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Southern Middle TN Today News with Tom Price 4-30-24


Southern Middle Tennessee Today

News Copy for April 30, 2024

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

We start with local news…

First Responders Receive Star of Life (MSM)

The Maury County Fire Department is honored to announce that 10 heroic first responders have been awarded the 2024 Star of Life Award in the region.

This award recognized their exceptional response to a cardiac arrest call in July 2023. The actions of this team saved the life of a Maury County resident who continues to enjoy life due to their response.

They will be further celebrated at the annual Childrens’ Emergency Care Alliance of TN Star of Life award ceremony on May 2.

The Star of Life team shared, “The recipients of these awards have been selected through a rigorous nomination and evaluation process by a committee comprised of EMS leaders and community representatives.”

Congratulations to Savannah Maddison, Sydney McCray, Blake Gay, Chris Allen, Tim Turner, Luke Smith and Fabian Oden of the Maury County Fire Department, and to Ashlind James, Jamie Roan and William Miles of Maury Regional Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

Commission Approves Hospital Sale for Hotel (MSM)

The Maury County Commission approved at its Monday, April 15 meeting the sale of 6.5 acres for approximately $2.95 million by Maury Regional Medical Center to eventually build a hotel.

The sale of the property, which would be located on Trotwood Avenue, was originally presented to the county’s Health and Environment Committee on April 1.

Pursuant to the Private Acts of 1996, the commission must approve by a two-thirds vote any sale or disposition of real property by Maury Regional that exceeds $1 million.

Commissioners were largely in favor of the sale of the property, though some expressed concerns over parking, traffic and foundation money that has been put into The Retreat, a hospitality house that provides daytime accommodations for cancer patients.

“This has been a very thoughtful process on the part of the hospital,” said Dr. Martin Chaney, CEO of Maury Regional. “It was the parking concern and the retreat that were somewhat of the questions and holdups.”

Chaney said a phased approach will be used for the parking growth plan.

“This is a total revamp of our parking in front of Maury Regional that will gain an additional 189 parking spaces,” he said. “We’re completely reorienting the parking spots, so that we will get a lot better access, including a road that will run all the way in front of all of our facilities to guide access to each of our buildings in a controlled way, yet allow parking to be expanded.”

Chaney said the positioning of the parking deck, ambulatory care and medical building would prevent reasonable access from a road standpoint from the main campus onto the property.

“To use the property for parking would mean we would either have to create a service road along Trotwood, or any parking would have to go out on Trotwood Avenue to access into this property,” he said, adding that the James Campbell Trotwood parking lot would bring 114 spaces.

Additional spaces would include a row of parking by urgent care along Trotwood, which would gain 28 spaces.

When speaking on The Retreat, which the hospital has owned since 1982, Chaney said several contingency plans are in the works, including building a new retreat with foundation support. The second option would include allowing patients to stay in the new hotel.

“The interim will be the challenge,” Chaney said. “We are looking to find an alternate place if the property sells and the hotel is being built.”

Commissioner Ray Jeter expressed his support for the proposed hotel, stating the opportunity for additional revenue to be brought back into the county.

“That’s the reason I support this measure and I appreciate the hospital doing this,” Jeter said. “It doesn’t benefit them in any way to own this property.”

Commissioner Connie Green said she was concerned over the increase in traffic.

“If you’re going to have a hotel, you’re going to have laundry service, a pool and a restaurant,” Green said. “You’re going to have semi-trucks coming in and out of that property, plus the guests.”

Chaney said part of the hospital’s plan is to improve ingress and egress of the campus.

“We are doing what we can on our side of the fence so to speak to improve the traffic on Trotwood,” he said, stating that there will be a single entrance onto the campus.

The hospital also plans on applying for a stop light at the Blythewood intersection, which Chaney said would be contingent across the street where the new entrance will be.

“We do have a plan to address the traffic in front of the medical center,” he said. “I don’t necessarily have the traffic plan if it becomes a hotel, but I have seen some options there.”

Commissioner Gary Stovall stated his support of the project.

“People of Maury County, traffic is already here, so we don’t need to be worrying about it.”

The Commission ultimately passed the resolution in a 19-1 vote.

