People and Places

Local Dancer Featured in Extraordinary New Book, Dance Across the USA

Local dancer, Chloe King, is featured in an extraordinary new book, Dance Across the USA. Selected from a pool of several thousand dancers who auditioned for the book, Chloe King, was selected to represent Tennessee. Chloe King lives in Smyrna, Tennessee.

In the summer of 2016, Master Photographer Jonathan Givens embarked on an epic journey spanning 50 states in 90 days with the sole purpose of photographing dancers in national parks and beloved and well‐known settings in each state. After all, the possibilities for splendid settings abounded—a dancer on top of an active volcano, in the middle of the ocean, on a sand dune in Death Valley, in a glacier‐fed lake—and Givens, undeterred by the Herculean task, jumped in feet first. During that 90‐day journey, Givens racked up some unimaginable statistics: 22,264 miles driven; 22,160 photographs created; 163 dancers photographed; 56 locations; 50 states; and 1 Mighty Buford, the van that served as the vehicle—literally and figuratively—for Givens’s odyssey.

The magnificent result is Dance Across the USA, a brilliant, coffee table style book featuring images from the journey. Part epic photo diary, part love letter to America, part celebration of dance, Dance Across the USA is completely awe‐inspiring. Brimming with gorgeous, full color photographs, Dance Across the USA is filled with breathtaking images, swoon‐worthy settings, and amazing subjects.

A passion project born of Givens’s desire to showcase the fabric of America, shine a spotlight on the importance of dance, and highlight the diversity that exists in both the physical landscape and in the dancers,  who make America their home, Dance Across the USA is an extraordinary—and extraordinarily real—book. Resplendent with real photographs of real dancers in real locations—the skies are real, the landscape is real, even the dirty feet are real— the photos within this incredible book involve no digital compositing, no trampolines, no wires or strings attached. Real dancers. Real photos. Real settings.

A book that is awe‐inspiring in its sheer beauty and magnitude, Dance Across the USA features a wide range of dancers—from ages 5 to 61, professionals and amateurs, students and teachers, male and female, boys and girls, cat lovers and dog lovers. Moreover, Dance Across the USA provides an exquisite, eye‐opening look at America—from sandy Florida beaches to the rugged Washington coast, from the glaciers of Alaska to Death Valley in California and all points in between.

United Way Leads Effort On County Well-Being And Mental Health

Ranking as one of the country’s fastest growing counties, Rutherford County faces new challenges in meeting the demand for mental health care.  The United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties is leading an effort to fortify county well-being and improve mental health services. Overall health and wellness rest on good mental health, which allows all of us to participate in life and be productive members of society.

“The United Way has a unique opportunity to lead this effort to ensure that we improve county prosperity by developing available mental health services,” said Meagan Flippin, president and CEO. “Partnering with others to identify issues and develop solutions is the core of United Way’s impact model.”

Flippin references the launch today of the Mental Health Action Initiative (MHAI), a year-long effort, that will identify proven solutions to make mental health services more available in Rutherford County. To date, this initiative brings to the table an array of organizations in the county, including Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital, TrustPoint Hospital, Murfreesboro City Schools, Rutherford County Schools, local law enforcement, MTSU, Rutherford County Government and others.

MHAI will consider such proven solutions as prevention, early detection, referral processes among providers, integrated models of care that blend medical care and mental health services, and promoting the central role that mental health has in overall wellness.

In 2016, the Rutherford County Health Assessment conducted a qualitative survey of 28 stakeholders in the county and found that a majority of respondents identified mental and emotional health as the top health care concern. Top causes of illness and death were addiction/substance abuse and mental and emotional health.  

United Way has engaged Spring Consulting, LLC to facilitate the Mental Health Action Initiative. Spring Consulting ( located in Murfreesboro, serves as a resource to organizations and communities, working to fulfill their potential by addressing today’s challenging issues.

Oaklands Receives Grant from The Christy-Houston Foundation for Outdoor Classroom

Oaklands Mansion, an antebellum house museum located in downtown Murfreesboro, has just received a grant from The Christy-Houston Foundation for construction of an outdoor classroom. The historic mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for both its architectural and Civil War significance. Since its initial restoration in1959, the mansion has been a house museum where visitors and residents alike can learn more about the roots of our community.  

The new outdoor classroom will be used to create a more dynamic experience for their visiting school children of Middle Tennessee, as well as residents and the traveling tourist. This engaging space will be situated around the historic detached kitchen, root cellar and herb gardens of Oaklands Mansion. In addition, the connectivity of the grounds will be completed by means of sidewalks joining the Visitors Center, Mansion and Cottage. Most visitors never see the sides and back façade of the mansion. Once there, visitors will learn about medicinal and culinary uses of herbs in the period garden. The root cellar and detached kitchen will aid in the interpretation of food from plating, through harvest, preservation and preparation.

Oaklands was originally the home of Dr. James Maney, a plantation doctor. The outdoor classroom will allow the museum’s educators to demonstrate herbs and discuss their medicinal and culinary uses, both then and now. Children will experience the methods used on the plantation in the historical context, reinforcing what they have begun to learn in the classroom and expanding upon the interpretation of early medicine in Rutherford County.

Reeves-Sain Earns National Recognition For Immunizations Work

Reeves-Sain has earned the American Pharmacists Association 2018 Immunization Champion Award in Community Outreach. Reeves-Sain will accept the award at the APhA’s Annual Meeting & Exposition at the Omni Hotel in downtown Nashville on March 18.

The national distinction is awarded in six categories, recognizing individuals and organizations within the profession of pharmacy that have made extraordinary contributions towards improved vaccination rates within their communities. Nominees are evaluated on their immunization activities’ impact, collaboration, and originality, as well as how they overcame challenges.

