March 2024 Murfreesboro Pulse

Page 14


meet s ome of m urfreesboro’s talented m usicians and ut Where to hem l ive!

p roject k eystone d evelopment d raws m uch p raise and c riticism

“We mind our P’s & Q’s when helping U!”

l ocal p izza d irectory h ighlights p izzerias for p i d ay and e very d ay n ature n ews: p rescribed b urn at s tones r iver n ational b attlefield

 Award-Winning Service

 Declutter, Donate, Recycle

 Furniture, Appliances, Construction

 Debris, Trash, Brush and MORE!

 Single Items to Full Property Clean-Outs

LOCAL • LICENSED • INSURED liberty barn dance / karli & james / greenhouse ministries / mtsu tennis complex / and more! inside Middle Tennessee’s Source for Art, Entertainment and Culture News March 2024 | Vol. 19, Issue 3 | free
HOURS: Monday–Saturday 10 a.m.–10 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.–8 p.m. 206 W. Northfield Blvd. 615-848-9003 Pozole, Menudo & Caldo de Pollo Served Saturdays & Sundays The One and Only Carmen’s Taqueria BREAKFAST SERVED ALL DAY! FREE Small Cheese Dip With purchase of $ 25 or more DOWNLOAD the Carmen’s Taqueria App to Order Online Football Helmet Drink Towers* All Day Sat.–Thurs. 20.99—100 oz. Beer 29.99—100 oz. Margarita MONDAY All Day 12 oz. Beer 2 for 1 10% Off Regular Menu Price on all food Lunch specials not included TUESDAY All Day 12 oz. House Margaritas on the Rocks 2-for-1 Taco Tuesday: $5.99 for 4 Burrito Fajita Asada (Steak) $11.99 WEDNESDAY 2–6 p.m. 50% OFF Enchiladas Carmen’s Pollo (Chicken) Chimichanga Asada (Steak) Small Caldo de Pollo THURSDAY All Day $8.50 Fried Fish Tacos Grilled Chicken Sope Medium Grilled Chicken Quesadilla SUNDAY 2–6 p.m. 15% OFF Food (food only) No substitutions on daily specials • Dine-in only Specials cannot be combined with coupons HOUSE MARGARITAS$7.25* *No sharing *Minimum 3 people, with food purchase Dine-in only; Limit one coupon per table 2 for 1 Draft Beer—$4.99 3–10 Everydayp.m. MUSIC Every Friday & Saturday! Beer—
Let ROVER Rover Transit buses can Avenue and Stones River SportsCom, grocery stores, along the 7 ROUTES that adults and kids under 6 are For additional information, 615-21ROVER (615-217-6837). Want to take the hassle out of driving yourself NEW NAME SAME GREAT SERVICE LET US DO THE DRIVING FOR YOU WE CAN TAKE YOU shopping at places like The Avenue and Stones River Mall, or to medical facilities along the Gateway. We serve many other areas of Murfreesboro as well. FOR INFORMATION , including routes and fares, visit and click on the Public Transit button, or call 615.217.6837. 517 Cason Lane Meowfreesboro, TN PET 20 CATS! PET 20 CATS!




l IB erty Barn dance

Boots hit the old wooden dance floor every Saturday night.


t he r egulars

Meet some of the area’s talented local musicians; hear them play live.


g o g reenhouse

Greenhouse Ministries continues to offer food, hope and counseling to all in need in its 25th year.


P I zza!

Local pizza directory highlights area pizzerias for Pi Day and every day.

33 Project keystone

Downtown development draws much praise and criticism.


iN EvERy iSSuE

6 Events calendar

Special Kids Race, Downtown After Dark, St. Patrick’s Day events, Chess Lunch, poetry events, Business Connection and other networking events, and much more!

12 Sounds concerts

MusIc note Karli & James

17 Reviews

alBuM Country Punks


Dune: Part Two

18 Living nature news

Prescribed burn at Stones River Battlefield traVel

Visit Elkmont

Mr. MurfreesBoro

MTSU opens new tennis complex; a conversation with Coach Jimmy Borendame.

28 News

BusIness Buzz

In-N-Out Burger, Buona Beef, Neighbors, Tink’s Treats, Champy’s, Wako Japanese, OshKosh, Monkee’s, Hangry Joe’s, Stewart’s Landing, Main Street Awards and more

34 Opinion

free your chIldren

Parents must act now to preserve parental rights in Tennessee. tech talk

Technology Engagement Center: A library without books. BusIness MoMentuM

Is AI really that intelligent?

sPorts talk

Biology matters, Titans preparing for NFL Draft and March Madness

Money Matters

Navigating tax season. lIVIng . . . well! The way out is to go in.

to carry the Pulse at your BusIness or to submit letters, stories and photography:


MuRFREESbORO: Shop for antiques with Four Sisters or have some noodles at Brothers Ramen.

I do sometimes miss the Reuben sandwich and cheese triangles and chips with horseradish sauce at Three Brothers Deli, but I recently learned that Two Brothers, in Smyrna, serves pizza. Out in Eagleville, Sorelles (translated as “sisters”) serves pizza as well, but Two Sisters cleans houses, I think.

Keep it straight: Tres Madres/Three Mothers operates a Murfreesboro bakery; Five Daughters will also be opening a Murfreesboro bakery, but Five Guys is where you get burgers and fries.

Now, on to barbecue: we have Jim ’N Whitt’s, Rick’s ’N Nick’s, Single Pig and Slick Tree . . . and the restaurants and businesses keep on coming—so many it’ll make your head spin.

Stay tuned for all of the local business news.

Come and join me and a thousand other runners at the 7 a.m. hour on March 9 for the Special Kids Race. The event is usually a fun one for a noble cause involving lots of good local folks.

After a rough patch in the season and their coach calling them out, the Predators have put together a fantastic end to February, winning eight games in a row and getting themselves back in the NHL playoff picture.

Wow . . . garden planting time is here! Valley Growers has the kale, cabbage, broccoli and other cool weather plants ready for you to get into the ground.

To all of the local business owners who support the Pulse, who make our community outlet part of your marketing plan, or for simply having copies of the Pulse in your establishment: thanks for helping make this little publication happen.

If you enjoy the Pulse and want to see this totally local and independent media outlet continue to grow and sustain operations, consider advertising your local business with us. You will get an advertisement printed in a wellread outlet that many enjoy, distributed to 400 points throughout the Rutherford County area.

Your dollars are a vote. Vote for the Pulse!

If you want to support the globalist technocrats who make no secret about their desires to spy on, manipulate and control their users and ultimately society, advertise with Facebook.

If you want to support a local media outlet that does everything in its power to highlight what is going on in your community, support the Pulse!

A lot of people go wild when the latest Whataburger, Trader Joe’s, In-N-Out, Buc-ee’s, Costco or Wawa come to the area. It seems there is room, and a willing market, for all of them in town.

But there’s also a very important contingent of Murfreesboro consumers who go out of their way, and often even spend a little more, so that they can purchase from a local business.

Those local, independent, one-of-a-kind spots and operations seem to give Murfreesboro, and hundreds of other towns across the world, unique character and culture and set them apart from one another.

Main Event, the new bowling center, restaurant and arcade, hooked us up royally at its launch event.

Z-Train came along with the Mayos to a Blue Raiders basketball game.

Enjoy March. Get your taxes done. Get some sunshine. Love your neighbor!

Peace, Bracken Mayo

Publisher/Editor in Chief

s t., s
w. Main
uite 208, Murfreesboro, tn 37129 615-796-6248
Copyright © 2024, The Murfreesboro Pulse 714 W. Main St., #208, Murfreesboro, TN 37129. Proudly owned, operated and published the first Thursday of each month by the Mayo family; printed by Franklin Web Printing Co. The Pulse is a free publication funded by advertisers. Views expressed in the Pulse do not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers. ISSN: 1940-378X advertising: Amanda Howell, Nneka Sparks copy editor: Steve Morley art director: Sarah Mayo c ontributors: Tiffany Boyd, Annabelle Cranfill, Delores Elliott, Byron Glenn, Bryce Harmon, Logan Langlois, Zach Maxfield, Destiny Mizell, Sean Moran, Jay Spight, Andrea Stockard, Bill Wilson sIgn uP for the Pulse Weekly Digital Newsletter at BoroPulse.coM/newsletter Publisher/editor in chief: Bracken Mayo onlIne: @boroPulse /boroPulse The Murfreesboro Pulse @boroPulse @boroPulse 14 18 33 ON ThE COvER: (Clockwise, from
top left)
Taylor, Joey Fletcher, Taylor Hughes, Everette Brown,

events calendar ››› March 2024 ››› by a ndrea st O c K ard

march 7

Brew BusIness MIxer

Brew Business Networking continues the first Thursday of each month at Middle Ground Brewing Co. (2476 Old Fort Pkwy.) on Thursday, March 7, from 4:30–6:30 p.m. There is no cost to attend and network. For more information, visit

march 9

PrunIng workshoP

The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service hosts a free Pruning Workshop at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 9, in the Lane Agri-Park Community Center (315 John R. Rice Blvd.). Come learn proper pruning essentials and prune like a pro this season. For more information or to register for the free session, call 615-898-7710.

march 11

ladIes of the laB networkIng Par-tee

Ladies of the Lab and Lauren Head of Jeremy Head Golf Shop & Academy

Host host A Ladies Networking Par-Tee on Monday, March 11, from 6–7:30 p.m. at Jeremy Head Golf Shop & Academy (1802 Memorial Blvd., A). This is a holein-one networking event for women in business and leadership. Connect and socialize in a fun and engaging atmosphere, and meet the fabulous female business leaders in the Murfreesboro area. Enjoy food and learn a few digital marketing tips as well. The leaders of the Boro Business Lab regularly host women’s networking events as well as a podcast that serves the Murfreesboro business community. RSVP for the March 11 event by emailing

march 12

PIe & Poetry

A Pie & Poetry Fundraiser at the Blackman High School Library (3956 Blaze Dr.) will benefit the Murfreesboro Rescue Mission on Tuesday, March 12, from 6–7:30 p.m. Performances include Blackman High poets, Poetry in the Boro cameos and a special guest. Admission is $10; sponsored tickets are available for those who cannot pay. For more informa-

march 9

sPecIal kIds race

The 13th annual Special Kids Race is set for Saturday, March 9. With 15K, 10K, 5K or the 1-mile Family Fun Run options, the March 9 event kicks off at 7 a.m. at Murfreesboro Medical Clinic (1272 Garrison Dr.). Special Kids’ services include outpatient therapy as well as occupational, physical, speech and feeding therapies for special needs children residing in Murfreesboro and surrounding communities. The race is one of the organization’s largest fundraisers. Special Kids works with children and families regardless of what they are able to pay. Register for the 2024 Special Kids Race on Runsignup. For more information on Special Kids and its services, visit

tion, visit and click Upcoming Events.

march 12

March lIVIng sent MInIstrIes

The March 2024 Living Sent Murfreesboro meeting will be at its new location at Wilson Bank (3110 Memorial Blvd.) on Tuesday, March 12, from 11:45 a.m.–1 p.m. Since she was a little girl, Dr. Lili Moran wanted to be either Mother Theresa or a doctor. Since one position was already taken, her path was clear. In November 2023, Moran ended up in the hospital with a heart issue. She will share the amazing things God has done and what He may have for her in the future. Gene Garcia lived a life of multiple addictions. As hard as he tried, he was never able to break free until he found the divine

solution. At the meeting, Garcia will share some of the things he’s learned throughout his life and ministry. A complimentary lunch will be provided by Red Barn Financial. RSVP to Bob Williams, LSM Murfreesboro Team Leader at

march 12

tennessee state Parks trIVIa nIght

The Tennessee Trails Association’s monthly meeting of its Murfreesboro chapter will be held Tuesday, March 12, from 7–8 p.m. at the Wilderness Station at Barfield Crescent Park (401 Volunteer Rd.). Test your Tennessee State Parks knowledge for silly prizes and bragging rights at the Tennessee State Parks Trivia Game Night. For more information, call or text 615971-8894 or visit

march 12

rutherford caBle

The theme for the March Rutherford Cable breakfast meeting is “The Unsung Heroes of Women’s Human Rights Movement.” Andrea Blackman, chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer with the City of Nashville, leads a conversation on the erasure of women’s work and voices during the modern civil rights movement. The dialogue aims to challenge and reevaluate how we make space for marginalized voices today rather than just memorialize history. The meeting takes place Tuesday, March 12, from 7:15–9 a.m. at The Fountains at Gateway (1500 Medical Center Pkwy.). Bring plenty of business cards and grab a card from the basket on the way out. For more information, email

march 12

BusIness after hours

The Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce will hold its March Business After Hours networking event at City Tile & Floor Covering (223 S. Spring St.) on Tuesday, March 12, at 4:30 p.m. Admission is $15 for chamber members and $25 for non-members. For more information on this and other Chamber of Commerce events and ribbon cuttings, visit and find Events.

march 14

sPInnIng hoMe

The Bloom Stage presents Spinning Home, a multi-genre storytelling show, at the Walnut House (116 N. Walnut St.). This show’s theme is Women Weaving Words of Wit and Wisdom From Homespun to Highfaluting. The show begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 14. Experience live storytelling, music, art, poetry and more. A $10 donation at the door is appreciated, but no one will be turned away. For more information, find the Bloom Stage: Spinning Home event on Facebook or visit and click Upcoming Events.

march 15

downtown after 5

6 * March 2024 *

Enjoy a beautiful evening walking through historic downtown Murfreesboro supporting small businesses and exploring the Boro Art Crawl on Friday, March 15, from 5–8 p.m. Find artwork, unique gifts, clothes and delicious food and drinks for a night of shopping downtown. For more information, find Main Street Murfreesboro/Rutherford, Inc. on Facebook.

march 15

thIrd frIday coMMunIty rhythM eVent

Everybody Drum Some continues its third Friday Community Rhythm Event series for those who would like to join their neighbors in some drumming. The next community rhythm session kicks off at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 15, in the fellowship hall of St. Patrick’s Anglican Church (7103 Baker Rd.). There is no cost to attend, and people of all ages are invited to participate in the drumming or to spectate. Participants may bring drums, shakers, tambourines, woodblocks or percussive instruments of any type, but plenty of instruments will also be available for use from the large Everybody Drum Some collection. For more information, visit, find Everybody Drum Some on Facebook or call or text 615-631-7458.

march 15

wIne & whIskey at the wetlands

The Discovery Center at Murfree Spring’s annual fundraiser, Wine & Whiskey at the Wetlands, takes place on Friday, March 15, from 6–8:30 p.m. at the Discovery Center (502 SE Broad St.). The event will showcase a variety of fine wines and spirits with food available for purchase. Attendees must be 21 and up. This year’s event also features a new VIP experience for an additional cost. The VIP experience, from 5:30–7 p.m., features food from The Clay Pit Indian Cuisine and a wine program presented by Nashville Sommelier Davis Campbell of Wines Together. All proceeds from the night will benefit the Discovery Center and its programming. Tickets are $60 in advance, $70 at the door and $15 for designated drivers. VIP tickets are available for $125. In preparation, the Discovery Center will close at 1 p.m. that day. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. For more information on Wine & Whiskey at the Wetlands, visit events, call 615-890-2300, ext. 241 or email

