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Crowder announces re-election as County Clerk

 

Rita Crowder is officially announcing her candidacy for re-election of Trousdale County clerk.

“It has been a great honor and blessing to serve as your county clerk for the past eight years,” said Crowder. “I truly enjoy this position. I have also been very fortunate to have Candice Hall as my deputy clerk. She does a great job and is an asset to this office.

“I, along with Shelly Jones, Mary Holder, Kay Celsor and Dewayne Byrd, continue our yearly training for our Certified Public Official Certification. This training is beneficial to each of our offices.”

Crowder added that her office upgraded their software in 2012 to allow them to process most titles in their office, which “speeds the registration process for customers.”

Renewals and marriage licenses are also processed “faster than in the past.”

Crowder’s office also handles hunting and fishing licenses, boat registrations, notary applications, manufactured housing decals and now, initial business licenses.

“This has changed quite a bit in the past years,” said Crowder. “The downside to this, is that you can no longer file your return locally. It has to be filed online with the Tennessee Department of Revenue.”

Crowder has been married to her husband, Phillip, for 29 years; and has twin daughters, Molly Crowder and Jenny (Brandon) Hutcherson.

Crowder’s office hours are Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., and most Saturdays from 8 a.m. until noon. To reach her office, call 615-374-2906 for assistance.

“Please let me take this opportunity to ask for your vote on Aug. 7,” Crowder added. “I would greatly appreciate your vote and continued support.”

Managing Editor Marie Corhern can be reached at 615-374-3556 or email [email protected].

Time to get dirty

 

While the weather might have kept some teams at home May 10, many regular teams came out for the annual Glenda Fisher Mud Volleyball Tournament. Valerie Towns added that there were many new faces that joined in this year, and everyone seemed to be having a good time. The tournament has helped raised over $30,000 for local scholarships over the past 10 years. Hooterville Cheap Shots’ Tyler Bergdoff taps the ball over the net while Old School’s Kaleb Holland tries to defend the shot. Michael Ford tries to spike the ball out of foul territory. Brooke Shoulders and Moose Moran find nothing but mud as they try to keep the ball alive.

Festival looking for local artists

 

Mrs. Bridgewater’s Chicken Extravaganza, a celebration of all that is chicken, is set for Saturday, May 17, in the little town of Dixon Springs.

The festival, which showcases chickens, is an annual event sponsored by the Dixon Springs Preservation Association and honors one of the town’s most prestigious citizens, Mrs. Nannie Burford Bridgewater who was a world renowned breeder of Buff Orpington chickens. 

This year, in addition to a chicken show and judging, a barbecue lunch, antiques, a quilt show, and live music, there will be booths for local artists and craftsmen.

If you are a talented area artist or craftsperson, and would like to rent space for the day’s events, the Extravaganza’s organizers are looking for you! Contact booth coordinators John Oliver at 633-4717 or Loretta Ewing at 688-8853.

USDA sets date for soybean request for referendum

 

USDA will offer soybean producers the opportunity to request a referendum on the Soybean Promotion and Research Order (Order), as authorized under the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act (Act). 

Soybean producers who are interested in having a referendum to determine whether to continue the Soybean Checkoff Program are invited to participate. To be eligible to participate, producers must certify and provide documentation that shows that they produced soybeans and paid an assessment on the soybeans during the period of Jan. 1, 2012, through Dec. 31, 2013. 

Producers may obtain a form by mail, fax or in person from FSA county offices starting on May 5-30. 

Forms are also available on the AMS website. Producers who don’t participate in FSA programs can still request a referendum at the FSA county office where they own or rent land. 

Completed forms and supporting documentation must be returned to the appropriate FSA county office by fax or in person no later than close of business May 30. 

If returned by mail, it must be postmarked by midnight May 30, and received in the office by close of business on June 5. 

Notice of the Request for Referendum was published in the March 4, Federal Register. 

For more information, visit the AMS website or contact James Brow, Research and Promotions Branch; Livestock, Poultry and Seed Program, AMS, USDA; STOP 0251 – Room 2610-S; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW; Washington, D.C. 20250-0251; tel. (202) 720-0633. 

Learning about fire safety

 

Hartsville Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Mark Beeler stopped by April 24 to help Daisy and Brownie Girl Scout Troop #1242 with their first aid badge. While he was there, he demonstrated some of the equipment that a firefighter will use while fighting fires, and discuss how the scouts could help their families stay safe. Natalie Anderson and Braylee Potts model some of the firefighter’s gear for fellow scouts.

Chamber goes on a field trip

 

Our May Chamber of Commerce meeting will be held at the Do Re Mi Gospel Music Academy and River Retreat on Tuesday, May 6, at 11:30 a.m. 

The fine folks at Do Re Mi will give us a tour and provide information on their programs and facilities. Lunch will be available for $6. 

To find the Do Re Mi location head out of town on Church Street, it becomes River Street/TN-141, drive for approximately three miles and stay straight to go onto Cedar Bluff Road (leaving TN-141). The Academy and Retreat are located at 275 Cedar Bluff Road on the left. 

Maps and directions will be available at local businesses for your convenience. Please join us – all Chamber of Commerce meetings are open to the public!

The annual Chicken Extravaganza will be held in Dixon Springs on May 17 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

The event features a barbecue lunch, chicken show, chicken races, chicken calling contest, chicken judging, live music, antiques, vendors, arts and crafts booths, a quilt display, chicken art and a display of wrought iron art by the Hensley family of Dixon Springs. Don’t miss this fun-filled event!

Make plans to honor all veterans by attending the Memorial Day Service sponsored by the Hartsville American Legion and VFW on Sunday, May 25, beginning at 2 p.m. 

The 600 veterans in Trousdale County invite you for a memorial program at the Wall and Gazebo followed by a stop at the Depot Museum at 3 p.m. for additional historical information. For more information contact Amber Russell at 615-680-4799.

Clean out the closets and the garage and the storage unit! The Chamber of Commerce will be sponsoring a city-wide Garage Sale on Saturday, May 31, from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. The event will be held at the TCHS parking lot and is free of charge. 

