Library remains closed as engineers check building

Structural engineers and a local contractor were scheduled to meet at the Dickson County Library and Life-long Learning Center Monday afternoon to finalize a plan to ensure the facility is safe to re-open. The library announced on its Facebook page Monday that the building will remain closed for all of this week. Mayor Bob Rial said personnel from the Brentwood office of HDR Inc., an international engineering company, and local contractor Kerry Pruett were meeting at the library Monday afternoon to assess the safety of the building. The library has remained closed since a concrete section of the exterior wall fell Nov. 20. Rial said at that time the wall failure also exposed other concerns that need to be addressed before employees and patrons are allowed back in the building. Rial said he wants the integrity of the other wall panels examined and also wants to check the support for the cover at the rear entrance for the building. That led to the closing of the library’s book return as well. At last week’s county commission work session, Rial said he hoped plans to address the building would be completed on Wednesday and work begin last week. But an email forwarded from the county’s insurance agent says Pruett and the HDR personnel were not scheduled to examine the building until Monday. In addition to the library, the building issues have closed the UT Extension-Dickson County office. The library has said late fees for all materials will be waived while the building remains closed. Built in 1973 as a directory assistance center for South Central Bell, the county purchased the building in 2002 for $1.4 million.

Weiss names Kimberly Givens as new city recorder

Dickson Mayor Don L. Weiss Jr. has officially named Kimberly Givens as the city’s new recorder. A 12-year employee of the city, Givens has been serving as the interim recorder since the Sept. 20 retirement of Dianne Shelton after 23 years with the city. Givens began working with the city’s Public Works Department in 2004 and has served as office coordinator under Andy Mathis, Rydell Wesson and now Jeff Lewis. In making the nomination at last month’s city council meeting, Weiss said Givens will remain in her position with the Public Works Department and take on the recorder duties that were handled by Shelton. The mayor said Shelton originally was hired as an administrative assistant to the city administrator and mayor and then took on the recorder duties following the retirement of Peggy Mason. Weiss said he plans to separate those duties and the city is currently seeking to fill the position of an administrative assistant for the mayor and city administrator. Weiss said Givens had been assisting Shelton for the past two years and has obtained her City Clerk and Recorder Certification from the Municipal Technical Advisory Service of the University of Tennessee. The city recorder serves as custodian of official city records and public documents, maintains the minutes and records of city council meetings, performs certifications of certain documents and oversees codification of ordinances into the municipal code. For the city of Dickson, the recorder also oversees beer permits and cemetery deeds. The city recorder is nominated by the mayor and confirmed by the city council. The council unanimously approved Givens to become the new city recorder at its Nov. 7 meeting.

Funeral Wednesday for former teacher, commissioner

Donald Corlew
Donald Corlew

A funeral service will be held Wednesday for former educator and Dickson County Commissioner Donald Corlew. Mr. Corlew died Saturday at the age of 83. Mr. Corlew was a long-time teacher in the Dickson County School System, best known for teaching math at Dickson Junior High and Dickson Middle schools. Mr. Corlew was the second African American elected to the Dickson County Commission. He ran for the commission three times and served one four-year term. Following the retirement of Tom Nesbitt, the first African American elected to the commission in 1972, Mr. Corlew ran in the 8th District in 1998 and finished third in a four-candidate race. He ran again in 2002 and topped a three-candidate field for two seats with only 25 votes separating the three candidates. During his four-year term, the commission voted to reduce its size from 24 to 12 members by electing only one representative from each district starting with the 2006 election. Mr. Corlew lost his re-election bid to Horace Perkins III. Mr. Perkins gave up that seat to run for county mayor in 2010 and Kyle Sanders has represented the 8th District since then. Visitation with the family of Mr. Corlew will be 11 am-1 pm Wednesday at Spann Funeral Home on Highway 48. A funeral service for Mr. Corlew will be at 1 pm Wednesday from the chapel of Spann Funeral Home. Burial will be in the East Dickson Cemetery. He is survived by two daughters, Rev. Vicky Primm and Evangelist Kamella Dunn; two granddaughters, Dashia Brandon and Demetria Dunn; and a brother, former Dickson City Councilman Marvin Corlew. Arrangements for Donald Corlew are under the direction of Spann Funeral Home.

