By BECKY ANDREWS
A few days ago Angel turned the big 4-0. Yep, four whole decades. This is a big deal and there’s no way I could forget about this monumental day. Mainly because she’d been reminding me of it once a week since she turned 38.
So to celebrate, I planned a day out with a few of our close friends. We were going to lunch at a great little restaurant that serves the most delicious fried bread, shopping and I was taking Angel to get her eyebrows shaped — my treat. I had mine shaped a few weeks earlier and Angel wanted to try it so this was the perfect time.
Dear Ken: Did the Muppets ever make a Christmas TV special? I remember a show with Muppet-like characters set along a river and with lots of music.
That was a masterpiece from the late Jim Henson and his creative crew of Muppet makers. The title was “Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas,” and it was about a poor boy (an otter named Emmet) and his pals who form a jug band to compete in the Frogtown Hollow talent show for 50 greenbacks. It debuted in 1977 but has not been on TV in ages. Fortunately, it has been released on DVD and is a winner in my book for kids of all ages. The songs, such as “The Old Bathing Suit That Your Grandma Otter Wore,” were written by Paul Williams. Go rent this one and watch with the youngsters.
By ANGEL KANE
If you are like the ladies at Wilson Living, the next two weeks are “go time” as we all run around town picking up last minute Christmas gifts for family and friends. But before you head to the stores, make sure to clip and use your SHOP WILSON LIVING COUPONS courtesy of Wilson Living and various local merchants.
The coupons can be found on either Page 37 of your December Wilson Living Magazine or log on to www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com and click SHOP WILSON.
By RAY POPE
Late Friday evening I was visiting my neighbor Ashley Boyd and her son Andrew, along with Aleia Fish, Ashley’s cousin. I had promised Aleia before she left to get her one of my leftover popcorn balls for her to enjoy later.
As we walked out the door I happened to look in my back yard where I saw a huge pile of feathers. Right in the middle of the feathers was a Coopers Hawk feeding on one of my Eurasian Collared Doves. It was easy to walk up to about seven feet of him before he took flight with his prize clutched in his talons, only to land in the Black Cherry tree on the back property line to finish his meal.
I hate to lose one of my birds, especially when they seem like family to all of us birders. I woke up the next morning and checked to see what was feeding in the back yard. No birds in sight, so with binoculars in hand and with a quick search of the Cherry tree, I finally found the Hawk, back perched waiting for another bird to take his mind off his own safety. It would be great if the Hawks would develop a taste for starlings.
With the snow on the ground, there will be a plethora of hungry birds waiting on their human of choice to refill the feeders. Please remember to scatter some seed on the ground for the scratchers that will not feed on the feeders, such as the Doves, and many of the other Sparrows species.
By KEN BECK, Special to The Wilson Post
“So this my Christmas prayer is not for toys and dolls. It’s thanking you for Christmas gifts, You’ve given to us all.”—A Christmas Prayer
Amy Parker’s newest children’s book, A Christmas Prayer, presents a youngster’s reflections one snowy Christmas evening as he prays to God thanking Him for those present at the Nativity, especially for His greatest Gift of all. These include the angel Gabriel, Mary, Joseph, the donkey, the bright star, the shepherds and, of course, the baby Jesus.
“The book is instilling gratitude in children around Christmas time. It teaches children to be grateful for the Christmas gifts that they have already been given, and then it goes through the characters around the Nativity,” said Parker, who grew up in Watertown. “It kind of turns the Christmas list up on its end—of what they have to be grateful for this Christmas and every Christmas.”
Parker lives in Murfreesboro with her husband, Daniel, a registered land surveyor, and their sons, Michael, 16, and Ethan, 6. She graduated from Watertown High School in 1994. She will present a story time and sign A Christmas Prayer, along with cookies and craft, from 5:30-8 p.m., Thursday, at Rutland Elementary School in Mt. Juliet
By PEGGY KEEL
As a native of Lebanon, I have always known this is a special place with special people. The love and support my family has received the past several years has proven it. As the owner of Sports Village, I never planned to leave, but then I met Johnny Keel, an owner of health clubs in Austin, Texas. We married and lived in Austin for five years. Johnny was truly in his element as a well-known resident of the city, both as a businessman and a golfer.