Through march 28

PaIntIngs By

The Middle Tennessee State University Department of Art and Design will continue its collaboration with the Rutherford County Property Assessor’s Office with an exhibition of paintings by Lascassas artist Sandra Swayne. Swayne’s artwork will be on display through March 28 at the Murfree Gallery, located within the Property Assessor’s Office, Room 218 at the Rutherford County Office Building, 319 N. Maple St. in Murfreesboro. Swayne, a self-taught artist, began painting in 2017. Her works are done in oil and acrylic with a style that evolved into a brightly colored impressionistic background with a realism subject. Swayne’s exhibit is one of dozens to have graced the two-chamber art gallery in the Rutherford County Property Assessor’s Office. Murfree Art Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information on MTSU Art and Design programs and gallery exhibitions, call 615-898-5532, email or visit

march 15–16

QuIlts In the Boro

Quilts in the Boro is a juried quilt show on Friday, March 15, from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and Saturday, March 16, from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. at Lane Agri-Park Community Center (315 John R. Rice Blvd.). The event, which consists of vendors, classes and door prizes, is a great community outreach to get others involved with the wonderful hobby of quilting. For more information, visit

march 15–30

easter Bunny at stones

rIVer town centre

Spring is in the air, flowers are blooming and the Easter Bunny is making his rounds at the Stones River Town Centre (1720 Old Fort Pkwy.) on March 15–30, from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Monday–Saturday and from noon–6 p.m. on Sundays (the Easter Bunny takes a break from 3–3:30 p.m.). Capture some egg-cellent memories and get the perfect Easter snapshot while enjoying a bustling shopping

march 16

Boro yoga fest

Boro Yoga Fest’s fifth all-day yoga festival is set for Saturday, March 16, at Stone Gate Farm (714 Floraton Rd.) from 9:30 a.m.–3 p.m. This year’s lineup features Ashtanga, Kundalini, Hot 26, Yin, Restorative and Yoga Nidra. The event is open to all levels, and classes will be led by some of Murfreesboro’s best instructors. The festival is sponsored by CoreLife Eatery and Murfreesboro Hot Yoga. For more information, visit

march 16

lego jr. Maker cluB

The Youth LEGO club meets at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 16, and continues the third Saturday of every month at Linebaugh Library (105 W. Vine St.). Join other enthusiasts for an open-ended LEGO maker-space and see what you can create!

march 16

Paws Pet fest

destination. So grab your baskets and hop on over for an unforgettable experience. The shopping center will also host other Easter-themed activities during this time, including egg hunts and craft workshops. It is free to visit; photo packages are available for purchase. For more information, visit or call 833-268-8743.

march 16

st. PatrIck’s rIce krIsPIes treats decoratIng Oflow (Overflow-Brews & Bakes) will host a St. Patrick’s Rice Krispies Treats Decorating event on Saturday, March 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring the kids, and the bakery supplies everything to create beautiful treats. Purchase treats—one for $5 or three for $10—and decorate them at Oflow’s decorating station. The event will also include photo ops with a St. Patrick Irish mascot as well as Irish-inspired hand pies and desserts. Oflow is located at 115 N. Maple St. For more information, call 615-900-1676 or visit

Rutherford County PAWS (285 John R. Rice Blvd.) hosts its quarterly PAWS Pet Fest adoption special on Saturday, March 16, from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Petco Love has partnered with PAWS to sponsor adoption fees in efforts to partially relieve financial load and bring several shelter pets to their forever homes. PAWS will be visited by several local animal welfare businesses including Petco, Wag it Better, Pet Suites and Veterinary Emergency Group. Popcorn will be provided as well as a free photo booth for the entire family. Graced by K Designs has donated a special balloon arch and Ken’s Hot Dogs will serve up delicious lunch. Approved applicants who adopt from PAWS receive a courtesy bag of Hill’s Science Diet pet food and an adoption package with special pet offers, pet parenting tips and info. To learn more about adopting a pet, email, call 615-898-7740 or find PAWS of Rutherford County, TN on Facebook.

march 16

st. PatrIck’s at Panther creek Brews

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style at Panther Creek Brews (714 W. Main St.). on Saturday, March 16, from noon–11 p.m. Kick off the festivities a day early with the lively tunes of Muddy Boots playing traditional Irish music from 6–9 p.m. Indulge in authentic Irish fare, savor a selection of Irish brews and don’t forget your green. For more information, visit

CONTiNuEd ON PAgE 8 * March 2024 * 7  Send community event information to contact@BoroPulse.coM

march 17

rutherford county Poetry slaM

The Rutherford County Poetry Slam presented by Southern Word invites Middle Tennessee poets ages 14–19 to compete on Sunday, March 17, at 5 p.m. Poetry in the Boro is a co-sponsor of this event at the Walnut House (116 N. Walnut St.). Spectators are welcome to come and encourage the youth. The region’s top youth poets, emcees and spoken-word artists compete for their personal growth, a more powerful young writer community, top lyric honors, the opportunity to appear at the Tennessee Slam Finals and a chance to participate in the national teen slam in Washington, D.C. this July. For more information, visit and find Events.

march 21

the connectIon at chaMPy’s

Champy’s World Famous Fried Chicken will host the March 2024 installment of The Connection: An Evening of Professional Networking and Business Brainstorming from 5–7 p.m. on Thursday, March 21. All Middle Tennessee entrepreneurs and professionals are welcome to attend this casual, free, no-obligation networking event, where they can meet other small business owners and tap into one another’s experience and energy. Networking begins at 5 p.m. with introductions at 6 p.m. Champy’s is located at 1290 NW Broad St.

march 23

easter cookIe decoratIng

Oflow (Overflow-Brews & Bakes) will host an Easter Cookie Decorating event on Saturday, March 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring the kids, and the bakery supplies everything to create beautiful cookies. Purchase cookies—one for $5 or three for $10—and decorate them at Oflow’s decorating station. The day will also include photo ops with the Easter bunny. Oflow is located at 115 N. Maple St. For more information, call 615-9001676 or visit

march 23

ParkInson’s care Partner workshoP

The Parkinson’s Foundation Tennessee and Kentucky Chapter and the Murfreesboro Parkinson’s Support Group will host the first ever Hospital Care Partner Workshop. Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological disease in the world.

march 29

VIetnaM Veterans day coMMeMoratIon

The second annual Vietnam Veterans Day commemoration in Murfreesboro, organized by the Tristar Veterans Coalition (439 Rice St.), will be held at the Fountains of Gateway (1500 Medical Center Pkwy.) on Friday, March 29, from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. A simple lunch will be provided at no cost to attending veterans. Music will be provided by talented veteran songwriters. The Honor Guard flag presentation will be performed by the Rolling Thunder rifle team. For more information, email Keith Prather at

At this time there is no cure for Parkinson’s. Middle Tennessee has more than 8,000 Parkinson’s patients who are currently receiving treatment. It is estimated another 16,000 or more are suffering untreated because of the difficulty getting a proper diagnosis. This event is designed to take Parkinson’s patient care partners on a step-by-step process through the new Parkinson’s Foundation “Hospital Safety Guide,” to help them prepare for a hospital visit, whether planned or unplanned. Attend the Parkinson’s Foundation Hospital Care Partner Workshop live event on Saturday, March 23, from 9:30 a.m.–noon at the North Blvd Church of Christ West Campus (4950 Burnt Knob Rd.). The event is free but registration is required and includes a light breakfast alongside the “Hospital Safety Guide.” For more information, visit events/2024/Murfreesboro.

march 23

sPrIng saturday sessIon: hIstorIcal fIctIon

Each spring, MTSU Write offers a series of free master classes on Saturdays called Spring Saturdays. These classes vary in topics on the writing life, from craft talks to workshops to information

march 28

shIft lIterary journal release Party / oPen MIc Poetry in the Boro and SHIFT, the literary journal of MTSU Write, are partnering for an issue release party and open mic event on Thursday, March 28, at the Maney Hall event center of Oaklands Mansion (900 N. Maney Ave.). Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the program starts at 6 p.m. Approaching the mansion, the event center and its parking is to the left. For more information, visit and find Upcoming Events.

march 30

egg hunt at fuMc

Join First United Methodist Church Murfreesboro (265 W. Thompson Ln.) for an Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 30, at 10:30 a.m. with 15,000 eggs. Bring the kiddos for a day packed with joy and laughter for the free, familyfriendly event. For more information, visit .

march 30

southern shoPPIng shIndIg’s PIe fest

about publishing and freelancing. While these classes are free and open to the community, advanced registration is required and participation is limited to 20. Saturday, March 23, is “Finding Inspiration in Historical Fiction with Mary Leoson” from 1–4 p.m. in the MTSU Academic Classroom Building, Room 118 (1301 E. Main St.). To register and for more information, visit and click Events and Writing Groups.

march 25


chess lunch

Who wants to play a game of chess? Community members interested in the initiative of teaching others the game of chess, helping raise funds and interest for getting the game in the schools, sharing ideas on how chess can benefit others, involving their organization in promoting the game, or just desiring to gather with other chess enthusiasts to play and discuss chess can come to a Murfreesboro Chess Lunch at Carmen’s Taqueria (206 W. Northfield Blvd.) from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. on Monday, March 25. For more information, find an event page for Murfreesboro Chess Lunch on Facebook, email or call 615-426-7373.

Come out for local vendors, food and fun at the Southern Shopping Shindig’s first Pie Fest on Saturday, March 30, from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. at the Lane Agri-Park Community Center (315 John Rice Blvd.). The first 200 shoppers will receive a free mini pie. There is no admission cost to come out and shop. For more information, find Southern Shopping Shindig on Facebook.

april 4

show your tIll

Support the Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center at Show Your Till, a charity luncheon at the View at Fountains (1500 Medical Center Pkwy.) on Thursday, April 4, from 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. As the center embarks on its 38th anniversary year, this debut event aims to cultivate relationships, both new and old, and to fill those tills with life-changing dollars in the life of a survivor. Show Your Till is replacing the Tip Your Waiter event. The event will feel oddly familiar but presented with a new flair. It is a unique luncheon centered around raising funds to assist the agency in providing needed healing and protective services in the community. Food will be provided by Tasty Table. Single tickets are $50 and a table for 10 is $500. A local survivor will also share her story of healing during this event. Donations are still welcome from those not able to attend, and

8 * March 2024 *
CONTiNuEd FROM PAgE 7  Send community event information to contact@BoroPulse.coM


sponsorship packages are available. For more information, call 615-896-7377, find the Show Your Till event on Eventbrite or email

Through april

Volunteer IncoMe tax assIstance

United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties has announced the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program for the upcoming tax season through April 13, 2024. The United Way VITA program is an IRS-supported tax preparation service, through which trained volunteers prepare taxes at no cost for qualifying individuals and families. The VITA program, along with My Free Taxes, connects community members with eligible credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, a benefit for working people with at least one dependent that can mean more resources for essential needs. This year, in-person appointments will be available at the Boys & Girls Club of Smyrna and Patterson Park Community Center. Additional mobile VITA sites will be available in Cannon County, Bedford County, Motlow’s Smyrna campus and the MTSU Jones College of Business. For more information, visit or email


f3 workouts

F3—which stands for fitness, fellowship and faith—holds free, outdoor, peer-led workouts for men across the country. The free weekly workout sessions welcome all men and always end with a “circle of trust,” emphasizing the group’s commitment to faith. In Murfreesboro, F3 holds workouts on the Murfreesboro Public Square at 5 a.m. on Tuesdays; at Oakland Middle School (853 Dejarnette Ln.) at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesdays; at the Murfreesboro Medical Clinic/Gateway Island parking lot (1272 Garrison Dr.) at 5 a.m. on Thursdays; and at Old Fort Park (201 Golf Ln., at the north entrance parking lot) at 6 a.m. on Saturdays. In Smyrna, F3 meets for workouts at Cedar Grove Elementary (354 Chaney Rd., Smyrna) at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesdays; at Thurman Francis Arts Academy (221 Todd Ln., Smyrna) at 5:30 a.m. on Thursdays; and at Stewart’s Creek High School (301 Red Hawk Pkwy., Smyrna) at 6 a.m. on Saturdays. The group meets every week, rain or shine, hot or cold. For more information on F3 and area workout sites, visit

ongoing shoe us the loVe

The Stones River chapter of the Military Officers Association of America is having a shoe drive called Shoe Us The Love to support its MTSU Scholarship Fund. Through a partnership with, the MOAA will collect gently worn used shoes. The project will not only help raise money for the local scholarship fund, but the shoes will also be reused and given a second life by those in need. The organization aims to collect 2,500 pairs of gently used shoes. Boots, athletic shoes, dress shoes, sandals, work boots, cleats and even flip-flops are accepted as long as they are not torn. Murfreesboro shoe drop-off locations include Murfreesboro Hyundai (1625 S. Church St.), The Shoe Fixer (1004 Memorial Blvd.), St. Clair Senior Center (325 St. Clair St.), the Tri-Star Veterans Resource Center (439 Rice St.), Murfreesboro Ford (1550 NW Broad St.) and Toyota of Murfreesboro (3434 Bill Smith Dr.). For more information on the project and the Stones River Military Officers Association of America, call 845-325-8700 or email


connect MurfreesBoro

Join Connect Murfreesboro each Monday from 9–10 a.m. at BoomBozz Craft Pizza & Taphouse (2839 Medical Center Pkwy.) for a casual networking event designed to connect professionals, build relationships, drive referrals and help grow businesses. Please prepare a 60-second pitch about who you are and what you do, as well as a specific referral request for attendees on what can be done to help promote your business. The approximately 20-minute period at the end of each meeting is reserved for members to set up one-on-ones and socialize. For more information or directions, visit connectnashvillenetworking. com/events


Monday nIght hIstory

The Patriot Institute presents free Monday Night History classes every Monday night at 6:30 p.m. at Champy’s Chicken (1290 NW Broad St.). Classes have been covering Western Civilization and the American Revolution. The instructor, Galen Walker, formed The Patriot Institute in 2015 and has taught Monday Night History at various locations ever since. Classes started back with the Greek City-States and have

CONTiNuEd ON PAgE 10 * March 2024 * 9   7 HAPPY HOUR DAILY, 3–6 P.M.


progressed through Greece, Rome and the Middle Ages, and were most recently of the Pilgrims and Puritans and the French and Indian War. Classes involve more than just listening to a lecture and include quality video productions to cover each topics. For more information, visit or find The Patriot Institute on Facebook.



Meet at the Technology Engagement Center (306 Minerva Dr.) for TinyTEC on Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m. TinyTEC is a STEAM-based program for pre-K-aged children, but all ages are welcome. Read a book about winter science and perform an experiment or make a craft item. There is no cost to attend. For more information, visit or call 615-225-8312.


networkIng for awesoMe PeoPle

Are you looking to meet and connect with other local business owners? Do you want to grow your network and pick up some skills along the way? Networking for Awesome People meets each week on

Wednesdays at 9 a.m. at the Rutherford County Veterans Community Center (439 Rice St.). All you need to bring is a good attitude. Each attendee gets about a minute to explain what they do and what they need, followed by a discussion question of the week. Networking for Awesome People encourages open discussion to help everyone grow. For more information, find a Networking for Awesome People group on Facebook.


