company was a well-known domestic corporation, but could offer no further details on its identity.

The company would build a new facility within the Lebanon city limits, Hixson said, adding the companys timeline for construction called for a facility to be completed by October or November 2012. Hutto indicated the company is looking at locations that were in a good proximity to Mt. Juliet and Lebanon.

Were still in discussion with their engineering and construction companies, Hixson said.

He also pointed out Wilson County Commission and Lebanon City Council approved an incentives package for the company, including payments in lieu of taxes to encourage them to locate in Lebanon.

By offering incentives, Hixson said Lebanon and Wilson County have been able to stay at the forefront of possible locations for the company. With several counties and cities in the running, those incentives have made Wilson look appealing.

That has allowed us to stay in a competitive position, Hixson said of the incentives.

By PATRICK HALL, The Wilson Post
Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at

Kidnapping in MJ leads to Gallatin mans death


Special to The Wilson Post

MT. JULIET A Gallatin man is dead after what authorities are calling a kidnapping by him of a woman, also of Gallatin, from a convenience store parking lot in Mt. Juliet on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

Det. David Stolinsky of the Mt. Juliet Police Department said during a press conference held Friday that the incident began at about 4 p.m., Wednesday, when the 18-year-old female was reportedly kidnapped by a male acquaintance at gunpoint when she met him at the Kangaroo convenience store in Mt. Juliet.

MJPD learned about the incident, he said, when they were contacted at about 1:40 p.m., Thursday, by the Aberdeen, Miss., Police Department regarding a possible kidnapping that occurred in their jurisdiction on Wednesday afternoon.

Through further investigation, authorities determined that the 18-year-old woman met Stephen Cronk, 58, of Gallatin, at the Kangaroo in Mt. Juliet. Stolinsky said the two had been friendly acquaintances since June but were not in a romantic relationship. Cronk reportedly told the woman he was going out of town and asked her to meet him at the store before he left.

She willingly met him at approximately 4 p.m., Wednesday, in the parking lot of the store in Mt. Juliet where Cronk revealed a handgun and forced her to remain in the passenger seat of his vehicle where he Cronk then drove to Aberdeen, Miss., where he rented a motel room where the woman was forced to go into and perform sexual acts through threats and intimidation by Cronks handgun.

Cronk became distracted during the encounter and left his handgun unattended. The woman was able to gain control of the handgun and fire once at Cronk, striking him in the abdomen. Cronk fled the hotel, and the woman barricaded herself in the hotel room and called 911 for help. Aberdeen, Miss., police responded to the scene and began investigating.

A search for Cronk was begun by Mississippi law enforcement agencies, MJPD and U.S. Marshals.

However, Stolinsky said at about 9 a.m., Friday, Sept. 23, MJPD received a call from Aberdeen police that Cronk had been found deceased inside his vehicle, a 2004 Nissan Frontier 4-door pickup truck, which was parked at a gas station in Hamilton, Miss., at approximately 6 a.m. A gas station clerk discovered his body. An autopsy is to be performed by Mississippi agencies to determine the cause of death.

Stolinsky said Cronk was not a registered sex offender. He did have a previous arrest in El Paso, Texas, although it was unknown as of Friday why he had been arrested.

No one knows why Cronk drove the woman to Mississippi, the detective said, adding the hotel room had not been booked earlier.

By all accounts, everyone thought he was a decent man, Stolinsky said, referring to people from Gallatin who knew Cronk.

As for the victim shooting Cronk, Stolinsky said, I feel very strongly her life was in grave danger.

MJPD declined to name the victim as, the detective said, This was something she really would like to forget. She was assaulted. She was very brave. She was very lucky. It was a matter of survival and she survived.

Editors Note: Kenny Howell is the managing editor of The Chronicle of Mt. Juliet. He may be contacted at Information from a news release from the Mt. Juliet Police Department was also used in this article.

Victim shoots, kills her kidnapper

MT. JULIET -- A Gallatin man was found dead in Mississippi Friday morning, nearly two days after abducting a Gallatin woman at the Kangaroo Gas Station in Mt. Juliet.

According to authorities, Stephen Lynn Cronk, 58, asked an unidentified 18-year-old female acquaintance to meet him at the gas station Wednesday around 4 p.m. The two had known each other since June, but were not in a romantic relationship. He said he was going on vacation, and wanted to say bye to her. She agreed and met him at the gas station.

Things went strange inside the car, said Mt. Juliet Police Department Det. David Stolinski.

Once inside the car, he pulled a gun on her. He then proceeded to drive to Aberdeen, Miss.

They arrived in Aberdeen around 10:30 or 11 p.m., Wednesday. Cronk restrained her and got a hotel room. He forced her to perform sexual acts at gunpoint. He was distracted during the encounter, and she grabbed the gun, firing once into his abdomen. He fled, and she barricaded herself in the hotel room, calling 911 a little after midnight Thursday morning. Friday morning at 6 a.m., Cronk was found dead at a gas station in Hamilton, Miss. The cause of death was uncertain as of the press conference. Hamilton is approximately 12 miles southeast of Aberdeen.

This was a very brave young lady, Stolinski said, adding police would not be releasing her name out of respect to what she had been through.

This is something she would really like to forget, Stolinski explained.

Cronk was not a registered sex offender. He had one previous arrest in El Paso, Texas, but it was unclear at the time of the press conference what it was for.

By all accounts, everyone thought he was a decent man, Stolinski said regarding the people who knew Cronk.