Anyone is welcome to set up for the garage sale in the TCHS parking lot and sell their extra “stuff.” It’s free and we hope to have a great turnout and make this annual event. 

The parking lot offers easy access and great visibility for prospective shoppers. For more information contact the chamber at 615-374-9243 or [email protected].

The annual Strawberry Patch Barn Sale will be held May 1-3 at Starlite Farm, 1272 Starlite Road. Hours are 5 – 8 p.m. on May 1, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on May 2, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on May 3.

Chamber members renewing their memberships include: Citizens Bank; Greg Dugdale Properties; Patricia Langford; William B. Hughes; Tommy Thompson;

Key UMC Learning Center, Betty Payne; Hartsville Goodyear; LaQuesadilla Mexican Restaurant, LLC; Hartsville Dental Care; Diamond 1 Plumbing;

Kathy Atwood, Trousdale County Schools; Lonnie Taylor; Angie Hibdon-Johnson; Sharon Linville; Donoho, Taylor & Taylor; Mueller Industries; Dwayne Byrd; and Anthony Funeral Home

What is in a name?

 

The first Saturday in June is also the date for the annual Trousdale County High School Reunion. This is a reunion for all classes that have graduated from the school.

With that in mind, our topic this month will be Trousdale County High School with a specific emphasis on the history of the TCHS yearbook, “The Stepping Stone.”

The Historical Society has been working to acquire a complete collection of TCHS yearbooks, dating from the first in 1923 to the most recent. It is no easy task! We are also trying to get a complete collection of yearbooks from the old Ward School, “The Reflector.”

But, let’s start by reviewing the history of the school itself because it has not always been called Trousdale County High School!

The first schools in what is now Trousdale County were small subscription schools. In a subscription school, the student paid the teacher directly for a session of several months. The schools were located here and there around the county, usually in a small church building since it would be vacant during the week.

We have records of a subscription school on Pumpkin Branch in 1805, the earliest date we can verify. That school had a session of five months. In 1810 the community of Cato, on Dixon Creek, had a school that used the log church building of the Baptist congregation and the Baptist minister, Elder John Wiseman, was also the teacher.

If there was a subscription school for the children of Hartsville, we are unaware of it. The earliest date for a school in town was in 1838 when parents got together and chartered a school for the young men of town. That school was known at the “Male Academy.”

In 1856, the female population of the town finally got some recognition as parents got together and founded the “Hartsville Female Institute.” The two schools, like the rural subscription schools, charged the students for their education. There was no “free public education” back then.

Tradition tells us that the Female Institute and the Male Academy met together during the Civil War. We do know that the principal of the Female Institute resigned to “go fight,” leaving the school to find a replacement. Perhaps other teachers also left, forcing the two schools to consolidate.

Old advertisements show that in 1873, the schools both were advertised separately. But, in 1875 the Gallatin newspaper advertised, “Masonic Male and Female Institute, Hartsville, Tenn. Fall Term Commences Monday, Aug. 30, 1875.”

Both schools had been having financial problems. Indeed, the whole state was feeling the effects of losing the war and money for expensive private schooling was scarce. Attempts at public schooling had been unsuccessful.

So, in 1875 the local Masonic Lodge had stepped in and taken over the management and property of the respective schools and created the “Hartsville Male and Female Institute.” 

That name lasted until fate stepped in. The school, which was using the buildings of the former Female Institute, burned to the ground. A new school had to be built and when it was completed, there was also a new name. In 1879 it took on the name “the Hartsville Masonic Institute.”

By the early 1900s, the county was building and maintaining one room schools for the rural areas, but there was no school for the people in town other than the Masonic Institute. The state of Tennessee was now requiring counties and towns to provide free public education.

In 1905, the Masonic Lodge offered their facilities to the town for $100 a year. By 1910 the county stopped renting the buildings and assumed ownership of the school and the name was changed to “Hartsville Academy.” The graduating class that year had nine students!

“Academy” and “Institute” were old fashioned sounding names and in 1916 the school was changed to “Trousdale County High School,” the name we know it by today. However, it would take a move across town to a new location and several more years before the school was large enough to have its first yearbook!

Family Fun Night

 

Trousdale County Relay for Life team Gallatin Women’s Center hosted a Family Fun Night May 2 at Trey Park. The event had several activities for the whole family like corn hole tournaments, obstacle races and inflatables for the kids.

Commissioners sign contract with CCA

 

It was a heavy agenda and the swearing in of a new commissioner, but most attendees were there to see the result of the CCA/Trousdale County contract Monday night.

Trousdale County Commissioners were presented with two contracts concerning the new prison. One was an agreement with the state of Tennessee to operate a prison in Trousdale, that would be called the Trousdale County Correction Facility. The other was a management contract with CCA (Corrections Corporation of America) and Trousdale County.

“Management contract steps in for Trousdale County,” said County Attorney Betty Lou Taylor. “It does the hiring, the firing, making sure there is insurance, staffing, medical and whatever needs to be done, they are there to do it. 

“They are to humanify Trousdale County. If anything goes wrong, they [CCA] have to stand behind us because they humanify us.”

Taylor added of the two contracts, the management agreement with CCA was the important one to her since the county is small and would struggle to “operate a facility that big.”

She also offered her opinion to any commissioners that might be waiving.

“I have heard a lot of talk about people saying, ‘Surely we could get something better than a prison?’ There is nothing around here right now since they took the sewing factories away and we don’t have car dealerships anymore, so we had to go broader. 

“Our commission and citizens around here have looked and looked for industry. We don’t have good access…including countywide internet. Still the prison wanted us, and to me, if you approve this, this is going to the greatest day in Trousdale County history.”

Taylor continued, “You don’t have to like the product, but I hope you do, because their prisons are run excellently. Keep in mind our tax rate, which everybody is always complaining about the tax rate, especially me, this is going to solve that problem.

