La Vergne, Tennessee

La Vergne, Tennessee is one of the fastest growing communities in Tennessee (and probably in the Southeastern United States). A few short years ago, the population was approximately 9,000. Today, there are more than 25,000 residents who call La Vergne "home" and it continues to grow. This blog is dedicated to keeping our community updated on current events, and serves as a guide for restaurants, entertainment, schools, and more. Welcome to La Vergne!

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Highlights of 2006

2006 was a year of ups and downs in LaVergne, but through it all we were a community voicing our opinions, appreciations, disappointments and excitement in our small town. I hope to highlight the best of our blog throughout the year in this post, so let's take a stroll down memory lane:

January - Blog is in the incubation stage and being readied for public consumption (i.e., we haven't started it yet!).

February - Feb. 2 is first post on LaVergne blog. LaVergne Dining Guide is published and the state looks into the city's pink water problem.

March - Power outages frequent in LaVergne and look out for predatory mortgage lenders.

April - Pizza 101 closes, tornadoes in area, and Dennis Waldron says hello to our blog.

May - Primary election day has low turnout and Gateway coming to LaVergne.

June - TBI looks into ticket giveaways (city officials later cleared) and attempt made to change name of new elementary school.

July - Sherry Green won't run again for mayor, woman arrested for using apartment dumpster, LaVergne DOES have a Night Out Against Crime.

August - New fire stations opens, Kathy stops going to Pizza Hut, vandals mess up opponents field, and local teen commits suicide.

September - Family karaoke place opens, successful Oldtimers' Day, and city receives five awards.

October - Erwin elected mayor and thanks voters, Alderman candidate Doug Salisbury dies unexpectedly, LaVergne gets drivers licensing station, and some city history shared.

November - $3million lawsuit filed against city, parking problems for voters and mayor responds, pink water results in fine, and Lazy Pig BBQ opens.

December - Tree lighting ceremony held, restaurant and retail coming to LaVergne, new finance director named, and zoning for new/existing schools announced.

Here's wishing everyone a wonderful 2007!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Just In Case...

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas weekend. It doesn't feel like it's over with kids still home from school and hopefully people on vacation through the New Year, but in case you're already considering taking down the tree, LaVergne gives you options for disposing of live trees:
La Vergne residents who want to dispose of their “live” Christmas tree after the holiday season, are welcome to bring them to a specially roped off parking lot next to the La Vergne Public Works Department, according to La Vergne Public Works Director Bob Burns. The lot will be open through Jan. 31, and trees may be brought to the lot at anytime.

The Public Works Department chips the trees into mulch. The trees must be cleared of all ornaments, tinsel, garland and lights prior to being dropped off. The Public Works Department is located at 148 International Blvd., off Waldron Road. For more information, call 793-9891.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas, LaVergne

We hope the residents of LaVergne have a very happy Christmas. We hope that it's filled with laughter, joy, and love, and that it's a very safe one for you and those you love. May all your pantries be full, may you have a roof over your head, and may you be warm and loved.

Merry Christmas.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Volunteers Needed

The Smyrna/LaVergne Assistance Coalition is looking for volunteers to help people with money emergencies due to job loss, etc. The coalition, located in the food bank at 130 Richardson St. in Smyrna, is now open only a few hours each week on Monday and Tuesdays. Volunteers help people with electric bills, prescriptions, and to avoid eviction.

Read about the Coalition in today's Daily News Journal and if you have some extra time, volunteer!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

New Finance Director

LaVergne has hired a new money man - Jason Kemp. Kemp will serve as the city's finance director. Besides his extensive business experience, the Daily News Journal stated:
Kemp is an honorably discharged veteran from the United States Army (1989-1996) and holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Middle Tennessee State University and an Economics degree from Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa.

Welcome to LaVergne, Jason Kemp.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

You Think YOU'RE Having a Bad Day?

