Hartsville’s Dean Uhles prepares to celebrate birthday No. 99

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette

Hartsville’s Dean Uhles will be celebrating her 99th birthday with family on Saturday, April 27.

Born Claudine Duty Uhles on April 27, 1920 in Macon County, she attended school in Hillsdale and Lafayette and was saved at Meadorville Baptist Church.

After marrying her husband Claude, the couple moved to Nashville after his return from World War II. They moved to Trousdale County in the 1970s.

Dean has one son, Roger, two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

The Vidette wishes Miss Dean the happiest of birthdays!

Health Council holding Family Fun Day on Saturday

The Trousdale County Health Council is preparing for its third annual #1 For Life Family Fun Day.

This year’s event will be held on Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in Hartsville City Park. If weather becomes a factor, it will be moved to the indoor practice facility at Trousdale County High School.

Family Fun Day is free to the public and children of all ages are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult.

Submitted photo

“We’re going to have some new things like a spider web mountain and horseshoes,” said Health Council member Kathy Atwood. “We’ll have the climbing wall, the train and several things like that.”

Sponsors will also be on hand presenting information about their services to the community.

“This is our third year of the #1 For Life Family Fun Day. Our first year brought out 200 members of the community, last year we had over 300 participants and we hope to see even more this year. We have added new activities, hoping to appeal to all ages!” said Health Council chair Brenda Harper. “Of course there is free food and door prizes throughout the day!”

Activities will include a Frisbee toss, football toss, jump ropes, balloon toss, sack race, egg race and hula hoops. Also, the TCHS basketball coaches will be conducting a 3-on-3 basketball tournament for all ages.

Door prizes and game prizes will also be offered to those in attendance, and a free lunch will be available.

“It’s grown every year and we’ve reached a lot of people,” Atwood said. “We just want to remind families that it’s fun to get outside and play together. You don’t always have to have a screen in your hand.”

The Health Council thanks its various sponsors: Oral Health Associates, Citizens Bank, Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, Trousdale Medical Center, Volunteer Behavioral Health, Anthony Funeral Home, China Buffet, Farm Bureau Insurance, Sharon Linville Attorney at Law, Livingston Family Practice, Trousdale Senior Living Center, Rota Crowder, Angie Hibdon-Johnson CPA, Piggly Wiggly, Kim Taylor and Wilson Bank & Trust.

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

Morningside recognizes Hartsville employee as ‘Way to Go’ winner

Morningside of Gallatin recently recognized Racheal Gunter as its 2018 Annual “Way to Go” Winner. Gunter, who currently serves as the center’s Maintenance Director, has been with Morningside for four years.

Gunter’s annual award recognition was due in part to having won the monthly “Way to Go” Award in three different months during 2018. Consistent with all of her nominations is the fact that she goes out of her way to demonstrate thoughtfulness and care to those around her.

Submitted photo

Stephanie Harville, Executive Director of Morningside, said, “Racheal is so supportive of everyone – every department, every team member and especially every resident. Whether she is providing transportation on her day off to a colleague or encouraging a reluctant resident to take their medication, she does everything with love. She possesses a servant’s heart and would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. She has patience and kindness that set her apart. What a blessing she is to our team!”

Gunter said that Morningside is her family.

“We are a very tight-knit group and I really count on my Morningside people. And the residents are like my grannies! They constantly encourage me and this keeps me going.”

Resident Eleanor Ford shares a special friendship with Gunter.

“When I moved to Morningside, I immediately took to Racheal.  She has always been so kind to me. And I really enjoy cutting up with her. I think she is a precious person,” Ford said.

Gunter, who resides in Hartsville with her two sons, received a cash award for this distinction at the community’s recent Associate Appreciation Banquet.

Morningside of Gallatin is a 40 unit, award-winning, assisted living located on Hartsville Pike.  For more information, contact Harville at 615-230-5600.

Look Back: ‘Singing sheriff’ also had soft spot for Trousdale’s veterans

Our look at former sheriffs this week takes us to our “singing sheriff,” the late Tommy Jones!

T.A. “Tommy” Jones was from Macon County, but we won’t let that get in the way. If ever a man loved Trousdale County and its people, it was Tommy.

He always had a smile, a joke to tell and would whistle or sing whether he was working, wasting time, arresting a man, or wanted to entertain you. Music had been in his bones since he was a child.

Since I knew Tommy personally, not in his professional life, mind you, but as a neighbor and friend, I can say a lot about him. However, he obliged me one time by writing down some of his personal history so I could file it away in our county archives – and in case I ever did a series of articles on sheriffs.

Submitted photo
Tommy Jones, the “singing sheriff” of Trousdale County, was also instrumental in getting the veterans’ memorial placed at the VFW park in Hartsville.

He was born in 1917 and he wrote that he had been “singing all my life.”

His mother had an organ and she would play it for her children.

When he was about 16 or 17 he bought a guitar from Montgomery Ward, a catalogue sales company similar to Sears. His brother got a mandolin and the two of them would practice day and night, when they weren’t working on the farm with their father.

He had a cousin who played the guitar and as it turned out, when Tommy married, his wife Erline also played the mandolin.

They would all get together and play, first at one’s house and then another’s, just having a good time entertaining each other. Tommy wrote, “We played at school houses for cake walks. My brother John and I played and sang. He did tenor. We got to be right good.”

It was early in his life that Tommy almost got the chance to play on the Grand Ole Opry.

As he told it, his uncle said he could arrange for them to play for Dr. Humphry Bates, who lived in Castalian Springs and was an early regular player on the Opry with his band, “the Possum Hunters.” If the doctor liked them, he could get them on the popular radio program.

