Thumbs of the Week: 109 widening project gets signs

Staff Reports • Updated Apr 27, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Thumbs up to TDOT for launching its first Smart Work Zone in Middle Tennessee by placing 11 message boards along State Route 109. The boards were placed on both ends of the project as well as on U.S. 70 and Interstate 40 to show drivers the time it will take to get through the construction zone.  The times are calculated in real time through seven radar detection systems throughout the project. Additionally, there are three traffic cameras on the project, which can be viewed by local law enforcement and emergency responders. The $50 million project, which will add lanes, shoulders and turning lanes, should be complete in 2020. 

Thumbs up to Lebanon’s Kyna Maynard for starting the Memphis Bi-Centennial GoFundMe page. Earlier this month, the Tennessee House passed a last-minute amendment to remove the $250,000, which would have been used for the city’s bicentennial budget, from the state’s annual budget in response to the removal of two Confederate statues in the city. Amendment sponsor Rep. Steve McDaniel, R-Parkers Crossroads, said he pushed for the amendment because the removal of the monuments was done against the legislature’s wishes. “As Memphis prepares to celebrate their historic bicentennial, the state legislature has taken action to punish them. As a resident of Tennessee, I am not here to complain or voice my displeasure with the legislative actions,” Maynard said. “I am here to assist the city in recouping the funds needed to move forward with their celebration. Please help me stand up for what is good and what is right.”

Thumbs up to members of the new school safety committee for taking steps to keep children safe in local schools. The committee was formed as part of a partnership between Wilson County law enforcement agencies, Wilson County Schools and the Lebanon Special School District. It’s comprised of teachers, parents, youth services staff and members from the District Attorney’s office. The group will meet quarterly to address specific concerns from the community and identify new safety initiatives. Wilson County sheriff’s Lt. Scott Moore said the committee was formed as a reaction to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in February. According to Moore, in the few days following the Parkland, Florida, shooting, 18 people were arrested in Wilson County for threatening school shootings. Despite the fact that most of the people who made threats later said they were jokes, Moore said they take it very seriously. 

Thumbs up to Mt. Juliet musical trio, Sheridan Hill for advancing at the Path to Fame Nashville auditions. More than 150 people registered for a chance to advance their entertainment careers last Saturday at Skyville Live. Sheridan Hill is made up of two brothers, Dakota and Dylan Beavers, and their father, Lance Beavers, who were actively pursuing his own musical career when he discovered his two sons’ talent. The group performs original music and a variety of covers from Americana to R&B genres. The final competition will take place June 16 in Pigeon Forge, where one grand champion will be selected from 12 competing performers.


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