Winner announced in BINGO contest


We have a winner!

Betty Rackley of Hartsville picked up a $100 cash prize on Tuesday by turning in a winning entry in The Hartsville Vidette’s first BINGO contest.

The contest has proven to be such a hit that a second round will begin next week with the July 16 edition of The Vidette.

“The BINGO cards that have already run remain valid for Round Two, so don’t throw the old ones out,” said Chris Gregory, managing editor of The Vidette. “We will start running new sets of numbers.”

The rules remain the same:

The Hartsville Vidette will publish five numbers in each week’s issue. The first customer to bring a verified, completed card with a BINGO (horizontal, diagonal or vertical line) to The Vidette office will win $100 in cash. Numbers MUST be cut out of each week’s paper and brought with the card in order to count as a winner.

Winning cards may be brought to The Hartsville Vidette’s office at 206 River St., between 9 a.m.-noon Tuesday-Thursday. Cards brought to the office outside these hours will NOT be accepted.

“Everyone loves BINGO and this is just one of many ways we hope to engage and interact with our readers while offering additional incentives for picking up a copy of The Vidette,” said publisher Jesse Lindsey.

Have fun and good luck!

Hartsville celebrates July 4 in style


Mother Nature proved to be cooperative on Saturday, holding off the rain just long enough to allow Hartsville to celebrate the Fourth of July in style.

The annual ‘Music in the Park’ festivities began at 1 p.m., featuring music, children’s inflatables, a dunking booth, games and more. The event was sponsored by the Trousdale County Band Boosters and by local government.

Food available included barbecue, burgers, hot dogs and grilled pork sandwiches. County Mayor Carroll Carman served watermelon to those in attendance as well.

The annual parade kicked off just after 3 p.m., coming down McMurry Blvd. and continuing onto Broadway.

Parade director Amber Russell provided The Vidette with a list of parade winners. First place went to Cubs Scout Pack 122, with Roy Worley taking second place in his classic Chevrolet. The Red Hat Society took third place. Best commercial float went to Superintendent of Roads Bill Scruggs and the kids’ choice award went to the Sumner County Shriners Clowns.

After the parade, things really picked up in Hartsville City Park.

The cake walk proved a popular destination, while the raffle also raised money for the band with a number of prizes.

Among the prizes given out were Tennessee Titans tickets, Dollywood tickets, gift certificates, custom earrings from Lynx by Mark Morton and a home security system worth an estimated $800.

Live music was also on hand with local groups Worlds Collide and SuperSport playing, followed by the Trousdale County Community Band.

The evening ended with the traditional fireworks display in the skies over Hartsville City Park.

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

Chamber News: Great risk can mean great opportunity


Wherever there is danger, there lurks opportunity; whenever there is opportunity, there lurks danger.

The two are inseparable. They go together.

As Earl Nightingale so eloquently stated, opportunity and danger are very closely related. It is this relationship, which makes a success story beginning with an impossible situation, a game-changer. Although (outside of fairy tales) not all tough situations end with success, it can be said with a high degree of certainty that a tough situation isn’t necessarily as bad as it may seem.

Would Cinderella be as notable a children’s tale if she wasn’t banned from the ball? Would Rocky be an American classic if he were not a struggling, no-name boxer expected to be pummeled by heavyweight champion Apollo Creed?

I’m not a wagering man, but if I were, I would bet the house that those stories would not be as effective if not for the impossible odds the main characters faced.

The takeaway from Earl Nightingale’s words of wisdom and the classic stories of triumph over adversity is this: See the opportunity in the tough situations in front of you.

If nothing else, be motivated by the fact that your success story becomes more powerful with every obstacle you overcome. Find the courage and strength to press on, no matter how high the odds are stacked against you. A small change in perspective can lead to big results.

What challenges do you think our community faces? In what way can these challenges be seen as opportunities for game-changing success, and what are you willing to do to help us overcome these challenges?

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Chamber of Commerce holds this community in high regard. It is our mission to improve the quality of life for the community by encouraging businesses to work together for their collective best interest, as well as facilitating proactive and working partnerships with all levels of government and community organizations.

Special thanks to Steve Sloan for re-joining the Chamber of Commerce. Go check him out at Sloan’s Storage, Plants, and Produce. I bought some local honey there and it is GREAT!

Mark your calendars for these upcoming events:

Trousdale County Fair Fashion Show, 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 13

Trash 2 Treasure, 9 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 15, TCHS Auditorium

Trousdale County Fair, Aug. 13-15, Trousdale County High School

Please remember to visit our website at hartsvilletrousdale.com for more information about the Chamber of Commerce, and also to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Uncle Dave Macon Days return to Murfreesboro


One of America’s premier traditional music festivals, the Uncle Dave Macon Days old-time music and dance festival, will return to Murfreesboro on July 10-12.

