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Southern Middle Tennessee Today News for January 15, 2024

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

We start with local news…

Lawrence County Crash (WKRN)

First responders had to treat at least two people following a Saturday morning crash in Lawrence County.

According to Lawrence County Fire and Rescue (LCFR), shortly before 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 13, a Lawrence County EMS unit responding to a high priority medical call notified Lawrence County E-911 they had driven upon a serious crash with injuries on Highway 64 at Fall River Road in the New Prospect Fire District.

Fire officials said two LCFR units responded to the crash, adding that two Lawrence County EMS units took care of at least two patients at the scene. There is no word on the patients’ conditions at this time.

Crews from the Crossroads Fire Department were already on the scene of the high priority medical call, so they cared for the patient until another EMS unit could respond to the initial call, LCFR reported.

No additional details have been released about the circumstances surrounding Saturday morning’s crash.

Spring Hill Launches Programs (MSM)

The Spring Hill Chamber is thrilled to announce an array of new programs for 2024, exclusively designed to enrich and engage the Spring Hill business community!

First, they are launching “Spring Hill Insider, The Tour,” a unique, free tour for both longstanding and new residents of Spring Hill. This initiative, hosted by the Spring Hill Chamber and the Spring Hill Welcome Center, features a narrated bus journey showcasing the city. Attendees will enjoy several stops along the route, enriched with the presence of special guests, making this an exceptional opportunity to delve into the heart of the community. Plus, for those who prefer a self-guided experience, they are even planning a DIY version of the tour.

Elevating their commitment to personal and professional growth, Spring Hill Chamber is excited to introduce a new thought leader speaker series that aims to promote innovation and imagination. The three 2024 events (similar to TED-style talks) will bring inspiration and a spectrum of ideas to the region.

The EVOLVE mentorship program, initially piloted with a select group of women in business, will be expanded to the Chamber’s entire membership in 2024. This program is an excellent resource for those seeking accountability and growth in the new year.

Building upon the success of their WIRED MASTERMIND and EVOLVE mentorship programs, the chamber is pleased to offer exclusive, small-scale educational networking events. These gatherings, featuring alumni from their mastermind program, provide a unique platform for in-depth discussions and idea-sharing over coffee during our new “Leadership Lounge,” a conducive environment for exploring challenging questions and innovative thoughts.

Finally, Spring Hill Chamber is broadening their connection building opportunities by offering more networking collaborations with various groups in the area. These “mashup” events, including the popular Tri-Chamber Mixer, are set to enrich your professional network and are not to be missed.

Of course, their commitment to the Spring Hill community remains steadfast with their lineup of signature events as well. For example, the annual “Experience Spring Hill, The Event” is set for June, offering an immersive experience into the heart of the community. In September, they will host their elegant annual soirée, “Celebrate Spring Hill,” a chamber fundraiser that honors the spirit and achievements of the community. The “Think, Shop, Explore Local Passport” event will take place the entire month of October, encouraging local exploration and support for businesses and organizations. Additionally, their luncheons will continue to provide the business community relevant information and a large-scale networking opportunity each month. They will email a draft of our 2024 calendar through Chambermaster soon.

Stay tuned for more details on these exciting opportunities to connect, learn, and grow with the Spring Hill Chamber in 2024!

Coffee Shop at 20 and Still Going Strong (MSM)

For over 20 years, Tennessee Coffee & Smoothie Co. has been serving the community with specialty coffees and smoothies through their double drive-through located off of Nashville Highway. But that’s not their only location, with the beloved company also operating a coffee shop downtown inside Destiny Church, located at 612 N Main St.

Tarri Bye, who co-owns Tennessee Coffee & Smoothie Co. alongside her husband, Arnie, said the drive-through first opened 22 years ago.

After moving to Maury County from Washington State, Bye said she noticed a lack of coffee stands in the city.

“There weren’t any drive-through coffee stands down here other than Starbucks drive-throughs, so we thought ‘let’s start one down here and see what happens,’ ” she said.

Despite its success, Bye said it wasn’t her idea, nor did she necessarily want to open a second location inside a church.

“I didn’t want to. Where we’re from in Spokane, Washington, they have drive-throughs all over,” she said. “It’s such a great business model to get people in and out. I always said we’re never going to open a coffee shop. You don’t have as much overhead, you don’t have as many employees.”

However, when lead pastor Steven Morgan approached Bye about the idea, she decided to give the shop a chance.

