Hartsville Rotary Club, Trousdale schools team up for food drive

The Hartsville Rotary Club, in conjunction with Trousdale County Schools, is preparing to launch its annual Food Drive to benefit the Community Help Center and those in need in the county.

The Food Drive will run on Monday, Nov. 25 and Tuesday, Nov. 26, with items to be picked up by members of the Rotary Club on Monday, Dec. 2.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Students at JSMS help load items to be delivered to the Community Help Center during last year’s Food Drive.

Students can bring canned goods to school on those two days, and will be provided with information on what items are needed prior to the beginning of the Food Drive.

Students can have their names entered into a drawing for a monetary prize for bringing canned goods. A student’s name will be entered once for every five items donated.

One student in each grade from pre-K through 12th will win a $25 prize, while four homeroom teachers will also win $25 prizes.

The school with the largest donation per student will receive the rotating trophy, affectionately referred to as the “Beaner Award” for the can of beans atop the trophy, to display for one year. Jim Satterfield Middle School currently has a five-year streak of claiming the trophy.

“Trousdale County Schools, its teachers and students are most appreciative of the opportunity to join together with the Rotary Club in order to fight hunger in Trousdale County,” said Director of Schools Clint Satterfield. “I know Jim Satterfield Middle School is excited to defend its food drive championship trophy, as well as the other two schools are to take it away from them!”

According to estimates, the Food Drive typically results in around 6,000 pounds of food donations to the Community Help Center, which then distributes the items to Trousdale County residents in need.

“This is one of the longest-running service projects that the Hartsville Rotary Club has been involved with,” said Rotary Club president Chris Gregory. “We are happy that we can continue to serve the community with this worthy cause and help those in need in Trousdale County.”

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or [email protected]

ACLU sues Smith County over religious practices in schools

The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit Monday challenging widespread promotion of religion by officials in the Smith County School System.

Brought on behalf of two families, the lawsuit alleges that school officials regularly incorporate prayer into school events and proselytize students in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Photo courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net

“When I was in the military, I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution, which includes religious freedom,” said Kelly Butler, a U.S. Army veteran and father to several children who attend Smith County schools, in a press release. “It’s wrong for the public schools to make my family feel like second-class citizens because of our beliefs.”

Butler and his children are atheists, as are plaintiffs Sharona and Jason Carr and their children.

The unlawful activities reported by the families span several school years and include, among other practices, school-directed prayer during mandatory assemblies; the distribution and display of Bibles during classes; Bible verses posted in hallways and shared in notes from school staff to students; prayers broadcast through loudspeakers at school sporting events; coaches leading or participating in prayer with student athletes; and a large cross painted on the wall of a school athletic facility.

“At school everybody makes it seem like you have to believe in one thing, just like them. It’s very awkward and uncomfortable,” said plaintiff Leyna Carr, a student at Smith County High School. “I respect other people’s religion, and I would like it if everyone else would respect my beliefs.”

“When public schools promote religion, it sends an impermissible message that students who don’t share the favored religious beliefs don’t belong,” said Heather L. Weaver, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief. “Our clients are part of the school community, and school officials have no right to alienate them in this way.”

“Public schools are supposed to be places where all students are welcomed and given access to quality education, regardless of their religious beliefs,” said Hedy Weinberg, ACLU-TN executive director. “The religious freedom of Tennessee families can only be protected if the government is not promoting or sponsoring religious activities. Decisions about whether and how to practice religion are best left to families and faith communities, not public schools.”

The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.

The plaintiffs are also seeking a preliminary injunction to put an immediate end to the practices identified in the complaint.

Public offers input on plans for Hartsville’s park

The public had an opportunity to weigh in on two design concepts for Hartsville City Park during an open house Tuesday at the Community Center.

Architectural firm Kimley-Horn presented two plans in a pair of public meetings after being commissioned earlier this year to come up with a master plan for park improvements. The county’s Parks & Recreation Committee also met Tuesday evening to view the plans and offer its input.

