Legislators propose bill to allow medicinal marijuana products

State Sen. Steve Dickerson (R-Nashville) and Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) have introduced the Medical Cannabis Only Act of 2018, legislation that would allow Tennessee patients with specific health conditions access to safe, regulated medical cannabis oil-based manufactured products only.

Dickerson and Faison led the Medical Cannabis Task Force for the Tennessee General Assembly this fall, and the legislation comes as public, bipartisan support for cannabis-based medical treatments is commonplace in Tennessee.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

The most recent Vanderbilt University poll shows nearly 80 percent of registered voters in Tennessee at least support doctors having the option to prescribe medical cannabis to patients. Public Chapter 963 became law in 2014 and allows the administration of cannabis oil in clinical studies into intractable seizures.

“Now is the time for the General Assembly to embrace thoughtful, medically responsible legislation to help Tennessee’s sickest residents,” Dickerson said.

Tennessee patients with the certain health conditions would qualify, such as cancer; HIV/AIDS; Hepatitis C; ALS; PTSD; Alzheimer’s Disease; severe arthritis; Inflammatory Bowel Disease, including Chron’s Disease and ulcerative colitis; multiple sclerosis; Parkinson’s Disease; schizophrenia, and those suffering from seizures characteristic of epilepsy, among others.

“Some of our sickest Tennesseans desperately want the freedom to choose what is best for their own health, and they want to be able to make that decision with their doctor,” Faison said. “Now is the time for a safe and healthy alternative to opiates, psychotropics and anti-inflammatories.”

Thirty other states, including Arkansas, Florida and West Virginia, have authorized this type of access, and it is estimated that at least 65,000 Tennesseans would benefit from safe, regulated access to medical cannabis oil-based manufactured products. Currently, there are more than 800 medical cannabis products on the market available to patients in other states but illegal to Tennesseans.

Providing oversight and accountability, the legislation would also create an independent commission composed of doctors, pharmacists, law enforcement officials, educators and patient advocates to regulate and license the industry, including issuing registration cards to qualifying patients.

Funded by license and application fees, the nine-member commission would be appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor and Speaker of the House.

Jack McCall: For the love of old barns

When I began writing newspaper columns over 10 years ago, my first column was about old barns. I wasn’t as computer savvy back then (I’m still not very computer savvy) and a few of my earliest columns have been lost. So I decided to revisit the subject. I love old barns.

I don’t suppose I ever encountered an old barn I didn’t like. Old barns represent the world in which I grew up. They remind me of days gone by – happy days.

My favorite barn is still standing in the Brim Hollow. As a boy, I spent many an hour in that old barn. To this very day, whenever I picture it in my mind, my nostrils are filled with the smell of mules. And I see corn shucks piled to the ceiling in the corncrib; and a heap of red corncobs rising from the floor of the crib. And, too, I hear shelled corn falling into the corn box as I turn the corn sheller, and watch for the corncob to be spit out.

Across the Miles
Jack McCall

Across the hallway, I can still hear the mules, Kate and Liz (That’s Liz with a long “i,” as in “Little Liza Jane.”) crunching shelled corn with their big mule teeth.

That old barn could tell some stories. The skeleton of an old buggy remains hauntingly suspended above the floor at the end of the upper hallway.

Next in my list of favorites is the feed barn back at the old home place. I spent many more hours in that old barn. That old red barn was a center of activity in days gone by. In its core was a stable we called “the log pen.” I’m sure it was the barn in the beginning. Constructed of great timbers, it was built to survive an earthquake. Over the years, it supported tons of hay stacked to the tin roof in the loft above.

I was there when a lot of that hay was stacked. There are many kinds of “hot.” I have experienced “hay hauling hot.” Oh, the smell of an old feed barn when it is filled with newly baled hay! It’s a sweet smell that can’t be described.

Some years when the tobacco barns were filled we used the loft of the feed barn as an overflow. That loft is where my brothers and I were first introduced, up close and personal, to yellow jackets. Hanging tobacco around yellow jackets always made me a little squeamish.

In the winter, in those days, we brought the entire herd of cows into the barn and out of the weather. The hay racks were filled with blocks of hay every night. My father insisted over the years that we remove all the hay strings as we filled the hay racks. If you have ever forked manure out of a barn stable you know why.

And then, there are the tobacco barns I have known. I guess my parents started me early. I well remember the feel of a drafty, old tobacco barn at tobacco stripping time. I still have a scar over my right eye from a fall I took in a tobacco barn when I was all of three years old. They told me I tripped on a rock and hit the wagon tongue. Those were my first stitches.

My brothers and I, along with some good neighbors and friends, hanged tobacco in all kinds of tobacco barns. In some, the tier poles were too close (vertically) and in some they were too far apart. Which means in some barns your head was right smack under someone’s buttock, and in some other barns, you had to stretch to reach the man above you.

We hung tobacco on sound, rough-cut 2×6’s and on ancient, “worm-eaten” round poles. Old, round tier poles were always an adventure. There were times when we felt like circus performers, balancing on the high-wire.

Yet in all the years, and all the different barns, not one of us ever fell out of a barn. God is good.

I love old barns. They take me back in time. Whenever I step inside one that stands empty and eerily quiet, I experience a deep sense of reverence. And I take a moment to pay my respects – respect for lives touched and a job well done.

It saddens me to see so many of them fading into the past.

Look Back: Princes weren’t used to sharing beds

Our adventures with Prince Louis Philippe of France have taken us from the shores of his native country, to exile in England, to a trip to see the newly created United States of America, to the home of George Washington and now to the frontier, which includes early Tennessee!

Traveling with the prince were his two younger brothers and a servant – and they found the traveling was nothing like travel back in the old country!

Although they were impressed by many things in America, from the landscape to the ability for hard-working men to make a good life for themselves, they were not impressed with the humble inns and dining establishments along the way.

Submitted photo
“Dixona,” the home of Maj. Tilman Dixon, was built by the Revolutionary War veteran in 1789 and is still standing today just outside the community of Dixon Springs. In 1797, the home was host to the future king of a foreign country!

Using a map hand-drawn for them by Washington himself, they were traveling to the newly established state of Tennessee and on to Nashville, which at that time was a small town and would not become the state capital until 1812.

The road they were using was new and there were few established towns along the way, so they were forced to spend their nights in rude log cabins that often doubled as homes during the day and as inns for travelers at night.