The annual celebration takes place in Cannonsburgh, an authentic pioneer village that is home to more than 20 restored log structures. The village is at 312 S. Front St. just off NW Broad Street.

The family oriented event annually draws more than 25,000 people during the three-day run. The Southeast Tourism Society has named the festival as one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast for July.

In 1977, the festival was established first as a two-hour banjo picking on the lawn of the historic Rutherford County Courthouse to honor the memory and times of Uncle Dave Macon. Uncle Dave lived near Murfreesboro in the Kittrell community, and is considered one of the first Grand Ole Opry superstars. A master old-time banjo player and performer, he died in 1952, and was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1966.

A purse of more than $15,000 will be at stake during the highly charged music and dance competitions. Sanctioned in 1986 by the U.S. House of Representatives, the festival is home to the National Old-Time Championships in banjo, clogging and buck-dancing.

Gates open July 10 at 8 a.m. with the Matilda Macon Folk Arts Village, Dave Macon Artisan’s Court and Marketplace. Old-time Music and dance competitions begin at 1 p.m. on the Main Stage and the Dixie Dew Drop Stage. New this year are three featured concerts at sunset: beginning with Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out at 6 p.m., followed by the 2015 Heritage Award Winner, Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys.

The festival continues July 11 with the famed Motorless Parade that travels down historic East Main Street, and ends at Cannonsburgh at 10 a.m. National old-time dance and banjo competitions continue throughout the day. On Saturday evening, the concert at sunset features the Hog Slop String Band, and the Steeldrivers, recipients of the 2015 Trail Blazer Award.

The festival wraps up July 12 with the Gospel Showcase, Wilson Bank and Trust Antique Car Show and Community Service Fair. The festival concludes with a set by Kristina Craig and Exit 148, and the final concert at sunset with Larry Cordell and Lonesome Standard Time.

Gates open July 10-11 at 8 a.m. and July 12 at noon.  Admission is $10 for the general public, children 12 and younger will be free and seniors 55 and up will be $5.  Admission on July 12 is $5.

Other events taking place throughout the festival include heritage activities for children, Dave Macon Marketplace, Matilda Macon Folk Arts Village with demonstrating craftsmen, mouth-watering local concessions, a juried arts and crafts show, living history demonstrations in the blacksmith shop, storytelling and shape-note singing in the chapel, and a historic photo exhibit.

For more information, visit uncledavemacondays.com or email [email protected].

FSA works to complete county mapping


Something new for us this year is the capability of completing an acreage report for any state and/or county along with access to printing their maps. This is a big advantage for our multi-county farmers that had rather report all their acreage in one office. With this in mind, we encourage everyone to call for an appointment to cut down on the waiting time. Maps can also be emailed to our producers in preparation of reporting acreage.

Reporting crops being grown and current land uses keeps your farm eligible for many programs we have to offer, including the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) Programs (Replaced the Direct and Counter Cyclical Program (DCP), Conservation Reserve Program, different types of loan programs, and Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Programs.

Acreage reports are also necessary when disaster programs are in place due to weather related problems including pasture losses. The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) comes into play when the county falls in at least the D2 category of the US Drought Monitor for 8 consecutive weeks. No insurance is required for LFP.

Before the office can make a change regarding adding other producers to a farm, verification must be provided by the owner or operator of the farm. A copy of a written lease or verbal verification is acceptable. So keep in mind, if you have leased a new farm you will need to bring in a copy of your written lease agreement or have the landowner or operator call the office before coming in to complete your acreage report. Producers must be added to the farm before the report can be made.

Crop certifications can be completed by farm operators, farm owners, persons authorized by power-of-attorney, and tenants and sharecroppers on crops they have a share.

We urge everyone to mark your calendars and come by the FSA office by July 15 to get those acreage reports completed. For those who are finished planting, you are urged to come on in now and beat the rush.

Look Back: Steam threshers required men of steel


In the past more people grew their own grain crops, such as wheat or barley, rye and oats. When they did, they would have to “thresh” the crop as a part of the harvest process.

Today, most people simply go to the store and buy their loaves of bread. But in the past people went through the time-consuming labor of growing their own wheat, making their own flour, and then baking their own bread.

And it was a hard job on the frontier, all done by hand and under the hot July and August sun.