Boro 2 sQuare runnIng grouP

The Boro 2 Square running group meets at Mayday Brewery (521 Old Salem Rd.) every Wednesday at 6 p.m. The group welcomes runners of all paces looking to get out to run and socialize with other runners. Normal run distances are between 3 and 5 miles. Participants are welcome to hang out and socialize at Mayday following the run. For more information, visit


gIrls who code

Meet at the Technology Engagement Center (306 Minerva Dr) for Girls Who Code

on Wednesdays at 4 p.m. for 6th–12th graders. Girls Who Code is a nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology. This is a free after-school computer science program and it is not just for girls. Pre-register by calling 615-225-8312.


Mad cow trek cluB

The Mad Cow Trek Club running group meets every Thursday at 6 p.m. at Panther Creek Brews (714 W. Main St.). The group embarks on a route of 4–8 miles and welcomes runners of all paces and abilities. Affiliated with the Mad Cow Running Company in McMinnville, the Trek Club hosts races and free get-togethers to share its love of running with the community. Find Mad Cow Running Company (MCRC) on Facebook. All runners are encouraged to stay after each run for food and drinks.


Poker at Panther creek

The Murfreesboro Poker League hosts free games of Texas Hold’em each Thursday beginning at 6 p.m. at Panther Creek Brews (714 W. Main St.). Anyone can join during the first round, even after the game has begun, until after the break, when the elimination round starts. Players can receive additional chips with the purchase of food and drink. The winner of the nightly game receives a $50 gift card at Panther Creek and points for league champs are tallied by placement. For more information, find a Murfreesboro Poker League Facebook Group or contact Jeff Pooley at 615-877-4842.



Technology Engagement Center (306 Minerva Dr.) hosts TinkerTEC on Thursdays at 3:30 p.m. TinkerTEC is a STEAMbased program for elementary-aged children, but all ages are welcome. Read a book about winter science and perform an experiment or make a craft item. There is no cost to attend. For more information, visit or call 615-225-8312.


c3 networkIng

C3 is an open networking group for local business professionals at Prohibition Home Brewing (906 Ridgley Rd.) held on Fridays from 8:30–10:30 a.m. The mission is to build relationships, connect local businesses with potential clients, support each other’s professional growth and educate people on how to participate in the local community. Complimentary coffee and snacks are pro-

vided. For more information, find Prohibition Home Brewing on Facebook.



coMMunIty chess

Murfreesboro Community Chess meets at McAlister’s Deli (2357 Medical Center Pkwy.) every Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. Organizers invite those of all ages and skill levels to this casual chess meetup each week. Those attending may bring a board and a clock if they can, but there should be plenty of supplies on hand.


glowforge orIentatIon

GlowForge Orientation is held at the Technology Engagement Center (306 Minerva Dr.) on Saturdays at 1 p.m. All ages are welcome; a parent/guardian must accompany makers under 13. Orientation covers the basics of the GlowForge laser cutter, including best practices, basic procedures, policies and software overview. Orientation is required for using the TEC’s GlowForge. Advance registration is required by emailing There is no cost to attend. For more information, call 615225-8312 or visit


hIstorIcal socIety coffee & conVersatIon

The Historical Society hosts Coffee & Conversation each Saturday morning from 9 a.m.–noon at the Ransom School House Museum (717 N. Academy St.). This is a very informal, fun and informative event. Bring old photos or questions about the past to ask members and enjoy free coffee and donuts. For more information, visit


coffee wIth Veterans

All are welcome to join local veterans for coffee or breakfast and conversation on Sunday mornings from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at Joanie’s, located on the Public Square in downtown Murfreesboro.


3d PrInter orIentatIon

The Technology Engagement Center (306 Minerva Dr.) hosts its 3D Printer Orientation on Sundays at 1:30 p.m. Orientation covers the basics of 3D printing, including best practices, basic procedures, policies, and an overview of the software. This orientation is required for using the TEC’s 3D printers. There is no cost to attend. For more information, visit or call 615-225-8312.

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concerts Live Music in M idd L e tennessee

Thurs, 3/7

BourBon & Brews

Glenn Brown

hank’s honky tonk

Kenna Elpers

Panther creek


Muddy Boots


Johnny B, Mudd Gap Band

Fri, 3/8

BourBon & Brews

Mikki Zip Band

Burger Bar

Jeff Lysyczyn

cedar glade Brews

Zentrance grIndstone cowBoy

Kenna Elpers

hank’s honky tonk

Bailey Rose; Jack Finley Band haPPy’s

Jeremy Michael & Mark Mulch

hoP sPrIngs

Creed Fisher

jack’s Place

Tony Castellanos


Dark Waters Project seasons

Zone Status

sMyrna Vfw

Shane & the Money Makers

saT, 3/9

BourBon & Brews

Tony Hartman

cedar glade Brews

Vagabond Train

cIty cafe

Everette Brown Trio

Buddy’s Place

Karli & James; Alex Hall; Gina Venier

hank’s honky tonk

Tawnya Reynolds; Mikki Zip Band


Rubiks Groove

MIddle ground

BrewIng co.

Evan DeNicola


Sam Gyllenhaal Band


Cooter River Band

sMyrna Vfw

Tony and the Attitude

the Boro

Open Mic for Lars

sun, 3/10

BourBon & Brews

Scott Allen Smith hank’s honky tonk

The O’Donnells hoP sPrIngs

Sunday Open Jam

Mtsu wrIght MusIc

Simon Biddle; Jonah Jaisen

mon, 3/11

BourBon & Brews

Mitch Predella

Burger Bar

Jeff Lysyczyn hank’s honky tonk

Open Mic Night with Toast

sMyrna Vfw

Randy and Friends

Tues, 3/12

BourBon & Brews

C.J. Conklin hank’s honky tonk

Joe Hooper Mtsu wrIght MusIc

Deanna Little; Sophia Suante seasons

Chazz Wesley

Wed, 3/13

BourBon & Brews

Justin Bowman grIndstone cowBoy

Thompson Square; Craig and Mindy Campbell hank’s honky tonk

Robyn Taylor

Mtsu wrIght MusIc

Jazz Ensemble


Sara Simmons

Thurs, 3/14

Boro BourBon & Brews

Kevin Wolf hank’s honky tonk

Cary & Sherrie Lynn hoP sPrIngs

Josh Ward; Braxton Keith Mtsu wrIght MusIc

Guitar Orchestra; Kyle Berry seasons

Faith and Family Night

Fri, 3/15

BourBon & Brews

Jack Finley Band

Burger Bar

Jeff Lysyczyn cedar glade Brews

Lisa Law and the Suspects hank’s honky tonk

Sara Simmons; Jeff Caron Band


Gypsy Nights


Randy Steele and High Cold Wind; Luke Munday and Timbo hoP sPrIngs

Led Zeppelin 2 jack’s Place

Tony Castellanos

Mayday Brewery

Roland Justice

Mtsu wrIght MusIc

Eric Fung; Morgan von Doehren

Puckett’s Radio Farm



sMyrna Vfw

Shane & the Money Makers

saT, 3/16

BourBon & Brews

The Attitude Band cedar glade Brews

Justin Bowman cIty cafe

Everette Brown Trio front street PuB

Jeff Lysyczyn hank’s honky tonk

Cooter River Band; The Hammonds

haPPy’s Graham Anthem Band hoP sPrIngs

Kash’d Out; Vibright MIddle ground

BrewIng co.

Zone Status

Mtsu wrIght MusIc

Carly Brown

Panther creek


Muddy Boots


The Heels



sMyrna Vfw

In Cahoots

sun, 3/17

BourBon & Brews

Milford Academy cedar glade Brews

The Secret Commonwealth

chaMPy’s chIcken

Jeff Lysyczyn hank’s honky tonk

Mike Villines; Anna Lynn Ferris; Robert Abernathy Mayday Brewery

The Lilliston Effect

Mtsu wrIght MusIc

Jarran Armstrong; Tuba Equinox; Tom Naylor Competition Finals hoP sPrIngs

Sunday Open Jam

the Boro

Joey Fletcher Band + Friends

mon, 3/18

BourBon & Brews

Mitch Predella

Burger Bar

Jeff Lysyczyn

sMyrna Vfw

Randy and Friends

Mtsu wrIght MusIc

Jazz Ensemble II hank’s honky tonk

Open Mic Night with Toast

Tues, 3/19

BourBon & Brews

Jeff Woods Duo hank’s honky tonk

Jesse Black

Mtsu wrIght MusIc

Symphonic Band/Wind



Chazz Wesley

Wed, 3/20

BourBon & Brews

Nettie and the Delta Boy hank’s honky tonk

Izzy Grace

Mtsu wrIght MusIc

Ethan Wilson; Will King Puckett’s

Andy Kahrs

Thurs, 3/21

BourBon & Brews

Kevin Smith



Chris Weaver and Friends

hank’s honky tonk

Will King

Panther creek Brews

Muddy Boots seasons

Northside Praise Band

Fri, 3/22

BourBon & Brews

Los Swamp Monsters

Burger Bar

Jeff Lysyczyn

cedar glade Brews

David Hull Blues Band

hank’s honky tonk

Taylor Hughes; Justin Dukes haPPy’s

Escape Band

hoP sPrIngs

Johnny Folsom 4 jack’s Place

Tony Castellanos

Mayday Brewery


Mtsu wrIght MusIc

Lillian Warren; Riley Trauscht Puckett’s

Cole Ritter & the Night Owls


Backstage Brass

sMyrna Vfw

Shane & the Money Makers

saT, 3/23

BourBon & Brews

Southbound Crows cedar glade Brews

Jeff Lysyczyn

cIty cafe

Everette Brown Trio

hank’s honky tonk

Krystal King; Whiskey Smoke haPPy’s

Shawn Pody Band

hoP sPrIngs

Pacific Dub; Dale and the ZDubs

Mtsu wrIght MusIc

Illinois Jacquet Festival; Christopher Muller Puckett’s

Los Swamp Monsters


Bordertones Band

sMyrna Vfw

Santa Fe

tn golf statIon

Milford Academy

sun, 3/24

BourBon & Brews

Robyn Taylor

hank’s honky tonk

Lexy Dunn

hoP sPrIngs

Sunday Open Jam

Mtsu wrIght MusIc

Hannah Blankenship; Joce Smith

mon, 3/25

BourBon & Brews

Mitch Predella

Burger Bar

Jeff Lysyczyn hank’s honky tonk

Open Mic Night with Toast Mtsu wrIght MusIc

Stones River Chamber


sMyrna Vfw

Randy and Friends

Tues, 3/26

BourBon & Brews

Jeff Woods Duo hank’s honky tonk

Delyn Christian

Mtsu wrIght MusIc

Ezekiel Thompson seasons

Chazz Wesley

Wed, 3/27

BourBon & Brews

Rollin Brummette hank’s honky tonk

Cherylynn Rayne

Mtsu wrIght MusIc

Austin Mellen


Paul Rosewood

sMyrna Vfw

Open Mic Night with Sharon

Thurs, 3/28

BourBon & Brews

Denny Sarokin hank’s honky tonk

Silent Ruckus hoP sPrIngs

Bald Kernal hotshotz

Jeff Lysyczyn Mtsu wrIght MusIc

Ava Olsen; Bassoon

Studio recital seasons

Faith and Family Night

Fri, 3/29

BourBon & Brews

The Sugar Daddys

carMen’s taQuerIa

Jeff Lysyczyn cedar glade Brews

Sam Rorex hank’s honky tonk

Mikki Zip Duo; Los Swamp Monsters haPPy’s Trifecta

jack’s Place

Tony Castellanos

Mayday Brewery

Milford Academy

Mtsu wrIght MusIc

Aaron Meng; Cole Gregory Puckett’s

LynnMarie & E3 seasons

Justin Williams

sMyrna Vfw

Shane and the Money Makers

saT, 3/30

BourBon & Brews

Jeff Lysyczyn; Tony Castellanos

cedar glade Brews

Eddie Paul

cIty cafe

Everette Brown Trio hank’s honky tonk

Dirt Road Daisies; The Wentzel Brothers haPPy’s

Zone Status

hoP sPrIngs

Joey Fletcher Band with Isaac Corbitt and more

If You Go

Boro BourBon & Brews

124 N. Maple St.

Burger Bar

1850 Old Fort Pkwy.

cedar glade Brews

906 Ridgely Rd.

chaMPy's chIcken

1290 NW Broad St.

cIty cafe

113 E. Main St.

grIndstone cowBoy

115 N. Main St., Eagleville hank’s honky tonk

2341 Memorial Blvd.

haPPy’s sPorts lounge

302 W. Main St.

hoP sPrIngs

6790 John Bragg Hwy.

jack’s Place

114 E. College St.

Mayday Brewery 521 Old Salem Rd.

MIddle ground BrewIng co. 2476 Old Fort Pkwy.

Mtsu wrIght

MusIc BuIldIng

1439 Faulkinberry Dr.

Panther creek Brews 714 W. Main St.

Puckett’s grocery

114 N. Church St.

seasons of MurfreesBoro

2227 Old Fort Pkwy.

sMyrna Vfw Post

10157 Old Nashville Hwy. Smyrna

the Boro Bar & grIll

1211 Greenland Dr.

tn golf statIon

1276 NW Broad St.

12 * March 2024 *
full calendar online at B oro P M /calendar


Community Two-Step

Boots hit the old wooden dance floor every s aturday night at liberty Barn dance

Liberty barn Dance has been fostering community since the mid ’70s and is now continuing the tradition of hosting line dancing and Texas Two Step every Saturday night.

The building that houses the barn dance—located in the Tennessee community of Liberty, about 30 miles northeast of Murfreesboro—was built during the great depression by the Works Progress Administration and was known as Liberty Grade School from the 1930s until the ’70s, when the space was converted to create a hall sufficiently large for a crowd that loves to dance. The large space works well for allowing both line dancers and couples to participate at the same time.

Line dancing is a country and Westernstyle dance in which the dancers line up in rows to repeat choreographed sequences. Texas Two Step has some similarities to line dancing, but is done with a partner. Some separation between the two is required when performing both on the dance floor, as the dances are done differently. Dancers ordinarily will stay on the side of the room with the group they are participating in.

One of the first things many do when walking into Liberty Barn Dance on a Saturday is greet others attending the dance. It seems almost everyone knows everyone and wants to chat before they start, when they leave, and in between songs. Guests are also welcome to grab something from the small snack bar equipped with candy, chips and beverages.

Husband and wife Kenny Clark and Peggy Speck Clark took over the dance venue around seven years ago and they have been working hard to build the business back up.

While Speck Clark works heavily on the business and promotion side of things, Clark is part of the house band, Kenny and the Roosters, which plays the live music that gets everyone two-stepping every week. Kenny, who has been playing music since he was 13, leads the band while singing and playing the guitar. Kenny and the Roosters are typically a four-piece band, but sometimes more when bringing in special guests.

“No matter what kind of shoes you wear, they can be your dancing shoes at The Liberty Barn Dance!” Peggy says.

At the Liberty Barn Dance you’ll find

dancers from age 9 all of the way up to 90, with families, local retirees, college students and young adults among the mix on the floor.

“The kids will usually go over in a corner,” Clark says, referring to younger children who could potentially be run over by the older dancers, but “they dance, the kids dance just like the adults do.”

