Thursday, July 31, 2008

Con grats to Med student from Antioch earns scholarship

Submitted by GABRIELLE MAXEY • University of Memphis • July 30, 2008 Izuchukwu "Izu" Iwueke, son of Harrison and Dorathy Iwueke of Antioch, has been awarded a fellowship by the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi for the 2008-09 academic year. The University of Memphis alumnus will use the $5,000 fellowship to attend medical school this fall at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Iwueke earned a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Memphis in 2006. Since graduating, he has worked for Merck Pharmaceuticals and is currently doing cancer research and working at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. While at the University of Memphis, Iwueke received numerous awards, including the UNCF/Merck Fellowship and honorable mention for the celebrated Goldwater Scholarship. "I am very grateful to God for another award that is uplifting and positive," Iwueke said. "I am deeply humbled and honored. I have been blessed with a wonderful family, friends and great professors, and this award belongs to all of them." Phi Kappa Phi is the nation's oldest, largest and most selective all-discipline honor society. It awards more than $800,000 annually to members and nonmembers for fellowships, undergraduate study and study-abroad scholarships.

Community welcomes Cane Ridge High School

SUZANNE NORMAND BLACKWOOD (Tennessean) • July 30, 2008 Andrew Gregorio is used to singing at school functions. But when he got to sing the national anthem at the ribbon cutting ceremony for his own high school, the opportunity took on a whole new meaning. Andrew, who plans to sing in the Cane Ridge High School choir and participate in theater, said it was also the first time he has sung at a function in which Mayor Karl Dean was present. Dashawn Hillard, another Cane Ridge High School student, was there to give people tours of the new building. He said it gave him a chance to learn the layout of his school and talk to others about its features.“Today was a fun experience, because I’m going to be going here,” he said. The new 314,000 square-foot Cane Ridge High School features small learning communities, or thematic academies, which function like colleges within a university.The academies are Business Management and Marketing, Architecture and Construction and Human Resources and Law Enforcement. The $47.6 million school also features a media center with cyber cafĂ© and WiFi; an outdoor patio for dining; a dining room; an art wing with an outdoor sculpture court; a bell tower with clock; a 600-seat auditorium; a gym and auxiliary gym; a football field, track and field house; baseball, softball and soccer fields; a marching band practice field; and tennis courts.

CoverKids expands to include dental benefits

By WOODY BAIRD • Associated Press • July 31, 2008 MEMPHIS — Jackie Liggins faced what appeared to be an impassable barrier to finding medical insurance so her 3-year-old son could get physical therapy for an arm nearly paralyzed by nerve damage. "Everybody turned us down," Liggins said. "We were getting comments like, 'As soon as he no longer requires therapy, we'll be happy to cover you.' " But Liggins found help through CoverKids, a state program that began earlier this year to supply medical coverage for children whose families can't afford insurance or are denied coverage for other reasons. Now those families have more help available: Gov. Phil Bredesen announced Wednesday that CoverKids will also cover dental services ranging from emergencies to routine cleanings. Liggins and her son Daniel, now 4, were at Gov. Phil Bredesen's side as he made the announcement. Bredesen also announced a statewide effort to recruit thousands of children who need insurance. "We've tried to make signing up as easy as it can possibly be," Bredesen said at Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center. "If you can check out a library book, you can sign your children up for CoverKids." Routine care is a priority CoverKids began last year for children from families who can't afford private health insurance or obtain it for other reasons. So far, just less than 25,000 children are on the CoverKids rolls, though there is room under current funding for 40,000. An important part of the program, which requires modest co-pays for services, is covering routine doctor's visits and preventive health care. Coverage for eye exams and glasses also was added early this year. "CoverKids is about going beyond just treating illnesses," Bredesen said. "It's about keeping kids healthy." Bredesen also said the state is increasing efforts to get parents to sign up for the program — even if it means increasing funding. If enrollment outstrips current funding, "I'll take care of that," he said. Families can now sign up their children online at, and public schools across Tennessee will be passing out CoverKids fliers for youngsters to take home. Young Daniel Liggins and his parents will be featured in TV ads that the state will be running soon to promote Cover Kids. Wearing a red trimmed baseball uniform and a red cap, Daniel stood beside Bredesen as the governor wrapped up his announcement. With therapy provided through CoverKids, Daniel has gained almost full use of his damaged left arm. "As you can probably tell, he loves to play baseball," the governor said. "I've seen video of him swinging a bat, and I can assure you he's going to be a great baseball player."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Metro schools sets up number for back to school questions

BY ANDY HUMBLES AHUMBLES@TENNESSEAN.COM 726-5939 • July 25, 2008 Metro Nashville Public Schools is providing a Customer Service Center so families can get assistance for any back to school questions, including school assignment and transportation. Families are strongly encouraged to start asking questions to avoid last minute concerns or confusion. The contact number is 259-INFO (4636) and is available 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.The number will be available for calls from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. the week of Aug. 4.Metro schools begin classes on Aug. 11.

Metro council may urge voters to reject English-only plan

By MICHAEL CASS • Staff Writer (Tennessean)• July 29, 2008 The Metro Council could go on record next week against a proposal to make English the official language of Nashville. Under a non-binding resolution introduced by Councilman Ronnie Steine, the council would officially ask voters to reject the English-only push led by Councilman Eric Crafton, who is trying to gather enough voters' signatures to place the idea on the ballot in November. If a majority of council members agree with Steine, the council will urge voters not to sign Crafton's petition cards. The council also would ask voters to reject the proposed Metro Charter amendment supported by Crafton if a referendum is held this fall. The charter amendment would limit all government business, publications and meetings to English, with no exceptions for health or safety. It does include language indicating it should not be interpreted to conflict with state or federal law. Supporters say immigrants should learn English and shouldn't be able to demand services in other languages. Opponents say the proposal would make Nashville an unfriendly place and would face serious legal challenges, though Crafton disputed that. "It's important that the public understand that while one council member is supportive, not all of us are," Steine said Monday. "It's not in the best interests of the community." Council makeup changed The council approved an English-only ordinance in February 2007, but then-Mayor Bill Purcell vetoed it. Crafton said he decided to take the issue straight to the voters this year and has collected more than 9,000 signatures; he needs 10,103 registered voters to sign the petition cards by Aug. 16. "I kind of felt the council already spoke when it voted to pass my bill the last time," he said. Only 20 of the 40 council members from 18 months ago are still serving, however, because of term limits and elections last summer. Steine said he expects the council to vote on the resolution when it meets at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 7.

Metro schools fail for fifth year in row

District loses more control to the state By JAIME SARRIO • Staff Writer • July 29, 2008 Metro Nashville Schools continued its slide toward total state control as student test data released Monday made it the only Tennessee district to fail five consecutive years. There were bright spots. African-American students, who didn't consistently meet math or reading benchmarks the last four years, made progress in every area. And without this year's higher benchmarks, Metro probably would have met federal standards, state officials said. While expected, the news was unwelcome. "It's hard to be real excited when the district goes into restructuring," Interim Director Chris Henson said. Meanwhile, neighboring Robertson County, the only other Tennessee district where years of failure prompted state involvement, raised student achievement dramatically enough to move back toward total self-governance. The verdicts were in the state's annual school progress report under the federal No Child Left Behind education law. The results are based on standardized test scores from the 2007-08 school year, graduation percentages and attendance rates. Under No Child Left Behind, increasing percentages of students have to read and do math on grade level, with the goal of 100 percent of students by 2014. The law pays particular attention to subgroups of students: African-Americans, foreign-language speakers, special education students and others. Based on how many students hit targets, districts and individual schools face increasing levels of discipline under the law, starting with some students having the option to change schools and ending with a district or school's total dismantling. The required percentages increased this year from 83 to 89 percent of K-8 students proficient in reading and 79 to 86 percent in math. In high school, they rose from 90 to 93 percent in reading and 75 to 83 percent in math. As a result, 172 schools statewide missed benchmarks for the first time, up from 106 schools last year. But 28 schools across Tennessee came off the disciplinary list completely for making two years of adequate progress, including Walter J. Baird Middle in the Lebanon Special School District. Three Sumner County schools, Hawkins Middle and Portland and Westmoreland high schools, posted enough gains last school year to show an improving trend. If they repeat the success next year, they will get off the list. On the other hand, the Murfreesboro city school district, which serves about 7,200 kids in grades pre-K through 6, landed on the unflattering list for missing federal targets two years in a row. Not enough non-English speaking students tested proficient in math and not enough Hispanic students reached proficiency in English. Last year, the state devoted $8 million to improving failing Tennessee schools. Next year, that will increase to $20 million. State is in charge In Metro, the state has an unprecedented amount of control over the district's day-to-day affairs, and school officials must draft plans for a possible takeover. The troubled 75,000-student district ultimately failed to meet state requirements because of the reading and language arts scores of students who speak only limited English. Advocates for those students said more consistency in the quality of English Language Learning programs districtwide would help. "We have these extreme opinions," said Cesar Muedas, former president of ComitĂ© de Padres Latinos (Committee of Latino Parents). "Something is going on, because there should be an in-between." State officials would not talk Monday about what the future holds for Metro, but they said more details will be announced at a special board meeting next week, said Connie Smith, executive director of accountability for the Department of Education. State officials already rearranged the district's top administrators and put new principals at several schools. They also approved the draft budget, revamped portions of the curriculum and next plan to rework teacher training. "We got the people in place to do the job," said Smith, chief architect behind the changes. "All we need to do now is to let things happen and to watch the data." Smith hopes Metro succeeds and becomes a model for the nation. Nine Metro Schools were released from state sanctions, including two high schools — Pearl Cohn and John Overton. Some Metro schools that reported gains were the same schools where principals were plucked from their positions this summer as part of the state's massive intervention. McGavock High met state standards for the first time in four years, but longtime principal Mike Tribue won't be around to enjoy the success — he was reassigned to an assistant principal position at Cane Ridge High School. Hillwood High's Karl Lang was moved to the central office even though his school met benchmarks for the first time in five years. Pattern of failure State officials said they replaced principals in schools that had a pattern of failure over several years, and that they used other indicators such as parent surveys and teacher input to determine who would be moved. But McGavock parent Doris Johnson said the state shouldn't have moved leaders like Tribue who were making progress. "I think it is very unfair," she said. "I don't think the state should have as much of a say in the situation as the school board does." In previous years, Metro school leaders ignored warning signs and state assistance that could have prevented the district from earning the unflattering status, said Connie Smith. Metro also made poor use of its data by allowing only a few top officials access to the district's numbers. State officials envision a district in which everyone down to the school level is comfortable using test scores to figure out which students are struggling. Mayor Karl Dean, who has been heavily involved in the district's improvement, said Monday's results are promising, but the district needs to be doing more. "The results released today give us a clear picture of the particular schools that need our attention, and we can now begin to focus our efforts at the school level," Dean said in a statement.fullcircle

