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Nana’s Cafe serves Hartsville with country cooking

Nana’s Café is now open for business in Hartsville!

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette Randy Winford and wife Elaine have opened Nana's Cafe in Hartsville.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Randy Winford and wife Elaine have opened Nana’s Cafe in Hartsville.

Located on West Main Street at the site of the former Heritage Café and Creekbank Grill, the owners of the city’s newest restaurant hope to fill a demand for variety in the community.

“We were wanting to get something in town, and we took advantage of it,” said co-owner Randy Winford, who teamed with Tony Filson to open Nana’s.

Winford, who used to manage the Pine Cove Restaurant near the river, named the café for his wife, who everyone knows as Nana.

Winford also has 20 years of experience with Shoney’s, where he “was on a training team for 10 years,” Winford said.

Nana’s Café serves what Winford called “country” food.

“Everything’s fresh made, down to the mashed potatoes. Nothing out of a can,” Winford said. “We make homemade onion rings every day, homemade fish, cornbread. Everything’s made from scratch.”

Nana’s Café is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The restaurant is closed on Mondays.

Winford added that he is also looking to hire servers. He is excited about the opportunity to open his own business in Hartsville.

“I really appreciate the town, and people turning out. It’s been a real good turnout and I appreciate the business and support from the community,” Winford said.

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

Early voting kicks off Friday

Early voting begins Friday for Tennessee’s primary election, scheduled for Aug. 4.

The early voting period runs through July 30, and voters may cast their ballots at the Election Commission office, located at 214 Broadway. The office will be open to voters from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. on Thursdays and from 8:30 a.m.-noon on Saturdays.

Under Tennessee law, voters must present a photo ID when applying for an early ballot.

File photo

File photo

Members of the Election Commission inspected and sealed the county’s voting machines during their meeting Tuesday evening.

In the Republican primary, incumbent Diane Black, Joe Carr, Tommy Hay and Donald Strong are seeking the nomination to serve the Sixth District in the U.S. House of Representatives. State Sen. Ferrell Haile and State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver are unopposed in their respective primaries.

The Democratic ballot features David Kent and Flo Matheson running for the Sixth District nod, and Gayla Hendrix and Teresa Marion running to face Weaver for state representative. No Democrat filed to run against Haile for state senate.

Four local races all feature unopposed incumbents: Dewayne Byrd for assessor of property, Bill Scruggs for superintendent of roads, and Denice Jackson and Mary Helen McGowan for school board.

The ballot also has a number of Tennessee appellate and Supreme Court judges facing retention elections, and one proposed amendment to the Hartsville/Trousdale County Metropolitan Charter. The amendment sets up a tiebreaker procedure for county commissioners who reside in the Urban Services District.

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

Schools plan enrollment for new students

Trousdale County parents, a new school year is almost upon us!

The school system will hold a special registration day for new students for the 2016-17 school year next week on Wednesday, July 20, from 4-7 p.m.images

Registration will take place at Trousdale County Elementary School and is for both kindergarten students and older students new to the school. Applications for the Pre-K program will also be available at that time.

Parents wishing to enroll new students MUST have the following:

Child’s original certified birth certificate

Tennessee Department of Health Certificate of Immunization

School Physical Form

Proofs of Residency (See below)

Proof of Income (if applying for Pre-K/ Head Start)

The following are required to verify proof of residency:

Property Tax Statement, driver’s license, and utility bill all with corresponding addresses; or

Signed Lease Agreement, driver’s license, and utility bill, all with corresponding addresses; or

Notarized Affidavit affirming that custodial guardian is living in household, driver’s license, or voter’s registration, all with corresponding address.

Parents must also bring all custody papers, if applicable.

For more information, contact the Trousdale County Board of Education at 615-374-2193.

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

Oak Ridge Boys to play at Wilson County Fair

Whether you like gospel, country, or the blues and rock-n-roll, the 2016 Wilson County Fair has a musical act for you.

The popular concert series in the Wilson County Exhibition Center will kick-off with Gospel Night on Monday, Aug. 22.

Presented by Tony Bates Equipment Inc., the Dove Award-winning and renowned Christian family trio, The Talleys, will take the stage at 7:30 p.m., followed by Grammy and multiple Dove Award winner Jason Crabb at 8:30 p.m.

Submitted photo

Submitted photo

The Talleys, consisting of Roger; his wife, Debra; and their daughter, Lauren, are one of Christian music’s most beloved and respected families. The Talleys have enjoyed 11 No. 1 songs and have received numerous Singing News Fan Awards and Dove Award nominations.

Grammy winner Jason Crabb is well known as one of the most compelling voices in any genre of music. With his power, range and passion, he has moved easily among musical styles including gospel, country, pop and Southern gospel.

A native of tiny Beaver Dam, Kentucky, Crabb rose to prominence singing with his siblings as the Crabb Family. The talented, musically progressive family band broadened the scope of Southern gospel music and became one of the most successful groups in the genre.

On Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., Bates Ford in Lebanon will present country music legend and award-winning sensation The Oak Ridge Boys.

Theirs is one of the most distinctive and recognizable sounds in the music industry. The four-part harmonies and upbeat songs of The Oak Ridge Boys have spawned dozens of country hits and a No. 1 pop smash, earned them Grammy, Dove, CMA and ACM awards and garnered a host of other industry and fan accolades.

The last night of the concert series, will find The Blues Brokers, a local, high-energy band with a huge fan base, taking the stage on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

What started as a four-piece group in 2006 who got together to just play music for fun and let off steam has grown into a classic 10-piece soul band with a full horn section and awesome vocalists.