“We work in an outstanding community here in Murfreesboro, and we are happy to play a role in keeping the people of Rutherford County healthy during flu season and throughout the year,” said Reeves-Sain pharmacist Jason Greene. “We are honored to receive the award and we hope it draws attention to the critical role vaccines play in community health.”

Each year, Reeves-Sain partners with local businesses and organizations to promote seasonal flu vaccines as well as travel immunizations to help keep the Rutherford County community healthy. This year, through the in-store immunization center and workplace flu clinics, Reeves-Sain pharmacists administered over 2200 flu shots throughout Middle Tennessee.
This marks the tenth year for the presentation of the annual Immunization Champion Awards at the APhA’s annual meeting and exposition.

Pope Honored as Region-level Teacher Finalist

Murfreesboro City Schools is proud to announce that Angela Pope, teacher at Erma Siegel Elementary, has been selected as a Teacher of the Year Region-level finalist for the Mid Cumberland Region. Ms. Pope is one of 27 finalists from across the state who will move forward in the State Teacher of the Year selection process.

Twenty-four MCS teachers were honored this week during the Teacher of the Year Ceremony.  These teachers were chosen for the school-level honor based on their commitment to teaching excellence.

The 2017-2018 Building Level Honorees are:

Black Fox Elementary: Rhonda Melson, Kimberly Nelson
Bradley Elementary: Jamara DeBerry, Stephanie Turner
Cason Lane Academy: Michelle Follis, Nicolette Sanders
Discovery School at Bellwood: Bess Turner, Tiara Vance
Erma Siegel Elementary: Angela Pope, Patric Thomas
Hobgood Elementary: Amy Brooks, Judi Hinds
John Pittard Elementary: Sasha Burnette, Rebekah Tate
Mitchell-Neilson Schools: Sydney Dewberry, Sayward Ratliff
Northfield Elementary: Janice Pharis, Karen Godwin
Overall Creek Elementary: Jessica Burns, Mallory Eaton
Reeves-Rogers Elementary: Alisha Byrd, Shiloh Siegle
Scales Elementary: John Harding, Liz Rueby
In addition to Pope, Jamara DeBerry was also honored as a district level Teacher of the Year by Murfreesboro City Schools. The Teacher of the Year reception was held during Public Schools Week.  Schools and teachers have a pur

Topre America in Rutherford County Announces Expansion

Topre America Corp. has announced plans to expand its existing facility in Smyrna, representing a $37.8 million capital investment and the creation of 50 jobs.

Topre America provides automotive stamping and body structure assemblies for Nissan, Honda and Toyota. The current announcement is the third phase of the company’s expansion plans to meet the growing demand for its products. Phase I opened in 2017 and Phase II is currently under construction.

“Between the talented workforce, geographic location and strong demand for our products, we’ve found an ideal spot in Rutherford County for our growing operation,” said Topre America Vice President Brad Pepper. “We are excited to announce the third phase of our expansion and ready to continue moving forward.”

“Congratulations to Topre America on their decision to expand,” said Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed. “We are pleased that the company has a found a successful home in Smyrna, and look forward to many more years of continued success.”

“We congratulate Topre America as they continue to expand their presence here,” said Destination Rutherford Chairman Bill Jones. “It’s rewarding to know that Rutherford County continues to offer a vibrant business environment where companies can prosper.”

“TVA and Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation congratulate Topre America on its latest expansion in Rutherford County,” said TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley. “It’s always an exciting day when a company is committed to continuing growth in the Valley and we are pleased to partner with the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, town of Smyrna and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to celebrate this announcement.”

Founded in 1935 and headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Topre began as a manufacturer of pressed components for automotive equipment.

Murfreesboro Medical Clinic’s Neurology Department Recognized as a Partner in MS Care by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Murfreesboro Medical Clinic’s (MMC) Neurology department is proud to announce their recent designation as a Partner in MS Care. This formal recognition honors the department’s commitment to providing exceptional, coordinated MS care; and continuing partnership with the Society to address the challenges of people affected by MS.

Joy Derwenskus, D.O., MS, joined Blake Kellum, M.D. and Janet Brown, FNP-BC, MSCN in the Neurology department at MMC in 2017. She has an extensive background and interest in the study of Multiple Sclerosis, which has fueled her to spur on this initiative. Her interest has been previously demonstrated in her position as an Associate Professor of Neurology at Northwestern University’s Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Program, in Chicago, IL. Among her work as an Associate Professor, Dr. Derwenskus participated in numerous MS clinical trials, has been published on this topic, and continues to speak both locally and nationally about MS. Most recently, she serves as the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Mid-South Chapter’s Chair of the Healthcare Provider Council.

The Society’s Partners in MS Care program recognizes providers whose practices support the Society’s initiative of affordable access to high quality MS healthcare for everyone living with MS – regardless of geography, disease progression, and other disparities.

“We are so proud to partner with Dr. Joy Derwenskus to enhance coordinated, comprehensive care for the people who live with MS in Murfreesboro and the Mid South said David Haddock, of the National MS Society, Mid South.“ In earning this recognition, Dr. Joy Derwenskus has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in MS care, making a tremendous impact on people affected by MS in our community,” David Haddock continued.

MMC’s Neurology department is very proud of this partnership. With a shared mission to continue to educate patients and the community, MMC will host its first MS focused event, ‘Living with MS.’ This free seminar will bring together MS patients and caregivers to provide practical information to live their best life. Speakers will focus on overall health, nutrition, exercise and stress management. The event will take place on Saturday, April 21stfrom 10 am – 12pm. For more details or to RSVP to the event visit,