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Mayor’s budget remains intact after committee hearings

Members of the county’s Budget & Finance Committee gave their approval to the mayor’s proposed 2018-19 budget last week after three nights of hearings.

Among the highlights of the budget plan are raises for both county employees and those in the sheriff’s department, an increase in insurance contributions and two new school resource officers.

The budget does project tapping into the county’s general fund balance for an amount of $693,825, from a projected $3.58 million to $2.89 million.

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Carroll Carman

“We’re doing a lot with this budget,” Mayor Carroll Carman told the committee. “We’re holding the tax rates at $2.93 (General Services) and $1.08 (Urban Services District).

According to the budget, 1 cent will bring in $19,336 in property tax revenue, a $152 increase from initial estimates, which added roughly $45,000 to projected revenues.

“That was a blessing,” Carman said. “That extra money helps.”

Under the mayor’s plan, full-time county employees will see a $2,000 annual raise and part-timers will see a $1,000 increase. Those in the Sheriff’s Department will see raises based on a longevity scale, with deputies starting at $17 per hour and moving to $18 once trained. Deputies with over five years experience will see a $4 per hour raise, boosting their salaries by almost $9,000.

All county employees will see the county’s contribution to health insurance rise from $380 per month to $482, which would entirely cover the single PPO (Preferred Provider Option) for both Cigna and Blue Cross Blue Shield, according to estimates.

Two school resource officers will be added at the middle and elementary schools under the budget plan. Carman and Director of Schools Clint Satterfield previously reached an arrangement under which the county and schools will split the cost of three SROs, contributing roughly $75,000 each per year.

The budget also moves impact fees for new construction from Education Debt Service into the General Fund. Carman noted that the wheel tax and the schools’ contribution to debt service make the county’s contribution virtually unnecessary and freed monies to be applied elsewhere. Impact fees are also planned to increase, which will come up before the County Commission at its June 25 meeting.

Increased pay for county commissioners is also included in the mayor’s budget under a plan previously voted upon by the Local Government Services Committee earlier this year.

“There’s a lot of things we’re trying to correct,” Carman told The Vidette.

While acknowledging the planned hit on fund balance, Carman pointed out that his original 2017-18 budget, presented last year, called for nearly $300,000 in deficit spending. Actual spending instead wound up with a nearly $300,000 surplus.

Under state law, counties must budget in the expectation of collecting 92 percent of property tax payments. Trousdale has traditionally collected closer to 98-99 percent, but that additional money cannot be incorporated into a budget proposal.

“Last year, this budget on paper was in the hole $525,000, but the real number was almost $800,000 more,” Carman said. “This year’s budget has the potential of being positive too.”

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

Hartsville library chooses to eliminate fines

Fred A. Vaught Memorial Library is now fine free!

During policy updates, we found that a desire to be more accessible to our patrons outweighed the benefit of our small, income-based revenue. Our Library Board voted to eliminate overdue fines from accumulation.

Many libraries across the nation have adapted their policies for this same change, and we’re happy to join that group.

This does not mean you may check out items from our library and not be held responsible for their care and return. On the contrary, we believe that this will promote a greater partnership between responsibility and services.

Rules listed in the new policy are as follows:

All items are loaned out for a period of two weeks with three possible renewals.

If an item has not been returned after a three-month period from initial checkout, a lost item fee will be charged to the patron account. Fees must be paid in full before continued use of library services.

Fees for unreturned items will include the cost of item at purchase and possible processing charges.

Our library strives to provide as much free access to our community as possible. We are here for you!

Clogging team plans spaghetti fundraising dinner

The Evermean Evergreen Cloggers are planning a spaghetti dinner fundraiser later this month in hopes of making their way to the national competition.

The dinner will be held on Saturday, June 23 at 5:30 p.m. at Immanuel Baptist Church, located at 214 Castle Heights Ave. in Lebanon.

Hartsville’s Emily Brown, 11, is part of the Evermean team, which has won eight national championships at various levels.

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“We were at the Wilson County Fair and I watched a group (of cloggers) and it was so interesting,” Emily said of her start in clogging. “I passed up on the rides and sat there for eight hours watching them and was like, ‘I want to do this.’ ”

Emily started on a beginning class and moved up to an advanced team within five months, She has been clogging now for about two years.

Emily has performed at a number of events in Hartsville aside from competing with the Evermean team, including parades and in the July 4 Music in the Park.

The national competition has usually been held in South Carolina but has moved to Gatlinburg this year, shortening the trip considerably. Nationals will be held from Oct. 25-28 and the team must also compete in July, also in Gatlinburg, in order to qualify.

“It’s our first ever spaghetti dinner fundraiser,” added Kimberly Brown, Emily’s mother. “There will be a performance and a silent auction, so they’ll get a chance to perform for everybody.”

Kimberly added that the team is seeking donations for its silent auction as well as food, such as noodles or sauce. Currently, silent auction items include custom-made cornhole boards, Dollywood passes, a Hartsville Taco gift certificate and items from Unique Specialty Boutique, among others.

“The less we have to fork out for the event, will make it easier to get where we’re going,” she said.

Tickets are $10 for ages 11-up, $5 for ages 4-10 and free for ages 3-under.

For more information, call 615-478-8184 or visit the Evermean Evergreens Facebook page.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

Online registry designed to protect pesticide-sensitive crops

Commissioner of Agriculture Jai Templeton is encouraging Tennesseans with apiaries and commercially grown crops sensitive to pesticides to register their locations using the online program, FieldWatch, Inc.

Purdue University developed FieldWatch in collaboration with agricultural stakeholders. The registry streamlines communication between producers and pesticide applicators to help protect sensitive crops and apiaries from unintended pesticide exposure.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

Following is the listing on FieldWatch of the specialty crops that will be part of this directory:

  • Alfalfa
  • Beehives
  • Berries
  • Christmas Trees
  • Floriculture or Greenhouse
  • Fruits
  • Fruit Trees
  • Grapes
  • Greenhouse – High Tunnel
  • Herbs
  • Hops
  • Non-specialty Certified Organic
  • Non-specialty Transition to Certified Organic
  • Nursery Crops
  • Nut Trees
  • Pumpkins or Melons
  • Tobacco
  • Vegetables

In October, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced new label requirements for the pesticides Engenia, XtendiMax and FeXapan, which included the provision that pesticide applicators consult a sensitive crop registry prior to applying these new formulations of dicamba products.

The FieldWatch registry offers two online platforms. DriftWatch is for producers of commercially grown crops sensitive to pesticides and includes the ability to map boundaries around production fields. BeeCheck is a registry site for beekeepers that designates one-mile radius boundaries around apiaries. Producers of commercially grown sensitive crops who also manage apiaries may enter hive locations using either DriftWatch or BeeCheck. The registry will be offered at no cost to participating farmers and was to be available online by March 29.

