Before we get started on a memorable installment of Business Cheetah that should be cut out and hung on the fridge, let’s take a moment to recognize one of the great Americans in Warren County. It’s none other than Rhonda Cummings.
As you may have heard, there was a high-profile stabbing last Sunday at the VFW. Thanks to Rhonda’s decisive action, further damage was averted when she allowed stabbing victim Mike Hale to dash through a side entrance of the VFW then blocked the door for the three people who were chasing him.
“Duecey was running pretty fast,” she said, recalling how she saw Mike running through the parking lot. “I didn’t even realize he’d been stabbed at that point. I just saw them coming after him and I wasn’t going to have any of that here. We don’t want any trouble. If you’re going to cause trouble, stay at home. Don’t come here.”
Asked how she kept three people from barging into the VFW, Rhonda said it wasn’t that difficult. “If you stand your ground with an authoritative voice people will listen,” said Rhonda. “They say in situations like that your fight or flight instincts kick in. I guess it was my fight instincts because I wasn’t going to move.”
VFW officials say it was fortunate Hale decided to run in a side door because he would have been caught for sure by his three attackers if he tried to run in the front door where you have to get buzzed in to gain entry. It was also fortunate that a nurse was inside the VFW and began to give him immediate first aid before ambulance personnel arrived.
Once it became clear what had just happened, VFW employees tried to keep the three accused attackers from leaving the premises on their motorcycles. However that wasn’t going to happen.
“I tried to keep them from leaving but my body against their motorcycles wasn’t going to work,” said bar manager Misty Brumley. “But it didn’t matter because they didn’t get far. They were caught just a short way from here.”
Misty said the incident didn’t have anything to do with the VFW as the three attackers never came inside the building.
“It was a woman issue, not a VFW issue,” said Misty, who indicated the organization is nonetheless in the process of installing security cameras outside the building and says such cameras are already in operation inside.
VFW sets sights on renovation
The stabbing in the VFW parking lot comes at an inopportune time as the organization is in the process of remodeling the inside of its building and looking to instill a family atmosphere. Bar manager Misty Brumley has been on board a couple months, has hired an all-new staff, and is looking to cultivate a pleasant environment.
“Since I’ve been here, I’ve been asking people what they want to see,” said Misty. “And the biggest reply is I want this to be a place where I’m able to bring my children and my grandchildren.”
Misty has heard that sentiment and she’s working to enact positive change. One big hit has been family karaoke night, which is every Thursday in the main dining room from 7 to 11 p.m. She said the night has attracted as many as 60 people.
There has been a concerted effort to improve the menu and things like the Friday night catfish buffet have gone over well. There is also brunch offered after church on Sunday.
“It’s like Sunday dinner at grandma’s,” said Misty. “Our customers have gone crazy over the grilled pork chops so we have them every Sunday.”
Misty says plate lunches are on the way and will begin Monday, Aug. 31. She said the VFW will take advantage of fair week to remodel the dining room, which is capable of seating 272 people.
“We want to create fun things for people to do, but it’s hard to get people to come out,” said Misty in saying the VFW has a dart league and is working to start a pool league.
If it’s been awhile since you've tried the food at the VFW, Misty encourages you to stop by for another visit. The facility is also available to rent and makes a great place for a reunion, birthday party or banquet. She said they just finished cooking for a 75-person banquet Tuesday night.
The VFW is open seven days a week beginning at noon each day. If you’d like more information you can call 668-8392 or 743-3630.
Feed store has new owners
It was over seven years ago in June 2008 when David Hill constructed a new building on Sparta Highway for his business, Warren County Tack and Feed.
As of Aug. 1, the business has new owners in Bruce and Vallery Shannon and a new name in Crooked Stick Warren County. It also has a slightly different focus.
“We are a full farm and feed supply store,” said Vallery. “That includes everything from vaccinations to twine.”
The Shannons currently run the feed store in nearby Doyle and say that operation has enjoyed success. Now they’re expanding into Warren County, although they realize this is a slow time for business.
“Just like the kayaking business dies in the winter, it's tough to sell feed in the summer because the grass is flourishing and animals have plenty to eat,” said Bruce. “In the feed business, you limp through the summer to get to the winter but the first frost will be here soon enough.”
Bruce said they’ve been meeting lots of nice people in Warren County and are satisfied with how business has been the first couple weeks. “We have a ton of new product in here and a lot more to come,” he said.
