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Showing 11 articles from February 6, 2013.


Allan John Uhlik, 69

Funeral services were held Wednesday afternoon, Feb 6 at Sellars Funeral Home / Stone Mansion, Lebanon for Mr. Uhlik, 69, of Lebanon. He died Feb. 3, 2013.

Ashley Elizabeth Oliver Wyks, 39

Funeral services will be conducted 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7 at Bond Memorial Chapel for Mrs. Wyks, 39, of Mt. Juliet. A member of Hermitage United Methodist Church, she died Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013.

James Dillard, J.D. Dutton, 72

Funeral services were conducted Sunday afternoon, Feb. 3 at Bond Memorial Chapel for Mr. Dutton, 72, of Mt. Juliet. A former Constable, the DeKalb County native died Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013.

Kay Dickens Smith, 49

Graveside funeral services were held Sunday afternoon, Feb. 3 at the Mt. Juliet Memorial Gardens for Mrs. Smith, 49.
The widow of the late Cecil Jackson Smith, she died Feb. 1, 2013.
Arrangements were in the care of Sellars Funeral Home / Stone Mansion, Lebanon.

Wanda Faye Baucom Exum, 69

Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 5 at Sellars Funeral Home at Mt. Juliet for Mrs. Exum, 69, of Nashville. She died Feb. 2, 2013.


At the Movies

'Beasts' a beautiful tale of courage and love

Special toThe Wilson Post

Captivating and beautiful, while also at times, littered with grit and destruction, Beasts of the Southern Wild is a fantastic film tribute to those who chose to stay the course and not leave their homes during Hurricane Katrina, and the performance by its lead actress is downright amazing.

Beasts is a film not many around here had the chance to see, and thankfully, it is available to rent now, but it is one of nine films up for Best Picture at the 85th Academy Awards on Feb. 24. Directed by Ben Zeitlin, the film follows little bayou resident Hushpuppy, played brilliantly, and captivatingly by Quvenzhan Wallis, as she struggles with her fathers declining health and the apparent destruction of the physical world around her.

The first thing that will jump out at you is the setting. Taking place in a tiny bayou community, the Bathtub, at the very southernmost edge of Louisianas coastline, the community is simple and its residents are content with their lives and find joy in life.

Hushpuppy lives in a run-down mobile home on stilts, connected to her fathers home by a rope and bell, which he rings when hes prepared supper. Her father, Wink (Dwight Henry) lives in a shack, almost like a tree house, and together they traverse the bayou in a boat that is an old truck bed on oil barrels with a motor attached.


General News

Davis admits he 'should have delayed school'

The Wilson Post

Wilson County Director of Schools Mike Davis admitted he might should have delayed school in the county following the EF-2 tornado that ripped thru the streets of Mt. Juliet early Wednesday morning.

While Davis did call for the closure of W.A. Wright, Mt. Juliet Elementary and West Wilson Middle School due to a power outage, he did not close any other schools in the county.

I made the best decision I could make at the time, Davis said after being addressed by Board Member Greg Lasater who expressed his dissatisfaction with how the situation was handled. I was out there at 4 oclock in the morning looking at the situation. There is over 800 miles of road in Wilson County. I understand your concern and will take that under advisement when we have other issues.

Lasater said he was probably more upset with the decision that was made than any other in recent memory.

I was out in this mess. When (Mt. Juliet City Manager) Kenny Martin says we have a propane tank in the middle of Highway 70 and we have got a school bus heading toward it, somethings wrong, Lasater trailed off. I really think we dropped the ball on this one.

Davis said a number of factors, including the school systems limited number of weather days, contributed to his decision to not close schools following the storm and on Fridays snow day.

I do take the safety of everyone students and teachers and faculty first and foremost when making any decision. It is a hard decision to make, Davis said. I get calls all the time about parents wanting to know the night before if we are going to close school so that they can make arrangements (for child care). It is a real burden on the population that works outside of the county.

