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Southern Middle TN Today News with Tom Price 4-24-24


Southern Middle Tennessee Today

News Copy for April 24, 2024

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

We start with local news…

Columbia’s Most Wanted (MauryCountySource)

The Columbia Police Department is actively trying to locate 33-year-old George Alex Bullock and 24-year-old Shermar Ethan-Arnale Davis.

Both have an active warrant for attempted 1st-degree murder.

Any information regarding the whereabouts of Bullock or Davis should notify the Columbia Police Department at 931-388-2727.

The Drake Prompts Road Closures (MauryCountySource)

Road closures in Columbia will begin for utility work associated with The Drake development located at Woodland Street and East 7th Street.

Affected streets and closure dates:

– North Glade Street between East 6th and East 7th Street (April 22 – October 31)

– East 7th Street between Woodland Street and North Glade Street (April 22 – May 4)

– Woodland Street between East 6th Street and East 7th Street (May 6 – May 17)

Wired Masterminds Pitch Competition (Press Release)

In 2021, Maury County Chamber & Economic Alliance and Spring Hill Chamber of Commerce launched WIRED – A Mastermind Group for local entrepreneurs and CEOs. WIRED Mastermind is designed to foster growth and development through the sharing of experiences, lessons-learned, and game-changing moments. The 2023-2024 Wired Mastermind Group is comprised of five local Entrepreneurs and CEO’s that were selected through an application process.

The group of five local leaders have been meeting monthly over the course of the year, learning from one another and developing a deeper understanding of themselves. Each participant committed their time, resources and expertise to the group and now it is time for them to host the finale, the WIRED Pitch Contest, a pitch competition for early businesses poised for growth in Maury County/Spring Hill. The group will decide which business is deserving of a grant valued up to at least $5,000. The individuals will also commit to mentoring the chosen business as needed.

The WIRED Pitch Contest is funded by WIRED Mastermind’s annual fees. Local entrepreneurs are encouraged to complete the application by June 1, 2024 in order to be considered to participate in the pitch competition on July 23, 2024. Chosen applicants will pitch their idea in front of the WIRED Mastermind group and the group will determine which businesses warrant investing and the amount invested. The WIRED Mastermind group will then serve as mentors to the chosen entrepreneur(s).

Find a link to the application by visiting

All Maury County businesses are encouraged to apply. The application is anonymous and will only be shared with the WIRED Pitch Contest reviewing committee. Participants are selected without regard to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, veteran, or disability status.

931 Skin & Company Asthetics and Wellness (WKOM Audio 2:59)

Yesterday a medical spa opened on Trotwood Avenue in Columbia. Front Porch Radio’s Mary Susan Kennedy attended the ribbon cutting to learn about what 931 Skin & Company Asthetics and Wellness offers its clients and spoke to Angela Scott, owner and nurse-practitioner.

Breckinridge Baby (Press Release)

Breckenridge Baby, the beloved baby and children's boutique nestled in the heart of historical Mt. Pleasant, TN, is thrilled to announce its 7th birthday celebration. Established initially as an antique store a decade ago, the boutique transitioned into a haven for children in the spring of 2017.

Breckenridge Baby has been a beacon of style and charm since its inception. Offering a blend of classic elegance with a sprinkle of whimsy, the boutique caters to premie through size 14, ensuring that every child is dressed to perfection.

Originally opened in April 2017 within the historic Breckenridge House, the boutique quickly outgrew its space, prompting a move to the bustling square in November 2019. Their online marketing got mom’s attention. The social media content resonated with moms throughout the Southeast. This relocation marked a significant milestone in Breckenridge Baby's journey, allowing for an expanded selection and an even more immersive shopping experience for its loyal clientele.

Reflecting on the past seven years, founder Kendra Nowlin, expressed gratitude for the support received from the local community. "Breckenridge Baby has been a labor of love from the very beginning. We're immensely grateful to our customers who have made this journey so fulfilling. It's been a joy to serve as a trusted destination for families seeking quality and style for their children."

As Breckenridge Baby blows out its seventh candle, the boutique looks forward to many more years of delighting families with its carefully curated collections and exceptional customer service. To celebrate this milestone, Breckenridge Baby invites customers old and new to join in the festivities and explore the latest arrivals, ensuring that every child continues to shine in Southern style.

For more information about Breckenridge Baby and its anniversary celebration, please visit or follow along on social media @breckenridgebabytn.

For more information about Breckenridge Baby or Main Street Mount Pleasant please reach out to: Haverly Pennington at

New Song Praise Fest (Press Release)

Praise-Fest ‘24 is coming to Columbia on May 4th. The event will take place from 11am-9pm at the New Song Church located at 2585 Zion Road in Columbia. The Praise-Fest will feature artists Rhett Walker, Mac Powell, as well as Modern Day Cure, Adrienne Acosta, Gospel Mule, and Catchfire. The music festival will also host food trucks, a kids’ zone, petting zoo, and arts & crafts demonstrations.