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fed-Up Night Out Against Crime, August 5, 2008

August 5, 2008 we, Southeast Davidson, will host the community wide neighborhood FEDUP Night Out Against Crime. An initiative of the Mt. Zion Church, Brother Darrell Walker reinterates that this is a community initiative. We want everyone is to be involved and get involved. This is not a "My" event or a "Your" event. This is an "Our Community" event to show unity that we are and will continue to address the problems of teen violence and delinquency that is affecting "Our" community. I absolutely agree. What is FEDUP? FEDUP means Faithlessness, Educational impotence, Disempowered youth, lack of Unity in community and Parental isolation in dealing with family conflict. Violence and delinquency in our youth population appears to manifest in these factors which is the focus of the FEDUP Night Out Against Crime event. How Can You Help? Get fired up and ready to be apart of the solution. Once again, this is a community wide effort that is being put together by all of us, for all us, showing support and unity in our communty with the objective to address issues affecting our youth. So my blogger friends, your help is needed to make this event a grand success. 1. Spread the word about the August 5, 2008, FEDUP NIGHT OUT AGAINST CRIME. It begins at 5 pm. There will be community leaders speakers, such as Mayor Karl Dean and Judge Betty Adams Green and other area community leaders with resource offerings from area organizations coupled with music from local artists and school bands, food and ways that you can sign up to stay involved. One of the bigger highlights of this event will be the March of our community leaders and residences, expected to begin at the Ezell Harding School marching to the Hickory Hollow Mall. (A short walk to symbolize our unity for our community). 2. Please attend. When you come, bring at least one, no three friends, neighbors or family members with you. And finally, 3. Important! It is very important that you know that this is a community initiative not a "My" or "Me" initiative. Yes, Mt. Zion planted the seed, but we, the community, can impact the grown through our entire strength. This is an effort to bring EVERYONE together as a symbolism that we are working together to continue and strengthen community-wide collaboration to identify the causes of teen violence and delinquency in the Nashville Metro Area. District 29 is doing a great job to stay involved in our community. Let continue and do more. This is a great event. Whether you incorporate this event with your Night Out Against Crime event or participate in this event for a brief moment and also have your annual Night Out Against Crime, your participation is appreciated. Get excited! Stay Involved! Get Involved! Get FEDUP! More information to come! Gratefully,Vivian Vivian WilhoiteMetro Council, District 29Visit <> for up-to-date information in and around District 29. Committed to keeping you informed!589-2003/ .

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Davidson County crime log for July 17-20, 2008

CRIME LOG These are the most serious calls handled by the Metro police, listed by time, crime reported and address. Some reports may be unfounded. Police calls are listed by police precinct or town. When police cannot immediately determine the location of a crime, the address given is that of the police station or hospital where the crime was reported. Central 12:15 a.m., cutting/stabbing, 400 block Murfreesboro Pike 7:56 a.m., shooting, Lafayette Street and First Avenue South 11:53 a.m., rape, Woodland Street 12:34 p.m., holdup/robbery, 80 block Lafayette Street 1:38 p.m., nonresidential burglary, 800 block Woodland Street 5:28 p.m., residential burglary, 1400 block Holly Street 5:41 p.m., residential burglary, 1400 block Holly Street 7:11 p.m., residential burglary, 400 block Neill Avenue Donelson 7:50 p.m., residential burglary, 100 block McGavock Pike 10:33 p.m., residential burglary, 3000 block Casa Drive Hermitage 11:21 p.m., rape, Old Hickory Boulevard Priest Lake 3:05 p.m., holdup/robbery, 2900 block Harbour View Drive South 12:27 a.m., holdup/robbery, 800 block Glastonbury Road 6:43 p.m., residential burglary, 300 block Wimpole Drive 7:56 p.m., holdup/robbery, 1200 block Catina Drive 10:24 p.m., holdup/robbery, 8000 block Bienville Drive Una 4:09 a.m., holdup/robbery, 600 block Longhunter Court 6:45 p.m., holdup/robbery, 600 block Longhunter CourtWest Central 5:04 a.m., holdup/robbery, 200 block Shelby Avenue 8:25 a.m., residential burglary, 1000 block Edgehill Avenue 12:59 p.m., residential burglary, 1500 block Big Oak Drive 3:34 p.m., residential burglary, 1200 block Lewis Street 8:59 p.m., holdup/robbery, 10 block Interstate Drive 11:03 p.m., residential burglary, 700 block South Sixth Street Hermitage 12:19 a.m., holdup/robbery, 3400 block Lebanon Pike 8:59 a.m., nonresidential burglary, 3400 block Lebanon Pike 11:09 a.m., holdup/robbery, 4000 block Lebanon Pike South 10:08 a.m., nonresidential burglary, 1000 block Murfreesboro Pike 11:19 a.m., holdup/robbery, 1700 block Lebanon Pike Circle 1:20 p.m., holdup/robbery, 1500 block J.P. Hennessy Drive 3:29 p.m., cutting/stabbing, 1900 block Dahlia Drive 9:40 p.m., cutting/stabbing, 1900 block Elanor Drive Antioch 5:02 p.m., rape, Piccadilly Row 10:54 p.m., holdup/robbery, 2600 block Murfreesboro Pike Central 7:17 a.m., holdup/robbery, 600 block South Second Street 12:18 p.m., shooting, 600 block Shelby Avenue 1:19 p.m., holdup/robbery, 800 block Main Street 4:39 p.m., shooting, 50 block Robertson Street Donelson 2:02 p.m., residential burglary, 300 block Lincoya Bay Drive Hermitage 1:09 a.m., nonresidential burglary, 3400 block Lebanon Pike 10:49 p.m., holdup/robbery, 5700 block Old Hickory Boulevard Priest Lake 3:02 p.m., holdup/robbery, 2700 block Murfreesboro Pike South 12:37 a.m., residential burglary, 700 block Spence Lane 12:37 a.m., residential burglary, 700 block Spence Lane 10:28 a.m., holdup/robbery, 800 block Massman Drive 9:51 p.m., holdup/robbery, 1700 block Lebanon Pike Circle 10:15 p.m., holdup/robbery, 600 block Airpark Center Drive 10:56 p.m., residential burglary, 900 block Winthorne Drive Antioch 8:08 a.m., residential burglary, 4700 block Lori Drive 6:34 p.m., nonresidential burglary, 2200 block Murfreesboro Pike 11:38 p.m., holdup/robbery, Hickory Hollow Parkway and Bell Road Central 10:59 a.m., residential burglary, 700 block South Sixth Street 12:04 p.m., holdup/robbery, 1200 block 11th Avenue South Donelson 6:13 p.m., residential burglary, 2200 block South Ashford 6:58 p.m., holdup/robbery, 500 block Stewarts Ferry Pike South 5:24 p.m., residential burglary, 400 block Arbor Creek Boulevard 10:05 p.m., residential burglary, 700 block Bell Road 11:31 p.m., residential burglary, 300 block Ladybird Drive 11:38 p.m., holdup/robbery, 5300 block Hickory Hollow Lane

AARP Grief and Loss Group meets Aug. 3

By ANDY HUMBLES 615-726-5939 – • July 25, 2008 The AARP Grief and Loss Group will meet at 2 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 3 at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, 85 Fairway Drive in Donelson. The program will be on The Bowen-Campbell House and family located in Mansker’s Station. Following the program will be refreshments and the support group meeting. All those who have lost a spouse are welcome.For information call 889-3126 or 347-3126.

