/script>

Trousdale mayor looks to fill fire chief’s position

Finding a permanent fire chief for Trousdale County’s Volunteer Fire Department has been a topic of discussion for roughly a year and a half.

The mayor’s office is taking the first step in that process with this week’s posting of the chief’s position for applications.

County Mayor Stephen Chambers said he had looked at various qualifications such as leadership and training.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette

“A lot of it is basic firefighter skills, leadership skills,” Chambers said. “What I used to draft (the qualifications) are samples from MTAS (Municipal Technical Advisory Service).”

Chambers said the position would be a volunteer one, not a paid position. The county’s Emergency Services Committee has previously looked into making the chief’s position a full-time one but has never taken any action in that direction.

“It’s going to be a volunteer position, but a lot of the qualifications cover volunteer or paid,” the mayor said.

The qualifications listed on the job description are:

  • Possession of high school diploma or GED;
  • At least five years experience as a paid or volunteer firefighter, including three years in command;
  • Possess a valid Tennessee driver’s license;
  • Passing a background check and drug screen;
  • Having completed ICS-300 training; and
  • Being a resident of Trousdale County or moving to Trousdale within six months of appointment.

Applications will be accepted by the mayor’s office through noon on Friday, Jan. 31.

The mayor said he wants to have a candidate to present to the County Commission for approval by its February meeting.

Mark Beeler, who has served as interim fire chief since June 2018, declined to comment when asked by The Vidette if he would be a candidate for the job.

The mayor’s office is also taking applications for a vacancy on the Planning Commission to replace Margie Foster, who recently offered her resignation.

Interested parties should contact the mayor’s office at 615-374-2461 or by visiting the administration building at 328 Broadway.

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

Bid process beginning on JSMS roof project

Trousdale County’s Education Oversight Committee gave a go-ahead to begin the bidding process for putting a new roof on Jim Satterfield Middle School.

At its Jan. 9 meeting, commissioners authorized the School Board to select an architectural firm to come up with a design plan and start the process of putting the project out for bid.

During budget negotiations last summer, commissioners agreed to shoulder the cost of a roof in exchange for the School Board requesting no new tax money in the current budget or next year’s. The schools will also make the first payment on a roof as part of that agreement.

“It’s OK to go ahead and bid this project so we have some firm numbers… we just can’t pay any money out until the funding mechanism is set in place,” said chairman Dwight Jewell regarding discussions with the state comptroller’s office.

County Mayor Stephen Chambers said he had held talks with the Tennessee Municipal Bond Fund and USDA Rural Development regarding financing the project, but that those discussions were continuing.

A preliminary estimate for a new roof last year from Director of Schools Clint Satterfield was roughly $830,000.

The School Board has money set aside in the current year’s budget for that first payment. It was suggested that the board use those funds toward architectural costs with the expectation that the costs would be reimbursed when the financing is put in place for the total project.

“Once we know what we’ve got to have, we could reimburse you and still get the first year’s payment,” said commissioner Jerry Ford.

“That money has been budgeted and that could be used… We just didn’t want to proceed with the mayor’s knowledge and the committee’s knowledge,” added board member Johnny Kerr.

Satterfield said his hope was to be able to begin work once school is out in May and have the project completed by the start of the new school year in late July.

“I would recommend that we expedite this; we just need some guidance,” Satterfield told commissioners.

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

CoreCivic warden addresses struggles at Trousdale prison

The warden of CoreCivic’s Hartsville prison noted continuing efforts to fight contraband and staffing shortages during a Jan. 9 meeting of the Prison Oversight Committee.

“Contraband isn’t unique to Trousdale; it’s a challenge across the nation… keeping contraband out,” Washburn told commissioners. “We work with the sheriff’s department, Office of Investigations & Compliance to prosecute those people to the fullest extent.”

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette

Russell Washburn said in addition to added construction of fences to keep inmates out of certain areas of the yard at Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, CoreCivic had also started using an updated drone detection system.

“It’s a great device for us to have in terms of keeping contraband out of the facility,” he said.

The new system, Washburn said, can detect incoming drones within a four-mile radius, as well as pinpoint the location and the direction any drone flies in from.

The warden added that the drone detection system works so well, he was able to identify and speak with an individual using a drone to take pictures of the nearby cooling tower at the old TVA nuclear site. Washburn reiterated that the individual in question was doing nothing wrong.

Staffing “remains a challenge,” Washburn told commissioners, as the prison is currently short by 75 correctional officers. CoreCivic has resumed bringing in correctional officers from other company-owned prisons to temporarily fill positions at Trousdale Turner.

“Corrections is not for everybody,” he said. “Over the last several months, we have seen a higher success rate in the hiring of veterans.”

Washburn did acknowledge that an inmate at TTCC committed suicide last week but said he could not give more information, citing an ongoing investigation.

The warden also noted the results of an audit of TTCC conducted by the Tennessee Department of Corrections.

The complete report has not been made publically available yet, but Washburn said there were 77 findings in the audit. However, he said only 11 of those were related to security and that most were documentation of programs and services.

“The overall findings obviously is not where we want to be,” he said. “A singular event where someone failed to sign or initial can result in a finding… Many of these were self-identified and we have corrective actions in place.”

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

Early Bird Cafe to begin serving dinner

Beginning next week, Hartsville will have a new dinner option at one of its traditional morning stops.

Harper’s Early Bird Café, located near the Minit Mart along Andrews Avenue, will be open for dinner starting Monday, Jan. 13.

File photo

The dinner menu will be available Monday-Friday from 3-8 p.m., said owner Lilla Brewington.

“It’s exciting,” Brewington said. “We’re going to have a whole dinner menu!”

Options will differ each day but will include pork chops, country fried steak, lasagna, chicken & dressing, pot roast, fried fish and steak.