But no one in the family had a car, so the audition never took place. Tommy said that he often wondered if he would have made the Opry if he had gotten to play for the old doctor.

But at the time there were other things to think about. In 1935, he married and had to make a living.

He and Erline farmed for a couple of years, then he quit to go to a diesel school in Memphis. While he was there he bought a D-18 Martin guitar that he still owned when he jotted down his recollections for me.

And then World War II broke out and he, like so many young men, entered the service.

One story he told was that he was in basic training down in Texas and one of the local boys there was making fun of Tommy’s Tennessee drawl, or way of talking. Tommy told him, “Just go ahead and laugh, but remember that you wouldn’t have a Texas if it wasn’t for us Tennessee boys!”

In the service he took schooling in electronics, a skill he would use to make a living when he wasn’t pulling time as sheriff.

He also took his Martin guitar with him and played for his fellow soldiers. His talent got him into a Western band on base and they would play for larger groups.

After the army and back in civilian life, he and Erline made Hartsville their home and raised their children here.

He was active in civic groups, his church, and anything that benefited the community – which usually meant playing music at cake walks!

He ran for sheriff and served from 1962 to 1968.

One story I have on him as sheriff is that he and a friend spent part of a Thanksgiving Day hunting. They shot two rabbits and found four gallons of moonshine. The rabbits were supper and the moonshine resulted in an arrest!

Tommy had his own band, “The Blue Sky Boys,” and he also had an early radio show locally.

The Scruggs boys, Monk, Carl and Ped, were part of the band.

If Tommy got a dollar for every cake walk he and the boys played on the square by the courthouse, he would have been a rich man!

Tommy was sensitive about the men he served with in the service, particularly those who didn’t come back from the war. He spearheaded the effort to erect a monument to honor those who served from Trousdale County in World War I and World War II, Korea and Vietnam. The monument you see across the street from the courthouse was the result of Tommy’s hard work. He could tear up when he looked at the impressive marble columns and read the names.

Tommy is now just a memory like so many fine men who have served their nation and their state and their hometowns.  And like the others who have served their time as sheriff, they are to be remembered for that love of neighbor and justice and their devotion to “keeping the peace.”

Jack McCall: Lamenting the victims of road kill

Well, it was an interesting spring. It was, for me, a spring that came and was gone as fast as any I can remember. Maybe my age is telling on me. Sometimes I wish things would slow down a bit.

I’ve always been fascinated with road kill. Maybe fascinated is not the right word. Let’s just say road kill stirs my curiosity. It always makes me sad – every time. I take it especially hard when I come upon a dead raccoon. I don’t know why, but I have a fondness for raccoons. Maybe it is because they wash their food. Or maybe it is their little bandit masks. For whatever reason, it really sets me back when I see a raccoon that has met his maker on the highway.

Across the Miles
Jack McCall

I will admit I have almost taken the ditch on many occasions in an effort to try and miss one of God’s creatures. Squirrels can be a real challenge, especially a young one. There he is, right smack in the middle of the road, trying to make up his mind which way to go. He hesitates! He is starring me down. He fakes left; then, right. I am closing fast! “Make up your mind, my little, bushy-tailed friend!” All this is happening in a fraction of a second. Most often, he makes it to safety. I’m sure he goes on about his day after sending my blood pressure numbers into the danger zone.

Then there are cardinals (we used to call them redbirds). I love to see the males showing off their color in the spring. It “kills” me to see a male cardinal dead on the road. When it comes to my grieving for road kill, male cardinals are right up there with raccoons.

Male cardinals are notorious for chasing down insects on the highway. More times than I could count this scene has unfolded: Out of nowhere a red bird flashes onto the road in chase of its prey! In one, fleeting fraction of a second the bird sees me while keeping its prey in sight. Its instincts say it can grab the insect and still have time to get a way. Usually those instincts are correct. On at least one occasion the story ended in a puff of red feathers. It just made me sick.

This has been an unusual spring in that I can’t remember seeing a single dead skunk in the middle of the road. Many springs ago there was a rabies epidemic in Middle Tennessee. The highways and back roads where literally strewn with skunk carcasses. Speaking of “dead skunks in the middle of the road,” Loudon Wainwright III wrote a famous song titled, “Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road.” One of the lines went like this: “You gotta dead skunk in the middle of the road stinkin’ to high heaven!” I’d say most of us have had that odorous experience.

The other day I saw a most unusual sight out in the Providence Community of Trousdale County. I had seen a road kill specimen there along the highway on the day before. As I approached the location of the road kill, I spotted a pair of red-tailed hawks sitting on the guardrail just a few feet away. They were posted like trusted sentinels guarding their prize.

About 20 feet away, two buzzards were sitting on the fence gazing longingly at what might have been their dinner.

The thought occurred to me, “So that’s what the world is coming to: The magnetic hawk has lowered itself to eating road kill.”

Speaking of road kill, I will forgo making fun of what surely must me the poster child of all road kill – the lowly possum. Bless its heart.

And speaking of possums, a famous Kentucky humorist used to end his speech by saying, “And remember, if you ever find yourself lost in the woods, just find yourself a ‘possum; he’ll lead you to a road.”

Senior Center will host Health Fair on Monday

The Trousdale County Senior Center will be holding its annual Health Fair on Monday, April 29, from 8-11 a.m. at the facility, located at 270 Marlene Street.

The event is free and open to the public. All ages are welcome, not just seniors, said Senior Center Director Ginny Hunter.

“I want people to know it’s not just for seniors; it’s open to all ages,” Hunter said.

Staff from Trousdale Medical Center will provide free screenings for blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol and fall risk assessment.

