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A judge denied a motion to reconsider his previous rejection of the latest petition to terminate the parental rights of Sonya McCaul’s biological father, saying there was nothing new to argue. At a hearing in Dickson County Chancery Court last week, retired Chancellor Robert Burch said all of the claims in a motion to amend or alter his previous ruling against the petition by Kim and David Hodgin have already been litigated. Attorneys for the former foster parents filed a motion asking Burch to reconsider his denial based on elements they claimed had not been considered in his previous ruling. Despite having retired Sept. 1, Burch still has several dates to return to the bench to rule on issues regarding cases over which he has presided. In a very brief hearing last Thursday in Charlotte, Burch said he is not going to continue hearing arguments over the same points and denied the petition to amend his previous ruling dismissing the Hodgins’ request to terminate John McCaul’s parental rights based on his original prison sentence and to allow the Dickson County couple to again adopt the 10-year-old girl who lived in their home for eight years. As of Wednesday, the Hodgins have not filed a notice of appeal of Burch’s latest ruling. Sonya remains in Nebraska with her father where a McCaul family attorney told an Omaha television station she is “excelling as a student and is socially well adjusted.” A Douglas County juvenile judge has delayed a hearing on a petition by the Hodgins seeking standing in the Nebraska courts until the Tennessee Court of Appeals rules on an appeal regarding Judge Andy Jackson’s August decision to tranfer custody of Sonya from Tennessee to Nebraska.

Dickson County saw its busiest day of early voting Wednesday as 1,133 ballots were cast on the final day of extended hours and voting at satellite locations in Dickson and White Bluff. Early voting ends today with polls open 8 am-4 pm at the Dickson County Election Office in Charlotte. The 1,133 ballots cast Wednesday push Dickson County’s total early voting turnout to 3,992 heading into the final day. The previous high-turnout mark for the 14-day early voting period was 661 last Wednesday. With polls open late at all three locations, Restoration Church in Dickson saw 663 voters, the election office in Charlotte had 242 voters and 228 voters went to White Bluff Town Hall. After the conclusion of early voting today, voters will have to wait until election day on Tuesday when polls will be open 7 am-7 pm at 17 precincts across the county. Dickson County voters will be making choices in the races for governor, U.S. Senate, U.S House of Representatives for the 5th District, Tennessee Senate for the 25th District, Tennessee House of Representatives for the 69th and 78th districts and voting on four Constitutional amendments regarding abortion rights, the selection system for Supreme Court justices and appellate judges, banning a state income tax and allowing non-profit veterans groups to conduct lotteries as fund-raisers. Voters in White Bluff will choose three town council members from a field of seven candidates. Voters in Burns have two candidates for mayor, five candidates on the ballot and two write-in candidates for four seats on the board of commissioners and referendums on allowing liquor by the drink and wine sales in grocery stores. The ballot in Vanleer includes no candidate for mayor and only the five incumbents seeking election to the board of aldermen. Slayden voters will find only the incumbent mayor and three town council members on their ballots. WDKN and The One FM will have live election night coverage beginning when the polls close at 7 pm Tuesday.

The additions of truck climbing lanes on Interstate 40 in Dickson and Hickman counties are among almost $400 million in projects that the Tennessee Department of Transportation has delayed because of a lack of federal funding. In an Oct. 24 letter to members of the Tennessee General Assembly, TDOT Commissioner John Schroer says instability in the Highway Trust Fund has caused him to reschedule 12 construction projects and 21 right-of-way acquisition projects until fiscal year 2016, which begins next September. “Federal funding for transportation projects continues to flow sluggishly,” Schroer says in his letter. Because Congress has only addressed the funding with a temporary injection of funds, Schroer says he has decided to “scale back on future contracts” and “re-prioritize” the department’s project schedule through next May. Included in the delayed projects is the addition of a truck climbing lane in the eastbound lanes of I-40 in Dickson and Williamson counties near mile marker 180. The project is estimated to cost $26.7 million. Also delayed is a proposed addition of a truck climbing lane on the westbound lanes of I-40 near mile marker 161 just inside Hickman County. That project has a pricetag of $14.9 million. In his letter, Schroer asks Tennessee legislators to lobby the state’s Washington delegation for a more permanent solution to road project funding that will not require as much state funding. Sen. Bob Corker has introduced a bill to raise the federal gas tax by 12 cents over the next two years with corresponding cuts in other taxes and future increases tied to inflation. The federal fuel tax of 18.4 cents a gallon has not been increased since 1993. Not on the list of projects being delayed is the Traffic System Management plan for Highway 46. At last week’s meeting, attorney Jack Garton told the school board that TDOT has “put the hammer down” on the first two projects of redesigning the intersection of Highway 46 and Oakmont Drive and adding a turning lane on East College Street in front of Dickson Middle School. The school board already has accepted cash offers for property TDOT needs for the projects and last week granted an easement to the Water Authority of Dickson County to relocate water and sewer lines for the East College Street project that will see the addition of a westbound lane from Mathis Drive to Academy Street. Oakmont Drive is being widened to add a left-turn lane at what is proposed to be a new intersection with a relocated Marshall Stuart Drive. Garton said TDOT plans to let bids for those two projects by mid-December.

