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Hartsville’s Blake Holder receives award from cattlemen’s organization

The Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association (TCA) awarded eight individuals for their hard work and dedication to the beef cattle industry during the 34th Annual Tennessee Cattlemen’s Convention and Trade Show in Murfreesboro on Jan. 25, 2019.

These awards were created to recognize outstanding individuals in the various sectors of the cattle industry in Tennessee. Nominated by their peers, the awards presented recognized individuals who have excelled in stocker and cow-calf production, educational programs, business, and service to the beef cattle industry.

Submitted photo
Hartsville cattle producer Blake Holder poses with Dr. Emmitt Rawls.

“Our award winners represent the best of our industry,” said Charles Hord, executive vice president of TCA. “One common theme among all our winners this year was service. They believed in helping their communities, the youth and their fellow cattle producers. We are lucky to have individuals such as these in our association.”

The award winners were:

Dr. Emmit Rawls Outstanding Stocker Producer Award: Blake Holder, Hartsville

Dr. Clyde Lane Outstanding Cow-Calf Producer Award: Greg Buckner, Ten Mile

Dr. Jim Neel Outstanding Work in Beef Extension Educational Programs Award: Larry Mitchell, Meigs County

Business Person of the Year: Steve Medlin, Cookeville

Outstanding FFA Beef Program: Rod Barnes, Selmer

TCA President’s Award: Lauren Neale, Director of Communications for TCA

John Bartee Distinguished Service Award: Lafayette Williams, Knoxville

TCA Legislator of the Year: Rep. David Kustoff, U.S. House of Representatives for Tennessee’s 8th Congressional District

These individuals were presented a commemorative plaque during the Awards Luncheon, which was attended by near 1,000 convention attendees.

TCA looks forward to working with these individuals and other great people in the cattle industry for years to come. Applications for next year’s awards will be available in the fall of 2019.

TCA was founded in 1985 and has more than 7,000 members from across the state and the southeast. The organization works to provide the cattlemen of Tennessee with an organization through which they may function collectively to protect their interests and work toward the solution of cattle industry problems and to build the necessary goodwill that will bring both governmental esteem and recognition to the industry.

Look Back: Nathaniel Owens blazed trail of success

We have written about two of our local high school football players in the last two months – and we are not finished with football yet!

Our articles in January and February have been about local men and women who made a name for themselves here in their hometown and then went on to seek bigger horizons.

The sport of football is not unique for players who have the spirit and drive to pursue other careers, but anyone who can survive rigorous practices just to make a team where they then get to run into other fellows at 40 miles an hour, must have the same ability to excel in other fields (no pun intended).

Nathaniel Davis Owens is one of those driven individuals, but he first had to overcome some obstacles to success. Nathaniel was born black at a time when African-Americans didn’t have the same opportunities as their white neighbors.

Submitted photo
Nathaniel Owens wears his letter jacket for this photo made during his senior year at Trousdale County High School. He and the others pictured here were named to the All-Midstate football team.

Our future football standout would attend a school for only African-Americans, the old Ward School, and would have to sit in the balcony at the local movie theatre and drink from a separate fountain at the courthouse. That was the way things were.

Fortunately he knew the value of a good education because his father, Davis Owens, was a teacher and assistant coach at Ward School!

His mother, Mamie Owens, had her own business – a beauty shop.

When young Nathaniel was high school age, things were changing across our country and segregation was recognized as constitutionally wrong. The opportunity to attend the former all-white school in town suddenly opened up and Nathaniel seized that opportunity.

And while his academic accomplishments were considerable, he also took the leap to play on the Trousdale County High School football team – the first African-American to ever play football for the school!

It must have been intimidating for him to suddenly find himself in the locker room surrounded by people of another color, but they quickly accepted him. And the acceptance and encouragement of then-coach Jim Satterfield sealed the deal.

Nathaniel played for the Yellow Jackets and excelled.

All across the South color barriers were falling and after being at the top of his graduating class at TCHS, Nathaniel entered the University of the South at Sewanee.

There he became their first African-American varsity athlete and four years later, the first African-American to graduate from the prestigious institute.

But he didn’t just graduate. Nathaniel broke other records.

The website for the university posts this about Nathaniel Davis Owens, “The four-year letterman in football was team captain and two-time All-CAC. Owens led Sewanee in rushing in 1967, 68, and 69. He also led the team in scoring and rushing touchdowns in ’69. Owens also lettered in wrestling and was the CAC champion in 1968 at 191 pounds.”

Now with outstanding grades and a stellar college football record, the world came calling to Nathaniel.

He was offered a change to play professional football. The Cincinnati Bengals offered Nathaniel a contract.

But Nathaniel had higher aspirations.

Admitting that at one time he considered going into medicine, he instead decided to pursue a legal career.

He left Sewanee to attend Emory University in Atlanta and study law.

There he specialized in criminal law and worked summers as a legal clerk, a private investigator, a legal aid advisor, an assistant defense counselor and an educational research consultant.

An article in The Vidette in 1976 reported that Nathaniel also served time as an adjutant in personnel and office administration in the U.S. Army and was stationed at Fort McClellan. He was also married and had started a family.

But there were still firsts to accomplish.

In that same year, 1976, Nathaniel was hired as a District Attorney for Calhoun County, Alabama.

Not only was he the first African-American to have the job, but he was also the youngest man ever hired for the job.

Owens was interviewed after taking the position and told the reporter that he had considered going into private practice, but “…there was a shortage of black attorneys…” in the district attorney’s office and he saw the need.

“But, I don’t want to be a black D.A.” he said. “I want to be a D.A. who happens to be black.”

Of course, the years have proven Nathaniel as capable on the bench as he was on the football field. And Trousdale County is justifiably proud of him and his accomplishments.

Jack McCall: Continuing saga of my winter travels

At the end of last week’s column, I wrote of my successful arrival in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, in the midst of snow, ice, falling temperatures and even rain. I managed to do so by outwitting Winter Storm Jayden by altering my flight scheduling and resorting to a lengthy drive.

The conference at which I was speaking was being held at the Soaring Eagle Casino and Convention Center in Mt. Pleasant. Owned and managed by the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Nation, the Soaring Eagle is the largest employer in Isabella County. I was glad to find refuge from the winter storm in the Soaring Eagle’s hotel facility.

Across the Miles
Jack McCall

The day before my speaking presentation, I monitored the movement of the winter storm as temperatures continued to drop. It appeared I would be driving back to Chicago two days later to catch my flight home in severe, sub-zero weather. Back in Tennessee, my friends the Knudsens, who are originally from Mankato, Minnesota, warned me that double-digit, sub-zero temperatures “aren’t anything to mess around with.”

Fortunately or unfortunately, I have been conditioned over the years to take weather reporting with a grain of salt. In this man’s opinion, the more sophisticated weather-reporting technology has evolved, the more inaccurate that reporting has become. The summer of 2018 was, in my opinion, the worst of all. It seems weather reporting, much like news reporting, has turned out to be more entertainment than prediction, often bordering on sensationalism.

When the temperature is 92 degrees, I don’t really care what the “heat index” is. And when the temperature is 25 degrees, I don’t want to hear about the “wind chill factor.” And when I was growing up, we never had “black ice.” What’s with this “black ice,” anyway? It must have something to do with climate change. And why do we have to refer to the old “jet stream” as “the polar vortex?” Beats me!

