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Southern Middle TN Today News with Tom Price 6-5-24


Southern Middle Tennessee Today

News Copy for June 5, 2024

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

We start with local news…

Health Coalition Started to Stop HCA (MauryCountySource)

Maury Regional Health announced the launch of the Coalition for Responsible Health Care – a community organization created to serve as a collective voice for health care in opposition to the HCA TriStar certificate of need application to build a second hospital in Maury County.

“High-quality, responsible health care is a foundational need of our community; however, it must be delivered in a responsible manner to ensure that our citizens do not incur high charges and are not needlessly transferred to Nashville hospitals,” said Maury Regional Health CEO Martin Chaney, MD. “While on the surface HCA TriStar’s proposed hospital may sound appealing, the reality is that it will not offer the level of specialty care currently available at Maury Regional Health and Williamson Health, and it will only serve to exacerbate the national shortage of physicians, nurses and other health care providers.”

According to Dr. Chaney, the Coalition for Responsible Health Care was formed to provide a voice for health care providers and community members across the region who want to ensure that patients remain the top priority, without regard to shareholder benefits.

“As a long-time physician in Maury County, I am deeply concerned that a second hospital in Maury County will increase costs for patients, worsen local health care recruiting and staffing issues and, ultimately, impact patient safety for the residents here in Maury County,” said Mark Seago, MD, a specialist in internal medicine and pediatrics.

As a patient advocate organization, the Coalition for Responsible Health Care is designed to oppose unnecessary or potentially detrimental health care and opposes the proposed HCA TriStar facility for several key reasons. The Coalition for Responsible Health Care believes it will:

Increase costs for patients

Exacerbate health care staffing shortages

Duplicate certain services, while not offering advanced specialty care

Shift the focus away from prevention and wellness to more costly episodes of care, such as ER visits, procedures and hospitalizations

The Coalition for Responsible Health Care launched a new website,, to provide crucial information about the proposed HCA TriStar hospital to Maury County and Middle Tennessee residents.

“We are here to take care of the people of this region,” said Dr. Chaney. “For more than 70 years, we have succeeded in that mission, and with our community’s support, we’ll be able to continue our mission for decades to come. Among our most recent advancements are a $1.9 million improvement to the cardiac catheterization labs in our Heart Center and the addition of a fourth da Vinci robotic-assisted surgical system. Not only do we offer more advanced care, but our charges are also much lower than for-profit hospitals. All hospitals are not equal, so we urge our community to seek more information, which is available at”

There are several ways people can voice their opposition to the proposed HCA TriStar project:

Write a letter opposing a second hospital in Maury County and send it to the Tennessee Health Facilities Commission, c/o Certificate of Need, 502 Deaderick Street, Andrew Jackson Building, 9th Floor, Nashville, TN 37243.

Go to and complete the form to show your support.

The Coalition for Responsible Health Care is encouraging people to act quickly as the Tennessee Health Facilities Commission will vote on the proposal on June 26, 2024.

“Time is of the essence,” said Deborah Lumpkins, chief nursing officer and chief operating officer at Maury Regional Health. “As a career nurse and long-time resident of Maury County, I cannot stress enough how important it is for our community to come together and support responsible, locally managed health care.”

Population Growth (Tennessean)

New information from the U.S. Census Bureau highlights how Tennessee's population shifted between 2022 and 2023.

According to the data, between July 2022 and July 2023 Tennessee saw a 1.1% change in population.

The Middle Tennessee area saw the biggest increases with Spring Hill topping the list with a 2.9% increase, followed by Clarksville with a 2.2% increase. Surrounding areas also saw population increases including Murfreesboro, up by 1.9%, Smyrna, up by 1.6% and Franklin, up by 1.3%.

The Nashville and Davidson County area saw a 0.8% increase, going from 682,130 residents to 687,788.

In 2023, the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area (which includes Davidson, Murfreesboro and Franklin) increased by approximately 86 people a day, said the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce in March. The rise in population occurred through natural population changes as well as more people coming from other parts of the country.

"We are thrilled to see the Nashville MSA continue to add to its population," Jeff Hite, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce chief economic development officer, said in a news release back in March. "Job creators are pursuing talent, and Nashville has perfected the trifecta of attracting, growing, and retaining talent to our region.

"The population growth data, specifically the in-migration numbers, show that Middle Tennessee is a coveted destination for many people across the nation for its livability and quality of life," he added.

Not all of Tennessee is growing. Several West Tennessee towns saw drops in their populations including Bartlett, Collierville, Jackson, and Memphis.

Time Capsule Set (CDH)

As a county marked with history, much of it tied to the Maury County Courthouse, county leaders and historians marked a new chapter, one with a 100-year timeline.

Earlier this year, the Maury County Historical Society revealed its plans to install a time capsule at the new Maury County Judicial Center as it was entering its final phases of construction. The project, MCHS President Eric Previti said, was to preserve the county's long-celebrated history as it also celebrates a new era with the new judicial facility.