State issues sales tax holiday in time for back to school

Just in time for back to school, the state has issued a Sales Tax Holiday for the weekend of Aug. 1-3. Tax exempt items are: * School and school art supplies with a price of $100 or less per item; * Clothing with a price of $100 or less per item; and * Computers with a price of $1,500 or less. For more information about the Sales Tax Holiday, visit Web site lists exempt items, a retailer’s guide and frequently asked questions. MNPS Customer Service Center Taking Your Calls The start of school is right around the corner, and it is never too early for families to find information that will help students begin the school year on a good foot. Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools provides a Customer Service Center so families can get assistance for any back to school questions, including school assignment and transportation.Families are strongly encouraged to start asking questions now to avoid any last minute worries or confusion. Contact the Center any day from 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. at 259-INFO (4636).The week of Monday, Aug. 4, the Customer Service Center will be open extended hours from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for last minute calling. The Customer Service Center opened in August of 2005. Since its inception, the CSC has taken nearly 600,000 calls. The center is equipped to take calls in English, Spanish and any special needs calls.For more information, visit

Metro police department is reaccredited

The Metro Nashville Police Department was reaccredited Saturday by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. The agency sent three inspectors to review the department for four days in April. The inspectors found no noncompliance issues in Metro's policies or procedures and renewed accreditation through 2011. "Achieving and maintaining accreditation is a commitment not all law enforcement agencies chose to make," Chief Ronal Serpas said in a statement. "Today's reaccreditation action is a testament to the unwavering dedication of our officers, professional support staff and community partners to make a real difference in Nashville's safety and quality of life." Metro's police department first received accreditation in 1994. — LACEY

Animals, people chill out at the zoo

By NATALIA MIELCZAREK • Staff Writer (Tennesean) • July 27, 2008 Before sisters Mylee and Sareeka, both 6 years old, could eat their icy treats Saturday morning, they had to be restrained. Actually, more like moved to a different area while their caretakers dropped off five-gallon turkey broth popsicles on the ground. When they returned, the sisters went straight for what looked like two blocks of frozen light brown mud water, licking them without a pause. They didn't care that they were being watched and photographed by dozens of onlookers, some of whom yelled "kitty, kitty." The Bengal tigers enjoyed frozen treats at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere during Ice Day 2008. Visitors got a rare glimpse of how wild animals — clouded leopards, elephants, giraffes, red pandas and more — chill out in the summer heat. As Mylee and Sareeka were busy with the ice blocks, Ashley Parker, 9, watched. "I came to watch the tigers eat ice cream," said Ashley, who traveled from Lewisburg. "I just wanted to see how they eat food and hard stuff. I would like to have a tiger for a pet." But the Ice Day wasn't only for the animals. Children, too, could compete in an ice-cream-eating contest, cool off in a tent where it snowed and make their own ice treats. Josh Key, 19, and his cousin, Connor Robertson, 10, of Portland, arrived before 10 a.m. and were planning on hanging out at the zoo until the evening. They took a break in the muggy weather to watch what Ming and Mae, clouded leopard siblings, would do when given several turkey-flavored ice balls the size of large melons. One cat threw one of the treats into a stream and played with it in the water. "I don't really care to see the alligators because we fed them down in Florida at a family farm," Key said. "I'm kind of interested in seeing a giraffe eating ice."

Friday, July 25, 2008

Davidson County births in May, June 2008

Tennessean MAY Paul and Tiffany Nelson of Goodlettsville had a baby girl. Aubrey Elizabeth Nelson was born at Baptist Hospital on Thursday, May 22, 2008. Kevin and Lindsey (Lewis) Eslinger of Nashville had a baby girl. Abigail Mae Eslinger was born at Vanderbilt University Medical Center on Friday, May 30, 2008. JUNE Floyd Hayden Stewart III and Natasha Thompson of Nashville had a baby boy. Malik Hayden Stewart was born at Baptist Hospital on Tuesday, June 3, 2008. Erik and Amy (Jones) Diatikar of Goodlettsville had a baby boy. Ryan Hayden Diatikar was born at Baptist Hospital on Wednesday, June 4, 2008. Scotty and Jenny (Reasonover) Walker of Antioch had a baby girl. Isabelle Julianna Walker was born at Baptist Hospital on Thursday, June 5, 2008. Gregory Poindexter and Tunishia Kuykindall of Nashville had a baby boy. Tristan Taylor Poindexter was born at Baptist Hospital on Sunday, June 8, 2008. Jerry and Melissa Cole of Nashville had a baby girl. Jocelyn Savanna Cole was born at Baptist Hospital on Monday, June 9, 2008. Scott and Jenny (Chapman) Phillips of Nashville had a baby boy. Carter Reed Phillips was born at Baptist Hospital on Saturday, June 21, 2008. Charley and Alexia Poe of Nashville had a baby girl. Ella Meade Poe was born at Baptist Hospital on Friday, June 27, 2008. Charlie and Laura Jo Coode of Antioch had a baby boy. Cason Edward Coode was born at Baptist Hospital on Sunday, June 22, 2008. Jack and Kimberly (Wantland) Garland of Old Hickory had a baby boy. Samuel James Garland was born at Baptist Hospital on Monday, June 23, 2008. Andy and Tonya (Irions) Ford of Nashville had a baby boy. Riley Andrew Ford was born at Baptist Hospital on Monday, June 30, 2008. Kevin and Hillary Klein of Nashville had a baby girl. Grace Isabelle Klein was born at Baptist Hospital on Monday, June 30, 2008.

How about some theater with your breakfast?

Donelson Senior Center for the Arts plans early morning performance of 'Tom Sawyer" By ANDY HUMBLES 726-5939 • July 25, 2008 Donelson's Senior Center for the Arts has a new idea for its Nashville Dinner Theatre productions. Breakfast. Tom Sawyer, The Musical opens this weekend at the Senior Center for the Arts auditorium at 108 Donelson Pike. A special morning performance has been added to the schedule at 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 4. Nashville Dinner Theatre shows generally include a meal, and the morning show will offer a buffet-style breakfast included with the $14 ticket starting at 7:45 a.m. "Matinees generally sell out first, which tells us people want to come during the day,'' said Senior Center for the Arts director Kaine Riggan. "But because we're a community theater, the majority of (cast members) have day jobs, so it's hard for them to get an entire day off work" during the week. Shows are generally Thursday-Sunday during run dates. Performances are generally 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday with the meal served one hour before. Tom Sawyer, The Musical opens Friday, July 25, and continues through Aug. 10. The Nashville Dinner Theatre has done Friday early afternoon matinees that were well attended, Riggan said. But it hasn't been done lately because of the difficulty actors had scheduling around jobs. The daytime shows could bring in seniors who may not be comfortable driving during night hours, Riggan said. It also could be a better option for tour groups, such as residents in an assisted living facility, who may rely on group transportation that wouldn't be available in the evening. "If it's anywhere near capacity the first time, we'll know we've got something and we should do more breakfast programming,'' Riggan said. It would be difficult to do more than one breakfast show for each play held, Riggan said, even if it is a success. Generally there are six Nashville Dinner Theatre plays shown per year. However, other types of entertainment, including concerts, could be considered for the morning hours, Riggan said.

Briefs: Car museum holds Magic of Machine event

Lane Motor Museum, 702 Murfreesboro Pike, will offer "Magic of the Machine" 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, July 26. The cost is $5 for adults; $3 for seniors; and free to 17 years old and younger. For more information, call 742-7445 or visit Bargain books available at Southeast library sale Some of the best bargains can be found at Friends of the Library book sales. The Southeast Branch Library, 2325 Hickory Highlands Drive, will have its Friends of the Library book sale 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Aug. 2. Hardbacks will be available for $2. Paperbacks cost $1. DVDs cost $2. All proceeds will go toward programs at the Southeast Branch Library. For details, call 862-5871. Retirement complex hosts Wellness Fair Windland South, a retirement complex at 3800 Sam Boney Drive, will have a Wellness Fair 9 a.m.-noon Wednesday, July 30. The fair will feature free health screenings, health information and doctors' presentations.For more information, call 834-1951.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Are you having a Tag Sale?

If you are having a tag sale, your local groupis having a fish fry for a fund raiser, you want to show how proud you are of someone, needs some help in your community,missing a pet, looking for information on a particular issue, etc. Let us know and we will post on the blog. Remember this blog is for you, the community. All you have to do is leave Vivian an email at or Mindy at We will make sure we get your event on the blog.