Well, to make a long story short, on the day of my speaking presentation, Southwest Airlines canceled my Chicago to Nashville flight due to plummeting temperatures. On the days I was to fly home, Chicago temperatures were predicted to be 20-below with a wind chill factor in the 50-below zero range. At least Southwest gave me a day’s notice.

I considered staying over an extra day or so or even trying to fly out of Detroit, which would have necessitated my dropping off my rental car at a different airport. If I was going to incur an expensive drop-off charge on the car, my best option was to drive back to Nashville. As I pondered my options, it was sunny and minus-7 degrees outside. I ventured outside to make sure my windshield was clear of ice and snow.

The speech went well – a smaller crowd than expected due to the weather. Farmers always make for a great audience – it made all my efforts to get there worthwhile.

The next morning, I checked out of the hotel at 6 a.m. Eastern, slipped out into the frigid darkness, and slid behind the wheel of that Chevy. I checked the temp at time of departure. It was minus-9. Outside the wind was gusting.

I noticed the crunching sound made by my tires as I drove through deep snow on the way out of Mt. Pleasant. Highway 127 took me south. Lansing seemed asleep in the cold and snow as I passed through. I-196 would take me further south. As I drove on, the coming of daylight revealed the bleakness of a northern winter. With each mile the temperature continued to drop. By the time I reached Fort Wayne, Indiana, the temp had made it all the way down to minus-19.

Then the weather began to improve dramatically. With each mile, came higher temps and less snow. I was back to cruising at 70 miles per hour by the time I reached Louisville.

When I arrived in Nashville to drop off the rental, I realized I had made an 8½-hour drive in 10½ hours. And it was really not all that bad.

But I think I may ask the speakers bureaus with which I work not to book too many more speeches for me north of the Mason-Dixon line in the wintertime.

Building Committee continues talks on cleaning up properties

Members of the county’s Building Committee held further discussion on taking measures to clean up delinquent properties during their Feb. 7 meeting.

Committee member John Oliver showed pictures he had taken of properties he said looked “abandoned or severely neglected.”

“I’m thinking about properties people drive into town and see and think, ‘That’s a shame,’ ” Oliver added, noting that each picture was of a property within the Hartsville city limits.

Chairman Dwight Jewell noted that a process exists for forcing owners to clean up their properties, but called that process “cumbersome” and noted that it has not been followed in the past for a number of reasons, including a lack of cooperation from county officials.

Courtesy of Trousdale County government

“I’ve had a lot of frustrations trying to do it and I’ve voiced those,” said Jewell. “Before I could serve a citation, I had to get the county attorney’s approval. That was the breakdown before.”

Jewell, who is retiring as the county’s building inspector, also said that one man did not have enough time to do both building inspections and enforcing ordinances on property maintenance.

Oliver called for having the county clean up properties and adding the expense to the owner’s property tax bill.

Commissioners also noted that some of these properties were delinquent on taxes and asked why a tax sale has not been held.

At January’s Budget & Finance meeting, Clerk & Master Shelly Jones told commissioners she was working on organizing a tax sale for the spring.

“I think once you put on the front page of the paper where you’ve cleaned up a few properties, maybe some of the ones that haven’t will see and act,” Jewell said. “The biggest question is who has that authority…

“You better know what… you’re doing before you start doing it or you’re going to get your butt in a crack.”

Ultimately, committee members opted to consult with county attorney Branden Bellar on the best way to proceed.

Discussions were also held on future plans for the old courthouse. Currently the Chamber of Commerce and Veterans Service Office are using space, and Circuit Court Clerk Kim Taylor is also using part of the building for storage of records.

Ideas tossed about included moving the Election Commission and a historical museum.

Committee members also briefly touched on the need for the county to have someone to do maintenance on county buildings.

Jewell said County Mayor Stephen Chambers was looking into contracting with private companies but was not ready to report to the committee yet. The mayor was unable to attend Thursday’s meeting.

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

Bill could allow voters to OK contract of school directors

Legislation was filed in the Tennessee General Assembly to give voters a say on whether a local schools director’s contract should be renewed.

State lawmakers, local government leaders and school officials have the bill under close watch. Some suspect the bill could be the first step to place the schools director position back on the ballot. State law currently requires the director of schools position to be filled by the local school board.

“It’s definitely a leap toward electing the director of schools,” said state Sen. Jon Lundberg, R-Bristol, who serves as a member of the Senate’s Education Committee.

File photo

As currently written, the bill would allow the governing bodies of counties and cities that operate a school system – following a two-thirds vote by members – to “require the director of schools face a retention election at the next regular August election immediately preceding the expiration of the director of schools’ contract.”

The outcome of the “yes” or “no” retention vote would determine whether the local school board renews the director of schools’ contract.

The bill says, “If a majority of those voting on the question vote against retaining the named person as director of schools, then the local board of education shall not extend a contract or term of a director of schools.”

The primary sponsor of the bill is state Sen. Dolores Gresham, R-Somerville. She is the chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, where the bill could be heard.

The House sponsor, state Rep. Micah Van Huss, R-Jonesborough, told The Johnson City Press last week he carried the bill at the request of Gresham and would be “following her lead on this bill.”

Gresham declined to directly comment on the bill, but Darlene Schlicher, press secretary of the Senate Republican Caucus, released a statement on her behalf. The statement said, “K-12 stakeholders have not had an opportunity to come to the table to address the proposed provisions. This is the beginning of a process that will take time, so it is too soon to discuss the legislation.”

One of the stakeholders is the Tennessee School Boards Association, of which Kathy Hall, a veteran member of the Johnson City Board of Education, serves as president this year. Hall said last week the TSBA has not taken an official position on Gresham’s legislation – that’s likely to come before the end of this month – but it has “historically been opposed” to any legislation that would return the director of schools position to the ballot.

She said Gresham’s legislation looks to be an effort to do just that. Tennessee legislators passed a law in 1992 that requires schools directors to be appointed by school board members, who are elected by the voters of the school district. The idea was to bring a greater degree of professionalism to the position by insulating the job from politics.

“We are putting the best interests of our students first, not politics,” Hall said.

Hall said only voters in Florida, Mississippi and Alabama continue to elect local directors of schools. She said the idea of holding a retention election on the position would take away an important job of school board members.

“The board of education is elected by the community to represent them on school matters,” she said. “The school superintendent is the only employee of the school board, and he or she should answer to it.”

Hall said board of education members answer directly to the voters. The TSBA president said she is afraid Gresham’s bill could make for an “adversary relationship” between school boards and local governments.

Planning Commission splits on zoning requests at February meeting

Members of the Planning Commission recommended approval of one request to rezone property and recommended rejection of another during Monday night’s meeting.

The rejection came by a 5-4 vote on a request to rezone property along Highway 231 South, just south of Crook Lane, from A-1 (agriculture) to C-1 (commercial) to allow the property owners to build a restaurant and wedding venue.

Rick Gregory, representative for the Greater Nashville Regional Council, said a wedding venue could be a special exemption use under A-1 and that a rezone might not be necessary. But Chairman Rod Bowen asked if a restaurant met that same exemption and Gregory stated his opinion that it did not.

