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Showing 6 articles from October 19, 2011.

John Sloan - Outdoors

Late October, a time of change

By JOHN L. SLOAN
It was a good summer. Hot but not so dry they could not find water. Browse was plentiful and nutritious. On the occasional cool, foggy mornings, they grazed late in the fields. Bucks still in velvet, joined fawns, does and even turkeys enjoying the taste of autumn and the dew on the grasses. In the afternoon, the does and fawns browsed and bedded in the field edges, fleeing only when approached too close. Summer was good and they entered the early fall fat and sleek.

As the first hints of the coming frosts and freezes tinged the mornings, the acorns began to fall. The trees, mostly red oak were scattered but the nuts were big and nutritious and they fed heavily on them. The odd persimmon held a bounty of fruit and they fed on those.

The velvet was now gone from their antlers and they played and sparred often as they moved in their bachelor groups. The does and fawns, now minus most of their spots, fed more widely separated. The does no longer had to watch every move the fawns made and the naturally curious female fawns began to be less trusting and now inherited some of the wariness of their brothers.

The deer moved through woods, tasting the fresh-fallen maple leaves, gold preferred over red and filled their paunches with greenbriar and honey suckle when they could not find acorns. They began to stay more in the woods while the turkeys still made their morning trips to the fields.

Now came the time of parting. The bachelor groups broke up and the dominant bucks began to range farther, not only in their summer territories but also into new territories. That meant crossing more roads and not always making it safely across. It meant sometimes not so friendly encounters with other bucks. Not serious fighting yet however, behavior that is certainly more aggressive.

As the golden days of October, punctuated by brisk mornings and cold evenings began to change, so did the woods. Mother Nature began to change her clothes from summer to winter dress and so changed the deer herd.

I leave tomorrow for the long anticipated elk hunt in Colorado. Were I not going to the mountains, you can bet I would be somewhere in the deer woods here in Wilson County.

This is the most beautiful time of the year to be in the hardwoods. For we who call ourselves hunters, it may also be the most productive. Late October is my time of year.

We are three to four weeks ahead of the peak of our deer rut. The dynamics of the deer herd have changed. The bucks are at a time that I consider better than the rut. I call it the looking/seeking phase. The bucks are not yet actively chasing does but they are looking for them. They want to know where they will be and more importantly, they want to know where the older, more mature does will be. Those does will come into estrous first.

The smart hunter also wants to know this and now is the time he is most likely to have a chance at the not yet wary mature buck. Often it will be one has never seen before.

Once the guns begin to sound, the bucks will get sneaky and extra smart. Nowright now, is the time to ambush the calm, moving buck and on many days, mid-morning is the prime time to do just that.

Were I not chasing elk through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, you can bet that every morning around 10, I would still be in my treestand or in a good ground blind.

If that is, I still had any interest in killing a mature whitetail buck. So good luck to you, I have a plane to catch.

UPDATE -- Colorado trip canceled
In last weeks column, I wrote about my upcoming trip to Colorado to hunt elk. I have had to cancel that hunt. As bad as I hate to admit it, I am not physically able to handle that type of hunt.

I made the decision last week after a deer hunt here one morning. It was not a special hunt. So far this year I have killed three deer and gotten along just fine.

However, one day last week, after a couple hours in the stand, I climbed down and decided to take a short walk and just look around. It was nothing strenuous but I found I had to lie down for a few minutes before walking back to the truck.

That told me I have no business fooling around in the mountains chasing elk.

So, theMiddle Tennesseedeer had better watch out. I am getting serious about now.

Contact the author John L. Sloan at:
bowriter1944john@aol.com

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General News

Council finally approves 2011-2012 budget

By PATRICK HALL, The Wilson Post
After months of back-and-forth debate and a handful of proposals, Lebanon City Council passed a $19.95 million budget for fiscal year 2011-2012 on third and final reading Tuesday night during the regular meeting.

An amendment was offered to remove fees charged for children playing sports at city facilities in Lebanon. The revenue from the fees totaled around $33,000 next year. The council unanimously agreed the fees had a minimal impact on the budget and could be scrapped.

The $33,000 wouldnt be a big deal anyway, said Ward 6 Councilor Kathy Warmath.

The fees would have been $15 for kids in baseball, softball and soccer leagues such as the Kiwanis, Rotary and Lions Club leagues where participants are not charged to play by the respective civic clubs. The fee would also have applied to leagues such as girls softball where participants already pay a fee to participate.

Prior to the meeting, M.F. Donnell, president of the Lebanon Rotary Baseball league, spoke to the council during a public hearing held concerning the budget. Donnell asked the council to withdraw the fees from its budget.

If this passes it will put a burden on the Rotary Club, Donnell said.

He pointed out the club would not require families to pay the $15 for their children to participate and said the club would instead pay the city for each player next spring.