“It’s going to be so good; your tongue will literally beat your brains out trying to get a bite,” she joked.”

Side dishes will also be available and will include turnip greens, mashed potatoes, pinto beans, white beans and corn. Salad and burger options will be offered as well, along with much of the current lunch options, Brewington said.

Desserts will be offered and will include fried pies and sticky buns.

Brewington, who took over ownership of Early Bird in October, said at that time she was hoping to expand into dinner. Continued success with breakfast at Early Bird, which has grown into one of the top local options, made it possible to go forward, she said.

“I’m really excited about this,” she said. “Hartsville doesn’t have anything like this around; you’ve got to drive out of town to get steak… We want to have that meat & three feel.”

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

Address display ordinance in the works for Trousdale County

An ordinance to require all Trousdale County residences and businesses to prominently display their address numbers will head to the full County Commission later this month.

The Codes & Zoning Committee approved the measure at its Jan. 2 meeting after further discussion on the measure. The proposed ordinance first came up at the committee’s November meeting but was delayed after questions arose over who would enforce such a measure.

Photo courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net

The ordinance, if passed, would require all homes and businesses to display address numbers at the driveway in some form. Numbers on the mailbox would meet the requirement but must be three inches tall if reflective or four if not reflective but on a distinguishable background.

If a mailbox was not located at a driveway, numbers would have to be displayed in some other fashion.

“EMS, if you’re having some kind of health issue, the sheriff’s department if there’s a prowler… we need to be able to see as we approach it,” said commissioner Ken Buckmaster, who proposed the ordinance.

Buckmaster noted that Smith County’s EMS was selling fiberglass posts to meet requirements of a similar ordinance in that jurisdiction, and would sell those to Trousdale County residents.

Violations can be fined $50 per day up to a maximum of $1,500, but there will be a 180-day grace period if the ordinance passes the County Commission to allow for compliance.

The county’s building inspector will be charged with enforcing the ordinance.

“There will be a lot of grace in enforcement,” added Commission Chairman Dwight Jewell. “We’ll notify violations with a personal call or letter.”

The ordinance will come before the full County Commission at its Jan. 27 meeting and will have to pass on two separate readings, with the second in February.

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

Hartsville veterinarian recognized with P-16 Award

The North Central P-16 Council recently announced the 2019 BEST (Businesses Empowering Students and Teachers) Award winners.

The BEST Award celebrates the accomplishments of community leaders, business owners, and entrepreneurs. It recognizes those who share knowledge and expertise, advocate, and foster student success in pre-K through postsecondary education.

Submitted photo

Trousdale County’s winner was Dr. Michael Towns, owner of Trousdale County Veterinary Services.

Hartsville/Trousdale Chamber of Commerce Director Natalie Knudsen, who nominated Towns for the award, said of him, “Dr. Towns returned to his hometown following veterinary school to establish his practice. He uses every opportunity to hire and offer learning experiences to youth interested in the veterinary field – from checking in clients to assisting with procedures to local farm calls.

“Dr. Towns continues to mentor student in life and business experiences as he interns students exploring the veterinary field. This empowers a student searching for opportunities and learning how to deal with people as well as medically assist animals. You may not become a vet, but students still enhance their life skills.”

The P-16 Council is made up of area secondary school educators, higher education leaders and business people and is led by Volunteer State Community College. The goal of P-16 is to promote the relationship between education and the value of work, develop a highly trained workforce, and create a culture of lifelong learning by positively impacting student success through awareness, advocacy, and action.

Other 2019 award winners were: Susan Peach, Sumner Regional Medical Center, for Sumner County; Lindsay Johnston, representing James Woodcock, Fleetwood Homes, for Macon County; Timothy Dowell, Electrolux Home Products, NA, for Robertson County; W.P. Bone, III, Wilson County Motors; and Robert “Bob” McDonald, Cedar Stone Bank; both for Wilson County.

2019: The Year in Review

With 2020 and the dawn of a new decade upon us, The Vidette takes a look back at the biggest headlines from Trousdale County in the previous year. There was plenty to report on – we may be small but we’re certainly not dull!

January

  • Four Trousdale County players – Jake Gregory, Keyvont Baines, Tarvaris Claiborne and Jay’dynn Hayward – were named to various all-state football teams. Brad Waggoner also resigned as football coach after two seasons to take a job at Elbert County in Georgia. Waggoner went 19-8 in two seasons, including a runner-up finish in the Class 2A BlueCross Bowl.
  • Walgreens opened its new location on the corner of Andrews Ave. and McMurry Blvd., the site of the former Rite Aid. The changeover came after Walgreens purchased the rival pharmacy chain. Also, Fred’s Hartsville location closed its pharmacy after selling its patient files to Walgreens.
  • A portable meth lab was discovered and dismantled in the field behind Foodland. The Drug Task Force disposed of the illicit material.

    Illustration by Metro Creative Connection

  • The County Commission rejected a request to rezone property along Hickory Ridge Lane and Highway 25 from residential to commercial. The location had been seen as a possible site for a hotel, but nearby residents overwhelmingly opposed the rezoning.
  • Trousdale County was required to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean up an old landfill site off Gammons Lane that was found to be leaching contaminated water into a nearby creek. The county received a 50/50 grant from the state to offset the cost, which came to around $650,000. Work was completed at the site toward the end of the year.
  • TCHS senior Shelby Jane Petty signed a basketball scholarship with Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
  • TCHS seniors Houston Stafford and Mallorie McGee were named basketball Homecoming King and Queen on Jan. 25.