Courtesy of Trousdale County government

The request will still be considered by the County Commission at its Feb. 25 meeting as commissioners are free to ignore the recommendation of the Planning Commission.

A second zoning request, which was recommended for approval, came from property owners on Windy Acres Lane from M-1 (industrial) to A-1.

Gregory said around 650 acres in that area had been zoned industrial decades earlier and no one seemed to know why. He speculated that when TVA was looking at expanding in Hartsville in the 1970s and 80s, the area might have been intended as an industrial park.

Bowen noted that there are currently several residences in the area already, but Building Inspector Dwight Jewell commented that banks are looking more closely at zoning when considering loan requests for home construction.

“Lending institutions are calling before they approve loans asking about zoning,” Jewell said. “It’s becoming more and more an issue… I don’t see how we in good faith can not approve this.”

A request for preliminary plat approval for Phase 2 of the Hickory Ridge project was deferred at the request of the builder after concerns were raised about water runoff.

“What’s being done to address the (water) runoff since this is pretty much a hill?” asked Commission member Mark Swaffer.

“As a resident of this subdivision, I had to spend $2,000 to have a French drain installed to keep water from washing out my foundation and my neighbor’s front,” added Commission member David Thomas. “The water already running… is pretty substantial.”

Current residents of Hickory Ridge also noted that water flow downhill was affecting their homes, with one resident saying she had water underneath her house and mold.

The Planning Commission also gave site plan approval for two four-unit town homes on 6.97 acres of property west of the Hickory Ridge subdivision.

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

Trousdale Elementary recognizes perfect attendance

Trousdale County Elementary School recognizes the following students with perfect attendance for the second nine weeks of the 2018-19 school year.

Kindergarten: Kylie Brennan, Rylon Rivers, Sophia Ricketts, Madisyn Sircy, Emma Lynn Barrett, Khrmun Locke, Paisley Towns, Olivia Cunningham, Jackson German, Karson Voelker, Lena McCall, Landon Buckmaster, Thomas Campbell, Emmy Sanchez, Aurorah Williams

First Grade: Skyla Davenport, K.J. Jones, Shaniya Jones, Ryan McDonald, Avia Ring, Passion Stafford, Nraeden West, Noah Draper, Daksh Patel, Harlan Sallee, Raquel Sanchez, Chloe Crocco, Trentin Dennis, Zayne Lamon, Tayden Harper, Nevaeh Bush, Jason Dennell, Layne Pilewicz, Ethan Snow, Bishop Tucker, Emily Valladares, Olivia White, Brahlyn Young

Second Grade: Ellie Bohanan, Kylee Denning, Cliffton Porter, Cannon Sanders, Brylee Stovall-Downing, Camber Whittaker, Kade McGowan, Matthew Chambers, Kaleb Blackwell, Kayson Brennan, Dante Bryant, Braylon Lee, Leesa Scott, Alyssa Sullivan, Jackson Newgarden, Khloe Cunningham, Grenci Patel, Rashawn Phillips, Kaden Talley, Lilyan Whited

Third Grade: Kaydence Blair, Jeremy Buckmaster, Madyson Carmen, Adalyn Copas, Carlita Mendez, Andrew Nelson, Gabe Garcia, Kaden Jewell, Kembrey Lee, Maggie Linville, Bryson Morgan, Autumn Sullins, Kipton West, Audrey Barton, Laney Barton, Heath Gulley, Belicia Timberlake, Isabella Timberlake, Jude Williams, Caden Bush, Nathan Knight, Drew Royals, Evan Motley, Cooper Batey, Mileigh Potts, Charlie Sanders, Mackenzi Shahan, Tristan Slagle, Madilyn Wills, Madeline Wilson

Fourth Grade: Branden Denham, Jacob Gammon, Zamiya Seay, Marley Watkins, Jackson Williams, Tyanna Dalton, Katelyn Hutchison, Gavin Sartor, Tessia Stypula, Ava Walker, Alexis Blair, Jaydan Giese, Trae Rider, Isaiah Rotella, Jacob Scruggs, Mason Sullins, Bayleigh Vaughan, Kanden Wade, Allison Blair, Jayden Burnley, Mizery Card, Brissa Chambers, Sam Dickerson, Taylor Harper, Sarah Miller, Luke Shoulders, Josh Stewart, Sam Sullins, Bethany Zarichansky

Fifth Grade: Brendan Barrett, Khaniah Berry, Sam Foster, Nelli Garcia, Ethan Goins, Zaida Moyer, Whitney Parrish, Noel Payne, Ornie Pedigo, Alexis Troutt, Hunter Cothron, Bryson Dupont, Gage Farley, Damien Hamilton, Eittah Hickey, Rocean Monson, Dallas Sallee, Anna Towns, Kylie Vaughn, Wyatt Whited, Isabella Cardenas, Dominick Dotson, Jason Giese, Reid Henley, Abbigail Nelson, Westin Dennis, Brenton Dunbar, Brian Rolin

Guest View: America doesn’t have enough green for Green New Deal

Skeptics of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s promise of a “Green New Deal” were worried that the plan would be a Trojan Horse for unrealistic and ruinously expensive economic proposals that have little to do with stopping climate change. The unveiling of the plan gives them more reason for worry.

Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal appears to take every big spending idea that has emerged on the political left in recent years and combine them into one large package deal, with little notion of how to pay for them all.

The Green New Deal as introduced to Congress is in the form of a non-binding resolution laying out a series of goals. The wording of the resolution is ambitious, but vague. More concerning are the details of an online FAQ that appeared on Ocasio-Cortez’s website but was later taken down. The FAQ contained important details that are not included in the resolution itself. On Twitter, Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff referred to the FAQ as a “bad copy,” and promised to release a revised version.

But the original FAQ shows that although the Green New Deal bills itself primarily as an environmental policy and jobs program, the most expensive items are enormous new entitlements paid for by unlimited deficit spending.

First, to be fair, it’s important to discuss the good ideas in the plan. The Green New Deal would retrofit all American buildings and factories to be carbon-neutral, electrify all transportation, and switch the entire electrical grid to carbon-neutral energy sources. These goals are highly ambitious, but they’re good targets.

Ocasio-Cortez’s plan correctly recognizes that carbon taxes wouldn’t be enough to prompt private companies to do all these things on their own, and that large-scale government-funded infrastructure is required. Furthermore, a focus on scaling up clean energy would push the technology forward. That would help other countries – where most of the world’s carbon emissions are produced – to follow in the U.S.’ footsteps.

But these environmental policies, as sweeping as they would be, wouldn’t be the most costly items on the list. Among other things, the now-removed FAQ stipulates that every American would be guaranteed the following:

1. “A job with family-sustaining wages, family and medical leave, vacations, and retirement security”

2. “High-quality education, including higher education and trade schools”

3. “High-quality health care”

4. “Safe, affordable, adequate housing”

5. “Economic security to all who are unable or unwilling to work”

The plan thus appears to combine a federal job guarantee, free college and single-payer health care.

How much would these proposals cost? It’s hard to know. Senator Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All proposal was predicted to cost about $3.2 trillion a year. Switching to renewable energy would conservatively cost more than $400 billion annually. Even though the cost is coming down as technology improves, net-zero emissions retrofits of every building in the country would be expensive.

