By SAM HATCHER
Early voting continues.
The numbers of those who are to cast votes in the Tennessee Presidential Primary are not expected to break any past voter turnout records. That's the story across Tennessee, likely across Wilson County and for that matter that's been the story in primary elections that have already been held.
There are nine Republicans listed on the ballot and only one Democrat.Election day itself, now recognized as Super Tuesday because of the participation of multiple states, is Tuesday, March 6.
By GEORGE ROBERTSON, M.D.
I must admit that I have enjoyed the mild winter so far, but I did get a little excited when we had a forecast of snow recently. Up until then the sleds had just been rusting in the storehouse and the heavy winter coats, gloves and hats were catching dust in the closet.Even the suggestion of snow sends my thoughts back to the fun times when everyone would get out of school and business as usual came to a standstill. I think we all need a break from the fast pace of life, and any excuse, like a snowfall that shuts things down, is a welcome relief. Looking back on times like that I've never been left with remorse on not having completed that day at work.
To the Editor:
We are faced with another bunch of poor choices for 2012. When I am writing this, the only Republican choices are Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. That is about the ranking that I see them, too.I only wish the media would delve into the actual positions, contributions and history of each candidate instead of the horse race analogy, the terms conservative, moderate, values conservative, liberal or libertarian. All I have to say about these terms is who cares?
By PATRICK HALL
The Wilson Post
Early voting is under way with 646 citizens casting their ballots so far through Thursday afternoon.
The voters cast their ballots early for the March 6 Presidential Preferential Primary.
Wilson County Administrator of Elections Phillip Warren said he expects Monday to be a good voting day because of the Presidents Day holiday.Early voting is going great, the weather seems to be cooperating, Warren said.
Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer joined Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security (TDOSHS) Commissioner Bill Gibbons Thursday to sign a new agreement between the two agencies regarding the quick clearance of highway incidents.
The goal of the agreement is to ensure public safety and restore Tennessee roadways to full capacity as soon as possible following highway incidents.
TDOT and TDOSHS began working on the new agreement following an incident in December 2011 that closed Interstate 40 in Wilson County for nearly 12 hours, leaving hundreds of motorists stranded overnight.
Following the potato truck crash in December, we made a promise to the public that we would initiate changes to avoid this type of situation in the future, Schroer said. We now have specific guidelines that can dramatically reduce the time it takes to clear major incidents from our interstates and major highways.
The new agreement states the goals and objectives of TDOT and TDOSHS when a serious crash occurs and clearly defines the responsibilities of those responding to the incident.
We have an obligation to the people of this state and the motorists traveling our roadways to improve our operations and communication, Gibbons added. This agreement will allow us to make earlier determinations about the magnitude of an incident and take appropriate action to not only reopen the roadway, but also improve safety for motorists and responders.
The agreement includes a number of new procedures:Classifies incidents as major, intermediate, or minor Requires reassessment of clearance activities every 30 minutes Tow truck or wrecker service will provide equipment of the appropriate size, capacity & design to clear the roadway in a reasonable amount of time Towing companies will not create further delays to off-load cargo or recover a damaged vehicle. TDOSHS will immediately notify TDOT of any closure lasting longer than 30 minutes TDOT and TDOSHS will determine and deploy necessary equipment and manpower if task is beyond the capabilities of the wrecker service on scene Sets 90 minute goal to clear roadway
The TDOT/TDOSHS agreement will be guided and monitored by the Commissioners of Transportation and Safety and Homeland Security, Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel and TDOT Chief Engineer.
The entire agreement may be viewed at http://www.tn.gov/tdot/incident/docs/MOU-TDOT-TDOSHS-Feb-14-2012.pdf.
From Post staff reports
A Wilson County Judicial Commissioner and his wife were arrested Thursday afternoon on charges of failing to report child sexual abuse.
Givens Phillips and his wife Tonya were booked into the Wilson County Jail and released on their own recognizance. They are to appear in court for arraignment on March 23.
According to law enforcement, both were allegedly aware that a 6-year-old child was being sexually abused and both did not report that abuse to the proper authorities. Failure to report child sexual abuse is a Class A misdemeanor.
No other details are available at this time.
The 2012 fund raising campaign for the American Cancer Societys Relay For Life of Wilson County will get underway on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 5:30 p.m., as event volunteers and participants gather at Lochinvar for a kickoff celebration.
The kickoff will be an opportunity for anyone interested in joining the cancer fight to register a team for the 2012 Relay For Life. The event will also feature guest speaker Ronnie Lawson, a local cancer survivor.
Lochinvar is located at 300 Maddox Simpson Pkwy., Lebanon.