“I wouldn’t embarrass myself or my family by standing up here and asking you to ‘pass’ on this, because we aren’t going to get another opportunity like this. If we don’t take it, Smith County will.”

Commissioner John Oliver of District 2 added, “I have lived in Trousdale County for 40 years, and I’m probably one of the oldest people on the commission. Every time we have an election for commissioners, they always run on the platform that they are going to bring jobs to our county or bring growth to Trousdale County. 

“All we have basically done is lose jobs and industries. This is finally a good opportunity for us, and I’m all for it partially since it is in my district.” 

Oliver also added, “I will say that I had a few people come to complain to me because they didn’t want to live next to a prison, but I told them, ‘If we don’t approve this, they can go two miles down the road to Smith County. You will still live next to a prison, but we won’t get a dime of it.’ It makes all the sense in the world to approve this tonight.”

With 17 commissioners present, Robert Thurman joining in via teleconference and James Chambers and Mark White absent, the commission approved both the contract with the Tennessee Department of Corrections and CCA.

 

New Business:

The following items were also up for vote by the commissioners:

• The commission sworn-in Andy Jellison for the District 6 after voting unanimously for his nomination. Former Commissioner Tammy Jackson stepped down last month since she had moved into another district.

• Ordinance 99-2014-6 to amend Article II, Section 2.020 and Article V, Section 5.044 thru 5.046 of the zoning resolution to provide essential services was approved for second reading. The motion was made by District 10 Commissioner Wayne Brown, and seconded by District 1 Commissioner David Nollner.

• Ordinance 100-2014-7 to amend Article 7.060 of the zoning resolution of Trousdale County and and Article VI, Section 6.060 of the zoning resolution of Hartsville to add language for utility lots was approved for second reading. The motion was made by Nollner and seconded by District 4 Commissioner Don Coker.

• Ordinance 101-2014-8 to amend Article IV and Article V, Sections 5.041 thru 5.046 of the zoning resolution of Trousdale County and Article V, Sections 5.041 thru 5.071 of the zoning ordinance of Hartsville to establish standards for telecommunications antennas, towers, etc., was approved for second reading. Motion was made by Nollner, and seconded by District 8 Commissioner Bubba Gregory.

• Ordinance 102-2014-9 to amend sections of the Hartsville/Trousdale County Metropolitan Government personnel policies concerning travel expenses and new hires was approved for second reading. Motion was made by Brown, and seconded by District 7 Commissioner James McDonald.

• Resolution 2014-14-343 to add three road names to the official road name list to assist emergency workers. The roads will not be maintained by the county. The roads Meadow Lane (Walnut Grove Road), Clift Lane (Puryears Bend Road), and Inman Lane (Highway 10) was approved. Motion was made by District 6 Commissioner Carol Pruitt, and seconded by Oliver.

• Resolution 2014-15-344 to authorize the county mayor to award bids for capital projects and equipment for General Services, Urban Services, Solid Waste and Ambulance Service Departments after the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office wanted a more clarified chain of command of items and projects over $10,000 was approved. Motion was made by District 10 Commissioner Steve Burrow, and seconded by Oliver.

• Resolution 2014-16-345 to authorize the Public Works director to proceed with site development, planning and bids using a compactor system at the convenience center was approved. Motion was made by Nollner, and seconded by District 7 Commissioner Freddie Banks. Chairman Mark Beeler added that with this approval, Clift Sallee could begin the process of adding a compactor to next year’s department budget.

• Resolution 2014-17-346 to set the holiday closing schedule for the convenience center for Jan. 1, July 4, Thanksgiving Day and Dec. 25 was approved. Beeler added that the commission asks Sallee to revisit this in a year to see if solid waste department might need to follow the county employees holiday schedule in the future if the center is not being used on other holidays. Motion was made by Pruitt, and seconded by District 9 Commissioner Richard R. Johnson.

• The commission approved a resolution to increase the pay of future commissioners to $50 instead of $20 for commission meetings; $20 instead of $10 for committee meetings; and if a commissioner is serving as chairman, additional $50. The pay would not start until Sept. 1, 2014. Motion was made by Burrow, and seconded by Nollner. Brown did ask for a roll call vote, but Beeler said since no money was being spent tonight, commissioners would be doing a roll call vote on this matter during the budget hearings in June.

• Resolution 2014-18-347 allows Trousdale County to submit a litter grant application to continue funding for 2014-15 was approved. The application is presented every year to the commission. Motion was made by District 8 Commissioner Bill Fergusson, and seconded by Nollner.

• Resolution 2014-19-348 to adopt the memorandum of understanding between Four Lake Regional Industrial Development Authority and Hartsville/Trousdale County Metropolitan Government concerning economic and.or community development was approved. Motion was made by Nollner, and seconded by Banks.

• Resolution 2014-20-349 to declare 10 old voting machines from the Election Commission’s office as surplus for disposal was approved. Motion was made by Nollner, and seconded by Banks.

• Commissioners approved Certificate of Compliance of Retail Package stores by Keith Roddy, Hartsville Liquor; and Shane Burton, CrossCreek Liquors. Motion was made by Brown, and seconded by Gregory.

 

Budget Amendments

The commission approved the following budget amendments: insurance payout of $6,718 for the damaged playground equipment at Trey Park; transfer of $1,903 from one account to another in the Highway Department’s budget; and added $13,085.64 for the bonus payment line item in the Highway Department’s budget. The commission combined all amendments to be voted at one time. Motion was made by Nollner, and seconded by Brown.

Trousdale County Commission will meet for its May meeting on Tuesday, May 27, at 7 p.m. in the upstairs courtroom of the county courthouse. The meeting was moved from its normal meeting date due to the Memorial Day holiday.

Managing Editor Marie Corhern can be reached at 615-374-3556 or email [email protected].

Man dies in Trousdale County crash

 

A Lebanon man was killed during an evening wreck, which shut down parts of Highway 231 North for several hours April 25.

James D. Thompson, 75, of Lebanon, died after striking a vehicle and causing a multiple car accident near Bass Road in the Bethpage area according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol report.

