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Southern Middle Tennessee Today News for August 16, 2023

All news stories are aggregated from various sources and modified for time and content. Original sources are cited.

We start with local news…

KKK Member Charged (CDH)

The native Santa Fe man accused of posting flyers at three predominantly Black churches in Columbia containing racially charged rhetoric was arraigned, and pleaded not guilty, in Maury County General Sessions Court on Monday.

Daniel Lane Walls, 38, sat quietly in the courtroom, waiting to present his plea before Maury County General Sessions Judge Bobby Sands. While seated in the courtroom dressed in a blue short-sleeved plaid shirt, he accepted paperwork distributed by the court officer to retain the county public defender.

The next hearing is set for Sept. 27 at 8:30 a.m. in Maury County Court.

Walls was arrested in Spring Hill at his former workplace on July 13 and charged with four counts of Civil Rights Intimidation under Tennessee Code Annotated TCA 39-17-309, in addition to the charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and vandalism.

Bond was previously set at $43,000, which was posted.

After the flyers, also distributed to area businesses, were found on the marquees of three Black churches in Columbia, a crowd of community, church and elected leaders gathered three days later on July 12 at Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church for a community prayer service.

Leaders denounced the flyers, calling them offensive and filled with "hate."

With his shoulders shrugged, Walls answered on Monday, a few additional questions by Sands, including that he lost his job in Spring Hill, as well as two other jobs after that, and currently remains unemployed due to his inability to pass "background checks" because of the felony charges.

"It showed up on my background check, and I haven't even been convicted yet," Walls said.

The flyer states that "The Old Glory Knights of the Ku Klux Klan" had "paid a visit" to the recipients of the flyer, telling them to "beware," along with other verbiage that many call hate rhetoric, disparaging racial and interracial groups.

Walls discussed the charges with media following the arraignment, confirming that he heads the Old Glory Knights, as stated on the group's website.

He also claimed the group "doesn't go out looking for trouble" and its "intent" is "not to hurt anyone" but recruit.

Clergy from the targeted churches attended the July community service at Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist, including ministers from Bethel Chapel AME Church and Faith United Missionary Baptist Church.

Maury County Mayor Sheila Butt and Columbia Mayor Chaz Molder, attended the community service along with clergy, community members, city council members and state officials.

Columbia Police Chief Jeremy Alsup addressed the crowd, at the time vowing to find the perpetrator, while also disavowing the incendiary language.

"Hate rhetoric, or anything of this nature, these flyers, they have no business in this community or any community," Alsup said. "Your Columbia Police Department will do their best to make sure anything like this ... to keep it from ever coming back."

Rev. Tanya Mason of Bethel Chapel AME Church located on South Glade Street denounced the act as a representation of "evil and darkness."

"... on Sunday July 9, my congregation was met with a flyer that echoed the terroristic message of the past and ever present space of evil and darkness," Mason said.

"I say to those today who think that our future is in their hands that they must not know the resilience of the people and African American Methodist Episcopal Church."

Pastor Kenny Anderson ended the July service with prayer and a final statement.

"Hate will never win," he said.

Ogles Speech (WKOM Audio 2:40)

Yesterday, the Maury Alliance held their annual legislative luncheon which featured U.S. Congressman Andy Ogles. WKOM/WKRM’s Delk Kennedy attended the event, and got a chance to speak to Representative Ogles…

Polk Home Gets Travel Award (Press Release)

The President James K. Polk Home & Museum today announced it has been recognized by Tripadvisor as a 2023 Travelers’ Choice award winner. The award celebrates businesses that have consistently received great traveler reviews on Tripadvisor over the last 12 months, placing these winners among the 10% of all listings on Tripadvisor globally.

“Congratulations to the dedicated team at the James K. Polk Home & Museum for being recognized among Tripadvisor’s Top 10 percent of worldwide attractions,” stated Columbia’s Tourism & Marketing Director Kellye Murphy. “Presidential history is such a vital component of America’s story and of Columbia’s history. We are fortunate to have the ancestral home of President James K. Polk in Columbia and to be able to share the stories and artifacts of the 11th U.S. President.”

Kendall Jones, James K. Polk Memorial Association President, said, "We are thrilled to receive this designation, which is a joint effort by our amazingly supportive community and our dedicated staff."