In last week’s article we wrote about the early settlers having to grow the wheat, cut the wheat, thresh the wheat by flailing it to separate the chaff, and then taking the wheat to a local mill to be ground into flour. No wonder we get our bread from the store today, it’s a lot easier!

But it wasn’t that long ago when threshing was a part of every farm’s summer routine.

The job of threshing was made easier in the late 1800s when steam-powered threshing machines came on the market.

Even so, the huge iron behemoths were expensive and consequently only a few farmers could afford them. This led to those farmers using their steam-powered machine on their own crop, then taking it to their neighbors to help them with their crop, usually for a share of the crop or for a set amount of money.

The steam thresher would then travel to another field and then another, and so on until everyone in the neighborhood had been visited.

It wasn’t an easy job moving the huge metal monster.

We have an account of one such machine being moved by the McMurtry family of Trousdale County!

Mr. I.C. Pullias grew up in the Payne’s Store community and often helped his neighbors, the McMurtry family. In 1970 he wrote about an incident when he was a child.

“Mr. Sam (McMurtry) was a man of decision…once, about the middle of a hot afternoon in July, Billy or Lewis (his sons) was trying to get through a gate that was too narrow. Mr. Sam had told Mr. Charley that we could not get through the gate easily and maybe not at all, and suggested we “let the fence down,” taking down a section of the wire fence and not to try the gate.

The old machine got stuck between the gate posts.

Mr. Charley came rushing up on his horse, talking loud and long to the boys and pretty soon Mr. Sam arrived and said to Billy, ‘See that wheat field over yonder…take right to it!’

Billy opened the throttle and gave a small toot on the whistle, and the gate posts came out and the eight wagons followed the engine and the box to the next spot. Mr. Charley raised ‘Cain’, but it didn’t do any good.”

It was a real sight to see, with the steam thresher moving under its own power like a train freight engine and followed by wagons and men.

Country boys would delight in the scene before them and because it might take a whole day or two to finish one man’s crop, it was a big event.

Men in the community would help each other and travel with the steam thresher and each farm’s womenfolk would have to prepare lunch for the help. That in itself was quite a scene as ladies cooked chicken or ham, boiled potatoes and corn, simmered green beans and sliced fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, and baked cornbread…not to mention the pies and cakes for dessert.

If it was a two-day job, the men with the thresher would camp right in the field, sleeping with the machine and starting early the second day to try and get ahead of the day’s heat.

Next week we’ll see how the steam thresher was fired up and how every man on the crew had a certain place to stand and a certain job to do!

* A reminder that the Trousdale County Historical Society will meet this coming Saturday, July 11, at 2 p.m. at the public library. Our speaker will be Mr. Jerry Ford, who will speak on his adventurers as a “big-game” hunter around the world!

Vidette, Democrat team up with MTSU students


A class of journalism students from Middle Tennessee State University is coming to town next week to find and tell a few stories.

The students are members of a unique feature-writing class that takes students on the road for three weeks. The Lebanon/Hartsville area will be the first stop for the class members, who are partnering with the Lebanon Democrat and Hartsville Vidette.

“This is what I would call a new wave of journalism instruction, where we take students out of the classroom and put them into the field, in places where they don’t know anyone and probably don’t know the lay of the land,” said MTSU Associate Professor Leon Alligood, who will be leading the students. Alligood, a journalist for 30 years, spent much of his career covering the state for Nashville newspapers.

“While MTSU has students going overseas on study trips each summer, I thought it would be a great idea to go on the road, just never leaving Tennessee,” Alligood added.

“The Hartsville Vidette is excited to have this opportunity,” said Managing Editor Chris Gregory. “This partnership benefits the students, who have a unique opportunity to gain valuable practical experience, as well as The Vidette.”

During their week in the area, the MTSU students will be seen about town and county as they work in teams to tell stories. In addition to writing feature stories, they will also be shooting video, collecting sound and taking still photos. All of the students will wear badges identifying them as members of the MTSU student press.

While the group has already collected a number of stories to report, Alligood said new ideas will be considered. If you have suggestions, e-mail Alligood at [email protected].

“The Road Trip, as the students call the class, is an opportunity for students to be tested in their journalism skills and their ability to work with others toward a common goal,” Alligood noted.

The Road Trip is funded by a grant from the Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies at MTSU.

Saddle Up for St. Jude coming in September

The 10th annual Nashville-area Saddle Up for St. Jude trail ride is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 26, at Long C Trails in Westmoreland. Registration begins at 9 a.m., with the first riders departing at 10 a.m.

