September 2017 Around Town 3

Hendersonville Planning Director Fred Rogers Retires

Fred D. Rogers retired in July after serving 15 years as director of the Hendersonville Planning Department. Rogers guided Hendersonville through an extended period of unprecedented growth and development. Early in his tenure, he guided a long-range, citizen-driven visionary process known as Hendersonville Tomorrow and initiated a similar effort underway today, Hendersonville Horizons. He also spearheaded the development and adoption of a comprehensive land use and transportation plan as well as a new zoning ordinance.

Roger’s other accomplishments include upgrading the city’s development and design standards, the development of the Old Town Redevelopment Plan and the acquisition of more than $30 million in Community Development Block Grant funds which are being used for street repairs, drainage improvements and renovations to the city’s Senior Citizens Center. Rogers also represented the city in regional transportation and development coordination projects, including serving on the Nashville Metropolitan Planning Organization where he was chairman of the Technical Coordinating Committee.

“Fred has been invaluable to Hendersonville,” Hendersonville Mayor Jamie Clary says. “His positive impact will be appreciated by several future generations of Hendersonville residents.”

Keith Free Named New Hendersonville Planning Director

Following the retirement of Fred Rogers, Keith L. Free, AICP,  has been named the new director of the Hendersonville Planning Department. Free has served as the senior planner for the city since July 2016 and has more than 28 years of extensive experience in urban planning, community development, historic preservation, code enforcement and project management. He is a graduate of Western Kentucky University with degrees in cartography, city planning and public administration. Before working for the city of Hendersonville, He served as development director for Cohen-Esrey, community development director for the city of Owensboro, Kentucky, director of projects and planning for Owensboro Regional Hospital and planning director for the city of Radcliff, Kentucky.

“Keith will continue our effort to serve our professional office community and our residents,” Hendersonville Mayor Jamie Clary said in announcing Free’s appointment.

Sumner County EMA Emergency 
Communications Center Opens

The new Sumner County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Emergency Communications Center (ECC) held a ribbon-cutting and open house on July 7. Located on Airport Road in Gallatin, the center is designed to consolidate all emergency and E911 dispatch traffic from Sumner County and local municipality departments, including police, fire and EMS agencies. Starting the week of July 17, all county and local municipality E911 dispatches will be handled within the secure facility.

During the grand opening ceremonies, various EMA and political dignitaries addressed the crowd, including Sumner County EMA Director Ken Weidner, Sumner County ECC Director Rhonda Lea, Sumner County Executive Anthony Holt, state Sen. Ferrell Haile and the mayors of Sumner County municipalities.

A MidSummer’s Night Gala with Gov. Bill Haslam

A Midsummer’s Night Gala with Gov. Bill Haslam for the re-election of Anthony Holt, Sumner County Executive was held July 20 in Gallatin. Hosted by Ace Harrington and Dawn Mangrum, the event was a fundraiser for Anthony Holt, who is currently seeking re-election for his fourth term as Sumner County executive.

Several hundred people attended the event, including a large number of dignitaries including Gov. Bill Haslam, Congresswoman Diane Black, state Sen. Ferrell Haile, state RepWilliam Lamberth, Secretary of State Tre Hargett, Tennessee Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Many-Bears Grinder and Gallatin Mayor Paige Durham.

During a statement to the attendees, Holt stated he was “honored by the incredible turnout of all friends and supporters.”

Sumner County Wills for Heroes

The Sumner County Wills for Heroes Workshop will be held September 25 at the Sumner County Training Center, 1570 Cairo Road in Gallatin. Hosted by Heritage Law Group PLLC, the workshop will provide free essential legal documents to Sumner County first responders, including firefighters, EMS workers and law enforcement personnel. During the 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. workshop, attorney Jake Mason and other volunteers will prepare wills, living wills and powers of attorney for attendees.

At the workshop, attendees will also enjoy complimentary food, entertainment and vendors throughout the day. Donations will be accepted, and they will be forwarded to the “100 Club of Sumner County.”

For more information or to register to attend the Wills for Heroes workshop, go to

Hendersonville Receives $500,000 Home Repair Grant

The Tennessee Housing Development Agency presented Hendersonville Mayor Jamie Clary with a $500,000 HOME (home repair) grant on July 27. The grant will be used to fund a home repair program for elderly, disabled and low-income homeowners in the city who cannot afford to bring their residences up to code.

In addition to Mayor Clary and other city personnel, state Sen. Ferrell Haile and state Rep. Courtney Rogers were also present at the check presentation ceremony.

Vol State Names Sonography Director

Volunteer State Community College has named Edward Carlton as director of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) program. Carlton was previously a diagnostic sonographer at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, where he employed DMS technologies using high-frequency ultrasonic sound waves to generate images of organs and other systems in patients. Carlton holds a bachelor’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography from Grand Valley State University, and he is currently working on a master’s in radiologic science, education program from Midwestern State University.

Carlton was attracted to the Vol State sonography program in part due to its on-campus laboratory. Configured like a clinic, the laboratory features eight beds, each with high-tech imaging units and HD displays. The lab also has a state-of-the-art virtual reality simulator for students to practice more difficult scans and image specific pathologies.

According to Carlton, “In the clinical setting,  you get to work with students a lot,” Carlton says. “That really appeals to me. I would like to see the program at Vol State expand. Growing the program is important.”

Vol State Offers College Degrees Entirely Online

Thousands of students take online classes at Volunteer State Community College each semester. However, many of them do not realize they can earn an entire degree without ever setting foot on campus. The ability to take all required classes without having to drive to the school provides an attractive option for students. In addition to eliminating the commute, online classes provide flexibility for students who are juggling family, work and their education.

Online students have assignments and deadlines, but they can usually do their work whenever and wherever they want. Despite this flexibility, however, online classes are every bit as challenging as traditional classes, with the benefit that students are encouraged to utilize the internet to go further with their thinking.

Online courses are not for everyone. Students need regular access to high-speed internet. While that may seem to limit people, some students set aside time to work at their public library each week to submit work and take exams. Research and general work can often be accomplished with slower internet speeds. Ultimately, the main factor in determining whether or not online classes are appropriate is the study habits and commitments of the students themselves.

“The students who do well with online classes are self-motivated, organized and good time managers,” Rhonda Gregory, director of Distributed Education for Vol State, says “To support students we have online tutoring, online advising and online library services.”

In addition, students may worry they will be isolated from others when taking online classes. However, such isolation does not have to occur.

“Good students are constantly communicating with the professor and other students in each course. It’s highly interactive,” Gregory says.

Vol State has more than 25 online degree and certificate programs available, many of which can also transfer to a university for an online bachelor’s degree program. Subjects at Vol State range from teaching and sociology to math and science. University Studies is the most popular degree at the college. It is designed specifically for transfer to a university. Several programs at Vol State have been online for several years, including Fire Science.