 

February

  • The Trousdale County grand jury indicted former Drug Task Force agent Keith Holder on multiple charges, including vehicular homicide, in the June 2018 death of Donovan Crittendon, whose body was discovered in the Cumberland River. Holder has pleaded not guilty and no trial date has been set as of yet.
  • Two members of the Water Board – Toby Woodmore and Sissy Harper – resigned after The Vidette reported on a handshake agreement between the board and a local developer. The deal violated Water Board policies and exempted the developer from certain required fees.
  • TCHS senior Keyvont Baines signed a football scholarship with Southwest Mississippi Community College. Baines and Shelby Jane Petty were also recognized for scoring 1,000 career points in basketball.
  • An automobile accident on Halltown Road on Feb. 4 claimed the lives of two Hartsville residents.
  • Blake Satterfield was hired as Trousdale County’s football coach, becoming the third generation of his family to coach the Yellow Jackets. A former football star at TCHS, Satterfield served as defensive coordinator prior to being named head coach.
  • Hartsville’s Blake Holder received the Outstanding Producer Award from the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association.
  • The Trousdale County Fair received the Premier Fair Award in Class A from the Tennessee Association of Fairs, while Judy Woodard received a statewide award as outstanding fair secretary.
  • An early-morning fire on Feb. 19 damaged La Quesadilla Mexican Restaurant and led to the facility’s closing. Repairs to the building are ongoing.
  • Trousdale County’s basketball season ended in the district tournament with a 13-16 record, while the girls advanced to the regionals before bowing out with a 15-7 mark.
  • Jeffery Damont Allen of Hartsville was indicted on three counts of kidnapping related to a November 2017 incident. Allen was later charged with a parole violation and according to state records is scheduled to be incarcerated until 2026.

 

March

  • TCHS senior Jake Gregory received the Admiral William P. Lawrence Award from the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the National Football Foundation. Gregory was recognized as the top scholar-athlete in the Midstate and was a three-time all-state selection on the field.
  • TCHS students got a firsthand look at the effects of distracted driving through a new interactive program. Trousdale County was the first school in the state to try out the new program.
  • Tri-County began Phase 2 of its three-year broadband buildout in Trousdale County, which was designed to operate in the middle of the county including downtown Hartsville. Phase 3 should begin sometime in 2020.
  • Hartsville middle school student Rob Atwood won his second consecutive AAU state wrestling championship, winning the 189-pound category by decision.
  • Casey Wayne Looper of Westmoreland was charged after allegedly firing a gun at Keller’s Bar & Grill. In April, Looper was charged with attempted first-degree murder in Overton County and remains incarcerated there.
  • Ashton Scott was crowned as the 2019 Miss Trousdale, with Sarah Dickerson named Junior Miss Trousdale and Charlie Beth Wright named Miss Trousdale Elementary.

 

April

  • Benjamen Timothy Carter was indicted on a first-degree murder charge in the March 31 shooting death of Bailey Donoho of Portland. Carter would eventually plead guilty to the murder charge and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
  • Fred’s announced that it would close 159 locations, including the Hartsville store that eventually shut down in May. The retailer later closed all its stores nationwide and filed for bankruptcy.
  • Trousdale Medical Center reopened its main emergency room after a five-month renovation to fix flood damage that cost an estimated $500,000.
  • Leon Wayne Berry of Hartsville was charged with attempted murder after allegedly shooting at his ex-girlfriend’s new partner. Berry pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and received a six-year sentence with all but one suspended. At press time he remained in the Trousdale County Jail.
  • Hartsville’s Dean Uhles celebrated her 99th birthday with family and fellow members of the Red Hat Society. The Vidette was honored to be invited to the festivities and looks forward to Dean turning 100 later this year!

 

May

  • In a story that gained attention from Nashville media, an elementary school teacher was charged with child abuse after video emerged of her dragging a student by the feet into a classroom. Carla Haynes was suspended and later terminated by the Board of Education. Haynes later received pretrial diversion with the charges dismissed after six months.
  • Annie Valentine of Hartsville perished in a house fire on Skillet Creek Road early on May 1.
  • Trousdale County underwent a Current Value Update by the state comptroller’s office as required by state law. While the assessed value of property went up considerably, the county’s property tax rate was adjusted to leave the amount of tax paid the same.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau released estimates showing that Trousdale County’s population had increased to over 11,000 – a 40 percent rise since 2010 that was the highest in the state.
  • Hartsville’s Community Pregnancy Center raised over $13,000 at its second annual fundraising banquet.
  • Faith Parker was named the 2019 Fairest of the Fair, with Madison Farley named Fair Princess and Reagan Petty as Jr. Fair Princess.
  • Sweet Kuntry Bakery & Eatery opened for business at the corner of Broadway and Main Street in the old Bank of Hartsville building. Despite initial success, the bakery closed for good later in the fall.
  • A Macon County jury convicted Keithandre Murray of two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting death of a Hartsville woman and a Lafayette man in February 2017.
  • Trousdale County’s softball claimed the district regular-season and tournament championships. The Lady Jackets took the tournament title by scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh to down host Gordonsville. TCHS would reach the substate round before ending its season at 18-9.
  • TCHS baseball coach Travis Humes resigned after five seasons and a 63-78 record. Humes’ 2018 team finished as district runner-up.
  • The County Commission voted down a controversial merger between the Volunteer Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services departments by a 12-7 margin. The final vote was delayed twice in March and April amid concerns of costs and perceived opposition from fire department leadership.