Thompson, driving a 1987 Dodge D1500 Pickup, was traveling north bound on Highway 231, around 5 p.m., crossed the center line striking the side of the 2010 Nissan Rogue, driven by Ralph E. Rupe Jr., 62, of Bethpage. 

Rupe, who was traveling south bound at the time, vehicle then spun around and hit Michael D. Davenport, 45, of Westmoreland. Davenports’ 2001 Toyota UCS flipped and landed on its passenger side.

Trousdale County Sheriff’s Department, along with the Trousdale County Rescue Squad and THP officers responded to the scene.

According to the officers’ reports, all three drivers were wearing their seat belts.

Citations are pending depending on the investigation. Officers believe Thompson may have been suffering from a medical condition, which resulted in Thompson crossing the centerline.

Rupe and Davenport were treated for injuries.

Managing Editor Marie Corhern can be reached at 615-374-3556 or email [email protected].

West announces re-election bid for County Mayor

 

First, I would like to thank the good Lord above and you, the voter, for giving me the honor of serving as your county mayor for the past four years. As we approach another election, my family and I ask that you grant me another term as your mayor. Kristy, Kayla, Carsey and I want to thank you for your love and prayers through my first term of office.

I am the son of Lee Hoyt West and Shirley Faye Jenkins West. Many of you know my father and mother, who were both employed at Marlene Industries (the “Blouse Factory”) for 20 plus years. Kristy, my wife of 23 years, is the daughter of Jerry and Deborah Halliburton Towns. 

My family and I have called Trousdale County home our entire lives and look forward to seeing our children follow the same path. Business has been my life since my graduation from Trousdale County High School in 1991. My approach in operating and managing begins with common sense, honesty and fairness – after this, the rest will fall into place. I try to avoid making snap decisions when possible and I try to keep an open mind to other people’s ideas and suggestions. My belief is that a leader cannot lead without the support of others.

To say it has been easy the first four years would be foolish; has it been worth it? – you’d better believe it! This is home and I’m going to fight to keep it as rock solid the next four years as we have made it the past four. 

I would like to share with you some of the challenges which become accomplishments over the past 4 years:

• FINANCIAL

My term of office unofficially began two weeks prior to taking office on Sept. 1, 2010. Our county trustee called me to let me know the general fund’s financial condition. I then went by her office and she showed me a not so solid, depleted checking account. 

There was an official vacancy in the mayor’s office at the time, which began in June with the resignation of the previous county mayor (executive). The trustee had called to make me aware that there was not enough money in the general fund account to meet the payroll that was due my first week in office. 

My first thought was, “What have I gotten myself into?” To make a long story short, we borrowed the money, got it paid back, and now, three years later, we are financially sound with nearly two million dollars in checking in the general fund. With an average monthly expense of $500,000 per month, this will provide adequate funding of expenses until we start collecting taxes again in October.

I learned early on, that I don’t need to know all the answers, just those who do. I was very fortunate to have the assistance of a very capable staff when I came into office – Debbie Jenkins and Linda Gammons who have over 40 years combined experience in county government. 

Gammons has since retired to part-time employment and I am pleased to have the addition of Rene’ Scruggs Pridemore to my staff. 

The tough years were supported by our commission as well with funding and budget cuts to see us out of the darkness. All of our elected officials and department supervisors have worked with me to only spend what is absolutely necessary to operate their department over the past few years. 

In light of how we have stabilized the financial well-being of the county, bonuses and salary increases have been given to the employees during these times. This is something that had not happened in over seven years with some employees.

 

• PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

The light began to shine a little brighter on Jan. 21, 2011. After taking office, renewed talks with CCA led to collecting the much needed building permit fee totaling $250,000. 

The months following brought clearing to light – literally – with the clean-up up of the fallen warehouse on Broadway that we had looked at for seven years. 

We looked at methods of cleaning up the mess and took bids from professional contractors which ranged from $137,000 – $640,000. This was just not good. We were already at a $96,000 dollar loss in tax collections and to dig a deeper hole just didn’t make sense. 

A look at other options paid dividends to the county by saving money. We took metal out of the rubble and sold it to junk yards to come up with revenue. In addition to this, a local contractor, Lewis Beasley and his son, brought in heavy equipment to aid in our endeavor, accepting only the fuel it took to finish the work as payment. 

It took approximately two weeks to get it looking as it does today and, with the sale of metal less the expenses, the cost of the clean-up came to a total of $1,800.  Yes, only one thousand eight hundred dollars. 

I must mention too, Charles Beasley allowed Woody Badger to use the county loader to help with the clean-up in the beginning. This is one thing I’m proud of that happened in my first term. Saving tax dollars by being creative and watching the community come together was a blessing for me.

One of the more appropriate moves in my term came with the decision to sell the Ward School building. 

The commission approved the sale of the school to the Ward School Preservation Association for $1. This decision assured that the school would have caretakers whose main objective would be the preservation of the history of the school for future generations. I appreciate the folks who make up the organization and their stand for this historic facility.

 

• PARKS

The same year, my focus was on something that would give our youth more to do in the county.

The Commission focused on appropriating money to re-open the public swimming pool. The pool had shut down due to lack of annual maintenance over the past 22 years. Today, the Parks and Recreation Department has seasonal inspections to catch potential problems early on before they become a real problem, thereby saving taxpayer dollars.

The basketball goals for many years had to be removed every spring due to parking at the ball fields. We now have a new basketball court which was used by nearly 100 people the first day after it was completed. Today, the basketball court is one of the most used areas of the park with the exception of the ball fields when Little League is going on.

 

• SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT 

Moving into the second year, my concern was drawn to how we were operating our trash collection. A discussion with our insurance provider revealed the liability risk involved with our current method of trash collection. 

This prompted the proposal to our commission for the purchase of an automated trash truck and to provide a trash cart to each customer inside the old city limits. This eliminated the handling of trash bags and back injuries, and allowed two employees to perform work in other needed areas. 

