Weaver praises House passage of ‘heartbeat bill’

State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver made her monthly ‘Coffee & Conversations’ stop in Trousdale County last Friday at the Early Bird Café.

Weaver greeted constituents and spoke on a pair of votes that garnered some controversy on social media.

Weaver was a co-sponsor of the so-called “heartbeat” bill, a measure that would ban abortions in Tennessee once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

The bill passed the House on a 65-21 vote last week and now heads to the Senate. Opponents have already pledged to file a lawsuit should the bill become law, saying it violates the Roe v. Wade decision.

Terri Lynn Weaver

Similar measures have been stricken down as unconstitutional in Arkansas, Iowa, and North Dakota. Opponents of the Tennessee measure

“I don’t think so,” Weaver said when asked if Tennessee’s bill could meet a similar fate. “When Roe v. Wade was law in the 1970s, we didn’t have all the science. Now science is proving the viability; it keeps getting closer to conception.”

Viability is defined as the ability of a fetus to survive outside the womb. Current medical science defines that period to be around 24 weeks.

“When you send a first responder to someone who’s injured, what’s the first thing you check? Heartbeat. That determines life. Not if you’re inside the womb and that needs to change,” Weaver said.

Weaver also defended her vote against a bill to ensure students can eat school lunches and not be punished when parents fail to pay meal fees or a meal debt.

The Tennessee Hunger-Free Students Act failed on a 4-2 vote in the K-12 Education Subcommittee last week.

“When you read the law, it’s a lot about nothing,” Weaver said. “I kept looking at it and wondering, ‘Am I missing something here?’ It’s good Twitter fodder.”

Weaver and three other Republicans who voted against the bill were criticized on social media.

The Vidette also raised concerns about House Bill 1107, which would treat personally identifying information in motor vehicle accident reports as confidential and restricted from public disclosure.

Some of this information in a law enforcement traffic accident report, such as a person’s driver’s license number and other personal information, is already confidential under law. However the names of people involved in traffic accidents is currently open.

Media outlets across Tennessee have raised concerns, as they often report on accidents when someone was seriously injured or died or when an accident blocked a major roadway.

The Safety & Funding Transportation Subcommittee, which Weaver chairs, was scheduled to hear the bill this week.

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

Power outage reveals problem with county phone system

A power outage last month in Hartsville exposed a problem in the county’s phone and Internet service, according to County Mayor Stephen Chambers.

Chambers told members of the Emergency Services Committee that during a Feb. 12 outage, the county temporarily lost both services. The county’s phone system utilizes Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) rather than traditional phone lines.

While there is a generator to provide backup power when necessary, Chambers said it failed to function during that outage.

“The generator did not kick on and so the phone and Internet service for the entire county, save the Sheriff’s Department, went down,” Chambers said. “The Sheriff’s Department could not contact the EMA service.”

The Sheriff’s Office uses its own system, as required by law.

Chambers said his office had looked into a battery backup system and said Tri-County quoted just over $21,000. He said he wanted to solicit further companies to see if a better price could be found before recommending a purchase.

“I would like to get some options on that because no one expected it to be $21,000,” Chambers said. “Chief (Deputy Wayland) Cothron said we are required by law to have at least one hour battery backup. Right now, we have zero.”

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

Senior Center holding Open House on Saturday

The Trousdale County Senior Center will be putting on an Open House on Saturday, March 16 from 10 a.m. to noon.

File photo

The event is designed to help spread the word through the community about the Senior Center, located at 270 Marlene Street, and the programs it offers for the people it serves.

“We’re showing off our center and working to recruit new members, let them know all the things we do,” said Ginny Hunter, who serves as the Senior Center’s director. “A lot of people don’t even know we’re here.”

Board members will also be on hand and refreshments will be available.

The Senior Center provides a number of activities for the older members of the community. Among weekly activities include exercise classes, yoga, rook games, Wii bowling and Bible study. Members take trips on most Thursdays that allow for expanded opportunities for shopping or other activities. A list of each week’s schedule also appears in The Vidette’s Community Calendar.

The center also has contacts that can provide assistance with Medicare or other issues affecting seniors.

“It’s to target senior adults; let them know we’re here, what we do and the fun we have,” Hunter said. “People are moving into our county, and we want to let them know about us.”

For more information about the Senior Center, call 615-374-1102.

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

Neighborhood Health conducting sock drive for homeless

Submitted photo

Neighborhood Health is conducting a sock drive at both its Hartsville and Lebanon clinics to benefit the homeless population in both cities.

New socks may be dropped off at either the Hartsville clinic at 100 Damascus Street or the Lebanon clinic at 217 E. High Street, Suite 220, through March 29.

Socks will be distributed to homeless in both Hartsville and Lebanon.

“Neighborhood Health is dedicated to putting service first, by supporting our communities, not only their health, but their overall wellbeing. This campaign will further that mission by providing socks to the many selfless organizations also committed to helping those in our local area, most in need,” said Amy Martin, Outreach Development/Patient Navigator for Neighborhood Health.

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

Look Back: Stealing man’s horse used to be a serious matter

As we continue our series on crime in Trousdale County we look at an animal that has changed in value – at least as far as robbers are concerned!

If you watch many Westerns, or movies about the wild and wooly West, you will know that nothing will get you in trouble faster than to be accused of “horse stealing.”

We will also point out that “horse stealing” was once a hanging offense!

Today, I have been told that if you showed up at a horse auction and left your horse trailer unattended, don’t be surprised to find an old nag there when you return. Horses are not the valued animals they once were. Many a fellow has bought his daughter a horse and a few years later can’t give the animal away.

Submitted photo
Back when people valued horses, you would see advertisements like this in the Vidette.

It seems that paying for riding lessons, buying hay and keeping fences up and horses in can wear away at the pocketbook, not to mention the farrier (the man who puts on the horseshoes) and the vet who demand to be paid in cash.

But when our county was being settled, a horse was a man’s most valuable possession.

Many men put a lot of money into buying a fine horse and saddle.

Horses were the “fast car” of their day and time and men being men, having a fine horse was a way of showing off.