"Maury County Historical Society is the oldest preservation group in the county, and our goal is to tell the history of Maury County," Previti said. "At the advent of this new judicial facility, I brought the idea to the Maury County Commission to build a time capsule as a snapshot of Maury County, talk about us, who we are and who is here now. That's where we come to today."

The time capsule was placed in the new building, located on the former Daily Herald property off South Main Street, Friday morning. It is scheduled to be reopened June 1, 2124.

The capsule, weighing in at about 200 pounds of fortified steel, was built by Columbia Machine Works.

The exterior features engraved plaques recognizing those involved in the project, such as the current Historical Society board members, the new Judicial Center, as well as all current Columbia Machine Works employees.

"It's kind of interesting that our company has been in Columbia for nearly 100 years, founded here in 1927," Columbia Machine Works Vice President Jake Langston said. "We appreciate the Historical Society and our elected officials. This building is great and is going to be great for our community."

The capsule is also specially built for its contents to withstand the 100-year timeline, a lesson learned from a previous capsule unearthed by former Maury County Archivist Bob Duncan, which had been placed in 1904.

"There was a time capsule put in the existing courthouse long ago, and the box was made out of copper. It got dented when it was installed," Previti said. "It had allowed rainwater to get into it, and the only piece that survived was all rusted. We didn't want anything like that to happen again. What they built was a two square-foot box made out of 3/16-inch stainless steel that has been filled with Argon gas to protect the contents."

Previti added that the capsule's contents contain a variety of current and past relics, including many letters of from local officials, photographs and archival documents.

The capsule also contains multiple commemorative flags, including a Maury County flag flown over the courthouse, two U.S. flags flown over the White House and State Capitol as well as city flags from Columbia, Spring Hill and Mt. Pleasant. Mt. Pleasant also donated a special key to the city.

The capsule also included memorials in honor of Mary Susan Kennedy, wife of WKRM owner Delk Kennedy, who passed away in May, as well as Cheryl Lovett, the sole victim killed during Columbia's recent EF-3 tornado.

The capsule also contains lyrics and a state resolution for songwriter Makky Kaylor's "Tennessee, In My Dreams," which was recently declared an official Tennessee State Song, one of only 14 to receive the status in the state's history.

"It is an honor to be included in something like this, seriously," Kaylor said. "It's interesting knowing that my descendants will be looking at all of this 100 years from now."

Previti later added that there will be a QR code released at as well as photographs and information detailing all of the capsule's contents.

Columbia Football Player Commits to Big 10 (CDH)

Columbia defensive lineman Jhrevious Hall committed to Indiana football Tuesday, according to his X account, formerly Twitter.

The 6-foot-2, 270-pound defensive tackle is a three-star athlete, ranked as the No. 23 prospect in Tennessee for the 2025 class, according to the 247Sports Composite.

Hall had offers from schools like Tennessee, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Missouri and Ole Miss among others. He led Columbia to a 7-4 season last fall and a spot in the Class 5A playoffs.

CSCC Graduates Medical Professionals (CDH)

Columbia State Community College recently recognized 23 emergency medical technicians and 29 advanced emergency medical technicians upon completion of their programs, during the Spring 2024 EMS Pinning ceremony held in the Webster Athletic Center.

“EMS Academy faculty have once again produced an incredible group of skilled clinicians that will be impactful to those they serve,” said Greg Johnson, Columbia State EMS Academy program director.

“I am thankful for the hard work and dedication of these graduates and encouraged by the way this group will impact EMS.”

Traditional Spring 2024 EMT completers achieved a 92% first-attempt pass rate for the national registry. Students in the integrated certificate received a 100% first-attempt pass rate on the EMT national registry.

An EMT provides basic life support at the site of illnesses and injuries, assisting with transport to the hospital. The Advanced EMT provides basic and advanced life support at sites of illnesses and injuries through transport to the hospital. 

The accelerated AEMT path is an academy-style, technical certificate program designed to educate and train students to serve as vital members of a pre-hospital EMS team in a single semester.

Students must complete 144 hours of clinical rotations to earn a technical certificate in AAEMT.

EMT certificate completers also have the option to pursue the General Technology Associate of Applied Science degree by combining coursework from two certificates with general education courses to complete a personalized degree program.

“I regularly hear stories from thankful patients and families about how an EMT or paramedic from Columbia State made a terribly challenging time at least just a little more bearable,” said Dr. Kae Fleming, Columbia State dean of the Health Sciences Division. “The college is known for ensuring the quality, competency and compassion of the EMS teams you hope to never need but are so thankful for when you do!”

The program provides students with the necessary didactic and practical training to perform life-saving skills. Additionally, students learn to work alone, as well as in a squad-based (team) environment. 

For more information about the EMS program, visit or contact Johnson at 931-540-2792.

Sobriety Checkpoint (Press Release)

The Tennessee Highway Patrol will be conducting sobriety roadside safety checkpoints during the week of __06/07/24__on State RT. 50 East .2 Miles East of the 19 mile marker in ____Maury____ County starting at ____10:00PM___ .