The 2011 Relay For Life of Wilson County raised more than $95,000 for the American Cancer Society. The ACS currently contributes more than $7.3 million to cancer research in Tennessee, much of which takes place here in Middle Tennessee at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Relay For Life of Wilson County is scheduled for Friday, June 22, beginning at 6 p.m. Relay will take place at Castle Heights track near Wilson Bank & Trust in Lebanon.
The worlds largest grassroots fund raising movement, Relay For Life mobilizes communities throughout the country to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost and provide participants with an opportunity to fight back against the disease. Relay For Life brings together people from all walks of life to further the American Cancer Societys vision of creating a world with less cancer and more birthdays.
Relay For Life began in 1985 with one man who walked and ran around a track for 24 hours and raised $27,000 for the American Cancer Society. Each year, Relay For Life takes place in 5,000 communities in the United States and 20 other countries to raise funds to support the Societys mission of saving lives by helping people stay well, by helping people get well, by finding cures and by fighting back.
To join Relay For Life of Wilson County or get more information, call 470-1304, or visit RelayForLife.org/wilson.
From Post staff reports
Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce presented a number of awards at its annual banquet last night, held at Legacy Farms (formerly Cedarvine Manor).
Named as Retailer of the Year was Michaels Cover Up which is located on the Public Square. Industrialist of the Year was Joel Usery.
Coleman Walker, host of Coleman and Company on WANT-FM radio, was named as Business Person of the Year. Volunteer of the Year was Linda Spencer.
Corporate Friend of Education was Shenandoah Mills, and Friend of Education was long-time educator Johnnie Payton.
Mike Jennings was tabbed as Distinguished Alumni. Winner of the Tapped by Tourism award was Crazy Clydes Slides.
Ambassador of the Year was David Taylor.
A special award was to be presented to Lebanon Public Safety.
Winners of the award for the Best New Professional or Commercial Building, completed this year were Permobil, Tressler & Associates and Jerry Dean Electrical.
Winner of the Best New Structure to a New Commercial Use/Conversion/Adaptive Use completed this year was All Things Storage at 103 Babb Court.
And winner of the Best Improvement of Land Usage to Enhance the Areas Aesthetic or Quality of Life completed this year was Faulkner Landing.
In addition to the awards presentation, Chamber members received copies of the 2012 Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce Business/Information Guide & Membership Directory, published by MainStreet Media, parent company of The Wilson Post.
By PATRICK HALL
The Wilson Post
Beginning early Friday morning, officers of the Lebanon Police Department, in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies, rounded up 19 suspects charged with the sale of narcotics after 43 indictments were handed down from a Wilson County grand jury earlier this week on 29 individuals.
Around 6 a.m.officers began making arrests across Wilson County with most suspects living within the Lebanon city limits. The charges range from selling marijuana, prescription pills and cocaine.
Some are selling prescription pills, some are selling marijuana, said Lebanon Police Chief Scott Bowen.
Bowen noted the round up is a result of a 15-month investigation by LPD Narcotics Detectives.The suspects were arrested thanks to the work of undercover narcotics detectives. In the first two hours, 10 of the 29 suspects were taken into custody.A Lebanon Police Officer brings a suspect into custody during the drug round up Friday morning.
The Wilson County Sheriff's Department, the State Office of Inspector General and the State Board of Probation and Parole assisted the LPD in the round up. Bowen said some of the individuals charged with selling prescription pills are being interviewed by the Office of Inspector General.
Some of these individuals we believe are selling their own prescriptions and they could be on TennCare. If thats the case they will face other charges from the Inspector Generals office, Bowen said.
While the charges varied, Bowen said the large rate of prescription pills being sold illegally is alarming. He pointed out that laws passed in Florida have done a good job of pushing pill-mills out of the state into Georgia and possibly into Tennessee.
He said that many of the prescriptions are not that difficult to obtain and said individuals can sell the pills for as much as $50 per pill on the street. Bowen said the money quickly adds up for individuals that are illegally selling prescription medication.
Thats the greatest threat to our community right now, Bowen said, referring to the sale of prescription pills. Its something we have to stay on top of.
There were also many suspects brought in for allegedly selling marijuana, including one individual, William Andrew Zaharias, 21, of 522 Five Oaks Blvd., Lebanon. According to detectives, Zaharias was arrested in the round up this morning and officers reportedly found a large amount of evidence at his residence.Evidence allegedly obtained from 522 Five Oaks Blvd. including over a pound of marijuana.
After his arrest, detectives displayed a pound-and-a-half of hydroponic marijuana, around $2,000 in cash and drug paraphernalia, including digital scales and a glass bong. Zarharias is charged with one count of sale of a Schedule VI narcotic.
He said many suspects were arrested and found to be in possession of other narcotics, which could result in further charges being filed against them.
There are a lot of these individuals that will face additional charges, Bowen said.