As we mentioned in last week’s article, most early travelers on the old Immigrant Trail would have camped out and carried their own food. But there were travelers – like our four – who had the money to stay inside at night and let someone else do the cooking.

So what was that like?

In most cases, the log homes that were large enough to have “rooms to let” did so on a “first come, first served” basis. That is, the first person to pay for a night’s lodging got their choice of room and bed. As more people arrived they took what was left over.

That often meant sharing the bed or beds with fellow travelers or sleeping on the floor!

On the 26th of April, 1797, the prince wrote, “Most of the houses (inns) consist of one large room on the ground floor with two facing doors left open all day to cool it and air it, and an attic or loft where travelers sleep in pairs.”

He also commented on the food, “The food in the inns is nothing much; generally it amounts to no more than fried fatback and cornbread. Eggs have disappeared and the potatoes are finished.”

So it was with some degree of surprise when the four men arrived at the home of Tilman Dixon, whose large, well-constructed, two-story log home was a rare find.

Dixon had been a major in the American Revolution and had received an impressive 3,840 acres for his service. He was also one of the first settlers in Middle Tennessee. The community of Dixon Springs owes his name to Maj. Dixon.

On May 8th, Prince Louis Philippe wrote,

“Beyond Fort Blount we found large cultivated areas, more and more of them as we pushed on. But most of these farms had been settled and planted only the previous autumn, so we found it impossible to buy more provisions than we had, and what we had was not only very bad but also very little. Our horses fasted all day. At night we lodged with a Major Dickson, where we had coffee; he had corn fetched from a neighboring farm. We fared famously with him, and had two beds for the four of us.”

As it would seem, the prince and his brothers had to share beds.

Now the story is more interesting, because as it was handed down through the Dixon family, spelled “Dickson” by the prince, the prince put up some argument about the sleeping arrangements.

According to the Dixon descendants, when night arrived, the prince and his brothers had to share the beds with Dixon’s sons and the prince protested.

He supposedly said, “Sir, you realize that I am a ‘Prince of the Blood’!”

To which Major Dixon replied, “And my sons are princes of the blood to me… you share the beds with them or sleep outside on the ground!”

The prince relented and agreed to share the beds.

Since it was a large home with many rooms, it is possible that the prince and his brothers originally had beds to themselves, until the Dixon family members tottered off to sleep!

Or it is possible that the Dixon boys simply added to the pair already in bed and made it three, although the prince did not mention that embarrassment in his diary.

As history works out, years later as king of France, Louis Philippe received some visitors at court. When told that they were Americans, the king asked from what part of the country they came. As soon as they told him they were from Tennessee, the king asked, “And, do you still sleep three to a bed?”

Chamber of Commerce helps promote Trousdale County

Hartsville and Trousdale County continue to grow at a record-setting pace along with many of the counties in Middle Tennessee. Your Chamber plays an active role in the community by acting as a liaison between citizens, state tourism, schools, local government and numerous groups and organizations. We work hard to promote opportunities not only for businesses but individuals as well.

If you’re not a member or aware of what the Chamber does in our community, here’s a short list of events and programs.

Did You Know?

Natalie Knudsen

Your Chamber of Commerce holds a monthly meeting that is open to the public. It meets the first Tuesday of every month at the new Community Center. The meeting features community announcements, networking, a guest speaker, drawing for a door prize and a wonderful lunch.

The Chamber sponsors the annual Christmas Parade. The parade is held each year on the second Saturday in December.

The Chamber organizes and sponsors the annual Three Days of Christmas and Dickens on the Square celebration held in December.

The Chamber hosts FREE education classes on worker’s compensation, workplace safety and drug-free workplace programs.

The Chamber of Commerce director is available to speak to your group or organization on current events and activities at the Chamber.

The Chamber of Commerce holds an annual meeting, Awards Ceremony, and auction on the first Tuesday in August.

Your Chamber of Commerce board members represent nine local businesses, while some serve in county government, health care and private industry.

The Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Leadership Trousdale program for individuals who live and work in Trousdale County. The program provides an in-depth look at all aspects of industry, history, government and life in Trousdale County.

Your Chamber of Commerce is represented on the Trousdale County Fair Board and provides the information booth for the Trousdale County Fair.

The Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Community Thanksgiving Celebration and Meal, which offers a free Thanksgiving meal and chance to meet your neighbors every November.

Your Chamber director is a member of the Economic Development Board.

The Chamber supports education through the recruitment of mentors for the TNPromise and TNAchieves programs.

Your Chamber of Commerce sponsors a Career Day for TCHS sophomores and juniors to explore their career and education options with more than 30 companies and organizations.

The Chamber maintains an extensive email list to promote upcoming events. We also have an active Facebook page for community updates and events.

Your Chamber of Commerce sponsors the annual Open House Shopping Days on the second weekend in November featuring local businesses. The winner receives a $250 gift card that can only be redeemed at participating businesses.

Your Chamber director provides a monthly update on community events for the Trousdale County Senior Center.

The Chamber of Commerce hosts a web site promoting Hartsville and Trousdale County featuring our history, local businesses, city and county government, a calendar of events and tourism information. Your membership in the Hartsville-Trousdale Chamber of Commerce entitles you to a free ad on the Chamber’s website: hartsvilletrousdale.com.

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a Chamber member, please contact me at 615-374-9243 or email hartsvilletrousdalecoc@gmail.com. We’d love to have you!

UT Extension answers beef producers’ top questions

Beef producers ask experts lots of questions designed to improve production, so to help them start 2018 with the best practices, University of Tennessee Extension Beef Cattle Specialist Jason Smith answers the four most frequently asked questions of 2017.

According to Smith, “These topics are not more important than others, but the frequency of these questions suggests there is quite a bit of confusion or inconsistent information available to beef producers.”

Photo courtesy of UT Extension
UT Extension offers answers to four frequently asked questions about beef cattle nutrition so providers can start 2018 with accurate, applicable information.

Smith hopes these answers assist beef producers in having the information they need to start 2018 in the right direction. Here are the top four questions of 2017, in no particular order:

Q: Why are first-calf heifers so hard to get bred back?

A: First-calf heifers are still growing, so they are going to be a bit different than the other, more mature cows in the herd. First-calf heifers have protein and energy requirements about 10-15 percent higher than mature cows, and so should be managed separately from the mature cowherd. To ensure reproduction doesn’t suffer, make sure to feed first-calf heifers enough to meet their needs, with either 10-15 percent more feed overall, or with feed that’s 10-15 percent higher in protein and energy.