Vallery said they will keep regular business hours from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. She said people can buy feed by the bag or by the skid.
“We’ve already had a customer come from Wartrace to buy a skid of our feed so it’s neat to see people travel from so far away.”
For more information, Crooked Stick Warren County can be reached at 668-2040.
Evermind celebrates first year in business
It was a year ago when Dave Gilbert had an unveiling ceremony in McMinnville to introduce a revolutionary new product he created called Evermind. It was a grand ceremony and there was great enthusiasm surrounding this new technology.
That excitement still exists and Dave says he’s pleased with Evermind’s first-year progress, although he has changed his focus.
For those who may not remember, Evermind serves as a monitoring system to allow people to keep track of their older parents still living at home. The system plugs into three household appliances such as a coffee maker, TV or light. Then it can send a text message when the appliance is used.
For example, if your 85-year-old mother always makes coffee at 7 a.m., it can send you a regular text message so you know she is keeping her regular routine. If 9 a.m. rolls around and the coffee maker still hasn’t been used, it can send a text message telling you mom is not keeping her normal schedule. It can help provide valuable peace of mind.
“I’m happy with sales but we have not sold as many as we anticipated in the consumer market to be quite frank,” said Dave. “We are going to continue to serve that market, but most of our activity has been in healthcare in home care with durable medical equipment companies. With that side of it, we have more customers than we can get on board right now.”
Dave said Evermind has been popular with DME companies because they like to monitor their products to ensure they are being used as prescribed. A doctor may prescribe an infusion pump or ventilator, but the patient may not use the product as he or she has been told. This can lead to deteriorating health.
“The insurance companies are on board with us because hospitals are starting to charge readmission penalties if patients are readmitted too soon for the same problems,” said Dave. “They want to make sure patients are compliant with their prescriptions and compliant with their treatment. You can have a therapist stop by for an hour a day, but other than that, there’s no way to monitor them.”
The Evermind system plugs into durable medical equipment just like it does a coffee maker and can send a message when the product is used. Dave said that part of the business is really gaining traction.
While Evermind is a Nashville-based company, local residents may remember Dave for his years growing up in Warren County. He took his first computer class from Katrina Haley on the way to graduating from WCHS in 1985.
Dave said getting the Evermind technology from his head and into production was a tiresome process that required protocol after protocol. It also took substantial financial backing.
For everyone out there who wants to dream up a get-rich-quick scheme, myself included, it’s seldom as simple as stumbling on the idea of a pet rock. Dave has certainly put in the time and it appears he has found marketability with his product on the healthcare side. The folks at Business Cheetah wish him the best.
IDB receives special delivery
The Industrial Development Board has a new member with the appointment of McMinnville postmaster Brent Nunley. He was appointed to fill the seat formerly held by Glenn Moore, who has retired.
Brent says he doesn’t plan to mail it in and wants to play an active role in improving the Warren County economy. He was recommended for the post by McMinnville Mayor Jimmy Haley and approved by the full city board Tuesday night.
“I grew up here and the middle class seemed to be a whole lot stronger in the 1980s with plants like Powermatic, MagneTek, Carrier and DeZurik,” said Brent. “People weren’t rich, but everybody seemed to have what they needed. Now it doesn’t seem that way as much. We have jobs but we need some more good-paying jobs.”
While Brent is a U.S. Postal employee, he is essentially the manager of a small company with 40 employees because the post office receives no government assistance. “We are supported by the stamps we sell,” said Brent.
When Brent and I were talking Thursday afternoon, he told me he would like to explore the possibility of developing more entertainment and recreation-related business in town.
“I really don’t know what kids do around here at night,” said Brent. “I’d like to have more places for them to go.”
Brent says he realizes the nature of industrial development and it’s sometimes necessary to keep information confidential. He says he spent two years in the Army and knows when to keep his mouth shut.
“If I can be a small piece of the puzzle, I’m happy to do it,” said Brent, 42, on accepting the appointment. “At the end of the day, I just want to feel like I’ve made a difference.”
He joins the 10-member Industrial Development Board as a city representative. The other four city representatives are Sandra Haynes, who is current chair, Tommy Foster, Gary Judkins and Mark Brown. The five county representatives are Joe Pugh, Jeff Golden, Herschel Wells Jr., Joe Hamby, and Mike Millard.
IDB members are responsible for overseeing the work of IDB director Don Alexander. In talking with Don last week, he says the office has been extremely busy and described economic activity as brisk. This is spectacular news.
That’s all folks
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