Individual riders may register online through St. Jude to accept credit card donations. Additional information about the ride, sponsor sheets, and registration forms are available by calling 615-430-4258 or emailing [email protected].  Advance registration is not required.

Lunch will be served on the trail; barbecue and fixings are donated. A silent auction to raise additional money will be set up at camp in the afternoon. Silent auction items include tack and equine items, gift baskets and gift certificates donated by local businesses, hand-made crafts and more.

Two guided rides, one for less experienced riders or horses, and one for more advanced riders and horses are available, or riders may choose to ride on their own. Ride fee is a minimum $35 donation, though many riders choose to seek sponsors and raise additional money. Riders receive a free t-shirt for participating, and prizes are awarded to those who raise the most money. 

To date, this annual event has raised more than $55,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, which accepts every sick child regardless of the family’s ability to pay. This year’s goal is to raise $15,000.

Long C Trails, located on the Tennessee/Kentucky line, has more than 2,000 acres of trails available to horseback riders, and has scenic hiking trails available as well.  Cabins, campsites, and stalls are available, and reservations for these are strongly recommended. Plenty of trailer parking is available. Current negative Coggins is required.  For additional information about Long C Trails, call 270-618-7500 or visit longctrails.com.

County Commission approves 2015-16 budget


In two meetings earlier this week, the Hartsville/Trousdale County Commission approved its budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

The $6,032,241 budget passed second and third readings during a called session of the Commission on Tuesday night. Commissioners approved the budget by a 18-1 vote, with Wayne Brown voting against. The vote came after a public hearing at which citizens could address the board on the budget.

“When (the mayor) took office, he promised he was going to make cuts,” Brown told The Vidette. “I don’t think a 2-cent property tax cut was enough. We should have had 10-15 cents… There should’ve been cuts in the departments. There haven’t been, so I voted no.”

The Commission passed the budget on first reading during Monday night’s regular meeting. The General Services budget passed 17-1, with Brown voting no and Richard Johnson abstaining because of a conflict of interest. The Urban Services budget passed 18-1, again with Brown voting no.

During Monday’s meeting, the Commission also set tax levies for the upcoming fiscal year. The General Tax Levy was set at $3.10, a 2-cent reduction from the previous year. The Urban Tax Levy remained unchanged at $1.1399.

The Commission also approved on second reading an ordinance creating a County Communications Department, which will be tasked with bringing broadband service to Trousdale County. After the meeting, County Mayor Carroll Carman told The Vidette that funding for the department would be addressed at July’s Commission meeting.

The Commission also approved:

A resolution authorizing the Sheriff’s Department to receive the donation of a boat. The donation is coming from the Wilson County sheriff’s office.

Resolutions providing funding for the Chamber of Commerce and Mid-Cumberland Human Resource Agency;

A resolution certifying that Trousdale County was in compliance with federal civil rights laws;

A resolution authorizing application for a $272,000 Fast Track Infrastructure grant. The money is already in hand and will be used for improvements at the PowerCom industrial site, where ARC Automotive is currently working on its facility.

A resolution to commit future tax dollars to the school system. This request came from the School Board, which is funding just over $48,000 in salary equalization itself in the upcoming year. The board had requested the county commit to funding the raises in future years.

Nominations of Bubba Gregory, Richard Johnson and Johnny Kerr to the Urban Services Council;

Nominations of Mary Beth Hoffman, Martha Joe Jewell and Grace Moreland to the Library Board.

In his mayor’s report, Carman addressed work being done and soon to begin on the old Bank of Hartsville building and the Co-op building.

Carman said he was “disappointed” to report that the county had not received a corridor study grant from TDOT. This was a necessary first step toward allowing the county to eventually improve sidewalks in the downtown area.

Carman said there was a meeting scheduled with TDOT in the near future and that the state’s decision not to allow the grant could be revisited.

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

Hartsville readies for July 4 holiday


Saturday will be a big day in Hartsville as folks turn out to celebrate Independence Day.

The annual Fourth of July parade will begin at 3 p.m., starting down McMurry Blvd. and turning onto Broadway. The lineup will also be posted down Andrews Ave.

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

Russell also offered some parade tips:

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

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

Drivers be mindful and watch for children down parade route

Candy is permitted to be thrown

Lights are permitted

Sirens may be used

If there is an emergency during parade, please call 615-680-4799

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

The daylong celebration of America’s 239th birthday will begin with Music in the Park at 1 p.m. at the City Park Stage.

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

The cake walk will begin at 5 p.m. An auction will also be held, but a definitive time had not been set as of press time.

