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The Gallatin News Examiner in 2013 published a multitude of articles and editorials unearthing otherwise unreported corruption in government for the betterment of the community. Among them: a city mayor who tried to use taxpayer money for his wife's vacation expenses; an airport board that refused to step down even after new members were appointed by the governing body; an exhaustive fight over school safety, including how to implement it and whether the public should be part of the process; a city codes and planning director who used an uncertified inspector to check if homes were up to state standards; a city judge who fixed her daughter's traffic ticket and then instructed an employee to hide the evidence; and a little-known tax that several cities had not been paying to the school system. Through these stories and others, the News Examiner promoted the welfare of the county in which we serve our readers. Here are the entries in the attached 50 tearsheets in chronological order: 1. Local man's find could alter science (Jan. 2) 2. County talks safety secrecy (Feb. 8) 3. Taxpayers buy D.C. meals for mayor's wife (Feb. 10) 4. Secret safety talks pose public danger (Feb. 13) 5. Gallatin '78 school shooting recalled (Feb. 15) 6. Safety meetings subject to sunshine for now (Feb. 22) 7. Airport power struggle reignites (March 1) 8. City missing 'weeks' of emails (March 6) 9. City probes home inspections (March 10) 10. Planning director placed on leave (March 15) 11. Audio captures Allers using profanity to refer to mayor (March 15) 12. County threatens to 'implode' airport board (March 22) 13. School fees pay for basics (April 28) 14. After three years, flood lingers (May 5) 15. Voting precincts cut by 25 percent (May 19) 16. New standards raise questions (May 29) 17. Hunter's court usually a packed house, but without the applause (June 12) 18. City revises expense policy (June 16) 19. New board takes control of airport, legal fight continues (June 28) 20. Hyde: Precinct change notices were 'misleading' (July 12) 21. Mother says murdered son tried to change (July 17) 22. Economy downs developer (July 28) 23. Officers mourn death of 'brother' 24. Family forced from home after city deems it unsafe (Aug. 9) 25. Town Creek diesel spill cleanup could take 3 weeks (Aug. 11) 26. More students say they drink before 21 (Aug. 16) 27. Few buildings protected on square (Aug. 28) 28. New airport board takes control (Aug. 30) 29. Cities question tax figures (Sept. 18) 30. Mother struggles to heal after son's April murder (Sept. 20) 31. Schools stop religious trips (Sept. 22) 32. Judge rules no abuse in civil suit against schools (Sept. 25) 33. Uninsured in Sumner estimated at 21,000 (Sept. 25) 34. Collapsed wall had little bracing (Sept. 29) 35. Cities weigh plans to pay debt to schools (Oct. 6) 36. Complaint targets city judge (Oct. 6) 37. Jail furloughs a 'necessary evil' (Oct. 9)


38. EDA director paid to move twice (Oct. 16) 39. Is Sumner ready for the 'big one'? (Oct. 18) 40. Tax bills late for second year (Oct. 20) 41. City cites itself for violating state job site standards (Oct. 25) 42. Security upgrades on track (Oct. 25) 43. Senior living expands (Oct. 27) 44. Traffic growth prompts 386 safety study (Nov. 1) 45. Civic Center fight not over (Nov. 6) 46. Judge denies fixing ticket (Nov. 8) 47. Cities owe schools $1.5M (Nov. 11) 48. OSHA cites company after May collapse of crane (Nov. 15) 49. Gallatin leaders want city to employe more minorities (Nov. 20) 50. City judge is reprimanded (Dec. 22)


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Landmark gets makeover Renovation of Douglass-Clark House set to begin in April 2013 By Sherry Mitchell Gallatin News Examiner

The site of Sumner County’s first courthouse is a step closer to getting a new makeover after weathering the elements for more than two centuries. County leaders recently received the go-ahead from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to begin re-construction of the historic DouglassClark House, overlooking Station Camp Creek. The project is being funded in large part by a TDOT enhancement grant. Once complete, the home, originally

built in 1795, will serve as a trailhead to the Station Camp Greenway. The contractors have yet to be picked. “We have advertised a mandatory pre-bid meeting (Jan. 10 at 2 p.m.) that contractors have to attend in order to be eligible to bid and be TDOT pre-qualified,” said Kim Ark, grant administrator for Sumner County government. “We will open bids on Jan. 31.” Several steps have already been taken to prepare for the restoration, Ark said. “We have already done lead abate-

» RENOVATION, 3A

In this 2011 file photo, Sumner County Executive Anthony Holt (right) and Bob Dulany of Hendersonville chat by the Douglass-Clark House, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. FILE ART

TOWERING EXPERIMENT CHALLENGES EINSTEIN

Local man’s find could alter science Robnett: Coulomb force faster than speed of light By Dessislava Yankova Gallatin News Examiner

Gallatin scientist Allen Robnett uses this 24-foot tower for an experiment that he says suggests that Coulomb’s Force moves faster than the speed of light. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

GIVING BACK

White House business to help grieving Newtown By Josh Cross Gannett Tennessee

A local White House business is getting involved to help put on a free event 1,000 miles away for those in the Newtown, Conn. community affected by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that took place Dec. 14. BlackHawk Audio Inc., an audio company that travels with touring Christian artists such as Casting Crowns and Toby Mac, has joined with Christian music artists and concert producers to help put on “A Night of Hope and Healing” for 10,000 people in the Connecticut community affected by the tragedy. “This is really what we’re supposed to do,” said Jamie Nixon, director of touring and marketing for BlackHawk Audio. “It doesn’t matter where it’s at. We’re supposed to come together as a people to help our fellow man to heal from a situation like this. From one community to another community, this is how healing happens.” The free event will take place at the Webster Bank Area in Bridgeport, Conn. on Tuesday, Jan. 15 from 6-10 p.m. Max Lucado, Mary Beth Chapman and Louie Giglio are scheduled to speak while Building 429, Steven Curtis Chapman, Casting Crowns,

Mandisa, Toby Mac, Laura Story and Christ Tomlin will provide the music. A tractor-trailer full of BlackHawk’s audio equipment will depart Jan.13 for the event. The crew will then spend all day Jan. 14 setting up, followed by sound checks on the morning of Jan. 15 before doors open later that night to the public. “[Each artist] is probably going to say a few things and share some songs,” Nixon said. “They will try to entertain the people to get their minds off of things and try to give them a sense of entertainment, but at the same time they will be singing worship songs and having a time of prayer and things like that.” BlackHawk got involved with the event after event or-

» CONCERT, 2A

Jamie Nixon looks over equipment to be used during “A Night of Hope and Healing.” JOSH CROSS/GANNETT TENNESSEE

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» ROBNETT, 4A

Car giveaway has Sumner students driven to succeed By Jennifer Easton Gallatin News Examiner

Sumner County students have a chance to ride in style if they work hard and keep up their grades. Newton Nissan in Gallatin has teamed up with COMPASS (Community Outreach Making Partnerships at Sumner Schools) to give Sumner students one more incentive to

earn A’s by giving them the chance to win a new car. Open to high school juniors and seniors, “A’s Get The Reward” is the dealership’s unique annual giveaway that encourages Sumner County high school students to make A’s. Students earn entries for prizes donated by local businesses, including a new 2013 Nissan Versa from Newton Nissan, by bringing their report card to the deal-

ership. Each ‘A’ grade earns one entry for the drawing, to be held at the dealership’s annual A’s Get The Reward Party each summer when the school year ends, said Kelsey Morgan, marketing director for Newton Nissan of Gallatin. “Students think they have to make all A’s to be eligible, but

» GIVEAWAY, 2A

THE BELL TOWLES

As the new year dawns, a 2012 do-over seems in order Now that 2013 has arrived on the scene, it’s time for New Year’s resolutions (to be broken) and predictions (better left unspoken). Instead of looking ahead to 2013, however, I’m hanging onto 2012, pondering what I would do differently if I had the last 12 months to live over, knowing what I know now. My inspiration for this New Year’s retrospective is author Ken Grimwood’s “Replay,” a fantasy adventure in which a 43-year-old journalist involuntarily and mysteriously goes back in time 25 years. Suddenly, he’s back in college as his 18-year-old self, a college freshman in his dorm room, yet with all his adult memories accrued from the next quartercentury intact.

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, said Albert Einstein. But a Gallatin scholar believes he’s found something that does move faster – so fast, that its speed cannot be detected even when the speed of light can. Allen Robnett, perhaps Sumner’s most innovative physics teacher, now retired from Gallatin High School, has conducted an experiment that suggests the speed of light might have been beaten. The contestant: a physics concept generally taught in high school known as the Coulomb force, which

» MIKE TOWLE Several times he goes through this reverse metamorphosis, each time reliving large chunks of his life and occasionally making different choices at familiar forks in the road. If I could go back in time to Jan. 1, 2012 and start the year over . . . . I’d maintain the better eating habits I established in 2010.

I would cut out sweets, white bread, unhealthy snacks and most dairy products, drink more water, and eat a reasonable portion of fruits and veggies daily, and today I would be sitting here 30 pounds lighter and happier. I’d get the new camcorder operational in time for our son’s fall semester of school. By now, we’d have at least an hour or two of precious video/ audio of his cross-country meets, band concerts and good times at home instead of the handful of stills we now hang onto. I’d make much better use of those four or five days in July we had on the Outer Banks with my sister and her family

» TOWLE, 4A

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Retired GHS teacher expects disbelief for his findings »ROBNETT FROM 1A causes electrostatic interaction between electrically charged particles or objects. In other words, the force causes like electrical charges to repel and opposite charges to attract. This is the scientific law that often leads people speaking of relationships to say “opposites attract.” It’s also the reason people use anti-static dryer sheets. “It’s as simple as running a plastic comb through hair and moving it next to a piece of paper,” Robnett said. “The resulting motion is caused by the Coulomb force.” And that force, Robnett posits, is actually faster than the speed of light. “This is heretical because it goes against the most fundamental principle of physics,” he said of his experiment. “But if it’s true, the result is Earthshattering.”

Meet the scientist

While by far the most daring, this is not the first curious experiment Robnett has conducted to engage students in the occasionally unpopular fields of math and science. After earning his degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University on a full scholarship, Robnett worked for 14 years on enhancing atomic weapons at the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M. In the mid-1980s, he created the first electronic system to be approved in the southeast United States by Medicare and insurance giant BlueCross BlueShield for medical offices to submit bills electronically. With much of the laboratory work contracted, Robnett felt disconnected from the actual science he loved. He began to recall treasured childhood memories of his mother’s hometown of Gallatin, and his desire to be a teacher emerged. Robnett envisioned his destiny and decided to give it a shot by asking the

then-principal of Gallatin High School for a job that was not available. He waited, got the job, and ended up spending a total of 40 years as a teacher. He started out teaching math and physics, and before he retired in 2012 he was also teaching students how galaxies are born and how to fly airplanes. Robnett developed the curriculums for both courses, the first ones of their nature in the state, and he created a self-funded textbook for the latter. His efforts attracted national attention. In 2010, Robnett won the prestigious Air Force Association National Aerospace Teacher of the Year award. He also received the Alan Shepard Technology in Education National Teacher of the Year award from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Astronauts Memorial Foundation (AMF) and the Space Foundation. NASA and AMF officials said the Sumner teacher used innovative techniques, compelling subjects and hands-on experiences to engage students in the seemingly challenging fields of math, science and technology, which “takes a special talent.” “The most important awards that I have received, by far, have been letters of appreciation from my students,” Robnett said, adding that his latest potentially monumental experiment doesn't require much skill to perform.

Gallatin scholar Allen Robnett uses this self-built device to measure and suggest that the Coulomb’s Force moves faster than the speed of light. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

the obscurity of their source.” More than10 years ago, Robnett became interested in the speed with which gravitational influence is transferred through space. “We see the sun, not where it is currently, but where it was eight minutes ago,” Robnett said. “Is there a similar relationship for the direction of the pull of gravity?” It occurred to him that many of the baffling puzzles of modern physics and astronomy might result from a misunderstanding of that relationship. “Jupiter radiates twice as much energy as it absorbs from the sun, even after 4 billion years,” Robnett said. “These puzzles might have a common explanation if the speed of transfer of gravitational and electrical influence is so much faster than the speed of light that, at present, we cannot measure it.”

Curiosity plants seed of experiment

Results defy fundamental physics

If valid, however, it would address some of the most mysterious phenomena that have puzzled astrophysicists, such as Robnett, for decades, including the apparent existence of dark matter, dark flow and dark energy. “Dark matter was socalled because, if it exists, it neither emits nor reflects light,” Robnett said. “‘Dark’ was prefixed to the other two because of

This is a very heretical idea on two counts, Robnett said. First, Einstein’s theories say that nothing can travel faster than light. Second, its results would run counter to the principle of the conservation of energy, one of the most fundamental concepts of physics. In pursuit of the questions that bothered him for years, Robnett decided to test his theory

through a unique experiment. In his backyard, he constructed a 24-foot tower, taller than most houses in Gallatin. With the tower made out of 3/4-inch plastic pipe, the biggest problem was not the construction but rather getting the tower into a vertical position without having it come apart. “Several visiting members of my family helped accomplish that with the aid of ropes,” he said. “There is a large pulley at the top of the tower, which was used to raise an antenna during an experiment to measure the speed of the force between electrical charges.” With the tower and a simple model airplane 75 MHz transmitter, half of an old rabbit-ear television antenna for a receiver, 30 feet of shielded cable, and a dual-trace oscilloscope used to measure the speed of rapidly changing events, Robnett measured the speed of transmission of both the horizontal electromagnetic wave and of the vertical Coulomb force. He first measured the time taken for the electromagnetic wave signal to travel horizontally at several distances, which led to the speed of light: 186,000 miles per second. That’s seven and a half times around the Earth in one second, Robnett said. This established that the method could be used to measure the speed of transfer of electromagnetic or radio waves. Then Robnett moved the re-

ceiving antenna directly above the transmitting antenna to measure the speed of transfer of the force in an attempt to measure the time taken for the signal to travel between the two. “But apparently it is too short a time for us to measure by any available means,” he said. “It was easy to find that the electromagnetic wave moved at the speed of light. The Coulomb force, on the other hand, is transferred at a speed that is either infinite or many times faster than the speed of light.”

Einstein once considered ‘crazy’ Robnett expects uniform disbelief to his experiment, a predictable reaction to ground-breaking ideas. “When Einstein published his theory of relativity, it was considered wacky,” Robnett said. “You may say, ‘How can it be? The Coulomb force moves a million times faster than the speed of light.’ Well, the speed of light moves a million times faster than the speed of sound.” Other theories were also once considered “pseudo science,” but are now depended on in everyday life, said Jeff George, a physics and astronomy teacher at Gallatin High, who is familiar with the experiment. “If you consider Einstein and his theory of relativity, specifically his thoughts on time dilation, all of humanity lived and died on this Earth without noticing it, until one day Einstein recognized it for the first time,” George said. “And other scientists at the time said that he was crazy for it.”

Results could be ‘revolutionary’ If, as Robnett is trying to prove, the speed of gravitational and electrical influence is much greater than the speed of light, but less than infinity, the result might offer a straightforward explanation for the phenomena

called dark matter, dark energy and dark flow. Furthermore, it would make it theoretically possible to build a machine that could create energy. George said this suggestion might be one scientists would struggle to accept. “At first glance, the validity of the theory can be easily dismissed for one simple reason: we have been taught from an early age that energy can’t be created or destroyed, only transferred from one form to another,” he said. “The experiment does seem to violate this timehonored law, the law of conservation of energy.” After giving the experiment much thought, George said that, while he doesn’t believe the experiment reinvents the laws of energy, it indeed might contain “some phenomenon that perhaps we, the scientific community, just don’t fully understand yet.” Still, Robnett stands behind his work. “The experiment is easy to understand and easy to repeat,” Robnett said. “If there is something wrong with the experiment or the interpretation, I would like to know what. If not, then the result is mind-boggling.” Some aspects of the experiment need to be checked out carefully, said Tim Farris, who has a doctorate in particle physics and teaches physics, astronomy, mathematics and engineering at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin. “I know that Allen will be careful to investigate all possible explanations of the current results,” said Farris, who has reviewed the details and has discussed the experiment with Robnett. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and Allen’s claims are certainly extraordinary. If his results hold up, they would be revolutionary.” Reporter Dessislava Yankova can be reached at 575-7170 or dyankova@mtcngroup.com.

Betting on sporting events I’ve already witnessed isn’t cheating, is it? »TOWLE FROM 1A and several close cousins and their families. I would spend more time with them talking, laughing, sharing, commiserating, etc. I hadn’t seen some of them in more than 10 years, and who knows when I’ll get another chance? I’d go to a Notre Dame football game in 2012, as I had done each of the three previous seasons with my son. Wouldn’t you know it – the year I

skip a game, the Fighting Irish go 12-0, to include several incredibly exciting home victories, rise to No. 1 in the nation and earn a spot in the national-championship game against Alabama? I wouldn’t have bought those funky-looking casual shoes that looked sorta cool on sale. They now sit on the bottom rung of my shoe rack gathering dust. I’d take it down a notch in terms of work and home projects – and thinking about said pro-

jects – and spend more time finding creative ways to do even the little things for my wife that show I care. I’d put a big chunk of my life savings on I’ll Have Another to win the Kentucky Derby and then go for the kill on the underdog San Francisco Giants winning the World Series . I don’t gamble, but I’d be tempted. P.S. Is it gambling if you already know the outcome? I’d get started earlier on applying weather-

proofing to the backyard fence so we’d have it done before the weather turned cold. I’d call my 80-something folks every weekend instead of just once or twice a month, if that. I’d spend more time talking with, and less time talking to, my employees and co-workers. I’d explore more eating places in Sumner County instead of going to the same four or five spots 99 percent of the time.

I’d get to bed earlier. Less Facebook. I’d spend more time reading the Bible and praying instead of just thinking about it. I’d call a couple of long-ago acquaintances, John Cunavelis in Vermont and Don Harris in Texas -- and just chat with them. I’d tell them how much I still appreciate the opportunities and mentorship they gave me as a budding writer and journalist. Both passed awayDec. 23.

I’d go for one of the smaller gifts at the office Dirty Santa party instead of the big shopping bag. I wouldn’t waste a penny on seeing the remake of “Total Recall.” Bad movie. I’d make absolutely sure I had good directions when I or we left the house to go anywhere for the first time, every time. General Manager Mike Towle can be contacted at 575-7122 or mtowle@mtcngroup.com.

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County talks safety secrecy Vaughn wants public uninvited from meetings By Jesse Hughes For the Gallatin News Examiner

Sumner County Commission leaders appear set to try to tilt the table against open meetings and public records by requesting a state law change to exempt meetings and information regarding the recently appointed Ad Hoc School Safety Committee. County Attorney Leah Den-

nen informed commission committee members Monday that the ad hoc committee appears to fall under the Tennessee Open Meetings Act and Tennessee Public Records Act, commonly known as the Tennessee Sunshine Laws. Sumner County Commission Emergency Services Chairman Jim Vaughn, who is also an Education Committee member, updated Education Committee members Monday on his plan to meet privately with ad hoc cochair Sheriff Sonny Weatherford to organize the ad hoc committee. Vaughn raised the issue of such school secrecy under

Vaughn

Weaver

his Emergency Services chairman report earlier to that committee and was later asked to update Education Committee members. “The sheriff and I are going to get together just real briefly to set out the plan,” Vaughn said.

“We’ll have a plan in place sometime this week.” Vaughn said there were concerns with “the fact that we have security measures which we are going to be laying out to the public in our huge committee, so we are addressing that on Capitol Hill. (We’re) working on trying to get something fixed so that we can do that and not have to be a public forum.” “So, it’ll be a private meeting?” asked Education Chairman Paul Decker. “We’re hoping,” Vaughn said. “We’ll have to take a law change to get it done.” Vaughn added that Dennen

FAIRVUE HOMEOWNERS REACT

was “working on that” with Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, R-Lancaster. Founding Strong Schools member Maria Brewer said Wednesday she was opposed to keeping the records and meetings secret. Strong Schools is a parent-led grassroots advocacy group formed during the school board’s budget standoff with the County Commission in August 2012. “We deserve to know what our elected officials are doing,” she said. “I can't see anything in school security measures that is

» SECRECY, 3A

BOARD OF EDUCATION

‘Committees are where things die’

Wise criticized for serving on county school safety board By Jennifer Easton Gallatin News Examiner

Sandy Olandt, who lives on Potter Lane in Fairvue Plantation, expressed concern over a residential development proposed behind her home during a Gallatin City Council public hearing Tuesday. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Residents voice concern over development changes By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

Fairvue Plantation residents voiced their concern to the Gallatin City Council Tuesday about issues they have regarding a proposed development adjacent to their community. More than 50 people attended a public hearing to discuss a major amendment to a plan for 27 acres of land that would be the site of The Retreat at Fairvue. Originally planned to be a residential hospice center, Goodall Builders wants to change the plan to instead include 130 multi-family unit condominiums. At issue is the proposed connection of Chloe Drive with Noah Lane along with how best to shield residents along Potter Lane from a proposed road behind their homes. “These two items in and of themselves can make this development work and protect the integrity of Fairvue Plantation,” Earl Fischer, president of Fairvue

» FAIRVUE, 3A

Sumner County Board of Education Chairman Ted Wise overstepped his duties as the board’s leader and should not have agreed to serve on a county committee to address school safety, school board members said at a study session Tuesday. Hendersonville member Tim Brewer said while he believed Wise had good intentions, he should not have agreed to serve. “The board didn’t want anybody on that committee. You took it on yourself to go be on that committee,” Brewer said. “I believe you’ve overstepped over your boundary as chairman.” The body Brewer referred Wise to was the 17-member county ad hoc school safety committee formed by County Commission Chairman Merrol Hyde in January in response to a $5 million school board funding request following the Dec. 14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. The committee has not yet met. Following discussion of placing security signage on school buildings, board members lamented at the Feb. 5 meeting that there had been little action from the commission concerning the request approved by the board Jan. 8 asking for up to $5 million for school security upgrades and funding for 38 school resource officers. Part of the district’s plan includes safety audits already underway analyzing areas of concern at each of the county’s 45 public schools which will determine what those upgrades will be. Wise told members the school board’s request had been deferred to the commission’s ad hoc committee, of which he is a member.

Board disappointed in lack of action on funding request

Gallatin City Council members Jimmy Overton, front, and Steve Camp, back, look over a map handed out by Chloe Drive resident Jim Corbett Tuesday. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Made up mostly of law enforcement from around the county, the ad hoc committee is supposed to examine several security options for

» BOARD, 5A

Defense seeks mental health expert in Davis case By Dessislava Yankova Gallatin News Examiner

A psychiatrist will assist the defense team of the Hendersonville teen who is accused of murdering his mother with a sledgehammer and attempting to kill his sleeping 16-year-old brother in August. Sumner County Criminal Court Judge Dee David Gay granted on Thursday, Jan. 31 a motion by Zachary Davis’s attorney, Randy Lucas, to have the state pay for a psychiatrist

to assist the defense until and during the week-long trial scheduled to begin Dec. 9. A former Station Camp High School student, Davis, 15, is charged with first-deZachary Davis gree murder, attempted first-degree murder and aggravated arson for allegedly killing

his mother, Melanie Davis, on Aug. 10 and trying to set fire to his home while his brother was sleeping. Following his arrest, Davis reportedly confessed to Sumner County Sheriff's Office investigators that he had killed his mother with a sledgehammer and then tried to kill his brother by lighting the house on fire using gasoline and whiskey, according to previous reports and court records.

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Third mental health expert to examine Davis

The new mental-health expert will be the third to examine Davis since he was arrested the night of incident. Davis’s mental health was first examined by Dr. Sandy Phillips with Volunteer Behavioral Services. That led to Sumner County Juvenile Court Judge Barry Brown to determine that Davis could be tried as an adult. Following Davis’s arraignment in October 2012, Lucas re-

quested another examination by a state mental health expert, saying his client was not “legally competent.” He also questioned the teen’s competency to stand trial and his sanity at the time of the incident. Lucas said he requested the expert help “because (Davis’s) mental health issues are going to be the key issues in this case.” The attorney has previously said that anyone who would have met Davis would have

» DAVIS, 5A

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Weaver looking at exempting safety plans from public » SECRECY FROM 1A

top secret. When folks choose to run for office, they represent us and they should be proud to have everything openly discussed among their constituents.” The issue may focus on who appointed the committee and who the committee members are. The current committee was appointed by Sumner County Commission Chairman Merrol Hyde and has 17 members. Three are county commissioners. The committee also includes Sumner County Board of Education Chairman Ted Wise. If the same committee had been appointed by the county executive, it might not fall under requirements of the Sunshine Laws but would still be subject to questions of what was being kept secret and why. After the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, certain types of security planning were exempted from Sunshine Laws. Frank Gibson, public policy director for the Tennessee Press Association, declined to comment on the issue Tuesday because no bill has been filed yet. Weaver said she had not filed any legislation and was still assessing the information and request from the county. “We’ve never crossed this bridge before with the Newtown event,” she said, referring to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December.

Capital projects

Shortly after the school security secrecy

discussion, Schools Director Del Phillips reported on the schools capital projects list. Vaughn asked about breezeways and access control. Additions to Hendersonville High School and Gallatin High School are in the design phase. Incorporated into architectural plans for Hendersonville will be an accesscontrol point by the relocated office. One is not included in plans for Gallatin. “I just wanted to be sure we do take into consideration all this new security control we are trying to get in place as we go through these issues,” Vaughn said. Phillips said Hendersonville High would be reoriented to have a more secure entrance with the new addition and Decker spelled out details of the redesign. Decker said another get-together of county commissioners and school board members was in the works. The last was in White House and the next is planned for Hendersonville. The purpose of the get-togethers was framed by county and school board leaders as a way to build a better working relationship between the two bodies. The county Emergency Services Committee and Education Committee will both hold their March meetings at the new Emergency Operations Complex on Airport Road. Four members of the committees overlap. Contributing writer Jesse Hughes lives in Gallatin.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2013 •

3A

Final reading scheduled Feb. 19 » FAIRVUE FROM 1A

Homeowners Association, told council members. “Simply said, separate the streets and build the wall.” Jim Pope, who lives on Chloe Drive, told the council that the already narrow road would become more congested if it was connected to Noah Lane, thus increasing the possibility of potential accidents along the street. “Any vehicles, whether it be mail service, garbage service, UPS, lawn maintenance service, movers or any other number of vehicles that use Chloe now creates a temporary road block,” he said. “If you couple this problem with having to back out of a garage onto Chloe as a thoroughfare, then the traffic and safety dangers go up exponentially.” Mike Stanton, development manager for Goodall Builders, referred to the 2008 “Super Tuesday” tornado outbreak that left 14 dead in Macon County and the most recent tornadoes that swept through the area on Wednesday, Jan. 30, as a reason to connect the two roads to allow for better response time for emergency personnel. “When seconds and minutes are important to the lives of people on both sides, it’s important to get emergency people in, so we think (connecting the roads) is important,” he said. An engineering consulting report performed by Robert E. Stammer, Jr. of Stammer Transportation Engineering Inc. for the Fairvue Homeowners Association in November 2012 included an estimate of the additional traffic flow that would be generated by The Retreat at Fairvue upon completion. The study, which used the Institute of Transportation Engineer’s Trip

Generation Manual, Ninth Edition, 2012 estimated that 132 condos would result in an estimated 767 daily trips entering or exiting each weekday. On Saturdays, that number would drop to 748 trips and drop further to 639 trips on Sundays. The total number of weekly trips entering or exiting the proposed development was estimated at 5,222, according to the study. “I think there was a comment of about 5,000 (trips) a week,” Stanton said. “If you look back at the Sumner Regional traffic study, it was like 65,000, so nowhere near the traffic that was approved under the Sumner Regional property.”

Potter Lane residents have other road concerns

Sandy Olandt and her husband Kurt, who live on Potter Lane, said that they are not opposed to the development itself but to a proposed road 20 feet from their property line behind their house. Currently a six-foot tall aluminum fence with landscaping is being proposed to separate the Potter Lane homes from the road behind their houses. The Olandts said that they want an eight-foot high brick wall to maintain their safety and privacy. “I don’t want the road, but if they build a wall, you’re not going to have lights shining in our house,” Olandt said. “Do you go to a front yard barbecue? No, you go to a backyard barbecue. Backyards are meant for privacy. It’s an oasis. It’s where you go.” The Olandts, who moved into their home in May 2012, said that lack of an 8-foot wall will not only negatively impact their privacy, but the value of their home as well.

“If you’re going to buy like Fairvue, and we feel a house, are you going to like that’s not a good thing look at a house that has a as far as protecting the road in both your front property values,” he said. yard and your back But Stanton said that yard?” Sandy Olandt said. the approach to the simi“Nobody is going to buy lar designs was done in orthat, so when we talk der to keep the design about property value, for consistent with that of the us it’s not neighborthat he is “(The Retreat at ing upscale developing subdiviFairvue) is made sion. condos, and I want to look like “We look that to be at it from a really clear Fairvue, and we different – it’s the feel like that’s not angle and road.” that is what Stanton a good thing as we want to told the far as protecting make sure council that we are that the de- the property in harmony velopers with, what’s values.” had alin Fairvue,” ready Stanton told EARL FISCHER made nu- President, Fairvue HOA the council. merous “Could we modificago in and tions to the plan, including strip down things and do the elimination of two lots things differently and to include a proposed save money? Absolutely, roundabout, and that they but that’s not what we still want to connect Chloe wanted to do in this proDrive and Noah Lane, as ject.” well as keep a 6-foot aluThe anticipated averminum fence and land- age sale price after cusscaping in the plan in- tomer purchased options stead of opting for a brick over time is anticipated to wall divider. be about $250,000, with an “We feel that we have estimated monthly homeprovided all that we can owners association fee bewith our plan,” he said. tween $250 and $275 a “We believe that there month, Stanton said. should be connectivity. Stanton urged the We believe that a brick council to vote to accept wall is unacceptable and or deny the proposed plan an unacceptable use when without any further you’re dealing with resi- changes. dential to residential.” “We’ve given everything we have to give, and what we’re presenting Residents feel and what we have submitseparation will ted is what we’re going to protect property ask you to just vote yes or values no on,” Stanton said. The second and final Fischer cited a petition signed by more than 320 reading for the proposed residents that he said major amendment is shows the support of the scheduled to go before the Fairvue Plantation com- council at its meeting at munity for the changes to Gallatin City Hall, 132 W. help separate the two de- Main St., Tuesday, Feb. 19 velopments and protect at 6 p.m. their property values. “Like I presented tonight, (The Retreat at Contact Josh Cross at 575-7115 Fairvue) is made to look or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

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SUMNER A.M. SUNDAY » FEBRUARY 10, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

DAs want legislative changes

50¢

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Prosecutors push aggressive agenda By Josh Cross Sumner A.M.

The Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference, which represents prosecutors in judicial districts statewide, is working with Sumner legislators on bills that would change laws affecting crimes against children and prescription drug abuse. The conference is pushing for changes to raise the minimum required jail time for those convicted of aggravated child neglect. It also wants to make it easier to prosecute child sex abuse and prescription drug abuse cases that occur in multiple jurisdictions. “The big Whitley message here is that we’re trying to protect the kids,” said Guy Jones, deputy director of the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference. Of the three proposed law changes, only one pertaining to aggravated child neglect has been filed while the other two will be filed once all of the cosponsors have signed on, Jones said. Currently in Tennessee, an individual convicted of aggravated child abuse would have to serve 85 percent of their sentence while that number drops to 30 percent for those convicted of aggravated child neglect. Currently, House Bill 1036, which is co-sponsored by Rep. William Lamberth, R-Cottontown and Rep. Courtney Rogers, R-Goodlettsville, and Senate Bill 0828, would add aggravated child neglect or endangerment to the 85 percent

served requirement in addition to abuse if passed. “The (neglected) child could be harmed just as much as if he or she had been abused,” said Sumner County District Attorney Ray Whitley. Child abuse is defined as action performed willfully by an individual that results in physical harm, pain or mental anguish to a child, whereas neglect results from failure to provide care to avoid physical harm, mental anguish or mental illness. “When a child, especially when it’s a baby, is just first developing in those first few months is when a lot of these cases happen. They Lamberth have lifelong debilitating medical conditions due to the neglect that they suffer,” Lamberth said. “For that sentence to be treated just like a normal, everyday crime, and for them to be parole-eligible at 30 percent, is just not right.” Rogers recalled an abuse case in which a child weighed less at 2 months old than when it was first born. “As a parent, I just can’t imagine somebody starving their baby to death, or to the point,” she said. Sumner County Sheriff Sonny Weatherford, who supports increasing the sentencing, said that he did not think a change in sentencing for aggravated child neglect would result in overcrowding issues at the Sumner County Jail. However, if more required jail time was added to multiple different

» CHANGES, 3M

Portland resident Jada Vance, 16, sings “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood during an open mic at Volunteer State Community College on Wednesday, Feb. 6. Vance is competing in the hit television show, American Idol. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/SUMNER A.M.

PHS senior performs on American Idol Local girl Hollywood bound By Sherry Mitchell Sumner A.M.

If the road to Hollywood had been paved in gold, 16-year- old Jada Vance couldn’t be more excited about performing in front of judges for the hit television show, American Idol. The Portland High School junior and has gained national attention for her hometown in northern Sumner County, having made it through the show’s first round of auditions with a ticket to Hollywood to vie for a spot in the show’s Top 40. Vance was one of 277 performers to make the cut, chosen from auditions held in seven cities last summer. She sang Miranda Lambert’s “Gun Powder and Lead,” wowing judges Keith Urban, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson to make it to Hollywood Week, which airs this week, Feb. 13-14 for a shot at being on Idol’s season 12. “This was my first time experiencing any-

thing big like this, so it was kind of scary,” Vance said. “At first I was a little nervous, but when I walked in the room, I overcame it.” Since the show was actually filmed in 2012, Vance and other Idol participants had to sign a disclosure agreement that prohibits them “This was my from talking about anything related to the show first time until each individual epiexperiencing sode is aired. This anything big week’s episodes will feature Vance’s competilike this, so it tion.

was kind of scary.” Jada Vance

Hometown and country

Vance’s pull towards country music was a natural one. She said she has always been a country girl at heart and also enjoys bluegrass and gospel music.

» IDOL, 3M

Portland plant adds 70 jobs Taxpayers buy D.C. City also picked for state program to develop downtown By Dessislava Yankova Sumner A.M.

meals for mayor’s wife Foster ‘pretty much’ approves own expenses By Sarah Kingsbury Sumner A.M.

U.S. Tsubaki Automotive Plant Manager Tim Goble speaks with Manufacturing Engineer Lon Lundquest and shop foreman Eddie Allen inside the Portland facility’s upgraded wing. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/SUMNER A.M.

Motors, Ford, Nissan, Honda and Toyota. “We are proud of Tsubaki's existing and new investment in our community,” Portland’s Economic and Community De-

» JOBS, 2M

When Hendersonville Mayor Scott Foster and his new wife went to Washington D.C. for the U.S. Conference of Mayors in January, taxpayers picked up the tab for the couple’s meals, their downtown Hilton hotel room, a $17 thermos from a Hendersonville coffee shop, and the $115 cost to valet park at the airport until their return. The total cost of the trip was $3,415, which included $600 for the conference registration fee, $1,663 for four nights at the downtown Capital Hilton hotel, $409 for meals, $286 for transportation, $342 for airfare, and $115 for parking, according to

documents obtained by Sumner A.M. through a records request. The records show Foster purchased Foster food for himself and another person on several occasions, and submitted to the city finance department the receipts for full reimbursement. According to city travel policy and regulations, employees are allotted $10 for breakfast, $10 for lunch and $20 for dinner on business trips. However, as mayor, Foster has the power to override the policy and approve reimbursement for a higher amount. So does the mayor have override power on his own expenses? “Yeah, pretty much. He’s the

» FOSTER, 4M

TN-0000868917

Seventy new Sumner jobs will be created as part of an expansion of a Portland automotive company, state officials announced this week. Company leaders at U.S. Tsubaki Automotive LLC said they are expanding operations at their Portland plant and investing $1.9 million in the community. The plant is expanding operations with a new light assembly to occupy 60,000 square feet at the Portland facility on Davis Street. This leaves 30,000 square feet to the company’s Conveyor Operations, housed at the same site. The additional 70 full-time jobs will be a mixture of engineering and production positions. The company will host a job fair from 9

a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11 at the Sumner County Career Center, 175 College St. in Gallatin, to help fill the jobs. “Tsubaki is a long-standing member of our industrial community, and we are very pleased that they have decided to expand right here in Portland,” Portland Mayor Ken Wilbur said in a statement. “It’s a good sign for our business climate when businesses choose to expand their existing Tennessee locations.” Tsubaki Automotive, which calls itself a world leader in chain technology and power transmission products, has operated its Portland facility since the 1980s, said Plant Manager Tim Goble. The company supplies complete chain drive systems for many engine and transmission applications. While Tsubaki’s parent company is located in Saitama, Japan, its U.S. headquarters are housed in Wheeling, Ill. Tsubaki’s customer base consists of major automotive manufacturer such as General

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4M • SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2013

SUMNER A.M.

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mayor,” said Finance Director Ron Minnicks. In an interview Friday, Foster said the policy only applied to city employees and not elected officials. Foster’s airline itinerary and receipt shows he flew to the conference with his wife, Amanda Runnels, whom he married at the end of December. Runnels works for the Hendersonville Area Chamber of Commerce. Her purpose on the trip was “a little bit of business, a little bit personal,” he said, adding that she attended some parts of the mayors conference. Foster noted that his wife “is the vice president of marketing at our chamber here, so most of it was good for her to hear,” though he admitted Hendersonville taxpayers might not be thrilled about paying for the mayor’s spouse to eat on a business trip. “I’m not saying that in general it’s a good idea, or if you insist on writing an article in the paper about the taxpayers paying for my wife’s meals, that you’re going to get a resounding, ‘Yes, that’s a good idea,’” he said. “But I think the flexibility is there that us enjoying a dinner together with some other mayors is something that could be tolerated within our budget.” Minnicks said the city does not typically pay for expenses related to an employee’s spouse on a business trip. “Normally if an employee takes their wife, they only ask for reimbursement for what the employee used,” he said. The most expensive dinner of the trip was a $97 meal Jan.17 at a downtown Washington D.C. restaurant that serves Southern cuisine called Georgia Brown’s. The receipt submitted to the city

was not itemized. Other unitemized receipts related to the trip included $41 at O’Charleys at Nashville International Airport; $64 at Miller’s Pub at Chicago Midway Airport; and in Washington D.C., $25 at Travel Traders, $45 at Penn Quarter Sports Tavern, and $21 at Cosi Restaurant. Foster said he tried to “stay reasonable” with his purchases. “You know, every meal is actually a business expense,” he said. “I can’t leave here and go to the Chop House and not have 30 minutes of business discussed at lunch – just like a preacher.”

Eating for two

Some of the receipts submitted by Foster clearly show food purchased for more than one person, for which he received full reimbursement. One such receipt, on the first day of the trip Jan. 16, showed Foster bought three coffees, one pastry and a $17 12-ounce stainless steel thermos at a Hendersonville Starbucks — an expense for which he later was reimbursed by the city. That 7 a.m. purchase totaling $26 was labeled “USCM breakfast” — indicating it was reimbursement for breakfast related to the trip — though Foster’s flight did not leave from Nashville that day until 5 p.m. On Jan. 19, Foster purchased two burgers, two orders of fries and two drinks at a Washington D.C. burger restaurant. He returned 30 minutes later to purchase an ice cream cone and a chocolate shake. On the last day of his trip, he bought two slices of pizza, two drinks and two bags of chips at the airport before flying home to Nashville. He was reimbursed for the entire purchase.

When he returned home, taxpayers also picked up the $115 tab for Foster to valet his car at Nashville International Airport, where he parked his vehicle while he was on the trip. He tipped the valet $7, the receipt shows. Foster said he was unable to use a cheaper alternative. “It was necessary because of the timing of the trip,” he said. “Quite frankly, as I was leaving here (Hendersonville City Hall) I got stuck in the parking lot and didn’t have the opportunity to park anywhere but in that spot.” Foster pointed out the airport parking issue was “the difference between $24 a day and $14 a day” and with the city’s “$35 million budget,” the matter was insignificant. “We’re talking about hundreds of dollars.”

‘The way it is’

Not every expense was paid by taxpayers. Receipts show that the city paid for Foster’s $342 flight, but that he paid for his wife’s plane ticket with his personal credit card. Records also show Foster wrote a $69 check back to the city for what he charged to his room during three visits to the hotel lounge on the trip. The room itself, paid for by the city, cost $415 per night with tax. Minnicks Stamper said city policy gives approval power of the mayor’s travel expense reports to the finance director. But the mayor is also the finance director’s supervisor. ”It’s kind of like he’s the mayor and approves the reimbursement —

what are you going to do?” Minnicks said. “He’s the highest up on the chain, and if he says, ‘This is what I’m asking for reimbursement for,’ that’s kind of the way it is.” A change in the policy would have to come from the city Finance Committee, which could choose to approve the mayor’s expense reports rather than the finance director. After reviewing the documents obtained by Sumner A.M., Ward 6 Alderman Matt Stamper, who is one of three members of Hendersonville’s Finance Committee, said he found it “a little odd” that the city was reimbursing Foster for his wife’s meals on the trip. “I think that is something the Finance Committee can and should look into eliminating; reimbursements for spousal travel of a city employee,” he said. Gallatin Mayor Jo Ann Graves also attended the Washington D.C. conference. The city paid her $600 registration fee, but she had not filed any expense reimbursement requests as of Friday, Finance Director Rachel Nichols said. Gallatin uses a per diem system, meaning Graves would be reimbursed a flat fee without having to turn in receipts for the expenses, if she chose to do so. The travel rate changes based on city, but for D.C. during the month of January, Nichols said the meal rate was $71 per day, though employees only get 75 percent of that on the first and last day of travel. The hotel rate was $183 per night. Foster earned $86,436 in salary in the most recent fiscal year, while Graves earned $111,252, according to finance records from both cities. Contact Sarah Kingsbury at 575-7161 or skingsbury@mtcngroup.com.

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COUNTY SENDS 21 WRESTLERS TO STATE, 1B

WEDNESDAY » FEBRUARY 13, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

50¢

ONLINE For the latest in local news and updates, visit GallatinNewsExaminer.com

City holds ‘Tree Day’ Residents can help state meet goal to plant 10,000 trees By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

Local residents will come together to volunteer their time and efforts to help plant trees this Friday as part of a statewide initiative to plant 10,000 trees. The Sumner County Stormwater Managers, along

with Volunteer State Community College and the Tennessee Environmental Council, will be holding a tree planting on Friday, Feb. 15 at Triple Creek Park in Gallatin. The planting is one of many that will take place across the state on Feb. 15 and 16 as part of the council’s 10K Tree Day. The goal of the event is to plant at least 10,000 new trees in Tennessee over the two-day period. “Trees are the backbone of our economy and our community’s quality of life and

health,” said Kelly Poole, event coordinator for the Tennessee Environmental Council. “The10K Tree Day is just a way that we can help protect and increase the benefit that the citizens of Tennessee get from their natural resources and improve human health in the long term.” The value one tree is capable of providing over the course of its lifetime can be much more than many may realize, Poole said. “One tree can provide a little over $130,000 in total bene-

fits over 50 years,” she said. “That includes the oxygen and air pollution control, as well as the reduction in flooding.” Trees also play an important part in keeping water clean throughout the state by helping to maintain banks along streams and rivers. “They stabilize stream banks and prevent erosion,” Poole said. “Sediment is the number one pollutant in Tennessee’s waterways and trees

» TREES, 3A

Schools may get security signs Silkwood: small deterrents will protect campuses Jennifer Easton Gallatin News Examiner

DADS, DAUGHTERS LEARN TO 'JUST DANCE'

Jeff and Emily Sasse dance to disco music during Just Dance with Dad at the Richland Gym in Portland Saturday. The event was organized by the Portland Parks and Recreation Department and run by Spangler Entertainment. For more photos, see page 4A. MATTHEW DIGGS/FOR THE GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

THE BELL TOWLES

Secret safety talks pose public danger Whenever a committee consisting in whole or in part of publicly elected officials starts talking about meeting in private to discuss an issue that involves taxpayer money, it’s time for taxpayers to get nervous. Sumner County taxpayers, that time is now. Should you be afraid? Yes, very afraid. Potentially at stake are millions of tax dollars and the safety and security of some 30,000 Sumner school students, faculty and administrators in the wake of the Dec. 14 elementary school shootings in Newtown, Conn., followed by several smaller-scale incidents at other schools around the country. Two foot-dragging months after Newtown, all our county has to show for a measured response is a 17-member Ad Hoc School Safety Committee. It was

» MIKE TOWLE appointed in January by County Commission Chairman Merrol Hyde and charged with developing a plan to enhance security at our schools. The fly in the ointment is that the committee is seeking to exempt itself from the Tennessee Open Meetings Act, aka the Sunshine Law, passed in 1974. They want to meet privately, out of

» TOWLE, 2A

MetroMix.com

» SIGNS, 3A

Sumner businesses offer Valentine’s Day activities By Sherry Mitchell Gallatin News Examiner

Valentine’s Day is Thursday, Feb. 14 and establishments in Gallatin and elsewhere in Sumner County are working to make the holiday a success for local residents. In Gallatin, Grecians Greek and Italian Bistro will offer a Valentine’s dinner special in hopes of attracting couples and small groups. Guests can choose from baked chicken with a champagne crab sauce or filet of beef in a roasted garlic truffle butter, along with fresh sautéed asparagus, baby red mashed potatoes and a dessert for couples to split, all served in a romantic setting with background music. Regular menu items will also be available including

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Security signage much like that displayed by homeowners and businesses could serve as a deterrent against potential oncampus crime at schools, says one school board member. Hendersonville member Vanessa Silkwood plans to bring the idea to the board for consideration Feb. 19 as part of the school system’s overall plan to make security enhancements districtwide. “There’s not really any one thing that can be done (to fully protect schools), it’s going to be a series of small changes and small deterrents and things like that,” she told board members at a study session Feb. 5. “This might be a small thing – a very low cost Silkwood thing – but it can be a deter“This might rent,” she said. be a small Silkwood said phrasthing – a ing of the very low cost signs would thing – but it still have to be decided can be a on but the idea is to deterrent.” post them on doors or winVANESSA dows letting SILKWOOD visitors know the school has some measure of security safeguards in place. The board on Jan. 8 unanimously approved a plan that calls for putting a school resource officer in all of Sumner County’s 45 schools, which means hiring at least 38 officers. The plan also calls for up to $5 million for security upgrades to school buildings. School and law enforcement officials are currently performing safety audits of each school’s campus and are ex-

several new pasta dishes and wine specials. Dinner will be available when the doors open at 5 p.m. The venue will offer the same couple’s dinner special on Friday and Saturday nights. For more information call 230-7200. Grecians is located at 122 W. Franklin St. in Gallatin.

Portland

The Dogwood Hills Country Club Grill in Portland is hosting a Valentine’s Night Dinner Party featuring an Italian buffet with salad, dessert and drink. Portland High School senior and American Idol contestant Jada Vance will be performing along with Jamie Davis and others. An open bar will also be available. Cost for members is $40 per couple or $45 per couple for non-

VOL. 173 NO. 13 © 2013 GANNETT CO., INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED SUBSCRIBE: 1-800-520-9286

members. Dogwood Hills is located at 1224 South Broadway. For tickets, contact Carrissa at 943-1339. Tickets for the event are also available without the dinner buffet for $15.

Hendersonville

In Hendersonville, Nana Rosa Italian Food will host a Valentine’s dinner — complete with an interactive live murder mystery performance called “An Affair to Forget.” Guests can arrive at 6 p.m. for a mixer with the actors, and the performance starts at 6:30 p.m. Some audience members might even be asked to participate in reading the script, which organizers said they enjoy.

» VALENTINES, 3A


NEWS

2A • WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2013

Gallatin Forecast Today High 47 Low 34 Wind: WNW 7-14 mph 10 a.m. Noon 5 p.m. 10 p.m.

Mostly Cooler with cloudy and rain cooler

43

Cloudy

Partly cloudy

42

37

45

5-day forecast FRI SAT SUN MON

THU

A full Sunny Partly Mostly Clouds day of to partly sunny and sunny and sun sunshine cloudy breezy Wind: WSW Wind: NNW Wind: NW Wind: WNW Wind: S 10-20 mph 6-12 mph 10-20 mph 8-16 mph 8-16 mph

54/31

46/27

42/28

47/29

52/35

Across Tennessee Today’s high/tonight’s low Bristol 48/33 Clarksville Chattanooga 49/33 Knoxville

44/34 Memphis 46/33 Nashville

51/38 48/35

National outlook Temperatures 2/13 - 2/19 Above Normal Near Normal Below Normal

Precipitation 2/13 - 2/19 Above Normal Near Normal Below Normal

Moonrise/set

Sunrise/set Sunrise Wed. .. 6:36 a.m.

First

Full

Last

Sunset Wed. .. 5:25 p.m.

New

Feb 17 Feb 25 Mar 4 Mar 11

Sunrise Thu. ... 6:35 a.m.

Moonrise Wed. ....... 8:13 a.m. Moonset Wed. ........ 9:19 p.m. Forecasts and graphics provided by AccuWeather, Inc. ©2013

GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

‘Trust us’ won’t cut it »TOWLE FROM 1A earshot of the public citizenry and without the annoying intrusion of media snooping into “their” business. The Sunshine Law exists to prevent two or more members of the same legislative body from deliberating public business without public notice or an invitation for public attendance. Take away the Sunshine Law’s restriction, and the ad hoc group might just as well set up shop in the Kremlin. You know an elected body of officials might be up to no good when they start using “we” and “trust us” every other sentence, and that’s what this is starting to sound like. Three of the ad hoc committee’s members are county commissioners, which puts the Sunshine Law into play. Included is Com. Jim Vaughn, a Hendersonville police detective who co-chairs the ad hoc committee with Sheriff Sonny Weatherford. Vaughn also chairs the county’s Emergency Services Committee and is on the Education Committee. At the county’s Feb. 4 meeting, Vaughn said he and Weatherford would work out a plan for the ad hoc committee. Vaughn also expressed concern with “the fact we have security measures, which we are going to be laying out to the public in our huge committee, so we are addressing that on Capitol Hill.” County Attorney Leah Dennen, according to Vaughn, is presumably working with state Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) on a bill that would exempt the ad hoc committee from public access and accountability. A military leader keeps top-secret battlefield plans out of public view, which is understandable. So is the Vanderbilt football coach making sure his playbook doesn’t end up in the wrong hands in Knoxville. However, placing cones of silence over committee members discussing public school security strategies that could

cost millions seems beyond the pale, even un-American. It so happens 2013 Sunshine Week, a national initiative led by the American Society of News Editors, will be celebrated March 10-16. In Sumner County, let’s start the celebration today. The public interest isn’t served when governmental bodies hide to conduct business. Just ask anyone in Tennessee’s Knox County who remembers the stunt their commission tried to pull in 2007 after a court upheld term limits, resulting in the removal from office of a dozen of that region’s most-entrenched, good-ole-boy politicos. Opting against public hearings, the Knox commission secretly conducted a nomination and voting process to fill the vacated spots. But they didn’t get away with it. The Knoxville News Sentinel sued and a jury favored the newspaper’s Sunshine Law case on all 29 questions, forcing the commission to start from scratch, this time in compliance with the Open Meetings Act. Whether Vaughn et al are trying to cover up discussion of innovative security measures rendered ineffective if leaked to the public, or they fear what they really don’t know about this sort of enhanced security will embarrass them if made public, this is no time to hunker down in the county cave. Maybe we don’t need to know how shift changes will be scheduled if we end up with fewer SRO’s than there are schools. Details such as that can be worked out in private later, but meanwhile the public should be privy to the big picture of what is being spent, and where, why and how. Toward that end, it would be a mistake for Weaver or any other state legislator to sign on to a bill that condones governmental secrecy . “Trust us”? Not today. General Manager Mike Towle can be contacted at 575-7122 or mtowle@mtcngroup.com.

CHURCH EVENTS E-mail church events to gnenews@mtcngroup.com.

Wednesday, Feb. 13 » Community Church of Hendersonville Ash Wed. service, 7:00 p.m. 615.826.0042

Thursday, Feb. 21 » Young at Heart (senior adult fellowship) of Hendersonville First United Methodist Church (HFUMC) will meet at 11 a.m. in Genesis Hall. Bring photo of yourself from years ago for a contest. RSVP by Feb. 1. 824-8725

Saturday, Feb. 23 » Free spaghetti supper, Liberty United Methodist Church in Gallatin, 4-7 p.m. Alternate snow day, March 2.

March 5-8 » Presbyterian Day School, an affiliate of the First Presbyterian Church of Hendersonville, hosts Open House for upcoming school year, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. 824-3004.

ONGOING » TOPS (Take Pounds Off Sensibly), a nonprofit weight loss organization, meets on Mondays at Hendersonville First United Methodist Church, 5:30 p.m. Call 822-2779. » Services at the Gallatin C.A.R.E.S. worship center is held Sundays at 5 p.m. and includes a meal. Other programs include free health clinic on Tuesdays from 8:30-11:30 a.m.; Bible study on Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Back on Track, Thursdays from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Pickup of large items such as furniture for thrift store is available, 452-1601. » Free community prayer lunch, Wednesdays from 12-1 p.m., Bluegrass Baptist Church in Hendersonville. Reservations needed by Tuesday, 824-0001. » ReWired Women's Weight Loss meets at at Beech Cumberland Presbyterian church from 6-8 p.m. Classes include group support and group fitness. » Line dance lessons are held at Beech Cumberland Presbyterian Church on Mondays. Beginners’ class is from 6-7 p.m. and improvers meet 7:30-8:30 p.m. 207-5207 » Living Free Fellowship, 233 Riggs Ave., Portland offers Sunday school at 9 a.m. and services at 10 a.m. Sundays. Wednesday service is at 7 p.m. Ricky Morris is senior pastor. 325-2149

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Elizabeth Ann Austin, age 67, of Westmoreland, passed away Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013. Funeral service will be Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 2 p.m. from the chapel of Alexander Funeral Home with Bro. Steve Johns. Interment will follow in Walden Cemetery in Lafayette with Raymond Miller, Thomas Miller, Jerry Miller, Michael Daniel, Randy Daniel, Ted Green and Jeremy Miller serving as pallbearers. Visitation was Tuesday, Feb. 12 and continues Wednesday, Feb. 13, from 12 p.m. until time of service. Mrs. Austin was born July 1, 1945 in Gallatin to the late Vernie Miller and Willie D. Wilson

Miller. She is also preceded in death by her brothers, Paul Lewis, Vernie Joe, and Ricky Dean Miller. She is survived by her daughter, Anita Frye; brothers, Raymond Lee Miller (Debbie), Thomas Miller, Jerry Wayne Miller (Sissy), all of Westmoreland; and sister, Brenda Daniel, of Lebanon. Online condolences may be submitted at Alexanderfh.info. Alexander Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Effie Elizabeth Edens Effie Elizabeth Edens, 97, of Hendersonville, Tenn., passed away Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. Funeral services for Mrs. Edens were held Saturday, Feb.

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9, 2013 from Woodard Funeral Home with Bro. Woody Alderson officiating. Interment followed in Pleasant Grove Cemetery. Visitation was Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 at Woodard Funeral Home. Mrs. Edens was preceded in death by her husband, Wilson Edens; father, Edens Henry Harrison; mother, Gracie Troutt Harrison; sister, Ester Gregory; brother, Oscar Harrison; halfbrothers, Charlie Harrison and James Garnett Harrison. She is survived by her daughter, Lois Hunt, of Hendersonville, Tenn.; grandchildren, Freda White, of Portland, Tenn., and Kathy White, of Gallatin, Tenn.; greatgrandchildren, Christopher Troutt, of Westmoreland, Tenn., Wilson Troutt, of Gallatin, Tenn., Jeremy Troutt, of Gallatin, Tenn.; and great-great-grandchildren, Nevaeh Troutt, of Westmoreland, Tenn., and Brody Troutt, of Gallatin, Tenn.

Jesse Lee Grant Jr.

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Elizabeth Ann Austin

Launch Party

Saturday, February 9, 2013 at the Gallatin Civic Center 10:00 - 12:00 Hosted by

Tisha Tiissha Borders Borders & Leslie Leeslie Lauper L L a u p er

Origami Orig Orig Or igam igam ami Owl ami Owl Independent Ow Ind Inde In nde d pe depe pend pend nden nden e t Designers ent Des D Desi De esi sign sig g er gner erss Stop by to create your very own Living Locket For more information email us at musiccitycharms@gmail.com

TN-0000870246

Jesse Lee Grant Jr., age 70, of Nashville, passed away Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. Graveside service will be Friday, Feb.15 at10 a.m. at Middle Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday, Feb. 14 from 2-8 p.m. Mr. Grant was born Jan. 23,1943 in Gallatin, Tenn., son of the late Jesse Lee Grant Sr. and Annie Ruth Brown Grant. He is survived by his companion, Patricia White, of Nashville; son, Gary Lynn Grant, of Cicero, Ind.; daughter, Katherine Ann Lugenbeal (Mick), of Tipton, Ind.; sisters, Linda Grant, of Nashville, Patricia Grant, of Nashville, and Katherine Grant, of Bellevue; grandchildren, Josh Johnson, Jeremy Johnson, Cody Lugenbeal, Nick Grant and Haley Grant and his precious

pets, Tooter and Coco. Mr. Grant worked at TVA. Online condolences may be submitted at familyheritagefh.com. Family Heritage Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Harry Leroy Seevers

Harry Leroy Seevers, 84, of Bethpage, Tenn., passed away Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013. A memorial service was to be held by the family at a later date. Mr. Seevers was retired from Booth Construction as a brick layer. He was also a United States veteran. Mr. Seevers was preceded in death by his wife, Neoma Ruth Seevers, and sister, Bonnie Seevers. He is survived by his brother, Gerald Seevers, of Phoeniz, Ariz.; step-sons, Robert McIntire, of Bethpage, Tenn., and Floyd McIntire, of Columbus, Ohio; eight grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

Jean F. Wagoner

Jean F. Wagoner, age 81, of Gallatin, passed away Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013. Funeral service will be 11 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 13 from the chapel of Alexander Funeral Home. Interment will follow in Crestview Memorial Park. Visitation was Tuesday, Feb. 12 and continues Wednesday, Feb.13 from 9 a.m. until time of service. Mrs. Wagoner was born April 10, 1931 in Columbia, Tenn., to the late Morgan Farris and Maude Ethel Winsett Farris. She is also preceded in death by her husband, Earl Wagoner Jr. Mrs. Wagoner is survived by her son, Terry Wagoner (Lynn), of North Myrtle Beach, S.C.; daughter, Christie Tatum (Kenneth), of Gallatin; sisters, Joy Butts, of Virginia, June Hunter (Bill), of Lawrenceburg, and Janice Ludwigsen (Jay), of Greenville, S.C.; and grandchildren, Kelsey Tatum, and Ben Tatum. Online condolences may be made at alexanderfh.info. Alexander Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.


NEWS

SPORTS

MURDER-FOR-HIRE AT SUMNER COUNTY JAIL, 6A

PANTHERS, DEVILS REVERSE FORTUNES, 1B

FRIDAY » FEBRUARY 15, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

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ONLINE For the latest in local news and updates, visit GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Charter changes rejected

SPECIAL REPORT: THE DEBATE TO ARM EDUCATORS

Council moves forward with only one of 11 proposed amendments By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

The Gallatin City Council began discussion on 11 proposed amendments to the city’s charter, but there was only enough support from the body to move forward on one. Members of the council were presented with the amendments Tuesday by City Attorney Joe Thompson. The proposals were compiled from suggestions he had received from various council members regarding the changes. The only amendment supported by the council was one that involved the city’s savings account, commonly referred to as the rainy day fund. Currently, the rules for how money is moved Graves in or out of the fund is laid out in the city’s municipal code, but Thompson said that it needed to be in the city charter to give the voting requirement certainty. “There is a Overton provision in the municipal code that addresses this issue ,” Thompson said. “All we’re doing is we’re cleaning up something that should have been cleaned up, or wasn’t able to be cleaned up, several years back and that’s making the charter provision.” The charter change would

» CHARTER, 3A

Budget chairman picked Stone will lead county committee By Jesse Hughes For the Gallatin News Examiner

The Sumner County Commission Budget Committee unanimously picked Vice Chairman Jerry Stone on Monday as its new chairman and Com. Moe Taylor as its new Vice Chairman. Sumner County Commission Chairman Merrol Hyde appeared at the committee to “strongly suggest to this committee that Com. (Jerry) Stone be elected chairperson of this committee” because he is someone who could “step in there and do the job” to chair the “very important committee.” Hyde added they could take care of additional responsibilities that would create. Stone is chairman of Committee on Committees and he cannot be chairman of both. Com. Jim Vaughn quickly made the motion to nominate Stone with Taylor seconding it. Hyde first told committee members that he had “received the sad news last month” that former Budget Chairman Kirk Mos-

Walter Todd, of Gallatin, holds photo of him and his dad, Ed Todd (now deceased), while discussing a 1978 school shooting incident in which an assistant principal shot his father three times during a confrontation. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Gallatin ’78 school shooting recalled Asst. principal shot parent three times By Jennifer Easton Gallatin News Examiner

L

ong before school shootings were a common event, when two-parent families were the norm, drugs and alcohol were an off-campus problem and school resource officers didn’t exist, Sumner County had its own school shooting incident. Thirty-five years ago, Walter Wytch was an assistant principal at Gallatin Junior High (now Joe Shafer Middle School), when on March 17, 1978 he shot a parent at the school. Many who recall the event today said the unusual circumstances of the shooting shocked the community and attracted considerable media attention. “It was very frightening,” said former Director of Schools Benny Bills, who was superintendent of schools in 1978. “We’ve never seen anything like that before or since then.” Perhaps the nation has never seen anything like the the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in December, which

Walter Wytch was an assistant principal at Gallatin Junior High in 1978 when he shot a parent at the school. GALLATIN JUNIOR HIGH 1978 YEARBOOK

incited a new, national debate over increased school safety, gun control and mental health by parents and politicians. In the aftermath of the tragedy, school officials have proposed adding school resource officers to all Sumner schools and making security upgrades to buildings. A county ad hoc

» SHOOTING, 6A

Teacher groups see bill as last resort “That parent wouldn’t have been shot but more likely would’ve been arrested.” Don Long School board member

“If legislation does become law, we will have a discussion.” Del Phillips, Schools Director

» BUDGET, 6A

By Jennifer Easton Gallatin News Examiner

The Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in December has left school officials across the nation reassessing emergency plans and building safety policies, while state lawmakers consider legislation aimed at protecting Tennessee students. The idea of arming teachers has gained some steam in recent weeks. The Tennessee Educators Association and the Professional Educators of Tennessee have come out in support of legislation sponsored by state Sen. Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains), requiring each school to have an armed school resource officer (SRO) or a similarly trained faculty or staff member. The bill would let school personnel volunteer to carry a firearm in school as long they complete 40 hours of basic training. TEA and PET officials say their organizations favor having SROs in schools but see arming teachers as a last-resort option. “We feel if districts decide to allow armed teachers and administrators in schools, that decision will not be made lightly,” said Bill Gemmill, director of

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

committee will also examine new safety measures. The 1978 shooting serves as a cautionary tale of what could happen if teachers are armed. If an officer had been on campus that day 35 years ago, the shooting would likely not have happened, said some local leaders. The shooting evolved from a disagreement over a disciplinary issue between Wytch and a Castalian Springs man, Ed Todd, whose son, Ron Todd, was a freshman at the school that year. Wytch, an African-American, said he acted in self-defense after being threatened and called several racist names by Ed Todd. “I don’t know what (Ron) done, but he was always getting in trouble at school,” recalled Walter Todd, brother of Ron Todd and a witness to the shooting that day. Wytch, 37 at the time, was charged with felonious assault with intent and with carrying a pistol for the purposes of going armed. The shooting stunned Wytch’s colleagues, who remembered him as a devoted family man who always conducted himself in a professional manner.

MetroMix.com

membership and media for PET and a former principal for Metro Nashville Public Schools. “This bill will not say to districts, ‘You will allow your teachers to be armed.’ It’s saying the district can determine for itself if that’s what they want,” Gemmill said. The legislation would benefit remote school districts, where it might be difficult to recruit law enforcement, said Jim Wyre, chief lobbyist for TEA. “We want to be sure that no administrator or faculty member is coerced into going through the SRO training,” Wyre said.

Phillips steadfast that educators not be law enforcers

Director of Schools Del Phillips said he wasn’t familiar with the TEA or PET’s position on the matter but that his opinion that the duties of law enforcement and educators should not be mixed remains unchanged. Phillips and the school board have requested

» BILL, 6A

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NEWS

6A • FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2013

GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Assistant principal who shot parent: ‘I believe in prevention’

»SHOOTING FROM 1A

“He was a good disciplinarian; a fair man and an honest man,” said White House Middle School Principal Jerry Apple, who taught U.S. History at Gallatin Junior High in 1978. “He had a very good reputation,” said Merrol Hyde, who was principal of Gallatin Junior High when the shooting occurred. Bills immediately suspended Wytch, but later moved him to a different position and allowed him to resign at the end of the school year. “The case received an enormous amount of publicity,” said Sumner County District Attorney Ray Whitley, who prosecuted Wytch as a young assistant district attorney in one of his first cases here. “There was a lot of tension – a lot of passion involved,” Whitley said.

Argument led to shooting

Ed and Ron Todd are now both deceased, but Walter Todd, 29 in 1978, recalled in a recent interview that he and his father, an electrician for the Nashville Bridge Company at the time, had taken the afternoon off from work to repair a broken furnace, when Walter’s brother called from school. Ron Todd, 16 at the time, had called his father to tell him Wytch wanted to paddle him. “I can’t say he was public enemy No. 1. He did have some trouble, but he was just a kid,” said Apple, who taught Ron Todd in the eighth grade. “He was a country boy in a town school. Kids would make fun of that a little, but he always stood his ground and took care of himself.” According to Wytch’s statement to police, he followed the

young man to the bathroom because he believed he’d gone in to smoke. Paddling was a common form of punishment in schools then, and although it’s still allowed in Sumner schools today, it’s seldom used, said schools spokesman Jeremy Johnson. During the conversation with his father, Ron Todd handed the phone to Wytch and the two men started arguing. “My daddy told him, ‘I can’t be coming down there every day,’” Walter Todd said. “He said ‘Paddle him or do whatever you got to do, but I got to work for a living.” “They got to arguing, and next thing I knew Daddy said, ‘I’ll be down there and we’ll get this thing settled.’” Wytch told police Ed Todd called him several racist names over the phone. According to a police interview transcript, Wytch claimed Ed Todd told him, “I want you to paddle him so I can whip your (expletive) when I get there.” In the same interview with police, Wytch said Ed Todd had threatened his life before that day, calling him and Hyde at their homes the previous school year. Because of previous conversations and threats, Wytch believed there would be trouble when Ed Todd arrived. He made the decision to retrieve his pistol from the trunk of his car, Wytch said. When Ed and Walter Todd arrived, still wearing their yellow hard hats from work, the argument continued, Walter Todd recalled. Wytch testified at the jury trial on June 16 that he went back and forth from his office, through the office of the secretary and into the main lobby several times to avoid the two Todds. “At one point they both got up to me on either side of me touching me with their bodies like I was a piece of meat between two pieces of bread,” Wytch

said, according to an article published on June 19, 1978 in the Gallatin News Examiner. According to the article, Ed Todd admitted on the witness stand that he called Wytch several racist names and cussed him on several occasions. Wytch said he attempted to talk to Ed Todd without Walter Todd present but asked the school secretary to call police when the men refused to leave. “(Ed Todd) said, ‘I am going to do what I came to do.’ He then advanced toward me and put his hand in his right pocket,” Wytch told the jury in 1978. Wytch said he believed Ed Todd was retrieving a knife from his pocket, and that’s when he fired his .357 Magnum, hitting the man in the leg. According to testimony from both men, Ed Todd slammed the office door and Wytch fired two more times through the door. All told, Ed Todd was shot three times in the legs and foot. “People were screaming, running and hollering. Kids were going up and down the hall,” Walter Todd said. “I couldn’t believe (anybody) would have a gun at school.” Walter Todd told police in 1978 that Wytch then turned the gun toward him just before police arrived, and that’s when the confrontation ended.

Attorneys recall trial

Wytch testified at the trial that he didn’t intend to kill Ed Todd, and that he deliberately aimed low in order to immobilize him. In the end, the jury acquitted Wytch of the most serious charge of felonious assault but convicted him on a misdemeanor charge of going armed. He was fined $250. “It was a clear case of selfdefense, and the jury agreed,” said Larry Woods, a Nashville attorney who defended Wytch in 1978. “He was facing multiple years in prison had he not been acquitted.” Whitley and Woods said the

teaching in Sumner. White House Middle School Principal Jerry Apple, a teacher at Gallatin Junior High in 1978, said he’s torn on the issue of whether teachers should be allowed to be armed. “Teachers are some of the bravest people I know,” he said. “When (teachers) stand and take a bullet for someone else’s child, I’d like to think we’re going to do a better job of taking care of our teachers and students.” Instituting preventive measures, constructing school buildings differently and working on bullying programs that cut down on issues will bring less and less angry people into schools, Apple said. “There are two types of schools: One that’s had a crisis and the others that are waiting to have theirs,” he said.

All these years later, Walter Todd concedes his father may have verbally threatened Wytch, but he doesn’t believe the former assistant principal shot in self-defense. “You can say anything to anybody. As long as you don’t put your hands on them that doesn’t give (you) the right to shoot them,” he said. Walter Todd said his father carried a pocket knife because he was an electrician, but said he didn’t see him take it out during the confrontation. None of the witnesses reported seeing Ed Todd with a knife, according to police interviews. Walter Todd said Ed Todd rarely discussed the shooting, but said he agreed with his father’s opinion that Wytch should have served time. “I’m sure if Daddy had been the one who carried a gun down there and shot (Wytch), he still would have been in the penitentiary probably,” Walter Todd

»BUDGET FROM 1A er had apparently given out letters of resignation to everyone so Hyde could not talk him out of it this time. “I had talked him out of it for over a year,” he said. The budget chair seat for years has been a lightning rod during school funding fights. Stone Stone is well known for fiscal conservatism and for not backing downfrom a fiscal or budget fight, especially with the school board. The moves shift the center of budget committee leadership outside of the suburban Hendersonville core, which has been more supportive of tax increases for schools than the more rural parts of the county. Moser, from Hendersonville, was very fiscally conservative. Stone, who has a Hendersonville address, lives in the Shackle Island community in an unincorporated part of the county. Taylor, from Westmoreland, represents an economically disadvantaged area on the Kentucky border and has vigorously opposed tax increases. As to Taylor’s rising to the key budget committee post, his allies quickly spelled out his credentials and urged him not to be humble. Taylor has worked in management at AmeriGas and said he “works on multiple budgets every year.” He said

Contact Jennifer Easton at 575-7143.

Wytch: “I had a choice”

Retired from education and now living in Texas, Wytch, 72, was reluctant to discuss the shooting when contacted for this article. “That’s a part of my life I really don’t like to revisit,” Wytch said. “I’d like to leave it in the past where it belongs.” While he wished the shooting hadn’t occurred, Wytch said he believes he made the right decision that day in 1978. “Two adults came on to my job to hurt me. They were armed,” he said. He believes the confrontation was racially motivated and that he would not be alive today had he not had his gun, he said. “I had a choice: I had to decide if I wanted to be judged by 12 or carried out in a coffin by six,” Wytch said. “That was my dilemma.” Following the trial, Wytch left Tennessee and the South entirely, he said. He remained in education, working as an administrator in a northern state, he said. With national focus and debate now centered on school safety and gun violence, Wytch said he is opposed to the idea of arming teachers. “I don’t think that teachers and principals with guns will make things better,” he said. “I believe in prevention.” Reporter Jennifer Easton can be reached at 575-7143 or jeaston@mtcngroup.com

he graduated from Western Kentucky University with a degree in agriculture with an emphasis in business and education. “Originally, I planned to be a teacher,” he said.

Filling vacancies

Stone notified County Attorney Leah Dennen Monday of his complete resignation from Committee on Committees, including from his role as chairman. The form of resignation, like Moser’s, creates a double vacancy of chairman and committee member. The Committee on Committees is expected to make recommendations to fill both vacant seats when it next meets. Other vacancies may arise, depending on the shuffle. Com. Ben Harris said Wednesday he was aware that his name was being discussed as a possibility to fill the budget vacancy. “Yes, I’m interested,” he said of taking the seat. In the past, he has not always been supportive of all of the same positions as Hyde. “I have never considered myself to be a yesman,” Harris said. Harris, who works as an inspector for the Gallatin Fire Department, was first elected to the County Commission in 1990. In 2006, he did not seek re-election. About six months afterward, the commission named him to fill a vacancy on the school board. He was then elected in 2008 to fill out the remaining two years of that school board seat. In 2010, he returned to the commission.

Lately, he has been at the center of putting deals together for emergency response facilities. One was the acquisition of the new Emergency Operations Complex on Airport Road. Harris first brought the location to the attention of County Executive Anthony Holt who pushed it through. As a result, Harris was then at the heart of seeking space for the Gallatin Volunteer Fire Department to improve the rural fire service rating for the area south of Gallatin outside city limits to provide residents closer and faster service. That would reduce homeowners’ insurance premiums. After two months of deferrals, the General Committee on Monday finally resolved allocation of the space on South Water Avenue being vacated by Emergency Medical Services, which is relocating to the new operations complex. The committee unanimously approved temporary use by Gallatin Volunteer Fire of a portion of the space with a temporary wall. Children Are People Inc., will continue to use the space it already has with the plan to provide them all of the space in the future. As part of the “splitthe-baby” negotiations, the committee recommended on to budget the intent to fund up to $200,000 to help build a new facility for the volunteer firefighters on the nine acres at the emergency operations center. Contributing writer Jesse Hughes lives in Gallatin.

