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Showing 21 articles from February 8, 2012.


Margaret Mitchell McDonald, 84

Mrs. McDonald died Feb. 6, 2012 at age 84. The family will be receiving friends at Sellars Funeral Home in Lebanon on Wednesday from 3-8 p.m. and on Thursday from 12 Noon until the service.

The chapel service, conducted by Reverend Danny Sellars, is 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9. Interment will follow in Wilson County Memorial gardens.

Active pallbearers: Timmy Mitchell, Bobby Thompson, Jade Sellars, Greg Walrath, Ronnie Harmon and Dwayne Garcia. Honorary: Jimmy Williams, Ronnie Sellars, Charles Jones, Bill Hill, Cedar Senior Citizens, and Chicken Scratch Girls.

Survivors include: daughter Brenda Patterson; brother Don (Shirley) Mitchell; grandchildren Rodney Taylor and Rhonda (Brian) Edwards; great-grandchildren Chris (Caroline) Edwards and Casey Edwards; great-great-grandchildren Daiya Malkou and Mailee Edwards; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by husband Robert Pepper McDonald, parents Ernest and Sara Spann Mitchell, siblings Louise Williams, Wylene Harmon, Jerry, Robert, Edward, and Gene Mitchell, and son-in-law Jimmy Patterson.

Arrangements by Sellars Funeral Home, 313 W. Baddour Pkwy, Lebanon, 615.444.9393. Obits 615.758.8818.


John Sloan - Outdoors

Females, fish & a bit of wit


Sometimes on blustery winter days, I tend to think of warm days and pleasant associations with persons of wit and interest. Mr.Halliburton was just such a person.

He sat back in the bent and twisted Adirondack chair, made from some kind of thick vines. I figured he made it himself. I didnt ask, it just looked like something he would make.

As a journal rule we like to start them young, bout the time they is good weaned. He leaned forward and spit well past the porch rail. Ive always admired a man that could do that. Ive been chewing and dipping for 50-plus years (nasty habit dont take it up) and cant spit past my feet. As a journal rule.

We were talking about women fishing and started with what in the hillbilly hell you call a woman angler. I just always called them fishermen but you can easily see how that might arouse ire in some of them. I dont like the term angler, sounds too high falootin. We never did settle it but it doesnt really matter.

There were six or eight female-lady-women types scattered around the pond and if you wanted, you could call it a lake. Anything you can put a boat on, to me is a lake. Some fished for bream, some fished for bass and some just fished to get away from their husbands. Having met a couple of the husbands, I could fully understand.I was sitting with Mr. Halliburton, a gentleman of several years and that is just an estimate. He was sipping some Jack along with his baccer and I was sipping an Alabama martini. That is vodka over ice. Obviously this was back when I was still drinking. Later I discovered that a hangover is the wrath of grapes and quit. The shadows were lengthening but most of the pond was still in full sunlight, a great spring afternoon. You can call it afternoon or early evening, whatever suits you tickles me plumb to death. The long porch afforded us a view of the entire lakepond.

See, thing is, most of these womens are journally farm raised and havent been brought up on video games, latt-ays and malls, said Mr. H. Never could see it myself. Allus seemed to me that once youve seen one shopping center, you seen a mall, he said and spit well past the rail.

Ask Ken Beck

Glen Campbell releases final studio album

Dear Ken: Whats the latest on pop-country star Glen Campbell?

You probably know that last June he announced that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimers disease. Campbell, 75, whose career began more than 60 years ago as a 15-year-old guitar picker, has sold millions of records including such songs as Gentle on My Mind, By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Wichita Lineman, Galveston and Rhinestone Cowboy. He is currently on his farewell tour which will go at least through the end of June. The Delight, Ark., native will receive a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award on this years show on Feb. 12. He says, I have been blessed, I really have. I really have, I figured it out that Im not that bright, but God gave me a break. Last fall he released his final studio album, Ghost on the Canvas, which is loosely based on his life. On the video of the albums title track, Campbell can be seen performing with three of his children: Ashley, Shannon and Cal. To watch, go to


General Lifestyle

Part 2: Lebanon native was first deaf NFL player

The Wilson Post

Lebanon native Bonnie Sloan, 63, who grew up in Nashville and played college football for Austin Peay State University, dreamed as a youth of playing in the National Football League.

It was during his third season in college that he realized the dream could become reality.

"It was my junior year when I found out that NFL scouts were coming to the games to watch me. I was so surprised, recalled the giant, gentle man, who lives in Hendersonville.

Drafted the 242nd overall pick in 1973, he was thrilled to put on a Cardinals jersey with the number 79 that summer, a sure sign that he had overcome a variety of challenges that come from playing such a brutal sport without the sense of hearing.