 

June

  • The Hartsville Vidette, Lebanon Democrat and Mt. Juliet News were purchased by Paxton Media Group, a family-owned company out of Paducah, Ky. Mike Alexieff was named publisher of all three papers and editor of the Democrat.
  • Hartsville Printing closed its doors after nearly 41 years of business as owners Roger & Linda Gregory retired.
  • Trousdale County sheriff’s deputy Clint Friar suffered severe injuries after being struck by a vehicle while he was stopped to render assistance after a traffic accident. Friar underwent multiple surgeries but is expected to make a full recovery. A timeframe for his return to duty is unknown.
  • Gravel Hill Missionary Baptist Church celebrated its 150th anniversary.
  • C.L. Gammon, the presidential nominee of the Prohibition Party, was guest speaker at June’s meeting of the Trousdale County Historical Society.
  • The BBQ Shack opened at the corner of White Oak and Broadway on June 12 after moving from its Dixon Springs location.
  • The County Commission delayed its budget vote for the 2019-20 fiscal year after an agreement between the schools and county government could not be reached. The schools requested roughly $850,000 in new money from the county in its initial request.
  • Jimmy Lee Scruggs was indicted on a first-degree murder charge in relation to the 2018 death of his girlfriend. Scruggs remains in the Trousdale County Jail and no trial date has been set.
  • The Mexican Grilled Cheese opened for business on June 30 in the old Tully’s site at the corner of Broadway and McMurry. Alberto Rodriguez, who operated La Quesadilla prior to the February fire that shut down that location, moved his business to a new site.

 

July

  • Commissioners announced no property tax increase in the county’s 2019-20 budget, something that had been discussed after Mayor Stephen Chambers’ proposal came in with a large deficit. Much of that deficit was one-time expenses, however. Commissioners also rejected the school system’s budget proposal, which called for $367,078 in new funding to replace money from the state’s Basic Education Program.
  • Haven House Mission Church announced the purchase of 18 acres of property along Highway 25 for an eventual drug/alcohol rehabilitation center. Renovations are continuing at the property and the center could open sometime in 2020. Haven House does not take court referrals and is a discipleship-based program. The group also runs a thrift store in Lebanon.
  • Hartsville’s Tennessee College of Applied Technology announced an expansion program that will include new training areas for nursing, a new computer lab and expanded space for vocational programs.
  • The School Board approved a policy change to allow out-of-county students to attend Trousdale County Schools by paying a $1,500 per semester fee.

 

August

  • One of Trousdale County’s last remaining World War II veterans, John Martin, passed away Aug. 1 at the age of 97. Martin was a three-time recipient of the Bronze Star and saw action in multiple engagements in the European theater of the war.
  • County government and the school system reached a budget deal that provided no new tax money to the schools for two years in exchange for the county paying for a new roof at Jim Satterfield Middle School. A previous quote for a roof came in at $830,000 but must be bid out, with work expected to take place in summer 2020.
  • The youth football league raised nearly $12,000 for new uniforms and equipment and announced a ‘Friday Night Lights’ event in October to give the young kids the experience of playing a night game on John Kerr Field.
  • The Trousdale County Fair was held from Aug. 8-10 with multiple events, including a car show that raised over $10,000 for the Backpack Program and the annual Christmas For Kids cake walk.
  • Trousdale County Schools hit “an academic grand slam” in the words of Director Clint Satterfield, as all three schools were named Reward Schools by the state Department of Education. Trousdale was also named as an Exemplary District.
  • A two-day manhunt near the Cumberland River on Highway 141 resulted in the arrest of a Linden man who was suspected of vehicle theft and wanted on other charges. Derrick Paul Hankins was caught in a barn on Puryears Bend Road and at press time remained in the Trousdale County Jail.
  • The Board of Zoning Appeals rejected 3-2 a request from a homeowner for a fitness studio in her home. The business had been operating in a limited capacity and according to reports a court battle could be in the works over the matter.
  • TNReady scores highlighted achievement and growth in Trousdale schools, with grades 3-8 ELA rating No. 12 in the state and 3-8 math No. 13. In high school, English I was No. 12 statewide and Integrated Math I, II and III each rated No. 2. Trousdale schools also rated a Level 5 (highest level) in growth, or year-to-year improvement.
  • U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn, who was elected in 2018, visited Trousdale County on Aug. 21 to hear local concerns.
  • A female employee at CoreCivic’s Hartsville prison was taken by helicopter to Vanderbilt with life-threatening injuries after being assaulted by an inmate on Aug. 30. TTCC Warden Russell Washburn later confirmed to county commissioners that the employee lost an eye in the attack. An investigation by the Tennessee Department of Corrections remains ongoing.

 

September

  • Hayden Williams was named as TCHS baseball coach and it was announced that Blake Satterfield would continue coaching the softball team in addition to his football duties. Williams had previously also been named football coach at JSMS.
  • Over 570 people participated in an online survey to determine the future of Hartsville City Park. The survey was intended by county government to help come up with a master plan for park improvements. Two design concepts were presented to the public in November and a final plan is to be presented early in 2020.
  • Trousdale County’s graduation rate was announced at 98.9 percent, up six points from the previous year.
  • The Fred A. Vaught Public Library received a $1,572 grant from the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office for technology upgrades, which was to be used on new computers and monitors.
  • County commissioners elected Dwight Jewell as the new chairman. Jewell replaced Jerry Ford, who announced he would not seek another term as chairman.