Inmate indicted in murder-for-hire plot By Alexander Quinones Gallatin News Examiner

TN-0000871226

funding from the Sumner County Commission to put school resource officers in all 45 Sumner schools and to make security upgrades at buildings. “If legislation does become law, we will have a discussion about how to best implement that mandate for our county,” Phillips said. Some local leaders feel there could be unintended consequences of such legislation. It could make school systems allowing teachers to carry guns less desirable to parents and recruiting teachers difficult, said Hendersonville board member Don Long, who serves on the Tennessee School Board Association’s board of directors. There’s also the liability cost to consider, he said. “There are too many unanswered questions,”

Long said. He maintains the argument leading to the 1978 GEMMILL shooting at Gallatin Junior High involving an assistant principal and a parent might never have escalated if an SRO had been there. “That parent wouldn’t have been shot but more likely would’ve been arrested,” he said. Former Gallatin High teacher and coach Donald Porter, a witness to the1978 shooting who testified at the trial, agreed that having more SROs in schools is a better solution. “Being in education as long as I have, (I know) there are some teachers who don’t need to be able to carry guns,” said Porter, who retired in December after 42 years of

Todd: Principal should have served time

said. Asked if it angered his father that an African-American was disciplining his son, Walter Todd said he didn’t feel race had played a part. His father was angry because Wytch called often over problems with his brother, he said. It took Ed Todd nearly a year to recover from his injuries, Walter Todd said. His brother, Ron, died in 1998 from kidney disease and Ed Todd died a year later from cirrhosis, Walter Todd said.

Harris discussed as possibility

Long: ‘too many unanswered questions’ »BILL FROM 1A

case was unusual not only because it involved a school administrator shooting a parent and the racial tension involved, but because the case went to trial so quickly and lasted late into the night. The verdict was read just after1a.m. on a Saturday morning with several teachers and the family members of both men present, according to published reports in the Gallatin News Examiner. Whitley remembered feeling unsure about the outcome of the case because it had many competing interests, he said. “It’s bad that a parent would come in and be hostile (and provoke) a confrontation,” Whitley said. “There were clearly racial epithets cast about, but Mr. Wytch handled it extremely poorly.” The Wytch case remains the only school shooting case he’s ever tried. He prays he never tries another, he said.

A Sumner County inmate was indicted last week for allegedly trying to hire a hitman from behind bars. Frederick Lee Dietz, 63, of Hendersonville, was in jail for felony drug charges that carried a sentence of at least 15 years in prison, according to District Attorney Ray Whitley. Law enforcement offi-

cials learned that Dietz, who had been in jail since October, Dietz was trying to hire someone on the outside to kill an old associate. “He blamed his troubles on him,” Whitley said. The Tennessee Bureau

of Investigation was called in to investigate after the plot was foiled, and a Sumner County grand jury indicted Dietz on Feb. 7 with one count of solicitation to commit first-degree murder. Whitley said no one else was charged in the plot, and no harm came to the person Dietz allegedly wanted killed. Dietz remained at the Sumner County Jail on a $250,000 bond. His next court date is Feb. 22.


SPORTS

SCHOOLS

WESTMORELAND UPSETS LADY COUGARS, 1B

GUILD STUDENTS CELEBRATE VALENTINE’S, 7A

FRIDAY » FEBRUARY 22, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

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‘He should’ve gotten more’

Moore, 18, gets two life sentences for parents’ deaths By Dessislava Yankova Gallatin News Examiner

An 18-year-old man received two life sentences in prison Tuesday for his involvement in the murders of his parents at their Cottontown home. Morgan Moore was facing charges of two counts of firstdegree murder, theft up to

$60,000 and aggravated arson in the deaths of his parents Gary Moore, 54, and Tammy, 51. The parents were shot up to seven times before they were robbed and burned inside the bedroom of their home in October 2011. Moore’s friend Chase Vinson, 22, and his brother Chad Vinson, 40, are also charged in connection with the shooting deaths. On Tuesday, Feb. 19, Moore pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree murder for the death of his father and one count of criminal responsibility

for a first-degree murder for the death of his mother. Criminal Court Judge Dee David Gay sentenced him to life in prison on each charge to be served si-

Moore

multaneously. In Tennessee, a defendant sentenced to life in prison has to serve 51 years before being eligible for parole. Counting the 16 months Moore has already

served since his October 2011 arrest, he will be at least 68 before he can see the parole board.

‘He killed my parents’

Moore’s oldest brother, Justin, 28, said Wednesday he was satisfied with the verdict. “I think he should’ve gotten more – he should’ve gotten the death penalty,” he said. “He killed my parents. He killed two innocent people.” Justin Moore, a Maryland resident who works in security and networking for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, did not

attend Tuesday’s court hearing but said he expected his brother to confess. “No, I didn’t want to go down there,” he said. “If they actually had the trial, I would’ve come.” Moore said he thought his brother was troubled but never could have envisioned he would act so violently. “I was told he had a rough lifestyle and drug habits,” he said. “I don’t think he was in his right mind when he did it.”

» MOORE, 3A

Duncan proposes change to Union name

BACK ON THE JOB

Board member wants school to honor black educator By Jennifer Easton Gallatin News Examiner

so the animal control officer and the technician both pried his mouth open and got him off me,” Beadles said. “My first thought is that he was going for my throat, but I had turned quick enough to keep that from happening.” As the dog dropped to the floor, Beadles kicked it to keep it from coming at her again, and the others also tried to shove the dog away. The animal lunged at her again, this time getting its teeth into her side, near the rib cage area. The jail inmate was finally able to grab the

Bethpage school board member Will Duncan is proposing to change the name of Union Elementary STEM and Demonstration School in honor of the late B.J. Hall, a long-time educator and leader in the African-American community. Duncan, at the Feb. 19 school board meeting, gave an emotional presentation, saying changing the name of the school would right a wrong done to the African-American community when, in 2002, a new elementary school was named in honor of former Director of Schools Benny Bills. Duncan said he has nothing against Bills, nor is the move intended as a personal attack toward the former schools director. “Renaming the schools would give the black community justice,” he said to the board TuesDuncan day. “Do right toward us. I think we deserve it.” Benny Bills Elementary, on Union School Road near Dobbins Pike, was set to be named Union Elementary when it opened in 2002, according to a 1999 building program that included Station Camp High School. The then six-member school board later voted to name the new Union school for Benny Bills, who served as an elected superintendent of schools from 1976-88 and an appointed schools director from 2005-11. The board at the same time voted to establish Merrol Hyde Magnet School in honor of Merrol Hyde, who was an elected superintendent from 1988-92 and an appointed director from 1997-2004. Duncan claimed the then sixmember board, of which he was a member, vio-

» DOG, 3A

» UNION, 3A

Tanya Beadles returned to work at the Sumner Spay Neuter Alliance after being bitten by an American bulldog several times on Valentine’s Day. SHERRY MITCHELL/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Nonprofit worker survives aggressive attack by dog By Sherry Mitchell Gallatin News Examiner

A dog attack inside a Gallatin nonprofit sent one woman to the hospital last week where she was later admitted overnight for an infection related to the bites. Tanya Beadles, 38, was working her shift Feb. 14 at Sumner Spay Neuter Alliance, when an American bulldog was brought in to be neutered by Sumner County Animal Control, which owns and shares the same building. The organization on Union School Road provides lowcost sterilization services for cats

and dogs. Beadles said she was with a veterinarian, an animal control officer, an inmate assigned to animal control, and a Volunteer State Community College student technician when the attack occurred. The vet had just finished checking the dog’s heart rate. “I had my hand on his collar and had gone to squat down to restrain him so he could get his pre-med and he just lashed out and grabbed hold of my chin,” Beadles said. As she was rising up, the bulldog was still holding onto her mouth. “Everyone knew not to pull him,

City Council approves Fairvue plan Chloe Drive to be opened, Potter divider uncertain By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

Despite concerns from neighboring residents, a split Gallatin City Council approved proposed changes to a planned development adjacent to Fairvue Plantation with few amendments. For the final reading of the plan Tuesday, the council voted 4-3 in favor of a major amendment to a plan for 27 acres of land that would be the site of The Retreat at Fairvue. Originally the land was supposed to be a residential hospice center,

but now Goodall Builders plans to build 130 multiunit condominiums on the property. As part of the approved plan, Chloe Drive will be opened up and connect to Noah Lane, despite objections from current Chloe Drive residents. Some Fairvue residents had wanted the council to require the developer to build a brick wall behind the homes on Potter Lane instead of a proposed aluminum fence with landscaping, but the council did not act on the request, though it approved a wall should one be built. “The vote is what it is and certainly we want to honor in our hearts the vote of the council,” said Earl Fischer, president of

the Fairvue Home Owners Association. “We’re disappointed, of course, and we worked hard to try to have the outcome differently.”

Safety meetings subject to sunshine – for now By Jesse Hughes For the Gallatin News Examiner

Changes, vote divide council As discussion on the ordinance began, AtLarge Councilor Julie Brackenbury proposed an amendment to keep Chloe Drive closed and require the developer to build an 8-foot-high masonry wall behind the homes on Potter Lane. The amendment was later split up into two amendments with the first pertaining to the wall behind Potter Lane and the second relating to

» FAIRVUE, 2A

Open government experts say a committee appointed to come up with stricter school safety measures is subject to laws governing public meetings, but county leaders argue the discussions should be private to protect classrooms. Sumner County Emergency Services Chairman Jim Vaughn updated the county Legislative Committee Feb. 11 on the Ad Hoc Committee on School Safety and Implementation, which he co-chairs with Sheriff Sonny Weatherford. The 16

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

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members of the committee were appointed by commission ChairDecker man Merrol Hyde in January and have not yet met. Vaughn said county leaders are working to change the state Sunshine Laws to close the school safety committee meetings. “We’re a little concerned – I’m a little concerned – about the fact that we are going to be

VOL. 173 NO. 16 © 2013 GANNETT CO., INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED SUBSCRIBE: 1-800-520-9286

discussing specifics about school security in a public forum,” he Vaughn said. The change would apply to both the Open Meetings Act and the Open Records Act, he added, so that documents related to the meetings are not available to the public. Kent Flanagan, executive director of Tennessee Center for Open Gov-

» SUNSHINE, 2A


NEWS

2A • FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013

Gallatin Forecast Today High 63 Low 34 Wind: SSW 7-14 mph 10 a.m. Noon 5 p.m. 10 p.m.

Warmer with a shower

Mainly cloudy and warmer

54

59

Rather cloudy

Mostly cloudy

60

46

5-day forecast SUN MON TUE

SAT

WED

Partly Windy Times of Partly Mostly sunny and with rain clouds and sunny cloudy cooler possible sun Wind: WNW Wind: ESE Wind: S 12- Wind: WSW Wind: W 3-6 6-12 mph 4-8 mph 25 mph 10-20 mph mph

52/28

56/40

50/35

48/33

50/29

Across Tennessee Today’s high/tonight’s low Bristol 53/39 Clarksville Chattanooga 55/45 Knoxville

61/29 Memphis 56/43 Nashville

59/32 64/36

National outlook Temperatures 2/22 - 2/28 Above Normal Near Normal Below Normal

Precipitation 2/22 - 2/28 Above Normal

GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

School safety committee meets Feb. 28 » SUNSHINE FROM 1A ernment, said his organization “does not support the idea of allowing meetings for this kind of purpose being closed.” Education Committee Chairman Paul Decker said he understood the reason for having closed meetings “sometimes” but hoped the committee would use discretion about when to do so, keeping “general discussions” open. “Right now, the law is not in place for that to be allowed,” Vaughn responded. “So, we can’t do anything.” But Frank Gibson, public policy director for the Tennessee Press Association, said the county created its own problem by including multiple members of the commission and not forming as an advisory committee to the county executive or the director of schools. If they had, “they could close the meetings,” he said. Gibson cited rare examples of executive sessions for non-litigation matters, but none would apply to a body appointed by a county commission chairman.

As for keeping the documents out of public view, Gibson Gibson said there were already exemptions written into state law that protect security Hyde plans. Tennessee law says information and records related to government building security, security plans, and assessments of security vulnerability are not subject to the Open Records Act. “There are ways to accomplish what they are talking about accomplishing without gutting the Tennessee Sunshine Law,” Gibson said Wednesday. “Every time a new exemption is added to the Open Records or Sunshine Laws, it is abused in no time flat.” Vaughn acknowledged the meetings, under state law, currently have to be public forums.

“My concern is what we publish and what we put out to people and tell them where our weaknesses are,” he said. “Law-abiding citizens I’m not concerned about. Most of the general public I’m not concerned about. It’s those folks that are lingering out there waiting to see where our weak spots are so they can attack us is what I’m concerned about.”

Wise resigns

The school safety committee originally had 17 members, but Sumner County Board of Education Chairman Ted Wise announced to school board members Tuesday that he had resigned. Wise was previously criticized by some fellow school board members who said he overstepped his duties for agreeing to serve against board members’ wishes. “I do not wish to be the wedge that divides this board,” Wise said. It would be in the board’s best interest to have a school system representative attend the meetings and report to the board, Wise said. He asked Director of Schools Del Phillips to appoint a

school system employee, along with a representative, to present the board’s list of school security improvements when safety audits of all 45 schools are completed in April.

Safety steps taken

Though the ad hoc committee is just getting started, Com. Jerry Stone said steps have already been taken to improve school safety. “There seems to be a perception that nothing is being done,” he said. “But that is not the case.” Vaughn said the school board was doing its assessment and that law enforcement had stepped up school patrols. “There are a lot of moving parts right now,” he said “We are trying to move forward as quickly as possible.” The school security committee is scheduled to meet for the first time Thursday, Feb. 28 at 5:30 p.m. at the new Emergency Operations Center at 655 Airport Road. Jennifer Easton contributed to this report

Contributing writer Jesse Hughes lives in Gallatin.

Near Normal

Residents say opening road will be safety hazard

Below Normal

» FAIRVUE FROM 1A

Moonrise/set

Sunrise/set Sunrise Fri. ..... 6:25 a.m.

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Sunset Fri. ...... 5:34 p.m.

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Feb 25 Mar 4 Mar 11 Mar 19

Sunrise Sat. .... 6:24 a.m.

Moonrise Fri. .......... 2:49 p.m. Moonset Fri. ........... 4:07 a.m. Forecasts and graphics provided by AccuWeather, Inc. ©2013

keeping Chloe Drive closed. Both failed. Fairvue resident Jim Pope, said that the added traffic along Chloe Drive once it is connected to Noah Lane will pose a safety hazard due to the narrow road created by its medians. “It’s going to be a problem,” he said. “The one thing I hope is that none of them in their districts have an issue or a plan that is to be developed where their constituents would be put at risk from a safety standpoint, from devaluation and things of

that nature. I think if that were to happen, I think their decision would be altogether different.”

Residents asked to pay part of divider cost Amendment one, which originally would have required the construction of an eight-foot masonry wall, was later amended by a 4-3 vote to allow for either a 6- to 8foot wall or a 6-foot aluminum fence and landscaping. District 3 Councilor Jimmy Overton told members of the council

that representatives from Goodall Builders had told him they were open to sharing the cost of building the wall with Fairvue residents. “Goodall Builders has agreed to work with them and build this wall if they will pay part of the cost,” he said. The cost build a brick wall 8 feet high and 985 feet in length to separate homes along Potter Lane was estimated at $236,400, Overton said. If the same wall was built to be only 6 feet high, the estimated cost dropped to $157,000. The alternative divid-

er, a 6-foot-tall aluminum fence with landscaping, was estimated to cost $65,000. Fischer said that he was open to talking with Goodall Builders about constructing the masonry wall behind Potter Lane, but was unclear about the estimated cost to build the wall provided by the builder. Mike Stanton, development manager for Goodall Builders, declined to comment about Tuesday’s vote. Reporter Josh Cross can be reached at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

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Bessie Brown Bessie “Bea” Brown, age 84, of Gallatin, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. Funeral service will be Friday, Feb. 22 at 11 a.m. from the chapel of Family Heritage Funeral Home with Bro. Jerry Peace officiating. Interment will follow in Gallatin Cemetery with family and friends serving as pallbearers. Visitation

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Mae Bell Duffer

Mae Bell Duffer, 88, of Westmoreland, Tenn., passed away Monday, Feb. 18, 2013. Funeral services for Mrs. Duffer were held Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 from Garretts Creek General Baptist Church with Bro. Guthrie Gregory and Bro. Randy Andrews officiating. Interment followed in Pleasant Grove Cemetery. Pallbearers were the grandsons and the honorary pallbearers were the granddaughters. Visitation was Wednesday, Feb. 20 and Thursday, Feb. 21 at Woodard Funeral Home. Mrs. Duffer was a member of Garretts Creek General Baptist

Church. She was preceded in death by her father, Edd Sanders; mother, Maggie Andrews Sanders; husband, Bernice W. Duffer; and son, Wayne Duffer. She is survived by her son, Orbin (Ann) Duffer, of Westmoreland, Tenn.; daughters, Evelyn Tuttle, of Lafayette, Tenn., and Wanda Barnard, of Westmoreland, Tenn.; sisters, Mary Scott, of Gallatin, Tenn., Mildred East, of Indiana, and Katherine Thompson, of Memphis, Mo.; brother, William Sanders, of Lafayette, Tenn.; grandchildren, Jerome Barnard, of Westmoreland, Tenn., Matthew Duffer, of Hendersonville, Tenn., Jeff Duffer, of Lafayette, Tenn., Harlan Borders, of Lafayette, Tenn., Kenneth Borders, of Lafayette, Tenn., Kevin Borders, of Lafayette, Tenn., Michael Borders, of Red Boiling Springs, Tenn., Deanea Wells, of Knob Lick, Ky., Anita and Freda Duffer, of Westmoreland, Tenn., and Daphne Parker, of Portland, Tenn.; and a host of great-grandchildren.

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Franklin; grandson, SFC Harley Brown, of Ft. Bragg, N.C.; brother, Gilbert Greenwood, of Gallatin; sisters, Betty Graves, of Indianapolis, Ind., and Adelle Biscamp, of Little Elm, Texas. Online condolences may be submitted at familyheritagefh.com Family Heritage Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

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was Thursday, Feb. 21 and continues Friday, Feb. 22 from 10 a.m. until time of service. Mrs. Brown was born in Jackson County, Tenn., daughter of the late Hiram A. and Nora Alle Horner Greenwood. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband, Earl Brown, and sisters, Rose Inman and Blanche Ray. She is survived by son, Mike Brown (Linda), of

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Airport power struggle reignites

LESSONS THAT LAST A LIFETIME

Sudbury gets $15,000 annual pay increase By Jesse Hughes For the Gallatin News Examiner

Ann Whiteside reads to children Wednesday as part of the National Education Association’s Read Across America week. JENNIFER EASTON/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Children celebrate, learn importance of reading

The long-running power struggle between the Sumner County Commission and the Sumner County Regional Airport Authority reignited Monday and, if unresolved, may end up with the commission dissolving the board and starting over. The County Commission unanimously appointed eight replacement members to the Airport Authority board Monday under its new procedural rules adopted at its January meeting. The new rules completely cut the authority board out of the process of appointing its own members with no input, screening, or vetting of nominees. The new members are scheduled to hold their first meeting at the authority’s next session in March. “We don’t want to use the nuclear option if we don’t have to,” Com. Jerry Stone said at a January Legislative Committee meeting. “We want to see if this works first. We sure don’t want to go back to court if we can avoid it.” Wednesday, he said that still was “an accurate summary” of his feelings on the

» AIRPORT, 3A

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allatin resident Ann Whiteside read “Robert the Rose Horse” and “The House that Jack Built” to about 70 pre-kindergarten children at Mid-Cumberland Head Start’s Shalom Zone office Wednesday, Feb. 27 as part of the National Education Association’s Read Across America week. Many Sumner schools are celebrating the event today with reading and rhyming activities that coincide with the birthday of Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, who was born March 2. Geisel died in 1991.

Shawnecio Hill, Kimberly Pena, Jahna Gleaves, Leala Lopez, JoAna Delgado listen to stories read by guest reader Ann Whiteside at the Shalom Zone Wednesday. JENNIFER EASTON/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

–Sarah Kingsbury/Gallatin News Examiner

By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

Golfers who have not played a round at Long Hollow Golf Course this year might notice a few changes the next time they visit. In addition to some equipment upgrades, several additions and improvements will be added to the city-owned facility in the coming months. The most noticeable change already in place at the18-hole course, located at 1080 Long Hollow Pike, is the addition of 72 new electric golf carts that were delivered as part of

JESSE HUGHES/FOR GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Property rights voters may see changes in 2014

Upgrades coming to golf course Staff ‘ready for the start’ of peak season

Tim Lynch Jr., Jim Egan, County Executive Anthony Holt, and Bill Taylor discuss the upcoming Sumner County Regional Airport Authority board meeting in the Sumner County Commission chambers Monday, Feb. 25.

he was unable to vote in Fentress County, where he resided, during the The voting process March 6, 2012 election. may change in 2014 for Davis was registered to 369 Sumner County resi- vote in two counties bedents who cast ballots for cause he owned property districts where they own in another county, and was accidentally purged property but do not live. Sumner County Ad- from the Fentress sysministrator of Elections tem. After the lawLori Atchley has suit was reasked cities in solved, one of the which property settlement conrights voters can ditions was that cast ballots to apthe state’s 95 prove an ordicounties remove nance by March property rights 7, 2014 allowing voters from the such voters to voting rolls. As it vote by mail only. Atchley stands, those votA letter about the request was sent out Feb. ers are not in Sumner’s 19 to the mayors of Galla- voter registration systin, Portland, Mitchell- tem in any way except on ville and Westmoreland, a computer spreadsheet, the four municipalities Atchley said. In Sumner, cities are that allow property being asked to pass an orrights voting. The proposal was dinance that would allow prompted by a 2012 law- non-resident voters to suit in which former Con- cast their ballot by mail. “The non-resident gressman Lincoln Davis sued state officials after property owners will be By Dessislava Yankova Gallatin News Examiner

Seventy-two new electric Yamaha golf carts were delivered to the Long Hollow Golf Course in early February. JOSH CROSS/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

a lease purchase agreement in early February. The new carts replace the course’s previous 4year-old fleet, which was starting to wear down, said golf course clubhouse Manager Jimmy “Jimbo” Hicks. “A lot of (the carts) weren’t making it for all 18 holes,” he said. “Their batteries were dying.” In addition to the new carts, the course will also be getting 7,200 new range balls to replace ones that are worn down that are available for golfers to rent.

“It’s time for (the old ones) to go,” Hicks said. “The new ones should be here by the end of March and they’re going to be a nice improvement.”

Proposed improvements Gallatin Leisure Services Director David Brown told members of the Gallatin City Council Tuesday about proposed additions to the course’s facilities. One of the upgrades to

» GOLF, 3A

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

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VOL. 173 NO. 18 © 2013 GANNETT CO., INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED SUBSCRIBE: 1-800-520-9286

Sumner County nonresident property rights voters » Gallatin: 196 » Portland and Mitchellville: 119 » Westmoreland: 54 Total: 369

Source: Sumner County Election Commission

on a completely different system,” Atchley said. “We’ll have to manage them completely separately.” Currently, property right voters can only cast ballots on paper for municipal elections and only during early voting at the Sumner County Administration Building in Gallatin, which has caused problems for voters and officials alike, Atchley said in the letter sent to affected cities. “The voter must then wait in line again if they

» VOTING, 2A


NEWS

GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

FRIDAY, MARCH 1, 2013 •

County appoints 8 to Airport Authority » AIRPORT FROM 1A matter. Meanwhile, at the authority’s Monday meeting, board members voted to put forward to the County Commission the names of any board members whose terms had expired and who wanted to continue to serve. The authority board also asked Jim Egan, a retired commercial pilot and member of Sumner United for Responsible Government, if he was willing to fill a vacant board seat. Egan pointed out he was already being put forward that same night for a vote before the County Commission, but said he would consider it. The name of John Berwin also was put forward. The eight authority nominees approved by the County Commission Monday were: pilot Don Drayton to replace Sue McPherson; pilot John Berwin to replace Tom Graves; pilot Steve Nelson to replace Jerry Kirby; pilot Bill Taylor to replace Chairman David Hunter; pilot Tim Lynch Jr. to replace Tim Adair; Egan to replace Richard Coker; Ben Williams, a retired Army Colonel who managed a military air base, to replace Kevin McCutcheon; and Don Dickerson, a retired Marine who was involved in helicopter logistics and maintenance, to replace David Blankenship. After the County Commission meeting, Lynch said he hoped the transi-

“We want to move the airport forward, make it an economic engine in the county again, and facilitate the growth of a transparent model.” TIM LYNCH JR. Airport Authority appointee

tion would be “very smooth.” “We have a lot of things we want to do,” he said. “We want to move the airport forward, make it an economic engine in the county again, and facilitate the growth of a transparent model.” Coker, one of the airport board members that the County Commission has moved to replace, said Wednesday that he had volunteered to continue to stay on the board and wasn’t sure if he would be able to keep his post. “Apparently the county has one interpretation and the Sumner County Airport board has another,” he said. Berwin and Taylor were previously appointed by the County Commission in December 2010 but the authority board refused to seat them and the matter ended up in Chancery Court. Chancellor Tom Gray ruled in November 2012 that the County Commission had not followed its own procedural rules in appointing airport board members, and so the commissioners had to re-do the process. In previous committee

discussions, several members said the county had had enough and should dissolve the authority board and re-establish a new one. They were urged to try the appointment route first. County Executive Anthony Holt screened, interviewed, and recommended the applicants to the Committee on Committees, which accepted the entire slate as presented Monday under the new rules. In the previous failed attempt to place Berwin and Taylor on the board, the combined actions of two commission committees, Public Service and Committee on Committees, were found by the court to have not properly vetted credentials of the nominees.

Pay increase

The Airport Authority, at its Monday meeting, also voted to give airport Administrator Steve Sudbury a raise of $1,000 a month with an additional cost-of-living adjustment of $250 a month, for a total $15,000 annual base pay boost for the post. That means Sudbury’s pay increased from $30,000 per year to $45,000 annually.

Included in Sudbury’s employee agreement package was a five-year contract with an annual performance review. Sudbury told the board he had not been given a raise for “at least four years” and maybe five. Sudbury pointed Wednesday to the recent completion of a 1,300-foot runway extension as a move that had made the airport “more attractive” to corporate jets and made his salary increase equitable. “I think I've earned it and positioned it to be a super nice metropolitan airport,” he said, adding it would be “a huge part of the economic development for Sumner County.” In regard to Sudbury’s pay increase, Coker said the board had “canvassed” other airports and found most full-time managers earn between $70,000 and $80,000 per year. He noted that Sudbury’s position was “almost” full time. “He's doing a good job and we will look at it every year,” Coker said. Airport board Chairman David Hunter said Wednesday the airport improvements had made Sudbury’s job “worth a lot more.” Normally, the County Commission meets on the third Monday but this month the meeting was pushed back due to the Presidents’ Day holiday. Contributing writer Jesse Hughes lives in Gallatin.

3A

72 new carts at course » GOLF FROM 1A the course would add more storage space, not only for carts but also other items as well. “We need a little more storage room,” he said. “We’re planning on building another section of cart sheds and a washroom for our new carts.” While the sheds would be used to store the course’s carts and other items, they could also be rented out to golfers who want to keep their personal carts on site. “In the cart sheds we have now, we’re going to put doors on them,” Brown said. “We’ve had some interest in people renting and leaving their carts there and hopefully we can take in some revenue on that.” If the course does offer golfers the ability to rent a place to store carts, the course would likely charge them an annual fee, said Brown. A new washroom would be a welcome addition for the course staff that currently cleans the carts on a section of concrete by the storage shed. “In the winter we’ve been kind of washing [the carts] out in the cold,” Brown said. “So, we’re going to build a little wash room so we can drive through, raise the door and drive them on in. That way we can do it in the winter and not catch a cold as much.” If there is any reaming money left tin the

budget, Brown said that there is the possibility of upgrading the portable bathrooms along the course’s back nine holes and/or adding a deck to the clubhouse. “Hopefully we’ll have some money to put a deck on the clubhouse, so we can get some people hanging around,” Brown said. “Do a little improvement there on the outside.”

Golfing activity begins picking up in April Typically December through February are the slowest months at Long Hollow Golf Course, Hicks said, but activity begins to pick up beginning in April. “We’re pretty busy when the weather is right,” he said. “I would say that our peak season is from April 1 to September 30. The Masters in April gets people fired up to play.” Currently, Long Hollow Golf Course is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. until dark. In April, the course will open at 7 a.m. and close at dark. The course is only closed on Christmas Day each year. “We’re ready for the start,” said Hicks. “We’re looking forward to it.”

Reporter Josh Cross can be reached at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

COMMUNITY EVENTS Send your community event to gnenews@mtcngroup.com.

Friday, March 1 » “Chamber Singers” of High Point University in North Carolina (who are due to perform in the Vatican this summer) will perform at HFUMC in Hendersonville in the gym, 7 p.m.

Saturday, March 2 » The Sumner Trails Chapter of Tennessee Trails Association will lead a 4.4-mile round trip hike on the Hidden Springs Trail in Cedars of Lebanon State Park, carpooling from Hendersonville 403-0002 » Bob Payne, Patsy Ethridge and Nashville Knights perform country square dancing music at the Gallatin VFW, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, March 5 » The Sumner Trails Chapter of Tennessee Trails Association will

have its monthly chapter meeting at 7 p.m. at the Hendersonville First United Methodist Church. Donna McClellan will be sharing her love of the Grand Teton National Park where she has spent the past five summers. 347-2623

818-4309.

» Newcomers Breakfast Club: Join us for breakfast at Panera Bread in Hendersonville, 10 a.m. Call Krys at 815-4538.

Friday, March 8

» Newcomers Club Knotty Knitters. Call Loretta 824-5655 for info. » The Gallatin Public Library will offer free Zumba classes starting March 5. The classes will be Tuesday evenings from 6:00-6:45 p.m. and Saturdays, 2-2:45 p.m., at the library. Call Dwan Avent, 731-335-1792.

Thursday, March 7 » Sumner United for Responsible Government monthly open meeting 6:30 p.m. at Hendersonville VFW. Mark Herr from Tennessee Center for Self Governance to speak. Canned and dry goods donations welcome.

» Sumner County Right To Life monthly meeting, 7 p.m. at the Ice House in front of Garrott Bros. Concrete on Red River Road.

» Gallatin Area Chamber of Commerce Roaring ’20s Gala, 6:30 p.m. cocktails, 7:30 p.m. dinner, Epic Event Centre, 392 W. Main St., Gallatin. Period attire suggested. Dancing, with music by James Story & Friends. $100 per couple. 452-4000 or info@gallatintn.org

Bend Park In Nashville, carpooling from Hendersonville 3510122

10 a.m. at the Hendersonville First United Methodist Church. 822-6387

Monday, March 11

Tuesday, March 12

» Newcomers Club Bookworms at 10 a.m. to discuss “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand. 989-9036.

» Newcomers Club Knotty Knitters. Call Loretta 824-5655 for info.

» Lakeshore Quilt Guild meets,

» Newcomers Club Movie Night

Ladies Night Out at NCG Theaters in Gallatin. Movie TBD. $6, popcorn $2. Contact Kim 8221117 or kim@stokesvideo.com

Wednesday, March 13 » Gallatin chapter of TVA retirees to meet at King Solomon Lodge in Gallatin. 325-6938

Saturday, March 9 » Sumner County Democratic Party hosts fundraiser for Safe Place for Animals, 8 a.m. till noon at headquarters at 1194 Long Hollow Pike in Gallatin. Contact Jeanette Jackson, scdw_president@comcast.net » The Sumner Trails Chapter of Tennessee Trails Association will lead a 2.3-mile loop hike at Bell’s

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WESTMORELAND SENIORS COMPETE IN SUPER BOWL, 4A

PIONEERS WIN ON WALK-OFF, 1B

WEDNESDAY » MARCH 6, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

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ONLINE For the latest in local news and updates, visit GallatinNewsExaminer.com

City missing ‘weeks’ of emails Thrasher lawsuit brings archival problems to light By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

The city of Gallatin is looking to upgrade its system that archives electronic communications after problems were revealed inadvertently by a federal lawsuit involving a former police commander. Finance Director Rachel Nichols, who oversees informa-

tion technology, asked the Gallatin City Council Feb. 26 to appropriate up to $50,000 for the purchase of hardware and software to archive all electronic communications for a minimum of five years. Nichols told the council that the city was not meeting the recommended retention standard set by the Municipal Technical Advisory Service, which says that the majority of correspondence relating to city business should be held for five years whether paper or electronic. “The system we have in

place just does not accommodate that,” she said. Currently, the city’s ability to archive electronic data has significant limitations to how far back it can store information, said City Attorney Joe Thompson. “We have a system in place that has storage dependent upon what is in the email system at any given time,” he said. “Depending on how many attachments to emails there are, how data intensive a set of emails are, that period of time may be 15 months, it may be 13 months or it may be 18 months.”

‘Significant deficiencies’

The problems with archiving came to light through a lawsuit in which former Gallatin Police Department Cmdr. Dennis Thrasher is suing the city over his April 2012 termination. He argues in the suit that he was fired after revealing himself as the whistleblower who turned over secret recordings to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation alleging misuse of a criminal history database by former police chief John Tisdale. The TBI investigation into the allegations lasted about one

COUNTY EDUCATORS OF THE YEAR

month. Sumner County District Attorney Ray Whitley announced in January 2011 that he had decided not to pursue charges against Tisdale. Tisdale retired one week later. Thrasher was placed on paid leave while the city conducted a five-month internal investigation into his conduct. At the conclusion of the probe in June 2011, Thrasher, a 21-year veteran of the department, was fired for misusing a city vehicle, falsifying time sheets and tape recording fellow officers, includ-

» EMAILS, 4A

THE BELL TOWLES

Wine bill elicits whine » MIKE TOWLE

Kim Harkreader, a teacher at J.W. Wiseman Elementary School in Portland, is congratulated by Selena Elmore, principal at Gene Brown Elementary School in Hendersonville, at an award banquet honoring Sumner County’s teachers of the year Monday, March 4 at the Epic Event Centre in Gallatin. Harkreader won in the kindergarten through fourth grade category. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Sumner’s top teachers honored

Harkreader, Cash, Duncan win overall awards By Dessislava Yankova Gallatin News Examiner

The county’s best educators were honored for making a difference in the lives of Sumner’s children at the 2013 Teacher of the Year Luncheon

at the Epic Event Center in Gallatin on Monday, March 4. Teachers, administrators and governmental officials gathered to recognize Sumner County’s 45 teachers of the year during a luncheon featuring WSMV sports director Rudy Kalis as the guest speaker. “When I look into your eyes, I see truth, I see care, and you make me feel better about who teaches our children,” said Kalis, a German-born immigrant

of Ukrainian-born parents who moved to the United Stated at age 5. “Every single student that you have in your care has been put in your care by Gad because you know how to make a difference.” Kalis spoke to the crowd about the teachers who had made a difference in his own life and inspired him to take education seriously. This is the second annual banquet to feature a program

during a catered lunch to recognize Sumner’s top teachers, who are nominated and voted for by their peers at each school. A panel of teachers and central office officials then evaluates the winners to select the three top teachers, one for each grade level. Previously, the three top winners were recognized during a school board meeting. Di-

» TEACHERS, 3A

Sumner choir unites Christian community Group boasts 40 members from 13 churches By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

In 2011, Giah Kress, founder and director of the Sumner County Worship Choir, began searching for a way to combine her musical skill and love of church music while also filling a gap in the local Christian community. During her time brain-

storming and talking with people in the community, Kress, who has a music degree from Union University, noticed that there seemed to be a movement away from the large church choirs of years past. “There are a lot of praise teams,” she said. “There are a lot of bands, and that’s great, but there is not necessarily a spot for just the average choir singer.” Then one day while she was praying over the situation in the car, the answer Kress was

» CHOIR, 4A

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

MetroMix.com

Giah Kress, Sumner County Worship Choir founder and director, leads the choir during one of its weekly practices. The group, created in 2011, has grown from 12 members to 40 from 13 local churches and several different denominations. JOSH CROSS/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

It’s no secret I’m a big fan of movies, and one of my favorites is “Mississippi Burning.” Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe star as FBI agents who make the drive from Washington, D.C. to a dusty, redneck Mississippi community in 1964 to investigate the disappearance – and ultimately the murders – of three civil rights workers. One of the movie’s best lines comes courtesy of the corrupt, good-ole-boy local mayor, played by real-life former Marine drill sergeant R. Lee Ermey, whose character doesn’t hide his contempt for the “Hoover boys.” At one point Mayor Tilman chides the two G men for wasting everyone’s time, scoffing that the three workers’ “rumored” disappearance “ain’t nothin’ but a bunch of lowlife white trash drinkin’ too much cheap alcohol – more like paint thinner and snake juice, because this state’s as dry as a martini ... and we got the alcoholics to prove it.” That brings us to Sumner County, up the road a bit from fictitious Jessup County, Miss., where the HackmanDafoe flick is set. One big difference between the two counties, besides one being real and the other a screenwriter’s creation, is that Sumner County is not a dry county; it’s wet and possibly about to get a whole lot wetter, and, perhaps even drunker, along with much of the rest of Tennessee if some state politicians and well-heeled lobbyists get their way. Legislation now making its way through the state House and Senate would allow local governments via referendums to decide for themselves if wine can be sold in local grocery and convenience stores. That apparently includes malt beverages, too, as higherproof alcohol finds its way into many stores now restricted to selling ho-hum beer and malt beverages like wine coolers and Smirnoff Ice.

» TOWLE, 2A

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4A • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6, 2013

GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Westmoreland seniors compete in Super Bowl By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

Five-hundred miles from the Superdome in New Orleans and 25 days after Super Bowl XLVII, Westmoreland played host to a different kind of Super Bowl Thursday – one on wheels. Staff members and seniors at the Westmoreland Care and Rehabilitation Center gathered Feb. 28 for the third annual Wheelchair Super Bowl, which was held at the facility. Complete with team introductions, cheerleaders, a live performance of the national anthem and a half-time show, eight players competed in an hour-long game to determine this year’s champion. “We let the elders be involved in planning things and activities,” said Lisa Troutt, quality of life director. “For example, the half-time show – we were talking about that and one of the ladies said that they love to do the Macarena and so we decided that’s what we’ll do.” Like the National Football League’s own Super Bowl held earlier in the month, the 49ers and Ravens competed for the 2013 championship. Each team of four could score during the flag-football game by either making it into the opposing team’s end zone before their flag was taken or by throwing the football through the goalposts. If a team could not score within four tries, they would turn over possession to the opposing team.

Residents and staff along with cheerleaders from Westmoreland High School after Thursday’s game. The 49ers defeated the Ravens with a score of 42-36. JOSH CROSS/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Referee Dave Spears flips the coin for the game’s opening toss, flanked by 49ers quarterback Michael Stone, left, and Ravens quarterback Rollon Gass, right. JOSH CROSS/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

‘Winning is the best thing’ And while this game saw no power outages, there was a different outcome – there was no championship celebration for the Ravens as the 49ers were victorious by a score of 42 to 36. For 49ers quarterback Michael Stone, Thursday’s championship win came as the result of teamwork.

“Preparation took at least half an hour,” he said, laughing. “They diagrammed a lot of plays for me. I owe it to them all.” Those in attendance were treated to a halftime show performance by seniors who volunteered to be cheerleaders, with help from cheerleaders from Westmoreland High School, who were on hand for the game. Ruth Cline, 85, who was the running-back for the

Ravens, kept the game close by scoring several touchdowns for her team. “No, I never thought I would score a touchdown,” she said. “But, I’m glad I did for my team.” Despite the loss, Cline, a Ravens fan, said that she would not rule out a return next year. “I would love to play again,” said Cline. “I think everybody had a good time. We just really enjoyed it and had fun to-

Group practices weekly, held 7 concerts in 2012 »CHOIR FROM 1A looking for came to her – what if she started a community choir? “The Lord just started putting on my heart for us to see how we could do this,” she said. “We fully believe that one day we will all stand and worship together. We might as well start practicing now.” So, the Gallatin resident began making phone calls to see if there were any interested in forming the worship choir. “I called 12 really dear friends from different churches and told them what God had laid on my heart and asked them to take three weeks to just pray and let me know what they thought,” Kress said. “And every single one of the them called me back and said, ‘We’re in.’” One of those initial people Kress called was Dave McBride, who had previously served with Kress in a choir at a local church. McBride recalled attending the first informational meeting held for the choir where Kress laid out the vision he had for the group. “Initially, I don’t know if anybody knew at all how it would grow or how it would be received,” McBride said. “But we knew we wanted to be a praise and worship choir and not just a regular

church choir. It needed to be more. We needed to reach out to people.”

More than just music Since the group’s formation in September 2011, the choir has grown from 12 initial members to 40 from 13 different local churches and several different denominations. “My husband Johnny and I are not singers by any means, but we are definitely here for the reason and the purpose of the praise and the worship,” said choir member and Portland resident Jaska Russell. The group, which practices every Monday night at Faith Church, located on South Water Avenue in Gallatin, schedules its events so as not to interfere with member’s home church choir practices, services or other activities. “I want the worship leaders and the pastors of these churches to understand our support of them,” Kress said. “I think there is a preconception that if someone joins this choir they’re going to quit their church choir and that’s not what we want. This does not replace your church choir.” While the concerts involve singing, members also read scriptures and

share personal testimony. James Gill, pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Gallatin, said that feedback from those who attended the Sumner County Worship Choir’s performance at the church in early February has been overwhelmingly positive. “No one in the church expected them to be able to minister the way they did because they haven’t been together that long,” Gill said. “There was a tremendous spiritual presence in the church and I have had tremendous comments from people who came.”

Group a rare occurrence Chris Rouse, who was a worship leader for 23 years and is now the pastor of Faith Church in Gallatin, said that the choir is a rarity in the Christian community. “I’ve seen other churches cooperate together for more of like a big event, crusade or special revival service,” Rouse said. “Never for an every week rehearsal and singing in different churches of different denominations. It’s pretty rare, especially these days.” In 2012, the Sumner County Worship Choir had seven local concerts and the group already has

eight scheduled for 2013 with that number expected to rise to 10. “We might all have different interpretations and different doctrine and how we interpret the Bible,” Rouse said. “But when people start sharing about the cross and singing about the resurrected Lord, that is something we all share together. It kind of unifies across the denominational lines.” For Kress, the group has already exceeded her vision a little more than a year into its existence. “It’s exactly what I thought and so much better,” she said. “It’s a perfect picture of what I knew that it could be.” Contact Josh Cross at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

UPCOMING DATES » March 9 The Ridgecrest 1055 Ridgecrest Drive Millersville 6:30 p.m. » April 13 Byrum’s Chapel 8878 Byrums Chapel Road Portland 6 p.m. » May 19 Freedom Church 1010 Freedom Church Road Gallatin

Running-back Ruth Cline, 85, attempts to score a touchdown for the Ravens in the third annual Wheelchair Super Bowl held at the Westmoreland Care and Rehabilitation Center. JOSH CROSS/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

gether.” The game began as an addition to the facility’s traditional Super Bowl activities which include tailgating on the day of the game. “A lot of our elders are big into sports and the Super Bowl is always a big deal,” Troutt said. “(The Wheelchair Super Bowl) was one of their ideas. They just said, ‘Why don’t we have our own here?’”

Following the 49ers win, Stone was selected as the game’s most valuable player and vowed to return next year to defend his title. “It was great fun,” he said. “Winning is the best thing and I’m coming back for a repeat.” Contact Josh Cross at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

Former chief Tisdale’s email account deleted »EMAILS FROM 1A ing subordinates. Thrasher filed lawsuits in Sumner County Chancery Court and U.S. District Court in Nashville in May 2012 alleging his termination was retaliatory. In the spring of 2012, the city of Gallatin received a letter relating to the federal court case ordering the city to hold and preserve all electronic data. “When we received the hold letter we think that just because of the lack of capacity we were already overriding some of the data because the events they’re looking for go back to 2008,” Nichols said. In complying with the request, Thompson said the city discovered “some fairly significant deficiencies” in the current archival system. “What, frankly, really caught our attention is we’re having to explain to a judge now why we’ve got some weeks missing,” he told the council Feb. 26, though he said in an interview Monday that he was speaking generally and that the case hadn’t reached that level yet. Thompson also said Tisdale’s actual email

account appeared to be missing, though the emails he sent to or were sent to him by city employees still existed under the accounts of those employees. He added that the city was still exploring options to locate the emails. “That doesn’t mean we won’t be able to piece something together, that just means it’s very difficult,” he said. “We may find them.” Though email accounts of employees who no longer work for the city are deactivated, they are not always automatically deleted. John Meadows, the Livingston-based attorney representing Thrasher, said Monday he was “extremely concerned” about Tisdale’s missing emails. Two more servers were recently found at the police department that have backup data on them and work to analyze the information is expected to take place this week, Thompson said. It was unclear if the servers contained any of the missing data. Reporter Josh Cross can be reached at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

COMMUNITY EVENTS Send your community event to gnenews@mtcngroup.com.

Thursday, March 7 » Sumner United for Responsible Government monthly open meeting 6:30 p.m. at Hendersonville VFW. Mark Herr from Tennessee Center for Self Governance to speak. Canned and dry goods donations welcome. 818-4309. » Sumner County Right To Life monthly meeting, 7 p.m. at the Ice House in front of Garrott Bros. Concrete on Red River Road.

Friday, March 8 » Gallatin Area Chamber of Commerce Roaring ’20s Gala,

6:30 p.m. cocktails, 7:30 p.m. dinner, Epic Event Centre, 392 W. Main St., Gallatin. Period attire suggested. Dancing, with music by James Story and Friends. $100 per couple. 4524000 or info@gallatintn.org

Saturday, March 9 » Sumner County Democratic Party hosts fundraiser for Safe Place for Animals, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. at headquarters at 1194 Long Hollow Pike in Gallatin. Contact Jeanette Jackson, scdw_president@comcast.net » The Sumner Trails Chapter of Tennessee Trails Association will lead a 2.3-mile loop hike at Bell’s Bend Park In Nashville, carpooling from Hendersonville 3510122

Monday, March 11 » Newcomers Club Bookworms at 10 a.m. to discuss “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand. 989-9036. » Lakeshore Quilt Guild meets, 10 a.m. at the Hendersonville First United Methodist Church. 822-6387

Tuesday, March 12 » Newcomers Club Knotty Knitters. Call Loretta 824-5655 for info. » Newcomers Club Movie Night Ladies night Out at NCG Theaters in Gallatin. Movie TBD. $6, popcorn is $2. Contact Kim 822-1117 or kim@stokesvideo.com

Wednesday, March 13 » Gallatin chapter of TVA retirees to meet at King Solomon Lodge in Gallatin. Refreshments and door prizes. 325-6938

Thursday March 14 » “Springtime in Paris, A stroll along the Seine”" Newcomers Club annual luncheon and fashion show 11 a.m. at the Bluegrass Country Club. The French Shoppe will debut fresh looks for the new season. A wonderful meal, fashion show, and door prizes are just a few of the reasons to attend. Reservations: Patty 230-9617 by March 11. Cost $25

Saturday, March 16 » The Sumner County Board of Education will be sponsoring free screenings for children 0-5 years old at Howard Elementary in Gallatin, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.. These screenings will include speech and language, hearing, cognitive, adaptive, and socialemotional areas. Appointments are available. Call 451-5319. » Cumberland Astronomical Society hosts a free public star party at Volunteer State Community College field science station, weather permitting. Viewing starts at sunset. » St. Patrick’s dance and pot luck dinner with the Southern Country Band furnishing the music at the Gallatin Senior Center. Pot luck, 6–7 p.m. with the music following until 10 p.m. Suggested donation of $5 person, $7.50

per couple. Call 615-451-1531.

Sunday, March 17 » Ladies Day Out, Shop til you Drop at Holder Family Fun Center. Over 20 different home sale vendors will have their crafts and ware available for sale, 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Free admission. Booths $25. 590-4386

Monday, March 18 » Tsuru-Hendersonville Friendship Committee visit Tsuru, Japan (Hendersonville’s sister city) trip information meeting in Community Room at Hendersonville Public Library, 6 p.m.


SPORTS

PREP SOCCER PREVIEW, 6M

SUMNER A.M. SUNDAY » MARCH 10, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

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City probes home inspections Hundreds of Gallatin residences may be affected By Josh Cross Sumner A.M.

Gallatin officials are investigating whether up to 300 home inspections were conducted improperly by an employee who was not certified by the state, a probe that the city codes and planning director insists is unnecessary. At issue are inspections as far back as July 2010 performed

by codes employee Larry Dennis, who had not completed the proper exams to become a certified building inspector by the state of Tennessee. The state requires building inspectors to have passed both the residential and commercial exams through the International Code Council. Dennis had only completed the residential exam. Without the other exam, he could not be and was not certified as a building inspector by the state. The city discovered the issue while checking department certifications while preparing for the upcoming budget cycle, said City Attorney Joe Thompson.

“We’re really trying to get our arms around what is the problem, what extent do we have one, how long of a period, how many homes might be involved and we’re just at the point where we’re not there yet,” he said, though his initial estimate was that 200-300 homes might be affected. “Every indication that we have is that even though not certified, he performed competent inspections,” Thompson said. “Because this person was authorized by the city to perform certain inspections and certified by the state to perform certain other inspections, there are

requirements and said it has not enforced its own rules or standards. He said the situation was the result of a “misunderstanding,” because residential inspections “are not building inspections.” Thompson said the investigation would proceed despite Allers’ assertions. “The city is more concerned with what the state’s interpretation of the certificate requirements are than Mr. Allers’ interpretation,” he said. Attempts by Sumner A.M. to reach Dennis were unsuccess-

a lot of inspections that show up that he did that are perfectly fine.” Gallatin Codes and Planning Director Tony Allers also stressed in a phone interview that he had full confidence in the inspections Dennis performed. In an email Friday, state Fire Marshal’s Office spokesman Christopher Garrett said the state does not issue separate certifications for residential or commercial – that there is only the building inspector certification that covers both. Allers said the state was “wrong” about its certification

» GALLATIN, 4M

Holt rolls out $47M capital plan

HENDERSONVILLE CONGREGATION REACTS

By Jesse Hughes For Sumner A.M.

will praise the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.” An email, prayfordavid@longhollow.com, has been set up for well wishers to send messages to Landrith. The church will post updates about Landrith’s condition on their website at Longhollow.com and on the church’s Facebook site. Long Hollow’s chapel area will also be open for people to pray for

Sumner County Executive Anthony Holt rolled out a three-year $46.8 million capital projects spending plan to the County Education Committee Monday. Holt’s plan includes a “very conservative” $30 million bond issue to be paid off in 10.5 years. Most would go to education improvements beginning July 1, including school security enhancements and technology improvements. Holt said the package fully funds projects sought by Director of Schools Dr. Del Phillips for the next three years. He said the bond issuance was “vitally important” for the future of the county. “It’s going to take money to do these things,” he said. Holt Holt estimated it would take about $13.5 million for high school additions and $11 million to build a new elementary school. “One thing I would like to see is something we are woefully behind on and we all agree on is technology is the classroom,” he said. “We need to put money in that.” Holt said Friday details are still being worked out but that he hoped to include $4-5 million for technology at schools. He said the county’s debt load has dropped from $175 million when he took office in 2008 to $107 million, and it was time to act. “Education is the place to start the dialog because if we don’t do something we are going to be in big trouble,” he said. “We have got to keep up with our school system as far as our building program. By not doing something you are just sticking your head in the sand and hoping that the problems go away.

» LANDRITH, 4M

» CAPITAL, 4M

David Landrith, senior pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, is battling a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Landrith, pictured here with his wife, Jennifer, has led the congregation since October 2007. COURTESY OF LONG HOLLOW BAPTIST CHURCH

Long Hollow Baptist’s pastor diagnosed with rare cancer Landrith handling news of illness in ‘inspiring’ manner By Bob Smietana Gannett Tennessee

The pastor of one Middle Tennessee’s largest congregations has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. The Rev. David Landrith of Long Hollow Baptist in Hendersonville, which has more

than 9,000 members, told his congregation in an email Friday that he has stage 1 colorectal melanoma. That cancer is considered rare and aggressive, according to a press release from the church. Landrith had surgery last week to remove a spot that concerned his doctors during a checkup. A biopsy and further tests revealed the cancer. The church said that Landrith, 49, is pursuing all treatment options and remains in

good spirits. “For years, David has led us to trust God in every circumstance,” said Lance Taylor, the church’s executive pastor in a statement. “The way he is handling the news has already proven to be inspiring.” Taylor said that Landrith has already gotten calls and emails from friends in Nashville and around the country. In his message to the church, Taylor didn’t make any personal comments. But he did quote from Psalm 34: “I

Lindsey Lowe trial Union could get name addition Duncan proposes begins Monday to add ‘B.J. Hall By Tena Lee Sumner A.M.

When some 180 potential jurors report for duty in a Sumner County courtroom Monday, Criminal Court Judge Dee David Gay will brief them on the wrenching nature of the case for which they could be chosen. “A mother murdering two infants,” Gay said in a pre-trial hearing on Thursday. “If that is such a problem that they can’t be fair and impartial…I feel it’s something I must address with

the jurors head-on and see if that’s an issue.” Twelve jurors and three alternates are expected to be chosen this week to hear the case of Lindsey Lowe, a 26year-old Hendersonville woman accused of killing her infant twins and placing their bodies in a laundry basket on Sept. 12, 2011. The bodies were discovered two days later by Lowe’s parents, who called police. Lowe was retrieved by Hender-

» LOWE, 3M

Memorial Campus’ By Jennifer Easton Sumner A.M.

Bethpage school board member Will Duncan has dropped his proposal to rename Union Elementary STEM and Demonstration School entirely in favor of adding “B.J. Hall Memorial Campus” to the building. School board members discussed the proposal at the March 5 study session and are

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

MetroMix.com

expected to vote on the issue when they meet March 19. Duncan had at first proposed in February to change the name of Union to honor former principal B.J. Hall, a longtime educator and leader in the African-American community. Hall, a Sumner County native, worked for the school system 44 years and served as Union Elementary principal from 1949-69. The present-day Union Elementary on Carson Street was originally built in 1959 as an all-black elementary school during segregation. Duncan said in an interview

» UNION, 4M

Union Elementary on Carson Street was originally built in 1959 as an all-black elementary school during segregation. JENNIFER EASTON/SUMNER A.M.

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NEWS

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SUMNER A.M.

Rucker-Stewart named after prominent African-American leaders, educators »UNION FROM 1M

cance and value of the Union name. “I’m a big believer in getting buy-in from as many people as you can, and, I believe by doing this simple gesture, that school in that area will be rewarded ten-fold,” Wise said. Westmoreland board member David Brown expressed his support as well, but said the county has “hundreds, if not thousands, of teachers and principals” that should be recognized. “I knew (B.J. Hall) well,” Brown said. “He was a splendid person, he and his wife. I loved him; he was a good guy.” Singling out individuals to be named after a particular school can create hard feelings, Brown

of former Director of Schools Benny Bills, Duncan said. Benny Bills Elementary was set to be named Union Elementary in 2002, while the presentday Union school on Carson Street should have been renamed B.J. Hall Elementary, Duncan said.

Friday that while his constituents have expressed their support for renaming the school, most seem pleased with the idea of having both names attached to Union Elementary on Carson Street. “What I didn’t want to do is to get into a lot of expense and keep it as minimal as possible,” Duncan said Friday. “Union was (B.J. Hall’s) school and this way his name will be on his campus.” Duncan said at the Feb. 19 meeting that changing the name of Union would right a wrong done to the black community when, in 2002, the school board named a new elementary school on Union School Road in Gallatin in honor

Not a ‘huge cost’

Some board members at the March 5 study session said naming the campus in honor of Hall rather than dropping the Union name would be a reasonable compromise. “I don’t see it as a huge cost,” said board Chairman Ted Wise, who said signage and stationary expenses would likely be minimal. Wise said the name addition would preserve the historic signifi-

said. “How we’re going to honor all those people, I have no idea,” he said. “We don’t have enough buildings to put their names on.” Hendersonville member Vanessa Silkwood said adding the name to Union would be a good compromise. “When you think about what we’ve discussed at another meeting, changing this school name to that school name and shuffling around – that’s just untenable,” she said. “I think we need to do this gentleman an honor by definitely recognizing (him).”

18 named for people

Currently, 18 of 45 Sumner schools are

named for people. Of those, Rucker-Stewart Middle School in Gallatin is the only school honoring an African-American. Rucker-Stewart opened in 1978, named in honor of two prominent black leaders and educators, Dr. J.N. Rucker and Rev. R. A. Stewart. B.J. Hall and his wife, Evelyn Parker Hall, both deceased, were known by many in the community to be a generous, loving couple devoted to expanding educational opportunities for black students. Evelyn Parker Hall worked for the school system for 46 years, for most of which she was the school system’s “Jeanes supervisor,” overseeing black teachers. Evelyn Parker Hall’s

godson, Frank Brinkley, a retired educator from Gallatin who worked for Sumner Schools 37 years, said the couple greatly influenced his life as well as many others. “It would be an honorable thing,” said Brinkley, who added he was torn over the idea in general of naming schools after others. “(The Hall’s) influence is already felt by many of us who knew them and had them in our lives, so they are still our heroes whether a school is named for (B.J. Hall) or not.”

Reporter Jennifer Easton can be reached at 575-7143 or jeaston@mtcngroup.com

Holt’s plan includes $30M bond

Landrith developing treatment plan

»CAPITAL FROM 1M

quest his support.

»LANDRITH FROM 1M

SRO funding passes another committee

Landrith. Landrith hoped to speak at the church’s services this weekend but future plans will depend on his treatment schedule. “The first steps of treatment are still unfolding,” said Taylor in a phone interview. Taylor said that the church will take care of their pastor during his treatment. “We have a good team and a church that loves David,” he said. “He will have a lot of support from our church.” Landrith is not the first local megachurch pastor to be diagnosed with serious cancer. The Rev. Glenn Weakley, former pastor of First Baptist Church Hendersonville, died in 2007 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The Rev J. Howard Olds, former pastor of Brentwood United Methodist Church, died in 2008 after several battles with cancer. First Baptist Hendersonville Senior Pastor Bruce Chesser said Friday the congregation would “pray diligently for healing and comfort” for Landrith and his family.

plained this plan is “doable now” and anything larger would stretch the ability of the county to get all projects completed on time. Holt worked up the numbers with county Budget Chairman Jerry Stone and county Finance Director David Lawing. A key selling point is that interest rates are “at record historic lows.” Holt added: “If we are going to do something, now is the time.” Estimates of the expected interest rate ranged from 1.8 to 2.2 percent. At the request of Com. Jim Vaughn, Holt agreed to deliver a detailed spreadsheet from Lawing listing specific projects by Monday’s Budget Committee. After the March 4 meeting, Stone said that he would ensure the proposal was brought before Budget Committee March 11 – along with the Hendersonville High School addition. Stone also said he had already met with Phillips to re-

They are not going to go away. I think it is very important that we get in the game.” The plan was warmly received with no opposition. Holt’s figure sets proposed jail improvements at $3.5 million. Currently, the county allocates $7.5 million each year to capital projects. Of that, $2.5 million would be shifted to bond debt service. The $46.8 million figure includes $30 million in bond proceeds, three years at $5 million each, and $1.8 million from an expected fund balance carryover to fiscal year 2014 that begins July 1. Holt stressed the county must spend bond money within three years to avoid problems with arbitrage spenddown. The package is designed and timed to fit the “Sumner County Debt-Free in 2023 Act” passed in 2011. Holt indicated the county will have other capital needs before 2023, but ex-

Also Monday, the Emergency Services Committee unanimously recommended to Budget Committee spending $246,344 from the reserve fund for 13 school resource officers from April 1 to June 30. Sumner Sheriff Sonny Weatherford is trying to get them in a summer class for Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission. In a budget-saving maneuver, vehicles for the new SROs likely will come from high-mileage vehicles scheduled for replacement in the Sheriff’s Office patrol fleet in the next budget cycle. Besides recent increases of patrols and drive-bys by law enforcement officers, consideration is being given for officers to fill out their paperwork at schools. Contributing writer Jesse Hughes lives in Gallatin. PICTUREBY ®

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Long Hollow Baptist members Beth and Todd Cox teach a Sunday School class for young married couples at the church. They started attending the church 11 years ago and she said they were drawn in large part to the church because of Landrith. “He delivered the information to the staff this (Friday) morning, and Todd said he’s never seen anyone deliver this kind of news with such amazing strength,” Beth Cox said. “Everyone is extremely saddened, but David is a fighter. We serve a God of hope, and that’s where we all have to come from.” Todd Cox is also the Men’s Minister at the church and said that Landrith’s nickname among the men who know him best is “Big Country.” “He has a casualness to him, a self-deprecating humor, that people can relate to,” Beth Cox said. Jeff Lovingood, Next Generation Pastor at Long Hollow, considers himself a close friend of Landrith of about 35 years. He said Friday he had been speaking to reporters all day, not just in Mid-

dle Tennessee but in different parts of the country, because of the reach Landrith has via Internet broadcast of his services. “We always say at church that it’s not about the pastor, it’s about all of us (staffers) working together and that God can work through us,” he said. “David believes in that, that you do life with people so that hopefully you earn their trust to be listened to as a pastor.” Lovingood said as of late Friday that no treatment plan had been developed for Landrith as they were still consulting with doctors. “It’s a sobering thing because David has ministered to people dealing with things like cancer, and now you have to flip that,” he said. “You minister to people with cancer and you don’t necessarily know what people are going through, but when it’s your own self, you face the reality of cancer.” Landrith has been with the church since October 2007. Mike Towle and Alexander Quinones contributed to this report.

Contact Bob Smietana at 615259-8228.

Job description didn’t meet state rule »GALLATIN FROM 1M ful Friday. He holds one proper certification through the state as a mechanical inspector, records show. He has been told to stop performing home inspections until he is credentialed, Thompson said.

Results expected this week There is a one-year grace period for an individual to obtain the proper state certification once they begin doing inspections after they have been trained by the International Code Council, Garrett said. The city inspections in question are dated back to at least July 2010, when an email exchange between Dennis and Allers involved discussion about an inspection Dennis had conducted. Because of the state’s one-year grace period, the city’s audit will look at inspections performed by Dennis from July 2011 forward. Thompson said that the city was working on how to address the situation with the affected homeowners. “We need to figure out what are the inspections that were actually performed, and what steps can we take to give homeowners peace of mind that there is not an issue,” he said. Results of the investigation are expected to be completed this week.

Possible misdemeanor According to Garrett, inspections that are performed by someone without the proper certification could result in crimi-

nal charges. “Any inspection performed by an inspector Allers not being properly certified could be deemed invalid and they could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor,” he said. Even if Dennis was unaware he was supposed to be certified, if his department supervisors knew he was not properly certified and allowed him to do inspections, then that information would likely be presented to the district attorney, Thompson said. Allers, who has been off work because he is recovering from ankle surgery in January, said that he does not expect criminal charges to come as a result of the city’s internal audit. “There is no criminal penalty because nothing was done intentionally,” he said. Allers cited an audit conducted by the state Fire Marshal’s office last year in which his department received the highest possible marks. “The state Fire Marshal’s office audited our office in October,” he said. “We got adequate on every single thing, which included certifications on all the inspectors.” But, in a questionnaire sent into the office dated Aug. 8, 2012, Allers is the only name listed on the report to the state as performing building inspections. “It is common knowledge in the trade that building inspector means commercial only,” he said.

Council revises job description The Gallatin City Council somewhat began to address the issue Tuesday, meeting in closed session with Thompson. When the meeting reconvened, the council approved a resolution revising a job description for codes inspector I. The resolution passed by a vote of 6-0 with District 3 Councilor Jimmy Overton abstaining. “We’re just trying to be sure that everything is running properly,” AtLarge Councilor Eddie Mayberry said Thursday. The only major difference between the two job descriptions related to certification requirements. The old job description required possession of a building inspector or residential inspector certification through a recognized agency like the ICC while the newly approved job revision requires certification by the state of Tennessee as a building inspector within twelve months after beginning inspections requiring a building inspector certification. The city currently has an open position of codes inspector I as the result of a recent retirement. “We did want to make sure that the job description accurately reflected what the state requirement was,” he said. “Before we haul off and fill (the position), we want to make sure that it lists the proper requirements on it, and it does now.” Reporter Josh Cross can be reached at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.


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DORRIS ONE-HITTER LIFTS WHITE HOUSE BLUE DEVILS, 1B

FRIDAY » MARCH 22, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

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County threatens to ‘implode’ Airport board

LOWE RECEIVES TWO LIFE SENTENCES

Attorney says commission ‘can’t do that,’ statute unconstitutional By Jesse Hughes For the Gallatin News Examiner

Sumner County Regional Airport Authority Attorney Art McClellan filed an unusual motion for declaratory judgment Thursday, March 14, in a lawsuit between the board and the Sumner County Commission that dates back to March 2011. The airport board and the commission have struggled over which entity has power to appoint the authority’s members. The latest filing involves a County Commission rule change in January that set up authority board appointments made in February to fill eight seats believed to be vacant or expired. With that action, McClellan said the commission was “trying to circumvent the ruling of the court” and said he was seeking answers from the court as to “whether the County Commission has the ability to overrule the charter or bylaws of a corporation.” He requested the motion be heard April 1. The county’s rule change removed the airport board’s authority McClellan to vet the county’s nominees to the board. Chancellor Tom Gray ruled in December that the County Commission had the right to appoint the airport board members, but that it had not followed its own rules in its 2010 attempt to appoint two members to it. The authority refused to seat them, which led to the lawsuit three Dennen months later. He restated the order Feb. 13, by removing language the county opposed that exonerated the authority from violations of law unrelated to the lawsuit, including Sunshine Laws.

Paula Lowe hugs her daughter, Lindsey Lowe, before a jury returned six guilty verdicts during the 26-year-old’s trial for killing her newborn twins Tuesday, March 19, in Gallatin. GEORGE WALKER IV/GANNETT TENNESSEE

GUILTY

Hendersonville woman’s attorney pledges appeal By Tena Lee Gallatin News Examiner

Committees discuss dissolving board

The county rule change started working through committees in January, where county commissioners have made statements about dissolving the Airport Authority and starting over. “We’re not going to be able to work with those guys; it’s obvious,” said Com. Chris Hughes at a Rules and Procedures Committee meeting in January. He added, “I would like the Legislative Committee to come up with a plan about reconstituting another Airport Authority because they are going to keep sending the same people.” County Attorney Leah May Dennen explained at that January meeting that the county rule change would revert the authority appointment process back to the way it was four years ago, when the au-

The family of Lindsey Lowe – mother Paula, sister Lacey, and father Mark Lowe – are overcome as they listen to the jury return a guilty verdict Tuesday, March 19. GEORGE WALKER IV/GANNETT TENNESSEE

» AIRPORT, 2A

INSIDE

Read reporter Tena Lee’s column about covering the Lindsey Lowe trial on page 4A.

Go to Tennessean.com/lowe to see videos of the verdict being read and of Tuesday’s closing arguments.

Reception honors Conner’s years of service Sumner County Anti-Drug Coalition Executive Director Katie Brown and President Susan Phillips presented Pat Conner (left), coordinator of Safe Schools, Healthy Students, with an award of appreciation for her years of service to the community at a reception March 19. Many long-time friends and colleagues turned out for the reception honoring Conner, who announced in February she would leave the Sumner school system after 27 years to oversee the Tennessee Department of Education Office of Safe and Supportive Schools. JENNIFER EASTON/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

estimate of $1.4 million to upgrade technology and security upgrades, which she called “a real doable amount.” Structural modifications were estimated at about another $1.3 million. The safety measures call for installing reflective tint on exterior glass, new door locks, and adding security cameras and monitors that can be remotely accessed to each school. Main entrances would

Education was the big winner of the night Monday when the Sumner County Commission approved $30.1 million in bonds, of which $25 million will be earmarked for school district capital projects. The allotted money cannot be spent elsewhere, and County Finance Director David Lawing said in a memo only $5.1 million could be used for non-education purposes. “I am happy that we are focusing some attention on dollars,” Sumner County Board of Education Chairman Ted Wise said after the commission meeting. “I am delighted that we are getting that.” Sumner County Schools Director Holt Del Phillips said the move was “a great step by the commission” that would give “certainty” to the education budgeting process. “I feel much, much better that there is a funding mechanism,” he said, adding that it was “a rational, realistic approach to what we are trying to accomplish.” County Budget Committee Chairman Jerry Stone worked with County Executive Anthony Holt and

» SAFETY, 3A

» BOND, 3A

Safety upgrades estimated to cost $2.7M Gallatin News Examiner

Officials estimate the price of safety upgrades at Sumner schools will be about $2.7 million. The Sumner County Board of Education on March 19 voted 9-0 to move for-

ward with a plan that calls for updating communications equipment, enhanced security technology and modifying 18 school building entrances. School board members on Tuesday were given a breakdown of cost estimates for improvements and building upgrades recommended in a safety audit report presented March 5 by Pat Conner, Safe Schools, Healthy Students coordinator for Sumner County. Conner presented the board an

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

County’s $30M bond will fund school projects For the Gallatin News Examiner

INSIDE

By Jennifer Easton

» LOWE, 6A

By Jesse Hughes

To learn more about the Safe Schools, Healthy Students coordinator who will replace Conner, see page 3A.

New measures call for more secure entrances at schools

ONLINE

Lindsey Lowe’s defense attorney said he “absolutely” plans to appeal the murder convictions handed down to her Tuesday by a Sumner County jury. The seven-man, five-woman jury deliberated a little more than two hours before convicting the 26-year-old Hendersonville woman of two counts each of felony first-degree murder, premeditated first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse in the 2011 deaths of her babies. The murder convictions carry automatic life sentences. Lowe could face an additional 15 to 25 years on each aggravated child abuse conviction during a sentencing hearing April 26. Sumner County Criminal Court Judge Dee David Gay said he would merge the first-degree felony and first-degree premeditated murder charges into one conviction for each infant. He will de-

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Cloudy with some rain

Rain at times

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46

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Times of Thickening clouds and clouds sun Wind: NW Wind: N 3-6 8-16 mph mph

52/32

56/30

Across Tennessee Today’s high/tonight’s low Bristol 51/33 Clarksville Chattanooga 56/42 Knoxville

51/39 Memphis 55/40 Nashville

50/49 53/42

National outlook Temperatures 3/22 - 3/28 Above Normal Near Normal Below Normal

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New Park and Ride moves ahead By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

The city of Gallatin is one step closer to a new dedicated parking lot for mass transit commuters to and from Davidson County that would be located off of Vietnam Veterans Boulevard near Volunteer State Community College and the Gap. Members of the Gallatin City Council unanimously approved Tuesday a resolution to accept the donation of1.2 acres of property at the corner of Enterprise Drive and GreenLea Boulevard to be the site of a new Park and Ride lot. Construction of the new lot would be funded by the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) through a grant the agency has been awarded. In return, the city will pay for maintenance of the property and give RTA a long-term lease to use the lot as a Park and Ride location. Currently, there are two Park and Ride lots in Gallatin, which transport around 2,500 individuals to and from Davidson County each month. One lot is located at the Gallatin Farmers Market while the other is located at the Gallatin Wal-Mart. Paul Ballard, chief executive officer of the RTA, said Wednesday that a decision on whether or

» AIRPORT FROM 1A thority was not involved in the appointment process at all. “We put all this language in because we were trying to get the Airport Authority to come over here and work with us and we were all going to hold hands and sing Kumbaya,” she told the committee. “We actually made it a whole lot harder on ourselves.” Dennen advised the committee members who doubted the authority board would seat commission appointees that there were options. “We send them over – if they don’t take them, (that’s) a completely different set of circumstances,” she said. “My next recommendation will be that we implode them, as we’ve got the authority to do it.” Two commissioners referenced the county’s ability to dissolve the authority – or “blow it up” –

Fenton

“That’s probably a decision that we would wait until such time that this new parking lot comes online and actually see which lots people like to park in,” he said. Riders would receive a notice from the bus driver if any changes are made concerning a particular route. Lora Baulsir, general manager of the RTA, spoke to the council at a Tuesday, March 12 meeting about the planned project. Baulsir said that a Park and Ride lot in Wilson County, which has about 176 parking spaces, costs about $3,500 in upkeep costs each year. “(Wilson County’s) is

larger and it’s $3,500, so ours in all likelihood would be less than that,” Mayor Jo Ann Graves said. An RTA funded appraisal of the property, which was donated to the city by Green and Little, valued the property at $122,300.

Vol State considers shuttle Jerry Faulkner, president of Volunteer State Community College, addressed members of the council before the vote Tuesday. In a phone interview earlier in the day, Faulkner said 1,200 students or 15 percent of Vol State’s total enrollment, live in Davidson County. But he pointed out the new lot could benefit students that live in Sumner County, too. “It may also be significant in terms of our students that would travel to work in Nashville,” he said. “They would be arriving back in that parking lot in the afternoon from getting off from work and it would be really easy for them to drive across the street and take an evening class with us.” Faulkner said the college would consider adding a shuttle service to pick students up from the lot. Kevin Kuntz, general

manager of Gap Inc. in Gallatin, also expressed support of the new Park and Ride location. “The availability of this Park-N-Ride lot will help to offer those of our employees who live outside of Sumner County an affordable alternative to ever-increasing commuting costs, both financially and environmentally,” he wrote in a 2012 letter to Green and Little President Lee Zoller. James Fenton, executive director of the Gallatin Economic Development Agency, said that while the lot will benefit Volunteer State Community College and Gap in the short-term, the project will hopefully “be a catalyst for development around the area” in the future. “Long term, it puts Gallatin on the map and in the discussion of mass transportation,” he said. “Right now, there are some concrete benefits from it, but I think some of the longterm benefits are going to be just as important for the city.” Ballard said that while there currently no timeline for completion of the new Park and Ride lot, the RTA is hopeful the lot will be open by the end of 2013.

Contact Josh Cross at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

but members were urged to try the rules change route first. As to the county starting over with a new airport board, McClellan said Tuesday that would not be possible. “They can’t do that,” he Stone said. He said the statute that would allow the county to dissolve the airport board is unconstitutional because it only applies to the county and the authority and does not apply statewide.

