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Job shadowing 31
Eighth-graders job shadowing Friday morning at NHC are, from left, Austin Grissom, Keely Walker, Haley King, Shayle Crawford, Madison Hollis, sitting, and NHC director of rehabilitation Lori Womack.

If there’s one thing we need in life, it’s more stuff. The only drawback to that train of thought is it also means we need more storage.

That’s where Outdoor Accessories enters the picture. This new business has been open for two weeks next to the bridge at 415 Beersheba Street. It offers everything you need to protect your prized possessions from the elements, including carports, buildings, garages, and animal shelters. For your backyard enjoyment, there are gazebos and playsets.

“I used to do this for two years at a corporate office in Murfreesboro so I know the business,” said Cheyenne Maddox, who owns Outdoor Accessories with her husband, Justin. “This is something we’ve thought about for some time.”

Justin said they considered different scenarios in different cities, but in the end they both decided to keep their full-time jobs and open the business right here in McMinnville.

“We’re an authorized dealer for Mountain Barn Builders,” said Justin. “Everybody wants the best price and this is a good product at a good price. We did a lot of shopping around and found this is the best company out there.”

With tax return money about to hit wallets everywhere, Justin said now is the time to consider buying a building. He has metal buildings starting at $1,595 and wooden buildings starting at $1,995. There are a variety of sizes and some buildings even come with a front porch to give it a down-home touch. The porches are great if you’re using the building as a workshop or want to make it look more distinct.

“Some people don’t want something that looks like a storage building in their yard,” said Cheyenne.
If you don’t want to spend your tax return money all in one spot, Outdoor Accessories offers a rent-to-own option with at least $100 down. Payment options include 36, 48 or 60 months. You can also pay cash or use a credit card.

Outdoor Accessories offers free delivery within a 30-mile radius. Justin said customer service is the No. 1 priority.

Justin says he plans to remain a firefighter with McMinnville Fire Department, which he calls his dream job. Cheyenne works full-time at McMinnville Workholding.

Business hours at Outdoor Accessories are Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The phone number is (931) 304-8711.

Bypass land brings questions

It has been almost exactly 10 years since heavy equipment crews worked feverishly around the clock to clear and prepare some 30 acres of land on the corner of the bypass and Spring Street. To my amazement, that property still remains empty today.

For years, folks said it would be a great spot for Target. Now that retail shopping is fading ever so slightly, I’d like to suggest that spot would be a great location for Amazon’s HQ2. I realize McMinnville didn’t make the list of 20 finalists, but I can still dream aloud.

I’ve received several recent questions about the property, mainly because people have noticed work being done there. The fence row has been cleared and there was some work done to the front corner.

Waymon Hale says he’s had some interest in the land, but there’s nothing to announce at this point. “I’ve been in contact with two different groups and we’ve been talking about it,” said Waymon.

With the two-lane portion of North Chancery Street near Walmart gradually becoming all commercial, it’s hard for me to predict the best long-term use for the 30 acres on the bypass. Do we need more retail space?
With the recent additions of Zaxby’s, Bojangles and Which Wich, do we need more fast food?

There’s reportedly interest in building two new hotels in McMinnville, in addition to continued efforts to turn the ever-vacant Blue Building into a hotel. I don’t think we’ll ever get a retail gem like Belk or World Market. I can always hope for O’Charley’s.

Those are my thoughts. If I had to make a $1 bet, I’d say one day the property will be mini storage.

Farewell to old Rafael’s

The building that proudly served as home to Rafael’s Italian Restaurant for some 17 years has been reduced to rubble. In its place, a shiny, new office will be constructed for Aspen Dental, which operates in 33 states and has some 550 franchised dental facilities.

According to the Aspen Dental website, the company has nearby offices in Cookeville, Murfreesboro and Tullahoma. It has 27 locations in Tennessee.

The property where Aspen Dental will be located at Cumberland Plaza is owned by Greenwood Properties in Bowling Green, Ky. When I called Greenwood on Friday to ask about a ballpark timetable on when construction might begin, I was told no timetable has been established.

