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Have a Happy & Safe Fourth of July! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jessie Williams   
Tuesday, June 24, 2014


If you haven’t decided how you and your family will celebrate our nation’s birthday this year, several events have been scheduled in, and around, Macon County including a Pre-Fourth of July Celebration at The White House Assisted Living in Lafayette, an Independence Day Parade in Hartsville, the Westmoreland Freedom Fest Independence Day Celebration and a Fourth of July celebration & BBQ in Hermitage Springs. 

  • Lafayette: Everyone is invited to a Pre-4th of July Celebrationon Thursday, July 3, at 6:30 p.m. on the lawn at The White House Assisted Living. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy the music presented by: the Skahl Family. Serving an All-American meal of hotdogs, hamburgers, chips & drinks. Fireworks at dusk. This event is free to attend.
  • Westmoreland: The Westmoreland Freedom Fest Independence Day Celebration will be held Saturday, June 28, at 3 p.m. at the Ricky Woodard Memorial Park (downtown area, follow signs). There will be live music (Bands performing: Pecan Sandies, Brothers Adcock, Grandpa’s Music, Junction South, Tommy Ross & TCB Band) a cakewalk, vendors, an inflatable slide for children and fireworks at 10 p.m. For information regarding vendor registration contact Rita Miller at (615) 644-2203.
  • Hartsville: Hartsville Independence Day Parade – Friday, July 4th at 4 p.m. The parade will go down Main Street to the park. After the parade, there will be food and live entertainment in the park and fireworks at 8 p.m.
  • Hermitage Springs: Hermitage Springs Volunteer Fire Department BBQ & Fireworks - Saturday, July 5 at the Hermitage Springs Park (Hwy 52). BBQ begins at 10:30 a.m. until it runs out! BBQ will be served at the fire hall and at the park. Fireworks begin at dark. Live music will begin later in the evening.

The number one concern about the Fourth of July holiday is safety. To ensure the safety of you and your loved ones this holiday, the Lafayette Fire Department encourages everyone to adhere to the following fireworks safety tips:

  1. Sparklers, considered by many as “safe,” burn at very high temperatures, can easily ignite clothing and stay hot long after burning out. They are as dangerous as matches or lighters to children. Be sure to collect all burned out sparkler wires for disposal.
  2. Older children should only be permitted to use fireworks under close supervision. Never allow any running or horseplay.
  3. Use lighters with a child resistant feature. Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach.
  4. Light fireworks outdoors, one at a time, on a clear, smooth, flat surface away from houses, dry leaves or grass, or flammable materials.
  5. Keep water nearby for emergencies and for pouring on misfired or spent fireworks.
  6. Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Douse and soak them with water and throw them away.
  7. Be sure other people and pets are out of range.
  8. Never experiment with fireworks or ignite them in a glass or metal container. Do not attempt to make your own.
  9. Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas. Store them in a dry, cool place out of reach of children.
  10. Dispose of all fireworks properly.

According to Lafayette Fire Chief Keith Scruggs, there is at least one fire reported in Macon County every year involving Fourth of July fireworks, and he encourages residents to be aware of their surroundings. “There are a lot of dry areas that could catch fire,” he stated. “Surveying the area for potential fire hazards before igniting fireworks is the best way to prevent danger.”


TDOT Commissioner at Groundbreaking PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debbie Gregory   
Tuesday, June 17, 2014

TDOT Commissioner John Schroer attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the Highway 10 hill reconstruction project last Friday. He is pictured shaking the hand of Macon County Mayor Shelvy Linville. (Photo by D. Gregory)

Many people have had horrific losses in their lives due to traffic accidents on the deadly Highway 10 South hill and this was reality for countless years. But thanks to Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer and Macon County Mayor Shelvy Linville everyone gathered last Friday afternoon at the groundbreaking ceremony for the reconstruction project…the new reality.

The circumstances leading to the reconstruction project being finalized began in the spring of 2013 when Mayor Shelvy Linville received the TDOT three-year transportation plan. The Highway 10 South hill project, involving a 1.7 mile stretch, wasn’t included. Three weeks later an article appeared on the front page of the Macon County Chronicle entitled “Highway 10 Hill on Backburner Again”. This was the first in a series of front page articles that was printed in the Chronicle.

Shortly after the article appeared, a public meeting was set with Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Deputy Commissioner and Chief Engineer Paul Degges to discuss Highway 10 in Macon County. He talked about the three phases of a TDOT project and the specifics of State Route 10.

Degges said that the Highway 10 Hill construction project hadn’t been cancelled, shelved or anything else. He went on to say that TDOT tried to make sure they spread the money around and the problem was, that there is a whole lot more need out there than there is dollars.

