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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!

Online survey seeks local input on Hartsville City Park’s future

Photo courtesy of Trousdale County government

An online survey is offering Trousdale County residents the opportunity to provide input on Hartsville City Park and its future.

The survey can be found online at surveymonkey.com/r/Hartsville_City_Park and is part of a process to determine what improvements are needed in the park and most wanted by those who use the park and its facilities.

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

Convenience Center to offer hazardous waste drop-off date

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) mobile household hazardous waste collection service will be in Trousdale County on Saturday, Sept. 21.

Tennesseans are encouraged to bring household hazardous waste – including cleaning fluids, pesticides, batteries and more – to a designated drop-off location. A person does not need to live in the county to participate.

The drop-off location is: Trousdale County Convenience Center, 600 Industrial Park Dr., Hartsville, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The local contact is Cliff Sallee at 615-374-9574.

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

‘Trousdale Remembers’ impact of suicide on loved ones

Submitted photo
County Mayor Stephen Chambers recently signed a proclamation declaring September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Also pictured are Brenda Harper and Nathan Miller.

The Trousdale County Health Council will hold its annual “Trousdale Remembers” event next week to remember those lost to suicide.

Scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 10 from 6-7 p.m. at the county courthouse, “Trousdale Remembers” allows family members and friends who have lost loved ones to suicide to gather and pay tribute to their memory.

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

Employee assaulted at Trousdale Turner prison; facility on lockdown

Photo courtesy of HTC Volunteer Fire Department

An employee at Hartsville’s Trousdale Turner Correctional Center was taken by helicopter to Vanderbilt Medical Center after being assaulted by an inmate at the facility late Friday afternoon.

The name of the employee is not being released and information on their condition was not immediately available Saturday. The name of the inmate was also not immediately available.

The Hartsville/Trousdale Volunteer Fire Department and EMS responded to the scene to help set up a landing zone for AirEvac, which transported the employee.

CoreCivic spokesman Brandon Bissell issued a statement on the company’s behalf:

“At approximately 6 p.m. Friday, an employee was assaulted by an inmate at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Facility. The employee was transported to an outside hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The inmate suspected in the assault has been isolated from the population and turned over to TDOC custody.

Our partners at the Tennessee Department of Correction were immediately notified and facility staff are cooperating fully with the investigation. The facility remains on lockdown status while the TDOC Office of Investigations and Compliance (OIC) investigates this incident.”

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com. Contributing: Staff reports

Sen. Blackburn hears local concerns during Hartsville visit

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
From left, State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, County Mayor Stephen Chambers, U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, County Commissioners Rachel Jones and Dwight Jewell

U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn visited Hartsville last week as part of a tour of Tennessee.

Blackburn, a Republican who was elected to the Senate last November, met with Trousdale County Mayor Stephen Chambers and other county officials on Aug. 21.

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

Trousdale County schools hit ‘academic grand slam’

All three schools in Trousdale County have been named Reward Schools by the Tennessee Department of Education for 2019, marking the first time each school has been recognized in the same year.

Additionally, Trousdale County Schools has achieved the designation of Exemplary School District. According to the TDOE website, Exemplary districts are exceeding growth expectation on average for all students as well as each historically underserved student group.

Director of Schools Clint Satterfield

Trousdale County Schools received a value-added growth score of Level 5 (the highest level) in all three areas of Overall growth, Literacy and Numeracy. All three schools also met the district’s chronically absent (18 days or more) achievement goal of nine percent or less.

Trousdale County Schools were last named an Exemplary School District in 2012.

“This is only something that we dream of achieving,” said Director of Schools Clint Satterfield. “It is equivalent to an academic grand slam!”

Reward status is the top distinction a school can earn in Tennessee. Schools can earn Reward status by improving overall student academic achievement and student growth (year-to-year results) for all students and for student subgroups.

For Jim Satterfield Middle School, this marks the second straight year that the school has achieved Reward status after doing so in 2018.

“We have developed a culture of constant school improvement among our students and teachers that has attributed to much of our successes,” stated JSMS Principal J. Brim McCall in a press release.

Trousdale County High School is now a three-time Reward School, having been previously named so in 2012 and 2014. Trousdale County Elementary School last received the Reward designation in 2013.

“We focused a lot on attendance at the high school, and we have found it to have a more positive impact on student learning than we first predicted,” said TCHS Principal Teresa Dickerson in a press statement.

Trousdale County Elementary School Principal Demetrice Badru said that much of her school’s success is a result of high-quality curriculum, which the school has been implementing over the past three years, along with ongoing professional development to support teachers’ utilization of the curriculum.

