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Southern Middle Tennessee Today News for June 20, 2023


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


We start with local news…

Giles Farmer Saved (WSMV.com)

A man is alive thanks in no small part to a group of Giles County first responders who rushed to help when his tractor rolled over on top of him.

From his hospital bed Monday, 67-year-old Randy Sanders told what happened and how much he wanted to thank the heroic first responders and doctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

It all happened the afternoon of Saturday, May 27. That’s when Sanders said he was out bush hogging a steep piece of property on his Giles County farm.

“It’s a steep incline I have been down 100 times,” he said from his hospital bed.

Suddenly, Sanders said his tractor began to roll. He said he put his left leg out to stabilize himself, but the heavy machine rolled on top of him and crushed his leg, snapping it in two.

“Part of the tractor fell over and crushed my leg,” he said.

The father of three was badly injured and he called 911 for help.

“A wonderful lady from Giles County talked me through,” he says.

That woman was EMT trained dispatcher Brandi Chapman, who was recently awarded Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) of the year, as well as other awards recognized by Ascension Saint Thomas.

“No doubt about it. She saved my life,” Sanders said.

Chapman kept Sanders calm and quickly told him to turn his shirt into a makeshift tourniquet.

“She told me that she was not going to let me get away from her,” Sanders says.

Sanders was at the bottom of a hill on Whitt Road, a remote stretch of Giles County.

Some say he might not have been found if not for the quick thinking of Chapman, who told arriving units to sound their sirens so the victim could tell her if he heard the sound getting louder or softer.

“She pretty much walked me in and told me where he was at. Honestly if not for her, we wouldn’t have found him,” Giles County Deputy Erik Smith said.

Smith was first on scene and immediately realized the situation was serious.

“I noticed he had lost a large amount of blood. He was spitting up blood, led me to believe he had internal injuries,” Smith says.

Smith said he is a former soldier with tactical casualty training. He assessed the situation and opted for a second tourniquet.

“It was very significant. When I first assessed his ankle, I could not find his foot. I had to lift his leg up and his foot was up under where his calf muscle would have been. He was coughing up blood; he was in a bad way and needed immediate help.”

By this time, Sanders’ son arrived with a side-by-side. Rescuers put Sanders on the ATV and got him to a waiting ambulance that raced him to a landing zone where LifeFlight was standing by.

Smith believes if not for the quick thinking of everyone involved, Sanders might have died at the bottom of that hill.

Sanders said doctors told him they could amputate his leg or he could face many surgeries and months of rehabilitation.

So far, Sanders has had six surgeries with more to come, but said he’s in good hands at VUMC.

He also wanted to recognize the Giles County first responders who helped save his life.

“I told them both, ‘You are my new heroes.’ If they had not been on top of their game and the professionals they are, I probably wouldn’t be sitting here today.”

Sanders smiled and said he expects to be out playing golf next year on his newly constructed left leg.


Lillie Mae Glover Historic Marker (Press Release)

The City of Columbia in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development will unveil the Tennessee Music Pathways Marker for Lillie Mae Glover on Tuesday, June 20, 2023, beginning at 9:00 AM at 814 Woodland St.


Vaudeville blues singer Lillie Mae Glover, often known professionally as Big Memphis Ma Rainey or Baby Ma Rainey, was born the daughter of a preacher in Columbia on Sept. 7, 1906. She grew up in Nashville singing with her family, moving at 14 to join a traveling medicine show. Glover claimed to have opened for Ma Rainey (one of the first recorded blues singers, known as the “Mother of the Blues”) at the Frolic Theatre in Birmingham around 1925.


In 1928, she settled in Memphis where she played local clubs. According to her account, she nurtured up-and-coming artists including B.B. King and Bobby Bland. In 1953, Glover recorded two songs for Sun Records, “Call Me Anything (But Call Me)” and “Baby, No, No!” She predated Elvis Presley’s debut by 14 months. In the mid-1970s, Glover was booked on the Memphis Blues Caravan. She made regular appearances at Blues Alley on Memphis’ Front Street, interspersing her songs with stories.