Q: Is it true that you shouldn’t feed pregnant cows very much during late gestation? Won’t this cause the calf to get too big?

A: No, or at least not to the extent that it will decrease calving difficulty. Restricting a cow’s nutritional intake restricts the developing fetus, but not the birth weight. Birth weight is a resilient metric, so restricting nutrition simply inhibits the calf’s immune system and potential for growth, efficiency and reproduction. It will also set the cow up for failure during the upcoming breeding season, as she is likely to go into it at a nutritional disadvantage. Don’t be afraid to feed cows to meet their requirements and calve in an adequate state of body condition — just don’t make them obese. Ideally, cows should be managed to go into the breeding season at a body condition score of 5 to 6 to maximize the chance that calving and the following breeding season will be successful.

Q: Do I really need to feed high-magnesium mineral?

A: Yes, at least for a portion of the year, which is generally early in the spring and late in the fall when we see green-ups and rapidly growing forages. Some could benefit from supplementing an elevated level of magnesium year-round, but intake must also be considered. Cows need a balance of minerals, and producers should note that feeding a low-consumption traditional high-magnesium mineral year-round may lead to sub-clinical deficiencies of other important minerals during times of need.

Q: When cows are eating too much mineral, can I cut it with white salt to decrease consumption?

A: Yes, but it is not recommended unless a nutritionist has suggested to do so, or the label specifically states to provide an additional source of salt. To a small degree, cattle do adjust their mineral consumption in order to meet their demands for certain minerals. When provided with a complete free-choice supplement, their intake will change as the demands of their bodies change (dry vs. lactating) and as forages mature (growing vs. dormant). When salt is added to an already salt-limited mineral supplement, we limit the animal’s natural ability to regulate consumption and we change the formula of the mineral. The simplest solution to mitigate over-consumption is to move the mineral feeder farther away from areas where cattle are spending a considerable amount of time. If cattle are under-consuming, just move the mineral feeder closer to these areas.

For more information and articles like this one, check out the UT Beef and Forage Center website at utbeef.com. Every month, specialists post articles on topics like profitability, calving, nutrition, disease prevention, forages and more.

Through its mission of research, teaching and Extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. ag.tennessee.edu.

Business Spotlight: Walnut Hills Farm

We have been in a sort of revolution – a food revolution – for a few years now. Many of us are struggling with failing health. While it seems that we have spent so long bettering our lives with advancement, in this area we are realizing the key is returning to basics. One of the ways this is happening is through a shift towards natural, organic and local foods.

In 2003, Doug Bagwell and his wife, Sue, moved to the area to get back to his roots. While Doug wasn’t raised on a large-scale farm, his early years were immersed in the culture of farming. His parents’ gardens sustained the family while they were connected to a variety of farmers in their small Ohio town. His childhood included working for an Ohio River Bottom vegetable farmer, helping and working for friends and neighbors in the farming industry and involvement in 4-H.

Submitted photo

The Bagwells both spent many years of their life working in corporate America. They left Ohio for Tennessee in 1992 and continued on that path a while longer. They settled into Walnut Hills Farm in 2003 and named the 50 acres for the large amount of walnut trees that run along the property. They did not want to be typical farmers but wanted their meat to be top quality and had some qualifications they wanted to exceed with their products.

Walnut Hills Farm is known for its organic and all-natural products, meaning they use no antibiotics, steroids or growth hormones, herbicides, pesticides or other harmful chemicals. Their products are farm-to-table; therefore they cut out the middleman. It is important to them, and one of Doug’s favorite parts of what they do, that you get to know the farmer behind the product you are purchasing.

They offer a variety of products including grass-fed and finished dry-aged beef, pastured pork, free-range chicken and also have wild-caught Alaskan seafood available. Our meals do not just have to be a chore but an experience. The care and quality the farmer gives to their craft should be something we can taste. When a farmer takes the time to see the intelligence an animal can hold or the unique personality they possess, you know that what you are serving to your family is of the highest quality.

Doug’s biggest hope for our community? That as we grow and see new members from all different backgrounds join the area, we can continue to respect and love the culture of farming and the small town feel that makes Middle Tennessee what it is. This means neighbors getting to know and helping one another, small and local business support and integrity in the basics of where you call home.

In support of our local businesses, check out walnuthillsfarm.com. You can find more of their story as well as their full list of products here. Also, make sure to sign up for their newsletter for updated information. If you are ready to order or get to know the Bagwells more, you can do that by email at info@walnuthillsfarm.com.

The Loop: Terri Lynn Weaver’s legislative update

Greetings 40th District!

As many of you aware, the second half of the 110th General Assembly is now in session. On Jan. 9 at noon, we began with a prayer asking for wisdom from God Almighty to instruct and to guide us concerning the “People’s Business” over these next four months.

Some might say when the legislature is in session they are either doing something for you, or doing something to you. Hopefully, you can agree that my mission is to do what’s best for you, our community and for the great state of Tennessee.

State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, left, and Speaker of the House Beth Harwell

When representing you in Nashville, I am focused on what’s important towards keeping Tennessee on the right path: conservative, common-sense principles such as maintaining Tennessee’s proud tradition of low taxes, improving education and protecting you from government overreach.

I am pleased to say that so far, we have accomplished some great things. A few that I am most proud of are: eliminating the Inheritance Tax, standing strong for legal citizenship and being a voice against illegal immigration that costs the taxpayers millions of dollars in subsidies. A piece of legislation that I carried concerning our 10th Amendment on Refugee Resettlement is even moving forward in higher courts. According to the Constitution, which I swore to protect, Tennessee is a sovereign state and we are exercising our right by challenging the Federal Government on refugees being placed in our state without our consent while making us pay for it. Tennessee is paving the way on this 10th Amendment quest and states across the nation are watching.

Every two years since elected, I make it my mission to tour all schools in the district. That is a vital step to be taken in order to be a voice for principals, teachers and students. Carrying legislation to repeal Common Core, decrease ridiculous amounts of testing and be a supporter of our teachers has been and will continue to be my stance. “The proof is in the pudding” and there are eight legislative sessions of my vote to prove I support our public schools! To be honest, the fun of learning has been sucked out of education and our teachers are stressed, underpaid and retiring early. The schools in District 40 know that, on my watch, I will continue to listen and work for them.