Liberty Barn Dance patron Duane Richardson first became interested in line dancing after his wife died from cancer in 1991. He was able to find the friendship and support he needed by putting on his boots and going dancing. After being invited to Liberty Barn Dance, Richardson enjoyed himself and began regularly attending.

“Liberty has one of the best dance floors,” Richardson says. “Liberty has a wooden floor and I’ve never been on Liberty’s floor and it not be smooth and slick—nice to dance on.”

Many dance hall floors are made from concrete with tile placed over it. If the floor is not continuously being cleaned properly, it can become sticky and hard to dance and turn on. The old wooden floor at Liberty Barn Dance helps prevent that from happening.

On the edges of the large open floor are chairs where dancers take a break between songs or spectate. Some non-dancing patrons come simply to watch the community dance together.

The hall welcomes anyone who wants to join in on all of the Western fun, and guests have traveled to the small-town Tennessee barn dance from locales as far away as England, China, Scotland, Australia, Canada and Mexico.

A fun facet of line dancing is choosing which dance will go along with the music. Many of the popular dances will fit with songs other than the one it was choreographed to. Many of the songs played in the dance hall do not have a predetermined dance to go along with them, so the guests have to decide. Some of the more popular line dances include the Cowboy Cha Cha, Rebel Strut and the Watermelon Crawl.

Dancers usually pick up on routines either by observing others, searching for the steps on the internet beforehand or, in Liberty Barn Dance’s case, learning steps at the venue. Many of the regular dancers are eager to arrive to the venue a few minutes early to teach any newcomers the popular routines so that they can join in.

Participants do not need to know how to line dance to enjoy a night at the Liberty Barn Dance, and the community continues to come back because of the bonds they form with each other and their love for line dancing.

Find Liberty barn dance at 163 Eckles heights, Liberty, Tennessee. The hall hosts dancing from 7–10 p.m. every Saturday. Admission is $7 for adults and free for kids under 12. The venue is no-smoking and no-alcohol. For videos and more information, find a Liberty barn dance group on Facebook. * March 2024 * 13


m eet s ome of m urfreesboro’s talented l ocal m usicians; h ear t hem p erform l ive!

MuRFREESbORO’S MuSiC SCENE has grown over the years to include a consistent lineup of talented local artists, along with venues that host live music on a regular basis. Learn more about who these artists are and where to find them.

The Cooter River Band

The Cooter River Band captivates audiences with its kicking country and rock stylings. Known for its engaging local live performances, the band interacts closely with fans both on and off stage. From George Jones to Luke Combs, CRB’s song list can make country music lovers of all ages turn their heads and move their feet. This dynamic group plays everything from two-steps to line dancing along with some slow dances for the sweethearts. The band often streams its shows live on Facebook, ensuring those anywhere can experience the closeness of its performances. Catch Cooter River Band at Seasons of Murfreesboro on Saturday, March 9, and at Hank’s Honky Tonk on Saturday, March 16.


Husband-and-wife duo 2Country4Nashville has been built on love and perseverance. The pair tours heavily and continuously works toward making a living off of what they love. Despite their name, they actually played the Ryman in 2021 and do indeed frequent Nashville venues. Duo principals Jo-el and LeAnne Ulmer’s classic country sound reminds some listeners of Johnny Cash and June Carter. For a time, 2Country4Nashville had an ongoing Tuesday evening residency at Seasons of Murfreesboro and plays numerous other area fundraisers, events and venues. Be on the lookout for upcoming local performances.

Robyn Taylor

Named “one to watch” by Nashville Songwriters Association International in 2014, Robyn Taylor is a local folk and bluegrass queen. With a background in gospel and worship music, her soulful voice can summon goosebumps. Each lyric is a brush stroke on her life’s canvas, painting pictures of love, loss, redemption and faith. Robyn Taylor is slated to play Wednesdays March 13 and April 10 at Hank’s Honky Tonk and on Sunday, March 24 at Boro Bourbon & Brews.

Roland Justice

Singer-songwriter Roland Justice delivers toe-tapping tunes. He stirs Americana, soul, rock and country music into a heavenly blend that demands movement. He takes his song title “Come and Get Your Happiness” to a new level when taking the stage. The 2023 Bell Buckle Tennessee Songwriter Festival first-place winner is currently working on a new album. Mayday Brewery will host Roland Justice on Friday, March 15 and Friday, April 12; the guitarist is also a regular on the Cedar Glade Brews performer rotation.

Everette Brown Trio

The Everette Brown Trio—featuring Elaine Winters on fiddle and Avent Lane on bass, in addition to Brown on guitar—brings decades worth of musical experience to its standing Saturday morning engagement at City Cafe, Tennessee’s oldest restaurant, located just off of the Murfreesboro Public Square. Stop by this hometown diner for a little bluegrass with your breakfast. In one of Brown’s tunes he urges listeners to take Mama to the Opry before it’s too late; stop by the Saturday morning serenade for the chance to hear this number and other favorites each week. Catch the Everette Brown Trio every Saturday, 9–11 a.m., at City Cafe.

14 * March 2024 *

Jack Finley Band

The Jack Finley Band lassos downtown Nashville’s sound and reins it in for listeners in the ’Boro. Who said all the honky-tonking had to stay on Broadway? Though Jack Finley Band loves to throw it back to the classics of country music, the group doesn’t shy away from modern favorites on occasion. Sometimes, the band will even sprinkle an original song into its sets. Jack Finley Band will perform in Murfreesboro on Friday, March 8, and Friday, May 10, at Hank’s Honky Tonk and on Friday, March 15, at Boro Bourbon & Brews.

Emily Miller

Originally from Ohio, Emily Miller always knew in her heart that Nashville was where she belonged. In 2014, she began her degree in commercial voice at Belmont University. Miller has opened for Easton Corbin and Grammy-nominated bluegrass group Sister Sadie. ABC’s original series Renee’s Bridal Takeover featured her third single, “Prince Charming.” She performs decades’ worth of country music covers, as well as songs from her latest EP, They Say. Emily Miller’s next scheduled date at Hank’s Honky Tonk is Sunday, April 21.

Taylor Hughes

Called “country music’s answer to Adele” in the Tennessee Star, Taylor Hughes’ rich voice and spunky sound is putting her on the map. Hughes received the Country Artist of the Year award from the 2023 Lexington Music Awards. In addition, Hughes was nominated in Country Evolution’s Artists to Watch in 2023 list. Her tracks rouse confidence and a queen bee mentality—“the equivalent of applying a fresh coat of red lipstick before a night out.” Taylor Hughes has performed often at Hank’s Honky Tonk and at Boro Bourbon & Brews, and is next slated to appear at Hank’s on Friday, March 22, and on Thursday, May 30.

Jeff Lysyczyn

Jeff Lysyczyn holds over 25 years of experience in the music industry, has worked as an artist manager, major-label employee, PR and marketing consultant, and staff songwriter. The Wilkinsons and Doug Stone have recorded his songs. Guitarist Lysyczyn plays ’Boro breweries, restaurants and more. Often when he takes to the stage, he lets the audience write the setlist. Sometimes he strums and sings Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson; sometimes it’s Prince or Barry Manilow. Jeff Lysyczyn stays quite active in the Murfreesboro music scene, playing the Burger Bar, located within the DoubleTree Hotel, every Monday and Friday. He also has dates at Smyrna’s Front Street Pub on Saturday, March 16, Champy’s Chicken on Sunday, Mar 17, and Carmen’s Taqueria on Friday, March 29.

Joey Fletcher Band

Joey Fletcher Band is a trio influenced by The Allman Brothers, Robert Randolph, JJ Grey and other blues-rock artists. The group showcases the slide guitar, bass and drums. From dive bars to festival stages, the trio jams hard, letting everyone within earshot know that the blues are alive and well. The band performs lots of covers but also performs originals such as “Octavio,” “Mama Jean” and “Trippin.” Local sightings of the Joey Fletcher Band have occurred at The Boro Bar & Grill, Mayday Brewery and Campus Pub. Catch them live at The Boro on Sunday, March 17, and at Hop Springs on Saturday, March 30.

Glen Wagner

Glen Wagner is a solo artist with four decades of performing experience. His sets consist of his original Southern rock ’n’ roll and beach-folk tracks as well as pop, rock and country from the ’70s up to the present. He plays acoustic shows in the area using his six- and 12-string guitars. The singer-songwriter released his new song “Summershine” in February. “Summershine” relates the craving for warmer months and positive vibes. The tune echoes the rustling of a sandy boardwalk underneath sandals, and smells like sunscreen. Glen Wagner most recently played Boro Bourbon & Brews and also frequents other area marinas and breweries. * March 2024 * 15

music note

Karli & James

Duo brings Middle tennessee-meets-acrossthe-pond serenade to buddy’s Place

AN AMERiCAN ANd A bRiT ONCE MET when one couldn’t decide which variety of tea to get—and the indecisive party may not be the one you think (no, you didn’t accidentally open sappy TV movie listings). Gentleman James from across the pond was having trouble deciding, so Karli stepped in with a suggestion (English breakfast, aptly enough) and the two have been making beautiful music together ever since.

Buddy’s may be the perfect place for you to witness stateside songstress Karli Chayne combine forces with the love of her life, James Sinclair-Stott, as the musical duo Karli & James.

The two have several releases to their credit, and some heavy hitters are taking notice. Their video for “I Need Neon” recently received heavy rotation on the CMT 12-Pack, a fan-voted block of videos on the 24/7 music channel. It was co-written by Karli and James along with Brady Seals and Porter Howell, former and current members of Little Texas, respectively. Howell (who co-wrote “The Wine’s Gone to My Head” with them, too) adds a slick slide guitar to the track and is featured in its video.

Its power is impossible to deny—“I Need Neon” will be line-dancing circles in your head for eons.

The charismatic couple (previously professionally known as Cross Atlantic) knows a thing or two about lighting up a room, even when they’re the only ones in it. Just ask the viewers of their video

blogs in which they clearly have no fun at all and never poke fun at one another’s culture differences. But you really have to be there in real time to feel what they bring to a room.

At first I thought I’d love you like a brother. But if you haven’t noticed I’ve discovered . . . I love you like a lover. That’s an excerpt from Karli & James’s song “Love You Like a Lover,” written by Karli, James and Adam Wheeler and featured on the 2023 EP Someday Dreaming, which can be yours from their online store. It also includes “I Need Neon” and “The Wine’s Gone to My Head.”

Additionally, their song “Tullahoma” has sparked much attention across the nation, singing praises for the Tennessee town on the radio waves. Tullahoma has become a special place to Karlie & James. They say the quaint town reminds them both of their own hometowns in Missouri and in the U.K. and feels like home, plus it has “a nice ring to it.”

“All we really want to do is make our families and hometowns proud,” Chayne said.

The bulk of the booked dates for Karli & James for the foreseeable future look to be at Puckett’s in downtown Nashville. Puckett’s has become wellcharted territory for the two. K&J are also familiar stage sights at the Murfreesboro location about every other month, also.

On Saturday, March 9, Karli & James join Alex hall and gina venier to play buddy’s Place. Music starts at 7:30 p.m. buddy’s Place shows occur at Cedar Springs Ranch, 9638 Rocky hill Rd., Lascassas. For tickets and more information, visit

For future show dates, music and more on Karlie & James and, visit

16 * March 2024 *


country Punks

Psychic Says

For every four out of five “country punks” now walking around Nashville in agreement that Lawrenceburg, Tennessee-based alt-country/indie rock quintet The Country Punks reached a 15-year evolutionary pinnacle with the release of their third studio album, Psychic Says, there’s still one banging out hooks on an old Casio keyboard at 3 a.m. screaming “it still ain’t good enough!”


dune: paRt tWO

diRECTOR Denis Villeneuve

STARRiNg Timothée chalamet, Zendaya, rebecca Ferguson

RATEd Pg-13

When the nearly three-hour-long Dune (2021) ended with Zendaya’s character, Chani, turning to the camera and saying, “This is only the beginning” I nearly burst out laughing. Dune played like a gorgeously bland prologue. Dune: Part Two is in every way bigger and better than its predecessor. Dune: Part Two is also nearly three hours long (2h, 46m) but it could have been twice as long for all I care. It picks up shortly after Chani’s words.

Young Paul Atreides (Chalamet) and his mother, Jessica (Ferguson), are traveling with the Fremen across the dunes of the planet Arrakis, the last survivors of House


A brainchild of frontman Ty Gang, The Country Punks have honed a sound that resonates with colloquial weirdness—a fascination with The Strokes’ first Rolling Stone articles, a Lou Reed-leaning vocal style and guitarist Tyler Hill’s Chuck Berry/Albert Hammond Jr.-inspired riffs. The group of hometown friends have spent the past 15 years punching out song arrangements, transplanting their distinct musical vision from the late-aughts Murfreesboro scene to Nashville, and going on to record Psychic Says in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

The album traverses honky-tonk numbers and surfer jams, each song sounding as if it were recorded in the back of a Blazer or inside a barrel.

The standout track “Put a Record On” channels the spirit of Leonard Cohen, while Psychic Says’ answer to “Free Bird” is an eight-minute version of “Pills in My Pocket,” which was a two-minute version on the 2010 Country Punks debut E.P.

Find Psychic Says by The Country Punks—in addition to Gang and Hill, also made up of Justin Webb on rhythm, Will Pettus on bass and Brock Benson on the skins—on Spotify, YouTube Music, Apple Music and iHeart. Following recent performances at American Legion Post 82 in Inglewood and The 5 Spot, and the band has formed an alliance with several other area bands; more to come on that scene soon. — B ryce har M o n

Atreides. Among the Fremen—the indigenous people of Arrakis— Paul is reluctantly gathering a following of fanatics who believe him to be the prophesied Lisan al Gaib, a hero who will lead the Fremen out of galactic oppression and restore their arid desert planet.

All of this resolves one of my main criticisms of Dune; here stuff actually happens. If Dune: Part Two suffers in any way, it’s that so much is happening you wonder how it will resolve in time, yet somehow it does. The weight of the large-scale politics are conveyed and felt just as deeply as Paul’s internal struggle against

fulfilling his powerful destiny, one he knows will lead to billions of deaths. (Make no mistake, Dune is the prequels, not Star Wars; Paul is Anakin, not Luke.) Chani’s concern over Paul’s ascension is perhaps felt deepest of all.

All of this is told through some of the most striking, beautiful, and haunting shots in recent memory.

Director of photography Greig Fraser has outdone himself. The awesome scale of the sand worms is finally worthy of their grandeur.

Dune: Part Two is about empires, all wrapped up in an exciting and aesthetic action fantasy film.

— jay s PI ght * March 2024 * 17

Nurturing Growth

Prescribed burn at s tones r iver Battlefield protects park’s ecology, historical appearance

Driving Down Old Nashville Highway near Stones River National Battlefield, you might be taken aback by the sight of scorched earth. Yet, far from a scene of devastation, this prescribed burn represents a carefully orchestrated effort to sustain both history and our native landscape in one of Middle Tennessee’s most cherished historic destinations.

Park Ranger Jim Lewis helps to shed light on the critical role prescribed burns play in safeguarding the battlefield’s ecological integrity and cultural significance.

