True Blue Accountability at MTSU

MURFREESBORO, TN – When you hear those blue lights near campus, it’s the MT Police department hard at work serving the community.

Though it is a small department, they use it to their advantage reaching citizens on a personal level and the ever growing student body on MTSU’s campus.

“A lot of our officers do a really good job, you can really tell the department means a lot to them. You know they want to do what’s best for the department and what’s best for the community. This is what makes them stand out,” said Officer Angela Todd.

Standing out and doing their best is a mission for the department. They strive to be organized and serve the community every day. This is very apparent during a time in our country when police accountability is a prevalent on-going topic.

“We need accountability in policing,” said Sgt. Demetrius Smith. “We’ve been charged with a public trust. That’s a serious charge.”

MTSU’s campus and the surrounding area is full of a diverse group of people from many cultures. Being relatable in the line of duty is a big goal for veteran Officer Mario Hussey.

“One of the things I do to not come off as intimidating is I wear this veteran pin. To me, that’s like an ice breaker. A lot of people don’t want to look at the big police logo on me, but they notice this and ask me about my service,” said Officer Hussey.

At the end of the day, they just want to go home like everyone else.

“We have wives, kids, soccer practices to go too. You know, we deal with those too,” said Officer Hussey.

If you see an officer on or off campus, they’d love for you to come chat with them.


Wheeling to Victory Through Wheelchair Rugby

MURFREESBORO – Get ready to wrap up your hands in tape and strap yourself in. This will be a bumpy ride.

Since November 2015, Murfreesboro and MTSU has created a way for people with disabilities to get out and get active again.

Originally known as Murderball, or Quad Rugby, Wheelchair Rugby brings together people with disabilities, such as Paraplegia, to play a game where you can have fun on the court and break a sweat.

“Keeps me in shape,” said wheelchair rugby player David Jordan laughing.

With no age limit or restrictions, anyone can be game to play on the court with the league.

“Taking sports away from an athlete is almost like a death penalty in a way. It’s so much fun and so awesome to compete again,” said MTSU advisor Gerald Christian. 

Tennessee hasn’t had a league in almost 20 years. When wheelchair rugby veteran and Olympic gold medal winner Eddie Crouch heard about it, he was happy to jump at the chance to coach the team.

“This is really the only true quadriplegic sport to where you can compete on a pretty even level,” said Coach Crouch. 

Crouch and his team are happy to be playing together, but are always looking for more players to be a part of it.

“There’s a lot of injured players that just kinda give up. This gives them enthusiasm to get out of the house, do more things, and have some fun,” said David Jordan. 

If you or someone you know is interested in playing with the team, you can follow this link for more information: MTSU Wheelchair Rugby

BoroPride Event Makes History

MURFREESBORO, TN – If you found yourself in downtown Murfreesboro this weekend, you probably got a free hug.

Love was in the air as the community gathered for its first ever pride event on the square, simply called: BoroPride.

BoroPride is an event celebrating and recognizing those who are part of the LGBTQ community. This was the very first event that focused on those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ).

Past events that were similar in nature and held in Rutherford County have only taken place on the MTSU campus. Many called the festivities on Saturday historic.

Many different kinds of businesses, vendors, musicians, amazing artwork, and yes free hugs were to be had that Saturday evening. Some never thought an event like this would never happen in Murfreesboro, since the Supreme Court decision last year.

“You know I remembered the day it happened,” said Change Project’s Justin Westley. “I was walking around thinking you know this is the first time I’ve had rights I’ve never had.”

BoroPride never lost momentum as it went in well into 10 pm. Many organizations such as the Tennessee Equality Project hope to make it an annual event every year.

Nate Brownfield Illuminates as Illuminate

MURFREESBORO, TN – For MTSU student Nate Brownfield, hip-hop is a life style. It’s a life style he’s been going after since he was a teenager in high school.

“I was in high school, and I was really into music playing drums,” said Brownfield.

After having several failed bands, Brownfield realized he had more motivation towards music than most the people he worked with.

He decided to change his style of music entirely dawning a new name for his brand, Illuminate.

“So, I started doing rap music and Illuminate kinda came about because Illuminate means to spread knowledge and also my name’s Nate so Illuminate,” said Brownfield.