The Community Band will play starting at 8:30 p.m. on the City Park Stage, followed by the fireworks show at sundown (around 9 p.m.).

The parade lineup is as follows:

TCPD (1)

Color guard (2)

Master of ceremony (3)

Mayor Carman (4)

W. Burnley (5)

W. Burnley #2 (6)

Hartsville band (7-10)

Phillip Snow (11)

Hoffman auction (12)

Red Hat Society (13)

American Legion (14-15)

Pig Pen (16)

Cole Haley (17)

HTCFD (18-23)

Lisa Blair (24)

Reagan Petty (25)

Chamber of Commerce (26-27)

Sumner Co. Shriners (min mart pkg)

Superintendent of Roads (28)

Cub Scouts 122 (29)

Old Time Express (30-33)

Fairest of the Fair (34)

Prom Queen/King (35)

Miss and Jr. Miss Trousdale (36)

VFW (37-38)

Southern Dixie Dolls (39-40)

Seed’s Classic Crew (41-60)

Opinion: Fix ObamaCare, stop fighting it


Last Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in King v. Burwell, the justices’ second case dealing with the Affordable Care Act – better known as ObamaCare.

In a 6-3 ruling, the justices upheld the constitutionality of subsidies on the federal exchange, healthcare.gov. For those who haven’t followed the case, the question hinged on a section in the law allowing the federal government to offer subsidies to taxpayers who purchase insurance on an exchange “established by the State.”

The conservative argument for striking down federal subsidies was that only an exchange run by a state could receive subsidies. Currently 34 states, including Tennessee, relay on the federal exchange, where an estimated 6.4 million people nationally receive subsidies on insurance.

In the aftermath of the SCOTUS ruling, there have been both the expected celebrations from the left and the expected wailing and gnashing of teeth from the right.

Our own Congressman, Diane Black, stated in a press release “my resolve to erase Obamacare remains stronger than ever.”

A number of other Republicans have also stated plans to increase their efforts to overturn a law they don’t agree with and didn’t vote for. There have been over 60 votes in Congress to repeal the law – meaningless votes since President Obama is in office and will be until January 20, 2017.

But whatever your feelings about ObamaCare, it’s the law of the land. The Supreme Court has now said so twice.

To our elected officials, I say this: stop wasting your time and our tax dollars trying to repeal ObamaCare. It’s here and based on two rulings from the nine justices, it’s going to stay here.

Is it a perfect law? Certainly not. Are there ways that the law could be improved? Absolutely.

So how about you, our representatives, work on improving what is already in place instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater?

ObamaCare may be a divisive issue and may always be. But that doesn’t mean we can’t put our collective heads together and find workable solutions. So get to it!

Delinquent tax sale nets nearly $260,000


Trousdale County’s first delinquent tax sale in five years appears to have been a booming success.

Twelve properties were sold in all at the June 11 sale for a total of $256,033.06, according to records from the office of Clerk and Master Shelly Jones. The amount of back taxes owed on the properties totaled $127,173.18, according to the same records.

“We were glad that all the properties sold,” County Mayor Carroll Carman said. “We had very lively bidders, and because there was a good crowd, the sale went very well. It brought many more thousands of dollars than I thought it would collectively bring. I was abundantly pleased.”

The county picked up two of the properties that were not bid upon, totaling $4,358.45 in back taxes.

Although the properties were sold, the county doesn’t get the proceeds from the sale just yet. Under state law, the former owners have one year to redeem the property by paying the original amount of back taxes owed. The bidders’ money is held in escrow until the deadline has passed. If a property is redeemed, the bidder will get their money back.

Carman also estimated there were around 10 additional properties that would be sold at another tax sale. The mayor said that sale could take place in 90-120 days.

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

New insurance law takes effect in Tennessee


The penalty for not having car insurance is about to get more severe.

A new law that went into effect on July 1 means drivers in the state caught without insurance could have their car towed and have the current fine tripled.

According to a recent study, more than 1 in 5 motorists in the state did not have car insurance in 2012. That was the sixth highest rate in the country.

In short, the law will:

Raise the misdemeanor fine for violating Tennessee’s financial responsibility (proof of insurance) law from $100 to $300.

Authorize the creation of a statewide insurance verification program that would track down uninsured drivers through their vehicle registrations. Fine revenue, estimated at $2.8 million, would help finance the program, which would be developed and managed by the Tennessee Department of Revenue. The program would follow the Insurance Industry Committee on Motor Vehicle Administration’s tracking model and would not be implemented before Jan. 1, 2017.

