YearReview2020

This is the second of a three-part series recapping the events of 2020 in Trousdale County.

May

The county mayor presented his proposed 2020-21 budget to commissioners, calling for property taxes to stay at their current rates and a 2.5% raise for employees.

Commissioners approved a bid of just under $1 million to replace the roof at Jim Satterfield Middle School. The school system was to make the first of 10 annual payments, with the county picking up the remainder of the tab.

CoreCivic confirmed nearly 1,300 cases of COVID-19 at its Hartsville prison, or nearly half the inmate population.

The Parks & Recreation Committee opted to keep Hartsville’s swimming pool closed for the 2020 season amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus.

The people of Trousdale County rallied around the Class of 2020, starting an ‘Adopt a Senior’ program to honor those who lost many of the highlights of their senior year because of the early school closure.

The Planning Commission gave site approval for the construction of a meat processing plant in Hartsville. Work began soon after and the plant was expected to begin operations in January 2021.

A Hendersonville man was killed in a motorcycle crash on Highway 141N.

Citizens Bank & Wilson Bank & Trust approved over $5 million in around 90 business loans under the federal Paycheck Protection Program, part of the CARES Act.

The County Commission rejected the appointment of Ken Buckmaster as Hartsville’s fire chief by a 10-9 vote. Questions were raised after it was learned that two members of the interview panel that made the recommendation were listed as references on Buckmaster’s application.

June

The Hartsville Little League began its season after a delay caused by the pandemic. Unfortunately the league had to close the season down after just a few weeks.

County commissioners approved the 2020-21 budget after changing a planned 2.5% raise into an across-the-board 50 cent raise for all county employees.

The School Board approved a planned hybrid education model for the fall semester that utilized both in-person classes and online classes. A fully virtual option was also made available. The Board would in December choose to stay with the hybrid model for the remainder of the school year.

The Trousdale County Grand Jury indicted a Hartsville woman on charges of aggravated child neglect and reckless homicide in the 2019 death of a child in her care. The case remains ongoing.

An inmate escaped from the Trousdale County Jail and allegedly hijacked a car while attempting to flee. Joshua Adam Brewster of Westmoreland was quickly recaptured and returned to custody.

Trousdale County senior Tori Simmons signed to play college basketball at Roane State Community College.

TCHS seniors were able to hold a graduation ceremony on June 26 at the football field after the planned ceremony was canceled because of COVID-19 concerns.

July

Tri-County Electric donated $4,000 to the Community Help Center’s food pantry, part of a series of donations by the utility to charitable causes in its service area.

The Planning Commission approved a request from Verizon to build a cell tower on Highway 10 near the Macon County line.

The Fair Board announced that the 65th annual Trousdale County Fair would take place, but that events would be sharply limited because of the pandemic. No adult entries were allowed and children’s entries were cut back. Many of the usual events were canceled, with only the sheep and cattle shows and the Backpack Program car show allowed as they could be held outdoors.

Trousdale Pharmacy opened next to Dr. Badru’s office on Broadway, giving another local option for consumers and offering services such as compounding medications and vaccinations.

The Hartsville Vidette announced the closure of its River Street office. Editor Chris Gregory is still in Hartsville and working from home.

Grace Thomas announced her resignation from the County Commission, citing health concerns. Lonnie Taylor would be elected in November to fill the remainder of the term representing the 4th District.

CoreCivic said it was investigating an incident in which an unauthorized person from a food vendor made it past security and into the facility.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced that he would allow the high school football season to begin on time with a full schedule. The TSSAA had been planning options for an eight-, nine- or 10-game schedule depending on state guidance.

August

The Tennessee legislature went into special session on Aug. 10 to address COVID-19 liability protections, telehealth services and laws governing the Capitol grounds.

Davy Cothron was named as Trousdale County’s baseball coach, returning to the position he previously held from 2001-12. In that time, the Yellow Jackets made eight regional appearances and made two state tournaments.

The fifth annual Hartsville Backpacks Car, Truck & Bike Show drew over 250 entries and raised over $20,000 for the Backpack Program — both the most ever for the event.

Trousdale County deputies arrested Richard Holt Fowler Jr. of Portland after a high-speed chase and charged him with a number of offenses, including evading arrest and drug possession.

A Lebanon man was arrested indicted by the Trousdale County Grand Jury and charged with the rape of a child. The case remains ongoing.

Mike Potts was elected as Trousdale County’s Assessor of Property, succeeding Dewayne Byrd, who declined to seek re-election. Barbara Towns and Jason Sullivan defeated incumbents to win seats on the School Board, and Bill Scruggs was re-elected as Superintendent of Roads after facing no opposition. Michael Collins was elected as Circuit Court Judge after the retirement of John Wootten.

Trousdale County voters also rejected a proposed half-cent increase in the sales tax with nearly 70% opposed.

Trousdale County announced that it would limit ticket sales for home football to 900, per TSSAA restrictions. Season tickets were also made available for purchase.

Members of the community raised concerns over a homeless woman living in the gazebo at the corner of Broadway and Main Street. The woman was eventually ordered to leave by a court and at last report has taken up residence elsewhere in Hartsville.

The Hartsville Rotary Club held its golf tournament and the Community Pregnancy Center its banquet. Both annual fundraisers were delayed from earlier in the year because of the pandemic and enjoyed near-record results.

Tri-County received a $330,000 grant to install five free WiFi hotspots in the downtown Hartsville area.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

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