Protecting life is another issue that I am proud to be a voice for, especially the life of the unborn who have no voice. Just last week a federal appeals court upheld the 2014 vote in favor of Amendment 1! We have been in limbo for three years and have not been able to enforce stricter abortion laws, for example the 48-hour waiting period for those seeking abortion. The court decided with the will of the people. Our Constitution was amended, and that issue was finally put to rest! “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects the right to abortion.” Persistence and an unwavering focus to protect life were accomplished.

Statistics show that over 24 percent of voters know someone who is struggling with opioid addiction. Our youngest victims are born craving drugs rather than milk. Drug abuse in our state is overwhelming the child welfare system at unprecedented rates. It is my opinion that prescribers, manufacturers and the mothers who ingest these drugs should be held accountable. Two years ago, I carried legislation that brought accountability to mothers doing illegal drugs while pregnant with a caveat for incentive to get treatment. Unfortunately, the numbers across our state still continue to increase! According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention, there has been a 200 percent increase, with more than 33,000 people dying of opioid overdoses. This epidemic is destroying families nationwide. Providing help to our children while in the womb is a passionate issue of mine and I will continue to fight for the drug-addicted child who faces extreme challenges. Someone must be held accountable!

In closing, when asked what accomplishment are you most proud of while serving the state of Tennessee? There isn’t “one” thing I am most proud of; however, I am grateful and proud to be a small part of a larger scheme on the issues that matter most to Tennesseans. I thank you for giving me this honor to serve. I ask you to continue to stand with me as I seek to represent you this year in the August primary of 2018.

Your state office has a new address, 554 Cordell Hull Building, Nashville, TN, 37243. I am always open to hear your voice; do not hesitate to contact my office at 615-741-2192.


Terri Lynn Weaver

Southern Home & Garden Expo coming in February

Wilson Bank & Trust’s annual home show will return to the Wilson County Expo Center next month with a variety of exhibitors ready to help with all types of home-related projects.

The Southern Home & Garden Expo takes place Friday and Saturday, Feb. 9-10. With free admission, the event provides access to dozens of Middle Tennessee businesses in the home improvement industry. Special workshops hosted by topical experts will also be scheduled in the coming weeks.

Prizes and giveaways with combined values of more than $13,000 will be awarded to guests at this year’s Expo, including:

Submitted photo
After a successful first year at the Wilson County Expo Center in 2017, Wilson Bank & Trust’s Southern Home & Garden Expo will return to Lebanon on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 9-10. The event offers free access to experts from throughout Middle Tennessee in areas like home building, decorating, remodeling, financing and more, all under one roof.

A free barbecue tool set or gardening tool set for the first 500 visitors on Saturday, Feb. 10;

A $500 cash prize and a 65-inch flat screen TV from Wilson Bank & Trust;

$2,500 in Benjamin Moore paint products from Fakes & Hooker;

A $2,500 cement floor (500 square feet) from AgriKote Protective Coatings.

Expo hours are 4-8 p.m. on Feb. 9, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Feb. 10. Limited exhibit space is still available. Home-related businesses interested in reserving a booth can contact Becky Jennings at 615-443-6635.

WB&T also offers special construction financing rates that are only available during the event. For more information about the Southern Home & Garden Expo, visit wilsonbank.com/expo.

A member of the FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender, Wilson Bank & Trust (wilsonbank.com), is a locally owned 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 online banking services.

Guest View: School vouchers would ruin public education

Growing up in a multicultural, multiracial, multiethnic, multilingual environment is the basis for the establishment of the integrated society that most of us claim to want for our children. Many of us would prefer a multilingual and religiously diverse environment as well, as it may provide the best chance for survival in an increasingly radicalized world. However, the desegregation of public schools in the U.S. is faltering and may even be on the decline. Unfortunately, federal education policies are set to accelerate this decline unless action is taken to reverse it soon.

The U.S. public education system is based on the core principles of equality and inclusion; however, schools are about as segregated today as they were 50 years ago. While racial segregation plummeted between the late 1960s and 1980, it has steadily increased ever since, mainly due to school districting, demographic shifts, and private preferences. The result is that 37 percent of our public schools are one-race schools — nearly all white or all minority (“Brown at 62: School Segregation by Race, Poverty and State,” UCLA Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles, May 2016).

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

Many policymakers argue that public schools are failing, especially in urban areas, and parents are just exercising their right to seek the best education for their children, so they move to areas with better schools or seek out charter schools. However, the reality is more complex, as there is little evidence to support the claim that charter schools are more successful than other public schools and plenty of examples of for-profit charter school failure in economically disadvantaged areas.

A federally backed school voucher system would exacerbate the problem.

Voucher supporters argue that school choice will allow low-income and minority children to go to a school with their more affluent white peers, but David Berliner and Gene Glass have shown that school choice increases segregation, leaving minority students in under-funded public schools (50 Myths and Lies That Threaten America’s Public Schools, 2014).

New research from the Albert Shanker Institute (“Public and Private School Segregation in the District of Columbia,” September 2017) suggests that private schools are a major factor in the segregation of children in Washington, D.C.’s public schools. So much so, in fact, that if segregation between black and white students within public schools were completely eliminated, over half of total segregation would still remain, specifically because of how segregated the student populations are between public and private schools.

Another report (White Growth, Persistent Segregation: Could Gentrification Become Integration?), released last month by the UCLA Civil Rights Project, shows that D.C.’s most rapidly gentrifying areas have seen a decline in racial segregation, more so in traditional public schools than in charter schools.

America’s public school system is one of the nation’s greatest achievements because it is for every child, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, language, income, or legal status. By encouraging states to implement voucher systems to fund enrollments in private schools which are not subject to the same standards and free to exercise religious or cultural bias, the administration may not only undo decades of progress in social integration, it may undermine the cohesive fabric that bonds together this country’s disparate mix of races, ethnicities, and religions.

Daniel Ward is the editor of Language Magazine.

Guest View: Helping celebrate National School Choice Week

Later this month, schools, home-school groups, organizations, and individuals in Tennessee and across America will work together to raise awareness about the importance of opportunity in K-12 education.

National School Choice Week begins on January 21 and celebrates all types of schools and education environments for children.

