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Southern Middle Tennessee Today News for March 5, 2024

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


We start with local news…

Super Tuesday Voting (CDH)

Election Day for the 2024 Presidential Preference Primary and County Primary Election is upon us, with voters having one last chance, today, Super Tuesday, to cast their ballots.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at each districts respective polling station. Anyone unsure of where to vote can simply look at the address printed on their voter registration card or by contacting the Maury County Election Commission at www.MauryCounty-TN.gov or by calling (931) 375-6001.

The election commission will not have voting available at its main facility on Tuesday.

Voters will be given the option of casting their votes via a paper ballot, which was approved by the Election Commission in 2022. Voters can fill out a ballot before entering it into a tabulator machine, where it will be counted and processed.

The process is not much different from a typical voting machine, just filled out on paper and fed through a separate counting device.

This year's primary includes elections for U.S. President, as well as various seats on the Maury County School Board and Circuit Court Judge for District 22. School board District 2 and 10, as well as Property Assessor did not have Republican or Democratic candidates, but will have Independent candidates on the ballot in August during the general election.

Voters also are encouraged to download the Tennessee Secretary of State’s “Go Vote TN” app for their smart phones, which lists polling locations and information. Please see govotetn.com for details.

Visit the Maury County Election website for more information, https://www.maurycounty-tn.gov/227/Election-Commission.

Agathos Mock Trial Team to State Tourney (CDH)

Agathos Classical School’s mock trial program made history again Feb. 24 by sending its two teams to face each other in the District 11 championship.

Following their program’s tradition of naming their teams after characters from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, Agathos’ teams Frodo and Samwise bested 10 other trial teams from Brentwood, Columbia Academy, Franklin, Ravenwood, Spring Hill, and Web high schools to win a bid to the annual state tournament.

Ultimately, Agathos Team Frodo won its final trial against classmates on Team Samwise.

This was the second time since the creation of the current districting that two teams from the same school have been forced to face off in a championship round, with the other time being in 2022 when two teams from Agathos did the same.

But this is not the first time Agathos’ mock trial program has made history.

In 2019, after only four years in existence, Agathos Team Gondor won both the state and national championships, defeating the champion from Nebraska to best an estimated 30,000 students who competed across the U.S. and the Pacific. The program achieved much publicity from the achievement, including being featured on ABC’s Good Morning America.

In its relatively short existence, the small school’s trial program has regularly proven itself to be one of the strongest in the nation.

Student Rebeca Gokee, a junior at Agathos said, "This team has taught me that there is so much more underneath the smooth sheen of refinement and strength that mock trial requires. Sure, the polish of preparation is what catches the eye of a scorer, and the hours we have put into the study of this case have paid off in due proportion, but to me, there is something even more profound that this sport accounts for. I’m talking about the trust and respect we’ve cultivated for one another. No single activity has caused my heart to render so much love for my friends. It’s all within a split-second of eye contact, a nod of confidence or the slightest change in tone that one might see the greatness of this bond lay deep within the inner workings of a trial in real time."

Coach S. Jason Whatley, a Columbia attorney, is full of confidence at this point.

“These kids have proven they know how to try a case as well as many experienced attorneys. We’re very hopeful that we can take another state championship next month and make a run for a second national title,” Whatley said.

Cory Ricci, the other attorney coach for the program, agrees.

“These kids, many of whom are third-year veterans, are beginning to teach us stuff at this point. The sky is the limit for them,” Ricci said.

According to Ted Trainor, the school’s headmaster since 2014, the impact of the program goes beyond learning how to present and argue in court.

“I am grateful for the efforts of all, teachers, coaches, students, and parents in supporting this program, and I am humbled by the achievement of these talented, hard-working, and committed teams,” Trainor said. “God is honored throughout this program from start to finish and we all rejoice in that ethos most.”

The state tournament is slated to begin in Nashville at the historic Davidson County Courthouse on March 22 when at least one Agathos team will face off against other teams from around the state for a chance at the national championship.

Cruisin’ On The Square (Press Release)

Car enthusiasts, start your engines! The highly anticipated Main

Street Car Show is set for Mount Pleasant, Tennessee, on March

16th, showcasing a dazzling array of classic, vintage, and exotic

automobiles. This family-friendly event promises an afternoon

filled with automotive marvels, entertainment, a kid zone, and

community spirit.