134 Metro police cars parked to save gas

By KATE HOWARD • Staff Writer (Tennessean)• July 22, 2008 The Metro Police Department has parked 134 cars to comply with the mayor’s call to reduce the fleet and save money on gas. With the largest fleet of cars in the city, the police department made the biggest cut. More than 10 percent cut of their fleet of 1,292 vehicles are now parked in a lot off Murfreesboro Road with the keys turned into Metro government. According to a list provided by Metro police, many cars belong to school resource officers who will now be required to drive personal cars to their jobs at local high schools instead of marked patrol cars. Many of the remaining cuts are detectives’ vehicles, patrol cars and vans used for SWAT or evidence collection, and motorcycles used to patrol the downtown. Metro police spokesman Don Aaron said that many of the cars were backup vehicles or cars that department heads thought would be the least likely to affect their core function of patrolling the streets."There's an impact to the extent that there was a loss of some extra vehicles at the precincts, but as far as impacting zone cars in the patrol function, there's not," Aaron said. Mayor Karl Dean in June called for the parking of about 400 cars citywide, for a potential gas savings of up to $1.4 million. At Metro police, the decisions on what vehicles to park were left up to the commanders of each division, according to Aaron. There are also 47 cars that are no longer being taken home by staffers, Aaron said.But patrol officers who live within Davidson County are still allowed and encouraged to take their cars home to their neighborhoods, for readiness in case of an emergency and a deterrent to criminals.While school resource officers have lost their vehicles, Aaron said precinct commanders are working out fixes so every high school has a marked car in the lot once school is back in session. Middle schools may not, he said. Michael Craddock, Metro councilman and chairman of the public safety committee, said he is worried about the impact the cuts may have on the city’s safety.“We just graduated 46 officers Thursday night,” Craddock said. “What are they going to ride in? I’m extremely concerned right this moment that we’re taking police cars off the street. Until I receive an explanation of this, I’m extremely concerned.”Aaron said there's no loss of force on the city's streets, and they have not moved any officers to bike or foot patrols. He said there's no need to worry about new officers, either; trainees work in two-person cars for their first five months, and their needs will be addressed when the time comes. The police will also be adding 86 new cars by September. Some will replace wrecked or inoperable cars, but about 35 will be replenished stock.The Nashville Fire Department also parked 33 of their 329 vehicles and cut their take-home car assignments nearly in half, from 53 to 30, according to information from the mayor's office.But no ambulances or fire trucks are among the cuts, Nashville Fire spokesman Charles Shannon said. Most of their parked cars were also backups.

Tennessee stresses safety for bikers

With high fuel prices, even more riders expected to take to the highway in summer By CHRISTINA E. SANCHEZ • Staff Writer ( Tennessean) • July 23, 2008 With every motorcycle he sells, Danny Bost offers advice to each rider: Take a safety training course. Riders who do not heed the warning of Bost, co-owner of Bost Harley-Davidson in West Nashville, increase their chances of becoming part of a growing national trend. As more people buy motorcycles, largely because of high fuel prices, more people are dying in motorcycle crashes every year. "We send all of our new riders, and even our expert riders go to the safety training class," said Bost, who has also been a rider for 35 years. "You can always have more training and more education." Motorcycle deaths are down so far this year. But with the $4-a-gallon gas prices and the dry, sunny weather, more people are pulling their bikes out of their garages and taking them on the roads. While summer is prime time for motorcycle accidents, safety instructors and state officials hope the numbers will stay down because of an increased emphasis on safety in the past two years. "It's a jungle out there," said Ray Ashworth, a Bellevue resident who has been riding motorcycles for 44 years. "When you are riding you have to keep your focus. Riding is a risky activity." Motorcycle fatalities increased across the nation by 5 percent from 2005 to 2006, according to a recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association. Those were the latest statistics available. Meanwhile, Tennessee saw an 8 percent increase for the same time period, and a 5 percent increase in 2007, when 148 riders died. "The stats are very alarming in Tennessee, as they are across the United States, and gas prices are meaning more motorcycles on the road," said Kendell Poole, director of Tennessee's highway safety office. Poole faithfully checks the daily traffic fatality reports, and he is alarmed by the trend he has seen: Motorcycle fatalities more than doubled from 2000 to 2007 in Tennessee. Just Monday, Poole learned that four motorcycle riders had died. "We have more bikes on the road than we have ever had," Poole said. "We need to have education and enforcement. When you see these numbers, they are very alarming." Fuel efficiency sought Bost said many motorcycle dealers have seen a spike in sales. "The biggest change we have seen in the last six or eight months is that more people are looking to get a motorcycle because of the increase in fuel economy," Bost said. The average Harley-Davidson gets around 45 miles per gallon, and some can even see 70 miles per gallon, he said. The number of state-issued motorcycle registrations and licenses in recent years reflects what dealers see in the showroom. Motorcycle licenses jumped from 233,984 in 2003 to 289,984 in 2007. Also, the Department of Revenue had 8,000 more people than last year register motorcycles with the state. Tennessee has a universal helmet law, passed in 1967, that requires that all motorcycle riders wear helmets. Only 20 states have the law, while the rest have laws targeting specific groups of riders. But a helmet alone is not enough, said safety instructor John Milliken, program coordinator for the state Motorcycle Education Program. "Watch what people in cars are doing: putting on makeup, talking on the phone, eating a bologna sandwich," Milliken said. "Also, don't ride above your abilities." Two years ago, the federal government began issuing grants to states to help them promote motorcycle awareness among other drivers and to educate motorcyclists on safety. Tennessee received almost $117,000 in 2007. And crash statistics show that the effort may be working. So far this year, there have been 64 motorcycle fatalities, compared with 93 in the same period last year. Most motorcycle fatalities, however, happen between June and the end of September. Ashworth, the Bellevue rider, learned the hard way as a teen the importance of safety and using common sense. At 14, he rode a bike with a cast on his arm and slammed into the back of a car. He wasn't hurt, but he learned his lesson. "Motorcycling is not rocket science. It's a few simple skills, but you've got to do those skills well," Ashworth said. "You can never let go of your focus."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Council members may try to stop Music Row seizure

By CHAS SISK • Staff Writer(Tennessean) • July 22, 2008 The Metro Council may take up debate on whether eminent domain should be used to seize a Music Row property under a proposal now being drafted. At least two council members have asked the council’s attorney to draw up a bill meant to put a stop to eminent domain proceedings against Joy Ford, the owner of a small record label and music publishing business. The bill would eliminate the redevelopment district that includes Ford’s property at 23 Music Circle E., said Michael Craddock, who represents the city’s fourth district in North Nashville. Craddock said he was briefed on the bill’s contents by Jon Cooper, the council’s attorney, when he contacted Cooper to discuss ways the Metro Council could stop the eminent domain proceedings against Ford. Cooper told him such a bill had already been requested, Craddock said. Because he is not the bill’s sponsor, Craddock did not know when — or if — it would be brought before the council. Cooper confirmed that he had been contacted by more than one council member to discuss Ford’s situation, but he said he was bound by confidentiality rules from discussing the bill’s contents until its sponsor is prepared to introduce it. By Craddock’s account, the bill would appear to remove one of the underpinnings for the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency’s petition to take Ford’s property through eminent domain. The MDHA argues that Ford’s property can be considered blighted because it lies within a redevelopment district. That district was created nine years ago to spur a turnaround in the area at the northern end of Music Row, but Ford has repeatedly turned down offers to sell her property to developers.

Do You want Toll Roads in Tennessee?

(This information is compliments of my friend Bobbie. Thanks Bobbie!) The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) held public meetings on July 10 (Memphis), July 15 (Nashville), and July 17 (Knoxville), 2008, to gather public input on the general concept of tolling. The Tennessee General Assembly has authorized TDOT to study possible toll projects and gather input from citizens. These meetings were intended to reach out to the public and hear their thoughts. These meetings did not focus on any particular project, but the concept of tolling in general and what it could bring to the State of Tennessee. Representatives of TDOT were available to provide information on this topic. If you missed these meetings, you can still voice your opinion whether you OPPOSTE or SUPPORT toll roads. Make you voice heard by submitting written statements and other exhibits to be included in the project transcript may be submitted within twen ty-one (21) days after the meeting date to the following address: Project Comments Tennessee Department of Transportation Suite 700, James K. Polk Building 505 Deaderick Street Nashville, TN 37243-0332 No toll road if public opposed TDOT official meets with people worried about Knox parkway By J.J. Stambaugh (Contact) Friday, July 18, 2008 Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner Gerald Nicely drew a round of applause Thursday when he promised that the proposed Knoxville Parkway won't be a toll road if the public is opposed to the idea. It was the only applause he drew during the 90-minute meeting at Bearden High School, which was attended by about 50 people. TDOT officials had billed the meeting as a chance to explore the concept of toll roads in general, but the audience members made it clear their minds were on the prospect that the controversial parkway might be selected as a pilot toll road. Nicely and other officials, including TDOT Chief of Environment and Planning Ed Cole, explained that the Legislature has authorized TDOT to look at possibly building toll roads, but included the caveat that "strong public support" is a prerequisite for moving forward. During a following question-and-answer session, Knoxville resident David Cochran asked Nicely to define "strong public support" for the audience, most of whom clearly were opposed to tolls. "That's one of the things we're doing here tonight," Nicely said. "I don't think I can define 'strong public support' tonight." Nicely's response initially drew snickers and groans from the crowd, but he found himself showered with applause after adding: "There probably is more opposition than there is support for the project. … If that trend continues, we would not proceed." TDOT is conducting an extended study on the possibility of funding the parkway as a toll road, one of several possible pilot projects across the state. It would include the so-called "Orange Route" that would connect Interstate 75 north of Knoxville in Anderson County with I-40/75 in Loudon County. It ultimately also could connect I-75 in Anderson County to I-40 east of Knoxville, at Exit 409 near the Jefferson/Sevier county line. To continue reading, go to