Nationwide, 32,240 different events and activities – such as open houses, school fairs, and information sessions – are being planned, with an estimated attendance of 6.7 million people. In fact, 640 of those events and activities will be held in Tennessee, and four are in Hartsville.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

National School Choice Week has been celebrated every year since 2011. And even with increased awareness, many families still have questions about school choice and how it can benefit them and their communities.

The first thing to know is that school choice isn’t partisan or political. It isn’t about a specific set of policy goals either. Rather, it’s about parents making personal decisions for their children.

School choice means empowering individual parents with the opportunity to search for, and find, the best education environments for their individual children – regardless of where they live or how much money they make.

Finding the right school is important, because every child has unique talents, challenges, and needs. School choice isn’t about finding fault with any of the schooling options available. Instead, it recognizes that while one student might thrive at a neighborhood school, another student might do better somewhere else.

Research shows that when parents actively choose schools and education environments for their children, students are more likely to succeed in school. They are also more likely to graduate from high school, get good jobs, and participate in their communities.

School choice isn’t just theoretical. Right now, more parents in Tennessee and across America are actively choosing the education environments for their children than at any other time in history.

National School Choice Week provides parents with an opportunity to evaluate the education options available for their children. If parents are interested in switching their child to a different school, or considering homeschooling, it helps to start looking into these options in the winter.

Families in Tennessee can choose from traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online academies, and homeschooling. Because the state offers a private school choice program, parents who choose private schools for their children may also be eligible for state-supported scholarships or tuition assistance for their children.

Searching for a new school, or considering an alternative education environment, doesn’t have to be daunting. Parents can start by talking to their children and other parents, researching schools online, and visiting schools in person. A good place to start is the National School Choice Week website: schoolchoiceweek.com, where we provide more information about specific school choice options in the Volunteer State as well as listings of the tens of thousands of local and regional events happening this year.

National School Choice Week is a time when the country comes together around the idea that every child can succeed when they find the right school fit. This January, parents have more options and opportunities than ever before to find that right fit. For individual communities and for our country, that is a good thing.

A nationally recognized advocate for children and families, Andrew R. Campanella serves as president of National School Choice Week, the world’s largest-annual celebration of opportunity in education. He lives in Northwest Florida.

Guest View: Why does America need immigrants? Here’s why

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This editorial contained language that is not proper for our family oriented newspaper. We believe the adults in our community have already heard reference to the term. Readers with questions or concerns are welcome to contact the Vidette office.)

As our nation approaches the one-year mark in the administration of arguably the most controversial president in our history, we were all treated to the latest “you have got to be kidding me” moment when Donald Trump referred to immigrants from Africa and Haiti as people from “(expletive) countries” and openly questioned why we would want people to come to America from those places when it would be better to receive Norwegians instead.

Beyond the usual eighth-grade vulgarity of this peculiar person, and beyond the pretty obvious racial overtones of his derogatory remarks, is a very good question.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

Why, indeed, would the United States want to see people from Africa and Haiti seeking our shores when far richer people from Norway might be available?

Mr. President, here’s why:

First, using your own words, you said that would want an immigration bill that would be based on “love.” What could be more indicative of your desire for a love-based immigration policy than to reach out to people in poorer nations with open arms? If you want to find support for your love-based policy, you should visit the Statue of Liberty the next time you are in New York. The statue gives you all the ammunition you need to show love for Africans and Haitians in these words: Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Second, when we look at the cost-benefit calculation used by potential immigrants, we see that there are good reasons to celebrate the arrival of Africans, Haitians and other immigrants from your so-called “(expletive) countries” list.

When people decide to move from one location to another, they first examine the likely benefits they would receive from the place they are considering. Those benefits are then compared to the direct cost of relocating and, more importantly, the opportunity cost of that move. Opportunity cost is the value of the second-best choice a person can make.

Every year The Heritage Foundation ranks nations based on economic freedom. That measure looks at taxes, regulations, property rights, the level of corruption, ease of starting a business, trade freedom, government spending and more.

African nations and Haiti do not fare well on this list. Out of 180 nations evaluated last year, North Korea ranked last. Several African countries including Chad (162nd), Sudan (164th), Zimbabwe (175th) and the Republic of Congo (177th), were, along with Haiti (159th), in terrible shape.

The reason these nations rank so low is because in every case, corrupt governments have destroyed the economic freedom people in those nations have a God-given right to enjoy. Corruption is rampant, property rights barely exist, and citizens of those countries know that if they pursue their self-interest to make a better life for themselves, they can lose it all to the politicians who run roughshod over these nations.

People from those nations who move to the United States do so in order to gain economic and political freedom – not to live off the welfare state. In fact, Americans make up a far larger portion of social-welfare payments than immigrants do. Immigrants from horridly poor nations routinely arrive in the United States, look around, and get to work. If immigrants wanted only to arrive somewhere and then do nothing, Norway would be a better choice.

Speaking of Norway, while Norwegians enjoy a higher standard of living than residents of poor African nations, they also tend to use their votes to support higher taxes, greater regulations and more welfare spending. Since you have been president, you have called for less of these things. So, if we recruit people from Norway, won’t we be receiving folks who oppose your agenda?

Moreover, if we want free markets and capitalism, wouldn’t it make sense to welcome people who have been longing for those ideals and who are moving in order to get away from too much government in their lives?

So, Mr. President, as you prepare to sign love-based immigration reform, it would be wise to ask the question, “Who needs America’s love more – white socialists from Norway, or black freedom-seekers from Africa and Haiti?”

Jack A. Chambless is an economics professor at Valencia College and a senior fellow with the James Madison Institute in Tallahassee. He wrote this for the Orlando Sentinel.

Guest View: America’s leaders need to take on high prescription costs

President Trump and Congress must end the pharmaceutical robbing of America. Every day Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, Roche, Novartis, Merck, Sanofi and others are driving America’s indebtedness toward another trillion dollars in drug money debt.

Americans obviously need drugs. I’m talking about the legal kind. These are the medicines, pills, injections, drips and liquids dispensed to you at your local drug store such as CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and your small-town independent pharmacist. Of course there are the mega number of drugs that you may receive if admitted to the hospital. Those are never reasonable.