“These accomplishments mean everything for our students, their families, and our community. Having more students learning at higher levels each year increases their opportunities of postsecondary success after graduation, which leads to higher-paying jobs and a more robust economy,” Satterfield added.

“This is definitely a team accomplishment; I can’t say thank you enough, starting with our Board of Education to our food service staffs. These accomplishments are a result of a lot of intentional hard work for a long period of time. I think all of these accolades coming at once certainly validates our work.”

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

Trousdale County deputies arrest suspect after two-day manhunt

Photo courtesy of Trousdale County Sheriff’s Department

Trousdale County Sheriff’s Department deputies captured a man wanted on multiple charges Tuesday afternoon after a two-day manhunt.

Derrick Paul Hankins, 32, of Linden, was captured around 1 p.m. after being located in a barn on Puryears Bend Road.

Authorities began searching for Hankins in the area of the Highway 141 river bridge near River Road on Monday, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page that described him as a vehicle theft suspect. A female suspect was taken into custody at the time but was not immediately identified.

Helicopters from the Tennessee Highway Patrol were used in the search Monday, as well as K-9 units from Sumner and Macon counties. The suspect was thought to be hiding in a cornfield at one point Monday afternoon but was not located. He was spotted again around 6 p.m. Monday evening but again eluded capture.

On Tuesday, the search resumed with assistance from THP, Gallatin PD, the 15th Judicial District Drug Task Force, Wilson County Sheriff’s Office and Macon County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the sheriff’s office, Hankins is wanted in Perry County on charges of failure to pay child support, probation violation, aggravated burglary, theft of property between $1,000-$2,500, vandalism and theft. He is also wanted on charges of theft of property and vandalism in Lewis County and for probation violation in Wisconsin, according to the sheriff’s office.

Sheriff Ray Russell was not immediately available for comment on what charges Hankins may face in Trousdale County. Hankins was booked into the Trousdale County Jail on Tuesday afternoon.

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

Car show, cake walk to be held Saturday at Fair

Two fundraisers for local charitable programs will be held Saturday as part of the Trousdale County Fair.

The fourth annual Car, Truck, Bike Show & Swap Meet will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday morning in the parking lot at Trousdale County High School. Also, the annual Christmas For Kids cakewalk will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday in the high school auditorium.

Submitted photo
These custom panels will be up for auction during Saturday’s car show, which benefits the Backpack Program.

Organizers anticipate this being the biggest car show yet, with as many as 150 cars, trucks, motorcycles and tractors potentially on display. The entry fee to show a car is $15 and booth spaces are available for $20. There is no fee to come see the cars on display.

“We are striving to deliver the premier car show in the region in order to benefit a great cause,” said Wayne Andrews, one of the car show organizers.

Bryan King, who runs a custom automotive restoration business in Trousdale County, has donated a number of custom panels to be auctioned off Saturday. There will also be a 50/50 cash drawing and other door prizes.

All proceeds from Saturday’s car show benefit the Backpack Program, which provides meals to underprivileged children in Trousdale County.

For more information on the car show, call Seed Morton at 615-374-9419 or King at 615-454-8301.

The Christmas For Kids cakewalk is a part of the fair for the second straight year. Last year’s walk raised nearly $2,500 for Christmas For Kids, which has helped the needy in Trousdale County for over 30 years. Last year, Christmas For Kids helped over 170 children have a better holiday season.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
The Christmas For Kids cake walk will be held Saturday at the high school auditorium.

The Trousdale County Rescue Squad and Hartsville Rotary Club are teaming to organize and operate the cakewalk. Each walk is only 25 cents.

Organizers hope that moving the cakewalk indoors will help boost attendance as neither rain nor the summer heat will be a factor.

“We’re excited about the annual cake walk and the opportunity to help such an incredible program as Christmas For Kids,” said Rotary Club President Chris Gregory. “We hope as many people as possible will come out and show their support by participating!”

The Rescue Squad and Rotary Club are also seeking donations of cakes, cookies, pies and other baked goods for Saturday’s cakewalk. Anyone interested in donating can contact the Rescue Squad at 615-374-9503 or Gregory at 615-450-5756.

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

County, schools reach deal on 2019-20 budget

The Budget & Finance Committee gave unanimous approval to a budget deal between the county and schools during a special called meeting Monday evening.

The agreement calls for the county to pay for a new roof at Jim Satterfield Middle School, with the School Board to make the first payment. In return, the school system will receive no new funding in the FY20 or FY21 budgets.