Most importantly, it kept our insurance premiums from going through the roof. Public Works Director Woody Badger (now retired) and our current Public Works Director Cliff Sallee and their employees are very much appreciated for the work that they do in this important part of our government.

 

• EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SERVICES

Our emergency medical service staff has always been top notch, especially with the seasoned crew we currently have. After I came into office, it did not take long to realize that the main problem with our Ambulance Service was simply management. 

There was no one at the wheel to lead. The paramedics and EMT’s did their job well, but it takes much more to run a business. I’m referring to collections. Billing was outsourced at the time, and again, with no one watching the numbers, the county became overwhelmed by a backlog of overdue accounts, resulting in a loss of funds. 

We now have Teresa Turner as our billing manager, and what a difference it has made! We also have been fortunate to have the appointment of Matt Batey as our EMS director to keep things on the right track. 

Thanks to the committees meeting and commission approval, we have a better handle on operations and the revenue coming in from the service. 

None of us will ever forget Feb. 5, 2008. This was a terrible day for many in the county. Lives lost, others wondering where their loved ones were, and most of us without power, led to a day of uncertainty. 

Since that day, the county has been awarded grants to help assure better preparedness should we ever have to endure such a disaster again. One tornado siren is already in place, plans are drawn for a new fire hall, and a 2,500 square foot shelter facility is to be constructed. 

Also, the county commission approved grant funds to purchase property for the construction of a communications tower in the Cato community for our police, fire and rescue. Better communications will improve services to the people in the Cato community and also, with a repeater added, a stronger signal will be sent to serve the Gravel Hill Community. 

The recent commission appointment of Allen Lewis as EMA director, and his efforts to improve emergency preparedness, is bringing our county up to date with surrounding counties.

 

• STILL TO COME

Many more improvements have gone on during my term as mayor and continue today. 

The opening of the CCA prison will be the largest event to happen here in this county since the TVA Nuclear Plant project. Increasing employment by 400 jobs will increase the productivity of this town in every aspect of life. 

Many businesses will see an increase in sales once the facility is up and operating. Shift change at the facility will turn out over 200 employees to stop by for goods at local businesses. 

The long hours of discussion over the past year between the county, state and CCA, will benefit the county and its citizens forever. 

I visited with other counties that currently have prisons, to talk with folks in the community. The report I received from the citizens indicated that they were pleased with the facility they have and would welcome another one. 

With the 1.8 million in additional tax revenue from the prison, one of my main priorities will be to freeze property taxes from any increase for anyone 65 and over in Trousdale County.  

I’m looking to maintain and improve what we already have – not to go out looking to find a way to spend money just because we have it. I will say, 1.8 million is a lot of money, but it won’t go as far as you think. 

We have buildings and equipment that will need replacing to maintain the services we currently provide to the people. As I watch how state funding sent to counties continues to be reduced, I have a great concern that we, the local taxpayers, will have to pick up that burden. 

Again, I can’t express enough, don’t get too excited about having extra money coming our way, we have extra expenses coming from a different direction as well.

I’ve said all this to say that we do not need a change of leadership in this office at this time. 

I would love to see the improvements through, and it will take another term to tie up all the ends. County management over the past four years has shown that no one in my administration has a personal agenda or seeks the authority to change rules and laws that would not benefit everyone. 

To improve and grow with the changes will be my continued approach. Many newcomers have moved here for the beauty, peace and quietness of this small simple life we have here in Trousdale County.

I close by asking for your continued prayers and support for Trousdale County, the place we desire to call home forever and always. I respectfully ask for your vote on Aug. 7.

Legislators approve ‘Tennessee Promise’

 

The 108th Tennessee General Assembly has adjourned for the year, and I am excited to tell you that in the final days of the session, legislators overwhelmingly approved the “Tennessee Promise.”

Earlier this year, I proposed the Tennessee Promise to encourage more Tennesseans to further their education beyond high school. The plan promises beginning in 2015, high school graduates can attend a community college or college of applied technology absolutely free of tuition and fees.

The promise won’t be paid for using tax dollars but instead will be funded through excess reserve funds generated by the state lottery.

We are the only state in the country that will be making this promise. It makes a clear statement to Tennessee families that education beyond high school is a priority in our state. It is a bold promise that will make college a reality for more high school graduates. It speaks volumes to current and prospective employers, and it will make a difference for generations of Tennesseans.

The General Assembly also approved our balanced budget proposal. In early April, we proposed changes to our administration’s original budget proposal after sales tax and business tax collections failed to meet estimates. 

Franchise and excise taxes – a type of business tax – which are often volatile are down $215 million due to overpayments by businesses last year that are now resulting in credits and refunds.

It is important to know, however, that Tennessee’s economy continues to be strong even as revenue collections have come in under estimates. Tennessee businesses are performing well and continue to make decisions to create more jobs here. What we’re seeing is a drop in business tax collections resulting from the reconciliation of overpayments that were made in the past.

Our state also depends heavily on sales tax, and because so much commerce has shifted online without us being able to collect a majority of the taxes owed, that also continues to have a negative impact on our budget year in and year out.

In working with the legislature, we met the challenges presented by lower revenues head on by making tough decisions to balance the budget. Government is usually not about making choices between good things and bad things. It is often about choosing between two good programs or ideas. It is our job to provide the very best service at the very lowest cost to Tennessee taxpayers, and we take that job seriously.

I am grateful to Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) and House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) for their leadership, and I appreciate Majority Leaders Mark Norris (R-Collierville) and Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) for all of their hard work this session. 

We will continue to focus on the things that matter to Tennesseans: high-quality, good paying jobs, quality education opportunities and a well-managed state government.

Election Commission says farewell to Harper

 

Commissioner Thomas Harper retired from the Trousdale County Election Commission in February.

He served as a Democratic member of the commission for 22 years, and during that time he was selected as the commission chairman and later as the commission secretary.  

“I will miss Thomas’ help, especially on election days,” said Trousdale County Election Commission Chairman Sherry Baxley. “I really appreciated that even when we disagreed, it was civil and polite, and we could always work things out with respect. He has been a great asset to the commission and to the citizens of Trousdale County.