President George W. Bush, trying everything under the sun to be reelected, in 2003 set up a deal with Congress to enact Medicare part D that covers the cost of prescriptions – Medicare Modernization Act. The federal government was barred from negotiating cheaper prices for such medicines. Why would the government actually pass a law saying that you can’t negotiate drug prices? Simple answer – The drug company lobbyists have funneled about $2 billion into the nation’s capital since the beginning of 2003. In just 2015 and 2016 alone, drug companies spent the equivalent of over $500,000 per member of Congress. Congressmen and Congresswomen care most about being reelected.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

A paper released by Harvard Medical School researchers cited the size of the Medicare Part D program and its lack of government negotiating clout as among the reasons why Americans pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. A co-author of that paper, Ameet Sarpatwari, estimates that Part D accounts for nearly 30 percent of the nation’s spending on prescription drugs.

Unbelievable as well, Part D pays far more for drugs than do Medicaid or the Veterans Health Administration. Both of these mandate government measures to hold down prices. Reports cite Medicare Part D pays between 70-80 percent more than Medicaid and VHA. Why has this continued? Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, who recently retired, received over $1,303.157 between 2003 and 2016 to his election committee and leadership PAC. Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah has received over $1,182.560. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, $995,350. Rep. James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, $834,508 and Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey $731,078. This is only a few of them who have rolled in the drug cash.

Americans 65 and up can elect to have Part D, which is a no-brainer if you need prescriptions, which most senior Americans need. The average cost of Medicare D prescription drug coverage in 2016 was $41.46 per month. To senior adults on fixed incomes, any additional expense is an expense. However, the cost of Medicare D is cheap in comparison to what a trip to the drugstore can cost. A hospital stay requiring an expensive treatment can push a medical bill up by thousands. In this day and time it only takes a couple of nights in the hospital to rack up a $25,000 hospital bill or much more.

Here is the problem: Medicare D allows the pharmaceutical companies to submit whatever bill they want to Medicare and Medicare is obligated to pay for it. Anything. Any cost. There is no Board of Supervisors negotiating the cost of the medicine that Medicare pays for. Do you think your $41.46 per month (your cost is probably more now) is actually covering the cost of all of your prescriptions? It is not, the American taxpayers are being stuck with the bill. Billions and billions of more debt is being heaped on the American people to cover the real cost of Medicare Part D.  From 2003 to 2012, Part D added $318 billion to the national debt. A report in the 2013 Medicare Trustees report projects Medicare Part D will add $852 billion to our debt over the next 10 years, pushing it over $1 trillion.

Conservatives like Hatch and McConnell voted for this. John Boehner of Ohio, Eric Cantor of Virginia and Paul Ryan of Wisconsin voted for Medicare Part D or the Medicare Modernization Act.

While most Americans on Part D greatly appreciate that our government is eating most of the bill, Americans will be asked to pay more eventually. Our leadership (?) has to fix the problem. Sadly our leadership is being bought so don’t expect them to fix it as long as the cash is pouring into their pockets.

President Bush did achieve his goal through the Medical Modernization Act. According to exit polls he increased his share of the over-65 vote to 52 percent in 2004.

President Trump has a lot to do, but he must lead the way to change how we are doing business with the drug companies and Medicare D.

Glenn Mollette is the author of 12 books. His syndicated column is read in all 50 states. Contact him at GMollette@aol.com.

Voters oppose Medicaid cuts in new poll

Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell says she has legislation that will require some able-bodied Medicaid enrollees to work, if they can – but a new national poll suggests voters could see that as part of a very unpopular pattern.

According to the poll, three-quarters of voters agree – and half agree strongly – that Republicans are waging a “war on health care.”

Photo from medicaid.gov

Geoff Garin is the president of Hart Research, which ran the January poll of 1,000 2016 voters for the health-care advocacy group, Protect Our Care. He says voters see a pattern, starting with attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and notice moves to cut Medicare and Medicaid.

“The Republicans have made it very believable that there is such a thing as a Republican war on health care today,” he says. “And every day they continue their assaults on health care and do new things, this will be given more credence.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan has called steps like this “welfare reform,” necessary to reduce the deficit. His critics point out this is coming just after a $1.5 trillion tax cut that mostly benefits the wealthy and big corporations.

Garin says nationally, voters already have a strong sense that GOP health-care policies are deeply unfair.

“Targeting both Medicare and Medicaid for cuts in order to offset the cost of their tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations, Republicans have put a very big target on their backs,” he warns.

The Center for American Progress estimates work requirements would block benefits for more than six million nationally.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 73 percent of adult and child Medicaid enrollees in the state are in families with a worker.

Legal Aid launches program for veterans

Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands announced that it has launched a new program with the Nashville Bar Association (NBA) to support veterans with legal issues.

The new program, called The Veterans Project, is a partnership among the NBA, Veterans Court, Office of the Mayor of Metropolitan Nashville, Metro Homelessness Commission, Operation Stand Down TN and Legal Aid Society’s Volunteer Lawyers Program.

While the program is primarily focused on helping veterans who are homeless or facing homelessness, help with civil legal problems is available to all veterans. The scope of civil legal issues for which veterans can seek help includes child support, debt, bankruptcy, car purchase/repair, family law, expungement and reinstatement of driver’s licenses.

“Based on the experience of OSDTN and Veterans Court, we were able to identify a set of common legal issues that veterans face,” said Lucinda Smith, director of Legal Aid Society’s Volunteer Lawyers Program. “Many veterans experience physical and mental health issues, lack of income, involvement with the criminal justice system — and all of these things together have a negative impact on their ability to get and maintain housing.”

As part of the Veterans Project partnership, Legal Aid Society will take direct referrals from the Metro Homelessness Commission and the Veterans Court. Legal Aid Society will also coordinate weekly staffing of “Attorney for the Day” events at OSDTN, where veterans can meet with a volunteer attorney for counsel in identifying legal issues and then be referred for additional representation.

“This program allows us to create new portals for veterans to find legal help,” Smith added. “And by partnering with wonderful local organizations like OSDTN and the Veterans Court, we are able to expand our resources to serve more veterans in the Middle Tennessee area.”

Attorney for the Day events will occur every Wednesday at Operation Stand Down in Nashville from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Attorneys will meet with clients per week on a first-come, first-served basis.

Country Living Fair returning to Lebanon

Country Living magazine has announced the dates and locations for the 2018 Country Living Fair season, and Wilson County is again among the list for the third straight year.

The Country Living Fair will kick off in Wilson County on April 20-22.

The Country Living Fair will bring the magazine’s content to life and give readers access to a unique shopping experience in four special outdoor settings across the country. Each fair features 200-plus vendors from more than 25 states and is expected to draw more than 25,000 visitors from across the country.

