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'Dining with Doc' receives rave reviews

Wilson Living Magazine

A few months ago we were pleased to announce that Dr. John Gallaher had joined the Wilson Living team as our resident food connoisseur. And since that date, Doc has been enticing our readers with reviews of some of the best restaurants in the area.

In this last issue, Doc wrote about Tom’s Blue Moon Bar-B-Que located at 711 Park Avenue in Lebanon. Knowing Doc is never wrong about his reviews, on Friday night, a few of the ladies of WL tried out this new restaurant. And Doc was right!

POSTSCRIPTS Finding Cousins

Twenty years ago I became interested in finding my ancestors. I always loved history and this is just history on a more personal level. My quest led me in many directions as this was before all the Internet sites that today make life easier for researchers. One part of this quest I never considered. Never thought about.  But it happened. Finding Cousins!

This past fall I went on a trip with The Archaeological Conservancy – their purpose is to buy archaeological sites to save them from being destroyed. Some are excavated and some are still awaiting the spade. Trips are one way they have of raising money for this endeavor. I went to Upstate New York to learn more about the League of the Iroquois with leader Andy Stout. A few days into the trip a little bell went off. I descend from a Stout.

I told Andy about it but I could not remember their first names. He offered that he descends from Richard and Penelope Stout of New Jersey (he lives in Pennsylvania) and told me a story about them.

That rang another little bell and I told him as soon as I got home I would look it up and get back to him. I did and with his help discovered that Andy and I descend from the same great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents, actually much younger Andy probably has another generation or two stuck in there. They are David (son of Richard and Penelope) and Rebecca Ashton Stout. Their son James is Andy’s ancestor while another son Freegift is my ancestor. We are talking late 17th century.

Our Feathered Friends - March 9

Dotty Kim
picked me up this past Saturday and we headed to the 22nd annual Nashville Lawn and Garden show at the Nashville Fair Grounds. Let me tell you, it gets better each and every year. It makes me want to go back home and get some dirt under my fingernails, plant something nice, then relax.

Roy Garr from Garr’s Rental and Feed was up to his neck with young and older people alike wanting to hold one of several baby ducks he always brings to the show. After a couple of years of asking, Roy finally convinced me to do a seminar on Bluebirds and Purple Martins at his Mt. Juliet store.

On Saturday, March 19 at 9:30 a.m. I will be presenting on Bluebirds, and later at 11:00 am I will be conducting a seminar on one of the most beneficial birds that nest here in the county, the Purple Martin. There is no charge for the program, but there is limited seating. Next week we go into Daylight Saving Time which will give us an extra hour to bird watch or work in our gardens.

Earl and Nancy Grubbs have been walking the Don Fox Park trail for quite some time, and this past week there was a Red-tailed Hawk that thought he would have a Squirrel dinner. Earl said the hawk made a swipe at his lunch only to be outsmarted by the Squirrel which made a quick turn as the Hawk went by just out of reach. The Hawk figured he might try his hand at a slower meal. Maybe he should develop a real taste for starlings. It sure wouldn’t hurt my feelings.

The Can Man recycles aluminum

Special to The Wilson Post
Practically every Saturday morning, two to three dozen citizens of Lebanon will pull up beside a big white truck in a vacant lot off of Sparta Pike and transfer bags filled with aluminum beverage cans into the hands of Marty Johnson.

In return, Johnson, the Can Man, after weighing the cans, will slap his clients’ palms with cold hard cash. It may not be much money, but to most of the can collectors, they’re making dollars for making sense. 

“They often tell me, ‘it’s better to recycle than to bury them under dirt,’” said the Can Man, who motors from Murfreesboro to Lebanon each Saturday.

The cans he buys, instead of being buried beneath a landfill, will be used to make new aluminum cans. And the environment benefits in other ways, as it only takes about 5 percent of the energy to recycle an old can into a new one compared to that necessary to make an aluminum can from raw ore.

Avoid agenda, just ask a teacher

To the Editor:
On Saturday, March 5, 2011, I attended a meeting of the Wilson County Conservatives because they were discussing issues affecting me as a teacher. Walter Jewell of the Professional Educators of Tennessee was speaking in order to “educate” the group about the bills introduced in Congress affecting education. I wanted to hear his take on the matter and to make sure that he was telling the group accurate information. 

What I learned in this meeting is that as an education major in college, I was “radicalized,” and, as a member of a competing organization, I am purposefully “dumbing down” my students in an effort to promote a Democratic agenda. 