However, as we traveled to Lebanon to visit family and check on Sports Village, we began to realize that Lebanon was the place for us. As we discussed moving back, I worried about Johnny. He was accustomed to playing the finest golf courses in Austin, and Lebanon had two courses, one of which was nine holes. It seemed that everyone in Austin knew him, and here no one did. I really did not know if he could make the adjustment. I was totally wrong. He worked diligently as Sports Village; joined the Rotary Club of Lebanon; and took part in Leadership Wilson. We joined the First United Methodist Church, which sustained us through many difficult times. Soon, Johnny knew more people in Lebanon than I did.
Johnny grew to love Lebanon as much as I have, and through illness we discovered how much Lebanon loved us. In 2001, I faced death as an unknown benign tumor ruptured. On life support for five days, the doctors were not sure my heart could withstand the trauma. Thankfully, I had spent years teaching aerobics. Exercise and Johnny’s “never give up” attitude pulled me through, along with the prayers of family, friends, church members and Sports Village members. Johnny and I got our first glimpse of the wonderful Christian community Lebanon truly is.
In 2003, we learned that Johnny had Stage Four colon cancer, and a difficult seven-year journey began. However, it was made easier by the outpouring of love and support from the people of Lebanon. Your prayers, cards and concerns kept Johnny fighting through the most difficult days. Johnny often commented that if he had not lived here, then he would not have lived as long. Your prayers pulled him through. I asked Johnny several years ago where he would like to be buried, here or Texas. He did not hesitate. A native Texan who loved his state, Lebanon, Tennessee was his home and where he wanted to be.
I thank everyone for their support through the years. Johnny and I could not have made it through without the support of our community; our church and all of the other churches; the medical community; the members of Sports Village; and our family. Johnny sincerely loved everyone of you. It is hard to appreciate something fully until you need it, and we all appreciate the people of Lebanon. Johnny learned what I always knew. Lebanon is the BEST city in the WORLD to live.
As Johnny would want, Sports Village will continue to grow and improve as it has for the past 23 years. Together we had a mission to improve everyone’s health, and we will continue to strive for that goal. We have new equipment and programs coming in January 2011. Tennessee currently ranks second in obesity, and the Sports Village staff is dedicated to fighting this problem. Johnny believed, and I continue to believe, in treating your body well with good nutrition, exercise and regular check-ups. We put together a list of vitamins, foods and scriptures essential for a healthy life. Free copies are available at Sports Village. I strive to give as Johnny and I received. If I can ever help anyone at anytime please do not hesitate to call.
And as Johnny would say, please get a colonoscopy.
Thank You to Everyone.
Faces of Hope Children’s Therapy Center has started Social Skills Classes for special needs children with any challenge. Teen social skills meet Mondays at 4 p.m.; pre-school social skills meet Tuesdays at 3 p.m.; and elementary school social skills meets Thursdays at 4 p.m. Classes are $15 per session. Call 206-1176 for signups. Special soccer and field hockey meet every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. at 185 West Franklin Street, Gallatin.
InkLink Recycling is accepting used ink cartridges and old cell phones at the following locations: The Lebanon Democrat, Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce, WANT FM 98.9, Rose Tire, Burchett Ford and Quick Lane. Proceeds from all cartridges and cell phones collected goes to New Leash on Life and Books from Birth. For information, call 444-4615.
Wilson County Adult Learning Center offers classes for anyone interested in achieving his or GED diploma. Classes are held in Lebanon and in Mt. Juliet. For information, call the Adult Learning Center at 443-8731.
Lebanon Toastmasters meet every Monday at 6:30 p.m. in the Spain House on the Lebanon First United Methodist Church campus at 415 West Main Street, Lebanon. Visitors are welcome. Toastmasters is an organization dedicated to improving communication and leadership skills. For information, call 444-0126.
Lebanon Meals on Wheels program is looking for volunteers to deliver meals to homebound seniors in the area. Meal routes range from about 10-15 people. Volunteers arrive at 9:30 a.m. and are done by 10:30. If you are interested, contact Jessica at 449-3488 between the hours of 8 a.m. to noon, Monday through Thursday.
Wilson County Food Pantry at Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency offers food boxes. Information needed to obtain a food box includes proof of 2010 income and Social Security numbers of everyone in the household. The Food Pantry is open from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. For information, contact Community Service Associate Gayla Brooks at 444-4714 or email email@example.com. You may also visit online at www.mid-cumberlandcaa.com. MCCAA is at 233 Legends Drive, Lebanon.
Telephone Pioneer Cookbooks Volume I and III are now on sale. All proceeds benefit the Pioneer Museum. To purchase one or for information, call 444-3096 or 444-0940.