Commissioner Harper and Katie, his wife of 42 years, have two children: Dewayne who works with troubled teens and Demetrice an educator who currently serves as the vice principal at Trousdale County Elementary School.   

He worked at Columbia Gulf for 36 years and retired in 2008. Currently he works for Wilcrest Field Services as a pipeline inspector as well as locally operating his farm. 

In addition to his time on the Election Commission, Harper served on the Planning Commission, the Agriculture Committee, the Water Board, the Hartsville/Trousdale County Government Charter Commission and the 2011 Redistricting Committee.  Administrator of Elections Steve Paxton added, “We will miss Commissioner Harper’s dedication and concern for the citizen’s of our county. He has been an important part of the commission which works hard to ensure that Trousdale County has fair and secure elections.”  

Harper will continue to be an active contributor to our community after his retirement from the commission.

 

Saying ‘hello’ to new faces

The Election Commission welcomes two new members.  

Commissioner Allison Barton replaced Commissioner Doug Lansford as a Republican member, and Commissioner Craig Moreland took over as a Democratic member for Commissioner Thomas Harper.  

“We are glad to welcome these quality members to the election commission. I am confident they will continue the tradition of fair and secure elections here in Trousdale County,” said Paxton. 

Barton is married to Greg Barton and they have four children. She grew up in Columbus, Miss. After graduating from the University of Mississippi with a bachelor of arts degree, she lived in Atlanta, Nashville and Macon County before arriving in Trousdale County seven years ago.

She has worked 19 years for Accenture as a project management operations lead.  “I am honored to serve on the elections commission,” commented Barton.  Commissioner Moreland, the youngest son of Ron and Grace Moreland, has lived in Trousdale County his entire life. After graduating from Trousdale County High School in 2000, he first attended Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin and then Cumberland University in Lebanon.  

While attending Cumberland, he was a member of the 2004 NAIA National Championship Baseball team. He graduated from Cumberland University in 2004 with a degree in business administration. Moreland has previously served the election commission as a precinct officer of elections for several recent election cycles.   

He works as an agent for Choice One Insurance. 

Moreland stated, “I am honored to accept this position and I will work hard for the people of Trousdale County.”             

The five member Trousdale County Election Commission is comprised of three members from the majority party and two members of the minority party. 

“Majority party” means the political party whose members hold the largest number of seats in the combined houses of the general assembly; “minority party” means the political party whose members hold the second largest number of seats in the combined houses of the general assembly.  

The State Election Commission is responsible for appointing the five County Election Commissioners after consulting with the county party leadership and members of the general assembly serving each of the counties as to the persons to be appointed. Their appointments last for two years.  

The State Election Commission is composed of four members of the majority party and three members of the minority party. State Election Commission members are elected for a term of four years by a joint resolution of both houses of the general assembly.

Keeping up with the latest trends

 

This week we finish our look at sewing and clothing.

Every news stand in America has an assortment of magazines devoted to “fashions.” And, while most are devoted to women’s fashions, there are always a few that feature me’s fashions as well.

Of course, “fashions” means clothing, more specially the latest styles of clothing.

Our ancestors were no less conscious of fashion trends. Women on the frontier kept up with the dress styles in Philadelphia and other big cities back east.

A gentleman, a wealthy farmer, doctor, lawyer or politician would be just as sure that the cut of his jacket, vest or trousers were in the current mode lest he be considered a “country bumpkin.”

Looking at old photos, we today will sometimes suppress a laugh or mumble under our breath, “Boy, I’m sure glad we don’t dress like that today!” Which leads me to wonder, what people will say 100 years from now when they look at our sweat pants, baseball caps, tight jeans and string bikinis?

Yes, fashions have changed over the last 200 years that people have lived in Hartsville…but, they have also changed in their function.

When we say “function,” we mean how some clothes options were used compared to today.

If you lived 100 years ago, you had a  pair of :long-johns,” or long sleeved knit winter underwear. Why? Because 100 years ago we didn’t have electric blankets and central heat.

If you wanted to keep warm, you wore lots of clothes and the long underwear stayed on you from dawn to dusk, and then some…you slept in them.

The late Dean Ford once told me how he and his younger brother Rex would prepare for bed in the winter months back in the 1920s and ’30s. Because their bedroom wasn’t heated, Dean said that he and Rex would leave the warmth of the family fireplace, climb the stairs to their attic bedroom, open the door and pull the ceiling light switch.

Then, getting their bearing, Dean said, “We would pull the light switch off, get undressed, hit the bed and pull the covers up…all before the light went out!

Women of the past all wore aprons around the house. It was a practical thing to do. Without the luxury of modern washers and dryers, a woman made a special effort to keep her dress clean.

An apron solved that problem, especially in a day and time when women made corn bread, biscuits or cakes from scratch. Flour, baking soda and yeast could stain a dress. But, just untie the strings of the apron and Mom was ready for company, or atlas ready to sit down to supper feeling nice and “presentable.”

Ladies and men also wore hats everyday.

Women today might wear a hat to church, but women of the past wore a hat every time they left the house!

And, there were practical reasons for doing so.

One reason was that back when women either walked or rode in a buggy, a hat kept the sun off your face. A sunburned complexion was considered the sign of a poor woman who had to labor outdoors to make living, much like men who were called “rednecks” because bending over in the fields would cause their necks to get sunburned.

Even country women wore bonnets to keep their faces from getting sunburned!

A good hat also kept your hair clean from dust, dirt and rain.

Women didn’t hop into the shower every morning back in the past. If you could only wash your hair by first boiling a pot of water over a wood burring stove, you might wear a hat too!

Of course, there was also the need to look fashionable.

Every town had a milliner, or hat maker, Hartsville included. And, the milliner made sure they had the latest fashions in stock, or made to order. The ladies in our photo this week are wearing the latest fashions…and, as I said earlier…boy, am I glad we don’t dress like that today!

