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Southern Middle Tennessee Today News for September 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…

Stabbing Leads to Pursuit (NewsChannel5)

A call for a possible stabbing on the interstate turned into a pursuit that came to an end on a dead end road in Maury County.

Neighbors on Bristow Road described the tense moments of the take down. 

“It was really scary,” Michelle Petty explained, saying she watched from her parent’s window as it all unfolded outside their home. 

Petty said the driver hit the dead end and made their way back up the road, but by that time, officers had deployed spike strips.

“He avoided the spike strips, came off onto my neighbor’s property, and then the police car hit him from behind and turned him and then he ended up in the other neighbors yard. When they hit him, that was loud. That was intense.”

That’s when Petty said a number of law enforcement officials moved in with their guns drawn, telling residents to stay inside.

“Then they finally got him out and they handcuffed him,” she said, explaining that he was yelling obscenities during the arrest.

Officials with the Tennessee Highway Patrol stated that authorities were sent to a fight in progress on I-65 south of Columbia where they made contact with a male and female and the man took off. That’s when a brief pursuit ensued and the man was taken into custody.

“If they hadn’t hit him and turned him the way they did, I think he would have kept on going. That officer was bound and determined to not let him drive off. It was scary, because we didn’t know what he had done. 

Duck River Cleanup (CDH)

Over 60 volunteers from around the county and region gathered by foot or kayak on the Duck River Saturday for a cleanup day hosted by Keep Maury Beautiful and Higher Pursuits kayak and canoe rental to help beautify the waterway.

Members of grassroots group Save the Duck attended the volunteer day on the heels of a legislative milestone this year when the Tennessee General Assembly passed a bill that extends scenic protections of the Duck River.

Volunteers scoured the river to remove any litter items, including tires, plastics and other debris to keep the river a healthy spot for fishing, swimming and other recreation.

Over the past year, waterway preservationists fought for the Tennessee legislature to pass legislation expanding the river's scenic status to preserve the Duck River for drinking water and recreation. In April, Gov. Bill Lee signed the bill, passed in the 113th General Assembly, that would extend the scenic river status to protect the Maury County part of the waterway from development, such as proposed landfills that might lead to contamination.

Over 100 concerned Maury County residents packed the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee meetings at the Cordell Hull Building in Nashville for weeks last spring as legislators debated the bill during legislative session.

Residents wore buttons, T-shirts and showed photos of the iconic Duck River, one of the most biodiverse rivers in North America.

Citizens first rallied to "Protect the Duck" when Louisiana-based Trinity Group filed four permits, with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, now pending, to establish a solid waste landfill with multiple operations on at least 380 acres, at the former Monsanto Chemical Company site near downtown Columbia.

The site is just a couple of miles from the river, and residents like river preservationist Gale Moore and former county commissioner Sue Stephenson worry that toxic runoff could affect the health of the river, a drinking water source, and thus residents. Rep. Scott Cepicky, R-Culleoka, took up the cause and carried the bill that expanded the Duck River's scenic water status, which passed earlier this year.

In addition, the county's Maury/ Marshall County Regional Waste Authority also took measures to block any construction of a landfill near the river by disapproving in April such a facility proposed by Trinity Group. Meanwhile, the Maury County Commission voted in January to prohibit development that is not agriculture to be built within a 1,000-foot reach of the river.

Previously, the Maury County Commission also enacted the state "Jackson law," which says that no new construction for a landfill can be built without the approval of the county legislative body, unless the landfill only accepts waste generated by its owners.

Save the Duck recently entered an ongoing legal battle over Trinity Group's rights to establish the landfill despite the efforts otherwise.

Save the Duck is also hosting the Duck River Jam fundraiser on Nov. 5 with a concert and silent auction.

New Spring Hill Assistant Chief Named (MauryCountySource)

After an exhaustive nation-wide search, starting with over 20 highly qualified applicants, Dominic Orlando has been selected as the Spring Hill Assistant Fire Chief of Training and Safety.

Chief Orlando comes to SHFD with over 25 years of experience as a Firefighter and Senior Fire Officer with the Raleigh Fire Department (N.C.). His educational background consists of a master’s degree in public administration, bachelor’s degree in accounting/finance and business law, and an associate degree in fire protection technology. In addition to Chief Orlando’s fire department background, he was the Fire and Emergency Management Instructor/Coordinator for the Coastal Carolina Community College for the past 2 years, teaching over a dozen Fire and Emergency Management degree program courses. He also owns and operates a consulting business that specializes in hazardous materials response, building equipment specifications, and providing hazmat training.