In addition, the Lions Club will provide free eye exams, and Songs For Sounds will provide gearing tests. There will also be a mobile mammography unit on hand and COPD testing will also be available.

There will also be information available from local dentists, pharmacies, banks, Meals on Wheels, the library, home health agencies, the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and more.

There will also be door prizes on hand for those in attendance.

For more information, contact Hunter at 615-374-1102.

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

Trousdale Treasures: News from the community

‘Trousdale Treasures’ is a new series of articles that will be running in The Hartsville Vidette!

We want to know what’s going on in your neck of the woods! Who’s marrying who? Who’s had a baby? What’s going on at your church? Anyone getting engaged? Who’s new in the neighborhood?

Anything you would like to share that we would be thrilled to share with your Trousdale County neighbors. (Please don’t use us for a gossip column – just the local news!)

If you would like to contribute, email gracethomas1946@yahoo.com. What you send will be put in The Vidette!

Senior Living Center

On Friday, the residents at Trousdale Senior Living Center held an inside Raster egg hunt. All the participants stayed in the activity room while the eggs were being hidden.

At the count of ‘Ready – Set – Go,’ off they went to find as many eggs as they could throughout the building. Ms. Joyce found the most with 85 eggs, Ms. Carry had 41 eggs, Ms. Pat found the golden egg and Ms. Nova found the silver one. All participants, including Ms. Bobbie, Ms. Glenda, Ms. Lila, Ms. Helen and Ms. Judy, also won prizes.

The participation in the Seniorcize class has greatly increased and the residents were excited to see the Senior Center group come with their line dancing. This is enjoyable every time they come.

Kuming Soon

Sweet Kuntry Bakery and Eatery is the name of the new bakery we have all awaited. As of now it is tentatively planned to open around May 1. The owners, Jennifer Petty and Kendra Stafford (hometown girls), are planning to have hours of 5:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. and special hours as special occasions arise.

Their menu will consist of donuts, cupcakes, cakes and a variety of baked goods, plus hand-dipped ice cream. Sandwiches and salads are also planned to be available during the summer.

Jennifer wanted to thank everyone for their patience in waiting for the shop to open in the old Bank of Hartsville building. I just know you can’t wait for the shop to open and are just as anxious as I am to get at the baked goods and ice cream. We wish them all the best of luck in their endeavor!

Birthday Girl

Some of you may not know, but my best friend recently had her 81st birthday. Along with the flowers I gave her, I told her she was now officially an old lady – and she is until I get to that age! When I get to 81 I will just be in my prime, waiting to be an old lady! Since she is older than me, she gets to be the old lady and I get to be in my prime!

I’m Back

In case you have missed this article in your newspaper, it’s because I went to see my grandchild have her first birthday and her dedication to the Lord out in California. I had a great time playing with her and visiting with my daughter and son-in-law, but I was glad to get back to God’s country!

Guest View: Forgiving student loan debt would be poor policy

Many progressives are cheering Senator Elizabeth Warren’s new proposal that promises to eliminate all student loan debt for three quarters of the 45 million Americans who owe college loans. They are also applauding the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate’s call for college to be universal, with free tuition at every public two- and four-year college. And she proposes a huge expansion of federal grants to make non-tuition expenses more affordable, allowing students to graduate debt free.

The cost? $1.25 trillion over 10 years. This proposal is ridiculous.

It is ridiculous in a way that should be salient to progressives: People who go to college typically earn higher incomes than those who don’t. So debt forgiveness takes tax revenue – which comes from taxpayers, not from the money tree – and redistributes it to those who are relatively well off.

Metro Creative Connection

The U.S. government would forgive up to $50,000 in student loan debt for people in households earning less than $100,000 per year, with smaller debt forgiveness for annual incomes up to $250,000. A household with $160,000 of income gets $30,000 of debt forgiven, for example.

Aside from all the ways such a plan would provide incentives to enterprising people to game the system and to colleges to inflate costs even more than they already do, there’s a larger principle here: The U.S. needs to spend less public money on households earning comfortable incomes, not more.

Warren estimates that debt forgiveness would cost $640 billion. To put that in perspective, it would cost about $6 billion per year to double the earned-income tax credit – a federal program that subsidizes wages for low-income households – for childless workers. I’d rather spend the marginal taxpayer dollar expanding economic opportunity for the working poor than giving a subsidy to relatively well-off households.

Moreover, what matters here is lifetime income. A household with, say, two 27-year-old college graduates earning $85,000 today should expect to earn considerably more over the next four decades. Their salaries will grow as they gain experience in the labor market.

Forgiving their loans today, then, shouldn’t be thought of as a transfer to a couple with a five-figure income. Instead, it is a transfer to a couple who will earn several million dollars over their working lives.

Those with student debt borrowed money from the taxpayer to finance college. This is typically a great deal for those who graduate from college. Both graduates and dropouts presumably understood the deal at the outset. But particularly for those who graduated, it is unfair to the taxpayer – in this case, the lender – to forgive the debt.

Those who drop out with significant debt do not enjoy the earnings premium that comes with a diploma. Indeed, there are many Americans – though far fewer than Warren implies – who are truly struggling under the weight of their federal student loans.

Yet the U.S. already has a safety net in place to deal with those loan situations. For example, income-based repayment plans adjust monthly student loan payments based on income and family size, and any outstanding balance is forgiven after two decades of payments have been made. Warren should explain why these programs are inadequate.

Debt forgiveness on the scale she proposes presumes a student debt crisis where one does not exist. A 2014 Brookings Institution paper by higher-education experts Beth Akers and Matthew M. Chingos finds that the monthly payment burden of borrowers has not increased over the past two decades, with the median borrower spending around 4 percent of monthly income on student loan payments. Akers and Chingos conclude: “Americans who borrowed to finance their educations are no worse off today than they were a generation ago.”