Audiences will probably know the words to every song The Blues Brokers play, and they can sit back and enjoy or kick off their shoes and dance the night away. Either way, you’ll enjoy the sounds of the soul era as they were recorded by the original artists.

The Wilson County Fair, presented by Your Middle Tennessee Ford Dealers, runs from Friday, Aug. 19, through Saturday, Aug. 27, at the James E. Ward Agriculture Center in Lebanon.

For more information about the fair, visit wilsoncountyfair.net.

Hartsville woman wins amateur horse event

Hartsville’s Darian Sullivan recently won acclaim as a horse rider, winning the Farnam All-Around Level 1 Amateur title at the Central American Quarter Horse Association Level 1 Championships, held in Oklahoma City.

Sullivan, a 2014 graduate of Trousdale County High School, won the title aboard her American Quarter Horse, IE Thumptin Special – otherwise known as “Kason.” The horse is a 2009 bay gelding and Sullivan acquired him just over a year ago.

“He’s pretty curious. He has a funny personality,” Sullivan said. “He’s usually a good boy. We get along great.”

Submitted photo Hartsville's Darian Sullivan, center, sits atop IE Thumpthin Special after their win at the AQHA Central Championships in Oklahoma City.

Submitted photo
Hartsville’s Darian Sullivan, center, sits atop IE Thumpthin Special after their win at the AQHA Central Championships in Oklahoma City.

Quarter horses are named for their ability to excel at sprinting short distances, having been clocked at speeds up to 55 miles per hour.

“I started riding when I was 6 aboard my first pony,” Sullivan said. “I started taking lessons, and two years ago is when I started showing quarter horses and competing at that level.”

Having gotten a taste of success, Sullivan plans to continue riding and showing “probably until I can’t ride any more.”

The Farnam All-Around Level 1 Amateur winner received a prize package that included a Professional’s Choice saddle pad, Montana Silversmiths sterling-silver belt buckle and a specially designed trophy.

The American Quarter Horse Association’s Level 1 Championships are the pinnacle event for American Quarter Horse Level 1 and Rookie exhibitors who competed in classes representing halter, English and western disciplines.

Rookie and Level 1 are the two levels of AQHA competition designed for beginner to minimally accomplished competitors, respectively.

The Level 1 Championships were designed to celebrate the accomplishments of these riders and their horses in an environment that provides education and fun competition.

More than 1,690 entries competed for 96 champion titles at the 2016 Central AQHA Level 1 Championships, held April 13-17 in Oklahoma City.

Sullivan, who will soon start her junior year at Vanderbilt University, is the daughter of Tony and Anita Sullivan. The pre-med major trains under the guidance of Karen Evans Mundy of Mundy Quarter Horses. Sullivan has competed in all-around amateur events in Tennessee and surrounding states.

Mundy is based out of Cedar Hill and Sullivan said, “It’s nice having her so close by.”

“Now that I’ve shown at Level 1, I’m competing at Level 2 and Level 3, the top levels,” Sullivan said. “We compete in hunter under saddle, hunt seat equitation, horseman ship and showmanship.”

According to the AQHA’s website, hunt seat equitation “tests an amateur or youth’s ability to ride–not the performance of the horse. As in western horsemanship, contestants work a predetermined pattern consisting of maneuvers such as changing gaits; travel in a figure-8 pattern; backing up as well as posting on correct diagonal and counter-cantering.”

Hunter under saddle is “A preliminary class for English riding disciplines in which judges evaluate a hunter-type American Quarter Horse on the flat, at a walk, trot and canter. Emphasis is placed on smoothness of gait, free-flowing stride and willingness to perform.”

Founded in 1940, the American Quarter Horse Association is the largest equine breed organization in the world. With headquarters in Amarillo, Texas, AQHA has a membership of more than 260,000 people in 86 countries and has registered more than 5 million horses in 95 countries.

Contributing: Staff reports

Hartsville celebrates July 4 despite wet weather

Hartsville turned out to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday on Monday despite the wet weather that came and went most of the day.IMG_9542

The annual Independence Day Parade was delayed almost 30 minutes because of storms, but began around 3:30 p.m.

Grand marshal John Oliver led the procession down McMurry Blvd. and onto Broadway, followed by clowns, classic cars, elected officials and other parade entrants.

GALLERY: Hartsville’s July 4 celebration

Oliver, who rode with the Chamber of Commerce’s float, won first prize, with second going to Bill Scruggs and family, and third prize going to the Wounded Warriors Project. The Kids Choice award went to Our Father’s Gift Farm.

After the parade, folks descended on the City Park, where they were treated to food, music and entertainment. There were inflatables for kids, face painting, a dunking booth, a cake walk and more. The Community Band took the stage in the early evening and played as well.

The fireworks show also provided a treat for those in attendance. The display began around 8:45 p.m. and lasted around 15 minutes.

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

Tennessee reveals plan to help uninsured

There is new hope for the 280,000 Tennesseans currently in the coverage gap – making too much to qualify for Medicaid and too little to afford insurance on their own through the Health Exchange.

The state’s 3-Star Health Task Force released its plan late last week to use a two-phase approach to close the gap over the next 12 to 18 months.

Michele Johnson, executive director with the Tennessee Justice Center, said this isn’t just a potential win for the uninsured; it’s making sure the state is benefiting from the federal tax dollars its citizens have contributed since the Affordable Care Act was enacted.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

“If you take them at their word, this could mean that we could receive the federal dollars that we’ve paid in the next couple years, and it would really mean stabilizing our health-care infrastructure,” she said.

The plan would offer mental-health coverage to Tennesseans living under 138 percent of the federal poverty line in the first phase, and offer everyone in that group full coverage in phase two. Supporters of the plan are encouraging citizens to contact their state representatives and senators to urge them to support the plan.