Our Feathered Friends

Our Feathered Friends - Feb. 8

Well, Im sure all of you enjoyed last weeks article fromRayas much as I did. He always weaves colorful stories and memories into his writing. I guess I just dont have as much to pull from, seeing as I am a few years younger than Ray! (Dont worry, Ray, I wont give away your age!)

I mentioned in my last article about my birding trip with Ray and how we saw a beautiful flock of Cedar Waxwings. Ive decided to mention a little more about them because they are truly unique and lovely birds. They have a cinnamon colored body with a small crest on their heads (like the cardinal). They also have what I like to refer to as a raccoon mask. The outer wing feathers and tail feathers have a more prominent black tent to them and it looks as though the tips of their tails have been dipped in yellow paint.


"My Bid" by Joe Biddle

Eli Manning is an elite quarterback

It was Eli Mannings coming out party.

No better place to have it than in the House that Peyton Built.

Little Brother took the spotlight away from Big Brother.

And, for the record, Eli is an elite NFL quarterback.

It was played out before a packed Lucas Oil Stadium, whose fans were treated to one of the most competitive, exciting Super Bowl games since the idea was hatched 46 years ago.

During Super Bowl week, it was Peyton Manning who commanded much of the attention and press coverage generated prior to Super Bowl Sunday.

Eli grew up in Peytons shadow. Peyton was five years older, getting a five-year start in athletics. Five years is a distinct advantage when one boy is 12 and the other boy is seven. They used to compete in basketball where Peyton would beat Eli up.

The first time Eli won was a day when the game was tied and it was next bucket wins. Eli drove around Peyton and dunked on him.

Thats the day Eli knew he gained Peytons respect.

Eli grew into a hotshot high school quarterback at Newman High School in New Orleans, where Peyton set records but never won the big one.

Eli chose Ole Miss, where father Archie had been a folk hero. Eli beat Florida as a senior, a feat Peyton never accomplished at Tennessee.

While Peyton is at a crossroads in his decorated NFL career, Eli has risen to the elite class of NFL quarterbacks with two Super Bowl rings, one more than Peyton.

Peyton deserves some credit for Elis success. Most little brothers hate being picked on by big brothers. It does one thing, however, makes the little brother fight back, toughens him in the long run.

We see that toughness in Eli. We saw it in a playoff game when he got hammered. When he picked himself off the ground, he had grass and mud wedged in his facemask. His helmet was twisted half-way around his head.

While Peyton specializes in getting rid of the football before the posse arrives, Eli hangs in there until the last second, taking a smack-down in order to give his receivers a chance to get open.

Peyton often walked away from a game with his uniform clean as the Board of Health. The Giants equipment staff doesnt have enough stain remover to get rid of all the blood, grass and mud from Elis uniform.

With yet another come-from behind 21-17 victory Sunday, Eli has built a legend as the Comeback Kid. Games are never over until Eli says they are.

Will history reflect that Eli is the most productive quarterback in the Manning family? After all, he could have an extra five years to catch and pass Peyton.

I dont think Eli will have all the glitzy numbers that Peyton accrued as an Indianapolis Colt. Remember the Colts offense was built specifically for Peyton from the first day he stepped on the field. Peyton played home games indoors on artificial turf while Eli has to battle the elements of New Yorks raw winters. Swirling winds and icy blasts are tougher on a quarterback.

Where Eli can pass Peyton is on the NFLs biggest stage. Fairly or not, quarterbacks are often judged by how many Super Bowl rings they have. The game-winning 88-yard touchdown drive took nine plays. Five of them were passes completed by Eli Manning.

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees gave Eli his props before the game.

I absolutely do think (Elis) elite. I have a lot of respect for Eli, Brees said. He plays in a tough market and handles himself with a lot of class.

It takes an elite quarterback to know one.

Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at


Ask Anne: How about turkey trot?


I like those explanations of the odd things we say daily. Here are two for you to deliver. Hodgepodge, cold turkey. Thanks!-RR (Regular Reader)

Deliver sounds too much like labor and delivery. Mothers of the world, you know what I mean. And now its televised! Pant and push in public. George Orwell had no idea!

[ATA (According to Anne) George Orwell (pen name of Eric Arthur Blair) 1903-1950, British novelist, essayist, critic, a leading political writer of his day. Best known now for his novels Animal Farm and 1984. The latter is about a society marked by huge government and mind control, a dystopian society. (Dystopian societies feature repressive control systems.) Wikipedia adds, Many of its terms and concepts, such as Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, and memory hole, have become contemporary vernacular since its publication in 1949. Moreover, 1984 popularised the adjective Orwellian, which refers to official deception, secret surveillance, and manipulation of the past in service to a totalitarian or manipulative political agenda.]

