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Wilson Reads donates $2500 to Wilson County Adult Learning Center
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Wilson Reads recently donated $2,500 to the Adult Learning Center. 

Wilson Reads is a non-profit organization whose main focus is to help eliminate adult illiteracy in Wilson County with the goal of helping people learn to read and earn their GED. Brian Abston, Vice Chairman for Wilson Reads states, “Reducing illiteracy will ultimately improve the quality of life for everyone in Wilson County by increasing the number of people who are fully functioning, productive contributors to the community.” 

Wilson Reads has partnered with the staff at The Adult Learning Center and are continually trying to create more public awareness to inform adults who cannot read that the opportunity exists to learn and get a GED at the ALC. 

The group is called The Open Book Society and the organization “Wilson Reads” helps provide grants and tutoring for students and helps provide marketing to get the word out to the community of the services provided by the ALC. 

The Open Book Society started with a group of Leadership Wilson graduates. They began the group in Leadership Wilson as a project and each member was so passionate about it that they decided to stay together, form a non-profit and keep it going. 

They are always seeking help to get the word out. If you would like more info on this group and how you can help please contact one of the members at: Brian Abston,  364-5147; Alesia Burnley,  337-6266; Terry Burns,  238-4448; Joni Cochran,  484-5921; Tina Winfree,  948-1769.

 
Son-in-law arrested in double homicide
Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The son-in-law of the couple killed in an explosion Feb. 10 has been arrested for their murders. 

The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office responded to an explosion at 580 Vance Lane in Lebanon on that day. Jon Setzer was found deceased in the home, and Marion Setzer was airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital. Marion Setzer passed away from her injuries, Thursday, Feb. 13. 

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Richard Parker, 49, Lebanon was arrested Friday, Feb. 14. Evidence collected  was enough for the Wilson County Grandy Jury to return indictments for two counts of Felony First Degree Murder and two counts of Pre-Meditated First Degree Murder. He was also charged with Unlawful Possession of a Prohibited Weapon. Parker was taken to the Wilson County Jail on a $1,000,000 bond. He had one previous conviction of arson in Giles County in 1993. He served probation for four years for the conviction. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Bomb and Arson Unit, the State Department of Homeland Security and the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office all worked on the case. 

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the investigation is still active and ongoing. The motive and exact circumstances surrounding this incident are still being determined.

 
Man arrested trying to rob Cracker Barrel
Tuesday, February 18, 2014

An armed Lebanon man tried unsuccessfully to rob the S. Mt. Juliet Road Cracker Barrel Monday night. 

According to the Mt. Juliet Police Department, around 10:30 p.m., Cracker Barrel was closing its doors for the evening. Thomas Barnes, 28, approached the front door armed with a handgun, but the manager quickly locked the door, and moved all the employees to the back. Barnes tried to still get through the door, but was unsuccessful. Cracker Barrel management called 911, and MJPD officers were able to apprehend Barnes at the Mapco Express located next door. 

“It could have been a very dangerous situation,” said Sergeant Tyler Chandler in a briefing posted on the Mt. Juliet Police Department website. 

Barnes had two adults with him in the car as well, a male and female, but they will not be charged. Barnes was arrested and booked into the Wilson County Jail, charged with Aggravated Robbery and Theft of Property. The handgun used in the attempted robbery was stolen. 

 
County Commission to fill District 3 seat
Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Wilson County Commission will be filling the vacant County Commission seat for District 3 at their meeting Feb. 24.  

Commissioner Fred Weston passed away earlier this year on Jan. 20, after fighting a long battle with cancer. He had served as County Commissioner for District 3 since September of 2010. The individual selected will serve for the un-expired term, which runs through Aug. 31.

“We were saddened by Mr. Weston’s death.  He served his constituents and Wilson County honorably for several years, even in recent years while battling cancer.  Wilson County has lost a great public servant.” Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto stated.

Any time a vacancy occurs in an elected official’s position the County Commission is responsible for filling the vacancy. The process is outlined in state law.  

Any individual interested in the position must meet the qualifications outlined for holding public office in state law. They must be 18 years old or older, a resident and qualified voter of District 3, and not have been convicted of a felony. The district lines used in the 2010 elections will be used in determining eligibility for this vacancy per state law. The old lines are drastically different from the new District 3 lines, which will be used for the 2014 elections.  Therefore, it is extremely important that individuals interested in serving in this position check with the Election Commission to ensure that they were District 3 as it appeared in 2010. Current voter registration cards now reflect the new district lines and should not be considered in determining eligibility for this selection.  For more details on qualifications, individuals should check with the Wilson County Election Commission at (615)444-0216.  

The individual selected to fill the vacancy must receive the majority of a vote from the Wilson County Commission. Anyone interested should contact the current County Commissioners to let them know of their desire and solicit support, since they will be electing the individual to fill the vacancy.

Names may be submitted in writing to the Wilson County Mayor in advance of the Commission meeting, but is not a requirement. Before the County Commission considers this issue, voters of District 3 will be allowed to recommend individuals to be considered for the position. Once all recommendations from the public have been made, the Commission will then begin the nomination and selection process. A County Commissioner must nominate an individual on the floor, after the time for public input has ended, for that person to be considered. The public is not allowed to nominate only recommend candidates. A County Commissioner may also nominate an individual who did not receive a recommendation from the public.  Seconds are not required for nominations.

Once nominations by the County Commission are complete, the individuals nominated will be given approximately three to five minutes to briefly address the Commission to share information about themselves and their desire for the position. Handouts may be passed out prior to the Commission meeting.

Voting will take place on paper ballots. Commissioners will be provided with blank ballots and must sign the ballot for their vote to be considered. Votes will be read aloud once all ballots have been collected. If one person receives the majority vote, which must be at least 13 votes, at that time voting is complete. If no one receives 13 votes, the candidate with the lowest vote total shall have their name, or names should there be a tie, removed. Balloting will continue using the same process with the revised list of candidates being considered. This process will continue until an individual is selected.  The successful candidate may be sworn into office that night, and will begin serving immediately to fill the unexpired term.  

“The process used to fill a vacancy of an elected official is very specific. We want to make certain our citizens, and especially individuals interested in seeking the position, are aware of how the process works,” Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto stated.

All County Commission seats will be up for election during the General Election to be held on Aug. 7. The new term will begin Sept. 1.

Should you have any questions regarding this process, please feel free to contact the Wilson County Mayor’s office at (615)444-1383 during regular office hours, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

 
Teachers of the Year: W.A. Wright's Danette Baskin
Tuesday, February 18, 2014

We continue our series on the Teachers of the Year this week with W.A. Wright’s Danette Baskin. 

Baskin has been at W.A. Wright all 15 years of teaching. She is currently teaching second grade, but alternates between first and second with students so they don’t feel like they have to start over going into their second grade year. 

“I love seeing that light bulb go off,” said Baskin. 

She said that they are still babies and are going to love you, but they are starting to gain their independance. 

“It was such an honor to be selected by my peers,” said Baskin of the Teacher of the Year win. She said she was brought to tears. 

She said she loves the family atmosphere at W.A. Wright and loves getting to work with all the great teachers there. 

Baskin will be up for Wilson County Teacher of the Year, Friday, April 11. The banquet will be held at Cumberland University, and is sponsored by Wilson County Motors and Cedar Stone Bank. 

 
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