Johnson said now that the plan is released, the next few months are crucial to its success.

“We’re going to really need in the coming weeks to make sure they all do have an idea about it and they all have an idea about making it happen, while we continue to pay for their health insurance,” she added. “They need to, like the task force members, roll up their sleeves and get this done.”

Johnson said while the Tennessee Justice Center supports the plan, for the last three years Tennesseans could have had access to health coverage but have not, and rural hospitals are struggling to remain open.

Local youth to attend elite football camp

A Trousdale County youth will get his chance this weekend to showcase his football talent on a much larger stage.

Mason Maddox, 12, a rising seventh-grader at Jim Satterfield Middle School, has been invited to participate in the Quarterback Academy’s Duel QB Skills Competition, which will be held July 8-9 in Massillon, Ohio.

According to the QBA’s website, the camp allows players to “showcase their skills competing against other elite athletes in their age group from all over the country and internationally.”

Submitted photo

Submitted photo

“He attended a preseason prep camp in June of last year and then attended offseason developmental camp in Arkansas in January,” said Mason’s mother, Kendra Maddox. “That’s how he got his invitation.”

Maddox described her son as both a running and passing threat at QB, saying “he’s fairly accurate with passing the football.”

Maddox has played youth football and started last year at quarterback. This fall, he will join the Jr. Jackets team at JSMS.

In the Duel competition, Maddox will go through a comprehensive battery of objective assessments that measures all aspects of a quarterback’s ability.  It includes tests in decision making, speed, strength, stamina, and position-specific skills.

“He loves football with all his heart, better than anything,” said Kendra Maddox. “It’s just a huge accomplishment to even have an invitation to go (to camp). We’re proud of him and we’ll see what happens.”

The Duel competition will actually be held in Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, next to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The field is also the host to the annual Hall of Fame NFL preseason game.

“He’ll be competing on the field (that NFL players play on),” Kendra Maddox said. “He’s pretty excited about that.

“He’s worked hard for this and put a lot of time in. Anything that you enjoy and have goals, you have to work at it.”

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

Hartsville plans July 4 party

Monday will cap a three-day weekend for most people as Hartsville celebrates America’s 240th Independence Day.

The annual Fourth of July parade will begin at 3 p.m., starting down McMurry Blvd. and turning onto Broadway. The grand marshal of this year’s parade will be John Oliver.

“I know he’s shared how much the history of this town means to him, and I know he has a part in helping conserve the items in the old depot,” parade director Amber Russell told The Vidette. Parade1

A former teacher, Oliver currently serves as the county historian and as a member of the County Commission. Oliver is also president of the Historical Society and a weekly contributor to The Vidette.

“A big thank you to everyone participating in this year’s Independence Parade,” Russell said. “It’s always great to see a day full of patriotism for our great nation! It’s always an honor to direct the parade and I hope you enjoy it.”

Russell also thanked Old Time Express and the Hartsville VFW, who are sponsoring this year’s parade.

Russell also offered some parade tips:

Please make sure all children are loaded on vehicles prior to departure

Please do not allow anyone to leave vehicles/floats once the parade has started

Parade2Drivers be mindful and watch for children down parade route

Candy is permitted to be thrown

Lights are permitted

Sirens may be used

Please rise as the color guard displaying our flag passes at beginning of parade

The daylong celebration of America’s birthday will begin with the annual Music in the Park at 1 p.m. at the City Park Stage.

The annual event, sponsored by Trousdale County Band Boosters and Hartsville/Trousdale County Government, will feature live music, food, drinks, children’s inflatables, a cake walk and other activities.

Additionally, the swimming pool will remain open to the public until 9 p.m., allowing folks an opportunity to get a respite from the summer heat.

The Trousdale County High School Band and Jazz Band will be among the performers on the City Park Stage, followed by the fireworks show at sundown (around 9 p.m.).

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

Jeff Linville named to Election Commission

The Trousdale County Election Commission has welcomed a new member in Jeff Linville.

A lifelong resident of Trousdale County, Linville replaces Tammy Dixon as one of two Democratic members of the five-member commission.

Jeff Linville

Jeff Linville

“We are glad to welcome Jeff Linville as our new Democratic member of the Trousdale County Election Commission,” said Administrator of Elections Steve Paxton. “The Trousdale County Election Commission strives to ensure honest and fair elections in our county. The five members of the commission are appointed for two-year terms. Commissioner Linville will fill the term of Commissioner Dixon, which ends in April 2017.

Linville graduated from Trousdale County High School in 1994 and MTSU in 1998. He has been married to the former Allison Cunningham since 2002. They have two daughters, Mary, 9, and Maggie, 6.

Linville, who has spent most of his professional life in the banking industry, said he is “honored and excited about taking on this position with the Trousdale County Election Commission.”

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

KIDS COUNT report shows Tennessee failing its kids

RELATED LINK: KidsCountTrousdale Report

Tennessee’s ranking on overall child well-being slipped from 36 to 38, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2016 KIDS COUNT® Data Book released on June 21. The change was largely driven by worsening economic indicators.

The KIDS COUNT Data Book ranks child well-being in states across four domains. Tennessee’s overall ranking at 38 was compiled from its rankings of 42 on Economic Well-Being, 36 on Education, 28 on Health and 39 on Family and Community. Each domain is made up of four indicators.

“We know the early experiences of children have lifelong effects both on them and on the future prosperity of Tennessee as a whole,” said Linda O’Neal, executive director of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, the Tennessee KIDS COUNT® affiliate. “Good public policies build and maintain a social infrastructure that supports healthy growth and successful outcomes.”