Speaking of memory hole (actually refers to a device that distorts memory, perhaps to the point of disappearance) I have one I keep it nearby. In my head.

So, on to business. Hodgepodge means a mixture of many things, a confused mess. The word dates back to the 15th century and came from a French word (hocher) which meant to shake together. That was applied to a stew (hochepot), and, sailing across the channel one day (English Channel, that is), became the English hodgepodge. At least thats the story from QPB Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins.

The online newsletter A Phrase A Week defines cold turkey as the sudden and complete withdrawal from an addictive substance and/or the physiological effects of such a withdrawal.Also, predominantly in the USA, plain speaking. The latter dates back to the 19th century. After some hemming and hawing about American turkeys (cute stuff like Lets talk turkey), the British author of the newsletter says, In the state of drug withdrawal the addict's blood is directed to the internal organs, leaving the skin white and with goose bumps. It has been suggested that this is what is alluded to by cold turkey. There's no evidence to support that view. For the source of cold turkey we need look no further than the direct, no nonsense approach indicated by the earlier meaning of the term. Id say he quit talking turkey somewhere a few lines back. He could be smoking turkey.

Also online, Evan Morris (The Word Detective) writes, There are a number of stories about the origin of talk turkey, many of which involve Pilgrims and Indians, and all of which strike me as deeply implausible. But an early form of the phrase was to talk cold turkey, most likely using cold turkey, a simple, uncomplicated meal, as a metaphor for simple, unadorned, direct speech. With talk cold turkey already a popular idiom meaning give it to me straight; tell me the unvarnished truth, it seems natural that cold turkey came to mean quit suddenly, with no tapering off or equivocation.

ONLINE DEPARTMENT Pastor's False Teeth (Thanks, J.A.) The first Sunday a pastor with a new set of false teeth preached, he talked for only eight minutes. The second Sunday, he talked for only ten minutes. The following Sunday, he talked for 2 hours and 48 minutes. The congregation had to pull him down from the pulpit, and they demanded an explanation for the super long sermon. The pastor explained the first Sunday his gums hurt so bad he couldn't talk for more than 8 minutes. The second Sunday his gums hurt too much to talk for more than 10 minutes. But, the third Sunday, he put his wife's teeth in by mistake and he couldn't shut up. [And I say to that, if only he could have had his wifes BRAIN, and Im surprised he has a wife.]

ONLINE II Summary of Life (Thanks, D. W.) GREAT TRUTHS THAT LITTLE CHILDREN HAVE LEARNED: 1) No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats. 2) When your mom is mad at your dad, don't let her brush your hair. 3) If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They always catch the second person. 4) Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato. 5) You can't trust dogs to watch your food. 6) Don't sneeze when someone is cutting your hair. 7) Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time. 8) You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk. 9) Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.10) The best place to be when you're sad is Grandma's lap. GREAT TRUTHS THAT ADULTS HAVE LEARNED: 1) Raising teenagers is like nailing jelly to a tree. 2) Wrinkles don't hurt. 3) Families are like fudge - mostly sweet, with a few nuts. 4) Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground. 5) Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside. 6) Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy. THE FOUR STAGES OF LIFE: 1) You believe in Santa Claus. 2) You don't believe in Santa Claus. 3) You are Santa Claus. 4) You look like Santa Claus. SUCCESS: At age 3 success is dry pants. At age 12 success is having friends. At age 17 success is having a drivers license. At age 35 success is having money. At age 50 success is having money. At age 70 success is having a drivers license. At age 75 success is having friends. At age 80 success is dry pants.

BW (Bigtime Word) juvenescence transition from infancy or early childhood to youth. FRIENDLY REMINDER: Valentines are for youth of all ages. Get out there and shop.

Editorial: Economy appears to be taking turn for the better


Several recent stories have dotted our front pages that strongly indicate things with respect to the economy are getting better.

Unemployment rates have dropped, rail shipments for a number of local industries and businesses have increased, sales tax revenue receipts are up and home sales seem to be trending in the upward direction.

These are all very good indicators that the economy, at least in our region or local area, is healing and improving.

In this regard, Wilson County and Middle Tennessee in general may have somewhat of an advantage when compared to the rest of the nation.

The area around Nashville is becoming more and more popular.

Nashville is rightfully earning a solid reputation as a place where the lifestyle is good and the business environment is friendly.

And what's good for Nashville is also good for Wilson County.

Among our county's many assets, our closeness in proximity to Nashville is often listed prominently when local officials are trying to lure new industries and commercial ventures to Wilson County.

We're only minutes from professional sports, a world class symphony, an international airport and other assets that are found in the capital city.

Circle these assets with our own, including easy access to interstate highways, a four-year independent university, excellent health care and viable education offerings in both the public and private sectors, and its clear that Wilson County has a distinct advantage and opportunity to excel.