Get the rest of the story by picking up this week’s Hartsville Vidette!

TCAT Hartsville receives $995K vocational state grant

Hartsville’s Tennessee College of Applied Technology will be the recipient of nearly $1 million in grant funding under the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) program.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
TCAT Hartsville President Mae Wright, left, and instructor Clyde Mansfield, left, show Gov. Bill Lee around the facility’s Welding program during the governor’s visit on Oct. 30. TCAT Hartsville is receiving $994,995 in grant funding under Lee’s initiative to promote vocational education across the state.

TCAT-Hartsville will receive $994,995 in grant funding through the program. The grant was announced on Nov. 7, one week after Gov. Bill Lee toured the Hartsville facility.

“GIVE Award funding will allow TCAT Hartsville to expand its advanced manufacturing training capacity in its service area including high school students from Trousdale, Jackson, Macon, Smith and Wilson counties,” said Jonathan Smallwood, Vice President of TCAT Hartsville.

“TCAT Hartsville’s proposal focuses on closing the gap for high schools students continuing on to college.  This program will add dual enrollment capacity for high school students in Advanced Manufacturing, Industrial Maintenance, Mechatronics, Machine Tool Technology and Welding Technology.”

Get the rest of the story by picking up this week’s Hartsville Vidette!

TCHS, TCES recognize top students

Trousdale County High School wishes to recognize the following students for making the Principal’s List and Honor Roll for the first nine weeks of the 2019-20 school year.


9th Grade: Victor Hamilton, Elizabeth Harris, Levi Johnson, William Lannom, Isaiah Towns

10th Grade: Dustin Burton, Raina Guimont, Tytus Mann, Zander Napier, Piper Triplett, Kierra White, Phillip Zarichansky

11th Grade: Mason Basford, Claire Belcher, Rebecca Chapman, Heath Chasse, Kirsten Eversole, Natalie Russell, Zachary Taylor, Faith Winter

12th Grade: Cameron Carr, Garrett Dies, Seth Finley, Deli Garcia-Santiago, Hailey Givens, Morgan Hendrix, Brianna Porter, Christina Sisco


9th Grade: Joshua Anderson, Cecilia Araiza, Seth Barthel, Xochil Garcia-Santiago, Hannah Griffy, Trinity Hayes, Samuel Hinton, Aden Johnson, Khaleah McCarver, John Meininger-Scott, Naomi Napier, Autumn Parrish, Warren Wagener, Harley Walker, Jasmine Webster, Miriam Zarichansky

10th Grade: Jenna Allen, Ethan Boles, Jarred Boles, Jonathan Brandon, Thomas Brown, Kane Burnley, Bryce Carman, Elyssa Chapman, Cynthia Esquivel, Anthony Etter, Madison Farley, Colin Hamedi, Joslyn Hatter, Jaxson Henley, Jasmine Moss, Jeremy Smith

11th Grade: Madison Boes, Haden Bottom, Katelyn Brown, Kinley Brown, Macie Burnley, Makayla Crook, Kegan Day, Shayla Doney, Destiny Douglas, Taylor Ellis, Sidney Gregory, Skye Guimont, Cooper Helson, Elijah Henderson, Erin Hix, Jacquelyn Pilgrim, Cameron Rankins, Nathanial Woodard

12th Grade: Asia Araiza, Ernestine Ashley, Kayla Badru, Ben Chumley, Alexys Denter, Chloe Donoho, Faith Freeman, Josie Garrett, I’Zaiah Gill, Phillip Grant, Daniel Hartley, Caila Henley, Titus Henley, Will Holder, Merilyn Mendoza-Bautista, Haleigh Mungle, Makenna Reed, Makeni Sadler, Maria Santiago-Cruz, Bethany Schiavone, Tori Simmons, Destinee Smith, Sierra Stafford, Haley Sullins, Emilie Summers, Wyatt Verville


Trousdale County Elementary School recognizes its award winners for the first nine weeks of the 2019-20 school year.