You can find tickets at

CFR to Host Car Seat Safety Event (Press Release)

Columbia Fire & Rescue will be hosting a Car Seat Safety Event in collaboration

with General Motors and the Maury Regional Healthcare Foundation, on Friday, May 17th, from

3:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Fire Station 2.

According to research conducted by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Adminstration nearly half

(46%) of all car seats are installed incorrectly! To address this alarming issue and ensure the safety of

our local young passengers, Columbia Fire & Rescue will be offering parents and caregivers the opportunityto have their car seat checked by one of our nationally certified child passenger safety technicians!

In addition to car seat safety checks, Columbia Fire & Rescue will be offering free car seats to parents

who are unable to provide an appropriate seat for their child. We will have free car seats available for all

ages and stages of development! All attendees will be treated to a complimentary Hawaiian shaved ice

cone as a token of our appreciation for coming out to learn more about child passenger safety! This

event is designed to educate, empower, and protect our community's most vulnerable members.

It's important to note that the child must be in attendance in order to ensure the seat is fitted properly.

No free seats or inspections will be provided if the child is not present.

Columbia Fire & Rescue extends its sincere gratitude to General Motors and the Maury Regional

Healthcare Foundation for their generous support, which has made this essential program possible!

Don't miss this opportunity to ensure your most precious cargo is traveling safely! Join us at Fire Station

2 located at 711 Lion Parkway on May 17th, from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm for Car Seat Safety Checks and

Shaved Ice!

Columbia Jubilee Set (MauryCountySource)

The Maury County Horseman’s Association will be hosting its 73rd Annual Columbia Spring Jubilee from May 30 through June 1, 2024 at Maury County Park located at 1018 Maury County Park Drive in Columbia, Tennessee. The event begins at 6:00 p.m. on May 30, 2024. There will be 108 classes shown over the three-day event. 

The show follows the guidelines set forth by the State of Tennessee, the Department of Agriculture’s guidelines for livestock events, and the joint guidelines issued by the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA) and Walking Horse Trainers’ Association. The event is an International High Point Affiliated Horse Show. Judges for the event will be Scott Beaty, Scotty Brooks, and Justin Jenne.

This is one of the shows on the annual walking horse circuit promoted by the Walking Horse Owner’s Association (WHOA) and the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association 

Famous for its smooth and easy gait, the Tennessee Walking Horse is a popular breed blending Thoroughbred, Narragansett Pacer, Morgan, Standardbred, and American Saddlebred bloodlines. 

According to WHOA, the bloodline goes as far back as 1886 with a foundation sire named Black Allen. The stallion was bred to be a trotter, but he ended up being a pacer. While Black Allen was born in Kentucky, he was purchased in his later years by Albert Dement of Wartrace, Tennessee to help him produce a horse with a gait between a trot and a pace – which came to be called a “running walk.” A horse with this gait became the Tennessee Walking Horse (TWH). 

In 1935, the breed association was formed, known today as the TWHBEA. The TWHBEA is the official Registry for Tennessee Walking Horses.  All registrations, to be valid, must be filed with the TWHBEA on the prescribed form and accepted by the organization’s secretary.

Spring Hill Founders’ Day (MauryCountySource)

Join the city of Spring Hill this Founders Day Weekend, May 2nd through 5th, as history and traditions of the influential leaders who created the city are honored.

All events are free unless otherwise noted, but library space is very limited and many programs require online reservations to guarantee a seat. You can reserve your spot at

Please bring a non-perishable food donation for The Well.

Times, locations and presenters subject to change, but no rain dates are planned. Please direct any questions to Dana Juriew at or (931)451-0723.

Speakers include: Author Brooks Lamb presents his book Love for the Land: Lessons from Farmers Who Persist in Place; Spring Hill Artifacts with Gwynne Evans; Democracy in America: African American Voices of Maury County (1860s-1960s) with Jo Ann McClellan; The Formation of Spring Hill: Frontier’s Cutting Edge with Tom Price; Historically Significant Site plaque presentation with Mayor Jim Hagaman, Alicia Fitts and Rebecca Estrada; Story Mapping of Historic Sites in Spring Hill with Rebecca Estrada; Tours of Rippa Villa; aTractor Show on Library grounds; Cemetery Tour at Historic Spring Hill Cemetery on McLemore; a tour of historic churches on Sunday and the event winds down with Vintage Baseball at Rippa Villa 5700 Main Street.

Dana Juriew at or (931)451-0723.

Athenaeum Free Day (Press Release)

The Athenaeum Rectory, one of the main historic sites in Columbia, will have a Free Day on May 5th from 2-4PM.  The Athenaeum is located at 808 Athenaeum St. Free tours and refreshments will be served. Tour the home and become a member of the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities. 

Farm City Breakfast (Press Release)

The Maury Alliance Agribusiness Committee invites you to their annual Farm City Breakfast honoring the agriculture and agribusiness industry of Maury County.

This year's Farm City Breakfast will be held on Friday, April 26th at the Ridley 4-H Center. The breakfast line opens at 6:45 am with the program beginning at 7:00 am and concluding by 8:30 am. 

The Keynote Speaker is Mr. Eric Mayberry, President of Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation and we will be honoring the Biffle Potts Farm in Hampshire as a Century Farm.