Letters to the Editor

Carroll-Oakland thanks Dillon for remembering them

Editors Note: The following letter was sent to the family of the late Mrs. Rose Dillon thanking them for asking the community to donate to Carroll-Oakland School in Mrs. Dillons memory. The schools principal, Carol Ferrell, also shared the letter with The Wilson Post as a way to also thank the family publicly.

To the Rose Dillon Family:

On behalf of Carroll-Oakland School, I want to extend my condolences over the recent loss of Mrs. Rose. During my years at Carroll-Oakland, Mrs. Rose was a wonderful neighbor to the school and I considered her a sweet friend.

Our school was greatly honored when you selected us to receive donations from community members wishing to remember Mrs. Rose. Weve received several donations and have been carefully deciding how best to use the money. I hope you will be pleased with our decision.

We have a high poverty rate at Carroll-Oakland and we spend a lot of time and money helping students with clothing, as well as personal hygiene items such as soap, deodorant, etc During the same week, we received monetary donations from friends of Mrs. Rose, we also received a wonderful donation from Gladeville Baptist Church of much needed items such as socks, gloves, soap and deodorant. We immediately thought of a great idea. With the money we will purchase a metal cabinet and fill it with the donations and we will call it ROSES CLOSET! This fulfills a great need for the Carroll-Oakland community and will prolong the legacy of the Dillon family, namely Mrs. Rose.

We want to thank the wonderful donors who have made this possible: Robert and Faye Dedman, Neal and Deborah Oakley, Melanie Dillon, William and Kristina McKee and Gladeville Baptist Church. And we especially thank you, the Dillon family, for being wonderful neighbors to Carroll-Oakland School.

Carol M. Ferrell
Carroll-Oakland School


At the Movies

Strong characters make Chronicle a surprising hit

The Wilson Post

Andrew Detmers drunken father attacks him in the basement, hovering over the teen, assailing his son with physical and verbal abuse. Suddenly, the father is thrown against the wall, Andrew pins him there by the throat as the teens new telekinetic powers turn the tables on his abusive father.

Chronicle is a film following Andrew, played by Dane DeHaan, his cousin Matt Garrety, played by Alex Russell, and Steve Montgomery, played by Michael B. Jordan, as they develop the power to move objects with their minds and levitate their bodies to the point of actually flying.


General News

Barry tabs Technical Principal Award

Former Lebanon resident Ken Barry, PE, was recently presented with the S&ME Technical Principal Award.

S&ME Inc. is an engineering firm based in Raleigh, N.C. It has offices throughout the Southeast.

The companys Technical Principal Program is designed to recognize technical leaders within S&ME who have advanced in using their professional experience and skills to provide the highest quality services to clients and who also have become regional or national leaders in their technical fields. In addition, Technical Principals are available to consult with S&ME staff tackling difficult technical challenges.

Barry is a project manager and environmental engineer in S&MEs Knoxville branch office. He joined the company nine years ago with a couple of decades of previous experience. He is married to Celeste Franta Barry who is also an engineer. They have four children, twin 15-year-old girls Aileen and Elan, and two boys, Matthew, 13, and Ian, 11. The family resides in Norris. Barry is also the son of Jean and Ward 5 Lebanon City Councilor Haywood Barry.

A 1976 graduate of Lebanon High School, Barry earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Tennessee Tech University in 1982 and soon followed that with a masters in Environmental Systems Engineering from Clemson University in South Carolina.

He said he has been interested in science and engineering since elementary school and added he was fortunate that his grandfather had an excavation company which allowed him to be around heavy equipment from an early age. Barry also used his love of architecture and history to co-author the application to make the Tennessee State Capitol an ASCE Civil Engineering Landmark.

At Tennessee Tech, he was a two-year officer the ASCE Student Chapter. He also worked at a Georgia Power nuclear plant and was a research and teaching assistant for a Civil Engineering professor. At Clemson, he was introduced to erosion control BMPs and stream geomorphology.

Fresh out of grad school, he joined the EPA and participated in investigations at hazardous waste sites. He later joined Versar, running its EPA technical assistance contract.

He then spent 10 years with Bechtel in Oak Ridge, gaining experience in human health assessment, waste disposal, project management and engineering. For five years he was Project Engineer and Deputy Project Manager for a major contract for Loring Air Force Base. His work there included closure of two large landfills and the largest at least to that time cleanup and restoration of a stream system with 40 acres of wetlands

Barry is also a diplomat of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers. He plans, executes and manages civil and environmental engineering projects, and participates in landfill design and permitting, hydrology and hydraulics, erosion control design, stream restoration, proposal preparation and looks for opportunities to apply his experience to unique situations. Several of the projects he has participated in have won Engineering Excellence Awards from ACEC of Tennessee.