Over the years he’s grown his brand with his team playing alongside acts like OG Maco, Twista, Ying Yang Twins, Chuck English, and more.

His main goal isn’t just becoming successful though, but spreading knowledge into people’s lives.

“I value being informed and being open to things and always trying to be a better me,” said Brownfield.

He’s not doing this all on his own either. Brownfield has a team of over 7 people to help him expand his brand and music to more people.

“Most of us that are here with Nate were friends first,” said Street Team Manager Cassy Mckenzie.

Brownfield graduates from MTSU with a focus in the  Recording Industry Major next year and plans going on tour immediately after.

“Let me be an example of things can work out, and I don’t say that like I’m on a pedestal. I have very far to go,” said Brownfield.

You can find Illuminate’s music on Spotify, iTunes, and at:




Task Force Debates Suggestions for Forrest Hall

MURFREESBORO, TN – UPDATE: Task Force recommends the name Forrest Hall to be changed.

MTSU’s Forrest Hall task force met Thursday night in the Sam Ingram building on campus to debate whether to recommend a name change for the ROTC building or take no action at all.

This meeting comes after three public forums which were held about the building dedicated to Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest.

The meeting was for deliberation only and not public input. Several members of the task force offered their input on which direction to go.

Chairman of the Task Force and faculty member of Global Studies Derek Frisby, offered his suggestion with naming it after MTSU alumni Joe Nunley Sr.

“We don’t have a single honor for an MTSU faculty member,” said Frisby.

Frisby continued stating that, “When you think of MTSU you think of Joe Nunley.”

Other members offered their suggestions on what to do with the name.

President of the MTSU Alumni Association Tony Beard said, “What if we ask the students? We don’t go to school here anymore. We are a different campus.”

We went out and asked students on campus what should be done, and most them are split on the idea.

“I believe every student should have a voice on campus,”said MTSU Student Jamaura Haylee.

Then student Nayana Wexler said, “If it’s been here for this long, why change it?”

By the end of the meeting, Frisby recommended they meet again Tuesday, April 19th to deliberate in more detail before making a decision.

MTSU President Sidney McPhee asked the panel to recommend by April whether the building should be renamed; retain the name but with added historical perspective; or recommend that no action or change is warranted.

The Tennessee Board of Regents would have to approve any recommended name change and other state authorities would likely have to give approval as well.

For more information about the task force, including a list of its members, visit

Nancy Phillips is Murphry the Rabbit

MURFREESBORO, TN – When Nancy Phillips isn’t working for the Murfreesboro City School Board, she puts on a show for the community in the form of Murphry the Rabbit.

It’s a dream come true for her, far from what she originally intended though.

“I just knew I was going to be a serious actress,” said Phillips “Maybe Shakespeare, great things like that.”

After seeing the programs PBS offers for kids and how Murfreesboro is preparing children in the classroom, Nancy thought up of an idea that brought all those elements together on a local level.

Her show, Adventures in Murphry’s Burrow, is in it’s 12th season and Nancy is far from being done.

It follows the character of Murphry the Rabbit who takes you around the community to introduce you to local people and the jobs they do. It also serves as a platform for being as Nancy says, “By the kids and for the kids.”

“Every episode we try to have kids participate, they might show us an art project or a science experiment,” said Phillips.

Over the years, Nancy has made many fond memories on the show having people such as former Mayor of Murfreesboro Tommy Bragg on the program.

People who work close with her, like Multimedia Producer John Padgett, say it’s always a fun experience.

“You never know quite how the story will turn out until you are finished with it, and that’s what’s exciting to me about it,” said Padgett.

Nancy hopes to make the show a non-profit program in the future as it is all volunteer work right now. She lives by the show’s motto, “Dream big and work hard.”




Ban the cam? Murfreesboro Red Light Cameras

MURFREESBORO, TN – The red light cameras in Murfreesboro are facing new management as the city council will meet this week to discuss a new contract.

The current one under American Traffic Solutions is about to expire, but the contract isn’t the only thing that has residents concerned, it’s the state of the cameras themselves.

Murfreesboro C.A.P.E. (Citizens Against Photo Enforcement) along with many others including councilman Eddie Smotherman have been voicing their concerns over the issue for awhile now.