Tomorrow is Halloween and trick or treaters have several alternatives to going door to door to get their treats. For those who dare, The Devil’s Study presents an opportunity for some Halloween scares.

  • The Dickson Parks and Recreation Department’s 10th annual Spooks in the Park will be 6-9 pm Friday in the upper parking lot at J. Dan Buckner Park. Various businesses and groups will have booths handing out treats and there will be live music and inflatable fun.
  • First United Methodist Church on Main Street in downtown Dickson will hold its annual Trunk or Treat 6-8 pm.
  • Sensing Brothers Post 4641 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Marshall Stuart Drive will be hosting a children’s Halloween party starting at 4 pm and also has an indoor haunted house.
  • White Bluff Church of Christ on Highway 70 is hosting a Trunk or Treat starting at 6:30 in the Fellowship Hall.
  • Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church on Highway 48 between Dickson and Charlotte is holding a Trunk or Treat 6-8 pm.
  • Liberty Baptist Church on White Bluff Road is hosting a Trunk or Treat 6-8 pm.
  • The Claylick Volunteer Fire Department on Claylick Road will be handing out treats starting at 6 pm.
  • White Bluff United Methodist Church on Highway 70 will host its Wild West Halloween 6-8 pm.
  • The Sold on a Cure Relay for Life Team has opened The Devil’s Study haunted house in the former Dickson County Public Library building at 305 East Hunt Street behind Dickson Middle School. The haunted house opens for tours at 6 pm Friday and Saturday and tickets are $10 with proceeds to benefit Relay for Life.

After going 2-3 in the first half of the season, Creek Wood High School’s Red Hawks are on a four-game winning streak heading into tonight’s regular-season finale against Camden. The 7-2 Lions come into Charlotte having lost two of their last four, including a 34-31 decision that put Waverly in the driver’s seat in District 11-AA. It is Senior Night at Creek Wood as Red Hawks Kyle Klotz, Mathis Duncan, Ian Spence, Dalton Pentecost, Blake Bellamy, Kevin Osborne, Austin Newsom and Tyler Balthrop will be honored before the game. Senior Nigh recognitions start at 7 pm in Red Hawk Stadium with kickoff set for 7:30. Creek Wood and Camden are fighting for second place in the final district standings and the automatic playoff berth that comes with it, more than likely meaning a home game to open the playoffs next week. No. 1 Waverly faces Fairview needing either a win or a Camden loss to lock up first place. Coverage of Creek Wood and Camden starts with the A-1 Signs Pregame Show at 7 pm on all channels of the RFC Sports Network.