You knew a man’s horse just like you might recognize a car in town today and know who is driving it. Which is an important fact to remember when we talk about horse stealing and getting caught!

In an article in a Nashville newspaper from 1895, we have an account of a man stealing a horse “while hitched to the courthouse fence at Hartsville.” But the thief didn’t get very far. The article points out that the thief was arrested in Portland the next day.

The criminal was charged with horse stealing and taken to the Portland jail. The article points out that “When arrested he had on his person two pistols, one dirk (a small knife), a razor and a pair of brass knuckles.”

Sounds like a desperate character to me!

Back when every man had a horse and used it to get around, you knew every man’s horse by sight. You could go into town and look at the horses tied up in front of the courthouse and could tell who was in town doing business.

That made it difficult to steal horses and get away with it.

In 1874, a thief stole a good horse from a man in Nashville and sold him to a fellow in Springfield. The man in Springfield then sold the horse to a relative in Hartsville.

Now by that time the thief was long gone. But the horse didn’t like his new home and at the first chance, walked out of the barn and headed down the road.

When the horse, walking by itself, got to Gallatin a young boy there recognized it and took it to Nashville to its original owner.

Now that says a lot about recognizing a horse!

The sheriff was called and he backtracked the events, finding the man in Hartsville and in Springfield who had each, for a short time, been the horse’s owner. The Springfield man described the man who had first sold it to him.

Now the sheriff did some recognizing of his own.

The sheriff recalled a man who was presently sitting in his jail – arrested for trying to steal a mule – and the crime was solved.

In 1877, a similar crime took place.

A man named Wright had his horse stolen. He lived in Hartsville and began to look around.

A good horse thief knew he had to leave the neighborhood if he wanted to get away with his crime, so Mr. Wright began to look further afield.

His search led him, a month later, to Franklin, Kentucky. The man evidently put a lot of value in this horse.

And once there, he spotted his missing animal.

The article in the newspaper described it as “…a fine large, grey horse.”

Now the man in Franklin was out a horse and the money he had paid for it. He contacted the sheriff and described the culprit as “a strange, odd looking man, with dark complexion, slender, slightly stoop shouldered…”

A reward was offered and that did the trick.

Someone recognized the description and turned the man into the sheriff.

It is not difficult to draw parallels to today’s thieves who steal a car and rush to sell it in another town, or take it to a chop shop and sell it for parts. Or afraid of getting caught, they quickly drive it into some lake or river and hope no one goes scuba diving!

Jack McCall: How my crazy cousin got on Titans’ sideline

When I left you last week, my daring and resourceful cousin was presenting himself for entrance at the vendor gate at the Titans’ stadium (once known as Adelphia Coliseum – now Nissan Stadium).

You may recall he had become very adept at gaining entrance to Dudley Field at Vanderbilt football games. One of his friends had mistakenly told him he could never do such a thing at a Titans game. That started his mental wheels turning.

So he created a bogus purchase order calling for him to inspect the artificial turf at Nissan Stadium prior to an upcoming game. He arrived at the gate with toolbox in hand.

Across the Miles
Jack McCall

He must have been very convincing. The gatekeeper let him in! But not before he assigned two security guards to accompany my kinsman while he made his “inspection.”

I can see him now, with toolbox in hand and two security guards in tow; as he slowly worked his way across the playing field – his eyes glued to the turf much like a man looking for arrowheads in newly plowed ground. Occasionally, he would stop and “repair” a suspicious-looking seam in the artificial turf.

My cousin stands no more than 5-foot-7, and there he was weaving in and out among the players as they warmed up. While telling this story he said to me, “You know, some of those lineman are really big!” I guess nothing beats being “up close and personal.”

I should mention here that some of his friends had arrived early and were witnessing this unfolding drama.

It took all of 30 minutes to complete the inspection. During that time my cousin, who is quite the talker, must have established good rapport with his security escort. As they passed the vendor hospitality tent, they asked if he would like to have a hot dog and drink before he left the stadium. He allowed he would. They left him there.

After he enjoyed his refreshments, he decided he might as well stay for the game. So he moseyed on over and took up position on the Titans sideline to watch the game.

I suspect there are security people positioned up in the press box who constantly monitor the sidelines during professional football games. Because halfway into the first quarter, two different security guards showed up and asked, “What are you doing on the sidelines, sir?”

Since “inspecting the artificial turf” wasn’t going to fly, my cousin suggested, he “was helping the chain gang.”

“Let’s go,” one of the guards said.

As they headed for the nearest exit, wouldn’t you know they passed another vendor hospitality tent? And my crazy cousin had the nerve to ask if he could grab a hot dog before he left the stadium.

The answer was “no.” They saw him to and through the gate.

I’ll bet he laughed all the way home.

There is something in me that has always admired the prankster. The Brits speak of a person with a “cheeky grin” on their face. Call that person “sassy” if you will – that person who “pushes the envelope” a bit.

As I considered my cousins exploits, I was reminded of the guy who was often seen at major sporting events back in the 1980s. In the early days, he sported a rainbow-colored Afro hairdo. He would strategically place himself in a position where, sometime during the competition, the TV camera would focus in on him. When he was in full view of the camera, he would hold up his sign. It simply read: John 3:16.

Over the years, I saw him at college football games, major league baseball games, and professional football games. Once I saw him at Wimbledon. He even showed up at the World Series and at Super Bowls.

His ability to acquire seats in exactly the right place and his knowledge of television camera timing were uncanny. The sign was no larger than 1’ by 2’, usually a bi-fold. When the camera zoomed in he would nonchalantly hold it up. It simply read: John 3:16.

No more, no less.

I was watching a college football game a few months back. One team was kicking the extra point, when to my delight and surprise; some kid who was sitting about 10 rows up in the end zone seats – right smack between the goal posts – held up a sign. It read: John 3:16.

Different person. Different time. Same, timeless message.

Planning Commission OKs pair of zoning requests

The Planning Commission gave its approval to a pair of zoning requests during Monday night’s meeting.

The first would rezone a house on White Oak Street from C-1 (commercial) to R-1 (residential). The request came from Beeler Enterprises, which is looking to sell the home.