Grants in question

In the past, the authority has argued it might lose grants if the board was dissolved, but of those concerns Dennen said at the January committee meeting that she didn’t “have a clue”

“My next recommendation will be that we implode them, as we’ve got the authority to do it.” LEAH DENNEN County Attorney

whether there was any grant that would be jeopardized. “They just continue to tell us that – the same people who for at least seven years that we know of have continued to misrepresent the truth,” Com. Paule Goode said. “We have no clue about these so-called grants.” Com. Jerry Stone said Tuesday that dissolution may be the county’s only option which he calls “the nuclear option.” In recent court filings by the Airport board, it has argued that the county’s Feb. 25 appointments, which would put 11 members on the board, violates the board’s charter and

bylaws, which calls for seven to nine members. But the board has been operating with 11 members for the past few years. As recently as Feb. 25, the authority met and voted to recommend for reappointment to the board all who wished to continue serving, and their recommendations would exceed nine. The Airport Authority and the County Commission have been publicly struggling over money and power since 2009. Authority Administrator Steve Sudbury has said more than once that the current conflict is “purely political” and stemmed from his campaign for county executive in November 2008. The county executive makes recommendations for authority appointments. Sumner County Attorney Leah May Dennen declined to comment on McClellan’s recent filing. The airport board’s next meeting is Monday, Mar. 25 at 5:30 p.m. Contributing writer Jesse Hughes lives in Gallatin.

CORRECTIONS

Today’s Crossword Answers

» An article about the trial of Hendersonville woman Lindsey Lowe in the Wednesday, March 20 edition of the Gallatin News Examiner incorrectly identified Dr. John Hutson's field of expertise. Hutson is a forensic psychologist, not a forensic pathologist. » The timing of the NCAA Tournament’s four first-round, play-in games

was incorrectly reported in Mike Towle’s column “Bracketology burnout is here” that appeared in the Wednesday, March 20 edition of the Gallatin News Examiner. Two of the games were played Tuesday and the other two on Wednesday, not all on Tuesday as reported. The News Examiner regrets the errors.

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not to keep the Wal-Mart location open has not been made yet. Ballard said that the RTA has seen increased ridership in the Gallatin area and he hopes such increases will lead Faulkner to the two current lots remaining open after the new location is built.

Dennen: ‘We actually made it a whole lot harder’

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SUMNER’S MOST INFLUENTIAL SECTION, FEATURING 30 INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS PAGE 1C FRIDAY » MARCH 15, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

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Planning director placed on leave

COURTROOM COURTROOM DRAMA DRAMA

Gallatin mayor suspends Allers as city investigates home inspections By Sarah Kingsbury and Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

Lindsey Lowe talks with her defense attorney, John Pellegrin, during a break in the trial Wednesday. LARRY MCCORMACK/GANNETT TENNESSEE

MOTHER ON TRIAL FOR KILLING INFANTS Jurors watch tape of Lowe confessing in police interview By Tena Lee Gallatin News Examiner

“As I was talking to her, she corrects me and she said there were two babies ... I had no clue.” STEVE MALACH

Jurors watched on Wednesday as Lindsey Lowe, interrogated by Hendersonville Police Detective Steve Malach, told in her own words how she gave birth on the toilet of her Hendersonville home to infant twins and then killed them. Lowe, 26, faces first-degree murder, felony murder and aggravated child abuse charges in the incident, which took place on Sept. 12, 2011. Sumner County District Attorney Ray Whitley introduced into evidence on Wednesday the hourlong videotape in which Malach interviews Lowe, who then confessed to the crimes. Malach first read Lowe her Miranda Rights and told her she didn’t “have to have an attorney.” Many of Lowe’s responses were barely audible in court. Jurors were given headsets. Through a series of questions and answers, Lowe said she knew she was pregnant almost throughout her pregnancy but that she didn’t go to a doctor. She said she thought her fiancé, Jonathan Brooks, was the father of the twins, but later admitted it could be Jeremy Smith, a man she had intercourse with twice. She said she didn’t tell her parents because she was “scared what they would do or think.”

Hendersonville Police Detective

» CITY, 3A

Hendersonville Detective Steve Malach answers questions from Sumner County District Attorney Ray Whitley about the Lindsey Lowe case Tuesday. LARRY MCCORMACK/GANNETT TENNESSEE

INSIDE THE COURTROOM

Go to Tennessean.com/ lowe to see videos of Assistant District Attorney Ron Blanton and Hendersonville Detective Steve Malach at the trial.

Lowe said she went to a wedding the weekend before she gave birth, and went to work on Monday, Sept. 11, where she started having back pain. She recounted how she gave birth to a baby at around 9:30 p.m., when her parents were downstairs. She told of giving birth in the toilet and then lying on the

bathroom floor. As Malach tried to determine how the baby died, Lowe told him of a second baby. He briefly left the interview room and then returned. After about 15 more minutes of questioning, Lowe admitted to putting her hand over the mouth of the first infant until it stopped breathing. She said she did the same thing when the second baby was born five minutes later. She said she got in the shower, cleaned up the bathroom, and placed the infants in a laundry basket by her bed. She said that when her mother knocked on the

» LOWE, 2A

Portland charter change returns again Council members discuss allowing residents vote in 2014 referendum By Dessislava Yankova Gallatin News Examiner

Portland residents may get to vote in 2014 on a proposed charter change that was narrowly rejected by the City Council twice in 2012. The long-debated issue is back up for discussion in the northern Sumner city, where council members discussed the referendum process during their March 11 work session. The council voted 5-2 March 4 to direct Portland’s city attorney, Da-

vid Amonette, to research what steps would be necessary for a potential referendum on the proposed charter change. Amonette said Monday the proposal would need to pass a one-time council vote, and it would then need approval from the Tennessee General Assembly to get on the 2014 ballot. If approved by the residents, the proposal would automatically go into effect. One vote killed Portland’s proposed charter change twice after coun-

cilors had discussed it for a year, voted to pass it, and received approval by the General Assembly and Gov. Bill Haslam. When it came before the council for second and final reading, Councilor Steve White changed his initial vote and voted against it June 18. The change was brought back up for a vote in September, and once again it failed by one vote at 4-3. The proposed modifications to Portland’s charter would have transformed the city’s governmental structure to allow for the hiring of a city administrator to take over daily opera-

tions and make management decisions such as employee hiring and firing without council approval. Under the new system, the mayor would have a vote on the Portland council and would remain the leader of the city government but with limited authority and lower pay. White House and Millersville currently operate with city administrators.

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County budget committeeadvances education funding By Jesse Hughes For the Gallatin News Examiner

Funding for education improvements and capital outlay projects were approved by the Sumner County Commission Budget Committee Monday. The committee had put off voting on architectural development fees for two high school additions last month because of concerns about $4 million for a new heating and air conditioning system for Hendersonville High School. On Monday, Director of Schools Del Phillips came armed with information and experts with detailed answers. He said the estimated $3.9 million for the HVAC was done before the school’s addition was planned, and the total cost may need to be increased for the larger building. The committee approved the $360,000 in architectural fees for Hendersonville and $202,500 for Gallatin. Hendersonville High would gain 20 classrooms with the $8 million addition project, adding a new secure entrance and administration controls. Gallatin High would gain 18 classrooms with Phillips the $4.5 million project that connects the two stand-alone buildings, which would give school officials more control over who has access to certain parts of the building. Representatives from the architectural firm Kaatz, Binkley, Jones and Morris Architects Inc. and Hewlett Spencer, LLC were on hand and said plans for the additions would incorporate any school security needs. The measure will go before the full County Commission March 18.

18 SROs approved

White has said he changed his vote based

The Budget Committee also recommended approval of $246,345 to fund from April to June Sumner County Sheriff Sonny Weatherford’s proposal to add 18 school resource officers, with wide discretion as to placement and training of the officers. The Ad Hoc Committee on

» CHARTER, 2A

» BOND, 3A

Referendum process

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Gallatin Planning and Codes Director Tony Allers was suspended with pay from his job Tuesday by Mayor Jo Ann Graves as the city investigates whether a codes employee was inspecting homes without proper state certification. Allers has been off work since January recovering from an ankle surgery and is out of sick leave and vacation time. Though he is not receiving a paycheck from the city, he will still receive full benefits during his suspension, and will begin to receive his regular pay if the forced leave extends past the time he would have Allers been returned to work by a doctor, Graves said. While he is suspended, Assistant INSIDE Planning Director Katherine Schoch Audio captures will serve as interim zoning adminisAllers reacting trator, and Addam McCormick will with profanity, 3A serve as interim building official, Graves said in a statement handed out at Tuesday’s Gallatin City Council meeting. The two employees had previously been appointed by the council to serve in such interim positions until Allers returns from medical leave. Allers will remain on forced administrative leave until he “is notified by my office of a change in status,” Graves said in the statement. Allers said in a phone interview Tuesday that two Gallatin Police Department officers showed up at his door at 4:30 p.m. to serve him with his suspension letter. He argued the move was a personal attack that had “no merit.”

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Homes affected are on west side of Gallatin » CITY FROM 1A “There’s not a person in the world who doesn’t know this isn’t just another vendetta from Jo Ann,” he said. The terms of his suspension prohibit Allers from communicating on behalf of the city with his staff, the state, or the public.

Investigation began last week The council met in closed session March 5 to revise a job description related to the credentials of city codes inspectors. In the days after that meeting, city officials, including City Attorney Joe Thompson, said an internal investigation had been opened to determine if up to 300 home inspections in Gallatin were conducted improperly by an employee who was not certified by the state. The issue was discovered by Schoch and McCormick as they prepared for the upcoming budget cycle. At issue are inspections dating as far back as July 2010 performed by Gallatin codes employee Larry Dennis, who had not completed the proper exams to become a certified building inspector by the state of Tennessee. The state requires building inspectors to have passed both the residential and commercial exams through the International Code Council. Dennis had only completed the residential exam. Without the other exam, he could not be and was not certified as a building inspector by the state. Allers said last week that the state was “wrong” about its certification requirements and that it had not been enforcing its own rules or standards. He said the situation was the result of a “misunderstanding,” because residential inspections “are not building inspections.” A state Fire Marshal’s Office spokesman said inspections that are performed by someone without the proper certification could be considered a misdemeanor. The actual inspections could also be deemed invalid.

Work continues to notify homeowners While city officials had expected to begin sending letters to affected homeowners this week, those efforts might be delayed as the city continues work to match affected addresses with current homeowners. The city is working with Gallatin Public Utilities to identify current property owners by matching addresses with their monthly bills. “We’re hopeful by the beginning of next week we’ll be able to start sending letters out (to homeowners),” Thompson said. The city is investigating 325 addresses of potentially affected homes,

though Thompson believed that number might come down. “There may be some homes that can be reinspected by a certified inspector and taken off that list, but we don’t know,” he said. “I still think you’re probably going to be looking at around 300 homes.” The city received a list of matched homeowners and addresses from the utility department Wednesday and was supposed to begin going through the document to check any discrepancies included in the list. The list of homes was mostly only the western side of Gallatin, said Thompson, who estimated the city would know exactly which residences were improperly inspected as early as Friday. “The lion’s share is west of the Highway 109 bypass – probably 85 or 90 percent,” he said.

No plans to leave

Allers said Tuesday he was confident the city probe would turn up no wrongdoing, and he questioned whether anyone working at Gallatin City Hall was competent enough to conduct such an investigation into the issue. “This is all going to be thrown out,” he said. “There’s nobody in the city that can investigate codes. I’m one of the most qualified codes officials in the state of Tennessee.” Allers also said he has no plans to retire from or quit his position with the city as a result of the latest investigation. “I want to stay there until she (Graves) has to apologize to me and I’m totally vindicated,” he said. Allers has had a tumultuous relationship with the mayor since at least 2011, when he was part of another internal city investigation into whether he committed political discrimination. That inquiry centered on whether Allers had withheld a $615-per-year pay raise for one of his employees after the worker met with the mayor. The city attorney concluded Allers had violated state law, and the City Council eventually funded the worker’s raise. At the end of the probe, Allers was ordered by the mayor to receive management training and guidance. He responded by calling the investigation “slanted” and denying that his actions were discriminatory. He said he withheld the raise due to lack of money in his departmental budget. According to the city’s charter, only the City Council can hire and fire most department heads.

FRIDAY, MARCH 15, 2013 •

Audio captures Allers using profanity to refer to mayor By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

Audio from a police officer’s tape recorder captured Gallatin Codes and Planning Director Tony Allers using an obscenity to refer to Mayor Jo Ann Graves after he received a letter notifying him that he was suspended from his position during a city investigation Tuesday. During the five-minute exchange, Allers twice used a slang term intended to be derogatory toward women. The Gallatin News Examiner obtained a copy of the recording from the Tuesday encounter, when two Gallatin police officers were sent to Allers’ Hendersonville home to notify him that he was being placed on administrative leave as the city investigates whether a codes employee conducted home inspections without proper certifica-

To hear the audio of Allers’ reaction to being placed on administrative leave Tuesday , go to GallatinNewsExaminer.com.

tion. During the audio, Allers’ wife, Diane, who is the executive secretary for Gallatin Police Chief Don Bandy, answered the door and told the officers that her husband was in the garage. As officers collected Allers’ city-issued items , the codes and planning director can be heard saying, “This [expletive] is going to be so sued.” He uses the term audibly referring to Graves once more later in the recording. Allers did not return several phone calls by this paper’s deadline Wednesday. Graves declined to comment Wednesday on the recording.

Council responds

Council members Wednesday reacted to the news of Allers’ suspension but none said they had heard the recording. District 4 Councilor Craig Hayes, said that he was caught off guard and “shocked” by the announcement that Allers had been placed on leave. “You always hope that they can get it worked out between everybody,” he said. While he had not heard the audio, Hayes said that he was aware of the remarks Allers made about Graves. “That was kind of uncalled for,” he said. District 3 Councilor Jimmy Overton declined to comment on the investigation or Allers’ suspension. “There have been some serious problems between (Graves) and Mr. Allers in the past,” he

said. “We’ll just let it play out and see what happens.” District 1 Councilor Anne Kemp, expressed the need for the investigation to be settled for those in the codes and planning department. “It’s not fair for them to be hanging in limbo,” she said. Vice-mayor and District 5 council member John D. Alexander said he still supported Allers. “(Allers is) a great guy and I think he does great work for the city,” he said. “I’d love to keep him if any way possible.” District 2 Councilor Steve Camp and AtLarge council members Eddie Mayberry and Julie Brackenbury could not be reached for comment by this newspaper’s deadline Wednesday. Contact Josh Cross at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

County school safety ad hoc committee dissolved » BOND FROM 1A

expenses.

School Safety and Emergency Services Committee previously advanced the sheriff’s proposal. It goes before the full commission Monday as well. Com. Paul Freels questioned what sort of equipment the SROs would get and objected to the officers getting any vehicles, even the high mileage ones being replaced in the sheriff’s patrol fleet. He also objected to the SRO’s being on payroll during the summer when schools are out. Freels was one of two no votes for the funding. Coms. Mike Guthrie, an SRO by day, and Jim Vaughn, a Hendersonville Police Department detective, defended what they said was a deterrent by the presence of the officers at schools. They brought up other functions SROs perform when not at schools, such as relief for deputies on vacation or sick leave, warrant service, and availability to work events. The sheriff also said that the SROs would serve to reduce overtime

Ad hoc dissolved

Vaughn, co-chair of the ad hoc school safety committee, announced the committee’s next meeting date but asked whether it should even continue Vaughn because the remaining decisions on security modifications to school buildings were up to the Sumner County Board of Education. Phillips advised that the safety assessments of all schools would be available “this coming week” and was expected March 19. The Budget Committee decided to leave the rest to the school board, other than voting on funding its request, and voted unanimously to dissolve the ad hoc committee, its work having been completed. The Budget Committee also unanimously voted to recommend on to Financial Management

Committee approval of the proposed $30 million bond issue that County Executive Anthony Holt pitched last week to the County Education Committee. Holt was in Washington, D.C. at a national conference but Stone others advocated for his proposal, which adds about $24 million in near-term needs for schools and about $6 million for the county’s immediate needs. Some resistance to the recent roll-out of a $46.8 million capital spending plan arose at the meeting. Com. Frank Freels, the Financial Management chairman and not a member of Budget, questioned how any list of projects was made and who made it. Budget Chairman Jerry Stone cut him off and said he could speak at the finance committee meeting. After members made clear that no capital spending could occur

“We have not addressed operation costs in the six years I have been here.” SHAWN UTLEY

County Commissioner

without consideration of the full County Commission, the measure unanimously moved on to Frank Freels’ committee. Com. Shawn Utley noted that the action didn’t do anything about the general operating budget, saying that needed to be addressed at some point. “We have not addressed operation costs in the six years I have been here,” Utley said, adding the county had done a good job with capital spending. However, an increase in the operating budget would likely require an increase in the tax rate. All 24 County Commission seats are up for election in May 2014. Contributing writer Jesse Hughes lives in Gallatin.

Is your Bank changing?

Contact Sarah Kingsbury at 575-7161 orskingsbury@mtcngroup.com. Contact Josh Cross at 575-7114 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

NOTICE TO CONTRACTORS OF STATE HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION BIDS TO BE RECEIVED APRIL 5, 2013

Bids for the construction or maintenance of the following projects will be received via the Internet until 10:00 A.M., Friday, April 5, 2013 and opened publicly in the Construction Division, Suite 700, James K. Polk Of!ce Building, Nashville, TN, 37243-0326 and posted to the TDOT Construction Division website (www.tdot.state.tn.us/construction/bid_lettings.htm) at that hour. BEDFORD, CHEATHAM, DAVIDSON, DICKSON, GILES, HICKMAN, HOUSTON, HUMPHREYS, LAWRENCE, LEWIS, LINCOLN, MACON, MARSHALL, MAURY, MONTGOMERY, MOORE, PERRY, ROBERTSON, RUTHERFORD, SMITH, STEWART, SUMNER, TROUSDALE, WAYNE, WILLIAMSON, AND WILSON COUNTIES (Contract No. CNM149) Call No. 009. Project No. 98300-4191-04. The random on-call signing on various Interstate and State Routes. Project Length - 0.000 mile. Completion Time - On or before June 30, 2014 (See Special Provision 108B). INTERNET BIDDING MANDATORY ON ALL CONTRACTS. A Prime Contractor must prequalify with the Department of Transportation in accordance with Section 54-5-117 of the “Tennessee Code Annotated” and Tennessee Department of Transportation Rule 1680-5-3 prequali!cation of contractors before bidding authorization will be provided. Unauthorized bids will not be considered for award. The Tennessee Department of Transportation hereby noti!es all bidders that it will af!rmatively insure that in any contract entered into pursuant to this advertisement, disadvantaged business enterprises will be afforded full opportunity to submit bids in response to this invitation, and will not be discriminated against on the grounds of age, race, color, religion, national origin, sex or disability in consideration for an award. The Tennessee Department of Transportation is an equal opportunity af!rmative action employer, drug-free with policies of non-discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability or military service. Telephone (615) 741-5996. THE RIGHT TO REJECT ANY AND ALL BIDS IS RESERVED. Bidding authorization, standard speci!cations and standard drawings may be obtained by contacting the Department of Transportation, Construction Division, Suite 700, James K. Polk Building, Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0326, Telephone number (615) 741-2414. Plans may be obtained by contacting the Tennessee Department of Transportation, Copy Center, Level A, James K. Polk Building, Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0330; Telephone number (615) 741-2048. Sales Tax will be added to the cost of all documents, where applicable. JOHN C. SCHROER, COMMISSIONER

TN-0000883087

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SUMNER A.M. SUNDAY » APRIL 28, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

50¢

School fees pay for basics By Jennifer Easton Sumner A.M.

Sumner County Schools collected about $1.8 million in school fees for the 2012-13 school year, all of which is money parents can’t be required to pay, but school officials say they couldn’t survive without. The fees, ranging from $45 per student in elementary school up to $150 for a high school cosmetology class, can’t be legally required of parents

for normal instruction during the school day. The money collected in elementary and middle school goes toward Silkwood classroom materials such as workbooks and technology. It also pays for items such as report card envelopes, copy paper, batteries, and printer ink,

according to principals’ requests on file at the district’s central office. In high school, students are asked to pay fees – most ranging from $8-$15 – for nearly every class they take. “Most parents realize without the fees, we couldn’t do what we do,” said Hendersonville board member Vanessa Silkwood, who has pushed to reduce and standardize the fee scale. Last year, the board approved Silkwood’s proposal to reduce

elementary fees from $65 to $45. The district in last year’s budget provided a $10-per-student allocation for instruction. Increasing that allocation would be one way to reduce the fees next year, Silkwood said. “We can’t eliminate (the fees) completely, I don’t think, but we’ve also got to look at how we’re prioritizing our spending on the school board level,” Silkwood said. “There are different things maybe we could not

ONLINE

View a breakdown of school fees by program at GallatinNewsExaminer.com

spend so much money on and try to reduce the fees and the things that we rely on parents and (Parent-Teacher Organizations) for.” Being hit with extra costs can be an eye-opening experience for families who move in

» FEES, 4M

Audit committee aims to head off repeat findings

SETTLEMENT HEARING

By Jesse Hughes For Sumner A.M.

Mitchell Beverly Jr., 23, in Sumner County Criminal Court Thursday before pleading guilty to his involvement in two 2012 home invasions in Gallatin and Castalian Springs. His mother, pictured at right, was the person in attendance besides the judge and attorneys. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/SUMNER A.M

Accomplice pleads guilty in home invasion cases .

Beverly reaches plea deal in 2012 Sumner rapes and robberies By Dessislava Yankova Sumner A.M.

One of three men charged in two 2012 home invasions and rapes pleaded guilty Thursday and could face up to 24 years in jail. Mitchell Beverly Jr., 23, pleaded guilty April 25 in Sumner County Criminal Court to eight of

15 total charges that followed after he and co-defendants Dewayne Fleming, 21, and Emonnie D. Branch Jr., 19, were arrested in 2012 for their alleged involvement in two incidents — one in Gallatin and another in Castalian Springs. Branch and Fleming’s cases were in court earlier Thursday for a settlement hearing that was continued to June 10 to give Branch’s newly appointed attorney, Gary Williams, time to prepare for the case. Williams is the fifth attorney the state has appointed to defend Branch, court

documents show.

Crimes

The first home invasion leading to charges against the defendants took place on Harsh Lane in Castalian Springs in June 2012. During a preliminary hearing in October, the wife and husband who were victimized testified that they were almost asleep when two men wearing masks appeared in the doorway. The woman said she was raped multiple times in the bathroom while her

» INVASION, 5M

Lowe will serve life sentences at same time, judge adds 25 years By Tena Lee Sumner A.M.

Paula Lowe hugs her daughter Lindsey Lowe before the jury returned a guilty verdict during Lindsey’s murder trial for killing her newborn twins in March. The convictions meant two automatic life sentences for Lowe. On Friday, a judge sentenced her to an additional 25 years for an aggravated child abuse charge, and ruled that all three sentences would be served at the same time, rather than consecutively. FILE/GEORGE WALKER IV/GANNETT TENNESSEE

The testimony Friday of Lindsey Lowe’s friends and family, as well as more than 80 letters written on her behalf, didn’t prevent Sumner County Criminal Court Judge Dee David Gay from handing down the maximum sentence for two counts of aggravated child abuse. The 26-year-old Hendersonville woman was convicted in March of two counts each of felony firstdegree murder, premeditated first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse in the 2011 deaths of her two newborn sons.

The murder convictions carried automatic life sentences, and Gay decided Friday that those sentences would be served at the same time instead of back to back. He also sentenced Lowe to the maximum sentence of 25 years on each of her aggravated child abuse counts. Lowe will be eligible for parole in 51 years. More than 60 Lowe supporters – friends, family and fellow City Road United Methodist Church members – sat in the courtroom at Friday’s sentencing, wearing stickers on their lapels with a pho-

A “very unfavorable” financial audit led the Sumner County Commission to form a special committee April 15 to review the repeated findings and prevent them from happening again. The fiveFrank Freels member committee, which will be chaired by County Com. Frank Freels, was a voluntary effort of the county, though in some cases the state can require the formation of such a body if certain criteria aren’t met, a spokesman for the state Comptroller’s Office said. The requirement would typically be enforced if a county has problematic recurring findings for three years or more. “We have got some discrepancies in some departments, and we want to get them corrected and

get everybody following our procedures,” Freels said Friday. “Everyone needs to be familiar with our procedures. “We just cannot have some of these write-ups in these audits,” he added. State auditors listed 12 unfavorable findings on how county offices conduct their business in ways that affect financial reporting, are not in compliance with auditing standards and/or federal laws, or whose internal controls do not adequately safeguard taxpayer assets. The audit from the state came in with an unqualified, or clean, opinion, though some uncorrected findings were similar to those in prior years. Of the12 findings, one was a material weakness in internal control. To auditors, “material” means it is important. There were seven significant deficiencies in internal control. There were also four findings of noncompliance. The audit committee’s first meeting is scheduled

» AUDIT, 6M

ONLINE

Read the full version of the county audit at GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Comedian entertains at Educate A Woman lunch

The Volunteer State Community College Foundation held its sixth annual Educate a Woman Luncheon April 26 at Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville. Nearly 400 attended the event, which serves as a major fundraiser for scholarships for local women to attend Vol State. So far, the foundation has raised nearly $100,000 to help further the education of more than 25 women in Sumner County. Pictured above, renowned comedian, Sylvia Leake provided the entertainment for guests. SHERRY MITCHELL/SUMNER A.M.

» LOWE, 3M

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NEWS

4M • SUNDAY, APRIL 28, 2013

Cottontown fire destroys sheds, vehicles Wednesday By Josh Cross Sumner A.M.

A fire destroyed two sheds and two cars at a home in Cottontown Wednesday. No injuries were reported. The blazed on the 200 block of West Biggs Road started around 2:30 p.m. No one was home at the time of the fire, said Sumner County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Brad Rowell. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

A fire destroyed two cars and two sheds in Cottontown Wednesday. JOSH CROSS/SUMNER A.M.

SUMNER A.M.

Holt says he will run in 2014 For Sumner A.M.

Sumner County Executive Anthony Holt said Tuesday he plans to run for re-election in 2014. His campaign kickoff event is scheduled for May 9, within one year of the May 6, 2014, partisan primaries that will decide the ballot for the Aug. 7, 2014, county general election. Holt, who is again running as a Republican, passed out invitations to his $50-per-head fundraiser in the parking lot

throughout the county. His year-end report showed a $22,469 balance on hand. Holt first won the county executive seat in a November 2008 special election. He was unopposed in both the primary and general election when he ran for a full four-year term in 2010. Holt entered politics in 1990 as one of 16 new members of the 24-member County Commission.

after the County Commission Budget Committee adjourned its first budget hearings

By Jesse Hughes

Holt

April 23. “I feel good about the direction the county is heading,” he said. “I’m running. Ultimately, the people are going to decide.” Holt said other fundraisers would follow

Contributing writer Jesse Hughes lives in Gallatin.

Administrators see fees, fundraisers as vital to maintain level of education »FEES FROM 1M

from other states where they don’t pay fees, said Goodlettsville board member Shannon Dunn. Schools are too vague when it comes to communicating what those fees are actually buying, she said. “If there’s a fee for a science class and that’s going toward buying new beakers for the science lab, then put that on (the fee schedule),” Dunn said. “I think if we were more open and transparent about that, people would know what our needs are.” Some parents feel it’s a lot to ask for when the cost of supplies, fundraisers, dues and other extras are tacked on beyond the normal collection of property and sales taxes. “A lot of the fees go toward some really basic things that should be provided by the county, like workbooks that (supplement) their textbooks,” said Hendersonville parent Caroline Krueger. “I don’t understand why parents are paying for that.” Krueger agreed there should be more transpar-

ency and consistency across the district. Parents often are unaware the fees are voluntary because they’re not told the fees are optional, said Krueger, who will have four children enrolled in Sumner schools next year. “At registration you’re paying for a locker, but the locker is already there,” she said. “So what are (schools) providing me that they don’t already have?”

Fee rules clarified

State law prohibits public schools from charging fees to students as a condition of attending school. They also can’t be charged for equipment while taking courses. The State Board of Education in 2009 further clarified the rules to give districts more guidance on the issue. Schools can’t charge money for activities during normal school hours, or for activities or supplies needed for schoolwork that will be graded, including interscholastic athletics or marching band, if taken for a grade. That means schools can’t require fees

Dunn

Phillips

for workbooks, field trips, lab fees or use of equipment during the normal school day. The rules do allow schools to charge for outof-county tuition, late fees for library books, parking violations, and voluntary activities outside the school day such as athletics and optional trips for clubs and band. Summer school and graduation ceremonies are examples of voluntary programs, though schools can’t require fees as a condition of participation. Voluntary fees are waived for students who qualify for free or reduced lunch, which is about 40 percent of Sumner County’s student population. Costs to cover students on free and reduced lunch comes from the district’s general purpose

budget, according to Jeremy Johnson, spokesman for Sumner County Schools. Without payment of the fees as well as fundraisers to boost school budgets, administrators said they couldn’t provide their current level of education. “It’s not like we’re collecting these fees and then we’re building a big pot of gold,” said Jeff Cordell, principal of White House High School. “I’m a taxpayer, too, so I understand parents’ frustration. You wonder, ‘Where are my taxes going to?’ but it really is something that is needed,” Cordell said. “The (fees) are depleted as soon as we get them.” The fees are used for classroom supplies as well as for materials used for technology, art, music and physical education classes. Watt Hardison Elementary Principal Susie Turner said she spent about $5 per student last year toward a computer lab teacher, when she needed to purchase iPads to be ready for new online

achievement tests. Being ready for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) online test is a top concern statewide for educators who lack enough computers to give the test, said Turner, who also serves as a Common Core leadership trainer for the state. The PARCC, which measures math and language skills through an online test, will replace the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) assessment beginning with the 201415 school year. Turner estimates she’ll need a minimum of 50 computers to be ready for the assessments. Currently she has about 23 that work, she said. Her school raised about $16,000 from fundraisers this year, all of which will go toward purchasing iPads, which are less expensive than laptops and desktop computers, she said. “We’re supposed to be preparing our kids to be career and college ready, but it’s hard when you

don’t have the resources you need,” Turner said. The fees schools collect from parents still don’t cover all materials needed in classrooms, which is why teachers spend their own money to cover expenses, Turner said. This year, Turner said she reported $6,000 in receipted expenses on her 2012 personal income taxes for things she personally provided at Watt Hardison.

Budget talks in May

School board members are tentatively scheduled to begin discussion of the 2013-14 budget in a special-called meeting May 14. Director of Schools Del Phillips in a recent interview said his budget plan would address the district’s technology needs. He said he wants to establish a rotation cycle that would call for replacing computers every six years. “If I can allocate any dollars in our (technology) budget to really just start any kind of rotation, that’s better than where we’ve been,” Phillips said.

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May 4th - May 6th

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RAIN or SHINE Friday 9am-3pm

Saturday 9am-5pm

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Sample Artisan Brewers, Local, National, and Imported Craft Beer | Home Brewers | Food Pairings | Beer 101 | Live Entertainment | Art Exhibitors | Cigar Lounge | All Day Activities & Contest | Free Parking | Sober Rides Provided | Rain or Shine Event | Age 21 up with I.D. |

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• Longhunters & Native Americans • French, English & Scottish Camps

A D VA N C E

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• Taverns featuring 18th Century Recipes AVAILABLE

• Colonial Arts & Crafts • 18th Century Music, Dance & Street Performers

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Sponsored by Bledsoe’s Lick Historic Association

DIRECTIONS:

(Watch For Our Signs. 9 Miles East of Gallatin on Highway 25 in Castalian Springs, TN.) • From Gallatin take Hwy 25 East (Hartsville Pk). Go 9 miles to Bledsoe Fort Historic Park, located on the left side of Hwy. 25. • From I-40, take Exit 238 N in Lebanon (Hwy 231-N), 16 miles to Hwy 25, turn left, West k, located on the rig wy 25. about 6 miles to Bledsoe Fort Historic Park, right side of Hwy

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SUMNER A.M. SUNDAY » MAY 5, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

50¢

After 3 years, flood lingers Effects of 2010 still remain for some residents, cities By Sherry Mitchell Sumner A.M.

Some residents still feel lingering effects of historic flooding that devastated Sumner County and other parts of Middle Tennessee the first weekend of May 2010, and municipalities are continuing to correct problem areas. At least 23 families were displaced by the 2010 flooding at a

Gallatin mobile home park at 500 Steamplant Road, where a buyout from the Federal Emergency Management Agency ultimately relocated residents so the land could be used as a water detention pond. Laura Otero was among the residents forced to move, along with her husband and three children. In December 2012, the family moved into an apartment where they are staying until they can purchase a home. . “The floor boards were unstable and warped, and the water got about two feet up on the wall, and all of our furniture was ruined,” Otero said, adding

a local church helped with replacement materials. “We had to replace all of the drywall and install new flooring and carpet.” For Otero, who also lived in the mobile park as a child, it was bittersweet to leave a place she had hoped to raise her own children. “If the city hadn’t closed it, we probably wouldn’t have moved out, because everyone was just like family to us there, and I had worked so hard to buy the trailer and fix it up,” Otero said. “I do miss living over there

» FLOOD, 3M

This Hendersonville photo from the 2010 flood shows the area around Vietnam Veterans Boulevard and Center Point Road underwater. SUBMITTED

Air study yields mixed results for county

‘A PERFECTLY GOOD CREEK’

By Josh Cross Sumner A.M.

Students from Madison Creek Elementary School in Goodlettsville and Principal Jon Duncan, left, mark their first annual Duck Drop Race Thursday, May 2 to encourage learning. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/SUMNER A.M.

Students race rubber ducks to celebrate achievement By Dessislava Yankova Sumner A.M.

E

ight-year-old Case Terrell didn’t win the inaugural Duck Drop Race at his school, but he celebrated afterwards anyway. “I’m just proud that a lot of people got so many blue ribbons,” said the Hendersonville third grader, who goes to Madison Creek Elementary School in Goodlettsville. Terrell was one of 34 students who competed Thursday, May 2 in a rubber duck race down Madison Creek. Each duck represented 10 blue ribbons, which the students earned in prior weeks by scoring 70 percent or more on an assessment test. The more successfully completed assessments, the more blue ribbons and the more ducks a student received to enter in the race.

Race begins

And on Thursday’s sunny morning, proud students took their rubber ducks — some as many as nine — and headed to the nearby creek for the long-awaited race.

Madison Creek Elementary Principal Jon Duncan holds the three winners after the school’s first annual Duck Drop race Thursday, May 2. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/SUMNER A.M.

» DUCK, 4M

VIDEO

See video from the Madison Creek Duck Drop race at GallatinNewsExaminer.com

For the fifth straight year, Sumner County has received an “F” rating from the American Lung Association for the amount of ozone in the air. The results were included in the State of the Air 2013 report, which looked at air quality nationwide from 2009-2011. The report, which is based on data compiled from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality System, grades counties on the amount of ozone and particle pollutants in the air. “The goal of this report is to encourage cleaner air and lessen the adverse health impacts of people,” said Ellen Kershaw, director of advocacy for the American Lung Association of the Midland States, which covers ONLINE Tennessee, Kentucky, Read the American Lung Ohio and Michigan. The last time SumAssociation’s State of ner County received the Air 2013 report at better than an “F” was GallatinNews in the 2008 State of the Examiner.com Air report, when it received a “D” rating. “Pollutants affect people’s breathing and can actually cause pretty serious things like asthma attacks, wheezing, coughing and cardiovascular problems,” Kershaw said. “So, the health impacts are serious.” County Executive Anthony Holt said that he believes a recent initiative by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to help clean up emissions by the Gallatin Fossil Plant will help improve the county’s air. “I think that’s going to help immensely,” Holt said. “I would say (the plant) is a large part of the reason why we are getting an F on that (rating).” As part of the project, which could cost as much as $1 billion, TVA plans to upgrade the plant with the hope of reducing harmful emissions by as much as 95 percent. A coalition of environmental groups recently sued TVA for violating national environmental policy by not fully studying alternatives to the upgrades, including retiring the more than 50-year-old plant.

» AIR, 4M

Trial for infant’s murder starts Monday Collected school fees man less than first reported Hendersonville is accused of killing DAILY COVERAGE

By Jennifer Easton Sumner A.M.

A school-by-school breakdown shows Sumner County Schools collected $687,099 in voluntary fees paid by parents, not $1.8 million estimated by school officials for an article about school fees that appeared April 28 in Sumner A.M. Based on information and figures originally provided by Sumner County Schools, the April 28 article reported that the entirety of the $1.8 million for school fees came from fees

LEARN MORE

To read a report showing a school-by-school breakdown of the source of funds spent on classroom and instruction materials, go to GallatinNewsExaminer.com

collected from parents. New documentation provided by the school district showed that figure to be closer to $1.7 million coming from a composite of three separate funding sources, one of which includes fees paid by parents.

» FEES, 5M

9-month-old girl By Tena Lee Sumner A.M.

With the first-degree murder trial of a Hendersonville man accused of killing a 9-month-old girl set to begin Monday, a hearing on Thursday hinted at what evidence will be heard as well as what the defense’s argument will be. Randall Beaty, 28, was indicted by a Sumner County grand jury in February 2012 on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse for

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

MetroMix.com

Follow reporter Tena Lee on Twitter for updates during the trial or go to GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Beaty

Peveler

the Oct. 31, 2010, death of 9month-old Shayla Peveler. Shortly after the indictment, Beaty was arrested by members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force in Brookhaven, Miss., where Beaty had been staying in a relative’s trailer. He was brought back to Tennessee and booked into the Sumner County Jail where he has re-

mained without bond. The infant’s mother, Amber Peveler, has been charged with aggravated child neglect in the case involving Beaty. She is also charged with reckless endangerment from an Oct. 29, 2010, indictment that alleges she tried to buy illegal drugs in the presence of her 2-year-old daughter. The charges against Peveler, 30, haven’t been set for court yet, and she is expected to testi-

» TRIAL, 5M

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NEWS

SUMNER A.M.

SUNDAY, MAY 5, 2013 •

Portland home makes Nat’l Registry Sumner A.M.

The Moye-Green House in Portland was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places. Board members with the Tennessee Historical Commission in January voted unanimously to approve the 1800s-era built home and final approval has come from the National Registry in Washington, D.C. The Moye-Green House is located at the intersection of Wheeler and North Russell streets in Portland. The house was deeded to the city by a local industry called Hospital Disposables in 2011. Once owned by Kate and Henry Moye, the home at one time served as a boarding house operated by Kate and her daughter, Mallie Green. The 11-bed inn was known

to have some of the best food in the area. At that time, the Portland train depot was located across the street from the house. Boarders at the home often included businessmen, visitors and workers from the strawberry fields. Several options for the future of the home have been discussed, including turning it into a visitor’s center. Denise Geminden, economic and community development director for Portland, said city officials are hoping to secure grant funding and hold fundraisers for the eventual restoration. Sumner County now has 39 historical sites on the National Registry. The state Historical Commission was also seeking approval for the 1800s-era home, Hawthorne Hill in Castalian

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Portland’s Moye-Green in 1896. Pictured are unidentified guest, Kate Barker Moye and Mallie Barker. The home was recently placed on the National Register of Historic Places. SUBMITTED

Springs, but the home has not made the National Registry yet.

Contact Sherry Mitchell at 575-7117 or shmitchell@mtcngroup.com.

G RSEE S AV E AT I BEL N G OW S

Post-flood drainage fixes moving forward slowly a lot – it had a lot of memories for me. You could just walk outside and find someone to talk to.” One thing Otero doesn’t miss is the postflood stress of storms passing through the area. “We didn’t flood anymore, but anytime it would rain, we were always looking out,” Otero said. “I remember plenty of times if it was calling for rain, we would put everything up higher, and I would take the kids to my mother’s. It was a horrible experience.” Otero said she believes all of the residents found new homes, but she doesn’t know if everyone received relocation funds from FEMA. At least some of the residents in the park spoke only Spanish and were unable to provide proper documentation to qualify for assistance. Gallatin City Engineer Nick Tuttle said the Steam Plant Road property and several other areas are still being addressed. All but a few of the mobile homes have been relocated. Tuttle said it was hard to say which areas were hit the hardest in Gallatin because the week after the flooding more than100 calls came into the city reporting problems. “We had some ideas of some of the places we knew were problems, but the scale of flooding was so far beyond what we had seen in the past,” Tuttle said. In August 2010, flash flooding hit Gallatin again. “We had probably more calls from that event – that was the one that seemed to get everyone’s attention,” Tuttle said. “When people were getting flooded again twice in one year, now it became a situation where something needed to be

done.” Several projects have been stalled due to lack of funding, including a proposed storm sewer system in the area of Center, Pace and Anthony streets. The city has approved $150,000 for the expansion of a pair of detention ponds at Richland Circle, with the work to be done in-house, Tuttle said. “Some of the big problems may not be completed yet, but we had a list that was14 pages long that we have been able to handle and take care of a lot of that,” Tuttle said.

chased six homes on Linden Drive with federal funds. Much like Gallatin, Horton said the city has addressed several problems and continues to work on others. “City crews went in and removed some barrier in Drakes Creek that was causing part of the flooding issue,” Horton said. “The city also appropriated $600,000 for drainage improvements in the Southburn area, and

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designs are in progress for that.” The city has also cleaned out a box culverts in the Savely Court area near train tracks. “The railroad was there before these neighborhoods were built, and the cities didn’t look at drainage issues as closely as we do today,” Horton said.

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SPORTS

SUMNER A.M.

LOCALS EARN BERTHS TO STATE TRACK, 7M

SUNDAY » MAY 19, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

Voting precincts cut by 25 percent

50¢

SERIES KICKS OFF WITH WANNABEATLES

Reduction in polling sites will boost efficiency, Atchley says By Jesse Hughes For Sumner A.M.

The Sumner County Election Commission voted unanimously Thursday to reduce voting precincts from 36 to 27, a 25-percent reduction, under a consolidation plan that is an alternative to convenient voting centers. The voting center plan was abandoned when the Tennessee General Assembly did not change state law to allow them. Under that proposal,15 to17 voting centers would have eliminated precincts altogether in Sumner County, allowing residents to vote at any of the locations. The reduction in precincts approved Thursday will allow better use of poll workers and equipment, Administrator of Atchley Elections Lori Atchley said. “That becomes significantly more efficient and effective,” she said. “Our wait times are less. Everybody’s working. We don’t have a down precinct.” Election Commission members were in agreement that the consolidations were needed. Chairman Allen Ehmling said the consolidated precincts would be more effective and would provide voters better parking, bathrooms and space. He noted that 27 precincts was “way down” from close to 40 precincts when he previously served on the commission. Atchley estimated the change would save about $20,000 to $25,000. “This does not take into account the greater efficiency of poll workers and machines at the consolidated precincts,” she said Friday. Atchley plans to have precinct lines redrawn and will present new maps to the commission. Election Commissioner Barbara Brake suggested Atchley call or email county commissioners to

» PRECINCTS, 3M

The WannaBeatles kicked off the Third Thursday on Main concert series May 16 in Gallatin. JOSH CROSS/SUMNER A.M.

Third Thursday on Main packs square By Josh Cross Sumner A.M.

M

Lilly Oglesby, 2, dances to the music of The WannaBeatles. JOSH CROSS/SUMNER A.M.

High-speed chase ends in PPD crash

Man drinks gasoline as police attempt arrest Sumner A.M.

Paving leads budget talks in Portland By Dessislava Yankova Sumner A.M.

Portland Police Department Officer Shaun Tyson suffered only scrapes after he was hit head-on by 34-year-old Portland resident Mike Jordan, who was fleeing police by driving against traffic on State Route 52. Pictured in the background is the SUV Jordan was driving before the crash. SUBMITTED

sports utility vehicle at 70-75 mph in a 50-mph speed limit zone. “We attempted to pull him over with sirens but he would not stop for us, and this was a heavily congested area,” Smith said. While being chased by officers, Jordan sped through downtown Portland then turned onto State Route 52W and waved what appeared to be a handgun out of the driver’s window “to let us know he has a

gun,” Smith said. Jordan unexpectedly drove into a gas station at the intersection of state routes 52 and 31 and then started driving in the wrong direction on 52 against the flow of traffic. “He then accelerated and rammed a Portland police car head-on, destroying the police car and sending both cars into the ditch,” Smith said. “The airbags activated, which saved

» CHASE, 3M

The Portland City Council may consider borrowing money or increasing property taxes to fund needed road paving and three proposed projects under the city’s 2013-2014 budget. During their work study Monday, May 13, council members first discussed the preliminary budget, which estimates revenue at about $7,912,000 and expenses at about $7,702,000 with a surplus of approximately $210,000. Three proposed projects, however, add another $797,000, leaving a budget shortfall of about $586,700, according to budget documents. “Obviously, we’ll be cutting down because we can’t have a negative balance,” said Portland’s City Recorder Doug Yoeckel, who manages finances. “The question is: If they want to do these projects, they need to fund them.”

Portland Mayor Ken Wilber

For the next few weeks, council members will brainstorm what to keep and what to cut from city department requests heads. The new fiscal year begins July 1. Before funding the proposed projects, which include additional personnel and equipment for several departments, a main concern for many council members is to secure money for street paving. “We need to do as much street resurfacing as we can,” Portland Mayor Ken Wilber said. “We haven’t had the money for the past two years, and

» PORTLAND, 4M

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A Portland man was arrested and charged with attempted second-degree murder Thursday after crashing head-on into a police officer and both dousing himself in and drinking gasoline while officers tried to apprehend him. The man, 34-year-old Mike Jordan, was under investigation by police for raping a child and had been questioned by officers Wednesday. Detectives planned to continue questioning Jordan Thursday, but police received a call from Jordan’s family at around 3 p.m. telling them that Jordan had a gun and was trying to flee Tennessee. Jordan also told family members he planned to die at the hands of police, or what is called “suicide by cop,” Portland Police Department Chief Richard Smith said. “He already knew that the police were about to interview him about the rape,” Smith said. Police found Jordan on State Route 109 driving a

O N V IL L E

» SQUARE, 4M

Council looks for ways to raise revenue for roads

By Dessislava Yankova

RS

ore than 2,000 people packed the square in downtown Gallatin May16 to celebrate the start of the Third Thursday on Main concert series. A performance by The WannaBeatles kicked-off the free monthly concert series, which is hosted by Greater Gallatin and goes through October. Gallatin resident Karen Jensen was one of those in attendance Thursday night. A fan of The Beatles since they first arrived in America, Jensen said she enjoyed The WannaBeatles’ performance and the atmosphere Third Thursday provides. “I like the fact that everybody is out, having a good time, and the weather is nice,” she said. Greater Gallatin Executive Director Donna Belote said that after heavy rain kept thousands from Squarefest three weeks ago, Thursday’s event was “a little bit of fresh air.”

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NEWS

SUMNER A.M.

SUNDAY, MAY 19, 2013 •

3M

» PRECINCTS FROM 1M let them know about the changes so they can prepare for calls or emails from constituents. County Commissioner Frank Freels, who represents District 4, disagreed with the Election Commission’s decision to close some precincts. “They closed nine precincts and one of them is the Salem precinct,” he said. “When you do stuff like that, it’s wrong. You’re gutting a community. They take pride in their voting precincts. You need to encourage people to vote and make it easy and accessible, not make it hard.” Freels said the drive from Salem to Cottontown — where some Salem voters will now cast ballots — was close to 25 miles, which might discourage voting. “We need to make things convenient, not inconvenient,” he said. “We have got to have convenience for voting. I am disappointed, but I am very disappointed for the people out there who lost their precincts.” Freels requested, and the County Commission funded, $5,000 last year for the Salem Community Center precinct. Freels suggested Atchley’s budget be cut dollar for dollar. However, her budget request is about $170,000 less than last year. She updated election commissioners Thursday that she was trying to change from keeping non-

“We have got to have convenience for voting. I am disappointed, but I am very disappointed for the people out there who lost their precincts.” FRANK FREELS County Commissioner

election-year budgets the same as in election years. All five commissioners approved separate motions on each precinct change should they choose to revisit any individually. State law now allows 6,000 registered voters per precinct instead of 5,000. One restriction is that precinct lines may not cross County Commission district lines.

By the numbers

» District 1, represented by Mike Akins and Moe Taylor, loses the North Sumner precinct. Its 1,624 voters join 1,777 at Corinth Church of Christ. Westmoreland Middle School remains unchanged at 3,586 voters. » District 2, represented by Billy Geminden and Shawn Utley, keeps its two precincts but will see about 1,000 of Portland High School’s 4,840 voters join 2,427 at Wiseman Elementary. » District 3, represented by Steve Graves and David Satterfield, shrinks from five to two precincts. The 1,229 voters at Bethpage United Methodist and the 1,482 at Bush’s Chapel join 1,580 at the Gallatin Civic Center. Cairo loses its 1,801 voters to

join 1,980 at Castalian Springs. » District 4, represented by Frank Freels and Joe Matthews, loses Salem precinct with its 1,205 voters being split with about 200 voters joining 1,435 at Cottontown Fire Station and about 1,000 joining 1,473 at Union Elementary. Howard Elementary remained untouched at 4,681. » District 5, represented by Ben Harris and Baker Ring, keeps its two precincts. Gallatin City Hall voters will likely move across the street to vote at First United Methodist Church, pending approval of the trustee. » District 6, represented by Paige Brown and Jim Vaughn, remains unchanged with Volunteer State, Gallatin High School, and Jack Anderson Elementary precincts. » District 7, represented by Trisha LeMarbre and Kirk Moser, loses the Saundersville Church of God precinct with its 3,783 voters dispersing to join 2,540 at Whitten (formerly Wessington) Elementary or 3,476 at Long Hollow Baptist. » District 8, represented by Paul Decker and

Merrol Hyde, keeps its two precincts. Brown Elementary is unchanged but Lakeside Elementary voters move to Hawkins Middle School. » District 9, represented by Chris Hughes and David Kimbrough, loses the Rock Castle (Bluegrass Baptist) precinct with its 3,464 voters split up to join 2,616 voters at Indian Lake Elementary or 3,462 of the old Nannie Berry Elementary precinct, which moves to Hendersonville High School. » District 10, represented by Paul Goode and Jo Skidmore, loses Center Point (last named Oasis) with its 3,347 voters splitting with 1,100 joining 2,488 at Walton Ferry Elementary and about 2,200 joining 2,775 at Merrol Hyde Magnet School. » District 11, represented by Paul Freels and Jerry Stone, keeps its three precincts at Beech High School Annex, Madison Creek Nazarene Church, and Millersville. However, the Millersville location may move from Millersville City Hall. » District 12, represented by Mike Guthie and Bob Pospisil, loses White House City Hall precinct. Its 3,141 voters split up to join 2,991 at Oakmont Elementary or 2,533 at White House Middle School. All voting figures are registered voters as of Jan. 8, 2013.

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Salem among 9 precincts to be closed

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the officer from serious injury.” Prior to impact, it didn’t appear Jordan tried to brake or avoid the crash, the arrest affidavit said. Portland Officer Shaun Tyson suffered scrapes to his body from the airbags and was sent home for the

rest of the day. Officers ordered Jordan to exit the SUV, but he refused. Jordan then threw what appeared to be a black handgun later identified as a plastic “Airsoft” pistol out the window, according to the police incident report. As Portland officers and sheriff’s deputies were approaching Jor-

dan’s SUV with guns drawn, Jordan pulled a can of gasoline from the passenger area of the vehicle and began to drink it and pour it over his entire body, Smith said. “We believe he assumed the officers will shoot him and set him on fire,” he said. “Instead of shooting him, a Portland officer Tasered him and

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took him into custody.” Jordan was taken to the hospital then booked into the Sumner County Jail with bond set at $250,000 Thursday. He is scheduled to appear in Sumner County General Sessions Court June 19 at 9 a.m. Contact Dessislava Yankova at 575-7170 or dyankova@mtcngroup.com.

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NEWS

SPORTS

WESTMORELAND BUDGET INCLUDES CUTS, 2A

A LOOK BACK AT SPRING FLING, 1B

WEDNESDAY » MAY 29, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

50¢

ONLINE See photos from Memorial Day in Gallatin at GallatinNewsExaminer.com

New standards raise questions

WALTER DURHAM 1924 | 2013

Educators say Common Core sets higher expectations By Jennifer Easton Gallatin News Examiner

While the push toward the multi-state educational standards known as Common Core has drawn recent debate in Tennessee and around the nation, a panel of local educators addressed questions and misconceptions about what implementing the standards will mean for students and teachers at a meeting hosted by the Sumner County Republican Women’s Club May 18. Adopted in Tennessee in 2010, the Common Core initiative was a statedriven, bipartisan effort spearheaded by the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers. The movement was aimed at reforming schools to better prepare students for college and career readiness. In all, 45 states have signed on. With Common Core, states will for the first time be teaching the same standards at each grade level across the nation. But opponents of the Common Core movement have accused President Barack Obama’s administration of bribing states with Race to the Top dollars to get them to sign on to an unproven set of standards. Less challenging standards, loss of local control, involvement of federal dollars and invasive tracking of student data are among opponent’s concerns. The pushback is perhaps being fueled by a misunderstanding of Common Core, panelists said. The new standards will emphasize not only student knowledge, but students will also be expected to be able to apply what they know through higher-level, critical

» COMMON, 4A

Tennessee state historian and longtime Gallatin resident Walter Durham died Friday, May 24, at age 88. THE TENNESSEAN/FILE

Historian and lifelong Gallatin resident Walter Durham dies at 88 By Sarah Kingsbury Gallatin News Examiner

and Joey Garrison Gannett Tennessee

Lifelong Gallatin resident Walter Thomas Durham, Tennessee’s state historian for the past decade and author of 24 books on Tennessee history, who left a lasting mark especially in his hometown, died on Friday at the age of 88. Durham, a longtime Gallatin

ONLINE

Read about and see photos of Walter Durham’s funeral service at GallatinNewsExaminer.com.

tion of Nashville during the Civil War, Tennesseans’ roles during westward expansion to California, and a commemorative timeline of Gallatin’s history for the city’s bicentennial, for example.

» DURHAM, 3A

April murder suspect arrested By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

Station Camp High School English teacher James Dittes asks students questions about passages in a reading assignment. Dittes applied Common Core standards to his classroom this year. JENNIFER EASTON/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

businessman and a walking encyclopedia of Tennessee and Sumner County history, was appointed state historian in 2002 by then-Gov. Don Sundquist. He had already served as president of the Tennessee Historical Society, founding president of the Tennessee Heritage Alliance, later renamed the Tennessee Preservation Trust, and chair of the Tennessee Historical Commission. His books spanned a wide range of areas: the Union Army’s occupa-

A Nashville man was arrested Thursday and charged with shooting and killing 23-year-old Rameon Wilson outside a Gallatin apartment complex in April. Police arrested Keanthony Dillard, 40, also known as “Cruna” Thursday, May 23, and charged him with first-degree murder. Wilson was shot in the head at close range in front of building three of Green Wood Apartments on Green Wave Drive next to Gallatin High

School April 15. Wilson, who had multiple gunshot wounds to the head, was transported by helicopter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he died the next day. Dillard Police interviewed Dillard and another person of interest April 25, but both were questioned and released. As the investigation continued, a confidential informant contacted authorities and told investigators that he was present when Dillard

shot Wilson, according to an arrest affidavit. Two other people also gave statements that Dillard had admitted to the shooting. The affidavit said police determined Dillard shot Wilson because Wilson had allegedly attempted to rob Dillard at a party April 13. Dillard has known gang affiliations in Nashville, a Gallatin Police Department press release said. Dillard was still being held in the Sumner County Jail without bond Friday. His next court date is scheduled for June 19. Reporter Josh Cross can be reached at 575-7115.

THE BELL TOWLES

Highway safety is hurry up and wait proposition

There’s never a satisfactory “why” to explain the cause of a serious traffic accident, especially a tragic mishap where death is involved. Common factors include alcohol, sleep deprivation, tailgating, weather, speeding or disregard for other rules of the road, or a combination thereof. While such tragedies are horribly painful for loved ones and friends of the deceased, some highway deaths strike deeper because of the circumstances involved. I’m thinking

» MIKE TOWLE of the recent May 18 head-on crash on Hartsville Pike in Gallatin that took the lives of siblings Kyle Shrum and Amy

Shrum. They were both in their 20s, and from what we gleaned in Sarah Kingsbury’s elegant piece in this past Friday’s Gallatin News Examiner, Kyle and Amy were about as close as a brother and sister can be. Heartbreaking. The driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash, looking to avoid cars stopped in front of him waiting for another driver to turn left into a residence, swerved his Chevrolet truck into the oncoming lane, putting him on a deadly

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collision course with the Shrums’ vehicle. No doubt he wishes he could have a do-over of those few seconds. Certainly, the driver of the Chevy truck faces some type of culpability, possibly even criminal charges, although two-lane roads on which vehicular traffic typically whizzes by at speeds in the 50s, or even 60s and 70s and above thanks to clueless morons, can bear bad consequences even for drivers otherwise responsible and law-abiding. There’s little

room for error on these highways, and Tennessee has lots of those outdated roads. A word to the wise that never gets old: watch your speed and keep plenty of distance between you and the car in front of you. Drive busy two-lane roads always assuming that beyond the next curve or dip there might be a car ground to a halt in your lane, waiting to turn left, perhaps even without use of a turn

» TOWLE, 7A

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NEWS

4A • WEDNESDAY, MAY 29, 2013

GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Survey finds teachers need tools for Common Core »COMMON FROM 1A

thinking skills, educators said. Common Core puts less focus on traditional instruction and memorization and emphasizes collaborative learning. The number of standards taught will drop dramatically. Fewer concepts will allow teachers to drill down main content and spend more time exploring different ways to solve problems. “Common Core is the key to putting the thinking and learning back to our students,” said Linda Cash, assistant dean of graduate education at Union University’s Hendersonville campus. “(It’s going to) have them analyze critically, make decisions and have them back up what they’re saying and not just how they feel about it,” Cash said. At Union, teachers are being taught to “integrate everything,” Cash said. “We’re not just going to have math, science, social studies: Students are going to be reading across the curriculum, writing across the curriculum, so it all begins to connect.” Concern that local school districts no longer have control over curricula is a misconception, said Len Silverman, owner and director of Huntington Learning Center of Hendersonville. “Its like if you’re going to build a house … the very first thing you have to do is find out what the codes are in your area and you have to abide by the codes, and that’s it: you can build the house anyway you want to build it,” Silverman said. “They’re saying: ‘These are the things we want for your children to be able to do,’” he said. “(The federal government) is not telling you how to do it.”

Common Core in practice Station Camp High School teacher James Dittes also rejected the notion that Washington D.C. is telling him what to teach in his English classes. Just before the school year ended, Dittes’ had his 11th grade English class read passages from three books: “On the Road,” by Jack Kerouac, “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy, and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain — all material Dittes chose. “As a teacher I can pull out any tools for any assignment and use them; that’s my freedom. I’m not given a blueprint of what some teachers in Kansas or Michigan are using,” said Dittes, who also serves as a Common Core coach for the state Department of Education. Applying Common

ducted in March 2013, found strong support for the standards, but a great concern about districts’ inadequate work to successfully implement the standards. AFT President Randi Weingarten called for a moratorium on consequences of Common Core-aligned assessment outcomes for teachers, students and schools until it can be properly fieldtested and implemented. In Sumner County, the district will decide within the next few weeks, after the release of spring testing data, whether to fully implement Common Core for the 2013-14 school year, Brown said.

Common Core and student privacy

Station Camp High School juniors Chandler Tolbert, McCall Cantrell and Bailey Tucker defend their analyses of different authors’ writing style in a classroom debate. The students’ teacher, James Dittes, this year began more focused application of Common Core Standards that require higher-level critical thinking skills. JENNIFER EASTON/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Core, his students wrote an analysis of what each author was communicating in particular passages and style. Later, Dittes’ students defended their viewpoint in a classroom debate and challenged one another. Dittes began applying the new standards this year, which he explained pushes students to the highest of educational goals in Bloom’s Taxonomy, a classification of learning levels developed by educators in 1956. Common Core focuses on getting students to learn at the highest levels on the Bloom’s Taxonomy scale, which takes learners from the remembering and understanding stages up to evaluating and creating stages. “(Before Common Core,) a lot of times I would teach for comprehension, asking ‘What happened in the story? Do you know who the main characters are?’” Dittes said. “That used to get by, but now we’re asking tougher questions like, “How did the person write it?” “Kids now have to put more thinking into not only what they are writing but also at the time they’re reading,” he said. The new standards are rigorous and hold all students accountable in the same way, said Scott Langford, an assistant principal of White House Middle School who serves on the state’s Common Core Leadership Council. “What I’m excited about (with) Common Core is that from the time a child enters kindergarten, we will have the same expectations for them that we do for that child in (honors classes)” Langford said. “There’s no reason we can’t do it.”

Scott Langford, assistant principal of White House Middle School and a member of the state’s Common Core Leadership Council talks about new Common Core Standards being implemented in Tennessee schools at panel discussion hosted by the Sumner County Republican Women’s Club on May 18. The panel included five education experts from Sumner County and around Middle Tennessee. JESSE HUGHES/FOR THE GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Critics: New standards unproven

Rather than raising student achievement and accountability, Common Core standards will dumb down academics, opponents said after the meeting. Not enough time has been spent implementing and testing Common Core, some said. “I’m very concerned,” said Debbie Tallman of Hendersonville. “These students are our doctors and lawyers coming up. Do I want a doctor operating on me that (hasn’t been taught as well?)” Brenda Causey, a Robertson County mother of six who home schools, attended the panel discussion and expressed concerns about how it could impact her children. “The thing that bothers me most — that I know will affect my children —is that home schooling curriculum is heading toward that,” Causey said. When her children graduate and take college

entrance tests, they’ll be unfairly tested on Common Core-aligned material, she said. Causey also expressed concern about the possibility of the collection of student data she fears could be sold to third parties. “We’re not saying education doesn’t need to be better; it does,” Causey said. “But not in this federally mandated kind of way.” Cheri Lamb of Hendersonville feels her grandchildren “lost a year” of learning in their elementary classrooms where Common Core has been applied. She plans to spend the summer reviewing math skills with her grandchildren and teaching them cursive writing, she said. While it’s true that Common Core doesn’t address cursive writing, Sumner teachers do still teach the skill, although they spend much less time on practicing it now, said Jennifer Brown, director of instruction for Sumner County Schools.

“Quite frankly, because our entire society is writing less and less and typing more and more, we need to be in the business of preparing students, from a very early age, to type and develop keyboarding skills,” Brown said. “While beautiful penmanship is a coveted art, I do not know of any employers who request a sample or demonstration of cursive handwriting." Her staff has spent the past two years researching and implementing the standards, which she said are more rigorous than before. Algebraic concepts are now introduced in kindergarten for example, Brown said.

Survey results

A survey of 800 K-12 teachers, released May 3 by the American Federation of Teachers, showed 75 percent supported the Common Core initiative, yet only 27 percent said their school districts provided them with the tools needed to teach the standards. The survey, con-

The idea that Common Core invades student privacy is a “major myth,” said J.C. Bowman, executive director for the Professional Educators of Tennessee (PET). The same laws that have governed student assessments and privacy still apply, he said. Bowman said PET advocates and encourages that local school boards go the extra mile by crafting policy banning the collection of identifiable student data from the federal government. “If that’s the No. 1 issue people have with (Common Core), let’s address it,” Bowman said. Sumner County Director of Schools Del Phillips said he doesn’t take a side on the issue, but has a simple answer when parents ask why the district is using Common Core. “Because the state says we’re going to,” Phillips said. “Our students are going to be tested using Common Core state standards. If we don’t prepare for that, that’s a disservice to students.” Standards have consistently been revised in education, he said. As far as data-mining of student information goes, only diagnostic information for individual students is collected to help them improve. “(We) were data mining when a teacher graded a test and gave them back with three red check marks and (then) wrote it down in the grade book. That’s a key component for doing what’s necessary for the student,” Phillips said. “If (opponents) are talking about us giving that information to the state, that’s another issue with how the state holds districts accountable. You have to establish testing programs and have some way to rate your schools. That’s happened for a long time and it happens in every state.” Reporter Jennifer Easton can be reached at 575-7143 or jeaston@mtcngroup.com

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Town Creek sees clean-up with stream program

KEYS TO SUCCESS

By Josh Cross Sumner A.M.

For more than a decade, Charles Crutchfield, plant manager of Rich Products Corporation in Gallatin, has organized Bubba’s Earth Day to help clean up a section of Town Creek near the facility. The annual event, named after Robert E. “Bubba” Rich, Jr., chairman of Rich’s, began during one of his visits to the Gallatin plant. “I’m an avid outdoorsman and over the years I’ve seen some bad stuff done to different waterways,” Crutchfield said. “To us, cleaning up the creek is just what we’re supposed to do and it’s the right thing to do.” On April 24, more than 60 workers from the plant, along with some students from R.T. Fisher Alternative School, filled between 30 and 35 trash bags of debris from the nearly 100 yard section of Town Creek. In 2002, the annual event produced more than 1,000 pounds of debris from the creek. Despite the cleanup effort, Crutchfield said that more trash will litter the creek from further upstream after a heavy rain. “You can clean (the creek) up this week and then look back out there and find stuff in back in it,” he said.

Council approves program

In April, the section of Town Creek that has been cleaned by the plant’s workers for more than a decade was named in honor of Rich. During the naming process, the Gallatin engineering staff decided to create a program to encourage others in the community to help clean up streams and rivers throughout the city. “We thought this would be a pretty good thing to try to throw out there to help raise some environmental awareness and get people active in taking care of streams that are out there,” said City Engineer Nick Tuttle. The Gallatin City Council unanimously approved the Adopt-a-Stream program June 4. As part of the guide-

» STREAM, 3A

Vanderbilt University Head Football Coach James Franklin speaks to members of the Gallatin Area Chamber of Commerce at a monthly luncheon Monday, June 10, in Gallatin. JOSH CROSS/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Vandy coach shares leadership tips James Franklin speaks at Chamber of Commerce lunch By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

Focusing on relationships as well as the improvement process, rather than goals, are part of what Vanderbilt Commodores Head Football Coach James Franklin shared with more than 180 members of the community when he spoke at the Gallatin Area Chamber of Commerce

monthly luncheon Monday. “He was probably one of the more inspirational speakers that we’ve had, and I really didn’t anticipate that,” said Paige Brown, executive director of the Gallatin Area Chamber of Commerce. Two years ago, when Franklin took over the football program, the team had gone 2-10 two years in a row and had only been to four

bowl games in 122 years. The lack of success led to a negative atmosphere surrounding the team. “When we arrived, I knew a little bit about Vanderbilt’s history, but it could not have been more negative,” he said. Since becoming head coach, Franklin has helped lead the Commodores to two bowl games and most recently a 9-4 overall record for the 2012 season — an accomplishment the program hasn’t seen since 1915.

Building relationships When asked how he has been able to turn the the team around, Franklin attributed the success of the Commodores to the relationships built within the program. “I believe you can be unbelievably demanding and challenging on people if you love them hard as well, and that’s what we’ve got going on with our kids,” he said. Whether coaching a football team or running a com-

» FRANKLIN, 3A

Military academy appointees prepare to report for duty By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

Marco Aveledo of Murfressboro, Alexander Sanders of Smyrna, Tyler Rettke of Hendersonville and Austin Carter of Hendersonville were honored at a lunch by Rep. Diane Black Friday. All four recently received appointments to military academies. JOSH CROSS/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

The day before Tyler Rettke graduated May 16, the Hendersonville High School senior awoke to an unexpected phone call from U.S. Rep. Diane Black. Black was calling Rettke, who after two rounds of appointments to the United States Military

Academy at West Point was still waiting to see if he made the cut, to inform him that he had received a late appointment to the school. “We were just ecstatic,” Rettke said. “We just stood there in shock for a couple of minutes. I still haven’t completely absorbed all of it yet.” Tyler’s father, Roger Rettke, who graduated

from West Point in 1984, said that the family had stayed in touch with the academy and was hopeful for a last-minute acceptance. “We had never received a ‘no’ letter or a rejection letter,” Roger said. “We had some backup plans, but we were always maintaining hope and

» ACADEMY, 3A

THE BELL TOWLES

Hunter’s court usually a packed house but without the applause

If James M. Hunter, Jr. were a stage performer whose livelihood depended on drawing big crowds and keeping everyone in their seats until curtain call, he would be in big trouble. Many days, Hunter does open to a packed house, standing room only. By the time the day is done, however, there’s pretty much no one left in the room. Most likely, they leave mad at themselves for having been there in the first place. That’s by design, and Hunter, Sumner County’s presiding Div. I General Sessions Court judge, would have it no other way. Someone has to sit at that judgment seat and face down a seemingly endless stream of men and women – many whose faces are familiar; they’ve been there before –who come

before him one at a time, usually in quick succession. They are charged with crimes ranging from DUIs and domestic assaults to sex offenses and drug charges, with plenty of other stuff thrown in. All come hoping for a fair and favorable adjudication from Hunter, and Hunter alone. There is no jury. The scales of justice work swiftly in Hunter’s court room. All day long he makes reasoned, rapid judgments in dispensing with a relentless caseload in a country where we are told we have the right to a speedy trial. In Hunter’s court, you get it. Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt couldn’t do it any faster; neither could Bolt’s evil, faster-running twin, Insane. Hunter has to move fast. On Wednesdays, often his busiest

» MIKE TOWLE of the five weekdays in court, he typically sees and renders judgment for 300-400 individuals. Hunter’s court is located on West Smith Street in Gallatin, which also happens to be home to the county jail and hundreds of stripes-adorned inmates, many of whom Hunter and his legal assistant, Judy White, know by name. Around a corner from his court, Hunter

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shares an office suite with the dutiful White (who he claims has a photographic memory handling his mountains of paperwork while processing all those names). On a typical Wednesday, sessions court begins at 9 a.m. sharp, though attorneys can work out settlements among themselves before their clients get called. Charged individuals are called to the bench by Hunter to plead their cases before him. Until Hunter calls your name, you sit there and wait your turn. Then, maybe, you wait some more. Oh, you have to be somewhere? Got someplace to go? Tee time at 3, perhaps? Fuggedaboutit. If you like TV courtroom shows with the likes of Judge Judy, a day in Hunter’s court can be entertaining, though it

is filled with real-world heartbreak, anger, fear for those involved on all sides of any case (not just the accused). There are no scheduled appointments, and Hunter doesn’t take reservations or hand out menus. He calls your name from an alphabetized docket divided into five piles, then you come forward. On days that Hunter sees those 300 to 400 cases over a nine-hour period, allowing for 20 minutes upfront for him to recite his memorized litany of rights of the accused and other court instructions, along with a lunchtime recess of 20 or 30 minutes for a quick bite of takeout, he averages roughly 40-50 cases an hour. That’s one about every 75 seconds. (Imag-

» TOWLE, 2A

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NEWS

2A • WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12, 2013

Hunter optimistic for budget increase in 2014

Today High 96 Low 73 Wind: WSW 7-14 mph 10 a.m. Noon 5 p.m. 10 p.m.

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Not as Mostly Mostly Periods of hot with a sunny and sunny sun t-storm pleasant Wind: WNW Wind: N 4-8 Wind: VAR Wind: SSW 8-16 mph mph 3-6 mph 6-12 mph

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Cloudy with t-storms Wind: NW 4-8 mph

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Across Tennessee Today’s high/tonight’s low Bristol 91/67 Clarksville Chattanooga 96/70 Knoxville

95/73 Memphis 94/71 Nashville

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National outlook Temperatures 6/12 - 6/18 Above Normal Near Normal Below Normal

Precipitation 6/12 - 6/18 Above Normal Near Normal Below Normal

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Jul 8

Sunrise Thu. ... 5:27 a.m.

Moonrise Wed. ....... 9:01 a.m. Moonset Wed. ...... 10:46 p.m. Forecasts and graphics provided by AccuWeather, Inc. ©2013

»TOWLE FROM 1A ine if movie theater concession lines could move that fast!) In the nearly 10 years that Hunter has been sessions court judge – he’s up for re-election in 2014 – his annual docket has averaged around 30,000 cases per year. That sounds like a surefire recipe for an occasional blown stack or sleepless night, but at age 60, Hunter looks no worse for the wear. He

could pass for someone in his 40s. He looks remarkably the same as he did in his Gallatin High School senior photo from 1970. “There is stress to the job, but I had more stress when I was practicing law for 27 years before this,” Hunter said, minutes after passing judgment on a tricky, he-saidshe-said domestic abuse case that dragged on more than 30 minutes – a marathon case in Hunter’s court. “One of the

hard parts is keeping up with the changes in the law. For instance, on July 1, the DUI law will change again whereby a first offense with a blood alcohol level of at least .08 will require the interlock device, where now you get that only with at least a .15 on the first DUI or any second offense and beyond.” Hunter doesn’t hide the fact he, and the county legal’s apparatus, would benefit from the creation of a second ses-

sions court to divvy up the workload. Budgeting for that falls within the domain of the Sumner County Commission. Hunter says he is optimistic that a budget increase might come in 2014, once we get beyond the next round of elections. Of course: all commission seats are up for grabs in 2014. Duh. For Hunter, 2014 can’t come quick enough.

and Cherish Willis, and several nieces and nephews. Mr. Craddock worked in maintenance for Tyson Meats. Memorials may be made to Capital Bank In Memory of Mark Anthony Craddock. Online condolences may be submitted at familyheritagefh.com. Family Heritage Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

land; and a host of nieces and nephews. He was saved at an early age and attended Oak Grove General Baptist Church for over 40 years and served as an active deacon during this time. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, friend and neighbor. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Funeral services for Mr. Carter was were held Monday June 10, 2013, at Oak Grove General Baptist Church with Bro. Jimmy Anderson, Bro. Chad Alderson, Bro. Roy Shockley and Tracy Carter officiating. The family planned to receive visitors beginning June 9, at Woodard Funeral Home. Visitation was set for the following morning at Oak Grove Church from 9 a.m. until service time.