Date: March 16th

Time: 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Location: Main Street, Mount Pleasant, TN

Car Shows in Mount Pleasant have been a beloved tradition in

our community, bringing together car aficionados, families, and

friends for an afternoon.

Attendees can expect to feast their eyes on various vehicles, from

meticulously restored classics to sleek modern cars. Whether

you're looking for an afternoon outing with your family or just love

the beauty of well-maintained automobiles, there will be

something for everyone at this year's show.

In addition to the impressive lineup of cars, the event will feature

live entertainment, food vendors, and activities for children,

making it a perfect outing for the entire family. Local businesses

will also participate, offering special promotions and discounts

during the event.

"We're thrilled to host Cruzin’ on the Square with Kittrell Kars in

Mount Pleasant," said Haverly Pennington, the Main Street

Director "It's a fantastic opportunity for our community to come

together, celebrate our shared love for cars, and enjoy a day filled

with family fun!”

Car enthusiasts interested in showcasing their vehicles at the

Main Street Car Show can start lining up at 2 pm. Early

registration is encouraged.

Don't miss out on the Main Street Car Show – mark your

calendars for March 16th and join us for an unforgettable

afternoon of automotive bliss!

Mule Day Organizers Offering Scholarships (MSM)

The organizers of Columbia’s annual Mule Day celebration are marking the 50th anniversary of their involvement by creating a scholarship program that honors the blue-collar nature of Maury County’s biggest event.

The Maury County Bridle & Saddle Club has dedicated $7,500 in funding for scholarships for 2024, which will be awarded to students planning to pursue career & technical education (CTE) or vocational training.

“The theme this year is ‘50 Years of Long Ears.’ This is the 50th Mule Day since it was brought back in the early 70s,” said Brady Carr, chairman of the Maury County Bridle & Saddle Club. “Mule Day is a blue-collar event and we’re paying homage to the unique contributions of the mule. They’re known for hard work, strength and intelligence.”

Students can receive a maximum of $2,500 in scholarships, but awards will be based on need in an effort to make that $7,500 go as far as possible, Carr said.

“With a lot of these CTE programs, they may not need that whole amount because Tennessee Promise oftentimes pays the entire tuition. The issue is, students sometimes may not have the money for the tools and supplies that go along with this type of educational program,” Carr said. “We may end up impacting half a dozen or three; it just depends on the applicants and the amount of need.”

Students will be able to use Mule Day scholarships to purchase books, tools and other equipment that would not be covered by Tennessee Promise.

Those interested in applying must be a Maury County resident or an active member of the Maury County Bridle & Saddle Club and must exhibit financial need. Carr said those with “less than perfect academic records” are particularly encouraged to apply. Students who graduated within the last two years can also apply in the first year of the program, Carr noted.

“Maybe they got a GED or weren’t top in their class, they can still qualify,” he said.

The Mule Day scholarships are only available for CTE or vocational training, not for postsecondary education.

For 50 years Mule Day has supported a number of charities, ranging from construction and site improvements at the Maury County Park to local schools and civic organizations. Carr said the Mule Day organizers see the scholarship program as an extension of their mission.

“Mule Day is a 501(c)3 and we donate money back into the community,” Carr said. “This is a whole new direction for us.”

The scholarships are funded by local sponsors for Mule Day and businesses and individuals interested in sponsoring are encouraged to reach out to the Mule Day office.

“We have sponsorships from $500 and up, so we have spots for anyone who wants to get involved,” Carr said. “We want people to join us in this effort to make Maury County a better place.” 

Applications are due by March 11, 2024 and awards will be announced by April 1. All awards will be paid directly to the institution of enrollment by the Maury County Bridle & Saddle Club.

For more information on applying for a scholarship, or to become a sponsor, contact Carr at muledayworks@gmail.com or (931) 224-1930, or co-chair Mandy Mills at mandymills4@yahoo.com or (931) 982-0061. Information is also available at muleday.com/works.

Mule Kick 5K (Press Release)

Hosted by the Maury Regional Health Care Foundation and presented by First Farmers and Merchants Bank, the annual Mule Kick 5K & 1-Mile Trot will take place Saturday, April 6, at Riverwalk Park in Columbia.

