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Southern Middle Tennessee Today News for January 16, 2024

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


We start with local news…

Weather (WKOM)

The Martin Luther King Day snow storm dropped about six inches of snow on Middle Tennessee. Due to these conditions and to keep all students safe, there will be no school on Tuesday, January 16, or Wednesday, January 17 for all Maury County Schools. This includes all Boys & Girls Club locations. The Central Office will be closed on Tuesday, January 16.

All Maury County offices will also be closed both today and tomorrow, Wednesday. Besides Maury, all surrounding county schools are closed through Wednesday.

Driving conditions are hazardous in unsalted places.

The Columbia Police Department says if drivers have to get out in the wintry mix, please use caution and "if not, please stay home and off the roadways," a CPD social media post said.

Temperatures across the area remain in "dangerous" lows, according to the Nashville Weather Service's statement on social media, and are not expected to climb above freezing until Thursday.

Tennessee Emergency Management Agency compiled a list of warming centers across the state for those who need shelter, which can be found at www.tn.gov/tema/warming-centers.

One Gen Away Food Pantry (WilliamsonHerald)

One Generation Away is returning to the Columbia State Community College campus to offer free groceries to anyone in need.

The nonprofit’s drive-thru Mobile Pantry will be on campus at 1665 Hampshire Pike on Saturday, and will include fresh produce, dry goods, bakery items, dairy and more.

“We don’t ask any qualifying questions to receive food, and no paperwork is required,” said Chris Whitney, founder and CEO of OneGenAway. “All you have to do is show up, and we’ll take care of the rest.”

Food will be distributed beginning around 8:30 a.m. and continuing until 10 a.m. or until all the food has been given away. Volunteers are encouraged to arrive at 7:30 a.m. to help sort and distribute food. No registration is required to volunteer. It will be cold so bundle up! 

For more information about OneGenAway and its food assistance programs, visit www.OneGenAway.com.

State Reps Tout CDBG Money (MSM)

State Reps. Kip Capley (R-Summertown) and Scott Cepicky (R-Culleoka) praised the announcement of $1,190,000 in community development grants for projects in Maury County from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD).

TNECD announced in December that Maury County would receive a $560,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for a sewer rehabilitation project and Mount Pleasant would receive a $630,000 CDBG for a water system improvement project.

“Maury County is an exceptional place to live and visit,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement. “These grants will significantly improve essential services for residents, ensuring the reliability of Mount Pleasant’s sewer system and water meters. We know this funding will be spent wisely, and we thank TNECD for their work selecting deserving projects.”

Maury County’s CDBG will go toward installing a new ultraviolet disinfection system in the Mount Pleasant Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Mount Pleasant’s funds will be used to purchase new water meters to ensure accurate readings.

TNECD approved $36.6 million in grants to 78 communities across the state for projects in categories including public health and safety, community infrastructure, community revitalization, water system improvements, and sewer system improvements.

The allocation of CDBG funds is based on priorities set through the public meeting process at the local community level. The CDBG program is funded through HUD and administered in Tennessee by the Department of Economic and Community Development.

Capley represents House District 71, which includes Wayne County and party of Hardin, Lawrence and Maury counties. Cepicky represents House District 64, which includes part of Maury County.

Bowling Tournament Postponed (MSM)

Inclement weather and the expectation of more as the week progresses has forced the postponement of the TSSAA State Bowling Championships. The three-day tournament has been rescheduled for Jan. 24-26 at the Smyrna Bowling Center.

“Due to the weather conditions statewide, and the fact that temperatures will not rise above freezing until Thursday with more snow forecasted for Thursday afternoon, we feel the best decision at this time is to postpone the bowling state tournament,” TSSAA officials said in a release Monday morning.

“We apologize for the inconvenience, but the safety of student-athletes, coaches, and spectators in traveling to the state championships is our top priority,” the release concluded.

Following a decisive win over Cumberland County in last week’s sectional round, Lawrence County will open the TSSAA Division I state bowling tournament with a quarterfinal matchup on Jan. 25 against Bartlett.

The Wildcats will face Bartlett at 9 a.m. at the Smyrna Bowling Center, while Columbia Academy will also bowl at 9 a.m. against Boyd Buchanan in a Division II quarterfinal contest.

Lawrence County defeated Cumberland County 21.5-5.5 at Tenn Pin Alley in sectional competition Thursday to earn a spot in the final eight, getting contributions up and down the lineup to rally from a loss in the first game and advance.

“Cumberland County was a really good team. We just came out flat that first game,” Wildcats coach Chris Hagan said. “We had a little ‘inspirational’ talk and we came out swinging in the second game.

“I’m always confident in my boys.”

James Runions, who has also qualified for the upcoming Division I individual competition, had a pair of 200 games in the sectional (224, 200), while Andrew Littleton had a team-best 240 and Dentin Shelton came in with a 234.

The Lawrence County/Bartlett winner will face the Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett/Smyrna winner in a semifinal. The other Division I semifinal bracket includes Chuckey-Doak, Hardin County, Green Hill and Creek Wood.

Columbia Academy, the No. 3 seed from the Middle Region of Division II, opens against the East Region champion Buccaneers. The winner will meet the Pope Prep/Memphis University School winner in a semifinal matchup. The other half of the bracket includes Friendship Christian, Lipscomb Academy, St. Benedict and McCallie

Bowling is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 24 with Division I boys and girls individual semifinals, followed by Division II boys and girls individual semifinals at 12 noon and championships for both divisions at 3:30 p.m.

