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Showing 5 articles from December 2, 2011.

General News

CU presents annual Christmas concert

Cumberland University will bring in the holiday season with good cheer and great music as it holds its annual University Singers Lebanon/Wilson County Christmas Concert tonight (Friday, Dec. 2), at 7 p.m. in First Baptist Church of Lebanon.

The free public concert will feature the talents of Cumberlands University Singers, accompanied by piano, brass and percussion elements of the CU band. Part of Cumberland Universitys School of Music and the Arts, the University Singers is a select, audition-based student choir.

Directed by Cumberland Professor of Music Dr. Brian Kilian, the choir will perform a variety of holiday standards and favorites.

The concert will be great for children and adults alike, Kilian said. Well be playing a rather fun and fast-paced selection of Christmas music from around the world to start the holiday season.

The University Singers will perform a variety of sacred and secular Christmas songs from the album Sing We Now of Christmas by Harry Simeone, the famous American composer best known for arranging the Christmas classic The Little Drummer Boy.

Selected soloists from the University Singers will perform as well.

Having attracted large crowds in previous years, the popular event will likely prove to be the perfect way to kick off the holiday season in 2011, Kilian added.

Last year, we had an audience of nearly 500 people, he said. This performance serves to bring the citizens of Lebanon and Wilson County and the University a way to celebrate the holidays with some great music.

First Baptist Church is located at 227 East Main Street, a few blocks from Lebanons Town Square. No reservations are required for this free, festive event.

For more information, contact Kilian at 547-1283 or

LFD, Baskin-Robbins team up for CFA

The Wilson Post
Yeah, its been a bit cold out lately, but dont let that stop you from getting your favorite kind of ice cream and donating to Wilson County Christmas for All.

Baskin-Robbins in Lebanon and the Lebanon Fire Department are joining together for a fund raising event to be held from 5 until 10 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, where you can bring a toy, or toys, or a cash donation, if you prefer, to give to firefighters who will in turn donate them to Christmas for All.

In addition, you can purchase ice cream and 31 percent of all sales that evening will be donated to purchase toys for Christmas for All, said Stacy Tyree, shift manager of the local Baskin-Robbins.

The more people we have, the more were going to be able to give back to those in need, Tyree said.

LFD will be on hand at the event with a fire truck, ready to accept donations.

Tyree said this was the first time Baskin-Robbins had partnered with LFD for the toy drive.

Recently, two roadblocks planned by firefighters to collect funds to purchase toys for Christmas for All were rained out which created a shortage of donations. Chief Chris Dowell told The Wilson Post in an article that ran in the Nov. 30 edition the department will hold two golf tournaments in 2012, one in the spring and one in the fall to raise additional funds.

A golf tournament earlier this year raised $13,000 for the departments toy drive. Firefighters shopped on Monday at Walmart for toys for about 400 children.

Tyree noted Baskin-Robbins holds fund raisers for various groups each year. We do all kind of fund raisers. We knew the Fire Department does a toy drive each year and thought why not?

With the economy the way it has been, she said she knew help was needed, and bringing your family for some ice cream was a fun, inexpensive way to assist others who might be struggling this year.

Its one night, Tyree said, encouraging everyone to bring a toy or a cash donation. Everything is going to help.

The special fund raising event with LFD will be at the Baskin-Robbins location in Lebanon only at 1023 West Main Street.

Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at

MARK TRIAL -- Prosecution rests

The Wilson Post
The prosecution rested its case in the murder trial against Dr. Deborah Mark Thursday, Dec. 1, after calling two expert medical witnesses testifying to the cause of death and nature of 4-year-old Kairissa Marks injuries.

The states final witness, Dr. Tom Deering of the State Medical Examiners Office, performed the autopsy on Kairissa in July 2010. Deering said the cause of death were multiple injuries.

The best cause is acute and chronic blunt force injuries, Deering told Assistant District Attorney General Tom Swink.

Mark, a Mt. Juliet resident, faces first degree murder charges for allegedly killing Kairissa, who she and her husband Steven, adopted from China in April 2010. Kairissa died on July 1, 2010.

Deering classified the manner of Kairissas death as a homicide and said the circumstances suggested she was assaulted by other or others and also suggested child abuse.

During the autopsy, Deering said Kairissa did not suffer from brittle bone disease or osteogenesis imperfecta, and said her growth plates were orderly and normal.

He also said the trauma to Kairissas head was caused by moderate to severe force when she was allegedly flung onto a mattress on the floor and her head struck a wall. Deering said because a childs head is more flexible than an adults, the impact would not have been absorbed by the bone and caused bleeding and swelling of the brain.

Deering testified the child would not be normal after suffering a blow to the head of this kind and said she would have shown signs of neurological damage.

Defense attorney Jack Lowery Sr. asked Deering if the child could have been exhibiting neurological symptoms from a previous incident and Mark mistook those symptoms for Kairissa deliberately holding her breath, as Mark claimed the child was prone to do.

Lowery said Mark could have mistaken the neurological damage as Kairissa holding her breath deliberately and she flung her onto the mattress.

However Swink asked Deering, Would the proper treatment be flinging the child against the wall? to which Deering replied, no.

Earlier in the day, a Vanderbilt University Medical Center pediatric doctor, Dr. Paul Hain, testified that Kairissa was already comatose upon her arrival at Vanderbilt. He said she suffered 13 fractures, including nine rib fractures ranging from two months to less than two weeks old.

Hain said the child was tortured for several months before she was killed.

The state rested its case at about 3:15 p.m., Thursday, and co-defense attorney Jack Lowery Jr. asked Judge David Durham for an acquittal on the first degree murder charge and aggravated child abuse charge.

