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Southern Middle Tennessee Today News for November 1, 2023

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

We start with local news…

GM Reaches Tentative Agreement (CDH)

United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain announced Monday a new contract between autoworkers and GM and suspended the stand-up strike in effect for the big three auto makers.

Two days after workers at GM's largest assembly plant in Spring Hill walked out on strike, word came that the UAW and the auto manufacturer had come to a tentative agreement.

"Your bargaining committee worked hard through the night and early this morning and reached a tentative agreement with GM. Once again, we have several astonishing victories," Fain said in a video statement released on social media at 3:42 p.m. Monday.

A walk-out at the Tennessee plant was long-anticipated from the start of the "Stand up Strike" on Sept. 15.

UAW reached a tentative agreement with Ford on Wednesday and another with Stellantis on Saturday. Both agreements tout drastically increased wages for full-time and temporary workers and the return of cost of living adjustments among other sticking points.

Right now, the future of our industry is being defined," Fain said. "I don't care if you build combustion engines or electric vehicle batteries, these workers make these vehicles and this company run."

Monday, Fain called the tentative agreement with GM a "stunning" victory rivaling the sit-down strikes of the 1930s.

"We were relentless in our fight to win a record contract, and that is exactly what we accomplished," Fain said.

If ratified, Fain said GM salaried workers will be given a 25% general wage increases for the first time in history in addition to a cost of living increase.

Fain said the next step is for UAW national and GM council members to vote Nov. 3 to send the agreement to membership.

"This will be the most lucrative contract for salaried GM workers in their history," Fain said. "For our hourly workers, it's the same story."

The starting wage for new GM workers will increase 70% from $18 per hour to over $30, Fain said. The top wage will increase 33%.

President Joe Biden said the landmark agreement rewards autoworkers for their sacrifice.

"I applaud the UAW and General Motors for coming together after hard fought, good faith negotiations to reach a historic agreement to provide workers with the pay, benefits, and respect they deserve. With this landmark agreement with GM, the UAW has now reached historic tentative agreements with all of the Big Three American automakers," Biden said in a statement

"This historic tentative agreement rewards the autoworkers who have sacrificed so much with the record raises, more paid leave, greater retirement security, and more rights and respect at work. I want to applaud the UAW and GM for agreeing to immediately bring back all of the GM workers who have been walking the picket line on behalf of their UAW brothers and sisters.

"This historic contract is a testament to the power of unions and collective bargaining to build strong middle-class jobs while helping our most iconic American companies thrive. The final word on these tentative agreements will ultimately come from UAW members themselves in the days and weeks to come."

Fain started the long-term nationwide strike with a routine address each Friday on Facebook, updating union members about negotiations and calling on more facilities to walk out.

Then a couple weeks ago Fain threw a curveball calling for a Kentucky plant to walk-out in the middle of the week. Spring Hill was the next curveball.

Tim Smith, UAW Region 8 director, believes Spring Hill's walkout was the key that forced GM's hand, and called the agreement "historical."

Fain said information will be sent to workers on strike for a return-to-work plan.

Brown Names New Principal (Press Release)

Maury County Public Schools Superintendent Lisa Ventura is pleased to announce that Mr. Eric Cannon has been hired as the principal of Joseph Brown Elementary School. Cannon has over 20 years of education experience and is a Hickman County High School, Austin Peay State University, and Bethel University graduate. Mr. Canon has served as a paraprofessional, special education teacher, assistant principal, principal, and director of special education.

Mr. Cannon shared, “I am very excited to work with the students, families, teachers and staff, and Maury County community. I grew up in Hickman County but now live with my family in Williamsport. I find great joy in working with students and supporting teachers as they educate our future. I have built my career around the notation that we are better when we work together as a team. I have an open-door policy for students, teachers, and families. I am at JBES to work side-by-side with our team in an attempt to promote student growth. I look forward to the great things we can and will accomplish this school year.“

Superintendent Ventura stated, “Maury County Public Schools could not be more excited to welcome Mr. Eric Cannon as the new Principal at Joseph Brown Elementary School. His unique experience makes him the perfect candidate to continue the progress that we have begun to see occurring at Brown.”

Johnny Gaines Award Winner (MauryCountySource)

The Johnny Gaines Award is presented annually to those who continually go above and beyond the call of duty to serve their community.

Columbia Fire & Rescue is proud to announce the 2023 recipient of the Johnny Gaines Award: Captain Phil Mash!