By 9 a.m., the LPD and other law enforcement agencies had arrested 15 of the 29 suspects indicted. As of 12:30 p.m., authorities had arrested 19 of the 29 suspects indicted.
Below are their names, age, address and charges. All individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty:
Felicia Tucker, 29, 1242 Mimosa Court, Lebanon, Sale of Schedule II
Andy Zaharias, 20, 522 Five Oaks Blvd, Lebanon, Sale of Schedule VI
Lisa Snyder, 44, Incarcerated, Sale of Schedule II
Rodney Rodgers, 34, 809 Rome Pike, Lebanon, Sale of Schedule II
Brenda Powell, 52, 24 Head Homes, Lebanon, Sale of Schedule II
Kenneth Walton, 23, 263 Hunters Lane, Lebanon, Sale of Schedule II x 2
Dewayne Crosby, 44, Incarcerated, charged: Sale of Schedule II
Charles Morrison, 23, 420 C South Maple Ave, Lebanon, Sale of Schedule VI x 2
Tiffany Rodgers, 35, 305 N. College Ave., Lebanon, Sale of Schedule II
Santana Ahmas, 22, 305 Martha Leeville Pike, Lebanon, Sale of Schedule II x 2
Joshua Gammons, 27, 113 Woodland St., Watertown, Sale of Schedule VI x 2
Ashley Agee, 24, 113 Woodland St., Watertown, Sale of Schedule II
Dustin Cummings, 21, 104 Hayes St., Watertown, Sale of Schedule VI x 2
Shelly Penny, 44, 2028 Double Log Cabin Rd, Lebanon, Sale of Schedule II
Giles Timbs, 22, Cainsville Court Apartments, Lebanon, Sale of Schedule III
Ryan Moore, 21, 278 Atkinson Rd., Lebanon, Sale of Schedule II x 2
Marquesheo Gilliam, 24, 1696 A Classic View, Lebanon, Sale of Schedule II
Gregory Goshern, 31, 418 A Sam Houston Dr, Lebanon, Sale of Schedule VI
Joseph Mallicoat, 405 Bethlehem Road, Lebanon, Sale of Schedule VI x 2
Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By PATRICK HALL
The Wilson Post
Its the oldest brick building in Wilson County and was the first African American church in Lebanon, but Pickett Chapel is still a long way from becoming the permanent home for the Roy E. Bailey African American History Center and Museum.
Mary Harris, president of the Wilson County Black History Committee, is looking for funding to fulfill a dream to see the church house the countys African American history.
Our committee wanted this building from day one because we thought it would make a great museum, Harris said.
The history of Pickett Chapel runs deep in Wilson County. Harris pointed to the small balcony area where slaves would worship when the church was an all-white congregation.
District tournament play opens this evening for five local boys basketball teams at various Middle Tennessee venues. Heres a look at tonights schedule.
District 8A at Macon Co. High, Lafayette
Regular season champion and No. 3-ranked Friendship Christian is the top seeded team in District 8A and is scheduled to play No. 5-seeded Trousdale County High at 6:30 p.m. at Macon County High School.
The Commanders enter tournament play 20-2 overall, but have been idle since a 67-58 win over Ezell Harding back on Feb. 6. Trousdale County defeated No. 4 seed Red Boiling Springs 46-42 Tuesday.
The other semifinal game tonight finds No. 2 seeded Watertown (22-5) taking on No. 3 seed Gordonsville High at 8 p.m. The two teams met recently, with Gordonsville downing the Purple Tigers 62-57 on Feb. 7.
Tournament finals will be held Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 8 p.m. in Lafayette with the consolation game scheduled for 6:30 p.m. All four teams playing tonight will advance to the Region 4 tournament next week in Livingston.
District 9AAA / first round home sites
District 9AAA boys teams will take to the hardwood tonight with four games on tap at the home sites of the higher seeded teams.
Tonights winners will assure themselves berths in next weeks Region 5AAA tournament at Clarksville Northeast and will play semifinal games on Saturday at Wilson Central High.
No. 1 seeded Mt. Juliet (23-5) will host No. 8 seed Gallatin;
No. 2 seeded Wilson Central (21-4) hosts No. 7 seed Portland.
No. 3 seeded Beech will host No. 6 Lebanon High (11-15), and;
No. 4 seeded Station Camp will host No. 5 Hendersonville High.
All Friday night games will tip at 7 p.m. The winner of tonights Mt. Juliet vs. Gallatin game will play the winner Station Camp vs. Hendersonville 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Wilson Central.
The winner of the Wilson Central - Portland game will play the winner of Lebanon - Beech Saturday at 8:30 p.m. Boys consolation and finals are set for Tuesday, Feb. 21 at Wilson Central.