When I asked if it was known if construction might start in six weeks or six months, I was told there is no timetable established. Doing some legwork, I found construction plans are already on file at City Hall so Greenwood Properties is ready to go whenever it’s ready, be it a month or five years.

Look, a new eye doctor

Our glorious national anthem begins with the memorable line, “Oh say can you see …”

In case you’re wondering, “The Star-Spangled Banner” was originally a poem written by Francis Scott Key in 1814. Back in those days, medical care wasn’t what it is today so I’m guessing Mr. Key was struggling with his vision.

If he were alive today, Mr. Key could get his eyesight tested by Dr. Terry Connor, who is pleased to announce an addition to his staff in Dr. Jaime Keele.

“We’ve been really busy and there’s definitely a need for her here,” said Dr. Connor. “She’s awesome and she makes me better because she’s young and smart.”

Before accepting the job, Dr. Keele came and observed the practice for several days to ensure it would be a nice fit.

“We felt it was important for her to come here and make sure she feels comfortable,” said Dr. Conner. “We want this to be long term. She comes highly recommended.”

Dr. Keele had worked for the past two years in Chattanooga before she decided to relocate closer to home. She’s from Manchester and a proud graduate of Coffee County High School. She celebrated a recent milestone in her life Jan. 6 when she got married.

In an interesting tidbit, Jaime is the sister of local dentist John Taylor. John married Megan Hamblen Taylor and the two are currently operating Hickory Creek Dental Arts on South Chancery Street.

When asked about her and her brother both going into the medical field, Jaime said, “My parents own a nursery and we wanted to do something opposite of that.”

Dr. Connor and Dr. Keele are ready to address your eye care needs at their office on the corner of Smithville Highway and Fairgrounds Road. The phone number is 473-7844.

A day for job shadowing

In an effort to gain insight about potential careers, eighth-graders around the county went job shadowing Friday. I made a stop by NHC where five students were learning the rewards of being a long-term care provider.

Cindy Tilton, a CNA, compared her job to hitting a perfect golf shot. She said it doesn’t happen every day, but there are times a patient says, or does, something that has a lasting impact.

“I remember working with a patient who was blind,” said Tilton. “She heard someone in the room but she couldn’t tell who it was so she said, ‘Who is that?’ When I told her it was me she said, ‘I was sure hoping you’d be my CNA today.’ That’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

Lori Womack works in rehabilitative services. A former collegiate swimmer, she said she always assumed she would work with athletes, but her mindset changed while working in Columbia, Tenn.

“It’s so rewarding to see the progress people make,” said Lori. “When you start, it might take two people just to get them out of bed and you work with them until they get to the point where they can walk 300 feet on their own.”

NHC administrator Tim Wrather said, “It’s a good living financially and it’s a better living for what you do for other people.”

The eighth-graders said it’s a desire to help others which has them interested in pursuing a career in healthcare. The students visiting NHC were Madison Hollis, Shayle Crawford, Haley King, Keely Walker and Austin Grissom.

A vision from the president

On Tuesday, President Trump outlined his vision for America.

One day earlier, on a less televised stage, Chamber of Commerce president Mandy Eller outlined her organization’s plans during the annual Chamber banquet at McMinnville Civic Center.

Mandy talked about the importance of attracting retirees to Warren County. She said the goal is not to become a full-fledged retirement community, which has a somewhat negative stigma, but to sprinkle in retirees to bolster the economy.

“There are 10,000 people a day retiring in the U.S. and that’s until 2030,” said Mandy.
She said every 1.8 retirees equals 1 industrial job. And she said every retiree household has the economic impact of 3.7 industrial jobs.

“Attracting retirees also helps our wealth numbers,” said Mandy. This is important when trying to attract chains that look strictly at economic numbers and traffic counts when determining where to expand.

She said Smooth Rapids has become a steady tourism attraction with approximately 80 percent of its kayak rental business coming from outside the county. She said Cumberland Caverns Live, a new concert series that began Saturday, has already sold tickets all over the United States.

Mandy said when it comes to operating a business, human resources are the most important asset. She said 4 out of 5 of the local businesses she surveyed expressed problems with the attendance and dependability of their workforce.

“People are the most crucial element in retaining businesses in our community,” she said.

That’s all folks

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