Mt. Juliet; daughter, RaDonna Hardin, of Gallatin; brothers, Aaron (Sue) Hawkins, of Gordonsville, and Johnnie (Janet) Hawkins, of Lynnville; sister, Settie (Toby) Burnette, of Lynnville; sisterin-law, Barbara Hawkins, of LaVergne; grandchildren, Richie Hawkins, Jr., Kristian Hawkins, Lane Hardin, Kinsley Hawkins, and Emily Hardin. Online condolences may be submitted at www.alexanderfh.info. Alexander Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

OBITUARIES Mark Anthony Craddock Mark Anthony Craddock, age 50, of Castalian Springs, passed away Thursday, June 6, 2013. Funeral service was Monday, June 10, at 2 p.m. from the chapel of Family Heritage Funeral Home with Bro. Hank Johnson and Bro. Jeff Carter officiating. Interment followed in Crestview Memorial Park with Chris Settle, Bobby Owen, Shane Craddock, Gary Gifford, Bobby Craddock, Pat Brinkley, Richard Craddock and Charlie Craddock, Jr. serving as pallbearers. Visitation was Sunday, June 9, and Monday, June 10. Mr. Craddock was born Oct. 14, 1962, in Sumner County. He is preceded in death by his father, Robert “Bob” Wayne Craddock. He is survived by wife, Shannon Wix, of Castalian Springs; mother, Betty Ann Finn Craddock, of Gallatin; daughter, Danielle Nicole Swaffer (Travis); son, Donnie “D. J.” Wix, Jr., of Castalian Springs; siblings, Susie Perry (Johnny), of Portland, Bobby Craddock, of Gallatin, Melissa Miles (Tommy), Holly Craddock, of Portland, Hope Craddock, and Shane Craddock (Tara), of Gallatin; grandchildren, Landon Swaffer, Luke Swaffer, Evan Wix, Chloe Wix

James Edgar Carter

James Edgar Carter, 81, born Dec. 4, 1931, in Sumner County to Lucian and Selma Summers Carter. He went to be with our Lord and Savior on June 7, 2013. He was preceded in death by his parents, Lucian and Selma Carter, and children, Stacy and Heather Carter. He is survived by his loving and faithful wife of 52 years, Carter Dorothy Mandrell Carter; sons, Tracy (Teresa) Carter and Troy Carter, both of Westmoreland; grandchildren, Katie, Logan, Jenna and Ethan Carter; brothers, Dan, Thomas (Carolyn), and Jerry (Debbie); sisters, Lillian (Joe) Johnson, Judy (James) Williams, Betty Sue (Don Q.) Hammock, all of Westmore-

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MAIL SUBSCRIPTION RATES $104.00 $52.00 $30.00 $16.00

Today’s Crossword Answers

James Nathan Hawkins, age 68, of Gallatin, passed away Saturday, June 8, 2013. Funeral service will be Wednesday, June12, at11a.m. from the chapel of Alexander Funeral Home with Richard Hawkins and RaDonna Hardin speaking. Interment will follow at Sumner Memorial Gardens with Richie Hawkins Jr., Kristian Hawkins, Lane Hardin, Johnnie Ray Hawkins, Ronnie Riggan, and Duane Burnette serving as pallbearers, and Toby Burnette, Mike Hawkins, Cliff Hawkins, and Marty Hawkins serving as honorary pallbearers. Visitation wasMonday, June 10, Tuesday, June 11, and continues Wednesday, June 12, from 9 a.m. until time of service. Mr. Hawkins was born Dec. 9, 1944, in Gainesboro, Tenn., to the late Waymon Finis Hawkins and Edna Mae Bull Hawkins. He is also preceded in death by his wife, Thelma McDaniel Hawkins, and brother, Ed Hawkins. He is survived by his son, Richard (Carol Engel) Hawkins, of

Janice Earline Scruggs, age 66, of Gallatin, passed away Saturday, June 8, 2013. Funeral service was Monday, June 10, from the chapel of Family Heritage Funeral Home with Bro. Bobby Reynolds officiating. Interment followed in Crestview Memorial Park with family and friends serving as pallbearers. Visitation was Sunday, June 9, and Monday, June 10, until time of service. Mrs. Scruggs was born Nov. 5, 1946, in Sumner County to the late Bernard and Josie Mai Beal Hunter. She is survived by her husband, William Jerry Scruggs, of Gallatin; son, Jerry Dewayne Scruggs, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla,; daughter, Teresa Rene Higginbotham (Mike), of Portland; sisters, Mary Lyles (Harold), of Gallatin, and Betty Jean Jones, of Castalian Springs; and granddaughter, Mallory Rene Higginbotham. Mrs. Scruggs was a member of Victory Chapel Church. Memorials may be made to Victory Chapel Church, P.O. Box 242, Portland, TN 37148 or Sumner County Food Bank, 450 W. Main St. Bldg. E., Gallatin, TN 37066. Online condolences may be submitted at familyheritagefh.com. Family Heritage Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

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Sarah Kingsbury Editor 575-7161 skingsbury @mtcngroup.com

James Nathan Hawkins

Janice Earline Scruggs

TE IN TY T VO BESICIAN OUN C YS ER PH MN SU

Mike Towle General Manager 575-7122 mtowle @mtcngroup.com

Contact General Manager Mike Towle at 575-7122.

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Gallatin Forecast

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Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 10 am to 4 pm 810 South Water (Hwy. 109 South) in Gallatin

- Collectible & antique appraisals, antique furniture, books, crafts, bake sale, musical entertainment and much more… - Auction at 2:00pm of John Garrott’s reproduction furniture. - Local authors on-site signing copies of their books. - Food available on the grounds - FREE ADMISSION For more information call: (615)451-2331

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City revises expense policy

Hendersonville travel rule change sparked by Starbucks ‘fiasco’ By Tena Lee Sumner A.M.

The city of Hendersonville has revised its travel reimbursement policy for city employees and officials after questions were raised concerning

some of the expenses Mayor Scott Foster was reimbursed for earlier this year on a trip to Washington, D.C. The new policy took effect April 30 and was crafted by Garry Forsythe, a consultant hired Jan. 23 by Foster to work on var-

ious projects, including an update of many of the mayor’s administrative policies. On Thursday, Forsythe Foster thumbed through a binder of policies the mayor is authorized to enact – some of which date back to the late

1990s. He said because the city’s travel policy is listed as Administrative Policy No. 1, that’s where he started. “All of the administrative policies were on my list to update ... and frankly there was a whole lot of conversation about this one when I started (this position),” he said. In a Feb. 10 article, Sumner A.M. examined the travel ex-

penses for which Foster was reimbursed on a trip he made with his wife, Amanda, to the U. S. Conference of Mayors in January. Receipts obtained through an Open Records Act request showed, among other findings, that Foster was reimbursed for many of his wife’s meal expenses, even though she is not a city employee.

» POLICY, 4M

Good grades pay off for Gallatin High junior

PREPARATION FOR DISASTER

Newton Nissan sponsors fourth car giveaway By Sherry Mitchell Sumner A.M.

Always striving to be the best recently paid off for local teen Nyamouch Tongyik, a junior at Gallatin High School. Out of 272 students, Tongyik was chosen June 7 as the winner of a 2013 Nissan Versa in a contest called “A’s Get the Reward,” sponsored by Newton Nissan of Gallatin. All junior and senior students in Sumner County got one entry into the random drawing for each A they receive on their report cards. When her name was called, the 17year-old said she couldn’t believe what was happening.

ONLINE

See video of the TVA oil spill response drill at GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Gallatin Fossil Plant employee Brad Farrell helps deploy the plant’s boom into Old Hickory Lake Thursday. In the event of an oil spill, the boom would be used to contain the fuel and keep it from spreading. JOSH CROSS/SUMNER A.M.

Simulation tests TVA oil spill readiness By Josh Cross Sumner A.M.

The Tennessee Valley Authority along with local, state and federal agencies participated in an emergency preparedness drill in Gallatin Thursday that involved a fictional 5 million gallon diesel fuel leak at the Gallatin Fossil Plant. The drill centered on falling satellite debris that damaged two onsite fuel tanks and a barge unloading fuel, which resulted in oil spilling into Old Hickory Lake.

While the facility holds an emergency preparedness exercise each year, TVA conducts a worst-case scenario drill like the one held Thursday once every three years. The exercise is required for compliance with the the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) since the Gallatin Fossil Plant has more than 1 million gallons of fuel on site. “This is an opportunity for the site folks and for the Incident Management Team to practice in a lowstress environment responding to a major event,” said Jackie Fowler

» CONTEST, 4M

with TVA Crisis and Emergency Management. As part of the drill, Gallatin Fossil Plant response personnel along with representatives from the TVA Incident Management Team, United States Coast Guard, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation as well as the Sumner County Emergency Management Agency were on hand to simulate how they would respond in the event of an actual oil spill.

Student Nyamouch Tongyik couldn’t believe it when her name was drawn as a winner of a 2013 Nissan Versa at Newton Nissan of Gallatin on June 7. SUBMITTED

» TVA, 4M

FATHER’S DAY

As family grows, busy dad still plans ‘extreme quality time’ with kids Jeff Tomlinson leads family through adoption, volunteer work By Jennifer Easton Sumner A.M.

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Brianna, when the family moved to Sumner County in 2007. Jeff, a director of operations for Greenbrierbased Atwood Mobile Products, and Misty, a stay-at-home mom who once worked with special-needs children, decided they would adopt a child nearly three years ago. “There was a lot of talk (at our church) about the great need there is in Haiti and all over the world,” said Jeff, who also leads a small Sunday school group of eighth-grade boys at Long Hollow Baptist, where the couple attends church in Hendersonville.

» FATHER, 3M

FARMERS MARKET

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H E N DE

Jeff Tomlinson’s family say he’s a hardworking dad who goes the extra mile. Pictured: Ashlee, 14, Tyler, 10, Jeff, Brianna, 10, Misty and Zac, 14. The family grew last year when the couple adopted Ashlee and Tyler. SUBMITTED

Perhaps the best Father’s Day gifts are the ones you can’t buy in stores. Father’s Day is always special for Hendersonville dad Jeff Tomlinson, but this year is doubly unique: His family grew from four to six when he and his wife, Misty, adopted two children from Westmoreland in December.

But it’s the devoted father’s children who say their dad is extra special. “He loves us and gives us hugs and takes us on dates,” said the couple’s10year-old adopted son, Tyler. “He’s awesome.” Brianna, the couple’s 10-year-old biological daughter, loves that her dad always takes her out for donuts on the first and last day of school each year and helps coach her soccer team. “He volunteers a lot and he cares about other people,” Brianna said. Originally from Missouri, Jeff and Misty were already parents to two biological children, Zac, now 14, and

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NEWS

4M • SUNDAY, JUNE 16, 2013

New policy gives a $66 per diem

COMMUNITY EVENTS

Sunday, June 16 » Hendersonville Arts Council Dixieland Jazz Concert featuring Jerry Vinnette at Monthaven, 6-9 p.m. Free.

Monday, June 17 » Newcomers Club Page Turners, 10 a.m. at Panera Bread to discuss “The Painted Girls” by Cathy Marie Buchanan. Call Marty Crawford, 989-1407 » Share-our-food kitchen will serve free meals to Hendersonville residents at Beech Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

Tuesday, June 18 » Newcomers Club Knotty Knitters meets 2-4p.m. Call Loretta at 834-5655 » Presentation titled “Ms. Cheap’s Favorite ways to stay cheap” with Mary Hance, aka, Ms Cheap, 2:30 p.m. at Park Place Retirement Community. 822-6002

Wednesday, June 19 » Newcomers Club Bead Babes. Class focuses on how to make jewelry, 1 p.m. Call Zonda 429-6107 or Patricia 826-2674

Thursday, June 20 » AARP Chapter #4443 of Hendersonville will meet in regular session at 1 p.m. at the Senior Citizens Center, 223 Campus Drive, Hendersonville. Jaci McEntire, new executive director, will speak.

» 3rd Thursday on Main featuring The Parks, downtown square in Gallatin, 6:30-9 p.m.

» POLICY FROM 1M

» Newcomers Club Lunch Bunch, Chili’s in Hendersonville, 11:30 a.m. Call Carol at 826-3990

Though the city’s travel policy and regulations only allow $10 for breakfast, $10 for lunch and $20 for dinner on business trips, the mayor broke that limit several times, documents showed, and was even reimbursed for a $17 thermos from a Hendersonville coffee shop 10 hours before his flight left Nashville. Foster told alderForsythe men at a budget workshop May 8 the city revised its travel policy “after my fiasco – the cup of coffee.” When asked Thursday for comment on the new policy, Foster said Forsythe could better answer a reporter’s questions about the changes. Forsythe said the policy,

» Fabulous 50s Sock Hope and Antique Care Show, 4 p.m. at Park Place Retirement Community. 822-6002

Saturday, June 22 » The Sumner Trails Chapter of Tennessee Trails Association will lead a 2 mile hike at Fontanel in Nashville, carpooling from Hendersonville. 424-3991 » Col. Jethro Sumner Chapter, D.A.R. potluck picnic and chapter meeting, 12 p.m., at Historic Rock Castle Visitors Center, Bill and Deborah Glidden will present an 18th century equestrian program. 596-2331 » Sons of The American Revolution, Col. Anthony Bledsoe Chapter joint monthly meeting at Historic Rock Castle, 12 p.m. 822-7998 » Union High School Class of 1968 sponsors a Fish Fry at Owen’s Tobacco Company, corner of Blythe and Dorothy Jordan avenues, 11 a.m. Ham giveaway. Tickets $1. Call 206-1100

ing on the city’s dime may be allowed to stay at the officially designated hotel of a meeting, “moderately priced accommodations must be requested whenever possible.” Foster’s downtown Hilton hotel room in D.C. was expensed to taxpayers at $400 per night. The new policy also clearly states that an authorized traveler “shall not include a spouse, children Stamper or other relatives, friends or companions.” Alderman Matt Stamper said he was among the city leaders who asked that the old policy be revised, particularly in the area of reimbursement for spousal expenses. Stamper, who is an accountant, said if an employee is getting reim-

» TVA FROM 1M

» Mt. Vernon Grade School, closed in the early 1950s, reunion, 2-4 p.m., Gallatin Civic Center. Bring your favorite dish. 452-3547.

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Always On Our Minds, Forever In Our Hearts

Love Always Jimmy,

The drill began at 6 a.m. with a meeting of plant staff to go over the protocol they would follow in the event of a real disaster. Following the exercise, members of the corporate Incident Management Team were brought in to simulate taking over control of the operation so that the plant could focus on producing electricity. “We know that with a situation like this it’s way beyond what the plant can handle,” he said. “So the corporate team comes in and is set up to provide the resources that are needed for that long-term response.” While 50 people participated in Thursday’s simulation, Program Manager Ron Majiros said that more than 400 responders would likely be involved in the event of an actual spill of the same magnitude. Teams of individuals focusing on safety, finance, logistics, planning, operations and communications simulated different roles in managing the crisis and planning for future operational needs

Drill helps ‘across the board’

Michael Powell gives members of the TVA, along with local, state and federal agencies, details about the type of oil spill involved in the simulation held at the Gallatin Fossil Plant Thursday. As part of the drill, responders had to simulate how they would respond to a five-million gallon diesel fuel leak at the site. JOSH CROSS/SUMNER A.M.

that would be associated with cleanup efforts. As part of the exercise, fossil plant staff also deployed a 1,000-foot boom around the facility’s fuel unloading station to practice how the plant would contain a spill in the event of a real fuel leak on Old Hickory Lake. “Once you contain it, then we have basically a surface skimming pump with a hose (that we would use),” said Michael Gray, environmental scientist at the Gallatin Fossil Plant. “Then you would pump to a container whether it is a five-gallon

bucket all the way up to a giant tanker truck.” Due to weather conditions and other uncontrollable factors, Majiros said that cleanup efforts could take weeks or even months in the event of a real spill. “Sometimes with an exercise like this, by the end of the day we have everything contained,” Majiros said. “Sometimes we don’t, depending on the scenario.” At the conclusion of Thursday’s scenario, the leak on the barge was fixed and the barge was raised, but the spill had

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“I was surprised. I was like, ‘No, it can’t be me,’” Tongyik said. “My friends kept saying, ‘It’s you; it’s you.’ I was too excited to even sleep that night.” The staff at Newton Nissan even let her choose the color of her new ride. “It was (originally) gray, but they let me choose any color I wanted, so I chose black,” Tongyik said. “I am still learning how to drive it though.” The annual contest first began in 2009. It was Newton Nissan’s way to give back to the community. “They are very involved with the community, and they felt this was a

More than 100 Sumner County students showed up at Newton Nissan of Gallatin on June 7 to find out who would be the lucky winner of a brand new car. SUBMITTED

way to encourage kids to do well in school,” Kelsey Morgan, marketing director for Newton Nissan said. “This year, we worked with the Sumner County school system to promote it.” Being part of the drawing might have been as fun for the observers as the winner, Morgan said. “It’s really exciting to see it, because they just freak out,” Morgan said. “She was so cute. She left

and came back about an hour later and then again later with her family, so they could look at it.” The straight-A student, whose favorite subject is math, credits much of her success in school to a wellknown Gallatin figure, Fred Bailey, founder of Children are People — an academic and life skills program for at-risk youth that Tongyik has attended since the fourth grade.

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“Mr. Bailey, he is the one who helped me to keep on trying,” Tongyik said. “If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be doing as good in school. He is a good role model.” After she gets the hang of driving a manual transmission, Tongyik plans to drive her new car to school when she starts her senior year in August. Winning the car was more than just a blessing, she said, it was a life lesson and one she’s glad to learn at such an early age. “Now I know that hard work does pay off,” she said. “When people say that, I know now they actually mean it.” Reporter Sherry Mitchell can be reached at 575-7117 or shmitchell@mtcngroup.com.

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Reporter Josh Cross can be reached at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

TE IN TY T VO BESICIAN OUN C YS ER PH MN SU

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Sumner County Emergency Management Agency Director Ken Weidner, who participated in the drill, said that being able to spend time with those he would be working with in the event of a real disaster helps the overall operation run more smoothly. “We’ve been doing this for years and they continue to do different scenarios, so it’s good to be able to look at different potential problems out there,” he said. “It just helps us across the board.” Gray added that the drills also help TVA employees practice their response procedures as well as check the facility’s equipment. “Until you get into it, you think it’s not that big of a deal, but then as you practice you see little small bumps in the way that you need to plan have a plan how to address,” he said.

ONLINE

» CONTEST FROM 1M

Exceptional Care

Reporter Tena Lee can be reached at 575-7116 or tlee@mtcngroup.com.

not been entirely contained.

Disaster in a day

» “Day For The Animals” by SumnerCountyAnimals.com, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. at Kroger Marketplace in Gallatin. Animals for adoption, spay/neuter information. 618-1603.

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bursed by the city for his or her spouse’s travel or meal expenses, it could create a tax problem for the employee. “This new policy avoids any potential hazards from an IRS standpoint,” he said. Stamper added that taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for a spouse’s expense. What hasn’t changed in the policy is that even though the finance director still reviews the mayor’s expenses, the city’s chief administrative officer, or mayor, is still the one responsible for enforcement of the regulations. Forsythe said board members can review expenses as any time. “Any expense shows up on financial reports,” he said. “That’s the oversight they have that’s built in.”

Drill helps agencies smooth ‘small bumps’

» Hendersonville Farmers Market, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. at The Streets of Indian Lake Plaza.

Dianne & Jason

last updated in 2005, needed to be revised, and that he based the new policy on guidelines provided by the University of Tennessee Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS). Forsythe said the biggest change was that an employee must receive authorization for travel in advance from his or her supervisor, and must submit projected costs of the trip including airfare, meals and conference fees through an Authorization for Travel Form. “It just gets people thinking in the right direction about what’s allowable and what’s prohibited,” Forsythe said. The city will also allow a $66 per diem for meals and incidentals instead of limiting expenditures to $10 for breakfast, $10 for lunch and $20 for dinner. The new policy also attempts to set limits on what the city is willing to pay for lodging. It states that even though employees travel-

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NEWS

SPORTS

PORTLAND LOSES RECYCLING BINS, 2A

JARREAU HEADS UP 2013 ALL-COUNTY BASEBALL TEAM, 1B

FRIDAY » JUNE 28, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

50¢

INSIDE See our Readers’ Choice: Toast of Sumner County results, special section

County OKs budgets early Commission may have made history with Monday vote By Jesse Hughes For the Gallatin News Examiner

The Sumner County Commission and Sumner County Board of Education likely made history together Monday with the passage of all budgets for the county and school system before the July 1 start of the

next fiscal year. No one has turned up a record of their ever having done so before. The quick approval contrasts sharply with last year’s budget standoff that resulted in schools starting late. All budgets passed in 11 minutes with little discussion, along with a couple other budgetary resolutions. The budgets, however, did not pass unanimously as hoped by many. Sumner County Board of Education Chairman Ted Wise urged county commissioners

PHS, R.T. Fisher get new principals

during public recognition to “send a resounding message to the citizens of this county” by passing “the school board’s balanced budget” with a unanimous vote. He cited the school board’s own unanimous vote for its education budget as well as unanimous votes by the County Education and Budget committees. “In the end, the real beneficiaries are the children of Sumner County,” Wise said. The commission, with 23 of 24 members present, quickly

gave unanimous approval to the General Purpose School Fund Budget amendments the school board unaniWise mously approved at its June 4 special-called meeting. All the budgets, except that of the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office, passed 19-4 in one consolidated budget vote. Coms.

Paul Goode, Chris Hughes, David Kimbrough, and David Satterfield cast the four dissenting votes. Hughes tried to split off the school and county general budgets for a separate vote but his motion was defeated 14-8. The sheriff’s budget passed unanimously. County and school employees receive a 1-percent pay hike in the operating budgets. The school general purpose budget is $203 million; the central cafe-

» COUNTY, 6A

THE NEXT STEP

Oakmont replacement expected to be named soon By Jennifer Easton Gallatin News Examiner

Four Sumner schools will have new principals when students go back to school Aug. 5. David Woods, assistant principal of Beech High School since 2009, has been named principal of Portland High School. He replaces Bob Gideon, who has served as PHS principal since 2007. Gideon will return to R.T. Fisher Alternative School in Gallatin where he served as principal 2002-07. Speaking from Michigan on Tuesday, Gideon said that while he would Woods miss the Portland community, he’s happy to return to R.T. Fisher. He has been with Sumner County Schools since 1994. “I think at this time in my career and my life, it’s a very good move for me and my family,” said Gideon, who recently married and lives in Gallatin. “My Gideon parents are very elderly and live less than a halfmile from R.T. Fisher, so it’s much closer (to home).” Woods could not be reached for comment by phone, but said in a statement re-

» PRINCIPALS, 3A

Dan Downs, right, member of the Sumner County Regional Airport Authority, speaks during the board’s meeting on Monday, June 24. Sitting next to him are Charles Moore, Frank Kessler and Sue Nickens. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

New board takes control of airport, legal fight continues By Jesse Hughes For the Gallatin News Examiner

The latest twist in the years-long running feud between the Sumner County Commission and the Sumner County Regional Airport Authority appears, with no degree of certainty, to give control of the airport board to members appointed by the commission in February. However, the situation is still clouded by five attorneys

fighting it out in two courtrooms in three counties. Six of the eight new members took their seats Monday for a three-hour meeting, joined by two of three members whose terms were unexpired from the so-called “old” board. The eight members of the board re-did most of the actions taken at a meeting in March before a Murfreesboro judge rendered those actions null and void in ruling on a lawsuit be-

tween the county and the airport board. The judge, Robert Corlew, is overseeing the case after Sumner County Chancellor Tom Gray recused himself. On Monday, the board unanimously elected Jim Egan as chairman, Don Drayton as vice chairman, and Steve Nelson as secretary. They next unanimously voted to again terminate air-

» AIRPORT, 5A

Agency helps domestic abuse victims A phone call to HomeSafe changes everything for some

By Sherry Mitchell Gallatin News Examiner

Years of physical and mental abuse left Ellen Polsen battered and emotionally drained, but with several children, leaving with nowhere to go was a scary thought. So was staying with her husband. “I was deathly afraid for my children

and my pets,” Polsen said. “I was completely isolated and couldn’t leave my house, not even to go to the grocery store. If I spoke to a male neighbor, I was accused of flirting. If I spoke to a female neighbor, I was accused of trying to get her on my side to help me.” (The Gallatin News Examiner agreed to let the victim, whose name is not actually Ellen Polsen, use a pseudonym because she feared for her safety if her real name appeared in the newspaper.) A phone call to HomeSafe of Sumner County, a domestic violence shelter and program, changed everything for Polsen. It was one option her abusive hus-

band didn’t see coming. “We went into the shelter for several months until we could get on our feet,” Polsen said. “They helped with clothing and toiletries — things you don’t think about because you are thinking of keeping your children safe and getting out of the house.” HomeSafe was able to work with Polsen and help her out of a bad situation without escalating the violence. “The danger does usually increase when they (victims) try to leave — you’ve got to have friends and family

» ABUSE, 5A

EXAMINER

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NEWS

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» AIRPORT FROM 1A

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Airport Administrator Steve Sudbury speaks at the board’s meeting Monday, June 24. At left: interim board attorney, Mark Smith. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

McClellan, the former Airport Authority attorney, filed a motion Monday in Chancery Court for a stay to keep the County Commission from sitting any new airport board

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E

Board member Charlie Moore, whose appointment ends June 30, appeared willing to remain on the board. The county’s Committee on Committees also met Monday and in its report to the full commission gave notice that there was an upcoming airport board vacancy for next month. The third member, Wayne Hooper, whose term is unexpired and who is the airport board’s treasurer, did not attend the meeting. Egan said Hooper indicated he was not interested in continuing on the board. However, he had not submitted an official resignation and is recognized by the current board as a member and as treasurer. Both Egan and County Executive Anthony Holt, who nominates board members and accepts resignations, said Monday they had no resignation and that there was no vacancy at that time. A formal written resignation could put a second appointee up for consideration next month. The new board “is still sorting things out” on what it can and cannot do, Egan said.

members prior to the outcome of an appeal. The motion claims that Monday’s meeting fell within an automatic 30-day stay of the Murfreesboro judge’s order and that the board was preparing to conduct business in violation of law. The stay was not signed before the board met Monday. McClellan also filed a notice of appeal with the Tennessee Court of Appeals. A decision from that court could take up to a year. “If it were to go all the way to the state Supreme Court, it could take two years,” Smith said. Corlew ruled in favor of McClellan in June on a technicality that board members appointed by the County Commission under newly adopted rules were not qualified because they had not taken the oath of office and presented certificates of appointments to the airport board. Corlew ruled the county had the right to change the rules but they could not conflict with state law. Holt swore in eight newly appointed members June 15. They retook the oath of office June 1719.Their certificates were delivered to McClellan June 19, the day McClellan filed the notice of appeal.

Jun XPIRE e3 S 0

Two seats

Sunrooms

port board attorney Art McClellan, who represented previous board members who met in executive session in March as a competing board. The vote to fire McClellan gave him 10 working days to turn over corporate records and submit bills for past services. The new board voted to hire Gallatin attorney Mark Smith on a temporary basis for $250 an hour. The board is expected to look into a permanent hire later. After extensive questioning of Airport Administrator Steve Sudbury and discussion about his single-signature authority over checks, the board voted unanimously to require two signatures for any check over $10,000. Previously, Sudbury was allowed to sign a check for any amount, including many for hundreds of thousands of dollars to contractors. Sudbury told board members that he kept detailed records, that the auditor looked at every check, and that he never signed any check of any amount to himself. New board member Bill Taylor said he was astounded by the lack of financial control over such large amounts of money. However, board member Dan Downs repeatedly came to Sudbury’s defense and pointed out the fact that certain grant payments, by law, had to be made within a set period of time. Smith advised the board it could try the $10,000 level for three months or so and change it if necessary. Sudbury’s airport employment contract has a high bar of termination without cause that requires monthly payment of the full five-year contract period that began Feb. 25. His resignation may be allowed in lieu of termination. During a period of severance pay, “the employee shall be available to the board as a consultant.”

5A

Contributing writer Jesse Hughes lives in Gallatin.

TAX CRED IT

Unreported cases likely high » ABUSE FROM 1A

A recent study released by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation showed that domestic violence in the state is down, but not by much. The Family Violence Study 2012 revealed 83,416 people were victims of reported domestic violence crimes last year, compared to 84,517 the year before. At least half

Still, abuse continues. “We are third in the nation as far as domestic homicides go,” Tolli said, referring to Tennessee. For those victims, it’s too late, she said. Missy Whitley is the aunt of Ashlee Cundiff Witham, who died Feb. 19 from a gunshot wound to the head at her Hendersonville home. Witham’s husband, Joseph Cundiff, has been charged with first-degree murder for the shooting. Whitley said family members saw signs of abuse and tried to talk to Witham and wishes now she had one last chance. “She didn’t want to admit she was with someone that violent; she was ashamed,” Whitley said. “I know it’s hard to leave, but they should talk to someone — even if it’s a stranger. If they put their hand on you once, they are going to do it again.” According to Sonya Troutt, jail administrator

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But there are many more cases in Sumner County that go unreported. “For each domestic violence call the police answer, there are four more that are not reported,” Tolli said. HomeSafe is a resource Tolli encourages anyone in need to use. “We still have people in Sumner County who don’t know we have a program, and this is our 30th anniversary in February,” Tolli said. “They don’t know about it because they have never needed it; it’s when either you or a family member needs it, then you start looking for help.” Calling to talk with someone doesn’t always mean leaving right away, Tolli said, and calls to HomeSafe remain confidential. “We have some who are not ready to leave who are just calling us and talking about getting their ducks in a row,” Tolli said. “The point is, they have to reach out for help. They have to tell somebody. If the people they talk to don’t listen, they need to tell somebody else.” To speak to someone confidentially, call HomeSafe’s 24-hour hotline at 452-4315. Reporter Sherry Mitchell can be reached at 575-7117 or shmitchell@mtcngroup.com.

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for Sumner County, of the 670 inmates in custody on Tuesday, 17 were in for domestic violence crimes. In the past 12 months, 178 individuals were taken into custody for domestic violence.

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around you, and often the abuser isolates their victims,” HomeSafe Executive Director Sherry Tolli said. “We are just one of those unknown support systems that abusers don’t count on.” Aside from providing her family with temporary shelter, the local agency also gave Polsen the support she needed to start a new life. “Just having someone standing with me when I had to go the police or court was a big help,” Polsen said. “The biggest thing is they ask what you want and what you need. When you are in a situation for 10 years, and you haven’t been making those decisions, it’s hard at first to know what you want.” Though the physical abuse was bad, the mental abuse also took its toll. “No one really realizes it because you can see physical abuse, but I can tell you that often for weeks before that, she has been verbally berated, and those scars don’t show and they are the hardest to heal,” Polsen said.

of the accused abusers were family members. Tolli said the lower numbers could be misleading, adding the sluggish economy, which might prevent a victim from independently earning income, and lack of local resources, could be keeping abuse victims from stepping forward. “There’s very little low-income housing in the county, no adequate daycare for second- and third-shift workers, and no public transportation,” Tolli said. “A lot of women are looking at the economics of the situation, and for some of them, it’s terrifying.”

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EVENTS

SPORTS

SEE WHAT’S HAPPENING IN YOUR AREA, 5A

COMMUNITY SPORTS SPOTLIGHT, 4B

FRIDAY » JULY 12, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

50¢

ONLINE For the latest in local news and updates, visit GallatinNewsExaminer.com

City faces insurance hike BlueCross BlueShield projects unexpected 28 percent premium increase By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

A resolution to Gallatin’s budget impasse will likely not happen in July due to an unexpected increase in the city’s health insurance premiums for the upcoming year. The current director of personnel, Amy Summers, told

members of the Gallatin City Council Tuesday that the city’s health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, projected a nearly 28 percent premium increase, or $676,438, in the upcoming year. “We were not expecting that, so that’s a little bit of a surprise for both the agents and us,” Summers told the council.

Claims, which were 16 percent higher than expected, and utilization, which was 32 percent higher than expected, Graves were the main reasons cited for the increase, Summers said. “(BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee) is paying out more than we are paying in,” she said. As part of a budget Mayor Jo

Ann Graves presented in May, the city had anticipated spending $100,000 more in health insurance premiums in the upcoming year. Graves said Wednesday that the city could not absorb the more than $500,000 cost difference and that the city would bid out its policy in an attempt to find a cheaper rate with a different carrier, and would review its coverage. “Because the city had budgeted $100,000 for increases in

premiums, we must resolve this difference of $500,000 before the budget passes,” she said.

Resolution weeks away

The city did not find out about its premium increase until after the council’s last meeting on June 25. The city is typically notified of any changes around July 1 each year, Summers said. Tuesday’s meeting was the first since June as the

» BUDGET, 2A

School breakfast gets a makeover

BOLD ENOUGH CHALLENGE

Limits on snack foods coming in 2014 By Jennifer Easton Gallatin News Examiner

Kit Sinyard with the Sumner County Anti-Drug Coalition and Chris Poarch with the Tennessee Army National Guard at the site of the Bold Enough Challenge Rodeo planned for Friday and Saturday at Triple Creek Park in Gallatin. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Rodeo helps fight drug abuse Event offers family-style fun By Dessislava Yankova Gallatin News Examiner

Prescription drug abuse is on the rise, but organizers of a rodeo this weekend hope the money raised from the event will help tackle the problem. The Bold Enough Challenge Rodeo is planned for Friday and Saturday at Triple Creek Park in Gallatin with events for the whole family. The rodeo is the only fundraiser for the Gallatin-based Sumner County Anti-Drug Coalition, an organization that aims to eliminate youth substance abuse. “It’s a family friendly event that supports our community and our efforts to combat substance abuse in Sumner County,” said Executive Director Kelly Hennessy-Pierce. The organization partnered with the Tennessee Army National Guard, Madisonville-

based Hedrick Rodeo Company, and Nashville-based Aegis Labs, the event’s main sponsor, to put on the rodeo. “Right now, we’re noting a big problem with prescription drug misuse among all ages,” Hennessy-Pierce said. “There’s no perception of risk. Many people believe just because it’s prescribed by a doctor, it’s safe. Prescription drugs are also easily accessible. Many people don’t lock their medicine cabinets, and we encourage people not to keep medicine in the house if they don’t need it.” Unneeded or unwanted medicine can be disposed at a special drop-off box at the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office that is constantly monitored by deputies and emptied by Drug Enforcement Agency officials.

» RODEO, 3A

IF YOU GO What: Sumner County Anti-Drug Coalition Bold Enough Challenge Rodeo When: July 12-13, 7:30-10:30 p.m., gates open at 6 p.m. Where: Triple Creek Park in Gallatin Cost: $10 advance, $15 door, $5 children 6-12 years old, free for 6 and under Tickets are available at the Farmer’s Co-Op in Gallatin, Sumner County Tourism Bureau in Gallatin, Volunteer State Bank in Portland, Capital Bank in White House, Macon Bank and Trust in Westmoreland, Trail West in Hendersonville and Wilson Post in Lebanon.

Hyde: Precinct change notices were ‘misleading’ By Jesse Hughes

For the Gallatin News Examiner

Some county commissioners are upset again at the Election Commission’s decision to close and consolidate nine voting precincts after the Election Office mailed out new voter cards with a notice commissioners say was misleading. County committees had previously discussed cutting the Election Office budget as a response to the precinct changes but ultimately did not. County Commission Chairman Merrol Hyde said Monday he was willing to drop the matter of precinct changes and closures until he received a letter that was “somewhat misleading” with his new voter card. He read the first paragraph that refers to redistricting and object-

Administrator of Elections Lori Atchley shows a precinct relocation sign to Election Commission members Beverly Staten, Thomas Boyers V, and Patricia Polston. JESSE HUGHES/FOR THE GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

ed to the second sentence: “As a result, your precinct or districts may have changed.”

“That has nothing, absolutely zero, to do with all these precinct changes,” Hyde said. “It’s

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

MetroMix.com

almost back to, ‘The (County) Commission did it, and it was by law.’ That was by choice. That was not by law; that was a choice (of the Election Commission).” Hyde suggested asking the Election Commission to send another letter to correct it. Or, alternatively, he said the County Commission could fund a mailing or run a newspaper ad to make it clear to the public that the County Commission was not responsible for the precinct closures. “I really resent that there was a big dodge going on here in taking responsibility that didn’t have to be done for these changes,” Hyde said. Com. Kirk Moser said Hyde’s suggestions might be too expen-

» PRECINCT, 3A

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Health experts have long touted the benefits of eating a healthy meal in the morning, and this year, more nutritious breakfast options are coming to Sumner County Schools. In the second year of implementing guidelines in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, breakfast served in school will now contain more whole foods and agespecific calorie targets. The first stage of the reforms was implemented with school lunches last year, requiring local school districts to plan menus based on whole foods and calorie ranges, rather than nutrient analysis. Schools will make gradual changes to the lunch and breakfast programs over the next decade with the overall goal of improving student nutrition and fighting childhood obesity. Students last school year began seeing the changes to their lunch tray with more fruits and vegetables and whole grains, limited starches and sodium, and zero trans fats. Cafeterias began baking more breaded foods rather than deep frying and offering more dark green leafy vegetables. New lunch guidelines set calorie ranges at 550-650 for grades K-5, 600-700 for 6-8, and 750-850 for 9-12. Some new rules were difficult to digest at first for some high schoolers who don’t always readily accept change as well as younger students, said Linda Becker, school nutrition supervisor for Sumner County Schools. While some complained about not getting enough to eat with the new calorie limits, students are actually being served more food than before, Becker said. “I think what a lot of the high school students didn’t like was (that) they weren’t getting (more) fries,” Becker said. “They didn’t think they were getting enough food if they weren’t filling up on french fries.” The difference is students are being offered more whole nutrients and fewer empty calories, she said. “If students selected all that they can get — if they

» BREAKFAST, 3A FIND OUT MORE » U.S. Department of Agriculture Choosemyplate.gov » Center for Science in the Public Interest Schoolfoods.org


NEWS

FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013 •

get their fruit and vegetable choice, too — that’s double than what they’ve ever been served,” Becker said.

Temptation

GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER/FILE

Rodeo aims to raise awareness, money » RODEO FROM 1A Almost rodeo time The rodeo ring was set up and about ready Wednesday for the weekend’s calf and breakaway roping, saddleback and bronco riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing and, of course, bull riding. Gates at the park open at 6 p.m. with the rodeo events to kick off at 7 p.m. and last until 10:30 p.m. or later. Annually, the event attracts a crowd from Sumner and surrounding counties, and contestants from across the region. “We have a lot more local participants this year, and we love local participants,” Hennessy-Pierce said. “It’s nice to do things where you live and see someone participate who lives down the road and see them do well.” The Anti-Drug Coalition’s goal is to monitor drug and alcohol trends in the county and create a strategic plan to combat substance abuse. The organization’s leaders work with various other entities, including local law enforcement, schools, and state agencies.

“We’re not supported by city or county funds,” Hennessy-Pierce said. “We’re strictly supported by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, and sometimes this can limit some of the things we do in the county, which is what makes the rodeo so important.”

Other events

In between and during rodeo events, attendants can grub on food such as barbecue, hot dogs, sweet fried treats, lemonade and more. Those not ready to attempt the real thing can try their luck on the mechanical bull, while children can ride ponies. The rodeo will also feature a bouncy bungee station, and for those who want to take some souvenirs home, several Western attire stores will offer merchandise on site. Rodeo enthusiasts, however, do not have to pay for a souvenir. Both Friday and Saturday, the first 250 people to come through the gate will receive a free T-shirt. Reporter Dessislava Yankova can be reached at 575-7170 or dyankova@mtcngroup.com.

Like school lunches, the new dietary breakfast specifications require age-appropriate calorie ranges: 350-500 for grades K-5, 400-550 for grades 6-8, 450-600 for grades 9-12. Students will be offered four choices, of which they may select three items that may include a grain, fruit or milk component. Over the next two years, school breakfast menus will begin to offer more fruits and eventually include only whole grains. Schools will also have to meet gradual sodium-reduction targets by 2023 for breakfast and lunch, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s guidelines. Further changes will be extended to all food sold during the school day beginning July 1, 2014. The USDA will limit sales of fatty, sugary and salty snacks and drinks sold in vending machines, and a la carte items in cafeterias. Instead, the new “Smart Snacks in Schools” proposal calls for healthier snack options to be offered. The rule will give flexibility for fundraisers and bake sales and will not impact food sold at after school activities and sporting events. The school nutrition change is a welcome one, said parent Dana Hannah, whose son will be a senior at Hendersonville High School next year. As much as parents may try to teach healthy eating habits at home, it can be too tempting to make poor choices with sugary, fatty

Atchley agrees to change wording » PRECINCT FROM 1A sive and proposed asking the Election Office to change the wording of the notices that have not yet been mailed. “I think everyone should be notified that it was not the County Commission’s fault and I don’t care how much it costs,” Com. Jo Skidmore said. “I don’t believe in pussyfooting around something. If you have something, you need to get on.” Skidmore moved to ask the Election Commission to mail postcards. Com. Jerry Stone said he preferred to run an ad in the paper. “I don’t think we are going to get an accurate description if it comes out of the Election Commission,” he said. Com. Steve Graves, whose district saw three of five precincts close, said his constituents were upset about the changes. “People come to me and say, ‘Why did you do this?’ I say, ‘It’s the Election Commission. We only fund that department. We don’t have (any) say-so other than the funding part of it,” he said.

Changes

The committee unanimously voted to ask Hyde to meet with Administrator of Elections Lori Atchley about making a change to the letter. The committee plans to address the matter again next month. At Tuesday’s monthly Election Commission meeting, Atchley explained there were 10,000 copies of a letter left over from redistricting about precinct changes and the office was attempting to use them up first. She said she met with County Attorney Leah Dennen earlier in the day and agreed to use only the lower third in future mailings alerting voters their precinct may have moved, and remove the text of the letter, including the part about redistricting. Atchley told county

Com. David Satterfield, who attended the Election Commission meeting, that there was no money in the budget to send a correction to those who already received the notice. As part of her report to the Election Commission, Atchley presented signs that will be placed at closed precincts. They

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contain a box with space for notices, a web site address, the Election Office contact information, and a QRC code for smartphone users that takes the user to the web site.

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Gallatin brothers Maddox Bush, 2, and Aiden Bush, 5,at the Bold Enough Challenge Rodeo in Gallatin in 2010.

foods so convenient and accessible, she said. “I’m all for it, but I do think we’ve been little bit behind when it comes to helping to teach kids about nutrition. (Schools) really should have done this years ago,” Hannah said. Her own son dropped 20 pounds recently after working with a personal trainer and changing his eating habits. While it may cost more to purchase healthier snacks like protein bars, nuts and dried fruits from vending machines at school, it’s a price parents like Hannah are willing to pay a little more for. “I know when I eat (junk food) to have something quick I just don’t feel well,” Hannah said. “With the right foods, who knows what improvements schools will start to see academically?”

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3A

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WEDNESDAY » JULY 17, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

50¢

ONLINE For the latest in local news and updates, visit GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Mother says murdered son tried to change

COWBOY UP

Rodeo raises $20K to fight substance abuse

Accused killer appears in court By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

Harper and Riley Messer at the Bold Enough Challenge Rodeo at Triple Creek Park in Gallatin Friday, July 12. PHOTOS BY MATTHEW DIGGS/FOR THE GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Gallatin event spans two days, draws about 2,000 visitors By Dessislava Yankova Gallatin News Examiner

An estimated 2,000 people from Sumner County and outlying areas attended the fifth annual Bold Enough Challenge Rodeo on Friday and Saturday at Triple Creek Park in Gallatin. The rodeo, which draws more and more people each year, helped raise more than $20,000 for the Gallatin-based Sumner County Anti-Drug Coalition, which aims to eliminate youth substance abuse, agency Executive Director Kelly HennessyPierce said. “The weather played a major part in that,” she said. “We’re always at the mercy of the weather, and we had perfect weather this year.” The organization receives funding from the Tennessee De-

ONLINE

See photos from both nights of the Bold Enough Challenge Rodeo at GallatinNewsExaminer.com

partment of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, which means resources are limited. “These grants fund prevention efforts in Sumner County; however, they do not fund substance abuse treatment efforts,” Hennessy-Pierce said. The event was organized by the Anti-Drug Coalition with assistance from the city of Gallatin, the Tennessee Army National Guard and main sponsor Nashville-based Aegis Labs. “We enjoy being able to provide a family-friendly event while showcasing our local community through our numerous sponsorships,” Hennessy-Pierce said, adding that planning for next year’s rodeo will begin in a few months. “And we can't wait!” Contact Dessislava Yankova at 575-7170 or dyankova@mtcngroup.com.

It was around 13 years ago when Alicia Wilson and her children packed up and moved to Gallatin from Kansas City, Kan., to escape gang violence. Wilson, who has six children, decided to move because she said her whole family was almost entirely “involved with gangs.” “(Gang violence) is what I was subjected to pretty much all of my life,” she said. “That was my reasoning for moving here, to kind of get away.” At the time, Rameon Wilson, Alicia Wilson’s oldest child and only son, was 10 years old. “He was a very outgoing and friendly type guy,” Wilson said about her son, who made it to his senior year at Gallatin High School but did not graduate. On Monday, April 15, 23-year-old Rameon Wilson was shot multiple times in the head outside of his mother’s home at Green Wood Apartments on Green Wave Drive in Gallatin. Wilson died the following day at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Thirty-eight days after the shooting, on May 23, police arrested KeAnthony Dillard on charges of first-degree murder for Wilson’s death. In a Sumner County General Sessions courtroom Friday, July 12, Alicia Wilson sat next to Rameon Wilson’s former girlfriend during a prelim-

» CHANGE, 2A

Travis Ash goes for the calf at the Bold Enough Challenge Rodeo in Gallatin Saturday.

KeAnthony Dillard talks with his attorney, James Ramsey, during a preliminary hearing Friday, July 12. JOSH CROSS/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

THE BELL TOWLES

Bunettas plan fundraiser as something for Juri A day rarely goes by that Al Bunetta or his wife, Dawn, or both, don’t bump into someone with a story about their son, Juri, who turned 19 on his last birthday. It’s not just polite platitudes. Usually it’s a heartfelt anecdote peeling away another layer of Juri’s empathetic personality, one marked by his love for human interaction and the lives he touched; like the young waitress, maybe 20 and whom Al and Dawn describe as “beautiful,” who recently served them at Fairvue Plantation’s clubhouse dining room. The young woman laughed

» MIKE TOWLE while telling them about the time Juri (pronounced “YURR-ee”), who once worked at the club, washed his car in the clubhouse’s parking lot, explaining to her why it was no big deal. Nor-

» TOWLE, 3A

Librarian ends 33-year chapter By Dessislava Yankova Gallatin News Examiner

If there’s one person who has watched the Portland library flourish, it’s Barbara Russell. For the past three decades, Russell saw the Portland Public Library of Sumner County transform from a tiny room to a modern 20,000-square-foot facility she has managed with love and devotion. Russell, who retires this month, received a farewell reception with more than 200 colleagues and friends from across the state at the library on Sunday. “I’m just honored all these people came to see me,” said Russell, whose last day on the job was July 5. “It was a wonderful day. I’ll never forget it.” A native of Paris, Tenn., Rus-

After serving as manager of the Portland Public Library of Sumner County for 33 years, Barbara Russell retires this month. She received farewells at a retirement reception at the library on Sunday, July 14. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

sell moved to the county in 1971 and has lived all over Sumner, including in Hendersonville, the Oak Grove community, White House and Portland. Russell got her start at the library in

1980, after she had been a stayat-home mom for 17 years. She was ready for a change. “Since my kids were at high

» CHAPTER, 3A

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TN-0000914250


NEWS

2A • WEDNESDAY, JULY 17, 2013

Gallatin Forecast

Today High 95 Low 73 Wind: NNE 4-8 mph 10 a.m. Noon 5 p.m. 10 p.m.

Family moved to escape » CHANGE FROM 1A

inary hearing for Dillard.

‘He shot him’

Sunshine and very warm

Partly Clouds and sunny and sun warm

85

Partly cloudy

93

90

81

5-day forecast FRI SAT SUN MON

THU

A stray Clouds Couple of A t-storm A t-storm afternoon and sun, a t-storms possible or two t-storm t-storm Wind: NNE Wind: WSW Wind: SW Wind: WSW Wind: SSW 3-6 mph 3-6 mph 6-12 mph 3-6 mph 3-6 mph

94/71

94/73

90/72

88/70

88/69

Across Tennessee Today’s high/tonight’s low Bristol 91/68 Clarksville Chattanooga 94/74 Knoxville

93/72 Memphis 93/72 Nashville

95/77 96/75

National outlook Temperatures 7/17 - 7/23 Above Normal Near Normal Below Normal

Precipitation 7/17 - 7/23 Above Normal Near Normal Below Normal

Moonrise/set

Sunrise/set Sunrise Wed. .. 5:41 a.m.

First

Full

Last

New

Sunset Wed. .. 8:03 p.m.

Jul 15

Jul 22

Jul 29

Aug 6

Sunrise Thu. ... 5:42 a.m.

Moonrise Wed. ....... 2:51 p.m. Moonset Wed. ...... 12:43 a.m. Forecasts and graphics provided by AccuWeather, Inc. ©2013

GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

During the hearing, Assistant District Attorney Ron Blanton called four witnesses to help present the prosecution’s case against Dillard. The key witness for the state was Gerald Wade, who testified that he saw Dillard shoot Wilson on April 15. According to an arrest affidavit, multiple witnesses and a confidential informant told police that Wilson’s murder was “retaliation” because Wilson allegedly attempted to rob Dillard and George Humphrey at an April 13 party. Wade said he sold a 40caliber handgun to Humphrey in late March. The night of April 13, Dillard and Humphrey showed up at his Wade’s house at around 11 p.m. looking to buy guns “to shoot up the party.” Wade said that he did not have any guns to sell at the time. Two nights later on April 15, Wade testified that he was picked up by Humphrey to buy drugs, and when he got in the vehicle, Dillard was also present. At some point, the three parked and walked to Green Wood Apartments. “I seen (Dillard) put something into his waist or his pocket,” Wade said. At the apartment complex, the group split up. Wade said he saw Rameon Wilson come out from an apartment to meet another individual and was then shot. “He shot him,” testified Wade, who identified Dillard as the shooter.

“Rameon did want to change. He was in the process of trying to make that change ...” ALICIA WILSON Victim’s mother

Wade said he ran from the scene and later contacted police because he was “scared it was going to come back” on him, as he was the previous owner of the gun. Davidson County resident Reaumel Washington testified Friday that he purchased a 40-caliber handgun from Dillard after April15, which he later turned over to police. Gallatin Police Department Investigator Christian Booth said a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation report confirmed the handgun was the one that fired a bullet recovered from the scene. “I asked him (Dillard), was it (the gun) dirty, as in, has anybody been shot … and he told me no,” Washington said, referring to the conversation he had with Dillard the day he purchased the weapon. When cross-examined by Defense Attorney James Ramsey, Washington testified he did not know how Dillard came into possession of the weapon. The only witness called by the defense was Humphrey, who Wade said he sold the 40-caliber handgun to in late March and who Wade was with the night he claimed he saw Dillard shoot Wilson.

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Gallatin Police Officer Scottie King was the first officer to arrive at Green Wood Apartments on April 15. King said he saw a pool of blood around Wilson and what appeared to be two bullet holes in his left eye socket. “He continues to try (to communicate back), but it was like he couldn’t speak at that point,” King said, describing his interaction with Rameon Wilson when he arrived at the scene. Across town near Municipal Park, Alicia Wilson was sitting on the porch at a friend’s house when she noticed police cars speeding past. Her cell phone was charging inside the house. “I go back to my phone and by the time I picked it up, I had over 60 missed calls,” she said. “I knew then that something wasn’t right.” After finding out Rameon had been shot outside of her own apartment, Alicia Wilson decided to go straight to Sumner Regional Medical Center, where she thought he would be transported. After waiting at the hospital for 45 minutes, she learned her son was instead going by helicopter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “There was something in my heart that was telling me that he was already dead,” she said, remembering her drive to Nashville. “It was like I just knew.” Wilson said doctors told her that her son’s condition was stable when

‘Just brutal’

The victim’s mother said that while she does not know what happened at the April 13 party that led to her son’s death, the disagreement could have been settled differently. “I think there are other things that could have been done,” she said. “I think that it (the shooting) was just brutal.” As for the man charged with her son’s death, Wilson will wait for the legal process to decide if he committed the crime. “I honestly don’t know (who did it),” she said. “(Dillard) is innocent until he’s actually proven guilty. I just want to know.” Regardless of whether Dillard is convicted, Wilson still questions why her son had to die. “Not saying that they would give me that answer, but I would want to know why did it have to happen in that manner?” she said. “It could have went another way.” After Friday’s preliminary hearing, Dillard’s case was bound over to the grand jury. The 41year-old is still being held without bond at the Sumner County Jail. Wilson said Rameon talked constantly about turning his life around, to cease involvement with gangs, but she doesn’t think younger generations fully understand what they’re doing to one another through violence. “There’s more to life than being out here doing what they’re doing now (with gangs),” she said. “Rameon did want to change. He was in the process of trying to make that change, but never actually had the opportunity to change.” KeAnthony Dillard’s next court date is scheduled for Aug. 23. Contact Josh Cross at 575-7115.

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she arrived, but several hours later, his health declined and the 23-year-old died from his injuries. Booth, who was present during Rameon Wilson’s autopsy, said that Wilson had four bullet wounds: in the back left side of his head, near his left eyebrow, in his left eye socket and on his forehead. “It hurt to listen to,” Alicia Wilson said when she heard Friday’s testimony.

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Ramsey asked Humphrey one question — had he and Dillard ever sold “dope” to Wade? “No, sir,” Humphrey said. When questioned by prosecutors, Humphrey repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right to not incriminate himself, including when asked if he was the one who gave Dillard a 40-caliber gun to shoot Wilson. “The inconsistencies among some of the district attorney’s witness testimonies, the law enforcement documents and the facts as I understand them at this point will need to be resolved, and that’s an area we’d want to explore,” Ramsey said.

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Economy downs developers Gallatin, Hendersonville properties taken in $17M foreclosure judgment

owned by four companies tied to Gallatin developer Dan Downs. Six sets of properties held by the companies were auctioned off June 19 with four sets taken by Fifth Third Bank, the creditor. The foreclosure proceedings involved Savannah Market Place LLC and Bell Farm Es-

By Jesse Hughes For Sumner A.M.

Another aftershock of the 2008 real estate bubble collapse recently brought a foreclosure judgment of more than $17 million related to the development of property in Sumner County

tates LLC properties on Nashville Pike, Hidden Creek LLC property on Big Station Camp Boulevard, and two Downs Franklin Farm Estates LLC parcels on Lower Station Camp Creek Road in Gallatin. A 69-acre parcel off Cages

Bend Road and two dozen undeveloped lots with open spaces at Gorden Crossing, Nogs Garden, Drayton Downs, and Mulberry Court in Hendersonville were also wrapped up in the proceedings. Fifth Third Bank acted under a judgment entered Jan. 30 for $17.3 million including $14.3 million in principal plus interest. Downs and business partner Ernest Hanna lost a two-year

court fight this year to Cincinnati, Ohio-based Fifth Third after twice going to the Kentucky Court of Appeals to fight lowercourt decisions. “Everything was resolved amicably with the bank,” Downs said in a phone interview July19. “There’s nothing that wasn’t resolved. It’s all over with.” Asked if he and Hanna were on the

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HPD chief had key role in solving Trimble murder case

COMMUNITY MOURNS

By Tena Lee Sumner A.M.

Kevin and Lois Thomas with children Carson, 10, Joe, 9, Nora, 6, and Erich, 2, at their Tommy Street home in Gallatin in May 2012, a few weeks after Kevin was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer. SARAH KINGSBURY/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER/FILE

GALLATIN POLICE OFFICER

DIES OF BRAIN CANCER AT 34 Thomas was like a ‘family member’ to GPD, assistant chief says

aggressive brain cancer. He had been undergoing chemotherapy treatments since he learned of the malignancy after having stroke-like symptoms while he was on-duty investigating an inciThomas dent on South Water Avenue in May 2012. He was rushed to the emergency room, where doctors at Skyline Medical Center found a plum-sized tumor pressing against his brain under the right rear part of the skull. Kevin Thomas died at home late Thursday night, which was his wish, his wife said. Prior to his burial at Gallatin City

By Sarah Kingsbury and Josh Cross Sumner A.M.

Kevin Thomas, a 34-year-old Gallatin Police Department officer who had been battling brain cancer for over a year, died at his home Thursday, his wife said. “We’re going to have to pick up the pieces, but we’re going to do it together,” Lois Thomas said. “I’m going to miss him a lot.” Kevin Thomas was 32 when he was diagnosed with stage four glioblastoma, an

» OFFICER, 3M

Like nearly anyone who was around Nashville in the spring of 1975, Mickey Miller wondered who killed 9-year-old Marcia Trimble. The young girl’s body was discovered 33 days after she left her home Feb. 25 that year in the city’s Green Hills TUNE IN neighborhood to deliver Watch HPD Girl Scout cookies. She Chief Mickey had been strangled and Miller discuss sexually assaulted. the Marcia A college student at Trimble Case during “On The the time in Knoxville, Case With Paula Miller, who is now the chief of the HendersonZahn,” airing tonight, July 28, ville Police Departon Investigation ment, still remembers reading about the case Discovery at in that city’s newspaper. 9 p.m. Two years later, in the late 1970s, he joined the Metro Nashville Police Department, and in 1989 he joined the homicide unit, reopening the case in the hopes that new DNA technology would help solve the crime. For the next 19 years, he worked long hours poring over

» MILLER, 5M

ARRANGEMENTS

Service: Hartsville Pike Church of Christ, 744 Hartsville Pike, Monday, July 29, 1 p.m. Visitation: Alexander Funeral Home, Sunday, July 28, 1-8 p.m. and Hartsville Pike Church of Christ, Monday, July 29, 10 a.m. until service time.

DONATE Kevin Thomas Family Benefit, c/o Regions Bank, 285 E. Main St., Gallatin, TN 37066

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See coverage of Kevin Thomas’s funeral online at GallatinNewsExaminer.com or in the Wednesday edition of the paper

Virginia Trimble Ritter hugs then-Metro Police Capt. Mickey Miller in 2009 for his work on her daughter’s murder case. THE TENNESSEAN/FILE

Council decides to interview 7 for HR director retired in April. Following a recommendation by Rosemary Bates, the city’s special projects director, the council decided to proceed in setting up interviews with seven candidates during a July 9 meeting. Bates is assisting in the search process to avoid a conflict of interest because Amy Summers, the interim head of personnel, has applied for the job. During the special-called meeting, candidate interviews will take place in 30-minute in-

By Josh Cross Sumner A.M.

The Gallatin City Council will be interviewing candidates to fill the vacant director of human resources position. A special-called council committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 30, at 5 p.m. to interview candidates for the city’s director of human resources. Thirty-two applicants applied for the position, which became vacant after former Personnel Official Dave Crawford

tervals, according to a memo council members received Tuesday. The candidates who will be interviewed are: Angela BryantWare, human resources specialist for the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency in Nashville; Debbie Johnson, the former assistant vice chancellor for human resources and systemwide affirmative action office for the Tennessee Board of Regents in Nashville; Jill Johnson, the human resources director for Mt. Juliet; Regan

Morrison, the human resources deputy director for the Ohio Department of Transportation; Amy Summers, Gallatin’s current interim personnel official; Ann Whiteside, the executive assistant to Gallatin Mayor Jo Ann Graves and a current HR consultant; and Brian Woodall, the U.S. Army senior operations and human resources manager with the Light Infantry Task Force in Germany.

THE CANDIDATES: Angela Bryant-Ware Debbie Johnson Jill Johnson Regan Morrison Amy Summers Ann Whiteside

Contact Josh Cross at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

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Sumner County Sheriff’s Office, and in 2010 he was hired with the Gallatin Police Department, where he was a bicycle patrol officer and a member of the SWAT team. Thomas was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, but in recent months friends and family knew he didn’t have much time left. Gallatin police Assistant Chief Bill Sorrells said Thomas was like “a family member” and was an “elite officer” – a man who was strong in physical ability but also humble, tender-hearted, and compassionate. “We were all prepared for it (his death), but

you’re never prepared,” he said. “It just leaves you with an empty spot here today. Even though we all knew that he wasn’t going to be back, there was always that hope, and now that it’s happened, it’s just kind of an empty hole.” Lt. Bill Vahldiek, who worked with Thomas when he began his career at the jail in 1998, remembered his colleague as “a great father” who would drop everything to help someone in need. “You could call him in the middle of the night and you could be out of gas two states away and he’d be on the way to help you; that’s just Kevin, that’s just the

of property tax appraised at $1.1 million. Creekside has been building on lots across from Pilot Knob near Kroger Marketplace. Fifth Third took the other four sets of property because no one made acceptable bids. Downs’ hub for business interests in recent decades centered on Lexington, Ky., from an address at the heart of Lexington’s legendary bluegrass and blueblood horse country. Besides Kentucky, Tennessee, and Texas, Downs’ business dealings included Missouri. Downs and Hanna turn up as the two members of at least four other Tennessee Limited Liability Companies in Middle Tennessee: Fountain Place Condominiums, The Garden Club of Cool Springs, Lakes of Savannah, and Savannah.

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way he was,” he said. “If I ever wanted one of my kids to be like somebody, I’d want them to be like Kevin.” Contact Sarah Kingsbury at 575-7161 or skingsbury@mtcngroup.com. Contact Josh Cross at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

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Gallatin lawsuit Downs also continues a legal fight against the city of Gallatin that started in 2010 involving Bell Farm Estates and Franklin Farm Estates to determine who pays for road and bridge work at the intersection of Cages Bend Road and Big Station Camp Boulevard. It is set for an August trial. Downs failed to get a letter of credit for the work as required by the city and Kroger using proceeds authorized in loan agreements. Gallatin threatened to withhold a certificate of occupancy to prevent Kroger from opening in March 2010. Kroger put up a $1.35 million payment bond if the developers did not pay.

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hook for millions owed after auction proceeds came up short, Downs said that the matter was dropped in court by all parties. He declined to answer further questions about the foreclosures or judgments. A spokesperson for Fifth Third declined to comment on the lawsuit. Downs, chief manager of the four foreclosed twomember LLCs, and Hanna, the other member, had been named with the companies as liable for the full amount due after defaulting on the loans. A number of other related and unrelated companies owned by the men were not named in the suit. Though Downs lives in Gallatin, the judgments stem from LexingtonFayette County, Ky., where Downs once lived and developed property. Fifth Third filed an outof-state judgment in Sumner County Chancery Court. The final Sumner court action was a July 2 order that stated the matter was “compromised and settled” and “dismissed with prejudice.” With well over $17 million at stake, including interest, Fifth Third began legal proceedings in Kentucky in 2011 with Fayette County Circuit Court Judge Pamela Goodwine deciding in the bank’s favor in 2012. Downs and Hanna and their companies appealed that same year and then moved to dismiss the appeal four months later. A second appeal followed in March 2013. The foreclosed properties came with more than $311,000 in three years of back taxes, interest, and penalties owed to the county. The cities of Gallatin and Hendersonville were also owed unpaid property taxes. Fifth Third paid off the taxes to complete the transactions. Fifth Third auctioned off six sets of properties of the four companies, which are all registered in Tennessee (two were previously registered in Kentucky). Two sets went to Creekside Homes LLC in Oakland, Tenn., which won a $1.4 million bid for 25 unimproved lots and some open spaces in 86 acres held by Franklin Farm Estates LLC in the Savannah subdivision, appraised at $2.2 million for tax purposes. Creekside also had the winning $1 million bid on about 69 acres on Cages Bend Road

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Gallatin Police Department Officer Kevin Thomas was the grand marshal of the 2012 Gallatin Christmas parade. RICK MURRAY/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER/FILE

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Thomas spent about 15 years in law enforcement after graduating from Gallatin High School in 1997 and taking a job the following year at the Sumner County Jail. He transferred to the Hendersonville Police Department and attended the Law Enforcement Training Academy in 2000. In 2003, he worked as a school resource officer at Westmoreland and Station Camp high schools for the

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Cemetery, a funeral service will be held at Hartsville Pike Church of Christ Monday at 1 p.m. with visitation starting at 10 a.m. until service time. Visitation will also be held today from1-8 p.m. at Alexander Funeral Home. The community is invited. “There’s a lot of people that love him,” Lois Thomas said. The couple had six children between them, four of which they were raising at their home. Lois Thomas called her husband “irreplaceable.” Through Kevin’s death, she hopes to play a part in advancing research to find new treatments for what she called a “horrible disease.” “Brain cancer is very common and even more on the rise and there’s just four approved drugs to treat it,” she said. “There’s so little progress in the treatment.”

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ONLINE For the latest in local news and updates, visit GallatinNewsExaminer.com

City may enforce in planning region

KEVIN THOMAS | 1979-2013

Violators could be cited to Circuit Court under change By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

The Gallatin City Council is set to decide how it wants to enforce rules in its planning region after the police department raised a question about what jurisdiction the city has to handle such regulations. That means changes might be coming to properties outside city limits. In April, the council moved the city’s property maintenance inspector position from the codes and planning department to the umbrella of the Gallatin Police Department. During the transition, though, it was discovered that the city technically lacked the authority to enforce anything other than zoning and subdivision regulations in the city’s planning region. Gallatin’s planning region is an area outside the city limits that was agreed upon in cooperation between the county and the city and ratified by the state in 1987. It was created to allow the city to control growth and development in areas likely to be annexed. The issue dates back to a March 1995 resolution that was passed by the Sumner County Commission that allowed cities with planning regions, if they chose, to adopt the resolution and enforce county zoning provisions in that city’s planning region. “From my research … it does not appear that the city of Gallatin ever adopted the resolution,” City Attorney Joe Thompson said during a presentation to the council Tuesday, July 23. Thompson told the council that for years previous officials with the city had operated under “pretty much a handshake” agreement for city employees to enforce city ordinances, although no official approval from the city had been taken to give authority to enforce anything other than subdivision and zoning regulations in the region. “I wasn’t comfortable that

» ENFORCE, 3A

Gallatin Police Department Chief Don Bandy and Assistant Chief Bill Sorrells carry the casket of late Officer Kevin Thomas at Gallatin City Cemetery on Monday, July 29. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

OFFICERS MOURN DEATH OF ‘BROTHER’ Pastor: Thomas loved being an officer, dreamed of returning to duty

Gallatin News Examiner

While a funding dispute has kept the Gallatin City Council gridlocked in passing an annual budget, the city is looking at bond refinancing that could result in savings of $30,000 a year. Members of the Gallatin City Council unanimously gave their consent for the city’s finance department to move forward with refinancing some of the city’s bond issues following a request from Finance Director Rachel Nichols during a meeting on Tuesday, July 23. “As we get closer to August, which is a deadline on one of our older (bond) issues, assuming the market plays nice, conditions will be better, and we will be able to receive some interest savings,” Nichols said. In May, when the city looked at the possibility of refinancing, it was estimated the city could save $30,000 a year in interest payments, Nichols said. But,

See a photo gallery and video from the funeral for Kevin Thomas at GallatinNewsExaminer.com

By Sarah Kingsbury Gallatin News Examiner

For 14 months, the law enforcement community in Sumner County and Middle Tennessee rallied around Kevin Thomas and his family as the 34-year-old battled an aggressive form of brain cancer. Never was that support more evident than at the Gallatin officer’s funeral Monday. Thomas, who was diagnosed with glioblastoma in 2012, died Thursday at his home in Gallatin. “The picture’s turned

City looks to refinance bonds to save thousands By Josh Cross

ONLINE

current market conditions are not as advantageous for the city. “Today when you look at it, it’s back to not being a good time,” she said. “We would save $30,000 over the life of the refunding issues instead of the $30,000 a year.” Nichols said that the council’s approval would give underwriters Wiley Brothers the needed ability to go out and sell the new bond issue for the city on a day when the market is in “peak condition.” “We have to have some flexibility so they can do it on the most advantageous day,” she said. District 3 Councilor Jimmy Overton said that with the possibility of a new $7.5 million-$9.5 million bond issue, the city is looking to save every penny it can. “Anytime we can save money on a bond, why wouldn’t we do that?” he said. Contact reporter Josh Cross at 5757115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

Lois Thomas with children, Carson Blake, 10, and Nora Thomas, 6, at Gallatin City Cemetery, where Kevin Thomas was buried Monday. Pictured at back: Kevin Thomas’ parents, Fay and Sherry Thomas. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

around; I’m supposed to be the one in there instead of the kid,” said Fay Thomas, Kevin’s father. “It’s the toughest thing I’ve ever had to go

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» THOMAS, 4A

THE BELL TOWLES

‘Free’ is not free in the wacky world of TV service It was fun the first time around, and readers seemed to like it, so here we go with part II of things I don’t understand or can’t comprehend: » Why is it so difficult to get good TV service around here? If it’s not bad enough that our service gets interrupted and in need of a reboot more than ever, we recently discovered that most of the movies listed behind the “free” tab are now actually “free with subscription.” All we have to do is pay extra for a subscription upgrade, and then those movies will be like free (not exactly). No thanks. This past weekend we decided to act on an offer in the mail to switch to another service that would double the availability of channels while saving us roughly $30 a month. Sweet. Included was a $200

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

through.” The Gallatin father of nine was unsure how he would move forward. “I may never get over it at

my age,” he said. “But life will have to go on.” Gallatin Police Department Chief Don Bandy said Thomas had become like “a brother” to the law enforcement community, having served with the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office as both a school resource officer and a jailer, and with the Hendersonville Police Department. “You’d want your officers to be like him because he cared about his job and the badge, and it reflected in the work he did and the respect

» MIKE TOWLE shopping card if we acted now, and the customer rep said she would throw in three months of HBO and Cinemax, no charge. Sweeter. A few minutes later, though, she told us this particular TV service wasn’t available in our area. That’s mystifying considering we live in a city of 50,000-plus just a stone’s throw from a major metropolitan area. This company already provides us with our phone and Internet service, so

why can’t they just bundle in the TV? It’s not like we live in a cabin on the outskirts of Red Boiling Springs, you know? » I still don’t get “Obamacare” as being anything but a political trophy for its namesake. More than half of Americans and a majority of Congress don’t want it. Plus, some of its original proponents are saying it’s a mistake that could deep-six our economy. So, why can’t we just fix this fix? Creating a national system that makes healthcare reasonably accessible for all Americans and which covers pre-existing conditions is a good thing, as long as it also includes medical liability (tort) reform that puts an end to outlandish rewards. Even Obama hinted this thing

» TOWLE, 3A

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4A • WEDNESDAY, JULY 31, 2013

GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Officers fill 22 pews at service »THOMAS FROM 1A the community had for him,” Bandy said. “It went both ways – he loved the community and it has shown with the outpouring, in the last few days, of love.” Hendersonville Police Chief Mickey Miller, who took over as head of the department in 2010, met Thomas after he was diagnosed with cancer but saw immediately that he was a “strong individual.” “He was a guy who kept his spirits up despite knowing what was coming,” Miller said. “It’s just a tragic loss not only for the Gallatin Police Department but for all of law enforcement.” Thomas worked for the Hendersonville Police Department from 2000 to 2003. His supervisor at the time, Assistant Chief James Jones, said Thomas was “super positive” and had an “excellent work ethic.” “He was young and very enthusiastic,” Jones said. “He always wanted to do the very best job that he could.” During the eulogy Monday, pastor and GPD chaplain Doyle Farris said the experience of battling cancer had been “humbling and overwhelming” for the Thomas family, who were the beneficiaries of numerous community fundraisers and an outpouring of support. “He loved being a police officer. His dream was to return to active duty. Even up to a few weeks ago he was still talking about hoping to do that,” Farris said. “Kevin was a humble man, and he never really comprehended the contribution that he made to his community.” As a resource officer from 2003-2010 at Station Camp and Westmoreland high schools, Thomas found himself in a position to make a difference by helping students. It was a career path he’d talked about returning to, Farris said. Michelle Gann, a classroom assistant, worked at Station Camp when Thomas was an SRO there. After he took a job with the city of Gallatin, he continued to come to ball games at the high school.

Gallatin Police Department officers filled 22 pews at the funeral service for their late colleague, Officer Kevin Thomas, at Hartsville Pike Church of Christ Monday, July 29. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

“He was amazing. He interacted with the kids. He was wonderful,” she said. “I’m sure there is going to be a huge hole next year at the school.”

Last call

Law enforcement officers and staff filled 22 pews at Hartsville Pike Church of Christ as they filed in wearing white carnations Monday. Each laid the flower in Thomas’s casket during the service. As they exited the church, at least 100 officers formed a long line on each side of the door and saluted as the coffin was carried to the car that would take Thomas on his last journey. At the gravesite, with friends and family gathered to say final goodbyes, a radio crackled to life from Cemetery Avenue. “Kevin Thomas, you have answered your last call,” Gallatin Police Dispatcher Matt Brawner said over the speaker. “Your work is done, and now it is your time to rest.” Alexander Quinones and Josh Cross contributed to this story.

Contact Sarah Kingsbury at 575-7161 or skingsbury@mtcngroup.com.