For universal basic income, the cost has been estimated at $3.8 trillion a year. A narrower program that only covered, say, one of three Americans who are “unable or unwilling” to work, it would cost about $1.3 trillion. By comparison, free college would be cheap at about $47 billion a year. Affordable housing for the entire nation could cost a lot, depending on that means, but let’s ignore that for now.

So a quick, rough cost estimate which doesn’t include all of the promises listed in the FAQ adds up to about $6.6 trillion a year. That’s more than three times as much as the federal government collects in tax revenue, and equal to about 34 percent of the entire U.S. gross domestic product. And that’s assuming no cost overruns – infrastructure projects, especially in the U.S., are subject to cost bloat.

Total government spending already accounts for about 38 percent of the economy, so if no other programs were cut to pay for the Green New Deal, it could mean that almost three-quarters of the economy would be spent via the government. And all this is assuming that repurposing essentially all of the nation’s economic resources doesn’t cause any loss in economic efficiency. History and the experiences of other countries suggest that this wouldn’t be the case.

Most troubling, the Green New Deal’s FAQ sidesteps the question of how to pay for the plan. This suggests that the Green New Deal will be paid for with soaring deficits, which could be quite dangerous. The plan’s environmental spending proposals would be temporary, but the new entitlement programs would be permanent. If ever-expanding deficits cause runaway inflation, the result would be a devastating collapse of the nation’s economy. Hyperinflation has never happened in the U.S., but then again, neither has anything like the Green New Deal.

A wholesale breakdown of the U.S. economy wouldn’t do much to arrest climate change, nor would it provide an enviable example to the rest of the world. So although a big push for renewable energy is needed, the Green New Deal could make it unworkable.

Let’s hope the FAQ doesn’t represent the final version of the plan. But if the now-deleted FAQ represents Ocasio-Cortez’s true plans, the answer to the question of “Do you support the Green New Deal?” will have to be “No.”

Noah Smith is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He was an assistant professor of finance at Stony Brook University, and he blogs at Noahpinion.

Guest View: Is there no forgiveness in today’s politics?

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam refuses to resign after an alleged picture of him in black face surfaced. Northam at first said the picture was a mistake and then later said the picture was not him at all. He did admit to trying to portray Michael Jackson.

According to media reports, almost everyone has called for Northam to resign as governor. Northam denies being a racist and admits that he has made some mistakes in the past. He attests there is nothing about who he is today that is racist and that he is inclusive of all people.

At this writing Northam’s future as governor appears bleak, with high-powered Democrats in his state and even nationally calling for his resignation.

Did Northam commit the unpardonable sin? Do we as Americans have unpardonable sins? We certainly do not forgive murder in America as people are executed or spend life in prison. Robbing, stealing from people also carry severe penalties. Illegal drug use and trafficking send people to prison. There are crimes that carry severe penalties in our country and around the world.

However, what if your employer decides to terminate you because of something you did 30 years ago? What if you had an abortion when you were 18? What if a photograph surfaces of you dancing on a table somewhere shows up? What if you used some vulgar language on social media five years ago? What if you stole a cookie out of the cookie jar at your neighbor’s house or took a quarter off someone’s desk?

The truth is we have all done something or a few things we probably regret. I wonder how many people in America have been disrespectful to their parents? What about the times we told our teachers that the dog ate our homework? How many times have we let gossip slip out of our mouths? Are you really safe from the past disrupting your life and career today? Apparently not. Everyone is in jeopardy, it seems.

Most all of us know we have messed up in the past in some form. People today go through multiple marriages and relationships knowing mistakes were made. We go through jobs and careers knowing that looking back we could have done some things differently. We look back through times of high school, college and young adult life knowing that if we had another chance we would likely do some things differently.

Is there no room for grace and forgiveness in America? What about when a person says, “I have messed up and made mistakes but that’s not who I am today.” Is there no room in America for redemption, a new start with old things being put behind?

If we can never overcome our failures, sins and shortcomings in America then we are surely a doomed society. Oliver Cromwell was right when he said, “If we forget the past we are condemned to repeat it.” However, if we cannot forgive the past we can never outlive it.

Contact Glenn Mollette at [email protected]

Report says changes to Medicaid rules could cost 68,000 coverage

As many as 68,000 of Tennessee’s poorest parents could lose health coverage if the federal government approves the state’s plan to impose work reporting requirements on parents and caregivers receiving Medicaid, according to a report released last week by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families and Tennessee Justice Center.

The new analysis predicts that nearly a quarter of parents affected by the proposed policy, most of them mothers, could be disenrolled from Medicaid. The vast majority are likely to become uninsured. The impact could squeeze small towns and rural communities, where families are more likely to be insured through Medicaid and where jobs are harder to find. It could also threaten Tennessee’s already stressed rural hospitals.

“Rather than promote work, the proposed reporting requirements will likely worsen the economic prospects for Tennessee’s most fragile families,” said Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University research center. “These families already struggle to provide adequate housing, food and clothing for their children. Stripping these parents of their health coverage will not help them find jobs, and it would be harmful to their children.”

Compounding the problem is Tennessee’s woefully inadequate infrastructure for handling the new reporting rules. The state has neither a functioning eligibility system nor a staff of caseworkers needed to assist Medicaid beneficiaries.

“This misguided policy will add red-tape, take away health from parents and caregivers and put rural hospitals at greater risk of shutting their doors,” said Michele Johnson, executive director of the Tennessee Justice Center. “When parents lose health coverage, children are less likely to have their health care needs met and the whole family could fall further into poverty.”

The Tennessee proposal would require parents who now receive Medicaid to demonstrate they are working at least 20 hours a week or participating in job training, education or volunteer activities – or face the loss of health coverage. The proposal has been submitted to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is accepting public comments until Feb. 7.

A similar policy in neighboring Arkansas led to more than 18,000 adults – or about 23 percent of the affected population – being disenrolled from Medicaid in the first few months. Many of them may have been working but were likely tripped up by paperwork requirements and red tape. If 23 percent of Tennessee parents subject to the work reporting requirements were disenrolled, coverage losses would total about 68,000 adults.

“United Way is pro-work, but taking away health care coverage doesn’t get more people working,” said Mary Graham, president and CEO of United Ways of Tennessee. “This waiver would have a devastating impact on our communities. It will be even tougher for rural hospitals to keep their doors open. Based on what we’ve heard from United Ways in neighboring states, the bureaucracy around these work reporting requirements will harm many, especially mothers, children, rural Tennesseans and our veterans.”

Tennessee is one of nine states that saw a significant increase in its child uninsured rate in 2017, according to a recent report by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.

“Tennessee is already falling behind on children’s health coverage and this work reporting requirement will likely exacerbate the troubling surge in the state’s child uninsured rate,” said Alker. “When parents lose health coverage, their children are less likely to be insured.”

Tennessee also has among the worst rates of infant and maternal mortality in the nation, according to a recent report by the Tennessee Justice Center. This report cites lack of insurance coverage for pregnant women among the factors that impede health care access and lead to poorer birth outcomes.

