Hartsville celebrates Christmas with annual parade, events

Christmas isn’t here just yet, but that didn’t keep Hartsville from enjoying its annual “Three Days of Christmas” celebration last week.

Trousdale County began its Christmas celebration on Thursday night with the FCE Candlelight Tour of Homes.

Three area homes were on display, including a pair of homes that date back to the mid-1800s.

“The Three Days of Christmas were a huge success,” said Chamber of Commerce Director Natalie Knudsen. “We had a nice turnout for the Tour of Homes with some really unique homes.”

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
The Citizens Bank float won grand prize honors in the Hartsville Christmas Parade.

On Friday, the Chamber debuted “Christmas at the Courthouse,” with hot chocolate, crafts, pictures with Santa Claus and a community singing of Christmas carols.

Jack McCall presented his rendition of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” to a packed audience in the upstairs courtroom.

Afterward, the crowd went outside to see County Mayor Stephen Chambers officially light the county’s Christmas tree.

“The Christmas at the Courthouse was very successful,” Knudsen added, “and will become an annual event. The crafts and Santa were very popular and everyone was able to be indoors, out of the cold.”

Saturday began early with the annual Methodist Men’s Country Ham Breakfast at First United Methodist Church, followed by pictures with Santa at Wilson Bank & Trust.

The Hartsville Christmas Parade began shortly after 10 a.m., with Grand Marshal John Martin, one of only two surviving World War II veterans in Trousdale County, leading the route along McMurry Blvd, Broadway and Main Street before a packed crowd.

The entry fee for the parade, as always, was an unwrapped toy to be donated to Christmas For Kids. Parade participants came through very nicely.

Afterward, vendors set up inside the courthouse to allow folks to get in a bit of Christmas shopping.

The cold weather and threat of ice and snow didn’t keep folks from coming out to enjoy the festivities, as Hartsville saw one of the biggest parade turnouts in years.

There were over 150 registrations in the 2018 parade, and Citizens Bank took the overall grand prize for best entry.

“The parade went really well; we were able to sneak in before the rain,” Knudsen said. “Special thanks to Racheal Petty for organizing the lineup. It was really tight but we got through. Several people have told me it was the best parade they’ve seen in years. It wasn’t huge but it went very well.”

The Rescue Squad also held its annual toy drive to benefit Christmas For Kids on Saturday afternoon/evening. Organizers said on Facebook the drive collected lots of toys as well as over $1,000 in donations.

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



Grand Prize – Citizens Bank

Best Themed – Rotary / TCHS Interact Club

Best Horse Entry – Castalian Springs Equestrian Club

Best Kids’ Entry – TC Youth Football & Cheerleaders

Best Business – Macon Power Sports

Best Church – Rocky Creek Fellowship

Best Organization – Shriners

Best Pet Entry – Trousdale County Veterinary Services

Best Motorcycle/ATV – Michelle Mahan

Best Tractor – Jerry Towns

Best Truck – Phillip Smith, Studebaker

Best Car – Jeff Gregory, 1964 Plymouth

Inmate found hanging in cell at Trousdale Turner prison

An inmate at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center was found dead Thursday evening in what is believed to be a suicide.

Sources told The Vidette the inmate was found hanging in his cell. Trousdale County EMS responded to the scene.

CoreCivic spokeswoman Amanda Gilchrist issued a statement.

“At approximately 9:30 p.m. CST Thursday, Dec. 6, officers at Trousdale Turner Correctional Center found an inmate unresponsive in his cell from an apparent suicide attempt. A medical code was called, responding staff began performing CPR, and EMS was called to the facility. Following transport to an area medical facility, the inmate was pronounced dead.

“We immediately notified our partners at the Tennessee Department of Corrections. The incident is being investigated by TDOC Office of Investigations and Compliance. CoreCivic is cooperating fully with the investigation. All further inquiries should be directed to the TDOC Communications Division.”

A spokesperson with the Tennessee Department of Corrections identified the inmate as Ross Hamilton Anderson, 34.

Anderson pleaded guilty to the 2015 murders of his 30-year-old girlfriend and her 5-year-old son in Bradley County and was serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole.

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

New year, new location for Hartsville’s Community Help Center

Trousdale County’s Community Help Center is preparing to move to a new and more visible location.

Beginning on Jan. 3, the Help Center will be at 120A McMurry Blvd., the former site of Razors Barbershop (next to Community Cash Advance).

“We needed a new start and wanted some changes,” said store manager Tawana Flatt. “The board had been looking for a new site for some time. It’s going to save us significantly in the long run.”

The center will be open at its current location on Main Street on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through Dec. 20, according to Flatt.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette

“The store will close on Dec. 20 and we will reopen Jan. 3 with the food pantry to start with at the new location,” Flatt said. “I doubt we can get everything moved for the thrift store by then.”

The Community Help Center’s food pantry helps around 160 Trousdale County residents on a monthly basis. Sales at the thrift store help support the center’s mission as well.

Flatt did not give a timeframe for the reopening of the thrift store but said it would be as soon as possible.

“We’ve got to put in shelving and set the whole thing up,” she said.

The Help Center is looking for donations of shelves and racks that can be used in the new location. Volunteers to help with the move are also welcome.