Lebanon Democrat file photo

Vendors will include antiques sellers, food purveyors, artists, furniture makers, crafters and more. Guests will also have a chance to meet Country Living editors and special guests; attend cooking, crafting and do-it-yourself demonstrations and book signings; sample locally sourced artisanal food; and participate in make and take workshops.

The Country Living Fair will be April 20-22 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., and gates will open for early bird ticket holders April 20-21 at 8:30 a.m., at the Wilson County Expo Center and the James E. Ward Agricultural Center at 945 E. Baddour Parkway in Lebanon.

The 2018 Country Living Fairs are produced by Stella Show Management Co. For tickets and additional information, including a list of vendors and discounted hotel rates, contact Stella Show Management Co. at 866-500-FAIR or stellashows.com. For additional details, visit countryliving.com/fair. 

Attendees will be able to engage with Country Living at the fair by using the hashtag #CLFair and share their favorite finds using the hashtag #CLFairFinds.

Additionally, the 2018 Country Living Fairs include make-and-take workshops. Attendees can view the array of workshops available, and for a nominal fee, pre-register to attend one. Visit stellashows.com for details and registration information as it becomes available.

One-day admission is $13 in advance and $18 at the door; three-day weekend passes are available for $15 in advance and $25 at the door.

An early bird three-day weekend pass is available for $30 if purchased by Jan. 31 and $40 at the door, and grants early admission April 20-21 at 8:30 a.m. Free admission will be available for children 16 and younger.

Country Living is a shelter-lifestyle magazine that focuses on a variety of topics, including decorating, antiques, cooking, travel, remodeling and gardening.

More could have high blood pressure with new standards

As if the holidays weren’t stressful enough, you could now have high blood pressure, according to the country’s leading medical groups.

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have eliminated the diagnosis of pre-hypertension and instead will classify people as having normal blood pressure, elevated, stage one hypertension or stage two hypertension.

Dr. Cori Repp with U.S. HealthWorks says it’s going to change what many hear at the doctor’s office.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

“I think a lot of folks are going to be a little bit concerned that when they go into their physician’s office, they’re going to hear ‘You have high blood pressure,’ and unfortunately that is going to be the case for a lot more people,” she states. “The good news is you can do things about that.”

Diet and exercise are the most effective ways to alleviate high blood pressure. The new guideline is designed to help people take steps to control their blood pressure earlier.

Repp estimates there will be a 30 percent increase in the population of people who have a diagnosis of high blood pressure and hypertension.

While there are medicines available to treat high blood pressure, experts don’t believe the change in standards will lead to an increase in medication.

Repp says looking at all-natural approaches is the best step toward reduction.

“What we’re trying to do is encourage people to lead a more healthy lifestyle, to watch their diet, to decrease that salt, really watch what you’re eating over the holidays, decrease stress,” she states.

People with readings of 130 as the top number or 80 as the bottom one now are considered to have high blood pressure. High blood pressure used to be defined as 140/90.

Red Cross issues call for blood donors

This January, National Blood Donor Month, the American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood and platelet donors of all blood types to make an appointment to give now and help address a winter blood donation shortage.

Severe winter weather has had a tremendous impact on blood donations already this year, with more than 150 blood drives forced to cancel causing over 5,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected. This is in addition to seasonal illnesses, such as the flu, and hectic holiday schedules collectively contributing to more than 28,000 fewer donations than what was needed in November and December.

“Even temporary disruptions to blood and platelet donations can diminish the availability for hospital patients,” said Tiffany Taylor, external communications manager of the Red Cross Tennessee Valley Blood Services Region. “It’s the blood on the shelves that helps save lives in an emergency, and that’s why we’re asking eligible individuals to make an appointment to give blood or platelets today.”

While serving local hospitals is the first priority, the Red Cross can move blood products to where they’re needed most. This allows generous donors throughout the country to contribute to the national blood supply and potentially help patients locally and in storm-affected areas.

While all blood types are urgently needed, there is a more critical need for the following blood and donation types right now:

Platelets: The clotting portion of blood primarily given to cancer patients during treatment and always in great demand.

Type O negative: The blood type that can be transfused to almost everyone and is what doctors reach for in trauma situations.

Type B negative: The blood type that can be transfused to type B Rh-positive and negative patients.

Type AB: The plasma type that can be transfused to almost everyone and can be donated through a platelet or plasma donation, where available, or during a regular blood donation.

Among the Red Cross’ upcoming blood drives in the Cumberland Plateau area are:

Lafayette United Methodist Church, 506 Bratton Ave., Lafayette, Jan. 28, 12:30-4:30 p.m.

Eligible donors can find a blood or platelet donation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass are encouraged to help speed up the donation process. RapidPass lets donors complete the pre-donation reading and answer the health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, by visiting redcrossblood.org/rapidpass from the convenience of a mobile device or computer, or through the Blood Donor App.

Community Calendar: Jan. 17, 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.


Thursday, Jan. 18

7 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.

Monday, Jan. 22

7 p.m. – County Commission

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

Tuesday, Jan. 23

6 p.m. – Economic Development Committee

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Economic Development Committee will meet in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

Thursday, Jan. 25

6 p.m. – Purchasing Oversight Committee

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Purchasing Oversight Committee will hold its regular quarterly meeting in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

Wednesday, Jan. 31

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.


VFW Turkey Shoot

VFW’s Lafayette Post 7135, 119 Main St., will hold a Country Ham breakfast (7:30-9 a.m., $7) on Saturday, Jan. 20, with Turkey Shoot to follow beginning at 9 a.m. beside Sunshine Market (Hwy 52 in Lafayette). Guns & ammo provided, or bring your own gun. Event is open to the public. VFW wishes you a happy and prosperous New Year! Come out and support the VFW!

Little League Camp

The Hartsville Little League will hold a FREE baseball/softball camp on Saturday, Jan. 20 at the indoor practice facility from 8-11 a.m. (ages 4-8) and noon-4 p.m. (ages 9-12). Attendees must bring glove and bat and wear tennis shoes. Little League will also hold signups at TCHS basketball game on Friday, Jan. 19. $30 registration fee. Please bring copy of birth certificate & copy of parent/guardian’s drivers license.

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.