I was extremely offended, and I want to defend myself and hopefully educate others in the process of doing so. I never took any political classes in college as an education major. I was not told when I signed my teaching contract some 13 years ago that I had to vote a certain way or belong to a particular political group. In fact, when I get up and go to work every day, politics are the furthest thing from my mind. My concern is for my students. I want them to be educated enough to make a difference in this world. I don’t care who they or their parents vote for, I just want them to be educated enough to make up their own mind and to respectfully stand up for themselves and for what is right, which is what I was trying to do by attending this meeting.

What I discovered, sadly, is that some people are more concerned with being right than with doing right. When I tried to ask a question of the speaker, Mary Stimek, president of the Republican Women of Wilson County, laughed aloud humiliating me in front of the group. All I wanted was to make sure people understand that this isn’t a simple issue.

There is more to all of this than meets the eye. These issues affect teachers in the classroom who don’t go to school every day trying to promote a political agenda. But no one asked. Not one person asked me how these changes would affect me or my students. They took the word of a hired speaker who used to teach many years ago in a different era and county, which told me that no one cared. That, to me, is disheartening. To think that there are issues out there that will affect teachers, and ultimately students, and instead of asking them, they laugh at and try to humiliate them. 

What I want others to know is that there are teachers out there just like me who pour their heart and soul into their jobs and try to do what is right by our students every day. We love what we do and the students whom we teach. We’re out there and you can ask us. We’ll tell you why we need the ability to collectively bargain. We’ll tell you why certain organizations were formed, and it isn’t for the reasons you may be hearing. We are just as concerned about keeping good teachers in the classrooms as anyone else is. Instead of listening to someone with a political agenda, ask us. We’ll help you understand. It’s what we do.

Melissa Robinson
Mt. Juliet

V star Mitchell played McCartneys wife

Dear Ken: Tell us something about Elizabeth Mitchell, who played Juliet Burke on “Lost” but is now Erica Evans on “V.”
Mitchell, who turns 41 March 27, was born in Los Angeles but grew up in Dallas with two younger sisters. She began her career acting in theater, and got her big break in the TV movie “Gia.” Among her other TV credits are “ER” and “The Lyons Den” and the TV movies “3: The Dale Earnhardt Story“ and “The Linda McCartney Story.” Mitchell made the movies “Frequency,“ “Nurse Betty,” “Santa Clause 2” and “Santa Clause 3.” Married, she has a 5-year-old son. 

Calendar - March 9

Government meetings
Joint Economic & Community Development Board Executive Committee will meet at 7:45 a.m., Thursday, March 10, at the JECDB office at 115 N. Castle Heights Ave., Suite 102, Lebanon.

Wilson County 911 Board regular meeting will be at 4 p.m., Monday, March 14, at the 911 office at 1611 West Main Street, Lebanon.

Lebanon City Council regular meeting will be 6 p.m., Tuesday, March 15, in the Town Meeting Hall, City of Lebanon Administration Building at Castle Heights. Prior to the meeting, council will hold a work session at 5 p.m. and a public hearing at 5:55 p.m. in the same location.

Wilson County Beer Board will meet at 6 p.m., Monday, March 21, in Conference Room 1, Wilson County Courthouse, Lebanon, to consider the application of Idris A. Alassar d/b/a Betty’s Market, 6288 Hunters Point Pike, Lebanon.

Wilson County Commission’s Minutes Committee will meet at 6:15 p.m., Monday, March 21 in Conference Room 2, Wilson County Courthouse, Lebanon.

Wilson County Commission’s Steering Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m., Monday, March 21, in Conference Room 2, in the Wilson County Courthouse.

Lebanon City Council will hold a work session at 5 p.m., Tuesday, April 5, in the Town Meeting Hall, City of Lebanon Administration Building at Castle Heights, to discuss line item transfers and a forensic audit. Council will also hold a work session at 5 p.m., Tuesday, April 19, in the same location, for a discussion on economic stimulus, jobs and recruiting and retaining businesses.

Community Calendar
Southern STARRS Winter Class Session is now open. The program offers therapeutic horseback riding classes for special needs children. A one-hour class is available for Saturday morning and Monday evening, and you can download an application form at Volunteers are needed, also. The minimum age to volunteer is 14. Times are from 4 until 7:30 p.m. on Mondays, from 4 until 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays beginning in the spring and from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays. No experience is needed, and training will be provided. Internships, work-studies and community service credit are offered. Forms can also be downloaded at For information, call 453-2592 or email
Faces of Hope Children’s Therapy Center in Gallatin is accepting gently used items for its third annual yard sale to be held from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m., rain or shine, Friday and Saturday, March 25-26, at the Gallatin Farmer’s Market. Items may be dropped off at the center at 185 W. Franklin Street behind Dairy Queen on Main Street. Call for times to drop off items at 206-1176. All donations are tax deductible.

