Lewis moves to 7th on VCU’s steals list in 85-51 win

JeQuan Lewis (1) leads the VCU offense against Howard. (photo courtesy VCU)
JeQuan Lewis (1) leads the VCU offense against Howard. (photo courtesy VCU)

Former Cougar JeQuan Lewis moved to seventh on the all-time steals list as he led VCU to an 85-51 romp over Howard Tuesday night in Richmond. While Lewis led the Rams with 17 points in only 15 minutes of action, his six steals moved him past Eric Maynor into seventh place with 172 in his career. Howard had no answer for VCU’s quickness as the Rams used a 14-0 run early in the game to build a double-digit lead. VCU’s 48-22 lead at intermission accounted for the most points scored in the first half this season. Lewis hit 4 of 7 from the floor, including 3 of 5 three-pointers, and 6 of 7 free throws. In addition to his 6 steals, Lewis had 5 assists to go over 400 for his career. The 10-3 Rams travel to Fairfax, Va., Friday to open Atlantic10 Conference action against George Mason at 7 pm on the CBS Sports Network. The Vanderbilt Commodores, with junior Rachel Bell from Creek Wood and freshman LeaLea Carter from Dickson County, play their final non-conference game today when they travel to Memphis for a 4 pm contest on ESPNU. Bell leads Vanderbilt with 12.8 points per game while Carter got her first collegiate start in last week’s loss to Louisville. Vandy is 4-1 on the road this season and has won 8 straight over the Tigers. Vandy opens SEC action at Texas A&M Monday.

Sheriff’s office increasing patrols for New Year weekend

Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe
Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe

The Dickson County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office to enhance drunk-driving enforcement through the holiday season. The statewide “Booze It and Lose It” campaign is part of a national mobilization to prevent drunk driving. The Dickson County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting DUI saturation patrols over the New Year’s holiday weekend in an effort to decrease the number of impaired drivers on the roadways and help ensure everyone arrives safely to their destination in the New Year. “We have strict laws with extra enforcement efforts related to DUI, yet many people still make a selfish choice to drive impaired,” said Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe. “The Dickson County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with the THSO, will be working extra patrols this holiday season to prevent and detect DUI drivers. If you choose to ignore the law and drive under the influence, know we will be working to provide you with a sober ride, though the destination will not be home or another place of celebration, it will be the Dickson County Jail. Help us keep Dickson County safe and make a choice to join us and drive responsibly.” Increased state and local messaging about the dangers of drunk driving, coupled with sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols, aim to drastically reduce alcohol-impaired driving. “This time last year, there were 223 lives lost to impaired-driving crashes across Tennessee,” said THSO Director Vic Donoho. “Our partnership with local law enforcement is vital to combat drunk driving this holiday season.” A single DUI conviction can cost an individual $5,000 or more, in addition to jail time. An offender also could be required to attend drug and alcohol treatment, a victim impact panel or install an ignition interlock device inside his or her vehicle. “Any penalty imposed by law pales in comparison to the injury or death of a loved one,” Bledsoe said. The THSO provides grant funding to support the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office’s efforts during the “Booze It and Lose It” holiday enforcement campaign. For more information about the THSO, visit tntrafficsafety.org.