 

October

  • Jimmy Anthony, the longtime owner of Anthony Funeral Home, announced that he was retiring and would sell the business to Sellars Funeral Home in Lebanon. The Anthony name will remain on the business, which has operated in Hartsville since 1969.
  • Cassidy Todd was named as Jim Satterfield Middle’s Homecoming Queen, with Katie Jo Gregory and Mia Mitchell as attendants.
  • James Melvin Stansberry was charged with filing a false report and theft of property after telling police that someone claiming to be a TWRA wildlife officer took items from him at a local boat ramp. The TWRA issued a warning to the public and Nashville media picked up the story before Stansberry’s claims were found to be false.
  • JSMS finished its football season with a 5-4 record under coach Hayden Williams but ended the year with a three-game winning streak.
  • The Early Bird Café gained new ownership when Lilla Brewington purchased the Hartsville breakfast stop.
  • Neighborhood Health announced that it would close its Hartsville clinic on Damascus Avenue effective Oct. 28.
  • Concerns over a proposed meat processing plant in Hartsville began to rise on social media after an announcement that the Industrial Development Board had sold a 9-acre property in the industrial park to a Carthage cattle producer. At a December meeting, the board extended the contract through the end of January to allow Steve Anderson to complete his financing. The proposed plant would be next to Old Time Express and across from Dakota Works and would be able to process 10 head of cattle per day, according to Anderson.
  • First Baptist Church celebrated its 150th anniversary on Oct. 20. The church originally opened on Church Street and now is on McMurry Blvd. near the elementary school.
  • Josie Garrett was crowned as Trousdale County’s Homecoming Queen, with Sarah Dickerson, Lily Haynes, Erin Hix, Addison Gooch and Christina Sisco as attendants.
  • Mayor Stephen Chambers hosted a forum on homelessness that was designed to bring multiple agencies together and coordinate efforts to assist in the need for shelter.
  • Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee toured Hartsville’s TCAT on Oct. 30 as part of efforts to promote his GIVE (Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education) initiative.
  • Judge John Wootten announced his retirement effective Jan. 1 as Circuit Court Judge for the 15th Judicial District, which includes Trousdale County. Wootten had served in that role since 1998.

 

November

  • TDOT announced plans to build a turn lane at the intersection of Highway 25 eastbound and Halltown Road. Utilizing federal and state transportation funds, the project is expected to begin in 2021 and take about 18 months to complete.
  • New Beginnings Pentecostal Church opened its doors on West Main Street.
  • The Trousdale County Historical Society and Civic League announced the publishing of a two-set volume on Trousdale County’s history. The books are available by contacting the Historical Society.
  • The Chamber of Commerce held a Football Fantasy Contest in which local business could purchase wooden footballs and decorate them. Nineteen footballs were sold and Trousdale Medical Center won the grand prize.
  • Trousdale County’s Marching Yellow Jackets placed 11th at the state championships.
  • TCAT Hartsville received a $994,995 grant from the state to expand its advanced manufacturing training operations in Hartsville and at its satellite locations.
  • The Volunteer Fire Department told county commissioners it had exceeded its budget by over $34,000. Interim chief Mark Beeler cited expanded training for volunteers, adding personnel to the department and a higher call volume.
  • Trousdale County’s football season ended with a 22-20 loss in the Class 2A semifinals at Meigs County. The Yellow Jackets finished 11-2 under first-year coach Blake Satterfield and had 12 players named to the All Region 4-2A team. Tarvaris Claiborne was named region Defensive Player of the Year and Kobe Ford was named co-Offensive Player of the Year.

 

December

  • The entire community mourned the death of 7-month-old Ridge Williams, who according to reports swallowed a pacifier and choked. Multiple fundraisers were held to benefit the Williams family and blue ribbons could be found all over Hartsville.
  • The Water Department said it was working to test all fire hydrants in Hartsville after a hydrant reportedly failed when firefighters tried to tap into it to fight a house fire on Halltown Road near Rogers Street.
  • Trousdale County’s Kobe Pridemore signed a baseball scholarship with Freed-Hardeman University.
  • Hartsville held its largest-ever Christmas parade on Dec. 14 with over 200 entries, capping off the annual ‘Three Days of Christmas’ that includes the FCE Tour of Homes and tree lighting at the courthouse.
  • TDOT announced bridge repairs along Highway 231, including at the Cumberland River, which is expected to cause traffic delays through November 2020.
  • The School Board set the 2020-21 school calendar at its Dec. 19 meeting, with the first day of school on July 30.

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

A Christmas For Kids Story – and thanks to all who helped!

For four years now, it has been one of the great privileges of my life to be able to work with Trousdale County’s Christmas For Kids program.

This wonderful cause offers help to the underprivileged in our community and has for over 30 years, since Regina White first started the program. This year, we were able to help around 160 children in Trousdale County.

Photos by Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Some of the donated toys are shown at last week’s Christmas For Kids distribution.

When Regina decided a few years ago the time had come to step away from the program, the Hartsville Rotary Club and Community Help Center teamed up to operate the program. While there have been a few bumps along the way with the transition and changes within the program, it remains a cause that I am proud to be able to be a small part of.

But there are many more people who all contribute into making this program a success every year. I want to take this opportunity to try to recognize some of those people. I know I may miss a few, but please know your contributions are equally valued.

It’s currently my honor to serve as president of the Hartsville Rotary and I thank those members who have stepped up every year to help operate the program. Wayne Andrews, Jim Falco and Janie Oldham are wonderful to work with and I truly appreciate every one of them.

I also want to thank my fellow Rotary members who came to our aid last Thursday when we were a bit shorthanded in getting things organized. Paul Knudsen, Bryan King and Dwight Jewell each put aside their own plans and spent hours helping us get ready for our distribution.

And speaking of distribution, I want to thank Director of Schools Clint Satterfield and TCHS Principal Teresa Dickerson for the use of the high school auditorium as the site of distribution this year. We have in the past used the Hartsville Church of Christ’s fellowship hall and they have also been a pleasure to work with. Scheduling conflicts made the church unavailable this year (sometimes these things just happen, certainly no one’s fault!) but when we asked Dr. Satterfield about the school, he didn’t hesitate to offer the use of TCHS. Clint even came and worked with us Thursday during distribution and I can’t thank him enough.

One recipient of the Christmas For Kids program – I can’t use a name but this person will know – even stayed to help us after getting their child’s gifts. That meant a lot to all of us!