Create a rising schedule of fines on drivers determined to be uninsured through the verification program. The maximum penalty would be suspension of their registrations and seizure of their tags, with a $300 reinstatement fee.

Give police departments the discretion to tow the vehicles of drivers cited for violation of the financial responsibility law.

“We don’t want to leave people stranded on the street with no way to get home,” Rep. Mark Pody said. “That’s not the intention. But we do want to raise the seriousness of (driving without insurance).”

Tennessee passed a liability insurance law in 1977 that requires all drivers to carry minimum levels of liability, including $25,000 for one injury or death, $50,000 for all injuries or death and $15,000 for property damage.

The penalty for violating the law was $100 – until now. Also, violators now might need to find a ride home.

Pody says because he sells insurance, he did not vote on the bill. He did say, however, he thinks insurance rates could drop because of fewer uninsured motorists on the road.

The bill that became law is named after James Lee Atwood, Jr., of Memphis. Last July, an uninsured driver killed the man in an accident in Memphis.

Police pulled over 24-year-old Roderick Maggett earlier that day and cited him for driving without proof of insurance. Without the authority to detain Maggett or his vehicle, officers let him drive off. Seven hours later, he crashed into Atwood and killed him – while still driving without insurance.

Practice safety with holiday fireworks


Fireworks and the Fourth of July can be a dangerous mix. Doctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center urge caution with consumer fireworks and suggest leaving these displays to the experts.

Vanderbilt doctors annually treat burns and eye injuries and even see patients with hearing loss due to fireworks usage.

A 12-year-old boy from South Nashville even died over the weekend from injuries sustained when a firework exploded in his hand.

“Fireworks are explosives and need to be treated as such,” said Corey Slovis, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine.

The three most common types of fireworks that keep hospital emergency departments busy during this holiday period are bottle rockets, firecrackers and sparklers.

Many assume sparklers are a safer alternative but they can burn at approximately 2,000 degrees, hot enough to cause third-degree burns.

According to a study by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), eight people died and an estimated 11,400 people were hurt while handling fireworks in the year 2013. The study found that 65 percent of fireworks injuries happen within the 30-day period leading up to the July 4th holiday, and one in four children who suffered firework-related injuries were bystanders in backyard fireworks displays.

Fireworks safety tips:

• Always read and follow all warnings and label instructions.

• Never allow children to play with or light fireworks.

• The adult lighting the fireworks should always wear eye protection. No one should ever have any part of their body over the fireworks.

• Use fireworks outdoors only.

• Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.

• Always have water handy (a garden hose and a bucket) in case of fire.

• Light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, and keep away from dry leaves and other flammable materials.

• Light only one firework at a time.

• Never throw or point fireworks at other people or animals.

• Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.

• Never relight a dud firework. Soak them with water and throw them away.

• Dispose of fireworks by soaking them in water and then putting them in the trash.

Chamber News: Remember sacrifices that helped make America


Summer fun and fireworks! This time of year is worthy of celebration, and that’s exactly what we do all across the nation on Independence Day.

It’s the time of year when we celebrate the happenings of July 4, 1776. The day our country’s Declaration of Independence was signed.

As I sit playing guitar on the steps of my front porch, watching my wife and young son catch fireflies in the fading sunlight, I hear fireworks and I wonder what life must have been like for those who paved the way for us to enjoy these wonderful evenings.

Although we can’t know exactly what life was like for those that paved the way for us, one thing we do know for sure is that those 56 men who signed that declaration had to be willing to die for what they believed.

Signing their name to that document in defiance of the British king meant that they each could, and would be sought out and killed if things did not go their way. Of course we all know how the story ends, and looking back we know they did the right thing.

However, just imagine what it must have been like to not know. Think about the courage it would have taken to sign that document. I dare say I would have had what it takes to sign my life away under those circumstances.

Reflecting on the sacrifices that those men made brings new meaning to the annual celebratory festivities. Those men faithfully believed in the idea that if they stood together, they could break free from British rule and create their own way of life.

With this in mind as we participate in the Independence Day festivities, let’s think about the small steps we can take to honor what those men started, and so many after them have laid down their lives to keep.

Each community no matter how small makes up a portion of what was created on that Fourth of July, so lets remember to take pride in our community. Let’s think about what we can do to add value to our corner of this great country, which was established on July 4, 1776 by a group of courageous individuals.

Remember: If you are interested in learning a little history about our community, check out the Tourism link on our website (hartsvilletrousdale.com). You can get information on the Civil War driving tour in Hartsville as well as additional information about the stops.