“Fire is going to do what it is going to do under certain conditions,” explains Lewis, emphasizing the science behind prescribed burns.

These fires are meticulously planned, with factors like wind direction, humidity and fuel conditions forming the basis of a “prescription” that ensures effectiveness while prioritizing safety. Such precision is crucial, particularly in the urban interface of Stones River Battlefield, where the direction of smoke dispersal must be carefully managed to avoid impacting nearby residents and businesses.

“Always our biggest concern is the safety of the public. We are all fire bugs at heart, so keeping people safely away from the fire is our number one priority,” Lewis said.

At the heart of prescribed burning lies a multitude of reasons, ranging from fuel

load reduction—reducing the amount of trees and brush in a monitored way before a wildfire breaks out—to biodiversity conservation. By periodically burning native grasslands, invasive species are controlled, and the ash left behind acts as a natural fertilizer, nurturing the growth of native flora. The restoration of these ecosystems not only enhances biodiversity but also strengthens the resilience of the landscape against future threats.

This February, Stones River Battlefield embarked on a three-day prescribed burn, with the operation conducted by the Mississippi River Fire Management Zone, assisted

by Americorps veterans and folks from Big South Fork and Cumberland Gap National Parks. Together they tackled some fields that had not seen fire in nearly a decade. Murfreesboro residents will see scorched fields near the battlefield’s visitor center on the west boundary of the park and at McFadden’s Farm.

Understanding that the sight of a burned natural space can be worrisome to the public, Lewis said, “We have to burn it down to build it back up.”

The impact of prescribed burns extends beyond ecological restoration; it also plays a pivotal role in maintaining the cultural

landscape of the battlefield. Open fields, once farmland, now serve as poignant reminders of the Civil War era. By keeping these areas in optimal condition, the park not only preserves historical authenticity but also provides habitat for a diverse array of wildlife, turning the battlefield into a haven for both history enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Monitoring and research are integral components of the prescribed burn program at Stones River Battlefield. Through careful observation, park officials (along with the Mississippi River Fire Management Zone) have documented significant reductions in invasive species and improvements in the health of native flora. Moreover, the relatively low cost of prescribed burns, coupled with the multifaceted benefits, underscores their value as a conservation tool.

Lewis emphasizes the necessity of allowing Mother Nature, fire included, to play its role in maintaining healthy ecosystems. Where public safety is a major factor due to urbanization, efforts like a prescribed burn are made to mimic these natural processes. As stewards of this national and natural treasure, the park’s commitment to sustainable conservation practices ensures that the flames of history and nature continue to burn brightly at Stones River Battlefield, preserving its rich heritage and ecological health for generations to come.

18 * March 2024 * Living nature news



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go green

gREEN h O u SE Mi N i STR i ES began very simply, with volunteers going out into the community to provide resources and build connections to help those in need. This year, the Murfreesboro organization that has touched so many lives is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Today, Greenhouse Ministries offers various in-house services, free classes for all community members, a grocery store-styled food bank, a residential program for men, and the Garden Patch Thrift Shoppe, where all money made in sales goes back into the ministry.

To many members of the public, the most visible part of Greenhouse Ministries is its thrift shop, open weekdays on Spring Street in downtown Murfreesboro, near the new main Greenhouse Ministries building.

“We are doing all kinds of things to be able to celebrate this year, and all that has happened in the past, and we are also looking forward to what is to come,” said Makayla Sanford, public relations and marketing coordinator for Greenhouse Ministries.

Many individuals walk into Greenhouse Ministries looking for help, and the ministry can indeed offer food and other essentials.

“Usually, people come in saying they need food or resources, or they might have had a house fire and need assistance,” Sanford said. “A lot of times, the driving force of what brings people in is needing food, but we know that is usually a small portion of what

g reenhouse Ministries continues to offer food, hope and counseling to all in need in its 25th year of ministry

is going on, and there is a story behind it.

“When clients come in our front door, the first thing they do is meet with someone we call a peer counselor, who sits down and has a conversation with them. Our peer counselors are able to see what their needs are. They really just spend time talking to them to be able to show the clients that they can have a voice, and that someone is listening to them,” Sanford continued.

The counselor will initially take note of some of the individual’s physical needs.

“Once they finish with the peer counselor, if the client is okay with it, they say a prayer with them to close out, and during that time they fill out a form with some of the physical needs they might have,” Sanford said.

The client then is able to go across the street to Spring House—the Greenhouse food bank set up like a small grocery store— and they may pick out items they need with assistance from a personal shopper.

“Sometimes it is the homeless who come in our doors, but a lot of times we are serving the underserved,” she said. “That definitely includes the homeless and sometimes it just looks like someone who has been through a divorce or it may be a single mom needing help, or whatever the case might be. There are all kinds of different situations.”

In addition to providing food and hygiene items, Greenhouse also offers classes that are free to anyone in the community. These

include a cooking class, a sewing class, computer classes, Spanish class and ESL.

The ministry offers a men’s program called Living University for men coming out of various addictions.

“These are men who have been through recovery already, and they are looking to get their feet back on the ground,” Sanford said. “We offer a program where they live here, but they also have a little bit of rent to pay. While they are here, they take classes taught by different teachers, who we have come in, and they work with mentors.”

Greenhouse Ministries exists through local volunteers, with over 500 volunteer hours given each week. They provide relational ministries that are designed to inspire, give hope and change the lives of the individuals who enter their doors, according to information on

Since 1999, the ministry’s goal has been twofold. Its first goal is to move people out of their current situation of hopelessness and help them see their God-given potential. The second goal is to provide an outlet for people in the community to volunteer.

Greenhouse Ministries founders Cliff and Jane Sharp said they started the organization after they noticed a gap in services to single moms and the working poor. The ministry serves many of those who are being overlooked and underserved, showing them hope.

Their mission is to help, educate and

connect every client who walks through their door.

Greenhouse Ministries’ website says clients are never asked income questions, and services are not based on employment status or religious views. Their goal is to serve whomever walks through their doors with love and respect.

upcoming events supporting greenhouse Ministries include a bible Reading Marathon set for May 1–5 and the Mayor’s Prayer breakfast on May 2, and greenhouse is already preparing for and scouting talent for its Live in the ’boro talent show on Sept. 10.

donations including clothing and accessories, household items and personal care items can be dropped off at the receiving area behind garden Patch Thrift Shoppe, 309 S. Spring St. The garden Patch Thrift Shoppe is open for shopping Monday through Friday 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m.

Those interested in receiving services from greenhouse Ministries can walk in Tuesdays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the main building, 307 S. Academy St., also in downtown Murfreesboro.

For more information on the Murfreesboro ministry, visit

spotlight on nonprofit 20 * March 2024 *
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If You Go

elkmont c ampground

434 Elkmont Rd. gatlinburg, TN 37738

nvisit e lkmont

o nce-bustling tennessee resort now a ghost town, still surrounded by s moky Mountain beauty

estled in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located just eight miles away from Gatlinburg, Tennessee, lies a hidden gem: Elkmont. Once the site of a logging camp, and later a bustling resort destination, visitors seeking unique trails, Tennessee history and natural beauty may still explore Elkmont and its now-abandoned buildings.

Today, visitors to the Elkmont community can wander among a cluster of abandoned cabins of all different colors and shapes, as well as surrounding trails and streams.

The cabins are actually open for parkgoers to enter, walk though and imagine vacationers staying there during decades past and the resort town’s former glory.

Though the cabins themselves are no longer available for overnight rentals, visitors are welcome to come and explore this unique slice of Tennessee mountain history. Plus, with over 200 sites for RV and tent camping, the Elkmont Campground remains the largest and busiest campground in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Elkmont site includes the .8-mile Elkmont Nature Trail loop trail, access to Little River and Jakes Creek, the Old Elkmont Cemetery, and the trailhead to the

popular Laurel Falls sits about a mile from the campground entrance.

Additionally, visitors still flock to the area each May and June for one of the most exciting natural events in the Smokies: the synchronous fireflies. Parking passes are in high demand for these nights.

Elkmont got its start as a human population center when a businessman from Pennsylvania named W.B. Townsend established the Little River Lumber Company in 1900, according to information from the Tennessee State Museum.

Townsend purchased almost 80,000 acres of land—this well before the 1934 formation of the surrounding Great Smoky Mountains National Park—and the town of Elkmont was established as a base for the lumber company.

In 1910, the LRLC sold 50 acres of land to a group of wealthy businessmen from Knoxville.

Two years later, another group of Knoxville developers purchased another plot of the land there and constructed lodging of their own.

The site would become a popular vacation destination. Those staying at Elkmont seem to have had a blast in the mountain getaway, with records and stories passed down telling of vacationers enjoying swimming, horseshoes, cards, horseback riding, dances,

parties and dinners while staying at the site in the roaring 1920s.

Reportedly, parties would often end with a boisterous round of singing the town song “Elkmont Will Shine,” presumably a reference to the area’s active fireflies.

A fire destroyed the Appalachian Clubhouse, one of the large community buildings at Elkmont, in 1932, but vacationers would stay at the Elkmont cabins up through the 1980s. The Appalachian Clubhouse has been rebuilt and restored, offering a glimpse into past grandeur, and that space is still available to rent for special events and gatherings.

After the National Park Service acquired all of the land and all leases expired, the park service determined that the days of the Elkmont buildings being occupied by vacationers would come to an end, though historic preservationists wanted much of Elkmont to be preserved as a testament to history. Others thought the buildings—74 structures standing at this point, according to the Tennessee State Museum—should be removed so the forest could return to undeveloped parkland.

A compromise was eventually reached for 19 structures to be restored and maintained, and the remaining structures demolished.

For those seeking a taste of history and nature, a trip to Elkmont offers a Smoky Mountain journey back in time, where the echoes of the past mingle with the whispers of the wind through the trees and the gurgling streams. And as the sun glows upon Elkmont, visitors may imagine folks enjoying this unique mountain town a century ago.

22 * March 2024 *
 travel
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The with BI ll w I lson

Mr. Murfreesboro and the 50-plus ok tennis league

dRiviNg dOWN Middle Tennessee Boulevard lately, you cannot help but notice the grand tennis complex that has gone up on the campus of MTSU next to Murphy Center. I had a great opportunity to sit down with MTSU men’s head tennis coach Jimmy Borendame, but before we dive into his interview, let’s talk about tennis and where we played it over the years in Murfreesboro.

If any of you know me, you know that I am not athletic. However, for some reason, I’ve always loved tennis. In the late ’70s my first lessons were over at Oaklands Park from Coach Dale Short, who has been a legend around these parts for a good while. He even played against John McEnroe in his youth. Some of the other places I played included the River Rock Racquet Club in West Murfreesboro (the first indoor tennis court in Murfreesboro, I believe) and, if I was lucky enough, I got to play at the old Palmer Roberts Home tennis court on East Main Street. I also played tennis out at the city-run courts at Old Fort Park, the MTSU courts next to Murphy Center and at Rogers Park (which my grandfather, Fred Rogers, gave to the city).

I encourage you to pick up a racquet and go hit some balls this spring.

But on to the real story about the new outdoor tennis complex at MTSU. Coach Jimmy Borendame was kind enough to discuss the MTSU tennis program and its recently unveiled $8 million tennis complex.

Mr. Murfrees B oro :

Where are you from? Tell me about your schooling, athletic career and coaching experience. coach jIMMy BorendaMe: I grew up in a suburb of Chicago, called Wheaton. I started playing tennis because my

MTS u d ebuts New Outdoor Tennis Complex

little sister came home and told me she could beat me in tennis. This sparked my interest because we are a very competitive family. I never put a racket down after that. I played in high school and in college at Butler University.

After college I tried to play some, but then got offered a chance to be a graduate assistant coach to pursue two options I thought could be my calling for the future. At West Virginia University, I was the graduate assistant coach and did a one-year masters of sport management program. I either wanted to coach or become an athletic director, and here I got to pursue both plans.

I loved coaching and went on to be a fulltime assistant coach at College of William and Mary, then assistant coach at Virginia Tech. I met my wife, Genevieve Borendame, at Virginia Tech. I got promoted to associate head coach as the team rose up the rankings into top 25 in the country. I wanted to be a head coach, and got an opportunity at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Highlights for me are raising the funds for the Adams Tennis Complex for the indoor courts for all of Murfreesboro to use and play. That and the new outdoor tennis complex on campus are two huge things that I am very proud of. What is the most rewarding aspect of coaching? What is the most difficult?

The most rewarding part for me is to see how the young men we coach transform into mature men both on and off the court. Our guys become well respected members of our community and know what is important in life. The most difficult part of my job is there becoming less and less focus on relationships in college coaching and more on the transactional part of the relationship. But, this is not just in college coaching, but in society in my opinion. What do you feel is the most important quality of a coach?

The most important quality in a college coach is to find a person who cares about the players as a person, not just a player. What has you most excited about the opening of your new tennis center?

I am most excited about getting fans and supporters back to campus. It’s been years since we have played here. I have always wanted to show people our campus and our product of tennis. This will help us check both boxes. I want more people to support Middle Tennessee State University as a whole and be part of the campus life here. What advice do you have for tennis players who aim to play at the collegiate level?

In 2007 I had interviewed at Middle Tennessee and didn’t get the job. So, in 2010 when the job opened up again, I was interested and my wife wanted to go back south. Ever since then, I have been at Middle Tennessee, spanning 14 seasons.

Who are your biggest influences?

My biggest influences are my parents. My mom is a very passionate, small, fiery Italian lady who pours her heart into her family and everything she does. My father was the chief technology officer at Wells Fargo Bank and is extremely driven and focused. They always pushed me to do my best and find something I love to do. I would also give credit to my college tennis coach, Jason Suscha, for his passion for developing young men and my high school coach, Bob Hoppenstedt, for showing me the power of positive attitude and perspective. Can you highlight some memorable moments or achievements from your coaching career that stand out to you?

Focus on getting better every day. Less on results, but more on pushing yourself each day to get better.

What does a typical day look like for your student-athletes?

Busy! Very busy—we train 7 to 8 a.m., then class, then study hall, then lunch, then practice 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., then nutrition station for a quick snack and then gym training from 4 to 5 p.m. Then, home to shower and then back to study hall until 7 p.m. before dinner and then some studying. It’s the life of a student-athlete. Sleep and repeat.

This story is dedicated to the memory of Mrs. Emily Farmer, not only one of the greatest tennis players in the Murfreesboro area, but a wife, mom, grandmom, great-grandmom, friend and one of the kindest, most loving people ever. She was instrumental to hundreds over her life of 87 years.

Call Mr. Murfreesboro for your local real estate needs at 615-406-5872.

24 * March 2024 *
A C ON v ERSAT i ON W i T h c oach jimmy Borendame

Food  restaurant

Pizza! Pizza!

local Pizzerias, for Pi day and every day

Pizza is a go-to option any day, any time. From thick, thin, pan, stuffed or gluten-free crusts to cheese, pepperoni, hot peppers, pineapple, margherita, veggie or meat lovers toppings, it seems almost everyone can find a pizza of some type that they enjoy.