In addition to forgiving debt from student loans, Warren would make public college free of charge to students, and would push for everyone to go to college. This is a step in the wrong direction. We need to stop sending the signal to our youth that a four-year college is best for everyone.

To be fair, in focusing on two-year colleges in addition to traditional four-year degrees, Warren’s plan sends a more productive message to high schoolers than does our college-or-bust culture. But two-year community colleges are already very affordable. Instead of pouring resources into traditional four-year colleges, public policy should be focused on new education models to make sure workers have the skills they need to increase their wages in the 21st-century economy.

The senator’s plan would invest resources in attempting to make higher education universal, yet in practice children raised in higher-income households will continue to be much more likely to attend college. So the free tuition component of Warren’s proposal suffers from the same problem as her debt forgiveness component: It is a giveaway to relatively higher-income people – a giveaway they don’t need, as the labor market’s rewards for a four-year diploma are much more significant than the debt students incur to earn one.

I’ve been pretty negative, so I’ll conclude by praising the senator for wanting to pay for her proposal, rather than, say, leaning on modern monetary theory (i.e., the money tree) as rhetorical support that financing it isn’t needed.

She claims that the full cost of debt cancellation and universal free college would be financed by her proposed “Ultra-Millionaire Tax” – a 2 percent annual wealth tax on the 75,000 families with more than $50 million in net worth in a nation of 128 million households. Unfortunately, her punish-the-rich tax proposal – befitting its Dr. Evil-esque name – will also serve to reduce savings and investment, and therefore productivity and wages. It is as misguided as debt forgiveness and free tuition. (That’s another column.)

Warren is one of many Democrats who want to take the price of college to zero. And she is likely correct in her political judgment that millennial voters in her party’s 2020 presidential primaries who find their student loans irritating will be attracted to her proposal to forgive their debt and create a new entitlement for their benefit. But it’s deeply misguided policy. And it doesn’t take a college degree in public policy to see that.

Michael R. Strain is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is director of economic policy studies and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

Lamar Alexander: Simpler FAFSA benefits students, families

There are not many things that United States senators can do to cause 20 million American families — including 400,000 families in Tennessee — to say, “thank you.”

After five years of work, Congress is ready to do just that by shortening the Free Application for Federal Student Aid – the FAFSA – from 108 questions to two dozen, and eliminating the need for families to give their financial information to the federal government twice.

The FAFSA is the form that 400,000 Tennessee families, including 5,600 Memphis high school seniors and their families, fill out each year to apply for federal student aid.

But many more students and their families ought to be applying for federal student aid. A volunteer mentor with Tennessee Promise, our state’s program that provides two years of free community college, told me the FAFSA is so intimidating that the form has a “chilling effect” on families who are interested in sending their student to college.

Lamar Alexander

The students we most want to help are often the ones most intimidated by this federal form. The former president of Southwest Tennessee Community College in Memphis told me he believes that he lost 1,500 students each semester because the complicated FAFSA discouraged students and their families from applying.

Former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam told me that Tennessee has the highest rate of students filling out the FAFSA, but that the form is still the single biggest impediment to more students enrolling in Tennessee Promise.

After the form comes the threat of being selected for “verification,” a complicated process that stops Pell grant payments while a student scrambles to submit federal tax information or prove he or she did not have to file taxes.

Southwest Tennessee Community College administrators told me almost half of their applicants – approximately 9,500 – were selected for verification in fall and that process is even worse, they tell me, than filling out the FAFSA itself. This spring semester about 400 students who were registered for class still had not been able to resolve the verification and receive their Federal grant or loan.

My goal this Congress is to pass bipartisan legislation that solves this problem and completes five years of hearings and work by senators and by both the Obama and Trump administrations.

This legislation would dramatically reduce the number of questions on the FAFSA, as most experts agree that most questions on the form are unnecessary. Legislation already passed by the Senate last year would allow applicants to send their tax information from the IRS to the U.S. Department of Education with one click, which would answer 22 questions at once.

If Congress takes these steps, we will have made seven big improvements for students and families applying for federal financial aid:

1. Reduce 108 questions on the FAFSA to no more than 25.

2. Automatically transfer a student’s tax data to the U.S. Department of Education, which will dramatically decrease the number of students selected for verification.

3. Make sure families know they can use their tax information from the previous year to fill out the FAFSA, which means they can apply for federal student aid sooner. This allows students to apply to school in the fall, rather than having to wait until spring.

4. Allow students to find out as early as eighth grade how much Pell grant funding they may be eligible for, helping them make informed decisions sooner.

5. Make sure students know they can now complete the FAFSA on their mobile phones. I visited Sevier County High School in November with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and saw students zipping through the FAFSA app that the Trump Administration developed to make it easier for students to apply for federal student aid.

6. Increase the number of eligible students who receive the Pell grants by making it easier for more students to apply for federal aid.

7. Help taxpayers by stopping $6 billion in mistakes – that is the amount the U.S. Department of Education estimates is issued in improper payments every year.

The Senate education committee is considering other steps we could take to make college worth students’ time and money, such as making it easier to repay student loans and reducing the amount of time colleges and universities waste on federal red tape, but there is already bipartisan desire to simplify the FAFSA process and reduce its “chilling effect” on the students we most want to benefit.

Lamar Alexander is the Chairman of the U.S. Senate education committee.

Trousdale Elementary announces honor roll students

Trousdale County Elementary School is pleased to recognize the following students who made the Honor Roll for the third nine weeks of the 2018-19 school year.