Preschool: Travon Polston, Ellie McCord, Karly Vaughn, Cabella Jennings, Noah Blair, Jackson Williams, Khyria Locke, Annalouise Lockstadt, Logan Brown, Layla Rodgers, Jonathan Moss, Braylon Morgan, Katelyn Slagle, Audrihanna Williamson, Zane McDonald, Amiya Donnell, Landon Buckmaster, Kase Crook, Conan Crook, Brandon Buchanan, Samuel Dunn, Richard Grey, Kollin Payne, Nora Wibbeler, Julian Petty, Carly Fuentes, Eldon Presley, Emmalyn McDaniel, Carter Sleeper, Turner Dillehay

First Grade: Ava Martin, Noah Satterfield, Ana Cardenas, Hayes Gulley, Carli Graves, Lavon Sheppard, Tidus Eatherly, Khrmun Locke, Alannah Butler, Nihay Banks, Kadence Muirhead, Emma-Lynn Barrett, Sophia Rickets, Morgan Robertson, Kairi Grant, Emma Brown, Daxton Flora, Miheyla Dunn, Rylon Rivers, Beau Carey, Ximena Salas, Mia Mitchell, Atziry Garcia, Ruby Towns, Paisley Towns

Second Grade: Passion Stafford, Nolan Vetetoe, Trentin Dennis, Liam Vaughn, Christopher McDonald, Brady Delaney, Aiden Dorris, Cam Bullock, Jessa Rieger, Morgan West, Jasper Hamilton, Raquel Sanchez, Liam Giles, Jaden Knight, Zayne Lamon, Aubrie Harris, Judson Brown, Nicholas Tillman

Third Grade: Ke’Mora Sides, Matthew Chambers, Jon-Paul Boyers, Aliyah Sanders, Emma Gammons, Kayson Brennan, Braylon Lee, Mackenzie Dix, Kaleb Fisher, Alyssa Hall, Kenley Eicher, Levi Gilbreth, Jackson Carey, Cliffton Porter, Makenna Lee, Karley Batey, Jane McCall, Kayson Gibbs, Lilyan Whited, Khloe Cunningham, Zachery Gilpin, Ellie Bohanan, Rashawn Phillips, Mallory Dies, Camber Whittaker

Fourth Grade: Caitlin Dixon, Colton Moore, Andrw Nelson, Keira Headrick, Jude Williams, Caroline Eden, Andy Russell, Alyse Barber, Eli Fisher, Isabella Timberlake, Kaydence Blair, Isaiah Cantrell, Addysyn Spangler, Mileigh Potts, Maggie Linville, Natalia Salas, Lucas Cornwell, Addalie Fowler, Juan Rodriguez, Caden Bush, Owen Evitts, Madyson Carmen, Colt Lind, Kyrie Szczepeniak, Madeline Wilson

Fifth Grade: Christian Cobe, Kira Claywell, Taylor Harper, Tyler Cox, Marley Watkins, Josh Stewart, Luke Shoulders, Jeremiah Tensley, Charlie Wright, Jackson Williams, Cayden Eicher, Ava Walker, Thomas Rown, Triton Montoya, Erin Reynolds, Blaine Hale, Gavin Sartor, Gavin Linville, Haley Hughes, Isaiah Rotella

Public invited to open house on plans for Hartsville park

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette

A public meeting is scheduled for next week to allow Trousdale County residents an opportunity to see and comment on potential improvements to Hartsville City Park.

The City Park Master Plan Open House will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 12 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and from 2-6 p.m. at the Community Center. Afterward, the Parks & Recreation Committee will meet at the Community Center at 6 p.m. to review the plan.

Get the rest of the story by picking up this week’s Hartsville Vidette!