Under the agreement, there will be no increase in property taxes for the FY20 budget. The tax rates were set at $2.4388 for county and $0.8753 for the Urban Services District.

The deal was hammered out in discussions between Director of Schools Clint Satterfield, Commission Chairman Jerry Ford and other members of the County Commission.

“I think it’s a win-win. A good compromise is when neither party’s really happy,” said School Board Chairman Regina Waller. “Everyone gave a little and I’m very pleased.”

The School Board approved the plan at a called meeting on Aug. 1 and the full Commission will vote on the budget at a called meeting on Monday, Aug. 19. Should it pass, a second called meeting will be held on Aug. 20 for a public hearing and second vote.

Commissioners pointed out that funding the roof will not count under maintenance of effort, or the amount the county is required to pay toward school funding each year.

The school system previously received a quote of $830,000 for replacing the roof at JSMS. The project must go out for bid and work is unlikely to take place before next summer.

County Mayor Stephen Chambers said he planned to look into funding options to reduce the burden on county government, such as grants. If revenues come in better than anticipated, moving funds around to lower the county’s overall cost could also be an option.

“I’m glad we got something moved forward,” the mayor said. “I don’t think we’re locked into a bond issue. I’m certainly going to find any alternative I can before we get to that point.”

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

John Martin, one of Trousdale’s last WWII veterans, passes away at 97

Trousdale County’s “Greatest Generation” has one fewer member after the passing of John William Martin.

Martin, 97, passed away on Thursday, Aug. 1 and was one of a handful of surviving World War II veterans from Trousdale County.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Family members pose with John Martin (seated) at last year’s state football championship game. Martin, one of the last surviving World War II veterans in Trousdale County, passed away Aug. 1 at the age of 97.

Martin’s son, Kenny, told The Vidette that Billy Woodmore and Budgie Oakley are also WWII veterans. Jimmy Anthony said his stepfather John Gregory, a Trousdale County native who now resides in Madison, also served in WWII.

Martin’s obituary lists him as a three-time recipient of the Bronze Star for meritorious achievement or service. Born in 1922, he entered the U.S. Army on Jan. 10, 1943 and trained at Camp Bowie, Texas.

According to Kenny Martin, his father trained in lining up artillery and saw extensive action in the European theater, including engagements in the Ardennes, Rhineland and Central Europe.

John Martin returned to America in January 1946 and was discharged in February of that year with the rank of Staff Sergeant. He later worked for the U.S. Post Office for 35 years.

Kenny Martin said his father seldom spoke of his wartime experiences but was always ready to talk about the Trousdale County Yellow Jackets, calling him “the No. 1 Yellow Jacket fan.”

John Martin played football at TCHS in 1938 and 1939 and “probably watched more Trousdale County football games than anyone ever,” according to his son.

Funeral services for Mr. Martin were to be held Saturday at Anthony Funeral Home and he was to be laid to rest in the Stalcup Cemetery.

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

64th Trousdale County Fair to be held Aug. 8-10

The Trousdale County Fair is preparing for its 64th annual event, which will be held from Thursday, Aug. 8 through Saturday, Aug. 10 at the high school.

The 2019 Trousdale County Fair will feature many of its traditional events and ones that have become popular in recent years, including Family Feud, the children’s LEGO contest, the children/youth beauty pageants and the Tea with the Queen tea party.

“We’re really excited about this year’s fair,” said Fair Board President Kathy Atwood. “Our main focus is to promote agriculture in Trousdale County, but also to showcase the traditions that have made our county what it is.

Submitted photoy Fair

“We hope that our community will come out and support us. We try to have something for everyone to do. It is so much more than what is used to be – a youth fair – but we try not to forget our roots.”

Emily Pennington, the Tennessee 2019 Fairest of the Fair winner from Warren County, will participate in the Tea with the Queen event on Friday, Aug. 9.

“We’re excited to have her this year,” Atwood said.

The car show to benefit the Backpack Program will be held for the fourth straight year. Bryan King of the Hartsville Rotary Club has taken a lead role in organizing the car show, which is expected to be the largest ever. Nearly 100 entries were in last year’s show but the 2019 version could dwarf those numbers.

Also returning this year is a cash giveaway of $500 to be awarded in amounts from $100 to $250 over Friday and Saturday. Rules for the giveaway are available in the Fair catalog or in the tabloid insert in this week’s Vidette.

The annual Christmas For Kids cake walk will also be a part of the fair again this year. The cake walk will be held on Saturday, Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. in the auditorium at TCHS.

