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Brandon running for Circuit Court Clerk
Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Former Wilson Central High School Girls’ Basketball Coach Bud Brandon announced his bid for Wilson County Circuit Court Clerk today.

“The job of the Circuit Court Clerk is about management, leadership and serving the public,” Brandon said. “With 30 years’ experience as an educator and coach, I will bring a fresh view to county government.”

Brandon recently stepped down as the Lady Wildcats’ head coach, in order to focus on the Circuit Court Clerk race. “It’s time for a new challenge. I want to serve the County in a different capacity, using the skills I learned in the classroom and on the basketball court,” Brandon said.

Brandon is a graduate of Lebanon High School and Middle Tennessee State University. He worked in several basketball camps throughout Tennessee, including Pat Head Summit’s basketball camps for 14 years. 

Brandon began his teaching and coaching career at Carroll Oakland in 1984. He assisted Tommy Martin at Mt. Juliet High School for six years, while serving as the girls Freshman Head Coach. Brandon served as the Head Coach for both Boys’ and Girls’ teams at Walter J. Baird Middle School for 11 years, where they won two James C. Hale State tournaments. Brandon was the Wilson Central Lady Wildcats’ Head coach for the last 13 years, leading the Lady Wildcats to two state championships and five state tournament appearances. 

“It has been a great experience, not only to coach with my father, Hall of Famer Campbell Brandon, but to also reach the pinnacle of any coach’s dream to win two girls’ state championships,” Brandon said.

Brandon received the 2007 Wilson County Great Commission Coach from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was named Coach of the Year three times by the Basketball Coaches Association of Tennessee.

Brandon serves as president of the Oak Hill Homeowner’s Association. Brandon and his wife, Bonita, attend College Hills Church of Christ in Lebanon and have a daughter who attends Wilson Central High School.

Brandon’s campaign kick-off will be Thursday, May 1, from 4-7 p.m., at the National Guard Armory located at 1010 Leeville Pike in Lebanon. The County General Election is Aug. 7, with early voting from July 18 – Aug 2.

MJPD offering $500 reward for info on car burglars
Tuesday, May 13, 2014

From the Mt. Juliet Police Department

Over the past few nights, Car Burglars have targeted Mt. Juliet neighborhoods by burglarizing unlocked cars. The thieves struck the neighborhoods of Hickory Hills, Providence, Willoughby Station, Saddle Wood, and Park Glen. If a car was left unlocked, it was likely targeted by the unknown individuals looking to make money off whatever valuables were left in the unsecured vehicle. Since May 4, a total of five Theft of Property from Auto reports were completed. A handgun, computers, wallets, purses, an IPad, and mobile phones were items reported stolen in the combined theft reports.

“Car burglary is a crime that can be easily prevented by locking up,” stated Police Lieutenant Tyler Chandler. “We are asking everyone to lock their cars and remove their valuables. Many of the crimes are occurring after 11:00 p.m. into the early morning hours. If a citizen sees someone acting suspiciously late at night, they are urged to call police.”

Wright picked as top choice for Director of Schools
Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Kenny Howell

Managing Editor

The School Board voted unanimously to make Donna Wright their top choice for the open Director of Schools position. 

Facebook group helps MJPD catch thieves
Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Facebook group Hip Mt. Juliet helped the Mt. Juliet Police Department catch a purse snatcher Thursday. 

A 65-year-old woman had her purse snatched in the Publix parking lot on Lebanon Road by a man in 1990s model Ford Mustang convertible. A witness posted the crime to Facebook and asked anyone if they saw anything suspicious. Two users quickly provided information on the Mustang, which they saw speeding down Nonaville Road. 

School board removes book from reading list due to profanity
Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Kenny Howell

Managing Editor

The School board removed an award-winning book from their reading lists due to profanity Monday. 

The issue was brought up by School Board member Wayne McNeese, who had spoken about his objection to the profanity in the book “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon in meetings before. He was troubled that it was on the preferred reading lists because it contains profanity. 

“It’s repulsive,” said McNeese of the language. 

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”, released in 2003, is about a 15-year-old boy named Christopher who has an autism spectrum condition. When his neighbor’s dog turns up dead, he starts to investigate what happened to him. The book is told from his point of view, so it  shows how someone with the condition’s thought process works. 

The book won the Whitbread Book Award for Best Book, the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Best First Book, and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. Interim Director of Schools Mary Ann Sparks mentioned that the book is held in high esteem for its great literary merit.

“Maybe in New York City,” said McNeese. “Not in Wilson County, Tennessee.”

School Board member Ron Britt said that he understood McNeese’s concerns and agreed that the profanity troubled him, but he liked to defer to the teachers on what they think should be taught. Sparks was concerned of the precedent it set to remove the book. 

“Where do you stop,” said Sparks. She said some things might offend some people, and other things might offend others. 

Mt. Juliet High School Assistant Principal Scott Walters, who is the AP Coordinator as well, assured McNeese that the book was not required reading. The preferred reading lists do have the books marked that could offend some people, and what about them makes it offensive. Walters said he would be fine with his children reading the book. McNeese said he still doesn’t think the school system should send the message that they condone this kind of language. 

Student School Board Member Sam Anasky from Lebanon High School spoke up in her remarks about a book that affected her, that also had rough language. She read “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini. It is about a young boy growing up in Afghanistan. She got emotional when talking about how much it meant to her. 

“If I hadn’t read that book, I wouldn’t be who I am,” said Anasky. On speaking of the language used in the book, Anasky stated, “that’s reality, man.”

The board voted 3-1 to eliminate the book from any reading lists. McNeese, Don Weathers and Bill Robinson all voted to remove it. Britt voted to keep it. 

In other business, the school board voted to eliminate four teaching positions. Two were at Wilson Central High School and two were at Lebanon High School. Sparks said that they will try to find the people filling the positions a new place in the school system, but was unsure if it would be possible. 

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