With a heavy background in various special operations disciplines, including Hazardous Materials, Chief Orlando is a HazMat Specialist, HazMat Incident Commander, Fire Officer III, and Fire Service Instructor III along with holding the Fire Officer designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence and Training Officer Credential from the International Society of Fire Service Instructors.

Chief Orlando is tentatively scheduled to start with SHFD on October 16th, 2023.

Bayleaf Indian Restaurant (WKOM Audio 2:59)

Yesterday, a new Indian restaurant opened in Spring Hill. The Bayleaf Indian Restaurant held their grand opening and ribbon cutting and Front Porch Radio’s own Mary Susan Kennedy stopped by to sample the cuisine…

Medicare Open Enrollment (Press Release)

Maury Regional Health wants to remind you that Medicare health insurance and prescription drug plans can change each year. For those who want to join a Medicare plan or who are already enrolled and want to change their coverage, the open enrollment period is Oct. 15-Dec. 7.

Medicare beneficiaries are encouraged to review your current coverage, ensure that your preferred providers are still in-network and determine what Part D plan will best cover your prescription medications. Plan changes go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.

The “Medicare and You” book that beneficiaries will receive by mail contains information about Medicare coverage and plans available in your area. To find more information or compare plans, visit The State Health Insurance Assistance Program is also there to help with any Medicare questions. Reach them toll free at 1.877.801.0044 or by emailing

Please note that Maury Regional Health providers participate in the following Medicare Advantage plans:

Aetna Medicare

American Health Advantage of Tennessee


BlueCross Blue Shield

Cigna Medicare HMO and PPO

Farm Bureau Health Plans

HumanaChoice HMO and PPO 

NHC Advantage

WellCare HMO and PPO


Maury Regional Health providers are not participating in the Ascension Complete, Bright Health and Clover Health Choice Medicare Advantage plans.

CPD Cookout (WKOM Audio 2:42)

On Tuesday afternoon, the Columbia Police Department held their annual community cookout. Front Porch Radio’s Delk Kennedy stopped by the event and spoke to Sgt. Jennifer Dalton…

Cowboy Up Fundraiser

Cowboy Up, Inc., a local suicide awareness non-profit in Maury County, is hosting their annual Light Up The Darkness Walk which will be held on Thursday 09/28/2023 at their office located at 604 N. High Street, Columbia.

Music starts at 6:30pm followed by a short awareness walk and candle lighting service in memory of those lost to suicide.

Approximately one young person dies from suicide every 1 hour and 45 minutes in the U.S. Suicide ranks as the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24. Research tells us that almost 70% of the people who attempt suicide express their intentions to someone.

Cowboy Up, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Columbia, Tennessee, that focuses on the prevention of youth suicide through educational programs. Cowboy Up was originally started as a service project of Junior Auxiliary of Columbia in 2005 until becoming its own nonprofit in August 2020.

For more information, visit Cowboy Up’s Facebook page.

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

Mrs. Virginia Ruth Priestley Lamb, 93, resident of Columbia, died Saturday, September 23, 2023, at Maury Regional Medical Center surrounded by her family. Funeral services for Mrs. Lamb will be conducted Thursday at 2:30 P.M. at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home. Burial will follow in Polk Memorial Gardens. The family will visit with friends 12:00 P.M. until service time at the funeral home.

Mr. Steven Lynn Hay, 42, died Thursday, September 21, 2023 at his residence in Columbia. Funeral services for Mr. Hay will be conducted Friday at 2:00 P.M. at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home. Burial will follow in Polk Memorial Gardens. The family will visit with friends Friday from 12:00 P.M. until service time at the funeral home.

…And now, news from around the state…

Vandy Dyslexia Research (Tennessean)

Vanderbilt University unveiled its plans Tuesday to start a new academy for elementary students with dyslexia, along with a research and outreach center focused on dyslexia.

Both were made possible by a gift from Hal and Marjorie Hollis Roberts, according to a news release from the university.

The Roberts Academy, designed for children in grades K-5, will accept its first class in fall 2024. It will serve children in grades kindergarten through first grade flagged as at-risk for dyslexia and those in grades 2-5 who have been diagnosed. The Roberts Dyslexia Center will focus on reaching out to families and boost existing dyslexia research at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of education and human development. 

Vanderbilt University Chancellor Daniel Diermeier said he is grateful for the gift and excited to see how it both helps children with learning differences and pioneers new knowledge and programs.

“We will develop new approaches to learning, educate the educators and improve the lives of countless children,” Diermeier said in the release. “This gift leverages the knowledge and experiences of our faculty in a meaningful way and will further strengthen Peabody College as an undisputed leader in the field."