“Communication among producers and pesticide applicators is vital to ensuring a successful harvest for everyone,” Templeton said. “Applicators need to know the locations of sensitive sites so that they can take steps to avoid pesticide impact. This new registry will improve that communication, helping Tennessee maintain its reputation as a prime location for all types of agriculture.”

Along with apiary sites, the registry also includes commercial vineyards of a half-acre or larger, orchards, fruit and vegetable grow sites, nursery tobacco and Christmas tree production sites, and certified organic crops.

“We worked hard to identify a suitable registry for Tennessee’s cotton and soybean farmers so that they can comply with label requirements,” Templeton said. “Based on our research, FieldWatch offers us an established program that is already being used by 18 other states. We are pleased to offer this technology to farmers in Tennessee.”

To access DriftWatch and BeeCheck, visit fieldwatch.com. The website offers detailed instructions to sign up and use the mapping tools.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s mission is to promote wise use of our agricultural and forest resources, develop economic opportunities, and ensure safe and dependable food and fiber for the citizens of Tennessee. For more information, visit tn.gov/agriculture.

Ray Russell seeking re-election as Trousdale County sheriff

Ray Russell is announcing his candidacy for another four-year term as Trousdale County’s sheriff.

“I have been involved in law enforcement for the past 29 years at the Trousdale County’s Sheriff Department,” Russell said. “It has been my great honor to serve as your sheriff for the past 22 years.”

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A lifelong resident of Trousdale County, Russell is the son of James and Anniebell Russell. He is a 1982 graduate of Trousdale County High School and worked as a deputy prior to becoming sheriff.

“I remain committed to providing the very finest law enforcement for our county. In addition, I will continue to strive to run the Sheriff’s Department in a professional manner.”

Russell’s wife, Susan, is the owner and operator of Ms. Susan’s Learning and Child Care Center in Hartsville. The couple attends Hartsville First Baptist Church and Russell also is a member of the Trousdale County Youth Football League and Tennessee Sheriff’s Association. He has also helped provide assistance to Trousdale County Christmas For Kids for a number of years.

“Susan and I are committed to the community where we live,” Russell said. “I hope to see each resident of Trousdale County by Aug. 2. If I should miss you, please accept this announcement as a request for your vote and support.”

Russell is unopposed on the election ballot this year.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

Amber Russell seeking full term as county commissioner from 6th District

Amber Russell is announcing her intention to seek a full term on the County Commission representing Trousdale County’s 6th District.

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Russell was appointed to the Commission in 2017 to fill a vacancy caused by the incumbent’s resignation. She currently serves as Trousdale County’s Veterans Service Officer and spent 10 years in the military as a combat medic. During her service, she spent time in both Kuwait and Iraq.

“I want to live in a place where a regular person can make a difference,” Russell said. “Being the Veterans Service Officer for the county has been a blessing and I hope to continue helping my community for years to come.”

Russell, who has lived in Trousdale County since 2003, is married to Thomas Russell, a former member of the Rescue Squad and former captain with the Volunteer Fire Department. They have two daughters, Kiersten and Lauren. She is the daughter-in-law of Mike and Susan Russell.

Election Day is Aug. 2.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

Look Back: In praise of the Southern biscuit

This month we are paying a tribute to the great Southern breakfast!

A good breakfast gets a person up and running and despite its humble beginnings, it is the worse meal of the day to skip!

Every nation has some kind of simple fare for its morning meal and even in our own country, breakfast can differ from one part of the nation to another.

But we in the South know how to fix a meal that sticks to your ribs and puts a shine on your cheeks!

As we wrote in last week’s article, the basic meat for any Southern breakfast was pork. Pigs came over the Appalachian Mountains with the first settlers and quickly earned their keep by giving us sausage, bacon and ham.

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This advertisement for the local milling company appeared in a 1948 Hartsville cookbook, the earliest in our Historical Society’s collection. Corn pone, corn cakes and cornbread were once part of every Southerner’s breakfast – until biscuits came along!

The American Indian had already introduced the European invaders to corn and by the time the first white man built a cabin on the banks of Little Goose Creek, he knew the smartest thing he had to do was to plant a crop of corn.

So with corn for his belly and for the belly of the pig, a nice diet was accomplished.

But while a simple corn pone or cornbread was usually eaten with the morning bacon, over time something better arrived – the buttermilk biscuit.

The biscuit has a long history. Roman soldiers ate biscuits as part of their diet, but it was not the biscuit we recognize today.

The word itself has a Latin root and basically means, “twice baked.”

The biscuit of the past was a piece of baked flour and water that was thin and baked to an almost rock-like state. It would look more like a cracker than what we know as a biscuit.

Crackers and cookies share a common ancestry with those hard, dry biscuits of the past.

But progress brought flour to the American South and with flour came new ways of cooking.

The housewife who baked the first biscuit neglected to leave her name written down for prosperity, but she took some flour, a little lard, added a little baking soda and a bit of baking powder and rolled it out on her kitchen table. Using an upside-down glass, she cut the dough into little round shapes and popped them into the wood-burning oven.

We owe her our debt of thanks – or at least a statue somewhere!

North of the Mason-Dixon line, cooks took the same ingredients and experimented and came up with bread.

Now anyone can tell you that a hot buttered biscuit beats a piece of toast any day of the week and twice on Sunday!

That original cook served her oven-baked goods to her family, keeping the old English name of “biscuit” and made her relations very happy. The recipe was passed from one household to another and it spread across the South.

At first, the biscuit was served for Sunday lunch. It was a fancy piece of what we call “quick bread.” That is, the dough didn’t have to be placed in a warm spot in the kitchen and left to rise. From start to finish, the biscuit could be on the table in under 30 minutes. Hence the term “quick bread.”

With time it became the choice for breakfast, replacing the more humble cornbread.

In fact, the biscuit became such a staple of breakfast that Southerners coined the nicest series of words to ever make up a sentence, “Have two while they’re hot, and butter ‘em!”

It is said that if a Southerner had guests that had overstayed their welcome, the remedy was to start serving them toast for breakfast and they would pack their bags and leave for sure!

Now I remind you that the biscuit is a Southern food.

If you walk into a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in New York City, as I have done, and ask for a biscuit to go with your two pieces of chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy, the kid behind the cash register will look at you with a puzzled look on their face.

You might as well be speaking a foreign language!

Jack McCall: Frank T. McCall was one outstanding father

Father’s Day is just around the corner. My father passed away on Father’s Day in 2003. He’s been gone these 15 years. Funny, seems like yesterday when I got word of his passing.

I have often said I am one of those fortunate sons who can say my father was the best man I have ever known. They just didn’t come any better than Frank T. McCall. I could write a book about him, and some day I just might.

He was the oldest of nine children born to D. T. and Amy Manning McCall. And all his life he commanded (not to be confused with “demanded”) the respect of his younger brothers and sisters. Everyone liked to be around my dad.