Impaired driving is a serious crime that kills more than 16,000 people and injures 305,000 people every year in the United States. Troopers will evaluate drivers for signs of alcohol or drug impairment. Troopers will target those who operate a vehicle while impaired and take corrective actions for other violations observed while ensuring the protection of all motorists.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol recognizes that sobriety checkpoints are highly visible and effective tools in the battle against impaired driving.

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.

For more information and to register, visit or email

Maury County Clerk Satellite Office (Press Release)

The Maury County Clerk’s office can now help residents with renewals of license plates or placards each Wednesday from 8am to 3:30pm at the Maury County Senior Center located at 1020 Maury County Park Dr.

Please drive around to the back of the building and look for the car tag renewal sign near the back door.

Forms of payment include credit/debit card or check – no cash.

Any Maury County Resident can use this office.

All other transactions will still need to be done through the main office located at 10 Public Square.

Also, you can renew online at or at kiosks in Spring Hill City Hall or Mt. Pleasant Courthouse.

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

Mrs.  Joyce Anne Duckworth Parks, 84, retired employee of Farm Bureau, and widow of Douglas R. Parks, Jr., died Saturday June 1, in Manchester, TN at the residence of her Daughter where she had made her home for several years. Funeral services for Mrs. Parks will be conducted Saturday June 8th at 1:00 p.m. at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home. Burial will follow in Polk Memorial Gardens. The family will visit with friends Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until the time of services at the funeral home.

…And now, news from around the state…

Tennessean Heading to Space Again (Tennessean)

Could the third time be the charm for the NASA and Boeing Starliner launch on Wednesday?

With just under four minutes left on the countdown, the second attempt to launch Boeing's manned Starliner was scrubbed when the rocket's computer initiated a hold, NASA stated. The next launch attempt window NASA will aim for is Wednesday.

Two experienced astronauts, including a Tennessee native, are part of an even higher stakes demonstration after the scrapping of the last two mission. This is the final demonstration before the spacecraft can be approved for routine trips to orbit.

Barry "Butch" Wilmore, a Mt. Juliet High School and Tennessee Tech graduate, will be in the cockpit along with Sunita "Suni" Williams, for the CST-100 Starliner test mission Wednesday in Florida. Wilmore and Williams will be the first crew on board for a Starliner orbital flight test.

According to, the mission is set to launch at 10:52 a.m. ET/ 9:52 a.m. CT Wednesday from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, on Florida's Space Coast.

The Starliner and the two astronauts will be atop a ULA Atlas V rocket.

The first launch attempt was supposed to take place almost a month ago on May 6 but was scrubbed due to a stuck valve on the rocket launching Starliner. It was replaced, but a small helium leak on one of Starliner's thrusters was also discovered by engineers. The next attempt wouldn't happen until June.

On Saturday, June 1, Starliner was expected to make the journey to the International Space Station but the launch attempt was stopped "due to the computer ground launch sequencer not loading into the correct operational configuration after proceeding into terminal count," said a post from NASA Commercial Crew on X, the social network formerly known as Twitter.

Boeing's Starliner is intended to be a vehicle to ferry astronauts to and from the space station. The Starliner's design is meant to accommodate no more than seven passengers for low-Earth orbit missions. NASA intends for the capsule to carry only four astronauts along with a mix of cargo and other scientific instruments to and from the International Space Station.

This launch is one of several that NASA has had after partnering with private industry to help continue programs for space travel and exploration.

Boeing received a $4.2 billion contract from NASA in 2014, but didn't launch its first unmanned mission in 2019. The Starliner project is years behind competitors like Elon Musk's SpaceX program and is also over budget with the project. Boeing estimates the project has cost the private company $1 billion in losses, reports NPR.

Blackburn Pledges to Block White House (TNLookout)

Blaming President Joe Biden for the 34-count conviction of former President Donald Trump, Sen. Marsha Blackburn is pledging to block Senate business, mainly items dealing with White House initiatives.

Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, joined seven other senators in signing a letter accusing the Biden White House of making a “mockery of the rule of law” and altering the nation’s politics in “un-American ways” by orchestrating the judicial proceeding.

Trump was convicted last week on 34 counts of breaking New York business laws in connection with a $130,000 “hush money” payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 presidential election.“As a Senate Republican conference, we are unwilling to aid and abet this White House in its project to tear this country apart,” the letter says. It is also signed by Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama and Sen. Rick Scott of Florida.

The senators promised not to allow increases in non-security funding or a spending bill that funds “partisan lawfare.” They also said they would block political and judicial appointments as well as attempts to expedite Democratic bills unrelated to the American people’s safety.

Final Story of the Day (Maury County Source)

The Nashville Symphony has announced two July concerts with John Legend. “An Evening with John Legend: A Night of Songs and Stories” is set to take place July 7 and 8 at 7:30 PM. These special solo performances will feature songs and stories with the 12-time GRAMMY® winner, offering intimate reimaginings of his greatest hits (“All of Me,” “Ordinary People,” “Tonight”), unexpected stories from Legend’s life and career, and selections from his most recent release LEGEND.

Single tickets are available. More information can be found at


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