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County commission education committee approves another $20,000 in Sturgeon civil suit

The Williamson County Commission Education Committee voted 4-0 this week to reduce a WCS district funding request from $30,000 to $20,000 to pay for attorney fees regarding a civil suit brought against the district by county commissioner Barbara Sturgeon, District 8.

Recent Headlines

Tuesday 05/26/2015
Cigarette butt recycling program comes to Franklin
Updated: May 27, 2015 - 11:00 am

Franklin’s 100,000 butt challenge is on!

The innovative recycling program for cigarette butts and other smoking-related litter kicks off June 1 in Franklin and project organizers want 20 local businesses to hand them their butts.

The Cigarette Waste Brigade, brainchild of international recycling company TerraCycle, began recycling the difficult-to-manage waste in late 2012. Their partnership program is offered locally by Water City USA, a nonprofit dedicated to clean water in Middle Tennessee, and a Tennessee Department of Transportation special litter grant.

“With a 23 percent smoking rate in Tennessee, and nearly a dozen cigarettes per person as the daily average, Franklin residents may be generating as many as 44 million cigarette butts each year,” said Mark Thien, Executive Director of Water City USA.

According to Keep America Beautiful, as many as 85 percent of all cigarette butts are discarded improperly as litter. Rain carries the majority of Franklin’s cigarette butts into nearby gutters and storm drains. From there, they make way to the creeks, streams and water systems that feed the Harpeth River.

“Fish, frogs and other aquatic life do best with clean water, not cigarette waste,” Thien said. “Franklin business leaders understand this, so we anticipate strong participation in Williamson County.”

The program seeks 20 Franklin businesses for a simple proposition. Business would collect workplace cigarette waste then ship it free-of-charge via program partner UPS. In exchange, partners will receive a stylish stainless steel, tamper-proof and weather resistant ash can, public recognition for participating, workplace fliers and a seminar to help green-focused businesses promote the clean water cause.

Franklin’s cigarette butts will be recycled into injected-molded plastic shipping pallets. The no-cost program seeks 100,000 butts by Dec. 31.

Nearly half a million cigarette butts have been shipped under Water City USA’s lead. Interest grows because the program redirects sensitive workplace conversations about smoking toward more inspiring discussions about recycling and community improvement. Thien said it’s easy to support something free and good.

A $29,500 Special Litter Grant awarded by the TDOT Beautification Office will help fund the Franklin effort.

“Cigarette butts, which are not biodegradable, account for 38 percent of all U.S. roadway litter so this is an important program for us,” said Mark McAdoo, program manager for TDOT. “Water City USA is doing a nice job with this in Nashville, and we're happy to help it expand.”

Water City USA is one of 15 community and non-profit groups to receive a grant for special litter pickup and prevention projects that might not happen through regular Litter Grants.

Franklin businesses interested in the non-profit’s cigarette waste recycling program are encouraged to email Butts@NashvilleH2o.org. The organization can be found at Facebook/NashvilleH2O, Twitter.com/ NashvilleH2O or online at WaterCityUSA.org.

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4th annual Westhaven Porchfest returns to welcome dozens of musical acts on “Porch Stages”
Updated: May 27, 2015 - 10:34 am

Mark your calendar for the return of the 4th Annual Porchfest, an art and music festival unlike any other on Saturday, June 20, from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. at the Westhaven community in West Franklin.

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Monday 05/25/2015
Williamson observes Memorial Day, rain doesn't deter crowd
Updated: May 26, 2015 - 8:48 am

Williamson Countians gathered together Monday morning at Veteran's Park at Five Points to pause in respect for those who served and sacrificed their lives for America through military service.

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Seniors take the next step, Williamson County graduates
Updated: May 26, 2015 - 1:52 pm

High schools throughout Williamson County held graduation exercises Friday and Saturday this weekend. Here is a partial listing of the top scholars from a few area high schools provided by the individual schools.

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County teens to be honored with blood drive
Updated: May 25, 2015 - 9:29 am

Lindsey Evans and Benjamin Hensley have inspired thousands throughout the community to pay it forward. The pair of Williamson County teens were involved in an automobile accident on Dec. 15.