  1. looking for bunk beds, just frames…..looking for kerosene heater…615-854-3634
  2. self propelled john deere push mower, 22in cut…$400….931-582-6135
  3. does yard work, gutter cleaning, etc….2 lawn mowers for sale…789-3905 or 545-6519
  4. lab mix, Isabella, she is like a big puppy…good dog…615-920-3688
  5. house for sale: 205 sunset rd, 3BR & bath and a half….large garage, back porch, living room with fireplace..kitchens redone.….441-1541
  6. chainsaw, huskavana, 18in bar…$250/firm…446-4833
  7. will do tree work…615-838-6269
  8. cherry china cabinet, $200 set of china, $100 ….lots of saddles…..740-9199
  9. animal cage for sale, ….2 leather jackets for sale,….leather vest….446-6421
  10. black & tan coondog, ….hot water heater….looking for carpet…924-1615
  11. Will clean out garages and buy your scrap metal call ask for Danny at 931 996 3753
  12. 1.) Will pay cash for old wooden baseball bats made in Dickson. These are typically stamped “Leathers” or “A.H. Leathers” Manufacturing, Dickson, TN, and, have a model name such as Dixie Swatter, Commodore, Volunteer, Indoor No. 31, Yankee Winner, Sneex, etc. 2.) If you have any of these bats, even if you don’t want to sell them, he is compiling a historical portfolio of these bats and would love to document and include yours. Please call or text (615) 943-4384.
  13. home interior pictures selling for cheap…looking for turquoise jewelry…looking for a living room rug…615-732-8099
  14. 2 beagle hounds, males, for sale….looking for plywood, with grooves, 9 sheets….441-1227
  15. 5qt bottle of 20/50 weight motor oil $10….Pontiac Montana van $1750…deep fryer, brand new, $50….815-8615
  16. baby gate $10….looking for a couple of  235(45)/70/15 tires…..for sale, table top stereo $50…429-5297
  17. firewood for sale, 615-390-1584
  18. sectional couch & a recliner & wooden barrel & pedestal sink & bar stools & etc…441-0018
  19. puppies $20….2 males & 1 female…615-426-5979
  20. looking for metal t-posts… basenette for sale $20…446-8828
  21. pop-up camper, sleeps 6…$600 OBO…..will trade for junk cars…..couple of trucks for sale….209-4851
  22. wood needs to be cut….615-763-6206
  23. 1985 chevy pickup, 4wd…no motor…830-0312
  24. 97 ford ranger pickup, good tires….615-797-6161
  25. tunes pianos & pump organs…797-4312
  26. mows yard…308-1597
  27. car, $1000 OBO…..looking ladies dress size 20….looking for men & women’s costume jewelry..306-3459
  28. blue heeler/Chihuahua puppies..931-494-1161
  29. 3.5 ft playskool triceratops dinosaur….615-934-4991
  30. 93 diesel, F250, 4wd, runs & drives great…$2500….needs a set of tires….looking for a freezer…931-623-0113
  31. trailers….60in chainsaw, Pullin, like new $50…..looking for some help cleaning firewood up & tops…615-740-1786
  32. looking for a clothes dryer….931-206-9235
  33. bales of hay, $4.25/bale…..446-2154
  34. $40 TV converter, 615-864-6939
  35. TV, 27in, ….needs to be carried off for her…..446-6767 or 332-4283
  36. dorm fridge….952-9906
  37. black & decker electric hedge trimmer…2 torro leaf blowers….weed eater brand trimmers…chainsaw…615-210-3211
  38. looking to buy a 6 string steel guitar…789-5337
  39. sony handheld video camera…..615-326-8389
  40. small block chevy heads…crank shafts for small blocks…..350 & 327…..aluminum intakes….446-1999
  41. will chain bottom of chairs, …..300 cylinder, straight 6 motor……1996 model Mitsubishi car…..931-380-5836
  42. large collection of pocket knifes….lots of collectibles….615-290-4656
  43. car doors for a 1973 Chevy Nova, passenger side, $40/piece….drop ceiling lights…$25/one….curtain rods, wooden, 351-3435
  44. 2 horse trailer, has new floor $750……2 lots for sale……7 acre land, in Houston county..$24k…..789-5352
  45. 3 beagle dogs for sale or trade….310-2283
  46. 2000 Honda Recon for sale….front racks…$1700……3 propane heaters……2 torpedo propane heaters….615-799-1975
  47. looking for a dresser……313-912-7131 or 615-815-5282

The chairman of the Dickson County School Board called out Gov. Bill Haslam for a “lack of leadership” in establishing higher academic standards in the state while Director of Schools Dr. Danny Weeks said the Tennessee Department of Education is working “backwards” by selecting tests before it settles on a curriculum. As Common Core has become more of a political debate around the country, Weeks said at last week’s school board meeting that Tennessee appears to be moving away from the “idea and concept of Common Core itself” in reviewing the state’s academic standards. The Tennessee Board of Education will be holding a public comment period on academic standards and Haslam has established two committees of educators and citizens that will review standards for language arts and math. Each committee will have three advisory teams divided by K-5th grades, 6th-8th grades and 9th-12th grades. The state also will set up a website for public comments through the spring and Haslam expects the committees to make recommendations by the end of 2015, after the next session of the General Assembly. While Weeks said he is glad the state is at least continuing the discussion on higher standards, the state also has issued a request for proposals for testing to assess student progress next year, with a decision expected before the end of 2014. “So on one hand, we don’t know exactly what we’re going to be teaching. On the other hand, we’re fixing to approve a new test that our students will be given next year. That’s just backwards. It’s confusing to me as a director of schools. I know it’s confusing to our teachers, it’s confusing to our administrative staff here,” Weeks said. The director said the potential “misalignment” of deciding testing before deciding curriculum is not good for teacher morale and confusing to students and parents. Weeks said school systems also are faced with making decisions in the ongoing cycle of textbooks, with Dickson County potentially spending $1 million on new books without knowing what standards the schools will be teaching. Board Chairman Tim Potter said he believes the problem starts with the governor not standing by earlier decisions to go with Common Core. “It’s a lack of leadership by Gov. Haslam, in my opinion. He’s the governor of the state, he’s got political capital, he’s probably going to win by a landslide in the next election. He ought to tell the people what he’s for instead of passing the buck to a committee of people,” Potter said. While Dickson County has already begun to implement Common Core, Weeks said whatever they are called after the upcoming review, the county will continue to teach higher academic standards that encourage thinking and application. “I expect the state board to revise the standards and not call them Common Core. But they’ll probably call them Tennessee state standards,” Weeks said. Potter said the term “Common Core” has become politically “toxic,” leading states like Indiana to adopt a set of standards almost identical to Common Core but call them something else and the debate ends.

