WZTV FOX 17 - Top Stories
December 1, 2012
Many parents in Wilson County are upset about a proposal to re-open the old Lebanon High School as a middle school.
The school was closed because of its age and numerous problems.
Saturday the School Board held a contentious meeting.
Saturday's work session for the Wilson County School Board quickly became a time to express frustration
"Would you like to come sit and stay in this building everyday?," says one parent.
The School Board is considering a plan to re-open the old Lebanon High School. They would move middle schoolers from three other schools to alleviate overcrowding.
"We feel it will improve the education of our students from information that we've been provided," says School Board Chairman Don Weathers.
But the old school has a list of problems including health and safety issues.
"Sewage, the bugs, the mold, the asbestos, and now all of a sudden it's just the greatest place on Earth to put Middle School kids," says School Board Member Greg Lasater.
Plans would include renovations and closing off some sections of the building. But many parents aren't sure.
"It it wasn't good enough then and they needed to build a new high school, than what makes it better now for younger kids?," says parent Eric Wilcox.
Judy Wright's husband used to be a principal here. She knows there were problems with the school 20 years ago.
"I know they've done some things to the school, but there are just some improvements that you can't do. I just don't think this facility is what we need," says Wright.
Supporters on the School Board believe using the building will save taxpayers money, but convincing parents may be difficult. For them safety comes first.
"We cannot forsake our children's health for a budgetary issue," says Wilcox.
The School Board did not take any votes Saturday.
Many parents say they want additional chances to speak out, and hear more details before any decisions are made.
For news updates follow John Dunn on twitter @WZTVJohnDunn
Sunday, December 2 2012, 10:14 AM CST
Police chief: No charges likely in Va parade crash
May 21, 2013 15:57 GMT
DAMASCUS, Va. (AP) -- Authorities say the driver who plowed into dozens of hikers marching in a Virginia mountain town's parade won't likely face charges.
Damascus Police Chief Bill Nunley says the driver in the Saturday incident that injured about 50 people had a medical issue that caused him to lose control of his car.
Nunley says that while the investigation is ongoing, authorities haven't found any criminal intent.
He identified the driver as 87-year-old Deward Blevins of Shady Valley, Tenn., who remains hospitalized in stable condition.
Blevins' 1997 Cadillac was one of the last vehicles in the Hikers Parade at the Trail Days festival, an annual celebration of the Appalachian Trail in Damascus, near the Tennessee state line.
Most of those injured were treated and released Saturday. Two were kept at hospitals overnight.
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