Spring Hill Pay Raises (MainStreetMaury)

Spring Hill’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen are considering a pay scale change for employees in the city based on comparable ranges in other municipalities and county governments. A resolution was presented to the board at their most recent meeting, but was deferred until next week after discussion.

According to the staff memo presented to the board, on January 3, 2023, BOMA awarded a contract to Burris, Thompson & Associates to prepare a Classification & Compensation Study Update. Steve Thompson of BTA reported to the BOMA on May 15 the salary surveyed comparable cities, counties and public utilities, and the data obtained was used to create pay ranges based on job functions/titles. Each position was assigned a grade and each grade assigned a minimum, midpoint and maximum. 

Thompson reported last week the pay ranges themselves only needed to move about two percent, but police were about nine percent below market. He suggested the board move the pay scale the two percent and police up eight percent. 

In the city’s proposed 2023-24 budget, there is $950,000 budgeted for the increases, but city administrator Pam Caskie said in order to reach the suggested raises, the board would need to approve about $140,000 in additional funding. 

Thompson reported 108 employees would be given raises immediately based on the minimum on the new scale. 

Most of the city’s employees could see a five percent increase as well to account for inflation. 

Thompson and Caskie presented the board with options for a five percent increase and a six percent increase across the board with police getting either a two percent increase or eight percent increase in minimum pay movement. 

Caskie said other cities are doing five or six percent increases, and it’s important for the city to keep up with neighboring municipalities.

“Obviously, I would like to see us pay our employees as well as possible. I think it gives us the best ability to recruit,” she said. “We are challenged against some of the wealthier communities that don’t have the kind of issues we have with capital needs.”

Alderman Matt Fitterer said he was okay with either the five or six percent option, while Alderman Trent Linville wants to make sure the board doesn’t sway too far from the initially budgeted $950,000.

One of the additional proposals included a raise based on years of service in the role, but Caskie and other aldermen objected.

“I don’t necessarily equate tenure to great performance,” Alderman Brent Murray said. 

The issue with performance or merit-based compensation is being able to equitably process performance reviews, and the city has only done one performance review in recent memory – if ever. 

“We need to get a little experience under our belt about being fair and equitable and teaching our supervisors how to do them in a way where everybody feels like they’re being treated appropriately before we tie people’s pay to them,” Caskie said. “There is no perfect system and I’ve given up trying to find one.”

In addition to teaching supervisors how to properly do performance reviews, the city would need to budget for those raises rather than a predetermined rate increase. 

“In my experience, you want to come as close to matching the inflationary rate as possible. Most of the time our people are talking with their friends with other cities and can be recruited away,” Caskie added. 

More discussion is anticipated at the next BOMA meeting on Monday at Spring Hill City Hall.


Food Trucks and Fireworks (MauryCountySource)

There will be something fun for everyone at Food Trucks & Fireworks in Spring Hill, TN! This year, the Food Trucks and Fireworks event is happening on Sunday, July 2, 2023—festivities start at 6pm and last until the fireworks show at sundown. Get ready for a family-friendly community gathering filled with mouthwatering food, endless fun, and a mind-blowing fireworks display by the Downtown Nashville Fireworks Show, Pyro Inc. Oh, and the best part? The admission is free!

Mark the date in your calendar, share it with your friends, and plan on attending Food Trucks & Fireworks at 305 Parkfield Loop S, Spring Hill, for a celebration you won’t forget. When the sun starts to dip, prepare to be dazzled by an awe-inspiring fireworks show that’ll leave everyone in awe, no matter their age.

What about the “Food” part of Food Trucks and Fireworks? There will be 30 or more local food trucks. Whether you’re into savory or sweet, there will be something for everyone.