Wilson County Adult Learning Center offers classes for anyone interested in achieving his or GED diploma. Classes are held in Lebanon and in Mt. Juliet. For information, call the Adult Learning Center at 443-8731.

Lebanon Toastmasters meet every Monday at 6:30 p.m. in the Spain House on the Lebanon First United Methodist Church campus at 415 West Main Street, Lebanon. Visitors are welcome. Toastmasters is an organization dedicated to improving communication and leadership skills. For information, call 444-0126.

Lebanon Meals on Wheels program is looking for volunteers to deliver meals to homebound seniors in the area. Meal routes range from about 10-15 people. Volunteers arrive at 9:30 a.m. and are done by 10:30. If you are interested, contact Jessica at 449-3488 between the hours of 8 a.m. to noon, Monday through Thursday.

Telephone Pioneer Cookbooks Volume I and III are now on sale. All proceeds benefit the Pioneer Museum. To purchase one or for information, call 444-3096 or 444-0940.

Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Wilson County is in need of volunteers who would like to reach out to those in need in Wilson County. Volunteers must be age 55 or older. If you are interested in participating or partnering with the program, call 443-7606 or 742-1113, ext. 10.

Agape has contracted with Maple Hill church of Christ to provide counseling services in Lebanon. Licensed Clinical Social Worker Diana Crawford will be available at the church building on Mondays from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. She sees children and adults. For information, call 547-4244.

AL-ANON and ALATEEN family groups are a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength and hope in order to solve their common problems. They believe alcoholism is a family illness and that changed attitudes can aid in recovery. There is a local AL-ANON and ALATEEN meeting in Lebanon every week. For information, call Harriett at 444-2852 or Linda at 444-8437.

HomeSafe Women’s Support Group meets Thursday evenings. For information and to sign up, call 444-6130. If you need help with an order of protection for domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking, contact HomeSafe at 444-8955.

Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency USDA Commodity Distribution will be from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., Wednesday, March 9, at Garden of Prayer Tabernacle, 1015 Bluebird Road, Lebanon. Commodities are available to households which meet income eligibility guidelines. Available commodities include applesauce, black-eye peas, green beans, corn, cranberry sauce, peaches, pears, apple juice, cherry apple juice, cranberry juice, orange juice, figs, peanut butte, spaghetti sauce and sliced potatoes. Bring proof of 2011 income and Social Security cards of everyone in the household. Funded in part by DHS.

Project Linus Blanket Day will be from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., Saturday, March 12, at Friendship Christian School, 5400 Coles Ferry Pike, Lebanon. Can’t sew? Members will help you. Can you tie a knot, count, fold a blanket? Project Linus needs you. Bring a sack lunch. Desserts and drinks will be available. For information, call Kit at 604-7317.

Watertown Community Project Graduation will be hosting a Pancake Breakfast from 6 until 9 a.m., Saturday, March 12, at The Depot Junction in Watertown. Cost is $6 per person.

Westland United Methodist Church Men’s Club will have its second annual pancake breakfast from 6:30 until 10 a.m., Saturday, March 12, at the church at 110 Dawson Lane, Lebanon. Cost is $6 for adults and $4 for children 12 and under.

United Methodist Women of Hartsville United Methodist Church are sponsoring their annual Dinner Musical at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, March 12, at the Trousdale County High School auditorium. The theme this year is “City Lights.” Tickets are $15 per person or two for $25 and are available from the UMW and other church members. You may also call Kathy Dies at 374-3752, Kathy Atwood at 374-0907, Lora Lee Langford at the Hartsville/Trousdale Chamber of Commerce at 374-9243 or the church at 374-2400 for ticket information. Seating this year is limited to 22 tables, and all tickets must be reserved in advance.