Cumberland's basketball teams swept a TranSouth Conference doubleheader from Bethel Thursday night at the Dallas Floyd recreation Center.
In the women's game, Jessica Pace scored 15 points freshman Katie Smith added a season-best 14 points, as Cumberland rolled to a 71-62 victory over Bethel.
Simone Ryan, Casie Cowan and Courtney Atkinson each netted 11 points for the Bulldogs (13-13, 8-6 TranSouth), who shot 61 percent in the first half and then hit every big shot when necessary after intermission whenever the Wildcats (13-14, 5-8) tried the get back in the game.
Gallatin nativeMichael Sweat scored 20 points and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds to lead the CU men to 83-66 victory over Bethel University in the nightcap.
The Bulldogs (20-7, 10-4 TranSouth) won their seventh straight game overall and avenged a 76-66 defeat to the Wildcats (15-12, 5-8) in McKenzie on January 16 that started a four-game conference losing streak for CU.
Sweat posted a double-double in the first half with 13 points and 10 boards. Cumberlands 11-0 run over a four-minute stretch in the first half opened up a tie game in the early going and a 13-2 spurt later in the period put the Bulldogs ahead, 39-22, at the break.
Sweat posted 13 points and 10 rebounds in the half and the Bulldogs forced 10 turnovers, which they turned into 14 points. Five different players scored during the 11-0 spurt and Sweat and Jerret Towns each netted five points during the 13-2 run, as CU got out on the break early and often and limited the Wildcats to just 31 percent shooting as well.
Cumberland heads to Martin Methodist on Saturday for a 2 p.m. doubleheader and will finish the regular season at home on February 25 against Mid-Continent.
First round district tournament games from Thursday found four Wilson County girls teams taking part -- with three surviving.
LEBANON HIGH was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the District 9AAA tournament, falling 58-43 at Beech.
LHS fell behind 20-5 to the Lady Bucs and never recovered. The Devilettes ended the season 14-14 overall despite 12 points from Kelsey yarbrough and 10 from Madison Sloan.
WILSON CENTRAL held off an improving Hendersonville squad for a 55-42 victory at home Thursday night.
The win sends the Lady 'Cats on to the semifinals on Saturday with a record of 18-8 overall. Sydney Vanlandingham paced WCHS with 21 points while Sydney Comer and Taylor Peterson each had 13.
Central will play No. 2-seeded Station Camp 7 p.m. Saturday at home in the semifinals.
WATERTOWN HIGH moves to the consolation game of District 8A following a 52-38 semifinal loss to No. 1 seeded Gordonsville Thursday in Lafayette.
Gordonsville broke open a nip and tuck game with a late 14-2 run and advances to the tournament's championship game on Monday.
Watertown, now 18-12, will play Red Boiling Springs Monday at 6:30 p.m. in the consolation game. The Tigerettes were led by Hailey Speck with 15 and Morgan Gartner with 10 points.
MT. JULIET ran out to a 26-2 lead and walked over Gallatin 65-21 in a District 9AAA quarterfinals game Thursday.
Post Sally McCabe had 22 points to lead Mt. Juliet while Caya Williams had 13 and Barianne Taylor had 12. The Lady Bears improved to 27-3 with the win.
Mt. Juliet will play Beech Saturday at 4 p.m. in the semifinals at Wilson Central.
FRANKLIN -- Three Wilson County wrestlers remain in the championship hunt as Day Two of the TSSAA State Wrestling Tournament opens Friday at the Williamson County Expo Center.
Mt. Juliet's Matthew Seaman is scheduled to face Parker Smith of Centennial High this morning in the 152-pound division. Seaman picked up two wins on Thursday, defeating Soddy-Daisy's Garrett Alexander 9-1 and Collierville's Colton Talarico with a pin at 1:25.
Wilson Central freshman John Kramer is still alive at 220-pounds after a pair of pins on Thursday. He's scheduled to take on T.J. Satterfield of William Bount -- who has placed in the top five in three straight state tournaments.
Nick Insalaco of Wilson Central (left) is 2-0 in the 120-pound class after taking a 13-2 win over Zac Sumner of Collierville and a 6-4 victory against Paul Agnew of Centennial. Insalaco will wrestle Packy Martin of Chattanooga Notre Dame this morning.
Three Lebanon High girls are scheduled to wrestle today:
185 lbs: ninth grader Jamie Reed. She received a bye to Fridays semifinals in the six-person bracket;
148 lbs: senior Althea Grisham finished second in the regional and placed second in the state last year. She will wrestle in Thursdays semifinals against Rebekka Mennifield of Science Hill.
120 lbs: sophomore Priscilla Garza was a regional runner-up. She is scheduled to wrestle Ruth Dammann of Science Hill in a Thursday quarterfinal.