Kids will enjoy bounce houses, and the young-at-heart can engage in some friendly competition with classic summer games like cornhole and frisbee. But the fun doesn’t stop there! Throughout the event, there will be games and giveaways to keep the festive vibes going strong.

To make sure everyone can join in the fun, there are three parking options. The on-site Red Lot that is available for a small fee, the free Blue Lot with a complimentary shuttle service, and the Yellow Lot, free on-site handicap parking making sure that everyone can easily access the event.

For all event details, including the full lineup of food trucks and entertainment, head over to www.FoodTrucksAndFireworks.com.


OneGenAway Returns (Press Release)

One Generation Away is returning to Columbia State Community College (1665 Hampshire Pike) to share free groceries with the residents of Columbia and surrounding communities.

The nonprofit’s Mobile Pantry will set up in the parking lot on Saturday, June 24, to distribute fresh produce, pantry staples, baked goods, dairy products and more at the drive-thru event with anyone who would like to receive it — no questions asked.

“We love our Columbia friends, and we always look forward to coming together as a community to support one another through difficult seasons,” said Chris Whitney, founder and CEO of OneGenAway. “Thank you to Columbia State for always being a loyal host for these events.”

The event will begin around 8:30 a.m., but folks are encouraged to line up early, as the food is first come, first served. Food distribution will conclude around 10 a.m. or when all the food has been given away.

Volunteers should arrive at 7:30 a.m. to help sort and distribute the food. No registration is required to volunteer or to receive food.

For more information about OneGenAway, visit www.OneGenAway.com.

One Generation Away is 510(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on wiping hunger off the face of America. Founded in 2013 , the nonprofit rescues and receives high-quality food and distributes it free-of-charge to those experiencing food insecurity in Middle Tennessee, North Alabama, and the Florida panhandle. Learn more at www.OneGenAway.com.


Remote Area Medical in Columbia (MauryCountySource)

Remote Area Medical – RAM® – a major nonprofit provider of pop-up clinics delivering free, quality dental, vision and medical care to those in need – will hold a free, two-day clinic in Columbia on July 8-9.

RAM will be set up at the E.A. Cox Middle School, located at 633 Bear Creek Pike, Columbia, for two days only. This clinic is in collaboration with the Filipino American International Organization in Tennessee.

All Remote Area Medical services are free, and no ID is required. Free dental, vision and medical services will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. The patient parking lot will open no later than 11:59 p.m. (midnight) on Friday night, July 7, and remain open for the duration of the clinic. Once in the parking lot, additional information regarding clinic-opening processes and next steps will be provided. Clinic doors open at 6 a.m.

Due to time constraints, patients should be prepared to choose between DENTAL and VISION services.

Medical services are offered, in addition to dental or vision services, free to every patient attending the clinic.

For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit www.ramusa.org or call 865-579-1530. 

Services available at the free Remote Area Medical clinic include dental cleanings, dental fillings, dental extractions, dental X- rays, eye exams, eye health exams, eyeglass prescriptions, eyeglasses made on-site, women’s health exams and general medical exams.

In some situations outside of Remote Area Medical’s control, such as inclement weather, volunteer cancellations or other circumstances, the parking lot may open earlier or a smaller number of patients may be served. Remote Area Medical encourages everyone who would like services, especially dental services, to arrive as early as possible. Clinic closing time may vary based on each service area’s daily capacity. For more information, visit www.ramusa.org


Maury Regional Career Fair (Press Release)

For those looking to explore new career opportunities, Maury Regional Health will host a virtual hiring fair for a variety of clinical and non-clinical positions on Tuesday, June 20.

 During the career fair, applicants will participate in a 20-minute chat with a recruiter to discuss career opportunities with the organization, including but not limited to the following positions:

Registered nurse (RN)

Surgical technologist

Medical lab technician

Physical therapist

Environmental services

Dietary services

 RSVP is required for the career fair at Careers.MauryRegional.com with spots available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

 Located in Columbia, Maury Regional Medical Center serves as the flagship hospital for Maury Regional Health, the largest health system between Nashville and Huntsville. Maury Regional Health also includes Marshall Medical Center in Lewisburg, Wayne Medical Center in Waynesboro, Lewis Health Center in Hohenwald, Maury Regional Medical Group physician practices across the region and several outpatient facilities.