Christmas For Kids items were bagged and ready for distribution last week.

Getting things coordinated to have Christmas For Kids is always a bit of an adventure. Members of Hartsville’s Church of the Firstborn have assisted with the shopping in recent years and they do a terrific job. These folks almost have the shopping lists down to a science. I mean, we got items for roughly 160 kids in barely two hours!

When the time came to sort the items and get them bagged for the kids, an inmate work crew from the Trousdale County Sheriff’s Office helped unload toys, balls and stuffed animals. When these men saw we needed more help, every one of them asked the supervising officer to be allowed to stay and assist us. Sheriff Ray Russell readily agreed and let me tell you, these men WORKED. We absolutely could not have pulled things off without the inmates’ assistance and I was proud to shake each of their hands when we were done.

Trousdale County’s EMS and Rescue Squad members come through every year with the annual Cake Walk and Toy Drive to benefit the program. They are incredibly supportive of Christmas For Kids and have been for years. Their assistance is equally valuable and I thank every one of them for their tireless work.

The folks at the Community Help Center assist in coordinating the financial aspect of the program and I can’t imagine how the program would be possible without them.

And those finances come from you, the people, the churches and the businesses of Trousdale County who so generously support Christmas For Kids every year. Every one of you is so appreciated and I hope you know how thankful we are for that support.

I wish there were more words to express the gratitude in the hearts of everyone affiliated with Christmas For Kids for the support the community has shown throughout the years.

From the bottom of my heart I say thank you – and Merry Christmas to you all!

Chris Gregory is managing editor of The Hartsville Vidette. Reach him at 615-374-3556 or [email protected]

Trousdale School Board sets 2020-21 calendar

Submitted photo

The Trousdale County School Board voted last Thursday night to set the start of the 2020-21 school year on Thursday, July 30.

Board members voted unanimously to go with the first of two proposed calendars, which was also the choice of teachers when presented with the options.

There will no school on Aug. 6 and 7 for Election Day and the Trousdale County Fair and the calendar has a number of built-in professional development days to give students breaks on a regular basis.

Fall break for the 2020-21 school year will run from Oct. 19-23, with a four-day Thanksgiving break from Nov. 24-27 and the fall semester ending for students on Dec. 17 with a half-day for teachers on Friday, Dec. 18. The spring semester will begin on Jan. 5, 2021, with spring break from March 22-26 and graduation on May 21.

The TNReady assessment window in 2021 will run from April 12 through May 7. Parent-teacher conferences are set for Thursday, Oct. 15 and Thursday, March 18, with no school the next day as is traditionally the case.

The School Board is next scheduled to meet on Thursday, Jan. 16 at 6 p.m.

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

Chamber thanks Hartsville for help with Christmas celebration

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
The Trousdale County school system’s ‘Books & Bites’ mobile library/cafeteria bus won Grand Prize honors in Saturday’s Hartsville Christmas Parade. Other winning entries were: Best Themed – McDonald’s; Best Horse Entry – Charlie Beth Wright, Miss Trousdale Elementary; Best Kids’ Entry – Michelle Mahan; Best Business – Wilson Bank & Trust; Best Church – Hartsville Church of God; Best Organization – Do Re Mi Gospel Music Academy; Best Pet Entry – Community Pregnancy Center; Best Motorcycle/ATV – Pookum Burnley; Best Tractor – Catesa Farms; Best Truck – Wayne Knight, Tow Mater; Best Car – Chuck Williams, 1970 Mach 1 Ford Mustang. Saturday’s parade had over 200 entries and may have been the largest Christmas parade ever in Hartsville.

I’d like to thank all of the volunteers who helped make the Three Days of Christmas such a success. These events would not take place without the generous time and helping hands of each and every one of you.

The annual Christmas Parade was one of the largest on record. Thanks to everyone who participated and for their attention to safety! A special appreciation goes to Rachael Petty for all of her hard work. Your parade wouldn’t happen without her efforts.

Please note that our Community Chamber of Commerce meetings are being moved to the second Tuesday of the month beginning in January 2020. So mark your calendars for Tuesday, Jan. 14 at noon in the Community Center.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone who works to make our community one of the nicest places to live in Middle Tennessee.

Bridge work planned along Highway 231

A $2.09 million bridge repair effort on U.S. 231 north of Lebanon was expected to start impacting traffic this week, with work projected to end by November 2020.

Bridges over Spring Creek and the Cumberland River will be repaired through the project, which aims to address structural deficiencies the Tennessee Department of Transportation found during routine inspections in 2016 and 2017.

“Beginning this week the bridge (over Spring Creek should) be down to one lane,” TDOT Community Relations Officer Kathryn Schulte said. “Traffic will be controlled by a signal that is not to exceed a 2-minute red. Traffic will be switched halfway through the project but will still be down to one lane.”

Mid-State Construction Company was contracted for the project effective Nov. 14, and its bridge division contact, Nick Davis, confirmed last Wednesday that work is set to begin shortly.

Workers will remove and replace the beams, deck and parapet on both sides of the bridge over Spring Creek, along with partial depth repairs to the substructure. The same contract includes work on the bridge over the Cumberland River, which is expected to begin affecting traffic within the next few months.

“Starting in early 2020 traffic will be moved to the far shoulder while maintaining travel in both directions,” Schulte said. “Traffic will be switched halfway through the job to the other side.”

Repairs slated for the bridge over the Cumberland River include work on the support structure, including the backwalls, expansion joints and bearing pads for the beams. Workers will also remove and replace parts of the approach slab, which connects the bridge to pavement.

Hartsville’s Three Days of Christmas

Get ready for the Three Days of Christmas in Hartsville – and keep your fingers crossed for good weather!