Store hours will remain the same at the new site: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Donations will still be accepted at the Main Street location until Dec. 20, but Flatt said waiting until the new location opens in January would help by reducing the number of items to be moved.

After the new site opens, the center asks that donations be brought when the store is open so that items do not sit outside in the winter weather.

There will also be a moving and clearance sale at the Help Center beginning Tuesday and running until Dec. 20.

“Everything must go!” Flatt said with a smile.

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

Hartsville readies for Three Days of Christmas

Depending on the day the past week, we’ve been wearing winter coats, rain gear or shorts, but the calendar says it is time for the Three Days of Christmas!

Again this year, we’ll kick off the celebration with the Candlelight Tour of Homes on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 5 p.m. in the Community Center. Light refreshments will be served from 5-5:30 p.m. and the tour will begin promptly at 5:30. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door and are available at the Citizens Bank, Wilson Bank & Trust and the UT Extension Office.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Students at TCES check out the horses owned by Paul and Natalie Knudsen, who traditionally deliver the county’s Christmas tree by wagon each year.

We’re trying something new this year on Friday evening, Dec. 7. The Chamber will be sponsoring “Christmas at the Court House” beginning at 6 p.m. with Santa and Mrs. Claus. All youth are invited to meet Santa and share their wish lists. There will also be craft time, cookies and hot chocolate available.

Beginning at 7 p.m., we’ll have a sing-along of Christmas classics in the upstairs courtroom.

Immediately following the sing-along, Jack McCall will share his performance of “A Christmas Carol.” I think it is best described as a one-man play. This is a must-see event AND this year it will be presented in a warm, comfortable environment! Please make plans to attend.

We’ll then move outside and sing “O Tannenbaum” and light the Christmas tree. Look for the original art ornaments made by the elementary school students displayed on the evergreen roping around the courthouse. Thanks to CoreCivic for providing the materials!

All of the events on Friday evening are FREE and open to the public! I hope you’ll join us as we share the spirit of the season.

Saturday, Dec. 8, 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!

The annual Christmas Parade steps off at 10 a.m. This year’s theme is “Christmas Past, Present and Future.” The grand marshal of the parade will be John Martin, a World War II veteran and the longest-living Yellow Jacket. The Shriners will also be an important part of our parade, providing great entertainment with their antics.

Immediately following the parade, there will be shopping in the courthouse. Stop in and pick up unique gifts to finish off that shopping list – and support our local businesses!

Parents meet to form Trousdale County PTA

A group of parents met Tuesday evening with the intention of forming a Parent-Teacher Association for Trousdale County Schools.

“We’ve never had enough parents that want the same goal. We want to get parents together and see what they want to help out kids,” said Jessica Byrd, who helped organize the group and was elected as president.

The group must still go through a process to be officially recognized as a PTA, including getting backing from one of the school system’s three principals and approval from the school board.

Parents in attendance Tuesday emphasized that the formation of a PTA is not about using the group to criticize Trousdale’s schools, although some raised concern over individual policies such as parents eating lunch with children.

“Parents should not be punished for another parent’s actions,” said one of the attendees, who asked not to be identified.

Topics discussed by the group included improvements to the playground at the elementary school, helping organize and improve field trips, clarifying policies on birthday party invitations and providing opportunities for parents to volunteer at their child’s school.

Improving lines of communication between parents and teachers/administration is the most important thing the PTA wants to accomplish, Byrd said.

A Facebook group is being organized on behalf of the PTA that will be open to anyone who wishes to be involved – whether a parent of a student or simply a member of the community.

The PTA plans monthly meetings going forward, which will be announced via the Facebook group.

Byrd also said the PTA is for all three schools, not just for the elementary school.

“We just want to make sure they’re having a good experience with school,” she said.

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

Trousdale County falls 17-9 to Peabody in Class 2A BlueCross Bowl

COOKEVILLE — Trousdale County made its bid for a 10th TSSAA state championship but came up short Thursday after the Yellow Jackets fell 17-9 to Peabody in the Class 2A BlueCross Bowl.

The Yellow Jackets (11-4) entered with high hopes after knocking off the top three ranked teams in the state in each of the last three weeks. But No. 4 Peabody (14-1) proved too much of a hill to overcome.

Photos by Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County players show their disappointment Thursday after a 17-9 loss to Peabody in the Class 2A BlueCross Bowl.

“You’ve got to tip your hat to them; they were very good on defense,” said Trousdale coach Brad Waggoner. “We had chances in the red zone; we just didn’t get the job done.”

Peabody quarterback Cooper Baugus was named Most Valuable Player after rushing for a touchdown and throwing another for the Golden Tide.

Peabody set the tone early by returning the opening kickoff 65 yards and setting up deep in Trousdale territory. But as would happen so many times, the Yellow Jacket defense stood tall – eventually forcing a turnover on downs.

On its second possession, Peabody took a 3-0 lead on a 29-yard field goal by Isaiah Hicks.

Trousdale County would respond quickly as a 65-yard run by senior Dyson Satterfield gave the Jackets first and goal and set up a 5-yard run by senior Keyvont Baines and a 7-3 lead late in the first quarter.

Satterfield would finish with 116 yards on 22 carries to lead Trousdale County.

On its next possession, the Yellow Jackets appeared to have extended the lead when Baines went down the visitors’ sideline for a touchdown. But a holding penalty negated the score and Trousdale was forced to punt.