Despite this progress, Tennessee children continue to struggle financially. The state’s worst ranking, 42, was on the Economic Well-Being domain. More than one in four Tennessee children lives in poverty. Approximately one in three children lives in a household that spends more than 30 percent of its income on housing, and/or in a household where no parent has full-time, year-round employment.

Submitted photo

Submitted photo

Among indicators in Trousdale County, the youth unemployment rate was at 20.8 percent, above the state average of 17.6; 47.5 percent of students participated in free or reduced-price school lunch (state average 44.2) and people receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits were 24.0 percent (state average 20.6).

For a complete report on Trousdale County, visit HartsvilleVidette.com.

While the original research on Adverse Childhood Experiences focused on child maltreatment and family dysfunction, more recent research makes it clear persistent poverty also has a negative long-term impact on children and society. The burden of poverty leaves parents with insufficient time and energy to nurture their children, creates an environment of toxic stress and negatively affects the architecture of the developing brain in young children.

The state’s best domain ranking was on Health (28). The good news is fewer children in Tennessee lack health insurance than did in 2008 and the state ranked 17 on this indicator. However, there are still 78,000 children in Tennessee who are not covered, and as other states expand coverage, Tennessee is likely to fall behind on this measure.

One of the best long-term strategies to address economic well-being is to improve educational outcomes for Tennessee children and young adults.

“Access to post secondary education through Tennessee Promise and Hope Scholarships are important strategies, but Tennessee must do more to improve access to early education and improve reading and math scores,” said O’Neal.

The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, an independent state agency created by the Tennessee General Assembly, is the Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT® partner in the state. The Commission’s primary mission is to advocate for improvements in the quality of life for Tennessee children and families. KIDS COUNT is an initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to disadvantaged children.

Former Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt dies

Tribune News Services

Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in Division I college basketball history who uplifted the women’s game from obscurity to national prominence during her 38-year career at Tennessee, died Tuesday morning. She was 64.

With an icy glare on the sidelines, Summitt led the Lady Vols to eight national championships and prominence on a campus steeped in the traditions of the football-rich south until she retired in 2012.

Her son, Tyler Summitt, issued a statement Tuesday morning saying his mother died peacefully at Sherrill Hill Senior Living in Knoxville surrounded by those who loved her most.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Former Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt died Tuesday morning at the age of 64.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Former Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt died Tuesday morning at the age of 64.

“Since 2011, my mother has battled her toughest opponent, early onset dementia, ‘Alzheimer’s Type,’ and she did so with bravely fierce determination just as she did with every opponent she ever faced,” Tyler Summitt said. “Even though it’s incredibly difficult to come to terms that she is no longer with us, we can all find peace in knowing she no longer carries the heavy burden of this disease.”

Summitt helped grow college women’s basketball as her Lady Vols dominated the sport in the late 1980s and 1990s, winning six titles in 12 years. Tennessee — the only school she coached — won NCAA titles in 1987, 1989, 1991, 1996-98 and 2007-08. Summitt had a career record of 1,098-208 in 38 seasons, plus 18 NCAA Final Four appearances.

She announced in 2011 at age 59 that she’d been diagnosed with early onset dementia. She coached one more season before stepping down. At her retirement, Summitt’s eight national titles ranked behind the 10 won by former UCLA men’s coach John Wooden. UConn coach Geno Auriemma passed Summitt after she retired.

When she stepped down, Summitt called her coaching career a “great ride.”

Summitt was a tough taskmaster with a frosty glower that could strike the fear of failure in her players. She punished one team that stayed up partying before an early morning practice by running them until they vomited. She even placed garbage cans in the gym so they’d have somewhere to be sick.

Nevertheless, she enjoyed such an intimate relationship with her players that they called her “Pat.”

Known for her boundless energy, Summitt set her clocks ahead a few minutes to stay on schedule.

“The lady does not slow down, ever,” one of her players, Kellie Jolly, said in 1998. “If you can ever catch her sitting down doing nothing, you are one special person.”

Summitt never had a losing record and her teams made the NCAA Tournament every season. She began her coaching career at Tennessee in the 1974-75 season, when her team finished 16-8.

With a 75-54 victory against Purdue on March 22, 2005, she earned her 880th victory, moving her past North Carolina’s Dean Smith as the all-time winningest coach in NCAA history. She earned her 1,000th career win with a 73-43 victory against Georgia on Feb. 5, 2009.

Summitt won 16 Southeastern Conference regular season titles, as well as 16 conference tournament titles. She was an eight-time SEC coach of the year and seven-time NCAA coach of the year. She also coached the U.S. women’s Olympic team to the 1984 gold medal.

Summitt’s greatest adversary on the court was Auriemma. The two teams played 22 times from 1995-2007. Summitt ended the series after the 2007 season.

“Pat’s vision for the game of women’s basketball and her relentless drive pushed the game to a new level and made it possible for the rest of us to accomplish what we did,” Auriemma said at the time of her retirement.

In 1999, Summitt was inducted as part of the inaugural class of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. She made the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame a year later. In 2013, she also was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Summitt was such a competitor that she refused to let a pilot land in Virginia when she went into labor while on a recruiting trip in 1990. Virginia had beaten her Lady Vols a few months earlier, preventing them from playing for a national title on their home floor.

But it was only in 2012 when being honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award that Summitt shared she had six miscarriages before giving birth to her son, Tyler.

She was born June 14, 1952, in Henrietta, Tennessee, and graduated from Cheatham County Central High School just west of Nashville. She played college basketball at theUniversity of Tennessee at Martin where she received her bachelor’s degree in physical education. She was the co-captain of the 1976 U.S. Olympic team, which won the silver medal.

After playing at UT Martin, she was hired as a graduate assistant at Tennessee and took over when the previous head coach left.