Across the Miles
Jack McCall

He was unassuming; almost bashful, and a man of few words – and “honest as the day is long.”

My dad loved the land. Farming was his life. He especially loved growing tobacco. He approached each new crop with the same determination and enthusiasm. It was art to him. He carefully studied the nuances of the cultivation of the soil and all of nature’s complexities that related to each crop. He was constantly refining his craft, and he knew what he was doing. In all the years he farmed, he never had a crop failure.

Frank T. McCall never met an internal combustion engine he didn’t like. He had “the knack” for anything mechanical. I thought it bordered on genius. If an engine went bad, he was undaunted. He would tear down an engine in a heartbeat.

In thinking of my dad and his farming years, I find him and an “A” Model John Deere tractor almost inseparable. Somewhere in the early life of the tractor he removed the electrical starter. To start the tractor, he either “rolled it off” or started it by hand.

He knew that tractor like the back of his hand. And he could back a four-wheeled hay wagon anywhere he decided to, even down the narrow hallway of a tobacco barn. It was no small feat.

In the life of that old John Deere, my dad overhauled the engine twice. He literally knew it inside and out. I can see him now, perched high in the tractor seat as that old John Deere rolled along, spittin’ and hissin’.

My mother, my brothers, my sister and I always helped in getting the tobacco crop out. But once the growing was underway, my dad took over. In the early years, he plowed behind an old black horse named “Old Charlie.” In later years, he used his trusty Super “A” Farmall. We were called in to help with topping and sucking and cutting and hauling, but for the most part, my dad enjoyed being alone. He spent a lot of time alone with his crops.

My dad insisted, “oil is the life of an engine.” And when he was working with machinery, he always carried a gun – a grease gun. Every piece of equipment on his farm was well-oiled and got an extra shot or two of grease. He had big, strong mechanic’s hands, with black under his fingernails.

I recall with fondness; if the sermon got slow in church on Sunday, he would take out his pocket knife and clean the black dirt out from under each of his fingernails.

My dad’s clothes always smelled of diesel. My mother explained that is why he was never bothered by chiggers, ticks or three-leaf poison oak.

He wore long underwear nine months out of the year. He started wearing them in September and didn’t switch to boxers until late May.

He carried a big, four-blade pocket knife. One blade he kept “sharp as a briar” and he used it for castration only. But his favorite little tool was a small pair of Xcelite pliers that would fit in the palm of your hand. He called them his “nippers.” In most situations, he preferred those pliers over his pocket knife.

Although he never said so, I think being elected to serve as a deacon in his church was one of my father’s crowning achievements in his life. He had a simple testimony and he lived it every day.

Shortly after my father’s death; I was, one day, thinking of him and prayerfully considering the bountiful blessings our family has enjoyed. Our father referred to it as “our many blessings” when he prayed in public. Over many years, our family members, for the most part, have been strangers to hospital corridors. We are, indeed, a family blessed.

As I pondered all of this, deep within my spirit came the answer, “Your father was a praying man.” And I realized many of those times my father was alone with his crops, he was also alone with his God.

And to this very day, we continue to reap the benefits of his life – and his prayers.

Citizens Bank makes donation to Sherry’s Run

Citizens Bank’s main office in Hartsville presented Sherry’s Run with a $1,022.40 check on Thursday, May 31.

Citizens Bank held a fundraising cookout on May 18, with the intent that the proceeds would benefit a local charity, Sherry’s Run. The people who stopped by the cookout were able to donate $5, receive a hamburger/hotdog, chips and a drink and a Sherry’s Run T-shirt.

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A director on the board at Sherry’s Run, Tiffy Clemons, also joined the staff of Citizens Bank for the day of the cookout. She encouraged donations and informed citizens about Sherry’s Run.

Despite the intermittent storms, people dropped by to support the cause.

Citizens Bank collected the donation amount in 2½ hours.

Citizens Bank Chief Executive Officer Todd Austin presented the check to Clemons.

“Your support allows us to assist cancer patients 52 weeks a year with gas, groceries, utility bills, housing payments, prescription assistance, health insurance premiums, medical bills, and colonoscopy assistance,” Clemons said.

“Like most in our community, we at Citizens Bank have been impacted in ways great and small by this dreaded enemy. We are honored to help contribute to such a worthwhile organization like Sherry’s Run and the ongoing fight against cancer,” Austin added.

To learn more about Sherry’s Run, please call 615-925-9932.

Wilson Bank & Trust receives award from American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society (ACS) announced that Wilson Bank & Trust has received its Legacy Partner Award. As one of the area’s first corporate sponsors, Wilson Bank & Trust has supported ACS’s Relay For Life since 1996, raising more than $1 million. The award is the only recognition of its kind in the state of Tennessee.

The honor was announced at Wilson Bank & Trust’s annual Stockholders Picnic, held at the bank’s main office on West Main Street in Lebanon.

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“We are grateful for the opportunity to raise funds for such an impactful organization that’s been one of our biggest charity partners for more than 20 years now,” Wilson Bank & Trust President John McDearman said. “Giving back to our communities is such an important part of who we are, and we plan to continue our longstanding support of the American Cancer Society.”

Wilson Bank & Trust is only the second corporate partner to receive the Legacy Award. Kroger received the honor in 2017.

This year’s Wilson County Relay For Life event will take place June 15 near the WBT Main Office at 623 West Main Street in Lebanon. Teams and individuals can register at relayforlife.org/wilsontn. The event offers a family friendly atmosphere with special activities for children.

Wilson Bank & Trust, member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender, is a community bank established in 1987 to provide personal and professional service in a hometown setting. One of the top banks in the South in stability, products, technology, growth and earnings, WB&T currently operates 27 full-service offices in eight Middle Tennessee counties, offering a full range of financial products that include secondary market mortgage loans and mobile and online banking services.

Gun range appears headed for southern Macon County

A gun range once proposed for northern Trousdale County appears to have instead found a new home in southern Macon County.

The Middle Tennessee Sporting Association, formerly known as the Gallatin Gun Club, received approval from the Macon County Board of Zoning Appeals in March.

The shooting range will be sited on Dry Branch Road in Dixon Springs, just a short ways up Highway 10 from the Macon-Trousdale county line.

The MTSA looked at property along Highway 231 in Trousdale County early in 2017, but a proposed sale fell through after the land turned out not to be as big as originally thought and after protests from area residents.

According to a report in the Macon County Times, the property consists of 157 acres, but only 10 of those will be used for shooting with the rest serving as a buffer zone.

Area law enforcement and trap- and skeet-shooting teams reportedly will also be allowed to use the facility for practice.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

What do statewide candidates say about opioid epidemic?

The spread of opioid abuse claimed over 1,600 lives in Tennessee in 2016, and it is getting worse. Methamphetamine abuse, while not getting the headlines, has increased. Gun violence and murder is increasing. What proposals do our candidates have to help Tennesseans address these public safety issues?