Gallatin Police Chief Don Bandy gives one last salute at the funeral of Officer Kevin Thomas at Hartsville Pike Church of Christ Monday, July 29. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Sherry Thomas, mother of late Gallatin Police Department Officer Kevin Thomas, at her son’s funeral service at Hartsville Pike Church of Christ Monday, July 29. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER Lois Thomas with children Carson Blake, 10, Joe Blake, 9, and Nora Thomas, 6, leave Hartsville Pike Church of Christ after the funeral service of late Gallatin Police Department Officer Kevin Thomas Monday, July 29. Thomas’ brother, Rocky Thomas, is seen at left. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

“The picture’s turned around; I’m supposed to be the one in there instead of the kid. It’s the toughest thing I’ve ever had to go through.” FAY THOMAS | Father of Kevin Thomas

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FRIDAY » AUGUST 9, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

50¢

ONLINE For the latest in local news and updates, visit GallatinNewsExaminer.com

School board member resigns County Commission to name successor By Jesse Hughes For the Gallatin News Examiner

Shannon Dunn of Goodlettsville resigned her Sumner County Board of Education seat Monday after moving out of the district she represented since being elected to a four-year term in August 2010. Odd-numbered school district seats were already slated to be on the August 2014 county general election ballot, and

City looks at dividing Civic Center pool

Dunn’s resignation from the District 5 post has sparked early interest from candidates. Dunn did not return requests for comment Wednesday. “We are obviously Dunn sad to see her resign. She’s been a good board member and, as a former teacher and small businesswoman, brought good perspectives to the table,” said District 4 school board member Beth Cox. Sumner County Executive Anthony Holt said Monday that the Sumner Coun-

ty Commission would appoint a replacement to fill out the unexpired portion of Dunn’s term with “commission courtesy being given, of course,” to District 11 county commissioners Paul Freels and Jerry Stone who represent the area containing school board District 5 that includes Goodlettsville, Millersville, and the Shackle Island community. A tiny portion of the school board district falls outside commission District 11. Stone said Monday that Janet Arnold, a retired physician’s assistant who lives in Goodlettsville, had agreed to serve and he would be recommending her for the appointment. The decision will ultimate-

STRONG SCHOOLS CANDIDATE FORUM When: Monday, Aug. 12, 7 p.m. Where: Hendersonville City Hall Watch Online: Livestreaming on Facebook at Support Strong Sumner County Schools

ly be up to the full commission, which next meets Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. Attempts to contact Arnold were unsuccessful by this newspaper’s deadline. Interested candidates for the school board seat can apply for the position by

» RESIGNS, 5A

TREASURES OR TRASH?

By Josh Cross

Gallatin News Examiner

City leaders are looking at the possibility of dividing the Gallatin Civic Center pool to create a heated therapeutic side as Gallatin continues into its second month without a budget following the July 1 start of the fiscal year. Mayor Jo Ann Graves told members of the City Council Tuesday that an employee proposed the idea of building a wall in the facility’s pool in an attempt to find a solution to the budget stalemate. “There have been no decisions made,” she said. “We are totally in the evaluation stage. We don’t know if we can do it.” The council is split over adding another $2 million to a $7.5 million bond to build a heated therapeutic pool and children’s splash activity center at the Civic Center. The addition was requested by At-Large Councilor Julie Brackenbury in June. The mayor’s $7.5 million bond, presented as part of her original budget Graves proposal, would fund major road projects, construct a public works building and add lighting to Triple Creek Park. The council narrowly approved the $2 million amendment, increasing the Brackenbury bond to $9.5 million, but the move was rejected by Graves in a veto in June. “You’ve all watched the meetings,” Graves said Tuesday. “We’re very divided on that issue, but we are trying to find a solution and part of my job is always to look for solutions.” Brackenbury said Wednesday the idea to divide the pool was “a total waste of time” that would eliminate a competition swim lane and prevent overcrowded water aerobic classes from growing. “I’m truly amazed that this idea could move as far as it has,” she said. Graves said the city would pursue “any and all ideas” to resolve the budget impasse, and pointed out exploring the divided pool idea would not cost any money, but would take some time. “It’s not going to be an overnight process,” she said. Brackenbury said that she took pictures of the pool overcrowding at the Civic Center Wednesday and would present them at the Aug. 13 City Council meeting. Contact Josh Cross at 575-7115.

Barbara Browner holds a family photo at her Rodney Street home. Because of all of the items in the house, the building has been declared uninhabitable and the family is not allowed to move back in until it has been cleaned out. JOSH CROSS/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Family forced from home after city deems it unsafe Six tons of clutter removed from Rodney Street residence

Curtis Browner cleans up the back bedroom of the house he lived in with his parents and brother. Since Aug. 1, the family has hauled away more than 6 tons of items from the residence. JOSH

By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

Barbara Browner describes herself as a collector, but Gallatin officials say she’s storing too much stuff in her house and it is uninhabitable. For 45 years, Barbara Browner and her husband, Elvis, both 76, have lived in their home on Rodney Street in Gallatin. They raised five children there. Over the years, the family has gathered items and stored them in the home, but now city officials say the family must clean the house before they can return. “I’m just a collector, that’s all I can say,” Barbara Browner said. “We’ve been here 45 years and then all of the sudden everybody says, ‘Well, you can’t have them.’” On July 31, Gallatin police were dis-

CROSS/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

patched to Rodney Street after someone in the neighborhood reported that a person was relieving himself in their front yard. During the course of the investigation, officers ended up going to the Browners’ house.

ONLINE

See video of the cleanup of the home at GallatinNewsExaminer.com

» UNSAFE, 5A

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NEWS

GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Strong Schools plans candidate forum »RESIGNS FROM 1A contacting county commissioners and asking to be put up for nomination at the County Committee on Committees that meets Aug. 19 at 6:30 p.m. before the commission meeting. “They are welcome to contact my office, and I will make the commissioners aware of that,” Holt said Wednesday. “We will be glad to forward any information to the committee. They can bring a resume or whatever.” As county mayor, Holt does not have a vote at meetings. An applicant must live in the district and be qualified under state law.

Forum planned

By Wednesday, Strong Schools, was rallying around Leslie Schell for the post and arranging a candidate forum. The grassroots organization was formed in 2012 after a budget battle between the school board and County Commission.

“We are going to pat anyone on the back who stands up and volunteers,” said Sibyl Reagan, outreach coordinator for Strong Schools. “Since it’s not an election, we thought it would be great to have both candidates at a forum where both would have a chance to meet the public and the public could meet them.” Schell and her husband own a construction company in Hendersonville, Cross Driven Construction. She described herself as a stay-at-home mom with four children. On Wednesday, she was filling in as a substitute teacher at Beech Elementary where her children attend school. “I am always involved in my kid’s activities,” she said. “Right now, there is an open seat and a need and my plan is to just focus on that right now and take things one day at a time.” Strong Schools will host the forum Monday at Hendersonville City Hall at 7 p.m. for candidates in-

terested in the school board vacancy. Reagan said the forum would be livestreamed on FaceBook at Support Strong Sumner County Schools Cox called Schell “very active in the community” and in Beech Elementary’s parent-teacher organization. “She is familiar with school budgets and instructional allocations and follows the budgeting process closely,” Cox said. “She would bring a lot of good assets to the team and we would work very well together. She would be an outstanding candidate.” When Dunn ran in 2010, she was the owner of Lizards and Lace Children’s Boutique. Dunn received the endorsement of the Sumner County Education Association and was a volunteer for Madison Creek Elementary’s parent teacher organization. Contributing writer Jesse Hughes lives in Gallatin.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 9, 2013 •

5A

COMMUNITY EVENTS Send your community event to gnenews@ mtcngroup.com.

Friday, Aug. 9

» The Honey Do’s, featuring Caroline Whitley and Charlie Barnes, perform rock and roll at the Gallatin Senior Center, 200 E. Franklin St., 7-9 p.m. $5

Saturday, Aug. 10

» Barkparty Festival for dogs and their family. Music, adoptions, puppy kissing booth at the Pick Inn, 550 Zieglers Fort Road, Gallatin, 12-5 p.m. Free. » Gallatin High School Class of 1978 reunion at Sycamore Springs in Bethpage, 3712 Highway 31E, 5:30 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m. with DJ playing hits from the 70s. Corky’s BBQ will cater with onsite catfish fry. $35 per person. Call 452-7133 » Boy Scout Troop 406 pancake breakfast, Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in Hendersonville, 7-10 a.m. $5. Proceeds go to buy new

camping equipment.

Wednesday, Aug. 14

Monday, Aug. 12

» Gallatin Farmers Market, 3-6 p.m.

» Dr. Mike Tabor, local dentist and chief forensic dentist for the state Medical Examiner’s Office, will speak and hold a book signing at the Hendersonville Public Library, 67:30 p.m. The book, “Walk of Death,” is based on a real life cold case murder Tabor worked on.

Tuesday, Aug. 13

» Newcomers Club Movie Night, Ladies Night out at the movies at the NCG Theaters in Gallatin. Movie TBA. Admission $6, popcorn $2. Contact Kim, 822-1117 or kim@stokesvideo.com » Newcomers Club Knotty Knitters knitting group meeting, 2-4 p.m. Call Loretta at 824-5655 for directions and information. » Live music at The Whippoorwill, featuring Marshall and Friends “Bluesday Tuesday” Jam Session, 7 p.m. on the Gallatin square.

Thursday, Aug. 15 » 3rd Thursday on Main featuring Daryle Singletary on the downtown square in Gallatin, 6:30-9 p.m. » Newcomers Club Lunch Bunch, ladies group eating at Demo’s in Hendersonville, 11:30 a.m. Call Carol at 8263990 for more information. » Dining For Dogs Humane Society fundraiser at Rudders Restaurant in Hendersonville, 4-8 p.m. » Hendersonville’s AARP Chapter #4443 regular monthly session, 1 p.m., at the Senior Citizens Center, 223 Campus Dr. Guest speaker Bill Kemp, Sumner County clerk. All seniors invited to attend. Light refreshments will be served. » Sumner County Republican Party evening meeting, Portland Library, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Homeowner: ‘It’s literally like throwing a good part of your life away’ »UNSAFE FROM 1A

Uninhabitable

Barbara Browner denied that a member of her family relieved himself in another person’s yard. “I don’t know how it all came about,” she said. “It was all a bunch of lies. My kids don’t do things like that. They weren’t brought up like that, and they’re not like that.” Property Maintenance Inspector Jessica Jackson, a police officer, said when she entered the Browner home, there was clutter “from the floor to the ceiling.” “They’ve cooperated and (started cleaning), but it is still unsanitary at this point for them to be able to go back and stay there,” Jackson said Tuesday.

The Gallatin City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to declare the house uninhabitable and give the family two weeks to continue work before Jackson inspects it again, at which point the family may be given more time to clean up, or could be permitted to return if the house is deemed satisfactory. “Obviously, the city’s goal is to get these folks back in their home, but to get it in a condition where it’s not a problem for them or their neighbors, and that’s really what caused this to be an issue,” City Attorney Joe Thompson said. Barbara Browner said that she disagrees with

the notion that her house in unsafe. “We’ve been safe for 45 years,” she said. “I don’t think we have any problems with safety.” While the family cleans out their home one trash bag at a time, a restricted use sign remains taped to the front of their screen door. “How would you like that sign on your house?” Barbara Browner said. “That’s degrading. I don’t think any of the council would like to have that sign on their door.” Browner said that she does not like having someone else tell her she has to clean out her house and added that she feels the city council would not want someone to do the same thing to them.

“I think they’d have a problem with that because I know I have,” she said. “But you don’t get any say so. It’s just done for you.” Cleaning out her house is like throwing away part of her life bag by bag, she said. “They might think it’s trash,” she said. “But it’s literally like throwing a good part of your life away.”

Looking for help

Since Aug. 1, the Browners have thrown away more than 6 tons of items from the house and have worked from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, Curtis Browner said. “We have worked so hard on that house,” he said. “I have carried out

HEADQUARTERED IN GOODLETTSVILLE

1,000 bags myself.’’ The disposal has cost the family $388 in addition to $55 a night for a motel room near the square in downtown Gallatin. Barbara Browner said that the family gets $900 a month in income from Elvis Browner’s retirement. Browner, who spent 14 years in the United States Air Force, worked at Hoeganaes in Gallatin for 31 years. “It’s hard to come up with money every night like we have to,” she said. “We’ve had to take what little money we’ve saved for all of our life when he (Elvis Browner) retired. We didn’t have a choice.” Elvis Browner said that he would use money he had in savings to help

refurnish the house, but the family has asked for help in covering some of the cleanup costs. Those interested in donating trash bags or helping cover the cost of a motel room or hauling away items from the house can call 452-8981. Barbara Browner said that despite the disagreement, she hopes to be able to move back into her home soon. “All in all I think we’ve had a pretty good life I guess considering others,” she said. “God gave us another day and we pray that he’ll give us many more.” Reporter Josh Cross can be reached at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

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SUMNER A.M. SUNDAY » AUGUST 11, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

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Walton Trace still drying out Six homes in Hendersonville neighborhood hit by flash flood By Tena Lee Sumner A.M.

Hendersonville resident Brenda Saunders was still busy drying out the contents of her garage on Friday after a Thursday morning flash flood sent water into the crawl spaces and

garages of six homes in her Walton Trace subdivision. Saunders blames a clogged culvert behind her home coupled with several inches of rain in a short amount of time for the damage. Middle Tennessee was soaked with patches of rain Thursday, devastating some

parts of Nashville while leaving others soggy but unscathed. Hendersonville received 3.07 inches while nearby Madison got 7.32 inches. Gallatin saw 3.62 inches, but had no reports of major damage. Emergency workers conducted one water rescue at the corner of Walton Ferry Road and Walton Trace South after residents asked to be removed

Myles Conley stands in front of a drainage ditch in his Hendersonville neighborhood Thursday. Water from the ditch caused flooding in the garages and crawl spaces of six homes in the Walton Trace. TENA LEE/SUMNER A.M.

» FLOODING, 3M

Man stable after electric shock

POLLUTION IMPACT UNKNOWN

By Sherry Mitchell Sumner A.M.

A 35-year-old man was electrocuted while doing work at a home in northern Sumner County Thursday and was transported by ambulance to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Joe Greer Jr. was working on a heating and air system in the Nubia Road area of Westmoreland when he was electrocuted, said Sumner County Sheriff Sonny Weatherford. It was unclear whether Greer was indoors or outside, or whether the incident was weather-related, said Sumner County Emergency Medical Services Director Keith Douglas. EMS personnel, when communicating with dispatch, said Greer was alert but confused as to what day it was after he was injured. Greer was listed in stable condition at Vanderbilt on Friday, according to Vanderbilt spokesman Paula Jones.

Emergency crews and company workers assess the diesel fuel spill behind 385 W. Main St. in Gallatin on Thursday. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/SUMNER A.M.

Town Creek diesel spill cleanup could take 3 weeks By Sarah Kingsbury Sumner A.M.

Gallons of diesel fuel spilled into Town Creek and flowed toward Old Hickory Lake near the Lock 4 area of Gallatin Thursday, but on Friday investigators were still unable to determine the amount released into the water. “We probably won’t know,” said Gallatin Fire Marshal Stan Gwaltney, who is leading the investigation. The spill originated from the Shell gas

station, operated by H&S Fuels, at 385 W. Main St. The vendor that supplies fuel to the store is Hollingsworth Oil in Springfield. The store’s general manager, Scott Summers, said 20 gallons may have spilled from the tanks based on inventory records, but a state environment official, Daniel Roop, said that seemed too low for the four miles the fuel flowed down Town Creek. At a fishing ramp off Lock 4 Road, diesel was visible on the surface of the water Thursday.

ONLINE

See video of crews working to clean up and stop the spill at GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Gwaltney said Friday that H&S Fuels is responsible for the spill. “It was just an accidental overflow due to weather and miscalculations of what was in the tank,” he said.

Reporter Sherry Mitchell can be reached at 575-7117 or shmitchell@mtcngroup.com.

» DIESEL, 4M

Sumner moms celebrate breastfeeding week Experts: Mother’s milk raises healthier children

Chappel Burnley, 21, kisses 5-week-old daughter Chaslyn at the World Breastfeeding Week celebration at the Gallatin Civic Center on Wednesday, Aug. 7. DESSISLAVA

By Dessislava Yankova Sumner A.M.

The benefits of breastfeeding last a lifetime, experts say. That’s the key message health experts gave to current and expecting mothers at a cele-

YANKOVA/SUMNER A.M.

OPEN TODAY! 10AM - 4PM

bration Wednesday in Gallatin to promote maternal milk nutrition as part of 2013 World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7. “It’s a great opportunity for current and expecting mothers to meet other breastfeeding mothers and connect and interact,” said Sherrie England, internationally board certified lactation consultant with the Sumner County Health Department in Gallatin. England was one of several experts on hand at the Gallatin

VIDEO

Learn more about breastfeeding at GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Civic Center who answered questions and offered support for women considering breastfeeding. “This gives them the chance to informally talk, not only with professionals, but also to share

» MILK, 3M

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NEWS

4M • SUNDAY, AUGUST 11, 2013

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Gallatin city leaders have decided on a short list of candidates to interview for a vacant HR director position. The list was narrowed from seven to three Tuesday after City Council members and Mayor Jo Ann Graves circled their top choices on ballots during a public meeting. By city rules, the mayor gets to vote on department

head hires. Two Gallatin employees – interim HR diJohnson rector Amy Summers and the mayor’s executive assistant and former HR director for the county, Ann Whiteside – were chosen. The third candidate is Debbie Johnson, a benefits specialist

»DIESEL FROM 1M

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Full cleanup at the West Main Street site is expected to take three weeks. Rain and lightning forced crews to discontinue their efforts on the water to stop the diesel from spreading to Old Hickory Lake and the Cumberland River Thursday. When emergency officials returned to the area Friday, the fuel was gone. “It may have moved on out of our area and it may show back up in another cove,” Gwaltney said. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is providing oversight during the cleanup process. If the state agency finds H&S or Hollingsworth violated environmental regulations, it could assess penalties, said Roop, who is an emergency services coordinator for TDEC. An inspection report, which would include the amount of fuel spilled, could take a few weeks or up to 45 days to complete. Summers said the incident was discovered Thursday around 8 a.m., but the gas station was closed when the driver from Hollingsworth de-

Crews work to clean up a diesel spill at 485 W. Main St. in Gallatin Thursday. SHERRY MITCHELL/SUMNER A.M.

livered the diesel. The fire department was called at 9:43 a.m., Gwaltney said. Heavy rain that caused flash flooding in some parts of Sumner County Thursday moved the fuel downstream. Summers said inventory records showed the fuel “really shouldn’t

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The panelstyle interviews will be held Tuesday, Aug. 13, and each candidate will be asked the same questions in rotating order, Summers Whiteside said Special Projects Director for SMS Holdings, Inc. in Rosemary Bates. Bates is Nashville and former as- assisting in the search sistant vice chancellor for process to avoid a conflict human resources and sys- of interest because Sumtemwide affirmative ac- mers is a candidate for the tion office for the Tennes- job. see Board of Regents.

H&S Fuels responsible for spill, fire marshal says

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Gallatin narrows HR director list to 3 By Sarah Kingsbury

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have run over.” “It’s just a mystery really,” he said. The Gallatin Fire Department deployed its fire boat out of the Gallatin Marina to prevent the spill from contaminating larger bodies of water as the diesel flowed out of Town Creek into East Station Camp Creek.

A message left for Hollingsworth Oil owner Ronnie Hollingsworth was not returned Friday. Gwaltney initially said Thursday that up to 100 gallons of diesel may have spilled, but later in the day recanted that number. Contact Sarah Kingsbury at or skingsbury@mtcngroup.com.


NEWS

SPORTS

CITY LEADERS SET TO PICK HR DIRECTOR, 2A

MIDDLE EAGLES FALL IN OPENER, 1B

FRIDAY » AUGUST 16, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

50¢

ONLINE For the latest in local news and updates, visit GallatinNewsExaminer.com

County to fill schools seat Only one candidate attended Monday Q & A forum

By Tena Lee Gallatin News Examiner

Leslie Schell of Hendersonville answers questions Monday from Strong Schools President Andy Spears and Merrol Hyde student MeriAllen Krueger. TENA LEE/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

When former Sumner County school board member Shannon Dunn told the board on Aug. 5 that she was vacating her seat because she had moved out of her district, it didn’t take long for potential candidates to surface.

One is Leslie Schell, a Hendersonville mother of four, whose children attend Beech Elementary. The other is Janet Arnold, a retired physician’s assistant who lives in Goodlettsville. Her children are all adults. The County Commission will appoint Dunn’s replacement Monday. But Sumner County Executive Anthony Holt already has said the appointment will be made with “commission courtesy being given, of course,” to District 11 county commission-

ers Paul Freels and Jerry Stone. The two represent the majority of the area containing school board District 5 that includes Goodlettsville, Millersville, and the Shackle Island community of Hendersonville. Stone has said he is recommending Arnold, leaving others to wonder if Schell or any other candidate has a chance with the rest of the commission. By Aug. 7, the grassroots organization Strong Schools had arranged a candidate forum and

» SCHOOLS, 3A

TWRA: Viral video led to seizure of ‘pet’ raccoon By Adam Tamburin Gannett Tennessee

Dan Downs, left, leaves Sumner County Circuit Court with his attorney, Ron Pursell, on Tuesday. A jury decided Downs has to pay $207,200 instead of the $1.7 million the city said he owed for the widening of Cages Bend Road and Big Station Camp Creek Boulevard. JOSH CROSS / GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Gallatin developer to pay $207K for road upgrades By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

A Gallatin developer who sued the city after being billed $1.7 million for road improvements will only have to pay a fraction of the cost, a jury decided Tuesday. After hearing two days of testimony, a 12-member jury deliberated for 90 minutes before concluding that Dan Downs, who developed the Savannah area where Kroger Marketplace

opened in 2010, owed $207,200 for upgrades to Big Station Camp Boulevard at Nashville Pike and Cages Bend Road improvements. The road projects, finished in 2010, ended up costing much more than expected, though the city was awarded a large amount of state and federal grant money to cover the expenses. “I felt like the jury did a fair job and they came back with what they

Mark “Coonrippy” Brown and his pet raccoon Rebekah were inseparable. He fed her with a bottle, slept with her at night and, on at least one occasion, showered with her. Now, Brown is turning to Gov. Bill Haslam for help after Tennessee authorities seized her from his Gallatin home. Brown has posted dozens of YouTube videos featuring wild raccoons he treats as pets. In one edition, Gunshow the raccoon sips Pepsi from the bottle. In another, that was featured by national media outlets, Brown uses Hannah Montana body spray to keep Gunshow from nibbling at his side. Brown even posted a memorial video when Gunshow died in January. The collection of videos has racked up millions of views. But earlier this summer, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officers seized the young Rebekah after a tipster pointed them toward a July video of Brown shampooing his long white beard with the soggy raccoon perched on his shoulder. An official said Brown was breaking state

» RACCOON, 3A Go to GallatinNewsExaminer.com to see video of Mark “Coonrippy” Brown talking about his love for raccoons.

“I felt like the jury did a fair job and they came back with what they thought was fair and reasonable.” RON PURSELL, attorney for Dan Downs Gallatin outdoorsman Mark “Coonrippy” Brown with raccoon Gunshow in 2012.

» LAWSUIT, 2A

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More students say they drink before 21 Data, however, show arrests for underage consumption decreased By Dessislava Yankova Gallatin News Examiner

Attorney M. Allen Ehmling shows Sara Lamb, 18, pictures from the June party at her Hendersonville home during a court hearing in Gallatin Monday, Aug. 7. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

More Sumner students say they consume alcohol, yet statistics show authorities are catching fewer underage drinkers. Surveys of high school students by the Sumner County Anti-Drug Coalition and Sumner County Board of Education since 2008 show an increase in

the use of alcohol, making it the most abused substance by their standards. Meanwhile, records from Sumner County Juvenile and General Sessions courts show a decrease in the number of underage people arrested for alcohol possession and consumption. The decreased arrests could be linked to some underage drinkers con-

ONLINE

See video from Monday’s court hearings at GallatinNewsExaminer.com

suming alcohol at home or at a friend’s house, said Katie Brown, coordinator of the school system’s Safe Schools, Healthy Students program. “It’s harder to arrest them because the behavior is hidden,’’ Brown said.

June incident

But that doesn’t mean the problem has disappeared altogether, as il-

lustrated in June when police were called to a Hendersonville home where minors were reportedly drinking at a graduation party. Police cited or arrested 32 people, including 22 adults and 10 juveniles. Charges included underage possession of alcohol, underage consump-

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3A

FRIDAY, AUGUST 16, 2013 •

Strong Schools candidate forum in Hendersonville draws one participant »SCHOOLS FROM 1A

might be a first.

confirmed Schell would appear, though she also ended up being the only candidate who attended. Strong Schools formed in 2012 after a budget battle between the school board and County Commission delayed the start of classes for 12 days. Many commission members, including Stone, have repeatedly voted down a property tax increase that would increase funding for the school system – a move Strong Schools has criticized. “Sumner County doesn’t have to have crisis budgeting every single year, and it’s been that way for the 13 years I’ve lived here,” Strong Schools President Andy Spears told about 30 people who attended the organization’s forum Monday at Hendersonville City Hall. Strong Schools formed, “to hold the County Commission and the school board accountable for consistently funding and supporting excellent schools,” Spears said. Both bodies passed budgets on time this year – a move that many commissioners said

The candidates

Schell was the forum’s only participant Monday, answering 15 questions about issues facing the school board, including whether she would support a budget that called for a tax increase. The group also sent questions to Arnold, who was out of town and not at the forum. Schell said she is seeking the seat because she wants to be a voice for her children. “There was a need that arose due to Ms. Dunn’s resignation, and I could either sit there or step up,” she said. “And, I chose to step up and fight for our kids.” Five county commissioners attended the forum: Paige Brown, Paul Goode, David Kimbrough, Paul Decker and Michael Guthrie. Arnold said Tuesday she was interested in the seat because “I want to help give kids a good education.” Stone said he compiled a list of people to run for the District 5 seat in the 2014 election prior to Dunn’s resignation. Arnold was on that list, so Stone called her and asked if she’d be willing

ABOUT THE CANDIDATES

to fill the seat. Stone said Arnold shares his conservative views, both socially and fiscally. The commissioner also said one of the complaints he hears is that Sumner schools don’t measure up to other school systems outside of Tennessee and he thinks Arnold would bring a fresh perspective to the board. Arnold has lived in New York, New Jersey, Indiana, Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. “I thought her broad range with other school systems would be an asset,” Stone said. “She’s seen how they do it in other places.” Arnold said of the questions sent to her by Strong Schools that she has “no plan to complete their questionnaire at the moment.” When asked if any county commissioners asked questions about her background or qualifications, Arnold said David Kimbrough was the only commissioner who contacted her and that was about the Strong Schools forum. Kimbrough did not return a request for comment. Goode said he hopes commis-

Janet Arnold Age: 70 Occupation: Physician assistant (retired), volunteer rape crisis counselor for Chester County, Penn. Education: Drexel University (formerly Hahnemann PHOTO University), NOT bachelor’s AVAILABLE degree as a physician assistant 1987, some post-graduate work in counseling. Family: “I have two children ages 50 and 47. I was active in the schools my children attended.”

Leslie Schell Age: 35 Occupation: Mother of four, managing partner of Cross Driven Construction Education: Westmoreland, 1996 Volunteer State Community College 1997 Nashville State Community College 1998 Family: “All four Schell of my children attend Beech Elementary. They range in age from kindergarten to fifth grade.”

sioners won’t make a decision until they hear from both candidates Monday. He said he was impressed that Schell, who is a substitute teacher at Beech, is involved with the school system. “She obviously has a working knowledge of what’s going on already,” he said. Stone asked Arnold to pre-

pare a short description about herself that he can distribute prior to the vote Monday. The County Commission meets at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19, at the County Administration Building, 355 N. Belvedere Drive in Gallatin. Reporter Tena Lee can be reached at 575-7116 or tlee@mtcngroup.com.

33 percent of underage drinkers say parents were present at house parties tion of alcohol and possession of drug paraphernalia involving marijuana, according to incident reports from the Hendersonville Police Department. Party host Sara Lamb, 18, a May 2013 graduate of Hendersonville High and the school’s 2012-13 homecoming queen, appeared in court Monday where she pleaded guilty to two charges: underage consumption of alcohol and contributing to the delinquency of a child. General Sessions Judge Jim Hunter also found her guilty of possession of unlawful drug paraphernalia and sentenced her to 11 months and 29 days probation.

HENDERSONVILLE JUNE PARTY STATS 35 charges 23 counts of underage possession of alcohol 5 counts of underage consumption of alcohol 2 counts of possession of drug paraphernalia 2 counts of contributing to the delinquency of a child 1 count criminal impersonation 1 count child neglect 1 count simple possession The people 32 individuals arrested, cited 22 adults, of which: Age 18 — 15 arrested Age 19 — 4 arrested Age 20 — 2 arrested Age 46 — 1 arrested 10 juveniles

BY THE NUMBERS Number of students who say they drank alcohol 2006 — 57 percent 2008 — 64 percent 2011 — 67 percent Underage consumption/ possession arrests by year 2008 — 377 2009 — 328 2010 — 228 2011 — 172 2012 — 185 2013 (to date) — 110 Source: Sumner County Anti-Drug Coalition, Sumner County Board of Education

Hunter gave Lamb probation on all charges to be served concurrently because she had no prior criminal record. Lamb is enrolled at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. “Miss Lamb, you fail a drug test, you can kiss school goodbye,” Hunter said Monday. “I’m gonna put you in jail.” Her mother, Laleh Lamb, 46, has said she was not at home at the time of the party. But she arrived

ty, according to her daughter’s testimony, but officials agree many parents know and allow underage drinking at home. “There is a common misconception among parents that if their children are home drinking they are safe,” said Kelly Hennessy-Pierce, executive director of the local Anti-Drug Coalition that aims to stop substance abuse. “There is no safe

home to find police trying to get into her house. When police asked her permission to enter the home, Laleh Lamb refused. Police obtained a search warrant, entered the house and found beer cans, alcohol bottles and marijuana, according to police records.The mother was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a child and child neglect because she left her 9-year-old son home in the care of her 18-year-old daughter, the police reports said. Hunter dismissed Laleh Lamb’s charges because her actions didn’t fit “the definition of a crime.” “She made some very poor decisions that night,” Hunter said. “But I have no proof that she knew there would be drinking. I’m just glad nobody died.”

way, time or place for teenagers to be drinking.” Thirty-three percent of underage drinkers say they attended a house party where alcohol was consumed and parents were present, according to school survey data. “I have very few who tell me how they got the alcohol,” Hunter said. “At these big parties, they just say they don’t know who brought the alcohol.”

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law by keeping Rebekah as a pet. Because he voluntarily turned her over, he wasn’t cited. “A wild animal is always unpredictable. They just aren’t suitable for pets,” TWRA spokesman Don King said. “It’s pretty black and white the way the law reads.” King said animal rehabilitation experts were working toward the “best ending to this story,” which was releasing Rebekah into the wild after a period of training. Brown has taken to YouTube to ask for a reprieve. “Rebekah is still in captivity,” Brown said in a recent video posting. “We have petitioned Gov. Bill Haslam for a full pardon and a permit to allow us to raise her as one of our own.”

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WEDNESDAY » AUGUST 28, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

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School board member named County Commission appoints Arnold to District 5 seat vacated Aug. 5 By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

The Sumner County Commission appointed Janet Arnold as the new District 5 member of the Sumner County Board of Education Monday. Arnold, a retired physician’s assistant who lives in Goodlettsville, was selected in a 14 to 10 vote, beating Leslie Schell, during a special-called meeting Monday.

Few buildings protected on square

“I’m happy to start work, and I’m looking forward to going to the school board and doing all of the things I have to do to get started,” Arnold said after the meeting. With her appointment, Arnold replaces former Sumner County school board member Shannon Dunn who resigned Aug. 5 after she moved out of the district. “I’m disappointed in the outcome, but I’m excited to work

Arnold

with Mrs. Arnold, and I will still play a very active role in my children’s education,” said Schell, whose four children attend Beech El-

ementary. Eight of the individuals who spoke during public recognition before Monday’s vote expressed their support of Schell. One spoke in support of Arnold. “I had a lot of support, and I really appreciate that, but obvi-

ously it wasn’t what the county commissioners wanted, and I respect that,” Schell said. Strong Schools Director Andy Spears released a statement Monday voicing disagreement with the commission’s vote. The nonprofit grassroots organization held a candidate forum Aug. 12 after District 11 Commissioner Jerry Stone announced his support for Arnold. “The County Commission missed an opportunity to build faith with the community they are elected to serve,” Spears said. Stone said that he was happy

with the appointment. “Like myself, Mrs. Arnold is a social and fiscal conservative and we need some of that representation on the school board,” he said. Both Stone and District 11 Commissioner Paul Freels represent the majority of the area within school board District 5, which includes Goodlettsville, Millersville and the Shackle Island community of Hendersonville. Arnold will start her term in September. Her seat is up for election in August 2014.

CRAGFONT GALA

A summer night to remember

No overlay for downtown By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

Only three buildings on Gallatin’s historic square have protections in place that prevent their owners from demolishing them at will. To tear them down, the owners would have to first get approval from the city’s Historic District Commission. Those three buildings — containing the Palace Theatre, the Pizza Machine and the old opera house across the street from the Gallatin Public Library — had an historic overlay placed on them at the owners’ request, said Kevin Chastine, a staff planner for Gallatin. “It was very striking to me because I didn’t know (about) it,” said At-Large Councilor Julie Brackenbury, who learned of the lack of protection during an Aug. 13 council meeting. “It’s pretty scary.” The issue came to light when Donna Lucas, law mediator and publisher of The Old Sumner Times Record, heard that an empty house next to Anderson Funeral Home might be torn down to make way for parking. Owner Phillip Anderson, whose funeral home

» OVERLAY, 3A

Debra York and Jim Harding have a slow dance during the Cragfont Gala Saturday, Aug. 24. The annual benefit raises money for to maintain the historic home in Castalian Springs. See more photos from the event on page 4A or at GallatinNewsExaminer.com. MATTHEW DIGGS/FOR THE GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Humanities may get new building at Vol State College must raise $3M of $30M construction cost By Dessislava Yankova Gallatin News Examiner

Sitting in the recording studio at Volunteer State Community College, Steve Bishir prepares to train students in the entertainment media industry, a program so popular that it is set to begin at double the size of initial projections in its first semester. Bishir, the director of the program, is among the many faculty and staff at the Gallatinbased college who know firsthand the need for a proposed 78,000-square-foot humanities building that would become the biggest structure on campus.

“We’re all over the place, and this building will bring all of us together and give us a home,” said Bishir, whose program consists of concentrations in music production, music business, web deFaulkner sign, and video production. In all, humanities includes 15 programs which encompass 34 percent of classes at Vol State. During the fall semester of 2012, 15.5 percent of students studied under a humanities ma-

jor. Fundraising for the $30 million building began in January. The college must raise 10 percent of the cost — $3 million — before the state will proceed with construction. So far, officials have raised about $1.6 million, said Karen Mitchell, who heads Vol State’s College Foundation, the fundraising arm of the institution. “We hope to have our match raised by the end of this year,” she said. “By the time the governor has his budget, we hope to have the whole project ready to present to him and say, ‘We’re ready to break ground.’” Historically, the state has fully covered the construction of new buildings, but that has changed in the past decade as funding for higher education has been cut, Mitchell said.

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

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“That’s why now we’re relying more on the community,” she said. Humanities programs include majors such as foreign language, theater, journalism, philosophy, music and English — studies that often call for students and professors to work closely together. “We have programs that require collaboration but we lack the space,” said Humanities Dean Alycia Ehlert. “We’re trying to engage students and faculty in these collaborative projects.”

More parking

The Tennessee Board of Regents has already selected Columbus, Ohio-based Moody Nolan Inc. as the architectural de-

» HUMANITIES, 2A

TO DONATE Volunteer State College Foundation 1480 Nashville Pike Gallatin TN 37066 Pledges can also be made over a three- or five-year period by contacting the College Foundation, 615-230-3506 or online at volstate.edu/foundation/giving

AT A GLANCE Proposed humanities building Square feet: 78,000 Classrooms: 41 Cost: $30 million Number of humanities majors (fall 2012): 1,265

ONLINE

See a map of Vol State’s campus showing the new humanities building at GallatinNewsExaminer.com

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GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

NEWS

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2013 •

The Palace Theater - 146 N. Water Ave.

The Suddarth Building - 106 Public Square

The old opera house building - 126 E. Main St.

JOSH CROSS/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

JOSH CROSS/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

JOSH CROSS/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

3A

Lucas wants public forum in October to protect buildings from demolition »OVERLAY FROM 1A sits on the corner of North Boyers Avenue and East Main Street, said there are no immediate plans to tear down the house and if the business needed more parking it would likely relocate it. “We like old stuff, too,” Anderson said. “Now, if it comes up that we have to have more parking we would think about moving that house. But, there are no plans of tearing it down or even moving it at this time.”

Owners apprehensive While there may not be any current plans to demolish any buildings on or near the square in Gallatin, Brackenbury said the city needs to have some type of protection in place to preserve its history. “I would hate to see the skyline of Gallatin disappear because somebody wanted a parking garage,” Brackenbury said. While an historic building may be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the listing

does not provide any protection from demolition, Chastine told members of the City Council on Aug. 13. “That designation itself does not stop someone from demolishing a structure,” he said. “They would still have the right to come in, apply for a demolition permit, and it would be issued.” Dan Brown, certified local government coordinator with the Tennessee Historical Commission, works with local governments on historic districts and overlays. Brown said

that he was “really surprised” when he found out that Gallatin’s square was not under such an overlay as are other cities in the state. “Franklin is one of the crown jewels of historic preservation and, of course, their historic downtown is in an overlay,” he said. “It’s at the core of their economic engine down there, and that is focused around historic preservation.” Brackenbury said that she is unsure if an historic overlay or change to how the city issues demolition

permits relating to historic buildings might be the best solution. “It’s something that is going to require a lot of research to make sure that we’re helping people and not hurting everybody,” she said.

Solution unclear

Lucas said that she wants to hold a public forum to discuss the topic further in October. As an owner of a home built in 1883 that is on the National Register of Historic Places, Lucas said that she can relate to the

uneasiness some property owners have about imposing restrictive codes on historic structures. “I understand that fear, but we don’t have to go that route,” she said. “Protecting things from demolition is the number one goal of historic overlays. It does not need to get into your business to the extent that you can’t afford to be in business.” Reporter Josh Cross can be reached at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

GFD Honor Guard opened Titans preseason game Saturday ONLINE See video of the Honor Guard bringing in the colors at the game at GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Members of the Gallatin Fire Department Honor Guard leave the field at the Tennessee Titans preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons at LP Field in Nashville, Saturday, Aug. 24. JAE S. LEE/GANNETT TENNESSEE

Members of the Gallatin Fire Department Honor Guard bring in the colors at the Tennessee Titans preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons at LP Field in Nashville, Saturday, Aug. 24. JAE S. LEE/GANNETT TENNESSEE

Council interviews for planning, building directors Gallatin News Examiner

The candidates spent time fielding questions about inspections, code interpretations and how they would work with developers in the community. Here are some of the highlights of their comments: » J. Lynn Hicks, building official for Conway, Ark: “I believe in helping support the customer as much as you possibly can without forfeiting safety or being unfair to others. I wish I had a magic wand to wave over stuff so nobody had to spend any money to do what they wanted to do, but unfortunately the purpose of the building code is to protect the people that are going to come and shop and work and live in all of those buildings.” » Charles (Chuck) Stuart, building official for Washington Parish, La.: “There are many ways to achieve what the intent of the code is. If you go to the letter of the codebook, no one could ever build anything. You couldn’t afford to build it, so you have to go to the intent of what the code is looking for.”

Candidates for city planning director answered questions from Gallatin Planning Commission Chairman Dick Dempsey in addition to City Council members. Here are some of the highlights of their comments: Jonathan Mendel, planning and zoning administrator for Riverside, Ohio, regarding communication with stakeholders throughout the community to evaluate what the city wants regarding zoning and development: “That applies to the elected officials on the City Council, appointed officials on the

TN-0000913116

sounds like certainly one of the most important things is to make sure that one area of the community doesn’t get all of the attention while another area of the community feels neglected and overlooked.’’ Joe James, director of planning and zoning for Plainfield, Ind., regarding implementing Gallatin’s 2020 general development and transportation plan: “I think Gallatin has a lot of potential.’’

THE CANDIDATES

Reporter Josh Cross can be reached at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

The council planned to discuss the next steps in the hiring process at its work session Tuesday, Aug. 27. Go to GallatinNewsExaminer.com for an update on that meeting and the most recent developments.

D

Building official

Planning director

Planning Commission or Board of Zoning Appeals and then just the general public to get a sense of what the community sees in itself.’’ William (Bill) McCord, principal planner-transportation for Port Orange, Fla., on seeing a community supported project come to fruition: “There is nothing more frustrating than to have a plan where the community has participated and then nothing happens with it.’’ Charles Foote, planning director for Mt. Juliet, regarding the need for community wide vision and planning: “It

TE IN TY T VO BESICIAN OUN C YS ER PH MN SU

The Gallatin City Council spent last week interviewing building official and city planning director candidates. The salaries for both positions range from $53,145 to $84,960. In May, the council decided to conduct an open job search for a building official and planning director instead of a single director of codes and planning, following the departure of former Codes and Planning Director Tony Allers in April. Thirty-four individuals applied for the building official position and another 34 applied for planning director. In July, the council decided to interview five applicants for each position. As of Monday, they had not made a final decision on either position.

Russell Steinike, building official for North Bend, Wash.: “I look at every instance as trying to teach a contractor or teach a customer or homeowner what the code is written for and what it’s all about.’’ M. Dewayne Hicks, chief building/fire code official for Mt. Juliet: “Without that contractor working and without his staff working we’re not growing, we’re dying. So, we always try to accommodate their hours without costing the city overtime.”

Planning director » Joe James, director of planning and zoning for Plainfield, Ind. » Charles Foote, planning director for Mt. Juliet » Jonathan Mendel, planning and zoning administrator for Riverside, Ohio » William (Bill) McCord, principal planner-transportation for Port Orange, Fla. Building official » J. Lynn Hicks, building official for Conway, Ark. » Charles (Chuck) Stuart, building official for Washington Parish, La. » M. Dewayne Hicks, chief building/fire code official for Mt. Juliet » Russell Steinike, building official for North Bend, Wash.

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FRIDAY » AUGUST 30, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

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Gap plans $35M local expansion By G. Chambers Williams III Gannett Tennessee

The Gap Inc. distribution center in Gallatin has announced a $35 million expansion, which will add a projected 90 jobs. The Gallatin campus is one of Gap’s largest distribution centers and currently provides service to the southern region of the United States for Gap Inc. brands, including Gap and Gap Outlet, Banana Republic and Banana Republic Factory Stores and Old Navy. The center has been in operation for 15 years in Gallatin and

New airport board takes control

ranks as one of Sumner County’s largest employers. Company officials didn’t immediately respond to interview requests. Exactly what’s involved in the expansion has not been announced, including when hiring will begin, whether a new building will be needed or if it will involve an expansion of the current facility. Gallatin’s interim Planning Director Katherine Schoch said Wednesday the company did not have any changes to its site plan on file with the city, meaning there are no plans currently in motion to

construct new buildings or add to current structures. “Gap Inc. is a valued corporate citizen, providing about 2,500 Tennesseans with high-quality jobs in 2012 alone,” said Bill Hagerty, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development commissioner. “Gap Inc.’s decision to expand its distribution center in Middle Tennessee speaks highly of our state’s central location and world-class infrastructure.” Gallatin Economic Development Agency Executive Director James Fenton in a release that the company’s decision to grow in Gal-

latin “speaks highly of the working relationship we have, and to the quality of the workforce and transportation infrastructure in place.” Doris and Don Fisher opened the first Gap store in 1969 in San Francisco. Today, the company describes itself as a “leading global specialty retailer offering clothing, accessories and personal-care products for men, women, children and babies.” Gap Inc. has about 134,000 employees and 3,100 company-operated stores, as well as more than 300 franchised stores around the world.

JOB FAIR » The Gap and the Shalom Zone are partnering to hire seasonal and parttime merchandise handlers (up to $12.35/hour pay) at a job fair in Gallatin. Apply in person Sept. 11, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Shalom Zone, 600 Small St., Gallatin.

A MAN OF ‘STRONG CONVICTIONS’

Concerns raised about contract By Jesse Hughes For the Gallatin News Examiner

After years of wrangling between the Sumner County Commission and the Airport Authority board over control of the airport, a recently appointed board began charting a new course for a fresh start this week. The 11-member board, which is appointed by the County Commission, has nine new faces. Two members of the former board remain on the panel. One is serving the remainder of his unexpired 5-year term; the other, whose term expired in July, will serve until the county makes an appointment. The airport board voted Monday to retain Gallatin attorney Mark Smith as permanent counsel. Earlier this summer, there was a question about whether Smith had been properly hired. Former airport attorney Art McClellan has appealed his termination as the authority’s lawyer to the Court of Appeals. Smith presented information on the Open Meetings Act and advised board members to conduct business in accordance with Sunshine Laws. New members have avoided executive sessions so far. In other business, the board discussed the status of a contract with Airport Administrator Steve Sudbury. In February, the old board agreed to give then-board chairman David Hunter the authority to sign a five-year

Pallbearers, including grandson “Bo” England Jr., right, and Sumner County Clerk Bill Kemp, second from right, carry the casket of late county leader James A. “Jimmy” England from First Baptist Church in Gallatin after funeral services Wednesday. England, who served as county clerk for 24 years, died Monday at 86. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

England remembered as ‘dedicated public servant’ By Sherry Mitchell Gallatin News Examiner

England

County clerk of 24 years was stickler for details

» AIRPORT, 3A

Local leaders and friends were mourning the loss this week of former Sumner County public servant Jimmy England, who died Monday. He was 86. England worked in several capacities with the county, serving as Sumner County Clerk from 1966 to 1990. He was later elected to the Sumner County Commission in 2006 to represent District 5 in Gallatin. England served on the commission until December 2009, resigning after moving out of the district. He also contemplated a run for state senate in 2012 as a Democratic candidate for District 17. Those who worked with him remembered England as an avid supporter of public education with particular concerns about overcrowding in schools and the use

Bank merger deal called off CEO says bank is ‘very sound’ By Tena Lee Gallatin News Examiner

A planned $14.3 million deal to purchase Sumner Bank & Trust is off, bank President and CEO Mike Cook confirmed Wednesday. Hopkinsville, Ky.based HopFed Bancorp Inc., the parent company of Heritage Bank, announced earlier in the week that it will no longer

pursue an agreement reached in February to purchase the Gallatinbased Sumner Bank & Trust, which was founded in 2005. “The mutual decision to terminate was due to Sumner’s failure to meet a certain performance requirement under the merger agreement,” a statement from HopFed said. Cook said the bank fell “short a little bit” of certain mortgage revenue numbers required of them in the agreement. As interest rates rise, not as many

customers have refinanced as when rates were lower, he added. When the merger was announced in February, Sumner Bank was drawn to Heritage’s community model, Cook said. Several banks expressed interest in acquiring Sumner, but “Heritage was the one who showed the most interest, and offered to pay the highest price.” On Wednesday, the Sumner Bank CEO said the company will remain

» MERGER, 3A

MetroMix.com

“He loved politics but he loved people more.”

CHARLES BONE

» ENGLAND, 3A

Head-on crash kills one in Portland By Adam Tamburin Gannett Tennessee

Authorities have identified the man killed Tuesday morning in a head-on crash on Portland’s Highway 52. Charles Porter, 43, was driving east on the highway when his pickup truck crossed into the westbound lanes and slammed into Marjorie Gabbard’s car at about 4:30 a.m., according to Sumner County Sheriff Sonny Weatherford. The impact killed Porter, Weatherford said.

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

of portable classrooms. Sumner County Executive Anthony Holt said when England spoke, others paid attention. “Mr. England felt strongly about some of his opinions and had strong convictions and his years of service proved he was an advocate of Sumner County and its citizens,” Holt said. “He was always concerned about those who didn’t have a voice to speak for themselves.” County Clerk Bill Kemp worked under England’s direction for four years before England’s retirement. Today, England’s influence is still felt in the county office. “Mr. England was a person that paid attention to details and he expected our work to be done correctly and for the customer to be taken care of,” Kemp said. “Many of

Gabbard, 64, who was injured, was taken to Sumner Regional Medical Center and then transferred to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, he said. Officers have not determined the cause of the wreck. Weatherford said there was no evidence alcohol or drugs played a role in the accident. The crash closed Highway 52 at Fairfield Road for about three hours, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

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GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

FRIDAY, AUGUST 30, 2013 •

3A

Gallatin gets Lack of budget stalls city’s planning, codes director search grant to widen By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

The lack of an approved budget for the fiscal year has stalled the Gallatin City Council’s progress on filling two vacant department head positions. The council was scheduled to decide how it wanted to move forward with filling the positions of building official and city planning director during a meeting Tuesday, but the item was deferred one week after questions were raised about funding for the two salaries. “Right now our structure is one person over both departments,” said Mayor Jo Ann Graves. “We will now need to pay somebody to be the building official and we will need to pay somebody to be the (planning director). We don’t have that money in their current budget.” In May, the council decided to conduct an open

job search for a building official and planning director instead of a single director for each following the departure of former Codes and Planning Director Tony Allers in April. Because city leaders have yet to pass a spending plan, Gallatin has been operating under a continuance budget since the start of the fiscal year July 1. A continuance budget means city departments only get funding for the operating expenses they received in the previous year. At the beginning of discussion about the planning director position, District 1 Councilor Anne Kemp nominated William “Bill” McCord, principal transportation planner for Port Orange, Fla., but later withdrew the nomination after the funding problem was raised.

Money problem

The council is fighting over funding for a $2 mil-

lion addition to the Gallatin Civic Center that would add a heated therapeutic pool and children’s splash activity center to the facility. On June 18, Graves vetoed a version of the budget passed by the council 4-3 that included money for the project. Finance Director Rachel Nichols said that if the city hired an individual for both positions before it passed a budget, the planning and codes department would run out of money sooner than projected, though not likely in 2013. “All of the offices will probably run out of money around April if they don’t pass a budget,” she said. The salaries for both positions range from $53,145 to $84,960. Last week the council interviewed the eight total candidates for building official and planning director. The candidates for building official are: J. Lynn Hicks, building offi-

cial for Conway, Ark.; Charles (Chuck) Stuart, building official for Washington Parish, La.; Russell Steinike, building official for North Bend, Wash.; and M. Dewayne Hicks, chief building/fire code official for Mt. Juliet. The candidates for city planning director are: Jonathan Mendel, planning and zoning administrator for Riverside, Ohio; William (Bill) McCord, principal planner-transportation for Port Orange, Fla.; Charles Foote, planning director for Mt. Juliet; and Joe James, director of planning and zoning for Plainfield, Ind. Further discussion on the positions was deferred one week until the Tuesday, Sept. 3, council meeting, when city leaders are also scheduled to vote on a new human resources director. Reporter Josh Cross can be reached at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

Airport Road

The city was awarded a state industrial access grant last week to widen about 1.1 miles of Airport Road. Because the section of road includes a railroad crossing, Gallatin will be responsible for 50 percent of the cost of moving the crossing signals. The project will expand Airport road from Coles Ferry Road through the intersection at Steam Plant Road, then connect with the realignment of Airport Road in front of the airport – a project also being funded 100 percent by a state and federal grant. The result will affect a 2.3 mile stretch of Airport

Road. “This will help with some of the traffic concerns along that stretch,” said Gallatin Economic Development Agency Director James Fenton. “We have had companies change their shift hours to alleviate the traffic, so we moved forward with this application to help them.” TDOT will be in charge of surveying, designing and constructing the road at no cost to the city. No cost estimates have been provided for the project that is slated to begin sometime in the summer of 2014. —For the Gallatin News Examiner

Bone: England ‘never met a stranger’ »ENGLAND FROM 1A

Public servant

the principles I learned while working in the office with him, we still use today.” A proud veteran, England served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. “He was just a Southern gentleman involved in making a difference in his community, and he will be missed,” Holt said. England remained active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars, where he served as Post 6197 commander, and held both district and state commander positions. Commissioner Frank Freels worked alongside England for 12 years. “He loved his family and the Democratic Party, and he ran a good office when he was county clerk,” Freels said. “Jimmy was always willing to give his time and was glad to pay that price to help his community.”

England was a member of Gallatin First Baptist Church and was also a member of the Hendersonville Noon Sertoma Club, King Solomon Lodge 94 and the Al Menah Shrine Temple. He was past president of the Gallatin Kiwanis Club and past chairman of the Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency. He owned England’s Gulf Service in Gallatin and later worked as an auctioneer and real estate agent. Close friend Charles Bone said England put Sumner County on the map when it came to customer service. “He was a man who never met a stranger and helped everybody that walked in the door,” Bone said. “He established a tradition of service in the courthouse that was well known all across the county and the state.” Bone met England when he was a young boy,

playing on the first Little League baseball team in the county — England’s Little League, sponsored by England’s Gulf Service Station. “He loved politics, but he loved people more,” Bone said. “He was one of the greatest of the great generation and was loved by so many. I think he would want to be remembered as a veteran, a great public servant and a Christian.” Funeral services for Jimmy England were held Wednesday at Gallatin First Baptist Church. Friends and co-workers say they will always remember his generosity and willingness to put others first. “Mr. England was a dedicated public servant who gave of his time unselfishly and he will be greatly missed,” County Commission Chairman Merrol Hyde said.

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contract with Sudbury to handle airport business for $3,750 a month. Sudbury had been doing the job for $2,500 a month. But the former board never approved the minutes from the February meeting. The new board, likewise, has not approved the minutes of the meeting, raising questions for some board members about whether the contract stands. The new board also raised concerns about the wording of the contract and whether Sudbury is an employee or an independent contractor. Sudbury said he pays his own taxes and receives no insurance or benefits. Board members expressed serious concerns over future problems with the IRS or state Department of Labor. “The nut of the subject is that either those words need to be eliminated and

an independent contractor phrase installed,” Don Drayton said, “or we are personally liable for his matching Social Security,” FICA, FUTA and Workers’ Compensation. Board member Dan Downs urged the board “to see if there is a way to

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NEIGHBORS

SPORTS

VOL STATE HOLDS CAREER FAIR, 7A

GALLATIN, HHS BATTLE ON TV THURSDAY, 1B

WEDNESDAY » SEPTEMBER 18, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

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ONLINE For the latest in local news and updates, visit GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Cities question tax figures Gallatin, Portland ask state to check amount county says is owed to schools By Tena Lee

Lawing. The mayors of Hendersonville, Gallatin and Portland learned in August from County Executive Anthony Holt and Sumner County Schools Director Del Phillips that they’re on the hook for a collective $1.5 million in back taxes. Phillips notified school board members

Gallatin News Examiner

Three Sumner County cities that learned last month they owe the school system for unpaid liquor-by-the-drink taxes, some dating back more than a decade, are double-checking the figures first estimated by County Finance Director David

of the oversight in an email Sept. 4. Business owners in Tennessee cities that collect a liquorby-the-drink tax are required to remit a percentage of their sales to the state, which sends half back to the cities. Cities are then supposed to give half that amount — 25 percent of the original total — to the school system. The cities have not been doing that in Sumner County and, according to Lawing, other cities across the state

Minnicks

Holt

have also been dealing with the problem. The initial oversight of not sending the school system its share seems to have been dis-

covered by each city at separate times, with Hendersonville learning of the error last year, according to an audit report of that city’s finances. According to a city audit dated June 30, 2012, the issue is mentioned under the term “contingencies.” “During the year, management became aware of a state law which appears to require the distribution of a percentage

» TAXES, 3A

Portland corridor sees new business

GIVING BACK

College soiree raises money for scholarships

Taco Bell, grocery store coming to Highway 52 By Dessislava Yankova Gallatin News Examiner

Volunteer State Community College Vice President for Resource Development Karen Mitchell gives a call to action for the Vol State Foundation, the college’s charitable arm, during the Harvest Moon Soirée at the Epic Event Centre in Gallatin Friday, Sept. 13. See more photos from the annual fundraiser at GallatinNewsExaminer.com. MATTHEW DIGGS/FOR THE GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

MARY CLARK | 1944-2013

Cancer claims life of woman known for helping others By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

Mary Clark, who was known for helping those in need throughout the community, died Sunday at her home after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 69. In February, Clark’s doctors ordered a computerized tomography, or CT scan, after antibiotics did not help a stomach illness that had persisted for several months. When the results of the scan came back, doctors Clark found a spot on her pancreas that turned out to be cancerous. “It’s a battle every day,” Clark said during an interview in June. “What helps you through it the most is friends and people praying for you. It keeps you from getting down, and it keeps you up.” Gallatin Police Department Chief Don Bandy said Monday that Clark was a “part of our

‘Ready to build’

ARRANGEMENTS Service: Thursday, Sept. 19, 1 p.m. Anderson Funeral Home, 202 E. Main St., Gallatin Visitation: Wednesday, 1-7 p.m., Thursday, 10 a.m. until service time.

family” and was always willing to help others in need throughout the community. Clark helped organize several fundraisers over the years for officers battling illnesses such as cancer, including the late Officer Kevin Thomas, who died of a brain tumor in July. “We should all strive to be as kind-hearted and as loving as she was,” Bandy said. “Even when she didn’t feel good, she was always a giving person.” Mary’s Place, the restaurant Clark owned on North Water Avenue in Gallatin, was closed Monday. “Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers,” a sign in the window said. “We will be back open soon.” On Monday, June 3, more

» CLARK, 5A

Cyclists leave the square in downtown Gallatin as they participated in the Gallatin Lions Club GranFondo bike ride in 2012. FILE

Scenic bike tour set for Saturday in Gallatin By Sherry Mitchell Gallatin News Examiner

When Keith Whitley leaves his job at a bank in Hendersonville, he typically heads home on two wheels to enjoy the Sumner County scenery. The 43-year-old Gallatin resident has been riding for more than a decade and will be one of the cyclists at Saturday’s GranFondo Gallatin – a bicycle tour through Gallatin and northern Sumner County to benefit the Gallatin Lions Club. With a choice of a 31-mile or 62-mile route, Whitley plans to ride the long way around the

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

MetroMix.com

More than 30,000 square feet of commercial development, including a Taco Bell, is moving forward in Portland, city officials said Monday. Along with the popular fastfood chain, the north Sumner city is expected to get a convenience store and gas station, and a grocery store on Highway 52, with some of the construction scheduled for completion by December. “This is really great for Portland because it’s on one of the main gateways coming into Portland from (Interstate) 65,” Portland Area Planning Commission Chairman Jerry Taylor said. “This coming in will encourage more development along that corridor.” The proposed development on Highway 52 will be about a quarter-mile from downtown Portland. The new businesses will grow a four-mile stretch between the middle of the city and Interstate 65, which is heavily traveled.

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When Taco Bell is built, it will be the first time the restaurant has had a freestanding location in Portland. It will be located on Highway 52 between Payne Road and Sandye Avenue, and a building permit has already been approved, Portland Mayor Ken Wilber said. “I’m very excited about it,” Wilber said. “It’s one of the restaurants I hear people ask about all the time, especially the younger people.” Construction is expected to begin at any time, Taylor said. “It’s ready to be built,” he said. “They hope to be in by Christmas. From what I’ve heard, people are excited to have that back.” Portland had a Taco Bell for about five years inside a gas station, but it closed four years ago, Taylor said.

Save-A-Lot proposed

county. But the 31-mile tour is good for novices, he said. More than 200 cyclists are expected this year. For new cyclists worried about completing the entire route, support staff will be on hand.

Portland’s planning commission approved a 30,000-squarefoot development Sept. 10 at the corner of Highway 52 and Sandye Avenue, close to the site of the proposed Taco Bell. The two buildings include a 4,000-square-foot gas station and convenience store. Several companies are competing for the spot, Taylor said. “The engineers said they have several different companies for the convenience market, but they can’t give us a

» TOUR, 2A

» PORTLAND, 6A

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GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2013 •

3A

Cities double-checking amount of back taxes owed ered it owes $12,000 more than what Lawing estimated. Minnicks said he combed through the city’s liquor-by-the-drink tax records from 1989-1998 and discovered Hendersonville actually owes $987,129 instead of Lawing’s initial estimate of $975,874. “We wanted to be as ac-

curate as possible,” Minnicks said. Wilber said he’s also checking Lawing’s estimates with the state comptroller’s office. The numbers he was given date back to 1999, though the city didn’t pass its referendum until 2009. The county says Portland owes revenue from private clubs that sold mixed

drinks at that time. “It might be right,” he said. “We’re Wilber just checking our numbers to make sure. We’re proving we owe it.”

Holt said he and Phillips offered to give the cities five years to catch up on the taxes rather than pay the amount all at once. The added revenue for schools will be about $200,000 a year, Lawing said. The system’s annual budget is about $230 million.

D

TE T IN TY VO ESICIAN OUN B C Y S ER PH MN SU

of a state-shared revenue to another local government,” reads the audit performed by Yeary, Howell and Associates. “Legal counsel is reviewing the issue and a negotiated settlement is expected. The potential liability, if any, has not been determined and therefore no provision has been made in these financial statements.” The report wasn’t actually completed until the end of 2012, according to Hendersonville Finance Director Ron Minnicks. He said board members received a copy of it in early 2013. Gallatin Finance Director Rachel Nichols said she was told of the error last fall by Gallatin City Attorney Joe Thompson. Portland Mayor Ken Wilber said on Friday he had heard about the state statute earlier in the year, but didn’t know how it would impact his city until August, when County Executive Anthony Holt informed him that Portland owed the school system around $10,000. “I knew this was coming, but I didn’t get that actual paper showing what we owed until a couple of weeks ago,” he said. “But we’ll start paying what we owe as soon as we get our questions answered.” Holt said he only learned of the oversight three weeks ago, when Lawing made him aware of it. Lawing was informed by the County Technical Advisory Service, he said. Lawing has said early estimates show Hendersonville owes the school system $975,874 for tax collections made through June 30; Gallatin owes $489,960 and Portland owes around $10,400. Hendersonville passed its liquor-by-the-drink referendum in 1989 and Portland in 2009, according to Lawing. The cities of White House and Goodlettsville, which both contain parts that fall in another county, don’t appear to have liquor-bythe-drink establishments in Sumner. Gallatin is questioning Lawing’s figures, but is hoping it owes less than the county finance director estimates. Nichols said Lawing also seems to be charging the city for years in which it didn’t have establishments that served liquor by the drink. “He’s charging us for fiscal years ’96, ’97 and ’98, and the city didn’t pass liquor by the drink until October of 1997,” she said. She says April 1998 would have been the first possible time to receive those revenues. Nichols said she is checking Lawing’s numbers with the state comptroller’s office. “I just want the state to confirm Mr. Lawing’s numbers,” Nichols said. According to her calculations, the city of Gallatin owes $448,724 — roughly $44,000 less than what Lawing shows. “At the end of the day, we’re going to pay what we owe. We just need to validate what number is correct,” said Gallatin Mayor Jo Ann Graves Graves said Thompson told council members of the back payments Sept. 3 during an executive session that was closed to the public. “We don’t know that there will be pending litigation or not,” Graves said when asked if the city was considering litigation, which is what executive sessions are typically reserved for. “There is always that possibility.” Both Hendersonville and Gallatin started remitting the tax in April. In Gallatin, council members passed an ordinance March 19 appropriating the amount due for 2012 — roughly $35,000, according to Nichols. The city has paid what it owes from January 2013 to the present, she said. Hendersonville has paid what it owes for 2012,

according to Minnicks, as well as what it owes so far for Graves 2013. As Gallatin looks to have its total bill reduced, Hendersonville has discov-

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PORTLAND COUNCIL MEMBER RESIGNS, 3A

BLUE DEVIL GOLFERS EARN REGION BERTH, 1B

FRIDAY » SEPTEMBER 20, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

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Mayor again rejects budget $2M pool project continues to be divisive By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

For the second time this year, Gallatin Mayor Jo Ann Graves quickly rejected a budget passed by the City Council because it included funding for a $2 million Civic Center pool project. The veto came Wednesday, after the council voted 4-3 Tuesday night to approve an amended spending plan.

“When the citizens need a new fire hall and departments need police cars, work vehicles, a boom lift for maintenance, safety equipment, fire alarms and fire suppression equipment and more — it’s not good policy to go into debt for a second indoor pool and splash garden,” Graves said in a statement, referring to the capital requests cut from the budget that exceeded $10 million. This year’s budget stalemate

Long is new chair of school board

has been a repeat of 2012, when Graves issued three budget-related vetoes to block funding for the Civic Center project, which Graves would add a heated therapeutic pool and children’s splash center at the taxpayer-owned recreational facility. “The Civic Center improvement is not a luxury request,” said At-Large Councilor Julie Bracken-

bury in an email Wednesday. “It is a need for citizens who are fighting every day to have a better quality of life.” City leaders were able to pass a budget in November last year after the project’s champion — Tommy Garrott — lost his council seat to Brackenbury. However, as budget discussions got underway this year, Brackenbury stepped up to continue Garrott’s fight to expand the facility and has been one of its most outspoken supporters.

» BUDGET, 5A

HOW THEY VOTED For the budget: Steve Camp, Jimmy Overton, John D. Alexander, Julie Brackenbury Against the budget: Anne Kemp, Craig Hayes, Ed Mayberry

FOREVER CHANGED

District 3 member also led from 2009 to 2012 By Jesse Hughes For the Gallatin News Examiner

The Sumner County Board of Education appointed District 3 member Don Long to be chairman Tuesday. Long led board meetings for three years, from September 2009 to September 2012, when member Ted Wise took over. Wise, who represents District 8, did not accept the nomination for chairman, which came from District 9 board member Will Duncan at Tuesday’s meeting. “Literally, I have prayed about it,” Wise said, adding he did not have the time or energy to do the job for a second round. “I don’t think I can provide that for the next year.” Wise urged the board to continue the path of improved relationships among its members and with its Long funding body, the Sumner County Commission. Long said he was “looking forward to a good year and moving forward.” In August 2012, the school board delayed the start of school during a budget battle with the commission. In contrast, this year the education budget was funded in less than 10 minutes before the fiscal year started July 1. After Wise’s election as chairman in September 2012, he began holding a series of gatherings — meals in which board members and county commissioners were publicly invited to break bread together at a Gallatin restaurant and various school cafeterias. Publicly announced at meetings, the gatherings were open to anyone who wanted to attend. “I really don’t want to be chairman,” Wise said. “I really don’t want a split board.” He cited the past, when there was a split 6-5 school board, and that he did not want to see that again. “That doesn’t

Alicia Wilson, whose son Rameon Wilson was murdered in April, holds a picture of him following a balloon release in his memory on what would have been his 24th birthday Sunday, Sept. 15. JOSH CROSS/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Family struggles to heal after son’s April murder ball, but following his sophomore year things started to go “downhill,” his mother recalled in an interview SunMore than 150 days after her son day. A fight just weeks before graduawas murdered outside of a Gallatin tion resulted in an expulsion that kept him from his high school diapartment in April, life for Aliploma. cia Wilson remains forever After he turned 23 last changed. year, Wilson said her son “I think about him every “talked a lot about” ending single day,” she said. “When I his involvement with gangs. see all of my kids together, I’m ONLINE “I don’t know what gave missing one.” See video of Born on Sept. 15, 1989, Ra- Rameon Wilson’s him that eye-opener to say meon Wilson was the first of birthday memorial that he wanted to change his six children for Alicia Wilson, at GallatinNews life around,” she said. “(The and he would be her only son. Examiner.com. desire) was there, but then you still have the streets out When he was 10, the family there calling you.” moved from Kansas to GallaRameon Wilson was shot multiple tin, in part to escape “a gang environtimes in the head outside his apartment,” she said. As a freshman at Gallatin High School, Rameon Wilson played foot- » WILSON, 5A

By Josh Cross

Gallatin News Examiner

TIMELINE April 15: Rameon Wilson is shot multiple times in the head outside of a Gallatin apartment complex. He dies the next day. May 23: KeAnthony Dillard is arrested on a first-degree murder charge. Sept. 12: George Humphrey is arrested after being indicted by a Sumner County grand jury on a first-degree murder charge.

UPCOMING COURT DATES Sept. 20: George Humphrey Nov. 14: KeAnthony Dillard

» BOARD, 3A

Mule Day celebration kicks off Tuesday IF YOU GO

By Sherry Mitchell

What: Mule shows, parade, mule train, barn dance, 5K When: Tuesday, Sept. 24–Saturday, Sept. 28 Where: Westmoreland Expo Center, 4011 Fleetwood Dr. (turn left from U.S. Highway 31E onto Bentle Drive, then left on Pleasant Grove Road and right on Fleetwood Drive) Cost: Free Tuesday–Thursday, $5 Friday and Saturday Contact for Expo Center: 644-3017 or westmorelandexpocenter.com Contact for 5K: 670-1822 Cost for 5K: $15

After opening his first music store in Westmoreland last February, Grandpa’s Music, Lyle Cook is getting ready for another first — an oldfashioned singing around the campfire. Cook and several of his friends will be among the entertainers at the nightly mule train campfire at the Westmoreland Expo Center. The event is part of the city’s annu-

Gallatin News Examiner

Ronnie Posners shows off Kit, Kat and Emma during the 2012 Mule Day Celebration in Westmoreland. FILE PHOTO

» MULE, 3A

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

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INSIDE: Check out the annual Fact Book The Sumner County Fact Book, an annual guide to local services and agencies, includes information about the county and each of its eight incorporated cities. Check out this special 88-page publication inside this edition of the Gallatin News Examiner.

VOL. 173 NO. 76 © 2013 GANNETT CO., INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED SUBSCRIBE: 1-800-520-9286


GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Family holds memorial on son’s 24th birthday » WILSON FROM 1A

Wilson did not leave her home at Green Wood Apartments for two ment on Green Wave Drive in weeks, at which point she Gallatin April 15. He died the moved. She now lives in Franknext day at the hospital. lin, Ky. On Sunday, Alicia Wilson orWhile she works seven days a ganized a gathering of more than week, Wilson said that she finds 50 of Rameon’s friends and fam- herself thinking most about her ily to mark what would have son at night when she’s not busy. been his 24th birthday. The “I get off at 3 a.m. and that’s group attended church together normally when he’d come in,” and held a balloon reshe said. “I hear a knock lease in his honor. at the door or I hear a car Two men, KeAnthony pull up all the time. I’ll Dillard and George go to sleep and I’ll hear Humphrey, have been something and get up charged with first-deand I think it’s him. It’s gree murder for Wilas if it’s not a dream.” son’s death. According Rameon Wilson’s forto court documents, mer girlfriend, Jada multiple witnesses and a Wilson Dowell, was among confidential informant those who remembered told police the shooting was “re- him Sunday. The pair dated for taliation” because Wilson alleg- about three years before breakedly attempted to rob Dillard ing up, but remained friends. and Humphrey at an April 13 “I felt like by me leaving that party. would make him change and he Alicia Wilson has taken off was making that change, but this from work to attend KeAnthony unfortunately happened,” DowDillard’s court appearances and ell said. “I do a lot of praying and plans to do the same for George I do a lot of crying. Since it hapHumphrey. pened, there is not a day that I “It gets harder and harder,” have not cried. It doesn’t get any she said about dealing with her easier.” son’s death. “You think that it would get easier. It doesn’t, espe- Returning home Sunday’s gathering took cially with it being a murder. I would never wish that on any- place about a mile from the Sumner County Jail, where both Dilbody else.” lard and Humphrey are being An unreal moment held without bond for Wilson’s Alicia Wilson said her son was death. ready to make a new life for himHumphrey is scheduled to apself. pear in court today. Dillard’s “He was ready to settle next court date is set for Nov. 14. down,” she said. “He had a job Once the judicial system runs and he started going to church.” its course and there is a resoluKhristal Randolph, one of Ra- tion to both cases, Alicia Wilson meon Wilson’s sisters, remem- said that she plans to return to bers how her brother would Kansas, where her son is now wake her up every morning. It’s buried. something she still finds herself “It’s very difficult being that sometimes waiting for him to do. I’m still here because I can’t get “We had a lot of memories to- up and just go see him whenevgether,” Randolph said. “It just er,” she said. “I do plan to move doesn’t feel the same without back home. Once (everything) is him.” over with, I’m going home. Mercedes Randolph, another There is no doubt about it.” sister, said that when she thinks about her brother she remembers his laugh. “(His death) still seems unre- Reporter Josh Cross can be reached at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com. al,” she said. Following the shooting, Alicia

NEWS

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013 •

5A

Auction set for former Tucker home By Getahn Ward

The 8,024square-foot Gallatin home has four bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms.

Gannett Tennessee

A lakefront home in Gallatin once owned by country artist Tanya Tucker will be sold to the highest bidder at auction on Sept. 28 to help pay off debts of its current owner. In addition to the 8,024square-foot home on two acres, the property at 1259 Windsor Drive includes an inground swimming pool overlooking Old Hickory Lake. “It’s a spectacular lake view,” said Mark Williams, vice president, principal broker and master auctioneer at Halo Realty LLC. The home was recently listed for $1.25 million and last appraised at $1.74 million, ac-

SUBMITTED

cording to Sumner County tax records. But Williams said there won’t be a minimum price at the live on-site auction. However, whoever wins out with the final bid will be required to pay down $25,000 and to close within 30 days with no contingencies. The home is being sold as part of bankruptcy proceedings involving owner Ron Kyle, who bought it in 2005 for

$1.43 million from Paul Erhard, who paid $505,000 for it in 2003, according to tax records. Before that, the owner for a decade was the Foundation for Advancement, Education and Employment of American Indians, a group to which Tucker gave the home three years after buying it for $575,000 in 1990, records show.

Referendum may be on horizon » BUDGET FROM 1A

BUDGET TIMELINE

District 1 Councilor Anne Kemp said Wednesday a resolution to the budget impasse seemed far off. “I don’t believe that there is a way that it will ever be settled between us,” she said. “Somebody is going to have to step in and do something.”

» May 7 – Mayor Jo Ann Graves presents her proposed budget. Included in it is a $7.5 million bond to fund four projects, a $4-per-month increase in the monthly trash fee and a 1 percent cost-of-living adjustment for city employees. » May 21 – Following a 3-3 vote, the council approved the budget on first reading, with Graves casting a tiebreaking vote. District 4 Councilor Craig Hayes was absent from the meeting. » June 4 – A final budget vote is deferred two weeks after two amendments are approved by the council. One of the amendments is for a $2 million bond addition to add a heated therapeutic pool and children’s splash activity center to the Civic Center. » June 18 – The City Council passes the budget on second reading, 4-3. Graves vetoes the budget a little more than an hour after it is passed. » July 16 – A budget veto override vote fails after it does not receive the necessary five council votes. » Aug. 6 – Graves announces the city is looking into the possibility of building a wall to divide the current Civic Center pool and heat one side of it, following the suggestion of a city employee. » Aug. 20 – Citing lack of public support, Graves announces that she no longer is considering the Civic Center wall proposal. » Sept. 3 – The City Council passes on first reading a budget that restructures the proposed $7.5 million bond, removing two projects and adding $2 million for the Civic Center addition. The bond amount was raised to $8.5 million. » Sept. 17 – The City Council approves the budget on second reading by a 4-3 vote. » Sept. 18 – Mayor Jo Ann Graves vetoes the budget for a second time.