Monday, July 21, 2008

Governor: Buyouts not going well

By THEO EMERY • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • July 21, 2008 The state’s voluntary buyout program for state employees is not going as well as anticipated, Gov. Phil Bredesen said Monday, raising the specter of layoffs. Only about 1,400 state workers have sought the state’s buyout as of the end of last week, Bredesen said, well below the target of nearly 2,300 needed. The deadline for state employees to inform the state that they wish to take the package is Aug. 5. “The numbers are not stacking up yet, and the major impact of that is that it opens up the possibility of having to do something more unpleasant -- which is the form of actual layoffs -- later on in the year,” the governor said. Lower-than-expected revenues for the end of last fiscal year, as well as for the new fiscal year that started July 1, spurred the governor to seek about $64 million in savings through buyouts from state workers. Buyout packages were sent to about 12,000 state workers in mid-June, with a goal of seeking almost 2,300 to take the offers and voluntarily leave the state payroll. A hiring freeze is also in place. Bredesen said he had expected too many applicants for the buyouts, not too few, and that he was surprised that applications have so far fallen short of expectations. He said the worsening economy could be a factor. “Maybe because of the economic conditions, not as many people are taking it,” he said. The governor had originally expected to reduce the payroll by just over 2,000 state jobs, but that number grew as department heads reviewed where to make job cuts in their departments.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dean weighs free community college

He wants to review urban mayors' proposal By COLBY SLEDGE • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • July 19, 2008 A proposal for free community college in Davidson County has Nashville Mayor Karl Dean intrigued, but he hasn't accepted an invitation to join mayors of Tennessee's largest counties in making the offer. Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale and Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton proposed the idea in a July 11 letter to Dean and Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey. Ragsdale and Wharton asked the two men to join the Tennessee Urban Mayors Forum, a newly formed nonprofit organization. The group's first initiative would be to raise private funds to help make community college free for high school graduates in the mayors' respective counties, according to consultant Robert Gowan. Gowan is a former policy adviser and lobbyist in Gov. Phil Bredesen's administration. "He believes it's a worthy goal, but he needs to review the details," Dean spokeswoman Janel Lacy said Thursday afternoon. Dean has discussed the plan with the mayors, but has not set a time frame for analyzing the proposal, Lacy said. The funds would be in addition to state lottery scholarships, Pell grants and state need-based awards, which mentors and volunteers in the mayors' program would help students obtain, Gowan said. The program would cost $350,000 the first year to fund awards for 450 students in Davidson County, based on estimates from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Gowan said. That figure would double in the second year, and could possibly grow if adult learners were added. Mayors worked together Businesses would have incentive to donate to create a more educated work force, Gowan said, and to potentially have an impact on curriculum at local community colleges. According to the letter, Dean would be secretary of the Tennessee Urban Mayors Forum and Ramsey would be treasurer. Wharton is president of the group, and Ragsdale is vice president. Annual membership dues are $35,000, according to the letter. Ragsdale and Wharton have not yet paid, Gowan said. "The mission is to create a spot where these mayors can work more effectively collectively," Gowan said. The mayors previously worked together in lobbying Bredesen for increased education funding. Ramsey has sounded "very warm to the idea" in talks about the group, said Gowan, who has not heard from Dean.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Saturday July 19th Office Hours Will be Held

Sign off Day (Saturday July 19th)- all signs found in the community without a date will be taken down. Having a Yard Sale Notify Vivian Wilhoite at and we will post on the blog. More important dates to come. Whoever has been saving the flip "tabs" from their soda is now time for us to get together so we can bring them all to Ronald McDonald House in Nashville. The Collection of the "tabs" we be on Saturday July 19Th at the First Tennessee Bank,2360 Murfreesboro Road, Nashville, TN 37217. The Hours for drop off will be from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Come on down and see everyone again.... If this date is not good contact Mindy at and we can work out a day that we can meet to collect them from you. Keep saving and I do have some boxes left if you want to continue the collection. Hope to see everyone there on July 19Th.

"West Nile Virus Alert"

Hello District 29 Neighbors: I received a phone call from Dr. Bill Paul today and below are the details of the reason for his call. Please note the following very important information that pertains to our area of District 29. Please take precaution while you and your family is out and about. Please call me at 589-2003 or email me from here if you have any questions or concerns about this notice. Gratefully, Vivian Dr. Bill Paul, Director of the Davidson County - Metropolitan Health Department says: Dear Council Members: This information will be released to the press this afternoon. A pool of mosquitoes collected by the Metro Public Health Department have tested positive for West Nile virus. The mosquitoes were trapped in Antioch near the intersection of Bell Road and Murfreesboro Road. This is the first time mosquitoes have tested positive in Nashville this year. There have been no human WNV cases reported this year in Davidson County. The Health Department’s Pest Management staff will increase surveillance efforts in the area by placing additional mosquito traps and monitoring standing water and applying larvicides when mosquito larvae are present. The Health Department has no plans at this time to spray the area. “While Nashville has had occasional cases of WNV in humans over the years, there has never been an outbreak,” said Bill Paul, M.D., Director of Health. “Our approach to this positive mosquito pool is to monitor closely to see whether it is more than an isolated positive.
  1. However because the virus is here we recommend that people to take common-sense precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.”
  2. Safety precautions to protect against biting mosquito: Limit time outdoors at dusk and nighttime hours when mosquitoes are present.
  3. When outdoors wear a mosquito repellent that is approved for use by the CDC – those include products that contain DEET, Picaridin, and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
  4. Wear shoes, socks, long sleeve shirts and pants when outdoors during dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most prevalent. Clothing should be light colored and made of tightly woven materials to keep mosquitoes away from the skin. Pant legs should be tucked into shoes or socks, and collars should be buttoned.
  5. Make sure your windows and doors have screens and are in good repair. The Health Department asks community members to reduce or eliminate mosquito breeding grounds by removing standing water in your yard – especially in children’s toys, bird baths, clogged gutters, tires, flowerpots, trashcans, and wheelbarrows, as well as cutting back overgrown vegetation (mosquito hiding areas).

Health Department Pest Management staff have inspected more than 1,500 locations in all areas of Nashville, applied larvicides at more than 600 locations, and have set more than 600 mosquito traps from May 1st through June 30th of this year. Health Department staff continues to monitor mosquito populations several nights per week in 24 traps located throughout the county.

Bill Paul William S. Paul, MD, MPH

Director of HealthMetro Public Health Department of Nashville/Davidson County311 23rd Avenue NorthNashville, TN 37203615.340.5622


Early voting begins today

Early voting starts today across Tennessee for the Aug. 7 state primary and county general elections. Ballots will be cast in primaries for U.S. senator, all nine of the state's congressional seats, half the members of the state Senate and all 99 members of the state House and yes-or-no "retention" elections for some of the judges on the state appeals court. Ballots will be cast in county general elections, and some city offices. Early voting ends Aug. 2. — JENNIFER PEEBLES (Tennessean)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Things to do in the area.............

Thompson Lane Branch Library Adam and the Couch Potatoes will entertain children of all ages with their "kid-centric rock and roll" during the Summer Reading Finale Party at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 19, at the Thompson Lane Branch Library. The library, 380 Thompson Lane, will have prizes and refreshments for all who have completed the Summer Reading program. 'Magic of Machine' at car museum Lane Motor Museum, 702 Murfreesboro Pike, will offer "Magic of the Machine" 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, July 26. The cost is $5 for adults; $3 for seniors; and free to 17 years old and younger. For more information call 742-7445 or visit

Something New to the Blog - Davidson County Baby Births

Davidson County births in April, June 2008 JUNE Gary Dwayne and Karen Lynn (Clopton) Holloway of Nashville had a baby girl. Jaya Grace Lynn Holloway was born at The Women's Hospital at Centennial on . Akeem Hemphill and Breauna Hill of Antioch had a baby boy. KeMarion Lavince Hill was born at Baptist Hospital on Tuesday, June 17, 2008. Marquita Sharelle Jenkins of Nashville had a baby girl. Shanteidra Serenity Martayvion Jenkins was born at The Women's Hospital at Centennial Tommy and Lori Davidson of Old Hickory had a baby girl. Marron Marelle Davidson was born at The Women's Hospital at Centennial on Thursday, June 19, 2008. Lorenzo Esaw and Kaleila Tucker of Nashville had a baby boy. Lorenzo Montrell Esaw Jr. was born at The Women's Hospital at Centennial on Thursday, June 19, 2008. John and Adrienne Greer of Madison had a baby boy. John Dougla Greer Jr. was born at The Women's Hospital at Centennial onThursday, June 19, 2008. Billy and Amanda Jones of Nashville had a baby girl. Seiver Dawn Temple Jones was born at The Women's Hospital at Centennial on Thursday, June 19, 2008. James Payne and Dawn Jewell of Nashville had a baby boy. Jordon Christopher Payne was born at The Women's Hospital at Centennial on Thursday, June 19, 2008. Thomas Williams and Brooke Beverly of Hermitage had a baby girl. Hendley Grace Williams was born at The Women's Hospital at Centennial on Thursday, June 19, 2008. Daniel and Leslie (Thyne) Longtin of Antioch had a baby boy. Zachary Allen Longtin was born at The Women's Hospital at Centennial on Friday, June 20, 2008. Michael and Paige Parham of Nashville had a baby boy. Kaden James Parham was born at The Women's Hospital at Centennial on Saturday, June 21, 2008. Art and Jenny Belfor of Nashville had a baby boy. Landon Daniel Belfor was born at Baptist Hospital on Monday, June 23, 2008.