Captain Mash is well known in the fire department and our community for his leadership skills and his ability to make solving complex problems look easy!

He has extensive mechanical knowledge and works hard to help keep CFR’s fleet running smoothly! Thank you Phil for all you have done and continue to do for the City of Columbia!

Maury Alliance Marketing Talk (Press Release)

Join Maury Alliance for their upcoming “Real Talk,” their new Retail Workshop Series tailored to address the unique challenges faced by small businesses. They will host quarterly interactive sessions led by industry experts on topics that are specifically relevant to retailers in Maury County.

Join them at the Factory at Columbia on Wednesday, November 1st at 8am for our first Real Talk Session, "Marketing the Charm of Your Business" with Bernard Porter, owner of PCG Digital Media. Following Porter's presentation, Galen Longo will provide an overview of the free resources available through the Tennessee Small Business Development Center. Refreshments will be provided. The program is free and open to the public.

Spring Hill Memorial Veterans’ Program (Press Release)

Spring Hill Memorial Funeral Home is hosting a Veterans Memorial Service, which will be held at 2:00 PM Sunday, November 12, 2023 at Spring Hill Memorial Park, Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 5239 Main Street, Spring Hill, Tennessee 37174.

The keynote speaker will be Lt. Col. Jeff King. Special music will be provided and veterans will be honored!

Col. Stovall Featured Speaker at Annual Event (MSM)

Larry Stovall, a retired colonel in the U.S. Army, will be the featured speaker at the Nov. 5, 2023 Veterans Tribute at First United Methodist Church’s sanctuary, at 222 West 7th Street, Columbia, at 6 p.m.

Stovall served as Infantry Platoon Leader and Rifle Company Commander in the American Division in Vietnam and

served as principal instructor in the Weapons Department at the U.S. Army Infantry School.

Stovall was promoted to the rank of colonel and commanded the 401st Military Police Camp (Prisoner of War) in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.

Plan to attend on Nov. 5 to hear about Col. Stovall’s military experiences during his 31-year career in the Army.

Polks At Preservation Park Unveiling (Press Release)

The City of Columbia, in collaboration with Maury County Government, invites the community to the grand unveiling of "The Polks at Preservation Park." This event will take place on Friday, November 3, 2023, at 4:00 PM, in Columbia, TN. The unveiling ceremony includes remarks from City of Columbia and Maury County Government elected officials. The central focus of the park are life-size bronze statues of President James K. Polk and First Lady Sarah Polk, symbolizing the importance of President Polk's legacy and the rich history of Columbia. "The Polks at Preservation Park" is strategically located directly across the street from the James K. Polk Home & Museum, offering a unique opportunity for historical reflection and a place for the community to gather.

CSCC Exhibition Opening (Press Release)

From November 6-December 20, the Pryor Art Gallery at Columbia State Community College will be hosting the exhibition “Native American and the West” featuring the pen and ink drawings of artist Bob Jones.

Bob Jones achieves a level of detail in his pen and ink drawings that boggles the mind. His passion for western art depicting Native Americans and cowboys goes back to second grade.

Jones attended Harris School of Advertising Art in Nashville which let to an illustrious career beginning in the 1960’s photographing and designing album covers for country music greats like Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash.

An artist, illustrator and photographer, Jones has many stories to share about his experiences in country music and his narratives of the West through pen and ink. Jones resides in Spring Hill.

Pryor Art Gallery on the Columbia Campus will feature an artist reception on Thursday, November 16 from 5-7pm. The reception is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Spring Hill Passport (Press Release)

On Monday, October 16, 2023, the Spring Hill Chamber launched its 2023 Think, Shop, Explore Local Passport presented by Groove Life, encouraging residents to explore the local community and its businesses through November 17, 2023.

Residents who collect at least 15 stickers from participating businesses will have a chance to win a grand prize featuring gifts from local businesses worth thousands of dollars.

"Empowering our community with a local passport program is not just about promoting business; it's about promoting community pride through local discovery," said Rebecca Melton, executive director of the Spring Hill Chamber of Commerce. "With the opportunity to win a generous grand prize from some of our local businesses, the passport program offers an exciting way for residents to explore the community's assets and make new connections."

