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Jury finds Lowe guilty on all counts in Hendersonville murder trial

By JOSH NELSON
The Gallatin News

A jury found Lindsey Lowe guilty of all counts against her Tuesday afternoon for the deaths of her newborn twins.

She gave birth to the two boys in a toilet in her parents' home in September 2011. She told police she covered their mouths and later cleaned up the bathroom and her own body after hiding them in a laundry basket in her bedroom.

Lowe was charged with two counts of felony first-degree murder, two counts of premeditated murder, and two counts of aggravated assault.

The jury deliberated for just over two hours before reaching their decision.

Sumner County Criminal Court Judge Dee David Gay said state law required him to sentence her to two life sentences for the murder charges, and a sentencing hearing was set for April 26 to determine whether the two life sentences will be served consecutively or concurrently and to determine the length of the sentence for the aggravated assault charges, as well as whether they would be added to the end of the life sentences or served at the same time as the life sentences.

Lowe would be eligible for parole after 51 years for one life sentence, at which point she would be 77-years-old.

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Registered sex offender arrested for violating restrictions

By JOSH NELSON
The Gallatin News

A Gallatin man was arrested last Tuesday, March 13, on a charge of violating the restrictions put on him by being classified as a sex offender.

Paul Goins, 38, of 280 Browns Place, was held in the Sumner County Jail on $10,000 bond.

According to an affidavit filed in Sumner County General Sessions Court, Gallatin Police officer James McFadden conducted an investigation that began at the Senior Citizens' Center in Gallatin from the day before at around 9 a.m.

(Goins) is currently registered with the TBI (Tennessee Bureau of Investigations) as a violent sex offender, McFadden wrote in the affidavit. The defendant gave a written statement to the staff there stating that he was in their parking lot standing outside his vehicle and sitting in his vehicle during the reported suspicious incident.

The defendant advised that he never purchased anything from the business and that he only used the restroom and got a drink of water, the affidavit reads. The defendant told (me) where in the parking lot he was parked.

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Chili cook-off raises money for Sumner Food Bank

By CODI KIRK
The Gallatin News

Gallatin residents and area public officials joined with residents of Morningside of Gallatin, Senior Living facility, last Friday, March 15, in the second annual Chili Cook-off to raise proceeds for the Sumner County Food Bank.

Food Bank Executive Director, James Gill, and his wife, Barbara, were on hand to sample the tasty variety of chili and join in the festivities.

Other recognizable faces in the crowd were Gallatin Mayor, Jo Ann Graves seen sampling chili at a table with Sumner County Sheriff, Sonny Weatherford, and Registrar of Deeds, Pam Whitaker.

District 44 State Rep., William Lamberth, Sumner County Commissioner, Paige Brown, and Gallatin Police Chief, Don Bandy, were all caught red-handed with chili samples in hand.

District 18 State Senator Ferrell Haile was also in line.

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Lowe trial set for closing arguments today

By JOSH NELSON
The Gallatin News

Closing arguments are expected to take place today in the trial Lindsey Lowe, the woman who is accused of smothering her newborn twins to death after giving birth to them in a toilet in her home in September 2011.

Lowe's attorneys wrapped up her defense case late Monday afternoon after calling to the stand her father and her younger sister in the morning, and Lowe herself briefly took the stand to explain why she was not going to testify in her own trial.

I just don't feel like I can emotionally handle it, she said.

During her father's testimony, Mark Lowe said Lowe and her fianc, Jonathan Brooks, were engaged in a dysfunctional relationship, and he said he had no idea about her relationship with Jeremy Smith, the father of the twins.

He also said that neither he nor no one he knew were aware that she was pregnant, saying he was in shock when he learned of the news, which happened after his wife found one of the two babies in a laundry basket in Lowes bedroom.

Her sister, Lacey, repeated that assertion during her testimony.

I never suspected or heard any talk of pregnancy, she said. I didn't know anything was wrong.

Lacey Lowe said Lindsey said she was sick the night she gave birth and that Lindsey asked Lacey to bring her a glass of water the next morning, later adding that she stopped on her way home from work to get Lindsey some Jell-O and crackers because she believed Lindsey truly had a stomach virus.

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Prosecution rests in Lowe murder trial

By JOSH NELSON
The Gallatin News

Prosecutors rested their case against accused double-murderer Lindsay Lowe just before lunch Thursday, but not before an eventful morning of testimony.