Board Member Bill Robinson also articulated his disappointment with the failure to cancel school. I am not throwing anybody under the bus, I want to make that clear, he said. But I have been taught all my life that when there is any doubt dont put a child at risk.

One way that the Board of Education is increasing student safety is through the placement of a School Resource Officer in every school making Wilson one of the only counties in the state to have this level of protection. Monday night the board approved $95,000 to fund four of the eight SROs, with the County funding the other half.

Fair Board names 2 new at-large members

The Wilson Post

There are two new at-large members of the board that operates the Wilson County Fair each year.

Karen Johnson and Jimmy Comer were tabbed to serve as the newest members during a meeting held Jan. 31.

They join other at-large members Joe Holbrook, Nelson Steed, who previously served as vice president of the executive board; Johnny Knowles and Donnie Steed.

Also elected at the meeting were members of the executive board of Wilson County Promotions, Inc. They are Hale Moss, president; James Spears, vice president; Randall Clemons, treasurer; and Terry McPeak, secretary.

This is our slate of officers and executive committee for 2013, said Helen McPeak, executive director of the fair.

She noted that they serve a one-year term of office.

And with the first meeting of the year, plans are already under way for the fair which is to be held Aug. 16-24 at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center/Wilson County Fairgrounds in Lebanon.

McPeak said fair officials are already working to make improvements to roads inside the fairgrounds to improve the parking areas.

The theme of the event is Taste the Fun at the 2013 Wilson County Fair.

McPeak added that the agricultural commodity has also been decided upon, and it will be the year of the Honeybee.

By selecting the Honeybee, she noted fair officials hope everyone will take the opportunity to learn more about them and their importance to agriculture and the food we eat and added it was also a great way to promote the fair.

The fair will feature cooking demonstrations using honey in the Family and Consumer Sciences area.

There will be the annual motorsports, livestock and poultry shows, entertainment and more at the fair, McPeak said.

Asked if fair board members and volunteers might be said to be, er, busy as bees, planning for the fair, McPeak laughed and said yes. Were busy as bees for another great year. She added, People are excited about getting ready for the (fair).

Input still sought on Square redesign

The Wilson Post

Several hundred questionnaires regarding the Tennessee Department of Transportations proposed roundabout redesign of the Lebanon Public Square have been turned into Mayor Philip Craigheads office since being released to the public via email and on the citys website early last week. Downtown merchants like The Art Mill, A-Plus Print & Design, Crystal Couture Store and Historic Lebanon Tomorrow would like stream of favorable interest continue.

It is an incredible opportunity for our community, Crystal Couture Owner Helene Cash said of the safety project, which would be funded by TDOT at no expense to the city.

The projected restructuring would transform the square into a true roundabout, with four quadrants of parking eliminating the center parking lot that surrounds the monument to Civil War General Robert H. Hatton and crosswalks that guide pedestrians from that area to storefronts.

Carolyn Markham of Markhams Shoes was one of the first merchants to publically speak out in opposition to the redesign this January stressing that construction time, loss of parking and access to the statue of Gen. Hatton would hurt square retailers.

Craighead explained that there has been some confusion over the time of TDOTs construction with many saying it could take up to a year. Craighead said that the actual construction time would be four to six months, and that the yearlong estimate includes design, engineering, bidding work and closing out - It wouldnt be 12 months of just closing the Square.

It is a short-term inconvenience for a long-term benefit, said The Art Mills Kirsten Harris.

They would do the construction in areas. Traffic would not be stopped and there would be a marketing plan in place and incentives to get people to continue to come out, Owner Scott Harris added. Change is necessary. Status quo just isnt going to cut it anymore. Our square needs a facelift.

The Harrises, Monica Alsup of A-Plus Print & Design and Kim Parks, Executive Director of Historic Lebanon Tomorrow, agreed that the safety redesign is just what the square needs to maximize growth potential and attract tourism to the city. It is the key to what we have been trying to do for years, Parks said.