Wilson County Republican Party will have its monthly meeting at 9 a.m., Saturday, March 12. Guest speakers will include State Sen. Mae Beavers, State Rep. Linda Elam and State Rep. Mark Pody. The meeting will be at WCRP Headquarters at 500 South Cumberland Street, Lebanon, next to Kevin’s Automotive and directly behind 231 Car Sales. All Wilson County Republicans are invited to attend. For information, call Kevin Foushee, WCRP chairman, at 444-5732 or visit

Coupon Workshop will be Saturday, March 12, at First Baptist Church, Lebanon, 227 East Main Street, and will be presented by Ann Haney. A Free Introductory Workshop will be from 10 a.m. until noon, followed by a lunch break from noon until 1 p.m. An Advanced Workshop/Drugstores and More will be from 1 until 3 p.m. Minimum donation of $10 per person is asked and special scholarships are available for admission. RSVP no later than Saturday, March 5 at or call 444-3330.

Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, new volunteer training will begin Tuesday, March 15 and will conclude Thursday, April 14 (Tuesdays and Thursdays only from 6 until 9 p.m.). Volunteer advocates are trained and supported to speak in court for the best interests of children in Wilson County who are victims of abuse and neglect. Wilson County CASA has 45 volunteers serving 53 children. The more volunteers who are trained, the more children can benefit from having a CASA volunteer. This session for new volunteers will be held in Lebanon. For information, call 443-2002 or visit

Wilson County AARP Chapter #5023 will meet at Westland United Methodist Church at 10 a.m., Tuesday, March 15. Donna Odum with Henderson’s Flowers will share tips on arranging flowers plus additional information on planting. Membership dues are still $5 and are due now. Bring a guest with you to the meeting.

Relay For Life Team Captains meeting will be 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 15, at Immanuel Baptist Church on Castle Heights Avenue, Lebanon, in the Don Owens Building. If you are interested in joining your community in helping to find a cure for cancer, you are welcome to attend the meeting.

St. Patrick’s Day Party at Lebanon Country Club on Thursday, March 17, open to members and non-members. Price of $15 includes dinner consisting of Irish Stew or Spinach salad, slow simmered corned beef with parsley potatoes, carrots and cabbage and Grasshopper Parfait; music, games, Karaoke and prizes. Green beer and other Irish drinks will be available. Buffet dinner will be served from 5 until 8 p.m. Music and entertainment will be until 11 p.m. Call 444-8300 for reservations.

4-H Babysitters Training Course, offered by the University of Tennessee Extension, will be Monday and Thursday, March 21 and 24, from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m., at the UT Extension Office at 925 E. Baddour Pkwy., Lebanon. Participants must attend both days of training. Cost is $30 and is open to children in grades 5-12. Space is limited, and the last day to register is Thursday, March 17. To register your child, or for information, call Marietta Sanford at 444-9584 or email

PHOEBE Ministries, a ministry of widows reaching widows, will meet at Rocky Valley Baptist Church, 5745 Old Murfreesboro Road, Lebanon, at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, March 26. Personal Trainer Brenda Polk will discuss “Becoming Physically and Spiritually Strong.” The service project for the month benefits the Baptist Campus Ministries House at Cumberland University. Bring garbage bags, paper plates, napkins, 16-ounce drink cups, bath tissue or household cleaning supplies.

Wilson County Democratic Women announces the Dorothy McAdoo Memorial Scholarship, Wilson County High School Senior Essay Contest 2010-2011. The scholarship is $500. All Wilson County high school seniors are eligible to enter by submitting an on the topic, “The Importance of Women in the Political Process.” The entry must be 400-500 words, typed and double-spaced; the cover page must include name, address, telephone number and school; omit your name on essay pages; it will be evaluated on content, form and clarity by the Scholarship Committee. It must be postmarked by April 26 and mailed to Linda Armistead, 210 Forrest Lawn Drive, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122. For more information, call 444-3838.

Lebanon High School Class of 1971 is planning a 40-year reunion to be held June 11. Call one of the following people with your contact information: Teresa Halbert at 444-5995, Phil Bragg at 444-4941, Jo Smith at 444-8811 or Brownie Hall at 444-5173.

Lebanon High School Class of 1991 is planning a 20-year reunion for July 2. Organizers are looking for classmates. Email contact information to Dawn Carr Willis at or, or call 308-0034. For information, go to or Facebook.

To submit items for the calendar, you can mail them to The Wilson Post, 216 Hartmann Drive, Lebanon, Tenn. 37087, or e-mail them to Items for the calendar will not be taken over the phone. The Wilson Post reserves the right to reject items deemed not appropriate for the calendar.