Proceeds from the 2024 Mule Kick 5K & 1-Mile Trot provide funding for Maury Regional Health’s mobile medical unit, which delivers health care services to at-risk and underserved individuals throughout southern Middle Tennessee by providing basic health screenings, education and resources. A portion of the proceeds from the Mule Kick 5K & 1-Mile Trot will also support the Foundation’s Wellness and Aquatics Center Healthy Living Endowment and the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department. In addition, the Maury County school with the most participation in the event will receive a donation to their P.E. program from the Foundation.

“The Mule Kick 5K & 1-Mile Trot is a great tradition for both Maury County and the Maury Regional Health Care Foundation that helps support our mission of providing important health care services for individuals who may not otherwise be able to obtain care,” Foundation Executive Director Joe Kilgore said. “We are excited to host the Mule Kick 5K and look forward to an exciting race!”

On Saturday, April 6, the race will begin at Riverwalk Park in Columbia with an 8 a.m. start time for the 5K and a 9:15 a.m. start time for the 1-Mile Trot. Both runners and walkers are encouraged to participate. Participants may register for the race online at runsignup.com/MuleKick5K.

“First Farmers is pleased to continue our ongoing partnership with the Maury Regional Health Care Foundation for this year's Mule Kick 5K & 1-Mile Trot. We are proud to support the vital work of the Foundation which exemplifies our dedication to fostering well-being in our region,” said Brian K. Williams, chairman and CEO of First Farmers.

In addition to presenting sponsor First Farmers and Merchants Bank, sponsorships ranging from $350 to $2,500 are still available for those who are interested in marketing exposure at this event. For additional information, contact the Maury Regional Health Care Foundation at 931.381.1111, ext. 1012.

To learn more about the Maury Regional Health Care Foundation, the Mule Kick 5K & 1-Mile Trot or to make a direct gift to support the mobile medical unit fund, visit MauryRegional.com/Foundation.

Justice Center Time Capsule (Press Release)

The Maury County Historical Society has been granted permission by the Maury County Commission to place a time capsule in the new Maury County Justice Center currently under construction. A selection committee has been created and is ready to receive items. If you have something small and Maury County related you would like to donate, contact Eric Previti at (931) 626-9878 or epreviti@icloud.com.

Courthouse Commemorating 120 Years (Press Release)

Maury County Government has been awarded a $5,000 matching grant from the South Central Tennessee Development District.

The Arts Build Communities, or “ABC,” grant will help the county commemorate the historic Maury County Courthouse as it celebrates 120 years of service to the community in 2024.

The grant will fund a community juried art competition open to Maury County citizens of all ages.

According to a press release, the theme will focus on "What does the courthouse represent to its citizens?" Citizens are invited to use their artistic abilities to design an original piece of art (all genres are welcome) that interprets what the Maury County Courthouse means.

“The Maury County Courthouse is an iconic and historic structure for the state of Tennessee.”

“Built by local architect J.E.R. Carpenter, before he went on to great fame as one of the leading architects of luxury high-rise living in New York City, this building has been the central focus of Maury County since it was built in 1904. It symbolizes much to our community. This grant is a wonderful opportunity to allow the citizens of the county to interpret and express what the building represents.”

Maury County citizens will have from now until March 22nd to submit their artwork to the Maury County Archives' temporary location at 1446 Oak Springs Drive, Suite 100 (the far end of Muletown Rec).

Art will be juried in four age categories: elementary, secondary, high school and adults ages 18 and over. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place for each category, and one grand-prize winner will be announced during Mule Day on April 6, 2024.

Rules for artist submissions include:

Artwork must be original.

All art intended for wall-mounting (drawings/paintings etc.) in the 18+ category must be submitted in a frame and wired for hanging.

All submitted art must be accompanied by a card with the artist's name, contact information, category, title and medium.

All art must be submitted by 3 p.m. Friday, March 22.

Art will be juried by five esteemed artists which include local photographers Sarah Gilliam and Ross Jaynes, as well as painters James Spearman and Margaret Warfield and sculptor Jennifer Grisham.

The winning submissions will be displayed at the courthouse during the 2024 Mule Day festivities. All submitted artwork will be placed on display at the Pryor Art Gallery at Columbia State Community College from May 13th-June 14th. The exhibit will open with be a gallery reception on May 13th.

For more information about the contest, contact the Maury County Archives at (931) 375-1500.