According to Building Inspector Sam Edwards, the county is seeing more instances of banks refusing loans where the zoning does not match the current use of the property. Other similar requests have been made and passed by the Planning Commission in recent months.

Courtesy of Trousdale County government

“We’re having issues with banks and realtors… basically your lots have to match your zoning,” Edwards told committee members. “This is a perfect example.”

The second is to carve a 1-acre tract off a farm on Dixon Creek Road and change it from A-1 (agricultural) to R-1.

The owner is one of three siblings who inherited the property. While they are looking to sell the farm, he wishes to retain ownership of the home that currently sits on the property.

The Planning Commission also heard from the owner of the BBQ Shack in Dixon Springs, who is looking to move into Hartsville with a food truck.

Current zoning regulations do not address food trucks in any way. Restaurants are required to be permanent fixtures, according to Rick Gregory from the Greater Nashville Regional Council.

Committee members suggested the matter be taken up by the Board of Zoning Appeals, which could grant a six-month waiver. That would allow the Planning Commission to come up with regulations for food trucks.

The Planning Commission also re-certified the site of the old Texas Boot Factory on Western Avenue for industrial use. The building is up for sale, but needed recertification as it has been unused for longer than 26 months.

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

Scammers starting to use Homeland Security phone numbers

File photo

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a warning that scammers are “spoofing” DHS phone numbers.

This means your caller ID will show phone numbers that are assigned to DHS but the caller is actually a scammer. In this instance, scammers are posing as law enforcement or immigration officials. Some may tell you that you have been the victim of identity theft, and then the scammer asks you to verify your personal information. Don’t fall for it!

The Franklin Police reported that the Williamson County Health Department has received complaints that scammers are calling, claiming to be from the Health Department in order to obtain private Medicare information. This warning is similar to an announcement the Tennessee Department of Health reported a year ago.

Scammers often use spoofing techniques that allow the company name to display on your phone. Caller ID spoofing is the deliberate deception of falsifying information displayed on your Caller ID. Do not rely on the display. If you receive a phone call asking for any kind of private information, it’s best to simply hang up.

Tips to avoid phone and spoofing scams:

• Don’t answer calls from an unknown number. When you answer, you’ve just confirmed that your phone number is legitimate.

• If the caller, or recording, requests you push a button to stop receiving calls – hang up.

• Do not respond to questions especially ones with a “Yes” or “No” answer.

• If you get a call from a representative of a legitimate company, hang up and call the number on your account statement or on the company’s website to verify the original call.

• Never give out personal or private information.

• Do not allow the caller to force you into an immediate decision or action.

Wilson Bank & Trust receives 5-star financial rating

BauerFinancial, Inc., the national bank rating firm, recently recognized Wilson Bank & Trust with a 5-Star rating for being an invaluable partner to the communities it serves.

With the latest rating, which is based on financial data through the end of 2018, Wilson Bank & Trust has earned BauerFinancial’s highest recognition for 20 consecutive quarters. The distinction signifies WBT as one of the strongest banks in the nation.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette

BauerFinancial, Inc., a leading independent bank and credit union rating and research firm, has been reporting on and analyzing the performance of U.S. banks and credit unions since 1983. No institution pays BauerFinancial to rate it, nor can any choose to be excluded. Consumers may obtain free star-ratings by visiting bauerfinancial.com.

Wilson Bank & Trust (wilsonbank.com), member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender, is a community bank established in 1987 to provide personal and professional service in a hometown setting. One of the top banks in the South in stability, products, technology, growth and earnings, WB&T now operates 28 full-service offices in nine Middle Tennessee counties, offering a full range of financial products that include secondary market mortgage loans and mobile and online banking services.

Legislature looks at letting parents see school bus video

Lawmakers were to consider a bill this week to allow parents to view school bus video after reports of physical harm, harassment, intimidation or bullying involving their child.

Sen. Shane Reeves, R-Murfreesboro, sponsored SB 182, after he heard from a Lewisburg mother who faced roadblocks in finding out what happened to her kindergartener on the bus.

Brooke Wilkerson said she was concerned when her young daughter told her about a “secret tickling game” on the bus that she wasn’t supposed to talk about. Later, her daughter said she had to wipe off her mouth after the friend kissed her. Wilkerson later found out the other student was 12.

Photo courtesy of TCOG
Brooke Wilkerson said she was concerned when her young daughter told her about a “secret tickling game” on the bus that she wasn’t supposed to talk about.

Wilkerson went to school officials and Marshall County sheriff’s deputies to try to find out more, but could not get anyone in authority to do a complete review of all the bus video to find out what had been happening. Officials also told her that she would not be allowed to view the video herself because a federal law, the Family Educational and Privacy Rights, prevented the school from releasing it.

FERPA was created to ensure parents have access to their student’s educational records and prohibits the school from releasing a student’s records to others. But it’s often misunderstood and misused to withhold records even from parents.

Meanwhile, Wilkerson, who also writes a mom blog, learned the school bus driver was fired. And she was told by a school resource officer, who reviewed at least parts of footage related to her daughter, that the “bus was out of control.”

Finally, after hiring a lawyer, Wilkerson was allowed to see the video.

In the end, only four weeks of footage was available, saved in five-minute segments, which in about 2,000 clips with no way to organize or sort them. She said she watched much of the video and saw altercations on the bus and children rolling around on the floor. Her daughter sat in the back where the friend had asked her to sit.

“All I’m asking for is transparency. I just wanted to see what happened. I never once said anything about pressing charges,” Wilkerson said. “The only people who can access the video are the ones who have an interest in protecting it. You have to trust they will tell you that [the bus driver] wasn’t doing their job, not monitoring the bus.”

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Rick Tillis, R-Lewisburg, on the House side as HB 248.

Wilkerson has since taken her daughter out of the Marshall County public school and is homeschooling. She said she plans to put a petition on her website to help support the law change to allow parents to freely see school bus video when they hear of a problem related to their child.

She planned to testify at the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday.

Guest View: Public wising up to GOP’s cries of socialism

The annual Conservative Political Action Conference – a reliable index of far-right apprehensions – rolled into Washington last weekend, proclaiming long and loud the new Republican mantra: If we don’t re-elect Donald Trump, neo-Stalinism will befall us!