The roasting of Tommy Thompson

 

Longtime District Attorney Tommy “The General” Thompson was in the hot seat April 19 at Eleanor Ford Theatre at Trousdale County High School in Hartsville, as roasters Attorney Eddie Taylor; brother Eric Thompson; Attorney Jack Lowry Sr.; Chancellor Judge C.K. Smith; Charneal Smith; Eleanor Ford; Judge John D. Wootten and Toby Woodmore took their best shots to come up with the funniest story about Thompson. The second annual roast was a fundraiser for the Rotary’s scholarship program. The Hartsville club gives a $500 scholarship each year to a deserving senior, and the students continue to receive the scholarship for four years as long as they remain in good standing with their school of choice.

So you want to be a write-in candidate?

 

Did you miss the petition deadline? Were you uncertain of whether you wanted to run until now? Did you see who was running or the lack of candidates running, and decide that you wanted to throw your name into the ring?

With a few holes left in the August ballot for Trousdale County Commission, write-in candidates could be the names that some folks might be talking about as the election draws closer.

“In order for a write-in candidate to be counted, the candidate must file a Certificate of Write-In Candidacy with my office for the local offices,” said Steve Paxton, administrator of elections. “They come in, tell me what office they are running for and sign the form where they ask that their votes be counted. That is pretty much it.”

Folks who are considering a write-in candidacy must file their certificate by noon Wednesday, June 18, in the Election Commission Office on Broadway.

Paxton reminds citizens that while his office is looking for candidates to file in the District 3 and 8 races, anyone who wants to file for any race is welcome to sign their certificate.

Paxton also added that write-in candidates needed to get their name out there for the voters, since their name will not be appearing on the official ballot or any printed voter guides.

“Polling officials are not allowed to discuss write-in candidates on Election Days or during early voting according to the law,” said Paxton. “The smartest thing a write-in candidate can do is hand out cards and hand out information.”

Managing Editor Marie Corhern can be reached at 615-374-3556 or email [email protected].

Sign-up begins for USDA Disaster Assistance Programs

 

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that as of April 15 eligible farmers and ranchers could sign up for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster assistance programs restored by passage of the 2014 Farm Bil.   

“We implemented these programs in record time and kept our commitment to begin sign-up today,” said Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. “To ensure enrollment goes as smoothly as possible, dedicated staff in over 2,000 Farm Service Agency offices across the country are doing everything necessary to help producers that have suffered through two and a half difficult years with no assistance because these programs were awaiting Congressional action.”

Depending on the size and type of farm or ranch operation, eligible producers can enroll in one of four programs administered by the Farm Service Agency. The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), and the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) will provide payments to eligible producers for livestock deaths and grazing losses that have occurred since the expiration of the livestock disaster assistance programs in 2011, and including calendar years 2012, 2013 and 2014.  

The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish that have suffered losses because of disease, severe weather, blizzards and wildfires.  

Enrollment also began April 15 for the Tree Assistance Program (TAP), which provides financial assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters.

Producers signing up for these programs are encouraged to contact their local FSA office for information on the types of records needed and to schedule an appointment. Taking these steps in advance will help producers ensure their application moves through the process as quickly as possible. 

Supporting documents may include livestock birth records, purchase and transportation receipts, photos and ownership records showing the number and type of livestock lost, documents listing the gallons of water transported to livestock during drought, and more.  

Crop records may include purchase receipts for eligible trees, bushes or vines, seed and fertilizer purchases, planting and production records, and documentation of labor and equipment used to plant or remove eligible trees, bushes or vines.

Producers have three to nine months to apply depending on the program and year of the loss. Details are available from any local FSA office.

For more information, producers may review the 2014 Farm Bill Fact Sheet, and the LIP, LFP, ELAP and TAP fact sheets online, or visit any local FSA office or USDA Service Center.

Candidates for upcoming elections announced

 

The official list of candidates for the August election season was recently released.

The Aug. 7 Election Day will feature local general races and the state and national primary races. Voters in Trousdale could possibly only see four contested local races which include the county mayor race, county trustee race and District 4 and 10 races.

“August’s ballot will be quite extensive,” said Administrator of Elections Steve Paxton. “We could possible see 10 or 11 new commissioners.”

Candidates’ names that will be on the ballot for local races include: Circuit Court Clerk – Kim Taylor; County Clerk – Rita Crowder; County Mayor – Jerry C. Clift, Jakie West and Carroll Carman; Register of Deeds – Mary G. Holder; Sheriff – Ray Russell; County Trustee – Jeff Taylor, Tonya B. Fergusson and Cindy Gregory Carman; County Commission District 1 – James “Jim” Falco and David Nollner; County Commission District 2 – John L. Oliver and Shane R. Burton; County Commission District 3 – Johnny Kerr; County Commission District 4 – Clyde A. Mansfield, Terry “Bubba” Gregory and Don W. Coker; County Commission District 5 – Mark L. Beeler and Linda Sue Johnson; County Commission District 6 – Andy Jellison and Richard Harsh; County Commission District 7 – Gary Claridy and James D. McDonald Sr.; County Commission District 8 – William “Bill” Fergusson; County Commission District 9 – Michael Satterfield and Richard R. Johnson; County Commission District 10 – Lloyd F. “Tony” Butts, Kendra Belcher and Wayne Brown; School Board – District B – David C. Crabtree; School Board – District D – Regina Waller; and School Board – District E – Anthony R. Crook.

For state races: State of Tennessee House of Representative for District 40 – Democrat – Sara Marie Smith; State of Tennessee House of Representative for District 40 – Republican – Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver; Democratic State Executive Committeeman – Bill Bassett and John Lankford; Democratic State Executive Committeewoman – Maria Brewer and Jeanette Jackson; Republican State Executive Committeeman – Baker D. Ring and Chris Hughes; Republican State Executive Committeewoman – Ruth Fennell and Melissa Clark Gay; Circuit Court Judge – 15th Judicial District – Division 1 – Judge Clara Byrd; Circuit Court Judge – 15th Judicial District – Division 2 – Aubrey T. Givens and Judge John D. Wootten Jr.; 

Criminal Court Judge for the 15th Judicial District – Brian Fuller and Brody Kane; Chancellor – 15th Judicial District – Gordon Aulgur and C.K. Smith; General Sessions Judge – Kenny Linville; District Attorney General – 15th Judicial District – Tommy Thompson; Public Defender – 15th Judicial District – Comer Donnell.

