Pumpkin_Jack prize

Jack Oliver with a blue-ribbon winner. Photo courtesy of Oliver family.

Lakeland resident Jack Oliver is not your typical businessman, but he has a lifetime of experience growing and selling prize-winning pumpkins. Of course, he is also 12 years old and a 6th grader at Briarcrest Christian School.


girl-scouts-logo-newRepresentatives from the Girl Scouts Arlington/Lakeland Service Unit will be at the Lakeland Business Expo on Saturday, August 17 from 11:am – 2:00 pm at Lakeland Elementary School, 10050 Oakseed Lane, Lakeland, TN.

Girls and families will be able to learn more about scouting, make a craft, register as a scout or volunteer, and purchase items from the Girl Scout Shop. For more information on Girl Scouts, contact the Girl Scouts Heart of the South Council.

Heather Vining and sons Ryan and Adam (above) watch the antics of “BeeBop,” a young bobcat at “Groundbreakers” presented by the Natural History Education Company of the Mid-South as part of the Sam T. Wilson Public Library’s Summer Reading Program.

Heather Vining and sons Ryan and Adam (above) watch the antics of “BeeBop,” a young bobcat.

Over 50 children and parents attended “Groundbreakers” presented by the Natural History Education Company of the Mid-South as part of the Sam T. Wilson Public Library’s Summer Reading Program. The event, held at Arlington United Methodist Church, featured a variety of animals including “Donk”—a three-toed Amphiuma, a Straw-Colored Fruit Bat named “Arnold,” “Asha,” a Virginia Opossum, and a raccoon called “Sammy”.

Bob, BeeBop, and Librarian Alda Booster pose for the camera.

Wildlife Biologist Bob Tarter, BeeBop, and Librarian Alda Booster pose for the camera.

Maggy Louderback and Marina Gotay listen to Tarter explain why  Asha “plays possum.”

Maggy Louderback and Marina Gotay listen to Tarter explain why Asha “plays possum.”

tax-free weekendNASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Department of Revenue is reminding Tennesseans that the seventh annual Sales Tax Holiday is scheduled for Friday, August 2 through Sunday, August 4. During these three days Tennessee shoppers can save nearly 10 percent on tax-free clothing, school and art supplies, and computer purchases.

“I want to encourage Tennessee families to take advantage of the Sales Tax Holiday because it was created with them in mind,” Gov. Bill Haslam said. “The weekend provides savings for families, especially as students are starting the new school year, and the holiday can provide relief on clothing, school and art supplies and computer purchases.”

The holiday begins Friday, August 2 at 12:01 a.m. and ends Sunday, August 4 at 11:59 p.m. During the designated three-day weekend, consumers will not pay state or local sales tax on clothing with a price of $100 or less per item, school and art supplies with a price of $100 or less per item, and computers with a price of $1,500 or less.

“As in years past, last year’s tax-free weekend was very successful, providing Tennessee taxpayers over $10 million in tax savings” said Revenue Commissioner Richard H. Roberts. “We are hopeful that Tennessee shoppers will again take advantage of the tax relief provided by the 2013 Sales Tax Holiday.”

Please visit the Sales Tax Holiday Web site at to learn more about the items exempt from sales tax. The Tennessee Department of Revenue also assists consumers via e-mail,, and through its toll-free statewide telephone hot line, (800) 342-1003. Staff is available to answer questions Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time. (Out-of-state and Nashville-area callers, please dial (615) 253-0600.)

Examples of exempt items include:

Clothing: Shirts, dresses, pants, coats, gloves and mittens, hats and caps, hosiery, neckties, belts, sneakers, shoes, uniforms whether athletic or non-athletic and scarves
School Supplies: Binders, book bags, calculators, tape, chalk, crayons, erasers, folders, glue, pens, pencils, lunch boxes, notebooks, paper, rulers and scissors
Art Supplies: Clay and glazes; acrylic, tempera and oil paints; paintbrushes for artwork; sketch and drawing pads; and watercolors
Computers: Central processing unit (CPU), along with various other components including monitor, keyboard, mouse, cables to connect components and preloaded software (Note: While the CPU may be purchased separately, other items must be part of a bundled computer package in order to be eligible.) iPads and other tablet computers are eligible for tax exemption, while smart phones and video game consoles are not.

The Department of Revenue is responsible for the administration of state tax laws and motor vehicle title and registration laws established by the legislature and the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The Department of Revenue collects approximately 87 percent of total state tax revenue. During the 2012 fiscal year, the department collected $11.3 billion in state taxes and fees. In addition to collecting state taxes, the Department of Revenue collects taxes for local, county and municipal governments. During the 2012 fiscal year, local government collections by the Department of Revenue exceeded $2.0 billion in local taxes and fees. In collecting taxes, the department enforces the revenue laws fairly and impartially in an effort to encourage voluntary taxpayer compliance. The department also apportions revenue collections for distribution to the various state funds and local units of government. To learn more about the department, log on to

In Lakeland and Arlington, patriotic babyit’s all about families on this Fourth of July. Planned celebrations in both communities feature patriotic children’s parades, among other activities.

On Thursday, July 4th, Trustmark Bank, Cotton Cabin Fireworks City, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, and Windward Slopes will host the 17th annual Children’s Independence Day Parade in Lakeland.

Participants will gather at 9:30 a.m. in front of 9677 Cutter Lane in Windward Slopes (Directions: Enter the north entrance of Windward Slopes on Leeward Slopes Dr. Take the first right onto Cutter Lane).

The parade will start at 10:00 a.m. with an escort provided by the Traffic Motor Division of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and proceed along a flag-lined route through Windward Slopes to Trustmark Bank, where refreshments will be served under a canopy provided by the Cotton Cabin Fireworks City.

All Lakeland residents are invited to bring their children and grandchildren as well as decorated “floats” to join other residents in this celebration of the birth of the United States of America. Lakeland businesses are invited to join in the event.

The Arlington Chapter of the Association for the Preservations of Tennessee Antiquities is sponsoring Independence Day celebrations at Hughes-College Hill Park on Thursday morning beginning at 9:00 am.

Children are encouraged to decorate bikes, trikes, and wagons and participate in the Children’s Parade. Line-up will start at 10:15 am.  Immediately following the parade, judging will be held for the “Most Patriotic Family” Contest.

Additional activities include face painting, moon bounce, popsicles, music, and a photo booth.

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