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

Mrs. Dottie Craig Morrow, 75, resident of Culleoka, TN, and retired bookkeepr for Porter-Walker, passed away Sunday, March 3, 2024 at her residence. Graveside services for Mrs. Morrow will be conducted Thursday, March 7, 2024 at 11:00 A.M. at Wilkes Cemetery in Culleoka.

…And now, news from around the state…

Reporting Voter Fraud (Press Release)

With Super Tuesday here, Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett and the Division of Elections want to remind all registered voters casting a ballot they have two avenues for reporting voter fraud or other suspicious activity — via text or by calling the Department of State's toll-free hotline. 

 

"Tennessee is ranked number one in the nation for election integrity because of the laws the General Assembly has passed and because of the dedication of election officials in implementing those laws," said Secretary Hargett. "All registered voters should know it is easy to cast a ballot in Tennessee but hard to cheat. However, if voters notice anything unusual, we urge them to text or call us and report potential issues." 

 

Tennesseans can text 'TN' to 45995 using a cell phone or other texting device. They will receive a secure link where they can submit concerns directly to the Secretary of State's Division of Elections. The Division of Elections reviews reports of possible voter fraud, misinformation, intimidation, or any other Election Day impropriety. It works with county election commissions, district attorneys, and other parties to take appropriate action. 

 

"Other organizations may offer voters ways to report election issues, but they are not affiliated with us," said Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins. "We created our reporting systems as the industry standards, so Tennesseans know we are the trusted source for election information. They can be confident that their concerns are getting to the correct place because we work with local county election commissions to help Tennesseans have a positive voting experience."

 

Voters can also report voting issues or get answers to Election Day questions by calling the Division of Elections Official Election Day Hotline toll-free at 1-877-850-4959.

 

The March 5 Presidential Preference Primary ballot was certified and set on Dec. 13, 2023. Some candidates for president suspended their campaign after the ballot was set. It was too late for their names to be removed from the ballot. Voters will not only be selecting their preferred presidential candidate, but they will also be selecting candidate delegates and letting their voices be heard in local primary elections. All registered voters can find their polling location and access voter-specific information, including sample ballots and election results, through the free GoVoteTN app or by visiting GoVoteTN.gov.

 

The Secretary of State's office is Tennessee's trusted source for election information, and Tennessee is ranked number one in the nation for election integrity by the Heritage Foundation. 

 

To learn more, visit: sos.tn.gov.

Tennesseans to Travel or Spring Break (Tennessean)

Gloomy winter weather is on the way out and March 19, the first day of spring, is quickly approaching.

That means longer, sunnier days. It also means crowds of adventurers descending on top tourism destinations — and Tennesseans are eager to travel in 2024.

According to a new AAA travel survey, 85% of state residents will venture out of the state this year and 45% of Tennesseans are likely to travel more than last year. Nearly one in every three Tennesseans has vacation plans over Spring Break, the survey found.

The busiest travel period in 2024? March through July.

"For the Tennesseans planning a Spring Break trip, the top trips planned are to beaches, major cities, theme parks, and national/state parks," said AAA spokesperson Megan Cooper. "Florida is always a popular trip for Tennesseans and it checks a lot of boxes for those looking for the beach, Disney World, or those that are planning on departing on a cruise from one of the Florida ports."

The surge in travel will be felt on the roads and at Nashville International Airport, travel officials said.

Nashville International officials are preparing for higher-than-normal traffic in the airport and on nearby roads throughout the month.

The busiest days for airline passengers at BNA will be March 8, March 10, March 17 and March 31, according to Nashville International Airport.

Final Story of the Day (Maury County Source)

Tedeschi Trucks Band announced North their American Deuces Wild tour this fall.

The tour will stop in Nashville at Ascend Amphitheater on September 21st. Special guests will be Margo Price, Joe Purdy, and Greensky Bluegrass.

The Tedeschi Trucks Band is a Grammy-award winning American eleven-piece blues rock powerhouse formed in 2010. Led by the dynamic duo of husband-and-wife musicians Susan Tedeschi (vocals, guitar) and Derek Trucks (slide guitar), the band is renowned for its electrifying live performances, seamlessly blending elements of blues, soul, rock, and Americana.

General on-sale is available now. Visit https://www.tedeschitrucksband.com/tour for tickets and more information.


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