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OK, enough jokes at the expense of Animal Control. We’ve heard them all already.
I always like to check the national wire to find odd, strange and curious stories around the country. But sometimes crazy stories happen right here in McMinnville. And sometimes they happen right here at the Southern Standard. Here’s a bizarre story from last week.
Anybody who read the newspaper Wednesday or Friday likely noticed the front-page stories about the criminals who crashed their pickup through the front doors of two convenience stores to steal cigarettes and other items. It turns out one of the alleged crooks was right here at the newspaper office Tuesday afternoon at the same time we were finishing up the story – and he even talked to a sheriff’s investigator in our lobby.
Here’s how it all took place. We are advertising for a position in our newsroom for a person who can do page design and website work. When you advertise a job, you never know who is going to walk off the street and ask about it.
In this case, there was a lady who walked into my office with her husband, Ronald Kloosterman. Mr. Kloosterman is very identifiable because he has a large tattoo on his neck.
As I’m trying to end the conversation and get the two out of my office, in walks sheriff’s investigator Kevin Murphy. He had stopped by to drop off the photos we published in the newspaper of one of the suspects and the damaged pickup.
In the course of the two both being at our office at the same time, Kloosterman actually strikes up a conversation with Murphy and the two actually shake hands. At the time, there was no way to know Kloosterman was allegedly involved in the burglaries because the surveillance photos had captured his partner, Clayton Lance.
But there’s no way to miss the irony of the situation. As the newspaper is writing a story about three suspects on the loose, and as a sheriff’s investigator comes by to drop off surveillance photos, one of the suspects is right here in our office. And his wife wants a job.
The only thing that could have made this story better is if they drove the white pickup used in the burglaries to the newspaper office and had it sitting in the parking lot – damage and all. If Murphy could have made the arrest right in my office, that would have been pretty cool too. If that happened, it would go down as one of those things which should never happen during a job interview.
not as exciting
As some of you may recall, I covered the regular Industrial Development Board meeting last month and left with several good stories. Unfortunately, there wasn’t as much exciting news at this month’s IDB meeting Thursday.
On the upside, director of economic development Jeff McCormick revealed there is a small local company in the county looking to expand in a new location in the city. As is the norm with this type of thing, McCormick isn’t about to reveal the name of the company.
“We’re in the early stages, mainly talking square footage right now,” said McCormick. “It might be around 10 new jobs.”
In other news, McCormick talked about the possibility of having some drilling work done at Mt. View Industrial Park in Morrison so the park could become state certified. Mt. View already has its site certification, but this would be a different designation that shows all property in the park is ready for development.
“We already have all our environmental documentation that shows a company there are no wetland problems and no environmental problems at the industrial park,” said McCormick. “This is another process and one of the requirements is core drillings so a company will know the soil structure.”
All of this is a way to assure companies considering Mt. View Industrial Park that the land there is ready to go. If they wanted to locate there, they would not have to wait months and months for these studies to be conducted because the studies are already on file.
There are around 100 usable acres available at the industrial park, in addition to 25 acres that go with Spec Building 3.
Bed bug problem
is on the rise
Contrary to how this may appear, the purpose of this segment is not to strike fear into the hearts of residents throughout Warren County. Rather, it’s to be informative.
The bed bug topic was brought to my attention when I learned bed bug sniffing dogs were paying a visit to McMinnville Housing Authority on Thursday to check for the invasive creatures. It turns out bed bugs have once again become a persistent problem around the country and here in Tennessee.
“Bed bugs were all but eradicated in the United States in the 1940s,” said Chuck Nelson, owner of Franklin-based Dog Inspectors. “But in places like India and China, they always remained a problem. Now with so much international travel, they arrived back in the United States 15 to 20 years ago. They started in New York and have gradually worked their way down to our area.”
McMinnville Housing Authority director Patricia Basham said bringing in the bed bug dogs was her idea of being proactive to the situation.
“I wish this wasn’t a serious problem in McMinnville, but it is,” said Patricia.
According to Dann Stout at Dann’s Pest Control, he receives regular calls about bed bugs and says they are “rampant” in this area. Because they can spread so easily, he says everyone is susceptible, no matter how clean you keep your house.
“You can pick them up from a seat at the movie theater or from a restaurant or doctor’s office,” said Dann. “The main way you get them is still through vacations and hotel travel, but you can pick them up anywhere. They are as tiny as an apple seed.”
Dann said he didn’t get any calls about bed bugs until five or six years ago. Now he’s going to seminars on how to eradicate them once they get in your house. Bed bugs can even be transported from backpack to backpack if you have kids in school.
If you think you have a bed bug problem, Dann’s Termite is one place you can call at 473-1625.
Ceremony held for
new welding shop
It was a couple weeks ago when I told you about the new welding shop coming to Tennessee Technology Center at McMinnville to meet the growing need for local welders. On Wednesday, there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new facility so members of the community could see the $325,000 investment made by the Tennessee Board of Regents.
On hand for the ceremony was James King, who is vice chancellor of the Board of Regents. In that capacity, he is over all 27 technology centers in the state. King says the technology centers are preparing students with marketable skills which are landing them quality jobs after graduation.
“We have about an 80 percent placement rate where our students are getting good-paying jobs from Elizabethton to Memphis,” said King. “One thing you can say about our technology centers, all 27 of them, is they are community schools. When people get out they tend to stay here and pay taxes here.”
Welding instructor Raymond Rigsby touted the benefits of learning this specific trade.
“Welding is something that will never become obsolete,” said Raymond. “It’s a great skill to have, but it’s got to be something you love because it’s hot, dirty, and you get burnt all the time. I’ve been doing it about 44 years so you can tell I enjoy it.”
Anyone who would like more information about the next welding class, which starts in September, can call 474-8324.
New pipes at
Westwood Car Care
When I saw all the digging that was taking place last week at Westwood Car Care, I thought property owner Benton Womack might be installing new gas pumps and returning to the days when the business was called Westwood Service Center.
Turns out, there was just some water problems and Benton was having new lines installed.
“Don’t ever pour concrete over water lines,” said Benton in what is some sage advice. “It turns out to be a much bigger job.”
Folks may remember Benton sold gas, changed oil, and performed tire repair at the service center located next to Westwood Bridge. He was there for around 20 years.
“I still see people today who see me on the street who tell me they wish I was still down there,” said Benton, who ruled out that possibility. “I’m too old for that.”
The property is currently occupied by Mark Keith, who does a fine job with his auto body and repair business.
WCHS student Newby Parton is an industrious fellow. In an effort to generate money for his college fund, Newby has started selling unique yarn creatures he calls Grockles.
“Part of what makes Grockles so fun is their deceptive simplicity,” said Newby. “What starts out as a bare Styrofoam ball and some yarn, quickly transforms into a creature with a personality all its own.”
After making a few Grockles, Newby says the orders started pouring in. He says the Grockles are unique because they come in 13 different colors, two sizes, four facial expressions, and 20 different pairs of eyes. Newby says that opens the door for 2,080 possible combinations.
The cost for a fun-sized Grockle is $5, and a large one costs $6. To make an order, call or text him at 743-00084.
That’s all folks
I encourage any and all business tips. I even gladly accept critical letters. Give me a call at 473-2191.