Trousdale County’s Keyvont Baines dives for the end zone in the second quarter. The play was negated by a holding penalty.

Baugus gave Peabody the lead back, rushing 38 yards for the go-ahead touchdown on fourth and 3.

“He’s a heck of an athlete. He’s shifty and big,” Trousdale defensive end Jake Gregory said of Baugus. “We just needed to bear down and make a play.”

Baines suffered a shoulder injury on the play and was limited in his ability to throw, which hampered the Trousdale offense for the remainder of the game. Sophomore fullback Cameron Rankins, who was the backup at QB, was already slowed by an elbow injury suffered in the semifinals against Meigs County. Rankins caught one pass for 8 yards and did not carry the ball at all Thursday.

“We were limited in what we could do offensively in the second half because Cameron was hurt, Keyvont was hurt, and it put us in a situation where we basically had to run one formation,” Waggoner said.

Peabody would extend the lead to 17-7 in the third quarter when Baugus found receiver Noah Halbrook for a 51-yard touchdown with 6:53 left in the third quarter.

The Yellow Jackets tried to respond, driving inside the 20 before being stopped on downs.

Trousdale would drive into Peabody territory twice in the fourth quarter but again came away with no points. A fumble by Satterfield on a fourth-down carry was recovered by the Golden Tide to stop the first drive.

The Jackets’ defense again rose to the task as senior Braden Hawkins and Gregory sacked Baugus in the end zone for a safety with 7:58 to play and make it a 17-9 game.

Trousdale County’s Braden Hawkins (28) and Jake Gregory (52) sack Peabody quarterback Cooper Baugus (3) for a safety in the fourth quarter.

On the ensuing possession, Trousdale drove and had first and goal from the Peabody 6. But the drive stalled and ended when Baines was tackled at the 24 on fourth down. Peabody was able to run out the clock after that and claim the Class 2A title.

“We had the ball in the red zone three times and didn’t get any points out of it,” Waggoner said. “It’s disappointing.”

Trousdale County outgained Peabody 224-167 and held the Golden Tide to 54 rushing yards. But the Jackets could not maintain any offensive momentum, going 5-of-14 on third down and 0-for-4 on fourth down.

Waggoner praised his team’s fight in reaching the final and said the senior class had set the bar for the future.

“In Hartsville, we don’t play for second place,” he said. “Our senior class got us back to the standard of what we expect in Trousdale County. They’ve set the standard for where we want to be next year.”

“I’m just happy to play football with my brothers; it’s a privilege to play for Trousdale County,” Gregory said after the game.

“Nobody thought we were going to make the championship,” Baines added. “We showed everybody we could make it, but we just didn’t come up with a win.”

“We had a lot of doubters, and to come up short is just how it goes. We just have to live with it,” Satterfield said.

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


Peabody 17, Trousdale Co. 9

TC            7            0            0            2—9

P            3            7            7            0—17

First Quarter

P-Hicks 29 field goal, 3:43.

TC-Baines 5 run (Chasse kick), 2:07.

Second Quarter

P-Baugus 38 run (Hicks kick), 6:18.

Third Quarter

P-Halbrook 51 pass from Baugus (Hicks kick), 6:53.

Fourth Quarter

TC-Safety, 7:58.



            TC            P

First downs            11            8

Rushes-yds            48-177            34-54

C-A-I            3-10-0            8-12-0

Pass yds            47            113

Total yds            224            167

Third-down conversions            5-14            2-12

Sacks            4-28            1-18

Fumbles-lost            1-1            1-1

Penalties-yds            6-45            9-86



RUSHING—TC, Satterfield 22-116, Hicks 8-52, Baines 17-11, TEAM 1-(minus-2). P, Baugus 15-28, Halbrook 5-25, Dickson 10-17, Wilkins 1-(minus-2), TEAM 3-(minus-14).

PASSING—TC, Baines 3-10-0-47. P, Baugus 8-12-0-113.

RECEIVING—TC, Chumley 2-39, Rankins 1-8. P, Halbrook 4-81, Dickson 2-17, Wilkins 1-9, Hammonds 1-6.

Tri-County completes fiber buildout in Phase 1 of broadband project

Tri-County Electric announced last week that the utility has completed the construction of fiber backbone in Phase 1 of its planned three-year project to wire Trousdale County for broadband service.

Tri-County is currently working on installations in areas where the buildout has been done, including Highway 231 North, Templow Road, Bass Road and part of Honeysuckle Lane. Installations in the southeastern portion of Sumner County served by Tri-County are also underway.

Photo courtesy of Tri-County
This map shows in highlighted lines the areas in which Tri-County has completed construction of its broadband network. Installations are taking place and will continue in the coming weeks.

“We’ve had a ton of rain since we started the project,” said Tammy Dixon, Director of External Relations and HR for Tri-County. “We wanted to get that part done before winter weather came.”

Tri-County still expects Phase 1 to be completed (buildout and installations) by March 2019 as originally planned.

“We’ll start (installations) down 231 South, Brummitt Road, Oldham, Carey, Walnut Grove by the end of the year or first of next year,” Dixon added.

Tri-County provided a map (see photo) of areas where the fiber buildout has been completed. Residents in those areas can still sign up for service to be included in Phase 1.

Dixon said customers could sign up at any time, but those who do so after crews come through the areas to do installations could see delays in receiving service.

