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Festival of Art & Music set for May 31
Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Bonna Brothers Band will be the opening act at the Summer Festival of Art & Music. 

The fourth annual Summer Festival of Art & Music to benefit the Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center is scheduled for Saturday, May 31 from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m.

The agenda includes five music acts on an outdoor stage beginning at 10 a.m. Approximate times are:

10 a.m. – The Bonna Brothers Band

11 a.m. – Cookie & the Monster

Noon – Country Artist Billy Tarkington

2 p.m. – Don O’ Saile “Elvis”

3 p.m. – Rich Mahan Band

Local artisans will be exhibiting and selling their wares. Booths include: Oil paintings, water color and drawings, painted glass wear, stained glass, woodworking, quilting, pottery, photography crafts, jewelry and more. 

Booths are available for $25.

A picnic plate lunch with hot dogs, baked beans, chips, desserts & beverage for $5 will be offered from 11-1 p.m.

The famous “decorate a shoe” contest and exhibit will take place. 

First, second and third place prizes will be awarded at 4 p.m. 

Entrées must be brought in by noon Friday, May 10. The contest is open to anyone.

This year’s theme is “Movies”.

Some collectible cars will be on display.

For more information on booth rental or how to enter the shoe contest call  (615) 758-9114. 

The event is free and open to the public.

Encore Theatre presents two companion works
Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Encore Theatre Company presents Jubilee in the Rear View Mirror by Garret  Mathews and directed by Michael Rex. A two-act play based on the civil rights movement in 1964 opens May 9th and runs weekends through May 24. 

The drama is set in the fictional town of Jubilee, Miss., during Freedom Summer when hundreds of activists headed South to register African-American voters and to desegregate schools, bus stations and businesses. In the play, a black civil rights worker from the North finds himself in a cell with a white racist who is behind bars for beating his wife. This is a compelling story that uniquely reveals the power of the human spirit and the ability of the individual to triumph over inequities in society.

The companion piece, My Mama Says is a presentation of writings from well-known African-American women, compiled and produced by Michael Rex – directed by James Bealor. 

A little girl finds her grandmother’s photo album. While Calli recognizes some of the people in the pictures, she doesn’t know who all of them are, so she asks her mother. Celeste looks through the photos with her daughter, looking at the women from the American Civil Rights movement - the women who her mother marched with, protested with, suffered with, and made a difference with. These women who changed America. These women who had something to say. Eight women come to life through their most famous words. This is what My Mama Says.

(These plays contain historically accurate language.)

Friday/Saturday show times are 7:30 p.m. and Sunday is 2:30p.m.

Encore Theatre is located at 6978 Lebanon Rd Mt Juliet – just west of Hwy 109. Tickets are Adults $15, Seniors (60+) $12 or Children (12 & under) $10 may be purchased at the door or reserved by calling 598-8950 or visiting the website

A  501(c)3 non-profit community theatre serving Wilson County and surrounding areas.

City Commissioners demand sidewalks on all new businesses
Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Kenny Howell

Managing Editor

If you are going to develop a commercial lot in Mt. Juliet, you will be required to construct a sidewalk on all public streets after a vote Monday. 

‘Most important years’ now students told
Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Staff Reports

“These are the most important years of your life,” students of an introduction to business class at Cumberland University were told last week.

Bob McDonald, chairman of the Cumberland University board of trust and president and chief executive officer of CedarStone Bank headquartered in  Lebanon, told the class of some 38 students that many of the “most important” people he has met in his life and that they will meet in their lives will be from relationships developed during their college years.

McDonald said he met his wife while attending the University of Tennessee and made many lasting friendships that have served to influence his life since his college days on campus in Knoxville.

McDonald’s comments, as a guest lecturer, came at the end of a semester of learning what teacher Karah Sprouse termed a study in “virtually all aspects of business.”

She said McDonald’s life experiences, including his broad experience in banking, served as a “capstone” for what her students have been learning for a semester.

While sharing a number of personal experiences along with remarks relating to the organization, startup and continued growth of CedarStone Bank, McDonald impressed upon students that what they plan to do in life will largely be influenced by what they learn both inside and outside the classroom.

He encouraged the class to not be afraid to get what he termed “a broad range of experience” in their quest to determine what careers they may wish to pursue.

Before deciding to work in banking McDonald said he had college internships and later jobs in government and in the hospitality/entertainment industry. He served as a staff assistant for a congressman and senator in Washington for a two year stint and for a short while worked at the Opryland theme park in a management role with the entertainment division.