Mayor to address state of county at chamber lunch

Mayor Bob Rial
Mayor Bob Rial

Dickson County Mayor Bob Rial will start the new year with a state of the county update at the January luncheon for the Dickson County Chamber of Commerce. The luncheon for chamber members is $13 and will be at noon Monday, Jan. 9, at GreyStone Golf Club at 2555 Highway 70 East. On a recent Power Lunch program, Rial said the first priority of the new year for the Dickson County Commission will be a proposal for a new school. Rial has already outlined to the county commission and school board how the county’s improved financial status has put it in a position to borrow up to $40 million for school capital projects in 2017 without needing a property tax increase to pay for the additional debt. The Dickson County School Board is expected to make its pitch for a middle/high school in the Burns area early next year with hope to begin construction this spring and open in August 2019. In preliminary discussions between the commission and school officials, Rial has said he also wants to know how the school board plans to come up with the money to operate the new school. Estimates have ranged as high as $4 million in annual operating costs. Rial has said it would take a 44-cent property tax increase to create that additional revenue while school officials have said not all of that money will necessarily come from new revenues and some could come from savings in other parts of the school system. The mayor also has said the county is in a position to borrow up to $30 million in 2017 for other county capital projects, which could include a new criminal justice center to alleviate overcrowding in the Dickson County Courthouse Annex and improve security by putting all of the county’s courts and supporting offices in one location. The commission already has approved the purchase of 2.2 acres on Highway 49 next to the Courthouse Square for the new center and Rial has said he expects to issue a request for qualifications soon to begin design work. The commission also has approved the purchase of property on West Iron Hill Road on which it plans to build a new station for the Dickson County Emergency Medical Service and a volunteer fire department. The county plans to use surplus funds for that project without having to borrow money. The capital plan also could include funds for work at the Dickson County Public Library, which re-opened last week after a section of exterior wall fell on Nov. 20. The mayor has said a new library building and county government satellite office in Dickson could be part of a future capital project. The deadline for chamber members to RSVP for the luncheon is Tuesday, Jan. 3. Reservations can be made by calling the chamber at 615-446-2349.

Higher landfill tipping fees will take effect Feb. 1

With final approval from the Dickson County Commission, the new tipping fee schedule at the Dickson County Landfill will go into effect Feb. 1. Without discussion Monday night, the county commission approved proposed increases in the fees for waste that crosses the scales at the landfill on Eno Road. Solid Waste Department Superintendent Jim Lunn said the tipping fee increases are needed due to increased costs in a new contract to have the county’s garbage hauled to Benton County for disposal. Following the commission’s vote Monday, Lunn said notices of the new fees will be included in bills sent out in January and will take effect Feb. 1. Lunn emphasized that the fee increases only affect tipping fees for waste brought to the landfill and will not impact the county’s $10 monthly sanitation fee. At the work session earlier this month, Lunn said the additional cost will be passed on to the mainly commercial and industrial users bringing waste to the transfer station so the sanitation fee charged to residents will not be increased. “Part of the importance in raising this fee is that we don’t have to revisit our sanitation fee. We can leave it alone by hitting our commercial and industrial and making up some of this cost increase,” Lunn said. The commission approved a new 10-year contract with Waste Management Inc. to haul the county’s trash from the transfer station at the landfill on Eno Road to the West Camden Landfill in Benton County. Waste Management’s fee for hauling class I household waste increased from $27.48 per ton to $31.66. The commission approved increasing the tipping fee from $36.85 to $42.87 per ton. The new schedule also increases the fee for construction and demolition debris from $25 to $32 per ton. Tipping fees generate just over $1 million in annual revenue while the $10 monthly fee generates about $2.3 million. The total operating expenses for the Solid Waste Management Department in the 2016-17 budget are $3.6 million. The county instituted the $10 fee in 2011 to make the department an enterprise fund that generates revenue to cover its expenses without any money from property taxes.

Dickson Co. unemployment drops to 4% in November

As seasonal employment picks up heading into the holidays, Dickson County’s unemployment rate dropped in November. According to statistics released Thursday by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, there were 1,020 Dickson County residents receiving unemployment benefits in November for a rate of 4 percent of the workforce. That is a decrease from 4.4 percent in October and almost a full point less than the 4.9 percent rate in November 2015. Dickson County was one of 81 counties that saw unemployment decrease last month, while 10 counties reported an increase and four were unchanged. Williamson County continues to have the state’s lowest rate at 3.4 percent while Lake County is the highest at 8.3 percent. Overall, Tennessee’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.8 percent while the rate for the U.S. dropped from 4.9 to 4.6 percent in November. Dickson County’s rate of 4 percent is the lowest since hitting a 15-year low of 3.6 percent in May.