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Students at Trousdale Elementary watch Paul & Natalie Knudsen’s horse-drawn team, which delivered the county’s Christmas tree last week.

You still have time to purchase your advance tickets for $12 for the Candlelight Tour of Homes. Tickets will also be available at the door of the Community Center on Thursday, Dec. 12. Refreshments begin at 5 p.m. with the buses leaving promptly at 5:30. Advance tickets are available at Citizens Bank, Wilson Bank & Trust and the UT Extension Office. All proceeds from the Tour of Homes go towards scholarships to 4-H Youth Camps.

Join us for free fun for the entire family on Friday, Dec. 13, at Christmas at the Courthouse. Beginning at 5 p.m., all children are invited to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus and share their wish lists. Pictures will also be available courtesy of Amanda Carman. Children and their parents can enjoy craft time, cookies and hot chocolate.

Beginning at 6 p.m., The Trousdale County Elementary School Singers Club will perform in the upstairs courtroom. Immediately following the singers’ concert, join us for a Christmas carol sing-a-long and a unique skit featuring the Twelve Days of Christmas. Next we’ll head outside for the official lighting of the Christmas Tree. This year’s tree is a real beauty! Look for the original art ornaments made by the elementary school students displayed on the evergreen roping around the courthouse. Thanks to Trousdale Turner Correctional Center for providing the wooden ornaments.

Saturday, Dec. 14 kicks off with the annual Men’s Country Ham Breakfast sponsored by the Hartsville United Methodist Church, beginning at 7 a.m. There will also be a bazaar and bake sale. Tickets in advance at and the door are just $5.

The annual Christmas Parade steps off at 10 a.m. with Jimmy Anthony as the 2019 Grand Marshal. This year’s theme is “Christmas Past, Present and Future.” The Shriners will once again lead off our parade with their entertaining antics. Look for this to be one of our biggest parades with several new entries, including the Westmoreland Marching Band. You may drop off your parade entry fee – a new, unwrapped child’s toy – this week at Citizens Bank, Wilson Bank & Trust or the Administration Building.

Cheer on your favorite parade entries as they compete for 12 trophies. Don’t forget to watch for Santa, his elves and the reindeer!

Please make this a safe parade by keeping children off the street and away from the parade entries.

I’d like to add a special “Thank You” to all of the volunteers who donate their time and talents to make the Three Days of Christmas such a special community event.

Water Department testing local fire hydrants

Questions have been raised regarding the availability of working fire hydrants in Hartsville after problems arose while the Volunteer Fire Department fought a house fire last week.

Early on Monday, Dec. 2, volunteer firefighters responded to a house fire on the corner of Halltown Road and Rogers Street. Crews reportedly could not get the closes fire hydrant to work and eventually had to go almost to McDonald’s to find an available water source to fight the fire.

The home was almost completely destroyed by the fire, but no one was injured.

Tommy McFarland, General Manager for the Hartsville/Trousdale County Water Utility, told The Vidette the closest fire hydrant had in fact been replaced over the previous weekend. The Water Department in fact keeps a small supply of hydrants on hand for such cases.

Photo courtesy of Volunteer Fire Department
Firefighters reportedly ran into problems with a hydrant while fighting this house fire last week.

“This one got hit Saturday night and knocked off,” he said. “In that situation we just went ahead and put a brand new one in… Why it didn’t work for them, I don’t know.”

After the fire, water crews tested the new hydrant along with others nearby and found four of six – including the new one – to be in working order.

“When things don’t go your way, I know it’s a little frustrating,” McFarland said.

McFarland said there were as many as 15 different brands of hydrants scattered around the county. One goal of the utility is getting that number down to increase efficiency – something that remains a work in progress.

“You can replace them just about as cheap as you can buy them,” McFarland said, while noting that some of Hartsville’s hydrants are as much as 50 years old.

“Our goal is to change them out as we come to them or repair when we can repair ourselves… It’s not going to happen overnight,” he said.

Replacing a hydrant currently costs around $6,000, McFarland estimated, while noting that the utility uses ones designed to be easier to fix and are slightly more expensive.

McFarland said water crews have been working to flow test all fire hydrants around town and mark ones that either need replacing or other maintenance. The cold weather has delayed that process somewhat as flow testing in the cold can cause other pipes to break, he said. Any hydrants needing work will be marked and noted for when the weather improves.

“We were wanting to do that this November, but we started having lines snap and we have to fix those,” he said. “To flow a hydrant in the wintertime is not worth putting people out of water.

“We’re trying to find any more problems we’re not aware of… charging the barrels, making sure they’re opening all the way, making sure they’re draining.”

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

Multiple online fundraisers benefitting family of Ridge Williams

Photo courtesy of Rustic Lillee Creations

Across the Midstate, people are rallying in support of a young child fighting for his life.

Multiple fundraisers, including a GoFundMe page, have been set up to benefit the family of Ridge Williams, a 7-month-old boy.

According to media reports earlier this week, the child swallowed a pacifier on Dec. 2 and suffered an airway obstruction while with a babysitter, who phoned 911. Trousdale County EMS responded and transported Ridge to Sumner Regional Medical Center. He was later transported to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital and according to the most recent media reports was in critical condition.

Among the fundraisers are T-shirts from Rustic Lillee Creations, a Hartsville-based company, and a raffle for a family portrait from Theia Jordan Photography. As of Friday morning, the raffle had over 130 entries while the T-shirts had dozens of pre-orders.

The T-shirt can be ordered through Rustic Lillee Creations’ Facebook page through Friday, Dec. 13. The photo raffle will go through Sunday evening.