The Murfreesboro area is now home to at least 40 restaurants serving up pizza, from family-owned establishments to the faithful chains. The city has said farewell to many a pizza joint since the Pulse ran its last local pizza pie piece seven years ago. The city no longer has Ahart’s Pizza Garden, Mellow Mushroom, Old Chicago, Sauce, Cici’s, Coconut Bay Cafe, Gondolier, Your Pie and Nobody’s, but the Boro has welcomed some new pizzerias like BoomBozz, Blaze, PennePazze, Sami’s, Slim & Husky’s and Uncle Maddio’s.

Nearby, Smyrna has opened both La Tavola Italiano and Angelo’s.

Pi day is coming up on March 14, which is an annual observance of the mathematical constant pi, or 3.14. What is a better way to celebrate this circular commemoration than with a pizza pie? Check out our list of recommended spots.

 s al’s P I zzer I a 536 N. Thompson Ln., 615-956-7531

Another way to get your hands on a delicious New York-style pie in Murfreesboro is to stop by Sal’s Pizzeria. Choose between pizza by the slice or a whole pizza to get a taste of their yummy crust. The business’ late owner, Sal Oliveri, brought both Sicily and New York City to Murfreesboro in his pizza. Unfortunately, Sal’s no longer has its all-you-caneat buffet, but their menu remains full of variety with appetizers, calzones, pasta and dessert.

 luca’s PIzzerIa

2658 New Salem hwy., 615-900-1045

When you walk into the local Luca’s Pizzeria, you are greeted with the great smell of garlic. The familyowned business is a popular choice in town. Specializing in New York-style pies, the pizza has a fresh and homemade taste. Luca’s makes its own Italian sausage and offers both gluten-free and a new cauliflower crust, something that is sometimes hard to find. With tables being limited inside, Luca’s operates primarily as takeout and delivery (up to 5 miles away).

 sorelles ItalIan restaurant and PIzzerIa

161 N. Main St., Eagleville, 615-640-0707

Located in Eagleville, Sorelles Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria was opened by sisters Jodi Gnoffo and Kyah Richards, originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania. The name “Sorelles” means “sisters” in Italian. Sip on one of the signature cocktails while reading the menu, full of variety, at the small-town pizzeria. Alongside the hand-tossed New York-style pizza, Sorelles offers pasta, subs, chicken dinners, stromboli and more. Backroom rentals are available for large gatherings, and catering services are offered to select areas.

 sPooky’s PIzza & grIll

5995 Lebanon Rd., 615-217-5000

Spooky’s Pizza & Grill offers up unique, ghostly-named menu items. A popular choice is the Skin n’ Bones with black olives, bell peppers and onions. Also try the Zombie Feast pizza with meatballs, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, sausage and bacon. The hand-tossed crust features tasty herb flavors. Spooky’s isn’t just scary, with its own line of vegan ingredients and the option of a full plantbased menu. Spooky’s also offers up a number of burgers, wings, salads and more.

 MarIna’s on the sQuare

125 N. Maple St., 615-849-8881

The classic Marina’s on the Square has been closed for renovations much of 2024, but do not worry! The cozy downtown spot with delicious pizza plans to reopen on March 15. Marina’s has been around since the ’90s serving up thin New York-style pizzas. Traditional Italian dishes and a few pasta creations of their own are offered alongside their pizza and calzones. If you are eating alone, Marina’s has 8-inch pizzas, perfect for an individual. Once they are back open, head to the Murfreesboro Public Square to get a slice!

26 * March 2024 *

And More Pizza!

4167 Franklin Rd. 615-890-1214

3325 Memorial blvd. 615-896-5550


BooMBozz craft PIzza & taPhouse

2839 Medical Center Pkwy. 615-846-9452

the BouleVard 2154 Middle Tennessee blvd. 615-624-8002

chuck e. cheese

1720 Old Fort Pkwy. 615-217-8842

dj’s PIzza & steak house

805 W. Main St., Woodbury 615-563-2821


1515 Warrior dr. 615-890-0893

118 N. baird Ln. 615-896-0028

235 MTCS Rd.


3940 Shelbyville hwy.


1144 Fortress blvd.


115 Enon Springs Rd., Smyrna 615-459-0041


3284 Franklin Rd. 615-900-5500

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in-N-Out burger, buona beef, Neighbors, Tink’s Treats, Champy’s, Wako Japanese, OshKosh, Monkee’s, hangry Joe’s, Stewart’s Landing

In recent news at Clari Park, even more new restaurants have unveiled plans to build in the large Murfreesboro development located along Medical Center Parkway, including Tennessee’s first iN-N-OuT buRgER, another Neighbors location, and Illinois’ popular Bouna Beef restaurant.

The new In-N-Out location will consist of a 3,885-square-foot restaurant with a drive-thru, and will be located along Medical Center Parkway and Roby Corlew Lane. The restaurant recently celebrated its 75th anniversary and now has more than 400 locations, with the majority located in California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Texas and Utah. For more information, visit

TiNK’S TREATS has opened at 307 S. Church St. The new treat shop offers a variety of delicious, chocolatey options including hand-painted chocolates, chocolate-covered Oreos, hot chocolate bombs, chocolate dipped s’mores, chocolate dipped pretzels and more. Other options include candy bouquets, boxed candy sets, decorated suckers and treat baskets. Tink’s will soon offer an event space for parties and events, as well as kids’ craft classes. The candy shop is locally owned by Roman and Kerrie, who met in Florida after Kerrie’s two-decade career in the candy-making business prior to moving to Florida.

“As a young mother of four, Kerrie ventured to open a storefront named SweetsN-Treats. She structured her schedule to ensure she wouldn’t miss any of her children’s activities. After 22 years of candy making, she moved to Florida to pursue a career as a flight attendant. Seven years later, Roman and Kerrie met in Florida and relocated to Murfreesboro, TN, to be closer to his daughters. Both Roman and Kerrie decided to open Tink’s Treats,” according to a post from Tink’s.

NEighbORS will open a 4,182-square-foot restaurant within Clari Park, located along Roby Corlew Lane. The original Neighbors restaurant began as a small business in 2011 when owners Victoria and Zach Piller met, and has since grown to three current locations—in Nashville’s Sylvan Park and Germantown neighborhoods and in Franklin—with two restaurants in the works, one in the Gulch in addition to the newly announced Murfreesboro site. The restaurant smokes pork, turkey, brisket and chicken in-house, offers happy hour on Fridays from 3 to 7 p.m. with half-price bottles, drafts, house wine and well drinks, and is a popular spot for patrons to watch sporting events. Neighbors also offers nachos, soups, sandwiches, wraps and burgers. For more info, visit

Hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit

WAKO JAPANESE CuiSiNE has opened an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant in the former Seasoning Crab at 740 NW Broad St. The restaurant currently owns two other locations in Florida and Texas.

“We opened Wako with one goal in mind: giving our guests a unique, delicious, and unforgettable experience. Since day one, our mission has been to provide highquality food and reasonable price for those who seek authentic Asian cuisine and an extraordinary dining experience,” according to Wako marketing.

In addition to the all-you-can-eat sushi

POLLO CAMPERO has announced that it will open a third Tennessee location at 361 N. Lowry St. in Smyrna. The fried chicken restaurant’s two current in-state locations exist in Nashville and Madison, with more than 350 locations worldwide.

Pollo Campero, founded in 1971 in Guatemala, continues to provide a strong sense of family through a continuing partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital which began in 2018.

The restaurant offers fried and grilled chicken with side options including spicy pinto beans, rice, sweet plantains and yuca fries, in addition to coleslaw, french fries and mac & cheese. For more information, visit

hANgRy JOE’S hOT ChiCKEN and

D1 Training will join Gateway Wine and Spirits in the building at 3119 Medical Center Pkwy., located between Holiday Inn and the Bizee Mart and gas station.

Hangry Joe’s offers a variety of Nashvillestyle chicken options including waffles, wraps, salads, chicken sandwiches, nuggets, chicken fingers and more. The chicken restaurant currently operates in 15 states across the U.S., with an additional handful of locations outside the country.

Visit for more information.

d1 TRAiNiNg will offer a variety of membership-based strength training options and targeted workouts within its specialized facility.

option (which, in the Florida location, goes for about $20 for lunch and $30 for dinner), the menu includes teriyaki, fried rice, noodles, desserts and sake among the variety of sushi and sashimi options. Visit facebook. com/wakojapanesecuisinemurfreesboro for more information and updated hours.

ChAMPy’S WORLd FAMOuS FRiEd ChiCKEN will celebrate its new Smyrna location’s ribbon-cutting on Wednesday, April 3, at 4 p.m. at 835 Isabella Ln., Smyrna. This will be the restaurant’s sixth Tennessee location, with three in Chattanooga, one in Cleveland and one in Murfreesboro, as well as four others in Alabama.

Samantha and Johnathan Newson and Rachael and T.J. Goonan own and operate the Murfreesboro and Smyrna locations.

“We’ve trained over 100 NFL draft picks and over 3,000 college athletes. Our five-star training program is derived from Division 1 strength and conditioning programs and our scholastic curriculum builds confidence in scholastic athletes ages 7 and up,” according to D1.

The facility offers one-on-one training, group training, family workouts and other programs.

JOANiE’S recently released its new, expanded eight-page menu, which features some additions including pulled pork BBQ sandwiches, pancakes, Cajun fries with house-made sauce, pretzel buns and more.

Joanie’s, a local Murfreesboro restaurant and coffeeshop with two locations—13 S. Public Square and 1733 St. Andrews Dr.— has also recently unveiled its app. Those who download the Joanie’s app receive points good for a free drink. For more infor-

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CONTiNuEd ON PAgE 29 28 * March 2024 *


mation, visit

The Murfreesboro Planning Commission has approved a building permit for TWiN yOLKS at 1630 S. Church St., Ste. 101, though not much additional information about Twin Yolks has yet been announced.


viNTAgE has opened at its new location at 1056 Seals Way after celebrating its spring open house early this month. The new shop offers space for 74 dealers, with a variety of products including antiques, vintage items, jewelry, clothes, home decor and more. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit

ANdhAMLETT has opened a permanent space at The Avenue this month following a former pop-up location near Sephora and LensCrafters. The new shop offers highquality clothing, shoes and accessories for all, focusing on both style and function.

The business began when owner James Hamlett left his corporate job in 2022 to start his own business. He relied on his passions for clothing and creating a welcoming environment. In addition to various brands

dELiCiAS COLOMbiANA RESTAuRANT has opened at 2042 Lascassas

Pk., with hours from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (closed Tuesday), and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The restaurant offers a variety of genuine Colombian food options including fried pork belly and arepas, made from ground maize dough stuffed with various fillings. For more information, visit

of clothing, the new location will also feature a selection of home goods. Visit andhamlett. com for further information and hours.


, an upscale women’s fashion boutique, will celebrate its grand opening on March 22 at

Ste. 1375 within The Avenue (2615 Medical Center Pkwy.). The boutique will offer shoes, clothing and accessories. For the boutique’s most current information, visit instagram. com/monkeesofmurfreesboro

RSRvd EvENT STudiO, located at 826 Cpt. Joe Fulghum Dr. just off New Salem Highway, recently celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The locally owned event space provides room for up to 50 people, with a fully furnished area. The space offers a location for birthday and office parties, baby showers and more. For more information, visit rsrvdeventstudio.

TRu FiT recently opened its gym to the public at the former Kroger on Middle Tennessee Boulevard, in the parking lot behind Sonic. The new gym offers a variety of cardio workout options, space for basketball, weights, machines, a sauna, a turf space, various group training and workout classes, and a kids’ section with supervised games, crafts and movies. For more information, visit

ASCENSiON SAiNT ThOMAS uRgENT CARE has opened its third location in Murfreesboro at 3403 S. Church St.


near Aldi. Its two other clinics are located at 1144 Fortress Blvd. and 2445 Memorial Blvd. Services offered at the clinics include heart monitoring and management, occupational health, primary and family care, women’s health, men’s health, dermatology care, urgent care, and school, sports and camp physicals.

Hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit

Smyrna will soon get a new, 44-acre mixeduse development called STEWART’S LANdiNg, which will offer 250,000 square feet of ground-level retail space, two medical office buildings totaling 400,000 square feet, a 240-room hotel, and 75 townhomes which will be available for purchase.

The new development will be located at the corner of Sam Ridley Parkway and Highway 41, and will offer a pedestrian-focused street grid, with vibrant streetscapes, community greenspace and a walking trail that surrounds the development.

“For far too long, Rutherford County has needed a place like Stewart’s Landing, and we’re proud to bring a project of this scale to life for the community,” said founder of Equitable Property Company Land Deleot.

“Our vision combines a thoughtfully planned mix of uses with world-class design, creating an urban-inspired destination intended for shopping, dining, working, living and everything in between. For two and half years, we’ve worked in lockstep with Smyrna to develop the master plan, and we’re ready to start executing against it.”

Groundbreaking will begin this month with Phase I expected to be complete by early 2025. Tenants confirmed for the first phase include STARbuCKS COFFEE, WAWA and JONAThAN’S gRiLLE, among others.

OShKOSh CORPORATiON will bring an electric vehicle assembly plant to Murfreesboro at the 844,480-square-foot Parkway Place facility at 2120 Logistics Way.

The company announced plans to invest $25.2 million to expand its presence in Tennessee, which will bring its total number of employees in the community to over 300.

OshKosh provides electric and hybrid vehicle fleets for all kinds of work. The business has already posted available jobs for the coming location.

“Our purpose-built products serve our communities with carefully designed and engineered refuse trucks, front-discharge

operates nearly 30 locations in Illinois and Indiana and offers Italian beef sandwiches as well as burgers, hot dogs, pasta bowls, chicken sandwiches, soups, salads, pizzas, protein bowls, vegetarian beefless options and shakes. For more information, visit

mixer trucks, fire apparatus, airport rescue and fire fighting trucks, service vehicles and command trucks. Our products are designed to perform under the toughest conditions,” according to OshKosh. For more information, visit oshkoshcorp. com.

big Pig WiNE ANd SPiRiTS is expected to open this March at 3921 Franklin Rd., just beside TN Craft Butcher, which will also soon celebrate its grand opening. The new wine shop offers a large space for a variety of beverages, wine, beer, cigars and spirits.

CiRCLE K will build a new fueling center and convenience store at the corner of Franklin Road and Veterans Parkway.

big bLuE MARbLE ACAdEMy will open a daycare center on Jack Byrnes Drive, near Veterans Parkway and Overall Creek Elementary.

OLd FORT gOLF COuRSE will be

Saint Thomas Hospital.

The extension provides a new two-lane roadway with pedestrian sidewalks and a view of the Stones River, as well as a new traffic light.

“The new extension will ease access to Robert Rose and the growing Medical Center Parkway traffic in Murfreesboro,” said Murfreesboro Public Infrastructure Executive Director Chris Griffith. “It is also expected to help reduce traffic on Thompson Lane.”


recently hosted its annual celebration at The Walnut House to recognize the achievements made in the historic downtown business district by highlighting business owners who go above and beyond.

The city’s two Downtown Design Awards were presented to bORO bOuRbON & bREWS, located at 124 N. Maple St., and Happy’s Sports Lounge at 302 W. Main St.