In addition to Lawrence County’s Runions, Columbia Central will have Alex Davis and Brenden Bilson in the DI individual competition. Spring Hill freshman Brayden Hayes also qualified. On the girls side in DI, Lawrence County’s Samantha Stepp and Ashton Belew will be in action. 

Columbia Academy’s Knox Ransom and Nathan Hutto qualified for the DII individual tournament.

On Jan. 25, boys team quarterfinals for Division I and Division II are set to start at 9 a.m., with DI and DII girls team quarterfinals slated for 12:30 p.m. Team semifinals are scheduled for Jan. 26 at 9 a.m. and championships at 12 noon. The unified bowling state championship will also take place at 12 noon.

Maury Alliance Annual Meeting (Press Release)

Join Maury Alliance on Tuesday, January 30th for their most anticipated event of the year as they celebrate their accomplishments for 2023 and recognize the transition of their volunteer leadership. 

This will be a lively night of entertainment and networking celebrating business and industry in Maury County with dinner and beverages by It's Chef Jess and live music featuring The Velvet Troubadours.

Purchase tickets to the Maury Alliance Annual Meeting now to guarantee a seat at their biggest event of the year!!

The event will take place from 5-8pm on January 30th at the Memorial Building, located at 308 W. 7th Street in Columbia.

For more information visit www.mauryalliance.com.

Spring Hill Census (CDH)

Spring Hill has launched a new special census for citizens with the goal of generating enough population numbers to receive up to $2 million in additional annual federal funding.

Residents can participate in the census by logging onto the city's website at www.SpringHillTN.org.

Earlier this month, Mayor Jim Hagaman commented on the importance of the census during the Board of Mayor and Aldermen's Jan. 2 work session meeting.

"I would ask that you citizens take it seriously and fill it out, which is incredibly simple. You go to our website and simply type in how many people live in your house, and your done, just like that," Hagaman said. "It's very important because it will translate into dollars that we get in our coffers to do projects we need to do and/or want to do."

Hagaman added that he looks forward to continuing his, as well as the rest of the BOMA's service to the city as it enters into the new year.

"It has been, and remains a high honor to serve you as your mayor," Hagaman said. "I take it very seriously, and my whole thing about my character is to be Christ-like, and that means it is synonymous with having integrity, with having fairness, having decency, being high minded and to have good ethics. As we continue into 2024, I will continue to be like that."

The city last conducted a special census in 2020, and the decision to launch a new one is due to the continued exponential growth Spring Hill has generated over the last four years. It will also play a vital role in accomplishing much-needed projects, hiring more staff members and more.

"Since the 2020 Census, the City of Spring Hill is estimated to have increased in population by roughly 10,000 people which could earn the city an additional $2 million in funding," The city's website states.

If the estimated numbers are met with the new census, the additional moneys could be used for things like:

Hiring additional firefighters and public safety staff

Street maintenance

Infrastructure improvements

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…

Weather Hampers Flights (Tennessean)

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a ground stop for Nashville International Airport because of the weather.

"For ongoing flight updates, please check with your respective airline on your flight status," the airport said.

More than 40 arriving flights showed as canceled with another 20 delayed, according to the airport.

About 40 departing flights are marked delayed while 41 are noted as canceled, according to the airport.

To keep up with flight statuses, check individual airlines and BNA's website at flynashville.com.

Transportation Grants (Press Release)

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee along with Deputy Governor & Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner Butch Eley announced this week the award of over $46 million in state and federal grant funds that support multimodal investments in walking, biking, and transit statewide in Tennessee.

“Increasing safety, promoting healthy lifestyles, and providing improved access to our cities and towns make our communities better places to live and work,” said Gov. Lee. “I’m pleased the state can provide the support necessary to move these projects forward.”

The awards announcement is for three grant programs administered through TDOT. The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant is made possible through a federally funded program. A variety of activities, such as the restoration of historic facilities, bike and pedestrian trails, landscaping, and other non-traditional transportation projects, are eligible for grant funds under the federal program. This year TDOT is awarding $15,201,777 to seven communities.

“Since 1991, through these grants, TDOT has funded $400 million in non-traditional transportation projects,” said Deputy Governor & TDOT Commissioner Butch Eley.  “This program has assisted communities across Tennessee in their efforts to revitalize downtowns, highlight historic areas, provide alternative means of transportation, and increase opportunities for economic development.”

For more information and a list of this year’s TAP grantees, please visit TDOT’s website at Transportation Alternatives Program (tn.gov).

Final Story of the Day (Maury County Source)

Back in October 2023, the Nashville Zoo announced the birth of three critically endangered Sumatran tiger cubs. Now, the Zoo has announced the names of the cubs following a fundraising poll.

The winning female names are Kirana (key-RAHN-ah), an Indonesian name meaning beautiful sunbeam⁠ and Zara (ZAR-ah), a Malaysian name meaning princess and radiant⁠.

The winning male name is Bulan (BOO-lahn), an Indonesian name meaning moon⁠.

Anne, the Zoo’s 7-year-old female Sumatran tiger, gave birth to the cubs on the evening of October 20, 2023. The three cubs are the first Sumatran tigers to be born at Nashville Zoo.

Everyone who voted on the names also helped raise money for tiger conservation. The Zoo raised just under $8,000 for the Tiger Conservation Campaign, a non-profit working to save native habitats.

Learn more at www.nashvillezoo.org.


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