One of the main reasons is the consistency of the cameras keeping drivers safe on the road.

“If they had enforceability, and everybody had to pay them I’d be much more supportive of them,” said Smotherman.

Jacob Bogle of Murfreesboro C.A.P.E has found statistics that are not adding up right.

In a report given by the Murfreesboro Police Department, they said the total number of crashes at intersections had decreased by 11% per year.

Bogle found in that same report, the number of crashes at camera enforced intersections had only decreased by 1.1% per year.

“Statistically, you’re more likely to get in a crash at one of these photo enforced intersections than elsewhere,” said Bogle.

Bogle along with many others in support with removing the cameras believe the city council is doing nothing, but people like Smotherman are hard at work meeting in the middle.

“If the only monitoring were doing with intersections is with cameras, then I think we’ve let the public down with trying to make those intersections safe,” said Smotherman

Why Are Libraries Still Important?

MURFREESBORO, TN – The world is at our fingertips, is it still worth going through shelves?

People at Linebaugh Public Library in Murfreesboro can tell you it’s more than just books. Libraries are evolving. Not only are they a source of free information to the public, it also is home to many web based free resources that most people don’t even know about.

Linebaugh offers services such as Flipster (a free magazine reading application), New Book Alerts (an application which tells when new books arrive to the library), and much more.

Branch Librarian Carol Ghattas said, “You get to know people at the’re connecting with the whole world.” Where does connecting with the world start though? Parents say it’s the children.

Christy Hughes brings her kids to Linebaugh all the time to give them that connection. “They don’t get that at home or on their phone..and they need that.”

Many people write articles questioning the need for libraries, and whether it’s worth keeping them open. People like Ghattas work every day to keep libraries relevant in a technology based world by listening to their patrons.

“We listen to what our patrons want..and what you want..then we order those books and materials..then you can have them,” said Ghattas.

Libraries don’t seem to be going anywhere or any time soon, as long as people like the staff at Linebaugh keep moving forward with the world.

A Ballad in the Boro

MURFREESBORO, TN – If you’ve listened to songs by Lee Brice, Trace Adkins, or George Strait in the past couple years, you might be surprised to find out they’re written by a man from Murfreesboro.

Tim James has been writing and playing music for years, but it wasn’t until 2002 when he wrote the Toby Keith hit, “My List” which took his career off and never stopped.

“That was a five week number one song,” said James “So I went from having nothing to having credibility, and to having resources.”

This didn’t happen overnight though. James says he went through countless people rejecting his ideas until he finally got someone to say yes.

“You have to really want it,” said James.

Murfreesboro during that time was different compared to today. James says seeing a man from Murfreesboro being nominated for a Grammy was just something you never saw in a small town. Now, people from all over come to Murfreesboro for MTSU’s recording industry program to become musicians and songwriters.

James says the chances of people becoming successful at it are very slim now, but if you’re passionate there is still hope.

Musicians like MTSU student Isaiah Rodriguez know the struggle of it trying to become a reality.

“You have to have a day job,” said Rodriguez

So why continue if the chances are slim? Rodriguez says it’s for the thrill of seeing your ideas affect others.

“To know that you did something that reached someone else is an exhilarating feeling,” said Rodriguez

James says he would like to be a professor at MTSU in the future.

Homeless Stories Through Taking Pictures

MURFREESBORO, TN – By day, he is a radio talk show personality who brings us the news. When he is not doing the radio though, Scott Walker has a different kind of hobby.

He takes pictures, adding that photography is he passion, up until a couple of years ago when he noticed something different about the photos he took.

“In almost every photo, there was a homeless person in there,” said Walker.

He decided to go out and sit down with them to hear their stories. What he found out is scary.

“I quickly realized that mental illness was one of the biggest things out in the streets,” said Walker.Scott decided to make it a personal mission to help those who are homeless on the streets, and give them a better chance at life. What makes him different from other organizations is the fact that he delivers things like sleeping bags personally to the people who need it most on the streets.

“People sometimes get irritated with me like man we only handed out five blankets and I have to tell them ya know its not about the blankets its about sitting down and talking with them,” said Walker.

If you’d like to help Scott and the homeless, you can donate clothes and more to WGNS Radio at 306 South Church Street.