He was a retired truck driver. Cronk met the victim at her work, and the two had been friends since June. Stolinski said the relationship seemed to be more like a fatherly type.

He said this was a peculiar situation, so it wasnt like most kidnappings. This wasnt a stranger-danger situation.

The detective said the young woman did what she had to do.

I feel very strongly her life was in grave danger, Stolinski said, adding it was a matter of survival, and she survived.

By KENNY HOWELL, Special to The Wilson Post

Editors Note: Kenny Howell is the managing editor of The Chronicle of Mt. Juliet. He may be contacted at Information from a news release from the Mt. Juliet Police Department was also used in this article.


General Sports

Bulldogs play at W.Va. Tech Saturday

Cumberlands football team pulled out of Lebanon Friday morning for a nearly nine hour bus trip to West Virginia Tech in Montgomery, W. WVa.

Plans call for the Bulldogs (2-1 overall) to stop en route in Lexington, Ky for a one-hour walk through at the University of Kentuckys Nutter Field House.

Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. (CT) Saturday at Mar- tin Field. Live radio coverage begins at 12 Noon on WANT-FM 98.9 as well as an audio feed on the Internet from

Its our longest trip of the season, but bottom line -- this is a big football game for us, said CU coach Dewayne Alexander. Historically, they have been very athletic. Quite honestly, they have played (defensively) a little different against every team theyve played so far. They been in both even and odd fronts, so were not sure exactly what well see.

They seem to have some younger guys in the secondary, it looks like theyre playing a lot of zone.

The Golden Bears (1-2) are still reeling after a 69-6 loss at Bethel last week.

CU (2-1) rallied from nine points down to defeat visiting Kentucky Christian 33-17 in last weeks home-opener.

Prep volleyball from Thursday

GLADEVILLE -- Wilson Central swept District 9AAA rival Lebanon High 3-0 Thursday night.
Game scores: 25-12, 25-18 and 25-7.

Senior Kristin Cook led the Lady Wildcats with 12 kills, two aces and a dig. Hannah Hinson contributed 18 assists, two aces, a dig and a kill while Korri Bowers served three aces and had five kills.

Central improved to 7-2 in the league and 18-8 on the season. WCHS will host Gallatin Monday, Sept. 26, then play at Mt. Juliet Tuesday, Sept. 27.

WATERTOWN DOWNS RBS -- Down two games to zero, Watertown came roaring back to take a 3-2 win over visiting Red Boiling Springs Thursday evening. Game scores: 22-25, 21-25, 25-12, 25-17 and 15-10.

Watertown upped its record to 25-5 on the season and 2-1 in District 8A.

Morgan Gartner had 23 kills, nine digs and an ace for the Tigerettes while Hayley Clark had 11 kills, seven aces and a block.

Watertown will visit Livingston Monday, Sept. 26 for a 4 p.m. match.

Tonight's prep football schedule

With undefeated Mt. Juliet High idle, there are only three Wilson County prep football teams playing at home tonight.

Fresh of its first victory of the season, Wilson Central High (1-4) will host Centennial High of Franklin tonight at 7 p.m. in the Wildcat homecoming game. The Cougars come in 1-3 on the season after a 24-22 loss to Independence last week.

Cookeville at Lebanon -- A pair of longtime rivals hook up tonight at Nokes-Lasater Field as Lebanon hosts Cookeville High. Lebanon stands 1-4 after last weeks 10-7 loss at Wilson Central while Cookeville comes to town 3-2 after handling Warren County 38-16 a week ago.

Cookeville uses a bunch of formations and personnel groupings, said LHS coach Troy Crane, our defensive coaches have had a full week getting our kids prepared for what theyll see.

QB Patrick Maynard is expected to be closer to 100 percent with an injured ankle, while WR Taylor Bryan returns to the field after missing three games due to a knee injury.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. with live radio coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m. on WANT FM-98.9. A free, live video feed is available at

Pickett Co. at FCS -- Undermanned Pickett County will visit Friendship Christians Pirtle Field to- night for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. The Bobcats (0-5) have been outscored 252-40 in their five previous games. The Commanders come in 3-2 after a 45-0 win last week at Jackson County High.

MJCA at Kings Acad. -- The Saints (1-5) are riding high after a come-from-behind 28-23 home win over Riverside Christian last Friday. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. CDT in Seymour. I think were going to play well Friday night, MJCA coach Mark Harrison said, weve got a good matchup, theyre numbers are a lot like ours.

Watertown at Monterey -- Undefeated Watertown High will be on the road to-night as the Tigers play at Monterey in a Region 4A contest. Watertown (4-0) thumped Pickett Co. 64-0 last week with the starters exiting early in the second period. Monterey slipped to 2-3 after a 55-7 road loss at Gordonsville seven days ago.

Ze` Carlos headlines soccer clinic

LEBANON -- Ze` Carlos (Jos Carlos de Almeida), a member of Brazil's 1998 FIFA World Cup finalist team will headline a two-hour soccer clinic Saturday, Oct. 1 at the LYSA Airport Complex, 806 Castle Heights Ave.

Registration is set for 8 a.m. followed by instruction and drills between the hours of 8:30 - 10:30 a.m. At the end of the clinic, Ze` Carlos, a defender who last played for Portuguesa in 2005, will share his Christian testimony. Lunch will be provided for all who stay.

Cost is $10 per person. To preregister, call Sean at 615-995-8230. Those who speak Spanish and wish to preregister should call Jorge at 615-593-0316.

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