Lowe is accused of smothering her newborn twins to death just after giving birth to them in a toilet in her parents' home on Park Circle in Hendersonville in September 2011.

The morning included another emotional outburst from Lowe, which prompted a stern response from Sumner County Criminal Court Judge Dee David Gay, who told Lowe she was acting like a child.

Gay threatened to have Lowe excluded from further proceedings if she could not keep her emotions under control, adding that the jury's job is tough enough.

Lowe's outburst came after testimony from the father of the twins, Jeremy Smith, with whom Lowe had an affair while she was engaged to another man.

Smith testified that he did not know Lowe was pregnant, let alone know that they were his children, adding that he was in shock when he learned of the news.

Let's say they were still alive, I would have greatly, gladly taken care of them, Smith.

It was a claim that defense attorney John Pellegrin disputed, which led to a contentious exchange between Smith and Pellegrin.

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Obituaries for 3/13/13

Joseph Stevens Burnett, Jr.

Mr. Burnett, 45, of Gallatin, passed into the arms of the Lord Sunday, March 3, 2013.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Floyd and Della Burnett and Theodore Sr. and Rose Green and his parents, Joseph S. Burnett Sr. and Mary A. Burnett.

He is survived by his wife, Holly Burnett; children, Joseph Burnett III, Bailey Burnett, Connor Burnett; granddaughter, Izabell Burnett; sisters, Tina Walker (Ricky), Alisa (Gene) Matteson; nephew, Eric Walker; niece, Dawn (Darren) Jackson; brothers in spirit, Ted Green and Danny Huddleston and many, many other family and friends.

A special thanks to High Point Hospice for their compassionate services in our home and Music City Mortuary for their kind handling of Little Joe's remains.

Service for his cremains will be planned at a later date.

Cloe Elizabeth Smith

Mrs. Smith, 80 of Gallatin, passed away Thursday, March 7, 2013.

Funeral service was Monday, March 11 at the chapel of Family Heritage Funeral Home with Brother Forrest Creekmore officiating. Interment followed in Crestview Memorial Park with family and friends serving as pallbearers.

Mrs. Smith was born Aug. 20, 1932 in Jackson County, daughter of the late Herod and Nervia Lou Crowder VanHooser. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Rev. James H. Smith, Sr. and grandson, Shane Smith.

She is survived by sons, James Smith, Jr. (Wanda) of Gallatin and Tim Smith (Shelia) of Castalian Springs; brother, Chellis VanHooser of Gallatin; sister, Anna Sue Dixon of Westmoreland; grandchildren, Chris Gregory, Tim Smith II, Angela Beasley, Bethany Pettit, Justin Smith and Jeremy Smith and eleven great grandchildren.

Online condolences may be submitted at familyheritagefh.com.

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Attorneys make opening statements in Hendersonville murder trial

By JOSH NELSON
The Gallatin News

In the first day of testimony yesterday in the trial of accused double-murderer Lindsey Lowe, the jury saw graphic pictures of evidence of the alleged crime and heard testimony from those who responded to the scene.

Lowe is charged with smothering her new-born twins to death shortly after giving to birth to them in the toilet of the bathroom in her parents home on Park Circle in Hendersonville, where she still lives.

Lowe, who remains free on bond, has pleaded not guilty to the charges from the incident, which took place in September 2011. Prosecutors say they have a confession from the then-25-year-old, but defense attorneys have hinted that they believe the confession was coaxed by the Hendersonville Police Department.

Police were notified of the situation when Lowe's father called Hendersonville police after his wife found one of the babies in a laundry basket next to Lindsey's bed. Police say they were notified of the second baby after Lindsey told a detective in an interview that there was a second baby also in the laundry basket.

Prosecutors argued in their opening statement Tuesday morning the murders were premeditated because there were no signs of taking care of babies found in the home.

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All for One 5K honors fallen officers

By CODI KIRK
The Gallatin News

The All for One 5K Fun Run/Walk that promotes support for the families of law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty will be held Saturday, March 16, at the Gallatin Civic Center on Albert Gallatin Avenue.

Registration begins at 7 a.m. with a start time for the race at 8.

Every year, hundreds of law enforcement officers across the nation give the ultimate sacrifice while ensuring that our families and loved ones are kept safe. This fun run/walk is an opportunity to say thank you to those fallen heroes and the families theyve left behind.