La Vergne's PR gal Angie sent me this information this morning:

A tractor trailer driven by Admir Jasikovic of St. Louis, Mo., dumped the cargo hauler off the bed of the truck on the Waldron Road bridge over I-24 on Tuesday morning. The incident took place about 11 a.m. The truck is owned by Reliable Transport of Indiana.

I'd be taking Murfreesboro Road or I24 to Sam Ridley for the next little while!

Brandon is Home

Brandon Brewer is back home now in LaVergne. You can send Christmas cards to him at:

Brandon Brewer
323 Fergus Road
La Vergne, TN 37086

His family is facing huge medical bills, so if you want to make a donation it can be sent to:

First Tennessee Bank
c/o Christopher Brandon Brewer
770 Nissan Drive
Smyrna, TN 37167

We wish Brandon and his family a joyful Christmas!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Link Dump

Have you ever wanted to see what your web page looks like graphed out? This is what this blog looks like:

It doesn't work using Internet Explorer, but I was able to graph it in Mozilla Firewall. Here's the link if you want to play: Websites as Graphs.

Or you can "Elf Yourself." Here's our former mayor as an elf. Have fun!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I Feel 105

The City of La Vergne is trying to find the oldest person in La Vergne. We believe the person to be in their upper 90s. If you know, or have a suggestion, please contact Angie Mayes by email or phone at 287-8690. As much information as you have will be much appreciated.

Fast Response Leads to 22 Arrests

FROM CITY PRESS RELEASE 12/14/2006: An anonymous tip lead to the arrest of 22 people on gambling and other charges and a gambling establishment was closed down in La Vergne Wednesday night. The operation took place less than 75 yards from a church.

Of the 22 arrested at 121E George Chaney Blvd., five were for felony charges while 17 were given misdemeanor citations.

“We received an anonymous call that there was gambling going on and when we went over there to do a welfare check, we noticed the security camera on the outside of the building,” LPD Lt. Ted Boyd said Thursday morning. “Officers Russell Howell and Chip Davis knocked on the door and the owners let them in. Apparently, the owners tried to convince police that they had made a place for their friends to get together and play poker.”

The games stated at 8:15 p.m. and reportedly would go on until the next morning. There was a $200 entry fee to play, Boyd said, noting they’d only been operating for about three to four weeks.

Three of the individuals – Steven Colbert, 42, of Shelbyville; Denny Kalinic, 33, of Columbia and Cathy McPherson, 23 of Shelbyville – were charged with the promotion of gambling and aggravated gambling.

Two individuals –--Ashley R. Hayes, 38, of Rockvale and Tyrone L. Jackson, 30, of Nashville -- were charged with gambling and possession of drugs. Approximately 400 pills were confiscated, along with nearly ½ pound of cocaine and a small amount of marijuana. The pills were Oxycontin, Loratab, Xanax, Percoset and more.

Charged with gambling were Landace Clackner, 26, of Nashville; Ernest Milton Darrett, 51, of Smyrna; Samuel B. King, 31, of Hermitage; Jefferson W. Morrill, 36, of Nashville; Van L. Ho, 22, of Lebanon; Millard Austin, 28, of Murfreesboro; Thomas James 31, of Smyrna; Robert Martin, 34, of Smyrna; Jerry K. Shadowens, 41, of Smyrna; Rangsit T. Iamsaard, 37, of Murfreesboro; Matthew M. Skaggs, 28, of Murfreesboro; Christopher S. Bissinger, 25, of La Vergne; Russell A. James, 30, of Murfreesboro; Allison Johnson, 27, of Antioch; Joycelyn Edwards, 27, of Antioch; Mark Pellatiro, 32, of Antioch and Gary Armstrong, 48, of Nashville.

In addition to the arrests, LPD officers seized $15,063 in cash, two trucks – a 2005 Chevy Silverado 3500 and a Dodge Ram SRT 10 – two TVs, five guns, leather furniture, a refrigerator (which was used to store alcohol and food), gaming tables and a poker machine. Only the poker
machine will have to be destroyed. If the owners of the trucks aren’t able to get their vehicles back, they – along with the other items – will be sold at auction.