Passports are available at all participating businesses and the Spring Hill Welcome Center located at 5326 Main Street, Suite G in Spring Hill. The Welcome Center will also serve as the official drop-off location for all completed passports. A list of business addresses, a map with directions, grand prize details, and passport rules can be found at

The local passport includes thirty-three stops, encompassing various local business types and community photo opportunities.

This year's community photo opportunities include Spring Hill Public Library, Walnut Street Skate Park, and Cannon Hill. Participants can take photos at these locations and share them on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #SHPassport23 or complete the entire passport to earn extra entries in the grand prize drawing.

Duck River Jam (Press Release)

Duck River Jam, a community event intended to raise awareness and funds to fight a proposed landfill along the Duck River, will take place at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5, at Cherry Theater at Columbia State Community College.


The event, which will feature performances by local musicians as well as a silent auction, is being organized by the concerned citizens' group Protect the Duck River. 


The group has advocated against plans by Louisiana-based Trinity Business Group to build a 1,300-acre trash disposal complex as close as 1,000 feet from the Duck River at a former Monsanto phosphate processing site in Maury County. The property contains multiple Superfund sites and is mandated for EPA rehabilitation because of hazardous waste contamination. 


Protect the Duck River was previously involved in successful efforts to convince state lawmakers to pass legislation designating that segment of the Duck River as a Class II scenic river. In April, Gov. Bill Lee signed the new law requiring certain water resource projects to be permitted.


Trinity Group filed a lawsuit in May appealing the Maury-Marshall Solid Waste Regional Planning Board's rejection of its landfill application. Funds raised at the Duck River Jam will help defray legal fees for opponents of that appeal. 


"The Duck River is the most biologically diverse river in North America as well as the source of drinking water for more than 300,000 people in this community," said Columbia Mayor Chaz Molder. "The Duck River Jam is an opportunity for Middle Tennessee residents to support this precious, fragile resource while enjoying a great day of music and fun." 


For more information about Duck River Jam or to purchase tickets, please visit

CSCC Hosts Leadership Course (Press Release)

Columbia State Community College’s Office of Workforce and Continuing Education will launch a leadership development program designed to benefit new and emerging leaders to help them develop the necessary skills and a toolkit of resources to help them excel as they move into and grow in their leadership roles.

 “I am extremely proud to be bringing this program to our communities,” said Melody Murphy, Columbia State Workforce and Continuing Education director. With ‘Now Hiring’ posted on almost every storefront, it is becoming harder for employers to find and keep good employees. This program is an excellent opportunity for a company to identify dedicated employees' value and hard work and build them up through this program for leadership and supervision roles.”

The Columbia State Leadership for Operational Excellence program nurtures success and provides participants with the skills and resources for them to excel as leaders within their organizations.

Topics covered will include leadership styles, generations and teams, employee engagement and productivity, communication and leading your team, business finance and budgets, presentation skills and networking as well as delivering outcomes and managing change.

“Many of us have seen firsthand how promoting internally for these positions based on performance can be problematic, because doing a job and leading others to do a job are very different things that require somewhat different skill sets,” Murphy said. “This program aims to give participants the necessary leadership skills to be successful leaders.”  

Registration is now open for the program, which consists of eight full-day sessions with two full days conducted back-to-back. Participants should plan to attend all sessions, which will take place at Columbia State’s Williamson Campus. The program begins in 2024 with the dates of January 11 – 12, February 8 – 9, March 7 – 8 and April 11 – 12. Cost is $2,995, with lunch and coffee provided.

To register, please visit

For more information, please contact Murphy at

Artists Wanted (Press Release)

The City of Columbia is inviting professional artists to submit their qualifications for the creation of public sculpture installations to be permanently displayed outdoors in the Columbia Arts District and in historic downtown Columbia, Tennessee.

These public sculptures serve to inspire further development of the arts, culture, and tourism in Columbia.

Copies of the solicitation (#999-1023-28) are available at 700 North Garden St, Columbia TN 38401 or by contacting the purchasing agent at 931-560-1580.

Sealed qualifications are due no later than 2:00 PM CT, Monday, November 6, 2023.