The Gallatin Police Department, Gallatin Fire Department, and Sumner County Emergency Services will be at the event providing safety tips and giving the community an opportunity to see the vehicles and other gear used on a daily basis.

Participants can register the morning of the run or on-line at Active.com or Ks.events@comcast.net. Entry fee is $25.

The course begins near the Gallatin Civic Center and is a 3.1 mile scenic run through Gallatin.

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Nine-year-old spends evening to remember with Mayor

By CODI KIRK
The Gallatin News

Nine-year-old Gallatin resident, Ellie McNier spent an evening to remember with Mayor Jo Ann Graves last month at the Feb. 19 Mayors Night In that could possibly change the course of her life.

McNiers grandmother, Nancy Cannon, takes an active interest in her schooling and had planned the visit to the Mayors office as a surprise.

"I thought it was important for her to find out about her local government, explained Cannon.

For McNier, the surprises kept coming. On their way to city hall Cannon made a reference to how she ran the town. McNier reacted in astonishment that the Mayor could possibly be a woman.

That was really important for her to see a woman doing a job in government, Cannon said.

Graves shared plans for the second phase of the Greenway and wetlands at Triple Creek Park which is one of McNiers favorite places to visit. The family plans to build a new home in the area that backs up to the park, giving them some common ground for discussion.

"At first I felt shy but she did the talking until I kind of felt comfortable to talk," shared McNier.

Graves gave an overall depiction of the city and local transit, providing yet more surprises.

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Council grants temporary pay bump for Asst. Codes Director

By JOSH NELSON
The Gallatin News

Gallatin City Council is trying to determine whether or not a city employee who fills in for a department head should be given the same pay as the department head during the time in which they are filling-in.

The issue arose because Tony Allers, the city's Director of Planning and Codes, has been unable to work due to an ankle surgery he went through in January. In his absence, Assistant Codes and Planning Director Katherine Schoch has taken on Allers' responsibilities, and Chief Inspector Addam McCormick has taken on a major role in the Codes Department.

I wonder if this sets a precedent, At-large City Councilwoman Julie Brackenbury said.

We've done this in the past for a lot of our employees, Mayor Jo Ann Graves said. We have researched all the employees that we have done this for.

Graves said there were 11 employees who were given pay bumps for similar situations since 2005.

Vice-mayor John D. Alexander questioned whether or not the pay increase should be a percentage of salary rather than a total pay increase, saying the temporary pay increase is different for each department.

I'm really concerned about that, he said, asking for a study on the issue.

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20 years and still kicking

By TIERNEY CAMPBELL
The Gallatin News

Local Martial Arts studio celebrates 20th Anniversary March 16.

Ernie Reyes World Martial Arts in Gallatin is celebrating its 20th Anniversary on Saturday, March 16 and owners David and Sandra Hughes are excited and proud to have such great support from their students and their community.

As you know there are a lot of businesses that dont last quite that long. Its an accomplishment, not just for myself, but for the impact we have made on the community. And when I say we, I mean our entire team, David said.

The 20th Anniversary Celebration will be an all-day event, beginning with an open house and ending with a Black Belt Reunion, Graduation and Show. David said the open house will be at their studio from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We are going to have some introductory classes and have an opportunity for the general public to come in and watch and see what we are doing, and even participate, he noted. If there are students that wish to join, the studio will also be offering a special for enrollment.

After the Open House, Ernie Reyes World Martial Arts will move the remaining festivities to Shafer Middle School. They will be teaching a special Anniversary Martial Arts Class from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

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Council to consider tech updates following federal lawsuit

By JOSH NELSON
The Gallatin News

Gallatin City Council was scheduled to take up an ordinance Tuesday night that would appropriate no more than $50,000 to the Information Technology Department to purchase hardware and software to archive all emails as required by state law.

The money would have to come out of the city's Rainy Day Fund, since the city's budget is already spent.

At last Tuesday's city council work session, City Attorney Joe Thompson said the city learned of the need due to a federal lawsuit.

Thompson said the attorney for the person filing the suit had tried to get emails from the city, but that the city no longer possessed them.

When you become involved in a federal lawsuit, you immediately become subject to the court order that requires you to hold and preserve all electronic data, Thompson told the council. And in the process with complying with that request, we discovered some fairly significant deficiencies in the limited 13-18-month archival hardware we had in place.

The city is required to archive all electronic correspondence for five years unless it is classified as spam and all correspondence regarding contracts with contractors for seven years, according to state law.