Boro Bourbon & Brews, owned by Ashley and Rhonda McCrary and Trent and Aubrey Tolbert, was presented the award as a result of the newly designed restaurant, which provides a modern industrial atmosphere and has created a destination space on the square with exterior garage doors connecting guests to the outdoors. (The building originally housed a cafe and gas station.) By creating a restaurant, the owners have brought the space back to its original use and feel.


closed much of the year for a complete bunker and greens renovation project. Since January, only nine holes of the course have been open for play.

Soon, the city will move forward with the greens renovation. At that time the golf course will be closed until the greens renovation is completed.

“We anticipate the golf course reopening in early fall 2024,” according to Old Fort Golf Club management. “Thank you for your patience during this time as we look forward to delivering you a better golf experience!”

The driving range, clubhouse and the Bloomfield Links 6-hole short course will remain open throughout the project.

The City of Murfreesboro has opened the ROAd ExTENSiON connecting Gateway Boulevard to Robert Rose Drive, which runs behind the Oaks Shopping Center. The extension offers an alternative route between the two connecting points and provides a solution for emergency traffic around the medical offices and Ascension

, owned by Brad Leeman and Hunter Taylor, received the second Design Award as a result of its newly renovated building. The building design, composed of three main sections, provides a tech-savvy atmosphere to the square that has attracted younger people and guests of varying ages to the downtown area. Large windows that can be opened, illuminating signs, and the improved outdoor appearance all add to the ambiance of this building.

The Downtown Business of the Year Award was presented to Jeff and Scarlett Murphy, owners of dOMENiCO’S iTALiAN dELi, located at 106 S. Maple St.

The Murphys invested in the space to create an old-school deli vibe. As a participating partner in many downtown events, hosting artists and staying open for events around the square, Jeff goes out of his way to connect with the community and give back to local organizations, schools and sporting groups.

For more information on the work of Main Street Murfreesboro, including the Murfreesboro Saturday Market and the Friday Night Live concert series, visit

30 * March 2024 * CONTiNuEd FROM PAgE 29
buONA bEEF will open a 4,706-square-foot restaurant along Willow Oak Trail and Roby Corlew Lane. The restaurant currently
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p roject k eystone p repares to b reak g round in d owntown m urfreesboro

MuRFREESbORO CONTiNuES TO LAy its claim as one of the fastest-growing cities in the country after the announcement of a proposed makeover to a large section of its downtown. The development—named Project Keystone and proposed by Brentwood-based developer HRP Residential—was received with both cheers and jeers from many.

The project is slated to develop along Broad Street, spanning from Church Street to Vine Street. Murfreesboro Councilmember Shawn Wright said the proposed project is projected to be completed in the next 18 to 24 months if it breaks ground soon, with the zoning for the project already approved and contracts signed.

In a recent press release and several statements released to the public, HRP Residential has said they want to build upwards of 100 condominiums, 239 apartments, 40,000 feet of retail space, and a boutique hotel containing as many as 150 rooms. In an effort to help with parking concerns, HRP representatives proposed the addition of 715 parking spaces over three parking garages and through ground-level parking, though whether this would be pay-to-use or freeto-use parking for citizens is unclear. HRP has also proposed additional turn lanes and pedestrian crossings to alleviate traffic.

An HRP promotional video for Project Keystone featured various Murfreesboro business leaders saying that the development will be a positive addition to an up-

and-coming city such as Murfreesboro and that the project will help grow business in the downtown neighborhood.

Murfreesboro residents have offered up a variety of different opinions and reactions regarding Project Keystone, some being hopeful for additional business the project could hopefully bring to the merchants near the Murfreesboro Public Square, with others worried about rising costs and traffic.

“To be in the heart and the center of the downtown square, which is such a beautiful area . . . you knew that the city was likely gonna get behind projects that draw people to their downtown,” said Jason Day, the owner of local downtown Murfreesboro restaurant Joanie’s. “So, I was excited to have a spot here downtown and really grow with the city.”

Councilmember Shawn Wright was the only member of the city council to vote

against the project. Wright said that Project Keystone could be a good thing for Murfreesboro if HRP representatives conceded to having more condominiums and fewer apartments, however, representatives maintained that the strict number of 239 apartments was necessary for the developers to turn a profit.

“I do not like the mix of apartments to condominiums; I do not think the city should be selling to an apartment developer,” Wright said. “I don’t think the average person in Murfreesboro wants any more apartments built.”

Wright said that though the would-be apartments will probably look nice and flashy for as many as five years after they’re built, he’s worried that they will look outdated and run down in 15 or 20 years. He said by then, the Keystone apartments would occupy a large area of the Murfreesboro downtown, while condos by comparison would most

likely look far nicer as the years went on.

“Their main objective is to make money,” Wright said. “They don’t really care if Murfreesboro expands or not, they’re doing this to make money.”

Wright said that the average prices of the proposed condos have yet to be disclosed; however, while attending a summer meeting about the project he was told that the cost of rent for one-bedroom apartments would start somewhere in the $1,900—$2,100 range and go up from there, “not inexpensive,” Wright said.

Several citizens voicing their opinions online have been hopeful that the project will bring more opportunity to downtown Murfreesboro. One anonymous Reddit user commented on a thread related to Keystone that they believed building living spaces near many of the jobs available downtown could help reduce traffic congestion.

“[MTSU], all the lawyer offices, the courts and government offices, the numerous larger professional buildings and banks, heck, even the bars and restaurants in the area would have a few [employees]. If you expand to a 3-mile radius it’s an enormous number,” the local said, naming jobs that could benefit from the housing near downtown that the project would bring. “Adding housing in the sprawl area is how traffic ends up much much worse.”

With Project Keystone, downtown—or even university—employees “would be commuting zero to two miles versus 10 to 20.”

Others commented simply that they felt Murfreesboro doesn’t offer enough for those currently living here to be entertained regularly.

“This city is small, we need more people, this place is so boring,” another commenter said.

Some saw points behind both sides, commenting that the increase in people may bring in business for local businesses, regardless of added traffic concerns.

“More people living near the square are going to bring more businesses. I know it sucks for the traffic though,” said another user.

Councilmember Wright said though Project Keystone has yet to begin construction, development agreements have been signed. Citizens looking to stay up to date on projects and developments concerning Murfreesboro can do so by attending or viewing the city’s council meetings.

Recordings of Murfreesboro’s city council meetings and other local information can be found at For more on hRP and Project Keystone, visit * March 2024 * 33  business news

Opinion # F ree yo U r c H i LD ren


Parents must act NOW to preserve parental rights in Tennessee


Read that again.

If you thought you were protected because Tennessee is a “red state,” you were wrong.

If you moved here to escape tyrannical government overreach, you are in for a surprise. You have been sold oceanfront property in the hills of Tennessee.

On Feb. 6, 2024, Free YOUR Children traveled to the Tennessee Capitol in opposition to Governor Lee’s Education Freedom Scholarship Act (voucher expansion program).

We were there the majority of the day, in back-to-back appointments scheduled with Republican legislators. We had meetings with Senator Ferrell Haile, Senator Joey Hensley, Representative Kip Capley, Representative Scott Cepicky, Representative Bryan Richey, Senator Janice Bowling, Senator Mark Pody and Representative John Ragan.

Our group was so large that most of the meetings had to be moved into a conference room. We have been to the Capitol before; however, the Free YOUR Children ministry has grown, and the message has gained traction. Our reason for going was not an expectation of influencing our lawmakers. After all, they have been promoting this bill and encouraging parents to sign up for the program ahead of the actual wording being released to the public. Our reason for going was so that legislators could hear directly from the very families that this bill will affect.

The Free YOUR Children radio show covers our trip to the Capitol in detail, and you can

complying with truancy laws? After much discussion I asked the question, “Do you believe the state, or the parents, have the most rights in terms of education?” His answer was: “They are equal.”

Do parents in Tennessee agree with this statement? Do we believe that our Constitutional rights and parental rights are shared equally with the state of Tennessee? Do we really want to turn over private education to legislators who believe the state’s rights are equivalent to those of parents?

Representative Ragan sits on the House Standing Committee Education. “The House Education Committee deals with all bills relating to education in general. This includes schools (kindergarten through university level, curricula, and lunch programs); teachers, school employees, bus drivers and administrators (pay, benefits and retirement); vocational technical education; and adult education,” according to information at

future political aspirations? Could it be that there is a great deal of money involved in the school choice scam?

In addition to the Education Freedom Scholarship Act legislation, filed as HB 2468/ SB 0503 (although it was originally introduced as SB 2787) there are several parental rights bills that are concerning. These bills subvert parental rights.

The bill HB 1913/SB 1873, sponsored by Representative Gino Bulso and Senator Joey Hensley, makes it clear that the bill does not “prohibit a court of competent jurisdiction, a law enforcement officer, or an employee of a government agency responsible for child welfare, from acting in an official capacity within the reasonable and prudent scope of such authority” nor does it “prohibit a court of competent jurisdiction from issuing an order that is otherwise permitted by law.”

find it at: on the podcast portal Free YOUR Children episode 3.

It was an eye-opening experience for many who joined us.

Senator Ferrell Haile wasted no time in telling us that the state needed accountability for home-school families because there were certain groups that weren’t doing a good job. This is an interesting position, since the state of Tennessee isn’t effectively educating its public school students while home-school students statistically outperform those in public schools academically. He was clear that he believes accountability should be attached to school choice funding.

Representative John Ragan was insistent that the Tennessee State Constitution demands documentation that children are receiving an education. We pointed out that the state constitution refers to public education.

“The State of Tennessee recognizes the inherent value of education and encourages its support. The General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance, support and eligibility standards of a system of free public schools,” according to Article XI, Section 12 of the Tennessee Constitution.

Our group pointed out that we were there to discuss private educational options and how we wanted to protect them. The state constitution has a responsibility to provide a system of public education, and therein lies the difference.

Representative Ragan went on to tell us that if home schoolers aren’t required to register, how will overseers know if they are

Representative Ragan went on to state that school vouchers provide competition. Where is the competition when both private and public educational opportunities would then be funded by the government? The Every Student Succeeds Act states all education must be aligned to the same post-secondary readiness standards as laid out in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

School choice legislation does not create competition. What it does is place all education under government control, leaving parents and children no escape from government overreach. They are then controlled by the same individuals who believe that the state’s rights are equal to parental rights.

Our meeting with Representative Scott Cepicky was a joint meeting including Representative Kip Capley and Senator Joey Hensley.

After leaving this meeting, Representative Scott Cepicky admitted to calling other legislators at the Capitol and telling them to come and see him after our visit so that he could “set them straight.” This is concerning considering Representative Cepicky stated, after attending a Free YOUR Children seminar, that he didn’t know that Social Emotional Learning was bad and he was unaware that Critical Race Theory was still in our schools.

Free YOUR Children has been accused of fearmongering and spreading false information, yet none of these individuals have yet to clarify which information is supposedly false. Why are they so afraid of an educated populace? Could it be that an educated populace will push back against these initiatives? Could it be that the truth may derail their

Our schools are being loaded with mental health professionals, SRO officers and social workers who will be seeking to identify “at risk” children. Schools can bill Medicaid without parental consent and children have access to telemedical services. This legislation is a slippery slope, and our conservative lawmakers are sponsoring legislation that is allowing the destruction of our parental rights.

House Bill 1414 and Senate Bill 0620 enumerate parental rights. I have already written about why that is dangerous.

Any government that feels it has the right to list your parental rights for you is big enough to take those rights away. Wording is easily amended.

If Tennesseans do not stand up now, there will be no turning back.

Contact your legislators and tell them to vote NO on these bills.

Show up at the Capitol with Free YOUR Children to fight for your parental and educational rights.

Do not rely on organizations or legislators to protect your freedom. You must get involved. It is now or never.

Tiffany boyd is the founder of Free yOuR Children, a homeschool advocate, consultant, speaker and the founder and administrator of Middle Tennessee Christian homeschool Connection. She holds a b.S. degree in interdisciplinary studies from MTSu. She is a wife of 30 years and mother to five children, grandmother to two. She is a former tenured public school teacher. She and her husband have home educated for 18 years. Contact her at free

34 * March 2024 *

“However, the pandemic changed how the public utilizes public spaces.”

Although you will not find books to check out at the TEC, you will find access to the “Library of Things”; this includes toys, games and the popular STEAM kits that you can check out with your library card, according to Tyree. The TEC still holds to much of its original intent, focusing on bridging the digital divide for the public.

a library Without books

Murfreesboro TEC using technology to provide information and resources to the community

hAvE yOu EvER heard of a library that did not have any books? Murfreesboro has the only bookless library in the state of Tennessee and one of the few in the United States.

The Technology Engagement Center (TEC), one of the six branches (plus a Bookmobile) within the Rutherford County Library System, is an all-digital public library. Built in 2018, it was the second library of its design in the United States and the first on the east side of the Mississippi.

i s ai r eally t hat i ntelligent?

Artificial intelligence or technological snake oil?

AbOuT A yEAR AgO, I wrote my first article on artificial intelligence, or AI. At the time the latest rendition of the Chat GPT platform by had just burst onto the scene and was all the buzz in the tech industry. But I pointed out that, by comparison, this was nothing new. Grammarly, which had been around 10 years prior, is software which considers the context of what is written, thereby making it somewhat “intelligent.”

I also explained that AI was a tool, not a replacement for anything or anyone. I even showed my work, as it were, demonstrating

Technology is rapidly changing, and that requires people and institutions to pivot. To keep true to its name, the TEC has encountered its share of changes. Murfreesboro built the TEC to “bridge the digital divide by computers for the public, provide internet connection for those who might not have it at home or might not have a strong connection at home, and provide business incubation utilizing the resources on site,” said Kathleen Tyree, branch manager of TEC.

how I used OpenAI’s program to actually write that particular post. It was a great help in getting my mental juices flowing, but I probably did not save that much time. There was still a lot of editing, correcting and rewriting to do. That’s because the devil is in the details, as it is with all creative works.

Anything worth reading needs a human touch. Otherwise, anything written by artificial intelligence will read like it was written by artificial intelligence: dull and contrived. No feelings or cautionary tales that apply to the author, just facts. That is, unless those emotions and anecdotes are “borrowed” from other writers. It seems AI is not that artificial, nor is it intelligent.

Over the past year, several other AI platforms have been developed, while others simply piggyback off of ChatGPT. Almost as soon as the software went public, The New York Times filed a lawsuit stating, “Millions of articles published by The Times were used to train automated chatbots that now compete with the news outlet as a source of reliable information.”

It seems there may not be anything original with today’s AI. Several prominent authors including John Grisham and George

Every Monday, local residents can bring tech devices that they may need help with, want to learn more about or have questions about, and speak with a Tech Coach. The TEC also offers computer coaches.

The Middle Tennessee State University library has a MakerSpace—a dedicated space to create—although that space is only for MTSU faculty, staff and trained students on the equipment. The TEC has adopted a smaller MakerSpace, and that—the only MakerSpace in the Rutherford County Library System—has been a big attraction for those across the county to use.

“Our MakerSpace includes a recording studio, 3D printers, a Cricut, and a Glowforge. You can make things with paper, wood, vinyl, plastic or acrylic. There is a lot you can do. You only need your imagination,” said Tyree.