Each of the major candidates for governor and U.S. Senate were asked to tell our readers about their views on the opioid crisis in Tennessee.

Gubernatorial candidates

Republican

Diane Black

The opioid epidemic is a scourge on our society, and I firmly believe the next governor will be judged by how she handles this crisis.

As I’ve traveled the state, I’ve sought input from the boots on the ground combating this epidemic. Working with the Attorneys General and Sheriffs on my Law and Order Coalition, we have developed a plan to go after the root cause of the crisis.

We can significantly reduce the destructive impact of addiction if we: 1) prosecute pill mills; 2) sue manufacturers who mislead providers about the addictive nature of their drugs; 3) provide more resources to district attorneys, local law enforcement and the TBI; 4) regulate prescriptions using a real-time Controlled Substance Monitoring Database without adding administrative burdens to providers and; 5) protect patients by encouraging pharmacies and manufacturers to include emetics in their formulas.

The road to healing is a long and difficult one for our state, but I am confident that bold collaboration between government, health care providers and law enforcement will pave the way.

We can’t just stop at addiction. We have to broaden our view and look at crime as a whole.

As governor, I will be dedicated to giving law enforcement and schools the resources they need to be successful. I will work with school districts to provide a safe and secure environment, including armed school resource officers in every school and increased mental health screenings.

My administration will institute truth in sentencing for felony convictions and end the practice of allowing parole and probation violators to count their time in violation as time served. As governor, I will get tough on repeat offenders, especially drug trafficking and domestic violence offenders. We can’t keep letting repeat offenders walk the streets with our kids.

 

Randy Boyd

Opioids are decimating our communities, and this is a crisis that requires bold and decisive action. As I’ve traveled to all 95 counties, I’ve met countless people who talk about loved ones lost. These are real people, not just statistics and this alone demands our action. Last September I published a 10 Point Plan, which can be summarized into three strategies: Mobilize, Prevent, Recover.

We must mobilize all state resources to end this scourge and that begins with declaring a state of emergency to call this epidemic what it is. We will then appoint a Chief Epidemic Officer to marshal those resources and prioritize this battle.

We must also prevent more people from getting addicted and this means addressing the over-prescription of opioids. There is no excuse for prescribing twice the national average and being one of the top states in the country for dispensing these deadly pills. Educating doctors, patients, parents, and children about the danger of these drugs is a key component in prevention.

Finally, we must do a better job of helping with recovery. The place we send most addicts for recovery today is jail. We can’t incarcerate our way out of this problem. There is a revolving door between those struggling with addiction and our jails. The good news: Providing proper treatment in addiction and mental health facilities is more effective, better for the addict, and cheaper than jail.

Tennessee needs to step up in a big way, not just for addiction, but for mental health in general. Over the last 50 years, the number of beds for treatment has been reduced by nearly 95 percent. The people didn’t go away, they just ended up on the streets and in the jails. We can do better, we must do better, and as your Governor, we will do better.

 

Beth Harwell

As Speaker of the House, I appointed a task force in early 2017 to take an in-depth look at the opioid crisis in our state and make recommendations as to what should be done. I appreciate Gov. Haslam incorporating several of the recommendations into the legislation he presented this year, and I am supportive of these efforts.

As governor, I would continue the work we have started this year. We cannot incarcerate our way out of this crisis, so I would prioritize treatment and funding for treatment to ensure people have access to the help they so desperately need to get clean. I would also step up our prevention efforts, because educating the public about this issue is part of the battle as well. And finally, we have to support our law enforcement as they fight this, and keep these drugs off the street.

Another public safety issue I have worked on is human trafficking, a scourge on our state. I had the chance a couple of years ago to see a human trafficking sting, spearheaded by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, from the inside. It is complex, life-saving, incredible work. As a legislator, combating human trafficking is something we often discuss, but seeing it firsthand absolutely cemented my belief that we must continue working to implement policies that will assist our law enforcement throughout the state in these operations.

The TBI has partnered with local enforcement and other agencies and non-profits to tackle this problem. In addition, End Slavery Tennessee — a wonderful organization — works with these agencies and the community at large to raise awareness about this issue and to provide long-term, comprehensive, specialized services. This is a perfect example of a public-private partnership that attacks a problem from multiple angles. We are leading the nation as a state in our response to trafficking, but I’ve seen just how much work there is left to do, and as governor, I will support and continue those efforts.

 

Bill Lee

Over the last 10 years, a collective failure by government, pharmaceutical companies, and some in the medical community have left us with an opioid crisis that is crippling our state. There’s no quick fix, and the solution will require shared responsibility from state and local institutions, our medical providers, and faith and community leaders.

The state is currently taking several common-sense first steps that we can build upon. For instance, restricting the use of addictive opioids, particularly in TennCare is an important preventative step. Currently one in three patients on TennCare have at least one opioid prescription. We know that after five days of use, the risk of addiction for new users sharply increases. Lowering the overall rate of prescriptions is an important first step to solving this crisis.

Another step is to increase funding and support for law enforcement drug interdiction efforts, which is critical to combat the flow of drugs from China and Mexico and the new threat of fentanyl. To combat this epidemic, the role of law enforcement cannot be overvalued.

On rehabilitation, we need to look at the entire continuity of recovery by bringing addicts back into the community with meaningful connections and skills to start a new life. I am heavily involved in prison ministry and I know that the window for rehabilitation must happen months, if not years before an offender’s release from prison. Our next governor has an opportunity to lead the Department of Corrections into a new strategy for healing offenders before their release.

Finally, we must address our mental health support system, by acknowledging the shortfalls in addiction treatment and support those working in mental health. For families in crisis, navigating the mental health system is often frustrating and complex, and we have to do better. As governor, I’ll bring a comprehensive approach to overcoming our opioid crisis.

 

Democrat

Karl Dean

I have seen, as I’m sure many others have, the human toll the opioid crisis is having on our state. I have toured a Johnson City children’s hospital that had to add space for premature babies born suffering from opioid withdrawals. I have heard from law enforcement, treatment providers and social workers on the challenges they are facing, both with criminal and mental health issues, related to opioids.

As governor, I would take a four-pronged approach:

·      Public education about the dangers of opioids

·      Ensuring that people addicted to opioids get the treatment they need

·      Supporting law enforcement to arrest those who are profiting

·      Eliminating over-prescription of narcotics

As Mayor of Nashville, public safety was one of my top priorities and that was reflected in the city’s operating budget. Even when other departments were being cut due to the recession, we protected funding for public safety. Over my eight years in office, we increased the Metro Nashville Police Department’s budget. We also invested millions in building new precincts and our city’s own crime lab. We also increased the number of police officers. In return, overall major crime was down when I left office than when my first term began, including record low homicide numbers in 2013 and 2014.