The City of Lebanon operates two sports leagues, Junior Pro Football and Junior Pro Basketball and charges $40 for each player in football and $30 for each player in basketball. The money goes to pay for equipment and uniforms for each participant.

Donnell said the clubs that run other sports leagues that do not charge fees cover those costs themselves and give children a chance to play for free.

Our organization and others provide that overhead so that children can play baseball for free, Donnell said.

The city maintains the baseball and softball fields where these leagues play and William Porter, recreation director for the city, said they do not charge the clubs for those services, but at times the clubs will buy dirt or other items for the fields.

They go out and try to get businesses in the community to help with those costs, Porter said.

He pointed out there are other civic clubs and local organizations that have donated money, materials and work-in-kind to help improve the facilities used by the civic groups.

Donnell said the Rotary Club polled participants in last years baseball league and said 67 percent of the parents would rather have fund raisers than pay a fee to help the club with costs. He noted the club has one large fund raiser every year for the baseball league.

I think the kids should get a break, said Ward 3 Councilor Rob Cesternino. He added that he would make a motion to withdraw the fee but pointed out he was going to vote no for the budget so he recommended another councilor make the motion.

Cesternino later said he opposed the budget proposal because it does not generate enough revenue for the city to provide necessary services. He felt the city should raise property taxes to allow them to pave roads among other things.

We dont have a spending problem, we have a revenue problem, he said.

Also opposed to the budget was Ward 5 Councilor Haywood Barry, who has also been supportive of a property tax increase for some time. He said an earlier proposal of a 15 cent tax increase would have been satisfactory for him.

Ive felt for a number of years now that we need a property tax increase, he said.

Warmath pointed out that Russell Lee, commissioner of finance and revenue, who was absent from the meeting, had previously told the council the citys sales tax collections were $700,000 more than anticipated.

That increase in revenue would drop the amount taken from the Rainy Day Fund to about $600,000, according to Cesternino. Warmath also noted the increased sales tax revenue made the sports fees insignificant in next years budget.

The council approved the budget on third and final reading by a vote of 4-2 with Cesternino and Barry voting no.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at phall@wilsonpost.com.

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Location, design for 'Tango' site revealed

By PATRICK HALL, The Wilson Post
A preliminary meeting of the Lebanon Planning Commission Tuesday revealed site plans for a large distribution center located off State Route 840, revealing the possible location and design plans for "Project Tango".

Planners met Tuesday morning to set the items for its regular meetings agenda and included site plans for a 1,015,740 square-foot distribution center on Duke Drive off State Route 840 in the Park 840 industrial area. The building was labeled only as Building 300.

For the past several months, Lebanon and Wilson County officials have been recruiting a secret company known only as Project Tango, to locate here and bring up to 1,700 jobs to the community.

Recently, Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty said the company targeted by Project Tango is in fact Amazon.

Project Tango reportedly involved two 1 million square foot facilities, a sorting facility and a non-sorting facility. The sorting facility would employ about 1,200 workers while the other would employ up to 500.

In July, Amazon signed a two-year lease with Duke Realty, locating a 500,000 square-foot distribution center on Duke Drive just off Central Pike in Lebanon. Since July, the company has hired thousands for that distribution center.

Jim Harrison of Civil Site Design Group in Nashville, who developed the site plan and who was present at the meeting, kept details about the tenant of Building 300 under wraps. All public officials and people involved in recruiting Project Tango have signed non-disclosure forms.

Im not at liberty to say publicly right now, Harrison said when asked about the buildings tenant.

He said the property owners and tenant are working on a purchase agreement for the land.

Also, Harrison said they are trying to get all the preliminary steps out of the way in terms of the project and said they are covering all their bases.

ProVenture Commercial Real Estate owns two large parcels of land off SR 840 in Lebanon, one adjacent to Permobil with around 97 acres available and another in front of Amazons current location with around 27 acres available.

According to the site plan, Building 300 would be located on the 97-acre parcel adjacent to Permobil and bordered by Stewarts Ferry Pike to the south. Randy Wolcott of ProVenture could not be reached for comment as of press time for this story.

In regards to the site plans added to the Lebanon Planning Commissions agenda, Will Hager, Lebanon planning director, pointed out the property lies within both Lebanon city limits and Wilson County.

The property actually straddles Wilson County and Lebanon jurisdictions, Hager said. He also referred to a measure passed by Wilson County Commission on Monday night related to Project Tango.

County commission passed a measure on Monday supporting the City of Lebanons lead on applying for grants through the Tennessee Department of Transportation State Industrial Access program for road construction for Project Tango.

Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said Monday night the property involved in Project Tango falls within both city and county jurisdiction, but noted he reached an agreement with Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead that would have Lebanon taking the lead on all grant applications.

Project Tango itself, the property lies within the city of Lebanon and the county of Wilson, Hutto told the commission. The measure passed 19-1 with District 10 Commissioner Nathan Clariday voting against the agreement.