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Ad hoc committee requests 13 new SROs

By CODI KIRK
The Gallatin News

The Sumner County School Security Ad Hoc committee voted unanimously to move forward with a request for approval of 13 School Resource Officers in their first meeting on Feb. 28 held at the new Emergency Resource building in Gallatin.

In attendance were White House Police Chief, Patrick Brady; Hendersonville Police Chief, Mickey Miller; Hendersonville Special Operations Officer, Greg Freudenthal; Gallatin Police Chief, Don Bandy; Sumner County Sheriffs Office Lt., Danny Hurst; SC Commissioner Dist. 12 and SRO at Gallatin High School, Michael Guthrie; Portland Police Chief, Richard Smith; SC Sheriff, Sonny Weatherford; SC Commissioner Dist. 6, Jim Vaughn; SC Commissioner Dist. 4 and SC Sheriffs Office, Joe Matthews; Director of Emergency Medical Services, Keith Douglas; Director of Emergency Management Agency, Ken Weidner; and Mayor of Westmoreland and interim Police Chief, Michael Carter.

Commissioner Matthews opened the meeting with an invocation.

We pray, Lord, that you will bless us, guide us and direct us in our thoughts and what we should do. Just continue to bless this county and watch over our children, he prayed.

Board Chairman, Vaughn, gave a brief history of how the committee was formed and explained that the county is only the funding source with the school board actually in the drivers seat on decisions, ground work and the assessment currently in process. SROs would fall under the authority of the county Sheriffs office.

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Shalom Zone Partnership Meeting to be held March 8

Gallatin Shalom Zone is holding its Full Partnership Meeting on Friday, March 8, for Early Connection Networks.

The meeting will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., lunch will be served and the partners will discuss county ECN teams and select Coordinating Council Nominees.

Early Connections Network is a partnership of families, professionals, community organizations, governmental agencies and natural supports to create a network of effective, community-based services for children from birth to five years of age and their families.

Through promotion, prevention and intervention, ECN aims to improve the social and emotional well-being of young children and families in Sumner, Cheatham, Dickson, Montgomery, Robertson Counties and Fort Campbell.

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Election held for Sumner Soil Conservation District Board of Supervisors

Sumner County Soil Conservation District Board of Supervisors will hold an election on Tuesday, March 12 to fill expiring terms for three positions on the board.

The State Soil Conversation Committee requested the local advisory committee to hold an election to fill those terms.

Voting will be held at the following locations:

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Emmy-winning sportscaster speaks to Lions Club

BY CODI KIRK
The Gallatin News

After 39 years of striving for the number one spot, four time Emmy award-winner and one of the nation's premiere sports newscasters, Rudy Kalis, addressed the Gallatin Lion's Club on Feb. 28, to talk about the significance of our words and being second.

Kalis has been with WSMV-TV in Nashville since July 1974 and has been the recipient of 15 Associated Press awards for his outstanding achievements in the field of broadcasting.

This is where the Lord intended for me to be, declared Kalis.

He has crossed paths with sports greats such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Muhamad Ali, Mario Andretti, Darrell Waltrip, Jack Nicklaus and Wayne Gretzky, to name a few.

You start to get full of yourself, he admitted.

Known as a man with a passion for life, family and his profession, Kalis has taken on a new profession of faith and a new passionate message of the importance of our words and of taking second place to Jesus Christ.

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School Board hears ways school security could be improved

By COREY CONLEY
The Gallatin News

Sumner County Board of Education held a special called meeting to hear and consider proposals for strengthening school safety with School health and safety coordinator Pat Conner and Ron Bartagze of construction and design firm Hewlett Spencer presenting a report, which was commissioned in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. shootings last December.

Conners report was a collaborative effort between the Sumner County Sheriffs Department and school officials on the school safety ad hoc committee. The exhaustive safety review of all 46 Sumner schools focused on four broad areas: School resource officers (SROs), technology, building structure, and training for staff.

The report agreed with board members that all schools, not just high schools, need SROs in the event of an emergency. Last month the board approved a request for an additional 38 officers. However funding salary, benefits, and a patrol car for that many officers may be cost prohibitive. The safety committee did approve an additional 13 deputies at a total cost of about $1.2 million.

Conners report also recommended a number of technology improvements and additions. These mainly focused on better communication and monitoring systems, such as a school safety portal that would give law enforcement instant access to school camera systems, floor plans, and crisis response plans.

