Tag Archives: sparks

Rep. Sparks Organizes Program Honoring Confederate Spy

By simply relocating his office space at the Tennessee State Capitol, state Rep. Mike Sparks, R-Smyrna, learned a whole new side to local history regarding Civil War spy DeWitt Smith Jobe, reports the Daily News Journal.
“I asked (Speaker Beth Hartwell) for a new office overlooking the Capitol and the Sam Davis Monument because Sam Davis kind of represents Smyrna,” Sparks said. “I thought, ‘I’m going to do a little research on the Coleman Scouts and I came across (an article) about DeWitt Smith Jobe.”
Sparks, along with several local Civil War aficionados, convened Saturday at Giles Baptist Church on Rocky Fork Road for a program honoring the heroic life of Jobe, who was a member of the infamous Confederate spies known as the Coleman Scouts. About 50 people attended the presentation. Guest speakers included James Patterson, adjutant of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Greg Tucker, Rutherford County historian, and John Moore, a descendant of Jobe.
“Here I was, born and raised in Smyrna and I didn’t really know what all (Jobe) went through,” Sparks said, adding that he also discovered John Bridges’ book, “Three Cousins from Mechanicsville,” chronicling the heroic life of Jobe and his two relatives.
Jobe worked alongside fellow Coleman Scout Sam Davis, who is well-known for having hanged after refusing to betray his source. Sparks compared the scouts’ tenacity to that of the modern-day “A-Team.”
….”He was as much a hero as Sam Davis. He just didn’t have the publicity Sam Davis had,” Bridges said.
Jobe met a much more gruesome fate. Right before being captured by Union troops in August 1864, Jobe destroyed information he was carrying — he swallowed it — and refused to divulge the message. He was brutalized for days. Eventually, his tongue was severed and he died after being dragged by a galloping horse.

House District 49: Mike Sparks vs. Mike Williams

Republican state Rep. Mike Sparks, a longtime Smyrna resident and former Rutherford County commissioner, is being challenged in the 49th District of the Tennessee House of Representatives by Democrat Mike Williams, a retired Methodist minister and sociology professor.
From a Tennessean story on the race:
Sparks said he has a pro-business platform that seeks to reduce regulation at the state and local levels.
“Small businesses create the majority of the jobs, and not big businesses,” Sparks said. “There are not lobbyists for the small-business people because they can’t afford it and they are too busy working 50 hours a week.”
Sparks also vows to help prisoners who have completed their sentences be better prepared to be productive citizens.
Williams is retired from a career in ministry for the United Methodist Church and as a sociology professor for 23 years for The Ohio State University at Mansfield.
Williams said his key platform is jobs.
“I intend to help create jobs and preserve jobs by helping our small businesses succeed,” Williams said. “Part of helping our small businesses succeed involves working to give them the tax breaks they need, breaks from workers’ compensation charges.”

Protesting Bill to Make Cosmetic Changes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Opponents of a bill to change legal requirements for cosmetic procedures have staged a protest at the legislative office complex in Nashville.
The group waved signs at the entrance to Legislative Plaza on Wednesday morning to urge lawmakers to abandon the measure sponsored by Rep. Mike Sparks of Smyrna and fellow Republican Sen. Jim Tracy of Shelbyville.
The protesters say the bill would cost jobs at beauty salons and spas by requiring cosmetic and aesthetic procedures involving lasers and intense pulse light machines to be performed under the supervision of a physician.
The bill has yet to be scheduled for a full Senate vote, while the companion bill was awaiting consideration in the House Health and Human services committee.