By SAM HATCHER
We were sorry to read in The Lebanon Democrat this week that J.B. Leftwich is foregoing his regular column. His contributions to The Democrat have been invaluable over the past several decades as he has shared personal observations, insights and humorous recollections with readers.
It was Col. Leftwich, his title during a lengthy career in education at Castle Heights Military Academy, who first introduced me to journalism. To this day I and I am sure many other former Heights cadets cannot call him J.B. as do many of his peers and friends, but refer to him still as Colonel.
He is responsible for and has influenced the successful careers of a number of journalists. Some of these practiced their talents locally, others in nearby Nashville at either The Tennessean or the former Nashville Banner and many won distinguish awards for reporting and editing in cities far away from the local area.
Col. Leftwich’s corps of students includes Pulitzer winners, nationally acclaimed editors, photographers, and even some who have made careers in journalism on the business side. One former student at Castle Heights, at least for a summer curriculum, went on to become a reporter for The Tennessean and eventually found his way into politics being elected first to Congress, then the U.S. Senate and finally serving as Vice President of the United States.
While many of us here see him as a columnist of significant measure, it is equally important to recognize the broad influence he has had on the field of journalism through his teachings and inspiration while still engaged at Castle Heights.
We’re assured that Col. Leftwich’s columns will continue but perhaps not at the frequency as they have in the past. He’s going to be writing but just not on a regular basis.
We have certainly been entertained and enlightened by his writing and look forward to reading his future columns.
But today we want to just say “thanks” for all you have done for the field of journalism beyond your personal column.
Wilson County Board of Education meeting, scheduled originally for 5 p.m., Monday, Jan. 10, has been changed to 5 p.m., Monday, Jan. 17, 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.
Wilson County Commission’s Finance Committee will meet at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 11, in Conference Room 2, Wilson County Courthouse, Lebanon.
Human Resources Ad Hoc Committee will meet at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 11, in Conference Room 2, courthouse.
Wilson County 911 Board will meet at 4 p.m., Monday, Jan. 10, at the 911 office at 1611 West Main Street, Lebanon.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Bluegrass/Country Music at Timberline Campground will be at 6 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 8, featuring Sue Rollins and Pulltight Express Band. Everyone is welcome. Admission is free.
Unity Church, 222 Cainsville Road, Lebanon, will have a gospel singing at 7 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 8, with guest singers The Kinslows and others. Everyone is welcome. The pastor is Brother Kenneth Bowen.
Wilson County Conservatives will meet at 9:15 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 8, at Logan’s Roadhouse at Providence MarketPlace in Mt. Juliet.
Wilson County Republican Party will meet at 9 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 8, at WCRP Headquarters located at Kevin’s Automotive, 500 South Cumberland Street, Suite C, Lebanon (directly behind 231 Car Sales). Guest speaker will be Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto. For information, call Kevin Foushee at 444-5732 or visit the website at www.wilsongop.org.
Gladeville Community Center Men’s Club had to postpone shoots scheduled in December due to weather and holidays. The final shoot will be held on Sunday, Jan. 9, beginning at noon. For information, call Earl Ray at 604-5735 or Tommy Knowles at 443-4522.
Basic Financial Training, a free workshop, will be offered from 6 until 8:30 p.m., Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 10-11, and Tuesday, Jan. 18, in the Castle Heights Upper Elementary School Library. You need to attend all three nights – get a free credit check. RSVP by calling 453-2693 or 804-2460 or email email@example.com. Childcare will be provided. Topics include “Understanding My Money,” “Budget Basics” “Understanding My Credit” and “Renting vs. Owning My Home.”
Wilson County Democratic Party will meet at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 10, at the Gentry Building at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center, Lebanon. Plans for 2011 will be discussed including the Chili Cook-Off to be held Saturday, March 5. All Democrats are urged to attend. For information, call 444-3838.
Wilson County Democratic Women will meet at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 11, in the Gentry Building at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center, Lebanon. Members are encouraged to make donations that will go to assist the Mt. Juliet Help Center. Items will also be collected for the Brooks House. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Lebanon Area Crohn’s & Colitis Support Group will be held on the second Tuesday of each month from 6:15 until 8:30 p.m. at the University Medical Center Board Room. The next meeting will be Jan. 11, and Dr. Ronald Cole will be the guest speaker. Michelle Chianese from the Tennessee Chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America will also attend. Light refreshments will be provided.
Lebanon High School’s True Blue Parent Group will meet at 6 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 13, in the library at LHS. The topic will be Bullying and Cyberbullying.
Wilson County Right to Life will meet at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 18, at First Baptist Church, Mt. Juliet. For information, call Trecia Dillingham at 443-5458/
West Hills Baptist Church will be a host site for Angel Food Ministries in January. Order dates for January are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 17 and Tuesday, Jan. 18. The disbursement date is Saturday, Jan. 22 from 8 to 10 a.m. Orders may be placed on their website www.westhillsbaptistchurch.com and click on the Angel Food link by using a credit/debit card. In order to pay with an EBT card or in cash, you must place your order in the church office.
Wilson County Beekeepers Association will offer a three-night course on beginning beekeeping Tuesday, Jan. 18, through Thursday, Jan. 20, also in the West Building at the Ward Ag Center. The course begins at 7 each night and will end about 9 p.m. Cost is $25 per person or $45 per couple and includes membership in the WCBA, a one-year membership in the Tennessee Beekeepers Association and a copy of Beekeeping in Tennessee. To reserve your place, or for information, call Petra Mitchell at 286-2529 by Jan. 15.
Communitywide Red Cross Training (formerly Mass Care) will be from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 22, in the Fellowship Hall at First United Methodist Church, 415 West Main Street, Lebanon. This is the class required to get a Red Cross badge and a background check will be needed (provided by Red Cross online). This can also be a refresher class for those who previously took the classes because procedures change. Also, a training class on Shelter Operations and Shelter Simulation will be from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 29, also in the Fellowship Hall at First UMC. There will be a lunch break or bring your lunch. Prepare to help Wilson County shelters function in the next disaster. Sign up for one or both classes by emailing Patty Caldwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Valerie at the local Red Cross office at 878-9080.
Lebanon High School Class of 1971 is planning a 40-year reunion to be held June 11. 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, P.O. Box 857, Lebanon, TN 37088-857; 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 SAM HATCHER, The Wilson Post
While the economy has taken a toll on some revenues locally, it has not been all bad for the local tourism industry. County Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Ricky Rodriguez said Thursday that tourism is still the fifth largest industry in Wilson County.
His remarks in an interview with The Wilson Post followed his department’s annual report that was distributed this week. In that report, Rodriguez points out that Wilson County’s tourism industry is alive and well with a number of positive points over the immediate preceding year.
Hotel occupancy rates, reported at 50 percent for 2010, jumped 7 percent over the previous year. Hotel room rates were also shown to increase for the period which had a positive impact on the amount of sales tax dollars received.