Taxpayers may decide

As the political fight continues, taxpayers themselves may end up deciding whether to fund the Civic Center project. A referendum to vote on the multimillion-dollar bond issue seems to be the one area in which the council finds common ground. Brackenbury said Wednesday that she was open to the idea to resolve the stalemate. “There are not a lot of options (left) for a resolution, I don’t think,” she said. And Graves said a referendum “would provide us once and for all with solid information as to how many people want to spend $2 million” on the project. A special election referendum would cost the city $20,000-$25,000, said Sumner County Administrator of

Elections Lori Atchley. “It’s expensive,” she said. “We would have to get everything together just like a regular election.” A referendum could move forward with four votes from the council, said City Attor-

ney Joe Thompson. If approved, it would take about three months before the election could be held. Reporter Josh Cross can be reached at 575-7115 or jcross@ mtcngroup.com.

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Schools stop religious trips District changes practice after mosque controversy By Tena Lee Sumner A.M.

A field trip to a mosque that was part of a Hendersonville High School course started a new controversy about religion in schools this month. TENA LEE/SUMNER A.M.

Directors for codes, planning picked

Students will no longer be allowed to take field trips to religious venues after the stepfather of a Hendersonville High School student accused the school system of promoting Islam, starting another debate about the role of religion in Sumner County schools. The American Civil Liberties Union sued the school system in 2011 over teacher-led prayer and promotion of Christianity on school campuses. In

the settlement, Sumner schools admitted no wrongdoing, but new rules were put in place barring teachers from praying with students or leading Bible studies on school grounds, and prohibiting youth ministers from visiting schools other than to see family members. The latest controversy, which has gained national attention on talk radio and cable news outlets, started at the end of August when some parents asked about a planned field trip to a mosque and a Hindu temple during a back-to-school night,

said Mike Conner, the stepfather of a freshman at Hendersonville High. Concerns were raised about why the 36-week world studies course would only take students on visits to two religious venues, rather than houses of worship related to all five religions studied in the class. “If we as parents don’t begin speaking up, no one will,” Conner said. The honors course – which is an elective – has been offered

» TRIPS, 3M

TREATMENT PLANT GETS $2.1 MILLION UPGRADE

Gallatin council fails to appoint HR head By Josh Cross Sumner A.M.

The Gallatin City Council picked new directors of codes and planning. Bill McCord was selected as the new planning director at an annual salary of $69,730, while Chuck Stuart will be paid $73,260 to serve as building official. The city will pay for up to $3,000 in moving expenses for the new employees. McCord is the principal planner of transportation for Port Orange, Fla., and Stuart is the building official for Washington Parish, La. Interim Personnel Official Amy Summers said she would be sending a formal offer of employment to both candidates Wednesday. If they accept the jobs, McCord could start in about four weeks, while Stuart may not start until Jan. 2, 2014 because he asked for at least 90 days to prepare for the move, said Summers. Before Tuesday’s votes, interim Codes and Planning Director Katherine Schoch and interim Building Official Addam McCormick were both nominated to fill those positions permanently. The council did not pick either of them. The council conducted interviews with eight candidates for both positions in August. The search for a new director of codes and planning started after Tony Allers resigned in March. The council then decided to hire different directors for codes and planning rather than keeping them under the same manager.

HR director

Following two more rounds of voting Tuesday, no decision was made to fill the city’s director of human resources position after none of the three candidates failed to receive enough votes to appoint them.

Public Works Superintendent Thomas McCormick stands by the city lake that supplies drinking water to the Portland water treatment plant on Thursday, Sept. 19. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/SUMNER A.M.

Portland invests in better water By Dessislava Yankova Sumner A.M.

This photo shows the algae growth in the basins at the Portland water treatment plant before the walls and roof were added as part of a $2.1 million upgrade. The sunlight allowed the growth of algae, which can be harmful in large quantities, officials said. SUBMITTED

PORTLAND 2011 WATER RATE INCREASE PER 1,000 GALLONS OUTSIDE CITY LIMITS INSIDE CITY LIMITS » Residential: $3.76 to $4.46 » Industrial: $6.38 to $7.58 » Commercial: $5.26 to $6.25

» Residential: $8.63 to $10.25 » Industrial: $9.57 to $11.37 » Commercial: $8.93 to $10.60 Source: Portland city recorder’s office

Portland residents may get cleaner water that is treated more efficiently after the city’s water plant recently underwent a $2.1 million upgrade – its first since it opened 11 years ago. “We do these upgrades to improve water quality and keep cost down,” said Portland Public Works Superintendent Thomas McCormick, who oversees the city’s water system. A major part of the upgrades is the addition of walls and a roof around six basins where water is treated with chemicals to remove silt and other parti-

» WATER, 5M ONLINE

See video of the upgrades to Portland’s water treatment plant at GallatinNewsExaminer.com

» DIRECTORS, 3M

Gallatin preps for influx of TVA workers By Josh Cross Sumner A.M.

and Josh Brown Gannett Tennessee

TVA workers on the roof of the Gallatin Fossil Plant during a tour in 2012. TVA plans to install four large scrubbers at the plant to cut down on sulfur dioxide emissions. GANNETT TENNESSEE/FILE

Workers are ready to start pouring concrete at the Gallatin TVA Fossil Plant this week as part of a $1.1 billion project to cut certain emissions by as much as 96 percent. The Gallatin plant burns 13,000 tons of coal a day and produces enough electricity to power the equivalent of 300,000 homes. The project will install four scrubbers to cut sulfur dioxide emissions and reduce nitrogen oxide levels. For their part, several busi-

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

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nesses in Gallatin are looking forward to the project as a way to spur more economic activity in town. TVA estimates that as many as 900 contract workers will be needed for construction of the emissions devices. Monday, TVA will host a business outreach meeting to educate local business owners on how to prepare for the influx of workers in the community. “Hopefully, (the workers) will come in here and improve revenue for the city and for ourselves,” said Ash Patel, owner of the GuestHouse International Inn in Gallatin. In November 2012, Patel bought the West Main Street ho-

IF YOU GO A business outreach meeting will be held in the dining room at Gallatin City Hall, 132 W. Main St., Monday at 8 a.m.

tel and spent $300,000 renovating 70 of the facility’s 80 rooms purchasing new carpet, beds, appliances and curtains. Patel hopes a discounted weekly rate for the contract workers and others needing long-term lodging will help bring in more revenue. “Since we put a lot of money into this hotel, we are expecting

» TVA, 4M

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SUMNER A.M.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2013 •

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Humphrey: ‘I’m glad to be here to clear my name’ By Josh Cross Sumner A.M.

George Humphrey, the second man charged with first-degree murder for the April shooting death of Rameon Wilson, made his first court appearance Friday. Humphrey was arrested Sept. 12 after he was indicted by a Sumner County grand jury earlier this month. “I’m going to face those charges,” Humphrey said in court Friday. “I’m glad to be here to clear my name.” The charge stems from the April 15 shooting of Wilson outside of Green Wood Apartments on Green Wave Drive in Gallatin. Wilson died the following day.

In May, KeAnthony Dillard became the first person arrested and charged for Wilson’s death. Sumner County District Attorney Ray Whitley said Friday that the death penalty was “not likely” to be sought in Humphrey’s case but was still “under consideration” for Dillard. During a July 12 preliminary hearing for Dillard, Humphrey was the only witness called by the defense to testify. The state’s key witness, Gerald Wade, testified that he saw Dillard shoot Wilson on April 15 and that he had sold a 40-caliber handgun to Humphrey in March. “The testimony was that he (Humphrey) was with Mr. Dillard and provided the gun to Mr.

Dillard,” said Assistant District Attorney Ron Blanton in a previous interview following Humphrey’s arrest. “That's the theory that we're proceeding on.” When questioned by prosecutors during the July hearing, Humphrey repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself, including when asked if he was the one who gave Dillard a 40-caliber gun to shoot Wilson. Both Humphrey and Dillard remain in the Sumner County Jail without bond. Humphrey’s next court date is scheduled for Dec. 17. Dillard is set to appear in court Nov. 14. Reporter Josh Cross can be reached at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

George Humphrey made his first court appearance Friday since he was indicted by a Sumner County grand jury on a first-degree murder charge for the April shooting death of Rameon Wilson outside of a Gallatin apartment complex. JOSH CROSS/SUMNER A.M.

Mosque trip sparked HHS controversy

Reporter Tena Lee can be reached at 575-7116 or tlee@mtcngroup.com.

» DIRECTORS FROM 1M

The three candidates are Amy Summers, interim HR director for Gallatin, Ann Whiteside, executive assistant to Mayor Jo Ann Graves and Debbie Johnson, a benefits specialist for SMS Holdings in Nashville. It was the second time the council voted on and failed to name a new human resources

director, lacking the five votes necessary to approve a new hire. The mayor does not typically get a vote on the council, but the human resources position is one exception. The council deferred the item until Tuesday, Oct. 1. Reporter Josh Cross can be reached at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

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Equal time

Conner said he’s OK with students studying five religions, but he found it problematic that only two houses of worship were visited. “If you can’t share equal time to all five, you shouldn’t do any of them,” he said. The school system seems to agree, issuing a statement Sept. 17 saying all field trips to religious venues are off. “After receiving a parent complaint regarding field trip locations, our district has reviewed the practice and decided to eliminate field trips to religious venues from this class, as it does not provide equal representation to all the religions studied in the course unit,” read the statement. “This decision was made due to the fact that equal representation in regards to field trips for all religions studied in the course is not feasible.” Conner believes that between the trips and the assignment, the school was promoting the Islamic faith. “The teacher was pushing Islamic tolerance,”

traveling the world,” Fussman said. In a statement released Friday, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed urged Sumner County Schools to continue the field trips to religious venues. Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that awareness about other religions created by such trips would make Sumner County students “wellnurtured, well-balanced, and enlightened citizens of tomorrow.” He also said that trips should be made to all the religions covered in the classroom.

TN-0000928545

ville High School, took the world studies course in 2008, visiting a mosque and a Hindu temple. She said she was disappointed to hear about the decision to halt the field trips. “The world studies class was really the one and only class that allowed for such an open dialogue of faith and religion,” she said. “To be able to experience what we were talking about firsthand – you can’t get that through class discussion and a textbook.” The teacher of the course, Amanda Elmore, was among the first who made Fussman think critically about the world. “Without her pushing the limits, I wouldn’t be so open to new cultures and

TE T IN TY VO ESICIAN OUN B C YS ER PH MN SU

by Hendersonville High for a decade. The curriculum includes world religions, and students spend three weeks on that topic, learning about Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam, said school system spokesman Jeremy Johnson. In the past, the students have typically visited a Jewish synagogue, a Hindu temple and a Muslim mosque without parental complaints. Conner said his stepdaughter opted out of the field trip and instead was asked to write an alternative assignment comparing and contrasting the religious teachings of Jesus, Gandhi and Muhammad. The materials she was given contained a page of Bible verses, two-thirds of a page about Gandhi and five pages about Muhammad. When his stepdaughter decided she could not compare and contrast the three because she was given unequal information, she was initially told that she would receive a zero and would not be given another assignment, Conner said. That’s when he really became upset. However, school officials later agreed to give a second alternative assignment. That assignment was to choose three of the five religions and compare and contrast them. Conner wonders why his stepdaughter wasn’t given that option in the first place. Conner said other students who attended the Sept. 4 field trip told him copies of the Quran were given to students, who also participated in meditation in the Hindu temple. The school system’s spokesman said materials were handed out at the mosque but he wasn’t sure if they included Qurans, and a tour guide demonstrated how Hindu meditation is achieved but students were not required to participate.

Conner said. “We did not want to make this about religion – they forced us to.” Sumner County Board of Education member Vanessa Silkwood believes some of Conner’s points are valid. “I think his initial concerns are right on,” she said. “Whether or not there was true bias, I don’t know. At least there is a perception that this course is skewed and they get that because they only went to two religious venues.” She said there’s not enough instructional time or funds to tour five sites representative of all five religions. Kelly Fussman, a 2012 graduate of Henderson-

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ONLINE For the latest in local news and updates, visit GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Uninsured in Sumner estimated at 21,000 Federal health care exchange opens enrollment Tuesday By Sherry Mitchell Gallatin News Examiner

With enrollment opening for the federally facilitated healthcare exchange next week, an estimated 21,000 uninsured adults in Sumner County may be faced with the decision to buy coverage or face penalties from the IRS.

Volunteer State Community College student Jacob Marina, 21, is among the uninsured, working part-time while he’s in school. Standing outside the Wood Campus Center Thursday, he said he was aware of the upcoming mandate, but wasn’t sure how he would pay for it on his limited income. “I honestly don’t think I can afford it, but I guess I will have to try to get some,” Marina said. “I think, overall, it would help if we had a (totally) funded government healthcare system.”

Marina is among the 21,253 or 15.1 percent of residents in Sumner County between the ages of 18 and 64 who are Marina currently uninsured, according to information released in September by the U.S. Census Bureau. Starting Tuesday, Oct. 1, residents can go online to sign up for individual coverage and see if

PERCENTAGE OF UNINSURED BY COUNTY Williamson

9.2 Wilson

13.8

they qualify for a government subsidy on premiums. Local residents can choose a plan from the federally facilitated healthcare exchange – a requirement that has been received with mixed feelings by some. The mandate was implemented after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare. The new law requires every resident to have coverage by 2014 or pay a fine. For individuals, the fine for the first year is $95 and

» UNINSURED, 5A

Sumner

15.1 Rutherford

16.5 Robertson

17.7 Davidson

19.4

Project may be boost for economy

A purr-fect friend

TVA plans to bring 900 workers to city By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

Sugar the cat is eager to get a treat from resident Virginia Gilliam, 90, on a recent Wednesday afternoon at Morningside of Gallatin assisted-living home. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Judge rules no abuse in civil suit against schools By Sarah Kingsbury Gallatin News Examiner

A Sumner County teacher may have treated six special needs children in a “rough and inappropriate’’ manner but it did not rise to the level of abuse and the school system is not responsible for what happened, a judge ruled last week. The suit, filed in 2011, involved six children who had attended either Beech Elementary or Station Camp Elementary. In many instances, the special judge Jane Wheatcraft found that even if the incidents could be considered abuse, half the fault would be on the parent or teacher for not immediately reporting it, making the civil claim moot. The ruling cited several incidents addressed during the trial that were not

ONLINE

Read the complaint filed against the school system and the judge’s ruling at GallatinNewsExaminer.com

found to be abusive, such as requiring a child who often took her shoes off to walk around barefoot, or pulling or shoving a child in a rough manner but without causing physical injury. One of the alleged victims “was made to clean up her own fesces (sic) to teach her to take control of her bodily functions” but the court “did not find that to be abusive.” Wheatcraft ruled Sept. 16 that the parents who sued the school system did not sufficiently prove that abuse had occurred, though the behavior of the accused teacher,

» LAWSUIT, 4A

Two teams from the White House volleyball league square off inside the old gym at city hall on Thursday, Sept. 19. A renovation project will soon begin on the gym. NICOLE YOUNG/GANNETT TENNESSEE

White House invests in rec hall By Nicole Young Gannett Tennessee

Work is slated to begin next week on a gym renovation project at White House City Hall. The board of mayor and alderman took its first steps on the project, approving a bid of more than $75,500 to replace the roof over the old gym, during its Thursday meeting. “That gym goes all day long every day,” said White House City Administrator Gerald Herman. “From seniors walking

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

MetroMix.com

Local leaders hope the $1.1 billion project at the Gallatin TVA Fossil Plant to reduce emissions will benefit the city economically when 900 workers arrive in Sumner County to help with the project. More than 50 people, including local business owners and representatives, attended a TVA business outreach meeting at city hall in Gallatin Monday to talk about how they can best prepare for the influx of workers in the community. “We are excited about (the project) not only because it keeps our plant open, but also because it provides jobs and an economic boost to this community,” Mayor Jo Ann Graves said during the meeting. As part of the multi-year project, four scrubbers will be installed at the plant to cut sulfur dioxide emissions and reduce nitrogen oxide levels. Once complete, the project is expected to help reduce certain emissions by as much as 96 percent. While TVA estimates that as many as 900 contract workers will be needed to complete the installation of the scrubbers, the majority will be on-site during a12-month period beginning next year. More than 750 of the workers will be at the plant from April 2014 until April 2015, said Ron Nash, vice-president of major projects for General Construction, the company responsible for building the addition. Clay Haynes, owner of Haynes Properties, attended Monday’s meeting. Haynes, whose company manages multiple rental properties throughout the city, said that the TVA project presents a “tremendous opportunity” for both the real estate industry and local businesses. “One of the biggest reasons why I’m here is (to see) how I can support the local businesses that I lease to and help empower them to market directly to these new customers that are going to be in town,” Haynes said. “The more income they have coming in, the more viable their businesses will be.”

early in the morning to kids playing basketball in the afternoon, it’s always hopping. And it is desperately in need of some work.” The board had originally set aside $300,000 for the project, which includes replacing the gymnasium floor, putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls, adding air conditioning and refurbishing the heating system, in its 2013-14 budget. The roofing project was not

The Gallatin Area Chamber of Commerce plans to give each new worker a bag when they ar-

» GYM, 3A

» TVA, 5A

Business outreach

VOL. 173 NO. 77 © 2013 GANNETT CO., INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED SUBSCRIBE: 1-800-520-9286


NEWS

4A • WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2013

GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Portland hosts second 5K for Relay for Life

Shavanna Blankenship at the 5K for Relay for Life and 1-mile Fun Run/Walk at Watt Hardison Elementary School in Portland on Saturday, Sept. 21. MATTHEW DIGGS/FOR THE GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Bryson and Dylan Hill help direct participants in the 5K for Relay for Life and 1-mile Fun Run/Walk at Watt Hardison Elementary School in Portland on Saturday, Sept. 21. MATTHEW DIGGS/FOR THE GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

ONLINE

See more photos from the Portland 5K for Relay at GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Katie and Jeff Todd have a great time together at the 5K for Relay for Life and 1-mile Fun Run/Walk at Watt Hardison Elementary School in Portland on Saturday. MATTHEW DIGGS/FOR THE GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Jackie Wilber and Portland Mayor Ken Wilber participate in the 5K for Relay for Life and 1-mile Fun Run/Walk at Watt Hardison Elementary School in Portland on Saturday, Sept. 21. MATTHEW DIGGS/FOR THE GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Judge: treatment ‘inappropriate,’ but not abusive »LAWSUIT FROM 1A

Donna Weidenbenner, was in some cases “rough and inappropriate.” Weidenbenner, was indicted on three counts of felony child abuse in 2009 but pleaded no contest and received six years of probation. As part of her plea deal, she agreed to have a criminal record that includes three child abuse convictions and to have no contact with children through any volunteer organization, or ever teach again. The criminal investigation “involved children with special needs that were force-fed,” according to the court transcript. The civil case was originally filed in federal court but was dismissed. An appeal to the Sixth Circuit also was dismissed. “The court found we fell short and that happens in lawsuits but at the end of the day these children had to have their day in court and we made sure they got it,” said Clint Kelly, of The Kelly Firm, which represented all of the families in the

state case. “We just did not have any evidence of physical abuse, which would have been a totally different case, but what this teacher did was totally unconscionable.” “Somebody’s got to take these cases and they’re hard to take, especially with handicapped children,” Kelly said. “But if we don’t speak for them, nobody will.” Todd Presnell, a partner at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP in Nashville, who served as lead trial counsel for the Sumner County Board of Education, called the ruling a “victory for the school board and the teachers and the principals and everybody in the school system.” “These children were not abused and that’s what a large part of this trial was about,” he said. Presnell said the lawsuit was “a tough case all the way around” that at times “rose to the salacious level.” The school system has not made any changes as a result of the criminal charges and civil lawsuits that stemmed from

Weidenbenner’s actions, Presnell said. “The policies and procedures that we have in place are very strong with respect to observing and reporting child abuse type incidents,” he said. The out-of-pocket expense to the school system to fight the cases was about $250,000, with the rest covered by insurance, said Sumner County Schools spokesman Jeremy Johnson. That number might come down because the plaintiffs were ordered to pay $67,000 in attorneys fees in the federal case, he added.

Judge revisits records

The majority of evidence related to the case will have to be reviewed before it is made public, Wheatcraft decided last week. She plans to review thousands of pages of documents to determine whether the public will ever have access to the records, which detail how school administrators handled the alleged abuse of the elementary school children. Wheatcraft was appointed by the Tennessee Supreme

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Court to preside over the case after Sumner County Circuit Court Judge Buck Rogers recused himself. Rogers’ wife, Lyle Rogers, works for Hendersonville High School. “I have written to the attorneys on both sides and said that probably what I need to do – I understand these are public records – but what I need to do is probably go through each of the 177 exhibits and see which ones need to be under seal,” she said Thursday. Exhibits of evidence attached to lawsuits are typically public record unless sealed in a court. Wheatcraft decided to revisit the the thousands of pages of exhibits related to the suit after the Gallatin News Examiner tried to obtain copies of some of the records Thursday. The court specifically refused to release copies of letters frequently cited in the civil case that were written by two teachers whose reports of the abuse led to Weidenbenner’s dismissal from the school system. When the News Examiner requested copies of the letters,

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court clerks questioned whether they were public record and contacted Wheatcraft, who decided to withhold the documents. She also decided to reexamine whether the other thousands of pages should be retrospectively placed under seal. Sealed court records are typically separated from the rest of a court file and are often placed in an actual sealed envelope and labeled as such so they will not be accidentally mixed in with other records. The records requested by the News Examiner were in a binder with hundreds of pages of other documents. But Wheatcraft also said it was within her power as a judge to instruct a clerk to withhold a record that was not sealed. She said the intent was to protect the children from being identified, though the court clerks also refused to release copies of the records with the children’s names redacted. She said it was “not uncommon” for a judge to review and seal records after a case has been ruled upon.

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NEWS

SPORTS

LITERACY COUNCIL CELEBRATES 30 YEARS, 3A

LADY BISON SOCCER TOPS PORTLAND, 1B

WEDNESDAY » SEPTEMBER 25, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

50¢

ONLINE For the latest in local news and updates, visit GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Uninsured in Sumner estimated at 21,000 Federal health care exchange opens enrollment Tuesday By Sherry Mitchell Gallatin News Examiner

With enrollment opening for the federally facilitated healthcare exchange next week, an estimated 21,000 uninsured adults in Sumner County may be faced with the decision to buy coverage or face penalties from the IRS.

Volunteer State Community College student Jacob Marina, 21, is among the uninsured, working part-time while he’s in school. Standing outside the Wood Campus Center Thursday, he said he was aware of the upcoming mandate, but wasn’t sure how he would pay for it on his limited income. “I honestly don’t think I can afford it, but I guess I will have to try to get some,” Marina said. “I think, overall, it would help if we had a (totally) funded government healthcare system.”

Marina is among the 21,253 or 15.1 percent of residents in Sumner County between the ages of 18 and 64 who are Marina currently uninsured, according to information released in September by the U.S. Census Bureau. Starting Tuesday, Oct. 1, residents can go online to sign up for individual coverage and see if

PERCENTAGE OF UNINSURED BY COUNTY Williamson

9.2 Wilson

13.8

they qualify for a government subsidy on premiums. Local residents can choose a plan from the federally facilitated healthcare exchange – a requirement that has been received with mixed feelings by some. The mandate was implemented after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare. The new law requires every resident to have coverage by 2014 or pay a fine. For individuals, the fine for the first year is $95 and

» UNINSURED, 5A

Sumner

15.1 Rutherford

16.5 Robertson

17.7 Davidson

19.4

Project may be boost for economy

A purr-fect friend

TVA plans to bring 900 workers to city By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

Sugar the cat is eager to get a treat from resident Virginia Gilliam, 90, on a recent Wednesday afternoon at Morningside of Gallatin assisted-living home. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Judge rules no abuse in civil suit against schools By Sarah Kingsbury Gallatin News Examiner

A Sumner County teacher may have treated six special needs children in a “rough and inappropriate’’ manner but it did not rise to the level of abuse and the school system is not responsible for what happened, a judge ruled last week. The suit, filed in 2011, involved six children who had attended either Beech Elementary or Station Camp Elementary. In many instances, the special judge Jane Wheatcraft found that even if the incidents could be considered abuse, half the fault would be on the parent or teacher for not immediately reporting it, making the civil claim moot. The ruling cited several incidents addressed during the trial that were not

ONLINE

Read the complaint filed against the school system and the judge’s ruling at GallatinNewsExaminer.com

found to be abusive, such as requiring a child who often took her shoes off to walk around barefoot, or pulling or shoving a child in a rough manner but without causing physical injury. One of the alleged victims “was made to clean up her own fesces (sic) to teach her to take control of her bodily functions” but the court “did not find that to be abusive.” Wheatcraft ruled Sept. 16 that the parents who sued the school system did not sufficiently prove that abuse had occurred, though the behavior of the accused teacher,

» LAWSUIT, 4A

Two teams from the White House volleyball league square off inside the old gym at city hall on Thursday, Sept. 19. A renovation project will soon begin on the gym. NICOLE YOUNG/GANNETT TENNESSEE

White House invests in rec hall By Nicole Young Gannett Tennessee

Work is slated to begin next week on a gym renovation project at White House City Hall. The board of mayor and alderman took its first steps on the project, approving a bid of more than $75,500 to replace the roof over the old gym, during its Thursday meeting. “That gym goes all day long every day,” said White House City Administrator Gerald Herman. “From seniors walking

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

MetroMix.com

Local leaders hope the $1.1 billion project at the Gallatin TVA Fossil Plant to reduce emissions will benefit the city economically when 900 workers arrive in Sumner County to help with the project. More than 50 people, including local business owners and representatives, attended a TVA business outreach meeting at city hall in Gallatin Monday to talk about how they can best prepare for the influx of workers in the community. “We are excited about (the project) not only because it keeps our plant open, but also because it provides jobs and an economic boost to this community,” Mayor Jo Ann Graves said during the meeting. As part of the multi-year project, four scrubbers will be installed at the plant to cut sulfur dioxide emissions and reduce nitrogen oxide levels. Once complete, the project is expected to help reduce certain emissions by as much as 96 percent. While TVA estimates that as many as 900 contract workers will be needed to complete the installation of the scrubbers, the majority will be on-site during a12-month period beginning next year. More than 750 of the workers will be at the plant from April 2014 until April 2015, said Ron Nash, vice-president of major projects for General Construction, the company responsible for building the addition. Clay Haynes, owner of Haynes Properties, attended Monday’s meeting. Haynes, whose company manages multiple rental properties throughout the city, said that the TVA project presents a “tremendous opportunity” for both the real estate industry and local businesses. “One of the biggest reasons why I’m here is (to see) how I can support the local businesses that I lease to and help empower them to market directly to these new customers that are going to be in town,” Haynes said. “The more income they have coming in, the more viable their businesses will be.”

early in the morning to kids playing basketball in the afternoon, it’s always hopping. And it is desperately in need of some work.” The board had originally set aside $300,000 for the project, which includes replacing the gymnasium floor, putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls, adding air conditioning and refurbishing the heating system, in its 2013-14 budget. The roofing project was not

The Gallatin Area Chamber of Commerce plans to give each new worker a bag when they ar-

» GYM, 3A

» TVA, 5A

Business outreach

VOL. 173 NO. 77 © 2013 GANNETT CO., INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED SUBSCRIBE: 1-800-520-9286


NEWS

GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Dave Winnestaffer, director of capital projects for Enerfab, and Ron Nash, vice president of major projects for Generation Construction, talks to local business owners Monday about a $1.1 billion TVA project. JOSH

• Help for life’s struggles – hope for the hurting

CROSS/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

• Skillful counseling by caring professionals

Project scheduled for ‘17 completion »TVA FROM 1A rive that will include fliers, brochures and coupons from local business in order to encourage them to shop locally. “This is a real opportunity to reach out to these (workers) and tell them about your business particularly if you are not somewhere they drive directly past,” said Paige Brown, executive director of the chamber. One local establishment that hopes to take advantage of the opportunity to increase business is The Whippoorwill in Gallatin. Since it is located on the downtown square and miles away from the plant, manager Richard Ring said that the

restaurant is trying to figure out how it can best market itself to take advantage of the economic opportunity. “We just have to figure out how to get to them,” he said. “Besides the bags, how can we attract them? That’s what we’re going to have to sit down and figure out, how we can do that.” The sooner that the contract workers become acquainted with the area and local businesses, the more like they are to spend money at those establishments, said Dave Winnestaffer, director of capital projects, power division for Enerfab, which is the company overseeing the project’s workforce.

“As they enjoy their stay more, they’ll stay (in town) more,” he said. “Otherwise, they could be going down to Nashville for the weekend and those kinds of things.” Businesses that would like to include information about their establishment in the initial 300 welcome bags should contact the Gallatin Area Chamber of Commerce at 4524000. That information must be taken to the chamber office by the end of October. The project is scheduled to be completed by Dec. 31, 2017, said Nash.

“I don’t think it’s going to sit well with people by no means. It makes no sense to make someone purchase insurance.”

»UNINSURED FROM 1A

CHAZ SMITH

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will be collected when 2014 taxes are filed with the IRS. But by 2016, that figure will skyrocket to $695 for each year an individual goes without coverage. The mandate might be the push needed to sign up for coverage for residents like 22-year-old Alexis Holder, of Gallatin, who has wanted insurance but hasn’t taken action to enroll in it. “I work full-time and I can afford it but I just haven’t gotten any yet,” she said. Some who have been getting by without insurance might reconsider when faced with penalties. “I’ve been going to the health department because they go by income,” said self-employed Gallatin resident Mariette Nevitt. “If I have to have a policy, I will go get one, and if it’s cheaper, I’ll go through the government system to get it.” Self-employed Gallatin resident Bertha Turner had TennCare but lost it. She takes medication to manage high blood pressure and cholesterol, and could afford a cheap version of them but says she cannot pay for the office visit needed to obtain a prescription. “It does concern me; I have cut off some of my medicine because of it,” she said. “I can go get $4 generics, but I can’t afford to go to the doctor.” And others, like 60year-old Gallatin resident Peggy Long, may continue to opt out of insurance altogether. Long hasn’t been insured for at least a decade. “I don’t worry about it,” she said. “I believe God provides and if I have an accident the medical care would be provided for me probably at no cost.” For individuals who make less than $11,170 or a family of four making less than $24,050 – there will be no government-subsidized health-care plans. Those individuals instead would qualify for Medicaid in states that are opting to expand that coverage, but so far, only 26 states have agreed to participate in the Medicaid expansion. Tennessee’s Medicaid coverage has not yet been determined.

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Reporter Josh Cross can be reached at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

Residents consider choices

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2013 •

Check us out on FaceBook for this week’s Music Schedule www.facebook.com/awedaddys

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5A


SPORTS

COMMANDOS BATTLE RIVERDALE, 7M

SUMNER A.M. » INSIDE

SUNDAY » SEPTEMBER 29, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

50¢

Collapsed wall had little bracing 4 companies cited in April accident that killed 2 By Tena Lee Sumner A.M.

Firefighters hold up a tarp as others investigate a construction site where two workers were killed and one was injured after a wall collapsed at a Hendersonville construction site in April. GANNETT TENNESSEE/FILE

City’s taxation power in question

Four companies have been cited and face penalties of up to $15,200 each for failing to adequately brace a concrete wall in Hendersonville that fell on three workers in April, fatally crushing two of them. Joel Pineda Muniz, 24, of

Nashville, and Bethpage resident Jose Panfilo Velasco-SanAgustin, 36, were killed instantly when the east wall of a Goodwill Industries store under construction on Indian Lake Boulevard fell on them. A summary report of the incident released Thursday by the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administra-

tion said a third man sustained five broken ribs, a bruised sternum and shattered collarbone. Although that man is not identified in the citations, Hendersonville police identified him as Jeff Costello, 44, of Scottsville, Ky. Three companies — N&S Wa-

» WALL, 6M

Literacy Council celebrates 30 years

Lack of budget could delay Gallatin tax collections By Josh Cross Sumner A.M.

Gallatin may be barred from collecting property taxes until it passes a budget, the state comptroller’s office said last week. The city typically begins collecting such taxes in October, though property owners have until the end of February before they become delinquent. A state law cited by the comptroller says cities must have a budget passed before taxes are levied, but Gallatin has yet to approve one. But the state office has also not made a definitive decision on whether the lack of a spending plan will be a problem. City Recorder Connie Kittrell said the move would only delay when the money was collected and would not change how much individuals owed.

Literacy Council of Sumner County board member Luke Bottoroff awards a door prize to Wagner Dasilva at the organization’s 30th anniversary celebration in Hendersonville Thursday, Sept. 26. See more photos from the event at HendersonvilleStarNews.com. RICK MURRAY/FOR SUMNER A.M.

» TAXES, 5M

Gallatin Main Street Festival 3 men suspected expected to draw thousands of ties to human trafficking gang

About 200 vendors will sell variety of wares at annual downtown event

Suspects indicted on drug charges after Aug. capture

By Sherry Mitchell Sumner A. M.

If visitors to the upcoming Gallatin Main Street Festival detect the aroma of fresh-baked blueberry cobbler, that may be because they’re smelling one of 25 types of handmade scented candles that Gallatin resident Tina Hudson makes in her basement. More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the festival, and Hudson will be among the 200 or so vendors expected at the event. Hudson began her hobby 12 years ago after not being able to find store-bought candles that were heavily scented. “My candles, which are a mix of paraffin and soy, throw off a strong scent — my fiance can smell them from out in the field,” she said. “He usually knows what I am making long before he comes into the

By Dessislava Yankova Sumner A.M.

Tina Hudson, one of about 200 vendors expected at Saturday’s Gallatin Main Street Festival, pours handmade scented candles to sell at the event. SHERRY MITCHELL/SUMNER A.M.

house.” The handmade candles are not hard to make, just time-consuming, she said. “I usually pour two dozen jars at a time and from start to finish, it takes about four hours, including the labels,” she said. For Hudson, who also has a full-time job, making candles is a getaway of sorts, without having to actually leave home. “It’s relaxing and it gives me

IF YOU GO: What: Main Street Festival When: Saturday, 10 a.m.– 5 p.m. Where: Downtown Square, Gallatin Cost: Free Contact/booth information: 452-5692 or visit main streetgallatin.com

» FESTIVAL, 3M

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

MetroMix.com

Three Somali men indicted on drug charges are being investigated in a human trafficking scheme, police said. Yassin Yusuf, 23, Ahmad Ahmad, 26, and Mohamed Amwar, 30, were indicted this month by the Sumner County grand jury on four charges of possessing narcotics, illegal drugs and paraphernalia. Amwar was also indicted on one count of driving with a revoked license. The three suspects remained at the Sumner County Jail on $100,000 bond each as of press time Friday, according to indictments and jail officials. The three suspects were first captured in August as they were headed south to-

Ahmad

Yusuf

ward Nashville on Interstate 65. An investigator with the 18th Judicial District Drug Task Force Amwar of Sumner County pulled over the SUV the three men occupied because the car was following another vehicle too closely, arrest reports said. Yusuf told the investigator he did not have a driver’s license because it was revoked. During a search of the SUV, the investigator discovered

» TRAFFICKING, 4M

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NEWS

6M • SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2013 IT’S JUST STUFF

Safe from 1800s can be reutilized Dear Connie Sue:

frame. I am not interested in selling the piece, only in determining if it has any real value and is worth preserving.

We hope you can help us get a little more information about a safe that we have. This safe was in a building that we purchased in downtown Nashville that used to be a commercial railroad depot on Ewing Street. The owner of the building didn’t know how long the safe had been here. It has been a very interesting piece for our showroom and we have been asked by many people how much it is worth. The outside dimensions are 5 feet 7 inches in height, 4 feet 3.5 inches in width, and 2 feet 8 inches in depth. We have the combination and inside key as well. The wording on the inside of the exterior doors says “Hall’s Patent 1849.” There is raised wording that’s not painted on the outside of the exterior doors that says “Cincinnati & Louisville.” If you have any information about this safe, or an idea of what the value is, please let me know.

Hall’s Safe Company was in business from 1867 to 1892. Based on the decoration, your safe can easily be attributed to that time frame. Similar safes are offered from $2,500 to $7,500. Because of the logistics involved with moving safes, they usually stay where they are. I’ve advised many clients to learn to love their safe and work around it. Fortunately, you have a beautifully decorated safe to share with customers. If you could attribute the ‘cracking’ of that safe to a bad-guy folk hero, you would be able to name your price and appear on TV.

Nashville

Dear Connie Sue:

Lisa

Dear Lisa: Edward and Joseph Hall of Cincinnati, Ohio, received a patent in 1849 for new methods of securing the wall of the safe with poured concrete held by flanged edge, interior and exterior metal sheets. They maintained that the use of rivets or bolts previously used to secure the layers of metal together acted as a conduit for heat that could ultimately allow the safe’s contents to burn.

Jennifer Nashville

» CONNIE SUE

DAVENPORT

I located your service through a Google search and am hoping you can help with appraising a tapestry that was given to my mother by her father approximately 45 years ago. Unfortunately, my siblings and I were too young at the time to ask about the history of it, and I am unable to gather any history on the piece. I do know that my grandfather was in the U.S. Cavalry in World War I, and I suspect he may have acquired the tapestry during that time-

Dear Jennifer:

I see similar tapestries quite often. They are frequently stamped on the back with the country of origin. Because the words “made in” are rarely included in the mark, this indicates it was produced between 1891 and 1914. This aligns with your grandfather’s World War I Cavalry service as well. Many tapestries are still framed and have a silk cord with a tassel for ease of hanging. Because I always look on the back for the stamp, I realize the front has often faded — the threads on the back are more brilliant. Similar pieces sell in the $15 to $50 range. The brighter the color, the better they sell. Although I’m not a conservator, if I were considering the preservation of this family piece for myself, I’d spend some time researching a safe and subtle method of slowing the loss of color, and keep it out of the light. Professional conservators might share some tips or agree to a short consultation at their usual fee. Send inquiries to Connie Sue Davenport at Curios@Connie Sue.com. Connie Sue is a credentialed antiques and personal property appraiser.

SUMNER A.M.

TOSHA proposes thousands in fines »WALL FROM 1M terproofing of Nashville, Thorne’s Excavating Company of Lebanon and Solomon Builders of Nashville — were cited $15,200 each for three serious violations, including not adequately bracing the 24-foot-tall masonry block wall, which stretched 149 feet. TOSHA said the companies also failed to properly limit access to the wall while it was under construction and did not properly train employees on the hazards of working near it. A fourth company, Tayes Masonry of Smithville, received $14,000 in proposed fines for two citations classified as serious for not properly bracing the wall and for not limiting access to the wall. The companies have 20 days to contest the citations, which are dated Sept. 23.

Full report

The TOSHA report said Muniz, a laborer for N & S Waterproofing, was on a ladder caulking on

the outside of the wall while Velasco-SanAgustin and Costello were doing excavation work for Thorne’s Excavating about 15 feet away when the wall collapsed. The investigation summary says that there were three braces on the inside of the wall and one on the outside when “there should have been a total of 12 braces on the inside of the wall and 12 braces on the outside of the wall.” The report says the braces appear to have been removed one to two days before the collapse, but it hasn’t been determined who removed them. It also says the braces were not adequately anchored to the ground and wall with screws or bolts. Hendersonville Codes Director Steve Mills, who went to the construction site after the collapse, said he was not surprised by TOSHA’s findings. “It sounds like TOSHA is spreading the responsibility or no one is taking the responsibility for removing the bracing,” he said. The city codes depart-

ment doesn’t have jurisdiction over construction site safety, Mills said, and the companies are charged with the responsibility to continually ensure the safety of workers. “There’s really nothing specific the city could do,” he said. Three of the four companies did not immediately return requests for comment Friday. Solomon Builders Principal Gregg Turner released a statement calling the incident a “tragic accident, which deeply affected a lot of people including everyone at our company.” Turner said the company is committed to safety and has a longstanding record to back up that commitment. TOSHA will issue an official report on the incident in about three weeks, according to Tennessee Department of Labor spokeswoman Jennifer Farrar.

berland Valley Quartet, Union Hill Missionary Baptist Church, 141 Old Dobbins Pike, Gallatin, 6 p.m. Refreshments will be served after the singing.

nations and proceeds benefit Honduras mission efforts. Morning worship, 10:30 a.m. Oct. 6, with gospel singing by Southland Quartet, and lunch following. Call 615-325-6084. Saturday, Oct. 5 » Outdoor festival, Living to Go, Hendersonville Campus, 1001 Center Point Road, 3 p.m. Family activities include croquet, horseshoes, frisbee throwing, badminton, volleyball, cornhole tournament and softball. Bake sale and silent auction. Open mic starts at 5:30 p.m., and Southern gospel trio The Believers perform at 6:30 p.m.

Reporter Tena Lee can be reached at 575-7116 or tlee@mtcngroup.com.

CHURCH EVENTS Email church events to gnenews@mtcngroup. com.

Sunday, Sept. 29

» Salem United Methodist Church Homecoming Services, Douglas Lane, Gallatin. Fellowship and covered dish meal following services, 11 a.m. Call Deborah Graves at 452-0441. » Usher Day, Rome Missionary Baptist Church, 1277 Avondale Road, Hendersonville, 2:30 p.m. Pastor Will A. Duncan and special guests Cedar Grove and Pastor Lorwan Dixon. » Sunday Night Singing featuring The Cum-

Monday, Sept. 30

» Isaiah 58:7 Share Our Food Kitchen serves a free meal, Community Church in Hendersonville, 381 W. Main St., 1:305:30 p.m.

Oct. 5-6

» Union Chapel General Baptist Church Homecoming, 1125 College St., Portland. Antique tractor and car show, 2 p.m. Oct. 5, with fish fry at 4:30 p.m. and auction at 6 p.m. Do-

SAVE THE DATE

Gallatin

Main Street Festival

SATURDAY TH OCTOBER 5 10

AM TO

5PM

Over 175 vendors Arts and crafts Non-Profit organizations Two stages of entertainment Large food area in City Hall parking lot Large variety of food Many booths geared toward children Large inflatables in City Hall Parking Lot by Franklin St.

JOIN US FOR A CELEBRATION ART OF CRAFTSMANSHIP

&

Sponsored by Hendersonville Rotary Club

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12TH 8:00 am - 5:00 pm SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13TH 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

At 1:00 the Zion Upper Room church will be acting out biblical stories in the Palace Theater. Admission is $3.00 for adults, children $2.00

1st Tennessee Bank

Admission $3 per person. Kids 12 & under free SantasFirstStop.com

SPONSORS Smith Travel Research City of Gallatin Economic Development Agency

Road closures: Water St. from Smith to Franklin and Main St. from Boyers to Locust.

TN-0000925259

PRESENTING SPONSOR

Pickle Fieldhouse at Volunteer State Community College 130 Nashville Pike, Gallatin, Tennessee


SPORTS

WHHS RIPS CITY RIVALS, 7M

SUMNER A.M. SUNDAY » OCTOBER 6, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

50¢

Complaint targets city judge

Cities weigh plans to pay debt to schools

Kittrell employee made allegations

Hendersonville aldermen consider 5-year proposal

By Josh Cross Sumner A.M.

A complaint about Gallatin City Recorder and Judge Connie Kittrell is now under review by the state’s Board of Judicial Conduct, according to a memo obtained by the Gallatin News Examiner/Sumner A.M. An employee in Kittrell’s office lodged a complaint in August against her in her capacity as city judge, according to the memo, which was written by City Attorney Joe Thompson and sent to all City Council members and Mayor Jo Ann Graves on Sept. 16. “The allegations, if proven true, would constitute a violation of Tennessee’s Code of Judicial Conduct,” the memo said. “As part of the complaint, the employee provided documents which she believed supported her claim.” After reviewing the documents and interviewing two department employees, Thompson concluded he was obligated to inform the state board, which handles ethical complaints against judges, and he did so in a written complaint Sept. 10. Thompson declined to comment on the memo Thursday, referring inquiries to the state

By Tena Lee Sumner A.M.

Hendersonville city leaders will consider a plan to pay the Sumner County school system $987,129 over a five-year period for unpaid taxes dating back

to 1989, after members of the finance committee voted in a special-called meeting Wednesday to recommend the resolution to the full board. According to state law, the city was supposed to be paying a portion of its liquor-by-thedrink tax to the school system after passing a liquor-by-thedrink referendum in 1989, but had not been doing so due to an oversight that many other Tennessee cities have discovered within the last two years.

Foster

Stamper

Hendersonville Mayor Scott Foster told committee members Wednesday that Director of Schools Del Phillips first asked if the city could pay

the school system back in three years during an August meeting that also included County Executive AnQualls thony Holt. Foster said he asked if the city could pay the debt instead over a five-year period and Phillips agreed.

» SCHOOLS, 5M

GREEN WAVE

Sweet moments at homecoming parade

» COMPLAINT, 2M

City Judge Connie Kittrell FILE

Shutdown ripples to Sumner By Sherry Mitchell Sumner A.M.

Several local facilities, including a park, recreation center and campground, were expected to be closed at noon Friday as a result of the government shutdown Tuesday. Rockland Park, Cages Bend Campground and Avondale Recreation Center, all owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, were closed Friday due to lack of funding. Nashville Corps of Engineers spokesman Lee Roberts said Thursday all federal parks, campgrounds and boat ramps with gates would be locked Friday with signs not to enter until further notice. There are four gated boat ramps in Hendersonville — Lock 3, Saundersville, Stark Knob and Safety Harbor — that will likely be locked down, said Hendersonville Fire Department Deputy Assistant Chief Bob Galoppi. All boat ramps in the Gallatin area — Bull Run, Cairo, Cedar Grove, Gallatin Steam Plant and Old Union Hill — are not gated and are expected to remain open, according to Ken Weidner, director of the Sumner County Emergency Management Agency. Lock 4 in Gallatin is maintained by the city and will remain open. Sanders Ferry, Mallard Point

» SHUTDOWN, 2M

Ruby May Stults, 2, Bella Baker, 2, and her mother Stacy Baker collect candy during the Gallatin High School Homecoming Parade Thursday. The Green Wave faced the Blue Devils Friday. See page 7M for game day coverage and go to GallatinNewsExaminer.com to see more photos of homecoming events throughout Sumner County. JOSH CROSS/SUMNER A.M.

Weekend fundraisers help feed hungry Two events over two days benefit Sumner food bank

IF YOU GO

By Sherry Mitchell Sumner A.M.

Two weekend fundraisers are aimed at supporting the Sumner County Food Bank in equally enjoyable ways: sampling homemade desserts and cruising rural roads on a motorcycle. Get a sweet-tooth fix for $5 on Friday at Morningside of Gallatin’s fourth annual Dessert Fest, where visitors can sample an array of fall-themed treats, such as pumpkin cheesecake and apple caramel bliss. Or browse through a silent auction to purchase oneof-a kind items, such as handmade furniture, seasonal decorations and crocheted items. The 2012 event drew more than 120 people and raised close to $2,000. On Saturday, the third annual Fall Ride for Food takes participants on a scenic motorcy-

Stephanie Harville, director of Morningside of Gallatin, with some of the silent auction items for the facility’s Dessert Fest 2013 on Friday. SHERRY MITCHELL/SUMNER A.M.

cle ride through Sumner County. The 65-mile route starts at the downtown square in Gallatin. After coffee and donuts, the crowd heads out at 10 a.m. “Everybody will start the motorcycles up and it causes a big stir with lots of noise and then we take off,” organizer Homer Bradley said. “We just have a big affair.” Traveling toward Castalian

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

MetroMix.com

Springs, the group will ride through Bethpage and end up at Triple Creek Park in Gallatin. A free lunch will be provided afterward. At 85, Bradley said he’s opting to take in the scenic autumn view through the windows of a deputy’s car. The Gallatin Police Department and Sumner County Sheriff’s Office will provide escorts throughout many parts of the ride.

Fall Ride for Food When: Saturday, registration at 9 a.m. Where: Downtown square, Gallatin Cost: $20 per bike; $10 for second rider Contact: 230-5600 Dessert Fest 2013/Silent Auction When: Friday, 1-4 p.m. Where: Morningside of Gallatin, 1085 Hartsville Pike Cost: $5 Contact: 230-5600 For information on donating to the Sumner County Food Bank, call 452-3890 or 504-6182.

Last year, 30 riders participated in the event, which raised more than $7,000 for the food bank. “It’s a shame we have to have a food bank, but it’s such a blessing that we do have one,” Bradley said. “I don’t know what the people of Sumner County would do without it.” Reporter Sherry Mitchell can be reached at 575-7117 or shmitchell@mtcngroup.com.

© 2013 GANNETT CO., INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED SUBSCRIBE: 1-800-520-9286


NEWS

SUMNER A.M.

Debt plans »SCHOOLS FROM 1M Hendersonville has already made two payments for this year’s revenue and will begin paying the debt back next August, he said. Finance Director Rachel Nichols said Tuesday that Gallatin owes around $448,000, which is about $42,000 lower than the amount originally estimated by County Finance Director David Lawing. Nichols said city officials are questioning whether a statute of limitations might apply to the amount of retroactive funds the school system could ask for. “That would be the only thing that might lessen this some; otherwise, it’s $448,000,” she said. Nichols said the city would pay around $90,000 a year over a five-year period. Portland, which passed its liquor-by-the-drink referendum more recently, owes about $10,000 to schools. Mayor Ken Wilber said Portland city leaders have not decided how they will handle the

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2013 •

matter but will “probably make a one-time payment.” Hendersonville Finance Committee Chairman Fred Qualls and member Scott Sprouse voted for the five-year repayment resolution while Matt Stamper, a third member of the committee, abstained from the vote. Stamper proposed an alternative payment plan, which didn’t receive the support of the other committee members. Stamper said the school system should be paid what it is owed, but was concerned the city’s general fund is too low. Instead of paying around $198,000 a year for five years, Stamper proposed remitting 75 percent of the liquor-by-the-drink tax rather than the required 50 percent until the debt is repaid. Qualls said he was open to an alternative payment plan, but wanted it to be one the school system would be amenable to. Sprouse said Stamper’s plan would take longer to pay the school system back. “Five years isn’t easy, but it’s fair and doable,”

he said. “There’s no reason it should take any longer than that.” Qualls started the meeting by clarifying when he first heard of the city’s debt to the school system. While Foster said Sept. 24 that aldermen learned of the debt in December 2012, referencing a vague audit report, Qualls said he wanted to “clear the record” that he didn’t learn about it until Sept. 5. “I wanted to make abundantly clear we weren’t told in December, as was suggested, that this was a problem,” he said. “We weren’t told six months after it was learned. We were told 15 months after it was learned.” The city’s auditor said in a previous interview that city officials were made aware of a potential debt in June 2012. When asked after the meeting Wednesday why he didn’t notify aldermen sooner about the debt, Foster said the city learned in June 2012 “there was a possibility that was going to come up.” He said he didn’t learn the full extent of the debt until August.

a resource for inspiration, education, networking and leadership development for today’s and tomorrow’s leaders.

�ursday, October 24, 2013 Bluegrass Country Club 5:00pm - 7:00pm General Admission $25 Chamber Member Price $15

First and foremost, this event is dedicated to encouraging and empowering women business professionals to create heartfelt, meaningful relationships with one another that will in turn strengthen their communities. �e evening will consist of networking and sharing opportunities, awards and a dynamic speaker, Deb Varallo of Varallo PR. Congratulations to our outstanding female leaders who will be recognized at the event: Education - Pat Conner, State of TN Healthcare - Dr. Clare Stewart, Stewart Chiropractic Center Non-Pro�t - PJ Davis, Gallatin Shalom Zone Professional - Debbie Gryszko, STR

All future 18th Judicial District Drug Task Force auctions involving seized and confiscated items will be held at Govdeals.com website.

Presenting Sponsor

Join us in our inspiration board discussion; have your answers ready to share. What inspires you? What leadership qualities do you admire? What professional challenges do you face? What is your greatest professional achievement and what did you learn from it?

(Search by the name, 18th Drug Task Force or area code.)

Gold Sponsors

Enter 37066 to see all the latest items currently for bid by the 18th Drug Task Force

Award Sponsors

Items commonly auctioned include: cars, trucks, motorcycles, farm equipment, tools, household items, furniture, boats, trailers, jewelry, collectible coin and currency sets, and electronics. TN-0000936931

Circle of Excellence

TN-0000927558

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SPORTS

WHHS RIPS CITY RIVALS, 7M

SUMNER A.M. SUNDAY » OCTOBER 6, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

50¢

Complaint targets city judge

Cities weigh plans to pay debt to schools

Kittrell employee made allegations

Hendersonville aldermen consider 5-year proposal

By Josh Cross Sumner A.M.

A complaint about Gallatin City Recorder and Judge Connie Kittrell is now under review by the state’s Board of Judicial Conduct, according to a memo obtained by the Gallatin News Examiner/Sumner A.M. An employee in Kittrell’s office lodged a complaint in August against her in her capacity as city judge, according to the memo, which was written by City Attorney Joe Thompson and sent to all City Council members and Mayor Jo Ann Graves on Sept. 16. “The allegations, if proven true, would constitute a violation of Tennessee’s Code of Judicial Conduct,” the memo said. “As part of the complaint, the employee provided documents which she believed supported her claim.” After reviewing the documents and interviewing two department employees, Thompson concluded he was obligated to inform the state board, which handles ethical complaints against judges, and he did so in a written complaint Sept. 10. Thompson declined to comment on the memo Thursday, referring inquiries to the state

By Tena Lee Sumner A.M.

Hendersonville city leaders will consider a plan to pay the Sumner County school system $987,129 over a five-year period for unpaid taxes dating back

to 1989, after members of the finance committee voted in a special-called meeting Wednesday to recommend the resolution to the full board. According to state law, the city was supposed to be paying a portion of its liquor-by-thedrink tax to the school system after passing a liquor-by-thedrink referendum in 1989, but had not been doing so due to an oversight that many other Tennessee cities have discovered within the last two years.

Foster

Stamper

Hendersonville Mayor Scott Foster told committee members Wednesday that Director of Schools Del Phillips first asked if the city could pay

the school system back in three years during an August meeting that also included County Executive AnQualls thony Holt. Foster said he asked if the city could pay the debt instead over a five-year period and Phillips agreed.

» SCHOOLS, 5M

GREEN WAVE

Sweet moments at homecoming parade

» COMPLAINT, 2M

City Judge Connie Kittrell FILE

Shutdown ripples to Sumner By Sherry Mitchell Sumner A.M.

Several local facilities, including a park, recreation center and campground, were expected to be closed at noon Friday as a result of the government shutdown Tuesday. Rockland Park, Cages Bend Campground and Avondale Recreation Center, all owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, were closed Friday due to lack of funding. Nashville Corps of Engineers spokesman Lee Roberts said Thursday all federal parks, campgrounds and boat ramps with gates would be locked Friday with signs not to enter until further notice. There are four gated boat ramps in Hendersonville — Lock 3, Saundersville, Stark Knob and Safety Harbor — that will likely be locked down, said Hendersonville Fire Department Deputy Assistant Chief Bob Galoppi. All boat ramps in the Gallatin area — Bull Run, Cairo, Cedar Grove, Gallatin Steam Plant and Old Union Hill — are not gated and are expected to remain open, according to Ken Weidner, director of the Sumner County Emergency Management Agency. Lock 4 in Gallatin is maintained by the city and will remain open. Sanders Ferry, Mallard Point

» SHUTDOWN, 2M

Ruby May Stults, 2, Bella Baker, 2, and her mother Stacy Baker collect candy during the Gallatin High School Homecoming Parade Thursday. The Green Wave faced the Blue Devils Friday. See page 7M for game day coverage and go to GallatinNewsExaminer.com to see more photos of homecoming events throughout Sumner County. JOSH CROSS/SUMNER A.M.

Weekend fundraisers help feed hungry Two events over two days benefit Sumner food bank

IF YOU GO

By Sherry Mitchell Sumner A.M.

Two weekend fundraisers are aimed at supporting the Sumner County Food Bank in equally enjoyable ways: sampling homemade desserts and cruising rural roads on a motorcycle. Get a sweet-tooth fix for $5 on Friday at Morningside of Gallatin’s fourth annual Dessert Fest, where visitors can sample an array of fall-themed treats, such as pumpkin cheesecake and apple caramel bliss. Or browse through a silent auction to purchase oneof-a kind items, such as handmade furniture, seasonal decorations and crocheted items. The 2012 event drew more than 120 people and raised close to $2,000. On Saturday, the third annual Fall Ride for Food takes participants on a scenic motorcy-

Stephanie Harville, director of Morningside of Gallatin, with some of the silent auction items for the facility’s Dessert Fest 2013 on Friday. SHERRY MITCHELL/SUMNER A.M.

cle ride through Sumner County. The 65-mile route starts at the downtown square in Gallatin. After coffee and donuts, the crowd heads out at 10 a.m. “Everybody will start the motorcycles up and it causes a big stir with lots of noise and then we take off,” organizer Homer Bradley said. “We just have a big affair.” Traveling toward Castalian

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

MetroMix.com

Springs, the group will ride through Bethpage and end up at Triple Creek Park in Gallatin. A free lunch will be provided afterward. At 85, Bradley said he’s opting to take in the scenic autumn view through the windows of a deputy’s car. The Gallatin Police Department and Sumner County Sheriff’s Office will provide escorts throughout many parts of the ride.

Fall Ride for Food When: Saturday, registration at 9 a.m. Where: Downtown square, Gallatin Cost: $20 per bike; $10 for second rider Contact: 230-5600 Dessert Fest 2013/Silent Auction When: Friday, 1-4 p.m. Where: Morningside of Gallatin, 1085 Hartsville Pike Cost: $5 Contact: 230-5600 For information on donating to the Sumner County Food Bank, call 452-3890 or 504-6182.

Last year, 30 riders participated in the event, which raised more than $7,000 for the food bank. “It’s a shame we have to have a food bank, but it’s such a blessing that we do have one,” Bradley said. “I don’t know what the people of Sumner County would do without it.” Reporter Sherry Mitchell can be reached at 575-7117 or shmitchell@mtcngroup.com.

© 2013 GANNETT CO., INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED SUBSCRIBE: 1-800-520-9286


NEWS

2M • SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2013

Sumner County Weather Today High 75 Low 49 Wind: SW 4-8 mph 10 a.m. Noon 5 p.m. 10 p.m.

A couple of A couple of Clouds, a t-storms t-storms t-storm

70

71

Clearing and cooler

69

61

5-day forecast MON TUE WED THU Partly sunny

Sunny and pleasant

Partly sunny

Wind: NNW

Wind: NE

Wind: SSE

73/48

76/51

79/55

6-12 mph

4-8 mph

Partly sunny

FRI Partly sunny

Wind: SSW Wind: S 4-8

3-6 mph

3-6 mph

mph

82/56

80/53

Across Tennessee Today’s high/tonight’s low Bristol 81/60 Clarksville Chattanooga 80/59 Knoxville

71/47 Memphis 82/59 Nashville

71/55 71/51

National outlook Temperatures 10/6 - 10/12 Above Normal Near Normal Below Normal

Precipitation 10/6 - 10/12

board “out of respect for the process.” Kittrell has 30 days to respond to the complaint. She declined to comment when asked about the complaint Thursday. The Board of Judicial Conduct, which is made up of judges, lawyers and members of the public, handles ethical complaints against judges across the state. Once the complaint is received, a three-member investigative panel determines the validity of the allegations. Judge Chris Craft, who chairs the board, said it had received 370 complaints from July 1, 2012, until June 30 this year, and that most were “without merit.” “There are only a few that we find probable cause on for a full investigation,” he said. Craft declined to say Tuesday whether the board was investigating Kittrell, who has been city recorder and judge since 1994. The board does not have a timeline for when or if it would respond to the allegations, though Craft said frivolous complaints are typically re-

»SHUTDOWN FROM 1M

Near Normal Below Normal

Moonrise/set

Sunrise/set Sunrise Sun. ... 6:45 a.m.

Oct 4

»COMPLAINT FROM 1M

Service cut

Above Normal

New

No details

First

Full

Sunset Sun. .... 6:22 p.m.

Last

Sunrise Mon. .. 6:46 a.m.

Oct 11 Oct 18 Oct 26

Moonrise Sun. ........ 8:25 a.m. Moonset Sun. ......... 7:25 p.m. Forecasts and graphics provided by AccuWeather, Inc. ©2013

your commute VIETNAM VETERANS PARKWAY No construction planned.

and Memorial parks in Hendersonville are owned by the Corps, but are currently leased and maintained by the city and would also not be affected by the shutdown, Galoppi said. All marinas in Sumner County would remain open, Roberts said. Venues inside federal areas cannot be used until the shutdown is over, even if they had been booked in advance. “There was a wedding

viewed within 20 days. Kittrell’s attorney, William L. Moore Jr., declined to comment Tuesday. If formal action were to be taken by the board, a list of what was being alleged would become public. As of Friday, no action had been taken. Without much detail on the allegations, council members reacted mostly with support of Kittrell this week. “I don’t have any evidence that she’s done anything wrong,” District 3 Councilor Jimmy Overton said. “I truly can’t say (what I think) because I just don’t know and haven’t been informed on any of the details,” said At-Large Councilor Julie Brackenbury. Vice Mayor John D. Alexander said he stands behind Kittrell “100 percent.” District 1 Councilor Anne Kemp, District 2 Councilor Steve Camp and District 4 Councilor Craig Hayes declined to comment on the complaint. At-Large Councilor Ed Mayberry did not return calls for comment. Contact Josh Cross at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

scheduled at Rockland Park this week and they won’t be able to use those facilities,” Galoppi said. The Social Security field office in Gallatin will stay open, but with fewer services due to the shutdown, said manager Tim Spalding. The issuance of new cards or card replacements, replacement of Medicare cards and proof of income letters will not be offered at the site until further notice. Other services will continue. Spalding said his office is directing all questions to the website socialsecurity.gov/shutdown.

SUMNER A.M.

Ashland City men charged with theft By Sherry Mitchell Sumner A.M.

Two Ashland City men were charged with theft over $1,000 Thursday after they were caught trying to steal an enclosed trailer from a Hendersonville business. Randell L. Bowman, 31, and Eric R. Oldham, 25, were taken into custody about 1 a.m. after being spotted preparing the trailer for transport behind a vehicle by Sgt. Kevin Folsom of the Hendersonville Police Department. Lt. Barry Russell said police found bolt cutters and cut locks from the trailer in a wooded area behind the business. Both suspects have outstanding arrest war-

NASHVILLE PIKE/GALLATIN RD. No construction planned.

SUMNER A.M. SUMNER COUNTY, TENNESSEE

WITH CONTENT FROM

Reporter Sherry Mitchell can be reached at 575-7117 or shmitchell@mtcngroup.com.

Sumner A.M.

Two people were charged Wednesday in connection with the theft of equipment from three separate selfserve car washes. Stephanie Lynn Broome, 39, of Hendersonville and Charles Robert Todd, 33, of Madison were arrested after police received multiple reports of thefts at the businesses Tuesday and Wednesday. Broome and Todd are charged with three counts each of theft, including two felonies and one misdemeanor, said Detective Sgt. Denney

Broome

Todd

Coarsey. Coarsey also said the stolen equipment, valued at about $1,800, was recovered. Both Broome and Todd were released on bond and are scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court on Nov. 13. Reporter Sherry Mitchell can be reached at 575-7117 or shmitchell@mtcngroup.com.

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Jail furloughs a ‘necessary evil’ 45 inmates have escaped since 2011, records show By Dessislava Yankova Gallatin News Examiner

Escaping from the Sumner County Jail is hardly the dramatic stuff of movies. For most inmates, their exit from confinement begins with permission from a judge. They are allowed out on court-approved furlough with the expectation that they will return to the facility. But some

ESCAPE PENALTIES

don’t. “Most of the escape cases result from furloughs,” said Sumner County District Attorney Ray Whitley, whose office prosecutes such cases. “It’s a necessary evil.” The most common furloughs are granted for inmates to receive medical care or rehabilitation treatment, or to attend a graduation or a funeral. Convicted individuals serving probation in lieu of time behind bars can also receive a furlough to leave town, at the end of which they have to report back to the jail.

A misdemeanor escape carries up to 11 months and 29 days in jail. A felony escape carries between one and six years of jail time. All escape convictions are served consecutively to previous sentences.

Source: Sumner County District Attorney’s Office

Jail Lt. Lesli Bean and Corrections Officer Melinda Meadows keep an eye on female inmates in Gallatin on Monday. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Since 2011, 45 inmates were charged with escaping from the jail. One was

not apprehended, court records show. “We try to accommo-

A TASTE OF FALL

Main Street Festival draws thousands

date people. We try to help them,” Sumner County General Sessions Court Judge Jim Hunter said. “The world doesn’t stop because they’re in jail.”

Between 10 and 15 furloughs on average are approved each week at the jail, which houses between 750 and 780 inmates, said Corrections Officer Kenneth Samuels, who works in the release office. While jail officials do not keep exact numbers of how many furloughs result in escape, nearly all escapes occur during a rehabilitation leave, he said. “Most of these people are here because they have some type of addiction,” said Jail Adminis-

» FURLOUGH, 3A

Stolen laptop had personal health data Contained files on up to 8,000 patients of Westmoreland clinic By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

An estimated 25,000 people turned out for the Gallatin Main Street Festival Saturday, Oct. 5. Among them was Colton Nash, who enjoyed a cool treat during the downtown festivities. See more photos from the event on page 4A or at GallatinNewsExaminer.com. MATTHEW DIGGS/FOR THE GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Files containing personal information for up to 8,000 individuals who visited a local health care center since 2005 were on a laptop that was stolen from a Hendersonville home in August. The computer, which was issued to a member of Hope Family Health’s finance department, was taken during a burglary Aug. 4 and contained personal data such as patient names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth, said Chief Compliance Officer Joey Forman. “The information was fingerprint- and password-protected; however, it was not encrypted,” he said. “We don’t believe that anyone’s information has been accessed or used in any way that could cause harm.” Detective Sgt. Jim Vaughn with the Hendersonville Police Department said that so far the laptop has not been recovered and no arrests have been made in the case. Those whose information was contained on the stolen laptop were notified by mail at their last known address, said Forman. The data involved was also more than just that of past and current patients. “It also included (po-

tential) patients who possibly scheduled a visit at the health center and either didn’t show up or canceled their visit prior to coming, but gave us a certain amount of information over the phone while making the appointment,” Forman said. Other files contained information of those who only had lab work performed at the center. The Westmorelandbased, not-for-profit and federally qualified health center sees all insured patients as well as those who are uninsured on an income-based sliding fee scale, said Forman. Hope Family Health’s patient area spans Sumner County, parts of Macon County and into Scottsville, Ky. Those whose personal information is included in any data breach should place a fraud alert or security freeze on their credit reports to help protect against new account fraud, said Michele Cacdac-Jones, spokeswoman for Equifax, a creditmonitoring company. Affected individuals should keep an eye on their credit and financial reports regularly, as identity thieves sometimes take a year or more to use someone’s information, she said. Since the theft, Hope

» LAPTOP, 3A

Residents weigh in on SR 109 widening project By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

Green and orange marked stakes along Joyce Hester’s front yard help the Gallatin resident visualize where construction crews will one day be working to widen State Route 109 from two lanes to five. Hester’s property is one of 69 that will be affected. The project will add two additional driving lanes, a dedicated turning lane, bike lanes and a sidewalk from the State Route 109 Bridge to Airport

Road in Gallatin. “I know it’s going to be a great improvement with the road,” Hester said. “It’s just a slow process.” With such a high number of tracts involved, it could take 18 months or longer to acquire the property for the project before a construction schedule is determined, said Lori Lange, region three director of project development for the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). Once complete, Mayor Jo Ann Graves said that the project will have a “significant impact” on

Gallatin and Sumner County. “It will open up the northern and eastern sides of Gallatin for development as there will now be a transportation system which is easily accessible,” Graves said. “We are already seeing a good deal of interest in the property along this route.”

‘Safety hazard’

TDOT officials held an informational meeting Thursday at Gallatin City Hall to talk with property

CROSS/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

» WIDENING, 3A

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Lori Lange, region three director of project development for TDOT, reviews plans with property owners who will be impacted by the widening of State Route 109 during a public meeting Thursday. JOSH

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3A

TDOT outlines plans

Not found

»WIDENING FROM 1A

»LAPTOP FROM 1A

BARBI NORMAN Gallatin resident

have relates to how close crews could be working to their homes. “It feels like I’m going to be stuck there with an 18-wheeler on my front porch, if you want to know the truth,” said Hester, who has orange construction stakes feet from the front of her house. While TDOT’s plans for the widening and how it will affect property are not available online, anyone with questions about the right-of-way acquisition process can call TDOT at 615-350-4200.

GET ANSWERS Anyone with questions about the right-of-way acquisition process can call TDOT at 615-350-4200.

Escapes are infrequent »FURLOUGH FROM 1A trator Sonya Troutt. “And the court is trying to fix that problem.”

Case by case

Reporter Josh Cross can be reached at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

MORE INFORMATION

EXAMINER

A CHILDREN’S SPECIALTY SHOP “It’s not that big of a problem,” Weatherford said. “Usually, we get them back the same day, and in the worst-case scenario, within two days.”

“No way there will be enough guards or enough Unguarded returns While inmates considtaxes to pay for ered a public danger receive police escort for fureveryone to be loughs — if granted one at escorted.” all — many others who are RAY WHITLEY District attorney

considered less dangerous do not. The local judges agree with the district attorney that assigning a police escort for every furlough would not be feasible, because there are not enough resources to do so. “No way there will be enough guards or enough taxes to pay for everyone to be escorted,” Whitley said. “Our sheriff’s office is very, very good about apprehending people in escape status.” Other security options, such as placing tracking bracelets on furloughed inmates, cost about $10 per day and are also considered impractical. “All they have to do is take scissors and cut the

bracelet out,” Hunter said. “With what we have available to grant or deny a furlough, I think we do OK. There may be (other alternatives), and I’m certainly open to suggestions.” The rehabilitation program has been beneficial, jail Lt. Lesli Bean said. “I’ve had people tell me it’s changed their lives,” she said. Weatherford agreed he would need additional staff if every inmate is to be escorted by an officer. Sending inmates to rehab facilities that are locked down and increasing security might reduce furlough escapes, said Gay. The judge also says he hopes a warning in the furlough order, that additional charges could result if the inmate doesn’t return, serves as a deterrent. “I don’t consider escapes in transit to be a real issue,” Gay said. “Although it’s something we need to look at.” Contact Dessislava Yankova at 575-7170.

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vast majority of people come back. And, yes, sometimes they don’t come back.” Furlough escapes are a reality, but are dealt with properly, Gay said. “I don’t see it as a problem, I see it as a possibility,” he said. “We’re set up to respond appropriately and investigate immediately.” Sumner County Sheriff Sonny Weatherford estimated that fewer than 5 percent of furloughed inmates escape, and those who do escape are not likely to be granted leave again.

If you think you might be affected, call the Hope Family Health’s privacy hotline at 615-644-2000, ext. 125 for more information

Jim Williams, transportation specialist for the Tennessee Department of Transportation, talks to property owners about the right-of-way acquisition phase associated with the widening of State Route 109 during a public meeting Thursday. JOSH CROSS/GALLATIN NEWS

TE IN TY T VO BESICIAN OUN C YS ER PH MN SU

Furloughs list when and where the defendant is supposed to go, along with a return date, if one is known. The order specifies that the defendant is to “return immediately” to the jail once the purpose of the furlough is completed, otherwise he or she will face escape charges. Whatever the need, the furlough must be approved by a judge. Hunter and Criminal Court Judge Dee David Gay said they each consider multiple factors before granting a furlough. “The medical furloughs are the most important and for some of them, I just have to grant them,” Hunter said. “We have people who have to have dialysis three, four times a week, and if I don’t let them go, they’re going to die. Sometimes, they want to go to the hospital because their baby’s mama is going to have a baby — I just don’t grant those. If the jail nurse doesn’t recommend and verify it, I don’t do it.” For funerals, Hunter said he grants furloughs on a case-by-case basis considering the offense for which an inmate was incarcerated, criminal history, time served and remaining, relationship to the deceased and “who’s responsible for taking them and bringing them back.” “If they’ve already served six months and only have a month left, I’m more likely to let that person go to the funeral,” Hunter said. Gay’s funeral furlough policy is stricter. “I don’t allow furloughs on deaths other than immediate family members, and generally not grandparents,” he said. Gay said he asks jail officials and medical staff to screen inmates’ requests; he also requires an attorney’s involvement to ensure furloughs are legitimate. Rehab furloughs, both judges agree, are sometimes necessary and required as part of a sentence, especially in criminal court, where 90 percent of cases are drugor alcohol-related. Rehab treatment can last months, usually in another town. Some furlough orders entrust a family member or a rehab staffer to escort the inmate to and from the facility. The inmates who escape usually do so after they are kicked out of such facilities earlier than scheduled because they have committed rule violations, such as using alcohol or drugs. “Sitting in jail doesn’t cure any addiction,” Hunter said. “By far, the

Family Health has taken several measures to increase security, which included moving all protected health information over to a state-of-the-art encrypted database server, said Forman. “We have spent a lot of money and time to avoid anything like this from ever taking place again,” he said. Those who may be affected by the theft can call Hope’s privacy hotline at 615-644-2000, ext.125, for more information.

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owners and residents about the right-of-way acquisition process. Those in attendance were given an overview of the construction plans and property appraisal process. After the presentation, they were able to view and ask questions about TDOT’s plans and how the project would affect each property. Resident Barbi Norman said she was comforted to see TDOT’s progress. “It’s becoming a big safety hazard and it needs to be expanded,” she said. “I wish they’d hurry up.” Currently, there is no dedicated turning lane available for residents to get to their homes off of State Route 109. Norman said that every time she gets to her driveway, she looks into the rearview mirror and wonders if the person behind her is going to stop. “It has been close a couple of times,” she said. One concern both Norman and Hester said they

“It’s becoming a big safety hazard and it needs to be expanded.”