Metro Nashville joins Google 3D mapping program

Davidson County Metro Nashville has signed a deal with Google Inc. to map the city's buildings in three dimensions, a deal officials say will help the city analyze and promote growth. The agreement makes Metro part of Google's "Cities in 3D" initiative, an effort to create interactive renderings of many of the world's major cities. The map of Nashville can be used to help businesses find new locations and give planners an idea of how new buildings would look by superimposing them on the skyline, the Metro Planning Department said in a statement. The three-dimensional maps of Nashville can be accessed online using the Google Earth program. — CHAS

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Davidson County crime log for July 7-9, 2008

CRIME LOG The most serious calls handled by Metro police, listed by time, crime reported and address. Some reports may be unfounded. Police calls are listed by police precinct or town. When police cannot immediately determine the location of a crime, the address given is that of the police station or hospital where the crime was reported. Central 1:45 a.m., cutting/stabbing, 10 block Interstate Drive 3:40 a.m., residential burglary, 400 block Murfreesboro Pike 6:07 p.m., nonresidential burglary, 700 block Main Street 8:11 p.m., holdup/robbery, 20 block Wharf Avenue 8:51 p.m., nonresidential burglary, at Lischey Avenue and Grace Street 10:31 p.m., holdup/robbery, 800 block Dickerson Pike Donelson 7:17 a.m., holdup/robbery, 2500 block Elm Hill Pike 7:23 a.m., residential burglary, 3100 block Elm Hill Pike 7:31 a.m., holdup/robbery, 2500 block Elm Hill Pike 2:47 p.m., rape, at Stewarts Ferry Pike 4:10 p.m., residential burglary, 100 block Jackson Downs Boulevard Hermitage 9:26 a.m., residential burglary, 8100 block Bonnafair Drive Priest Lake 2:38 p.m., residential burglary, 4000 block Lancashire Drive 7:25 p.m., residential burglary, 3200 block Anderson Road South 2:36 p.m., residential burglary, 1900 block Murfreesboro Pike Tusculum 4:15 p.m., residential burglary, 100 block Delvin Drive Central 12:24 a.m., holdup/robbery, at South Seventh Street and Fatherland Street 12:36 a.m., holdup/robbery, 1600 block Fatherland Street 12:42 a.m., shooting, 1000 block Shelby Avenue 3:03 a.m., nonresidential burglary, 400 block Murfreesboro Pike 6:32 a.m., holdup/robbery, at Lincoln Street and Trimble Street 6:40 a.m., holdup/robbery, 400 block Murfreesboro Pike 8:18 a.m., holdup/robbery, 900 block Dickerson Pike 10:37 a.m., holdup/robbery, 1100 block Edgehill Avenue 5:59 p.m., holdup/robbery, 10 block Fairfield Avenue Donelson 2:46 a.m., residential burglary, 400 block Peach Creek Crecent Hermitage 2:42 p.m., residential burglary, 500 block Frankfort Drive Priest Lake 1:23 p.m., holdup/robbery, 2800 block Smith Springs Road South 12:13 p.m., residential burglary, 5800 block Crossings Boulevard 1:06 p.m., holdup/robbery, 6600 block Nolensville Road 6:03 p.m., residential burglary, 300 block Lawndale Drive 9:45 p.m., residential burglary, 3800 block Round Rock Drive 10:23 p.m., holdup/robbery, 600 block Bell Road Antioch 1:22 a.m., holdup/robbery, 800 block Richards Road 1:36 a.m., cutting/stabbing, 800 block Richards Road 8:25 p.m., residential burglary, 800 block Rocky Mountain Parkway Belle Meade 12:26 p.m., nonresidential burglary, 4500 block Harding Pike Central 10:55 a.m., nonresidential burglary, 200 block Crutchfield Avenue 4:57 p.m., holdup/robbery, 800 block Dickerson Pike 6:32 p.m., residential burglary, 700 block Glenview Drive 7:31 p.m., shooting, 1000 block North Sixth Street Hermitage 3:35 p.m., residential burglary, 200 block Raintree Place South 9:13 a.m., nonresidential burglary, 900 block Lebanon Pike 12:58 p.m., nonresidential burglary, 1300 block Murfreesboro Pike 5:45 p.m., residential burglary, 3800 block Hamilton Church Road 10:33 p.m., residential burglary, 7300 block Ole Nottingham Drive

New principals announced in Metro Schools

By JAIME SARRIO • Staff Writer( • July 15, 2008 State officials today announced 68 new principal and assistant principal assignments at schools across Davidson County.State education officials have intervened in Metro's staffing decisions, along with other functions, because the district has failed to meet testing standards for four years in a row. Earlier this summer, top-level administrators at the central office were moved into new positions.Several high schools will have new principal, including Hillwood, Overton and McGavock. In 2006, the state put new leadership in place at Maplewood High School after years of failing test scores. For the first time in almost a decade, that school met state testing standards this school year.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Antioch confronts bad image

By RACHEL STULTS • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • July 14, 2008 If it's bad, it must have happened in Antioch. Leaders living in the southeast Davidson County community say that's what a lot of people think but it's not fair. "We're here to say Antioch gets a lot of bad press," said Sim Hassler, senior pastor at Antioch First Baptist Church. "We have many problems in Antioch. But there's also a lot of good stuff going on in Antioch and nobody ever hears about it." With its ever-changing demographic complexion, Antioch has long been saddled with the stigma of being a crime-ridden community where gangs and violence drive out businesses. The community has dealt with its share of struggles and crime, leaders say. But the problems aren't beyond repair, and several activists are taking steps to transform Antioch's image. It's the reason Rodney Beard, pastor at Living Word Community Church, moved his congregation from south Davidson County to Hickory Hollow Parkway three months ago. Church leaders wanted to reach out to the Antioch community. Several weeks ago, leaders at Living Word decided to hold a car and bike show at Hickory Hollow Mall to draw the men and women who are known to speed up and down the community's roads, the ones people say come from "the hood" or "Lower Antioch." They hoped to open a dialogue between the groups, introduce them to collectors and show them that crime doesn't have to be their hobby, Beard said. The event was a success, leaders said, drawing about 80 people, and nearly 30 were in the church's target audience. But the feedback from others wasn't what Beard anticipated. People told him to expect disaster. Bullets were going to fly, they said, drug dealers would emerge, and immigration services would need to be called to make arrests. "That's appalling when a positive situation is taking place in Antioch that people would see it in a negative light," Beard said. "When we do positive activities that families could be involved in, we can begin to pull the communities together around something other than the negative connotations we see in the papers. People in Antioch just haven't spoken up to say, 'Wait a minute, don't stigmatize me that way.' " Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas said South Nashville and Antioch are as high a priority as anywhere else, and he's stepped up enforcement in areas known to breed crime. There have been improvements, Serpas said, but good things were already happening. "I've lived in other cities, and seen parts of a city get reputations that are completely undeserved," Serpas said. "I think that Antioch has probably gotten a little of that." Many crimes are down While the 37013 ZIP code saw spikes in violent and property crimes last year, police say they've seen reductions already this year. Antioch showed 16 rapes this time last year, compared with 12 this year; 96 robberies dropped to 83; and 177 aggravated assaults dwindled to 135. But homicides have increased, with three murders so far this year and none recorded through July last year, according to Metro police. Jim Hodge, a Metro councilman, says Antioch often takes the heat for nearby crime. "Anything from Nolensville Road over to Hermitage is suddenly Antioch," said Hodge, who lives in Tusculum and represents a portion of Antioch."If it bleeds it leads, and if it's anywhere near Antioch they're going to call it Antioch. I don't think it's a conscious decision, but people get to thinking in verbal shorthand." It's a stigma Melanie Ewing, 25, faces when she tells her friends she lives in Antioch.Usually, they cringe.She doesn't quite understand their reaction — it's not that bad, she said. She even had an opportunity to move to Hermitage but didn't take it. "I don't feel unsafe living here," Ewing said. "I just feel like it has a bad reputation. If you keep hearing about Antioch all the time, you think it's the worst place to be." Some residents worry Darryle Rucker, 66, tells a different story. He moved to Antioch 10 years ago for the nice neighborhood and the then-manicured lawns.Today, Rucker hears gunshots at night. Cars speed up and down his street. He plans to ask for more police presence; he and his wife are thinking about installing security windows and doors.Eventually, Rucker said, they may move to another part of town. It's only going to get worse, he said."It's headed towards another direction," Rucker said. Those competing emotions are what fuels Antioch Churches Together. It's a group of 15 pastors who meet weekly to cry and pray over Antioch. They worry the community's problems are intensifying, but at the same time, they see residents who are dedicated to making it a better place to live, work and play. "I think the day will come when the reports will be as good about Antioch as they have been bad," Sim Hassler said. "… I think people are going to be surprised."