DCHS heads to Summit, Harpeth games rescheduled

Dickson County’s Cougars and Lady Cougars are on the road for tough district tests tonight. Dickson County travels to Thompson’s Station to take on Summit in a District 11-AAA doubleheader at 6 pm. The Lady Cougars opened district action with a home win over Franklin Friday while the Cougars are looking for their first district and second overall win of the season. Entering their first district game, the Lady Spartans are 3-5 coming off wins over Fairview 66-28 and Glencliff 79-2. Expected to contend for the District 11-AAA title, the Spartans are 7-1 with only a one-point loss to Hillsboro in a Thanksgiving tournament. Dickson County-Summit will be live on WDKN, 101.5 The One FM, their streams and apps starting with the A-1 Signs Pregame Show at 5:45. After dropping a pair of games at Lewis County Friday, Creek Wood returns to action Thursday hosting Montgomery Central. Dickson County hosts Beech Friday and the Harpeth games that were postponed Nov. 28 due to the death of coach Kevin Tuck have been rescheduled for 2:30 pm Saturday at DCHS.

DCSO’s Zack Humphreys named Fairview police chief

Capt. Zack Humphreys
Capt. Zack Humphreys

The city of Fairview has named a Dickson County Sheriff’s Office deputy as the new chief of its embattled police department. Fairview City Manager Scott Collins announced Friday that Zack Humphreys will take over as chief of police effective Jan. 3. A 21-year veteran of the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office, Humphreys was named captain over the sheriff’s office’s Training Division in July. Humphreys replaces interim Chief Scott Smith. Collins said Smith will remain with the department until Dec. 19 and the existing department leadership will conduct business until Humphreys begins. Humphreys has worked with the sheriff’s office as a patrol deputy, narcotics agent and is a team leader of the joint Special Operations Response Team with the Dickson Police Department. In announcing Humphreys as the new chief, Collins said he anticipates a restructuring of the department and staff recruitment to begin immediately. The Fairview Police Department has been the subject of an investigation, staff suspensions and lawsuits brought by current and former officers against the city and each other. Chief Terry Harris and Assistant Chief Mark Sutton were suspended in February after Officer Ronnie Williams was arrested in a prostitution sting in Nashville after his first day on the job. A Williamson County Sheriff’s Office investigation of the department resulted in no criminal charges but did lead to three officers being suspended and eventually given notice of termination in July. The firings were blocked by a restraining order when two of those officers filed lawsuits against the city. Harris retired in June and Smith, a former chief deputy with the Hickman County Sheriff’s Office, took over as interim chief. Fairview City Manager Wayne Hall resigned in March after naming himself building and codes director and assistant city manager. A former police officer and investigator for a district attorney’s office in Alabama, Collins took over as city manager in August. Earlier this month, a former Fairview detective filed a lawsuit against the city and three other police department employees claiming false accusations were made against him and he left as a result of retaliatory harassment.

Restaurant, attorney donate $11,000 to victim’s family

Nadia Lizbeth Garcia (from Facebook)
Nadia Lizbeth Garcia (from Facebook)

After the theft of a donation jar led to an out-pouring of support, more than $11,000 was donated to the family of a local fire victim. Employees at Camino Real Mexican Restaurant in Dickson collected donations for the family of 18-year-old Nadia Lizbeth Garcia throughout last week and a local attorney pledged to match up to $5,000. A 2016 Dickson County High School graduate who was working at the restaurant to earn money for college, Garcia died in a Nov. 29 fire that destroyed her family’s apartment in the Sam’s Townhomes on Spring Street. Her father and brother were injured in the fire that displaced 50 people from 17 units. The donation drive gathered momentum on social media after it was reported that the jar containing approximately $2,000 was stolen Dec. 2. Security video from Camino Real shows a man reported to be Christopher Aaron Gooch putting the jar under his coat and walking out after allegedly trying to pay for his meal with a stolen credit card. After learning of the theft, Eric Thornton of Dickson law firm Ramsey, Thornton, Barrett pledged to match donations made at the restaurant last week up to the first $5,000. With Garcia’s family present Thursday night, Camino Real’s Maria Lopez counted $6,074.31 that had been donated since the theft and Thornton completed his pledge with a $5,000 check, to donate a total of $11,074.31 to the family. The restaurant continues to accept donations and a fund for the Garcia family was established at TriStar Bank. 36-year-old Gooch was arrested Wednesday morning after a three-county manhunt that included police chases in Dickson, Humphreys and Benton counties and an escape from a Camden hotel room. His girlfriend, 24-year-old Courtney Danielle White, was arrested following one of the pursuits and $220 of the stolen donations allegedly was found in her purse and she claimed Gooch spent the rest on methamphetamine and heroin. Gooch and White remain in the Dickson County Jail on a variety of charges including theft with an appearance in Dickson Municipal Court set for Jan. 10.

