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MJ artist’s work been in feature film, all over Nashville
Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Kenny Howell

Managing Editor

Mt. Juliet’s Bill Briggs has worked with his hands all his life. 

Whether it be his love of restoring antique automobiles, building sets for shows or painting, Briggs is always working on something. 

It has led to a very successful career, with his paintings and murals appearing in the feature film “The Last Castle,” starring Robert Redford and James Gandolfini, as well as all over Nashville in buildings like The Hard Rock Cafe, The Bank of Nashville, Opryland Hotel, Tennessee Christian Medical Center, the Renaissance Hotel, Hilton Garden Suites, Broadway Brew House, Jim Reed Chevrolet, Rainforest Cafe, Baptist Sports Medicine and George Dickel. 

Briggs grew up in Donelson, and encouragement from a teacher at Two Rivers High School moved him toward an artistic pursuit. 

He wanted to do architecture, but didn’t like the math, so eventually ended up getting a B.A. degree in Television Production and Art from Western Kentucky University. 

He also attended the Harris School of Art. While there, one of the owners, Beth Harris, took him and another student to Europe to tour art museums all over the continent. 

“It was the most fantastic thing,” said Briggs. “I said, man, that’s what I want to do.”

From 1980-1983, he worked at the Cumberland Science Museum, doing the laser shows in the planetarium. 

Briggs eventually became the senior artist for The Nashville Network from 1983-1994. He worked on the sets of Hee Haw, The CMA Awards, ASCAP Awards, Johnny Cash Show, Motor Sports Hall of Fame, CMT Videos, as well as Opryland and Grand Ole Opry special events. 

In 1994, he decided to go into business for himself. That led to the murals being placed all over the city, and the one for “The Last Castle.”

Recently, Briggs love from antique cars and painting collided as he was asked to do some works for Coker Tire Company, which has over 200,000 square feet of space in Chattanooga, filled with antique cars, open to public. They are the world’s largest vintage tire company. 

Briggs knew the owner, Corky Coker, and Coker invited him down to look at his collection. Briggs told him he needed some paintings on his wall, and Coker agreed. 

“I said, I’m your man, that’s what I do,” said Briggs. 

Briggs has provided over 30 paintings for the location and Chattanooga, and a soon to be location in Los Angeles, Calif. 

Briggs is still hard at work at his art studio in his home, just off of Central Pike. He has painting  and murals in many Nashville area homes including children’s rooms, foyers, kitchens, game rooms and garages. 

If you would like to check out his work, go to You can also contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Submit your application for 911-S.A.F.E.R.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The 911-S.A.F.E.R. (Special Advisory For Emergency Responders) program is an initiative of the Wilson County Emergency Communications District (Wilson County 911) that began in 2010. The program has been promoted throughout Wilson County in newspapers and radio, distribution of brochures to churches, banks, etc., public meetings, adopted as special projects by civic groups, including Leadership Wilson and by proclamation of County Mayor Randall Hutto. Fifty five thousand flyers were distributed throughout Wilson County in Middle TN Electric Corp. billing. 

Through these outreach efforts, thousands of Wilson County residence and businesses have acknowledged the potential life-saving benefit of 911-SAFER and chosen to participate. However, thousands more need to act now and submit their application before a “911” emergency occurs. Everyone is encouraged to participate whether they have medical conditions, special needs or not. Simply having your cell phone number associated with your name and address could help save your life in an emergency situation. 

One or more 911-SAFER participants call 911 each day, thereby realizing the benefits of this program. If you are not a participant, we encouraged to participate now by submitting a 911-SAFER application to Wilson County 911, 1611 West Main St, Lebanon, TN 37087, visit our website at or call 449-7155 M-F, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Charles and Ramona Haskins win Friend and Supporter of the Fair award
Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Wilson County Promotions is proud to announce that Charles and  Ramona Haskins will be the recipients of the 2013 Mike Baker Friend and Supporter of the Fair Award on Tuesday evening, Aug. 20 at 8 p.m. prior to the “Great Give-A-Way” in the Motorsports Arena of the Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon.  This annual award recognizes business people in Wilson County who have gone above and beyond in their support of the annual Wilson County Fair.  It is given in memory of Mr. Mike Baker, long time chairman of the Fair’s Great Give-A-Way Committee.  