I think a lot of the concern is based on fear of change and uncertainty. I have a business on the square in Cookeville and it is fantastic. They have a fantastic day life and activities at night. You see families ride their bikes at night, Harris said. Right now I am the only business open on the Lebanon Square at night. Hopefully if we get the redesign you will have more businesses that stay open later and a square that is active 24 hours a day.

He pointed out that single parking quadrants could even be blocked off and used for live music events or fundraisers for local organizations allowing patrons to park in one of the other quadrants or in the parking lot next to A-Plus which would be repaved during the project.

The group also believes that the redesign would help preserve the monument to Gen. Hatton not hurt tourism, as mentioned in another interview with longtime Wilson County resident Jack Cato, who expressed concern that tourists would not be able to visit the statue listed on the Civil War Trails.

Harris mentioned that in an act of vandalism, Gen. Hatton once ended up with a pumpkin on his head. Police Chief Scott Bowen confirmed that the incident did take place several years ago and that the LPD has taken a couple of reports where someone has stolen the decorative tops off of the fence that surrounds him.

We were selected as one of the Civil War Heritage sites. You cant just invite people to town and then not let them be able to see it, Cato had said, suggesting that in lieu of a redesign the city consider investing in solar powered traffic signals to slow traffic on the square and prevent accidents.

We respect the concern for Hatton but this plan does not block him off. It makes him the centerpiece of our square, Parks said.

Reed Davis of Sons of Confederate Veterans supported Catos stance that as the plan stands, there is no safe access to the monument. Davis noted that there are inscriptions of the statue and maintenance needs that would still require someone to cross traffic to keep up the grounds. We are all for improving the cosmetics of the square but lets do it right, he said.

Craighead has contacted TDOT about adding a crosswalk to Hatton in the proposed plan; however, he has not yet heard back if it would disqualify the city from the safety plan funds. They are studying that, he said.

If the plan were to be enacted without a designated crosswalk, Lebanon-Wilson Chamber of Commerce CEO Sue Vanatta has said that a chamber representative would gladly escort a tour group to the monument safely.

In a letter to The Wilson Post, Ken Griffith of Griffiths Studio on West Main worried that the quadrant parking areas would be too cramped for UPS and FedEx delivery trucks and could be potentially hazardous to shoppers trying to maneuver their vehicles in and out of parking spaces. Parks said that delivery trucks are operated by professionals and that they could easily perform their deliveries.

FedEx and UPS deliver to every city in this country cities like New York with little to no parking, Parks said.

Parks warned that if initiative is not taken soon, the city could possibly lose these funds to a competitor. TDOT is going to use these funds somewhere. It isnt the kind of circumstance where we can put it off and then bring it back in a few years, she said.

Craighead said that once all of the surveys are collected, he will hold a public meeting on the issue.

I am so excited about this plan, Alsup said. We need to be thanking TDOT for wanting to do this for us.

Severe Weather education event set Feb. 7

Wilson County Emergency Management Agencys Weather Operations Team, along with NewsChannel 5 will host a NOAA Weather Radio and Severe Weather educational event from 4 until 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 7, at the Walgreens on Lebanon Road in Mt. Juliet.

Officials will be on hand to answer questions about severe weather and to program weather radios, said Capt. Stephen Spencer, EMA Planning officer with WEMA.

If your organization would like to promote the use of weather alert radios and severe weather preparedness among your employees, this will be an opportunity for them to visit, ask questions and learn more about severe weather safety.

The week of Feb. 17 is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Tennessee.


General Sports

NC State LB enrolls at Cumberland

Recently departed football coach Dewayne Alexander left his mark on the Cumberland football program in many ways, including -- but not limited to 23 wins over a three-year span and a renewed focus academic achievement at the local NAIA institution.

Prior to Alexanders official resignation last week to take a spot on Watson Browns at Tennessee Tech, he left the Bulldogs with a pretty impressive parting gift.

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