Speaker after speaker told the assembled faithful what President Donald Trump had intimated in his State of the Union address: Republicans in 2020 plan to run against Democrats as though they were Stalin or (the pre-Trump) Kim Jong Un. White House economist Larry Kudlow urged Republicans to “put socialism on trial.” And Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel advocated an education campaign: “We can’t think that the American people understand what socialism is. We have to go out and educate people. We need to talk about Venezuela.”

Metro Creative Connection

Wherein lies the Republicans’ problem: The Soviet Union, and its brand of communism – which virtually all Americans had both heard of and disliked – is long gone (replaced, in Russia, by kleptocratic authoritarianism and in China by Leninist capitalism). Moreover, American business (Wall Street in particular) has been soft on China for the past 30 years, and just last week, P Trump even recommended to his North Korean BFF that he’d do well to model his country on Vietnam, which is still under strict Communist control.

It’s not surprising that the Republican Party would rely on a playbook that has worked well for them in the past, especially when they don’t need to sway a majority of Americans – only a large enough group to swing a couple of key states. But it’s a far riskier strategy now than it was in the past.

Not surprisingly, Americans’ definitions of socialism have changed since the Cold War ended. In September 2018, Gallup asked Americans for their understanding of the term ‘socialism.’ One-third – 33 percent – answered that it meant a society with equal standing for everybody, in which benefits and services were free for all.

When Gallup had asked Americans the same question in September 1949, at the height of the Cold War, just 14 percent gave that answer, while 34 percent answered that it meant government ownership of all business and control of society.

That is, the public’s idea of socialism has shifted over the past 70 years from one verging on totalitarianism to one far closer to European social democracy. The disappearance of Soviet communism has clearly contributed to that shift, but so has the transition over that same 70 years to a more aggressive capitalism that has rewarded chiefly the rich.

That helps explain why a record number of Americans, and a majority of Democrats, now think of socialism positively, and clearly distinguish democratic socialism from its communist deviation. In a 2017 YouGov poll of millennials, 44 percent said they’d prefer to live in a socialist nation, while 42 percent preferred one that was capitalist, and 7 percent one that was communist (alas).

When Sen. Bernie Sanders delivered a speech at Georgetown University in the fall of 2015, which he’d billed as providing his own definition of socialism, he cited as his precedents Franklin Roosevelt’s creation of Social Security, Lyndon Johnson’s creation of Medicare, and Martin Luther King’s commitment to an egalitarian society. His vision of socialism, he emphasized, was light-years distant from a society in which all private enterprise, particularly small- and medium-sized businesses, were taken over by the state.

Republicans desperately hope that they can substitute Venezuela for the Soviet Union. Their problem is that Sanders, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the vast majority of actually existing American socialists look to Sweden, Norway and Denmark, not Venezuela, as their models. As well they should: The Scandinavian social democracies rank highest on indexes of social mobility, general wellness and just plain happiness.

Moreover, while the battered husk of the U.S. Communist Party provided McCarthy-era Republicans with a domestic target, meager in size and power though it was, there’s no equivalent organization hiding under Americans’ beds today.

That won’t deter Republicans, of course. They’ve labeled every Democrat since Al Smith and Franklin Roosevelt as socialists, and every reform from the minimum wage to national parks as socialistic. The absence of Soviet communism and their own century of crying wolf should make instigating a new “Red Scare” more difficult than it’s been in the past, though the emergence of actual democratic socialists will doubtless spur the Republicans on.

Accuracy will not impede them. Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers released a report last year attacking the socialism of Sanders and AOC by equating it with the most murderous policies of Stalin and Mao. All the more reason for Bernie and AOC to continue to be clear about what they’re for, and what they’re against.

Harold Meyerson is executive editor of American Prospect and a contributing writer to Los Angeles Times Opinion.

The Loop: Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver’s legislative update

Greetings Fabulous Folks of the 40th!

After a week of frigid temperatures, then comes Sunday! Daylight Savings Time robbed our extra hour of sleep but hopefully you got outside to enjoy some sunshine. What a beautiful day!

Governor Lee’s State of the State Address was a home run. His proposed budget includes:

Not taking on new debt, cutting $40 million in costs and a record-breaking deposit of $1.1 billion into the Rainy Day Fund. Living within your means, cutting costs and putting money in the cookie jar for savings! Sounds like the definition of conservative to me!

Terri Lynn Weaver

Priorities to continue improvements in education, overhauling our criminal justice system and improving access and the quality of healthcare while lowering overall costs to Tennesseans were key topics the governor addressed to a packed House Chamber on Monday night. One of my favorite quotes from the governor’s address was, “If we lead Tennessee well, Tennessee may well lead the nation.”

Last Monday morning the Senate and House Transportation Committee took a field trip to learn about the daily operations of the Nashville International Airport. This Airport Authority is indeed its own city. All revenues generated within its parameters fund the budget that sustains its business, keeping the vision for growth going forward. We have become quite the southeast hub with 565 daily flights, 43,825 passengers per day and 43 gates. Music City has 206,303 takeoffs and landings per year! Check out @Fly_Nashville for information you can follow such as the new parking garage construction, hotel, new terminal and additional gates for more airplanes!

While being visited by the Appalachian Arts Center in District 40 this past week, I am reminded how fortunate we are in Tennessee to have an additional source of funding from our specialty and personalized license plates. More than 70 percent of the money used to fund the 800 grants from the Tennessee Arts Commission last year was from the sales of these specialty license plates. When other states “ax the arts,” our great state funds and encourages more organizations to sell more plates so the arts can thrive in Tennessee.

On Tuesday evening I was invited to take part in an education symposium with four of my colleagues. We were asked questions by a room full of professional female teachers from all across the state. In this year’s budget, one of the governor’s education initiatives included a $71 million investment for pay raises for Tennessee teachers.

House Bill 1275, a bill that would allow high-risk students with severe mental disorders to attend an out of state residential facility for treatment with allocated LEA funds, was discussed at length in full committee. Apparently, we need such a facility here in our great state to treat the growing number of children affected with mental-health disorders.