Columbia Farmers Market (Press Release)

The eagerly anticipated kickoff of the Columbia Farmers Market is just around the corner, heralding the arrival of a season filled with the freshest produce, local meats, and community spirit. On May 4th, from 8 a.m. until noon, the Columbia Farmers Market will open its doors at Riverwalk Pavilion, inviting residents and visitors alike to celebrate the start of another vibrant market season.

As one of the highlights of Columbia's spring calendar, the extended hours of the farmers market promise a feast for the senses. From the scent of freshly baked goods to the sight of colorful fruits and vegetables, to locally raised meat, attendees can look forward to an abundance of locally sourced products.

"We're thrilled to kick off another exciting season of the Columbia Farmers Market," said Trevor Pennington, of 1822 Farms at the market. "This event is not just about shopping for locally sourced goods; it's a celebration of our community's rich agricultural heritage and supporting local farmers. We invite everyone to join us each Saturday morning. It’s a great opportunity to know exactly where your food comes from. ”

Attendees can explore the market and engage with local farmers behind each product. "The Columbia Farmers Market is more than just a place to buy groceries; it's a gathering place for our community," added Pennington. "We're excited to welcome back familiar faces and introduce newcomers to locally grown products like our beef available right here in Maury County from our pasture to your plate."

The extended market hours at the Columbia Farmers Market is scheduled for May 4th, from 8 a.m. until noon at 102 Riverside Drive Columbia, TN. Admission is free, and ample parking is available onsite.

The Columbia Farmers Market is a beloved community institution dedicated to promoting local agriculture, supporting small-scale producers, and fostering connections between farmers and consumers. The market has served as a vibrant gathering place where residents can access fresh, healthy foods while supporting the local economy. With a commitment to sustainability and community engagement, the Columbia Farmers Market continues to be a cornerstone of Columbia's cultural landscape.

Foster Care Awareness Month (MauryCountySource)

The City of Columbia is proud to proclaim May 2024 as #FosterCareAwarenessMonth.

Tennessee Kids Belong is part of the America’s Kids Belong family, a nonprofit focused on three key areas: Family Recruitment, Community Engagement, and Coalitions for Change.

They work to improve the experiences and outcomes for kids in foster care in Tennessee, and aim to make all 95 counties in Tennessee “Foster Friendly Communities.” TN Kids Belong empowers people to recognize that regardless of one’s occupation, skillset, and life stage, they can impact the lives of children in foster care.

Learn more and how you can show your support at

Spring Hill Appoints Committee Chairs for Healthcare (CDH)

Following TriStar Health's announcement last week proposing a $250 million full-service, acute care hospital in Spring Hill, a grassroots group has formed to support its efforts.

Spring Hill Tomorrow, a new initiative of Maury Tomorrow, has announced its new leaders, who are supporting greater health care access in Spring Hill. Former Spring Hill Mayor Rick Graham and Spring Hill Chamber Board Chair Jaimee Davis were named to serve as the group's co-chairs.

TriStar will host an informational community meeting from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, May 14 at Community Baptist Church, 1001 Parkway Drive.

TriStar Health announced last week plans to build a full-service, acute care hospital in Spring Hill. The health care provider is pursuing a Certificate of Need with the Tennessee Health Facilities Commission.

If approved, the $250 million community hospital would be built on the same site as the existing TriStar Spring Hill ER.

The proposed hospital in Spring Hill would offer a wide range of services including:

68 beds

Intensive Care Unit

Labor and Delivery Unit

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

4 operating rooms

Cardiac catheterization services

Imaging services, including MRI

“We are proud to have served thousands of patients in Spring Hill and surrounding communities over the past 10 years with convenient emergency care,” said Mitch Edgeworth, president of HCA Healthcare TriStar Division in a previous press release. “As Spring Hill’s population continues to grow, it is time for the community to have access to essential healthcare services at a full-service hospital closer to where they live, work and play.”

Spring Hill’s population increased from just under 9,000 residents in 2000 to more than 50,000 in 2020, according to the U.S. Census.

In the next five years, the population is expected to continue to grow to around 64,000 residents, according to the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury.

Currently, Spring Hill is Tennessee’s largest city without a hospital.

“I fully support a full-service Spring Hill Hospital,” said Spring Hill Mayor Jim Hagaman. “Our city needs access to care and the economic impact of the proposed hospital in the first five years of operation will result in nearly $870 million and more than 3,000 new jobs to Spring Hill. This is the right move at the right time for our city." 