“We thought ‘ok, we’ll see what happens,’ ” she said. “They moved into the building six years ago and they wanted to have a retail area out front, so they asked if we’d put a coffee shop in there. We moved in four years ago.”

Both Tennessee Coffee & Smoothie locations offer a variety of drinks ranging from Americanos to lattes and smoothies, which are made with 100% whole fruits and juices and no added sugar.

The coffee stand is open Monday-Friday from 5 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday from 7 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday from 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

The downtown location is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday from 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m.-noon.

Columbia Man Gets Walking Horse Distinction (Press Release)

Marshall County native and current Columbia resident, Valton Rummage was recently honored by the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA) as a Master Breeder. The designation is the highest and most prestigious recognition given to a breeder whose body of work over many years has had a significant and long-lasting impact on the Tennessee Walking Horse breed. Mr. Rummage became one of two Master Breeders for the association in 2023.

When asked for the highlights of his career, a twinkle comes to Valton Rummage’s eyes as he relates the adrenaline rush of walking around the “big oval” at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration under the spotlight. But, in the same breath, the pride of watching his children and grandchildren show the horse of his dreams was right up there with those “highlight” moments. Those moments and his involvement in the breeding, raising, and showing Tennessee Walking Horses spans over 50 years.

Valton Rummage began breeding mares, raising foals, and showing colts in the late sixties and early seventies. His first registered mare, Threat’s Early Dawn, was purchased in 1969, and his life-long love of the Tennessee Walking horse began. In 1974, the family filling station (as it was called back then) was sold and he switched his career to full time breeding, raising, training, and showing colts. He never looked back. His tenure as a breeder, owner and exhibitor has spanned seven decades. In what has now become laughable, he has been telling friends and family for over a decade that he’s retiring “next year”.

Rummage is known for his integrity and honesty in buying and selling horses and, likewise, for his vast knowledge of good brood stock, and for his discerning eye in picking out great prospects.

TWHBEA Hall Of Fame Horse

The Tennessee Walking Horse Hall Of Fame induction of Haynes Peacock also has ties to Maury County. Owned by Haynes Haven Stock Farm and shown by Colonel Jack Haynes, Haynes Peacock was named the World Grand Champion Tennessee Walking Horse in 1940 and 1941.

He was a chestnut gelding sired by Wilson’s Allen and out of a Standardbred mare named Nell Monette.  He was foaled on May 15, 1928, and was bred by Jack Monette of the New Herman community in Bedford County, Tennessee.

First known as Dan, he spent the first eleven years of his life as a utility horse on the Monette farm.  He came to prominence when Arthur Driscoll won the “Plantation Ring” at the New Herman Horse Show in April 1939.  First prize was a sack of flour!  Mr. Monette sold him to T. P. Shelton of Manchester, Tennessee after the show for $450.  Mr. Shelton sold Dan to Col. Jack Haynes of Spring Hill, Tennessee after his second show at Smyrna, Tennessee in May of 1939.  The purchase price was $850.  Col. Haynes changed his name to Peacock and put him in training with Billy Grubbs at Haynes Haven Stock Farm in Spring Hill.  Col. Haynes, Billy Grubbs and Haynes Peacock (as he came to be known) began to dominate the show ring.  They won championships at Franklin and Columbia, Tennessee; Como and Grenada, Mississippi; the LSU Challenge Show at Baton Rouge, Louisiana; the Fat Stock Show in Fort Worth, Texas and the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  Haynes Peacock went from winning a sack of flour at New Herman, Tennessee to winning a blue ribbon at Madison Square Garden in a span of seven months!  Of course, his greatest wins were at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville, Tennessee where he won both the Aged Gelding Class and the World Grand Championship in 1940 and 1941 with Col. Haynes up.

Haynes Peacock is one of only seven horses in Celebration history to win the World Grand Championship more than once.  He was retired from the show ring at the Tennessee State Horse Show in September 1941.  He died in 1944 and is buried near the main barn at Haynes Haven which is now owned by GM Spring Hill Manufacturing. Representatives from GM Spring Hill Manufacturing, Greg Spears (Facilities Manager) and Mike Rayburn (former Facilities Manager) were in attendance and accepted the award.