He hinted that he was influenced in his career decision to become a banker because his father who now works with him had been a lifelong banker in Nashville.

McDonald told students he worked for several regional banks before launching CedarStone Bank ten years ago. CedarStone’s main office is in Lebanon while the bank has branch facilities in Mt. Juliet and Donelson.

He advised class members that in order to be successful in their respective careers they should “distinguish” themselves.

Offering eight principles to distinguish them from others McDonald urged students to “outwork others - get to work early and be one of the last to leave; be worldly - gain lots of knowledge, try different things; look good - be neat in your dress and personal appearance; never stop being a student - keep learning; be ethical - do the right thing; find your professional passion; find a mentor - someone ahead of you in life; and be compassionate.”

Kane running for Judge
Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Brody Kane, attorney and City Judge, has officially qualified as a candidate for the office of Criminal Court Judge for the 15th Judicial District comprised of Wilson, Macon, Trousdale, Jackson and Smith counties. Chris Crowell is serving as his campaign treasurer.

“I am excited to be out there campaigning for Criminal Court Judge,” said Kane. “For almost two decades, I’ve represented thousands of clients, in both criminal and civil cases in front of more than 70 Judges in State, Federal and Appellate Courts across Tennessee. My extensive criminal and civil law experience both in and out of the courtroom trying cases, working daily with clients and their families, as well working with Judges, defense lawyers, prosecutors and police officers has strengthened my firm belief that a Judge must have broad life and work experiences in order to see a case from all sides. A Judge should never be a rubber stamp for either side.” 

Chris Crowell, who along with more than 100 other local citizens from across the 15th Judicial District, is part of the Committee to Elect Brody Kane Criminal Court Judge noted that “Brody Kane will be a great Judge because he understands the importance of the decisions he will make and cares about the impact of those decisions. As treasurer of the campaign I am humbled by the tremendous outpouring of support Brody’s campaign has received. The momentum is growing each day with people calling to help and be part of this effort to bring a fair and hard working man to the bench.” 

Kane, a 1988 graduate of Watertown High School, obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from MTSU in 1992 and, thereafter, received his Law Degree from the University of Memphis Law School in 1995. While in law school he served as a judicial law clerk for the 10 Shelby County Criminal Court Judges. After graduation, he began his 19 year career as an attorney, working for Lebanon native and current Mayor of Memphis, A.C. Wharton, within the Shelby County Justice System - the largest system in the State. 

A founding partner of Lebanon-based law firm, McBrien & Kane, Kane has also served as the City Judge for the town of Alexandria since 2004. Additionally he has served as a Special Judge for Judges John Gwin, Bob Hamilton and Barry Tatum hearing criminal offenses, juvenile proceedings, orders of protection, civil lawsuits and mental health commitments. In 2012 he was selected by Judge John Gwin to Chair the Committee that developed and prepared the Local Rules of Court for General Sessions Court, Division III. 

“When you grow up around here, you learn that there are certain values so important that you live by them every day. Values like living your life with integrity. Playing by the rules. And the belief that everyone deserves justice – no matter where they’re from or how much money they make,” remarked Kane. “In this race three things matter – my unmatched experience, my deeply held values and my proven dedication to our community.”

Putting those word’s into action, Kane has stepped up and served the community for many years. He is a past president and active member of the Lebanon Breakfast Rotary, past president and active member of the 15th District Judicial Bar Association, a board member of the Wilson County United Youth Soccer Association; a Commissioner of the Wilson County Water and Wastewater Authority, a member of the Lebanon, Watertown, Macon County and Jackson County Chambers of Commerce, a Leadership Wilson Graduate and a member of the National Rifle Association. 

Brody and his wife, Angel, have three children Madison (17), Zoe (14) and Neill (11). Brody stays involved with all of his children’s activities having coached their soccer and baseball teams and recently returned from a mission trip to Nicaragua with his oldest daughter. 

Kane stated that “for nearly twenty years I’ve dedicated myself to the practice of law, to my clients, to my family and to my community. I’ve treated everyone with integrity, honesty and respect and if elected, will run my Court in the same manner. During the next three months, it’s my intention to work tirelessly to earn the trust and support of the voters in Wilson, Trousdale, Smith, Macon and Jackson Counties because I believe I have the depth of experience, values and dedication needed for this job.”

The election for Criminal Court Judge is August 7, 2014. Early voting begins on July 18th, 2014. 

You can reach Brody Kane at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and follow his campaign at and on facebook at /kaneforjudge and on twitter at @kaneforjudge.

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