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Thursday 05/21/2015
Goose Creek multi-service emergency building gets underway
Posted: May 21, 2015

Williamson County officials broke ground for a new Williamson County Emergency Services Station, to be located at 2646 Goose Creek Bypass near the intersection of McLemore Road earlier this week.

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Gentry named 50th Darrell Waltrip Hometown Hero
Posted: May 21, 2015

There are few in Williamson County who haven’t been impacted by Jimmy Gentry in one way or another.  Whether it’s been through a simple visit to his family farm to pick pumpkins, in the classroom, on the football field, or by listening to him speak about his experience serving our country in World War II, Gentry’s story is an extraordinary one.  

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Franklin prepares for Memorial Day observances
Posted: May 21, 2015

The annual Williamson County Memorial Day Ceremony will be held Monday, May 25 at 10 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park located at Five Points in downtown Franklin. 

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Five Points Post Office, FirstBank overall winners in preservation awards
Updated: May 21, 2015 - 12:35 pm

Preservationists crowded The Franklin Theatre for a night of celebration Tuesday to commemorate the nearly a half century of work volunteers, businesses and longtime residents have undertaken.

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Wednesday 05/20/2015
Board votes down out-of-county reduced tuition rate; approves another $30,000 for Sturgeon civil lawsuit
Updated: May 21, 2015 - 12:33 pm

After a long, heated debate over the past few weeks with County Mayor Rogers Anderson and county commissioners about reducing the WCS out-of-county employee family tuition rate from $4,003 to $2,500, the measure was reversed by the county board of education at its meeting this week.

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WCSO sets checkpoints for Memorial Day weekend
Updated: May 22, 2015 - 10:42 am

The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office will conduct sobriety roadside safety checkpoints in the evening hours on these dates:                                           

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New FPD officers to be sworn in Friday
Updated: May 20, 2015 - 3:01 pm

Franklin Police Chief Deborah Faulkner will swear in six new officers Friday.

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Tuesday 05/19/2015
Fitness commitment gains Moore Elementary students visit with Tennessee Titan
Updated: May 19, 2015 - 8:56 pm

Kathy Clark, a physical education teacher at Moore Elementary for 25 years, gathered some of her fourth grade students to the school's gymnasium today for a special fitness event with Tennessee Titan Andy Levitre.

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Commissioner praises state progress but 'more work' to do
Updated: May 20, 2015 - 5:23 pm

During Williamson County's Chamber of Commerce meeting Tuesday, Dr. Candice McQueen, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Education, addressed positive progress and areas for improvement in education in the state, specifically focusing on the importance of increasing graduation rates and obtaining post secondary training among Tennesseans.

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Discover Franklin accepting registrants, series begins June 4
Updated: May 19, 2015 - 8:08 pm

The second annual session of Discover Franklin will begin June 4 with an orientation.  Over the course of six additional days, active older adults (55+) will enhance their understanding of Franklin and be exposed to meaningful volunteer opportunities within the community.

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Heritage Foundation meets tonight to award preservation partners, hold 48th annual meeting
Updated: May 20, 2015 - 5:59 pm

Preservationists crowded The Franklin Theatre for a night of celebration tonight to commemorate the nearly a half century of work volunteers, businesses and longtime residents have undertaken.

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Brentwood man charged with 2nd DUI, among others
Posted: May 19, 2015

A Brentwood man remains in custody Tuesday morning after being arrested with his second DUI. 

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WCS technology not prepared for TNReady testing Looney says
Updated: May 19, 2015 - 10:30 am

Superintendent Mike Looney announced to the board Monday his concerns that the district might not be fully technologically prepared to implement the state’s new achievement test TNReady for the 2015-16 school year.

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Monday 05/18/2015
Board to reconsider reduced tuition rate for employees, discusses high academic fees
Updated: May 19, 2015 - 8:01 am

The Williamson County Board of Education met for its regular meeting Monday night to vote on key matters including a reconsideration of the out-of-county employee family tuition rate, previously reduced by the board.

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WCS deadline for online enrollment is May 31
Updated: May 18, 2015 - 2:08 pm

Parents have until May 31 to enroll their child in Williamson County Schools for the 2015-16 school year. Parents may update a child's information online through existing Family Access accounts. 

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