Today is the last day of extended voting hours and the last opportunity to vote early in Dickson and White Bluff prior to the Nov. 4 election. Early voting ends tomorrow. With two days of early voting remaining, only 2,859 Dickson County voters have cast ballots in person. That is less than a third of the total turnout seen before the November 2012 presidential election and less than 60 percent of the November 2010 early voter turnout when the ballot featured the same state and federal offices. Despite the presence of four Constitutional amendments and municipal elections in White Bluff, Burns, Vanleer and Slayden on the ballot, early voter turnout is just past half of what it was prior to the August primary and county general elections. State election officials report early voting across Tennessee is down more than 20 percent from four years ago. Election officials had expected the four proposed Constitutional amendments to bring out voters who are not excited about non-competitive races for governor, U.S. Senate and most U.S. House of Representatives seats. While minor technical glitches have been reported during the two-week early voting period, the Tennessee executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union has sent a letter to the state’s election coordinator expressing concern over partisan materials about the Constitutional amendments reportedly being placed at polling places across the state. Hedy Weinberg’s letter says a purported “voting guide” created as political advertisement by the offices of Republican state representatives that has been widely circulated on social media is being printed by some election officials and placed at polling places. While Weinberg’s letter specifically addresses an incident in Monroe County, the same “voting guide” was present at polling places in Dickson County last week. State Election Coordinator Mark Goins said his office sent a letter to all 95 county election offices reminding them that the distribution or display of any materials regarding the ballot that are not generated by the state election office is prohibited just like any candidate campaign materials. The amendment “voting guide” was printed off the Internet and placed on voter registration tables at all three Dickson County voting locations until a voter called the election office to inquire about the materials last Wednesday. Early voting concludes today at the satellite locations in Dickson and White Bluff with polls open extended hours until 7 pm. Early voting ends tomorrow with polls open 8 am-4 pm at the election office in Charlotte only. Election day is Tuesday.

Recent Dickson County Early Voting Totals

August 2010: 5,163

November 2010: 4,949

August 2012: 1,757

November 2012: 8,711

August 2014: 5,314

November 2014: 2,859 (through Tuesday)

Friday is the deadline to reserve tickets for this year’s Farm-City Banquet. The annual banquet sponsored by the Dickson County Soil Conservation District and the Agriculture Committee of the Dickson County Chamber of Commerce will be 6:30 pm Thursday, Nov. 13, at the Tennsco Community Center. Tickets are $10 per person and include the dinner, awards program and entry for door prizes. The annual banquet acknowledges individuals, families and businesses for their contributions to the economy and quality of life in Dickson County as well as recognizing outstanding efforts in soil and water conservation in farming practices. The banquet also will recognize the winners of the elementary school poster contest and the high school photo contest. To reserve tickets, call Amy Clifton at the Soil Conservation District office at 615-446-2449 extension 3 by 4 pm Friday. Tickets can be mailed or picked up at the door.

The Dickson Police Department is hosting a training session for local medical professionals on Tennessee’s Safe Haven law that allows mothers to give up newborn children without facing prosecution. The free one-hour training session will be at 9 am Monday at the Dickson County Emergency Medical Services building at 284 Cowan Road. Enacted in 2001, Tennessee’s Safe Haven law allows mothers to voluntarily surrender a child within 72 hours of birth to an employee at any qualified location and not be required to provide any identifying information or face criminal prosecution. The law identifies qualified locations as hospitals, birthing centers, health departments, walk-in clinics, emergency medical services facilities, fire departments and police departments that are staffed 24 hours. The child only can be surrendered by the birth mother who must present the child to an employee and cannot just leave him or her unattended. The child can be up to three days old and must not show any signs of intentional abuse. The staff member accepting the child is instructed to ask the mother for any medical history of the child and the names of the mother and father, but also is instructed to inform her that it is not required but would only help facilitate the child’s adoption. All information is to be confidential and provided only to the Department of Children’s Services to assist in the child’s care and placement. The staff member accepting the child must wait until the mother has left the premises before notifying DCS. A mother has 30 days after surrendering the child to petition for his or her return. Monday’s training session is designed to prepare local medical professionals and staff members at qualified Safe Haven locations for what to do in the event a mother shows up to surrender a newborn. For more information on the training session, contact Dickson Police Department Crime Prevention Officer David Cole at 615-446-8041 extension 5. DCS officials said two infants were surrendered under the Safe Haven law in August, one at a Nashville fire station and one at a hospital. The state announced that the mother who left her infant at the fire station returned to claim her child last month.