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

Mr. James Albert “Jim” Taylor, 76, retired educator and resident of Lyon Street, died Thursday, October 26, 2023 at Maury Regional Medical Center. Funeral services for Mr. Taylor will be conducted Thursday, November 2, 2023, at 2:00 P.M. at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Burial will follow in St. John’s Churchyard. The family will visit with friends Wednesday from 5:00 P.M. –7:00 P.M. at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home and Thursday from 12:30 P.M. –2:00 P.M in the Parish Hall of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Condolences may be extended online at

Mrs. Jean Gwaltney Worley, 96, a long time resident of Dry Fork Road in Hampshire, died Sunday, October 29, 2023 at The Fountains of Franklin. Funeral services for Mrs. Worley will be conducted Saturday, Nov. 4, at 11:00 a.m. at West 7th Street Church of Christ. Burial will follow in the Worley Cemetery. The family will visit with friends Friday from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at Oakes & Nichols, and on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. prior to the service at West 7th Street Church of Christ. Condolences may be extended online at

Mr. Charles Henry Fraser, 97, former resident of Columbia, died Saturday, October 28, 2023 at Stone’s River Manor in Murfreesboro. Graveside services will be conducted Saturday, November 4, 2023 at 2:00 P.M. at Arlington Cemetery in Mt. Pleasant. Online condolences may be extended at

…And now, news from around the state…

Gas Prices (MSM)

After declining for five consecutive weeks, the Tennessee state gas price average moved higher mid-week last week, but fortunately moved lower again by the weekend. Today’s state gas price average is only a penny more expensive than last week’s. The Tennessee Gas Price average is now $3.10 which is 22 cents less expensive than both one month and one year ago. 

“We saw quite a bit of movement in pump pricing in some of our metro areas last week, which helped to push the state gas price average more expensive. From Monday to Wednesday last week, gas prices shot up five cents, on average, but by the weekend gas prices had dropped by another four cents,” said Megan Cooper, spokeswoman for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “If oil prices continue to move less expensive, drivers can likely expect to see pump prices continue to decline over this week.” 

Quick Facts

37% of Tennessee gas stations have prices below $3.00 

The lowest 10% of pump prices are $2.82 for regular unleaded 

The highest 10% of pump prices are $3.52 for regular unleaded

Tennessee is the 8th least expensive market in the nation

BNA’s New Concourse (Tennessean)

Flights are now arriving and departing from a new extension of Nashville International Airport's main terminal: an eight-gate satellite concourse.

This latest addition to the ever-expanding campus mostly services short routes on Allegiant Air and Spirit Airlines.

But passengers still arrive at the same 1 Terminal Drive address, as usual.

Those traveling through the satellite concourse go through the main terminal's security checkpoint before catching a shuttle bus in Concourse C to the satellite concourse. The bus ride is about 3 to 5 minutes.

The all-electric shuttle bus fleet runs to the satellite concourse every three minutes throughout the day.

Once travelers arrive at the mini-terminal, they can visit retail shops and foodservice options for breakfast, lunch and dinner sourced from local restaurants. Distillery District Market, Gulch Goods and Nashville Supply Co. have already opened, and restaurants Fat Bottom Brewery, Jimmy John's sandwiches, TX/MX and Bongo Java are coming soon.

"The opening of our new Satellite Concourse is a milestone for BNA as we continue to work to accommodate the exponential growth we’re experiencing while simultaneously enhancing the passenger experience," said Doug Kreulen, president and CEO of Nashville International Airport. "As we continue to work towards building a world-class airport for a world-class city, we are excited for our passengers to experience the newest addition to BNA."

The soft opening of the new concourse was on Oct. 21 and a grand opening will take place at a later date. Roadwork to improve terminal access is ongoing.

The project is part of the $1.2 billion BNA Vision redevelopment that began in 2017 and is mostly complete. In December, the first terminal hotel, a nine-story Hilton, will open above one of three new terminal parking garages.

Final Story of the Day (Maury County Source)

America Salutes You 2023 presents “Concert For Gratitude,” a live concert event being filmed for national broadcast from the Fisher Center For The Performing Arts on the campus of Belmont University on Friday, December 15th at 7 p.m.

The event, honoring and raising awareness and financial support for our veterans and first responders, also supports the US Department of Veteran Affairs Mental Wellness Campaign. Chrissy Metz (“This Is Us”) and Dustin Lynch will co-host and perform. Lecrae, Clint Black joined by Lisa Hartman Black and daughter Lily Pearl Black, Charlie Esten (“Nashville” TV star), Lee Greenwood, Jo Dee Messina, Craig Morgan (recently enlisted as an Army Reserve soldier,) Walker Hayes (sending a special performance for the event and cause) and Chasing DaVinci are all performing with additional special guest artists to be announced shortly.

Tickets on sale at and 


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