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Obituaries for 2/27/13

Belva Jerry Spears

Mrs. Spears, 65, of Gallatin, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. Funeral service was held Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Hartsville Pike Church of Christ with Brother Doyle Farris officiating.

Interment followed at Crestview Memorial Park with family serving as pallbearers.

Mrs. Spears was born Feb. 26, 1947, in Dover, daughter of Howard J. Nolin of Gallatin and the late Velvie Page Nolin.

She is survived by her husband of 38 years, James Gwen Spears; son, Heath Spears (Cholle) of Denver, CO; daughter, Mandy Pellegrin (Michael) of Arlington, VA and sisters, Brenda Payne and Linda Cannon of Cadiz, KY.

Online condolences may be submitted at familyheritagefh.com. Family Heritage Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Bessie Bea Brown

Mrs. Brown, 84, of Gallatin, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. Funeral service was Friday, Feb. 22 at the chapel of Family Heritage Funeral Home with Brother Jerry Peace officiating.

Interment followed in Gallatin Cemetery with family and friends serving as pallbearers.

Mrs. Brown was born in Jackson County, daughter of the late Hiram A. and Nora Alle Horner Greenwood. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband, Earl Brown and sisters, Rose Inman and Blanche Ray.

She is survived by son, Mike Brown (Linda) of Franklin; grandson, SFC Harley Brown of Ft. Bragg, NC; brother, Gilbert Greenwood of Gallatin; sisters, Betty Graves of Indianapolis, IN and Adelle Biscamp of Little Elm, TX.

Online condolences may be submitted at familyheritagefh.com.

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GPD seeking robbery suspect

From staff reports

Gallatin Police are seeking assistance in identifying and locating a suspect who burglarized the Shell Shop store located at 501 Garnet Ct. on Feb. 26.

Authorities said that around 3:10 a.m., the suspect used a rock to smash out the glass window, then reached in and hooked a chain around the stores ATM machine. The suspect used his truck in an attempt to rip the ATM machine from the store floor, however his chain either broke or came unhooked, failing to break the bolts holding the ATM machine to the floor.

The suspect then fled on Hancock Street towards Lock Four Road. The suspect was driving a 2010 or later model Red Ford Crew Cab P/U, possibly an XL or XLT model with a plastic bed liner. The unknown male suspect wore a shirt or pillow case over his head making it unable to get any further description of the suspect. Surveillance video captured photos of the suspect and his vehicle.

Anyone with information on this burglary or any other crimes in Gallatin is asked to call 615-452-1313 and speak to Investigator Christian Booth.

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Large turnout for Mayors Night In

By CODI KIRK
The Gallatin News

The quarterly Mayors Night In last Tuesday, Feb. 19 was a great success according to City of Gallatin Mayor, Jo Ann Graves, and continues to be her pulse for the community.

We had a great turnout! We had a lineup out in the hallway. They wanted to get in to see me, Graves said.

There were no complaints, according to Graves, just people who needed answers to issues and didnt know where to start.

One young girl, a nine year old homeschooler, simply wanted to meet the Mayor.

That was part of her education, she needed to learn about government. So she came in to meet me and ask me questions and all that and so she could learn about the local level government. I thought that was pretty cool! shared Graves.

Graves started the Mayors Night In during her first term to get more closely-connected with constituents and hear more off-the-cuff feedback on what their focus and opinions were.

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Copper Still welcomes world famous wine taster

By PATRICK HALL
The Gallatin News

Local business The Copper Still is offering Gallatin residents a unique experience as they welcome world-renowned wine taster Nicola Biscardo on Wednesday, March 6 for a free wine-tasting and a unique insight into Biscardos expertise.

The Copper Still, which opened May 2012, is a unique wine and spirits boutique, harkening back to the days of the Speakeasy and Prohibition Era. Owner Patrick Flowers said having Biscardo come to their store and offer a free tasting is a monumental honor.

Having a Mr. Biscardo visit our store is a great honor and reinforces how passionate our staff is about learning our customers taste and being able to make recommendations they love, Flowers said.

Flowers noted Biscardo, born in Verona, Italy, is a master wine-taster, who travels the world writing books and conducting tastings. According to his biography, Biscardo took his first wine class at 19-years-old, while in college. His family had long been in the business of selling wine and he quickly shifted his focus.