However, Mayor Linville was relentless in his efforts to see the reconstruction started and he knew words were his most powerful tool and he continued to speak to anyone who would listen. The Mayor also began sending TDOT numerous accident reports occurring on the Highway 10 hill, involving serious injuries and fatalities.

The Mayor’s persistence paid off and he received a letter from Commissioner John Schroer on Friday, June 14, 2013, stating that the department had been monitoring all the accident reports in that vicinity and working with the local Division Office of the Federal Highway Administration. Commissioner Schroer said that he was pleased to report that he had been able to identify funding under one of the safety programs to deliver the project.

Commissioner Schroer stated that he could certainly appreciate the mayor’s position and that he shared Linville’s goals in wanting to provide the safest roads possible for all Tennesseans, therefore he had directed his staff to accelerate the schedule.

The letting of bids for construction on the 1.7 mile stretch of highway, including the hill was Friday, May 23, 2014, and Twin K. Construction, Inc., was the low bidder at $15,419,073.30.

At the groundbreaking ceremony Commissioner Schroer spoke of the expense involved with building roads and the fact that this phase alone would cost over 15 million dollars. He said that the accident data over the past two years made this particular stretch of highway eligible for funding through the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Safety Program. “Construction should begin within 30 to 45 days,” the Commissioner said.

Mayor Shelvy Linville said on behalf of all the citizens of Macon County he thanked everyone for whatever part they played in getting this project moving, whether it was large or small. “I especially want to thank TDOT Commissioner John Schroer and Governor Haslam. I want to thank TDOT employees Jon Armstrong, ROW Agent; Steve Allen, Safety Program Director; David Layhew, Asst. Chief Engineer of Region 3 and Lorri Lange for all their help.”
“I would also like to thank Debbie Gregory with the Macon County Chronicle,” said Mayor Linville, “because she certainly helped me bring this much need project to the forefront with her coverage.”

Mayor Linville said he made the statement over a year ago that he would not be satisfied until he saw orange barrels and bulldozers on that hill. “I believe I’m going to see that soon.”

“Hopefully, when this phase is completed, we will see an end to the fatalities on this hill and maybe phase 2 can begin on the Highway 10 Project in the not too distant future.”

Added City Mayor Richard Driver, “This was the day we have been waiting for and I would like to thank the Tennessese Department of Transportation and Commissioner John Schroer. I would also like to praise the efforts of County Mayor Shelvy Linville for his hard work in getting this project to this point. We all owe him a big thank you.”

 How sad it has been in Macon County through the years to see so many people seriously injured or killed on the Highway 10 South hill and we are indeed thankful to the Tennessee Department of Transportation and Commissioner John Schroer for officially moving ahead with the reconstuction project.  

Man Ejected From Car in Crash PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debbie Gregory   
Tuesday, June 17, 2014

This car cash occurred on Highway 52 West on Monday morning, June 16. (Photo by K. Belle)

On Monday morning, June  16, a 19-year-old Westmoreland man was ejected from his car in a crash on Highway 52 West. 

According to investigating officer Trooper Justin Mote, Brette Fykes was traveling west on Highway 52 in a silver 2006 two-door Chevrolet, when he failed to maintain the proper lane of travel and went off the westbound side of the road and struck a guard rail.

“Mr. Fykes wasn’t wearing a seat belt and he was ejected from the automobile,” said Trooper Mote. “He was carried by air medical to Vanderbilt Hospital, in Nashville, Tennessee.”

The Rescue Squad established a landing zone at Frito Lay.

Those responding to the crash were the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Macon County Sheriffs Office, Macon County EMS, Rescue Squad and the Macon County Chronicle.

 Vanderbilt spokesperson, Paula Jones, stated on Monday afternoon, that Mr. Fykes was listed in stable condition.

Two Jailed by RBS Police PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debbie Gregory   
Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A rash of thefts in Red Boiling Springs have been occurring and Officer Jimmy Morgan, of the Red Boiling Springs Police Department, arrested 29-year-old Joey Ray Pruitt and 35-year-old Terra Hope Pruitt in connection with these crimes.