“Congratulations to the 2023 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice winners,” said John Boris, Chief Growth Officer at Tripadvisor. “The travel resurgence we’ve seen throughout the past year has even further heightened the competition. Earning a Travelers’ Choice Award demonstrates that you have provided great experiences to those who matter most: your guests. With changing expectations, continued labor shortages, and rising costs, this is no easy feat, and I am continually impressed with the hospitality industry’s resilience and ability to adapt. Cheers to another successful year!”

The President James K. Polk Home & Museum preserves the legacy of the nation’s 11th President. Guided tours of the Polk Ancestral Home on W. 7th Street are available year round, Monday through Saturday (9am-5pm) and Sundays (1pm-5pm). The Polk Home welcomes thousands of visitors from around the world each year. Group tours and field trips are available, and the Polk Home offers year-round educational activities including summer camps, lectures, homeschool days, and a new homeschool club. For more information on the Polk Home and upcoming events including the Dark Horse Dinner fundraiser and Ghosts of Greenwood cemetery tour, visit

New Doctor Joins MRMC (Press Release)

Dr. Charles Cantieri, DO, has joined Maury Regional Medical Group (MRMG) and will see patients at Lewisburg Family Practice.

 Dr. Cantieri received his medical degree from Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine in Dothan, Alabama and completed his residency at Christus Spohn/Texas A&M Family Medicine Residency Program in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he served as chief resident. Throughout residency, Dr. Cantieri was involved in leadership through the Texas Academy of Family Physicians and performed sports physicals and covered games for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Dr. Cantieri says his clinical interests include preventative medicine, sports medicine and health advocacy. He is excited to begin serving the Lewisburg community.

 Lewisburg Family Practice provides the following services: adult and geriatric medicine, chronic disease management, diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol management, acute care for injuries and illness and physical and wellness exams. In addition to traditional appointments, Lewisburg Family Practice also offers walk-in care.

 Dr. Cantieri joins Dr. Kanthi C. Narra, MD, MPH, Dr. Timothy Nash, MD, and nursce practitioners Jessica Boshers, FNP-BC, Mason Douglas, FNP-C, Sarah Kersey, PA-C,and Brandy Miller, FNP-C. Lewisburg Family Practice is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. They are located at 1090 N. Ellington Parkway, suite 102 in Lewisburg. For more information, call 931.359.0019 or visit

CSCC Gets Metallica Scholarship (Press Release)

The band Metallica has a foundation called All Within My Hands, which continues its multimillion-dollar investment in critical workforce programs at community colleges nationwide. Among the schools, Columbia State Community College was selected from a competitive pool of applicants to receive $100,000 to transform the futures of students in the community.


“The Metallica Scholars Initiative is so important to us because we are seeing results,” said Lars Ulrich of Metallica. “Five years in, with the help of community colleges across the country, we are helping people fill these essential jobs which require skills and training. We are so proud and grateful that we can facilitate this program.”

The Metallica Scholars Initiative (MSI) was launched in 2019 by Metallica’s foundation, All Within My Hands (AWMH), in partnership with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). The workforce initiative marks its fifth year with an ambitious expansion into new curricula. MSI now directly supports 42 community colleges across 33 states, and by the end of this year, it will have helped over 6,000 students pursuing careers in the trades. To date, Metallica and AWMH have invested over $6MM in the American workforce.

“We are so excited and grateful to be part of the latest cohort in the Metallica Scholars Initiative family,” said Patrick McElhiney, Columbia State development officer and director of grants. “Students in the programs we included in our application are not eligible for the same financial aid options that are available to more traditional programs. This funding will provide opportunities for these students to enter into meaningful and well-paying career fields, which otherwise may not be possible.”

Reaffirming a commitment to career and technical education at the local level, each new school brings incredible opportunities to a thriving and growing community.

“The Metallica Scholars Initiative is a strong and cooperative assemblage of the nation’s best community colleges, creating a supportive climate for participants to communicate directly and share best practices,” said  Peter Delgrosso, AWMH Executive Director. “As a result, our Metallica Scholars leave the program well-trained and confident. Ultimately, the impact is felt locally and nationally as Metallica Scholars enter the workforce and fill in-demand technical positions.”

The 11 newly added colleges are joining a roster of veteran schools invited to continue in the program. Each year, the returning colleges play an integral part in helping guide the success of the new schools. Columbia State is the first community college in Tennessee to receive this grant.