Another honor connected to Maury County was the selection of the 2023 Tennesse Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association Senior Youth Member Of The Year. While never owning a Tennessee Walking Horse of her own, Emelia Peery of Hampshire, Tennessee, is no stranger to Tennessee Walking Horse shows. The sixteen-year-old daughter of a horse show organist attended her first show when she was only 3 weeks old. She learned what it takes to put on a successful horse show working with her parents, Brian and Melanie Peery, at the Columbia Spring Jubilee. “I have been involved with that show since I was a small child,” she explains. For the past three years, Emelia has been a familiar figure in center ring at horse shows across the state, and this past summer she worked as an intern for TWHBEA. “I have never owned any Tennessee Walking Horses,” she says, “but a close friend of mine owns several that I have fallen in love with over the years.”

Emelia was Presentation Coordinator at the Celebration this past August. Her family lives on an operating cattle farm in Hampshire, Tennessee, a farm that has been in the Peery family for six generation. She is Vice President of the Columbia FFA Chapter at Columbia Central High School and plans to study Agricultural Communication in college.

The first-ever THWBEA Youth Challenge Cup Champion recognized was Georgia Hazelwood of Spring Hill. Earlier this year it was announced that for the first time a $2,500 Youth Challenge Cup program for youth who participate in halter classes had been created. The program is sponsored by the Jake Jacobs Family of Murfreesboro, TN. Youth exhibitors accumulate points every time they show in a halter class at a TWHBEA affiliated show. Halter classes include model, showmanship, weanling, yearling, and in-hand trail obstacle. They can be designated open, amateur or youth. The class can be open to any breed, but the horse must be a Tennessee Walking Horse and the handler needs to be a Tennessee Walking Horse Youth Association member. The Youth Challenge Cup follows the TWHBEA program year (Oct – Sept) and the top point earners earn a portion of the $2,500.  

Georgia Hazelwood was also awarded the Lizzie Umberger Sportsmanship Award. The fifteen-year-old loves volunteering almost as much as she loves horses.  From handing out ribbons to working in the show office to serving as an officer in the Tennessee Walking Horse Youth Association, she has been helping out almost as long as she has been showing horses.  The daughter of Chris Hazelwood and Amy Beth Rich, Georgia’s ready smile and kindness makes her a great recipient of the Lizzie Umberger Sportsmanship Award. 

Founded in 1935, the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA) is the oldest breed association dedicated to the Tennessee Walking Horse – the official horse of the State of Tennessee. TWHBEA maintains the official breed registry and records the pedigrees of Tennessee Walking Horses around the world. They also promote the diverse qualities and uses of the smooth-riding breed and help assure the general welfare of all Tennessee Walking Horses. The association headquarters, located in Lewisburg, Tennessee, is governed by an International Board of Directors. For more information visit

Connect Columbia Updates Plan (MSM)

Columbia’s City Council will hold a first vote on proposed changes to the city’s “Connect Columbia” plan this week at its regularly scheduled meeting. The council is scheduled to meet on Thursday, Jan. 11 at 5:30 p.m.

As stated in the planning documents, “The primary function of Connect Columbia is to provide a policy framework. The City Council, Planning Commission, and other boards and commissions with a role in growth management utilize the plan to inform their decisions.”

“Connect Columbia” was created in 2017 and work on the updates began in early 2023 with the creation of a 15-member steering committee. Committee members hosted two public forums during 2023 and utilized input from the community in creating the updated plan. That update was sent to the Municipal Planning Commission and was recommended for approval in November.

“The 2023 update of Connect Columbia establishes an active and continuous long-range planning program. The goals and objectives of the framework plan are implemented through prioritized proposed actions,” the document states in part.

The plan is broken down into three sections for implementation: Immediate (0-2 years), Mid-Range (2-3 years) and Long-Range (4-5 years). Immediate actions include establishing a regular cycle of annual reports from the Planning Commission to the City Council on implementation, a regular annual cycle of revisions to the city’s Zoning Ordinance, developing a five-year Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) for city projects, developing an affordable housing strategy and updating the Parks & Greenways element of the Comprehensive Plan during the first quarter of 2024.

Mid-Range actions include requiring new developments to meet or exceed the minimum level of service for parks and greenways, creating a citywide public art plan through the Columbia Arts Council and identifying locations in established residential neighborhoods which can be utilized for small-scale neighborhood commercial retail.

Long-Range actions include enacting policies which support retail development in nodes and commercial corridors, supporting expansion of operations for Columbia State Community College and Maury Regional Medical Center, pursuing state and federal economic development grants and identifying opportunities to expand recreational

access to the Duck River.

The City Council will also hold a public hearing and second reading on changes to the city’s 2023-24 budget with relations to capital projects. The $2.892 million increase incorporates a $200,000 Tourism Enhancement Grant and a $45,000 Historic Preservation Grant, and also includes $882,000 for improvements to Fire Station No. 1.