Legislative proposal would ease restoring felons’ voting rights

Sen. Steven Dickerson (R-Nashville) and Rep. Michael Curcio (R-Dickson) have introduced SB 589 /HB 547, legislation that will tear down government barriers to individual freedom by streamlining the process of restoration of voting rights for people with felony convictions after they have completed their sentences.

Under current law, hundreds of thousands of citizens in Tennessee — people who have successfully completed their sentences and are living, working, and paying taxes in their communities — are stymied from voting because of government interference.

Tennessee has the fourth-highest disenfranchisement rate in the country. Currently, 320,000 Tennesseans, more than 8 percent of the state’s population, are disenfranchised by the onerous restoration process despite having already served their time and successfully completed their parole and/or probation.

“Getting government out of the way to restoring the ability to vote will not only help those currently re-entering society but it will also provide integrity and dignity to people who are still suffering consequences from mistakes made when they were young and for those who have turned their lives around and have become leaders in our communities,” said Dickerson. “This bill is critical to taking government out of the process and creating a fair and just system.”

“This legislation is a key part of ensuring limited government,” added Rep. Curcio. “Once an individual who desires to become a productive member of society has paid their debt, government should move aside so they can have their liberty restored and be able to fully rejoin our communities.”

This proposed legislation introduced limits bureaucratic interference in the voting rights restoration process for Tennesseans who have served their complete sentences upon their release from incarceration, and/or completion of probation or parole, bringing Tennessee in line with the 38 states  — including neighbors like Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri, and North Carolina —that restore voting rights to people after the completion of incarceration and/or probation and parole.

“Once someone has fully paid their debt to society we should remove the barriers that prevent them from leading productive, fulfilled lives. When a clear path to success is provided that treats people with dignity and restores their rights and their voice, they are far more likely to succeed. Restoring voting rights will help make our criminal justice system more just and give real second chances to Tennesseans who have earned them,” said Tori Venable, Americans for Prosperity-TN State Director. “Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee strongly urges the legislature to pass this bill and other justice reforms that help more Tennesseans become productive, law-abiding members of society.”

J.C. Bowman: Helping out high-achieving students

Nobody can dispute the fact we must increase the achievement levels of minority and low-income students. However, if that is our focus, the question we now must consider is: have we pushed some of our best and brightest students, including students of color, aside in the name of equity? What of our gifted low-income students? Is it a discussion worth having? We believe the answer is “yes.”

I go back to one of the first papers I ever wrote on this subject in college. My premise was, while we could not guarantee all children begin and end their formal education at the same level, we could guarantee all children have the same access to opportunities. Not all children have the luxury of having a nurturing home to grow up in, a proper diet, access to learning materials and a support network to help them.

Unfortunately, that is the world we live in, and if truth be told it has been this way for a while. Intrinsically, motivation is a factor. Why do some children, even in the same family, excel and others not succeed? Do peer groups matter? What of external environments? Do the conditions of society impact our children? I think those answers are fairly common sense.

Submitted photo
J.C. Bowman

In a 2012 study, The Missing “One-Offs”: The Hidden Supply of High-Achieving, Low Income Students, economists Caroline Hoxby and Christopher Avery highlight the importance of the K-12 education years. It is critical that talented students from all backgrounds be identified and given support at this time in their K12 education. For example, China and India produce eight times more engineering students each year than the United States.

Talented students cannot reach their full potential if we do not identify and develop them early. That is one advantage some countries do educationally better than we do here in America. On the other hand, most of these countries do accept or educate all of their children to levels that our students are afforded, due to limits they place on access to education. The question, I have always asked: why can we not do both? Let’s educate ALL children to their highest potential.

According to the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation research study Equal Talents, Unequal Opportunities: A Report Card on State Support for Academically Talented Low-Income Students: “Year after year, in every state and community in our nation, students from low-income families are less likely than other students to reach advanced levels of academic performance, even when demonstrating the potential to do so.” In this study, Tennessee received a D+ from the Foundation. I am usually skeptical of groups and grades, and do not put much stock on groups offering external critiques of our education performance. However, this study caught my attention, as it reinforced my belief that we are losing generations of children that fall through cracks in the system. Tennessee would likely fare better in an updated study, but it highlights the point: we must have the structure in place to identify and address talent development more effectively.

Bureaucratic challenges often hinder our educators from getting our students what they need. Some of the recommendations in the research included: 1) When releasing state data on student outcomes, ensure that the performance of high-achieving students is highlighted. 2) Remove barriers that prevent high-ability students from moving through coursework at a pace that matches their achievement level. This includes a range of academic acceleration options, such as early entrance to kindergarten, acceleration between grades, dual enrollment in middle school and high school (with middle school students able to earn high school credit), and early graduation from high school. 3) Ensure that all high-ability students have access to advanced educational services, including increased opportunities for dual enrollment and AP courses. We must track our best and brightest students better, and conduct professional development for educators in this area to help them identify and develop these students. Teachers and principals must have the freedom and flexibility to act on their best instincts to help all students. A new 2019 research brief from the Tennessee Education Research Alliance finds high-quality Tennessee principals less likely to serve poor and low-achieving students, which seems counterintuitive to creating better schools.

There is no opposition to closing the achievement gap between minority and low-income students. We all understand that should and must occur. Perhaps we need an equal push for equality of opportunity, where we put ALL our children first. The statistics are telling us we are losing some of our very best and brightest students. Heidi Grant points out that “smart, talented people rarely realize that one of the toughest hurdles they’ll have to overcome lies within.” I would add that we do not make it easy for high achievers in public education, and it is time we start looking at that issue very carefully as well.

J.C. Bowman is the Executive Director of Professional Educators of Tennessee, a non-partisan teacher association headquartered in Nashville.

Lamar Alexander: Keeping community health centers funded

A year ago, funding nearly ran out for the more than 190 community health center sites in Tennessee. So last week, I held a hearing in the Senate health committee on legislation I’ve introduced to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

Community health centers are one of the most effective ways that we can help serve the people of Tennessee. More than 400,000 Tennesseans use community health centers every year to get their primary care, dental, and behavioral health services – they provide families with access to affordable health care close to home, are open every day, and can get you quickly to a nearby hospital if you have a serious medical need.

Lamar Alexander

I visited Lewis Health Center last year in Hohenwald, a community health center that I believe should serve as a model for rural health care providers.

After Lewis County’s only hospital closed, the closest emergency room for its 12,000 residents was 30 minutes away. The old hospital building was turned into the Lewis Health Center, a community health center that operates as something between a clinic and full hospital.

Lewis Health Center estimates they can deal with about 90 percent of patients who walk in the door. The center offers a wide range of health care, including preventive care, management of chronic conditions like asthma or high blood pressure, vaccines, and prenatal care. Their doctors and nurses have a full laboratory to run tests, can perform X-rays or give IVs, and they keep an ambulance ready to take patients to a partnering hospital if they need more care.

At the hearing, we heard from Dr. Dennis Freeman, CEO of Cherokee Health Systems in Tennessee, which integrates behavioral health and primary care for its patients in rural to inner city areas.  Health centers like these accept private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, and charge patients based on a sliding fee scale so that those who are in need of care receive it, regardless of ability to pay.

