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Southern Middle Tennessee Today News for July 26, 2023

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

We start with local news…

Bridge Named for Local Agriculturalist (CDH)

Local drivers might have noticed a new moniker on the state Highway 50 West bridge, or Williamsport Pike, honoring the late Jean Corley Harlan for her lifetime contributions to the agricultural industry in Maury County and Tennessee.

The bridge, which covers Green Lick Creek will now be known as the Jean Corley Harlan Bridge.

Rep. Scott Cepicky, R-Culleoka, formally dedicated the bridge in her honor before dozens of family members on July 7.

At the dedication ceremony, son Al Harlan told a crowd of family members and friends gathered on the bridge about his memories of the farm being next to the creek.

"My mom lived out here for about 63 years," he said. "She walked across that bridge a lot."

He told about an incident of flooding decades ago that left some of the cattle herd stranded.

"We had a massive flood, which flooded Green Lick Creek," Al Harlan said. "We had cattle on the opposite side of the creek, and we had to get the help of the Tennessee Highway Patrol to shut that road down, so we could get the herd back over here across that bridge and over to the barn to be milked.

"This bridge has meant a lot to us."

Harlan thanked the state legislature and Maury County Commission for approving the naming of the bridge.

"This is the best part of the job," Cepicky said. "Not only to represent your constituents but to represent true Tennesseans. Ms. Harlan was a true Tennessean."

Ms. Harlan passed away on May 24, 2019.

Ms. Harlan was born to Nixon and Rebecca Corley on Sept. 30 1929 and raised on a family farm in Wilson County, where they raised sheep, cattle and row crops and also operated a dairy. Her uncle Homer Hancock was the Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture when she was a child.

She attended The University of Tennessee Knoxville, receiving a degree in home economics in 1951.

Afterwards, Ms. Harlan moved to Columbia to start a job with the UT Agriculture Extension Service, where she administered the 4-H program for four years during the program's heyday, becoming well known in the ag community.

A large number of students participated in the program, and she gave presentations monthly at each county school.

In 1954, she married Edward Harlan. The couple went on to build a legacy of agricultural excellence through their large farming operation where they operated a diary and raised hogs, sheep, horses, beef cattle, row crops and tobacco.

"She always helped work the farm, feed the livestock, feed the farm, feed the farm help (which as many farm wife can tell you, is no small task) and always canned and froze fruits and vegetables," a Maury County bridge proclamation says from former County Mayor Andy Ogles Office.

"She was one who could always be counted on to do more than her part in any group or organization in which she was associated with."

A turning point in her life occurred when her husband died unexpectedly at the age of 46 on June 30, 1975, leaving a large active farm, including the dairy, many debts on land and equipment and small children to raise.

"When many would have sold the farm and given up, and some encouraged her to do so, Jean rose to the challenge," the proclamation says.

During the time of hardship, her oldest son Ed took on major responsibilities of running the farm with the rest of the family. Through cooperation and perseverance, the family continued to build the farm operation, pursue a good education and become successful adults.

She also remained active in the Maury County Farm Bureau women, West End Baptist Church and the Cosmopolitan Book Club all of her life.

Jean Corley Harlan's four children include Ed, Al, Gayle and Patrick along with seven grandchildren.

Spring Hill Planned Development (CDH)

Spring Hill planners are considering a proposal for a multi-tenant commercial building located near the Port Royal Road Kroger, which would include plans for a Subway restaurant and drive-thru.

The proposal was brought before the Spring Hill Municipal Planning Commission this week. This included final site plans for the approximately 7,500-square-foot building, which includes five units. Planners will vote on the proposal in August.

While Spring Hill city planning staff recommends approval for the proposed site plan, and that it does meet the requirements outlined in the city's Unified Development Code, some commissioners shared concerns regarding the design.

Alderman Matt Fitterer, in particular, addressed the Subway's proposed drive-thru, not just in its location, but its practicality considering how a Subway sandwich is typically ordered compared to other fast-food establishments.

"If I'm at the menu board, especially if I know it's a touch screen and I've got to pick out my sandwich that I'm unfamiliar with, and I've got three other people in the car, I'm going to spend some time at the menu board and cars will que up behind me," Fitterer said.

"I have to either wrap around in front of the other retail sites, or I have to back onto the connecting road where Kingsley Place is trying to make a connection. Both of those are bad options, in my opinion. I don't know what the right solution is, but how it is proposed is wrong."

Dakota Beasley, representing applicant GreenLID Design, said that while Subway drive-thrus have proven successful in other locations, Fitterer's concerns were "valid" and that a redesign of the drive-thru will be considered.