Mrs. Ida Rawles, 86
MT. JULIET -- Graveside services were held Saturday afternoon, March 5 at the Mt. Juliet Memorial Gardens for Mrs. Rawles, 86, of Mt. Juliet.
Mrs. Rawles passed away March 3, 2011.
She was preceded in death by parents, and husband, J. D. Rawles.
Survivors include: daughters Janis Wilson and Barbara Sullivan; four loving grandchildren; six loving great-grandchildren; and two loving great-great-grandchildren.
Arrangements by Sellars Funeral Home at Mt. Juliet.
Mr. Lewis W. Bilbrey, 89
LEBANON -- Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon, March 8, at the Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home for Mr. Bilbrey, 89, of Lebanon.
Born April 26, 1921, in Jackson County, he died Sunday, March 6, 2011, at the Gallatin Health Care.
The son of the late Clay Willie and Minnie Williams Bilbrey, Mr. Bilbrey was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II -- having served in the South Pacific.
He was retired from the Scotland School for Veterans Children in Chambersburg, PA where he worked as a counselor.
He was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Gallatin and had been a member of the American Legion Post 7 for over 60 years.
Services were conducted by Pastor Kenneth Shaw.  Interment was at the Wilson County Memorial Gardens.
Survivors include: his wife of 64 years, Christine Tomlinson Bilbrey; children Patricia Polston of Hendersonville; Gloria Stearns of Las Vegas, NV; and Ronald (Charlotte) Bilbrey of Lebanon.
Also surviving are siblings Mary Alice (Adrian) Humphrey, Doyle Montgomery and Clay (Nancy) Bilbrey -- all of Goodlettsville; grandchildren Tony McWhorter, Tommy McWhorter, Christine Koeller, Melanie Beaty and Chad Bilbrey; along with 10 great grandchildren.
Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 4205 Hillsboro Pike, Suite 216, Nashville, TN  37215.
Arrangements by Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home, Lebanon.
Mr. Shelah G. Thompson, 88
LEBANON -- Mr. Shelah G. Thompson, 88, of Lebanon, passed away Monday, March 7, 2011 at his home.
Born January 2, 1923, in Wilson County, he was the son of the late Shelah W. Thompson and Ida Estelle Gass Thompson Jackson.
A U.S. Navy veteran of World War II and a charter member of Immanuel Baptist Church, Mr. Thompson was retired from Le-Al-Co with 35 years service.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Odell Jackson. 
Survivors include: his wife of 68 years Bessie Nokes Thompson; daughters Linda (David) Collier and Barbara Thompson; grandchildren Brian (Jennifer) Collier and Andrew Collier; great grandchildren Calie and Will Collier; sister Carolyn (Thurman) Manners and sister-in-law Willie Jackson -- all of Lebanon.
His remains rest at the Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home, 241 West Main Street, where funeral service will be 11 a.m. Thursday, March 10.
Services will be conducted by Pastor John Hunn. Interment will follow at Wilson County Memorial Gardens.
Pallbearers: David, Brian and Andrew Collier, Eddie Vaught, Jack Bell, Dave Gordon and Ray McCartney. Honorary: Ready Sunday School Class and Charles Bell.
The family will receive friends Wednesday 2-8 p.m. and after 9 a.m. Thursday at Ligon & Bobo.
Arrangements by Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home, Lebanon.
Reception honors CU grapplers

Cumberland Athletics will honor NAIA National Champion wrestler Corey Bleaken, All-American James Casadaban and the entire Bulldog wrestling team during a reception on Tuesday, March 15 in Baird Chapel on the CU campus. The get-together begins at 11:30 a.m. and fans can have cake with the athletes and coaches beginning at 12 Noon.

Bleaken claimed the school’s second individual wrestling title on Saturday at the 54th Annual NAIA Championships in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The redshirt senior defeated Notre Dame College’s Thomas Straughn, 4-3, in overtime at 157 pounds, joining Keith Cupp in 2005 as the only individual national champions in school history.

Bleaken ended his Bulldog career as a three-time All-American after claiming honors at 149 pounds in 2007 and 2009. He also earned the prestigious Gorriaran Award as the NAIA Most Outstanding Wrestler in the national tournament, becoming the first-ever Bulldog to garner the award.

Casadaban claimed his second straight All-American honors, placing seventh at 165 pounds. The Bulldogs finished 13th nationally as a team.

CU hoops falls to MMU


PULASKI -- Graciano Negron and Josh Pierce scored in double figures, but Cumberland University came up short in the TranSouth Championships semifinals, falling to Martin Methodist College, 83-63, Saturday night, March 5. 

Negron totaled 14 points, while Pierce contributed 11. Junior Michael Sweat finished two points shy of a double-double with eight points and 11 rebounds.

Coach Lonnie Thompson's club ended the season with an 18-12 record, losing in the conference semifinals for the second straight year.