House Bill 947 establishes school safety grants to ensure that all Tennessee schools have the school resource officers and ballistic tools needed to have our children learn in safe environments.

The Tennessee Education Lottery first began giving funds to Tennessee students in 2004. Those lottery-funded programs have grown to include 15 different scholarships and grants that include the HOPE Scholarships, grants to technical schools, dual enrollment grants and the Drive to 55 initiatives.

Total education funding since inception: more than $4.8 billion; total lottery funded scholarships and grants awarded since inception: more than 1.3 million.

For more information about TEL’s financial performance visit tnlottery.com.

During last Thursday’s House session, house members strongly approved the Heartbeat Bill. I believe life begins at conception. Science continues to prove that inside the womb indeed that is a baby, not a mass of tissue, but a little person with its own DNA that has a constitutional right to life, liberty and the opportunity to pursue happiness. Tennessee continues to march forward as a state known to protect the unborn. I am so honored to be in this fight for life, for the voiceless, the unborn child.

Israel has long been and remains America’s most reliable partner in the Middle East. Tennessee has led the nation in support for Israel and we were the first state to pass legislation that strongly disagrees with the anti-Semitism many nations have expressed by boycotting Israel and its economic contributions worldwide. SJR58 was celebrated on Thursday with the Consul General of Israel Judith Shorer, Gov. Bill Lee, Ricky Skaggs, Senator Mark Pody and I as the bill sponsors of this steadfast support of the nation of Israel. Indeed the city of Jerusalem and the city of Nashville are becoming the sister cities they are destined to be.

Please remember to join me at any four of my ‘Coffee Conversations’ in the Fabulous 40th on Friday mornings at 8 A.M.

First Friday: Angie’s Diner in Smithville;

Second Friday: Early Bird Café in Hartsville;

Third Friday: Smith County Chamber Building in Carthage;

Fourth Friday: Sumner Regional Hospital in Gallatin (7:30 a.m.)

It is a pleasure to serve and work for you.


Terri Lynn Weaver

Phil Valentine: Why all the hatred from America’s left?

Trump Derangement Syndrome is now epidemic. We all remember when it started. It started the day Donald Trump came down that escalator at Trump Tower. It grew as his popularity did, hitting a fever pitch on Election Night 2016. Most people thought it would subside once the election was over. I knew better.

TDS grows with every success of President Trump. Record-low black unemployment? TDS hits another gear. Record-low Hispanic unemployment? Yet another new high for TDS. Hug a flag at the CPAC event? They go apoplectic.

Nick Gillespie at reason.com is a libertarian who is no fan of Donald Trump. He watched the CPAC speech and said, “Trump just might have won the 2020 election today.” He said, “There is simply no potential candidate in the Democratic Party who wouldn’t be absolutely blown off the stage by him.” This is why the libs and Never-Trumpers are going nuts.

Phil Valentine

Colin Jost, on the Weekend Update segment of Saturday Night Live, ran a clip of the president hugging the flag and asked, “What the hell was that?” What that was, Colin, was a display of undying love for this country. That’s something that’s foreign to a lot of liberals.

I posted the SNL story to Facebook with the following commentary, “SNL befuddled by Trump hugging the American flag. This, my friends, is emblematic of the problem. Too many on the left hate this country. In fact, all of the America-haters are on the left.”

That drew fire from a surprising place. I got slammed by a former co-worker whom I’ve only seen once in the last 20 years, but with whom I used to be quite close. He accused me of being divisive and dangerous and destructive and wanting just to sell a few books. He accused me of saying everybody on the right loves the country and everybody on the left hates it. That’s not what I said at all. I fully acknowledge that most of the people on the left probably love this country. My point was that every single America-hater is on the left. That point is not in dispute.

After some back-and-forth trying to clarify my point to no avail, he offered up this challenge. “Make that list of liberals who actually hate America.” To do so would take up pages of valuable newspaper real estate, so I’ll offer up a partial list.

Let’s start with a Gallup poll from last year that showed only 32 percent of Democrats are proud to be an American. I could stop there, but why when there’s so much evidence of liberal hatred of America. Louis Farrakhan said, “A decree of death has been passed on America. The judgment of God has been rendered, and she must be destroyed.” No ambiguity there. And don’t try to distance yourselves from Farrakhan, you liberals. It’s too late. Barack Obama, Jesse Jackson, Keith Ellison and countless others on the left have cozied up to Farrakhan. There is no excuse like, “Oh, but that was before I knew what Farrakhan was all about.” Farrakhan has always been a racist. He’s always been a black separatist. He’s always been an America hater.

Some lefties were late to the party when it comes to loving the country. It wasn’t until 2008 when Michelle Obama was 44 years old that she uttered these words, “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country.”

Donald Trump may be a lot of things, but one thing you have to give him. He loves America.

Phil Valentine is a nationally syndicated talk radio host. Find him at philvalentine.com.

IMPACThought: Jesus’ love brings grace, peace, life

There are numerous descriptions that Christians can offer when speaking about their Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Jesus is our all-sufficient Saviour who paid the price of our sin at Calvary. We are grateful for His vicarious death and resurrection through which we receive the gift of eternal life. Hallelujah, what a Saviour!

The Apostle Peter offers this wonderful description of Jesus, “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious…” (I Peter 2:7). Precious means “of great value or high price; to highly esteem or cherished.”

Submitted photo
Jon Shonebarger

There is no greater description of Jesus than “PRECIOUS!”

As a child of God, we adore and love our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. We are continually learning of the depths of His love for us. The Bible declares that Christians are joint heirs of salvation, with Jesus. All the glory and splendor of heaven are ours as a result of our union in Christ. We have inherited all that heaven holds, because of our relationship to our precious Saviour. The abundant treasure we possess in a personal, loving relationship, is nothing less than precious.

We are cherished by God and the proof lies in the Father sending His only begotten Son to die for our sins. Love was demonstrated on Calvary’s cross (Romans 5:8)! Jesus paid the ultimate price for us by shedding His sinless blood, to wash away our sin. There is no material wealth that can compare to the precious love of Jesus Christ, for you and me. Precious love of the highest of price!