“We’ll get to them, but we’ll move forward to people who are signed up in that area already,” she said.

The utility has already applied for a second state grant, which would be used for Phase 2 of the project. Tri-County received a $1.35 million grant earlier this year that was used for Phase 1.

Dixon said Phase 2 would include areas such as Puryears Bend Road, Boat Dock Road, part of Old Highway 25, part of Highway 141 North, Browning Branch, Starlite Road and Sam Beasley Road.

Dixon said service would be offered inside the Hartsville city limits, but that Tri-County is focusing currently on areas without Internet service.

Tri-County’s broadband service provides 50MB download/upload for $49.95 per month, 100MB for $59.95 per month and 1 GB for $89.95 per month with no data caps. Installations are free, provided that customers sign up for Tri-County’s Demand Response program. That program allows the utility to monitor cycling processes of HVAC units and water heaters, while the homeowner retains control of their system.

“People we hear from have been super pleased,” Dixon said. “It is achieving what we have hoped to achieve.”

To sign up for service or for more information, call 615-374-2986 or visit tcemc.org/fiber/signup.

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

Public meeting will discuss changes to state education funding

A public meeting will be held next week to provide information on changes to state funding of education and how Trousdale County is being affected.

On Monday, Dec. 3, members of the County Commission will meet with a representative from CTAS (County Technical Assistance Service) at 6 p.m. at the Hartsville Community Center. Members of the public are also invited to attend the meeting.

CTAS rep Wesley Roberson will discuss changes to the state’s BEP (Basic Education Program) formula, which determines how much state funding is provided to counties for education.

Graphic courtesy of Tennessee Comptroller’s Office

“When we were building the 2018-19 budget, our first estimates had BEP numbers about $250,000 off,” said Director of Schools Clint Satterfield. “We were seeing a significant loss in revenue.”

In 2017-18, the state provided an estimated $7,738,000 in BEP funding, according to the school system’s budget. For 2018-19, that number fell to $7,487,000 – a drop of $251,000.

Satterfield cited increased fiscal capacity in Trousdale County as the biggest reason for the decline in state funding. Fiscal capacity is defined as an estimate of a county’s ability to raise revenue. As a county’s ability to raise money increases, the level of state BEP funding decreases under the formula.

In Trousdale County’s case, the addition of CoreCivic’s Hartsville prison and the roughly $1.5 million in annual tax revenue greatly increased the fiscal capacity.

Compounding the issue is that fiscal capacity is determined under a three-year average. Trousdale is in the first year of that period, meaning the greater fiscal capacity will likely lead to further reductions in state BEP funding each of the next two years.

“This next year, that loss could double to near $600,000, or near $900,000 in year three,” Satterfield said. “That’s what we’re trying to educate commissioners about.”

Increases or decreases in the number of students also affects the BEP formulation of state funding for school systems, but not to the extent that fiscal capacity does.

The school system has gone into its fund balance last year and this year to make up for losses in state funding. Estimates from the 2018-19 school budget have the schools using over $1.7 million in fund balance, leaving an estimated $1.686 million as of June 30, 2019 – the end of the fiscal year.

“This is one reason you have a fund balance – to try to offset some of the difference,” Satterfield said. “Fiscal capacity doesn’t mean how much you’re putting in; it’s how much can you contribute.”

County governments are required to maintain funding levels through maintenance of effort, but that requirement does not apply to BEP funding.

Satterfield said in a worst-case scenario, loss of BEP funding could lead to larger class sizes, reductions in the number of teachers, loss of art/music classes or cuts to extracurricular activities.

“That’s not good in any case,” he said. “I can’t think of other wiggle room we would have.”

County Mayor Stephen Chambers said he hoped commissioners and members of the public would attend the meeting to learn about the logistics of education funding.

“The fiscal impact is what’s really hurting us as far as BEP funding,” the mayor said. “We need to understand how the growth we’ve experienced impacts the funding we receive, so that going into next budget year we have a better idea of how that’s done.”

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

FCE Tour of Homes starts off Hartsville Christmas season

Get in the holiday spirit by enjoying the 2018 FCE Christmas Tour of Homes!

This annual tour highlights beautiful homes in Trousdale County, uniquely decorated for the holiday season. The homes for this year’s tour belong to the Herbert, Barnes and Morton families.

Michael and Sandra Herbert’s home at 550 Boat Dock Road was built in 2016. The residence is a massive log home, comprising over 5,000 square feet. Jeremey and Jordan Gregory Barnes’ home, at 905 Halltown Road, was built in the 1900s. It has over 3,000 square feet and is certainly a beautiful home.

Submitted photo

Daryll and Debra Morton’s home is located on Highway 25 and Sam Beasley Road. Built around 1850 with brick fired on the place, the former Miller house has a full basement lined with quarried limestone blocks.

For many years, this was considered one of Hartsville’s showplaces. The house fell into decline in the 1950s and was unoccupied for many years. In 2001, it was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Riley Greer, who are restoring the home and grounds to their original charm and grace.

On Thursday, Dec. 6, you can enjoy tasty refreshments beginning at 5 p.m. at the Trousdale County Community Center (located across the street from the courthouse) before joining the bus ride at 5:30 p.m. to tour the homes across the county.

Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 on the night of the Tour. Tickets may be purchased at the Trousdale County UT Extension Office, from FCE Members or at the door.

Everyone is welcome to join us for the 2018 FCE Tour of Homes. Homes are not handicap accessible and no personal vehicle may be driven to homes.

This event is sponsored by the Family & Community Education (FCE) Clubs of Trousdale County.

Fred’s, Rescue Squad plan toy drives for Hartsville

Two toy drives are hoping to help underprivileged children in Trousdale County have a good Christmas season.

Fred’s will be holding a toy drive on Dec. 1-2 and Dec. 8-9 at its Hartsville store, located on Broadway. Customers can purchase toys in the store and donate them.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force

All donated toys will go to Trousdale County’s Christmas For Kids program, which has served the community for over 30 years. The Community Help Center and Hartsville Rotary Club help coordinate the program. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Author serves as part of the Rotary committee that assists with Christmas For Kids).

Additionally, the Rescue Squad will hold its annual toy drive following the Hartsville Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 8.

Drop-offs for that toy drive can be made in the Foodland parking lot on McMurry Blvd. or by contacting the Rescue Squad at 615-374-9503.

Christmas For Kids helped over 170 local children in 2017 and organizers are currently working on this year’s program. For more information on Christmas For Kids, contact the Community Help Center at 615-374-2904, Jim Falco at 615-680-2444 or Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756.

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

Volunteers help clean up old Hartsville Cemetery

On Saturday, Nov. 17, approximately 40 volunteers met at the old Hartsville Cemetery and worked for several hours cleaning the cemetery and the grounds.

Trash was picked up and bushes that were growing in the cemetery were cut and hauled away. Many of these bushes were obscuring tombstones. Low-hanging limbs from trees were also removed.

Much progress was made, but much remains to be done. The plan is to make this an annual event or perhaps twice a year, in the spring and the fall.

Submitted photo

There is no perpetual fund to take care of this historic cemetery and very few graves remain that can be sold. In the past, donations from individuals have been used to keep the cemetery mowed but there is very little left over for any other maintenance.

Several volunteers who came to help do not even have any family members buried in this cemetery and their service to the community is appreciated. The Cemetery Board is very grateful to all who participated.

Thanks to the boys in the Trail Life USA organization, their parents and all who helped. A special thanks goes to John Oliver, who organized and coordinated the event.

As always, any donations for the maintenance of Hartsville Cemetery are welcome. 100 percent of donations are used for the care and upkeep of the cemetery. Donations can be sent to Hartsville Civic League, c/o Anne Kemp, 380 Boat Dock Road, Hartsville, TN 37074.

Trousdale County headed to BlueCross Bowl with 32-29 win over Meigs County

At this point, Trousdale County may just be perfectly content to be in the underdog’s role.

The Yellow Jackets came into Friday’s semifinal against top-ranked Meigs County again picked to go out against an undefeated opponent.

But just as they did against Tyner and Watertown the last two weeks, Trousdale (11-3) gutted out a 32-29 victory over Meigs (13-1) to reach the Class 2A championship game.

Photos by Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale County players celebrate after defeating Meigs County 32-29 to reach the Class 2A championship game.

Trousdale County will face Peabody (13-1) on Thursday at 11 a.m. in Cookeville.

Keyvont Baines ran for 212 yards and three touchdowns, and Jay’dynn Hayward scored what would be the winning touchdown on a pick-six in the fourth quarter.

“That’s been the story of our team every week; someone steps up and makes a play,” said Trousdale coach Brad Waggoner. “Hayward made two great plays and bailed us out; Keyvont had a great game.

“It’s all about the team. We started off 1-2 and battled back. I can’t say enough about these kids.”

Trousdale County jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on a 31-yard reception from Tarvaris Claiborne and a 51-yard scamper by Baines.

But Meigs County quarterback Aaron Swafford, a Mr. Football finalist, kept his team in the game with a pair of rushing touchdowns before halftime.

Swafford would finish with 101 yards rushing and three TDs, along with 236 yards passing and a touchdown. But the two interceptions proved costly.

Trousdale County’s Keyvont Baines scampers for a 51-yard touchdown during the first quarter against Meigs County. Baines finished with 212 yards rushing and three TDs in a 32-29 victory.

“Great job. From where we’ve been to what we’ve done the last three years, we’ll be ready to take the next step next year,” said Meigs coach Jason Fitzgerald.

Meigs County took the lead midway through the third quarter at 21-20 on Swafford’s third scoring run.

After Trousdale’s ensuing drive stalled, Meigs looked in good position. But Hayward intercepted a deflected pass and returned it inside the 10, setting up Baines’ third scoring run and allowing the Yellow Jackets to retake the lead.

Meigs drove to the Trousdale 5 early in the fourth quarter, but a bad snap on fourth and goal let Trousdale’s defense off the hook. A Baines punt four plays later left Meigs at its own 32, setting up Hayward’s second pick.

“I saw him come into my zone and I broke on it,” Hayward said of what would be the game-deciding play. “I was there at the right time and I couldn’t let him catch me.”

Meigs County got new life when Swafford found receiver Caleb Hyde for a 75-yard touchdown with just under six minutes left to play.

But Trousdale was able to run out the clock, with Baines finding receiver Ben Chumley for a key third-down conversion. Baines’ run on fourth-and-2 gave Trousdale County a first down with under two minutes left and allowed the Yellow Jackets to go into the victory formation.