Charles and Ramona Haskins along with their family are the owners of  Lebanon Chemical located at 533 West Baddour Parkway in Lebanon.  The business has operating  since 1967, over 45 years.  The couple can be found working in the business every day.  Most days you can find Ramona working in the kitchen preparing a delicious lunch. Charles and Ramona started out owning a small grocery store on Coles Ferry Pike.  Then they operated Haskins Service Station on North Cumberland Street just off the square for 16 years, starting Lebanon Chemical during that same time in a little building in the back.    

Over the years, they have supported many programs, clubs and local charitable events and continue to do so.  They have four children, 12 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.  They are members of Highland Heights Church of Christ.  Charles and Ramona have supported the Wilson County Fair for many years and have been a long time sponsor of the Great Give-A-Way. They were also instrumental in getting two of the buildings placed in Fiddlers Grove, Mr. Luther’s Blacksmith Shop (who was Ramona’s father) and the Smokehouse, which is the building that James E. Ward cured his famous hams (located on the Haskin’s Farm on Phelan Drive). 

Charles and Ramona actually met at the Wilson County Fair in 1951 on Coles Ferry Pike.  He got sick on the Farris Wheel that night, but she married him anyway on Nov. 24, 1951. 

Blood drive to be held in memory of Cline
Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The American Red Cross is holding a blood drive in memory of local area resident Whitney Cline Friday, Aug. 23.  The drive will be held at Mt Juliet Community Center Meeting Room at 1075 Charlie Daniel’s Parkway from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Whitney was born in the small town of Harriman. When she was 15 years old, Whitney moved to Nashville with her parents. She attended Mt. Juliet High School and transferred to McGavock High School her junior year. Despite the academic change, throughout her high school years, Whitney remained a dedicated member of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. 

Whitney graduated high school and two years later, had her first and only child, Parker Ryan-Dakota Cline. She spent the next 6 years raising her son with unwavering love and dedication.

Feb. 26, 2011 Whitney was admitted to Summit Hospital with pneumonia. Whitney’s sister, Courtney Keaton tells the American Red Cross doctors told their family Whitney would only be in the hospital for a couple days. Tragically, that was not the case. 

Feb. 27, Whitney suffered an acute ischemic stroke due to an unforeseen blood clot. The next day, her brain began to swell from the trauma of the stroke. Doctors performed an emergency surgery to ease the swelling, but Whitney never regained consciousness. 

Because Whitney believed in organ donation, she gave the gift of life when her own was taken away. Her heart, liver, pancreas and kidneys went to patients in need. Courtney was also a dedicated blood and platelet donors. To honor her sister, Keaton began holding an annual blood drive in memory of Whitney. “I decided to hold the drive every August because that is when she was born,” said Keaton. “Please help me honor my sister, and her memory by saving lives like she did. Thank you in advance.”

To schedule an appointment for this blood drive or any other American Red Cross blood drive, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (733-2767)

Most healthy individuals who are at least 17 years of age (16 with parental consent) and weigh a minimum of 110 pounds are eligible to donate blood.  Individuals 18 years of age or younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements.   

Jazz Alliance to play Wilson County Fair
Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Jazz Alliance Big Band plays at the Wilson County Fair Friday, Aug. 23 at the Fiddler’s Grove Pavilion from 7-9 p.m.  

The Jazz Alliance is a local 20 piece Big Band that plays a wide variety of swing, big band and popular music. 

Dancing is encouraged.

Founded in 2007, The Jazz Alliance is made up of businessmen, teachers, doctors, and other professional from Wilson County, Nashville and surrounding communities who enjoy performing big band jazz music. 

They perform music made famous by Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peggy Lee, Blood Sweat and Tears, Chicago, Earth Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder and many others.  

They are a non-profit volunteer community group that perform at church and charity events, community concerts, weddings, parties and festivals in MiddleTennessee. 

You can find them on line at or call Joe Thordsen at (615)479-4352.

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