Ken Barry, PE, left, was presented with the Technical Principal plaque from S&ME President Randy Neuhaus, PE, right, at the annual S&ME Technical Conference held Feb. 3-4, in Charlotte, N.C. With more than 1,000 employees, Barry joins very select company as the sixth person to be appointed as a Technical Principal within the firm. Barry is a former resident of Lebanon. Submitted

BOE delays new WHS design until approved by commission

The Wilson Post

Plans to begin designing a new Watertown High School were put on hold Monday night as the Wilson County Board of Education deferred contracts with the Kaatz, Binkley, Jones and Morris, Inc., architectural firm until the project could be approved by the Wilson County Commission later this month.

In one vote the board deferred three measures on the agenda that would have entered into contracts with the architectural firm to design a new WHS as well as additions to West Elementary School, West Wilson Middle School and a new elementary school in the Providence/Rutland area.

Im not comfortable committing money for drawings and designs until we get this building project approved, said Zone 4 board member Ron Britt.

The board must send a request to the commission, asking it to fund the capital projects for the new high school, elementary school and additions to West Elementary and West Wilson Middle.

District 20 Commissioner Annette Stafford, chair of the commissions Education Committee, was present during the meeting and explained the request had to pass the Education and Budget Committees before going to the full commission.

We could have it by the end of February if all goes well, Stafford said, pointing out the full commission only had to pass the request on one reading.

Included was a contract with CivilSite Deign Group, Engineering Services Group and American GEO Technical for a geological survey of the new WHS property. The board indicated the total cost for designs would be no more than $583,000 and that money would be drawn from unallocated funds within the $50 million bond issue for the new Lebanon High School.

This gets us to the bid phase, said Director of Schools Mike Davis, referring to the contract agreements with the engineers and architects. After designs are completed, the board can then begin the bid process for construction.

There were concerns from the board about using money from the LHS bond issue and the possibility that those funds would be needed to complete the school currently under construction.

There could be something that comes up in the construction process that requires us to spend these funds, said board Chairman Don Weathers.

Stafford told The Wilson Post that money has been set aside for all foreseeable expenditures including furnishing the interior of the school with desks, computers and other supplies. She said the $583,000 is money left over after those necessary allocations.

The board unanimously passed the measure to send the funding request to the commission, which will meet on Monday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. Davis said they could hold a special meeting to approve the contract agreements if necessary before the boards next regular meeting on March 5.

Also during the meeting, the board voted to move forward with contract negotiations between the Wilson County Schools and Cumberland University that could allow Cumberland to manage and use Nokes-Lasater Field at the old LHS for its own sport events.

Before you work out the legal language, we should vote on if we even want to do this, Zone 1 board member Vikki Adkins told County Attorney Mike Jennings, adding, I dont feel good about moving forward.

Jennings said he doesnt have enough information or knowledge of the subject to personally handle the negotiations, but said when Davis or the board talks with Dr. Harvill Eaton, president of Cumberland University, he can write a contract for any agreements reached.

Weathers said he wanted the county school system to be protected from liability, and Britt noted the agreement couldnt cost the county schools any funds. Zone 5 board member Greg Lasater did not approve of the agreement and felt it was not a good idea to let Cumberland manage the facility.

I think when Cumberland University has it, our kids arent going to have a place to play, he said, referring to Junior Pro football and junior high schools that use the field.

We would have access to it on the nights we need it, Weather said, pointing out Cumberland has indicated the schools and youth programs could use the field when they need it.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at

Chambers Vanatta on the spit for this years Library Roast

The Wilson Post

Its all for a good cause, but you can sure expect some embarrassing stories to come with the 22nd Annual Wilson County Public Library Roast as the Library Board announced Wednesday morning that Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Sue Vanatta will be this years roastee.

Public Library Deputy Director Nancy Fowler said the announcement was made Wednesday morning on 98.9 WANT FM and said the roast will take place on Tuesday, March 27, at 7 p.m., at Castle Heights Elementary School.

Im very honored to be asked, I think, Vanatta laughed. But really, its such a good cause, I look forward to helping the Library.

As for who is going to be revealing embarrassing stories, good memories and jokes, Vanatta said she still has one or two more roasters to choose, but said most are already in place.

Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe, Mark Lee, an attorney for Lee & Lee Attorneys; Patricia Bone and Vanattas daughters, Mitzi Blair and Monica Alsup, will be her roasters.

(Mitzi and Monica) are going to tag-team, so I am not sure what they are going to do, Vanatta said.

The roast has been a strong fund raiser for the public library for the past 22 years, as Fowler pointed out they have raised $173,000 since it began. Last years roast, where Chip Smith, owner of Rose Tire & Service, was roasted, the event raised $6,537.