Dotson passes 1,000 points in CWHS win over Waverly

With an 8-point burst in the second quarter of Thursday night’s 69-61 win over Waverly, Creek Wood’s Coulter Dotson passed the 1,000-point mark in his Red Hawk career. Dotson finished with 19 points and the Red Hawks hit crucial free throws in the fourth period to hold off a Waverly rally for the District 11-AA win. Creek Wood was dialed in from long range in Charlotte as the Red Hawks hit four three-pointers in the first period to build a 21-11 lead. The margin stretched to 16 points by intermission as Dotson scored his 1,000th point in the second. Waverly began to fight back in the second half and got the margin down to single digits by the start of the fourth. But Micah Westerman hit 5 free throws and Dallas Hall added 3 from the stripe as Creek Wood held on for the 8-point win. The Red Hawks sank 13 treys on the night. Dotson had three in his 19 points while Hall drained four in his 18. Westerman had two in his 11 while Devon Higgins and Aaron Daniel both had a pair of treys. The Lady Red Hawks also sank 13 treys as they crushed Waverly 71-24. Sam Kilian scored 15 points in the first half as Creek Wood took control 36-8. A 24-9 third period put the mercy rule in effect for the fourth as reserves finished off the 47-point win. Kilian finished with 17 while Taylor Moore added 17 all in the third period. Raegan Hohl finished with 12. After hitting 11 treys in the junior varsity win, Emily Michael canned a trio of threes for 9 points for the varsity. Following the Christmas break, the Lady Red Hawks head to a Christmas Classic in Summertown to face the host Lady Eagles at 5:30 Thursday and Community High School at 6:30 Friday. Dickson County will play in the Above the Rim Invitational at Hickman County starting Wednesday.

After 18-point night, Carter gets first start for Vandy

LeaLea Carter (30) gets off a shot against Louisville. (photo courtesy Vanderbilt)
LeaLea Carter (30) gets off a shot against Louisville. (photo courtesy Vanderbilt)
Rachel Bell (3) splits a double team for two of her game-high 21 points against Louisville. (photo courtesy Vanderbilt)
Rachel Bell (3) splits a double team for two of her game-high 21 points against Louisville. (photo courtesy Vanderbilt)

Following her 18-point, break-out performance Sunday night, Dickson County High School graduate LeaLea Carter got her first collegiate start in Vanderbilt’s Wednesday game against 8th-ranked Louisville. Carter finished with 10 points and 8 rebounds in a 78-66 loss to the Cardinals at Memorial Gym. Former Creek Wood Lady Red Hawk Rachel Bell led Vandy with 21 points as the Commodores saw their nine-game winning streak snapped. In Sunday’s 89-57 win over Tennessee Tech, Vanderbilt saw senior starting forward Marqu’es Webb carried off the court on a stretcher following a collision. The Commodores responded with career highs in points from Carter, Christa Reed and Erin Whalen. Vandy’s leading scorer, Bell was held to a season-low 3 points. Carter hit 8 of 12 shots and both free throws for her 18 points to go with 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Whalen finished with 23 and Reed led the way with 25, both career highs. While Webb returned for limited action against Louisville, Vandy coach Stephanie White gave freshman Carter her first career start. The McDonald’s All-American responded with 10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists in 32 minutes of action. Bell rebounded from her 3-point night against Tech by hitting 6 of 13 from the floor, 2 of 4 three-pointers and 7 of 8 free throws for a team-high 21 points. She added 4 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal. Louisville used its size advantage to control inside scoring. Vandy’s roster has no players taller than 6’1” while the Cardinals have six players 6’2” or taller. Louisville dominated points in the paint 48-26. After the Christmas break, Vanderbilt will close 2016 with a Wednesday trip to Memphis for a 4 pm game on ESPNU. The Commodores open their 16-game SEC schedule Jan. 2 at Texas A&M and host Tennessee Jan. 5.