“From Day 1 we wanted to go to Cookeville,” Baines said. “Now we’re going. It’s great to play football here. I can’t describe it.”

“It was just about getting that win and getting to the next game,” Waggoner said. “It’s all about those kids who grew up here in Hartsville and it’s always been their dream to play for the state championship. Now let’s go win this thing.”

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

Historical Society receives book on local African-American history

At the Nov. 10 meeting of the Trousdale County Historical Society, Bobby Joe Lewis made a presentation to the group.

Lewis is a local authority on the history of Trousdale County’s African-American community. A retired teacher, Lewis has spent most of his life listening to the elders of the community tell how things used to be in Hartsville and the county.

But Bobby Joe Lewis did more than just listen. He wrote things down!

Submitted photo

Now after having spent two years gathering his notes and old photos together, he had put together a large notebook of local black history.

At the November meeting of the county historical society, Lewis presented the huge book to president John Oliver.

The book details school history, people, sports and community events as told to Lewis and from his own recollections, having witnessed many years of happenings himself.

The book will rest with the county historical society temporarily, as it is Lewis’ intention for it to take its place in the restored old Ward School building, when the Ward School Community Preservation Association finishes with its restoration and opens it as a community center.

Future generations of county residents will then be able to appreciate all the work and effort that Lewis has put into this notebook as they thumb through its many pages.

But since history is never ending and constantly adding new pages, both Lewis and Oliver would love for you to contact them if you have pictures or recollections to add to this book.

‘Adopt a Grandparent’ starts at Trousdale Senior Living Center

Trousdale Senior Living Center is kicking off its “Adopt A Grandparent” program for the holidays.

File photo

“We just ask for people that want to adopt a grandparent. We give them a wish list from the resident, things they actually would like,” said Danita Morgan, activities coordinator for the center.

On Thursday, Dec. 6 at 6 p.m., adoptees can visit with their residents, deliver gifts and enjoy cookies, coffee and hot chocolate. Gifts are asked to be no more than $15 to $20.

“They get to spend time with the resident, get to know them,” Morgan added. “Then throughout the year, if they want to know about birthdays or other special days, they can visit, send a card, anything.

“It’s to get the community involved with the residents, to give them someone to talk to throughout the year.”

Trousdale Senior Living Center has been holding the “Adopt A Grandparent” event for several years and Morgan said the residents look forward to it each year.

“It lets people get to know us and our facility,” Morgan said. “We wish each of you a most blessed Thanksgiving filled with happiness, good health and blessings of memory making!”

For more information on the “Adopt A Grandparent” program, call the center at 615-374-9771.

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

Christmas Shopping Boutique returns to Hartsville next weekend

One of Hartsville’s top shopping events returns next weekend with the seventh annual Christmas Shopping Boutique.

On Saturday, Nov. 24 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., shoppers can browse through over 50 vendors at Trousdale County High School to find the perfect Christmas present for that special someone on their list.

One of Hartsville’s top shopping events returns next weekend with the seventh annual Christmas Shopping Boutique.

“We grow more every year,” said said Lisa Blair, who organizes the Hartsville Christmas Shopping Boutique. “We will have 50 vendors – from homemade crafts and décor to a variety of direct-sales businesses. Also, lunch will be served as a fundraiser for the Honduras Mission Team!”

The event is part of Small Business Saturday, a nationwide push to help local businesses.

“Small Business Saturday was created to help small business owners across the country kick off the shopping season in a big way. Join us by shopping local with direct sales companies, crafters, boutiques and local businesses!” Blair added.

Santa Claus will also be on hand from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. to meet children and get a jump-start on filling their Christmas wish lists.

The Fred A. Vaught Library will also host a Christmas Storytime during the event.

Hourly door prizes will be given away and the first 100 guests will receive a swag bag with various goodies.

The most recent list had the following vendors set to attend:

  • Young Living Essential Oils;
  • Signature Homestyles;
  • KB’s Monogrammed Gifts;
  • Style Dots;
  • Maggie’s Madness;
  • Hawkins Branch Handmades;
  • Lilla Rose;
  • Paparazzi;
  • Thirty-One Gifts;
  • S&S Boutique;
  • Creations From TN;
  • Scentsy;
  • Sew Crochet Crazy;
  • Lipsense;
  • Pink Zebra;
  • Perfectly Posh;
  • Plunder;
  • Agnes & Dora;
  • Mary Kay;
  • Southern Hope Boutique;
  • Rodan & Fields;
  • Bejewled;
  • Damsel In Defense;
  • Sleek & Chic Boutique;
  • Origami Owl;
  • Color Street;
  • L&T Farmhouse Crafts;
  • Various Crafters;
  • Victorian Christmas Spiders;
  • Stephy Jo’s Bakery;
  • Crazy Crafts by Chy;
  • Creatively Done For You;
  • Poppyseed Marketplace;
  • Arbonne;
  • Mynutra;
  • DRM Creations;
  • My Place Quilt Shop & Lamp Repair;
  • Double Z Honey;
  • Trousdale County Band Boosters;
  • 2 Sisters Fudge.

For more information on the event, follow Hartsville Christmas Shopping Boutique on Facebook.