Martin Methodist shot a red-hor 61 percent in the contest and held the Bulldogs to just 32 percent.  CU scored the first points of the game on a 3-pointer by Negron, but the Bulldogs didn’t get on the board again  until the 13:16 mark of the first half when Pierce put up his first points. During that nearly six-minute drought, MMC posted 17 points, taking a lead that would never be erased.

The RedHawks led by double digits at the break and scored 11 of the first 13 points in the second half to take a 20-point lead, cruising to the win.

Negron was named the Music City Star of the Game, reaching double figures for the 18th time on the year.

CU 7, TX Wesleyan 1

FT. WORTH, TX -- Shortstop Tommy Winegardner belted a three-run homer and Lebanon’s Cody Ferrell tossed a complete game with five strikeouts, in No. 1 Cumberland's 7-1 victory Monday over Texas Wesleyan at historic LaGrave Field.

The Bulldogs (14-3) have won five straight contests on their current eight-game road trip, giving up a total of nine runs in the five outings.

Ferrell (1-1) was nothing short of masterful against the Rams (10-9), allowing just four hits through eight innings before running into trouble in the ninth.

TWU loaded the bases with a pair of singles and a walk before Joseph Lassiter flied out to end the contest.

Ferrell was roughed up in his last outing, but he rebounded in a big way for the Bulldogs on Monday, saving a somewhat thin pitching staff with a much-needed complete game.

CU collected 12 hits in the contest, three from Tommy Crews and two apiece by Greg Appleton and Mike Mandarino.

Winegardner provided the big blow with the three-run shot in the sixth, upping his current hitting streak to nine games.

Cumberland plays a 1 p.m. doubleheader Tuesday at Northwood University before finishing the road swing at 13th-ranked LSU-Shreveport on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Bleaken wins NAIA championship


Cedar Rapids, Iowa -- Cumberland University's Corey Bleaken claimed the school's first individual wrestling national championship since 2005 with a 4-3 overtime victory Saturday over No. 3 Thomas Straughn of Notre Dame College at the 54th annual NAIA Wrestling National Championships at the US Cellular Center, Saturday night.

The redshirt 157-lb, senior, who was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler for the tournament, closed the season with 15 straight wins, including two over Straughn.

"This means everything," Bleaken said. "All of the hard work that I've put in with my coaches and teammates has paid off. Standing above everybody was a special moment."

Bleaken and Straughn faced each other three times this year with the Cumberland wrestler claiming two victories. All three matches were decided by a single point.

"We've wrestled before, so I knew he was a stud," Bleaken said. "I knew he was a stud and was going to come hard."

In the championship bout, the two battled through the first period with neither wrestler earning a point.

Bleaken won the coin toss for the first decision of position and began the second period down. The Clifton, N.J., native broke free from the Falcon grappler, claiming the first point of the match and the only tally of the period.

The Notre Dame grappler, who defeated Cumberland's James Casadaban in the national title match last year, started the third period in the down position and was quickly credited with an escape to knot the match at a point apiece.

Straughn recorded a takedown to take a 3-1 lead late in regulation. Bleaken escaped his grasp to make it a one-point contest.

With less than 30 seconds remaining in the third period, Bleaken was awarded a penalty point after Straughn was called for stalling. The point tied the match and neither wrestler scored again before the final horn of regulation.

"When I heard (the referee) call the penalty, I was almost relieved," Bleaken said. "I knew I had more in the tank."

Straughn began the first 30-second overtime down, but Bleaken never let loose of the Falcon wrestler and didn't surrender a point through the first half of the period.

Bleaken quickly earned an escape in the next half and survived the remaining time without giving up a point as he claimed the first individual national title since Keith Cupp brought home a banner six years earlier.

"It's unexplainable and it was such a rush," Bleaken said. "I was on top of the world. Keith won it and now I'm the second (at Cumberland). It's going down in history and is something that can never be erased. You get the trophies and the plaques, but the feeling will never go away."

Casadaban finished in eighth place, ending the tournament with a medical forfeit. His All-American finish marked the second straight year that CU had two wrestlers end the year in the Top Eight.

FBI trains local officers

The Wilson Post
 Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been sharing techniques and equipment with Wilson County law enforcement officers during a three-day special training course this week at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon.

Officers from the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department, Lebanon Police Department and Mt. Juliet Police Department walked three crime scene scenarios set up within Fiddler’s Grove on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as a part of the course taught by five FBI agents from the Bureau’s Nashville branch.