Mark your calendars for these upcoming events:

Fourth of July Festivities – All day events, Saturday, July 4, City Park

Chamber of Commerce Members Meeting, Tuesday, July 7, Noon, Heritage Café

Trousdale County Fair Fashion Show, Thursday, Aug. 13, 5:30 p.m.

Trash 2 Treasure, Saturday, Aug. 15, 9 a.m., TCHS Auditorium

Trousdale County Fair, Aug. 13-15, Trousdale County High School

Please remember to visit our website at hartsvilletrousdale.com for more information about the Chamber of Commerce, and also to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Look Back: Farm life was around-the-clock operation


If you were a pioneer in the early days, you would have had to pretty much “fend fer yerself.” That is, you had to provide all the food and shelter your family needed. You certainly didn’t drive your car down to the local Walmart to go shopping!

If you were a decent shot with a long rifle you could kill wild game, such as the occasional bear. There were no vegetable gardens waiting for them on the frontier.

As we have written before, as soon as a temporary shelter was put up, the first thing a settler planted was a crop of corn. Why? Because corn was the bread of the frontier!

Not only could you eat corn as a vegetable, you could grind it into meal for cornpone, and the dried ears were feed for your barnyard animals.

But as time went on, and people were able to clear more land and plant larger fields for crops, other vegetables and grains were planted.

As our own summer progresses, you may still see fields of wheat, oats, buckwheat, or rye in the countryside. Those were common crops in the past and they would be harvested by hand using a scythe.

A scythe had a curved blade on a long wooden handle. The farmer doing the cutting would have to stop at regular intervals and hone the blade on the scythe to keep it sharp.

But the hardest part was still ahead.  

The cut wheat had to be threshed!

That is, the grain had to be separated from the stalk.

And it was hard, time-consuming work. It is estimated that it took an hour for one man to thresh one bushel of grain! In fact, the rural farmer spent one-fourth of his time on the farm, just threshing his grain crops!

If you have seen old movies of people in Biblical times threshing, you have an idea of how arduous it was. The cut grain had to be flailed, or hit with an instrument called a flail that would break the grain from the stalk.

After flailing, the farmer would have a pile of grain, stalk, and chaff. The chaff was the outer covering of the grain.

This was when the farmer would toss the pile before him into the air and let the breeze blow the lighter chaff away, leaving the heavier grain.

That is exactly what the pioneers did, just as people had done for several thousand years.

After separating the grain and the chaff, the stem of the plant was also left over. But it wasn’t considered waste… it was a useful byproduct!

The stem of the grain crop was called “straw” and could be used in several ways. Since cows and horses didn’t eat straw, it was used in the stalls of barns to form bedding for those animals. It could be woven into baskets, and mixed with plaster to cover walls.

But the most interesting use for straw was to stuff into large linen sacks for human bedding… mattresses!

At threshing time people would gather at the field to collect armloads of fresh straw to stuff into their mattresses. It was common for people to have a feather mattress on top of their straw mattress in winter months because the feather mattress kept in their body heat and made for a warm night’s sleep. But in the spring the feather mattresses were taken up to the attic and hung up for the summer and people would sleep on just their straw bed!

And once a year, during threshing time, the old straw was thrown out and fresh straw stuffed in!

Key United Methodist has new pastor


Key United Methodist Church is pleased to welcome a new pastor in the Rev. Diantha S. McLeod.

Rev. McLeod received a Bachelor of Theology degree in Theology from The American Baptist Theological Seminary College in 1996, also minoring in Social Science. Rev. McLeod answered the call to ministry in 1991 and in 2003, she received a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University.

Rev. McLeod received her certificate as a Licensed Local Pastor in June 2015 and was appointed as the pastor of Key United Methodist Church in Hartsville. Her call is ministering healing to those who are hurting.

Rev. McLeod is the Founder and Executive Director of Healing Broken Vessels, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides educational services for women that uplift, equip and empower women in Wilson County. She has a heart for hurting people and believes that Jesus saves, heals, and delivers. She is also a Career Coach with the Nashville Career Advancement Center.

Rev. McLeod is married to Minister Robert McLeod. She has two adult sons, Brad and Derrick, and five grandchildren. Rev. McLeod is a native of Nashville and currently resides in Lebanon.

The congregation welcomes Rev. McLeod and her family to Key United Methodist Church and the Hartsville Community. Everyone is welcome to join us at Key UMC for worship each Sunday at 9 a.m.

Guest View: Unplanned pregnancy? Help is available


Imagine yourself as a teenager, 15 years old, on summer vacation, spending time home alone while your parents are at work.

What are you going to do to fill your time? Sleep most of the day away, watch TV, text friends, play video games, maybe get together with some other friends.