Our government’s No. 1 job is to keep people safe, and so as governor, public safety would be a priority. I would be willing to have tough conversations across party lines to see what we can agree on in this state as it relates to gun safety and move from there to help keep our children and families safe. We should be working to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. Additionally, I would be in support of a ban on bump fire stocks, and we need to look at the age limit for purchasing an assault weapon. There are public safety reasons why you can’t buy alcohol until you’re 21, and those same public safety reasons logically apply to purchasing an assault weapon.

 

Craig Fitzhugh

The opioid and methamphetamine crisis is tearing up our state, especially in our rural areas. There has been a push in the legislature this year to address this crisis, and while I back those efforts, I do not believe that they go far enough. The governor proposed a plan, committing $30 million to combating opioids. Less than half of that money comes from state funds. There are individual hospitals that have committed more funding to opioids. If our state had expanded Medicaid, we would have additional funds for opioids and methamphetamine issues, especially in the aforementioned rural areas. Tennessee has had more per capita hospital closures than any other state, almost all in our rural counties. Open hospitals offer more opportunities for treatment for opioid addiction.

Methamphetamine is a problem not just from its use but also from its creation. It can be created from just a few ingredients that can be easily found, and it ruins the homes it is created in and is very harmful to children. Education and prevention is key. We have slowed the growth of meth somewhat with roadblocks at our pharmacies, but more must be done, as law enforcement is being overwhelmed.

Gun violence is increasing. Not only are mass shootings on the rise — which have driven our children into the streets in protest — but the numbers of gun crimes occurring in our state have increased as well. According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, gun crimes have increased 25 percent in the past four years. More firearms are being stolen and those guns are being used to commit crimes. We are also seeing an increase in gun crimes being committed by and against our young people. As governor I will work with law enforcement to make sure illegal, unlicensed guns are off our streets.

 

U.S. Senate

Marsha Blackburn, Republican

Public safety is one of government’s foremost responsibilities, and it requires the federal, state, and local government to work hand in hand. In Tennessee, we are blessed with an exceptional law enforcement community. In meeting with and listening to them, they expressed their concern with not only with opioids but also with the resurgence of meth, heroin and cocaine in our communities.

As a mother and friend, I am gravely concerned about the opioid crisis. In Tennessee alone, at least three people die from an opioid-related overdose each day, and that does not include the Tennesseans who have had their lives destroyed by addiction.

I have long worked to fight the opioid epidemic and other drug abuse, including the rise of methamphetamine use. In the State Senate, I fought for drug courts and treatment programs and partnered with law enforcement and prosecutors to ensure they had the necessary tools. In Congress, I supported the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and the 21st Century Cures Act; both bills took major steps to combat the opioid epidemic by supporting prevention, treatment, and recovery programs that proved effective.

Last month, I introduced the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act 2.0 to further strengthen the federal government’s response, by increasing civil and criminal penalties for bad actors and authorizing vital funding. I will continue to work towards a systemic solution that involves tougher penalties on the distribution of illicit opioids and engages the community in prevention and recovery efforts.

Additionally, we are working to prevent horrific attacks involving gun violence. I recently participated in a bipartisan discussion at the White House, where I raised concerns that Tennesseans had brought to me about our mental health system and violence in our culture. I know we can protect our citizens in public spaces, while safeguarding our Second Amendment rights, and I am committed to that goal.

 

Phil Bredesen, Democrat

It’s no secret that we have an opioid crisis in Tennessee, and there is no shortage of recommendations to address it. Most of them include the word “billions”: billions of dollars for research, billions for mental health services, billions for law enforcement.

But there’s another approach that costs little and is far more humane: stem the flow on the front end by demanding more personal responsibility from everyone involved in getting these pills into Tennessee medicine cabinets.

America is an outlier among nations in the volume of opioids that are legally prescribed: we consume legal opioids at 30 times the rate that the Japanese do, for example. Tennessee is an outlier in America: we have the third-highest legal opioid use of any state.

Here’s the thing: Tennessee is awash in opioids, and these are not illegal drugs from Mexico or China being pushed by some shady drug dealer. Every one of these pills was manufactured by a legal, regulated pharmaceutical laboratory. And every one of them was prescribed by a physician who is properly licensed right here in America.

We should of course demand responsibility from pharmaceutical companies who manufacture and push these drugs.

But remember that Tennesseans don’t get a bottle of pills until a physician writes a prescription. Tennessee’s physicians need to step up and take some personal responsibility if we are ever going to beat this. Patients don’t know the ups and downs of these powerful drugs; that’s what doctors do. There are evidence-based standards for when and in what quantities opioid prescriptions are appropriate. If a physician regularly prescribes outside of these standards, and patients become addicted, shouldn’t that physician bear a part of the responsibility?

Congress can, and probably will, spend billions on this. The truth of the matter though is that change will only come when everyone involved in getting these drugs into our medicine cabinets is forced to take some personal responsibility for what happens.

TBI releases annual domestic violence report

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released a new study Tuesday, detailing the volume and nature of crime identified as being domestic violence in nature.

The annual report compiles crime data submitted to TBI by the state’s law enforcement agencies through the Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System (TIBRS).

Among the findings of “Domestic Violence 2017”:

A total of 77,846 domestic violence offenses were reported in 2017, representing a decrease of 1.8 percent since 2016.

Simple Assault accounted for the largest number of domestic violence offenses.

Females were three times as likely to be victimized as males, and accounted for 71.5 percent of reported victims.

Juveniles accounted for approximately 9.8 percent of reported domestic violence victims, with fondling being the most reported offense made against juveniles.

“I would like to thank all participating law enforcement agencies for their hard work and contributions to making this report a thorough and accurate picture of crime in Tennessee,” said Acting TBI Director Jason Locke. “It is only with their support the state continues to maintain such a successful program.”

As with all of its crime publications, the TBI cautions against using the data provided in this report to compare one jurisdiction to another. The factors impacting crime vary from community to community and accordingly, comparisons are considered neither fair nor accurate.

The report is currently available for review on the TBI’s website: tn.gov/tbi.

Community Foundation of Mid TN issues call for grant applications

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee is announcing its annual call for discretionary grant applications.

Nonprofit organizations working to improve the wellbeing of residents of Middle Tennessee are eligible and are encouraged to apply. Nonprofit grant guidelines and applications are available at cfmt.org. The application deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 1.

Grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations across Middle Tennessee serving a wide range of causes, including: animal welfare, arts and humanities, conservation and preservation, environment, education, employment and training, health and human services, housing, and economic and community development.

The Foundation’s discretionary grant recipients will be announced in late fall 2018. All tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations applying for discretionary grants must be profiled on The Community Foundation’s initiative GivingMatters.com.

“Our grantmaking is at the core of our mission to connect generosity with need and to improve the quality of life in Middle Tennessee,” said Ellen Lehman, president of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. “Thanks to the generous support of our donors, we are able to fund nonprofit solutions addressing Middle Tennessee’s emerging needs and opportunities.”