Jesus is highly esteemed! We love Him because He first loved us. Our Saviour, who daily cares for His sheep, is our precious Good Shepherd. He is our faithful High Priest, seated at the right hand of our Heavenly Father. We esteem His glorious majesty. He is interceding to the Father right now on our behalf.

Jesus knows all about our troubles as a result of His earthly ministry. He experienced all the temptations we experience, yet without sin. He experienced grief, death, joy, hunger, thirst and much more, just as we do. He ministers grace and mercy to His children as they labor through their challenges of life. He walks with us. He kneels beside us when we fall. Nobody cares for us like Jesus. Precious! His children highly esteem Him for His compassionate care and provision.

Jesus is precious to me for innumerable reasons. He saved my soul as a young airman in a church in northern Michigan. By His grace, He provided a lovely wife, son and sweet grandkids. Jesus called me into the gospel ministry and has blessed my labors beyond measure. He strengths and sustains me to do the work of the ministry. He guides, counsels and leads me every day, as I serve Him and proclaim His love to sinful man. What a precious Friend He is to this unworthy servant. He is of the utmost value to my life and is highly valued and cherished. Praise His holy Name!

As Christians, may we pause and give thanks to our precious Saviour. He is worthy. Have a great week and remember, God loves YOU!

Contact Jon Shonebarger at jtshonebarger@gmail.com.

David Carroll: Even presidents can be foul-mouthed at times

I’m sure you’ve noticed. In recent weeks, some high-profile politicians have been using naughty words.

At one time, I would have said they were “caught” using bad words, because in olden days (say, 2016) it was almost unheard of for a member of Congress, or a President of the United States to go around cussing in public. No more. Now, the cameras are on, the microphones are open, and the obscenities are loud and clear.

Civility? That’s as outdated as Lawrence Welk’s bubble machine. Decorum? As extinct as the dodo bird.

Reviewing our esteemed presidents, it’s safe to say most of them cursed now and then. I mean, the job is a pressure cooker. There is no historical record of any particular swear word used by George Washington, but then again, cable news had not yet been invented.

David Carroll

President number 7, Tennessee’s own Andrew Jackson, apparently had a rather loose tongue. According to the Washington Post, when he died in 1845, thousands gathered to pay a final tribute. Among those in attendance was his pet parrot, who had long listened to Jackson’s household rants.

A witness wrote, “While the crowd was gathering, the wicked parrot got excited and commenced swearing. The bird let loose perfect gusts of cuss words, and people were horrified by the bird’s lack of reverence. The bird refused to shut up and had to be carried away.”

Even Abe Lincoln was said to enjoy sharing an off-color joke. In his defense, there was a lot going on in the 1860s, so maybe he needed to let off a little steam.

Teddy Roosevelt was reportedly quite colorful, and one could imagine him yelling something other than “Bully!” when he stubbed his toe. However, there was no audiotape a hundred years ago, so we’ll never know for sure.

“Silent Cal” Coolidge surely didn’t swear on the job. By most accounts, he only said about 13 words during his entire presidency.

In the relatively tame 1950s, fans of President Truman would routinely yell, “Give ‘em hell, Harry!” Later in life, Truman said, “I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell.” Truman was also widely quoted, questioning General Douglas MacArthur’s ancestry. He may have saved his best outburst for a music critic who had panned the singing voice of Margaret Truman, the president’s daughter. In a letter of complaint, Truman called the critic’s work, “poppycock.” When it came to salty 1950s slang, that word was right up there with “horsefeathers.” Truman would feel right at home in the 2019 political arena.

Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy are not remembered for their curse words. But one was an Army general, and the other was a sailor, so I’m guessing they were a bit bawdy at times.

As for Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon, let’s just say they were bad boys when it came to high-level cussing. Both were caught on tape on numerous occasions. LBJ let it be known that he could tell the difference between chicken salad and well, you know. Nixon’s once-secret tape recording system eventually became infamous, and the term “expletive deleted” became part of his legacy.

Ronald Reagan had at least one embarrassing moment when the microphone was turned on. Reporters were yelling out questions at a White House photo session, and he clearly referred to them by an unflattering name. Later, his press secretary solemnly told reporters they had misunderstood him. “He just said it’s sunny, and you’re rich,” he said. Right.

Since then, pretty much all the presidents have been caught or overheard saying inappropriate words, usually out of public earshot. The same could be said for some members of Congress, governors, and world leaders. They choose their words far more carefully when the microphone is “hot.”

Until recently, that is. One member of the U.S. House used the ultimate twelve-letter profanity when referring to President Trump. A few weeks later, the president accused his opponents of “going after me” with a familiar barnyard epithet. In both cases, the cameras were rolling. Don’t even get me started with singer/rapper R. Kelly.

How times have changed. Twenty years ago, when my sons were little, we would shield them from certain movies, to keep them from picking up bad words.

I’m glad I don’t have little ones now. “Did I just catch you watching the NEWS? You know better than that, young man. Go to your room!”

David Carroll, a Chattanooga news anchor, is the author of “Volunteer Bama Dawg,” a collection of his best stories. You may contact him at 900 Whitehall Road, Chattanooga, TN 37405 or 3dc@epbfi.com.

Community Calendar: March 14, 2019

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


Monday, March 18

6 p.m. – Budget & Finance Committee

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

7 p.m. – County Commission

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

Tuesday, March 19

4 p.m. – Local Emergency Board

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

6 p.m. – Parks & Recreation Committee

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

Thursday, March 21

6 p.m. – School Board

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

Monday, March 25

7 p.m. – County Commission

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

Wednesday, March 27

10 a.m. – Water Board

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

2 p.m. – Highway Commission

The Hartsville/Trousdale Highway Commission will hold its regular monthly meeting at the Highway Department.

Tuesday, April 9

10 a.m. – Emergency Communications District Board

There will be a regular quarterly meeting of the Trousdale County Emergency Communications District Board at the Sheriff’s Station, 210 Broadway.


Spring Cleanup

Hartsville/Trousdale Public Works Department will hold its annual Spring Cleanup from April 22-26. One pickup truck load per stop and ONLY tree and shrub trimmings will be picked up. Trimmings must be left at curbside for pickup. Service will be offered in the old city area only. For more information, call 615-374-9574.