Ten officers from second and third shift responded to the call and Vice/Narcotics and LPD’s Crime Scene Unit were called in to assist and process the scene. According to Boyd, this is the largest bust by LPD officers on one call in one night.

“I’m proud of our department for the hard work they did in making these arrests and closing down this operation,” Chief Steve Lindsay said. “This was a major operation and we’re glad we shut the games down before they could possibly lead to more crimes within the city.”

For more information, contact Angie Mayes at 207-4678. Nice job, LaVergne city police!!!

LaVergne Retail

Apparently this wasn't news to anyone but me.... I didn't realize that the former Bi-Lo / new Southern Family Market had closed. Wow, that was fast. A resident who lives in Madison Square behind the store said that after Bi-Lo left, the prices in the store kept going up and the selection wasn't as great. I guess people stopped going. A shame to lose that retail...

In one of the comments way down below, someone said that Publix looked into it but the lease was too expensive... did I read that?

As far as the liquor store going in where Lin's Chinese Restaurant used to be, I remember hearing the other liquor store at the corner of Murfreesboro Rd. and Madison Square below that real estate office is relocating. It's expected to be three times the space and should have better parking.

There have been quite a few comments about retail coming to LaVergne. I wonder if it would help if we wrote letters to whatever retail our Economic Development Committee is "courting" in support of the store(s). Would that have a positive impact in pulling the retailers in? I'll try to call Jerry Gann today and ask (or if he reads he can respond). Personally, I'm slammed at work, so it may be next week.

Zoning for Elementary Schools

The final zoning plan was approved yesterday for the new LaVergne Lake Elementary and existing Roy Waldron and LaVergne Primary schools. Read the article in the Daily News Journal here. At a glance, it looks like new homes go the old schools and the existing homes are going to the new school. Just go to the article and read about it because the sidebar lists the street names.

The next step is finding a new principal for the new school. Having worked with Dr. Pewitt and Mr. McCann at Waldron (through PTO), I would gladly endorse both! If either of them are thinking about it and if either got the job, it would thrill me to no end (even thought I no longer have kiddos young enough to attend). They are really top-notch educators, administrators, and good people. Fingers are crossed that whoever makes the decision will keep this in mind!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Erwin & Gann Hear About Affordable Housing, Economic Growth

PRESS RELEASE FROM CITY: Mayor Ronnie Erwin and Vice Mayor Jerry Gann joined community leaders from around the country last week to discuss innovative solutions to the 21st century challenges facing cities and towns at the National League of Cities (NLC) Congress of Cities in Reno, Nev.

More than 3,500 mayors, council members and other municipal officials came together to help shape the NLC federal policy agenda for the year ahead and learn new ideas that they can bring home to help address problems in their communities.

Both participated in conference sessions with noted speakers, including former U.S. Secretaries of Housing and Urban Development and affordable housing advocates Jack Kemp and Henry Cisneros, leadership guru Kevin Carroll and "Web of Inclusion" author Sally Helgesen. In addition to discussing pressing issues such as affordable housing, participants took home enhanced leadership skills to help their communities implement effective solutions. Civil rights leader Rev. Josehph A. Lowry and philanthropist Catherine Reynolds also offered their unique perspectives on leadership.

In addition to the larger sessions, NLC's Congress of Cities offered delegates a wide variety of workshop aimed at addressing specific community needs, sharing effective tools and resources and learning from hands-on experiences through "mobile workshops" help throughout the greater Reno and Sparks area. Workshops centered around six key issues of critical importance to cities and towns:

How to Create a Strong Local Infrastructure
How to Prepare for the Unexpected
How to pay for Essential Services
How to Keep Your Economy Strong
How to Make your City a Great Place to Live
How to Engage and Communicate with Citizens

The National League of Cities is a resource and advocate for 19,000 U.S. cities, towns and villages, which collectively serve 218 million people. For details on the conference, visit

NOTE: I've said it before and will say it again, I am so thrilled that LaVergne sends people to this conference. It appears that between this and the other economic development conference that's attended each year is beginning to pay off as we're seeing some more business coming to LaVergne. Hey guys... if you want, I'll come along next year! Oh wait, where's it going to be first? :)

South Waldron Plaza Coming

PRESS RELEASE FROM CITY: The City of La Vergne Economic Development committee is pleased to announce a new development located on the south side of I-24 on Waldron Road, appropriately named South Waldron Plaza.