Chamber defends role in school rezoning

By JAIME SARRIO • Staff Writer (Tennessean)• July 14, 2008 The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce has been scrutinized in recent weeks for allegedly influencing a massive rezoning of Metro Schools. Saturday, the group's president, Ralph Schulz, took the chance to defend the chamber's interest in schools with the following mass e-mail:A special message to our members: As you know, the improvement of Nashville's public school system has consistently been a top priority for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. We strongly believe that all students and every school must succeed in order for our entire community to grow and prosper. On Tuesday evening, the Metro School Board passed a major rezoning plan by a 5-4 vote. Unfortunately, polarizing discussions about this plan have occurred, and there has been considerable misinformation about the Chamber's role in this issue. For the last several years, the School Board has tried to address rezoning needs and under-enrollment at many of Nashville's schools. To broaden community involvement, each School Board member and the mayor appointed a representative to serve on a citizens' rezoning task force beginning in January of this year. The job of this diverse task force was to research, discuss and recommend a new zoning plan that would address the district's capacity problems, allow many children to go to school closer to home, provide more school choices for families and preserve diversity in the system. The Chamber's chief education officer was chosen to serve as one citizen member of this task force, as was a state legislator, two former Metro Council members, a minister active in the Interdenominational Ministerial Fellowship, parent representatives and a sitting member of the School Board. The citizens' rezoning task force met nearly every week for six months and received considerable comments and input from the public and from school employees. A first draft of the task force's rezoning plan was presented to the School Board on May 28, and a public hearing on the plan was held June 3. While the School Board was originally scheduled to vote on the recommendation June 24, the task force decided to hold three additional public hearings to allow for more community feedback. After making some additional changes based on public input, the task force then met and voted unanimously to recommend the rezoning proposal to the School Board for adoption at its July 8 meeting. The Chamber as an organization never took a position or played a role during the entire rezoning discussion and decision. We fully supported the process outlined by the School Board and the mayor, and we supported the responsibility of the citizens' rezoning task force to develop a consensus recommendation that addresses a complicated and difficult issue. While we commend the citizens' task force and the School Board for successfully addressing the rezoning issue, we recognize that there are Nashvillians who have serious concerns and/or questions about the adopted plan. In particular, the public hearings revealed concerns that schools with a high concentration of students in poverty would not receive the additional academic resources outlined in the rezoning plan. We want our members to know that the Chamber welcomes the opportunity to participate in discussions with our school system, other community organizations and everyday citizens about how to ensure that the promises outlined in the plan are kept. We stand ready to work today, as we have in the past, to ensure that all students have access to a high-quality education. And we stand ready to work with other community organizations that believe every one of our schools must be successful. Nashville will face many challenges in raising school performance to the level it expects and desires, and it will be important for all elements of the community to work together to achieve that goal. We want to assure our members that the Chamber is a committed, long-term partner in the success of our public schools. While there may be times of controversy as our community struggles with how best to improve our schools, the Chamber has a long commitment to partnering on behalf of public education: The Chamber has consistently taken a leadership role in advocating for increased education funding at the state legislature, at the Metro Council and on behalf of public referenda. In addition, the Chamber partners with other community organizations to promote Friends of Metro Schools. The Chamber's Education Report Card Committee, currently in its 16th year, convenes a group of business leaders and citizens to annually assess our school system's progress and make recommendations for improvement. The Chamber is partnering with other community nonprofits to recruit businesses to be a part of the new career academies, set to begin this school year in seven of Nashville's public high schools. The Chamber partners with the Mayor's Office to organize the Mayor's First Day Festival. Funded entirely by donations from private businesses, the Festival provides free school supplies and educational materials to families at the start of each school year. The Chamber conducted a study in 2002 that pointed toward a need to bring community resources together. The result was the formation of Alignment Nashville, an organization that helps coordinate community efforts to improve our education system. For the last 17 years, the Chamber's Leadership Study Missions have explored education options in other cities as an integral part of each trip's focus. As always, the strength of the Chamber is the active engagement of our membership. If you are interested in getting involved in the broad effort to improve Metro Schools for all of Nashville's children, please contact Marc Hill at 743-3155 or Sincerely, Ralph Schulz President & CEONashville Area Chamber of Commerce

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Police Offer Dozens Of Tips To Curb Auto Thefts

Posted:Channel 5 NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Every year hundreds of vehicles are stolen in Middle Tennessee. Metro police said they've come up with 50 ways to keep your car safe. Even with the advent of bait cars and security alarms auto theft is still big in Nashville. Thieves are getting away with too many vehicles. Since June 12, 168 vehicles have been reported stolen in Davidson County. In more than half the cases the victims made one big mistake. They left keys in the car. If you're a thief you couldn't ask for a better invitation. "I mean thieves are out there looking to victimize everybody. They don't need any help," said Sgt. Billy Smith of Metro's Auto Theft Unit. The Metro Police Department's newest crime prevention program is called 50 Ways To Keep Your Car Safe. And, it may all seem like common sense reminders. But, police said, they see people making the same mistakes over and over again. "The obvious thing, take your keys with you when you go, which will make it harder for the thief to steal. Never, ever, ever leave the title," Smith said. Tennessee law requires a registration in the car -- not the title. "If they steal the car there's nothing they can do with that. If your title is in the car when they steal the car that car is theirs," Smith said. He also advised against hiding a key on the car. "Once they got that, they've got your car," he said. "I know it's hot, 100 degrees out here, but if you leave your car windows down it's another avenue to get into your automobile," he said. Locks are also important. Most new cars have the kind you can't get a hold of, but older cars "have the T's on them." "It's easy to run anything through here or through the door and pop that open and they're in the vehicle," Smith said. He said always park your car with the wheels turned because some thieves will try to tow your vehicle away. He also advised against leaving valuables sitting in the car. To a thief, a purse or bag means the possibility of an extra set of keys. To see video:

Friday, July 11, 2008

Free Blood Pressure Screenings

Tennessean MinuteClinic health care centers, located inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in the Nashville metropolitan area, are offering complimentary blood pressure screenings throughout July. No appointment is necessary. The majority of MinuteClinic retail locations are open seven days a week including weekday evening hours. MinuteClinic health care centers are located inside the following CVS/pharmacy stores in the region.· Antioch – 2788 Murfreesboro Pike· Hillsboro Rd.· Harding – 723 Harding Place· Hermitage – 4402 Lebanon Rd.· Hendersonville – 100 Glen Oaks Blvd.· Nashville – 7112 Highway 70 South· Nashville – 9101 Carothers Parkway· Thompsons Station – 4805 Columbia Pike· SouthIndividuals receiving a blood pressure screening should expect the following:- A risk assessment that includes a review of family history - Blood pressure reading - Education and recommendations to prevent hypertension, including insights about diet and other healthy lifestyle choices - A discussion of the results and, if necessary, a referral to the individual’s primary care provider The screenings are part of MinuteClinic’s commitment to improve consumer health and encourage healthier living. High blood pressure or hypertension affects 73 million Americans over age 20 and is the primary cause of death in nearly 55 million citizens annually.* When left uncontrolled, high blood pressure can lead to heart attack, heart failure, stroke and kidney disease. It’s often known as the “silent killer” because most individuals show no symptoms.“Estimates are that one-third of U.S. adults have high blood pressure and don’t know it,” said James Hartert, M.D., MinuteClinic chief medical officer. “These screenings are highly effective because the only way to determine if you have hypertension is to get your blood pressure checked on a regular basis.” MinuteClinic health care centers are staffed by masters-prepared, board-certified practitioners who specialize in family health care and are trained to diagnose, treat and write prescriptions for common family illnesses such as strep throat and ear, eye, sinus, bladder and bronchial infections. Common vaccinations such as influenza, tetanus, MMR, and Hepatitis A & B are also available. In addition, MinuteClinic administers a series of wellness services designed to help consumers identify lifestyle changes needed to improve their current and future health, including screenings for diabetes, cholesterol and obesity.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

15-year-old found with stolen THP weapon

Staff reports • July 10, 2008 (Tennessean) A 15-year-old, sitting behind the wheel of a stolen Honda Accord and fidgeting with his shirt, was found carrying a stolen Tennessee Highway Patrol pistol earlier today. S hortly after the vehicle was stolen from the Nashboro Village area, Hermitage Precinct Flex Officer Edward Holliday noticed it parked in front of Berry’s Pawnshop on Murfreesboro Pike. He approached the car and saw the teen trying to conceal something. Turns out he was trying to hide a pistol with the markings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol on it. The weapon was stolen during a burglary of a trooper’s Clarksville home last weekend. The 15-year-old was booked at juvenile detention on charges of auto theft, theft of the gun, unlawful gun possession, and driving without a license.

Police Catch Gang Members With Trooper's Weapon

July 10, 2008 05:15 PM CDT Channel 5 news NASHVILLE, Tenn.- A gun that belongs to a state trooper got into the hands of gang members, but thanks to quick action of one Metro Police officer the weapon is back where it belongs. It was along Murfreesboro Road where police arrested two members of the gang known as Brown Pride. They were spotted sitting in a stolen car at a nearby strip mall. One of the 15-year-olds was carrying a gun that was stolen from a state trooper's house in Clarksville. Trooper James Burns reported the weapon missing over the weekend. "Officer Steve Holiday saw two suspicious persons sitting in a vehicle over here. He walked up to talk to them and in his initial contact with them one of them told him he had a pistol in his waist band," said Russell Ward with Metro Police. Police said all it took was a glance, to see that the Glock .357 belonged to law enforcement. "It's stamped on the weapon. Our weapons are identifiable too. And theirs are the same weapon, it says Tennessee Highway patrol on the slot of the weapon," Russell Ward with Metro Police. Police said they aren't sure if the two teenagers are responsible for stealing the trooper's weapon or the vehicle they were in. Thursday night, both suspects were in jail.