Turn lane project planned for Highway 25/141 intersection

State Sen. Ferrell Haile (R-Gallatin) and Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) provided updates Tuesday for a state project to add a turning lane to the intersection of SR-10/SR-25 and SR-141/Halltown Road in Hartsville.

The goals of the project are to reduce congestion and improve safety at the intersection by improving the line of sight as drivers approach the intersection, improve signal operation, and accommodate additional traffic expected from commercial/retail development in the immediate vicinity.

The improvement project is under development with an expected bid opening scheduled for the summer/fall of 2021. The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has procured the services of Neel-Schaffer, Inc. to develop the plans for the project. They are currently in the environmental and design phase of the project, preparing the necessary environmental studies and developing plans for the project.

Photo courtesy of Google Maps
A project to add a turn lane at the intersection of Highways 25 and 141 in Hartsville is expected to begin in 2021, according to an update from state legislators.

This project is being funded through federal Surface Transportation Block Grant funds made available to TDOT through federal fuel tax user fees matched with state dollars.

“As someone who has spent my life working in private industry, I am used to making a decision one day and implementing it the next,” said Haile in a press statement. “However, state government doesn’t work that way and when using federal dollars, many hoops must be leapt through. I feel that it is important to update the community on the status of this project and make sure that the upgrades at this intersection in Hartsville are moving forward. These traffic improvements will not only help ease congestion, but will also help prepare Hartsville to attract new development and jobs in the community.”

The lawmakers were informed by TDOT that funding for the project was authorized in late February 2019. During the initial design studies, TDOT was made aware of a drainage concern near the west end of the project on SR-10 / SR-25. A survey of the area as well as a drainage analysis was performed as part of the design phase, which is anticipated to take approximately six months to complete.

“It is important for transportation investments to be made in our rural communities to reduce congestion and improve the economic outlook of our small towns and cities,” added Weaver. “Transportation is a key component of job creation in any community, and this turn lane and signal improvement will certainly pave the way for growth in Hartsville.”

Once these studies are complete and the plans finalized, acquisition of the necessary right of way for the construction activities will begin in the spring/summer of 2020. Finalization of construction plans will be performed concurrently during the right of way acquisition and utility coordination process, taking about 12 months to acquire all the necessary right of way after which the project will be advertised for contractors to bid.

TDOT expects the project to take about 18 months to construct.

Pregnancy Center plans Chili Cook-off, Fall Festival for Saturday

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Judges sample various types of chili during last year’s event.

Hartsville’s Community Pregnancy Center will be holding its third annual Chili Cook-off and Fall Festival on Saturday, Nov. 2 in Hartsville City Park.

From noon-3 p.m., attendees can sample chili and enjoy live music, a live auction, cake walk, children’s games and more. A baked goods sale and craft sale will also take place.

Get the rest of the story by picking up this week’s Hartsville Vidette!

Judge John Wootten announces retirement plans

Submitted photo

Judge John Wootten, Jr., who has served the Fifteenth Judicial District encompassing Jackson, Macon, Smith, Trousdale and Wilson counties as a circuit judge since 1998, announced Monday that he will retire effective Jan. 1, 2020.

In a press release Judge Wootten said: “I have notified Governor Bill Lee of my decision to retire in order for him to initiate the selection process to name a successor judge until the August 2020 election.”

Wootten added, “Public office has been described as a public trust. It truly is a rare gift from the citizens to serve in public office. I have considered it my highest professional honor. I am most grateful to the good people of this five-county judicial district for granting me their trust for over 21 years.”

Wootten was first elected in 1998 and re-elected in 2006 and 2014.

Two employees at Hartsville prison arrested, charged

Photos courtesy of Trousdale County Sheriff’s Office

Two employees at Hartsville’s Trousdale Turner Correctional Center have been arrested and charged in separate incidents at the CoreCivic-owned prison.