 “We host evidence classes for local law enforcement, about three basics a year,” said FBI Special Agent Suzanne Nash.

MJPD checks suspicious package

Mt. Juliet Police Department investigated two suspicious packages that were left near a USPS mailbox on Thursday, which resulted in the temporary closure of Providence Parkway.

A Mt. Juliet Police Officer noticed two black suitcases near a United States Postal Service mailbox on Providence Parkway near Deerfield Apartments at about 11:30 a.m., Thursday.

On the side of caution and per protocol, officers and Wilson County Emergency Management established a safety zone. MJPD officials requested assistance from Metro-Nashville Police Department’s Bomb Squad who responded to the scene to investigate the packages. The Bomb Squad then rendered the packages safe.

Whip Crackin' Rodeo plans return in April

Mayor Philip Craighead, the Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce and Lone Star Rodeo announce the 2nd Annual Charity Whip Crackin’ Rodeo to be held Friday and Saturday nights, April 15-16, at the James E. Ward Ag Center under the lights of the new arena. 

New this year - A Special Events Rodeo for Exceptional Individuals kicks off the rodeo events on Thursday, April 14, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Action-filled events will include Bareback Bronc Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding, Calf Roping, Cowgirl’s Breakaway Roping, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Cowgirl’s Barrel Racing & Brahma Bull Riding.

Ranger lends name to newly-discovered grasshopper

Special to The Wilson Post
All Wayne “Buddy” Ingram’s wife, Lisa, could say when he told her that a newly discovered species of grasshopper had been named after him, was, “Lord, have mercy.”

Ingram, 56, an interpretive specialist who has worked for 35 years at Cedars of Lebanon State Park, found out earlier this week that a grasshopper that only inhabits the gravel zone of cedar glades has been christened Melanoplus ingrami.    

Asked how it feels to have a grasshopper named after him, Ingram answers, “I don’t know. It’s kinda one of those things you think won’t ever happen to you. It’s a real honor.”

The talk

Wilson Living Magazine
I’d been dreading this moment since the day he was born. (OK. That’s probably a little melodramatic.)

I didn’t even know this would be awkward. Before becoming a parent and right up until this day, I swore I was going to be a cool, open-minded, honest parent who answers ALL of my children’s questions.

Colin Firth spent early childhood in Nigeria

Dear Ken: Tell us a bit about Colin Firth, who was nominated for a best actor Oscar for his role as King George VI in “The King’s Speech.”
Firth, 50, was born in Grayshott, England, but lived from the age of two weeks to 4 years old in Nigeria (three of his grandparents were missionaries). His father taught history at Winchester University College, and his mother taught comparative religions at the Open University. Married, he has three children. The actor is a strong supporter of Survival International, an organization that defends the rights of tribal peoples. Among his other acting credits are “Valmont,” “Pride and Prejudice,” “The English Patient,” “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” “Nanny McPhee,” “Mamma Mia!” and “Dorian Gray.” He has completed the film “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” a thriller which will be released at the end of the year.

Who are The Bachelors of Wilson County?

Wilson Living Magazine
As you are all aware, the last few weeks we’ve been all consumed by weddings, weddings and more weddings. With the Blushing Bridal Show and the 3rd annual Wilson Living Wedding Issue about to hit stands, there hasn’t been much else for us to think about.

But of course, every bride needs a groom and for those ladies out there who haven’t quite met their perfect match, you won’t want to miss “The Bachelors of Wilson County” presented in the March/April issue that comes out this Friday.

Who are the most eligible bachelors in Wilson County? To find out, you’ll need to check out the next issue of Wilson Living Magazine. Can‘t wait until then? Ok, well here are just a few hints!

Bachelor #1 is a metropolitan attorney whose current love is named “Sadie.” 

Bachelor #2 is a handsome legalist whose perfect date would be taking in a baseball or football game before a fantastic dinner.

Bachelor #3 is an aspiring politician who works in local government. If his ambitions are not enough to attract the perfect girl, then his ability to play the drums and saxophone will definitely seal the deal.

Bachelor #4 is an edgy entrepreneur who owns his own business. He would love to take the right lady snowboarding or wakeboarding any time.

Bachelor #4 is a hometown athlete. To win his heart, you will have to be able to make his favorite dish, chicken spaghetti casserole.

Bachelor #5 is a local baseball player. This athlete doesn’t need anyone to cook for him. He loves to cook and intends to cook everyday for his soul mate.

Bachelor #6 is a good-hearted dentist. This bachelor would definitely take his lady love on an outdoor adventure that would include hunting, fishing and shooting.