The money thats raised is used for matching grants, computers, equipment, things that arent covered in our budget, Fowler said.

Vanatta said she hopes to sell around 20 tables worth of tickets for the event in order to help the Library and pointed out shes already sold several.

Tickets are on sale now at the Lebanon/Wilson County Public Library and cost $25 per person. Vanatta said the Chamber would have tickets for sale by Friday or Monday, Feb. 13.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at

Council seeks ways to fill empty retail space

The Wilson Post

Following a controversial issue to bring more retail and tax revenue to Lebanon, several city councilors expressed the desire to improve the retail space already available but sitting vacant across town during Tuesday nights meeting.

Ward 2 Councilor Kevin Huddleston brought up the point that many local retail strips have empty space such as the strip on West Main where Bi-Lo was once located, the Kroger shopping center and Publix shopping center.

Can we waive or lower taxes on empty businesses to get tenants into those spaces? Huddleston asked City Attorney Andy Wright.

Huddleston felt these spaces needed to be filled before the city began looking ahead on a project such as the Cumberland Center, which proposed 1 million square feet of new retail space.

Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead pointed out that Bi-Lo is still paying the rent on that building and noted several possible tenants have asked about a space that size. He noted if a large anchor tenant were not present, the empty space flanking the old Bi-Lo location would not fill out.

Wright said there were red flags about waiving or lowering taxes to entice retailers to occupy empty space, but said he would look into the matter.

The west side of town is a ghost town, said Ward 6 Councilor Kathy Warmath.

Warmath pointed out stores are less likely to occupy retail space if they are not near an interstate exit. She pointed out Kroger and Publix have empty spaces along their shopping centers due to this problem.

Recently, Cozumels, a Mexican restaurant in the Kroger shopping center that has been present there for many years, has gone out of business. Warmath and Huddleston wanted to look to improving the occupancy of existing retail space before looking to build more retail.

Warmath also noted the local William D. Baird Industrial Park has fallen into the ground, noting the economy is still poor and that businesses of all kinds are suffering.

The council also held a work session prior to the meeting where they discussed the construction of the Cedar City Trail and the impact of the Tennessee Department of Transportation no longer accepting funds in-kind for local match of the project.

The city was responsible for 20 percent of the project cost, an estimated $250,131.50. Initially, the city planned to use preliminary engineering and right-of-way donations as the local match, but federal guidelines now exclude those from being used.

Commissioner of Public Works Jeff Baines said the city had budgeted $115,000 toward engineering for the project and a consultant has been chosen, but work has not begun. The council plans to reevaluate the method they wish to fund the continuing construction of the trail in the future based on the new guidelines.

During the meeting, Ward 3 Councilor Rob Cesternino said he was against spending more money for the trail and improvements to Don Fox Park while other areas of the city have no parks or have parks in decline.

He pointed to Elkins Park and Hobbs Field on Elkins Drive in Lebanon as a declining park that needs an upgrade.

Id love to see parks elsewhere, all these people at Hobbs park, theyve got nothing, the people on the west side have nothing, Cesternino said.

The council will hold a special called meeting this afternoon at 5:30 p.m. in the Town Meeting Hall of the Lebanon Administration Building to consider many ordinances that passed on first reading during Tuesday nights meeting.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at

Cumberland University to present Love is in the Air concert

Cumberland Universitys School of Music and the Arts will present a Valentines Day-themed concert at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 13, in the Universitys Baird Chapel.

The free, hour-long, public Love is in the Air concert will showcase the talents of 18 private voice students at Cumberland. Each student will present a solo performance as part of their studies with Cumberland voice teachers Dr. Michele Paynter Paise, Ginger Newman and Kira King. Cumberland Arts Academy Instructor Carolyn Blake will provide piano accompaniment.

Paise, who is also an assistant professor of Music, said the concert will feature a wide selection of musical performances united by a single theme: love.

Every song will have something to do with love, Paise said. Some of the selections are about the humor of love, while others are about just how cruel love can be. Theres a little bit of everything.

The concert will feature musical selections from an extremely diverse set of composers and time periods, Paise explained. Selected music will include works from composers such as Bernstein, Mozart and Arthur Hamilton.

There will be a wide variety of music for attendees, from classical pieces to contemporary theater musical selections, Paise said. The selections will also represent several languages, including English, Italian, German and French.

Paise believes the concert will be an opportunity for the School of Music and the Arts to demonstrate the talents of its vocal students while providing the community with a night of great music.

The concert will highlight and support what our music department and students do here, Paise said. Attendees will be able to enjoy familiar melodies and hear some new pieces in what we hope will be a fun-filled evening of well-performed, quality music.

The Love is in the Air concert is free and open to the public.