“We are happy to continue to partner with Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation to support the vital career and technical education work of the nation’s community colleges,” said Walter G. Bumphus, American Association of Community College’s president and CEO. “Colleges across the country provide pathways to well-paying jobs through programs, services and training that lead to in-demand skills, certificates and degrees for students. These programs are responsive to the needs of local businesses and provide a pipeline of qualified workers to local industry. Partners like Metallica that continue to provide support for community colleges help us to showcase the importance of investing in the transformative power of community college education.”

What began with ten colleges and mostly manufacturing programs has developed into a diverse offering of workforce opportunities for students interested in gaining the skills and training necessary to find meaningful and well-paying careers in fields and positions. Columbia State will use these grant funds for scholarships for dual enrollment students in the engineering systems technology and emergency medical technician programs, as well as for students in the pre-apprentice lineworker academy.

As the voice of the nation’s community colleges, the American Association of Community Colleges leads, advocates, and advances the nation’s community colleges.  Uniquely American, community colleges deliver educational and economic opportunities for more than 10 million diverse students annually. Dedicated to access and success for all students, AACC’s member colleges provide an on-ramp to degree attainment, skilled careers, and family-supporting wages. Located in Washington, DC, AACC advocates for these not-for-profit, public-serving institutions to ensure they have the resources and support to increase economic mobility for all.

All Within My Hands was established in 2017 by Metallica to invest in the people and places that have supported the band. It also allows Metallica’s fans to engage in philanthropy and volunteerism. The Foundation is dedicated to creating sustainable communities through workforce education, the fight against hunger, and other critical local services. All expenses of the Foundation are covered by the band, the board, and a few special friends so that 100% of donations go to the organizations it supports. AWMH is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

City Approves Splash Pad (CDH)

The city is planning to bring a new community splash pad to one of its most-visited parks in the near future via a grant with Blue Cross.

The Blue Cross Healthy Places grant request would be for $850,000 to construct a splash pad at Fairview Park, Parks and Recreation Director Mack Reagan said.

"This is a strategic planning goal, and would have 16 features that will meet what the city council has set forth, would match up with pretty much any community our size," Reagan said. "It's a really nice program, and it's always a good chance for this highly-competitive grant, which is only given out five or six times a year."

The city's contribution was budgeted last year for the splash pad design, with $350,000 additional dollars this year, Reagan added.

"With the increase in the popularity of splash pads, we thought [this grant] would be a good way to assist and gain moneys outside of our taxpayer funding," Reagan said. "This will have a 40-year life span, and while this seems like a lot of money, when you figure year after year it kind of 'puts everything more at ease,' I guess you could say."

Columbia Mayor Chaz Molder said the grant would certainly enhance the project, while also saving the city a lot of money when it comes to expenditures.

"We have an obligation and also an expectation that the project we put in is one that everybody can be proud of. With [Reagan] leading the charge in that regard, I'm certain that will happen," Molder said. "It sounds like, if nothing else, that this grant will help us advance the project as a whole."

The grant application was brought before Columbia City Council as a resolution during the board's Aug. 10 regular meeting, which received unanimous approval by vote.

At the conclusion of the meeting, council member DaVeena Hardison asked when and how the public would be notified about the project's construction. Reagan said there will be a public input meeting "probably in two weeks" at the Dr. Christa Martin Community Center located at the park.

And now, Your Hometown Memorials, Sponsored by Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home…  

Mr. Boyd “Jay” Stewart, 79, Veteran and retired MODOT Employee, died Saturday, August 12, 2023. Funeral services for Mr. Stewart will be conducted Thursday at 12:00 P.M. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The family will visit with friends Thursday from 10:00 A.M. until service time at the church. Burial will be held at Middle Tennessee State Veteran’s Cemetery at Pegram. Oakes & Nichols Funeral Directors are assisting the family with arrangements.

…And now, news from around the state…

Ogles Proposes Reporting Measure Legislation (Tennessean)

Two Republicans have proposed a resolution in Congress that calls on the media to change its reporting practices around mass shootings, raising free press concerns from First Amendment advocates and mass violence experts.

U.S. Rep. Andy Ogles, R-Columbia, and U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, proposed the resolution that names “irresponsible and sensationalistic” reporting practices as a major factor in the recent rise in mass gun violence across the country, saying that “the media” “give(s) criminals the notoriety and infamy they desire.”