For more information about discretionary grants, contact The Community Foundation at 615-321-4939, toll free at 888-540-5200, or grants@cfmt.org.

Nonprofit organizations in the following Tennessee counties, and profiled at GivingMatters.com, are eligible to apply for discretionary grants: Bedford, Cannon, Cheatham, Clay, Coffee, Cumberland, Davidson, DeKalb, Dickson, Fentress, Franklin, Giles, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Jackson, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Macon, Marshall, Maury, Montgomery, Moore, Overton, Perry, Pickett, Putnam, Robertson, Rutherford, Smith, Stewart, Sumner, Trousdale, Van Buren, Warren, Wayne, White, Williamson and Wilson.

The Community Foundation exists to promote and facilitate giving in the 40 counties of Middle Tennessee and beyond. It does this by accepting gifts of any size from anyone at any time and by empowering individuals, families, companies, nonprofits, and communities to respond to needs and opportunities that matter. The Community Foundation works with people who have great hearts, whether or not they have great wealth, to craft solutions that reflect their intentions and goals. For more information, call 615-321-4939 or visit cfmt.org.

Guest View: Working to keep felons from returning to prison

In Tennessee, we take a strong stance against crime with our dedicated law enforcement officers and our judicial system working hard to keep our communities safe and secure.

We also know that more than 95 percent of all incarcerated individuals will eventually be released. Nationally, that means 650,000 former inmates returning to our towns and neighborhoods every year.

As one who has dedicated almost three decades of my life to helping these individuals prepare for reentry into mainstream life, it is clear we must do more to help them succeed.

While successful reentry of an inmate begins with individual transformation, it ultimately benefits us all. It results in safer communities and less crime. It means more people finding meaningful work to provide for their families and contribute to the tax base.

Yet, the U.S. has a massive recidivism crisis. Currently, three out of every four inmates will be rearrested within five years of release. These overwhelming numbers mean thousands of men and women are stuck in a desperate cycle of returning to crime and prison, with devastating consequences for their families and our communities.

The reasons for high rates of recidivism are complex and numerous, but among the most common are substance use disorders, lack of education and marketable job skills, and the inability to secure housing or stable employment due to a criminal record. Unless we can address these barriers, former offenders simply find it easier to return to a life of crime.

At CoreCivic, we have made reducing recidivism a central part of our company’s mission. We believe our nation’s alarming recidivism numbers can and must be dramatically reduced, but we also know the work must start at the very beginning of an inmate’s sentence.

Our newly implemented “Go Further” process brings together an array of resources and programs available to the inmates in our care and empowers them to develop life plans that address their barriers to successful reentry.

That plan can include Career and Technical Education courses, substance use disorder treatment, victim impact programs, and family reunification work, among others. We are taking an innovative approach to reentry services by incorporating these classes into a holistic process tailored to each individual’s specific needs. Our focus is on what it will take to give this individual the best chance of never returning to prison.

By providing industry-credentialed training, our goal is to quickly help incarcerated men and women find a job after prison. As of February, CoreCivic is assisting more than 1,700 inmates in Tennessee in training programs ranging from HVAC to information technology.

While an incarcerated person’s second chance begins during incarceration, it doesn’t end there. Reentry Centers and aftercare organizations provide a vital bridge to resources critical to long-term success.

Locally, CoreCivic partners with organizations like Men of Valor, Dismas House, and The Next Door, which provide ongoing counseling, temporary housing, food, clothing, employment opportunities, clinical support, and other resources for individuals just released from prison.

These groups are making a real and significant impact in reducing Tennessee’s recidivism rate. By working together, the Volunteer State has seen recidivism dip below 50 percent while the national average still sits at 67 percent. While we are encouraged at this improvement, there is still work to be done.

Those who have served their time and paid their dues for past actions deserve a second chance at life. At CoreCivic, we often use the phrase, “We care about the one,” because every person is important, and changing one life can change many lives. And ultimately, that means building a better world for all of us.

Joe Pryor is the Senior Director for Reentry Services at CoreCivic, and the former Chief Chaplain for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Guest View: 1968 – the year in which we lost our innocence

This weekend, I will celebrate the 50th anniversary of my high school graduation with most of the surviving classmates of the Cranbrook School Class of 1968. They became accomplished men (it was an all-boys school then), whose greatest common achievement has been to be solid family men.

Looking back, though, ours was not the typical exuberant graduation day. Our scheduled commencement speaker, U.S. Senator Robert Griffin (R-MI), had to cancel at the last minute to attend the funeral service for a fellow senator — Robert F. Kennedy (D-NY), who had been assassinated in California just two days earlier after having won that state’s Democratic presidential primary election. While we were all grateful to receive our diplomas from an extraordinary school, the tragedy of RFK’s murder cast a somber pall over the occasion.

Indeed, 1968 was the year when many Baby Boomers — and in particular all the high school classes of ’68 across the country — lost our innocence. Our class had grown up during one of the happiest times in American history. We weren’t quite old enough to remember the Korean War, and so growing up in the ‘50s and ‘60s, it seemed as though peace, prosperity, and carefree times were the normal, natural conditions of life on earth. We were naive, of course, but it was, comparatively speaking, a glorious period.

In the ‘50s, we middle-class suburbanites never locked our house or car. The ‘60s seemed to open up limitless, brighter possibilities — from black-and-white TV yielding to color to the giddiness ignited by the Beatles to the breath-taking marvel of sending astronauts to the moon. There were occasional interruptions of the near-idyllic world of the Class of ’68 — the assassination of President Kennedy in November 1963, periodic racial conflict, and the emerging tragedy of getting bogged down in a no-win military venture in Vietnam — but until 1968, hope, happiness, and optimism prevailed.

1968 was the year that the illusory bubble of a carefree world was popped for the Class of ‘68. That was the year we lost our innocence. I’m sure that the several older graduating classes of Baby Boomers, having outgrown the cocoon of high school and entering into the responsibilities of adulthood during the mid-‘60s, had already left innocence behind, but for the Class of ‘68, our naive, sheltered childhood came crashing down with a bang in that eventful year.

On April 4, 1968, the country was stunned by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I had grown up believing that fair play, respect, and freedom were universally accepted as “the American way,” but King’s murder violently showed that prejudice, hatred, ignorance, and injustice were far from vanquished.

Just two months and two days later, on June 6, 1968, RFK was also killed by an assassin’s bullet. For the second time in two months, a shocking and monstrously wicked deed battered the innocence in which I, and many of my contemporaries, had grown up. Those two assassinations were slaps in the face to the Class of ‘68: Grow up, kids, the party is over, your society is coming apart at the seams, you’re getting your draft cards this year, and it’s now your turn to deal with the sometimes-grim challenges of adult life. (Please don’t feel bad for us. We all take turns grappling with difficult challenges. The ones who really had it tough in 1968 were the Americans serving in Vietnam then. They had to experience the horrors of war while hearing about the apparent disintegration of the country they longed to return to.)