 Maury Regional Health offers one of the most comprehensive and competitive benefits packages in Middle Tennessee, including medical, dental and vision insurance plans; merit-based pay increases; flexible shift options; an on-site daycare center; education assistance for qualifying candidates; access to earned wages before payday; financial counseling and career navigation support; local discounts; and more.

 In fall 2022, Forbes named Maury Regional Medical Center as one of the best employers in the state of Tennessee — one of only nine hospitals or health systems listed — for employee satisfaction. The organization was also recognized as a 2023 Best Place for Working Parents for the organization’s commitment to providing a progressive, family-friendly benefits package and was named a recipient of the Tennessee Nurses Association’s Outstanding Employer Award in 2022.

 For more information about career opportunities at Maury Regional Health’s southern Middle Tennessee facilities as well as details about the organization’s comprehensive benefits package, visit Careers.MauryRegional.com or call 931.380.4017.

Spring Hill Tourism Exhibit (Press Release)

The Spring Hill Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce its highly anticipated annual extravaganza, Experience Spring Hill, The Event presented by Liberty Federal Credit Union. The family-friendly, free event will take place on Saturday, June 24, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Summit High School. Featuring over 100 vendors offering a diverse range of products and services, Experience Spring Hill, The Event will showcase the vibrant community of Spring Hill in one convenient location.

The event will also offer a plethora of activities to delight all ages, including a touch-a-truck display, an exhilarating bounce house, an engaging golf simulator, an exciting video gaming area, an immersive virtual reality station, lively dance demonstrations from local studios, appearances by beloved "famous" characters, and a medley of entertaining games with fabulous prizes. Furthermore, the City of Spring Hill's library, parks, police, fire, and administrative services will be present, providing valuable community information on-site.

Rebecca Melton, the Executive Director of the Spring Hill Chamber of Commerce, expressed her enthusiasm for the return of the annual eat, shop, and play event. She stated, "Our organization's mission is to positively influence the business culture to create a better Spring Hill, and this event allows us to showcase the many local businesses and organizations that embody our mission.”

Bringing together representatives from the Spring Hill Welcome Center, Visit Franklin, Experience Maury, Visit Columbia, and South Central Tennessee Tourism Association under one roof, a new attraction at the event will be a "Tennessee Travels" exhibit area, featuring the very best in the area's local tourism, attractions, hidden gems and adventures.

"We are thrilled to be the presenting sponsor of Experience Spring Hill, The Event once again this year," said Chris Wagner of Liberty Federal Credit Union in Spring Hill. "Participating in this event allows us to connect with and wholeheartedly support the Spring Hill community in a meaningful and impactful way.”

For further information about the event, please visit the official website at www.experiencespringhill.com/experience-spring-hill-event.


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

Mr. Norman Don Garner, 88, retired employee of Industrial Products and resident of Hampshire, died Friday, June 16, 2023 at Maury Regional Medical Center.  Funeral services for Mr. Garner will be conducted Tuesday at 11:00 A.M. at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home. Burial will follow in Worley Cemetery. The family will visit with friends Tuesday from 10:00 A.M. until service time at the funeral home. 


Mr. Jerry Dwayne Walters, 71, retired employee of Precision Tubular and resident of Mt. Pleasant, died Friday, June 16, 2023 at Maury Regional Medical Center. Funeral services for Mr. Walters will be conducted Thursday at 11:00 A.M. at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home. Burial will follow in Arlington Cemetery. The family will visit with friends Wednesday from 4:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. at the funeral home.