Paschall’s Red Wolves get bowl win, Bell’s Terps play Monday

Luke Paschall
Luke Paschall
Walt Bell
Walt Bell

One former Dickson County Cougar already notched a bowl game win while a second goes for a win Monday. Luke Paschall’s special teams and receivers played a major role in Arkansas State’s 31-13 win over Central Florida in the AutoNation Cure Bowl in Orlando Saturday. DCHS graduate Paschall is in his third season as special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach for the Red Wolves. In a sloppy game that saw the teams combine for more penalties (26) than first downs (25) and a total of 41 yards rushing, the fewest ever in an FBS bowl game, Arkansas State’s special teams scored two touchdowns and wide receiver Kendall Sanders caught three scoring passes. The Red Wolves blocked a punt for a touchdown and recovered a fumbled kickoff for a score. Playing in its sixth consecutive bowl game, Arkansas State got its first win under third-year coach Blake Anderson, who brought Paschall and DCHS graduate Walt Bell with him from North Carolina. After starting the season 0-4, the Red Wolves won 8 of their last 9 games and claimed their fifth Sun Belt Conference title in the last six years. After two season as offensive coordinator at Arkansas State, Bell left for the same position at Maryland and the Terrapins rebounded from 3-9 to go 6-6 under first-year coach D.J. Durkin and with Bell calling plays. Maryland will face Boston College at 1:30 pm Monday in the Quick Lane Bowl at Ford Field in Detroit on ESPN. Both Maryland and Boston College missed out on bowl games last season and needed wins in their final games to become bowl eligible. The Terrapins are seeking their first bowl win since 2010 while the Eagles haven’t won a bowl game since 2007. Playing in two conferences represented in the College Football Playoffs, Maryland and Boston College both struggled against some of the nation’s best teams. Bell’s Terrapins lost by a combined 121-6 in back-to-back games against Michigan and Ohio State and lost to Big 10 champs Penn State 38-14. All six of Maryland’s losses came to teams playing in bowl games. Boston College was outscored 202-24 by the top four teams in the ACC: Clemson, Florida State, Louisville and Virginia Tech. Five of Boston College’s six losses came against bowl teams. Raised together in the home of Mary and the late Dr. Butch Bell, Paschall and Bell are 2002 DCHS graduates and played at Middle Tennessee State University where Anderson was an assistant coach.

White Bluff man, son killed in Texas wreck Tuesday

A one-vehicle wreck in Texas has claimed the lives of a Dickson County man and his son. The Texas Department of Public Safety reports 42-year-old Mark Anthony Glasgow and 17-year-old Christian Glasgow of White Bluff died Tuesday in a wreck on Interstate 30 just north of Omaha in Morris County in northeastern Texas. According to the report, a 2002 Buick LeSabre driven by Mark Glasgow was westbound in the right lane of the interstate when it veered left into the median, overturned and struck a tree around 4:30 pm Tuesday. Glasgow and his son were pronounced dead on the scene by Justice of the Peace Jennifer Easley, according to the report. The Texas Department of Public Safety says the investigation into the wreck is ongoing and no other information is available. No funeral arrangements have been announced. A GoFundMe page has been created to accept donations to help the family with funeral expenses.

Council OKs Jones site purchase contingent on cleanup cost

The city of Dickson will proceed with the purchase of the former Chevrolet dealership site in downtown at a reduced price as long as the cost of addressing environmental issues is not too high. At a special meeting Monday night, the Dickson City Council approved a contract to purchase the former Alvin Jones Chevy property for $585,000 contingent on the findings of a state program designed to help buyers deal with unexpected environmental issues. In January, the council voted to purchase the 1.65-acre site at the corner of Church and East College streets for $625,000. But negotiations to close the deal hit a bump when it was discovered there will have to be some remediation to address issues on the property, including underground gasoline storage tanks. At Monday night’s meeting, City Administrator Rydell Wesson said the city hopes to enroll the property in the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Brownfields Program, which assists buyers in the development or reuse of property that might be complicated by the presence or potential presence of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants. City attorney Jerry Smith said the contract presented to the council allows the city to have inspectors go on the property to determine what needs to be done about the potential issues. TDEC and a consultant will present a plan of action for what has to be done to reduce the city’s liability for any future development of the site. Wesson said if the plan proves to be too costly, the city will not move forward with closing on the purchase. Mayor Don L. Weiss Jr. said he believes the purchase and cost of remediation still will be under the $625,000 purchase price originally approved by the council in January. Wesson said the contract says the sale will close within 60 days. The Brownfields program will determine what the city needs to do to remediate the property for its initial plan to use the site as a parking lot as well as if any additional action is needed for future development. When the purchase was first proposed, Weiss said there are no definite plans for what to do with the property, but said it initially could be used to provide additional parking for downtown and the city would have it for any future needs. In January, Weiss said potential uses could include expansion of the Dickson Fire Department, additional city hall space or even a small convention center. The council unanimously approved the new contract with the three Jones heirs and Wesson said the city is ready to start the environmental assessment. Those findings will be brought back to the council before any action is taken. The money for purchasing the property is part of $3 million loan the city got for road projects and other purchases. The corner lot had been the site of a car dealership since Reeder Chevrolet opened in 1930 until the Jones family sold the dealership to the Alexander Group, which moved it to Highway 46.