For the governor’s race, republican candidates include: Mark Coonrippy Brown; Gov. Bill Haslam; Basil Marceaux Sr. and Donald Ray McFolin. Democratic candidates include: Ed Borum; Charles V. “Charlie” Brown; Kennedy Spellman Johnson; Wm. H. “John” McKamey and Ron Noonan.

In the national primary races: U.S. Senate – Republican – Lamar Alexander, Fred R. Anderson, Joe Carr, George Shea Flinn, John D. King, Brenda S. Lenard and Erin Kent Magee; U.S. Senate – Democrat – Terry Adams, Gordon Ball, Larry Crim and Gary Gene Davis; U.S. House of Representatives District 6 – Republican – Rep. Diane Black and Jerry Lowery; and U.S. House of Representatives District 6 – Democrat – Amos Scott Powers.

Early voting will take place July 18 – Aug. 2 at the Election Commission Office.

Managing Editor Marie Corhern can be reached at 615-374-3556 or email [email protected].

Aulgur announces candidacy for chancellor

 

Gordon Aulgur, a lifelong conservative Republican, announced he is running for the office of chancellor for the 15th Judicial District, comprised of Trousdale, Wilson, Macon, Smith and Jackson counties.  

Aulgur, a member of Brewer, Krause, Brooks, Chastain & Burrow law firm, practiced law for 15 years throughout Middle Tennessee. His goal as the next 15th Judicial District chancellor is to bring conservative values to the bench and restore judicial restraint.

“I am very excited and pleased to announce my candidacy for chancellor,” said Aulgur. “For the last 15 years, I have represented numerous clients across our great state. I have been in front of numerous judges from state to federal courts. I have also developed a sub-specialty in appellate work, arguing a significant number of cases in front of the Tennessee Supreme Court. I believe this experience has provided me with valuable lessons on judicial temperament and restraint. I know, from my experience and my clients’ perspective, that a good judge is a one who weighs the evidence fairly and bases his rulings on the written letter of the law. This varied and vast background has prepared me to step in on day one and be the type of chancellor the 15th Judicial District deserves.”

Aulgur is a proud member of the Republican parties for Wilson, Macon, Smith and Jackson counties.  

“I had every intention to run under the Republican banner, but unfortunately the 15th Judicial District, unlike the other districts in Middle Tennessee, runs a non-partisan race,” said Aulgur. “Even though the ballot will not designate my party affiliation, I want the people of the 15th Judicial District to know I am the only candidate running for chancellor who qualifies as a bona fide Republican under the state bylaws. I just want the voters to know exactly who I am and what I stand for when they exercise their right to vote.”  

Aulgur received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Monmouth College in 1992. He then graduated in 1996 with a degree in law from Washington University in St. Louis, the 19th ranked law school in the United States, according to U.S. News and World Report. After graduation, Aulgur bypassed jobs at the large firms, opting instead to clerk for a year for Circuit Judge Don R. Ash of the 16th Judicial District. He then joined the firm of Brewer, Krause, Brooks, Chastain & Burrow, where he has maintained his practice.

Though it is typical for judges to place witnesses under oath, Aulgur wants to make an oath to the people of the 15th Judicial District.  

“If I am given the honor to be elected chancellor, I solemnly swear the following: First, I will not legislate from the bench. The role of a judge is to fairly interpret the laws of the state of Tennessee, not rewrite the laws. Second, I will enforce the Constitution as written. I am a strict constructionist, and I do not believe the Constitution is a living, malleable document. Third, I will fairly and impartially apply the law regardless of the person in court before me, without consideration as to the person’s race, religion, creed or affiliations. Finally, I will be prepared to hear all the cases on my docket on the date scheduled, and I will hold court until all cases are heard. A judge’s day is defined by his docket, and he cannot end court until everyone has had a full and fair hearing,” said Aulgur.

Aulgur takes as much pride in his personal life as his professional.  He and his wife, Jill, live in Mt. Juliet with their two boys, Alex, 6, and Jake, 3.  He enjoys spending time with his boys from coaching soccer to building LEGO sets, Aulgur has found fulfillment from his relationship with his sons.  He is also proud of his wife’s volunteer work in Wilson County as a child advocate for CASA and the room mother for Alex’s kindergarten class.  

The election for chancellor is Aug. 7. Early voting begins July 18.

Aulgur said he welcomes the opportunity to speak with voters regarding his plans for the 15th Judicial District. Aulgur can be reached at gordonaulgur.com, [email protected], 615-979-5881 and his campaign can be followed on Facebook at /aulgur4chancellor and Twitter at @gaulgur. 

Brown seeks re-election as commissioner of District 10

 

Wayne Brown is announcing his candidacy for re-election as Trousdale County Commissioner of District 10.

Brown, a life long resident of Trousdle County, has served on the commission for 12 years.

“It was something that I was interested in, and somebody has got to do it,” said Brown. “I have enjoy it doing it, and that’s why I am seeking re-election.”

Brown has been married 23 years to Debbie Brown. They have a son, Josh Brown of Alexander, Tenn., three grandchildren, brother, Jackie Brown and sister, Rosie Brooks, who lives in Hartsville. He is a member of Church of Christ.

“I have enjoyed serving the past four years, and I will enjoy serving the people of the 10th District for the next four years if elected,” added Brown. “I appreciate everyone’s vote, and I’m going to try to get around to see everyone in the 10th District. If I don’t see you, I also appreciate your vote on Aug. 7.”

For more information about Brown’s campaign or if you have any questions, the candidate can be reached at 374-2735.

Managing Editor Marie Corhern can be reached at 615-374-3556 or email [email protected].