Developer Monte Turner of Turner and Associates is in the process of constructing the 11,400-square-foot building at this time. There will be eight separate units, which range from 900 to 1,500 square feet. They can be combined for a larger space, Turner said.

“I have a 2,700 square foot restaurant with a patio anchoring one end,” Turner said, adding that the Mexican/Southwestern grill will be named Las Fiestas. He also has pending deals with a 1,500 square foot market and a 1,500 square foot Laundromat.

Turner said there are five spaces left for the plaza which is scheduled to open in March, 2007.

“Four of the spaces are 1,200 square feet each and one space is at 900 square feet,” he said. “Yes, they are expandable to more than one unit.”

Ideal retailers for the shopping center would be a pizza shop, a dry cleaner a nail and hair salon, a doctor and/or dentist; a sandwich shop, an insurance agency, a real estate office or a chiropractor/massage therapy/physical therapy center, Turner said, noting that Sir Pizza, currently located in the in-line center next to Turner’s is moving to the new Madison Square Plaza, behind Burger King, off Murfreesboro Road.

Turner said that his company “decided on La Vergne due to the residential growth in the area and specifically because of the growth on that side of the Interstate. We want to capture the residents and alleviate the need for them to have to travel all the way to Murfreesboro Road.”

He said the demographics are showing very strong residential density with almost 7,000 people living within a two-mile range with a very high average household income of approximately $72,000.

“The employment base of 3,500 workers in a two-mile radius was also a big factor in our decision to locate here,” he said. “Our building will be a mix of brick and stucco and we plan on it being a great asset to this area of the market. We want to provide the residents with a convenient, nice and accessible neighborhood shopping plaza.”

For more information or to inquire about space rental, call Turner at 615-383-7878.

Breakfast with Santa

Children from all over the area came to the community library last week to enjoy Breakfast with Santa Claus! Thanks to Angie for sending us pics!

Arri Woodhouse, 4, visits with Santa during Breakfast with Santa at the La Vergne Library Saturday morning.

About 250 people had breakfast with Santa and then took in a show with Mimi the Elf (Jill Thatcher) and her helpers Max (Jackson Thatcher) and Moe (Jordan Thatcher).

Thursday, December 07, 2006

New Restaurant Coming

LaVergne will be getting a new restaurant early in 2001 - a Wilstan's Grill.

Joining Wilstan’s Grill at Madison Square Plaza (behind Burger King) is Kum Sung Taekwondo and Sir Pizza. There is room for three more commercial retailers, as well. The city provided a press release with the following information about Winstan's:

Wilstan’s Grill, owned by Rick Stansil and Dave Willits with Danny Dillon as their business partner, will be a casual dining restaurant that caters to “hard-working middle-class families.” It is a full-service sit-down restaurant concept with a full bar, Stansil said. The projected opening date is Spring, 2007.
“La Vergne is growing very fast and has a lot of potential for more growth. It's small town America with very friendly people centralized in nice communities, Stansil said. “This area compliments our concept very well.”

The restaurant’s specialties will be steaks, pastas and seafood. We will also have a full lunch menu with several selections to choose from. They will also have a large banquet room.

Their hours will be Sunday - Thursday, 11a.m.-10 p.m. and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday."
According to the news release, Sir Pizza is moving to Madison Square Plaza and closing the current location on Waldron Road.
“We are closing the Waldron Road location and moving to (Bill Richmond’s) building quite frankly because of location, said owner Herb Fortner, nephew of Bob Fortner, who started Sir Pizza in 1966. “Our decision to relocate is due to the traffic count on Murfreesboro Road which is approximately 30,000 cars per day,” he said.

