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MJ man brings soccer back to Music City with Nashville FC
Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Kenny Howell

Managing Editor

Just a few years ago, Mt. Juliet’s Chris Jones sent out a tweet asking would anybody be interested in starting a soccer club in Nashville. 

Jones got the idea from a YouTube video, which showed Manchester United fans pulling their money together and starting their own team. They were tired of the high ticket prices from the prestigious English Premier League team. 

Nashville had the Metros for many years, but they ceased operations a few years back. Jones had dreams of getting soccer back to the Music City, and hopefully growing it into what one day might become a Major League Soccer team. 

The problem is where do you start. How do you know how to start a soccer club?

“You don’t” joked Jones. 

After the tweet was sent out, several people responded that they were interested too. After a few meetings, the group hammered out what they wanted to do, bought up a website domain, started selling yearly memberships to Nashville FC,  and within a week, memberships started rolling in. 

“I said to myself, this is crazy,” said Jones. 

Jones said people didn’t know anything about him, but they were willing to hand over their money to help fund and run the organization. The passion and want for a soccer club in Nashville was there. 

“It just snowballed from there,” said Jones. 

By the end of the first year, Nashville FC had over 800 members. They played their games their first year in Vanderbilt University’s soccer complex, but they have taken a big step into their second year. They will now be playing their games at Vanderbilt University’s football stadium. 

Nashville FC is a member of the NPSL, which is the fourth tier of United States soccer with MLS at the top, followed by NASL and USL. Another league, the PDL, is also considered fourth tier. 

Nashville FC plays in the Southeast Conference of the NPSL. They battle against the New Orleans Jesters, Knoxville Force, Georgia Revolution, Chattanooga FC, and the Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves. Nashville FC will play a 14-game season starting May 9. 

The team is made up of players from all over the world. Most have a tie to Nashville in some way, whether they played their college ball here in middle Tennessee, or some are still playing. 

Jones big hope is to one day bring MLS to the Music City, but he thinks a reasonable goal at this time would be take Nashville FC to the USL. There are several different things a FC has to do to reach that level, one of them being finding a person who has a $20 million net worth that owns 35 percent of the team. 

Jones is still very much ingrained in Wilson County, as he brings the Nashville FC Youth Camps to Wilson County. They are held at the Wilson United fields in Lebanon. 

If you want to become a member of Nashville FC, there are a few options to choose from. If you are a Tennessee resident, you can pay either $75 or $150. At $75, you get season tickets, a vote in major club decisions, car decal and lapel pin. At $150, you get those things, plus a jersey, a book and more. To find out more information, check out 

Murphy named Road Superintendent
Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Steve Murphy has been named the new Road Superintendent for Wilson County. 

Murphy has worked for the road commission for 24 years. He replaces Steve Armistead, who passed away in January. Steve Lynch had filled in as interim during that time, but did not apply for the permanent position. 

 “We believe Mr. Murphy will be a great fit as the county road superintendent,” Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said.  “His loyalty as a longtime employee gives him a great understanding of the department and an advantage as we move forward.”

Ten people applied for the position, and six were certified by the State of Tennessee. The six were interviewed by Wilson County Road Commissioners, and Murphy was selected for the job. 

Martin urges citizens to take part in census
Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Mt. Juliet City Manager Kenny Martin is encouraging citizens to take part in the special census that is currently underway. 

The census helps determine funding for the community, as well as representation in local, state and federal government and planning decisions. 

MJ woman convicted of TennCare fraud
Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Mt. Juliet woman was found guilty of TennCare fraud and theft of services last week. 

Wanda June Williams, 53, Mt. Juliet was arrested in September of 2013 accusing her of falsifying her resources in order to appear eligile for the state’s healthcare insurance program. Williams received $22,644 worth of benefits that she was not entitled. TennCare fraud is a Class E felony and carries a sentence up to two years in prison. Theft of services over  $10,000 is a Class C felony that carries a penalty of six years in prison and restitution may be required. Williams will be sentenced in July. 

MJ’s Payne, 63, riding cross country on bike
Tuesday, April 7, 2015

James Nitz

Intern Writer

From quiet country roads and dry deserts, to snow-capped mountains, a Mt. Juliet local is gearing up to bike across America.

“It’s an opportunity to do something that seemed exciting.”

Since 2004, Mike Payne has been using biking as a form of exercise. “I was old and out of shape,” Payne said.  He enjoys knowing that his body is responsible for the bike’s movement, and biking has also allowed him to meet and exercise with many new people, some becoming great friends.

Payne, who will turn 64 during the journey, is not an amateur rider though.  He has completed several tours and rides across Tennessee and Colorado.

His trip will begin June 19 in Astoria, Ore. and end on Monday, August 8 in Portsmouth NH.  Payne will average around 80 miles per day over the course of the 50-day trek, with five rest days spaced throughout the journey.  During these rests, Payne will sleep at hotels along the way, relax and gather energy for another leg of the tour.

 “I may even visit the hotel pool,” Payne said with a laugh.

The trek will lead Payne through some of America’s, and parts of Canada’s, most well-known sites including Mt. Hood, Niagara Falls and Mt. Rushmore.  Seeing the country from the cushioned seat of a bicycle is one of the primary reasons Payne began training.

With support from his wife, Debra, and his children, Payne has been training since October to prepare for the rigorous trip.  His training is being led by professional biker and owner of Endeavor Performance, Todd Nordmeyer.  Payne’s daily routines consist of working out, Pilates and of course, riding.  Recently, Payne has been riding up to 30 miles a day.

Come June, Payne will be ready to ride from sea to shining sea, one pump of the pedals at a time.

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