Some estimates show as many as 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, a condition that makes it difficult to process sounds and can greatly hinder the ability to read, among other things. It is the most common neuro-cognitive disorder.

Marjorie and Hal Roberts have three grandchildren who were diagnosed with dyslexia as kids, which in turn inspired them to establish two other academies for students with dyslexia. The one at Vanderbilt will be the third. The couple lives in Florida and had no previous relationship with Vanderbilt, according to the release, but chose it because of its esteemed reputation and research.

“The extent of dyslexia research happening at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College made it clear to us that it was the right place for this center,” Hal Roberts said in the release. “We believe our investment in Vanderbilt will help transform education and the lives of children with dyslexia in the U.S. and around the world. To us, changing the lives of children is what matters most.”

Marjorie Roberts said she and her husband learned about the challenges dyslexia brings to education and daily life through their grandchildren's experiences.

BNA Expansion (MauryCountySource)

Nashville International Airport (BNA®) today unveiled the new International Arrivals Facility (IAF) and BNA Marketplace, two key pillars of the airport’s breakthrough BNA® Vision construction and renovation plan. The IAF includes six new gates and facilities designed to accommodate the surging international travel to and from Middle Tennessee. The BNA Marketplace brings the local flair of Music City to BNA with exciting new dining, retail, and service amenities to provide travelers with the BNA experience.

Launched in 2017, BNA® Vision is Nashville International Airport’s bold growth and expansion plan to transform BNA into a world-class airport.

“BNA® Vision was designed to take Nashville International Airport to the next level and meet the travel needs of Middle Tennessee not just today, tomorrow, or next year, but well into the future,” said Doug Kreulen, president and CEO of BNA. “Not only does the International Arrivals Facility greatly increase our ability to serve international flights and travelers, it also opens the door for future nonstop air service to Europe, Asia, Latin America, and other regions.”

The International Arrivals Facility introduces a set of six new gates specifically designated for international flights with ample apron space to accommodate larger planes. In addition, these gates will also accommodate domestic flights, further expanding the capacity of BNA. A new Customs and Border Protection (CBP) zone will streamline immigration and Customs processes and can accommodate 800 passengers per hour using the latest in biometric technology. Travelers arriving at the IAF will be welcomed by an array of artworks and installations showcasing Music City’s rich history through a captivating collection of photographs. The IAF also features a 1,000-square-foot mural titled “Nashville’s Rhythmic Skies” by Nashville native Eric “Mobe” Bass, a celebrated muralist with a number of high-profile works across the city. Situated directly above 10 expandable Customs processing booths is a 650-square-foot “Welcome to Nashville” sign extending a warm greeting to our city’s visitors.

The BNA Marketplace includes 15 new dining, retail, and service amenities, including ACME Feed & Seed, Titans Press Box, a full-service restaurant and bar in partnership with the Tennessee Titans, Voodoo Doughnut, and Kitty Hawk, a fast-casual eatery offering made-to-order dishes and convenient grab-and-go options. Other dining and retail locations include:

Hattie B’s


Goo Goo Shop

Tennessee Moonshine Bar

Tennessee Whiskey Company

Time For A Shine (2 locations)

 Galleria Duty Free/Duty Paid

Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum

Sunglass Hut

The space also features twelve 26-foot life-like faux trees designed to mirror the Red Maple species indigenous to the landscapes of Tennessee.

The IAF and the BNA Marketplace mark the completion of the Terminal Lobby Renovation, a 400,000-square-foot project including the new Grand Lobby, which opened in January 2023. The master architect for BNA® Vision is Corgan, and the design-build team for the Grand Lobby and International Arrivals Facility is Hensel Phelps and Fentress Architects.

Final Story of the Day (Maury County Source)

Music and culture icon, Ringo Starr, was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame during a private ceremony Sunday, September 24 at the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum CEO Linda Chambers was joined by presenters Brenda Lee and Peter Frampton, who spoke to their experiences with Starr and his musical, cultural and charitable contributions.

Of the moment, Starr says, “Wow what a lovely tribute – thank you…everyone at the Musicians Hall of Fame for all of this. I am really touched and honored to be here and to accept the first Joe Chambers Musicians Legacy Award. I’ve always loved Nashville, and country music, though I know this place honors all musicians regardless of genre or instrument. I’ve had a long happy relationship with this town and it’s really lovely to be here and to be receiving this award. So, with that I send you all Peace and Love – thanks for coming. See you at the Ryman!”

Following the ceremony, Starr joined his All-Starr band at the Historic Ryman Auditorium, a venue close to Ringo’s heart, and did what he and his band do best – played a solid show to a sold-out crowd.


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