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Showing 9 articles from August 3, 2012.

General News

City settles Weeks, Dowell lawsuit

By PATRICK HALL
The Wilson Post

Lebanon Fire Chief Chris Dowell and Lebanon Police Department Det. Donnie Self accepted $20,000 judgments this past week in their case against former Commissioner of Public Safety Billy Weeks and Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead regarding an incident in 2010 where Weeks allegedly pulled a gun on Dowell during Slammin n Jammin.

Dowell and Self accepted the judgments last week, according to Lebanon City Attorney Andy Wright, who said the case had been moved to federal court in 2011. Wright said the judgments dismiss the case before going to trial.

It was cheaper to pay the $20,000 than pay the attorneys to conduct a federal trial, Wright noted.

The lawsuit was filed regarding an incident on Saturday, May 29, 2010, during the annual car show known as Slammin n Jammin. Dowell and Self were on duty at a command center set up by law enforcement on Highway 231 North for the event.

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Court Clerks hesitant to revoke licenses

By PATRICK HALL
The Wilson Post

A new law that went into effect July 1 allows court clerks in Tennessee to suspend an individuals drivers license for unpaid court costs, but Wilson County Court Clerk Linda Neal is hesitant to take action at this time.

The new law was passed in 2011, but went into effect last month, and allows court clerks to suspend drivers licenses if individuals fail to pay their court costs for a year.

I believe everyone who uses the court system should pay. If youre found not-guilty thats a different story, but I do think people should pay their court costs, Neal said.

However, suspending an individuals license could be counter-intuitive to collecting the money, even if the individual wants to pay the cost. Neal said suspending a drivers license could put an extra burden on an individual that would prevent them from paying.

Sometimes, people want to repay the costs, but they may lose their job, or have to choose between the court costs and feeding their family, she said.

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Lebanon changes airport FBO

By PATRICK HALL
The Wilson Post

Lebanon City Council passed an ordinance on second reading Thursday morning to issue a 60-day notice of intent to breach an agreement current Fixed Base Operator of the Lebanon Municipal Airport, RediAir LLC, and to authorize a new FBO during that time as a result of civil levies placed on RediAirs bank accounts.

City Attorney Andy Wright said the action came during a special called council meeting Wednesday morning, following RediAir treasurer Macon Dew pleading guilty in federal court last week for filing false tax returns.

The bank where RediAirs operating and maintenance accounts are located had informed them that a civil levy had been placed on both accounts and that nothing was going in or coming out of the accounts, Wright said in an email to The Wilson Post on Thursday.

Wright said there was a 21-day hold placed on the accounts, which made RediAir incapable of meeting payroll this week, make an insurance payment, pay for fuel that had been delivered or order supplies.

The levies placed on RediAirs bank accounts were reportedly not as a result of Dews criminal case, and Wright said if they had been, the levies could have been removed following Dews guilty plea.

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Less than 20 percent vote

By PATRICK HALL
The Wilson Post

Wilson County turned out in better numbers Thursday than in the same election in 2008, but still less than 20 percent of registered voters visited the polls and quite a few had to be redirected to their proper polling location due to redistricting.

In all, 13,343 people voted in this election, which accounts for only 18.4 percent of the total registered voters. There are currently 73,343 registered voters in Wilson County.

Not enough people showed up to vote, Wilson County Administrator of Elections Phillip Warren noted.

However the numbers were higher than in 2008, but the number of registered voters has also increased by 11,000 in the past four years. In the August 2008 election, 9,307 people voted in all, but Warren said the increase in turnout could be attributed to the increase in registered voters. There were 62,090 registered voters in 2008, which means only 15 percent voted in the August election four years ago.

Warren said there were quite a number of people who had to be redirected from one polling location to another, given that redistricting changed many voters districts this year.

All precincts had a redirect volunteer to check addresses and make sure voters were at their proper polling location. Several precincts reported Thursday they had to help numerous voters find their proper polling location.

I think the redirects went really well, that was something I was very proud of, but not enough people showed up to vote, Warren said.

He also said quite a few people came into the Election Commission office to pick up their new blue voter registration card after realizing they didnt receive the new one. However, he said there were no problems to speak of concerning the law requiring voters bring a valid photo ID with them to the polls.

We had a lot of people call or come in to get their new cards, but there werent any issues with the photo IDs, Warren said. Wilson County has done well to stay informed.

Anyone who did not bring a photo ID to vote Thursday was still able to vote by provisional ballot, however, Warren said they have until Monday at 4:30 p.m. to bring in a valid photo ID for their vote to be counted.

Warren said the November election would see a much greater turnout given the fact that it is a Presidential election. However, despite a smooth day of voting, Warren seemed disappointed in the percentage of voters who visited the polls yesterday.

In November, there will be a lot more people, he said.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at phall@wilsonpost.com.

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Trio arrested in Hermitage bank robbery had prior convictions in Wilson

From Post staff reports

Three suspects arrested in a July 24, Hermitage bank robbery had prior convictions in Wilson County.

Chad Warrick, 31, Angela Camarda, 30 and Cynthia Heinz, 37, are charged in federal court for their alleged robbery of a Pinnacle National Bank in the 4700 block of Andrew Jackson Parkway in Hermitage.

Police said Warrick entered the bank and reportedly fired a gunshot in the direction of a female teller, but the bullet did not hit anyone. After firing the shot, Warrick allegedly robbed a teller then fled the bank.

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Unofficial election results

Lynn returns to State House

By JENNIFER HORTON
The Wilson Post

Former District 57 State Rep. Susan Lynn will return to that position after defeating the incumbent, Rep. Linda Elam in Thursdays Republican Primary.

With all 23 precincts in the district reporting, Lynn won with 4,719 total votes, or 67.57 percent, while Elam finished with 2,259 votes, or 32.35 percent.

Of those totals, Lynn tabbed the most early votes with 1,886 and absentee ballots with 48. Elam had 879 early votes and 32 absentee ballots cast in her favor.

All vote totals are unofficial until certified by the Wilson County Election Commission when the panel next meets.

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Wilson historical markers

By NICHOLE MANNA
The Wilson Post

Ever wonder where historical markers that dot the roadways in various spots in Wilson County and elsewhere statewide come from?

Who puts them up? Who determines what they say? And who determines who is honored with such a marker?

Look no further than the Tennessee Historical Commission which has approved 22 historical markers for Wilson County through the years.

There are over 1,900 markers placed throughout the state of Tennessee, said Linda Wynn, assistant director for State Programs for the THC.

The most recent such marker was placed in 2006 by the THC at Williamson Chapel AME Church in the Needmore Community in Northwest Wilson County, said Bobbie McGill, administrative secretary for THC.

In the 1800s, a slave owner named Dick Mastaman had a slave daughter named Cheney who married Richard Williamson, a black preacher, on the Mastaman plantation.

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General Sports

Hitters bound for CU baseball

Hoping to pump some life into last seasons anemic offensive attack, Cumberland University baseball coach Woody Hunt has been burning through his cellular minutes. A final record of 32-26, while averaging roughly 5.5 runs per game, was enough to make the Hall of Famer more determined than ever to get his program back to the top of the heap in the NAIA.

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Williams finishes 9th in London

LONDON -- Jesse Williams, brother of Mt. Juliet orthodontist Ben Williams, finished a disappointing ninth in the mens high jump final at Olympic Stadium Tuesday.

Williams made his first two jumps but then missed three times in a row at a height of slightly over 7 feet, six inches. He had made that same height in the qualifying round Sunday.

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