First Honor Roll: Laney Barton, Owen Evitts, Mileigh Potts, Madilyn Wills, Kembrey Lee, Maggie Linville, Isaiah Cantrell, Sylas Hopkins, Cady Slagle, Layla Binder, Madyson Carmen

Second Honor Roll: Audrey Barton, Heath Gulley, Julie Juarez, Hunter Scott, Tristan Slagle, Caroline Eden, Gabe Garcia, Aubree Dansby-Morris, Kipton West, Samara Herrington, Sophia Waterhouse, Carlito Mendez, Adalin Copas


First Honor Roll: Alexandria Badru, Marley Watkins, Charlie Beth Wright, Sam Dickerson, Sarah Miller

Second Honor Roll: Tyler Cox, Katie Hutchison, Erin Scarlett Reynolds, Peyton Adkins, Emma Grace Coook, Naomi Overman, Benjamin Smith, Madison West, Jackson Williams, Bethany Zarichansky, Aaron Sexton


First Honor Roll: Dylan Kennedy, Merceah Lee, Anna Towns, Evelyn Towns, Levi Ellis

Second Honor Roll: Triston Carson, Hunter Cothron, Wyatt Whited, Noah Peace, Wyatt Byrd, Westin Dennis

House narrowly passes school vouchers bill

The Tennessee House passed a controversial school voucher bill Tuesday afternoon after the bill initially deadlocked in a 49-49 vote tie, spurring a 40-minute delay as House Speaker Glen Casada, R-Franklin, and other leaders scoured the chamber for additional votes and eventually muscled the bill through.

It passed 50-48.

District 40 Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, who represents Trousdale County, was among the ‘no’ votes. Weaver was not immediately available for comment.

Hamilton and Knox county schools were removed from Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s proposed school voucher-like Education Savings Account legislation under an amendment adopted Tuesday by Senate Finance Committee members, which also rewrote several other major bill provisions.

The panel, chaired by Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, then narrowly approved the controversial legislation on a 6-5 vote, which sent it on to the Senate floor.

Sen. Ferrell Haile (R-Gallatin) was among the six who voted ‘yes.’

Both Watson and Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, both of whom had raised concerns about the legislation, wound up voting for the bill after the amendment was adopted.

Under the House version of the bill, both Hamilton and Knox counties remain in the bill as are Davidson and Shelby counties and the state’s Achievement School District.

Both bills would allow qualified parents use public tax dollars to pay for private school tuition and to 15,000 children to private schools or home-schooling expenses.

Contributing: Staff reports

News from Trousdale County Senior Center

We have recently formed a singing group at the Trousdale County Senior Center called the Traveling Harts. This month we presented our first performance, and what a blessing it was to those of us who were able to participate. We were very warmly welcomed by the folks at the Pinewood Boarding House and the Hartsville Convalescent Center. Next month we will head to places in Gallatin. If you would like to join us, we practice on Mondays!

Sam Edwards, the county’s new Building Inspector, was the speaker at our “Coffee and Donuts” gathering. This is a busy office with so many new buildings going up. Mr. Edwards stressed the need to check with him before beginning a building project in order to be certain of the various permits that may be required.

Our book club meets on the third Monday of each month. Our new choice is “Educated, A Memoir” by Tara Westover. We would be glad to have any one join us for a discussion of this book on May 20.

Please note that on Monday, April 29 we will hold a Health Fair that is open to the public. Free health screenings and information will be available from 8-11 a.m.

Letter to Editor: Hurt feelings about merger affecting everyone

Dear Editor,

I have tried to keep up on the proposed merging of the fire and EMS departments since its inception. Now I am not a current resident due to military service and choice of career after said service, but due to my exposure in a different state I have seen how other states operate. So here is how the rest of the world operates with volunteer/paid service.

Most volunteer departments have fire and EMS under one command structure. The fire chief oversees the department and the ambulance service usually has a captain in charge that reports to the chief. Now under that service there are both paid and volunteer EMS personnel that ride. Also most active firefighters are dual qualified as firefighters and paramedics.

Another way services operate is that the county maintains paramedic services while the fire department provides ambulance and fire services. In this case, the fire department and the medic units are dispatched together. Usually with this the medics only operate SUVs or trucks with utility bodies and only provide lifesaving measures while on scene. Occasionally they will ride in the ambulance with the fire department to continue treatment if needed.

At any rate it seems like the meeting the other night was a complete disaster and could’ve been avoided if cooler heads had prevailed. I am really shocked at the pettiness that has evolved in my former little town. I am hoping that the town can solve this issue and move forward without losing volunteers within the department. Those are hard to come by.

Marvin Pedigo

Former Hartsville resident

Clayton Supply plans new facility in Westmoreland

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and Clayton officials announced Monday that the home builder will establish a Clayton Supply facility in Westmoreland.

Clayton will invest $14 million in Sumner County. The company will hire nearly 110 new team members over the next two years. Clayton anticipates operations in Westmoreland will begin in early 2020.

The supply facility will be dedicated to the launch of a new division of pre-manufactured assemblies for on-site homebuilders. Clayton plans to manufacture wall panels and trusses for single and multifamily residential site-built homes

“As one of Tennessee’s largest private employers, Clayton has been a valuable part of our state’s economy for more than 60 years. I’m excited to see the positive impact this investment will have on Sumner County,” said Gov. Lee.

Headquartered in Maryville, Clayton is one of the largest homebuilders in the nation and offers traditional site-built homes and off-site built housing, including modular homes, manufactured homes, tiny homes, college dormitories, military barracks and apartments. Clayton is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.