Swink told Durham the state does not have to prove intent to murder, but rather the intent to aggravated child abuse. It was (Marks) intent to engage in the conduct and that is aggravated child abuse, Swink said, pointing out that abuse lead to Kairissas death.

Durham pointed to two expert medical witnesses that testified Kairissas injuries and death were not accidents as adequate evidence to overrule the acquittal judgment request. He also pointed to previous statements given by Mark who said this was not an accident as sufficient evidence to overrule the requests for acquittal.

The defense began calling its first witness Thursday afternoon and at that time was undecided whether Mark would take the stand in her own defense.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at

MJ commissioners OKs land purchase

Special to The Wilson Post
MT. JULIET Mt. Juliet City Commissioners approved a resolution to purchase a property for a future fire station on Monday. The property, located at Belinda Parkway and Athens Drive, is approximately 2.33 acres.

The item had originally been on the last agenda but was deferred because the commissioners wanted to see if a two-story building could be built on the property, the reasoning being that some offices could be moved to that building temporarily to alleviate some crowding at the current City offices on North Mt. Juliet Road.

Its doable? asked Commissioner Jim Bradshaw of Public Works Director Marlin Keel.

Its doable, yes it is, Keel responded.

Keel said he believed that the property would allow for enough parking for a two-story structure. He consulted with a builder, and they agreed that a number of $175,000 to $190,000 would be the price to get the property ready for building. That price included grading and paving the crossing on Belinda Parkway and utilities.

The resolution passed 5-0, and the closing will be Dec. 15.

Vice Mayor James Maness sponsored a resolution requesting state elected officials to agree to ask the state attorney general to render an official legal opinion regarding a list of questions regarding emergency services.

I would like to get the attorney general invested in this to get some clarification, Maness said.

The commission has a forensic accounting firm looking into the matter now, but wanted to get a legal opinion on the matter.

Weve just about exhausted all means, said Commissioner Ted Floyd. The resolution passed unanimously.

The commissioners also approved a resolution and ordinance approving the financing of the new police communication system through a local bank. It passed unanimously.

In unfinished business consent agenda items, the commissioners approved money for new filing cabinets for Public Works, as well as new carpet, an ordinance to add a processing fee for utility fee payments for customers paying with credit or debit cards, appropriating payroll funds for Interim City Manager Kenny Martin, transferring money to establish a 501(c)3 for the parks and greenways, and money to replace the roof on the finance and sewer accounting building.

In unfinished business, an ordinance to approve a special event permit for organizations or individuals to conduct special events failed to make it to the floor.

In other business, Dan Anderson was appointed to the Beer Board, and the Dec. 26 meeting was cancelled due to it being a City holiday.

Editors Note: Kenny Howell is the managing editor of The Chronicle of Mt. Juliet. He may be contacted at


General Sports

FCS plays for title Saturday

Friendship Christian will make a grab for the gold football Saturday as the Commanders take on Dresden in the Class 2A BlueCross Bowl. Kickoff is set for 12 Noon at Tennessee Techs Tucker Stadium. Live television coverage is available locally on WNPT, Channel 8.

The Commanders come in 11-3 overall and have won seven games in a row since a Sept. 29 loss at Trousdale County.

After trouncing Jackson County 42-0 at home in the first round of the playoffs, Coach John McNeal has won three consecutive road games, including a 39-6 victory at Oliver Springs last week.

Its a really good time of the year to be playing good football, McNeal said. Youve got to play well to get here, and youve got to play that way in the finals if you want to have a shot at the championship.

Friendship Christian is back in the state finals some five years after losing 19-13 to Jackson Christian in the 2006 title game held at Middle Tennessee State.

FCS has been knocked out in the second round each year since 06.

Dresden (12-2) has relished the underdog role all season, knocking out four consecutive road wins in the playoffs to reach the title game for the first time in school history.

On defense, they fly to the football, McNeal said of Dresden, Theyre aggressive, they come at you from all angles. Theyre not big, but quick and scrappy.

Offensively, they spread it out with the intention of running the football. It starts with their quarterback whos really good.

The Lions are under the direction of head coach Scott Hewett, who is in his final year at the Dresden helm after he announced his resignation in September effective when the Lions season ends because of a rule in the Weakley County school system prohibiting administrators from coaching.

It would be a great way to go out, Hewett said during Mondays TSSAA media event.

But I want it more for these kids out there playing. Theyve put in a lot of work, and Im just glad to be a small part of what theyve accomplished this year.

Hewett is impressed with his look at Friendship on film.

Theyre solid all the way around, Hewett said, They only threw like five passes last week, but completed em all and three were for touchdowns thats pretty impressive. Theyve got a heck of a ground game. Their execution is awfully good.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our kids, and weve got to make sure they understand the focus theyll need on Saturday.

Dresden quarterback Gatlin Hatchel is among the Lions senior class who will be playing their final game for the Lions as well tomorrow, and he said they want the coach and the seniors to go out with a win.

Its something we definitely want for him and us, Hatchel said. Wed love for all of us to go out as winners.

BlueCross notes Advance tickets are $12 each and available at the FCS main office. A portion of advance ticket sales will stay with the local school.

There is no free parking in the lots closest to Tucker Stadium. Parking will run $8 per vehicle.

The FCS Dresden game will be followed by the Class 4A game at 3:30 p.m. between Greeneville and Nashville Maplewood.

The 6A game will kickoff at 7 p.m. and features 14-0 Memphis Whitehaven vs. 14-0 Maryville.

Fridays schedule at Tucker Stadium: South Pittsburg takes on Wayne County in the Class 1A title game at 12 Noon followed by Christian Academy of Knoxville and Milan in the Class 3A matchup at 3:30 with Powell and Henry County squaring off in the Class 5A championship at 7 p.m.

By TOMMY BRYAN, sports editor

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