Bachelor #7 is a trendsetting orthodontist. His favorite vacation spot where he would like to take his favorite girl is Alys Beach in Florida.

So, put your thinking caps on and let the guessing begin!  And be sure to look for more hints on Facebook by becoming our friend on the Wilson Living Magazine Fan Page.

And until next time, keep reading! 

Our Feathered Friends - March 2

After a rough night of weather on Thursday night, I was relieved to have survived a close call situation on Highway 70 coming back from Watertown.
I have never been under the wheel of a car right in the middle of a tornado before. After leaving The Wilson Post at the post office in Watertown to be delivered to our subscribers in the area, it had just started to rain and as I approached Pruitte Hill on Hwy. 70.

The weather went from bad to seriously horrendous. The rain was coming down in sheets, but was blowing in the horizontal position, while tree limbs and possible hail were beating the van very hard. Times such as these, call for immediate prayers to God for safety. The van was at one point pushed sideways by the hard wind. Pray a little harder, and then it was over. Don’t try to tell me that prayer doesn’t work. It takes a lot to unlock fear in me and that was one of the times. 
Saturday was a whole lot better so I went to watch our Cumberland University Bulldog baseball team. Usually, I keep my eyes on the game, unless there happens to be some birds flying over.

Cainsville farmer creates furniture, paintings, poetry

Special to The Wilson Post
CAINSVILLE — Donald Alexander harvests much from the bounty of his fertile fields and his fertile mind.

The Cainsville farmer, 61, raises beef cattle on a 700-acre family farm about 18 miles south of Lebanon and also runs a small sawmill with his son, Matt.

When he’s not toiling in timber, tilling the soil or taking care of the herd, you might find him painting a landscape, writing a poem or crafting a piece of furniture.

Most recently, Alexander built several blanket chests and cedar chests. He advertises with a small, hand-painted sign by the side of the road.

“I was trying to sell the chests before Christmas. I’ve been making them off and on for years,” said Alexander, who began producing the chests in the 1980s out of cedar, walnut and poplar from timber on his land.

Suzuki Players to perform at Suttons

The Nashville Suzuki Players will perform at Sutton’s Ole Time Music Hour, Sutton’s General Store, Granville on Saturday, March 5, with music beginning at 6 p.m. and radio taping at 7, with family style southern meal served at 5 and 6:30 p.m. 

Reservations are required for dinner by calling (931) 653-4151 which also entitles you to a reserve seat at the performance. 

The Nashville Suzuki Players have performed in concerts and made television appearances all across the Southeast in Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina. They have performed at the Biltmore Estates, Georgia Aquarium, U.S. Space and Rocket Center, The National Corvette Museum, The Country Music Hall of Fame, Graceland and at the 2010 Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Festival.

In January, the Nashville Suzuki Players opened for the Oak Ridge Boys concert at the Gaylord Opryland Resort Hotel in Nashville. The Nashville Suzuki Players have appeared on the “Tennessee Morning Show” with celebrity hosts, Charlie Chase and Kelli Sutton, and on “Good Day Atlanta,” “Good Morning Memphis” and “Live at Five” in Knoxville. The group has recorded eight CDs and five DVDs. The group’s latest CD, “Fiddlin Around,” has just been released.

The Nashville Suzuki Players is directed by Thornton Cline and are joined by Ken Morrell on guitar, Renee Morrell on autoharp and bluegrass and Hall of Famer Haskell McCormick on the banjo. The student members who will be performing are Cole and Savannah Ritter, Jaime Dorsey, Rachel Morrell and Ragen Perry. 

Sutton Ole Time Music Hour started on April 5, 2008 and has been performed each week since that time. It is now heard on seven radio stations and around the world via the Internet. For stations and times as well as websites, visit

The weekly show is sponsored by Coca Cola of Cookeville, Jackson Bank & Trust, Meadows Homes, Anderson Upper Cumberland Funeral Home, Granville Marina and Cookeville Regional Medical Center.

A great night at The Mill

Thanks Gretchen & MCA

“Where have we been for the past two years?” That was the question my wife and I asked ourselves last Saturday night when we walked out of The Mill following the third annual production of McClain Christian Academy’s “Music at the Mill.”

Frankly, I’m not one capable of reviewing a show of this quality, but I can assure you, for a guy who likes to be in bed by 9 o’clock, I felt no anxiety when we got home at a little after 11.

This was one great show played to a full house just as it should have been. It was our first, but I promise we will be back next year.


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