Community health centers have also been an important part of combating the opioid crisis that has impacted virtually every community across the country. Last year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provided more than $350 million in funding specifically to support community health centers administering care for Americans in need of substance use disorder or mental health services. And in 2017, 65,000 Americans received medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders at community health centers.

To cover their costs, community health centers rely partly on federal funding, and Congress has to act by the end of September to make sure the centers continue to receive this federal funding so that they can keep their doors open for Tennesseans.

Sen. Patty Murray, of Washington, and I have introduced legislation to extend that funding for the next five years so that Tennesseans can rely on community health centers to be open and available when they need them.

Community health centers like Lewis Health Center, and many others across the country, are one of the best ways for families to access affordable health care close to home, and I hope my legislation to keep them open and operational is signed into law before the end of September when their funding runs out.

Lamar Alexander (R-Maryville) represents Tennessee in the U.S. Senate.

David Carroll: Remind me again who you are?

I may have to stop going out in public. I think my memory has officially reached its limit.

I used to hear that we use only 10 percent of our brain, although that has been debunked as a myth. Still, I think ninety percent of my brain is clogged up with trivial stuff that I really don’t need. I know who played the Skipper on Gilligan’s Island, how many home runs Hank Aaron hit in 1969, and the name of the lead singer of the Archies. I have yet to make a dime from any of those fun facts, which are forever etched in my memory. So why don’t I remember so many people I have actually met?

Several times a day, a somewhat familiar looking person will walk up to me and say, “You don’t remember me, do you?” As much as I want to say, “Nope, can’t say that I do,” that would be rude. Instead, I go the diplomatic route. “Goodness, yes,” I say. “But it’s been a long time. Help me out a little.” Thus begins the journey down a rabbit hole with no escape.

David Carroll

I’ve been active in my community for a long time. Radio, TV, public appearances. I’ve interviewed a lot of people. I’ve emceed hundreds of beauty pageants, talent shows, and political forums. I’ve spoken to church groups, civic clubs, and anywhere else with two cars in the driveway.

So when I subtly ask for a hint of someone’s identity, they say, “You know. I’m the one you interviewed about that car wreck.” Or, “I won third runner-up in that Little Miss Peach Pie contest in 1982. I was four.” (“Oh, yeah,” I’ll say, “and you haven’t changed a bit!”)

Sometimes I try to fake my way out of it. A few years ago, a lady came up to me at the store. She seemed to know everything about me, my family, and my career. She looked familiar. After she had quizzed me for updates on my wife, kids, and parents (she knew them all by name), I used my best investigative skills to solve this nagging mystery.

“What’s your husband doing these days?” I asked. “Oh, same old thing. He’s still working down at the plant. He’ll probably stay there ‘til he retires.” No luck. I dug deeper. “What about your parents?” She said, “They’re doing great. Dad just retired, so Mama and him are just taking care of the place, doin’ a little traveling.” I gave it one more shot, hoping she might name some of our mutual acquaintances. That might solve the mystery. “Have you heard from any of our friends lately?” I asked. “Not really,” she said. “I see some of them on Facebook, showing off their pets and grandkids.” Well, THAT really narrows it down.

I wanted to give up and say, “So, who the heck are you, anyway?” but I couldn’t. I was in too deep. I still have no idea who that was.

That reminds me of a day I spent with Chattanooga radio legend Luther Masingill. He accompanied me to my first book signing. I needed to draw a crowd, and he was the biggest celebrity in town. Sure enough, lots of folks showed up, most of whom were hoping for a chance to chat with Luther.

One by one, they filed by our table, and each had a memory to share with the 90-year-old man who had touched their lives. A white-haired lady said, “Luther, I’m sure you don’t remember me, but I knew your mother. She worked with my aunt at the hosiery mill.” Luther would smile and say, “Absolutely! Now what was her name?” “It was Betty,” she replied. “That’s right, Betty,” Luther would say. “Mama used to really like her!”

Next in line was another older lady. “Luther, I know you don’t remember me, but my sister Louise and I used to double date with you and your brother Charles.” Luther would respond, “Goodness, yes! Those were the good old days.”

This went on for hours. At the end of the day I said, “Luther, these folks are bringing up stories from 60, 70 years ago, and you know every one of them. How do you remember them all?”

He winked and said, “I don’t. I just pretend!” He was the master. I will have to get better at pretending.

David Carroll, a Chattanooga news anchor, is the author of “Volunteer Bama Dawg,” a collection of his best stories. You may contact him at 900 Whitehall Road, Chattanooga, TN 37405 or [email protected]

Community Calendar: Feb. 14, 2019

POLICY: Information for the Community Calendar submitted in person, by mail or fax is due by noon Monday for publication. Items mailed should be typed or printed and sent to: Community Calendar, The Hartsville Vidette, 206 River St., Hartsville, TN 37074 or brought to the office during business hours. Free listing of nonprofit events, community club and government meetings. We reserve the right to reject or edit material. Include name and phone number in the event we have questions.

GOVERNMENT MEETINGS:

Thursday, Feb. 14

6 p.m. – School Board

The Hartsville/Trousdale County School Board will hold its regular monthly meeting at the offices of the Board of Education, 103 Lock Six Rd.

Tuesday, Feb. 19

4 p.m. – Emergency Planning Board

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Emergency Planning Board will meet at the Community Center.

5 p.m. – Emergency Committee

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Emergency Committee will hold a called meeting to discuss proposed emergency services ordinance and fire chief qualifications in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

6 p.m. – Budget & Finance Committee

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Budget & Finance Committee will meet in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

7 p.m. – County Commission

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Commission will hold its regular monthly work session in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

Thursday, Feb. 21

6 p.m. – Parks & Recreation Committee

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Parks & Recreation Committee will meet in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

Monday, Feb. 25

7 p.m. – County Commission

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Commission will hold its regular monthly meeting in the upstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

Wednesday, Feb. 27

10 a.m. – Water Board

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Water Board will hold its regular monthly meeting in the county mayor’s office.

2 p.m. – Highway Commission

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Highway Commission will meet at the Highway Department for its regular monthly meeting.

OTHERS:

Trustee’s Office

The Trustee’s office will be open on Saturday, Feb. 23 from 8 a.m.-noon for citizens to conveniently pay property taxes. The last day to pay 2018 taxes without interest is Thursday, Feb. 28.

Little League Registration

Get registered now for the Spring 2019 Hartsville Little League! Signups will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Trousdale Elementary gym on Saturday, Feb. 16 and Saturday, Feb. 23, and at the Haley’s Hearts carnival on Feb. 23 from 4-8 p.m. Little League is open to boys/girls ages 4-12 (must be 4 by Aug. 31). $30 registration fee. Must have copy of birth certificate (if new to league), 2019 registration and medical release forms.

H&R Block Open House

H&R Block’s Hartsville office will hold an Open House on Monday, Feb. 18 from 5-7 p.m. at its office, located at 206 McMurry Blvd. Musicians Tobi Lee and “Elvis” will make appearances. Come meet our award-winning staff and get information concerning updated tax reform laws, how to receive a refund advance and schedule tax preparations for 2019. Finger foods and refreshments will be served. Call 615-374-4100 for more information.