Ogles represents the district where a shooter killed six people, including three children, at the Nashville Covenant School in March.

“Media coverage of a mass public murderer routinely outweighs the coverage of the victims,” the resolution states, adding that “many mass public murderers have researched, studied and idolized past acts of violence using the sensationalistic coverage provided by many media outlets.”

But a push by Congress to tell journalists how to cover incidents of mass violence has garnered concerns from some in the field for its impact on the First Amendment right of the free press—and the potential harm of limiting coverage on an issue that poses a rare but ever-increasing danger to citizens.

“It's disappointing to see that the resolution doesn't distinguish between professional mainstream news media and the rest of the online pack,” said Ken Paulson, director of the Free Speech Center at Middle Tennessee State University and a former editor in chief of USA Today. “The truth is that professional broadcasters and daily newspapers have dramatically cut back coverage of a suspects in favor of focusing on the victims and the gun violence epidemic society is facing.”

A proposal created by government officials advising reporters on how they can report on issues of massive public concern presents immediate First Amendment questions, Paulson said.

He said the perception that news organizations cover mass murders with nigh-salivating levels of voracity is incorrect, and can be proven with one simple, sad truth: there’s now too many incidents to cover.  

“(Efforts to cut back on coverage) came about for two reasons: First of all, responsible news organizations do not want to contribute to the problem in any way and have taken steps to ameliorate any possible publicity issues,” he said. “The second reason, though—and this is tragic—is that mass murders now happen so often that they no longer get the same level of attention from the news media.

“I believe the public sometimes confuses the coverage of unrelenting mass murders with excessive coverage of a single event.”

Even when in-depth coverage does occur, Paulson said, the breadth of coverage is usually due to the varying aspects of the case that present itself after the initial tragedy, like memorials of the victims, court battles in the aftermath, law enforcement failures or other long-term effects.  

Drawing primarily on a research article titled “Mass Shootings and the Media Contagion Effect,” written by Jennifer Johnston and Andrew Joy of Western New Mexico University, Ogles and Lee outline a number of changes they recommend to news organizations.

Recommendations include requests that news media not name or publish photos of “suspected public murderers” and not promote any particular “ideology or public policy change.” Instead, the resolution calls on the media to focus on “prioritizing coverage” of heroics “of any law enforcement, first responders or bystanders”

“There is an epidemic of evil people motivated by perverse beliefs to wreak havoc on the lives of innocent people,” Ogles, who has taken criticism for posing for a Christmas card with his family holding guns, said in a statement about the resolution. “Just a few short months ago, the Covenant School in Nashville was robbed of six precious lives in a horrific act of violence. The media was quick to report on the incident, combing for every gritty detail that could be uncovered about the shooter and (their) motivation. This resolution simply asks the media to do their work responsibly and stop sensationalizing the despicable acts of mass murderers.”

The statement also cited Canadian clinical psychologist and right-wing internet personality Jordan Peterson as an expert on the issue, who said that society can “choose” to make mass shooting “exceedingly rare” if “the press and anyone else who has the attention of a wide swath of the public” stops reporting on mass shootings in ways done previously.

Final Story of the Day (Maury County Source)

Biscuit Love, the brunch restaurant founded by Sarah and Karl Worley back in 2012, has announced the open date for its second Franklin location at Berry Farms.

The latest expansion of Biscuit Love will be located at 3100 Village Plains Boulevard; Franklin opening on Friday, August 25th, with hours of 7 am – 3 pm daily.

On the menu, you will find breakfast and lunch favorites with a twist centered around biscuits. Crowd pleasers include The B-roll, a biscuit cinnamon roll made with Biscuit Love’s famous dough, topped with pecan sticky bun sauce and served with cream cheese icing and the East Nasty, a buttermilk biscuit topped with fried boneless chicken thigh, aged cheddar, and sausage gravy that was named the best sandwich in the country by Bon Appétit editors in 2015.

Sarah and Karl Worley opened Biscuit Love as a food truck in Franklin before opening its first brick-and-mortar in the Gulch in 2015. They now have four Middle Tennessee locations and one in Birmingham, Alabama. Biscuit Love recently partnered with Goldbelly to ship its famous biscuits, jams, and more nationwide. The menu of offerings can be found at

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