Thursday, Jan. 18

9 a.m. – Thrift store shopping at Mt. Juliet (lunch at Wendy’s)

Friday, Jan. 19

9 a.m. – AF Exercise

10 a.m. – Tai Chi

Monday, Jan. 22

11 a.m. – Chili Chili Bang Bang fundraiser (canceled)

Tuesday, Jan. 23

9 a.m. – AF Exercise

10 a.m. – Yoga

11:30 a.m. – Current Events by Wilson Bank & Trust

Wednesday, Jan. 24

9 a.m. – Line Dancing

11 a.m. – Chair Exercise

Noon – Rook games

1 p.m. – Bible Study

Sheriff’s Reports: Jan. 17, 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.

Jan. 8

Agustin Arellado-Zetina, 24, of Westmoreland, was charged with drivers license violation by Deputy James Pattie. Arellado-Zetina was cited to court and General Sessions court date was set for Feb. 9.

Jan. 9

Justin Ray Demumbra, 36, of Castalian Springs, was charged with drivers license revoke/suspend/canceled by THP Trooper Carter. Bond was set for $10,000 and General Sessions court date was set for Feb. 9.

Jan. 10

Trenton Allen Ervin, 19, of Hartsville, was charged with probation violation by Deputy Eric Langford. No bond was set and General Sessions court date was set for Jan. 26.

Ricky Wayne Reece Jr., 29, of Hartsville, was charged with abandonment/nonsupport of child by Deputy Dusty Cato. Bond was set for $1,000 and General Sessions court date was set for Jan. 5.

Jan. 11

Deidra Marie Garrett, 28, of Castalian Springs, was charged with failure to pay by Deputy Wesley Taylor. Bond was set for $501.50 and no General Sessions court date was set.

Joseph Patrick Leavey, 49, of Hartsville, was charged with DUI by Deputy James Pattie. Bond was set for $2,500 and General Sessions court date was set for Feb. 9.

Jan. 12

Todd Allan Baker, 24, of Dixon Springs, was charged with DUI by Deputy David Morgan. Bond was set for $2,500 and General Sessions court date was set for May 11.

Martha Ashley Bradley, 27, of Cottontown, was charged with failure to pay by Deputy Troy Calhoun. Bond was set for $651 and General Sessions court date was set for Jan. 26.

Samuel Aaron Goins, 40, of Hartsville, was charged with domestic assault by Deputy Joseph Buehler. Bond was set for $1,500 and General Sessions court date was set for Jan. 26.

John Anthony Hicks, 55, of Hartsville, was charged with probation violation by Deputy Troy Calhoun. No bond was set and General Sessions court date was set for Feb. 20.

Isaiah Jarred Kirby, 19, of Hartsville, was charged with contempt of court by Judge Kenny Linville. No bond was set and General Sessions court date was set for Jan. 26.

Robert Stanley Morton, 62, of Lebanon, was charged with mfg/del/sell controlled substance by DTF’s Brandon Gooch. Bond was set for $15,000 and General Sessions court date was set for Feb. 20.

Danielle Marie Yates, 21, of Manchester, was charged with sexual contact with inmate by TDOC’s Nathan Miller. Bond was set for $2,500 and General Sessions court date was set for Jan. 26.

Jan. 14

Phillip Joseph-Wes Bryant, 23, of Hartsville, was charged with failure to appear by Deputy Jordan Davis. No bond was set and General Sessions court date was set for Jan. 26.


Jack McCall: A New Year’s blessing

In keeping with tradition, on New Year’s Day I ate black-eyed peas and hog’s jowl. When I was growing up we called it “hog jaw.”

It doesn’t really matter what you call it. It’s good! And I’m here to say it must be good for you.

They say it will bring you good luck if you eat black-eyed peas and hog’s jowl on New Year’s Day. I purchased my hog’s jowl in “the piece” on Dec. 31, 2017. Once I bought it, I couldn’t wait until 2018. I hand-sliced it with a sharp carving knife, cutting little notches in the skin so it would not curl while it fried. I ate hog’s jowl on New Year’s Day and beyond. It’s good when it’s hot, and it’s even better when it’s cold.

I fried so much I had a cup of grease left over after the second day of cooking. I asked my wife Kathy if I could add it to the bacon grease we keep for seasoning other dishes. She gave me permission. (I was going to add it to the bacon grease whether she agreed or not.) That was some fine grease.

Across the Miles
Jack McCall

Eating hog’s jowl takes me back to my boyhood days. My mama always matched up fried hog’s jowl with fresh fried corn or cream-style corn out of a can. I ate a whole can of cream-style corn while I was on my hog’s jowl binge this past week.

I know. I know. You cholesterol fanatics out there are gasping in horror as you read this. But know this. If it kills me, I died happy.

As to whether or not the black-eyed peas and hog’s jowl will bring me good luck, it matters not. I was never much of a believer in luck. Good fortune – yes, but luck – I’m not so sure.

Someone once said, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

It seems to me that what we often refer to as “luck” (I am speaking here of good luck, of course) is more the result of wise decisions, hard work and right living than anything else.

And, yet, I constantly catch myself wishing someone, “Good luck!”

Maybe we should recognize good fortune and “good luck” for what they really are: blessings.

When asked how they are doing, a few of my friends will respond, “Better than I deserve!”

That holds true for most of us – most of the time.

My plan was “to hit the ground running” in 2018. Well, here I am, and I haven’t managed to work my way up to a good trot so far. I need another week to get ready for 2018.

In my younger days we used to joke, “Getting ready to get ready is harder than getting ready.” As this year begins, I’m still in the “getting ready to get ready stage.”

But I have decided one thing. I’m going to keep it simpler in 2018. I’m going for less fun and more joy – which means I’m expecting 2018 to be harder for me than 2017. It’s a choice I am making.

I had a rather eye-opening experience a few years ago while traveling south on Interstate 59 in southern Mississippi. I met a car going the wrong way on my side of the freeway. Now that will get your attention! I looked out ahead, and here it came!

I took to the right lane and the driver of the oncoming car took the left lane. My first reaction as the car flew by was to pray for the people coming behind me!

I have often reflected on that southern Mississippi experience.

Seems I meet a lot of people these days who are headed the wrong way. It’s a broad way, you know. And many of us know where it leads.

The other way is hard and narrow, but it leads to life.

I believe where there is life there is hope. And where there is life it is never too late to right your ship.

So, as 2018 begins to unfold, I will wish you well, but I will not wish you “good luck.” I will simply offer this blessing:

“The Lord bless you, and keep you; The Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.”