Libraries have long been a community staple, providing valuable information and resources, and, although it offers no books, TEC is no different. There you can take a class, get documents notarized, or use their

R. R. Martin have also filed suits claiming copyright infringement. But it’s not just big-name artists who have a beef with the program. A few months ago, I had lunch with a friend who, along with her husband, helps charities with administrative needs. They have maintained a blog for their clients for several years. On a lark, the husband decided to use a platform to write his next post. What he got back from the software was an article that included a word-for-word paragraph he wrote in another post a few years prior.

It seems much of this technology take bits and pieces, or whole paragraphs, from here and there. It leaves one thinking what it spits out is an original work. And what it cannot find, it simply makes up.

I recently asked a chatbot to write a paragraph or two on a particular topic and cite three sources. It did so in just a few seconds, but had I taken the bot’s word on it, I would have potentially faced embarrassment. One of the “sources” was Dr. Kyle Smith of Harvard. Harvard, impressive, right? I researched Dr. Smith thinking there would be some great quotes for me to include in my article.

Only there was no Kyle Smith at Harvard, nor at Yale, Brown, Princeton or anywhere in

printing service. Users can upload documents to their cloud, and TEC staff will print it off.

One of the unique summer programs the TEC offers is Science on the Patio, this center’s alternative to the typical summer reading program, because they do not have books on the shelves.

“We wait until the summer reading program is over, and then we offer some programming in July and August. It keeps going through the summer,” said Tyree, who has been with the Rutherford County Library System since 2009.

Despite being bookless, TEC is another branch of the library system. Staffers can help you with the apps Libby and Hoopla and all the databases you can utilize with your library card. They have computers for internet access, classes and free meeting spaces. Also, library users can drop off or pick up materials at the TEC.

The Technology Engagement Center is located at 306 Minerva dr., Murfreesboro. For more information, call 615-893-4131 or visit

byron glenn is a business development Specialist with business System Solutions; he is a speaker, business consultant, nonprofit co-founder, and Murfreesboro Tech Council board member. For iT-managed services for your business, you can visit or call 615-400-8595.

the Ivy League as far as I could tell. So, I went back to the computer and asked, “Where is this Dr. Smith that you cited?” Only then did the interface admit Smith was a construct to facilitate the narrative. Not good!

Visual AI is no exception to ridicule either. Gemini was an embarrassment to Google when it launched. It delivered renderings of such things as black Vikings, Asian Nazis and other historical nonsense. As it turns out, the chief developer may have had certain biases against . . . truth.

Now, what was that old computer maxim I learned in the ’90s? Oh, yeah, “garbage in, garbage out.” That is to say, you only get what is already available, but that won’t necessarily be anything creatively authentic, or even accurate for that matter. Any endusers who don’t proof what they use publicly could be susceptible to ridicule, lawsuits or, at minimum, an “F” on a term paper.

blaine Little is the founder and CEO of Momentum Seminars Training and Coaching, a veteran owned business, helping companies remain profitable by investing in their people. Learn more about the power of Momentum at * March 2024 * 35
o M entu M
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tech talk

thon. Don’t miss, bro! The NFL Draft is set to take place in Detroit, Michigan, April 25–27.

titans talk

After winning the AFC South for three straight seasons, the Titans followed it up with two straight years below the .500 mark.

But be excited, Titan nation! Owner Amy Adams Strunk is all in, and I have faith. You can agree with her recent decisions or not, but they required a level confidence all the same. She made the decision to bring in a new GM last year, and now she brings in a young, offensive-minded head coach in Brian Callahan, who in turn brings in a fresh coaching staff. It’s the beginning of a never-ending cycle to find success in an ever-changing league. (I just free-wrote that; I feel smart now!)

teams—which include the best punter in the NFL, Ryan Goathouse! Stay tuned.

march madness

The madness that is March is upon us and the Tennessee Volunteers have a real-deal squad. Dalton Knecht, the best transfer addition in college basketball this season, leads this all-around solid Vols basketball team. Dalton has quickly become a household name in the college basketball world since transferring from Northern Colorado to Tennessee.

ThE TRAiN dAddy iS bACK with sports news, life lessons and politically incorrect talk. All aboard! I often get emails from readers who are upset with me for talking about this, so let’s open with the insanity that is biological dudes being allowed to compete with biological females.

I figured I would have more support on this topic, given that poll after poll overwhelmingly shows most Americans are not okay with these athletes “willy-nilly” competing with the gender they identify with.

Biology matters in sports! It’s why we have gender separation to begin with. It really is baffling, the direction we’re headed here—feelings over common sense. We need more Riley Gaineses in the world, because this is a worthy fight.

We need more female athletes speaking out. I understand it’s difficult because you might be shunned and kicked off the team you love, but someone must step up.

We need more parents of these minors stepping up as well, especially the fathers. That recent video of a 6-foot-tall, Bigfootlooking trans athlete competing on a girl’s high school basketball team is disgraceful. This trans athlete tossed the opposing girls around like rag dolls, injuring three of them. Of course, the Massachusetts school released a statement standing by the trans athlete and insinuating any other thought as transphobic.

Biology matters! What is unfortunate is that female athletics has so much to offer and in many other ways is on the rise. The current state of women’s college basketball is bigger than ever, but at any moment a

born-dude can join up and much of society would be too scared to say a word. The examples continue to mount up.

Imagine a 6-foot 9-inch trans athlete with a play style somewhere between Shaq and Caitlin Clark joining a D1 school in NCAA women’s basketball. Game over! I hope it just goes ahead and happens soon. I guarantee fans of college basketball and athletes alike who have been silent on the issue would finally scream, “foul!” I don’t need to explain myself further. You know it’s true.

Some would assume it’s because I’m transphobic and full of hate, but the real reason is simply because I believe ignoring biology in sports creates an unfair level of play and destroys the credibility of female athletics, something worth fighting for.

Well, what else did you expect me to talk about now that it’s the NFL off-season? I can promise you that my next issue will be fullon NFL Draft talk as my Tennessee Titans prepare for the future. This 2024 class will be very important for the young GM Ran Car-

The Titans have seven picks in the 2024 NFL Draft, with the big pick sitting at number 7 overall. Who do they take? I prefer a dude like Big Joe Alt to help keep quarterback Will Levis alive in 2024. But it seems many in the national media and swirling rumors suggest the Titans are headed towards grabbing a wide receiver at the number 7 spot. Don’t be dumb, Tennessee. You can’t have anything nice until that offensive line is fixed. Statistically speaking, the Titans have had one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL the past two seasons.

The Titans have another important decision at pick 38 in the second round, and after that they have five picks from rounds 4–7. The Titans gave up their 2024 3rd round selection as part of a multi-year deal with the Cardinals last year that ended up with them being able to select Will Levis and Tyjae Spears. That’s QB1 and more than likely RB1 heading into 2024, with both players showing serious promise as rookies. Seems a solid deal to me.

That’s enough Titans talk for now. I have plenty saved up for the next installment, where we will focus on the NFL Draft, talk about Will Levis, his line and his play-makers, and we shall break down the defense and special

I would say he is a lock for SEC player of the year and a legitimate candidate for national player of the year, playing at an MVP level. Dalton doesn’t have many off nights, but this team has shown they can still get nasty on defense and score points regardless of his performance. It’s why many people believe the Vols have a legit Final 4-worthy team—and that’s big talk for a school that has never made a Final 4 in its history.

Running the bracket is no easy task, but keep an eye on Tennessee. They have the talent to do it.

Keep an eye on them crazy kids cracking bats in Knoxville, led by Tony V. It should come as no surprise they have another talented baseball team—that’s all Tony does. Just watch as we gear up for summer and potentially another run at Omaha and the College World Series. No easy task, but it just feels like this Tennessee Volunteer team is so close with Tony at the helm. Go get that championship!

predators talk

Keep an eye out for them Nashville Predators! What a confusing team. They were supposed to be down and out this season and yet they keep on pulling out these winning streaks. Following the All-Star break, Nashville was just outside the post-season picture as Vegas had them in the 30% odds of making the playoffs. Now, with this team streaking and the Wild and Blues losing, Vegas has the Predators chance of making the playoffs near 75%. It has been a weird season of ups and downs. Credit goes to Barry Trotz, who no doubt had been entertaining selling at the trade deadline. We shall see what happens, but winning has a way of making things feel right in sports.

The Z-Train is rolling into the station! I appreciate you, the reader, even those of you who hate my points of view. If you made it this far, thank you! Never be afraid to voice your thought, or in this case, fact: Biology matters in sports!

36 * March 2024 * coluMn By “z-traIn” s ports talk b iology m atters, t itans p reparing for nfl
d raft and m arch m
i s h ere!
dalton knecht

 money matters

n avigating tax s eason

WiTh TAx SEASON hERE, confusion often swirls around deductions and best practices. While everyone wants to minimize their tax burden, it’s crucial to avoid risky tactics that could land you in hot water with the IRS. Here, we’ll debunk some common tax myths, explore legitimate deduction opportunities and offer tips for a smoother filing experience.

t he “ f ree m oney” f allacies

Beware of tempting, but ultimately illegal, tax “hacks.” One myth involves buying unnecessary equipment, claiming the deduction, then selling it. While accelerated depreciation exists, it fully depletes the asset’s tax value, meaning you’ll owe taxes on the entire sale price. Similarly, “owner draws” from your business are taxable income, not free money.

Another dangerous myth claims business owners can “loan” themselves money and default, creating a tax deduction. In reality, this triggers cancellation of debt income and requires reporting it to the IRS. The same principle applies to forgiven credit card debt.

Remember, genuine tax benefits come from legitimate business expenses, not fabricated schemes.

m aximizing d eductions

for BusInesses:

health and Benefits Plans: Explore taxdeductible health insurance and benefits plans that save your business on income and payroll taxes. Oftentimes these can be tax deductions to the business while non-taxable to the employees, including the owners when they are treated as employees. Supplemental benefits generally qualify for the same treatment and they can usually be funded by the employee and simultaneously save the business on payroll taxes.

Business expenses: Deduct mileage, meals, taxes, continuing education, office supplies, advertising and more (within IRS guidelines). The federal government wants small businesses to succeed, so they provide a great deal of opportunity for businesses to deduct “ordinary and necessary” expenses. Many of these are a benefit to the owners and/or employees.

for IndIVIduals:

health savings accounts (hsas): Contribute pre-tax dollars for tax-free medical expenses. Let the account grow and you may never pay taxes on the growth when used for medical expenses in the future or in retirement.

Iras and 529 Plans: Invest in retirement and education savings with tax advantages.

charitable donations: Deduct contributions to qualified charities. When done strategically, you can give the same amount to your favorite charity while

avoiding Myths and Maximizing d eductions

creating a tax deduction to keep more money in your pocket or give more.

tax loss harvesting: Sell investments at a loss to offset capital gains. You can use this strategy to lock in gains without paying taxes on them, when you buy them immediately for the same price you sell them at.

roth conversions: Consider converting traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs for tax-free future withdrawals. This can be a powerful thing if taxes are higher in the future, and can help you minimize future Required Minimum Distributions in retirement.

r emember

legality Is key: Focus on minimizing taxes legally, not skirting your obligations. You are required to pay what you owe, but you aren’t required to skip deductions you are entitled to and pay more than your fair share.

seek Professional guidance: Consult a qualified tax professional like a CPA for personalized advice tailored to your specific situation. They can help you navigate complex deductions and ensure compliance.

p lanning

Don’t wait until next year. Start planning now by: staying Informed: Keep up with changing tax laws and regulations.

gathering documentation: Organize receipts, invoices and other relevant documents throughout the year. Waiting until tax season means you will likely forget certain deductions that were clear in your mind when they happened.

estimating taxes: Make informed decisions about tax payments and potential refunds. Keep in mind that when you get a large refund, you gave the IRS an interest-free loan. Everyone would prefer to make money on their money rather than letting the government hold it.

b onus r esources

Visit for a complimentary guide on reducing taxes and filing tips for 2023. Feel free to reach out to our team for personalized assistance. Remember, professional guidance can be invaluable in optimizing your tax strategy and avoiding costly mistakes.

diSCLAiMER: The information provided herein is not tax, legal or financial advice. it is for informational purposes only. be sure to set up time to speak with your financial advisor and CPA to learn more about how these changes will impact you.

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The Way Out Is to

w e have all experienced going outside of ourselves to find answers that give us pleasure, relief, knowledge, entertainment and freedom from simply being, or from what binds or suppresses us. There are unlimited distractions available to help us do this. We like instant gratification to satisfy a craving, a yearning or an emptiness. Rarely do we just sit with our perceived needs and embrace the awkward, the uncomfortable, or the loneliness that accompanies our unmet longings.

In the Bible story about the Samaritan woman by the well of water, found in John 4, Jesus asked her for a cup of water and she discovered that he was the Messiah. He promised she would never thirst if she drank of the cup he gave, which would provide a well of (living) water “springing up into everlasting life.”

“When the student is ready, the master

will appear.” — Tao Te Ching I heard a beautiful analogy to accompany this Bible story. In order to have a wellspring of water, you have to drill down into the earth. Once the hole is dug, you don’t go to the river or ocean and bring back buckets of water to fill it up. You drill until you find the water that flows up within the well. Thus it is with us. Instead of searching far and wide for something or someone to give us more satisfaction, we need to instead look inside ourselves. Dig down deep. Be still. Quiet. Patient. The answer is there. When we are so busy turning to every outside source for answers or to “fill our tank,” we can’t see or hear the messages from within. You already have all the answers you’re looking for inside of you. Log out from the busyness. Take a deep breath. Give yourself some time in silence, and ask your inner wisdom for guidance and direction. You

already have everything you need to be successful, to feel loved, needed, wanted or whatever else is important to you.

We also spend a lot of time ignoring or running away from problems or situations we are faced with. We aren’t confident in our ability to problem-solve or to come to terms with life events that have gotten us off track. The only way out is to go in. Stop spinning your wheels, running around trying to pretend there isn’t a problem or that it will surely go away if you just ignore it. Go into the eye of the storm and dismantle it. Ignorance is not bliss. It perpetuates the lack we feel. Don’t lean on the side of ignorance, hiding, running away or procrastinating to avoid a problem. Go in! Find out what’s there. Dig deep. The opposite of ignorance is knowing or knowledge. Knowledge is power. It brings information that helps you make better decisions. It unlocks fear of the unknown and allows you to move forward or at least sit in peace. No more guessing.

“Look inside yourself for the answers— you’re the only one who knows what’s best for you. Everybody else is only guessing.” — Charles de Lint

I love the analogy, also from the Bible, about “going in” to the closet to pray. This

means isolating yourself from the noise, diversions and interruptions in order to get clear—being alone with your thoughts, and allowing a higher spirit (your inner wisdom, intuition or divine source) to show you the way out.

Finding a way out can be as simple as allowing yourself to go into an experience or adventure as well. If you don’t go to the class, show, party, event or OUTing, you’ll never know what’s inside. You can’t go out if you never go in. When you do go in, you will always discover something. You may meet someone who becomes a lifelong friend, or someone who can help you with a need you have. You may also discover that you really don’t like certain things, in which case you can save yourself some time the next go-round by not going. Either way, you can’t find the way out if you never go in.

“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible.’” — Audrey Hepburn

Jennifer durand is the owner and operator of The Nurture Nook day Spa & gift Shoppe; she is a certified qigong and breathe Empowerment instructor, a skin care and makeup specialist. visit or or by calling (615) 896-7110.

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