Co-chairs of Spring Hill Tomorrow Davis and Graham voiced support for the project.

“In 2006, our city asked TriStar Health to solve our lack of comprehensive healthcare due to our rapid growth,” Graham said in a press release.

“They answered our call then, but our efforts were blocked. It’s now 2024, and we’ve tripled our number of community members since then. We need this hospital, and we need it now. At what point will we be able to earn our own care?” 

"As individuals throughout the country increasingly look to make Spring Hill their home, the need for a hospital in this city has never been more critical," a Spring Hill Tomorrow press release states.

“There are more than 15,000 children in Spring Hill, which is 25 percent of our city’s population,” Davis said. “This is an opportunity for us to take care of our children’s healthcare needs without leaving Spring Hill.” 

For more information about the proposed hospital or to sign a letter of support, visit

ESFP Grant (Press Release)

The Maury County Emergency Food and Shelter Program Board is announcing the Open Application Process for: EFSP Phase 41 Grant Funds. EFSP Funds are Federal funds made available through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Award amount for Maury County, Phase 41 is $ 33,132.00. The purpose and priority of the distribution of these funds is to provide Emergency Food and Shelter for our neighbors in Maury County. To understand if your organization is eligible to apply, please go to: for requirements. If you have any questions, or would like to request an application, please email: or call Laura Truelove at 931-381-0100.

Deadline to Request Application: May 10th

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.

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!

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.

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

Sandra Jean Kinavey MacGregor, 59, died Wednesday, April 24, 2024 at her residence.

No services are scheduled at this time. Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home are assisting the family with arrangements.

Mrs. Laurie Watson Moss, 79, resident of Columbia, died Friday at Maury Regional Medical Center. Graveside services for Mrs. Moss will be conducted Wednesday, May 1 at 2:30 PM at Rose Hill Cemetery. The family will visit with friends Wednesday from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home.

…And now, news from around the state…

Middle Tennessee Growth (Tennessean)

It’s no secret that Tennessee's population has exploded in recent years, but which county has seen the biggest boom?

Hint: it’s not Davidson County, though people are still moving to Nashville in droves. 

For the eighth straight year, Rutherford County has topped the list of the state’s fastest growing counties, according to study this month from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

The Middle Tennessee County southeast of Nashville saw a 1.8 percent increase last year for 6,419 more people, marking a total population of more than 360,000. 

The jump, however, was slower than the previous year’s increase of 2.7% and was the first time since 2010 that the growth dropped below 2%.

While Rutherford topped the list for the fastest-growing county by numeric growth, Loudon County actually saw the highest jump in percentage increase at 4%, followed by Wilson County at 3.2%.

Maury County ranked 9th overall, with an increase of 2764 people between 2022 and 2023.

In all, 90 of the state's 95 counties saw growth last year, up from 72 counties in 2021. This widespread growth hasn't been seen since the mid-1990s, when an all-time high of 91 counties saw increases for the fastest growth in state history, according to the university's Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research.

Tennessee overall ranked number four for states with the highest number of counties that saw population increases. Delaware topped the list, followed by Florida and Idaho.

In another trend, the state's rural counties also saw a significant increase with a total 1.4% jump for 37,416 new people last year. Overall, 74 of 78 rural counties saw increases, with Wilson and Maury leading the way.

Of the four rural counties that saw decreases, the drop in Wayne county was attributed to shifting prison populations at Turney Center Industrial Complex, while the other three were located West Tennessee and have seen consist declines.

The state's largest county, Shelby County, lost 6,315 residents last year, continuing a downward trend since 2012.

Final Story of the Day (Maury County Source)

For the 15th year, Grand Ole Opry member and multi-genre superstar Darius Rucker will gather himself and a celebrity guest list of entertainers and performers at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium for a legendary good cause.

On June 3, 2024, Rucker's "Darius & Friends" concert benefitting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital -- which has raised more than $3.6 million to date -- will feature a surprise all-star roster of the "Fires Don't Start Themselves" performer's fellow entertainers.

Tickets to the 15th annual "Darius & Friends" benefit concert are available for pre-sale access on April 30 at 10 a.m. CT. Tickets will be sold to the general public on May 3 at 10 a.m. CT.

Tickets will start at $69 with VIP package options up to $249, available via


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