"I do see what you are saying, and this is something I can get with the client on and see about moving," Beasley said.

Fitterer added that the building's design should also be taken under consideration, and that it should fit more closely with the Kroger or adjacent O'Reilly auto parts store.

"It's going to be a lot more visually appealing than bringing a third color palette out there," Fitterer said. "I'd ask to revisit that color palette to match one of your two neighbors."

Commissioner Jonathan Duda agreed, saying that the building materials are similar to the O'Reilly building, but that the color scheme should be reconsidered.

The planning commission will revisit the proposed multi-tenant site plan during its next regular meeting scheduled at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14.

Prime and Pint Coming Soon (Press Release)

Downtown Columbia is getting a new, unique butcher shop!

Soon to open in the location of the former Marcy Jo’s Muletown on East 6th Street, Prime & Pint is a fusion of craft butchery, spirited taproom, and pop-up restaurant/supper club.

Offering local chicken, pork, and beef, exotic meats, and the crown jewel – dry-aged beef, Prime & Pint is far more than just a butcher shop or a bar!

Their vision is to create a dynamic experience that tells a story of exceptional quality and craft while enriching Columbia’s culinary scene and creating a space where food, friends, and community can flourish.

The restaurant is hoping to open this fall.

Stay up to date with Columbia’s Prime & Pint journey on Facebook and Instagram.

Planet Fitness Renovated (MauryCountySource)

Planet Fitness announces that its Columbia, TN club (1910 Shady Brook Street) recently underwent $875 thousand worth of renovations.

To celebrate, the new and improved club will host an open house, Monday, July 31, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The community is invited for free workouts, prize drawings, giveaways and light refreshments. Classic Card members will have complimentary PF Black Card® amenities.

Those who are new to Planet Fitness can sign up anytime through July 31 for PF Black Card® membership for $1 down + 1 month free, with no commitment and get access to:

the ability to bring a guest every day at no additional charge,

access to all 2,400+ Planet Fitness locations in all 50 states,

access to the PF Black Card® Spa area,

and more!

“We are committed to reinvesting in the Columbia community and are thrilled to unveil our brand-new Judgement Free facilities to our existing and soon-to-be members,” said Victor Brick, co-owner of Ohana Growth Partners (OGP), a franchise division of Planet Fitness. “Already, we’ve experienced an outstanding response from the community and encourage everyone to come check out the club, meet our friendly staff, get a tour and see what the Judgement Free Zone® is all about.”

The Renovations

Planet Fitness Columbia (Shady Brook St.) originally opened in April 2013, and just completed its three-month makeover. Along with new exterior signage, rubber flooring and wallcoverings, the 17,430-square-foot facility now features a newPF Black Card® Spa area with HydroMassage beds, massage chairs, tanning beds and a Recovery Lounge – which offers a multi-sensory experience combining hot, cold and compression therapy to help members relieve pain, recover and improve circulation.

The Spa area also contains a RelaxSpace Wellness Pod where Black Card® members can relax, reset and focus on their mental health for up to 15 minutes.  Members can select between a variety of videos, scents and even temperatures while learning more about diet, nutrition, breathing and the benefits of exercise. Plus, the Wellness Pod tracks heart rates and encourages members to use breathing and meditation exercises to reduce anxiety levels, disconnect and recharge with a unique, multi-sensory experience.

Overall, Planet Fitness Columbia (Shady Brook St.) features state-of-the-art cardio machines and strength equipment, 30-Minute Express Circuit, fully equipped locker rooms with day lockers and showers, numerous flat screen televisions, and more in a hassle-free, non-intimidating environment.

Memberships, starting at $10/month for the Classic membership, include free fitness classes led by a certified fitness trainer. The PF Black Card® membership is $24.99/month.

The club is open and staffed as follows:

Monday: 5:00 a.m. – 11:59 p.m.

Tuesday-Thursday: open 24 hours

Friday: 12:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday: 6:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

For more information about the new and improved club, visit

MRMC Respiratory Health (Press Release)

Maury Regional Occupational Health, located at 1114 W. Seventh St. in Columbia, offers respirator medical examinations to its business partners for employees who must wear a respirator on the job. Their providers have extensive knowledge regarding Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines to determine if the employee is cleared for respirator use with no restrictions, cleared with restrictions, isn't cleared for any respirator use or needs a follow-up examination. Maury Regional Occupational Health offers respirator medical examinations on a walk-in basis Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Any necessary follow-up appointment will then be scheduled. For more information, visit

Wired Mastermind Group Accepting Applications (Press Release)

The WIRED Mastermind Group is now accepting applications to participate. The WIRED Mastermind Group was launched in 2021 by Maury Alliance and the Spring Hill chamber for local Entrepreneurs and CEOs.

