Council donates to Harvey relief

Xavier Smith • Sep 5, 2017 at 8:06 PM

The Lebanon City Council agreed Tuesday to donate $10,000 to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, as well as dedicate a portion of Castle Heights Avenue to famous former students.

Councilor Fred Burton spearheaded the council’s donation, which will go to the American Red Cross for Harvey relief efforts. Burton said he felt the city needed to help with relief efforts after the hurricane ravaged much of the Houston area.

The council donation announcement came the same day as Wilson County Emergency Management Agency and Lebanon Fire Department teams completed their mission in Houston and headed home.

The teams went down to the Houston area to help those who were affected by flooding after Hurricane Harvey struck.

The Tennessee Task Force 4, which consists of members of the Wilson County Emergency Management Agency and Lebanon Fire Department, arrived in Texas on Thursday to help in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

Lebanon Fire Department and Wilson County Emergency Management Agency combined to send six men to the area as a part of regional strike team. Responders were Jeremy Hobbs, Blake Wood, James Hendricks, Adam Sumrell, Nick McCorkle and Kevin Henson.

The task force was assigned to Wharton County, southwest of Houston, according to Lebanon Fire Department leaders. The Colorado River runs through Wharton County.

WEMA director Joey Cooper said the crew was expected to remain in the area from one to three weeks, depending on the number of responders in the area.

“Tennessee and Texas have a long and storied connection, and we are proud to help in any way we can. I am proud of these first responders for stepping up to help those affected during their time of need,” Gov. Bill Haslam said last Wednesday.

The council also agreed to dedicate Castle Heights Avenue from West Main Street to West Baddour Parkway as “Allman Brothers Memorial Boulevard.”

The brothers, Gregg and Duane were former Castle Heights Military Academy students. Gregg Allman died earlier this year.

The Allman Brothers Band rose to prominence in the 1960s and ‘70s with a hard-churning brand of soulful Southern rock. The brothers created a brash, uncompromising sound that exploded into a blend of wild-living, jazz and blues that would influence groups such as the Marshall Tucker Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Their father, Gregory Allman, who stormed the beaches of Normandy during World War II, was killed by a hitchhiker when Gregg Allman was 2, and the family moved to Daytona Beach on Florida's Atlantic coast. There, he and his brother were inspired by late-night blues broadcasts from a Nashville radio station.

His mother moved to Nashville with her two sons, and she never remarried. Lacking money to support her children, she enrolled in college to become a certified public accountant – state laws at the time, according to her son, required students to live on-campus. As a result, Gregg and his older brother were sent to Castle Heights Military Academy.

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