She wrote a motivational book in 1998, “Reach for the Summitt.” Additionally, she worked with Sally Jenkins on “Raise the Roof,” a book about the 1997-98 championship season, and also detailed her battle with dementia in a memoir, “Sum It Up,” released in March 2013 and also co-written with Jenkins.

“It’s hard to pinpoint the exact day that I first noticed something wrong,” Summitt wrote. “Over the course of a year, from 2010 to 2011, I began to experience a troubling series of lapses. I had to ask people to remind me of the same things, over and over. I’d ask three times in the space of an hour, ‘What time is my meeting again?’ – and then be late.”

Summitt started a foundation in her name to fight Alzheimer’s in 2011 that has raised millions of dollars.

After she retired, Summitt was given the title head coach emeritus at Tennessee. She had been cutting back her public appearances over the past few years. She came to a handful of Tennessee games this past season and occasionally also traveled to watch her son Tyler coach at Louisiana Tech the last two years.

Earlier this year, Summitt moved out of her home into an upscale retirement resort when her regular home underwent renovations.
Summitt is the only person to have two courts used by NCAA Division I basketball teams named in her honor: “Pat Head Summitt Court” at the University of Tennessee-Martin, and “The Summitt” at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She also has two streets named after her: “Pat Summitt Street” on the University of Tennessee-Knoxville campus and “Pat Head Summitt Avenue” on the University of Tennessee-Martin campus.

She is survived by son Tyler Summitt. He said a private funeral and burial will be held in Middle Tennessee and asked that the family’s privacy be respected. A public memorial service is being planned for Thompson-Boling Arena.

County Commission rejects budget plan

The County Commission fired the latest shot in what has become a battle over Trousdale County’s budget during its meeting Monday night.

Commissioners voted 16-3 to reject the proposed budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year, which included the school board’s request for $501,000 in new funds.

Bill Fergusson, Andy Jellison and Linda Johnson cast the three votes in support of the budget. Johnny Kerr was absent from Monday’s meeting.

The school board’s budget request would have given teachers an across-the-board raise of over $2,100. In budget hearings earlier this month, commissioners offered $200,000 in new funds, which would provide a raise of around $1,150.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

“A great opportunity for our schools and students was missed tonight,” said Director of Schools Clint Satterfield.

RELATED LINK: County, schools battle over budget

RELATED LINK: Commissioners discuss 2016-17 budget proposal

With around 80 teachers, principals and members of the school board in attendance, the debate over the budget and proposed tax levy was an intense one.

While the Budget Committee proposed a tax levy of $2.93, which would be a seven-cent cut in property taxes, the budget before the full Commission called for a tax rate of $3.09 – a nine-cent increase.

Commission Chairman Mark Beeler told The Vidette the increase was so that the schools’ request, had it been approved, would come from the general tax levy and not from one source – the projected $1.575 million in property tax from CCA’s Hartsville prison.

Plea for extra funds

In an address to the Commission, Satterfield hit on what have been his two biggest talking points: Trousdale’s starting teacher pay as compared to surrounding counties and the percent of local funding of the county’s schools.

“We’re not only the lowest in beginning teacher pay; we’re also the lowest in average teacher pay,” Satterfield said.

“Since the beginning, all we’ve asked for is not a tax increase, just our growth money… money the schools have always received.”

Satterfield also said it had been 19 years since the county had given teachers a pay raise, citing conversations with Kerr, who spent 37 years in the Trousdale school system before retiring last year.

Commissioner Gary Claridy pointed out that the county had provided the school system with extra monies in the past and blamed the school board for not raising teacher pay.

“In 2008-09, county officials granted the schools $857,038,” Claridy said. “In 2015-16, the county granted the schools $1,153,200. The money has been there all along. It was up to the (school) board, not the Commission, to grant those raises.”

Satterfield spoke forcefully in response, saying, “Never has this body given one cent for teacher raises… Anything else is a misnomer, and you’re misleading people.”

Director of Schools Clint Satterfield

Director of Schools Clint Satterfield

Commissioner Bill Fergusson spoke in favor of passing the schools’ plan, saying, “I think it’s time for us to support our school system and school system employees.

“It’s being presented that the school system is asking for a budget increase… we’re saying all of a sudden it’s their fault we have to have a tax increase. I don’t share that view.”

With the budget having failed, the Budget Committee will meet in early July to try and come up with a new budget proposal.

School Board Chairman Regina Waller, speaking after the meeting, told The Vidette the school board had no plans to meet before its next regular meeting, currently set for July 21.

Other decisions

In other action, commissioners voted:

  • To pass, by a 16-3 margin, the third reading to put liquor by the drink on the November ballot.

James McDonald, Steve Whittaker and Richard Johnson voted no. Kendra Belcher, who had voted no on the previous two readings, voted yes this time.

“I heard from a number of my constituents who wanted it on the ballot,” Belcher said after the meeting.

  • An ordinance on second reading to amend the county and city zoning laws to being uniformity regarding abutting a public street; and
  • An ordinance on first reading to adopt certain building codes relating to commercial, educational and industrial construction.

A number of resolutions also passed, including:

  • Allowing the Ambulance Service to allow billing exemptions for financial hardship, as well as to first responders, county employees and medical providers;
  • Funding for the Chamber of Commerce ($15,000), Mid-Cumberland Human Resource Agency ($7,500) and Habilitation and Training Services ($2,000); and
  • To continue funding county operations under the 2015-16 budget until a new budget is approved.

Commissioners also approved the reappointment of Dr. William Lyles as county coroner for a two-year term, as well as reappointments to the Library Board for Linda Carey, John Oliver, Rhonda Keisling, Rose Kelley, Robert Thurman and Ann Thurman.