This exclusive group is limited to 10 local Entrepreneurs and CEOs who are selected through an application process. The purpose of the group is to foster growth and development through the sharing of experiences, lessons-learned, and game-changing moments. This environment will allow each participant to showcase their expertise while also developing additional skill sets showcased by the other participants.

If you are ready to connect with like-minded individuals locally and are looking for growth opportunities by learning in a peer-to-peer environment and contributing to the growth of other businesses, then this is an opportunity you will want to take advantage of! Visit for more info. The deadline to apply is July 28th.

Legislative Lunch (Press Release)

Join Maury Alliance for a Legislative Lunch featuring Congressman Andy Ogles for a stimulating discussion around the current issues facing our business community and nation. This exclusive event offers the opportunity for you to engage with one of our federal representatives and gain valuable insights into current legislative matters. You may submit questions in advance by emailing them to

The event will take place on August 15th from 11:30-1:00pm at Puckett’s in downtown Columbia located at 15 Public Square. The cost is $25 for Maury Alliance Members and $30 for non-members.

CMYC Applications Coming (MauryCountySource)

The Columbia Mayor’s Youth Council consists of Maury County high school students selected by a panel who will have the opportunity to serve as a council member until graduation if they choose. Applications for the 2023-24 Columbia Mayor’s Youth Council Class will go live on August 1st.

Through the Mayor’s Youth Council, students in Columbia will grow to become the next leaders of our city, and their participation will create a foundation for expanding our population of informed high-school students.

In addition, a council of student representatives will create an ideal avenue for local politicians to interact and learn from their constituents.

Applications for the 2023-24 Columbia Mayor’s Youth Council Class will go live on August 1st.

Learn more at

Ascend Promotes Harris (MainStreetMaury)

Ascend Federal Credit Union, the largest credit union in Middle Tennessee, announced the promotion of Kristy Harris to associate financial advisor on the Ascend Retirement and Investment Services wealth management team.

Harris will develop and execute retirement and investment plans for members in the Murfreesboro, Columbia and Spring Hill locations. 

Ascend Federal Credit Union Assistant Vice President of Retail Investment Janet Wooten said in a company news release, “We are excited to have Kristy in this new role as her experience, knowledge and expertise will provide our members with access to professional investment services and products in the areas she will serve.” 

Previously, Harris served as a sales assistant at Ascend Retirement & Investment Services. In that role, she assisted financial advisors with member needs, opening accounts, trades and scheduling.

Harris earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from Middle Tennessee State University. She is designated as a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor by the College for Financial Planning.

Tennessee Reconnect (Press Release)

Columbia State Community College will host virtual and in-person Tennessee Reconnect information sessions during the months of July and August.


Tennessee Reconnect is a last-dollar scholarship that provides free tuition for adults to attend a community college. The initiative is designed to help adults enter college to gain new skills, advance in the workplace and fulfill lifelong dreams of completing a degree or credential.


“We are thankful to be able to provide the local community with easy access to information about Tennessee Reconnect by hosting information sessions,” said Joni Allison, Columbia State coordinator of Adult Student Services. “Tennessee Reconnect provides a wonderful opportunity for eligible adults to retool their skills and attend Columbia State tuition-free.”


To be eligible for Tennessee Reconnect, students must meet the following requirements:

Haven’t earned an associate or bachelor’s degree.

Have been a Tennessee resident for at least one year.

Complete the Free Application For Federal Student Aid and be determined as an independent student.

Be admitted to Columbia State and enroll in a degree or certificate program.

Must attend at least part-time (6 credit hours).


To view the full list of steps to apply, or to sign up for an information session, please visit


July 24 6 – 7 p.m. Virtual

July 31 6 – 7 p.m. Virtual

August 3 2 – 3 p.m. Virtual

August 5 10 – 22 a.m. Virtual


For more information, contact Allison at 931.540.2655 or by email at

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

Randy Eugene Dooley, 62, an employee of Lowe’s and resident of Columbia, died Saturday, June 3, 2023, at NHC Columbia after a brief illness.

 Private family services will be conducted at Rose Hill Cemetery. The family will visit with friends Saturday, July 29, 2023, from 4:00 P.M. - 6:00 P.M. at Southern Tre Steakhouse upstairs in the Magnolia Room.. Oakes & Nichols Funeral Directors is assisting the family with arrangements. 