“Clayton Supply Westmoreland is a tangible continuation of our vision to adapt innovations in the off-site housing industry for on-site building methods. We look forward to developing Clayton Supply Westmoreland into a world-class working environment for our team members so that they have a place that they are excited to come to work to every day,” said Keith Holdbrooks, President of Clayton Home Building Group.

Clayton currently employs approximately 5,400 Tennesseans. Its subsidiaries include Clayton Home Building Group, which is comprised of Manufacturing, Clayton Supply and Clayton Properties Group; Vanderbilt Mortgage; 21st Mortgage – and insurance company HomeFirst Agency.

Since 2015, TNECD has supported 12 economic development projects in Sumner County. These projects represent approximately 1,900 job commitments and more than $221 million in private capital investment.

Meals on Wheels thanks its volunteers

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette

Mid-Cumberland and Trousdale County Meals on Wheels held an appreciation ceremony for its volunteers last Wednesday at the Senior Center. Volunteers deliver meals three days a week and spend time with recipients of Meals on Wheels, which is available to anyone 60 or older who needs help preparing food, regardless of income.

Volunteers pictured are: Opal Vaden, Rosemary Gregory, Rose Kelley, Kathy Lindsey, Chester Mungle, John Oliver, Rannye Robertson, Earl Smith, Noel Smith, Jeff Esser, Rosie Valentine, Nancy Davis and Kassie Hassler. Not pictured are Meals on Wheels director Deanna Winter, Isabella Foret, Suzy Morrell, Dorothy Swindle and Clara Adams.

Meals on Wheels thanks all its volunteers and encourages others in the community to volunteer. For more information, call 615-374-3987.

IMPACThought: Having the faith of a fisherman

The fishermen were exhausted after a futile night of fishing. Their strenuous toil had gone unrewarded, and as they returned to the shore, they were finishing a night’s work by washing their nets. As the fishermen attended to their duties, a multitude of people arrived at the shoreline of the Lake of Gennesaret to hear the Word of God. Jesus had arrived and He chose to take a seat in Peter’s ship to teach the people. This was not a random choice of ships from which to teach, Jesus had a practical lesson awaiting Peter.

Submitted photo
Jon Shonebarger

Jesus asked Peter to shove the ship off the shoreline so He could address the people. The crowd would enjoy listening to the words of Jesus. However, what they were about to eyewitness would bring additional impact to their faith. A miracle was about to occur!

As Jesus finished teaching the multitude, He told Simon Peter to “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught” (Luke 5:4). For a professional fisherman, like Peter, these words were confounding. The fisherman had spent an entire night at their craft and nothing was caught. It had been a bad night. There were futile nights like this sometimes and to go back out onto the lake would be a considerable waste of time and effort. The fishermen felt the night was over and it was time to wrap it up. They were looking forward to a meal, a bath and their beds!

Peter questioned Jesus’ request. They were the professional fishermen, not Jesus. Nonetheless, at the request of Jesus, Peter obeyed and relaunched, casting their nets into the lake. Truly an act of courtesy, not faith. To the surprise of the fishermen, they caught a great multitude of fish, to the extent that the net broke. Wow, this was not expected!

Peter summoned the fishermen in the other ship to come and help with this miraculous catch. The bounty of the catch was so great that it filled two ships and they began to sink. When Peter witnessed this miraculous catch, he fell down at the feet of Jesus and confessed his sinful disbelief in Jesus’ command. He and all the fishermen were astonished at the abundance of fish they had caught. It exceeded their human wisdom and experience.

This compelling moment provokes each of us to evaluate our obedience to Jesus Christ. There are times we doubt God’s commands, His love, His presence, His power, His wisdom and His purposes. We, like the fishermen, question “Why, Lord?” The Holy Bible is full of commands for God’s children to obey, without delay. Our faith in God wavers. We turn to our own rational understanding and experience. We trust our heart rather than the authority of God’s written word.

We too, fall short, as Peter did. We must be motivated to ask God to forgive us of our unbelief and to fully trust in His care. It is also worthy of our evaluation as to what area of our lives is God testing right now. Is God asking you to “launch out into the deep” and trust Him for something significant? Do we also consider His requests a waste of time and foolish? May God, by His grace, strengthen us in the journey. May God also assist us in our journey of faith as we grow into the child of God He has purposed us to become.

Have a tremendous week and remember, God loves YOU!

Contact Jon at jtshonebarger@gmail.com.

David Carroll: Grammar mistakes all around us

Once again, we shine the spotlight on subpar spelling and grammar, lifted directly from the pages of Facebook and other social media sites. As always, some of these will make you laugh. Others might make you cry.

Even though Deputy Barney Fife constantly told Andy he would “nip it in the bud,” some folks didn’t hear him clearly. They would rather “nick it in the butt.”

In a political argument, someone wrote that certain people “get their fillings hurt.” Especially if they go to the wrong dentist.

Another wrote that one politician’s decision is bad “not just for Tennessee, but the nation as a hole.” Yes, you certainly don’t want the nation in a hole.

David Carroll

Still another complained about “a Miss Use of tax dollars.” I don’t believe I have met her, but I know her friends, Miss Understanding and Miss Communication.

One political figure was referred to as a “bafoon.” I don’t think that was a compliment. Even buffoons would agree with that.

About a candidate’s speech, one Facebook critic called it “a load of carp.” And he wasn’t even at the pond.

In the “I’ll spell it like I hear it” file, I’ve learned that a person who turns his back on his country is no longer considered a traitor. Now, many people describe him as a trader.

One retiring politician was sent on his way with this note: “Don’t let the door hit you in the but.” But…but…what? The critic continued, “My president is draining the swap.” (If that’s the case, I guess he’s not a trader.)