Fortner said that their restaurant is “more than competitive” with other pizza restaurants in the area.
Read more about it here in the Daily News Journal. We'll chat more about the Taekwondo business tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Brandon and Shardai

I want to bring these two kids back to our attention.
  • Brandon is the LaVergne high-school-aged boy who had bowel replacement surgery. The organ transplant is trying to fail, so Brandon is spending a lot of time at a hospital in Pittsburgh. Go to this link to see how you can send him and his family a Christmas card.
  • Shardai Cousino is a middle schooler in Smyrna who suffers from a rare skin disorder called Epidermolysis Bullosa that creates very painful, blister-like sores over her entire body. We are hoping that people in Rutherford County will send enough email to Extreme Home Makeover to allow her family a new home. Read about how to help here.
Thank you for any help you can give.

LaVergne Lights Tree

The city held its official tree lighting soirée right before last night's council meeting. The snowman(kid) is extra cute!

Also, "Breakfast with Santa" is scheduled Saturday, December 9th at 9:00 a.m. at the city Library. RSVP by stopping by the Children's Desk in the Library. Call 793-7303, ext. 102 for more info.

Also, I saw an article that the city passed the first (or second) reading (not sure) of allowing cafe-style restaurants. The same ordinance also allows apartments to be located upstairs from businesses. I couldn't load the Tennessean web page to link to the article, so will try to update this post tomorrow to add the link.

Don't Forget Brandon

Brandon Brewer, a student from La Vergne, may be in Pittsburgh but he hasn't been forgotten in his hometown. Former teacher Amy Jackson is trying to raise money to help Brandon's family pay for medical bills that are piling up from Brandon's organ rejection from his small bowel replacement.

You can send an online greeting to Brandon: Go to, then click on "visit" and type in Brandon Brewer.

Christmas cards can be sent to Brandon at:
Christopher Brandon Brewer
c/o Residence Inn
3896 Bigelow Blvd., Room 603
Pittsburgh, PA 1521

Monetary donations for Amy Jackson's fund: Call 713-693-9908 (cell), 895-8658 (home) or 895-1030 (school), or e-mail

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Meeting & My Opinions

La Vergne's official tree lighting ceremony is this Monday (December 4th) at 6:00 p.m. The monthly City Council will follow at 6:30 p.m. The meeting is earlier because the National League of Cities conference begins Tuesday. I am personally very pleased to see that our city officials (and hopefully administrators) attend this. It's a great opportunity to learn from our counterparts from across the nation and to bring home new ideas that will improve our own community.

Some of the sessions I think look interesting are:
  • Keeping People in Their Homes: Foreclosure Prevention in Your Community
  • Emergency Preparedness: Caring for the Children
  • How to Achieve Economic Success in a Global Market (but the regional panel may be more appropriate)
  • Creative Tools to Finance City Services
  • Reinventing Affordable Housing: Use Community Building Strategies to Increase Home Ownership
  • Electronic Engagement: How Local Leaders Can Use Technology to Interact and Communicate with Citizens
Yeah, I like that last one. A lot.

And one more suggestion if any of our city leaders are reading: Could you focus again on removing all those horrible yard signs that are polluting our community... home equity signs, anti-foreclosure signs, etc. As a realtor, I try hard to respect our city mandates, and other people need to observe the city's sign ordinance as well. If I have to keep looking at these signs everywhere, I'm going to positively throw up:

Thank you very much.

PS - Angie Mayes said the trip to France isn't "officially" off yet. Guess the dudes in charge have to call it.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Parlez Vous Francais? Non.

The trip to La Vergne, France is off. There was not enough interest. Sigh.

Shout out to Bulldogs

Since LaVergne Wolverines aren't going to the state, LaVergne sends good luck wishes to the Smyrna Bulldogs for their championship game tonight! BEST WISHES FOR A STATE VICTORY!

The Daily News Journal reported on the bonfire last night. Read about it here.

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