There is no charge to attend the breakfast, however we will be collecting donations during the event for our 2024 Farm City Scholarship Memorial Fund. This year scholarships will be given in memory of Dee Cee Neeley.

Learn more about the scholarship opportunities by visiting

CSCC Summer Camps (Press Release)

Columbia State Community College’s Columbia Campus is excited to announce summer camps for 2024. 

The Game Design Unity Camp will run from June 10 - 14 for rising 6th through 8th grade students. Campers will craft virtual worlds, master optimization techniques and bring their video games to life with sounds and animations. Join us for an adventure in creativity and technology!

Rhythm Retreat – Music Camp will run from June 24 - 27 for rising 4th through 6th graders. Student participants will experience drumming, comprehend new piano skills, enjoy music games and take part in choral singing.

Innovate & Illuminate will run from July 8 – 12 for rising 6th through 8th graders. Participants will learn to make fun and useful projects using the fundamentals of circuit building and microcontroller programing.

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

Mary Lynda Johnson Gordon, 87, a longtime resident of Athens, Alabama, died Monday at Life Care Center of Columbia. Funeral services will be conducted Thursday at 11:00 AM at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home.  The family will visit with friends Wednesday from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the funeral home.  

James B. “J.B.” Shepard passed away peacefully at the age of 96 on April 19th, surrounded by his loving family. A private graveside service will be held at Polk Memorial Gardens. Oakes & Nichols Funeral Directors are assisting the family with arrangements.

Willadeen Baker Wood, 92, died Sunday, April 21 at her residence.

A private graveside service will be held at Polk Memorial Gardens. Oakes & Nichols Funeral Directors are assisting the family with arrangements.

…And now, news from around the state…

Bill to Arm Teachers Passes (Tennessean)

Tennessee House Republicans on Tuesday passed legislation to allow some trained teachers and school staff to carry handguns despite pleas from Democrats, students and gun-reform advocates to defeat the bill.

Dozens of protestors in the galleries began chanting "Blood on your hands" as soon as the legislation passed, prompting House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, to order state troopers to clear the galleries. Many protestors continued to chant and stomp down at lawmakers as the House floor fell into chaos over parliamentary issues.

The bill is all but guaranteed to become law within weeks, as Gov. Bill Lee can either sign it into law or allow it to become law without his signature. Lee has never vetoed a bill.

Armed teachers, who will be required to undergo training that some opponents have argued is not intensive enough, will be allowed to carry handguns in their classrooms and in most campus situations without informing parents and most of their colleagues they're armed.

The school district's director of schools, the school principal and the chief of the "appropriate" law enforcement agency must sign off on a staff member's authority to carry a concealed handgun, so school administrators could theoretically block any teacher from going armed on campus. The legislation also requires criminal and mental health background checks.

On Tuesday, Republicans rejected several Democratic attempts to amend the bill, including requiring teachers keep their handguns locked up except during a school security breach, holding teachers civilly liable for using their handgun on campus and informing parents when guns are on campus.

Democrats on Tuesday were broadly critical of the bill, both skeptical it could effectively stop a school shooter and concerned about unintended consequences, such as a teacher leaving a gun unattended for a student to find or the use of increased force during in-school discipline issues.

“This is nothing but a bad disaster and tragedy waiting to happen if we do not ensure personal responsibility," House Democratic Caucus Chair John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville, said. "Our children’s lives are at stake."

Republicans in favor of the measure have argued trained staff can increase school security, particularly in rural areas where law enforcement may be more sparsely staffed with greater response times to far-flung communities. The General Assembly last year funded school resource officer positions at all Tennessee schools, with the ability for SROs to go armed. Staffing issues have complicated hiring for those positions and nearly 600 schools do not have an SRO in place.

Sponsor Rep. Ryan Williams, R-Cookeville, said his bill was aimed to protect students and act as a deterrent for potential school security threats. Williams also pointed to a previous 2016 law that allowed some school districts in “distressed” counties, an economic indicator established by the state, to opt into a teacher handgun carry program, noting this isn't totally unprecedented in Tennessee.

"As a parent of public school kids, my kids are grown now, people ask me all the time: Have you done everything you could possibly do to make our schools safe across the state? I believe that this is the method by which we can do that," Williams said.

Williams continually pointed out that the bill is "permissive," meaning no school would be required to allow guns on campus, though the bill appears to require administrators to consider every individual who wants to carry, rather than issue a blanket school or district policy opting out from the program.

Final Story of the Day (Maury County Source)

Get ready to rock and ride at Tennessee’s one-of-a-kind “Moto & Music” event. The seventh annual Tennessee Motorcycles and Music Revival (TMMR) will be held May 16-19, at the 3,500-acre Loretta Lynn Ranch at Hurricane Mills. This popular, four-day festival, presented by Harley-Davidson Motor Co. ®, is a motorcycle enthusiast’s playground and a music lover’s paradise. Tennessee’s largest motorcycle gathering will feature a stellar selection of artists across multiple genres and a huge variety of two-wheeled events. Tickets are on sale now, exclusively at


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