Insults constantly fly on social media. It is not uncommon for one person to call another a “looser.” Evidently they need to tighten up.

During our recent winter cold snap, the weather forecasters were talking about the wind chill factor. Some folks called it the “windshield” factor. I guess that makes sense. Maybe that has to do with the amount of ice you’ll be scraping.

After local school officials decided to close early one day due to impending bad weather, some Facebook critics were not happy. One wrote, “We need a new super attendant!”

Football was on the mind of one fan, commenting on a coach’s announcement about a lineup change for this fall. “We don’t need a new quarterback,” he wrote. “What we really need is a new couch!” (And while you’re at it, a whole new living room suite.)

After returning from vacation, one commenter wrote, “It rained all the time, so we had to stay in our hotel sweet.” Maybe they had lots of chocolates.

One complaint about an area restaurant mentioned a menu item called an “egg role.” No word on who played the role of the egg.

Another person wrote about attending a movie. “I hardly ever go to the movies,” a friend replied. “Prices are too high at the concussion stand.” That sounds painful, too.

Speaking of food, one Facebook writer said she was on a diet. “I need to curve my appetite,” she wrote. (Actually, that may be what got her in trouble in the first place.)

An invitation to a birthday gathering stated, “He would be honored by your presents.” I’ll bet he would!

One concerned citizen wrote about the need for a “bum shelter.” That’s what my wife calls the room where I watch ball games.

Commenting on a mugshot photo, one man wrote, “No wonder. He looks like a drug attic.”

Of course, it isn’t just an online issue. Outdoor signs can be entertaining too. One fast-food place has a sign that says, “Mangers needed.” Since it was in March, I don’t think this was a Christmas season request.

One popular drive-thru place was offering a real deal according to this sign: “Half-price snakes on Thursday!” Half-price isn’t low enough. You’d have to pay me big bucks to get near one of those!

Another eatery sign offered an apology for some construction going on. It said, “Please bare with us.” Hmmm, what kind of place IS this?

Punctuation used to be required. Now, it’s apparently optional. Like the sign on a door inside a restaurant, which said, “Sorry Employees Only.” I guess the good employees were not allowed to enter that room.

I have a feeling this won’t be my final list of spelling fails and grammatical glitches. Until next time, just grin and bare it, and above all, take it with a grain assault.

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 3dc@epbfi.com.

Community Calendar: April 25, 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.


Tuesday, April 30

Noon – Board of Health

The Trousdale County Board of Health will meet at the Trousdale County Health Department, 541 E. Main Street, to discuss budget presentation and services rendered for 2018.

Tuesday, May 7

6 p.m. – Executive Committee

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Executive Committee will hold its regular monthly meeting in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

7 p.m. – Parks & Recreation Committee

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

Thursday, May 9

6 p.m. – Insurance Committee

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Insurance Committee will meet in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

Monday, May 13

6 p.m. – Board of Zoning Appeals

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Board of Zoning Appeals will meet at the Trousdale County courthouse.

7 p.m. – Planning Commission

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Planning Commission will meet in regular session in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

Tuesday, May 14

6 p.m. – Election Commission

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Election Commission will meet in the office of the Administrator of Elections, 214 Broadway.

Thursday, May 16

6 p.m. – Education Oversight Committee

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Education Oversight Committee will meet in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

Monday, May 20

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, May 23

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, May 28

5 p.m. – Water Board

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

7 p.m. – County Commission

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


School Registration

2019-20 registration event for Trousdale County Schools for ages 3-5 will be held Wednesday, May 15 from 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. at Trousdale County Elementary, 115 Lock Six Road. Register for pre-K, Head Start or kindergarten. Health Fair and FREE physicals also available on site. Make appointment by calling 615-374-0907.

Trustee Day

Williams Chapel Church will be celebrating its Trustee Day on Sunday, April 28. Our 2 p.m. guests will be Pastor Jesse Peters and his congregation from Lily Hill Baptist Church, along with Elder Robert Spickard of Hamilton Chapel Church. Everyone is cordially invited and lunch will be provided.

Community Pregnancy Center Banquet

The Community Pregnancy Center’s second annual banquet will be held on April 29. For details and to make reservations, call 615-374-2229 or email jamiehays80@gmail.com.

UT Extension Book Club

We will be having our About Book club meeting on Wednesday, May 1, from noon-1 p.m. at the UT Extension Office in Gallatin. Selected book of the month is “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein. Our book club is open to everyone and meets every other first Wednesday of the month. For more information, you may call the UT Extension office at 615-452-1423.

100 Men & 100 Women in Black

St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church will be holding its ‘100 Men & 100 Women in Black’ service on Sunday, May 4 at 3 p.m. A powerful word that you do not want to miss! Guest speaker will be Pastor Robert Earl Bell of St. John’s MBC, Hendersonville. For more information, call615-374-9407 or 615-374-4192.

Decoration Day

We would like to warmly invite you to join us for the Green Grove Cemetery’s annual Decoration Day, to be held the weekend of Mother’s Day, beginning Friday, May 10 through Sunday, May 12. Please bring your lawn chairs and plan to join us under the tent, and thank you in advance for your continued support of the maintenance of our community’s cherished cemetery. Monetary donation may be mailed to: Green Grove Cemetery, c/o Karen Clark Luhrs, 2255 Honeysuckle Road, Hartsville, TN 37074.

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

To all veterans, please consider joining the American Legion Post 56 of Trousdale County. We meet at the Ambulance Service office (across from Stagecoach market on Highway 141) at 8 a.m. on the second Saturday each month. We have a good crowd but always need more members to share their service experiences and help the people of Trousdale County. Contact Bill Painter (615-519-5033, billpainter37@yahoo.com) 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.