“I recently obtained some information from one of these theft victims, who stated they had went to the Trading Post and recognized some off their missing property,” said Officer Morgan. “I went and spoke to the owner and that’s how I identified Joey and Terra Pruitt as persons of interest at that time.”
Officer Morgan located the two suspects and brought them in for questioning. “They denied everything at first but I finally got a confession,” said Morgan, who arrested both individuals on June 2.
The officer told the Chronicle that several items had been taken from Molly Cooper’s barn, which is located behind the suspects residence on Oak Grove Road. “During the investigation I found out that an air compressor taken from the Cooper barn was at a pawn shop in Tompkinsville, Kentucky,” continued Officer Morgan. “I went to the shop and there it was, along with a receipt that showed the suspect’s name.”
Joey Ray Pruitt, age 29, of 2881 Oak Grove Road in Red Boiling Springs, is charged with theft of property (4 counts), aggravated criminal trespassing (4 counts , burglary (4 counts),and violation of probation. Bond is set at $24,750.
Terra Hope Pruitt, age 35, of 2881 Oak Grove Road in Red Boiling Springs, is charged with theft of property (3 counts) and violation of probation. Bond is set at $2,250. 
Morgan said there is still a lot of items that are missing from several different break-ins and this is an on-going investigation. “If anyone has any information please call the Red Boiling Springs Police Department at 699-2011.”
Macon County Hillbilly Days, June 19-21 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jessie Williams   
Tuesday, June 10, 2014

2014 Mr. Hillbilly Bill Gordon

Pack up the lawn chairs and bring the entire family out to the 39th Annual Macon County Hillbilly Days event sponsored by the Lafayette Lions on June 19, 20 and 21 at Key Park.

Beginning on Thursday, June 20th, an opening ceremony will be held at 6 p.m., followed up by the Itty Bitty Hillbilly Beauty Pageant at 6:30 and a cakewalk also at 6:30 p.m.

Friday, the gospel concert will take place at 6 p.m. with around eight groups performing, and the highly anticipated ‘All-You-Can-Eat Fish Fry’ will be sure to draw a crowd. Cost for the fish fry, which includes catfish, slaw, fries, Mr. Ercie’s famous hushpuppies and a drink, will be $8 per adult and $5 for children 12 and under. 

Saturday will be jam-packed with exciting instrumental events for all ages kicking-off at 10 a.m. with a flat top guitar showdown, followed by mandolin, beginning fiddle (under 16), harmonica, claw hammer banjo, Scruggs style banjo, Jr. Fiddle (ages 16-50), Sr. Fiddle (51 and up) and the 5th Annual Ped Scruggs Memorial Fiddle Challenge.

At 1 p.m., the Fried Pie Contest will be held at the back pavilion, followed by an the Billy & Joanna Roark Community Service Award and the Mr. & Mrs. Hillbilly contest will be held around 3:45. This year’s Mr. Hillbilly is Bill Gordon and the 2014 Mrs. Hillbilly is Latise Jones. The two will battle it out to see which club raised the most money, with the loser receiving a pie to the face!

Singing and dance competitions will take begin at 4 p.m. with the Buck Dance competition (ages 15 and under), followed by the 16 and up Buck Dance performers at 4:15, male vocalist performances at 4:30 p.m. and female vocalist performances at 5:30 p.m.

First place winners in the music and dance competitions will win $150 in the Jr. Fiddle & Sr. Fiddle categories, $50 in the buck dance, harmonica and beginning fiddle categories and $100 for all other categories.

Second place winners will win $75 in the Jr. & Sr. Fiddle categories, $25 in the buck dance, harmonica and beginning fiddle categories and $50 in all other categories.

Third place winners will receive $35 in the Jr. & Sr. Fiddle categories, $15 in the buck dance, harmonica and beginning fiddle categories and $25 in all other categories.

The entry fee for each category is $5.

The Bluegrass Band Competition, better known as “The Big Show,” will end the 3-day event at 7 p.m. on Saturday, with the first place winner bringing home $700, the second place champ awarded $400 and the third place victor presented $200. A $30 entry fee is required to compete in the bluegrass competition and first and second place bands will perform for 30 minutes each after the competition is completed.

Those planning to compete in any of the competitions are to be registered at least one hour prior to the scheduled time of the category competing in. 

Judges for this year’s competitions will be Ken Collins, Lisa Gore and Jonah Beasley. Sound and equipment will be provided by James Arnett.

Other activities for guests to enjoy throughout the event will be a variety of arts and crafts booths, contests and plenty of games and rides for children.

“We already have over 100 vendors scheduled to set up booths during this year’s Hillbilly Days,” said Lafayette Lioness Club Secretary Monica Gann, “and we are still getting calls from people!” 

Those who plan to attend are encouraged bring their lawn chairs and settle in for a day of Bluegrass music, entertainment, food and fun!

“Everyone looks forward to this event each year,” Gann remarked. “It’s a fun, family-friendly event, and it serves a great purpose. We hope to see everyone at this year’s Macon County Hillbilly Days…you won’t want to miss it!” 

For general about this year’s Hillbilly Days event, contact Monica Gann at 666-5196 or B.J. Blankenship at 699-2495. For craft or booth information, contact B.J. Blankenship by phone or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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