Planning Commission approves concrete plant in Hartsville

The Planning Commission gave site plan approval Monday evening to a request to build a ready-mix concrete plant in Hartsville.

Photo courtesy of Google Maps

Garrott Bros. Continuous Mix, Inc. has been operating in Middle Tennessee for over 60 years and has plants in Gallatin, Lafayette, Portland and Cross Plains.

The company has purchased a lot at the corner of Planters Avenue and White Oak Street in anticipation of expanding operations into Hartsville. The property is already zoned I-1 (industrial) and will not require rezoning.

“With the growth in the Midstate, we think this is a great opportunity for us,” said Daniel Bugbee, owner and general manager of Garrett Bros. “We want to provide value back to the community.”

Bugbee said all Garrett Bros. plants comply with regulations from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and that the Hartsville plant would not cause any issues.

Bugbee told The Vidette construction on the plant would begin sometime in 2019, depending on TDEC approvals. He said it was too soon to say how many employees would be at the Hartsville location.

“It will be a great improvement to the county to have this business here, particularly with as much construction as we’re having,” said building inspector Dwight Jewell.

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

Second arrest made in escape from Trousdale County Jail

A second Hartsville resident has been indicted by the grand jury on charges related to the escape of an inmate from the Trousdale County Jail.

Photo courtesy of Trousdale County Sheriff’s Department

Leslie Brooke Barksdale, 22, of Hartsville, was indicted on charges of introducing/possessing contraband in a penal institute, conspiracy to escape and criminal responsibility for escape. She was arrested by Trousdale County deputies on Nov. 9.

Trousdale County Sheriff Ray Russell told The Vidette Barksdale admitted to planting drugs at night under the fence to the jail’s recreation area. Russell also said there was video evidence of the offense.

Barksdale is also accused of assisting in the Aug. 2 escape of Charles Groves from the county jail by harboring him afterward. Groves was later recaptured in Bowling Green, Ky., and remains in jail there on unrelated charges.

Russell told The Vidette Barksdale was reportedly with Groves in Kentucky when he was recaptured.

Last month, the grand jury indicted Marvin Isaac Minor Jr., 29, of Hartsville, on charges related to the escape.

Barksdale was booked into the Trousdale County Jail on $35,000 bond. She is scheduled to appear in Criminal Court on Jan. 22.

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

Community Thanksgiving Meal to be held on Nov. 14

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Chamber of Commerce is preparing for its third annual Community Thanksgiving Meal to give thanks and to honor the spirit of the people of Hartsville.

The meal will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 14 from 4-7 p.m. at the Eleanor Ford Theatre in Trousdale County High School.

“The idea behind the Thanksgiving dinner is to bring longtime residents and new residents together, to take time to introduce each other and build that sense of community,” said Chamber Director Natalie Knudsen.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Members of the community enjoy a free meal during the 2017 Community Thanksgiving Celebration.

The meal will be free to all who attend and will consist of turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, dressing, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls and pie. There will be wait staff on hand as well.

Requests for to-go meals will not be accepted.

“There will be no to-go boxes unless you are a Meals on Wheels customer or if you call in and make a request,” Knudsen said. “Leave a name, address and phone number, and we will contact them so you’re not having someone knock on your door at night unexpected.”

Anyone who is unable to attend can request a meal be delivered by contacting the Chamber at 615-374-9243. Deliveries will be made by members of the Volunteer Fire Department.

The event has grown substantially in just one year.

“In the first year we planned to feed 500 people, and we were out of food in about an hour and a half,” Knudsen said. “We’re planning for 800 this year.”

There will be a tent outside the auditorium where those in attendance can enjoy pie and coffee.

There will also be a slideshow on the history of Hartsville.

“The Church of the Firstborn has worked with (county historian) John Oliver to create a slideshow of Hartsville that will be on two big screens,” Knudsen said. “I think that will be amazing to see.”

The Chamber is seeking volunteers and donations to assist with the meal. For more information, contact Knudsen at hartsvilletrousdalecoc@gmail.com or call 615-374-9243.

“It’s meant to be a community event where people can come and meet their neighbors and friends. There are a lot of new people in Hartsville,” Knudsen said.

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

Trousdale joins GOP sweep of statewide elections

Republican voters, including in Trousdale County, lit up the state in red Tuesday in races for governor, U.S. Senate and U.S. House.

Republican businessman Bill Lee was named Tennessee’s next governor, after he defeated Democratic former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean on Tuesday.

Lee will replace outgoing Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.

“I’m grateful for the voters of Tennessee, grateful that you placed your trust in us to lead this great state,” Lee said during his acceptance speech. “We ran a positive campaign from the very beginning until the very last day because we wanted to give a picture of what this state could look like.”

Trousdale County voters went for Lee by a 2-to-1 margin, with the Republican outpolling Dean 1,737 (65.5 percent) to 881 (33.2 percent).

Lee secured the Republican nomination in August against Congresswoman Diane Black, Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd and House Speaker Beth Harwell.

Lee chairs his family business, Lee Co., a mechanical contracting, facilities and home services firm with more than 1,200 employees. Lee also is active in his 1,000-acre family cattle operation.

Dean conceded shortly after the race was called, and urged Tennesseans to support the new governor-elect. It was the first time the former two-term Nashville mayor and former elected public defender had ever lost an election.