A number of budget amendments also passed. Most were end-of-year internal transfers, but one utilized $19,958.94 from the county’s fund balance to complete payouts for accrued compensatory time. The county voted earlier this year to end the practice and instead pay overtime for working beyond 40 hours in a week.

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

County, schools battle over budget

 

A contentious debate over raising teacher salaries highlighted three nights of budget hearings last week.

Members of the county’s Budget & Finance Committee held hearings on June 13, 14 and 15, but when it came to the budget for Trousdale County Schools, the process became adversarial.Budget

In meetings earlier this year, Director of Schools Clint Satterfield had asked for just over $500,000 in new money from CCA to be applied toward raising teacher salaries across the board. The school board’s proposed budget, passed at its May meeting, called for a similar amount.

“We can pay these teachers, and we’re not asking for a tax increase,” Satterfield told the committee. “We’re only asking for growth money – money we’ve always received. If you don’t give schools the growth money, the question I have is, where did the money go?”

Satterfield also noted that the Commission had promised earlier this year to pick up a $48,864 tab for raises given earlier this year to non-certified school employees such as janitors and food staff. The School Board funded the raises from its own fund balance after the state ruled the county could not give money for raises during the fiscal year.

The school system’s funding request would provide a $2,632 raise for teachers, fund the non-certified raises and provide money for three teaching positions the school board paid for from its fund balance in the 2015-16 school year. Those three jobs cost a total of $97,100.

RELATED LINK: 2015-16 Trousdale teacher salaries

RELATED LINK: Average teacher salaries by county for 2014-15

Budget gives schools some help

Instead, County Mayor Carroll Carman’s original budget proposal added just $100,000 in new money to the schools. At the Budget Committee’s request, that amount was raised to $200,000 – still well below the school board’s request. A motion by Commissioner Bill Fergusson on June 15 to increase the amount to $250,000 died for lack of a second.

County Mayor Carroll Carman

County Mayor Carroll Carman

Even subtracting the $48,864 and not counting 17 percent for fixed charges, the remaining amount of new money would provide a raise of over $1,150 to each of the county’s 108 teachers.

According to a report provided to The Vidette by Satterfield, the average teacher’s salary in Trousdale County for the 2015-16 school year was $38,960.01.

“I’m for the teachers getting more money,” Carman said. “But I’m also for feeding the county and correcting 50 years of neglect.

“We’ve taken a lot of stuff out of this budget in order to make it square… It’s a matter of caution, of wise decisions.”

During the hearings, Carman emphasized that no department was getting all projected growth money, as that would completely eat up the new CCA funds.

Satterfield blasted the committee’s decision, noting that the County Commission had previously promised to address teacher salaries in the 2016-17 budget.

“The $200,000 they have offered… is totally unacceptable,” Satterfield said. “We’ve just asked for our fair share; we’re not asking for a rate hike.”

School Board member Mary Helen McGowan criticized the committee’s recommendation as well, saying the decision was “slapping teachers in the face, punching them in the stomach.”

“They’re (the students’) mentors, they love these children… it’s like you don’t care about our students,” McGowan told the committee during Tuesday’s hearings.

State gives some money

The state did provide the school system with an extra $113,000 through the BEP (Basic Education Program) that can be used for teacher pay.

Director of Schools Clint Satterfield

Director of Schools Clint Satterfield

“We haven’t decided how to use that.” Satterfield said. “We’d like to use our BEP funds strategically. I want to allocate to our hard-to-staff positions, and put some of that money into our high-performance teachers.”

During Monday night’s work session, members of the County Commission showed virtually no support for the $500,000 request. Satterfield did say he felt the board would be willing to compromise at $292,000 in new money, which would provide an across-the-board raise of around $2,100 to teachers.

Satterfield said at $292,000, he felt the school board would be willing to go into fund balance to pay for the three teaching jobs for another year, as well as for an expected rise in insurance costs.

Although the school system has $2.9 million in its fund balance, Satterfield has resisted calls to apply some of that toward teacher pay, which would be a recurring expense.

“Why they can’t take $100,000 out of their fund balance is the argument,” Carman said. “But then he says, ‘I want $100,000 out of your fund balance…’ He’s asking us to violate something that he won’t even do.”

Satterfield said about $2 million of that fund balance was state BEP money and could not be allocated to salaries, citing an audit report from the state. About $1 million was unassigned and could be used for salaries.

“The County Commission knows that,” Satterfield said.

The Budget Committee did express support for providing additional funds to schools in the 2017-18 budget, once the CCA money is actually in hand.

“It was our agreement that we would push $200,000 of new money to the schools, with the commitment that when the timing was a little better, we could do this in stages,” said committee chairman Mark Beeler.

If, as expected, the county rejects the school board’s budget, the school board will have to decide at its July meeting whether to accept the county’s offer or return with a counteroffer of its own.

“I think I can speak for the board in saying that we will not accept the current proposal from the Budget Committee,” said School Board Chairman Regina Waller.

The County Commission will vote on the budget at its planned meeting on Monday, June 27, at 7 p.m., and then again at a called meeting currently planned for Tuesday, June 28, at 6 p.m. That second date is subject to change, and will be scrapped if the Commission fails to approve a budget at Monday’s meeting.

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

Commissioners discuss 2016-17 budget proposal

The Budget & Finance Committee held public hearings on June 13, 14 and 15 on the mayor’s proposed budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year – the first budget to contain property tax money from CCA’s new Hartsville prison.

The estimated amount in new money from CCA is $1,575,279, according to a report from County Mayor Carroll Carman’s office.

That amount could be reduced slightly if CCA takes advantage of the property tax discount for early payment – 2 percent if paid in October and 1 percent if paid in November.