Thursday, April 25

11:30 a.m. – Blood Pressure by Suncrest

Noon – Birthday/Easter Dinner (theme – Yellow)

Friday, April 26

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, April 29

8-11 a.m. – Health Fair (free screenings; open to public)

Tuesday, April 30

9 a.m. – SAIL Exercise

10 a.m. – Yoga

11:30 a.m. – Current Events by Wilson Bank & Trust

Wednesday, May 1

9 a.m. – Line Dancing

10 a.m. – Walk w/ Ease

11 a.m. – SAIL Chair Exercise

Noon – Rook games

12:30 p.m. – Bible Study

Sheriff’s Reports: April 25, 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.

April 15

Virgle Ray Elmore, 69, of Hartsville, was charged with theft-shoplifting by Deputy David Morgan. Elmore was cited to court and General Sessions court date was set for April 26.

Matthew Layne Johnson, 35, of Hartsville, was charged with public intoxication by Deputy Jesse Gentry. Johnson was released on his own recognizance and General Sessions court date was set for June 14.

Leon Wayne Berry, 64, of Hartsville, was charged with attempted first degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated domestic assault, unlawful possession of weapon by Deputy Tony Wrinkle. Bond was set for $100,000 and General Sessions court date was set for June 14.

April 16

Charles Daniel Armstrong, 32, of Hartsville, was charged with drivers license revoke/suspend/canceled, probation violation by Deputy Wesley Taylor. Bond was set for $2,500 and General Sessions court date was set for April 26.

Thomas Wayne Sullivan, 47, of Hartsville, was charged with probation violation by Deputy Brad Basford. No bond was set and General Sessions court date was set for June 17.

April 17

Jessie Lee Dickens, 49, of Hartsville, was charged with public intoxication by Deputy Jesse Gentry. Bond was set for $1,000 and General Sessions court date was set for June 14.

Linda Michelle Collins, 52, of Hartsville, was charged with domestic assault by Deputy James Pattie. Collins was released on her own recognizance and General Sessions court date was set for April 26.

Wiliam Allen Luman, 61, of Hartsville, was charged with aggravated burglary, aggravated assault by Deputy Jeffery Butcher. No bond was set and General Sessions court date was set for June 14.

April 19

Billy Gene Johnson, 35, of McMinnville, was charged with simple possession by Deputy James Killmon. Johnson was cited to court and General Sessions court date was set for June 14.

Joseph Drew Davis, 25, of Bethpage, was charged with theft-all other larceny by Deuty Chaney Wright. Bond was set for $25,000 and General Sessions court date was set for April 26.

April 21

Donna Marrie Brown, 49, of Hartsville, was charged with theft-all other larceny, theft of property by Deputy Clint Friar. Brown was released on her own recognizance and General Sessions court date was set for April 26.

Jesse Dale Strong, 22, of Clarksville, was charged with drivers license revoke/suspend/canceled by Deputy Wesley Taylor. Bond was set for $1,500 and General Sessions court date was set for May 3.

Scotty Harlen Stokes, 20, of Lebanon, was charged with driving on suspended license by Deputy James Pattie. Stokes was cited to court and General Sessions court date was set for June 14.

Teresa Diane Eden, 55, of Dixon Springs, was charged with worthless check by Deputy Clint Friar. No bond and no General Sessions court date had been set at press time.

Hartsville Community Pregnancy Center to hold fundraising banquet

Hartsville’s Community Pregnancy Center will hold its second annual fundraising banquet on Monday, April 29 beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The banquet will be held at Creekside Fellowship Church, located at 101 Harsh Lane in Castalian Springs. The banquet was held last year at the Hartsville Community Center, but CPC Director Peg Shonebarger said added interest sparked a need for a bigger facility.

“Last year we set places for 96 people, which was wonderful. This year I’m asking the Lord for 200! It’s a good problem to have.”

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette

Shonebarger said the banquet was the CPC’s biggest fundraiser last year, bringing in around $12,000, she estimated.

The doors will open at 6 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. There is no cost to attend but donations are accepted.

The guest speaker will be Marc Hays, who helps design homeschool curriculums and travels across the country speaking to groups.

Anyone interested in attending is asked to contact Jamie Hays as soon as possible to allow for an accurate count. Hays can be reached by phone at 615-374-2229, by text at 615-374-5946 or by email at jamiehays80@gmail.com.

“I want to thank Creekside for providing the venue, Amy Terrell for the catering, Linda Carman for doing the setup and place-settings,” Shonebarger said. “Our servers, volunteers and our table hosts are also key to making this event a success and I want to thank them too.”

The CPC is also planning a Baby Bottle Boomerang to run from Mother’s Day through Father’s Day. Participating churches and businesses can obtain empty baby bottles and return them filled with coins or cash. This brought in around $8,000 last year, Shonebarger said.

“We have several churches that partner with us on this,” she said. “I was amazed at the turnout.”

If a church or business has not been asked but wishes to participate, they can contact the CPC for more information.

The Community Pregnancy Center, located at 783 E. McMurry Blvd., is open Monday through Thursday each week and offers services such as free pregnancy tests, peer counseling, prenatal education, life skills classes and parenting classes. All services provided by the pregnancy center are free to clients.

The center also has a fully stocked baby boutique with diapers, clothing and much more – all donated by members of the community. Clients can obtain ‘points’ to be used in the boutique by participating in various classes.

For more information on the center or on volunteer opportunities, call 615-680-8026 or visit pregnancycenterhartsville.org.

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