First African American squire elected 1876

From Post staff reports

In 1867, African-Americans gained the right to vote and only nine years later, Wilson County elected its first black member of the Wilson County Court in the same year an African-American ran for governor of Tennessee, delivering a speech in Lebanon.

The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified by Tennessee in 1866, giving African-Americans the rights of citizenship. The 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was not ratified until 1870, which said no citizen could be denied the right to vote based on color, race or previous condition of servitude.

In 1867, 864 African-American poll taxes were assessed in Wilson County, meaning that many cast votes in the election. While they had the rights of citizenship, many southern states still levied poll taxes and other impediments to prevent African-Americans from voting.

However, in 1876, the African-American voice at the polls was strong enough that S. Jordan was elected to the Wilson County Court (currently the Wilson County Commission), defeating four white candidates. Jordan was a shoemaker who came from Nashville to Lebanon the year before.

Also that year, William F. Yardley of Knoxville ran for governor as a Republican and gave a speech in Lebanon as part of the gubernatorial canvass. The incumbent governor James D. Porter was reelected, however.

Since Tennessee was the first state to rejoin the Union after the Civil War, it was not required to ratify the Reconstruction Amendments (13th, 14th and 15th) although the state did ratify the 13th and 14th amendments. The Tennessee General Assembly unanimously ratified the 15th amendment in 1997.

Information for this article was found in the book History of Wilson County, Its Land and Its Life.

Housing market remains strong in Wilson: Hamilton

Home sales in January 2012 produced only two less sales than January 2011 and 29 more than January 2010 so the market is still remaining strong and should only go up from here, said Amy Hamilton, public relations chair for the Eastern Middle Tennessee Association of Realtors.

Traditionally, Januarys home sales are the lowest of the 12-month period due to the holiday season, she added.

As interest rates continue to remain at an all time low, home prices continue to reflect prices of 8-10 years ago in most areas, and consumer confidence continues to grow, we will continue to see an increase in home sales as buyers take advantage of this rare opportunity, Hamilton said.

Information from Realtracs of Middle Tennessee Multiple Listing Service showed there were 90 sold residential homes in Wilson County in January and 124 homes were put under contract in January for closing at a future time, Hamilton said.

Of the 90 homes sold, Mt Juliet ended January with 60 of those sales. Of those 60, she noted that 26 were new construction sales (43 percent), 14 were foreclosures or short sales (23 percent), and 34 were traditional resale homes (57 percent). The median sales price of existing home sales in Mt Juliet is $169,625 with a median sales price per square foot of $90.51. Existing homes are selling for an average of 96 percent of list price.

Lebanon produced 25 residential home sales in January with a median sales price of $179,999 and a median price per square foot of $77.98. Of the 25 sales, nine were foreclosures or short sales (36 percent) and four were new construction (16 percent). The remaining 12 were traditional resale homes (48 percent).

Watertown had four sales in January, three of which were foreclosures or short sales with a median sales price of $82,250. Old Hickory ended with one sale.

Of our market in January, 29 percent were foreclosure of short sale, 33 percent were new construction, and 38 percent were traditional resale homes.

As you can see, it is crucial for homeowners to make sure their home is priced with what the market will support and the condition is the best it can be to be able to compete with the other strong factors of the market, Hamilton added.

Store cited for not reporting scrap jewelry purchases

The Wilson Post

Authorities will consult with the District Attorneys Office regarding charges against a local store where an employee reportedly purchased some property even though he had been informed that it was stolen and also did not obtain information on the sellers identity.

A search warrant was served by the Lebanon Police Department on Feb. 2 at The Silver Store, located at 1216 West Main Street, Lebanon, after investigators had received information that state law regarding the purchase of scrap jewelry and metal dealers was not being followed.

Lebanon Police Chief Scott Bowen said Tuesday that a confidential informant was sent in by the LPD to try and sell a necklace. The store employee offered the CI some money for the necklace and when the CI told the employee that it was stolen, the employee dropped the price and he bought it anyway.

Bowen said a law passed by the state legislature in 2009 treats so-called gold stores just like pawn shops in that once they obtain merchandise they cannot sell it for 30 days to allow law enforcement time to see if it is stolen and to identify who sold the item, or items, to the store.

The law required him (the person at The Silver Store) to report to us what was taken in and the person selling it, Bowen said, adding the law gives police a way to retrieve property that might have been stolen and also a way to find the person who sold the property.

Stores that buy items, especially those that purchase items knowing they are stolen, and then turn around and sell them again are essentially fencing the property, the chief said.

Its irresponsible. We hope it sends a message to pawn shops and gold stores, he said, adding that failure to report the purchase of such items and the identity of the seller is a Class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

Cases like these fuel property crimes such as burglary, Bowen said. Cases such as this one gives criminals an opportunity to sell stolen property without detection thus making law enforcements job tougher.

