Twisted Copper Brewing Company, a locally sourced brewery, has opened in Mount Pleasant, marking the first brewery in the city. Located on 121 South Main Street, the brewery held a soft opening on April 16 before its grand opening on April 21.
The brewery began in September 2013 as a homebrew group, making wine due to a lack of beer ingredients and an abundance of fermentables. Soon the group of friends — co-founders Ian Nicholson, Forrest Cheney, Dave Weaverling and Jon Hatcher — acquired the needed equipment.
Hatcher said the friends chose Mount Pleasant to open their brewery because they want to be part of a community.
“We want to make beer for the person that can walk to see us,” Hatcher said. “Before Prohibition, every small town had its own brewery, which also meant that every town had a brewer. It is worth our time to support local craftsmen using local resources for the overall resilience of the community.”
Hatcher said the brewery is looking for local artisans and organizations to collaborate with.
“If you want to do glass-blowing demonstrations, display your art, sell your cheese, or host meet-up groups, please reach out,” he said.
Hatcher also said the brewery is hosting a church group on the second Sunday of each month.
“Regardless of whether it seems a natural fit, we are excited to be a part of whatever you are a part of. We are not just a brewery, we are teachers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, farmers, friends, and family. We look forward to sharing that.”
The brewery is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 5-10 p.m.
The Maury County Board of Education has named Lisa Ventura as the school district’s next superintendent, following a vote to suspend the current search.
The vote, passed unanimously during last Tuesday’s regular meeting, also included waiving board policy 5.801, which says a current interim superintendent cannot apply for an open position.
Ventura, who was named to the job in an interim capacity in March, was the head of the special education department for Maury County Public Schools in 2012 before serving as director of special populations. Before beginning her time in Maury County, Ventura served as the special education and federal programs supervisor in Marshall County.
The board praised Ventura’s job as superintendent thus far.
“Through the search process it became apparent to me that the best person for the job was right under our nose the whole time,” said District 10 Representative Wayne Lindsey. “My vote tonight is not going to be a kick on any candidates that applied, it’s going to be the confidence that I have in Mrs. Ventura.”
Chad Howell, who represents District 9, said Ventura showed she was ready for the job since day one.
“From day one I’ve seen the amount of work she put in and the way she took it on,” he said. “It’s kind of a challenge. It’s a very big challenge, and she handled everything we threw at her very gracefully.”
Chairman Michael Fulbright said the board has taken public input regarding the search into consideration.
“We’re not here to make our own decisions,” he said. “We represent the people of Maury County, and we’re listening to their input in this process as well.”
The School Board will negotiate and finalize a contract with Ventura at a special called meeting on May 18.
Officials announced Friday an SUV believed to be connected to an escaped Alabama inmate and a former jail guard accused of helping him was found in Williamson County.
According to the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, the vehicle — a 2007 Ford Edge — was discovered over the weekend near Smithson Road and Banner Adams Road. The vehicle had been abandoned.
On Monday afternoon, officials announced that the pair had been captured in Indiana after a high-speed chase and crash.
Casey White and Vicky White were last seen on April 29 after leaving the Lauderdale County Detention Center in Alabama. Casey White was facing a capital murder charge and has previously served time for attempted murder and kidnapping.
After initial reports indicated that Casey White may have kidnapped Vicky, it is now believed that she helped him escape. Vicky reportedly sold her house over a month ago and had filed retirement papers the day before she disappeared. Inmates at the Lauderdale County Jail reportedly claimed investigators that she was giving Casey White extra attention and special privileges.
At a press conference Friday, Lauderdale County (AL) Sheriff Rick Singleton said, “They had gotten a call from a local tow company that realized they had the car in their impound lot. Williamson County Sheriff’s Office got a call last Friday at 1:50 p.m. that there was an abandoned car...”
Singleton said Bethesda was about a two-hour drive from Lauderdale County, saying it appeared the pair had abandoned the car within hours after fleeing Alabama.
“Right now, we’re trying to canvass the area for any witnesses and trying to research any stolen vehicles reported in that area during that time,” Singleton said.