Nashville parks offer dog etiquette sessions Saturday

Davidson County Owners can learn pet manners Saturday Metro Nashville's parks department is holding two free sessions Saturday on "petiquette," a refresher course on leash laws and picking up dog waste. They're at noon at Centennial Dog Park and at 3 p.m. at the Warner Dog Park. No reservations are required. The workshops will cover the basic rules and regulations related to dogs in regular parks and in the dog parks. Dogs must be on a leash in a Nashville park, except within the three fenced dog areas at Centennial, Warner and Shelby parks. Sindy Scalfi, a certified pet dog trainer, will talk about dog behavior in and out of the dog parks, leash manners and obedience training. Cleaning up after dogs also will be addressed. The department estimates that over 19 tons of dog waste are picked up from park property every year. For more information on Nashville's dog parks, go to — JENNY UPCHURCH

MTA is forced to end Titans shuttle service

By CHARLES BOOTH • Staff Writer (Tennessean)• July 10, 2008 Tom Ballman, a brazen Tennessee Titans tailgater, once offered sage advice to those less-fortunate fans forced to park miles away from LP Field. Find a cheap parking lot, he said, and like thousands of others take the Metro Transit Authority's End-Zone Express Shuttle service to the game. "That's what I recommended to people who don't have parking passes, because it takes you right there," he said. Not a bad suggestion from a man known to dress as a beer keg during football games. But this fall, he'll need to offer different advice, because a new federal regulation is shutting down the shuttle. In April, the Federal Transit Administration ruled that public transportation agencies could no longer provide shuttles to special or sporting events. Those that did would risk their federal funding. "The change promotes the performance of this service by private companies," said Patricia Harris-Morehead, MTA communications director. "They provide federal funds to public transit agencies to buy equipment and provide transportation. I guess they didn't want to give the public transit system an unfair advantage." For about nine years, the End-Zone Express has shuttled as many as 5,000 fans to LP Field each Sunday. Harris-Morehead said about 700 fans bought season packages for the service, and the agency is working to let them know this is no longer an option. At least not a publicly funded option. A private charter service may take over for MTA, and with only a month until the start of the pro football season, officials with the Tennessee Titans are negotiating to get some type of transportation in place. "It's a vital resource for us on game day," said Don MacLachlan, vice president of administration for the Titans. "We're working closely and staying in touch with the mayor's office and everyone to try and find a solution that will ultimately result in having a shuttle service again for those fans who have been loyal riders." He said the Titans are "cautiously optimistic" they'll come to an agreement with a private bus line, but Harris-Morehead said some of the program's former customers might be able to find a ride on one of the five MTA bus routes that leave downtown daily and pass LP Field. Bus fare for adults is $1.60 per trip; a schedule of routes can be found at For fans in eastern Davidson County and in Wilson County, the train is an option. Train may be option Diane Thorne, executive director of the Regional Transportation Authority, said her agency would continue the "Titans Game Day Express," a program that offers rides to fans on the Music City Star for about $15 on Sundays. Details about that service are at

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What is there to do in District "29"?

Congrats Vivian!!!


Shoppes of Edge-O-Lake begins second section

Restaurants, businesses open in street-level units, and more space and residences to follow By SUZANNE NORMAND BLACKWOOD • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • July 9, 2008 MURFREESBORO PIKE — The visibility, access and connectivity at the Shoppes of Edge-O-Lake are "every developer's dream," said project developer Mark Marshall. The street-level units are something Marshall Development has touted in marketing the mixed-use development since its inception. Also, said Marshall, "Not only do we have great visibility, we're building these buildings like you would see in Brentwood or Cool Springs. We're using higher-end products — stone, brick." Tenants that have moved into the first phase of the center are Images Salon/Barber Shop; Fish Wings & Thangs; Subway; Automation Personnel Services, Inc.; and Tennessee Urgent Care Associates. "So far, I think this is a good location," said Tunecia Johnson, manager of Fish, Wings & Thangs. "I'm still growing, of course. Every day I get new customers." Customers continue to find out about the restaurant, said Johnson, adding visibility from Murfreesboro Pike is good. "I can only see the business expanding." An O'Reilly Auto Parts store will soon be opening next door on an out parcel. "We sold that last year, said Jenny Pollard, Realtor for Marshall Real Estate Properties and leasing manager for the center. "We have two more outparcels for sale." Space is being built now in a second section of the development that will include a Chinese restaurant and a Greek gyros shop, as well as office and retail space. Pollard said those businesses would likely be ready to open in the fall. Phase 2 of the development, expected to begin later this year, will include 35 single-family homes that will be behind O'Reilly Auto Parts off Dover Glen Drive. They will be all-brick and between 1,500 and 1,800 square feet. Phase 2 also will consist of a convenient store and a 40,000-square-foot retail center that will include office and medical space. Pollard said Marshall Development would soon be installing signage out front to further publicize the existing portion of the development. "It's gone really well," she said about the marketing of the development.

Nashville schools rezoning plan passes

By JAIME SARRIO • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • July 9, 2008 The Metro Nashville Board of Education passed a massive rezoning plan Tuesday after months of emotional arguments that it would adversely affect racial balance at several schools. Supporters prevailed 5-4 in front of a packed audience. It will take effect in the 2009-10 school year and includes plans for $4 million to $6 million in enhancements for schools that will be filled mostly with poor, black students. The plan was approved after two attempts by board members to delay the vote or exclude certain schools from the rezoning. One board member, Ed Kindall, took to the podium and presented his own plan while another, George Thompson, asked some board members not to vote because of allegations that they were lobbied by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. In the end the plan passed, but concerns linger about how the district will be able to provide the promised additional resources and whether segregated schools will really be equal. "I don't think it will be funded," Kindall said after the meeting. "I think when we look at the sustainable cost, we're talking about a huge amount of money that we don't have to spend." Challenging the legality of the rezoning in court could be a next possible step, he said. The plan was drafted by a community task force, which was organized six months ago. Each board member and the mayor were permitted to pick someone to sit on the committee. 2 areas at heart of issue Changes are coming across the district, but at the heart of the issue are the Pearl-Cohn and Hillwood communities. Since desegregation, students from the predominantly black Pearl-Cohn area have been zoned to attend schools in the affluent, predominantly white Hillwood community. Some students still would have the option to attend Hillwood under the new plan, but they would technically be zoned to attend Pearl-Cohn, which will be given more money for smaller classes and additional resources. Black leaders including the NAACP spoke against the plan, and in a last-ditch effort to block new zones in those neighborhoods, board members at Tuesday's meeting asked they be excluded from the plan. The board vote was nearly divided along racial lines. Karen Johnson, who represents the Antioch area, was the only black board member who voted for the proposal. Gracie Porter, Kindall, Jo Ann Brannon and Thompson voted against the plan. "We say we want to desegregate the schools, but we need to desegregate our minds and our neighborhoods," said Lynn Green, a fourth-grade teacher at Eakin Elementary who opposed the rezoning. "We fiddle around with the children because we can, but it is the grownups that need to do the soul searching." But supporters say a rezoning was long overdue. Many of the district's schools are not full, and supporters including board Chairwoman Marsha Warden argued the district is spending millions on bricks and mortar rather than education. Chamber of Commerce President Ralph Schulz said he believes the plan will prove to stakeholders that the district is a good steward of taxpayer money.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Metro invites anonymous tips on fraud

Efficiency suggestions also wanted By MICHAEL CASS • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • July 8, 2008 Metro Nashville wants your help exposing its ugliest warts. The city recently set up an Internet- and phone-based system to solicit anonymous tips about government fraud, waste and abuse from Metro employees and citizens. The system, called SilentWhistle, also accepts suggestions to make the government more efficient. Metro Auditor Mark Swann said his office decided to launch the program because of general concerns about fraud and waste — Metro is a large organization, and complaints may not always work their way up the ladder — but not because of any specific tips or suspicions. "There's always a certain amount of fraud that goes on," Swann said Monday. He said the city has received more than 30 tips and suggestions since employees started getting an e-mail about the program with an endorsement by Mayor Karl Dean on Wednesday. The suggestions have covered employee benefits, places for ID card readers and other issues. As for the waste and fraud tips, Swann said nothing has made his hair stand up yet. "It's all allegations, so it's hard to say," he said. But that doesn't mean the program won't pay off over time. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners reported in 2006, "Our data supports the use of confidential hotlines and other reporting mechanisms as a fraud detection tool.Occupational frauds are more likely to be detected by a tip than by other means such as internal audits, external audits or internal controls." Metro expects to pay $10,000 to $12,000 over the course of a year to Allegiance Inc., the Salt Lake City-based company that hosts SilentWhistle, Swann said. Metro will decide whether to renew the contract once it expires next spring. Clay Osborne, director of SilentWhistle, said Allegiance started the phone hotline in 1992; the Web-based reporting system got going in 2000. Osborne said the company has about 100 government clients, including the federal departments of homeland security and transportation, among 2,200 clients in "every industry you can imagine." To report a problem or make a suggestion, call 888-484-6976 or visit The Web site says the reporting process takes five to 10 minutes.