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Southern Middle Tennessee Today News for October 27, 2023

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

We start with local news…

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.

Kedron Road Improvements (MSM)

The City of Spring Hill took the first step in a collaborative effort with developers and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to correct traffic flow issues on Kedron Road.

Known for its awkward intersection and flooding, Old Kedron Road has become a focus of City Administrator Pam Caskie. An issue with drainage at one intersection prompted her to bring before both the city’s Traffic Advisory Committee and the Board of Mayor and Aldermen a plan to relocate and square up the intersection, as well as make necessary improvements in conjunction with the other improvements.

“There is some work in here that needs to be done by the city, there’s work that needs to be done by the developers and TDOT, but the idea is we all do this in a coordinated fashion,” Caskie told the BOMA.

Legacy Point, formerly Project Smash, is set to make several improvements to widen Kedron Road from the new entrance to Crossings Blvd. and Reserve Blvd., while Kedron Square – the development that will be built on the old Tennessee Children’s Home property – will improve parts of the road closer to Main Street.

The remaining parts of Kedron Road and Old Kedron Road, however, would be the responsibility of the city. During negotiations for their Tax Increment Financing, the city did approve some money that would require Legacy Point to complete some of the work on behalf of the city, but not all of it. The deal was also made prior to the decision to potentially relocate the intersection.

Relocating the intersection has multiple benefits according to Caskie. One of those benefits is the state has agreed in principle to assist the city in creating a truck route for Hwy 31 that would keep large trucks from going through the downtown area of the city.

“Trucks could come down Miles Johnson/Old Kedron and then make the turn on to Kedron to either go to Saturn or back to Main Street,” she told the board.

Additionally, the area of the road prone to flooding would be eliminated completely.

“The box bridge going under Old Kedron is susceptible to flooding, so that was the thought behind relocating that section and tying it in,” Gerald Bolden of the Corradino Group told Traffic Advisory Committee members.

Without relocation of the intersection, the entire road would have needed to be elevated anyway, and this will effectively solve two problems with one solution.

The stretch of road where the intersection currently sits to where the new road would tie in would be abandoned and likely become property of adjacent property owners.

“I’m glad we’re taking a proactive approach to this rather than just waiting for the developers to construct what they’re going to construct. I’m very happy with the approach and excited to see the next steps,” Alderman Trent Linville said.

The board plans to have a conceptual plan drawn up from Corradino Group and estimated costs before next fiscal year. Due to the designation of an arterial road, impact fees from any developments directly associated with Kedron Road and Old Kedron Road can be earmarked to complete the tasks.

“There are multiple benefits to this, and I understand it’s another road project that’s going to cost money, but now is the time,” Caskie said.

TN Flight Training (WKOM Audio 2:45)

Yesterday, Tennessee Flight Training reopened their facility following the upgrades to the Maury County Airport. Front Porch Radio’s Delk Kennedy stopped by and spoke to Chris Earlinson, President of Tennessee Flight Training…

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.

The Drake (MSM)

A six-story, nearly 12,000 square-foot mixed-use building is set for construction in downtown Columbia, which would be located on the north side of East 7th Street from Woodland Street to Glade.

The Drake will house 278 residential units with additional retail-like space, coming in at a total of 10,000 to 12,000 square feet and a lot size of 2.57 acres.

Back in March, applicant Charles Carlisle with Bristol Development Group, which is located in Franklin, went before the Columbia Board of Zoning Appeals to request an exception to the amount of required commercial frontage.

According to the application, the 40-feet grade height difference at Woodland St and Glade St makes it challenging to provide retail or commercial use across 7th St.

“We have placed amenity uses that have the character of commercial space at every location where building finished floor elevation meets sidewalk elevation,” the application reads.

Among the amenities include a bike shop, music studio and art panels to enliven the street.

More than 80 percent of the frontage will appear on Woodland Street, which the application states has a much more pedestrian-friendly grade. The activation will include approximately 4,322 square feet of retail space and approximately 3,065 square feet of leasing reception and co-working space for residents of the multifamily building, according to the application.

To provide activation along East 7th Street to accommodate the grade change, a retail-like façade will be provided at a level one bike lounge as well as a music studio on basement level. Eighty percent of the frontage along Woodland Street will be used for commercial applications, with a portion being used as amenity space for residents.

“From the street it looks a lot like a coffee shop would look where you have tables where people come in and put their laptops down,” Carlisle said of the space. “It has an outdoor patio that wraps the corner of 7th and Woodland and that coworking space extends out onto that patio, so it would be a very lively space at all hours of the day because that space is open to residents 24/7.”

Carlisle said the project, which the city has already approved, would take a little over two years to build.

Construction for The Drake is set to begin at the end of the year or early 2024.

Mt. Pleasant Revitalization Plan (MSM)

The Mount Pleasant Commission met Tuesday, Oct. 17 to give an update on the city’s Downtown Revitalization Project, which is set to be rebid for a third time following a need to scale back on the project.

In 2018, the city was awarded $1.25 million in grant monies from TDOT (Tennessee Department of Transportation). Last year, the city was awarded an additional $1.8 million in funds from the state to complete Phase 2 of the project.

The project will include improvements spanning from the front of the Mount Pleasant Grille to Church Street on both sides of the street including the square in front of City Hall. Further changes will include upgrades to sidewalks, which would be added from 3rd Avenue to Gray Lane along North Main Street.

“We’re still moving forward as far as we’re concerned with this project,” Mount Pleasant City Manager Kate Collier said. “Our intention is to pull out the street lights and the light poles for the traffic signal. We can save over a half a million dollars by doing that,” Collier said, adding that the city will work with the power system to purchase the items separately.

“The City has now bid this project out twice and both times the bids are twice what is anticipated. The commission is aware that we plan on folding Phase 2 into Phase 1 and we will reapply again for Phase 2 next October.”