County Mayor Carroll Carman

County Mayor Carroll Carman

After three nights of hearings, the committee voted to set the property tax rate at $2.93, which will represent a seven-cent reduction from the state’s certified tax rate of $3.00. The certified tax rate is what would bring in the same amount as the previous year’s rate.

Commissioner Jerry Ford cast the lone vote against the $2.93 rate in committee. Ford urged a larger tax cut was possible, and also supported paying off more of the county’s debt.

“We have several small debts that, in my opinion, could be paid off and eliminate any interest,” Ford said. “That’s where the (Local) Government (Services) Committee was headed.

“Meanwhile, we have 879 parcels of land on Greenbelt, and those people aren’t getting raises; they’re getting ripped anywhere from $150 to $600 more in taxes. It seems to me that somewhere our priorities are screwed up.”

The Urban Services tax rate was set at $1.11, where it has been ever since Trousdale County became a metropolitan government in 2001.

The full County Commission must still approve both rates, as well as the budget, during Monday’s 7 p.m. meeting, as well as a called meeting currently scheduled for Tuesday at 6 p.m.

In case a budget is not approved Monday, commissioners will also vote on a continuing resolution to keep county government operating until a budget is passed.

Included in the 2016-17 budget is a raise for most county employees, excepting the Water Department which was reacquired by the county earlier this year.

The raises will be determined based on merit and experience, Carman said, adding that he left the decisions on raises up to the various department heads.

“We have scandalously underpaid our county employees,” Carman told The Vidette. “I have tried to grant raises from a standpoint of need and merit.”

Additionally, the Budget Committee requested that not all the projected funds be spent in the proposed budget, lest that payment not come through for some reason and leave the county in a predicament.

“All it’s going to do is push your fund balance up,” Ford said. “Then when we get the money from CCA, you can do what you want with it.”

After requested changes were made, the amount of CCA money not utilized in the budget was $721,591 – or 45.8 percent of the projected total.

Also included is a fund for the Highway Department for the first time.

Trousdale County had been the last county to not have a line item in its budget for roads.

Superintendent of Roads Bill Scruggs said the planned funding of around $108,000 would be used for projects, not personnel.

“It’s all going into paving and striping,” Scruggs said. “It will be put on the roads for everyone to enjoy it.”

A part-time Veterans Service Officer was also budgeted, although there is not yet a candidate to fill the position.

“(This person) will be a case manager for the veterans for their health and home issues,” said Amber Russell, who currently serves in that role in a volunteer capacity, “and continue to be there for their families to make sure they are taken care of if the veteran passes away.”

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

School board keeps free lunch for TCES

Trousdale County Elementary students will again be served free breakfast and lunch during the 2016-17 school year.

The School Board voted at its Thursday meeting to approve the program for a second straight year. The program is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision, which allows schools with higher rates of low-income families to provide free meals.

When the program was launched, it was noted at the time that participation would largely determine whether the program could continue.

File photo

File photo

In the recently completed school year, TCES needed to serve breakfast to around 80 percent of students and lunch to around 50 percent for the program to be viable, according to Director of Schools Clint Satterfield.

“We had to see what our last reimbursement was, and we were in the black,” Satterfield said. “Because of that, we can offer it another year.”

Band director Rob Joines and assistant Steve Paxton also showed off the new band uniforms that will debut sometime this fall. The board previously voted a $15,000 match to funds raised by the Band Boosters.

In his director’s report, Satterfield announced the resignations of seven teachers, as well as two who did not have their contracts renewed. Among the resignations was Sara Turner, who taught music at the elementary school. Turner is leaving to enter a graduate program at Austin Peay, Satterfield said.

In other action, the board voted:

To approve the food services budget for the 2016-17 school year;

To approve a $30,000 contract with Energy Systems Group to develop a plan for greater efficiency in energy, water and operations at the elementary school.

Such plans would include upgrading the heating and cooling systems at TCES.

“I think is a good thing for us,” said board member Anthony Crook. “The money that we will save over a period of time is well worth the effort.”

“It’s also going to expand the life of the building,” added board chairman Regina Waller.

To approve a budget amendment to complete work on the fieldhouse, concession stand and weight room at the football facility;

To nominate Waller for another term on the Tennessee School Board Association’s Upper Cumberland Board of Directors.

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

Natalie Knudsen returns as Chamber director

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Chamber of Commerce has a new boss – and it’s the same as the old one.

Natalie Knudsen accepted the job as the Chamber’s Executive Director on Tuesday, replacing Kent Moreland, who resigned in April to participate in a software engineer immersion program.

Moreland had taken over from Knudsen in April 2015, as Knudsen opted to explore other business opportunities.

Natalie Knudsen

Natalie Knudsen

“I had really decided I would not (come back),” Knudsen said, “but I met with the Executive Board and talked about the job I inherited and what the job could be.

“I just miss dealing with the people of Hartsville and Trousdale County, and there are a lot of things we started that I want to see continue.”

During Knudsen’s first tenure as Chamber director, she spearheaded a number of initiatives, including a Career Day at the high school, Open House Shopping Days in December and the return of Dickens on the Square as part of Hartsville’s Christmas celebration.

Knudsen also wants to see the Leadership Trousdale program return. That program encourages local citizens of all ages to help promote Trousdale County both in the community and beyond.

“We’re looking for people, not just young people,” Knudsen said. “You learn about all aspects of the county and it makes you more informed.

“There are a lot of things we do, and we need to be a little bit more active in helping our existing businesses.”

The Chamber of Commerce meets at noon on the first Tuesday of each month, currently in the upstairs boardroom of Wilson Bank & Trust.

