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Armistead running for School Board
Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Linda Armistead, a long-time educator who retired in 2012 from the Wilson County school system, is seeking the position for School Board in Zone 4, which represents Districts 4, 10, 23, 24, and 25. “My life’s work has been dedicated to the education of young people in Wilson County for the past 38 years. I want to use my experiences in education and connections with youth, their families, and our community to help ensure trust and confidence for those affected by school board decisions and to support opportunities for students to expand their knowledge in as many different directions as possible. ”

She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in English and Education at Middle Tennessee State University and began teaching in 1973 at Mt. Juliet High School.  She has 27 years of classroom experience and 11 years in administration while implementing the Workforce Investment grant called YouthLinks in Wilson County.  She has completed classes in counseling, certifications for Global Career Development Facilitator, Service Learning, and Work-Based Learning, along with attaining Career Level I and Highly Qualified teacher status.

Throughout the classroom years, she led and sponsored several school clubs and organizations such as the Drama Club, Future Teachers of America, the cheerleading squad, Students Taking a Right Stand, the Forensics and Debate teams, as well as coaching tennis.  She also organized and led two independent student tours to Europe sponsored by the American Council for International Studies and a church school group to Washington, D.C.

The YouthLinks grant involves helping students train and prepare for jobs.  Since it began in 2001, it has served approximately 4000 students in the Wilson County School System, receiving allocated funds of 5.3 million dollars at no cost to the school system.   “It was rewarding to be part of a program that has also been successful in helping to improve the graduation rate in our county, and it gave me an opportunity to work in all four high schools, the GED program, and the Adult High School, giving me a better perspective of what works well in our communities.  Students in our program also had to work when they finished school and training, so connecting with businesses in the area and being a part of the Chambers of Commerce has given me an insight of what is happening concerning the rapid growth and how vital a great education system is.”  

She has been involved in many community projects and organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the Wilson County and Mt. Juliet Community Help Centers, and Empower Me Day Camp.  She is current president and past treasurer of Wilson Organization for Networking and Education (Wilson ONE).  She served on both the Mt. Juliet Chamber’s and Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber’s education committees, receiving the honor of “Educator of the Year” in 2003 from the Mt. Juliet Chamber and worked with the Teacher Grant committee and the Tennessee Scholars program with the Lebanon Chamber.  She served on the Board of Directors for Prospect, Inc. and the Wilson County Community Partnership and is a 2005 graduate of Leadership Wilson.

Linda and her husband Steve Armistead have been married for 46 years and have resided in Mt. Juliet since 1979.  They have two children, Stephanie McDonald and Chadwick Armistead, and six grandchildren, two enrolled in Gladeville Elementary.  Stephanie graduated from MJHS and MTSU, completed her graduate studies at Cumberland University, and previously taught math at West Wilson Middle School.  Stephanie has three children, and she and her husband Michael, who is District Automotive Manager for UPS, currently live in Monroe, NY.  Chad graduated from MJHS and MTSU, served in the Marine Corps, and is Director of Operations at the Hutton in Nashville.  He and his wife Cathryn, who is a third year law student, have three children and live in Gladeville.

“As a candidate seeking your vote and support for School Board in Zone 4, I am ready to work hard, utilizing all of life’s lessons and professional training.  I have fiscal experience with budgets and allocating money, having served on the Board of Directors of two non-profits and the Workforce grant program, which also required being responsible for staffing and helping to create and implement policy. I am ready to serve by actively supporting school programs, by being responsive to constituents, and by promoting positive working relationships with the Director and the County Commissioners--understanding the importance of governing through policy.   And most importantly as a school board member, I will be a strong advocate for the needs of all learners as we strive for excellence in education always.” 

Wilson County job growth ‘near record breaking’
Tuesday, July 15, 2014

From the Wilson County Joint Economic and Community Development Board

Job growth is “near a record breaking high” in Wilson County over the past 12 months according to the county’s chief recruiting arm for industrial and retail development.

G.C. Hixson, executive director of the Wilson County Joint Economic and Community Development Board said Wilson County has added more than 1,000 new industrial or related jobs since July of last year, which represents about one-fourth of the number of new jobs that have been added over the past decade.

“I don’t know when we last saw these types of employment growth numbers. We’ve got to be near a record breaking high, Hixson related.

Hixson, reporting from his agency’s end of the fiscal year analysis, said “these new employment opportunities represent new industries that have located in Wilson County as well as a number of expansion projects completed by existing industries over the past 12 months.”

Hixson pointed out that the employment number does not include new retail jobs that have been created during the past fiscal year. 