“We thought moving inside would help boost attendance since folks won’t have to be out in the heat,” said Rotary Club President Chris Gregory. “Having the cake walk as pat of the fair last year really helped boost the turnout and we look forward to another successful event this time!”

Tri-County will provide an electric demonstration on Friday, Aug. 9 at 1 p.m. in the rear parking lot near the cafeteria.

Community craftsmen will also be on hand to show their wares and skills.

There are also expected to be expanded food option this year.

The fair will begin with the annual Century Farms Banquet on Friday, Aug. 2. Rose Duncan Kelley will be recognized with the Fair Pioneer award and the 2019 fair will be dedicated to the memory of Dianne Martin.

Exhibits will be accepted from 8 a.m. until noon on Friday, Aug. 9 at the high school’s Ag Pavilion.

Children’s exhibits will include categories such as field crops, garden crops and home cookery. Adult categories include canning, gardening and arts and crafts.

In a slight change, most exhibits will be displayed in the high school gym this year.

The Fair welcomes entries from all ages, with a junior category for ages 4-third grade, youth exhibits for grades 4-12 and adult entries. Youth exhibitors must be members of 4-H or Future Farmers of America, and adult exhibitors must be a resident of Trousdale County or a member of a Trousdale County agricultural organization.

A complete list of categories and rules for each entry can be found online at TrousdaleCountyFair.com. Fair catalogs are available to the public at the UT Extension Office on Broadway.

The Sheep Show will be held Thursday evening at 6 p.m. in the Ag Pavilion. Friday afternoon will feature the LEGO contest and Tea with the Queen, with the Cattle Show and Family Feud planned for Friday night.

The entry fee for Family Feud is $20 per team of five and this year, teams can choose to keep prize money or donate it to charity. To sign up for Family Feud, email Seth.Thurman@gmail.com or kathrnatwood@bellsouth.net.

Saturday will begin with the annual pancake breakfast held by the Lions Club from 7-9 a.m. in the school cafeteria. Other activities on Saturday will include carnival games, farm games, the Kiddie Tractor Pull, a greased pig contest and the homemade ice cream contest.

“Most of our farm games are open to children and adults,” Atwood said.

The chicken show and sale will also be held Saturday morning at the Ag Pavilion.

Saturday also includes with the Children/Youth Beauty Pageant at noon in the Eleanor Ford Theater. Boys from 0-24 months and girls from 0-age 10 can enter the pageant. The entry fee is $25 per contestant.

Admission to the Fair is free, although some individual events such as Family Feud and the Beauty Pageant will have admission costs. Children will also need to purchase tickets for games and rides.

For more information, visit TrousdaleCountyFair.com or check out the Trousdale County Fair’s page on Facebook.

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

Discussions continuing on Trousdale’s school budget

Trousdale County’s School Board took no action on revising its budget during a special called meeting last Thursday.

Instead, board members voted to continue the meeting until Aug. 1 at 6 p.m. to allow for further discussions between the director of schools, mayor and county commissioners.

The Budget & Finance Committee rejected the schools’ budget proposal at a July 19 meeting. That proposal called for $367,078 in new dollars for the school system.

Courtesy of Trousdale County government

“We feel like we’ve been responsible, frugal with tax dollars and we also feel like we made a reasonable request,” Director of Schools Clint Satterfield said to board members during Thursday’s meeting.

“Our budget is a status-quo budget… We have no raises for employees other than teacher raises mandated by the state… no new positions, no new educational programs. We’ve tried to hold the line.”

Satterfield told board members he was optimistic of getting a deal worked out with commissioners. Board member Johnny Kerr added that multiple members of the County Commission had expressed in conversation with him the possibility of assistance with capital outlay needs – such as a new roof for Jim Satterfield Middle School – rather than providing more money to the school budget.

“That doesn’t take them up any on maintenance of effort, it’s not a recurring cost, and it allows us not to go any deeper into our fund balance, maybe for a couple of years,” Satterfield said to the board.

“Some of them thought that was a good compromise,” Kerr added. “I think we need time to go about that decision-making process and see if a majority can be gained on that.”

County Commission Chairman Jerry Ford told The Vidette that Mayor Stephen Chambers and Satterfield were discussing multiple compromise options, but did not give further details.

Chambers’ only comment when contacted by The Vidette was that “discussions are ongoing.”

Commissioner Rachel Jones, who sits on Budget & Finance, added, “I’ve heard several different ideas for the middle school roof… but I’ll have to have more details before I make a decision.”

The Budget & Finance Committee has announced a special called meeting on Monday, Aug. 5 at 6 p.m. to discuss the school system’s budget, as well as the county’s proposed 2019-20 budget.

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