Spay/Neuter Transport Date

Fix Trousdale’s next transport date for low-cost spay/neuter service of pets will be Thursday, Feb. 21. Do you have a dog or cat that needs to be fixed? Give us a call! We offer high quality, convenient, affordable spay/neuter services including vaccines, dewormer, and transportation from a central Hartsville location. Visit our Facebook page to see our reviews and to understand who we are. Fix Trousdale wants to help all residents be able to afford to fix their pets – to proactively address pet overpopulation through prevention. Please share and help us spread the word. 615-571-0472.

All Red Affair

Rocky Creek Fellowship Church will hold its “All Red Affair” singing on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 6 p.m.

Black History Month

Key United Methodist Church will celebrate Black History Month on Sunday, Feb. 24, with services at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The 2:00 p.m. guests are Rev. Denzil Bryant and St. John M.B. Church from Hartsville.

Blood Drive

The American Red Cross will conduct a Pint-Size Hero Blood Drive on Thursday, Feb. 28 from noon-5 p.m. at Trousdale County Elementary School for parents/guardians of TCES students only. To schedule appointment, call Elizabeth Cothron, 615-374-0907.

Youth Cheer Signups

Trousdale County Youth Cheer signups will be held Saturday, March 2 from 8 a.m.-noon at the old bus garage by the football field. Must be kindergarten-sixth grade. $100 entry fee. Please bring copy of birth certificate and copy of insurance card.

Life Skills Class

Hartsville’s Community Pregnancy Center will hold its next Life Skills Class – a five-week course on parenting (infant through teen) – beginning on March 5. Classes will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6:30-7:30 p.m. It is open to the public and free of charge. Anyone interested can call the center at 615-680-8026.

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels is looking for volunteer drivers to deliver meals in Trousdale County one day a month to elderly clients outside Hartsville city limits. Call 615-374-3987.

American Legion

Attention all former military members! American Legion Post 56 of Trousdale County would like to invite you to come spend time with us and get information on the benefits the Legion has to offer. You served your country well, now let us know how the country and your community can help you! Call John LaFleur, 860-268-7303 for more information.

Adult Education

FREE GED/HiSET CLASSES! The Adult Learning Center holds adult education classes each Wednesday at the middle school. Call 615-374-1131 to schedule an appointment.

TROUSDALE SENIOR CENTER:

Thursday, Feb. 14

11 a.m. – Valentine Party

11:30 a.m. – Lunch Served

12:30 p.m. – Live DJ

Friday, Feb. 15

9 a.m. – SAIL Exercise

10 a.m. – Tai Chi

11 a.m. – Yoga

Noon – Rook games

12:15 p.m. – SAIL Chair Exercise

1 p.m. – Wii Bowling

Monday, Feb. 18

CLOSED – PRESIDENTS’ DAY

Tuesday, Feb. 19

9 a.m. – SAIL Exercise

10 a.m. – Yoga

11:30 a.m. – Agave’s Mexican, Dollar Tree, Macon Boutique

Wednesday, Feb. 20

9 a.m. – Line Dancing

11 a.m. – AF Chair Exercise

Noon – Rook games

1 p.m. – Bible Study

Sheriff’s Reports: Feb. 14, 2019

Editor’s Note: The following are suspects booked in the Trousdale County jail during the specified timeframe. All persons charged are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Feb. 4

Dustin Lee Primm, 27, of Hartsville, was charged with drivers license revoke/suspend/canceled by Deputy Jesse Gentry. Primm was cited to court and General Sessions court date was set for Feb. 22.

Feb. 6

Kelvin Arin Perez, 22, of Lafayette, was charged with probation violation by Deputy Jake Ayers. No bond was set and General Sessions court date was set for March 8.

Patricia Ann Fleming, 67, of Lebanon, was charged with worthless check by Deputy Jake Ayers. Fleming was cited to court and General Sessions court date was set for March 8.

Cassandra Belle Adkison, 30, of Hartsville, was charged with DUI, child endangerment, violation of bond conditions by Deputy Travis Blair. Bond was set for $75,000 and General Sessions court dates were set for Feb. 8 and June 14.

Feb. 7

Christopher Allen Adams, 37, of Hartsville, was charged with probation violation by Deputy Kyle Presley. No bond was set and General Sessions court date was set for Feb. 22.

Feb. 8

James Michael Johnson, 24, of Westmoreland, was charged with criminal trespass by Deputy David Morgan. Johnson was cited to court and General Sessions court date was set for Feb. 8.

Evelyn Sue Crabtree, 28, of Hartsville, was charged with failure to appear by Deputy David Morgan. No bond was set and General Sessions court date was set for Feb. 8.

Feb. 9

Jose Juan Jimenez, 29, of Hartsville, was charged with driving on suspended license by Deputy Tony Wrinkle. Bond was set for $2,500 and General Sessions court date was set for March 15.

Trista Renee King, 26, of Bethpage, was charged with abandonment/nonsupport of child by Deputy Jesse Gentry. Bond was set for $500 and General Sessions court date was set for Feb. 14.

Rotary Club to hold annual Father-Daughter Dance on Saturday

The Hartsville Rotary Club will be sponsoring its third annual Father-Daughter Dance for the community this weekend.

File photo / Hartsville Vidette

The dance will be held in the auditorium at Trousdale County High School Community Center on Saturday, Feb. 9, from 6-8 p.m. Children must be of at least kindergarten age to attend. Light refreshments will be provided.

The cost is $20 per father/daughter, and $5 for additional daughters. Mothers may take photos outside the auditorium but will not be allowed inside as the event is for fathers and daughters only.

Money raised will go toward the Rotary Club’s various service projects in the community.

According to the Rotary Club, “this is a chance for young ladies and the male figure role model in their lives to enjoy an evening they’ll never forget.”

Tickets are available at Citizens Bank, Wilson Bank & Trust and the Trousdale County Elementary School office. Everyone is encouraged to get tickets as soon as possible.

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

Planning Commission scheduled to meet Monday

Two zoning changes and two residential developments are on February’s agenda for the Planning Commission.

The first zoning request is for six acres of property at 2885 Highway 231S to be changed from A-1 (agriculture) to C-1 (commercial). The stated purpose is for a proposed restaurant and wedding venue.

The second request is 6.73 acres on Windy Acres Lane from M-1 (industrial) to A-1 (agriculure). There are already homes and other agricultural tracts in the surrounding area despite it being zoned industrial, as noted on the agenda.

If the requests are approved, they would still require approval from the County Commission after two readings and a public hearing.

The two residential developments are Phase 2 of the Hickory Ridge Subdivision and would extend Acorn Trail Lane to create 19 additional housing lots. The other is for planned multi-residential development in the form of two town home buildings with four units each, located on Highway 25 west of the Hickory Ridge area.

The Planning Commission is scheduled to meet on Monday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. in the county courthouse. Meetings are open to the public.

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

Look Back: Fred Vaught’s foxhounds were top dogs

We continue this month to look at local men and women who have made a difference in the world about them by their strength of character and winning personalities.

A gentleman I have looked forward to writing about is the late Dr. Fred Vaught, who was for many years a druggist in Hartsville and had a hobby that made both state, national and international news!

