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Fireworks in the Park draws crowd of nearly 400

Fireworks at the Park in Mitchellville on Saturday, July 10, exceeded attendance expectations. The event has been held for the last four years by the city of Mitchellville, but with the help of Highland Volunteer Fire Department, new energy was pumped into an already fun time at the park.

HVFD Captain Corey Young said, “The event went phenomenal. We ended the night with roughly 300 to 400 people. The feedback for the event has been amazing, and we really appreciate everybody that came out.

“We look forward to next year being even bigger and better. And again, we really appreciate all the assistance from Big Poppa Corn and April Broadway along with all of our sponsors, vendors, and bands.”

There were many activities for the children including several inflatables for them to enjoy — however, when the firemen dropped the foam from the Portland Fire Department ladder truck, the children’s attention turned quickly to playing in the mountain of foam. HVFD assisted the PFD in the foam mountain activity.

The food truck vendors were busy all afternoon and evening while families stayed at the event as they waited for the fireworks display. The live music added to the festive event. The fireworks did not disappoint the several hundred who stayed for the display.

Mitchellville Mayor Bobby Worman said, “It was wonderful. The fireworks show was great. The firemen did an excellent job with the foam and the kids really enjoyed it. The band was great. Everyone enjoyed the food trucks. Big Poppa Corn was a treat. Everything was great.”

Facebook details ‘impressive’ data center progress

Construction of Facebook’s new $800 million data center in Gallatin is nearly 25 percent complete and still on track to become operational in 2023, according to company officials overseeing the project.

Officials with Facebook and DPR Construction provided an update on the project during a tour of the site last week.

“We are on time and right where we would have expected to be,” Facebook Lead Construction Manager Joshua Craft said about the work that has been done so far. “For a project this size, that is a really big thing.

“It’s absolutely impressive.”

The social media giant announced in August that it had broken ground on a 982,000-square-foot data center that will be located on a more than 800-acre site off Hartsville Pike between Roundtree Drive and Brights Lane next to the Gallatin Industrial Center.

Since that time, there have been some 2,300 workers who have been involved in various aspects of the project, according to Craft. There are also around 750 people currently working at the site each day – a number that is expected to grow to 1,200 at its peak later this fall.

Once complete, officials say the data center will be roughly the size of two aircraft carriers. The amount of steel being used for the project will be enough to build the Eiffel Tower twice.

With most of the blasting work finished, Craft said crews plan to reuse approximately 1.1 million cubic yards of rock at the site to build roads, sidewalks and buildings on the property.

Once operational, the facility will be staffed by approximately 100 employees ranging from technical operations, electricians, logistics staff, security and others.

The project represents Facebook’s 13th data center in the United States and its 17th worldwide, according to a spokesperson for the company. It will be supported by 100 percent renewable energy, use 80 percent less water than the average facility and will be LEED Gold certified.

The facility will be filled with tens of thousands of servers that store and transmit digital information to support the tech giant’s various products like the Facebook app, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.

While Facebook has committed to building two buildings initially, officials have previously noted that the company has room to add up to four additional buildings on the property in the future. If fully developed, the project would represent a total investment of nearly $2.5 billion.

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Library programs kick off in August
  • Updated

The Portland Public Library of Sumner County is opening up to in-house programs fully in August.

While the library has been able to serve its patrons during the pandemic, COVID protocols have been in force based on recommendation from the Center for Disease Control. The library has carefully relaxed these measures, as the pandemic lessened.

Patrons have been able to check out books during this time but many of the programs were put on hold however, in August the in-house programing begins again.

Patrons are invited to participate in the many activities that are offered for adults, teens, and children. For specific information on each program, patrons are invited to call the library at 615-325- 2279 or stop by the library to obtain a full calendar of events.

Assistant Library Manager Alesia Moss said, “Every one of us at the Portland Public Library are so excited to open the library back up to in-house programming in August. We would love for you to come in and participate in the many activities that we offer for adults, teens, and children.”

Several new programs have been added to the long list of programs offered by the library staff. Make and Take Crafts for Adults will provide participants the opportunity to make a craft project which they can take home. The Tweenage Book Club is offered to third graders and up. All programs are free.

Adult Programs (Meet in the Community Room)

Bingo — Every Tuesday – 1 p.m.

Make & Take Crafts — Third Tuesday — 2:30 – 4 p.m.

Coffee, Tea and Me — First Thursday — 10-11:30 a.m.

Book Club — Third Thursday — 11:30 a.m.

Genealogy Club — First Saturday – 10 a.m.


Fellowship of the Teens – Thursdays – 4 p.m.

Teen Book Club — First Friday – 4 p.m.


Read to a Dog — First Wednesday — 2:30-4:30 p.m. (sign up)

Preschool Story Time — Every Wednesday — 10:30 a.m. (3-6 years old)

After School Story Time — Every Wednesday — 3:30 p.m.

Lapsit Stories — Every Friday — 10:30 a.m. (birth-3 years old)

Tweenage Book Club — Thursday, Aug. 27– 4 p.m. (third grade and up)

VA Representative

A representative from the VA office in Gallatin will be at the library the first Wednesday of the month to meet with any veteran to help with any questions or concerns. The representative will be at the library on Aug. 4 from 1- 3 p.m. and will be located in one of the study rooms.

Portland student named to National Society of High School Scholars

Portland High School junior Lilyan (Lily) C. Graves has been recognized for superior academic achievement by The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS). The society recognizes students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, scholarship, and community commitment.

Graves will automatically become a lifetime member of the NSHSS, and the organization will help her build on her academic success by connecting her with learning experiences and resources to help prepare her for college and a meaningful career.

NSHSS Co-Founder and President James W. Lewis said, “On behalf of NSHSS and our co-founder Claes Nobel, a member of the family that established the Nobel prizes, I am honored to recognize the hard work, passion and commitment that Lilyan has demonstrated to achieve this exceptional level of academic excellence. Lilyan is now a member of a unique community of scholars — a community that represents our very best hope for the future.”

Currently, there are more than 1.7 million members in 170 countries. NSHSS recognizes academic excellence at the high school level and helps to advance the goals and aspirations of high-achieving students through unique learning experiences, scholarships, internships, international study, and peer networks.

Portland High School teacher Angie Rippy said, “I recommended Lily because she is a truly exceptional student. She brings her positive attitude and a genuine enthusiasm for learning into the classroom every time she enters. She is an excellent moral example for her peers and treats everyone with kindness and respect. She inspires me to be the best teacher I can possibly be. She is truly deserving of recognition.”

Graves is an active member of the junior class. She is in FCCLA, Book Club, FCA, and the Art club. Her hobbies include dancing, singing, acting, reading, writing, playing music, and cosplay.

She is in the senior rank of Girl Scouts and has been involved in scouting since kindergarten. Last year Graves and a friend earned the Silver Award, the second highest award a Girl Scout can earn, for building bat houses for the city parks. She sings and plays the guitar in her father’s Jak Fiddler Band.

She has so many interests that she is still deciding what she wants to study in college; but she has considered Spanish, theatre, business, or English as possible majors.

For more information about NSHSS visit www.nshss.org.