A U.S. Marshals task force searching for the two was in Williamson County on Friday morning and searched the area where the vehicle was found.
Developers in Spring Hill seem to have found their next frontier in the city.
With June Lake soon to be developed into live-work neighborhoods along the new interstate access point, the city’s growth spurt is not likely to soon slow down.
In an attempt to get ahead of another likely population boom, several developers have approached the city’s planning commission with more residential retail options along Port Royal Road.
Last year, Spring Hill Towne Crossing was approved to build a mixed-use project south of Saturn Parkway along Port Royal Road, and three different developers have come before the commission in 2022 with plans for growth along one of the roads connecting Saturn Parkway with Duplex Road.
Of those three, one would require a zoning change to incorporate retail, and another has not returned since hearing negative feedback, while a third mixed-use property just recently submitted initial proposals at the work session in April and is located south of Saturn Parkway.
“There has been a clamoring among residents for more stuff to do, and not build straight residential. The market tells us there is a need for more places for people to live in the city, but this is a way we can achieve both outcomes that helps keep traffic in the site itself,” Alderman Trent Linville said.
South Point Square, proposed by Paradym Studio in February, would feature four 3-story retail buildings of 15,500 sq. feet, with apartments above the retail space, located where Port Royal Road meets Commonwealth Drive. Additionally, three standalone apartment buildings three stories in height would also be placed in the rear of the property, along with a clubhouse.
“This is a development that staff and Paradym – the applicant – have been working on together for months to come to this design. We expect for this design to be predicated with other developments,” Spring Hill Planning Director Calvin Abram said.
With the submitted design, the retail space would face Port Royal Rd., something commission vice-chair James Golias said was something he liked to see more often in the city.
“Personally, I really like the buildings being up front on Port Royal Road, and having that larger walkability area,” he said. “That does a lot with the parking too, where you don’t see all the vehicles from the road. I do like that, and I will say I’m interested to see what the architecture of the buildings will look like, because you have a really good opportunity here.”
This type of retail-condo hybrid design is something the city of Spring Hill has seen come up several times now, starting with the Kedron Square development and the aforementioned June Lake development.
Paradym’s project would require a rezone to C-5, which allows the commercial access needed, but restricts the retail from certain types of businesses.
At the March 14 meeting, a plan Alderman Matt Fitterer called “truly awful” from GBT Realty did not update city staff on the comments made in the February 28 meeting. When called upon to speak during the March 14 meeting, no representation was on hand.
“I think the lack of appearance here might speak to the quality of the project that was submitted,” Linville said during that meeting.
GBT Realty submitted a preliminary site plan that included 176 apartments across from Kroger on Port Royal Road. The plan was met with staunch opposition from the commission, and Abrams said parts of the plan not only did not meet the standards of the city’s unified development code but were “unheard of” in any capacity in which he has been part.
Linville did say the intersection of Buckner Lane and Port Royal Road was a major capital project he would like to see taken on by the city because it would cure a lot of the traffic woes in the area with a relatively small budget, but this project was not going to make the current issues any better.
Spring Hill does have a more grid-like roadway system between Duplex Road and Saturn Parkway with both Kedron Road and Port Royal Road taking traffic from one another, but as Port Royal Road currently stands as a two-lane road with a center turn lane, more retail will only attract more traffic.
Alderman Matt Fitterer said in the most recent Board of Mayor and Alderman meeting he believes the city should make a priority of widening both Kedron Road and Port Royal Road, but also studying changes for Buckner Road because of the increase in traffic expected once the interstate interchange opens.
“We’re talking about high-level planning, not design, not right-of-way acquisition, but get some good structure in place so the planning commission can act appropriately on it,” he said. “We all know we’re about a calendar year away from driving on the new interchange, and that’s going to create some new pressures on Buckner Road.”
Linville told Main Street Maury that has been on his radar since before he was elected, and he plans to continue pushing to be ahead or close behind growth as it comes.
“I said when I ran that we’ve got to prioritize infrastructure on that side of town because we are going to repeat the sins of the pass if we don’t,” Linville said.