On Oct. 18, Norma Leticia Zambrano, 50, of Westmoreland, was arrested and charged with introduction of contraband, communications device and drugs into a penal institute.

On Oct. 26, Terrilyn Lashunda Malone, 42, of Clarksdale, Miss., was arrested and charged with having sexual contact with an inmate.

Get the rest of the story by picking up this week’s Hartsville Vidette!

Trousdale Elementary student forms bond with SRO

The bond between a Trousdale County Elementary student and the school’s resource officer was a cause of celebration during Thursday night’s School Board meeting.

Principal Demetrice Badru and board members recognized McKenna Linton, a first-grade student at TCES, as one of their ‘district highlights’ during the meeting. One of the three schools makes such a presentation to the board each month.

Linton, a student in Mrs. Gulley’s class, has become close to Monica Carson, who serves as the SRO at Trousdale Elementary. So much so, in fact, that Linton asked her mother to make a T-shirt with the phrase “When I grow up, I want to be just like Officer Carson.”

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
TCES student McKenna Linton poses with Monica Carson, the school’s SRO.

“On the first day of school, Officer Carson came to me and told me about this sweet, sweet McKenna,” Badru said.

Carson said McKenna’s mother wrote a touching letter on her child’s behalf thanking the officer for the impact she has had on McKenna’s life.

“I was walking down the hall and starting reading the letter and started crying right off the bat,” Carson said.

Carson read the letter to board members, which stated in part: “… the influence you have on my daughter is amazing… She comes home talking of you and the games you play; how sweet you are and how she wants to be just like you.”

Linton’s deceased father had a military background, as does Carson – another reason the two were able to bond.

“I told her she’s not going to be like me; she’s going to be way better than me,” Carson said of McKenna. “She’s so bubbly and every day just brightens up everything!”

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or [email protected]

Hartsville’s First Baptist Church to celebrate 150th anniversary

First Baptist Church of Hartsville will be celebrating its 150th anniversary on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019 at its 11 a.m. worship service.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette

The church was organized in 1869 with 24 members. In 1884, the church purchased property on Church Street and built a sanctuary. The building was remodeled in 1927 and Sunday school rooms were added. A basement was dug in 1933 to add more space, and in 1951 the building was bricked and more space added.

The present parsonage was built in 1957 on River Street on property donated by the E.J. Parker family.

A need for expansion led the church to purchase the site of the Earl Littleton Furniture Store in 1974. That would be used for added classroom space.

As God continued to bless First Baptist with growth, the members opted to build a new church on property obtained on East McMurry Boulevard in 1976-77. The new building could seat up to 400 people, contained classroom space and had a separate building which allowed for a small gym for recreational activities, as well as a small kitchen.

First Baptist Church is grateful for its past, but is also gloriously looking to its future as it celebrates 150 years. The church will continue to witness and minister to this community, according to God’s will.

Warden briefly discusses assault at Prison Oversight meeting

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette

The warden at CoreCivic’s Hartsville prison briefly addressed the August assault that left a staff member seriously injured during last week’s meeting of the Prison Oversight Committee.

Russell Washburn told committee members an investigation by the Tennessee Department of Corrections is ongoing and offered few details when asked about the incident by Commissioner Dwight Jewell.

In the Aug. 30 incident, an inmate reportedly stabbed an employee multiple times and sexually assaulted the victim, who has not been identified. The employee, only identified as a mental health staffer, had to be taken by helicopter to Vanderbilt Medical Center.

Get the rest of the story by picking up this week’s Hartsville Vidette!

Proposed meat processing plant raises questions

Courtesy of Trousdale County government
This zoning map of the Urban Services District shows the proposed site of a meat processing plant (circled at top right).

A proposed meat processing plant in Hartsville is in the initial planning stages but remains a long way from becoming reality.

Concerns arose on social media last week about a proposal to build a meat processing plant in the Hartsville industrial park.