Mrs. Sheryl Kathleen Ragsdale Wray, 73, retired caregiver for CPS, died Friday, June 16, 2023 at her residence in Pulaski. Funeral services for Mrs. Wray will be conducted Thursday, June 22, 2023 at 2:00 P.M. at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home. Burial will follow in Polk Memorial Gardens. The family will visit with friends Wednesday, June 21, 2023 from 4:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. at the funeral home.

…And now, news from around the state…

TN Electric Vehicle Network (Tennessean)

Tennessee is continuing to expand its electric vehicle manufacturing industry.

Dongwha Electrolyte, a South Korea-based manufacturer, is one of the latest companies making moves, breaking ground on its first U.S. electrolyte plant in Clarksville on June 6. The 35,000 square-foot facility, expected to open next summer, will produce electrolyte material, a vital chemical that allows an electrical charge to pass between two terminals inside a lithium-ion battery — a key component to an electric vehicle's power source.

Dongwha joins Ultium Cells in Spring Hill, Tritium in Lebanon and 6K Energy in Jackson, Tenn., as the most recent in a string of EV-related companies making plans to do business in Tennessee along with auto manufacturers such as Nissan, GM and Ford, who are all ramping up EV production across the state.

On June 15, Bristol Tennessee Essential Services cut the ribbon on its newly installed fast chargers at the Pinnacle Shopping Center as part of Fast Charge TN, a joint effort among The Tennessee Valley Authority, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and Seven States Power Corporation.

The groups are working together to develop a comprehensive EV fast-charging network, expected to be complete by 2026. Once it's finished, the Fast Charge Network is set to have 80 locations with 200 fast chargers along interstates and major highways across TVA's seven-state service area. The goal is for drivers to never be more than 25 miles from a Fast Charge Network charging station, according to TVA's Scott Fielder.

Dongwha Electrolyte USA Inc. plans to create 68 new jobs and invest $70 million in Clarksville, allowing the company to better serve electric vehicle lithium battery producers across the Southeast and supporting customer demand.

Tritium, a global company that makes DC fast chargers for electric vehicles, plans to add 250 jobs this year at its Lebanon facility on top of the 500 jobs previously announced at the plant. Tritium opened in 2022 in the former Toshiba space at Baird Industrial Park on Toshiba Drive. The company has said the Lebanon facility will eventually produce up to 30,000 fast-charging units per year.

The U.S. Department of Energy closed a $2.5 billion loan to Ultium Cells LLC to help finance the construction of new lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee with 3,700 jobs expected to be created at the Spring Hill facility alone.

The $275 million investment at Ultium Cells will increase battery production by more than 40%, according to data released by the state as previously reported by The Tennessean. The General Motors Spring Hill plant is set to produce its first electric vehicle, the Cadillac LYRIQ, with the Ultium batteries.

6K Energy, a cathode active materials producer for the EV battery industry, plans to establish operations in Jackson, Tennessee. Plans for the project include creating 230 new jobs and investing more than $200 million in the company’s manufacturing facility.


Final Story of the Day (Maury County Source)

Andy’s Frozen Custard is thrilled to announce its partnership with RCR Racing for the official 2023 Show Car Tour. As part of this exciting collaboration, Andy’s Frozen Custard will showcase the NASCAR Xfinity Car at its 4941 Main St., Spring Hill location on Thursday, June 22, from 3-8pm.

Race fans and frozen custard enthusiasts are invited to join the festivities and witness the NASCAR Xfinity Car up close. The event promises an array of exciting activities and special offers for all attendees. From 3-8pm, the Spring Hill location will offer a range of extra goodies exclusively for visitors:

RSVP on our Spring Hill Facebook Event page

• The first 10 people to the tent will receive an Andy’s Racing Swag Bag.

• Attendees can enter to win Andy’s for a Year.

• Spin the Wheel for Prizes such as apparel, free treats, and more.

• Grab a Hero Card and take home a souvenir.


It’s all happening at Andy’s Frozen Custard on June 22nd from 3-8pm


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