He said, while the employment number “speaks for itself,” the impact on the local economy is “just as dramatic.”

Hixson estimated that the new jobs created represent an annual payroll of more than $30 million, which he said, “obviously means more dollars to be spent locally and more local sales tax revenue to be generated to aid local schools, build roads, improve lifestyle amenities, and generally benefit Wilson County.”

He said the county’s transportation arteries, its central location, excellent infrastructure features, and a “spirit of cooperation among local government officials” have all contributed to the success his office has realized in creating new employment opportunities.

The three largest employers to locate operations in Wilson County during the last fiscal year and creating more than 600 new jobs were Starbucks with 400 employees; Communications Test Design, Inc., 130 employees; and Hollister Incorporated, 86. 

Major expansions were reported at Amazon, Ozburn Hessey Logistics and Custom Packaging, Inc. and accounted for more than 500 new jobs.

Hixson’s report was the 25th annual report to be issued by the JECDB. The agency was created in 1989 to be the principle recruiting force for new industry and retail development in Wilson County including the county’s three municipalities, Lebanon, Mt. Juliet and Watertown.

Splashing at Charlie Daniels Park
Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Charlie Daniels Park will once again turn into a mini water park Saturday, as they hold their annual splash day. 

The event is free and will include free play in the splash pad, inflatable water slides, and an inflatable slip-n-slide.

This event is recommended for ages 5-12. Children (under 18) must have their legal guardian sign a waiver to be allowed to participate. For more information please contact the Mt. Juliet Community Center - Phone: (615)758-6522. Website:

This event is sponsored by Staff Management/SMX, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Liberty Mutual, & Jet’s Pizza.

Several organizations have volunteered to “Adopt an inflatable.” They are: Girl Scout Troop 2752; Liberty Mutual Insurance; Providence United Methodist Church; First Baptist Mt. Juliet;  Nick Hays for Trustee; Story Church; Totty Chiropractic of Mt. Juliet, PLLC.

Free lunch will be provided by: Joy Church International, hamburgers and corndogs; Friendship Community Church: hot dogs and popsicles.

Restoration Community Outreach benefit concert Saturday
Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Musicians from Nashville area will present a benefit concert July 19, for Restoration Community Outreach, Inc.  Featured musician and songwriter will be Randy Finchum. 

Other musicians are Lucio Ditoro, and a Sweet Adelines Quartet.  

The event starts with a silent auction at 5 p.m. Local businesses and individuals in east Davidson and west Wilson counties have provided items and services to be auctioned. 

The music will begin at 6 p.m. with guitarist and songwriter Lucio Ditoro. In addition to guitarist and accomplished songwriter, add acting to Lucio’s list of talents. After his first audition at Studio Encore, he won a full scholarship. He has appeared in music videos for Buck Trent, Kentucky Headhunters, Marty Stuart, Lacy J. Dalton and Travis Tritt.

A Sweet Adelines quartet, Some Assembly Required,  will follow Lucio. They are a barbershop quartet formed in June 2012. Besides doing performances, they compete as a quartet each Spring in the regional Sweet Adelines competition.  They are part of Metro Nashville Chorus of Sweet Adelines International.  Pam Kemp sings Lead, Denice French  Tenor, Kay Crouch baritone, and Ruth McCarver bass.

Featured from 7 to 8 p.m. will be Randy Finchum. Randy is a graduate of the Music Technology Program at Nashville State Community College and a “Smokin’ Hit Songwriter Winner.” 

Currently a staff writer and Manager of Publishing for Oden’s Row Music in Nashville, Randy has written with everybody . . . and now has several independent cuts. A bass player and back-up vocalist, Randy has been on the Nashville music scene for over 20 years. 

Tickets will be on sale at the door and will cover a meal of BBQ, chips, drink and dessert. Ticket duplicates will be used for the drawing of door prizes at the end of the evening. To win a door prize, the person must be present.  

Restoration Community Outreach, Inc. is a Community Development Center at 12007 Lebanon Road, Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. Tutoring and Preventive Maintenance are the two major programs of the organization. Children and youth who have been a part of the programs will be recognized during the evening.  

The benefit concert will be in the Shankle Center of Hermitage Church of the Nazarene, 4151 Saundersville Road, Hermitage, Tennessee.  For further information, contact Dean Jackson at (615)754-7777 or (615)604-4025.

MJPD settles into new home
Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Mt. Juliet Police Department is now officially in its new home. 

Located at 1019 Charlie Daniels Parkway, the Police Department finished their transition to the new building Tuesday, July 1 when they moved the Emergency Communications Center to the new building. The move happened over two weeks. 

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