The proposal came from Steve Anderson of Carthage, who approached Trousdale County’s Industrial Development Board in July about purchasing a piece of property in the industrial park.

Before opening, Anderson’s plant would have to meet environmental standards set by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. He also plans to seek certification from the USDA, which will have its own standards to meet.

The planned facility is a small one, with the ability to process around 10 head of cattle per day.

Get the rest of the story in this week’s Hartsville Vidette!

Business is blossoming at G&L Garden Center

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Owner Joe Slough stands inside the gift shop at G&L Garden Center.

Tucked away on the side of Highway 25 near Broadway is one of Hartsville’s better-kept secrets – the G&L Garden Center.

Owned by Joe Slough nearly six years, G&L has been in operation considerably longer than that. The business is, in fact, named for former owners Pam Gregory and Angie Langford, who ran the center for several years before selling.

“It’s been a pretty smooth transition; everything’s worked well coming into town,” said Joe Slough.

Joe Slough has been in the garden business for 15 years, having started in a center in Raleigh, N.C. He also worked in Charleston, S.C., for three years before returning to Nashville and eventually making his way to Hartsville.

Get the rest of the story in this week’s Hartsville Vidette!

Early Bird Cafe has new owner

Hartsville’s Early Bird Café is back up and running – under new ownership.

Lilla Brewington has purchased the restaurant, a breakfast staple in Trousdale County for several years, from Linda and Tommy Bryant.

The Bryants’ last day was Sept. 28 and the restaurant was closed last week to allow for the transition. Now named Harper’s Early Bird Café, the restaurant reopened on Monday.

Get the rest of the story in this week’s Hartsville Vidette!

Anthony Funeral Home sold to Sellars of Lebanon

Submitted photo

After 50 years of operation in Hartsville, Anthony Funeral Home now has new ownership in place.

Jimmy Anthony, whose father started the business in 1969, told The Vidette he has sold the name and the facility on Highway 25 to Sellars Funeral Home in Lebanon.

In addition to its Lebanon location, Sellars also owns facilities in Mt. Juliet, Gallatin, Lafayette and Hendersonville.

“I’m very proud that Jimmy and Sherry Anthony would be in consideration of our family purchasing their family business,” said owner Judd Sellars. “Not a lot of change is coming. It’ll be the same kind of service they’ve had for years.”

Get the rest of the story by picking up this week’s Hartsville Vidette!

Hartsville library receives $1,572 technology grant from state

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett stopped in Hartsville on Friday to present a grant check to officials at the Fred A. Vaught Public Library.

Hartsville’s library received a $1,572 technology grant from the Tennessee State Library and Archives. The funds will be used to upgrade computers and monitors for public use, according to Library Director Megan Lee.

Get the rest of the story by picking up this week’s Hartsville Vidette!

Silent auction to benefit injured Trousdale deputy

Deputy Clint Friar • Trousdale County Sheriff’s Department

A silent auction and lunch will be held next weekend to benefit a Trousdale County sheriff’s deputy who was injured in an automobile accident earlier this year.

Whiskey River Bar & Grill, located at 102 Rocky Road in Lebanon, will be hosting the auction on Saturday, Sept. 28 from noon-5 p.m.

All proceeds will go to the family of Deputy Clint Friar, who suffered severe injuries in May when he was struck by a vehicle along Highway 25 after stopping to render assistance.

Get the rest of the story by picking up this week’s Hartsville Vidette!

Trousdale County boasts 98.9% graduation rate

Photo courtesy of Trousdale County Schools

Trousdale County was one of four school districts in Tennessee to raise its graduation rate by at least five points in 2018-19, according to figures released by the state on Monday.

Trousdale County’s graduation rate was at 98.9 percent, up six points from the previous year, according to state figures.

Overall, 67 districts improved their graduation rates from 2018 to 2019.

Get the rest of the story by picking up this week’s Hartsville Vidette!