Do you like to write, but aren’t sure how to go about it, where to start, or what to do with what you already have? A new arm of the West Wilson Arts Alliance is gearing up, and you can join other local writers for support, networking and critique groups. Send your contact information along with a writing sample and some basic information about you and what you like to write to TnWriterEditor@gmail.com, with WW Writers Guild in the subject line for consideration and more information.
Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Wilson County is in need of volunteers who would like to reach out to those in need in Wilson County. Volunteers must be age 55 or older. If you are interested in participating or partnering with the program, call 443-7606 or 742-1113, ext. 10.
Agape has contracted with Maple Hill church of Christ to provide counseling services in Lebanon. Licensed Clinical Social Worker Diana Crawford will be available at the church building on Mondays from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. She sees children and adults. For information, call 547-4244.
AL-ANON and ALATEEN family groups are a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength and hope in order to solve their common problems. They believe alcoholism is a family illness and that changed attitudes can aid in recovery. There is a local AL-ANON and ALATEEN meeting in Lebanon every week. For information, call Harriett at 444-2852 or Linda at 444-8437.
First Wednesdays of each month a Healing Service is held by Sister A.A.A. Stafford at the Sports Village Complex, 1735 West Main Street, Lebanon, beginning at 10:15 a.m.
HomeSafe Women’s Support Group meets Thursday evenings. For information and to sign up, call 444-6130. If you need help with an order of protection for domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking, contact HomeSafe at 444-8955.
Volunteers needed for elderly nursing home residents to assist the Ombudsman Program in visiting elderly residents of long-term care facilities and to advocate for these residents. Requirements include patience, persistence, ability to be objective and concern for the vulnerable elderly population. For more information or to register for training, call the Ombudsman Program at 452-5259 or 452-1687.
Lebanon Beer Board will meet at 4 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 15, in the Town Meeting Hall, City of Lebanon Administration Building at Castle Heights, to consider the application of Reinaldo Vilanova-Ramos d/b/a Elados Y Antogitos Mexicanaos, Don Carlitos, located at 216 South Maple Street, Lebanon, for on the premises consumption.
Lebanon Airport Commission will meet at noon, Thursday, Dec. 16, at the Lebanon Municipal Airport, 760 Franklin Road. Design of the new terminal will be discussed.
Wilson County Commission EMA Committee will meet at 7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 16, in the WEMA Training Center on Oak Street, Lebanon.
“The Gift” will be presented by Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church at 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 18. There will be a special guest after the Christmas play. The church is at 230 Lower Helton Road in Alexandria, off Highway 53. Turn by the DeKalb Community Bank. For information, call Brother Javin at 237-9931.
Wilson County Black History Committee begins its celebration of Kwanzaa with festivities at noon on Saturday, Dec. 18, in the Roy Bailey African American History Museum located at 115 East Main Street in Lebanon. Refreshments will be served, and the public is invited. There is no charge for admission, but donations are appreciated. For information, call 739-2283, or the Roy Bailey African American History Museum at 449-2911, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wilson County Election Commission will meet at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Dec. 20, in Conference Room 2, Wilson County Courthouse, Lebanon.
Breast Cancer Friends support group meets the third Monday night of each month at 6:30 p.m. at Maple Hill church of Christ located on the corner of West Main Street and Maple Hill road, Lebanon. Those who have had breast cancer in the past or are dealing with it now are welcome to attend. Join everyone Monday, Dec. 20, for an old-fashioned Christmas party. Friends will share a potluck meal, decorate an ornament as your take-home gift and sing Christmas carols. Bring yourself and your favorite dish for the potluck, nothing else required. For details, call Melanie at 444-6106 or Jean at 504-1147.
Lebanon City Council regular meeting will be 6 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 21, in the Town Meeting Hall, City of Lebanon Administration Building at Castle Heights.
City of Lebanon Sanitation Holiday Schedule is as follows: There will be regular pickup for Christmas Eve, Dec. 24 with no change in schedule for that day. There will be regular pickup for New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31 with no change in schedule for that day.
Christmasland, an annual Christmas display presented by Pastor Kenneth Bowen of Unity Church and located on Trousdale Ferry Pike, Lebanon, is open from 5 until 9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and from 5 until 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, now through Sunday, Dec. 26.
Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency Recertification for Commodities for the year 2011 will be from 9 a.m. until noon, beginning Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011, at the Watertown Community Center, and from 9 until 11 a.m., beginning Monday, Jan. 10, at the Garden of Prayer on Bluebird Road, Lebanon. You must provide proof of monthly income, Social Security numbers and birthdates for all household members.
Wilson County Board of Education will meet in regular session at 5 p.m., Monday, Jan. 10, 2011 at the Central Office, 351 Stumpy Lane, Lebanon. All items to be considered for the agenda must be faxed to 758-3775 to Rose Ratagick no later than noon, Monday, Dec. 27.
Lebanon High School Class of 1971 is planning a 40-year reunion to be held June 11, 2011. Call one of the following people with your contact information: Teresa Halbert at 444-5995, Phil Bragg at 444-4941, Jo Smith at 444-8811 or Brownie Hall at 444-5173.
To submit items for the calendar, you can mail them to The Wilson Post, 216 Hartmann Drive, Lebanon, Tenn. 37087, or e-mail them to email@example.com. Items for the calendar will not be taken over the phone. The Wilson Post reserves the right to reject items deemed not appropriate for the calendar.
By TOMI L. WILEY, Special to The Wilson Post
MT. JULIET — An additional ambulance to serve the Providence/Del Webb area of Mt. Juliet has ceased that service as of Monday night, officials said Tuesday, after a low number of calls.
Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said Tuesday that the ambulance provided and serviced by Pro Med was working the Providence and Del Webb area “for free,” as “help until we could find a better solution.”
By JENNIFER HORTON, The Wilson Post
A Lebanon man convicted in the past of committing felonies involving a gun has been indicted by a federal grand jury on a weapons charge and could receive a sentence of up to 15 years if found guilty.
Lebanon Police Chief Scott Bowen said the suspect, Montelito F. Johnson, 24, who was arrested at 121 Upton Heights, Lebanon, has a lengthy criminal history.
Johnson was convicted of aggravated assault in 1995, convicted of aggravated robbery in 1998 and convicted of robbery in 2004 in Wilson County and convicted on a felony weapons charge in 2007 in Sumner County.
SERVED 9 YEARS AS FOOTBALL COACH
By TOMMY BRYAN, sports editor
Ending weeks of speculation, Bobby Brown resigned Wednesday as head football coach at Lebanon High. Brown, a graduate of Watertown High where he was a three-sport letter winner, informed the team of his decision during a meeting Wednesday afternoon.
“I’ve tried to be a positive influence on these boys, to help them become better, stronger people as well as football players,” Brown said Wednesday. Brown said he was unsure if he would remain at LHS as an assistant principal.
“I appreciate all that Coach Brown has done for Lebanon High School football and for his dedication during his tenure as our head football coach,” said LHS principal Myra Sloan. “I would like to thank him for his commitment to the football program that he has coached for the past nine years. I have asked the Director of Schools (Mike Davis) to post the position immediately so that the position may be filled as soon as possible.”
OWENSBORO, KY -- Kyle Upton led a trio of Bulldogs in double digits with 18 points, but Cumberland University came up empty against Kentucky Wesleyan Tuesday night as the home team built a large halftime lead and cruised to an 86-65 victory.
Graciano Negron and Lindal Yarbrough added 14 and 13 points, respectively for Coach Lonnie Thompson's 3-6 CU squad.
Cumberland has lost all six of its games away from the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center, where the Bulldogs are a perfect 3-for-3 this season.
CU kept pace with the 11th-ranked NCAA Division II team early on, taking its last lead of the game at 12-11 on a pair of Lindal Yarbrough free throws five minutes into the contest. A short drought left the Bulldogs looking up for the rest of the night as Kentucky Wesleyan (6-1) went on a 16-4 run over the next six minutes.
The Bulldogs responded with a short spurt that brought them within three points, scoring eight of the next nine. The stretch ended with a 3-pointer from Trey Caruthers.
Cumberland would only manage two more points in the final 6:37 of the opening half as KWC built a 40-26 lead at the break.
In the second half, CU couldn’t get any closer than 13 points as the Panthers stretched their advantage to as many as 24 points.
The Bulldogs made six 3-pointers, including two apiece from Haris Batalevic and Negron. Cumberland shot just 45.7 percent, while KWC connected on 63 percent of its attempts from the floor.
Cumberland will break for the holidays and return to action in the College of the Ozarks Classic January 3-4 in Point Lookout, Mo. The Bulldogs next home contest will also mark the beginning of conference play as CU hosts Lyon College on January 6.