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EDA director paid to move twice Board reimburses Fenton’s $5,400 in commuting expenses By Sarah Kingsbury Gallatin News Examiner

Public money twice reimbursed the city’s director of economic development for moving expenses after he was hired last year, and paid for him to commute 80 miles per day while he

lived in Ashland City for six months, records show. As part of his employment agreement, Gallatin Economic Development Agency Director James Fenton was given a “onetime relocation allowance” of up to $10,000 to cover “any cost related for relocation to Gallatin.” He was Cheatham County’s economic development director before he was hired in Gallatin, after Gallatin’s former director, Clay Walker, resigned to take a job in the private sector

last year. The city’s economic development agency, set up in 1999, has its own board of directors apFenton pointed by the mayor and City Council. It is funded by taxpayers through the general fund and ratepayers through money given to the EDA by city-operated utilities. The board unani-

mously approved Fenton’s moving and commuting expenses in June this year, according to minutes from the meeting. In comparison, the City Council recently appointed new directors of codes and planning and approved only $3,000 in moving expenses for each. EDA board members defended their decision in recent interviews, citing Fenton’s qualifications as the reason for the high reimbursement allowance. Fenton was Cheatham

County’s top economic development official for six years before coming to Gallatin. Before that he worked in education and as a woodworker. EDA board Chairman Earl Fischer said the money was “definitely a prudent way” to spend taxpayer and ratepayer money. “When you’re in the world of competition for the best individual that you can find to bring

» DIRECTOR, 3A

Mother charged with murder attempt By Kevin Walters Gannett Tennessee

Motorcycle riders, led by Gallatin Police Department officers and Sumner County Sheriff's Office deputies, head toward Portland at the Scenic Sumner County Fall Ride for Food in Gallatin Saturday, Oct. 12. PHIL STAUDER/FOR THE GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Double fundraisers shore up food bank Dessert Fest, Fall Ride for Food bring in $12K By Sherry Mitchell Gallatin News Examiner

Two fundraisers last weekend raised approximately $12,300 for the Sumner County Food Bank in Gallatin. More than 100 people visited the fourth annual Dessert Fest at Morningside of Gallatin on Friday, sampling 14 different fall desserts, including this year’s winner, a three-layer carrot cake made by Dawn Walker, who works with the facility’s food service department. Morningside Director Stephanie

SEE MORE

See more photos from Dessert Fest and the Fall Ride for Food on page 4A or at GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Harville said $250 was collected at the door for the tasting, with another $1,050 raised at the silent auction. The $1,300 in proceeds will benefit the food bank. The third annual Scenic Sumner County Fall Ride for Food was also a hit, with more than 30 motorcyclists of all ages meeting at the city square in downtown Gallatin for a 65-mile ride. Organizer Homer Bradley said with event fees, sponsorships and donations, about $11,000 total was also

raised for the food bank. Bradley said he worked for the past five months to solicit donations and pull the event together, which he called “a big affair.” The nice weather on Saturday and the food bank being the recipient of the funds may have contributed to the event’s success. “There are so many people now that are getting interested in the food bank and they want to help,” Bradley said. “It was a good ride through the country, which is what people like and we were blessed with a beautiful, sunshine-y day.” Reporter Sherry Mitchell can be reached at 575-7117 or shmitchell@mtcngroup.com.

Police charged a Cottontown woman Sunday with attempted murder after they say she pushed her daughter from a moving vehicle during a domestic dispute that erupted Saturday night. Hendersonville Police arrested Tina M. Shelton, 53, and William Bryant Groves, 69, both Clearview Road residents in Cottontown, early Sunday morning on charges stemming from a 35-year-old female being pushed from a vehicle around 11 p.m. Saturday, police said. Police identified the woman who was ejected from the car as the daughter of Tina Shelton but were unable to provide her name late Sunday afternoon. Shelton and Groves’ vehicle was traveling northbound on Vietnam Veterans Boulevard when police say witnesses saw a woman hanging out of the vehicle and then falling from it. Shelton After the woman fell out, the vehicle stopped, and its occupants attempted to get the female back into the car before leaving the scene, police said. The victim, who was taken by ambulance to Vanderbilt University Groves Medical Center, was treated for non-lifethreatening injuries. Shelton was charged with one count of attempted first-degree murder, one count of leaving the scene of an accident with injuries and domestic assault. Her bond was set at $500,000. Groves, who police said was driving the vehicle at the time of the incident, was charged with one count of accessory after the fact of attempted first-degree murder, leaving the scene of an accident with injuries, and reckless endangerment with a weapon. His bond had not been set. Shelton and Graves’ first court appearance is set for 9 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11 at Sumner County General Sessions Court. Anyone with information regarding this case can call the Hendersonville Crime Stoppers at (615) 573-5400.

WWII veteran receives high school diploma at 88 By Sherry Mitchell Gallatin News Examiner

It’s never too late to get an education – just ask 88-year-old Arch Moore, a World War II veteran recently presented with an honorary high school diploma. In 1943, Moore was looking forward to his senior year in high school when he received a letter from the government that changed the direction of his young life. “As soon as school was out

my junior year, they had the draft notices ready that said congratulations,” the Gallatin resident said, recalling his entry into the military. “I didn’t get my diploma the way I would have liked to, but I have it now and I do have some pride in that.” The program that made it all possible was enacted by state lawmakers in 2010 with the passage of Senate Bill 3022, which allows local high schools to issue diplomas to any veteran of

World War II, or the Korean or Vietnam wars, who were unable to complete their education due to their service. Moore was less than two credits shy of graduating, but after the war, he said life got in the way and he never went back. After serving his country, Moore farmed for several years and then worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority in Gallatin for 35 years.

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Gallatin resident and World War II veteran Arch Moore was speechless after receiving his high school diploma recently through a program that awards honorary diplomas to vets who did not graduate due to military service.

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No words »DIPLOMA FROM 1A

“I would have liked to have gotten my diploma sooner, but I was too busy making a living for my dear wife and our three daughters to take time to go back to school,” he said.

‘Speechless’ When

his

daughter, Marty Nelson, heard about the program, she knew she had to act. Moore The entire process to contact the state Department of Education and her father’s former high school in Wayne County, and then to receive the diploma by mail, took about six weeks, she said. The family decided to present the diploma at First Baptist Church in Gallatin on a recent Sun-

Wrong rate »DIRECTOR FROM 1A

in to promote industry and growth and jobs, you can’t get somebody to move for minor amounts of money,” he said. Board members David Popen and Tim Galvin did not return requests for comment, while Mary Jo Lewis deferred questions to Fischer. Fenton’s employment agreement required him to move to Gallatin within six months of his hire date in June 2012. Until he moved, he was paid $5,441 total to drive to and from work for six months. His invoice, submitted this year, claimed the 2013 government mileage reimbursement rate, even though the miles were driven in 2012. The extra penny for which he was reimbursed – 56.5 cents per mile rather than 55.5 – amounted to an extra $96. He was paid to drive about 85 miles each day for 114 days over six months last year. Fenton said he would repay the money if he was asked to. “If that is a concern, of course I would be willing to do that,” he said. “I have no intention of misusing trust or the funds that have been placed on my office.” The city paid him for $2,530 in moving and storage expenses to relocate from Ashland City to an apartment complex in Gallatin in December. But on May 17, he moved again — from the apartment complex to a home on Wildcat Run in Gallatin — for which he was also reimbursed by the city. The charge that time was $1,526. In June of this year, Fenton was given a single check for $9,497 for the moving and commuting expenses. EDA board member Mike Cook, who serves as treasurer and whose signature appears on the check to Fenton, said he didn’t have “a problem one bit” that the money was spent on two moves, though he didn‘t think the board “would have been too crazy about him moving three or four times.” “If you want to put a price tag on his efforts, it doesn’t come close to what he’s done for this city,” he said. Fenton said the moving allowance was negotiated with Frank Parsons at the Center for Nonprofit Management, an organization to which the city paid about $11,500 to recruit its new director last year, according to a contract signed by Mayor Jo Ann Graves. For other department head hire searches in recent years, the city has used the University of Tennessee Municipal Technical Advisory Service, which is free. Fenton’s starting salary in 2012 was $85,000 per year and he is allowed a city vehicle and smartphone.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013 •

3A

REQUIREMENTS FOR VETERANS TO RECEIVE A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA: » Service in World War II, or the Korean or Vietnam wars » Honorable discharge papers » High school, including city and county and the year veteran would have graduated For more information: tn.gov/veteran/state_benifits/ vet_diplomas

day to Moore’s surprise. “My daddy is not speechless very often, but he was speechless that day and I think I may have seen a little tear in his eye, too,” said Nelson, who is the county trustee. Moore spent nearly three years as a fire controlman on the U.S.S. Robert Brazier, which was an escort for merchant ships during World War II. His time served helped mold his life for the better, he said, and shaped his view of all men and women, past and present, who have chosen to serve. “If you don’t love this country, get out; and if you’re not willing to fight for it, you don’t need to be here,” he said. Now that he is officially a high school graduate, the former Navy man,

who will turn 89 next month, also has some sage advice for younger generations. “Don’t get out there and get wild and drunk because all that’s going to lead to is trouble,” he said. “Get an education, work hard and treat people the way you want to be treated.” Lisa Kiss with the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs, said the state office did not have a record of how many veterans had received a high school diploma as a result of the program. The Tennessee Department of Education did not return a request for comment. Reporter Sherry Mitchell can be reached at 575-7117 or shmitchell@mtcngroup.com.

EDA Director James Fenton was paid: » $5,441 to commute from Ashland City to Gallatin » $2,530 to move to an apartment » $1,526 to move to home on Wildcat Run » $9,497 total —Source: City of Gallatin records

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HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE COLLECTION EVENT

It’s Free...

for Infants thru Size 14 for Boys and Girls

GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE 40-70% OFF

TN-0000935840

E&O BO>U

) 35&-*! -76*+4

9

“Household Hazardous Waste” is defined as corrosive, flammable, toxic or reactive materials used in your home, car or truck, garden and lawn.

A CHILDREN’S SPECIALTY SHOP

TN-0000935846

(8!%$"+2&41 '&:206&4@

Saturday, October 26, 2013 9:00 A.M. until 2:00 P.M. At Volunteer State Community College 1480 Nashville Pike Gallatin, TN Call 452-1114

MOVING EXPENSES

111 Stadium Drive Hendersonville, TN 37075 822-3155

.,, 8%%

9

Hours 10 A.M. - 5 P.M. Thurs, Fri, Sat

TN-0000933049

Any Tennessee resident is allowed to dispose of Household Hazardous Waste. (Waste from non household sources as businesses, schools, farms, churches, ect. Will Not be accepted.)

Now’s your chance... You can dispose of all those left over household chemicals, lawn and garden products and automotive materials that you’ve never known what to do with. No Empty Containers, Explosives or Ammunition, Medical or Infectious Wastes, or Radioactive Materials (including smoke detectors) will be accepted. HOUSEHOLD CLEANERS Drain Openers Oven Cleaners Wood, Metal Cleaners & Polishes Toilet Bowl Cleaners Disinfectants AUTOMOTIVE PRODUCTS Oil & Fuel Additives Grease & Rust Solvents Air Conditioning Refrigerants Starter Fluids Cleaners Body Putty Antifreeze/Coolants (Resource Authority anytime) Used Oil (Bring to Resource Authority Anytime) Carburetor & fuel Injector Cleaners

HOME MAINTENANCE PRODUCTS Paint Thinner Paint Strippers and Removers Adhesives Latex and Oil Based Paint Will Not be accepted* LAWN & GARDEN PRODUCTS Herbicides Pesticides Fungicides/Wood Preservatives MISCELLANEOUS Reactive or Oxidizing Material Lithium, Button or Rechargeable Batteries Fingernail Polish Remover Pool Chemicals Photo Processing Chemicals Medicines/ Drugs Aerosols/ Compressed Gas

* We are not accepting latex and oil based paint for disposal at the Resource Authority located at 625 Rappahannock Wire Road, Gallatin, TN 37066*

Remember.... Small amounts of latex paint can be dried up and thrown away in the regular garbage. Also, Alkaline batteries are no longer manufactured with mercury and should be thrown away in the trash. This event is sponsored by the TN Dept. of Environment and Conservation, Resource Authority in Sumner County and Volunteer State Community College

TN-0000938911


Hendersonville (Indian Lake Blvd)

1 FREE!

BUY 1

GET

when you purchase a 1-year membership. Expires: 10/29/13 BRING THIS IN FOR 1 FREE PERSONAL TRAINING SESSION & T-SHIRT! HURRY, LIMITED TIME OFFER! Available only at Gold’s Gym Tennessee locations. Offer is time sensitive and limited to first time visitors and local residents.

FRIDAY » OCTOBER 18, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

50¢

ONLINE For the latest in local news and updates, visit GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Woman faces 56 counts of drug fraud Pill prescriptions obtained in Gallatin, Portland, New York By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

A former Portland resident is facing more than four dozen counts of drug fraud after police say she was doctor-shopping to receive “tens of thousands” of prescription pills over a span of 18 months. Leigh Ann Goodenow, 51, of Old Hickory, was charged with 56 counts of obtaining drugs by fraud by a Sumner County grand jury in September. The charges, which occurred between January 2012 and July of this year, involve three drugs — oxGoodenow ycodone, morphine and the anti-anxiety medication clonazepam — according to the indictments. Portland Police Department Officer Jason Arnold, who conducted the two- to three-month investigation, said that the amount of charges Goodenow faces is not uncommon for similar cases. “When we do find somebody that has been doing it, they’ve been doing it for a while,” he said. “It’s definitely one of the higher amounts, though.” According to police, Goodenow was seeing two doctors in New York, where she traveled each month to get prescriptions, in addition to getting prescriptions from a doctor in Portland. She would also get the same medication from different hospital emergency rooms, including Sumner Regional Medical Center, Arnold said. “That definitely kept her off our radar,” he said. The fraud was discovered after an anonymous person called the New York doctor’s office, which then called Goodenow’s Portland physician, who alerted authorities. Arnold said that police would “probably have never known” about Goodenow, who was arrested on Oct. 9, if it hadn’t been for the anonymous tipster. “If she was just going to New York and that was it, then good for her,” Arnold said. “But once she starts going hog-wild with other doctors, then that kind of seals the deal.”

Thousands of pills

While he could not quantify how many pills Goodenow was receiving, Arnold said it was in the “tens of thousands.” For example, Goodenow would get one prescription of oxycodone each month in New York, roughly 500 pills, then come

Mia Stanford, operations officer at the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, shows a computer that detects earthquakes as they occur, showing times, locations and magnitudes, on Tuesday. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

IS SUMNER READY FOR THE

‘BIG ONE’? Tennessee overdue for major earthquake

The New Madrid Seismic Zone extends southward from Illinois into Tennessee and presents a significant risk for damaging earthquakes.

By Dessislava Yankova Gallatin News Examiner

Living in Sumner County comes with tornadoes and sometimes flooding. But earthquakes? It’s possible, emergency officials say. “We’re overdue for a major earthquake,” Tennessee Emergency Management Agency spokesman Dean Flener said. “Earthquakes represent the No. 1 catastrophic threat to Tennessee because of where we’re located.” The state is part of the New Madrid Seismic Zone, which has not produced a significant quake in 200 years. However, the fault line, which stretches from Illinois to Tennessee, is where one of the largest earthquakes to ever hit the continental United States occurred in 1811; it registered at a 7.7 magnitude and also produced several large aftershocks. Hundreds of other earthquakes occurred in the subsequent two years, including two major ones

» QUAKE, 4A

ONLINE

See video of the TEMA drill and earthquake monitoring computer at GallatinNewsExaminer.com.

» DRUGS, 3A

Sumner residents take couponing to the extreme Deal quest saves money, takes time By Sherry Mitchell Gallatin News Examiner

Armed with two binders of coupons, Anna Harrison spends five hours each week scouring store shelves for markdowns and sales to combine with them. The Hendersonville resident, who has been “extreme couponing” for

four years, feeds her family of four for just $300 a month. Spending that amount, she brings home $1,000 worth of groceries. “I used to make my grocery list based on what I wanted to eat,” she said. “Now, we buy and eat what’s on sale.” An indoor pantry stocked from top to bottom, a deep freezer and additional shelves in the garage display bargains that could keep her family fed for a while.

“I used to spend $600$800 a month on groceries and we would run out of food each week,” Harrison said. “This past month, I haven’t had to shop much at all and I haven’t had to buy shampoo in seven months.” Knowing individual store policies about coupons can be a big help, Harrison said. Some stores may limit the amount of coupons for a certain item, which could mean multiple trips.

“I have made as many as five different shopping trips to the same store,” she said. “As long as I have those coupons, I’m going to go as many days as I can.” Harrison said she also looks through newspaper circulars for deals. Aside from the monthly savings, she gets enough free items to take to a Nashville church that helps the homeless. Candy Sirman of Gallatin has been involved in

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

MetroMix.com

IF YOU GO: What: Southern Savers Couponing Class When: Saturday, Oct. 26, 9:30 a.m.–12 p.m. Where: Community Church of Hendersonville, 381 W. Main St. Cost: $10 Information: southernsavers.com

the coupon craze for two years and also has some impressive stockpiles, including toiletries and nonperishable food items. Out the door before 5 a.m. on Fridays — the day

VOL. 173 NO. 84 © 2013 GANNETT CO., INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED SUBSCRIBE: 1-800-520-9286

coupons come out in the Gallatin News Examiner — her goal is to get at least 15 papers, while her daughter is at the newspa-

» COUPONING, 3A


4A • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2013

NEWS

GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Major earthquake in West Tennessee would impact Sumner

COMMUNITY EVENTS

»QUAKE FROM 1A

Send your community event to gnenews@ mtcngroup.com.

in the Upper Mississippi region. At least 2 million miles of land around the epicenter of the quakes near New Madrid, Mo., was affected, and topographical changes were noted across hundreds of miles as far as Canada, according to U.S. Geological Survey data. “The Mississippi River was shaking up so hard that it backed up to form Reelfoot Lake,” said Portland historian and selfproclaimed geology enthusiast Pat Meguiar. “There are reports that the tremors turned the Mississippi River backward and caused church bells to ring in the Northeast.” In Sumner County, the 1811 earthquakes cracked the walls of local brick homes and damaged the stone chimneys of other structures, said Gallatin historian Kenneth Thomson, who knew the descendants of one damaged home on Red River Road that was owned by a local farmer. “They patched it up, but eventually they had to tear it down because it became unsafe,” he said. In 1811, Tennessee looked much different than it does now. Scientists are concerned that with much more development along the New Madrid fault line, especially in the Memphis area, a major earthquake could be devastating. And unlike a flood or tornado, there likely won’t be any warning signs. “A large earthquake can happen at any time, but we cannot predict it,” said Gary Patterson, geologist at the University of Memphis Center for Earthquake Research and Information. “That’s why it’s important to plan for

these earthquakes ahead of time, because a major earthquake can damage a very large area.” The New Madrid fault line has not showed significant seismic activity in more than 200 years, though it produces about 200 small earthquakes a year. Another geographic band, the East Tennessee Seismic Zone, extends from northeastern Alabama to southwestern Virginia and generates about 80 minor tremors annually, though “most of them are too small for us to feel,” Patterson said. Research in the past 15 years has led to better understanding of earthquakes in the New Madrid and estimates of the hazards such disasters pose, according to geological survey data. Some estimates put the chances of another 1811-size earthquake at 7 to 10 percent. But estimates are much higher — 25 to 40 percent — that a quake with a magnitude of about 6.0 or larger would occur in a 50year window. “If we’re to have magnitude 6.5 or larger in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, we’d feel that shaking in Nashville,” Flener said. “And magnitude 7 will be a catastrophic event for Tennessee. It’s the event that keeps us awake at night.”

Indirect impact in Sumner County West Tennessee cities along the Mississippi River could experience the most damage from a major earthquake. A study by the Mid-America Earthquake Center at the University of Illinois estimates such an event could cause 60,000 fatalities or injuries, moderate or severe damage to 250,000 buildings, and displacement of 260,000 residents.

The total direct economic losses are estimated to surpass $56 billion. The impact in Sumner County would likely be more indirect, affecting electrical power and phone networks, said Sumner County Emergency Management Agency Director Ken Weidner. Fuel and natural gas resources, as well as other goods transported from the west, might also be restricted by infrastructural damage. While states like California are more known for anticipating the “big one,” studies in the past 15 years have shown that hazards in the New Madrid region are as high, despite a lower level of modern-day earthquake activity. Scientists have designated the New Madrid as a high-hazard region based on studies of sand blow deposits believed to be the byproduct of earthquakes. These deposits suggest major earthquakes occur in the region approximately every 500 years, with the last sequence in 1811-1812, though other research suggests large quakes might happen more frequently than predicted based on satellite measurements of ground deformation, according to information from the U.S. Geological Survey. “People talk about the San Andreas in California, but the New Madrid is much, much, much more potent than the San Andreas,” Meguiar said. “The longer that you go without an earthquake, the much more chance that you can have a catastrophic earthquake.”

Pressure builds up

That’s because of pressure that builds inside the earth for a long time. Regional geological features

can further amplify an earthquake’s severity. More rocks closer to the earth’s surface in California soil, for example, prevent earthquake tremors from traveling as far as they would along the highsand and limestone deposits of the Mississippi River. “It’s basically putting water in a bucket of sand and shaking it,” Flener said. “It liquefies.” That means the type of earthquake that would be felt across a few counties in California might be felt in five states across the New Madrid region. “Earthquakes don’t happen as often here, but when they do, they seem to travel larger distances, affect larger areas and are more intense,” Patterson said. “If there’s damage in Tennessee, everybody will pay for the consequence.” If an earthquake does happen, the first step, officials say, is to know what to do: drop to the ground, cover under a sturdy object and hold on. The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut practice drill was held Oct.17 to educate and remind residents about the recommended earthquake response, coordinated by several state and federal agencies. More than 324,000 Tennesseans were signed up to practice the drill, which is held across 10 states. And in Sumner, local emergency crews are “trained and prepared” to handle an earthquake, Weidner said. “We’ll have teams that will respond to the affected areas,” Weidner said. “The big question is: How will we get there if roads are blocked and bridges are damaged?” Reporter Dessislava Yankova can be reached at 575-7170 or dyankova@mtcngroup.com.

MAJOR STATE EARTHQUAKES

Aug. 17, 1865 Memphis Magnitude 5.0 (largest in state history) Nov. 3, 1928 Eastern Tennessee Magnitude 4.5 Source: U.S. Geological Survey

IF AN EARTHQUAKE HAPPENS

» Know the earthquake drill: drop, cover and hold on » Have a plan where to meet if separated » Keep the following supplies on hand: Five days worth of nonperishable food items Can opener One gallon of water per day per person Multiple flashlights Battery-powered radio, weather radio Extra batteries First-aid kit with extra medication Warm clothes, blankets Sturdy boots Dust mask Plastic sheets and duct tape for makeshift shelter Cellphones with charter, inverter or solar power Sources: SCEMS, TEMA, FEMA

QUAKE FACTS: DID YOU KNOW?

» The largest recorded earthquake in U.S. history was a magnitude 9.2 that struck Prince William Sound, Ala., on March 28, 1964. » The largest recorded earthquake in the world was a magnitude 9.5 in Chile on May 22, 1960. » Before electronics allowed recordings of large earthquakes, scientists built large spring-pendulum seismometers in an attempt to record the long-period motion produced by such quakes. The largest one weighed about 15 tons. There is a medium-sized one three stories high in Mexico City that is still in operation. Source: U.S. Geological Survey

Friday, Oct. 18

» Col. Jethro Sumner Chapter, D.A.R., chapter brunch, 10 a.m., at Hartsville Pike Church of Christ, 744 Hartsville Pike, in Gallatin. Program features Barbara White and Bettye Freudenthal. Hostesses for the brunch will be Eva Jane Johnston, Flo Jean Schlosser and Jane Black. For more information, please call 615-596-2331.

Saturday, Oct. 19

» Sumner Trails Chapter of Tennessee Trails Association 4mile hike in Long Hunter State Park Carpool leaves from Hendersonville. Call 347-2623. » Seventh annual Volunteer State Community College Fiesta, celebrates Hispanic culture, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Cookoff contest at 11 a.m.; free lunch and drinks starting at noon. The San Rafael Band from Nashville will perform. A dance group will show off folk dances and costumes. For more information in English call 615-230-3570 or Spanish at 615-230-4846. » Saturday Night at the Movies, Portland Public Library, 5:30 p.m. » Sons of the American Revolution Chapter in Sumner County Col. Anthony Bledsoe Chapter celebrates the life and war service of Jesse Maxey, 11 a.m., at the Douglass Cemetery, 301 Upper Station Camp Creek Road. SAR Color Guard presentation, pledges and guest speakers, including state SAR state president Colin Wakefield.

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SPORTS

EAGLES, DEVILS BATTLE FOR FIRST, 7M

SUMNER A.M. SUNDAY » OCTOBER 20, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

50¢

Tax bills late for second year Cash-strapped cities take October revenue hit By Tena Lee Sumner A.M.

For a second straight year, Sumner County property tax bills will hit mailboxes late, causing several cities to miss nearly a month of revenue. By state law, property tax owners can start paying their taxes Oct. 1, but according to Sumner County Trustee Marty

Nelson there’s nothing in state law that says the county or cities have to mail out the notices. Nelson said she’s received a few calls from older residents wanting to pay their bills, but for the most part, few – except the cities relying on the revenue the property taxes generate – have felt an impact. Nelson attributed the delay to software glitches in Tax Assessor John Isbell’s office and the challenges of integrating Isbell’s system with the state’s. Prior to July 2012, Sumner cities and Nelson’s office relied on the state for assessments.

Isbell

Nelson

But when the state changed to a new program last year, Isbell’s office didn’t get on board, opting to adopt a different system, according to Nelson. Last year’s bills were sent out in mid-November and Isbell attributed the delay then to the

new computer software. Isbell did not return phone calls to answer questions about the delay. When a reporter questioned him at his office Friday, he denied that the notices were late because they are not required by law to be mailed. State Comptroller of the Treasury’s Office spokesman Blake Fontenay said most tax notices are sent out by Oct. 1. However, there are usually a few counties each year that go past that date, he said. For Westmoreland, which relies on 65 percent of its overall revenue from property taxes,

CARVING OUT TIME FOR FRIENDS

A spooky walk in the pumpkin patch

the late notices affect the city’s general fund. “We’ve had a tremendous impact,” said Westmoreland City Recorder Fredia Carter. Notices were mailed out so late last year, the city had to use a $40,000 certificate of deposit to keep it from running out of cash. Carter said it hasn’t gotten that bad this year, but added her city’s general fund is very low. She expressed frustration about not getting the notices sooner from the assessor’s of-

» TAXES, 3M

Employee paid with stolen info for 6 years

Gallatin nursing home worker used Texas man’s SSN By Dessislava Yankova Sumner A.M.

A man who worked at a Gallatin nursing home with a stolen identity for six years faces multiple charges after police arrested him Wednesday. Manuel Espinoza, 42, was arrested Oct. 16 and charged with felony identity theft, simple assault on a police officer and resisting arrest after police discovered he purchased another person’s identification to gain employment at the Gallatin Health Care Center, according to arrest reports. Espinoza remained in the Sumner County Jail on a $20,000 bond Friday. Gallatin police received information Tuesday from Texas detectives about an ongoing identity theft investigation traced to Sumner County. A dis-

» STOLEN, 2M

Friends Kambria Fuechsel, 3, and Jerrica Lewis, 5, use a small wagon to pick out pumpkins at the Rainey Pumpkin Patch off Nashville Pike in Gallatin, Monday, Oct. 14. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/SUMNER A.M.

Gallatin adopts updated signage rules New electronic displays still not permitted in city By Josh Cross Sumner A.M.

Gallatin now has new sign rules and regulations after city council members gave final approval for an updated version of its sign ordinance Tuesday. But, while the new version includes multiple changes, revisions and clarifications, a ban on new electronic display signs remains unchanged. James Robert Ramsey, who is vice chairman of the Gallatin Planning Commission, said the city wanted to focus on updating its more than decadeold sign ordinance first – a process that has been in the works since 2010. “Electronic signs are such a hot-button item that we hated to tie up the updating of all the rest of the sign ordinance with that one item,” he said. While electronic display

Concept One owner Derek Vandercook said he has clients who have been waiting for the city’s new sign rules. Pictured: Concept One designer Garrett Foster. JOSH CROSS/SUMNER A.M.

signs can be tough to control and regulate, Ramsey added that he would like to see them permitted in the city and not banned outright. “I feel very confident that we will address it in the relatively near future,” he said. In Mt. Juliet, for example, electronic signs have been limited to schools, churches and parks and have tight restric-

tions on what they can display and the brightness level of the sign, according to the city’s zoning regulations. Since 2008, new electronic signs have not been permitted in Gallatin, said City Planner Denise Knight, who led work on drafting the new version of the sign regulations. “It is a very detailed subject and it takes a lot of time a re-

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

MetroMix.com

search,” she said. “There are going to be some things that people are not going to like (in the new ordinance), but I think there are going to be the same amount of things that are going to benefit just about everybody.” Despite Gallatin’s continued outright ban, Paige Brown, executive director of the Gallatin Area Chamber of Commerce, said that she believes there are many who are still interested in the topic, which deserves further examination. “I hope (the city) will continue to consider what the best options for our community relating to signs are,” she said. “Signs are the lifeblood of businesses and they are also important to consumers as well.”

Airport cleared to stop paying county loan Committee looks for ways to help board By Jesse Hughes For Sumner A.M.

On Thursday, two days after the new sign ordinance was approved, Derek Vandercook, owner of Concept One, a sign designing company in Gallatin, already had customers

The Sumner County Regional Airport is in financial trouble, but a county committee took steps last week to shore up some of its financial problems. The airport board received tacit clearance from the county budget committee Monday to stop making $2,500 monthly payments to the county to get past a cash-flow crunch. The committee also unanimously approved a multi-pronged approach for a longer term solution to dig the airport out of its debt hole. Airport Authority Chairman Jim Egan reported cash flow had been negative since March. He outlined the dire situation and asked for help. “I was seeking some assistance — any assistance,” Egan said. County Executive Anthony Holt said the airport would run

» SIGNS, 3M

» AIRPORT, 3M

‘Starting point’

© 2013 GANNETT CO., INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED SUBSCRIBE: 1-800-520-9286


NEWS

»AIRPORT FROM 1M out of money in two or three months if nothing was done. Legal fees from a years-long court battle between the county and previous airport board are a major cause of the cash crisis, according to Egan. As of June, a new board, now with 10 of 11 members appointed by the county this year, took control. County Attorney Leah Dennen advised budget committee members not to vote on whether to allow the airport board to suspend $2,500 monthly payments that have been paying down a $300,000 loan from the county to the airport under a 2010 agreement. However, she

City sets new rules »SIGNS FROM 1M coming in to see how the new rules will affect the signs they plan to get. “It’s better than what it was, so from that standpoint I’m sure there are a lot of people that are glad to see this put to rest,” he said. “It has been on a lot of people’s minds for a long time.” One local business that is happy to see the new regulations put in place is Elite Dentistry. Since January, owners Nicole and Eric Schuh have been waiting for changes included in the new ordinance as to how far back their monument sign was required to be. Under the old ordinance, it had to be 15 feet back from the property line, which would have put the sign in their parking lot. “We didn’t have anywhere to put it,” Nicole Schuh said. With the new regulations, monument signs are only required to be five feet from the property line. Other changes in the new sign rules include the lessening of time restrictions on temporary banners and the allowance of temporary banners for grand openings. The ordinance also includes more restrictions on the types of freestanding signs that can be erected in a move away from pole signs to monument signs. “I’m sure there is going to be some time down the road where we’re going to maybe see some things that we need to amend, whether it is to add more flexibility or restrictions, but I think everybody feels like this is a great starting point,” Knight said. And while there are parts she would like to see changed, Brown said that the new sign ordinance is a starting point and an improvement over the previous version. “I’m glad the ordinance is in place,” she said. “I hope they will continue to look at it and recognize changing sign technologies along with the needs of the business and consumer communities.” Contact Josh Cross at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

said, the county could choose to take no action if the board stopped paying, and it would achieve the same result. The committee recommended three actions to shore up the airport longterm: » One is an $800,000 loan of which the airport board would only have to pay interest until the end of 10 years, when it would be required to make a balloon payment of the principal. At that point, the County Commission could choose to forgive the loan. The county would loan the money from an $11 million capital projects fund established from the sale of Sumner Regional Health Systems in 2010, also

known as the hospital fund. The state comptroller would have to approve the loan. » A second proposal closely follows state law for a three-year loan, automatically renewable for two more three-year periods, also with a balloon. It also requires comptroller approval. » The third was to attempt to change state law to allow counties to make loans to another county entity without the comptroller’s authorization. That would have to wait until the state legislature reconvenes in January. Either way, any of the three options would have to be blessed by the state, though the current comp-

troller’s office has typically frowned upon counties taking on more debt, commissioners said. The $800,000 would cover: » Matching funds of about $155,000 to $200,000 for a federal grant that will pay for regrading the older end of the runway opposite the recent extension. » $195,000 owed to the county from the 2010 loan agreement. » An outstanding balance of about $400,000 against a $750,000 line of credit collateralized by two parcels of land.

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city’s general fund typically dips to $1 million while in January or February it may reach $10 million when all of the property taxes are paid, he added. Most mortgage companies don’t pay the taxes to the cities until December. However, many elderly homeowners want to pay their bill as soon as it’s due, he said. “Everything is real tight, and it is every year at this time,” Minnicks said. Both county and city property taxes are due by Feb. 28.

TN-0000936261

fice for a second straight year. “By law it’s payable Oct. 1,” she said. “They should not be late. They should be in the taxpayers’ hands by Oct. 1.” Carter said her office has received several calls from residents wanting to know where their tax bills are. She said Westmoreland residents can expect to receive them either the end of this week or the beginning of next week.

ceived final information from the assessor’s office in mid-OcMinnicks tober. “I would prefer to get information sooner,” Minnicks said. “But we are dependent on the tax assessor’s office.” Minnicks said smaller cities like Westmoreland aren’t the only ones that feel cash-strapped. “Typically September, October and November are our lowest months for cash,” he said. During October, the

D

»TAXES FROM 1M

Gallatin City Recorder Connie Kittrell said she expects her city’s tax notices to hit mailboxes toward the end of the week. She said her office just received the information from the tax assessor’s office and is in the process of flagging those who are eligible for tax rebates or tax freezes. “We’re in the process of tweaking them to our needs,” she said. Hendersonville Finance Director Ron Minnicks said he sent Hendersonville’s notices to the printer and expects they will be mailed out this week. Like other cities, Minnicks said he only re-

3M

TE IN TY T VO BESICIAN OUN C YS ER PH MN SU

Notices sent late

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2013 •

TN-0000907037

SUMNER A.M.

Dickson Regional Livestock Center will also have another Special Cow sale on November 30th. Details to come!


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FRIDAY » OCTOBER 25, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

50¢

ONLINE For the latest in local news and updates, visit GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Sumner Station gets a buyer Future of former fitness center’s space still unclear By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

Three years after the bankruptcy of Sumner Regional Health Systems, the 100,000square-foot Sumner Station facility on Big Station Camp Boulevard is set to get a new owner. The building once housed a 42,000-square-foot, state-ofthe-art fitness center that has sat empty since 2010.

HighPoint Health System Chief Executive Officer Susan Peach said that her company could finalize the Peach deal as early as November. The purchase would include both the building and the 23.7acre campus on which it sits. “It’s fantastic,” Peach said. “It will enable us to grow and offer additional services that are needed in our community.” Gallatin-based HighPoint is buying the property from KBC

Bank, Scotia Bank and Citadel Properties, but is staying mum on how much it spent on the deal, said HighPoint spokeswoman Rachel Lassiter. Sumner Regional underwent a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2010 and was purchased by Brentwood-based LifePoint Hospitals. The center, known as Fitness Center at Sumner Station, was among the casualties. LifePoint rebranded all of Sumner Regional’s properties as HighPoint because the former health system was tied to the bankruptcy proceedings for

» STATION, 5A

HighPoint Health System Chief Executive Officer Susan Peach announced Monday that a deal to purchase Sumner Station could be completed by the end of the year. JOSH CROSS/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Longtime educator, civic leader Thigpen dies at 71

SCHOOL SAFETY

By Sherry Mitchell Gallatin News Examiner

already in place. Two more officers are completing training and should be assigned by November in middle schools, at which point all middle schools will have SROs and each elementary school will have at least floating coverage. A total of 21 officers will be serving the county’s 46 schools, Sum-

Virginia “Ginny” Holtman Thigpen, a well-known educator, community leader and pioneer for women in the Sumner County political arena, died unexpectedly on Tuesday. She was 71. Former Volunteer State Community College colleague and longtime friend Mike McDonald said Ms. ThigThigpen pen would be missed. “She was highly regarded by everyone — students and faculty,” he said. “It was her personality, her intellect and her enthusiasm.” Ms. Thigpen and her husband, Walter, moved to Gallatin in the early 1970s. She was among the first professors at Vol State, where she eventually served as chair of the communications department. She retired in 2008 after 28 years in education, but continued part-time teaching until 2008, according to biographical information from the college. The Thigpen Library at Vol State is named

» SECURITY, 5A

» THIGPEN, 3A

Station Camp High School Principal Art Crook shows where a new magnetic locking door will be installed to direct visitors through the main office before entering hallways as part of ongoing security upgrades. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Security upgrades on track 11 new school resources officers now in place, two more expected in November

ONLINE

By Dessislava Yankova

See video of the ongoing upgrades at Gene Brown Elementary and Station Camp High School at GallatinNewsExaminer.com.

Gallatin News Examiner

and Jesse Hughes For the Gallatin News Examiner

Measures to improve safety are in progress at some Sumner County schools, with more armed officers on hand and $2.4 million in projects underway to update communications equipment, enhance security technology and modify 18 school building entrances. When classes began in August, 11 new school resource officers started work, joining eight SROs

City cites itself for violating state job site standards Project on Stephanie Street did not meet requirements to protect nearby stream

By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

Materials stored too close to a nearby stream on Stephanie Street were expected to be moved after Gallatin Public Utilities was issued a notice of violation by the city’s engineering division last week. JOSH CROSS/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

The city found itself in the unusual position of having to cite itself for violating environmental standards at a job site last week. Gallatin Public Utilities was issued a notice of violation by the city engineering division Oct. 18 after an inspector found that some requirements meant to keep contaminants out of a nearby stream on Stephanie Street were not being followed.

The job site is part of a citywide $1.5 million sanitary sewer rehabilitation project to replace old, leaky sewer pipes, said GPU Assistant Superintendent David Kellogg. According to the violation notice, a silt fence for erosion control was not installed properly and a dirt pile from the project was being stored too close to the nearby stream. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation does not allow dirt or rock material to be stored within 50 feet of the wa-

terway. The requirements are meant to prevent sediment and other items from seeping into the nearby stream, which feeds into Town Creek, said City Engineer Nick Tuttle. “A written notice of violation (to another city department) is probably not all that frequent, but this one was a little more severe than normal,” Tuttle said. “You need to make sure you keep your job site in order, so we wanted to make sure that we were sending the message quickly, and if any further action needed to be taken, then we

» CITATION, 3A

a... Sant Dear

Attentionn Parents P and Grandparents!

There’s not nothing othing like reading letters to Santa written by those who hope and believe Santaa will bring the gifts they are asking for. Have your little one write their letter to Santa and drop it off at our office, mail or email it to the address below. The letters we receive will bbe published in a keepsake edition on December 20, 2013 in both Gallati tin News Examiner and Hendersonville Star News. the Gallatin

Hurry Huurry,

the deadline to have the lette letters tters published is December 1, 2013. Our office is located at One Examiner Court, Gallatin. Email: Eand Eanderson5@tennessean.com anderson5@tennessean.com If you need eed mor more information, please call 575-7100. TN-0000939147

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

MetroMix.com

VOL. 173 NO. 86 © 2013 GANNETT CO., INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED SUBSCRIBE: 1-800-520-9286


NEWS

GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Thigpen was civic leader »THIGPEN FROM 1A for Virginia and Walter Thigpen. Mr. Thigpen died in 1997. Thigpen, who also started the honors program at the college, received several awards during her tenure, including the VSCC Martin Luther King Diversity Award in 1994. In 2000, she was named Outstanding Communication Educator of the Year by the Tennessee Communication Association. Son Kyle Thigpen said his mother was well liked, but also a tough teacher who expected students to give their all and be as creative as they could. “She always encouraged new ideas, expressing yourself freely and enjoy being who you were,” he said. Karen Mitchell, vice president for resource development at Vol State, said Ms. Thigpen played a role in anything she could do for the college’s fundraising arm, including serving on the Capital Campaign Committee to raise funds for a new humanities building. “When we announced we had the opportunity for the building if we could raise $3 million, she was sitting on the edge of her seat, clapping her hands and smiling as big as she could,” Mitchell said. “I wish I had gotten a video of that.” Ms. Thigpen was confident the money could be raised even when others expressed doubt, Mitchell said. “She was extremely encouraging. Whenever you came up on a hurdle, you didn’t hear negative things from her,” Mitchell said. “She was just a constant inspiration to us.” Len Assante, associate professor of communications at the school, said even after retirement Ms. Thigpen continued to mentor many students. “I think her students could see she cared about their success and the material she was teaching and they respected that,” Assante said. When she retired, Assante was appointed to fill Ms. Thigpen’s role as director of the communications department. Assante said he had learned from the best. “I watched her over the years and she taught me how to deal with students and faculty and how to be a better teacher,” he said.

FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS Visitation: Friday, 4-8 p.m., and Saturday, 1-2:30 p.m., at Alexander Funeral Home, 584 Nashville Pike, Gallatin. Service: Saturday, 3 p.m., at the First United Methodist Church at 149 W. Main St., Gallatin. A private burial to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Gallatin Arts Council or the D. Frank Holtman Scholarship at UT Knoxville.

dation and the Hendersonville League of Women Voters. “She was politically active early on when a lot of women were not,” said Wheatcraft, who is vice president of the Hendersonville League of Women Voters. “She was not a polarizing figure. She really could work with everybody, and she could always forge a coalition for the greater good.” Although no one in the family had ever been in politics, it wasn’t surprising when Thigpen first threw her hat into the ring, Kyle Thigpen said. “She was someone who never sought to be confined to a certain parameter,” he said. Ms. Thigpen also served as chairwoman of the Sumner County Election Commission. In addition, she served as president of the Tennessee Women’s Political Caucus and was a member of the University of Tennessee Public Affairs Council. She obtained both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UT. Her community involvement included affiliation with local agencies such as the the Gallatin Arts Council, Vol State Foundation, Greater Gallatin, Cumberland Mental Health, Sumner County Health and Education Facilities Board, Hendersonville League of Women Voters and the Junior Service League of Gallatin.

Pioneer in politics

Ms. Thigpen was a pioneer for women in local politics, and was the first woman elected to the Sumner County Commission, where she served from 1978 to 1982. Jo Skidmore, one of three women currently on the 24-member county commission, said Ms. Thigpen opened a door for other women in the county to pursue politics. “She was a trailblazer for the women of Sumner County,” Skidmore said. “It isn’t always the easiest thing for a woman to serve (on the county commission), but I believe it is much better now because of her efforts.” Former General Sessions Judge Jane Wheatcraft knew Ms. Thigpen for more than three decades through the Volunteer State College Foun-

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Standards violated »CITATION FROM 1A

Known for her love of traveling, she was quoted on the subject in a University of Tennessee alumni magazine. “Travel is certainly a pleasure, but also a learning experience,” she said. “The world is the greatest classroom a person could enter. My philosophy is simple — do it today.” JaNice Slaughter, who taught English at Vol State, befriended Ms. Thigpen in 1971. When both women were widowed, they began traveling together. They visited Japan, Greece, England and New Zealand. Slaughter said Ms. Thigpen took a trip this year to Cambodia to welcome her new grandson, Alex. In late summer, she also traveled to Costa Rica. Shirley Arrendale, who had known Ms. Thigpen for about 40 years, said her close friend was fair, honest and always tried to reach out to help others. During a trip to Europe, the two had just left a cathedral when Ms. Thigpen came across a man in need and gave him some money. “I looked up and there was a man with no arms and legs with a (collection) cup in front of him and she went back up there,” Arrendale said. “She never met a stranger. That was just part of Ginny.”

would already be along our way as far as our process goes.” If the site is not brought within compliance, a stop-work order could be issued along with civil penalties, according to the notice of violation. The issues were expected to be fixed by Wednesday, Kellogg said. Britton Avenue resident Donald E. Durham, who has lived in the neighborhood for 43 years, said that the subdivision “is not a dumping ground” and that he was concerned some of the sediment from the pile could have washed into the nearby stream. “I just wanted it moved,” he said. “Even with a moderate rain, if some of that stuff did wash into the creek, down to Town Creek and then into Old Hickory Lake, it would not be good.” According to Kellogg, the contractor in charge of the project was only storing the material there temporarily and there was no cause for concern about potential contamination. “(The contractor) piled up some dirt there because of the weather,” Kellogg said. “He couldn’t get into some of his normal dumping spots because they were wet, so he temporarily placed some material there.” The sewer rehabilitation project, which began last November, is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.

Contact Sherry Mitchell at 575-7117 or shmitchell@ mtcngroup.com.

Reporter Josh Cross can be reached at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2013 •

3A

GPD seeks holiday shopping applicants By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

The Gallatin Police Department will soon begin taking applications for its annual Shop with a Cop program. As part of the event, children from low-income and disadvantaged households are taken shopping for Christmas presents they would not have received otherwise. “It’s very satisfying to be able to help anybody and I think that’s what the community is there for,” said Gallatin Police Department spokesman Bill Storment. “(Shop with a Cop) is about getting involved with families and showing a spirit of caring,

concern and love for these children. That might be the biggest gift we can give them.” Only children ages 5-12 that live within the city limits of Gallatin are eligible for the program. Applicants who have had a child that has received assistance from the program in the past are not eligible. Those interested in applying must call the Gallatin Police Department at 452-1313 ext. 501 and leave their name and phone number between Oct. 28 and Nov. 1. Appointments to fill out an application will be scheduled from Nov. 4 until Nov. 8. Walk-in applications will not be accepted.

Council to vote on marketing position By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

The Gallatin City Council is scheduled to vote next week on whether or not it wants to approve a marketing and event coordinator for the city’s leisure services department. After being presented with a revised job description and salary range for the proposed position during a committee meeting Tuesday, the council unanimously agreed to send the item on for a full vote Oct. 29. Some of the tasks the coordinator would be responsible for include promoting the Gallatin Civic Center and Long Hollow Golf Course memberships as well as managing the leisure services’ website and content, according to the job description. The proposed base salary range is between

$41,154 and $61,133. Interim Personnel Official Amy Summers said an average of what other cities pay for similar positions was between $39,469 and $57,540. If council members approve the job description and salary, they would still need to pass an ordinance to fund the position, Summers said. Leisure Services Director David Brown said Tuesday that additional money would be needed to cover a computer, phone, advertising funds, office supplies and either a vehicle or reimbursement for mileage for the new position. The next Gallatin City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 29, and will be held at City Hall, located at 132 W. Main St. in Gallatin. Contact Josh Cross at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.


SPORTS

COMMANDOS BATTLE BUCS, 6M

SUMNER A.M. SUNDAY » OCTOBER 27, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

Jailers prevail in inmate’s lawsuit Jury finds men not liable for attack, excessive force By Dessislava Yankova Sumner A.M.

A former Sumner County inmate lost a federal lawsuit originally filed against the jail Thursday after a jury decided three guards were not liable for failing to protect, and using excessive force on, the incarcerated man. Plaintiff Antonio Freeman, 32, filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Nashville in 2010 after a fight at the jail that Freeman alleged was a racial attack, in which the corrections officers should have better intervened. In the suit, Freeman alleged a violation of his civil right to protection from excessive force while in jail. The trial lasted three days. “The guards are doing their job, and that’s what the jury saw in the testimony,” County Attorney Leah May Dennen said after the trial. Two other inmates were also originally part of the lawsuit — Recco Van and Gordon Storke — but were no longer part of it by the time the case went to trial. The original filing named Jail Administrator Sonya Troutt and the late Sheriff Bob Barker as defendants. Freeman, who is black, specifically sued current guards Alexander Williams and Charles Bandy for failing to protect him the day of the fight. Freeman also sued Bandy and former guard Sidney Joey Rush for using excessive force on him the day after he was attacked by other inmates who he claimed belong to a white supremacist brotherhood. Williams, Bandy and Rush are white. One of the inmates accused of that attack, Michael Hudson, testified that the group was not a racist gang but “a bunch of boys around the neighborhood” who “just grew up together.” During the attack, Freeman said he asked guards for protection from Hudson, but Williams and Bandy, who entered the pod briefly and left, “ignored” his pleas for help. Freeman was hit with a broomstick and received injuries to his eye after an inmate dropped 30 pounds worth of commissary items from the second floor onto his head, Freeman’s attorneys said. A video of the fight was shown to the seven-member jury of five men and two women. “You saw (Freeman) in this video begging for help, and these officers refused to help him,” said Tricia Herzfeld, one of Freeman’s attorneys. “They didn’t do anything.” Freeman’s attorneys asserted that the guards should have used pepper spray and tear gas to stop the attack, but an attorney representing the defendants said such a move would not have been practical. “They said if they would start spraying, it would affect the entire pod — inmates and officers,” said attorney Tom Russell, who represented the guards. “The officers used their hands to break the fight up. Mr. Freeman is the only one who seems to remember that Mr.

» LAWSUIT, 3M

50¢

Senior living expands New developments offer more options for aging residents By Tena Lee and Josh Cross Sumner A.M.

As the number of Sumner County residents entering their golden years grows, housing experts say residents can expect to see more real estate choices to meet their special needs. “There’s certainly a growing demand for that age-targeted buyer,” said Jason

BY THE NUMBERS Grand Reserve at Clear Lake Assisted living - 180 units Skilled nursing/rehab - 90 units Independent living villas - 46 units in 23 duplexes Fountains of Glenbrook Assisted living - 101 units Independent living villas and cottages - 42 units Senior living facility - 102 units

Brown, regional director of the national housing market research firm Metrostudy. “As our population ages in

Middle Tennessee, we are seeing more and more of these communities come up.” Two new unique developments targeting senior citizens are on the horizon in Sumner County. Hendersonville’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday approved the rezoning of 26.9 acres and a preliminary master development plan for the Fountains of Glenbrook, a senior living development that includes 42 independent living villas and cottages, a 102-room senior living facility and a 101-room assisted living building. The villas and cottages will be for sale.

In Gallatin, a new 47-acre senior living resort community is being proposed along Nichols Lane between Livingston Road and Woods Ferry Road. While still in the planning stages, the Grand Reserve at Clear Lake would include 180 assisted-living units, 46 independent living units across 23 duplexes, and a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility. A meeting to discuss the rezoning, which would allow the project to move forward, is scheduled for Nov. 11.

» SENIORS, 2M

Longtime Green Wave fan gets sendoff

The Gallatin High School marching band played “Anchors Away,” the school’s fight song, during the funeral procession for longtime Green Wave football announcer Jules Brazil on Wednesday. Brazil died Oct. 18 from injuries he sustained after being hit by a car while attempting to cross Hartsville Pike on foot before a GHS football game. See video of the tribute at GallatinNewsExaminer.com. JOSH CROSS/SUMNER A.M.

Halloween festivities set across Sumner cost is $10 per person. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 512-5299.

By Sherry Mitchell Sumner A.M.

As Halloween week gears up, there are a variety of spooky events happening throughout the county. With all of the trick-or-treat events, parents are asked to bring a sack or container for each child.

Hendersonville

Gallatin

» Trunk or Treat First United Methodist Church of Gallatin and Newton Nissan will host the Gallatin Community Trunk or Treat at 4 p.m. today. Children can choose from 60 decorated and candy-filled trunks and enjoy the bounce castles. Free food and a live band will also be on hand. The event is at Newton Nissan at 1461 Nashville Pike. » Trick or Treat on the Square More than 30 businesses on

Trick or Treat on the Square in Gallatin is among the many Halloween activities planned in Sumner County this week. This year’s event is Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. SUBMITTED

the square in downtown Gallatin will host a trick-or-treat event for children on Thursday from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Many local shop owners will be dressed in Halloween garb to hand out candy. » Ghost Walk 2013

On Thursday, residents can stroll through the downtown square in Gallatin while learning about the county’s history and hearing some popular haunted tales. The tour, starting at 7 p.m., will cover several blocks. The

» Trick or Treat at City Hall On Thursday, children are invited to stop by Hendersonville City Hall in costume from 3–5 p.m. for an afternoon of treat collecting. Each of the departments will have games with prizes and give out candy. » Fall Fest Today, Hendersonville First United Methodist Church will host Fall Fest, a special event for children, from 2:30–4:30 p.m. The event will include games, bounce houses, music and hot dogs. HFUMC is located at 217 E. Main St.

Westmoreland

» Trunk or Treat The Westmoreland Cham-

» FESTIVITIES, 2M

a... Sant Dear

Attentionn Parents P and Grandparents!

There’s noth nothing thing like reading letters to Santa written by those who hope and believe Santaa will bring the gifts they are asking for. Have your little one write their letter to Santa andd drop it off at our office, mail or email it to the address below. The letters we receive will bbe published in a keepsake edition on December 20, 2013 in both the Gallati Gallatin tin News Examiner and Hendersonville Star News.

Huurry, Hurry

the deadline to have the lette letters tters published is December 1, 2013. Our office is located at One Examiner Court, Gallatin. Email: Eand Eanderson5@tennessean.com anderson5@tennessean.com If you need eed mor more information, please call 575-7100. TN-0000939147

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

MetroMix.com

© 2013 GANNETT CO., INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED SUBSCRIBE: 1-800-520-9286


NEWS

2M • SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2013

Sumner County Weather

Today High 62 Low 41 Wind: NW 3-6 mph 10 a.m. Noon 5 p.m. 10 p.m.

Growing demand

Partly sunny

Partly sunny

Mainly clear

Clear

51

56

60

49

5-day forecast MON TUE WED THU

FRI

Partly Pleasant A t-storm Rain and Rain, a sunny and with some possible drizzle t-storm pleasant sun Wind: S 4-8 Wind: SSW Wind: S 10- Wind: W Wind: WSW mph 8-16 mph 20 mph 8-16 mph 6-12 mph

70/51

75/57

73/54

71/46

68/44

Across Tennessee Today’s high/tonight’s low Bristol 58/34 Clarksville Chattanooga 66/47 Knoxville

60/42 Memphis 63/42 Nashville

67/54 62/44

National outlook Temperatures 10/27 - 11/2 Above Normal

Below Normal

Precipitation 10/27 - 11/2 Above Normal Near Normal Below Normal

Sunrise/set Sunrise Sun. ... 7:04 a.m.

Last

New

Oct 26 Nov 3

First

Sunset Sun. .... 5:55 p.m.

Full

Sunrise Mon. .. 7:05 a.m.

Nov 9 Nov 17

Moonrise Sun. ...... 12:12 a.m. Moonset Sun. ......... 1:52 p.m. Forecasts and graphics provided by AccuWeather, Inc. ©2013

velopments that target that age group in the Nashville area, pointing to Cottage Grove at Twelve Stones Crossing in Goodlettsville and Lenox Place in Gallatin. Both are condominium communities geared toward those 55 and older. The two rank second only to the Del Webb community of Nashville in closings and sales, Brown said. The Fountains of Glenbrook will be unique in that it will provide facilities for seniors at various levels of need, according to David Lowry, a consultant for the developer Glenbrook Partners. “I don’t think Sumner

County has anything quite like what we’re doing,” he said. “The goal is to cater to the senior community as a whole.” A resident will be able to purchase a home or villa, and as he or she ages or develops more complex needs, can transition to the assisted living center or memory care facility, or use the rehabilitation services. “They had identified early on that this mix of product would be successful and would benefit the community,” he said. Lowry added that the proximity to Glenbrook Shopping Center, Hendersonville Medical Center

Holiday events held countywide »FESTIVITIES FROM 1M

Goodlettsville

Moonrise/set

The Gallatin Planning Commission will meet at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, at Gallatin City Hall to discuss rezoning property for the Grand Reserve at Clear Lake project.

Nationally, more people were 65 years and over in 2010 than in any previous census, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Between 2000 and 2010, the population 65 years and over increased at a faster rate (15.1 percent) than the total U.S. population at 9.7 percent. Brown says Sumner County is no exception, with the 65-and-older population expected to grow 24 percent in the next five years. He said the county is already home to two of the three more successful de-

ber of Commerce is hosting Trunk or Treat tonight at 5 p.m. at the Ricky Woodard Community Park. Jessica Gardner, winner of the Owen Bradley Talent Search, will perform, and guests are also invited to participate in karaoke.

Near Normal

GET INVOLVED

»SENIORS FROM 1M County mirrors national trend

SUMNER A.M.

» Pumpkin Festival The free festival on Thursday includes a hayride, inflatable bouncy toys and a

night of safe trick-ortreating for kids. Children are invited to dress in costume for the event, which takes place at Moss Wright Park, 745 Caldwell Dr. Concession stands will be available. The event runs from 5–7:15 p.m.

Portland

» Trick or Treat at Richland Park The city of Portland will host Trick or Treat at Richland Park on Thursday from 5–8 p.m. Kids are invited to dress up as they visit local vendors for candy treats. The park

is located at 318 Portland Blvd.

White House

» Trail of Treats Children can collect treats on Tuesday at 6 p.m. on a trail walk that starts at White House High School and runs along the city’s greenway. Guests are asked to donate a canned food item for the Hope Center. The school is located at 508 Tyree Springs Road. Contact Sherry Mitchell at 575-7117 or shmitchell@ mtcngroup.com.

INTERSTATE 65 No construction planned.

SUMNER COUNTY, TENNESSEE

Dickson Regional Livestock Center will have another SPECIAL COW SALE ON NOV 30th Details to come!

Come at 1:00pm and listen to Ms. Cheap talk about her cost cutting ideas for your budget, wardrobe and home. Light refreshments served.

November 16th: Sip n’ Stroll Come from 1-3pm and enjoy a chilled glass of wine and stroll through our residents’ beautiful homes!

NEWS Not sure who to call? Try our main newsline at 575-7191 or FAX 575-7181

November 21st: Gift Card Bingo!

lhollingsworth@tennessean.com skingsbury@mtcngroup.com shmitchell@mtcngroup.com dyankova@mtcngroup.com

ADVERTISING Gallatin & Hendersonville offices open 8 AM-5 PM Robyn Williams Retail Ad Manager rwilliams@tennessean.com

For Information on this listing please contact Dickson Regional Livestock Center Contact information Robert Parchman 931-801-2212 Brahm Riley 270-804-6101 Jane Ellen Tomlinson 615-504-7949 Barn: 615-446-9066

November Events at The Hearth

» SERVING HENDERSONVILLE SINCE 1951 » HENDERSONVILLE, TENNESSEE

259-8303 575-7161 575-7117 575-7170

More listings to come. - Now Taking Consignments.

78!! 9!'8\ 78 !\UVE'U!\ !\U \UVE'U \U 'U!\ 'U !\ $ &@!8 &@! @!8 8 ]D 9 !'8\ !' 8\ !:;!8V!CK! !:; :;!8 !8V! !8 V!CK V! CK! CK ?&8- 5)'8'CU!!( 5)' )'8 8'CUU!! !!( ( $ 7) 7)QQ Q9 QV QVK! K!!C\ C\!( !( 2 VC\ C\)8! C\ 'QQQ ?&87)QQ9 QVK!C\!( VC\)8!(

» SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE

Publisher Editor Staff Writer Staff Writer

Please pass to friends and neighbors Starting Nov. 4th Dickson Regional Livestock Center will move the weekly auction sale day to Monday. We will receive Cattle on Sunday the 3rd - Noon to 7pm

November 2nd: Ms. Cheap Visits the Hearth!

WITH CONTENT FROM

Laura Hollingsworth Sarah Kingsbury Sherry Mitchell Dessislava Yankova

In the Friday, Oct. 25, edition of the Gallatin News Examiner and The Hendersonville Star News, “Longtime educator, civic leader Thigpen dies at 71,” Jane Wheatcraft was identified as a former General Sessions judge. While Wheatcraft served as a General Sessions judge from 1985 to 1994, she more recently served as a Criminal Court judge from 1994 to 2006.

• 100 Heifers Bred to Easy Calving Angus Bulls • 40 Cows Mostly Black Many with Calves • 40 Young Black & BWF Cows Many with Calves

TN-0000940561

SUMNER A.M.

CLARIFICATION

FALL COW SALE

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An article in the Friday, Oct. 25, edition of the Gallatin News Examiner, “Council to vote on marketing position,” listed the wrong date for the next Gallatin City Council meeting. It will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 5. The News Examiner regrets the error.

Saturday, November 9th 1PM

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NASHVILLE PIKE/GALLATIN RD. No construction planned.

CORRECTION

Formerly Dickson Livestock Center Inc

VIETNAM VETERANS PARKWAY No construction planned. 8/4=X/GB=YR 2 K#++/W"=YR 78!! !\UVE'U!\ ;W#0/44=#GYR 2 (/[/GXYJR/

Contact Tena Lee at 575-7116 or tlee@mtcngroup.com. Contact Josh Cross at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

Dickson Regional Livestock Center

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your commute

and Vietnam Veterans Boulevard will make it a great location for senior citizens. What will make the Grand Reserve at Clear Lake project unusual, according to Gallatin planner Kevin Chastine, is its scale. “The fact that there will be two assisted living facilities on the property and large open areas for the independent living villas is kind of unique among anything that is in the city,” he said. “It has the ability for people to live there independently, and if at some point in their life they needed to move on to the assisted living facility, then there would be that opportunity.”

Come Join us from 2-4pm for our gift card bingo party! Ages 55+. Food and Beverages will be served!

575-7141

ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION ›› Sumner A.M. is a news and information supplement of The Gallatin News Examiner, The Hendersonville Star News and The Tennessean that is dedicated to covering stories from communities in Sumner County. It is published every Sunday.

419 E Main St Hendersonville, TN 37075 RSVP to 264-0779

›› Published at 1 Examiner Court, Gallatin, TN 37066. e-mail: gnenews@mtcngroup.com. Newsroom fax: 575-7181. Advertising fax: 452-9110. Advertising details: 575-7131.

TN-0000891464


Expires: 11/30/13

225 INDIAN LAKE BLVD, HENDERSONVILLE

625-431-2433

FRIDAY » NOVEMBER 1, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

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ONLINE For the latest in local news and updates, visit GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Subdivision gets back on track In limbo since 2005, 700-home Carellton community begins construction phase By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

After standing mostly empty for more than eight years, construction at one of Gallatin’s largest planned subdivisions has started, with more development expected in 2014. Located off of Long Hollow Pike across from Big Station Camp Boulevard, the Carellton community contains 700 new home sites across 410 acres.

Earlier this month, Nashville-based Green Trails Development LLC closed on the property, which it purchased from Northern Properties LLC, said Rick Deckbar, a partner with Green Trails. In September, construction began on the first seven singlefamily homes in the first phase of Carellton, after Oakland, Tenn.-based Creekside Homes purchased all 70 lots in the section.

Some of those homes should be ready for move-in by early 2014, with construction of the remaining lots in the phase taking between 12 and 18 months to complete, said Creekside owner Barry Duke. “We’re optimistic that the economy is going to stay strong here and the housing demand is up, so we’re still seeing good traffic,” he said. “We’re not sitting on any inventory. As soon as we finish houses, we’re moving people in. The demand is there.”

» SUBDIVISION, 3A

Construction on seven homes in the Carellton subdivision began in September. There are currently about 700 homes planned for the 410-acre subdivision. JOSH CROSS/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Board voids airport manager’s contract

Sudbury to stay on with same pay, reduced duties By Jesse Hughes For the Gallatin News Examiner

The Sumner County Airport Authority board classified the airport’s only worker — its manager — as an independent contractor rather than an employee, and deemed a five-year contract for that worker passed by a former board in February invalid. The 9-2 vote Monday was taken because the new board was “concerned about federal liability with the IRS and taxes and things that aren’t being paid,” said Treasurer Dianne Denson. The contract of airport manager Steve Sudbury passed at the beginning of the year included a 50 percent pay

» AIRPORT, 5A

Morning rush hour moves slowly on Vietnam Veterans Boulevard just before Conference Drive in Goodlettsville on Wednesday. The Tennessee Department of Transportation is conducting a safety study seeking solutions to congestion on Sumner County’s main highway. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Traffic growth prompts 386 safety study As county grows, TDOT looks at ways to ease congestion on Vietnam Veterans Boulevard By Dessislava Yankova Gallatin News Examiner

H

endersonville resident Angela Derrington describes traveling on State Route 386 as “horrendous” — and she’s

not alone. She’s among the thousands of drivers who use the main artery leading into or out of Sumner County each day. “There’s not enough lanes, and I’ve seen numerous accidents, and they were horrific accidents,” Derrington, 51, said. “When there’s congestion, it

comes to a standstill quick.” As the county expands in population, the Tennessee Department of Transportation is looking at ways to relieve congestion on 386, also known as Vietnam Veterans Boulevard. In 2012, traffic on 386 ranged between almost 30,000 cars per day in Gallatin to more than 63,000 in Goodlettsville, according to TDOT data. In Hendersonville, traffic around New Shackle Island Road and Indian Lake Boulevard averaged almost 52,000 ve-

» TRAFFIC, 3A

ONLINE

See video of drivers talking about rush-hour traffic on State Route 386 at GallatinNewsExaminer.com.

BY THE NUMBERS Crashes between exits 2 and 1 2009: 76 (no fatal, 24 with injuries) 2010: 90 (one fatal, 23 with injuries) 2011: 99 (one fatal, 32 with injuries) 2012: 75 (no fatal, 26 with injuries) Crashes between exits 6 and 7 2009: 27 (eight with injuries) 2010: 38 (11 with injuries) 2011: 29 (six with injuries) 2012: 40 (12 with injuries) —Source: Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security

Woman finds ‘new life’ in pursuit of art By Sherry Mitchell Gallatin News Examiner

Kathy Plourde spent more than two decades behind a desk, never realizing her inner artist was waiting to be tapped. In her early 50s, the Gallatin resident dove headfirst into two art mediums that had been occasional hobbies at different points in her life: sewing and pottery. Instead of looking forward to retirement, Plourde is having the time of her

» ARTISTS, 2A

Gallatin artist Kathy Plourde glazes a serving dish in her pottery studio. SHERRY MITCHELL/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Congratulations on 15 years in Nashville! ©2013 Hunt Brothers Pizza, LLC

Find a location near you at huntbrotherspizza.com

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

MetroMix.com

VOL. 173 NO. 88 © 2013 GANNETT CO., INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED SUBSCRIBE: 1-800-520-9286


NEWS

GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2013 •

3A

Police: Man lied about home invasion By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

Evening rush-hour traffic creeps toward Gallatin in the eastbound lane of State Route 386 at Indian Lake Boulevard, Exit 7, on Tuesday. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Gridlock fix sought »TRAFFIC FROM 1A hicles daily. Michael Skipper with the Nashville Metropolitan Planning Organization, which has studied traffic in the region, said that number is projected to increase to between 80,000 and 90,000 per day in 2035. “We’ve seen an incredible amount of growth in Sumner County,” TDOT spokesman B.J. Doughty said. “We’re looking at the entire corridor and its place within the county.” The county’s population grew by 27 percent, or 35,674 people, between 2000 and 2012, with an estimated 166,123 residents today, according to U.S. Census data.

Growth along the 386 corridor fueled an extensive, multijurisdictional study by the MPO a few years ago to look at mass transit options to ease congestion between Gallatin and Nashville. The study concluded that dedicated mass transit lanes, for something like bus rapid transit, would likely be the most affordable option. The project is stalled for now without dedicated funding.

Problem areas

The TDOT safety study, of which a draft is expected to be complete by December, will focus on two specific locations of the bypass: the westbound ramps between the Center Point Road and Conference Drive exits, and the eastbound ramps between New Shackle Island Road and Indian Lake Boulevard. It will examine conges-

tion, particularly during the peak hours of 6-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m. “When people don’t have enough ramp to merge, that’s when traffic on 386 has to stop to let someone in,” Doughty said. Hendersonville resident Megan Merrick, 27, has experienced the volume firsthand. She travels on the bypass each day to shop or visit with her parents, but tries to find another route if she can. “The intersection on New Shackle is the worst,” she said. “It’s always congested. It’s frustrating knowing that I’m going to be waiting at least 10 minutes to come maybe a quarter of a mile.” As part of the study, TDOT will look at “causes and possible solutions” to the congestion, Doughty said. Fixes

may include modifications to improve the ramps or the addition of an auxiliary lane. An eastbound auxiliary lane was recently finished between Conference Drive and Center Point Road. “Adding additional capacity in this area has helped to relieve some of the congestion through this section of SR 386, as well as improved safety by providing more room for exiting and merging vehicles,” Doughty said. But there are some problems TDOT can’t fix. “Traffic and clutter and gridlock is caused either because drivers go way too slow or way too fast,” said 26-year-old Hendersonville resident Christian Lawson, who is among the daily drivers on the bypass. “Driving etiquette around here can use some work.”

A Gallatin man was arrested Wednesday after police say he fired a gun inside his home and lied about confronting an intruder. Police responded to 1741 Woods Ferry Road around 5 a.m. Wednesday after receiving a call about a home invasion from homeowner Fernando Rayas, said Gallatin Police Department spokesman Bill Storment. When they arrived at the scene, Rayas told investigators that he fired his gun in the hallway of the residence after being confronted by an armed suspect. After Rayas was interviewed at the police department, the 27-year-

old was arrested and charged with filing a false report. He Rayas was also charged with reckless endangerment for firing the weapon with a 2-year-old child present in the home. “He has never admitted that he filed a false report,” Storment said. “He just keeps changing his story. The most recent story he gave was that he might have been dreaming all of this.” As of Wednesday, Rayas was being held in the Sumner County Jail until a bond was set.

TVA to halt fishing near fossil plant By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

The Tennessee Valley Authority will be suspending public access to a discharge channel directly behind the Gallatin Fossil Plant for more than two years as part of ongoing construction at the facility. Fishing and other activities will be prohibited at the site from Nov. 4 until early 2016 as crews build a permanent bridge and duct work over the channel. The construction is part of a $1.1 billion, multiyear environmen-

tal upgrade project at the plant. “We understand this may be inconvenient for people who like to fish in the channel, but the closure is necessary since the area will be part of an active construction site,” said Bob Deacy, TVA senior vice president for projects, in a statement. As part of the construction, four scrubbers will be installed at the facility to cut sulfur dioxide emissions and nitrogen oxide levels. Once complete, the project is expected to help reduce certain emissions by as much as 96 percent.

Gallatin subdivision plans date back to 2005, annexed into city in 2008 Earlier this summer, Goodall Homes purchased 300 lots at Carellton and plans to begin construction in the first quarter of 2014, said company president Bob Goodall. “We’ve gotten to the point where it’s almost a crisis mode that we just don’t have enough lots on the ground and enough availability for the customers who want to buy,” he said. Lennar Homes owns about 200 lots at Carellton and developers are still seeking builders for about 130 remaining lots, Deckbar said.