“We didn’t quite reach the goal tonight,” Dean said during his concession speech. “Despite everybody’s hard work, our message didn’t quite carry the day.”

Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn also defeated Democratic challenger former Gov. Phil Bredesen on Tuesday in an open race for U.S. Senate after Sen. Bob Corker decided not to seek re-election.

Sixty percent (1,584) of Trousdale voters backed Blackburn, with 38 percent (1,002) going for Bredesen.

Blackburn was first elected to the House in 2002 and aligned with President Donald Trump early and often during the fierce Senate campaign.

“You have sent a message that it is time to take Tennessee conservative values to Washington and keep our state and our country moving forward,” Blackburn said Tuesday night. “I am so incredibly grateful to each of you for doing your part, standing with me, staying strong and turning out the vote. It is such an honor to be the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from Tennessee. I am going to work as hard for you as you have worked for me. Just as we said on day one, I will take our shared Tennessee values to work on issues of importance to you in Washington, more constitutional federal judges and Supreme Court Justices, lower taxes, less regulation, protecting the right to life, defending the Second Amendment, providing for our troops and veterans, getting the federal budget under control and building the wall once and for all on the southern border. Thank you for believing in me and giving me this opportunity. This is very humbling, and I will not let you down.”

The $85 million-plus race set a state record in spending by candidates and outside groups and gained national interest because of its potential implications for the Republican Party’s slim majority in the Senate.

“I just really want those young people to know how important it is to the future of our country that you not get discouraged, that you stay engaged and you never, ever, ever give up,” Bredesen said Tuesday night.

Republican newcomer John Rose won the race for the Sixth Congressional District in the U.S. House on Tuesday night, over Democrat Dawn Barlow. Independents Lloyd Dunn and David Ross were also on the ballot. The four ran for the seat vacated by Black when she resigned to run for governor.

“I am happy to get to work in Congress for the people of the Sixth District,” Rose said. “We need to take on our debt issue instead of shy away from it, build the wall, support our president and create a health care system that works for all Americans. We have a lot of work to do, but I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.”

Barlow said, “I am proud of the campaign we ran that focused on the issues, and I think that’s all we can say.”

Democrat incumbents Steve Cohen in Tennessee’s Ninth District and Jim Cooper in the state’s Fifth District were the lone blue candidates to win their respective House races Tuesday out of the nine congressional districts in Tennessee.

State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) was unopposed on the ballot and was elected to a sixth term representing District 40, which includes Trousdale County.

Contributing: Chris Gregory, Hartsville Vidette; Angie Mayes, Lebanon correspondent

Trousdale’s ACT scores dip from previous years

Trousdale County Schools saw its average on the ACT drop below a 20 for the first time in four years in results released by the state last week.

The Class of 2018 finished with an average score of 19.7, finishing 0.5 below the state average of 20.2.

Director of Schools Clint Satterfield said that while the dip in average was disappointing, it still displayed improvement by that class from where students began.

“Although lower than the state, average we still see the Class of 2018 as a success as evidenced from where their scores improved from their 10th-grade Pre-ACT. We anticipated a challenge with that particular class, but we know they made improvement. They just started a little lower than some of the other classes.”

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

Trousdale County has started an ACT preparation class beginning this school year to guide students toward success on the college preparatory exam. Satterfield also noted that over 60 current seniors participated in the free ACT retake provided by the state last week.

“We are most confident that our new ACT preparation class will help more students in the future,” Satterfield said. “We encourage our kids to take as many opportunities to take the test and improve as they can.”

Trousdale County had an ACT average of 20.8 in 2017, 20.2 in 2016 and a 20.8 in 2015.

English and Reading were the two sub-categories in which Trousdale students had the most difficulty. Local students had respective average of 19.1 and 19.8 in those subjects, while the state averages were 19.7 and 20.7.

In Math and Science, local scores were much closer to the state average, with Trousdale compiling a 19.4 and 20.1 respectively compared to 19.5 and 20.3 statewide.

“We knew where the weakness were,” Satterfield said. “We still feel like they made good progress.”

Tennessee public school students broke the previous year’s record by earning an average composite score of 20.2 on the ACT in 2018. Tennessee public high school graduates improved from the 2017 average of 20.1, with more than 2,000 additional students taking the exam this year, bringing the state’s participation rate up to 97 percent – also a new record high. The results also show that 1,463 more Tennessee public school graduates became eligible for the HOPE scholarship by earning composite scores of 21 or higher.

“The ACT provides an opportunity for our students to show they are college and career ready, and seeing a higher average score at the same time more students are taking the test is a true testament to the work that is happening in Tennessee schools,” Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said. “Our schools are increasingly moving toward deeper teaching and learning that meets our higher expectations, and that focus pays off on tests like the ACT and SAT.”

Germantown Municipal School District had the highest district ACT composite in the state for the third year in a row, posting a 25.9 average. Additionally, Moore County Schools posted the largest gains in the state, raising its average composite by 1.7 points to 20.6.

Additional takeaways from the 2018 ACT results:

More than 1,200 additional graduates hit all four college ready benchmarks on the ACT test in 2018 compared to 2017;

Within each subject area, 57.7 percent of public school students met the college ready benchmark in English, 31.6 percent met the benchmark in math, 41.8 percent met the benchmark in reading, and 32.2 percent met the science benchmark;

22 districts had 100 percent of students participate in taking the ACT.

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