Lebanon Planning Commission will meet at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 25, to consider the site plans for this property and other items.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at phall@wilsonpost.com.

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Panel certifies Warmath recall petition

By PATRICK HALL, The Wilson Post
A petition submitted by Beulah Garrett to recall Ward 6 Lebanon City Councilor Kathy Warmath was certified by the Wilson County Election Commission on Monday afternoon in a special meeting.

On first attempt the petition was rejected because Garrett had submitted the paperwork with the wrong Tennessee Code Annotated law referenced in the text. Garrett resubmitted the petition with corrections and it was unanimously certified.

The Election Commission will certify the form, not the content, said Phillip Warren, administrator of elections.

Warmath was present at the meeting and was unhappy with the fact that Garrett needs to only obtain 2,186 signatures to have a recall election placed on the ballot in August 2012.

Warren explained that according to TCA 2-5-151, the petition must be signed by 15 percent of the registered voters in Lebanon at the time of the petitions certification. Monday afternoon he pointed out there were 14,571 registered voters in the city and 2,186 is 15 percent of that number.

The number goes down every time I come here, Warmath said during the meeting.

Garrett has 75 days to get signatures for the petition and at that point in time, must return it to the Election Commission to certify all the signatures. Warren said they have to make sure all signers are registered voters in Lebanon and verify their addresses. The commission has 30 days to certify those details.

Its a complicated process, and it should be, Warren said.

He explained that anyone who signs the petition but chooses to remove their name will have eight days after the signatures are turned in to have it removed. The whole process could take up to 105 days.

While the petition may be signed by any registered voter in Lebanon, if placed on the ballot only voters in Ward 6 will be able to vote on whether to recall Warmath. She indicated displeasure with the fact that voters not living in her ward could force a recall election.

It looks like an at-large recall, Warmath said. I had more votes than that in my ward, she added, referring to the previous election.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at phall@wilsonpost.com.

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General Sports

CU adds 5 to Sports HoF

LEBANON -- Cumberland Universitys athletic department inducted five new members into its Sports Hall of Fame in ceremonies held Friday, Oct. 14 in Baird Chapel. The event was the 25th of its kind since the Hall of Fame was established back in 1977. Honorees included:

Dave Beck - lefty pitched for CU baseball 1998-2001 and was a first team All-American. He went 10-1 with an ERA of 2.11 as a senior with 136 strikeouts. Career W-L record of 30-8.

Joe Fushey pitched 1993-1994 and was a second team All-American, going 25-6 in two seasons and is fourth in career wins and strikeouts. First team all TCAC and All-District 24.

Kathy Palk-Slaughter was a volleyball 1989-1992 and helped lead the team to the TCAC title in 1991. All-TCAC performer and NAIA National Scholar-Athlete; currently standout prep coach.

Mitch Walters coached four different sports, including womens basketball, softball and soccer and mens soccer. Former faculty athletic representive and currently assistant AD.

Herschel Moore - head football coach 1993-2003; led the team to the NAIA playoffs; his teams led nation in rushing three times.

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Local teams earn TSSAA Sectionals

Three Wilson County volleyball teams stand just one victory away from trips to the TSSAA state tournament next week in Murfreesborl.

In Class AAA, Wilson Central won the Region 5AAA title at home Tuesday night defeating Portland 3-0 in the title game. Game scores: 25-14, 25-22 and 25-21 as Kristin Cook had 18 kills and eight digs. Hannah Hinson dished out 26 assists. Dariyan Stallings had three digs and three kills.

Earlier in the evening, the Lady Wildcats knocked off Dickson County 3-0 in the semifinals. Game scores: 25-16, 25-13 and 25-17 as Cook had 13 kills and Hinson had 23 assists.

By virtue of the region championship, Central (38-15 overall) will host Independence Thursday in a 7 p.m. sectional match with the winner advancing to the state tournament.

In Class A action, Friendship Christian School knocked off cross-county rival Watertown 3-0 Tuesday in Celina -- sending both teams on to the sectional. Game scores: 25-11, 25-15 and 25-18 as Kaitly Teeter led the Lady Commanders with 18 kills and seven digs. Megan reeves had 16 assists while Ali Burroughs had 11 kills.

Hayley Clark had nine kills and five digs for Watertown while Morgan Gartner finished with eight digs and five kills.

FCS (41-11) will host Boyd-Buchanan Thursday in a 7 p.m. sectional match at the Bay Family Sportsplex.

Watertown (38-15) rallied from two games down to defeat host Clay County 3-2 Tuesday night in the Region 4A semifinal. Game scores: 20-25, 21-25, 26-24, 25-22 and 15-12 -- sending the Lady Tigers to the sectional for the first time in the seven year history of the program.

Watertown will travel to Sale Creek near Chattanooga Thursday for a 6 p.m. (Central) sectional game.

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