National group gives Horizon ‘A’ for patient safety

TriStar Horizon Medical Center has received a grade of A from a national patient safety watchdog group. The Leapfrog Group’s new Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades assigns grades of A, B, C, D or F to hospitals nationwide to provide the most complete picture of patient safety, according to a statement. Horizon Medical Center was one of 844 hospitals to receive an A, ranking among the safest hospitals in the U.S. “Earning an A grade for patient safety reflects the commitment TriStar Horizon has made to delivering high-quality healthcare to the families and communities we serve,” said Horizon CEO Dustin Greene. “We commend our dedicated staff and physicians for ensuring the best care possible for our patients.” Developed under the guidance of an expert panel, The Leapfrog Group uses 30 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice each year. It is calculated by top patient safety experts, peer-reviewed, fully transparent and free for public viewing, according to the announcement. “Protecting patients from harm is the most important charge for any hospital,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We recognize and appreciate A hospitals’ vigilance and continued dedication to keeping their patients safe.” To see TriStar Horizon Medical Center’s full grade and to access patient tips for staying safe in a hospital, visit hospitalsafetygrade.org. There also is a free Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade app for Apple and Android devices.

Lady Cougars hold off Franklin and crush Waverly

Dickson County’s Lady Cougars opened district action with a win and crushed rival Waverly in back-to-back nights of basketball. The Cougars fell behind Franklin early in a district loss and saw Waverly rally for an overtime win. After a quick start at home against the Lady Rebels, Dickson County slowed the game down and trailed at intermission 21-17. After the break, Emily Beard came alive with 14 points as the Lady Cougars doubled up Franklin 33-16 in the second half to take the 50-37 win. After scoring just a pair of free throws in the first half, Beard finished with 16 points while Cierra Smith had 11 and Ryann Roberts and Kailey Rosenbaum added 10 each. The girls’ junior varsity game prior to Saturday night’s doubleheader in Waverly was a preview of things to come. After the JV girls slammed Waverly 78-2, the varsity Lady Cougars coasted to a 61-14 win. Dickson County scored the first 32 points of the game and led 38-3 at halftime. With reserves seeing plenty of playing time, the mercy rule brought the 47-point game to an early end. Beard had 17, Roberts 12 and Olivia Rhinehart scored 11 off the bench. A 24-2 run before halftime gave Franklin the momentum it needed to close out a 71-56 District 11-AAA victory over the Cougars Friday. The Rebels led by 10 after the first period but Dickson County responded with a 7-0 run to open the second quarter. After a timeout, Franklin closed with the 24-2 run for a commanding 44-19 margin at intermission and held off a Cougar rally for the 15-point win. Darian Burns led Dickson County with 16 points while Jacob Murphree added 10. The Cougars and Waverly battled back and forth Saturday night before the Tigers rallied to force overtime. Dickson County went cold in the extra period and hit just one of nine shots in a 62-59 loss. After trailing by 7 at the half, Burns led Dickson County back to the lead 46-42 with 13 points in the third period. The Cougars held that 4-point edge with 2 minutes left and attempted to run off the clock but a missed shot and a turnover allowed Waverly to tie the game and a potential game-winner at the buzzer for Dickson County was waved off to force overtime. In the extra frame, Dickson County managed only a three-pointer by Trey Weidman while the Tigers connected on three jumpers for the win. Burns led the Cougars with 21 points while Weidman had 16 and Murphree scored 11. Dickson County returns to District 11-AAA action Tuesday at Summit.