In 1968, American society entered a grim period of discord and tumult. The assassinations were followed by such convulsive events as the counterculture’s clash with Chicago police at the Democratic National Convention that August, the increasing incidence of antiwar protests, the explosion of reckless drug usage, the acceleration of the trend away from church attendance, the exploding sexual revolution that glorified casual sex and spawned a wave of broken families, etc., etc.

Indeed, 1968 was a pivotal year for me, for millions of my contemporaries, and for our country. Fortunately, I have learned a few worthwhile things in the decades since. I have learned that the USA, despite too often falling short of our highest values and ideals, is still the world’s last, best hope, and deserves our patriotic support. I have learned that this world will always be in a perennial battle between good and evil — the tares and wheat — and we owe it to ourselves and others to cherish and emphasize the wheat. Life in this world isn’t always easy or fair. But life gives each of us repeated opportunities to do things that make life worth living.

Most importantly, I have learned that a merciful and loving God exists and will comfort us with a peace beyond anything this world can provide.

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson is an adjunct faculty member, economist, and fellow for economic and social policy with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College.

Guest View: Keeping routine can give kids better summer break

Summer break is in full swing — and some parents have already started the countdown to their child’s first day of school!

Without the routine and structure of going to school, summer break might not feel like a break at all and can present stressful moments for both parent and child. Recent studies have found that having a normal daily rhythm can help diffuse stress and depression. Routines can also contribute to multiple health benefits and improve an individual’s mood and cognitive functions.

Here are several ways parents and children can incorporate and maintain healthy routines to help reduce stress during the summer break:

Bedtime

Time off from school doesn’t mean time off from sleep. Keep a bedtime routine during summer to help maintain balance and reduce stress. According to the Centers for Disease Control, short sleep duration can be associated with greater likelihoods of frequent mental distress. The bedtime routine may vary depending on a person’s age but everyone needs regular sleep, which serves as the body’s reset button. A good night’s rest supports mental and emotional resilience.

Family Time

Unplugging from technology and spending quality time with loved ones can help shrink stress and anxiety, and it can boost the mental and physical health of the entire family. Traditions and rituals like vacations can enrich relationships and provide opportunities for family members to talk with one another, discover new interests, explore places together and create new memories.

Playtime

Playtime has powerful benefits for children and adults by providing life balance. Amidst the hectic schedules and daily demands of life, take time out to play and enjoy the freedom from time, rules and responsibilities. Children who see adults having fun, laughing and enjoying life can learn valuable lessons about their own lives. Many times, children communicate their thoughts and feelings through play more naturally than they do through verbal communication.

Routines let you know what to expect, but they should be flexible and adjusted when necessary. Some stress is normal for all of us, but when stress constantly interrupts a person’s daily life, professional help may be needed. Centerstone’s staff is trained to help anyone deal with stress in a healthy way and to incorporate successful routines tailored to an individual’s needs.

This summer, assess which routines should be incorporated to make the break an enjoyable one for you and your family.

Beth Hail is regional vice president for Centerstone, serving its central Tennessee region. She holds a master’s degree in social work administration and is a licensed clinical social worker. For more advice on health-related topics, visit centerstone.org.

Community Calendar: June 14, 2018

POLICY: Information for the Community Calendar submitted in person, by mail or fax is due by noon Monday for publication. Items mailed should be typed or printed and sent to: Community Calendar, The Hartsville Vidette, 206 River St., Hartsville, TN 37074 or brought to the office during business hours. Free listing of nonprofit events, community club and government meetings. We reserve the right to reject or edit material. Include name and phone number in the event we have questions.

GOVERNMENT MEETINGS:

Monday, June 18

10 a.m. – Animal Control Board

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Animal Control Board will meet in the mayor’s office, 328 Broadway.

6 p.m. – Budget & Finance Committee

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Budget & Finance Committee will meet in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

7 p.m. – County Commission

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Commission will hold its regular monthly work session in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

Thursday, June 21

6 p.m. – School Board

The Hartsville/Trousdale County School Board will hold its regular monthly meeting at the offices of the Board of Education, 103 Lock Six Rd.

6 p.m. – Parks & Recreation Committee

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Parks & Recreation Committee will meet in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

Monday, June 25

7 p.m. – County Commission

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Commission will hold its regular monthly meeting in the upstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

Wednesday, June 28

10 a.m. – Water Board

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Water Board will hold its regular monthly meeting in the county mayor’s office, 328 Broadway.

2 p.m. – Highway Commission

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Highway Commission will hold its regular monthly meeting at the Highway Department on Main Street.

OTHERS:

School Registration

Early registration for the 2018-19 school year for students new to Trousdale County or those starting kindergarten will be held on Tuesday, July 10 from 4-7 p.m. at the elementary school. Call 615-374-2193 for more information.

Summer Feeding Program

The Trousdale County Board of Education will be sponsoring an open Summer Feeding site at Trousdale County Elementary School through June 29. All youth ages 2-18 may eat a free breakfast or free lunch at the school Monday thru Friday during June. Breakfast will be served from 8-8:45 a.m. and lunch will be served from 11:15 a.m.-noon. For more information call Kathy Atwood, 615-374-0907.

FCA Bass Fishing Tournament

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes will hold its first annual Ridge/Outdoor Bass Fishing Tournament on Saturday, June 16 at Flipper’s (200 Odham’s Bend Road, Gallatin). First place: $2,500; second place: $1,250; third place: $750; big fish: $500. Five-fish limit, artificial bait only. Call 615-452-7719 or visit ntnfca.org for more information.

Macon County Hillbilly Days

The 43rd annual Macon County Hillbilly Days will be held June 21-23 at Key Park in Lafayette. Events include ‘Itty Bitty Hillbillies’ beauty pageant, cast-iron cooking contest, fiddle challenge, outhouse race and much more! For more information, call 615-699-2495 or 615-666-5196.

Catfishing Tournament

Help For Homeless is sponsoring a Catfish Tournament on Saturday, June 23 at Cairo Boat Ramp in Gallatin (799 Zieglers Fort Rd.) from 3-10 p.m. $40 per two-person team or $25 per bank angler. $10 entry pot for biggest fish. 50 percent payout with all proceeds going to Help For Homless. For more information, call 615-808-1176.

Gospel Singing

Smith Chapel AME, 1490 Hawkins Branch Rd., Bethpage, will host a Gospel Singing on Sunday, June 24 at 3 p.m. Several local groups featured and special guests will be The Revelations.

St. John’s Program

St. John Missionary Baptist Church will be having a program on Sunday, July 22 at 3 p.m. The speaker for the hour will be Minister Cynthia Boyd and Dr. Pickett and Family will render the music. Please come out and enjoy this day with us. All proceeds go toward our pastor’s anniversary.