When I first moved to Hartsville in 1969 as a young teacher, many of us would gather after work and drop into the local drugstores for a Cherry Coke or orangeade. The first time I met the group at the old Vaught’s Drug Store, I couldn’t help but notice a display of trophies that ran around the top shelves of the business from one end of the building to the other.

They were trophies for Fred’s prize-winning foxhounds!

Submitted photo
Fred Vaught shows off one of his prize-winning foxhounds in the yard of his home on White Oak Street. Notice the array of trophies! The site of his home is now where our public library sits and the library is named in his honor.

It seems that the friendly druggist had a knack for raising foxhounds that were a cut above his competition.

Fred Vaught had passed away in 1967 of cancer, at the too young age of 61, but his wife Patsy continued to show dogs herself for several more years and was always proud to show off the handsome array of trophies.

Fred’s son, Andy, told me that he had accompanied his father to one of his first competitions and showed a very good hound. After the show, a man tried to buy the dog, but Fred declined. The man was dismissive of Fred and walked off saying that the hound “…probably wasn’t AKC anyway.”

AKC meant registered with the American Kennel Club.

Fred looked at Andy and said, “What’s he talking about?”

Fred was strictly an amateur at that stage of the game and didn’t know what the American Kennel Club was – but that would change!

We quote from J.C. McMurtry’s book on Trousdale County, “Dr. Fred A. Vaught… owned and bred two national field trial champions, three national bench show champions, one international bench show champion and collected many ‘best in show’ awards throughout fifteen states.”

Fred Vaught was still breeding and showing his hounds right up to his death and his dogs continued, under Patsy’s watchful eye, to win. McMurtry continued his description, “He also showed the Champion American Club winner and at the time of his death, owned Champion ‘Vaught’s John Paul,’ a dog which was to become the most prolific winner in the annals of foxhound history. ‘Vaught’s John Paul’ after becoming the national champion foxhound, went on to become the top winning hound in the nation, the top hound group winner for the year 1969, recipient of the Kennel Review Award and Ken-L Ration Award, and the all-time winner in the breed.”

Andy told me that his father often named his hounds for Broadway plays and in researching this article I found reference to Fred’s “Auntie Mame” and “Mr. Music Man.” Others took such names as, “Stormy Buzzard,” “Peggy Spangler” and “Rolling Storm.”

One article I found on Fred reported that he had brought his kennel to a show but was missing two of his hounds, explaining, “…he was minus two hounds that he planned to enter because they started chasing some deer along the Cumberland River last week and as far as he knows they are still running!”

In addition to enjoying his share of wins, Fred took on the added job as president of the Middle Tennessee Fox Hunters Association. He served in that capacity for several years. He also served as a judge at Association events where he himself didn’t have an entry.

While I have heard many people talk about how well they liked Fred Vaught as a druggist, I found that his fellow dog breeders were no less enthusiastic in their accolades.

A letter published in a foxhound magazine by fellow breeder Roger Stone right after Fred Vaught’s death summed up his noble character, “Fred Vaught had one trait I will never forget and one I admired so much. If he could win, he was happy with his win or if he placed anywhere he was happy with that position. If he was completely out of the winning, he still seemed to be happy. In the many years I have known him, I’ve never heard him say one word against any judge – win or lose. I must say he was a true sportsman and the best loser I have ever known.”

Fred was originally from Watertown and moved here after marrying his wife, who was from Hartsville. After his death, Patsy Vaught kept running the drug store and it stood like a landmark in downtown Hartsville for many years.

Jack McCall: Riding along in a winter storm

I had a speaking engagement in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan last week. That’s right, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. Mt. Pleasant, if you are unfamiliar with Michigan geography, is located 70 miles north of Lansing, right in the middle of the state. I was speaking on Tuesday, the 29th, the day Winter Storm “Jayden” blew through the Great Lakes area.

My plans were to fly into Detroit the day before, and make the 2½-hour drive up to Mt. Pleasant. I could have opted for flying into Lansing and making a shorter drive, but that would have necessitated a two-legged flight. Fortunately, Southwest Airlines offered a direct flight into Detroit. I had booked an afternoon flight weeks ahead of time which have put me in Detroit at 4:30 EST.

As news of the incoming storm continued to be reported, I became concerned about my chances of making it into Detroit and Mt. Pleasant. So I called Rich Tiller at Agricultural Speakers Bureau (he had secured the booking) and asked for his advice. Rich suggested I take an earlier flight as the storm was to arrive in the late afternoon. I re-booked a morning flight through Atlanta which would arrive in Detroit before noon. It seemed like a good plan.

Across the Miles
Jack McCall

Sunday, the 27th, as I was driving home after church, I checked my cell phone to find a text from Southwest Airlines informing me my flight out of Atlanta had been canceled. I would find later that ALL flights into Detroit on Monday, the 28th, had been canceled. What to do?

I grabbed my friendly Rand McNally Road Atlas and scanned what the late, great weatherman Bill Hall, referred to as “the northern tier of states.” Chicago! A little research revealed Mt. Pleasant to be a 4½-hour drive from Chicago under normal driving conditions. I pause to stress the term “normal driving conditions” in the foregoing sentence.

Fortunately I was able to find a morning flight to Chicago through Kansas City. You can imagine it was rather pricey. I also found a return flight from Chicago to Nashville for the afternoon of the 30th. With that being done, I took a deep breath, crossed my fingers and prayed.

On Monday morning, I flew Southwest Airlines to Kansas City without a hitch. The flight to Chicago was delayed but I arrived in Chicago to find light snow and a comfortable, 35-degree temperature. It seemed all was well. I picked up my rental car, a Chevy Malibu, and headed out of town. I noted my departure time to be 2 p.m. CST – ETA to Mt. Pleasant – 6:30 p.m.

I cleared the Chicago city limits around the southern tip of Lake Michigan without incident, paid ridiculously high tolls cutting through the edge of Indiana and headed up I-196 toward Grand Rapids. The roads were clear as light snow fell for the next 150 miles. I closely watched the temperature which hovered around 29 degrees. It was easy to clear my windshield of road spray by using windshield washer.

Then the most amazing series of events took me totally by surprise. Over no more than a 10-mile stretch of highway, the temperature plummeted to 19 degrees. Then, it started RAINING! That’s right! RAINING! I am suddenly on a snow-covered, interstate highway! It is 19 degrees and raining. Which means my windshield suddenly froze over. I mean, frozen hard! Except for a small area (about the size of a basketball) at the lower center of the windshield, I am driving blind!

I turned the defroster on high and leaned across the car’s console so I could see through the opening in the windshield. By now, the windshield wipers were raking across the ice on the windshield making a sound much like clawing fingernails across a chalkboard – only much worse and much louder! After a few miles the sound become maddening! The defroster was having little effect, except to make the inside of the car very hot! I needed air, so I rolled the driver-side window down about two inches. The cool air provided immediate relief. It felt so good, I decided to roll the passenger window down. Another surprise! The crosswind coming off Lake Michigan blew my cap right off my head! Inside the car! I had had enough!

Taking the next exit, I found a Pilot Station where I took my time and allowed the windshield to de-ice. By now, the rain had turned to a powdery snow making for much easier driving for the rest of the trip into Mt. Pleasant. I arrived at my destination at 10:30 EST – three hours behind schedule. But I did arrive!

I will finish this story in next week’s column.