Mrs. Mary Jane Galloway Moody, 80, retired employee of Travelers Insurance Company and resident of Houston, Texas died Sunday, February 12, 2023 following a brief illness.  A graveside service for Mrs. Moody will be conducted Saturday, July 29, at 10:00 a.m. at Polk Memorial Gardens to lay her to rest beside her husband. Oakes & Nichols Funeral Directors are assisting the family with arrangements.

…And now, news from around the state…

DeSantis in Accident on Way to TN (Tennessean)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis's four-vehicle motorcade was in a wreck as he traveled to one of three presidential campaign events scheduled for the day but wasn't injured.

A spokesperson for DeSantis' campaign said that Republican hopeful “was in a car accident while traveling to an event in Chattanooga, Tennessee.”

DeSantis “and his team are uninjured," according to the statement.

The wreck happened on Interstate 75 South just below East Brainerd Road about 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, according to a statement from Chattanooga police spokesperson Kevin West.

"The motorcade came up on slow traffic and the lead vehicle had to brake quickly, which caused a rear-end collision involving the other vehicles," the statement said. "All the vehicles involved were government vehicles accompanying Governor DeSantis and his team to his scheduled event."

A staffer did suffer a minor injury but continued to the morning event and was treated there, the police statement said.

DeSantis was scheduled to hold fundraising events in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Franklin on Tuesday. A spokesperson told the Knoxville News Sentinel that DeSantis was continuing to his event.

DeSantis has been focusing a lot of attention on Tennessee in his recent campaigning. Last week, he addressed more than 1,800 attendees at a state GOP dinner in Nashville.

Hospital Transparency an Issue in TN (Tennessean)

Hospital stays are expensive. But a new report finds that most U.S. hospitals, including some of Tennessee's premier health centers, aren't abiding by a 2021 federal rule requiring them to tell the public just how much such stays will hit their pocketbooks.

The non-profit price transparency group, Patient Rights Advocate (PRA) finds in its fifth semi-annual report that only 36% of hospitals are following the federal rule requiring, among other things, that health centers provide "clear, accessible pricing information online."

PRA also found that only half of Tennessee hospitals fully complied with the federal rule, though the state as a whole ranks as the 10th best for hospital compliance, the report said.

Advocates for price transparency argue that it could help drive down the cost of health care by giving patients the ability to shop around for care.

“Unfortunately, our findings show that the majority of hospitals across the country are still failing to comply with the Hospital Price Transparency Rule,” said Cynthia Fisher, founder and chairman of PRA, in a written statement. “When hospitals hide behind estimates or don’t post all real prices, they are leaving consumers in the dark. Making all actual prices available upfront will empower patients, employers, and unions to choose the best care at prices they know they can afford, and protect all Americans from overcharges, errors, and fraud."

Federal regulators said this spring they have issued 730 warnings to hospitals and 269 requests for corrective action plans. But, more than two years after the rules have gone into effect, the government has fined only four hospitals for non-compliance, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

None were in Tennessee.

For years, the best information on hospital pricing the public could get was from so-called "chargemaster" lists, which are essentially the base prices for procedures. But those listed prices usually bear little resemblance to what patients pay out-of-pocket after insurance negotiations with hospital billers.

The new federal rules, which took effect in January 2021, require "a comprehensive machine-readable file with all standard charges established by the hospital for all the items and services it provides."

The rules also state that health centers must provide "consumer-friendly" displays of actual prices for 300 common procedures and/or by providing cost estimators that can be personalized for patients.

PRA concludes that no hospital owned by Nashville-based HCA Healthcare is compliant with the rules. That includes those health centers under the TriStar brand.

Final Story of the Day (Maury County Source)

The Zmed Brothers will present “The Everly Brothers Experience” to Homestead Hall in Columbia on Friday, August 11th.

Since 2016, The Zmed Brothers (Zachary and Dylan) along with drummer Burleigh Drummond, have celebrated the pivotal music and history of The Everly Brothers legacy with enthusiastic crowds all across the US and overseas in prestigious venues.

The Zmed Brothers say, “The music of the 50’s and 60’s is nostalgic for us, our parents raised us all on it, and we feel that Don and Phil’s contribution is greatly overlooked, especially by younger generations. Our aim is not to impersonate but to do our best at honoring their brotherly legacy through our own spirits by representing the aesthetics of their iconic sound and by exploring the important role they played in pioneering the rock n’ roll movement, all while having a little fun sharing our own personal story,” and they do just that.

The event takes place on Friday, August 11, 2023

Gates open at 5:00 pm

Doors open at 6:00 pm

Show starts at 7:00 pm

WHERE: Homestead Hall, 4544 Hwy 431, Columbia, TN

TICKETS: $30. Purchase tickets at


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