Lewis Co. sweeps Creek Wood in district doubleheader

After never trailing in their first three district wins, the Creek Wood Lady Red Hawks lost the lead for the first time in the final minute of a 52-47 loss at Lewis County Friday. The Panthers used a big third-quarter push to hold off the Red Hawks 57-45 for the District 11-AA sweep. Coach Sam Jones’ Lady Red Hawks had never trailed in a 47-40 win over Stewart County and in crushing Camden 73-34 and Fairview 61-18 to open district play. In Hohenwald Friday night, Creek Wood opened with a 9-1 run and led 19-13 as Raegan Hohl scored 13 in the first period. The lead grew to 10 at intermission, 31-21, as Hohl scored another 5. Sparked by an Elayna Gass 4-point play, the Lady Red Hawks padded the margin to 11 at the end of the third, 40-29. But foul trouble began to catch up with Creek Wood as the Lady Panthers rallied in the fourth. Creek Wood was ahead by 4 with 2 minutes left and still led with a minute to go but could not hold on as Lewis County rallied for the win with a 23-7 quarter. Hohl finished with 18 and Taylor Moore had 11 for Creek Wood. Lewis County’s balanced offensive attack led to a double-digit lead after halftime and the Panthers hit their free throws down the stretch to take a 12-point decision. Creek Wood led 24-21 at halftime but five Panthers scored at least a field goal in a 20-7 third quarter that put Lewis County in the lead 41-21. Lewis County scored half of its fourth-quarter points from the foul line to take the 57-45 sweep. Coulter Dotson was the only Red Hawk in double figures with 17 points while the Panthers saw three players with 10 or more points. Creek Wood returns to Charlotte to host district rival Montgomery Central on Thursday.

Dickson ‘back to square one’ on Park and Ride site

Illustration shows proposed Park and Ride facility on Livestock Road with Highway 46 to the right.
Illustration shows proposed Park and Ride facility on Livestock Road with Highway 46 to the right.

The city of Dickson is starting completely over in its effort to establish a Park and Ride facility for the daily bus service to Nashville. On Wednesday’s Power Lunch on WDKN, Mayor Don L. Weiss Jr. said the city is “back to square one” after design requirements made the original site on Livestock Road too expensive. Weiss said the city is back in the phase of searching for a suitable piece of property for building a parking lot to accommodate about 90 vehicles and loading and unloading of two buses that run between Dickson and Nashville each weekday. In September 2015, the Dickson City Council approved the purchase of property at 110 Livestock Road from Bobby and Jackie Hogin for $275,000. The city planned to use part of a $294,000 Tennessee Department of Transportation Multimodal Access Fund grant to pay for the site and subsequently agreed to give the Hogins the entire grant to cover the cost of demolition of the existing building that formerly housed S&W Saloon Sandillys. The city’s Public Works Department planned to build the parking lot at an estimated cost of $100,000 that would be split by the city and county. But Weiss said TDOT began to put additional requirements on the site that delayed approval by the Regional Transportation Authority of Middle Tennessee and eventually drove the cost beyond what the city and county are willing to spend. Weiss said the city planned to build a paved, striped parking area with lighting. But TDOT wanted to include curbing and other extras including a retention pond to address runoff issues. Weiss said the extras made the project too expensive so the city abandoned the site and has resumed its search for a new location. In January 2015, RTA began operating 88X Dickson Express with two 54-passenger buses leaving Dickson each morning and returning in the evenings with a destination of Music City Central in downtown Nashville. The buses began operating out of the parking lot of Walmart and the store agreed to allow them to continue on a temporary basis while the city searched for a permanent Park and Ride location. In its first year of operation, 88X Dickson Express saw an average of 78 passenger trips per day, or just under 20 riders per bus trip. The buses depart Dickson at 5:55 and 6:30 am with return arrivals at 5:05 and 5:50 pm. In September 2015, RTA raised the fare to $4.25 per trip with a 20-ride Express Bus Card for $73.50. The buses are equipped with televisions, WIFI and bathrooms. The city and county will enter the final year of the initial three-year contract with RTA in January. While the contract to purchase the Livestock Road site was never completed, the Hogins chose to go ahead with demolition of the building and there has been a “For Sale” sign on the site.