Additional projects in the works include replacing the bridge on North Main Street over Sugar Creek, which is planned to be bid in November and December. During construction, the state will close N. Main Street and direct traffic onto Highway 43, with signs at 1st Avenue suggesting to enter and exit to avoid the closure. The project is set to be completed in six months, with a targeted construction date of early next year.

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.

MRMC Pill Disposal (Press Release)

Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC) will again offer an opportunity to dispose of expired, unused or unneeded prescription drugs. The drug take-back event allows community members to dispose safely and anonymously.

The free drug take-back event will be held in front of the MRMC Medical Office Building at 1222 Trotwood Ave. in Columbia on Saturday, October 28, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. 

The event, which will feature a convenient drive-through disposal process, will be staffed by members of the MRMC security team. Staff members will receive items from drivers in their vehicles. The service is free and anonymous with no information required.

“We are pleased to offer our community members a convenient, anonymous way to safely dispose of unneeded medications,” MRMC Security Director Michael Johnson said. “We highly encourage all residents to take advantage of this opportunity to dispose medications.”

For multiple safety and health precautions, safely disposing of unused medications is extremely important. Medication should not be flushed down a toilet or tossed in the trash. In addition, medicines that are kept in home cabinets are susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicates that most misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including medications taken from home medicine cabinets.

Only medications in pill or patch form should be brought to the upcoming event. The site cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps. Items should be in their original container, if possible.

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.

Breakfast With The Mayor (Press Release)

Join Maury Alliance for their next Breakfast With The Mayor event October 31st at 8:00am at Puckett’s Restaurant on the Square in Columbia.

For this session, Maury Alliance is enhancing their quarterly Breakfast with the Mayor event by featuring a City of Columbia panel discussion with Mayor Chaz Molder, Tourism and Marketing Director Kellye Murphy, and Development Services Director Paul Keltner.

Tickets are $25 for members and include breakfast.

To submit a question or topic in advance, email 

For more information, visit

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

Tyler Christopher Vaughn, 25, resident of Olive Hill, Tennessee, died Friday, October 20, 2023 at Jackson – Madison County Hospital. A graveside service for Tyler will be conducted Saturday, October 28, 2023 at 1:30 P.M. at Pisgah Cemetery in Hampshire. The family will visit with friends Saturday from 11:00 A.M. until 1:00 P.M. at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home.

…And now, news from around the state…

Nashville First Responders Honored in NYC (Tennessean)

When Nashville's emergency dispatchers received the first 911 call on the day three students and three staff members were killed at the Covenant School, police and paramedics responded quickly and with precision, limiting the number of victims.

This week, they were honored for their actions in New York City at a ceremony in Times Square during the First Responders Children's Foundation's annual "Roll Call of Heroes."

"When the unthinkable occurred, Nashville's first responders displayed exceptional valor and resilience, confronting unimaginable circumstances to safeguard the lives of our community's most vulnerable," foundation board member Allison Isaacson Beahm said, reflecting on the March 27 mass shooting during the Tuesday ceremony.

"In their moments of decision, they chose to be vessels of bravery, beacons of hope, pillars of strength and sources of comfort during a time filled with chaos and despair."

Nashville police detectives Michael Collazo, Zach Plese and Sgt. Jeff Mathes, Nashville fire paramedic Paul Gilmer and emergency dispatcher Jeffrey Bolin were each awarded medals at the ceremony. Police Chief John Drake and fire Chief William Swann were also present for the ceremony.

"In times of danger, these selfless individuals run toward the unknown to ensure our safety," Jillian Crane, foundation president and CEO, said. "The heroes we recognize on this stage today represent just a small fraction of the over 4 million first responders who answer our call."

Stapleton to Tour (Tennessean)

Chris Stapleton is set to bring his “All-American Road Show” tour to Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on August 9, 2024. Tickets for several newly announced dates, including the Nashville show, go on sale Friday, Nov. 3 at 10 a.m. local time.

Special guests at the Nashville show will be Marty Stuart and Nikki Lane.

Stapleton's last Nashville concert appearance was at Nissan Stadium in July with George Strait.

In addition to a handful of dates added to his tour, Stapleton's next album "Higher" is set to release on November 10. Produced by Dave Cobb, Morgane Stapleton and Chris Stapleton, the album was recorded at Nashville’s RCA Studio A.

Stapleton is also nominated for Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and Musical Event of the Year (“We Don’t Fight Anymore” with Carly Pearce) at this year's CMA Music Awards. The awards ceremony will be broadcast live from Nashville on ABC Wednesday, November 8 at 7 p.m. CT.

Final Story of the Day (Maury County Source)

Halloween starts early this weekend in Mule Town, with several festive events leading up to Tuesday's Haunting in the District.

Friday night's events will kick off with Classic Cars & Candy Bars at United Farm & Home Co-op, 975 Riverview Lane, starting at 2 p.m. The event will include pumpkin painting, fall games, food trucks and more. The car show and trunk-or-treat will start at 5 p.m.

Columbia Fire & Rescue will host another Car Seat Checks event starting at 3 p.m. Friday, which will also include free candy for the kids. The event will take place at Fire Station No. 1, 1000 S. Garden St., where certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians could also treat you to a free car seat.

Bring the kids to Columbia Motor Alley at the corner of East 7th and Woodland Streets for a special Halloween Cruise-in Trunk-or-Treat from 6-10 p.m. Friday. Zacharia Malachi & The Nashville Counts will also perform, with Nash Taps serving craft beverages.

Rose Hill Cemetery, 219 Cemetery Street, will also host Haunted Night in Columbia starting at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The ghost tour will include paranormal investigations, ghost hunts and more. Tickets are $28.52 and are available at


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