Commodity Distribution

Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency will hold a USDA Commodity Giveaway on March 14 from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Hartsville City Park. Commodities are for low-income families in Trousdale County. MCCAA does not discriminate on basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. Call 615-893-8938 for more information or for information on LIHEAP or Weatherization programs.

Band Boosters Pageant

The Trousdale County Band Boosters’ annual Spring Beauty Pageant will be held Saturday, March 16 at 11 a.m. in TCHS auditorium. Open to Trousdale County residents (girls 0-fifth grade, boys 0-4). Registration $25, admission $5. Call Steve Paxton, 615-374-8204 or Janet Boles, 615-450-2877.

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner

The Community Help Center will be holding its second annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner on Saturday, March 16 at 6 p.m. at the Community Center, 201 E. Main St. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the Help Center (109 E. Main), by contacting Jim Falco (615-374-0416, jimfalco@live.com) or at the door. A traditional Irish dinner will be served, including corned beef and cabbage. All proceeds go to the Help Center’s food bank and the Christmas For Kids project.

Women’s Day

Smith Chapel AME cordially invites you to attend our annual Women’s Day program on Sunday, March 17. Assistant Pastor Elnora Cartwright Murhead of Sylvain Baptist Church, Nashville, will be our speaker. Guest soloist will be Sis. Brittney Brown. We’re going to have a Holy Ghost good time in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Join us and receive your blessing!

Spring Singing

Everyone is invited to the Do Re Mi Gospel Spring Singing on Sunday, March 17 at 2 p.m. We’re singing the old songs and some of the new! Youth refreshments & fellowship after. 275 Cedar Bluff Road, Hartsville.

Trousdale County Democrats

The Trousdale County Democratic Party will hold its biannual organizational meeting on Tuesday, March 19 at 6 pm. The meeting will take place in the upstairs courtroom of the county courthouse at 200 E. Main Street in Hartsville. At this meeting we will elect up to 10 executive committee members, a county chair, a co-chair and a secretary/treasurer. We will also review the bylaws, which have not been revised in over eight years. We will vote on accepting revisions or retaining the current set of bylaws.

Spay/Neuter Transport Date

Fix Trousdale’s next transport date for low-cost spay/neuter service of pets will be Thursday, March 28. Do you have a dog or cat that needs to be fixed? Give us a call! We offer high quality, convenient, affordable spay/neuter services including vaccines, dewormer, and transportation from a central Hartsville location. Visit our Facebook page to see our reviews and to understand who we are. Fix Trousdale wants to help all residents be able to afford to fix their pets – to proactively address pet overpopulation through prevention. Please share and help us spread the word. 615-571-0472.

Friends & Family Day

Hartsville Church of Christ (108 Halltown Road) will host its annual Friends & Family Day on Sunday, March 31. Speaker will be Bro. Jerry Burchett. Sunday School at 9 a.m., worship services at 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. Fellowship meal will be served after morning service. Come worship with us! Everyone welcome!

Church Concert

Williams Chapel Church will be having a concert on Sunday, March 31, beginning at 2 p.m. There will be various choirs, soloists, groups, etc. Please come out and bless us with your presence. Sponsored by Sis. Peggy Seay and everyone is cordially invited!

Community Pregnancy Center Banquet

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

Meals on Wheels

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

American Legion

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

Adult Education

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


Thursday, March 14

11 a.m. – Karaoke St. Patrick’s Day Party (bring finger foods)

Friday, March 15

9 a.m. – AF Exercise

10 a.m. – Tai Chi

11 a.m. – Yoga

Noon – Rook games

12:15 p.m. – SAIL Chair Exercise

1 p.m. – Wii Bowling

Saturday, March 16

10 a.m.-noon – Open House (refreshment provided)

Monday, March 18

9 a.m. – Walk w/ Ease Walking Club starts

9:30 a.m. – Wii Bowling

11 a.m. – Book Club

Noon – Speaker – Carey Family Practice

Tuesday, March 19

9 a.m. – SAIL Exercise

10 a.m. – Yoga

11:30 a.m. – Lunch at Peking, Gimme 5 Stores

Wednesday, March 20

9 a.m. – Line Dancing

11 a.m. – AF Chair Exercise

Noon – Rook games

1 p.m. – Bible Study

Sheriff’s Reports: March 14, 2019

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

March 5

Jason Glennis Long, 35, of Red Boiling Springs, was charged with aggravated assault, evading arrest on foot by Deputy Tony Wrinkle. Bond was set for $4,000 and General Sessions court date was set for March 22.

Tyler Wayne Stafford, 27, of Red Boiling Springs, was charged with habitual offender-motor vehicle, evading arrest by motor vehicle by Deputy Wayland Cothron. No bond was set and General Sessions court date was set for April 12.

March 8

Joseph Michael Hasting Jr., 42, of Merced, CA, was charged with failure to appear, simple possession/casual exchange, unlawful drug paraphernalia by Deputy David Morgan. Bond was set for $750 and General Sessions court date was set for March 8.

Alexis Lee Limbaugh, 20, of Lebanon, was charged with mfg/del/sell controlled substance by DTF’s Brandon Gooch. Bond was set for $5,000 and General Sessions court date was set for May 13.

Casey Wayne Looper, 35, of Westmoreland, was charged with reckless endangerment by Deputy David Morgan. Bond was set for $40,000 and General Sessions court dates was set for April 26.

Brandon Lee Woods, 19, of Dixon Springs, was charged with leaving scene of accident, failure to give immediate notice of accident by Deputy Joseph Presley. Woods was cited to court and General Sessions court date was set for April 12.

Ronald Dewayne Willis, 66, of Lebanon, was charged with mfg/del/sell controlled substance by DTF’s Brandon Gooch. Bond was set for $2,000 and General Sessions court date was set for April 26.

Dustin Rhea Sykes, 29, of Hartsville, was charged with drivers license revoke/suspend/canceled, simple possession/casual exchange by Deputy David Morgan. Bond was set for $20,000 and General Sessions court date was set for March 22.