“I chose to help Ridge and his family by making the shirts because I just became a mother and I could not imagine the pain they are having to go through right now. There isn’t anything any of us could do to make that pain go away but to know they have so many people sending prayers and love their way may comfort them in some way,” Rustic ownership said via Facebook.

A GoFundMe page, Baby Ridge’s Medical Expenses, has been created and as of Friday morning had raised over $4,200 of a $5,000 goal.

On Friday, The Jewelers of Lebanon announced via its Facebook page that it would donate a minimum of 5 percent of its weekend sales to the family. Patriot Armory Gun & Pawn, located in Carthage, announced on its Facebook page that it would raffle a rifle and shotgun, with proceeds going to the family.

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

Trousdale students score 21 average on ACT

Trousdale County students in the Class of 2019 scored an average of 21.0 on the ACT composite, the state Department of Education announced earlier this month.

Trousdale was one of 18 school districts statewide to have an average that high. Statewide, the ACT average was a 20.

“This is a great accomplishment for our schools,” said Director of Schools Clint Satterfield. “We ranked 18th in the state.”

Trousdale County’s average score in each subject area was: 20.6 in English, 20.2 in Math, 21.1 in Reading and 21.2 in Science.

Photo courtesy of Trousdale County Schools

Of 87 Trousdale students who took the ACT, 35 scored a 21 or higher according to the state’s data. A score of 21 makes a student eligible for the HOPE scholarship.

The department uses students’ best ACT score, meaning that if a student took the ACT multiple times, the score included reflect his or her highest score.

Trousdale’s scores were up from an average of 19.7 in 2018 and tops its marks of 20.8 set in 2015 and 2017.

“Every year there are things we put emphasis on, but this one is every year, all year long, every day,” said TCHS Principal Teresa Dickerson. “Several years ago we started giving a mock ACT… and last year we started an ACT prep course. The answer is the focus my teachers have put on ACT.”

Dickerson also credited incentives such as the ‘Wall of Fame’ and ‘Improvement Board’ on the hallway in the high school. Students who score 21 or higher, or who improve their scores by at least three points have their names featured on those boards for all to see.

“They really want to be put on that wall,” Dickerson said of her students. “They deserve recognition for improving that much.”

Satterfield also noted that of the top 18 districts, Trousdale had the second-highest percentage of students scoring at least a 19, which is considered college ready.

“We want them to get the Tennessee Lottery (scholarship),” Dickerson added. “That’s why we push for the 21.”

The average statewide ACT score in each subject area was: 19.6 in English, 19.4 in Math, 20.5 in Reading and 20.0 in Science.

Thirty-four districts had a 100 percent participation rate on the ACT for 2019 graduates. Other encouraging results show that the composite score for students with disabilities remained steady despite the statewide dip. Additionally, participation rates increased for students who are economically disadvantaged, students classified as English learners, and students with disabilities.

Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn announced that 63,829 students from Tennessee’s 2019 graduating class took the ACT, representing a 98 percent participation rate, which is an all-time high in the state.

“More Tennessee students than ever before are taking advantage of the ACT and ACT retake,” Schwinn said in a press statement. “It is critical that we continue to increase access to these high-quality opportunities for all students, no matter where they live. This is one way that we will build a foundation to set all students on a path to success.”

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or [email protected] Contributing: Staff reports

Hartsville man pleads guilty to murder, receives life sentence

A Trousdale County man entered a guilty plea on Tuesday, Nov. 26 to a first-degree murder charge in the death of a Portland woman earlier this year.

Benjamen Timothy Carter, 23, of Hartsville, pleaded guilty before Judge Brody Kane in Wilson County Criminal Court to the shooting death of Bailey Donoho, 21, of Portland. Under the terms of the plea, Carter received a life sentence.

“In Tennessee, a life sentence is 60 years. It is a 100 percent sentence, which means there will be no parole or anything like that,” said Assistant District Attorney Jason Lawson, who was prosecuting the case along with ADA Ian Braddock.

Photo courtesy of Trousdale County Sheriff’s Department
Benjamen Carter pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison.

Charges of attempted first-degree murder, evading arrest and resisting arrest were dropped as part of the plea.

Lawson said Carter’s attorney contacted the DA’s office Monday afternoon and said his client was willing to accept a plea deal. Donoho’s family was consulted and agreed to the terms of the plea, according to Lawson.

“They were very satisfied with the life sentence and wanted to go forward with the plea,” Lawson said.

Lawson told The Vidette that Carter admitted to shooting Donoho and attempting to shoot a male acquaintance accompanying her on March 30 after a dispute arose in which Carter accused the pair of stealing his wallet.

According to Lawson, Carter threatened “that he would kill someone” if his wallet was not found. Carter had picked up the pair at a friend’s residence on Dalton Hollow Road and after the dispute, drove them to his father’s house on Browning Branch Road.

At that point, Carter pulled an AR-15 rifle out of the truck and fired three shots into the vehicle. Donoho was hit twice, while the acquaintance fled on foot.

The following afternoon, Carter’s father discovered the body while looking over his property for storm damage and notified authorities.

Investigators eventually discovered the rifle and truck, which had blood on the seats and damage consistent with gunshots, according to Lawson. Carter also reportedly admitted to family members while incarcerated that he had committed the crime.

“It was quite a bit of evidence, and because of that the defendant decided there was no point in having a trial,” Lawson said.

The investigation was conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation along with the Trousdale County Sheriff’s Department.

“There were a lot of police man-hours put into this. The TBI, Trousdale County Sheriff’s Department and Wilson County Sheriff’s Office really did an outstanding job. The quantum of proof they gathered is what resulted in the plea,” Lawson said.

Carter has been in the Wilson County Jail since his March 31 arrest but will be transferred to the Tennessee Department of Corrections, which will determine where he will serve his sentence.

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

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!