With the economy in a slow-down the past few years, a number of stores dealing in scrap jewelry and precious metal have opened nationwide. While many are legitimate, some are not and that is why the law was passed by the state legislature in 2009 to treat them the same as pawn shops.

Were trying to make it as hard on the criminals as we can, Bowen said.

Once approved by the District Attorneys Office, charges related to reported violations found in the investigation will be presented to the Wilson County grand jury.

Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at


General Sports

MJCA coach returns to bench

You dont always measure victory by the results on a scoreboard.

For Casey Colter (left), victory comes with the end of 12 long weeks of chemotherapy, a positive report from the doctors and a return to the sidelines as head coach of the Mt. Juliet Christian Academy Lady Saints basketball team.

Following Mondays Senior Night 52-21 win over Providence Christian Academy of Murfreesboro, the team is 2-1 since hes been back on the bench.

Its therapeutic for me to be here because Ive missed them so much, Colter said Monday. Listening to them on the radio is not like being here in person. I can see their faces when theyve done something wrong and I can get after them -- its those teachable moments that you live for as a coach -- thats what Ive been missing out on.

Nagging back pain led to a diagnosis of cancer and eventual aggressive treatments at Vanderbilt Hospital for the 32 year-old former assistant coach at Tennessee Temple.

I was very lucky to have a strong core group of family, friends and co-workers praying for us, Colter said.
Mt. Juliet withstands LHS haymaker

MT. JULIET -- Lebanon threw some mighty powerful punches at Mt. Juliet Tuesday night, but the Bears managed to shake out the cobwebs en route to a thrilling 66-59 win over their rivals.

Jacking up shots, literally from the opening tip, the Blue Devils connected on their first 11 attempts from the field and bolted to a 24-17 first quarter lead.

All told, Lebanon knocked down six 3-pointers in the first quarter and 11 for the half, taking a 36-33 lead into intermission.

As usual senior Caleb Chowbay paced the Mt. Juliet comeback. The Belmont signee scored 10 of his game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter as the Golden Bears outscored LHS 22-10 down the stretch, snapping a two-game losing streak.

C.J. McEwen tossed in 11 for the Bears while Quinton Hall added 19 as Mt. Juliet improved to 21-5 overall / 11-2 in District 9AAA.

LHS was led by 17 points from Zimmer Hunn, who hit four 3-pointers, and 15 points from Jemel Officer -- who dialed up three 3-pointers. Julian Crutchfield had eight points and Cameron High was limited to five. Lebanon fell to 10-15 overall / 5-8 in league play.

Mt. Juliet 52, Lebanon 29 (girls)
MT. JULIET -- Senior Caya Williams scored 28 points as Mt. Juliet defeated District 9AAA rival Lebanon 52-29 Tuesday.

The Lady Bears improved to 25-2 overall and 13-0 in District 9AAA headed into Friday's game at Wilson Central. Sally McCabe had 10 points for MJHS and Jamasha Jackson chipped in with seven.

Lebanon slid to 13-13 overall / 6-7 in the league headed into Friday night's game at Portland.

Tuesday night prep basketball

Wilson Centralboys maintain 9AAA lead
PORTLAND -- Wilson Central remained atop the District 9AAA standings after Tuesday's 60-43 victory at Portland. The Wildcats, now 21-3 overall / 12-1 in the league, spread the wealth with three players in double figures -- Jacob Williams 19, Conner Brandon 12 and Blake Huffman 10.

WCHS will host Mt. Juliet Friday night with the winner claiming the 9AAA regular season title.

Wilson Central 45, Portland 34 (girls)
PORTLAND -- Pesky Portland led early, but Wilson Central got on track for a 45-34 victory over the Lady Panthers Tuesday night. Wilson Central climbed to 17-7 overall and 9-4 in 9AAA. Taylor Peterson had 19 points for the winners, Dominique St. Louis had 10 and Sydney Comer eight.

Watertown loses two to Gordonsville
WATERTOWN -- Gordonsville High swept a District 8A twinbill Tuesday night at Watertown. The Tigerettes came out on the short end of a 45-25 score in the opener as GHS improved to 6-1 in the league. Watertown, now 17-10 overall / 3-4, was led by nine points from Morgan Gartner and seven from Hailey Speck.

The boys game found the G-Men scoring a 63-50 victory over the cold-shooting Purple Tigers. Watertown shot only 28 percent from the field and slipped to 21-5 overall / 4-3 in the district. Josiah Smith led WHS with 10 points, Aaron Morgan and KeAnDre Bates had nine each while Nick Sackman had seven.

Watertown will close out the regular season Friday night at Trousdale County High.

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