What are you going to do with your other friends? It’s hot outside. You might go riding (horseback, ATV, dirt bike, boat), or you might go swimming at the lake, your own pool, or a community pool.

You hang out at one of the food places for a while, then you head back home or to a friend’s house without parent supervision. Or to the “cool parents’ house” – the one that gives you alcohol and lets you drink, smoke, and do whatever you want as long as you do it at their house and not somewhere else. (Of course YOUR parents don’t know this is happening.)

You lose your sense of right and wrong somewhere along the way, and do something that you regret later. You try to ignore it for a while, remembering that it happened every few days, but trying to block it out of your memory.

A few weeks go by, and you start to really get worried. Something isn’t right, and deep down you know, but you don’t want to know, so you avoid thinking about it. A few more days go by, and you tell your best friend what happened. (They’ll know what to do, right? Maybe.)

You don’t want to tell your parents – they might be disappointed in you. (Maybe, but they will understand, and they will want to be there for you.) You can’t tell your pastor – you’re supposed to be “perfect” in church, right? (No, nobody is perfect, and your pastor can direct you in the right direction, one of which should be to the Pregnancy Help Center.)

You may think there is only one option for you, and you have to make that choice right away. If so, you’re wrong. You have time, and you have options. Your life isn’t over, and you aren’t alone. First step? The Pregnancy Help Center.

Why go to the Pregnancy Help Center of Smith County? We have free pregnancy tests to determine if you are pregnant. We have a mobile ultrasound RV unit that comes to the Walmart parking lot twice a month to verify the viability of the pregnancy.

We have life resources to educate you on the options available to you before you make your decision, and we can help you talk to your parents about the choice you want to make. We have resources to prepare you for what will be happening in the next few years, and we will be with you 100 percent of the way if you want.

All of our services are free and confidential, and transportation may be available. We are located at 108 College Ave W., Carthage. Our mailing address is PO Box 244, Carthage, TN 37030.

You may visit us Mondays from 1-5 p.m., Wednesdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., or Saturdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. You may call to schedule an appointment at 615-281-8054, or walk-in appointments are welcome up to an hour before closing.

We welcome anyone who may be experiencing a pregnancy-related issue, whether child, teen, or older, single, married, or other, regardless of income, without discrimination of any kind.

We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Christ-centered organization which relies on the generous donation of businesses, churches, organizations, and individuals for everything that we do.

Please follow us on Facebook, and click the contact button to sign up for our monthly email newsletter. You may also email [email protected]. Prayers and donations are always welcome.

Providence Church to host ex-Muslim pastor


Providence Church will welcome a Pakistan-born pastor later this month to share his message of faith.

Pastor Mujahid El Masih, who hails from Pakistan, will be speaking on Friday, July 10 and Saturday, July 11 at 7 p.m. and also Sunday, July 12 at 10:50 a.m. at the Providence Church, located between Lebanon and Hartsville.

Pastor Masih will share his story how an encounter with Jesus Christ brought him out of Islam. He will also help people understand the Muslim religion and explain ways Christians can reach out to Muslims.

Many people think Muslims are closed to the Christian Gospel but the greatest revival in the world is taking place in Iran, where thousands are turning to Jesus Christ. Muslims in other nations of the Middle East are also becoming followers of Jesus Christ. There is even a report of an ISIS soldier becoming a Christian.

Pastor Masih will also share numerous stories of Muslims converting to the Christian faith in areas where he has traveled.

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear Pastor Masih, a man subject to death if he were to return to Pakistan. He is in this area as a representative of Voice of the Martyrs.

Providence Church is located at 20 Providence Road, just off Highway 141 (Hartsville Pike). For more information, call Pierce Dodson at 615-449-6235 or Scott Nesbitt at 615-774-3401.

Water Department offers online bill pay


The ability to pay bills online has gone from a convenience to almost a necessity for many businesses these days.

The Hartsville/Trousdale Water & Sewer District is set to add an online option for customers to pay their utility bills, beginning July 1.

The Water District has partnered with NexBillPay, a third party automated service. Customers will be able to pay online at hartsvillewater.com either with a check, debit card, or credit card. The online payment option will be available 24/7.

To pay online, customers will need the following information:

Their customer account number (located on the billing statement);

The balance owed on bill (also on billing statement);

Their payment method (check, debit card, credit card).

NexBillPay will charge a small service fee for each online transaction processed. According to company officials, the service charge will be displayed before a customer’s payment is accepted.

For more information, contact the Water Department at 615-374-3484.

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