West: Farmers Market plans reach fruition

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A number of projects seem to be finally coming together like the new Farmer's Market stand at the Arts Center of Cannon County.

Federal grants are paying for the structure, but it took the Cannon County Commission awhile to approve the project. Why? The crazy rain during July slowed approval. A commission vote was delayed until mid-July due to the objections of a couple of commissioners.

Those guys were upset because the recent high-water on Stones River flooded a goodly section of the land next to the Arts Center.

Commissioner Russell Reed led the debate against the Farmer's Market, protesting that the site adjacent to the Arts Center of Cannon County was prone to flooding.

"The federal government has paid for it," said Commissioner Kevin George. "If we get to use that maybe 10 years, five years or two years it's worth it."

Commissioner Jim Bush agreed with Reed about the site.

"I have a problem with where we are building it. Move it up the hill," Bush said.

The shed will be built on a concrete slab with metal roof. The materials for the structure had been delivered before July 13 The commission voted 7-2-1 with Bush and Reed voting no and Kevin Mooneyham absent.
At deadline, contractors were busy preparing the site for construction. It is located next to the Arts Center parking lot and nearly within spitting distance of the center's building.

Speaking of the County Commission, that group will convene at 5 p.m. Tuesday to approve Cannon County's budget and set the tax rate for 2013/2014.

Part of that budget is expected to go for two SROs for county schools.

SRO is the abbreviation for school resource officer.

Last week, two potential SROs from Cannon County underwent training in Murfreesboro. A total of 26 law enforcement officers took part in the 40-hour class taught by two Rutherford County officers, who are both national instructors for the National Association of School Resource Officers.

Topics covered included the foundations of school-based policing, the learning process, effective presentations, effective communications in schools, drugs, alcohol and addictive behavior, special education, school law, child abuse, school safety, crime prevention and critical incident management.

SROs learned to write lesson plans and to handle advisory sessions dealing with adolescent and family issues.
Yes, if approved by the County Commission, the two SROs will do much more than provide security at CCHS.
The officers will serve as a mentor to students and will provide counseling services in addition to serving police duties.

It is a difficult program to understand, unless you have seen it in action.

In Rutherford County it is popular program, which has grown slowly over the last 20 years. It has undoubtedly saved lives.

We hope the Cannon County Commission will approve its fledgling SRO program.

My wallet is lighter after a Saturday visit to the new Short Mountain Trading Post which had its grand opening. We enjoyed the food and music and those durn crafts. The Trading Post is located next to the distillery on Short Mountain Highway (Route 146).

Speaking of great successes…. Have you been to the new Cannon Outreach and Thrift Store at 214 S. McCrary St.?

Opening last Wednesday, the Thrift Store is doing big business with shoppers even wanting to buy the window displays. Sorry, those aren't for sale!

Perhaps one of the big draws is that the gently used clothing has been washed, even ironed before it hit the hangers. But there's more than clothing available at the shop, so go check it out.

A non-profit organization, the Thrift Store's proceeds are used to benefit Cannon County SAVE (domestic violence program) and to provide nutritional food for the Food Backpack program for local children.

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Mike West
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