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Gallatin resident to compete for Miss Tennessee

By CODI KIRK
The Gallatin News

Gallatin resident and 2010 graduate of Station Camp High School, Megan Hale, is gearing up to face some stiff competition in June for Miss Tennessee following her Feb. 1 crowning as Miss Middle Tennessee Blue Raider at Middle Tennessee State University.

All the girls that Ive met are just amazing, it really could be anyone, stated Hale about her upcoming competition.

Hale was also voted Miss Congeniality by the other contestants in the pageant and performed Swan Lake in the talent competition.

Hale began ballet at the age of three and is practicing daily for a repeat performance of Swan Lake for the Miss Tennessee pageant.

Its Swan Lake so I want to make sure the technique is perfect, she said.

Hale was born and raised in Gallatin and enjoys her personal heritage and attachment to the areas history.

Its small enough where everywhere you go you see someone you know. Theres always a familiar face and I just love that. It feels like that hometown feeling. I literally learned about (Gallatin) in my U.S. History book. It has such a deep history, Hale said.

Her grandmother, Bernice Pellegrin, was crowned Miss Middle Tennessee in 1951 before marrying Judge Ernest Pellegrin

Im so excited about having the same title as she held before, shared Hale.

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Southern Arts Circuit film wows Gallatin crowd Friday

By CODI KIRK
The Gallatin News

Friday evening at the Palace Theatre, independent filmmaker, Nancy Kelly, took Gallatin on a unique journey through the creation of TRUST: Second Acts In Young Lives, a documentary where victory over lifes uncertainty and hardships are lived out through the expression of creativity and vision through the eyes of struggling youth at Chicagos Albany Park Theater Program (APTP).

The story unfolds as Marlin, a young immigrant from Honduras, unravels her memories of rape, incest and attempts at escape through drugs and suicide in the first environment she learned to trust on her road to recovery.

Surrounded by young new friends who had promised to remember Marlin as they had come to know her before she revealed her traumatic story, she gave her permission for them to take it to the stage.

Kelly provides an intimate look inside the teens as, under the guidance of APTPs Producing Artist Director, David Feiner, they reshape one anothers lives, conquer fears and discover a sense of purpose in the midst of Marlins nightmare.

During the six years of filmmaking, Feiner was dealing with a very personal survival story and unexpected nightmare of his own but they all endured together. On the receiving end of what APTP has to offer is where he found what he needed to continue the vision of what he and his wife, Laura (Wiley), began together in 1997.

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Council approves development neighboring Fairvue

By JOSH NELSON
The Gallatin News

On a 4-3 vote, the Gallatin City Council approved a development last Tuesday night that would sit next to Fairvue, after lengthy discussion on the cost and possibilities of the developments building a brick wall to separate the neighborhoods.

The 27-acre development was proposed by home-builder Bob Goodall.

Before, the land was slated to be a hospice center by Sumner Regional Medical Center, but after those plans fell through, Goodall proposed building homes valued at around $220,000 and scaled back to condominiums as the acreage approached Nashville Pike.

Fairvue residents were not opposed to Goodall's proposal as long as they were shielded from it. They wanted an eight-foot brick wall built behind Potter Lane to separate the properties and for Chloe Lane to be closed where it would have potentially gone into the proposed development.

At-large City Councilwoman Julie Brackenbury proposed an amendment to the ordinance which would have granted their wishes, which was seconded by District Four Councilman Craig Hayes.

District Three Councilman Jimmy Overton then asked that the amendment be split into two separate proposals, a request that Brackenbury and Hayes agreed to.

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Officials concerned over revealing safety details

By CODI KIRK
The Gallatin News

Members of the School Security ad hoc committee and other elected officials say they are not trying to hide anything from taxpayers, but concerned over revealed crucial safety procedures in local schools, as the committee is set to meet Thursday, Feb. 28.

The decision to form the committee was made by the Sumner County budget committee in their Jan. 14 meeting in response to a $5 million request by Director of Schools, Dr. Del R. Phillips III, for funds to place Security Resource Officers into 45 schools in reaction to the Newtown, Conn., shootings.

Members of the committee were not willing to allocate funds without further investigation into all options available to provide the utmost security for Sumner County children and school employees. Financing of any plans, at this point, is not an issue or part of the discussion.

Committee members are attempting to juggle the responsibility of adhering to public information laws, such as the Sunshine Law, while discussing security sensitive issues.

The Sunshine Law reads, "The General Assembly hereby declares it to be the policy of this State that the formation of public policy and decisions is public business and shall not be conducted in secret."

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