March 9

Paul Roger Watkins, 52, of Hartsville, was charged with driving on suspended license by Deputy Jesse Gentry. Bond was set for $1,500 and General Sessions court date was set for April 26.

Jennifer Gail Fields, of Hartsville, was charged with drivers license revoke/suspend/canceled by Deputy Clint Friar. Fields was cited to court and General Sessions court date was set for March 22.

Chamber luncheon promotes TN SAVIN notification program

The Tennessee Sheriffs Association, along with the Trousdale County Sheriff’s Office, made a presentation Tuesday to the Chamber of Commerce to promote a service called Tennessee SAVIN (Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification).

Attendees heard a presentation from Gary Cordell, who coordinates the SAVIN program for the Tennessee Sheriffs Association. Cordell spoke on a number of effective tools to aid crime victims in their right to receive information in real time regarding the status of offenders, along with methods to promote awareness and assist crime victims in their communities.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Gary Cordell of the Tennessee Sheriffs Association speaks to the audience at Tuesday’s Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

One of the primary rights for crime victims is to be notified when the offender is released from jail or prison. SAVIN provides free, confidential access to offender custody information and registered users can be notified by phone, text or email when an offender is released from a Tennessee county jail. Individuals may register for SAVIN by calling 1-800-868-4631 or visiting vinelink.com.

“SAVIN is a vital tool for crime victims,” said Trousdale County Sheriff Ray Russell. “Being able to check on the custody status of an offender anytime, day or night, and being able to easily register for free and anonymously, and to be notified if that status changes gives them tremendous peace of mind and helps keep them safe.”

SAVIN is a 24/7/365 service that has been operated by the Tennessee Sheriffs Association since July 2010.

It provides an optional process and timelier access to offender information from all 95 of Tennessee’s county jails. A special option is the automatic notification feature. As long as you have a telephone or computer, you can receive an automated alert any time – day or night – or anywhere – home or work.

Citizens calling 1-888-868-4631 are asked to provide an offender’s name and/or booking number, which can be obtained from their local county jail or correctional facility. After the system has provided the relevant custody information, it asks the caller if they would like to register to be automatically notified when that offender is released or transferred and what manner of notification they prefer.

Those choosing to register provide a phone number and a four-digit PIN which is used to confirm notification calls and to cancel any future calls if needed. Live operator assistance is also available around the clock for callers who have questions or require additional help. General information is provided in English and Spanish and interpreters are available in many languages.

“We’re very pleased to be able to provide this training and are looking forward to spreading the word about this very useful program that can help so many,” Cordell said.

In addition, SAVIN is accessible via the free MobilePatrol app, which is available for both Android and iPhone devices.

“The sheriffs in Tennessee are concerned about the safety of crime victims and their continued support of the program has made it successful,” Cordell said. “MobilePatrol is another tool to help our victims while keeping communities safe and informed.”

The app has links to victims’ services, resources and emergency numbers along with public safety announcements. Data is collected every 15 minutes. The system is funded by a $3 charge to each person booked into a county jail and is not funded by taxpayers, according to Cordell.

In Trousdale County, MobilePatrol users can see photos of those currently booked into the county jail around the clock. Charges are not currently shown, but Cordell and Russell said that feature, which is available in some counties, could be coming.

Many sheriffs’ offices use MobilePatrol to more efficiently and effectively share public safety information with their communities. Users are able to see who is in jail, access lists of most wanted persons and child custody offenders, receive emergency notifications, provide crime tips, access SAVIN and more.

Cordell said there have already been more than 50,000 SAVIN registrations via MobilePatrol this year.

Community Help Center plans St. Patrick’s Day dinner

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

The Community Help Center will hold its second annual fundraiser dinner next week to assist its efforts for its food bank.

A Saint Patrick’s Day Dinner will be held on Saturday, March 16 at 6 p.m. at the Hartsville Community Center. Tickets are $15 each and may be purchased either at the Help Center at 220A McMurry Blvd. during operating hours (Tuesday, Thursday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-1 p.m.) or by contacting Jim Falco at 615-374-0416 or jimfalco@live.com. Tickets will also be available at the door, but those planning to attend are asked to make reservations in advance so that an accurate meal count can be planned.

A traditional Irish dinner will be held at the event, including corned beef and cabbage.

All proceeds will benefit the Community Help Center’s food bank. The Center distributes food boxes each month to those in need in Trousdale County.

For more information, contact Falco at 615-374-0416 or the Community Help Center at 615-374-2904. Information is also available at the Help Center’s Facebook page, titled Community Help Center of Trousdale County.

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

Band Boosters to hold annual kids pageant on March 16

The Trousdale County Band Boosters will hold their annual Spring Children’s Beauty Pageant on Saturday, March 16 at 11 a.m. at the high school auditorium.

The pageant is one of two annual fundraisers for the band program, along with the September exhibition that has become one of the state’s largest band competitions.

The Band Boosters have been holding the kids’ pageant for at least 15 years, according to assistant director Steve Paxton. The idea came about as a way to do something for Trousdale County’s youngest residents.

Photo courtesy of The Lebanon Democrat

“It’s open to all children – boys and girls – who are residents of Trousdale County,” Paxton said. “We will crown Miss Trousdale Elementary and that will be our top prize.”

“For us, this is our spring event. This gets funds ready to carry us through the summer, band camp, and the beginning of the school year.”

The pageant consists of 11 age groups, ranging from 0-6 months up to grades 4-5 for girls and up to ages 3-4 for boys. The entry fee for contestants is $25. Admission to the event is $5.

Paxton said the group is looking toward acquiring more uniforms, equipment purchase and maintenance, while also looking to the future of the program.

“We ordered 50 uniforms originally and we’ve grown,” Paxton said. “Last year we had 47 kids. We may have to look at getting a few more!”

“We always look at upgrading our instruments,” Paxton added. “If you get the cheapest, they don’t last as long and they don’t sound as good…

“Some of our seniors who have been playing for years almost need a professional level. One of our goals with the music program is that if our students want to, they can continue participating in music as an instructor or performer.”

For more information on the Band Boosters pageant, contact Paxton at 615-374-2712 or Janet Boles at 615-450-2877.

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