A proposed rezoning of 30 acres on Cayce Lane will also be up for a first reading. The applicant is requesting to rezone the 30-acre tract for future development of a residential neighborhood, with the concept plan reflecting 61 lots. The Planning Commission reviewed the request at its December 2023 meeting and recommended approval by a 4-0 vote with two abstentions.

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

Patricia Ruth "Pat" Brown Selle, 88, and well known realtor, passed away Saturday morning at Morning Pointe assisted living.

Funeral services will be announced at a later date. Oakes & Nichols funeral directors are assisting the family.

Mary Sue Voss, 94, member of the Maury County Board of Education and resident of Williamsport, passed away January 13, 2023 at her residence.

A funeral Service will be held at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home Thursday, January 18, 2023 at 1:00 P.M. with Jonathan Jones and Rusty Colvett officiating. Visitation will be held from  10:00 A.M. until service time Thursday. 

…And now, news from around the state…

TDOT Ready for Weather (Press Release)

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) can assure motorists it is stocked and ready to clear roadways of ice and snow. Salt supplies have been replenished in all 95 counties in preparation for the winter season, and crews have readied snowplows and brine trucks.

 “Roads are our number one responsibility, and we prepare for winter weather months in advance,” said Deputy Governor and TDOT Commissioner Butch Eley. “Our salt bins and our brine are fully stocked, and our employees are ready to mobilize in the event of inclement weather. Clearing our roadways as soon as we can is vital to keeping motorists safe and traffic moving in Tennessee.”

TDOT’s statewide 2023/2024 winter weather budget is $26.6 million and includes salt, salt brine, overtime for employees, and equipment maintenance. The department has three salt vendors to refill salt bins as needed in all 95 Tennessee counties.

TDOT currently has 244,000 tons of salt and more than 1.6 million gallons of salt brine ready for use.  Salt brine is a salt/water mixture used for pre-treating roads before a winter storm or to melt snow on roadways when temperatures are hovering around the freezing mark. Salt is applied to roads once snow accumulates.

When snow hits Tennessee, TDOT ice and snow removal teams focus first on clearing interstates and heavily traveled state routes specifically targeting areas vulnerable to freezing, such as hills, curves, ramps, bridges, and interchanges. During prolonged weather events, crews may have to clear roadways repeatedly.

For winter weather tips, travel information, and a regional breakdown of TDOT winter weather supplies and equipment, visit the TDOT website

Return of the Cicadas? (Tennessean)

One brood of cicadas has been waiting a long time to emerge; now is their time.

Brood XIX has been dormant for the past 13 years, but will soon be "screaming" their love across Tennessee. The brood is set to emerge around mid-May 2024 in Tennessee and be around for a month as the insects try to find mates before hibernating once again.

Not all of Tennessee will not have to deal with the cicadas like it does with the 17-year periodical cicadas, according to the University of Tennessee Extension.

Cicadas are expected to start emerging in multiple counties around the state starting mid-May and be around until mid-June. The timing of the emergence of Brood XIX all depends on the weather though.

The cicadas typically begin to emerge when the soil eight inches beneath the ground reaches 64 degrees.

The lifespan of cicadas is long but technically short.

Female cicadas lay eggs in trees. When they hatch, they drop to the ground and begin burrowing until they are about eight feet underground. And there they will stay for either 13 or 17 years, depending on which brood they are in, and then tunnel their way to the surface.

Once the adult cicadas surface, they linger for about five weeks before they start to die off.

Tennessee is one of 14 states expected to see Brood XIX emerge from their 13-year slumber. 

Cicadas aren't a rare thing and show up every year, but some years there are a lot more of them. And a lot louder.

You'll see hear annual cicadas on most summer nights in the South. The insects have green bodies and black eyes and are most active during the evening and nighttime hours.

Periodical cicadas, which are the ones emerging in just a few short months, have life cycles of either 13 or 17 years and come out in large groups called broods. Counties throughout middle Tennessee and in a handful of others will see the 13-year brood, while most of the state gets to hear the tones of the cicadas every 17 years. Periodical cicadas have red eyes.

Final Story of the Day (Maury County Source)

Third Eye Blind is excited to announce the fourth edition of the Summer Gods Tour.

The tour kicks off on June 8th and stops in Franklin at FirstBank Amphitheater on June 30th. Special guests are Yellowcard and A R I Z O N A.

Tickets on sale now at


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