Food Pantry

The food pantry at Hartsville Church of Christ (Halltown Road) will be open on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. Please use the backdoor entrance.

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels is looking for volunteer drivers to deliver meals to elderly within Hartsville city limits. Drivers especially needed on Fridays. Call 615-374-3987.

American Legion

Attention all former military members! American Legion Post 56 of Trousdale County would like to invite you to come spend time with us and get information on the benefits the Legion has to offer. You served your country well, now let us know how the country and your community can help you! Call John LaFleur, 860-268-7303 for more information.

Adult Education

FREE GED/HiSET CLASSES! The Adult Learning Center holds adult education classes each Wednesday at the middle school. Call 615-374-1131 to schedule an appointment.

TROUSDALE SENIOR CENTER:

Thursday, June 14

9 a.m. – Summer Clean-up inside Center (please sign up)

5 p.m. – Water Aerobics

Friday, June 15

CENTER CLOSED – FLOORS REDONE

Monday, June 18

11 a.m. – Book Club

11:30 a.m. – Wii Bowling

5 p.m. – Water Aerobics

Tuesday, June 19

9 a.m. – AF Exercise

10 a.m. – Yoga

11 a.m. – East Smart, Live Strong w/ Erica

Wednesday, June 20

9 a.m. – Line Dancing at Assisted Living

11 a.m. – Chair Exercise

Noon – Rook games

1 p.m. – Bible Study

Sheriff’s Reports: June 14, 2018

Editor’s Note: The following are suspects booked in the Trousdale County jail during the specified timeframe. All persons charged are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

June 1

Isaiah Jarred Kirby, 19, of Hartsville, was charged with probation violation by Deputy Brad Basford. No bond was set and General Sessions court date was set for June 8.

June 3

Richard Micheal Baskeyfield, 37, of Carthage, was charged with failure to appear by Deputy Tony Wrinkle. No bond was set and General Sessions court date was set for June 8.

Joh’Nise Alicia Davis, 18, of Hartsville, was charged with disorderly conduct by Deputy Joseph Presley. Bond was set for $500 and General Sessions court date was set for June 8.

Cameron Matthew Sullivan, 29, of Hartsville, was charged with probation violation, vandalism, non-habitational burglary, theft-all other larceny by Deputy Kyle Presley. Bond was set for $7,000 and General Sessions court dates were set for June 18 and June 22.

June 4

Frederick Victor Payne, 58, of Hartsville, was charged with aggravated assault by Deputy Tony Wrinkle. Bond was set for $1,500 and General Sessions court date was set for June 8.

Justin Lee Gammon, 26, of Castalian Springs, was charged with attachment-child support by Deputy Jesse Gentry. Bond was set for $750 and General Sessions court date was set for June 18.

June 5

Eugene Grayson, 49, of Castalian Springs, was charged with failure to appear by Deputy Shane Burton. No bond was set and General Sessions court date was set for June 8.

Janet Key Hiland, 53, of Lafayette, was charged with DUI, possession of Schedule II, possession of Schedule IV by THP Trooper Mercer. Bond was set for $4,500 and General Sessions court date was set for Aug. 24.

June 6

Glenn Maurice Dickens, 43, of Hartsville, was charged with probation violation by Deputy Joseph Buehler. No bond was set and General Sessions court date was set for June 8.

Aaron Harvey Bender, 26, of New York, NY, was charged with drivers license revoke/suspend/canceled by Deputy Jordan Davis. Bender was cited to court and General Sessions court date was set for July 6.

June 7

Gary Allen Beasley, 34, of Hartsville, was charged with drivers license revoke/suspend/canceled by Deputy Jordan Davis. Beasley was cited to court and General Sessions court date was set for June 22.

June 8

Wendy Lynn Sanders, 49, of Gallatin, was charged with failure to appear by Deputy Jordan Davis. Bond was set for $726.50 and General Sessions court date was set for June 22.

June 10

Megan Nicole Gammons, 26, of Westmoreland, was charged with vandalism by Deputy Jordan Davis. Bond was set for $500 and General Sessions court date was set for July 13.

Mayor presents 2018-19 budget proposal for county government

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was written prior to county budget hearings, which were scheduled for June 4, 5 and 7. Due to editor’s vacation, coverage of the first two hearings is not included in this article.)

Trousdale County’s proposed budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year features just over $750,000 in new spending but does not include a tax increase.

County Mayor Carroll Carman made copies of the proposed budget available to members of the County Commission during their May 29 meeting. Budget hearings were scheduled to take place this week.

Among the highlights the mayor listed in his budget proposal were:

  • Raises of $2,000 for full-time and $1,000 for part-time county employees, an average of 6 percent increase and at a cost of $127,486;

    Submitted photo
    Carroll Carman

  • Salary increases for the sheriff’s department based on time in service, at a cost of $238,724;
  • Two additional school resource officers, with the $100,000 cost to be split between the county and the school system; and
  • An increase in the county’s contribution for employee health insurance from $380 per month to $482, at an estimated cost of $106,070.

Carman sat down with The Vidette to discuss his proposed budget, which dips into the county’s respective fund balances.

“This will be subject to the County Court and their leadership,” Carman said. “I presented it as a stable budget, but some of these numbers could go down.”

Carman said “upward pressure” meant the county needed to raise employee pay in order to both keep current personnel and attract new hires.

“The guys on the low end are getting higher raises. I’m trying to help the ones that probably need the help the most,” the mayor said.

Some one-time spending is also included in the budget, such as:

  • A new truck for the county’s building inspector at a cost of $24,000;
  • A new compactor, dumpsters and trash cans for the Convenience Center at a cost of $73,650; and
  • Fencing and paving at the Convenience Center ($14,000).

Some of the raises in the sheriff’s office are as much as $9,000 for longtime employees, something Carman said could be pared back while saying the loyalty and courage of the deputies should be rewarded.

“How much do you pay a man to face a bullet for you?” he asked.

Carman’s budget proposal dips into the county’s fund balance to cover expenses, with $636,884 coming from the general fund and $280,985 from the Urban Services fund. The mayor’s budget estimates that those amounts would respectively be left at approximately $2.73 million and $565,000 at the end of June 2019.

While acknowledging that fund balances would be used to balance the budget, Carman said he felt economic growth and additional property tax collections would make up a substantial portion of the projected deficits.

By law, counties must budget based on collecting 92 percent of available property tax. Trousdale County typically takes in 98 to 99 percent, with 2018 estimates adding almost $240,000 in revenue that was not budgeted.

The mayor added that his budgets typically overestimate costs and underestimate revenues and that the actual need to tap into fund balance could be considerably lower.

“We’re trying to do a whole lot of things with this budget, more than with any other,” he said. “The deficit spending will not be repeated, I expect. We’re in good shape on this, but I do have to convince 11 people.”

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.