Road to fruition

Plans for the subdivision date back to 2005, when the property was still located outside the city limits of Gallatin, according to documents on file with the city planning department. In May 2008, the development, which was then called The Paddock, was annexed into the city. The recession and economic downturn held back development of the property, Deckbar said. “I don’t know of any other reasons (in addition to the economy),” he said. “We feel like the market now is stronger than it has been. That area is wellpoised for growth and we feel like the demand is there.” Chris O’Neal, vice president of sales and marketing for Goodall Homes, cited home affordability due to continued low interest rates and more people relocating to Middle Tennessee as rea-

sons for homes being in high demand. “Sumner County seems to be one of those areas where people are flocking to,” he said. “People are moving to this area because of no income tax,

6:30-10 am Saturday, November 2nd $6 per person

November and discussed by the Gallatin Planning Commission in December. Reporter Josh Cross can be reached at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

Holiday Open House Sunday, November 3rd 1:00 - 5:00 P.M. 305 Indian Lake Blvd. Suite 110 Hendersonville, TN 37075 615-822-3199 Complimentary valet parking

(our new location in front of Sam’s Club)

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same time frame. A revised preliminary master development plan for the Carellton subdivision to reappropriate some open space on the property is expected to be submitted to the city in

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population grew from 30,382 to 31,603, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The 4 percent increase was more than double the amount that Tennessee’s overall population grew during the

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strong businesses in this area, there are still lots of places to build homes and demand is high. All of those tend to be a good mix.” Between April 2010 and April 2012, Gallatin’s

TN-0000940994

»SUBDIVISION FROM 1A


NEIGHBORS

SPORTS

GALLATIN CELEBRATES NIGHT OF JOY, 1B

PAYNE TAKES 19TH AT STATE MEET, 1D

WEDNESDAY » NOVEMBER 6, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

50¢

ONLINE For the latest in local news and updates, visit GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Regional water plant proposed Leaders from northern Sumner cities seek long-range water independence By Dessislava Yankova Gallatin News Examiner

At-Large Gallatin City Councilor Julie Brackenbury talks with former mayor and council member Tommy Garrott outside the Civic Center Friday. Despite defeating him in last year’s election, Brackenbury has continued advocating for a $2 million addition to the facility that Garrott led last year. JOSH CROSS/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Civic Center fight not over Bond, $2 million expansion talks to resume soon By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

Billy Henderson travels to the Gallatin Civic Center three times a week to swim laps. The pool, with eight lanes, has been life-changing for the 72-year-old resident of Cottontown. “I was facing back surgery before I came up here and started swimming,” Henderson said. “My doctor told me it would help me a whole lot if I could swim, so I started swimming and my back doesn’t bother me anymore.” Julie Brackenbury, at-large Gallatin City Council member, said the 64,000-square-foot facility offers affordable options for residents who want to improve their health. “It was something that was started that was great for Gallatin, and I think we have an obligation to keep it great and make it greater than it already is,” she said. At issue is how to accomplish that at a cost the city can tolerate. Council members remain at odds with Mayor Jo Ann Graves over how to improve the center and how to pay for those enhancements. Since she was elected last year, defeating Tommy Garrott, Brackenbury

CIVIC CENTER TIMELINE

BY THE NUMBERS

1987 – Feasibility study 1990 – Planning and construction March 1993 – Construction began March 4, 1994 – Civic Center opened

Size: 64,000 square feet Construction cost: $4,746,000 Memberships: 1,755, covering 2,960 people Daily users without memberships: 250-300 on average Operation costs: $995,684 (fiscal year 2011-12)

ONLINE

Tour the Gallatin Civic Center with Leisure Services Director David Brown at GallatinNewsExaminer.com.

has been the City Council’s leading advocate for a proposed $2 million expansion that would add an indoor heated therapeutic pool and children’s splash activity area. “Julie came on and the idea didn’t change,” said Garrott, who added that Brackenbury has since taken his place in pushing for funding the expansion. But for the second year in a row, a battle over whether to include funding for the project in a bond issue kept city leaders from adopting a budget by the start of the fiscal year on July 1. The mayor vetoed two versions of the bud-

get that included funding for the project. The city passed a budget with the mayor’s blessing only after both sides agreed to discuss the center’s future separately. While the Civic Center is a “valuable asset to the city,” Graves said she did not think it was appropriate to go into debt for a second indoor pool. “Would a warm-water therapy pool be nice for the city to have?” she said. “Yes, it would, but I have to weigh it against how many people might need

» FIGHT, 3A

The need for an affordable long-term water supply has united three Sumner leaders who recently took the first step toward their shared vision. Portland Mayor Ken Wilber, Westmoreland Mayor Mike Carter and Castalian Springs-Bethpage Water Utility District President Steve Graves met with the U.S. Army Corps of Wilber Engineers in Nashville last week to propose building a shared regional treatment plant along the Cumberland River to supply their residents with water from Old Hickory Lake. The proposed plant could give local partners an advantageous alternative, said Buddy Koonce, head engineer for the Nashville office of Montgomery, Ala.based Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, which works with municipalities on utility projects. “These three entities can control cost and water supply when they’re in charge,” said Carter Koonce, who attended the meeting. “It can be a real benefit to these entities.” The proposal, however, cannot immediately move forward because of a ban that prohibits increases of existing water withdrawals or the establishment of new extractions from Old Hickory Lake. The Corps of Engineers imposed the ban in 2010 after the state’s “historic drought on record” in 2007-08, said Benjamin

» WATER, 3A

Humane Society plans largest annual fundraiser

Portland women prep for craft fest

Teen volunteer, now a college student, will reunite with friends

By Sherry Mitchell

By Sherry Mitchell

IF YOU GO

Gallatin News Examiner

Ruth Ann Hudson has been canning her homemade preserves since Portland strawberries ripened in May. The 400 jars she canned will be among the sweet spreads, butters and pickles available at the Portland Harvest Craft Show and Sale on Saturday. Hudson belongs to the organization Women on Mission at First Baptist Church of Portland. The women, along with other church members, have spent much of the year crafting and making goods for the upcoming show. “Everything is donated,” said Hudson, who is president of Women on Mission. The 40th annual show is sponsored by the city. At least 50 vendors will be on hand to sell their wares, said Tammy Groves, assistant director of the city’s parks and recreation department, adding the event

Gallatin News Examiner

What: Portland Harvest Craft Show and Sale When: Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Where: Richland Gym, 303 Portland Blvd. Cost: Free

Ruth Ann Hudson gathers items at First Baptist Church in Portland in preparation for the Portland Harvest Craft Show and Sale on Saturday. SHERRY MITCHELL/GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

usually attracts up to 800 guests each year. The annual event is just one way Hudson’s group strives to help others. “This is our biggest fundraiser that supports our mission program at First Baptist,” Hudson said, adding that last year more than $8,500 was raised and donated by the organization. “All our proceeds go toward

missions within our community and state.” Hudson said some of the money went toward helping the Tennessee Baptist Boys Ranch in Millington, the Cumberland Crisis Pregnancy Center in Sumner County, and Camp Linden, a Baptist camp in West Tennessee. Amy Tolbert, a member of the group, said since

many of the church’s worship programs usually fall into age groups, the annual event provides a unique opportunity. “This is a way for the younger women and the older women to come together for fellowship,” she said. Hudson said shoppers at the craft show could help a good cause, while avoiding the busy holiday rush. “It’s a good place to shop early for Christmas gifts and everything is personalized,” she said. Reporter Sherry Mitchell can be reached at 575-7117 or shmitchell@mtcngroup.com.

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When it comes to teen volunteers, Hendersonville resident Alex Grubbs has been a shining light for one local nonprofit. Grubbs began volunteering with the Humane Society of Sumner County two years ago when she was 16. Now a freshman at East Tennessee State University, she still comes back during the summer and holidays to offer her time. On Saturday, she’ll meet up with old friends for the Humane Society’s largest annual fundraiser, called Puttin’ on the Dog/Cat Gala. “She has done everything the last few years from cleaning to hauling animals to and from the vet and the spay/neuter clinic,” said Sandra Cherry, president of

» GALA, 6A IF YOU GO:

What: 2013 Puttin’ on the Dog/Cat Gala When: Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Where: The Clubhouse at Kennesaw Farms, 1000 Kennesaw Blvd., Gallatin Cost: $35 Ticket information: 615-822-0061 or visit sumnerhumane.org

VOL. 173 NO. 89 © 2013 GANNETT CO., INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED SUBSCRIBE: 1-800-520-9286


NEWS

GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Fight will continue »FIGHT FROM 1A and use that versus what the other equipment (city) departments are asking for and how many people will it serve.” Since 2012, Graves has issued five budget-related vetoes to block funding for the Civic Center project. With a budget adopted, bond discussions are expected to resume within the next several weeks, Brackenbury said.

Money problems

Little has changed at the Civic Center since it opened on March 4, 1994, said Leisure Services Director David Brown, who spent almost every day at the building while it was under construction.

Long-term solution »WATER FROM 1A Rohrbach, chief of the agency’s hydrology and hydraulics branch. “During the drought, we were unable to consistently maintain the depth of the Cumberland River for commercial navigation,” he said. “We also experienced a dramatic impact to the water quality, and we could not produce electricity.”

Controlling costs

For approximately 13,600 residents in Westmoreland, Castalian Springs and Bethpage, communities that have pumped their water from Gallatin since the 1960s, a new plant could mean lower water rates. “We don’t have any say on what we charge for water,” Carter said. “When they send us a water increase, we have to pass Graves that increase on to our residents or we’ll be losing money.” Carter said he feels water rate increases from Gallatin come too often. He agreed with Graves that splitting costs on a shared water system would help lower costs and keep them down. “It will be more efficient because we can combine costs,” said Graves, who is also a Sumner County commissioner. “We want to have competitive prices, keep our prices down and make water more accessible for our customers.”

Several recent increases Gallatin water rates went up seven times in the past 12 years, including in 2012 and 2013. Increases are planned for 2014 and 2015 because of hikes in the costs of materials, chemicals, benefits and labor, some of which are driven by growing oil prices, Gallatin Public Utilities Assistant Superintendent David Kellogg said. “We’re having multiple smaller increases rather than having one large increase,” Kellogg said. “It’s a little easier for the customer to pay smaller increases.” About 12,000 residents in Bethpage and Castalian Springs receive their water from the district. Before hooking up to Gallatin, Westmoreland — which supplies about 1,600 customers — pumped water from its city lake, which proved deficient on supply and quality. Portland also has a city lake used for emergencies, though the city supplies its 6,800 customers primarily with water from Drakes Creek.

“Probably over onethird of the equipment in the fitness center is the original equipment,” he said. “Other than maintenance or upkeep, the building has not changed since we built it.” But since it opened, the $4.7 million facility has operated at a loss. From fiscal year 200708 until 2011-12, the Civic Center has covered, on average, 50 percent of its annual operating expenses and has lost an average of $514,000 each year, according to information from the city’s finance department. “The Civic Center is a tremendous asset for us, but it needs to be scrutinized,” Graves said. “Running a $500,000 deficit each year is just unacceptable.” Former City Council member Garrott, who has been an advocate for the Civic Center since 1986, said the facility was never

“If growth continues as it has, there won’t be enough water in Drakes Creek to meet Portland’s needs,” Portland Public Works Superintendent Thomas McCormick said. “This is a long-term solution for our water needs.” McCormick told Portland councilors and the mayor that the city needs an additional water source.

Waiver possible

While “the intent is for the moratorium to be lifted at some point,” that time has not been determined, but that doesn’t mean local officials should lose hope, Rohrbach said. “If they can build some support for their proposal, we could consider the possibility of requesting a waiver to the existing policy,” he said. Local leaders should ask support from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, an agency that, Rohrbach said, could “carry some weight” with the Corps of Engineers. A follow-up meeting with city councilors, utility board members, and county and state officials will likely be the next step, Carter said. “We have a lot of work on our end before we can move any further,” Wilber said. Reach Dessislava Yankova at 575-7170 or dyankova@mtcngroup.com.

BY THE NUMBERS Minimum water rates Gallatin (1,875 gallons) » $10.80 (inside city) » $16.20 (outside city) Castalian Springs and Bethpage (25,000 gallons) » $26.98 Westmoreland (2,000 gallons) » $22.99 (inside city) » $34.49 (outside city) Portland (25,000 gallons) » $11.32 (inside city) » $26.04 (outside city) —Source: Gallatin Public Utilities, Castalian Springs-Bethpage Water Utility District, Westmoreland City Hall, Portland Public Utilities

TN-0000944892

meant to make money. Instead, the city bears the facility’s expense because of the value it is thought to provide residents. “It was meant to try to make it to where we didn’t overcharge and we would get people who needed to come,” he said. “(City leaders at the time) just wanted to generate at least half of what it was going to cost them each year to operate.” The Civic Center’s revenue could also take a slight hit in 2014, when Cigna-HealthSpring stops offering around 5,000 Sumner County residents access to the Silver Sneakers program, said Graham Harrison, communications director for Cigna-HealthSpring. Of those who have access, only about 500 are active users across the county. Currently, there are 293 Silver Sneakers members, made up of CignaHealthSprings and Hu-

mana users, who frequent the Civic Center each month, Brown said. Those individuals, whose visits are paid for by the program, account for about $48,000 of the facility’s total annual revenue. Because users who will lose their complimentary access to Silver Sneakers can change their health plan to another offering that includes the membership, Brown said he was unsure of how the change would ultimately affect the Civic Center’s bottom line. But as long as the city continues to put off expanding the Civic Center, it will continue to lose more than just money, Brackenbury said. “If we do not invest in what we have now, then it will be a loss for our community in the future as our community continues to grow,” she said.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2013 •

Changes coming Graves, who said she does not think Gallatin is big enough for two warmwater therapy pools, added that she believes the city should talk with HighPoint Health System to see if an arrangement to use Sumner Station’s therapy pool would be possible. This month, HighPoint Health System is expected to finalize its purchase of Sumner Station, which is located off of Big Station Camp Boulevard in Gallatin. The building once housed a 42,000-squarefoot, state-of-the-art fitness center that had 1,600 members when it closed in 2010 following the bankruptcy of Sumner Regional Health Systems. The building also was home to an indoor heated therapeutic pool. “I think we are required to evaluate wheth-

3A

er we can enter into some kind of relationship with the hospital and use their warm-water therapy pool,” Graves said. “The worst thing that could happen for the city is to borrow $2 million, build a warm-water therapy pool and splash garden, and have 25 people use it.” Susan Peach, HighPoint Health System chief executive officer, said Monday that she is open to talking with the city about the future of Sumner Station’s heated pool. “We are actively analyzing all options for the best use of the building and the amenities at Sumner Station,” she said. “We are going to propose what makes the most sense strategically and with sound business principles. Following our analysis, if we can enter into an arrangement with the city, we’ll be more than willing to do so.”

COMMUNITY EVENTS Send your community event to gnenews@ mtcngroup.com.

Until Nov. 23

» Friends of the Portland Public Library Silent Auction, at the library.

Wednesday, Nov. 6

» Book club, discussing “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed, Sumner County UT Extension Office, 658 Hartsville Pike, Gallatin, noon-1p.m. Call 452-1423.

Thursday, Nov. 7

» Key to the City Club monthly luncheon at the Bluegrass Country Club in Hendersonville. 11 a.m. social, 11:30 a.m. lunch. » Station Camp High School’s Model UN Club hosts a special screening of “It’s a Girl” as part of the film’s international screening tour, 6 p.m. at the Station Camp High School Auditorium, $10. Proceeds benefit Station Camp’s Model UN Team. Contact James Dittes,

615-584-9032.

Friday, Nov. 8

» Flea Market at the Hendersonville Expo Center. Visit: henderson villeexpocenter.com. » Garlands & Glitter Holiday Fashion Show, 6 p.m., Bluegrass Yacht and Country Club, hosted by Newcomers Club as part of the Hendersonville Holiday Fest celebration. Proceeds benefit Children are People (CAP) to assist at-risk children. For tickets, contact Marty 615-9891407 or Kay 260-602-4551.

Saturday, Nov. 9

» Puttin’ on the Dog/ Cat Gala, fundraiser for the Humane Society of Sumner County, Kennesaw Farms Clubhouse, 6-9 p.m. Tickets $35/person. Call 615-394-8903 or visit sumnerhumane.org » Bethpage Elementary Beauty Pageant, starts at 11:30 a.m. Age divisions for girls only range from 0-18 years. Call 841-3212 and leave

message for Valerie Allen » DAV BBQ Benefit for the Sumner County Disabled American Veterans Chapter 95, 4-8 p.m., VFW Hendersonville, 73 New Shackle Island Road. Barbecue prepared by Chef Curtis Malone. $10 per plate, includes slaw, baked beans and soft drink, or $8 per pound. » Flea Market at the Hendersonville Expo Center. Visit: hendersonvilleexpocenter.com » Veterans Day Parade, 10:30 a.m., starts behind Sumner Regional Medical Center in Gallatin. All businesses are encouraged to put a float in the parade, no charge. Call 615-452-0590. » The City of Portland Parks and Recreation 40th Annual Portland Harvest Craft Show & Sale, at Richland Gym, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Food, festivities, and specialty items for all. Contact Tammy Groves at 615-325-6464 or tgroves@cityofport-

landtn.gov. » GFWC Woman’s Club of Hendersonville 3rd annual Mistletoe Market, Merrol Hyde Magnet School in Hendersonville, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Upscale, unique shopping experience featuring more than 100 boutique business, gourmet food, fashion, personal accoutrements, home decor and countless gift ideas. » Sumner Trails Chapter of Tennessee Trails will lead a 3 mile hike in Montgomery Bell State Park followed by lunch at the Inn in the park, carpooling from Hendersonville. 347-2623 » Hendersonville Arts Council hosts Mommy and Me and Spin-aPot Clay workshops at Monthaven Mansion, 1154 W. Main St. in Hendersonville. Email artscouncil@ monthaven.org to sign up.


Expires: 11/30/13

225 INDIAN LAKE BLVD, HENDERSONVILLE

625-431-2433

FRIDAY » NOVEMBER 8, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

50¢

ONLINE For the latest in local news and updates, visit GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Judge denies fixing ticket

Complaint: Kittrell had clerk dismiss daughter’s citation By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

A complaint filed with the state against Gallatin City Recorder and Judge Connie Kittrell says she gave preferential

treatment to her daughter with the dismissal of a traffic citation in 2012, according to documents obtained by the Gallatin News Examiner. Kittrell denies the accusations and has asked the state board responsible for policing judges to throw out the complaint. In September, City Attorney Joe Thompson filed a formal complaint with the Tennessee

Board of Judicial Conduct after Misty Cowan, a customer service clerk in the recorder’s office, lodged a grievKittrell ance with city officials in August against Kittrell in her capacity as judge. Thompson informed the

state board of the situation after reviewing documents and conducting interviews with Cowan and another clerk, Tradessa Harris, according to a Sept. 16 memo sent to the City Council and Mayor Jo Ann Graves. Thompson declined to comment on the documents Tuesday. The complaint arose from a traffic citation for expired tags and no proof of insurance issued Feb. 25, 2011, to Kittrell’s

ONLINE

Read the complaint and Kittrell’s response at GallatinNews Examiner.com.

daughter, Kara Havron, by a Gallatin Police Department officer. Havron, 37, did not provide proof of insurance to the city recorder’s office before her April 1, 2011, court date. She

» JUDGE, 2A

City Council picks new HR director Stalemate broken after leading candidate Summers drops out By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

After five stalemate votes to hire a human resources director, the Gallatin City Council on its sixth attempt finally selected Debbie Johnson to fill the position. The move came Tuesday after interim Human Resources Director Amy Summers withdrew her name from the short list of three, citing perJohnson sonal reasons. “It was not an easy (choice), but it truly is one I felt is in the best interest of myself, my family and the city of Gallatin,” Summers said. “Knowing and valuing where we have been while focusing on the future is what Gallatin is all about. I hope my decision will help the

» DIRECTOR, 5A

Martha Gann and Shirley Thompson, members of the Clark Chapter #13 United Daughters of the Confederacy, make period dresses for the open house Sunday at Trousdale Place in Gallatin. SHERRY MITCHELL / GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Trousdale Place celebrates

200 years

More than security: SROs teach, mentor

Open house event set for Sunday

By Sherry Mitchell Gallatin News Examiner

School resource officers help resolve problems on campus and off

F

or more than a century, the women of Clark Chapter #13 United Daughters of the Confederacy have owned historic Trousdale Place in Gallatin. On Sunday, the group will host an open house to celebrate the home’s 200th birthday. “It’s a real accomplishment to think we have been able to keep that house as the town has developed around it,” said local UDC president Shirley Thompson. The house was built in 1813 by John Bowen and sold to William Trousdale, later Tennessee’s governor, in 1822. Trousdale served as governor of Tennessee from 1849-51, according to the Tennessee State Library and Archives. After the death of Trousale’s son, Julius, in 1872, his daughter-in-law, Annie Berry Trousdale, deeded the property to the UDC in 1900. “We have maintained it under the stipulation that she had when she deeded it to us,” said UDC member Andrea Coons. “She wanted it to be maintained as a museum in honor of all soldiers.” Unlike some of the other historic homes in Sumner County, Trousdale Place was never a plantation and was always located in the city. “The Trousdale family had farms in outer-lying areas, but they lived in town,” Thompson said. “Most of the men in the family were attorneys or city officials, so they were working right around the square.”

By Dessislava Yankova Gallatin News Examiner

A school resource officer’s intervention once saved a student’s life. Deputy Scott Martin was patrolling Portland High School some years back when a student tipped him off that a girl was attempting suicide in the bathroom. “I and a teacher got her out,” Mar-

» GUARDS, 3A

Trousdale Place on West Main Street in Gallatin turns 200 this year. FILE / GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

ONLINE

See video of Clark Chapter #13 members with clothing women wore in 1813 at GallatinNewsExaminer.com.

BY THE NUMBERS » 46 schools » 21 SROs » $56,600 per SRO » 25 more SROs wanted » $1,415,000 SRO funds needed for salaries only Additional funds may be needed for training and equipment.

IF YOU GO What: Trousdale Place Open House When: Sunday, 1-4 p.m. (Tours every 30 minutes starting at 1 p.m., last tour at 3 p.m.) Where: 183 W. Main St., Gallatin Cost: Free

» TROUSALE, 3A

—Source: Sumner County Schools, Sumner County Sheriff’s Office

a... Sant Dear

Attentionn Parents P and Grandparents!

There’s not nothing othing like reading letters to Santa written by those who hope and believe Santaa will bring the gifts they are asking for. Have your little one write their letter to Santa and drop it off at our office, mail or email it to the address below. The letters we receive will bbe published in a keepsake edition on December 20, 2013 in both Gallati tin News Examiner and Hendersonville Star News. the Gallatin

Hurry Huurry,

the deadline to have the lette letters tters published is December 1, 2013. Our office is located at One Examiner Court, Gallatin. Email: Eand Eanderson5@tennessean.com anderson5@tennessean.com If you need eed mor more information, please call 575-7142. TN-0000939147

Get the latest headlines delivered to your inbox.

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VOL. 173 NO. 90 © 2013 GANNETT CO., INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED SUBSCRIBE: 1-800-520-9286


NEWS

2A • FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2013

Gallatin Forecast Today High 57 Low 33 Wind: NNE 4-8 mph 10 a.m. Noon 5 p.m. 10 p.m.

Mostly sunny

Mostly sunny

Mainly clear

49

54

51

Partly cloudy and chilly

41

5-day forecast SUN MON TUE

SAT

WED

Partly A full Plenty of Sunny and sunny and day of Some sun sunshine beautiful pleasant sunshine Wind: SSW Wind: NNE Wind: NW Wind: NNE Wind: NNE 7-14 mph 3-6 mph 3-6 mph 4-8 mph 6-12 mph

63/42

62/47

67/45

59/38

55/52

Across Tennessee Today’s high/tonight’s low Bristol 51/26 Clarksville Chattanooga 60/35 Knoxville

56/33 Memphis 57/34 Nashville

60/44 58/34

National outlook Temperatures 11/8 - 11/14 Above Normal Near Normal Below Normal

Precipitation 11/8 - 11/14 Above Normal

Ticket dismissed »JUDGE FROM 1A also failed to appear for that court date, according to city records. A letter was mailed to Havron in May 2011 informing her she had to remedy her failure to appear. Harris said another employee told her Kittrell removed the citation from a folder being sent to the Tennessee Department of Safety for license suspension, according to the complaint. The citation stayed on Kittrell’s desk for months until she approached Cowan in August 2012 to have it dismissed along with $210 in fines, the complaint said. At the time, City Court Clerk Kathy Stewart was on vacation and Cowan was still within her sixmonth, new-hire probationary period. Cowan said in the complaint that the judge tried to hide the action from Stewart by having the dismissal backdated to Feb. 25, 2011. Havron did have insurance at the time she was cited and renewed her vehicle registration before her 2011 court date, records show. According to city records, both of Havron’s citations were listed as having been dismissed Feb.

GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

25, 2011, but show that the change was made in the computer by Cowan on Aug. 1, 2012. Cowan declined to comment about the complaint Tuesday. Kittrell said she pulled the citation for dismissal in 2011 after her daughter called her and told her she had proof of insurance and valid registration, according to a response to the complaint signed by Kittrell and her attorneys, William “Butch” Moore Jr. and David Bearman, on Oct. 28. “Knowing that her daughter was in compliance with the violations, Judge Kittrell pulled her daughter’s citation and put it on her desk with intent to bring it to the clerk so that it could be dismissed,” the response said. “It is not unusual for the judge to keep tickets on her desk. Citations such as the one issued to Ms. Havron are routinely dismissed without court costs by the city court clerk when the individual cited shows proof of insurance and registration.” As part of the response, Kittrell and her attorneys said they believe there is no basis for a full investigation and have asked the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct to dismiss the matter. They also said no other complaints have been filed against Kittrell and described it as an isolated

Near Normal Below Normal

Moonrise/set

Sunrise/set Sunrise Fri. ..... 6:16 a.m. New

Sunset Fri. ...... 4:43 p.m.

Nov 9 Nov 17 Nov 25 Dec 2

Sunrise Sat. .... 6:17 a.m.

First

Full

Last

Moonrise Fri. ........ 11:11 a.m. Moonset Fri. ......... 10:02 p.m. Forecasts and graphics provided by AccuWeather, Inc. ©2013

incident.

Categorical denial

Kittrell claims that she never told Cowan to backdate the disposition because the computer would still display the date the change was made, and that it was a coincidence Stewart was on vacation when she discovered the ticket. She said she had forgotten about it after multiple deaths in her family in the first half of 2011. “When she discovered the misplaced ticket, she immediately brought it to the clerk and it was recorded,” the response said. “She did not deceive or mislead anyone.” Kittrell also “categorically denies asking or telling Cowan to enter into the computer any information about her daughter’s ticket that could be construed as being misleading,” according to the response. The response also

SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840 GALLATIN, TENNESSEE

Reporter Josh Cross can be reached at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

OBITUARIES Warner Emerson Bell Mr. Warner Emerson Bell, 82, of Westmoreland, passed away Nov. 6, 2013. Funeral services for Mr. Bell will be conducted on Friday, Nov. 8, at 11 a.m. from the chapel of Woodard Funeral Home. Mr. Bell was born on July 31, 1931. He is survived by his wife, Betty J. Bell, of Westmoreland; his stepsons, Rick G. (Roxanne) Holmes and Roger G. (Bernadette) Holmes; his sisters, Marjorie B. (Don) Martin and Marylin B. (William) Hughes; and his 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Mildred H. and James L. Bell, and his step-son, Paul W. Holmes.

Randall ‘Randy’ Gregory

Today’s Crossword Answers

questioned why Cowan waited a year to lodge the complaint, which happened after it said she “received an unfavorable annual evaluation and subsequent notices of misconduct.” However, Cowan’s latest evaluation, signed in February, showed she received a rating of “commendable” by Kittrell, which is the second highest rating possible, according to city personnel records. When asked about the inconsistencies between the response and Cowan’s employee file, Kittrell and Moore both declined to comment. Kittrell agreed to pay for the amount of the ticket if the city or the Board of Judicial Conduct was concerned that Havron received a financial benefit, according to her response.

Randall “Randy” Gregory, 48, of Gallatin, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013. Funeral Service was Thursday, Nov. 7, from

the chapel of Family Heritage Funeral Home with Dr. Larry Gilmore officiating. Interment followed in Gallatin Cemetery with family and friends serving as pallbearers. Visitation was Wednesday, Nov. 6, and Thursday, Nov. 7. Mr. Gregory was born Sept. 6, 1965, in Gallatin, son of the late Loyd Gene and Nora Louise Williams Gregory. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by brother, Jeffery Gregory. He is survived by wife, Betty Hines Gregory; son, Adrian Randall Gregory; daughter, Ashley Louise Tuggle (Reed), all of Gallatin; sisters, Angie Fritz (Jim), of Gallatin, and Patricia DiVincenzo (J. R.), of Lithia, Fla.; grandson, Jonathan Wyatt Tuggle; several nieces and nephews. Mr. Gregory was a member of College Heights Baptist Church. Online condolences may be submitted at familyheritagefh.com. Family Heritage Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

BELK.COM

For customer service please call 615-313-2726 or 1-800-520-9286 between 8 AM — 5 PM Monday — Friday To place a Classifed ad, call 615-242-7253. For any other type of advertising, call 615-452-2561. REPORT NEWS at 575-7191 or FAX 575-7181

Sarah Kingsbury Editor 575-7161 skingsbury @mtcngroup.com

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Robyn Williams Ad Sales Manager 575-7141 rwilliams @tennessean.com

Josh Cross, Reporter, 575-7115, jcross@mtcngroup.com Dessislava Yankova, Reporter, 575-7150, dyankova@mtcngroup.com Sherry Mitchell, Reporter, 575-7117, shmitchell@mtcngroup.com Craig Harris, Sports Reporter, 575-7138, charris@mtcngroup.com Jan Myers, Account Rep, 575-7131, jmyers3@tennessean.com Chris Ladd, Account Rep, 575-7147, cladd@tennessean.com Lindsey Patton, Account Rep, 575-7140, lpatton@tennessean.com

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NEWS

SPORTS

ARREST MADE IN WAL-MART THEFT CASE, 3A

LADY BISON KNOCK OFF WHITE HOUSE, 1C

WEDNESDAY » SEPTEMBER 11, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

50¢

ONLINE For the latest in local news and updates, visit GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Cities owe schools $1.5M Liquor-by-the-drink tax hasn’t gone to education for years in Gallatin, Portland By Tena Lee Gallatin News Examiner

A portion of the state’s liquorby-the-drink tax intended for Sumner County Schools has not ended up in the hands of the school system, an oversight that means three Sumner cities now owe an estimated $1.5 million to education. Business owners in Tennessee cities that collect a liquor-

by-the drink tax are required to remit a percentage of their sales to the state, which sends half back to the cities. Cities are then supposed to give half that amount – 25 percent of the original total – to the school system. In Sumner, those cities are Gallatin, Hendersonville and Portland. The issue is not unique to Sumner and other cities across the state have been dealing with

Phillips

Foste r

the problem, said County Finance Director David Lawing. For Hendersonville, which passed its liquor-by-the-drink referendum in 1989, that means it hasn’t been handing over the money for education for nearly 24 years. Gallatin passed its ref-

erendum in 1996 and Portland did the same in 2009, Lawing said. The cities of White House and Goodlettsville, which both contain parts that fall in another county, don’t appear to have liquor-by-the-drink establishments in Sumner. Lawing said early estimates show Hendersonville owes the school system $975,874 for tax collections made through June 30, though it has made two payments to the school system: $127,000 in April and $148,600 in August. Gallatin owes $489,960 after making three payments: $45,550 in April; $7,467 in June

and $7,842 in July. And Portland, which hasn’t made any payments, is on the hook for about $10,400. Lawing said when he was made aware of the oversight earlier this year, he told Sumner County Schools Director Del Phillips, who had already received a payment from both the cities of Hendersonville and Gallatin. Phillips notified school board members of the oversight in an email Sept. 4. “We were made aware of this

» TAX, 5A

Portland students get safer walk to school State grant pays for sidewalk from Watt Hardison to nearby areas By Dessislava Yankova Gallatin News Examiner

Walking and biking will be easier for some 476 students in Portland thanks to a recent grant. Watt Hardison Elementary in Portland is receiving $232,179 as part of more than $2.1 million in state funds awarded to 15 municipalities through the Safe Routes to School program. The nationwide program is designed to make bicycling and walking to school a safer, healthier and more appealing alternative for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The majority of the grant will pay for a 1,200-foot sidewalk ex-

» SIDEWALK, 2A

Blake Forrester practices backstage during the Owen Bradley Music Festival and Talent Search in Westmoreland Saturday. MATTHEW DIGGS/FOR THE GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Westmoreland turns out to honor Owen Bradley By Maria Giordano Gannett Tennessee

School board eyes middle college high school plan By Jesse Hughes

For the Gallatin News Examiner

The Sumner County Board of Education will be voting this month on a proposal to start a middle college high school program in partnership with Volunteer State Community College. If approved, 50 students would enter the program in fall 2014. Schools Director Del Phillips described the middle college high school program as another opportunity “to try to give our students a competitive advantage” in the global economy. He rolled out the proposal with Vol State President Jerry Faulkner at the school board’s Sept. 3 meeting. Phillips called it a “collaborative effort” between the school system and Vol State. “These are the types of things that we need to be busy doing, making happen for our students,” he said. The program is designed for high school juniors who might not otherwise go to college, with the students completing two years of work for a high school degree while pursuing an associate’s degree at the same time. All classes would be on the Vol State campus. Under Tennessee

» COLLEGE, 3A

Maybe famed country music producer Owen Bradley wouldn’t have liked the moniker “architect of the Nashville Sound” or a daylong celebration in his honor. But the town of Westmoreland came out in force Saturday to honor its native son with the unveiling of a historical marker and talent contest. Harold Bradley, the honoree’s brother and himself an ac-

MORE PHOTOS

See more photos from the festival on page 1B or at GallatinNewsExaminer.com

claimed guitarist, said Owen Bradley was a modest man, but a visionary all the same. The Owen Bradley Music Festival and Talent Search brought out his children, Patsy and Jerry Bradley, a few members of country music royalty and Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, in addition to about 800 locals.

The festival and Owen Bradley’s recognition was an idea Westmoreland newcomer Jan Braun developed. The event planner for the Westmoreland Expo, Braun discovered Bradley was born off Trammel Creek Road in 1915. Bradley lived in Westmoreland until he was 7 before moving to Nashville. He died in 1998 at the age of 82. With the help of local writer

» BRADLEY, 5A

State of the City highlights growth By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

Gallatin Mayor Jo Ann Graves focused on Gallatin’s continued business and residential growth during her State of the City address Monday. Graves delivered her annual address during the monthly Gallatin Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon, held at the Epic Event Centre in Gallatin. “The word about Gallatin is spreading,” Graves said. “With proper planning and vision, we are building a foundation for success and making Gallatin the place to be in Tennessee.”

Increasing population

Graves said people are noticing what Gallatin has to offer, citing the city’s 33 percent increase in population since the last census to more than 30,000 people currently.

Gallatin Mayor Jo Ann Graves gave the State of the City address at the Epic Event Center on Monday. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA / GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

“Another indicator of Gallatin’s strength is our sales tax collections, which have been growing,” she said. “They are up 21 percent in four years.” In the past year, the Gallatin Department of Electricity has added 270 new customers and Gallatin Public Utilities has

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Events and musical performances were held across Westmoreland, a town of about 2,200 nestled in Sumner County, near the Kentucky border. “A lot of times, you honor the people who made the hits, but not the people behind the music,” said Brenda Lee, the voice behind “I’m Sorry,” which Bradley produced. “To honor Owen, because I loved him, means the world. He took Nashville and its songwriters and the singers that he recorded to a whole new level.”

MetroMix.com

spent nearly $4.6 million in new infrastructure throughout the city. “As a city, our responsibility is to provide services that our citizens need for their health, safety and welfare,” Graves said. Graves also cited four new

pieces of equipment the city either received or secured funding for in the past year. Earlier this year, the Gallatin Fire Department received a new 28-foot public safety boat as the result of a $250,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security. The department also received a $1.2 million grant for a new 75-foot ladder truck, which is currently on order. In August, the Gallatin Police Department received, free of charge, a mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle from the Department of Defense. Before receiving the new vehicle, the department had to either use a 1980s military ambulance with little protection from gunfire or rely on Metro Nashville to bring an armored vehicle as part of a mutual-aid

» SPEECH, 4A

VOL. 173 NO. 73 © 2013 GANNETT CO., INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED SUBSCRIBE: 1-800-520-9286


NEWS

GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Hendersonville - $975,874 Gallatin - $489,960 Portland - $10,400

will allow us to pay our share of the taxes previously due over a five-year period,” Foster said. “We will discuss in more detail as details become more accurate. I simply wanted you to be aware of the situation as soon as possible. We included the current year’s taxes in this year’s budget and have paid the latest bill.” Members of the Gallatin City Council were informed of the issue Tuesday, Sept. 3, during an executive session, according to Gallatin City Attorney Joe Thompson. “This is an oversight that happened decades ago and we’re confident we can work together to find a solution that’s rea-

Caroline Moss, Braun took a year to research Bradley’s history and secure the historical marker. The sign will be placed on Highway 31 before its intersection with Highway 52, which leads into Westmoreland. The festival and talent search, which drew 52 contestants, became a natural offshoot of celebrating Bradley, Braun explained. Vendors lined the Ricky Woodard Community Park, while visitors parked lawn chairs under trees to hear a line up of music all day. Fifty-two talent show contestants arrived from as far away as Florida and Branson, Mo. The five judges unanimously selected Bethpage resident Jessica Jewel Garner as the winner. Garner, who sang the country classic “Mule Skinner Blues,” won a prize package valued at about $10,000.

Featuring

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»BRADLEY FROM 1A

Reporter Tena Lee can be reached at 575-7116 or tlee@mtcngroup.com.

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sonable for everyone involved,” school system spokesman Jeremy Johnson said Monday. Lawing said he estimates the additional revenue to the school system will be about $200,000 a year – still small in comparison to the system’s $230 million annual budget. It’s not clear yet what impact the loss of revenue will have on Hendersonville, Gallatin and Portland. “They’re all in different circumstances,” Holt said. “We just want to make sure the money is collected for the school system but be fair to all entities involved. We don’t want to put an undue burden on the cities.”

TN-0000930829

issue earlier this year and began researching the legal and financial impact to our system/county/municipalities,” Phillips said in the email. “This is not a new issue but rather one that has gone unnoticed across many municipalities and school systems in Tennessee for many years. As is the case in many counties across the state, our local municipalities have been collecting and remitting the state's portion, but they haven't been remitting the school district’s portion to the school system.” Phillips told board members he and County Executive Anthony Holt have been working with the mayors of each city to resolve the issue in a way that will lessen the impact to city budgets. “In the next several weeks you will likely see these municipalities discuss resolutions outlining the details of those agreements,” he said in his email to board members. “If the governing bodies of those municipalities approve our proposed agreements, they will eventually appear on the board agenda for your approval. Our intention is to treat all the impacted municipalities fairly and equally as we resolve this issue.” Foster also notified members of the Hendersonville Board of Mayor and Aldermen by email Sept. 4. “We have discussed a tentative resolution that

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FRIDAY » NOVEMBER 15, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

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OSHA cites company after May collapse of crane Contractor has had repeated safety violations resulting in worker deaths By Sarah Kingsbury Gallatin News Examiner

An airplane takes off at the Portland Municipal Airport on Monday in Portland. DESSISLAVA YANKOVA / GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Sumner airports see customer growth

Portland, Gallatin expand, step up safety precautions By Dessislava Yankova Gallatin News Examiner

E

xpansions are underway at Sumner County’s two airports to meet growing demand from local industries, officials at both facilities said. The size and location of regional airports can be more attractive for transportation than Nashville International Airport, where traffic can cause delays. At the Portland Municipal Airport, a jet landed recently for a quick transaction that took place in the parking lot. “The pilot met a fellow who had a violin and stayed just enough to see if the violin played, (then) he paid for it and took off,” said Jeff Collins, who helps oversee operations at that airport. Upgrades are nearly finished at the city-operated Portland airport, which received a $1.4 million, 300-foot safety area expansion at the north end of its 5,000-foot runway, funded largely by a federal grant. The upgrade brings the airport up to standard by providing extra landing area in case of emergencies, Portland Airport Authority Administrator Doug Hunter said.

Portland Municipal Airport Founded 1968-69 with 3,000-foot runway 5,000-foot current runway 34 hangars (30 T-hangars, 2 corporate, 1 community) 4 people on waiting list for hangars 45 airplanes stationed 45,600 planes land and take off per year 280 planes use each month Funded through federal and state grants with city matches, airport income 9-member board appointed by Portland City Council 820 feet above-sea-level elevation 10 percent increase in corporate travel $180,000 annual revenue (rent, fuel sales) Sumner County Regional Airport, Gallatin Founded 1962-63 with 3,600-foot runway 6,300-foot current runway 74 hangars (40 T-hangars, 11 corporate, 23 port-a-port) 24 people on waiting list for hangars 110 airplanes stationed 42,500 planes land and take off per year Funded through federal and state grants with board matches, airport income 11-member board recommended by the board and approved by the Sumner County Commission 533 feet above-sea-level elevation 7-15 percent increase in corporate travel $210,000 annual revenue (rent, fuel sales) Note: The numbers above are annual or represent averages.

—Source: Portland Municipal Airport, Sumner County Regional Airport

City considers new noise-level rules Gallatin News Examiner

An overhaul of Gallatin’s noise-level regulations was deferred until January as city leaders take more time to review proposed changes. Gallatin City Council members saw a draft of the new noise ordinance Tuesday by City Attorney Joe Thompson. The change would mean the city would not use decibel levels to determine whether sound is too loud. “The standard now is go-

» COLLAPSE, 3A

AIRPORTS BY THE NUMBERS

» AIRPORTS, 6A

By Josh Cross

The Mt. Juliet general contractor in charge of a multimillion-dollar bridge construction project between Sumner and Wilson counties was fined Tuesday for safety violations stemming from a May crane collapse in Gallatin. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which oversees workplace safety, said a boom cable snapped, sending the crane crashing into State Route 109, where the machinery fell onto a passing car. The company, Mountain States Contractors, was cited a total of $60,900 for the violations. The driver and passenger in the car, Carroll Williams and John Vargas, sued Mountain States in July, saying they received serious physical and mental injuries from the collapse. Both men were hospitalized with “minor injuries” after the incident, according to a Gallatin Police Department report. Mountain States is the contractor in charge of the $29.5 million project to build a new bridge across the Cumberland River,

ing to be if you have someone standing 50 feet from the property line and they can plainly hear noise coming from an adjacent property owner (between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.), then you could have a noise violation,” Thompson said. Permits for special events like Third Thursday on Main downtown would be allowed, according to the ordinance, which also includes several noise exemptions for things like emergency vehicles. The proposed change was prompted by a long-

running dispute between AweDaddy’s Bar and Grill and some neighboring residents about whether or not live music at the waterfront restaurant was too loud. Both sides appealed to city leaders in October to resolve the situation after attempts to settle the issue privately were unsuccessful. “I really want to go through and fine-tune what (was) presented to us,” said At-Large Councilor Julie Brackenbury. “Whatever we do, I want to make sure

Two men, one from Gallatin and another from Lebanon, were injured when a construction crane collapsed over a car on State Route 109 in Gallatin in May. OSHA cited Mountain States Contractors with $60,900 in safety violations Tuesday. BRUCE CAIN/FILE

Employee of local attorney accused of embezzlement By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

it’s really fair to all parties involved.” Currently, sound levels are regulated in two ways by the city. In the municipal code, sound-producing items such as musical instruments are prohibited if they annoy or disturb the quiet of a residence, particularly between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. But in the zoning ordinance, property zoned anything other than industrial or agriculture has a sound-level limit of 45 decibels from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m.

The former office manager and assistant for Gallatin attorney Thomas Boyers V is accused of embezzling more than $35,000 over the course of four months from her previous employer. Melissa Wix, 44, of Gallatin, was arrested Nov. 8 and is charged with one count of theft over $10,000 and17 counts of forgery after she reportedly forged the attorney’s signature on Wix 17 checks between June 12 and Oct. 24 of this year, according to an arrest affidavit. Boyers, who declined to comment on the case Tuesday, told police that he did not sign

» NOISE, 6A

» EMBEZZLE, 3A

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NEWS

GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2013 •

3A

Library group seeks funds 434-acre White House golf course site to be sold By Nicole Young Gannett Tennessee

Bidding set to end today By Nicole Young Gannett Tennessee

Sealed bids are being accepted for a piece of property in White House once under development for a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. According to Frank Simpson, one of two brokers handling the sale, bids for the property, which includes nearly 434 acres on New Hall Road in White House, will be due on Nov. 15. The property is valued at $2.75 million. It was being developed into an 18hole golf course and residential community known as Bear Creek at Burrus Ridge by local businessman Chip Hellmann. Hellmann filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Today, Fifth Third Bank owns the property, according to Simpson. “It has been on the market for sale, but we wanted to give a deadline for call of offers,” said Simpson. “We have had a good bit of interest and expect multiple offers by the end

of the (bid period.)” Groups interested in the property include developers and investors, Simpson said. “We’ve been talking to people who have an interest in building the golf course,” he said. “There are also people who want to come in and build the original subdivision or create larger estate lots and build. Then, there are those who want to come in and buy the land as an investment. There are a large variety of buyers.” So far, Simpson estimates he’s heard from about 40 different entities with interest in the property, which is currently zoned for use as a golf course and residential community. Any changes for the property use would have to be taken before the City of White House for approval. Mayor Mike Arnold said he hopes to see a developer come in and finish the golf course and residential community. “My theory is that some country music star will buy it and build a house in the middle of it and we won’t benefit at all,” Arnold said. “That

would be a shame.” At the time of Hellmann’s bankruptcy, nine of the 18 holes were under construction including the cart path, according to the real estate listing by the Simpson Company. “The weeds are eight feet high with a concrete golf path running through them,” Arnold said. The golf course, if completed, would take up nearly 234 acres of the property, leaving about 200 acres available for the residential community, the listing states. The residential community’s master plan called for 627 units, it adds. Julie Bolton, executive director of the White House Chamber of Commerce, said a completed golf course and residential community would be a good selling point for the city. “I would love to see something happen with it,” she said. “People want to be here and they want to move here, and it’s an exciting time for us. Having a golf course would be one more thing we could offer to our residents and potential residents.”

Fundraising continues for the new White House Library after a group launched a new campaign aimed at raising more than $3.6 million earlier this month. To date, organizers say they’ve received about $200,000 and more is expected in the next few weeks. The original goal set by the Friends of the Library group was $600,000 to be collected through public donations. “We have had more people to contact the Friends group to make a one-time donation,” said Elizabeth Kozlowski, director of the White House Library. “I know of three individuals, but I don’t know how much they’re going to donate. It’s encouraging. We haven’t had any highdollar amounts as of yet, but there is lots of talk around town.” Last month, the Friends of the Library and Kozlowski opened a haunted attraction known as the Library of Terror. It ran all four Saturdays in October. The goal was to raise $1,000 through the event, but the group surpassed

it, raising a total of $1,375, Kozlowski said. “I was surprised,” she said. “The White House Drama Department wants to do it again next year because they had such a good time. The community wants us to do it again because there is really nothing like this in White House.” The groundbreaking for the new library is scheduled to take place in February and construction should take a year to complete, so Kozlowski said the Haunted Library will remain in its current location for another year at least. “It’s good because we know the layout,” she said. “I think we can definitely pull it off again without any hardships.” Earlier this month, Friends of the Library board member Michael T. Gaines said planning was underway for a gala event. Organizers are expecting it to be held in March, Gaines said. “It will be a must-attend event for Robertson and Sumner County residents,” he said. “We see it as being a continuous fundraiser for the Friends of the Library. We encourage you all to gear up, go out and get

your greatest clothing and learn how to do a little dance while you’re at it. “We’re going to have a good time and celebrate this thing.” Organizers have not yet set a specific date for the gala because a main speaker had not been selected, Kozlowski said. “We are getting in touch with different speakers to determine who will be giving the keynote,” she said. “Once we determine that, we’ll set a date. Sometimes it’s easier to work with them to see when they’re free rather than have them try to work with us.” According to a pamphlet handed out earlier this month, the Friends group needs to obtain $400,000 of its $3.6 million goal through donations from individuals, businesses and foundations. The City of White House is expected to contribute $1.9 million. Officials hope to receive $500,000 each from Robertson and Sumner Counties. Also, they expect $100,000 to be provided by the state, the pamphlet said.

OSHA cites general contractor for safety violations after crane collapse »COLLAPSE FROM 1A set for completion in 2014. State business filings show Mountain States relocated from Mt. Juliet to Nashville in September but continues to maintain a Mt. Juliet mailing address. OSHA cited Mountain States $56,000 for one “willful” safety violation for failing to remove the damaged cable from operation. A willful violation is committed “with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.” The company was also cited $4,900 for not conducting monthly

18 counts »EMBEZZLE FROM 1A the checks, which were endorsed by Wix, according to the affidavit. Wix turned herself in Friday after police informed her that a warrant had been issued for her arrest, said Gallatin Police Department spokesman Bill Storment, who declined further comment on the case because it is still under investigation. As of Tuesday, Wix had been released from the Sumner County Jail on $15,000 bond. Her next court date is scheduled for Jan. 15.

checks of a deficiency marked on an annual inspection. “This employer willfully disregarded worker safety and allowed the crane to operate even though daily crane inspections indicated the cable needed replacement,” said William Cochran, OSHA’s area director in Nashville, in a statement. “Replacement cable was available on-site, but the crane was not serviced.” Mountain States issued a statement through a public relations firm disputing the violations and said it intends to appeal the citations. “On the day of the accident, the crane operator

told the company he had inspected the crane cable before operation and had found it met the standards for being in service,” the statement said. “We believe any description of the accident as being the result of willful disregard of safety standards is in error and is unfair.” The company has 15 days to pay the penalties or contest them before the OSHA Review Commission.

Repeated problems

OSHA was responsible for investigating the crane collapse because it technically occurred in federal waters on the Cumberland River. However, inspectors with

OSHA’s equivalent in Tennessee have handled five accident investigations, involving worker deaths on Mountain States and Britton Bridge LLC sites. Britton Bridge is registered at 5760 Old Lebanon Dirt Road in Mt. Juliet, the same address that Mountain States had operated from before it moved in September, according to state business filings. A worker died when an excavation wall collapsed in December 2005 at a Mountain States site in Nashville. The company ended up paying $135,000 in penalties, Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration records show. Another worker with a Mountain

States crew was killed in November 2010 at a Memphis site. A third worker died after being struck by a trackhoe bucket in January 2011 in Knoxville, at a Britton Bridge site. Britton Bridge was cited for 15 safety violations and settled for $12,573 in penalties, the TOSHA report shows. Another Britton Bridge employee was killed in May 2011 by a falling object at the same bridge construction site in Knoxville. TOSHA cited Britton Bridge for two serious safety violations with penalties of $7,150. The Tennessee Department of Transportation temporarily suspended the company and its af-

filiate from bidding on TDOT projects while it conducted a safety review of Britton Bridge in 2011. A fifth worker died on a Britton Bridge construction project in Guild, west of Chattanooga, in March 2012. The worker, a subcontractor employed by Gilley Construction Inc., of Manchester, was crossing from one barge to another when he fell into the Nickajack Lake and drowned in 60 feet of water, according to a TOSHA report. The company was cited for $7,750 in safety violation penalties. Dessislava Yankova contributed to this report.

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WEDNESDAY » NOVEMBER 20, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

50¢

ONLINE For the latest in local news and updates, visit GallatinNewsExaminer.com

Portland hit by EF-0 tornado Wind damages fire hall, duplex By Sarah Kingsbury Gallatin News Examiner

Portland was hit by an EF-0 tornado with winds up to 70 mph Sunday according to a preliminary assessment by a National Weather Service team, said Sumner County Emergency Management Agency Director Ken Weidner.

The storm peeled a metal roof off the Portland Fire Department and sliced through a nearby duplex, but the residents walked away virtually unscathed. An EF-0 is the weakest in measure of intensity based on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which rates the strength of tornadoes. James Barnes, who lives in

one of the Reed Street units about 30 yards behind the fire and police departments in Portland, said he heard the strong wind and rain, then “a big boom” that completely shattered his second-floor window. “I told my wife to run, and we ran, and I literally Supermanjumped down my stairs and glass blew around us and the tin roof from the fire department

» TORNADO, 2A

The roof of the Portland Fire Department was torn off in Sunday’s storm. JOHN PARTIPILO / GANNETT TENNESSEE

New firstresponse facility proposed Portland station would house fire, EMS and EMA By Dessislava Yankova Gallatin News Examiner

Emergency response in the northern part of Sumner County could improve as plans move forward for a new shared facility in Portland, officials say. The Portland Fire Department and Sumner County Emergency Medical Services would share the proposed building. Weidner Portland city leaders are joining with the county in applying for a community development block grant, a program through the Tennessee Wilber Department of Economic and Community Development that provides funds to improve health and safety in small communities. The grant could cover 80 percent of the building’s cost. EMS Director Keith Douglas said the agencies will request another grant for the remaining 20 percent from the Hendersonvillebased Memorial Foundation.

» EMERGENCY, 3A

Gallatin Police Department Officer Roderick A. Jones talks with Dispatcher Kim Ward outside the Gallatin Police Department after an interview with the Gallatin News Examiner on Friday. They are two of 17 minorities who work full-time for the city. JOSH CROSS / GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

Gallatin leaders want city to employ more minorities

Despite some gains, numbers don’t reflect area’s demographics By Josh Cross Gallatin News Examiner

Despite an overall increase in the number of minorities employed by the city of Galla-

tin over the past two years, some leaders in the black community say they’re concerned about the lack of diversity in some upper-level management positions of the city. “We should have people of color in some of these positions that we don’t have,” said Vice Mayor John D. Alexander, who is the only black and minority member on the Gallatin City

Council. “I feel like we’re still stuck in the 1940s and 1950s as far as employment . . . I really do.” A June diversity report from the human resources department said 373 individuals were employed by the city fulltime. Of those employees, 356 were white, 12 were black and five were Hispanic or Latino. Of the 40 employees listed

as being in management positions across city hall and13 city departments, only two were minorities, according to the report. None were black. “(That) is a deep concern within the community, and we just need to see if we can make those numbers grow,” said Beverly Staten, president of

» DIVERSITY, 3A

Craft show will be family affair New Deal church hopes to raise $1K for Honduras mission By Sherry Mitchell Gallatin News Examiner

Patricia Creasy converts an old window into a functional chalkboard. She will be among the 27 vendors at Halltown General Baptist Church’s Fifth Annual Fall Craft Show on Saturday. SUBMITTED

Portland resident Patricia Creasy has always liked to dabble in crafts, but lately she’s taken to repurposing household items that otherwise would have been thrown out. When her sister recently did a kitchen remodel, Creasy was sure she could find some way to recycle an unwanted set of kitchen cabinet doors. “I repainted and distressed them and then added vinyl lettering with family sayings and scriptures,” she said. She did the same thing with an old set of windows given to her by an elderly member of her church. Along with her inspirational wall hangings, Creasy makes

INSIDE

IF YOU GO What: Halltown General Baptist Church Fifth Annual Fall Craft Show When: Saturday, Nov. 23, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Where: Halltown General Baptist Church, 120 Dink Rut Road, Portland (in the New Deal community) Contact: 325-3768

glass jar candles and embroidery work that will be among the hundreds of items showcased on Saturday at Halltown General Baptist Church’s Fifth Annual Fall Craft Show in Portland’s New Deal community. Creasy’s booth will be a family affair. Her 16-year-old son, Eli Creasy, who is an artist, is working on some of his own items to put into the craft show, including handmade greeting cards and pottery. Her husband Victor, who is associate pastor of Halltown General Baptist Church, doesn’t have any artistic talents, but he does provide support with setting up, Creasy

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See photos from the Gallatin Christmas Harvest Craft Show, held Saturday, on Page 4A or at GallatinNewsExaminer.com.

said. The annual craft show is a fundraiser for several members of the congregation who travel each year on a mission trip to Honduras with the group Middle Tennessee Mission Outreach. Linda Hunter, office administrator for the church, said about 27 vendors would be on hand for the craft sale. The goal is to raise at least $1,000 for the Honduras mission trip. The church’s youth group will run a concession stand during the event, with proceeds from sales going toward outreach programs. Reporter Sherry Mitchell can be reached at 575-7117 or shmitchell@ mtcngroup.com.

VOL. 173 NO. 93 © 2013 GANNETT CO., INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED SUBSCRIBE: 1-800-520-9286


NEWS

GALLATIN NEWS EXAMINER

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2013 •

3A

Gallatin leaders call on city to put focus on improved employee diversity »DIVERSITY FROM 1A the Sumner County NAACP. “As we are growing in numbers in the city, we should again be inclusive of the base that we have.” According to 2010 demographic data from the United States Census Bureau, Gallatin was roughly 76 percent white, 15 percent black and 8 percent Hispanic or Latino. The employment of minorities by the city was most recently brought up during a months-long gridlock between members of the Gallatin City Council over who to select to become the city’s new human resources director. One of the three finalists — Ann Whiteside, current executive assistant to Mayor Jo Ann Graves — is black. Whiteside, who has a master’s degree in human resources, was not chosen. Instead, council members chose Debbie Johnson after Interim HR Director Amy Summers withdrew her name

CITY OF GALLATIN EMPLOYEE BREAKDOWN NOVEMBER 2011

White: 360 Minorities: 12 Total number of full-time city employees: 372

APRIL 2012

White: 350 Minorities: 15 Total number of full-time city employees: 365

OCTOBER 2012

White: 352 Minorities: 16 Total number of full-time city employees: 368

JUNE 2013

White: 356 Minorities: 17 Total number of full-time employees: 373

from consideration. Both of the women are white. Johnson, who is currently a benefits specialist for a Nashville company, retired as the assistant vice chancellor for human resources and sys-

temwide affirmative action officer for the Tennessee Board of Regents in 2009. “What do I tell the younger people in my neighborhood when they go off to college and get degrees and qualify for these jobs but can’t get them?” Alexander said. “I wish somebody could answer that question for me.”

Steps being made

In the last two years since Gallatin started keeping a detailed diversity report, employment of minorities has increased throughout city departments. In November 2011, 3.23 percent of all full-time city workers were minorities, according to the report. As of June 2013, that number had risen to 4.56 percent, equating to five additional employees who are considered minorities. “I’ve spent some time talking to the department heads about the need to have diversity,” Graves

said. “We are starting to broaden our horizons. Are we there yet? No. Do we have a ways to go? Yes. Are we going to continue to work in that direction? Yes.” Increasing employee diversity has been somewhat hampered due to the longevity of the city’s employees and low turnover, Graves said. “It’s really quite amazing to see how many people have been here 20, 25, 30 and 40 years,” she said. “People come to the city of Gallatin, they love it and they stay, but when positions open up, we are trying to make strides.” While the average number of years an employee spends with the city was not available, Summers said the city’s employee turnover rate in 2012 was 11 percent. In her eight years with the HR department, Summers said the city has made “concerted efforts” to inform minority communities of employment opportunities in ways like notifying minority-based

churches and by advertising through minoritybased organizations. Gallatin police Officer Roderick A. Jones and Dispatcher Kim Ward, who are both black, said getting a job with the city was just like any other normal hiring process. “They want to pick the best candidate to do the job that is required of them,” Jones said. “Today, that’s who they look for as far as jobs. Who is the most qualified to do the job?”

‘Not there yet’

While the number of minority workers employed by the city continues to grow, the current percentage is still “very small,” Staten said. “I would like to see those percentages raised,” she said. “I would love to see (Gallatin) employ more.” Both Staten and Graves said that while diversity is important, they do not feel an individual should be hired solely based on race.

“I’m not going to set a quota system and I’m not going to ask anybody to hire somebody that they don’t think is as competent as somebody else who is applying,” Graves said. “The department head has to make that decision, but we do encourage them that if they think they’re as competent as the other (applicant) to please look at diversity.” Graves added that while she does not know what the threshold for the percent of minorities employed by the city should be, “I can say we’re not there yet.” “I don’t expect to turn it around in a short amount of time,” she said. “Rome wasn’t built in a day. We understand that we need more diversity and we are working in that direction, but it’s not going to be an overnight process.” Reporter Josh Cross can be reached at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

Proposed new Portland emergency facility would house fire, EMS, EMA BY THE NUMBERS

The foundation has given the most funds, 24 percent overall between 1996 and 2012, to health initiatives, according to its records. “It’s a very (worthwhile) and needed service for the people in that area,” Memorial Foundation President J. D. Elliott said. “We’ll respond to it in a positive way.”

Proposed emergency response satellite station $800,000 estimated cost 9,000 square feet in size 1.8 acres of land

$800K building

With an estimated cost of $800,000, the 9,000square-foot building would be constructed on 1.8 acres of land south of J.W. Wiseman Elementary School on State Route 109 in Portland. The land is owned by the Sumner County Board of Education, which would have to approve the project.

Source: Sumner County Emergency Medical Services

“Once they get the grant, we’ll be happy to talk about what’s best for them and the school system,” schools spokesman Jeremy Johnson said. EMS initiated the project, which Douglas said will improve conditions for equipment and employees. The agency now operates from a maintenance building used by the former Portland Medical Center. Inside that small building, the agency houses two ambulances, one in a heated garage and another under a shed.

Four employees are needed to run the ambulances, though the station is designed for just two people. In the proposed new facility, all four employees would have a space to sleep and there would be room for up to three ambulances in “a climatecontrolled” environment, Douglas said.

Second fire station

The new facility would serve as a satellite and a second station for the Portland Fire Department, which currently

shares a building with the Portland Police Department. “In an ideal world, to properly cover Portland, we need two fire stations,” Portland Mayor Ken Wilber said. “It will provide better coverage and response time for our city. The safety of our citizens will be betterserved.” The project also offers construction incentives because it would be less expensive for the involved agencies to share costs and operate out of one building, Wilber said. In addition to three ambulances and two fire trucks, the new station would have space for a Sumner County Emergency Management Agency vehicle. “We get calls from the

COMMUNITY EVENTS Send your community event to gnenews@ mtcngroup.com.

Until Nov. 23

» Friends of the Portland Public Library Silent Auction, at the library.

Wednesday, Nov. 20

» The Gallatin Police Department hosts a community meeting at 6 p.m. in the Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room at Volunteer State Community College,

Thursday, Nov. 21

» Newcomers Club Lunch Bunch, 11:30 a.m., at The Chocolate Covered Strawberry in Gallatin. Call Carol at 826-3990. » Gallatin High School Theatre will present “Flyin’” by Cynthia Mercati at 7 p.m. in the Juliette Doyle Guthrie Theatre. Portions of the proceeds from this play will be donated to GHS’ STARS program and HomeSafe. Tickets are $2 and will be available at the door. » The Hendersonville AARP Chapter #4443 meeting at the Senior Citizens Center, 1 p.m. The program will feature the center’s Sweet Harmony singers in concert. Light refreshments will be served.

with intellectual disabilities sponsored by Arc of Cumberland Valley. » Movie matinee for the entire family, Portland Public Library, 1-3 p.m. at the Portland Public Library. Rated PG. Free popcorn. For movie name and more information, call the library at 325-2279. » Halltown Church Fifth annual Fall Craft Show featuring handmade crafts of all kinds, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., 120 Dink Rut Road, Portland.

Sunday, Nov. 24

» Christmas Tree Lighting, Memorial Park in Hendersonville, time TBA. » Newcomers Club Sassy Women: Sunday dinner with just the girls, 4 p.m. at Carrabba’s in Hendersonville. Contact Martha at 431-2644 if you wish to attend.

Monday, Nov. 25

» Book signing for Eve Freeman, author of “Little White Deer,” based on a true story about an Appla-

Sunday, Dec. 1

» Hendersonville Christmas Parade and Party Zone, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Staging for parade is in Drakes Creek Park. Party Zone is in Memorial Park. Party Zone has entertainment and inflatables before parade starts.

Tuesday, Dec. 3

» The City of Gallatin hosts the fifth annual Tuba Christmas Concert, 6:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church on Main Street in Gallatin.

Saturday, Dec. 7

» Breakfast with Santa to benefit the Gallatin Shalom Zone, 8-11 a.m., St. John Vianney Catholic Church, Gallatin. $5 per person or five tickets for $20. » Breakfast with Santa to benefit Lifeline Children’s Services, Bluegrass Country Club, seatings at 8:30 and 11 a.m. $15

adults, $10 ages 4-8, $5 ages 3 and under. » Sumner County Republican Party monthly meeting, 9 a.m at Hendersonville Christian Academy, 355 Old Shackle Island Road in Hendersonville. A buffet style breakfast is available for $7 per person. » Lunch With Santa, Whitten Elementary School, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Annual lunch with Santa event. Kids come and eat pizza and visit with Santa. Pictures available for extra cost. » ASA Winter Meeting and Hall of Fame Banquet, meeting 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at Hendersonville City Hall. Banquet is 6-9 p.m. in the community room at the Hendersonville Library. » Candle Light Tour at Historic Rock Castle, 7-9 p.m. Enjoy Christmas music and decorations of the period. Refreshments will be served in the Visitors’ Center. $3 admission, free for members.

Reach Dessislava Yankova at 575-7170 or dyankova@ mtcngroup.com.

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Saturday, Nov. 23

» Sumner Academy’s “The Great Gatsby” Auction. Black-tie (optional) event features live entertainment, signature Gatsby cocktails, vintage photo booth, magnificent auction items and more. Contact Sumner Academy at 615-452-1914 » Arc of Cumberland Valley Harvest Craft Fair in the Hendersonville Church of Christ Student Ministries Youth Hangar Building in the Community Room, 142 Imperial Blvd. in the Imperial Square Shopping Center, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Proceeds will go to Project 22, a social club for young adults

chian Cherokee girl and her journey through life, Hendersonville Public Library, 2-5 p.m.

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SUMNER A.M. SUNDAY » DECEMBER 22, 2013 » GALLATIN, TENNESSEE » SERVING SUMNER COUNTY SINCE 1840

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City judge is reprimanded Board: Kittrell violated judicial conduct by having daughter’s ticket dismissed By Josh Cross Sumner A.M.

Gallatin City Recorder and Judge Connie Kittrell violated state judicial conduct rules when she had a city employee dismiss her daughter’s traffic citation in 2012, according to findings by the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct.

Kittrell was publicly reprimanded for her actions in a letter signed by board chairman Judge Chris Craft and filed with the Tennessee Supreme Court Clerk’s office Thursday. “You have indicated that you never intended to confer a benefit on this relative by your dismissal of the citation,” the letter stated. “However, you have also

Portland settles PD lawsuit for $200K

recognized that your handling of this matter violated the Code of Judicial Conduct and you have given assurances that this would not happen again.” According to the board’s website, a public reprimand “details the findings of judicial misconduct and lists reasons why such conduct is improper and a discredit to the judiciary.” It is the lowest form of discipline that the state board can impose by law, Craft said in a statement Thursday. In September, City Attorney

Joe Thompson filed a formal complaint with the state board after Misty Cowan, a customer service clerk in the reKittrell corder’s office, lodged a grievance with city officials against Kittrell in her capacity as judge. Kittrell and her attorneys, William “Butch” Moore Jr. and David Bearman, had asked for the complaint to be dismissed in

ONLINE

Read a copy of the board’s public reprimand of Connie Kittrell at GallatinNewsExaminer.com.

a signed response to the complaint dated Oct. 28. Moore declined to comment Thursday. Kittrell did not return a request for comment. The complaint stemmed from the Aug. 1, 2012, dismissal of a traffic citation issued to

» JUDGE, 3M

‘ONE DAY AT A TIME’

Council votes 4-2 to end legal dispute By Dessislava Yankova Gallatin News Examiner

Two former Portland police officers are receiving a total of $200,000 in a settlement of their federal lawsuit against the city and individual council members. The Portland City Council voted 4-2 Monday to settle the lawsuit former employees Dana Heckart and Melvin McLerran filed in 2012 alleging First Amendment rights violations and defamation by city leadHeckart ers. The two formerly high-ranked officers claimed their constitutional rights were violated when Heckart was fired and McLerran was demoted after allegations that the two ofMcLerran ficers made threats against city officials during a March 2010 Portland Police Department meeting. Under the settlement agreement, McLerran and Heckart will receive

» LAWSUIT, 3M

Attorney’s license suspended for 3 years By Josh Cross Sumner A.M.

A former Sumner County lawyer has been suspended from practicing law for three years by the Tennessee Supreme Court for violating rules of professional conduct. In February, the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee filed a petition for discipline against Michael Scott Collins for his mishandling of two former clients’ cases. In one instance, Collins was paid $27,500 as a retaining fee to represent a client in a post-divorce criminal contempt proceeding in Davidson County, said Russ Willis, the disciplinary council assigned to handle the complaint. The client’s mother then retained Collins for $2,103 to recover certain personal property. A three-member hearing panel determined Collins “failed to provide agreed-upon legal services to his cli-

» ATTORNEY, 3M

Darlene Rush, center, who is battling cancer, at her home with grandchildren Brayden, 7, left, and Kinsley, 2, when members of Portland’s Relay for Life surprised her. Santa Claus himself, played by Danny Eldridge, was there Dec. 3 in Portland. PHOTOS BY DESSISLAVA YANKOVA / SUMNER A.M.

Community shows true holiday spirit

Portland locals rally around cancer patient By Dessislava Yankova Sumner A.M.

S

haring the holidays with loved ones has a new meaning for one Portland family. “Battling cancer makes spending any time you have with your family special,” said Portland resident Darlene Rush, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. “I rely on my family, friends and church.” With Christmas just around the corner, the Portland community has united around Rush, who is facing the holidays while fighting for her life.

Janice Ferrett, left, holds the hand of longtime friend Darlene Rush, right, who is battling cancer.

» CANCER, 4M

DARLENE RUSH

ONLINE

Watch members of Portland’s Relay for Life surprise Darlene Rush at GallatinNewsExaminer.com.

Portland club looks to rebuild after June fire By Dessislava Yankova Sumner A.M.

Members of Portland’s Dogwood Hills Country Club have united to clean up the site of their clubhouse, which burned to the ground in June, and hope to start rebuilding by spring. Police charged 19-yearold Nathan Brownlee in September with arson, burglary and theft over $1,000 in relation to the fire. Brownlee made his $100,000 bail two days after his arrest. Brownlee’s November court date was continued to Feb. 6, 2014. This week, club members

were removing rubble from the property every day and salvaging what they could, said Jeff Goodwin, a member of 20 years. “We’re trying to do all we can do ourselves,” Goodwin said Thursday. “Everything you see out there is people volunteering time, equipment and whatever they can. I’m going out there after work with my shovel to help get it all cleaned up.” Since the fire, the community club’s board of directors has had difficulty receiving reimbursement from the

» FIRE, 3M

233,000 people in Sumner County read our newspapers and use our websites every week. GallatinNewsExaminer.com

“I just pray a lot, put my faith in God, and face each day as it comes.”

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Members have been clearing debris at the site of Portland’s Dogwood Hills Country Club house, which was destroyed by fire in June. CHRISTOPHER LADD / SUMNER A.M.

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NEWS

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2013 •

Settlement includes changes to city personnel files »LAWSUIT FROM 1M

In 2011, a secret recording of a 2010 Portland police meeting, in which the officers expressed discontent with cuts to the department, was brought

MIKE CALLIS Portland City Council

before the council. As a result, McLerran, who had worked for the department for 14 years, reaching the rank of lieutenant, was initially fired and later reinstated but demoted. As part of the settlement, McLerran was reinstated as a lieutenant but tendered his imWilber mediate resignation due to a physical condition that hinders his ability to work. Any termination and demotion letters will be removed from McLerran’s personnel file. Tennessee Office of Open Records Counsel Elisha Hodge said Friday the

Insurance change

In addition to the monetary compensation, Heckart’s settlement asks the city to provide upon request a reference citing his dates of employment only. He will now be “permitted resignation in good standing with no alternation of personnel file,” which will still reflect his termination, according to the settlement and Heckart’s attorney David Coop-

er.

Heckart worked for the Portland Police Department for 10 years, reaching the rank of sergeant. Cooper said he was “very happy” the lawsuit had reached its conclusion. The settleCallis ment was reached after mediation that lasted for more than 12 hours on Nov. 19, but could not become final until the council voted on it Monday. The city’s insurance policy had originally covered only the legal defense fees, but insurers agreed to make an exception and cover half of the settlement. The city has changed its policy to also cover settlements, Wilber said. McLerran’s attorney W. Gary Blackburn did not return calls for comment. Contact Dessislava Yankova at dyankova@mtcngroup.com.

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2010 meeting

documents must still be part of the public record and would be subject to a public records request. The city will also de-annex McLerran’s home on North Leah Road as part of the deal. The annexation was requested by McLerran in 2009 when his wife, Erin McLerran, was on the Portland City Council. The city said in a statement that the involved parties are “pleased to announce a resolution” of McLerran’s lawsuit. The city declined specific comment regarding the settlement with Heckart. “Basically, the settlement speaks for itself,” Mayor Ken Wilber said.

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TE IN TY T VO BESICIAN OUN C Y S ER PH MN SU

$150,000 and $50,000, respectively, to dismiss their claims. Portland will pay $100,000 while the other half will be covered by the city’s insurer, Tennessee Municipal League Risk Management Pool. While Heckart had asked for unspecified compensation, McLerran had claimed up to $8 million in damages. Part of McLerran’s compensation covers counseling for “significant emotional distress,” according to the settlement. Mike Callis was one of the two council members to vote against the settlement Monday. “I understand the need for settlement, but I feel we ended up going further than I was willing to go,” he said in a phone interview. “I couldn’t agree to what was being done as a whole.”

“I feel we ended up going further than I was willing to go.”

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Board publicly reprimands Kittrell »JUDGE FROM 1M

desk after her daughter called and told her she was in compliance with the violations, according to her response. The ticket later “became misplaced” on her desk and was not found until Aug. 1, 2012, at which point Kittrell took the citation to Cowan. By having her daughter’s ticket dismissed, Kittrell violated two sections of the state’s judicial conduct standards, the reprimand said. One section has to do with promoting confidence in the judiciary while the other re-

Kittrell’s daughter, Kara Havron, on Feb. 25, 2011, for expired tags and no proof of insurance. Havron, who had insurance at the time she was stopped and later renewed her vehicle registration, did not provide proof to the city recorder’s office before her April 1, 2011, court date, which she failed to attend, records show. Around May 2011, Kittrell said she pulled Havron’s citation for dismissal and placed it on her

»FIRE FROM 1M club’s insurance company. “They’re trying not to pay,” said Goodwin, one of seven board members. “They’re saying some of the alarm was not monitored properly.” Those who belong to the club, however, are determined to move on. Each day, between two and 15 members have helped clear the site, said Goodwin, whose father, Larry Goodwin, was a founding charter member of the 44-yearold golf course. “We’re going to get it rebuilt in spite of anything,” he said. “This is our hometown golf course and we will take care of it no matter what. We may get knocked down but we won’t stay down.” In the meantime, the Gallatin Country Club and the Franklin Country Club in Kentucky have welcomed Portland’s 110 Dogwood members, Goodwin said.

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quires a judge to disqualify themselves from any proceedings that involve a spouse or other close family member, such as a child, sibling or grandparent. Thursday’s public reprimand of Kittrell was the third of a judge in the state this year, according to the board’s website. Since 2008, the board has publicly reprimanded 23 judges.

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‘Improper’ fees charged »ATTORNEY FROM 1M ents, failed to communicate timely with his clients regarding the status of their respective cases and misled his clients regarding the status of their respective cases,” according to a statement from the state board. Collins’ actions violated nine different professional conduct rules, the statement said. The panel found that his retainer fees and $10,000 charge “to become a member of his ‘professional family’ ” unrelated to any legal services constituted “improper and unreasonable” fees.

Reach Dessislava Yankova at 575-7170 or dyankova@ mtcngroup.com. Follow her on Twitter @desspor.

COMMUNITY EVENTS Thursday, Dec. 28

Restitution ordered

» Sumner Trails Chapter of Tennessee Trails will lead a 4 mile hike on the Ashland City Bicentennial Greenway, carpooling from Hendersonville.

As part of his suspension, effective Dec. 10, Collins must contact the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program (TLAP), pay restitution to the two former clients in the amount of $29,603,

and pay the cost and expense of the disciplinary proceedings. As a result of the suspension, the board will notify all other jurisdictions nationwide of the order, Chief Disciplinary Council Sandy Garrett said. “If (Collins) is licensed in another jurisdiction, it’s most likely and most certain that they would suspend his license as well based on the Tennessee order,” she said. Payment of restitution and contact with TLAP must take place before Collins can be reinstated to practice law, according to the board statement. Collins was initially suspended Aug. 31, 2012, for noncompliance with continuing legal education requirements and had not been reinstated. Reporter Josh Cross can be reached at 575-7115 or jcross@mtcngroup.com.

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