Knudsen said she was excited to return as the Chamber’s face in the community, one she said is also dear to her heart.

“It’s just truly a wonderful place to live and to be part of.”

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

Trey Park concert raises over $750

GALLERY: Trey Park benefit concert

Saturday’s Trey Park benefit concert was deemed a success by event organizers.

The free concert was held to raise funds for needed repairs to Trey Park and was put on by the county’s Parks & Recreation Committee.

According to the county mayor’s office, the concert raised $756.60.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette Members of Harvest Gold and The Woodard Family close Saturday's concert with a rendition of "Amazing Grace."

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Members of Harvest Gold and The Woodard Family close Saturday’s concert with a rendition of “Amazing Grace.”

Around 70-80 people turned out and were treated to a mix of bluegrass and gospel music, courtesy of both The Woodard Family and Harvest Gold. A third band, Kool Country, had been scheduled to participate, but a family emergency forced the band’s lead singer to be unavailable.

Concessions were available and widely taken advantage of, and a 50/50 raffle was held. The holder of the winning ticket, Joe Jenkins, donated his winnings back to the park fund.

Committee chairman Bubba Gregory said he was pleased with the concert.

“I think we’ve had a great night,” Gregory said. “It’s been great weather, we’ve sold out of burgers, we’ve had several donations.

“You couldn’t ask for better entertainment. You can’t go to Nashville and hear any better entertainment that what we’ve got right here.”

Gregory also hopes to see the park utilized for similar events in the future.

“We would like to do something every couple of months and try to keep making something bigger, keep raising money for the park.”

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

Rep. Diane Black visits Trousdale County

U.S. Representative Diane Black stopped in Trousdale County on Monday as part of a series of meet-and-greets in the Sixth District.

Black, who is seeking re-election to a fourth term in November, addressed a group of around 20 people at Pig Pen Barbeque, which served as host for the event.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette Congressman Diane Black addresses the audience during Monday's meet-and-greet at Pig Pen BBQ.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Congressman Diane Black addresses the audience during Monday’s meet-and-greet at Pig Pen BBQ.

Her biggest areas of focus were on national security and on the need for a president in the White House willing to work with Congress.

“People are telling me they’re scared about what’s happening with our national security, especially with what just happened in Orlando,” Black said, referring to the mass shooting that took 49 lives nearly two weeks ago.

Black also touched on Second Amendment concerns, the continuing debate over the Affordable Care Act and the national debt.

Black supported calls to tighten border controls, citing concerns related to security, health and finances.

“Border security, in my mind, and national security should be at the top of our list,” Black said.

She discussed a bill she has supported in the House that would require the FBI, Director of National Intelligence and Secretary of Homeland Security to sign off on anyone wishing to enter the United States as a refugee. The bill has passed the House, but is currently tied up in the Senate.

Members of the audience brought up the need for more young people to serve their country, especially in the military. Asked whether she would support drafting women, Black somewhat dodged the question, saying, “I am going to reserve my opinion until I get more information… get the thoughts of military agencies…”

Black also cited the lack of cooperation between the White House and Congress in getting legislation, even that of a bipartisan nature, through the process of becoming law.

“It’s going to take people getting out to the polls and making sure that the next person in the White House is somebody who’s going to be willing to work with Congress… rather than using their own ideology to push back,” Black said.

Asked if that person was presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, Black expressed her complete support for the controversial businessman.

“I have already said I would vote for Trump,” Black said. “He is the people’s choice, and I have publicly said that.”

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

Trousdale football players help tackle hunger

On a hot June day, you would expect to find most kids either curled up in the air conditioning watching television or cooling off in some watering hole.

However, Trousdale County High School football players are not most kids. Known for hard work and dedication to their sport, last week the players’ dedication to their community was on display as well.

On Wednesday and Thursday, several players donated their time to help Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency distribute non-perishable food items to low-income residents in Trousdale County.

Coach David Barker explained his players’ participation in the event: “Part of what I do as a football coach is to prepare my players to become adults. Community service, learning to do for others, is a valuable lesson for them to learn.”

Submitted photo Pictured from left: Trousdale County Coach David Barker, Tanner Lannom, Austin Ford, Colton Gammons, Braison Raney, Mason Quinn and Kobe Ford.

Submitted photo
Pictured from left: Trousdale County Coach David Barker, Tanner Lannom, Austin Ford, Colton Gammons, Braison Raney, Mason Quinn and Kobe Ford.

Coach Barker found out about MCCAA’s need for volunteers through Rosie Valentine, a longtime MCCAA volunteer.

“When Ms. Rosie told me about the program it sounded like a great opportunity for my team. This is another Jacket tradition that I hope to keep as long as I am here.”

Coach Barker went on the say that in addition to helping the community, volunteering with MCCAA helps his team as well: “Being part of a team requires selflessness. This opportunity to serve the community allows them to practice that selflessness.”

Ten players participated in the food distribution over the course of two days. The young men put in eight hours a day delivering the food and loading it into the recipient’s vehicles. In addition to lending their strength to the event, the players also brought a level of respect to the event.

MCCAA distributes USDA commodities four times a year in Trousdale County. The amount of work involved in setting up and executing a distribution can easily overwhelm the MCCAA Trousdale County Outreach staff.

“We rely on volunteers to help us get the food out to the community. Without the volunteers we would not be able to be as effective as we are,” said Joyce Caldwell, TEFAP Director for MCCAA.

When asked what the past two days has meant to them, senior Mason Quinn, speaking on behalf of his teammates, stated, “As the TCHS football team, we get an incredible amount of support from our community. It is really nice to be able to give something back to that community that has always enthusiastically supported us.”

For more information on the programs and services offered by MCCAA, please visit their website at midcumberland.org.