Local News Articles

County Must Store Amendment 1 Election Data

September 1, 2015

The DeKalb County Election Commission will extract and store the November 14 election results because of a pending legal challenge to the passage of amendment 1

The State Election Commission has ordered all of Tennessee's County Election Commissions to extract all the November 14 election data from voting machines, and store in an external device.

DeKalb County Voting machine technicians, County Election Commissioners representing both parties and a technician from the voting machine company, Microvote, will be present for the extraction, which is set for 4 p.m. September 10 at the election office.

“The extraction became necessary because the lawsuit has yet to be resolved, and at some point, those machines will have to be loaded with the March 1 Presidential Preference and DeKalb Democratic Party Primary candidates," said Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections. "Because we have no concrete date on when the litigation will be resolved, we have no choice but to extract that data, preserve it should it be needed as evidence in the lawsuit, and make plans for the March elections."

The lawsuit is challenging how the state calculated the votes for Amendment 1- a Constitutional Amendment giving the Tennessee General Assembly more leeway in enacting abortion regulations.

It is argued that the state's constitution says for an amendment to pass, voters of the state have to "approve and ratify such amendment or amendments by a majority of all citizens voting for Governor, voting in their favor."

The lawsuit, filed on November 7, 2014, claims because of how the State Constitution is worded, the state should have only counted the votes of those who case a ballot in both the Governor's race as well as Amendment 1.

However, State Election officials maintain Tennesseans have a right to vote or not vote for Governor and any other way "would not make sense."

According to the final election totals from November, about 30,000 more people cast ballots for Amendment 1 than cast ballots in the Governor's race. However, the Amendment won by approximately 70,000 votes.

TABC Approves Liquor License for Center Hill Wine & Spirits

August 31, 2015
Dwayne Page
TABC Approves Liquor License for Center Hill Wine & Spirits

The Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission has granted approval for Smithville's second liquor store.

During a meeting last Tuesday, August 25, the TABC acted on James E. Bradshaw's request for licensing of a retail store to be located at 725 South Congress Boulevard, Smithville called "Center Hill Wine & Spirits" near Food Lion.

According to the TABC, Bradshaw is investing $200,000 of personal funds into the business, as verified by TABC staff. Mr. Bradshaw is leasing the premises from Bayview Holdings, LLC for an initial term of four years. The TABC staff recommended conditional approval of this request for licensing, subject to receipt of a TABC inspection and acknowledgement of TABC rules and regulations.

The Smithville Board of Aldermen in July voted to issue Bradshaw a certificate of compliance, which signified that he met all the city's ordinance requirements to make application to the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the agency which has the sole authority to grant a liquor license.

The city's first liquor store, Smithville Discount Wine & Spirits at 413 East Broad Street, opened several weeks ago after also receiving a license by the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

DeKalb Democratic Party to Host "Insure Tennessee" Meeting

August 31, 2015

The DeKalb County Democratic Party will host a meeting on "Insure Tennessee" on Saturday, September 12 at 10:00 a.m. at the county complex.

Jackie Shrago, Special Project Coordinator, Tennessee Health Care Campaign and participating in management of GetCovered Nashville, will discuss Insure Tennessee, a plan by Governor Haslam to make health insurance options available for 280,000 people.

Insure TN is a state proposal to cover people who are now in a Gap excluding them from many of subsidies for health insurance premiums under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, also often called Obamacare). The Gap is the product of legislative committee obstacles that prevented the Tennessee legislature from passing Governor Haslam’s Plan. The Plan would be fully funded through the ACA and a commitment of the Tennessee hospitals to make up any shortfall.

The Tennessee Health Care Campaign has worked for affordable accessible health care for all Tennessee residents for 26 years.

Walter Davis, Executive Director of THCC, says, “We welcome the opportunity to speak to any organizations wishing to understand the Governor’s Plan and the impact of so many people not having insurance. We welcome questions and criticisms hopefully in a mutually respectful discussion. We want to learn from one another and to hear the stories of Tennesseans including those in the Gap.”

THCC and its colleagues at the Tennessee Justice Center (TJC) have been traveling throughout the state listening (TJC’s Counting the Costtour), speaking (THCC in Town Halls) and advocating (in conversations with elected leaders of both parties). THCC is a non-partisan non-profit that does not endorse parties or candidates. It does, however, present an opportunity for those in the Gap to tell their story. We also gather the stories of those who unnecessarily face high costs and deteriorating health conditions due to exclusion from the ACA.

THCC believes it is important to hear one another. We believe if people talk about Insure Tennessee and bring forward their concerns, they will find the Plan to be a good step in the right direction.

THCC provides hundreds of volunteers working thousands of hours to enroll those eligible under the Affordable Care Act. Our volunteers have also reached out to legislators to consider the needs of constituents.

DCHS Football Cheerleaders to Host "Spirit Day"

August 31, 2015

The DCHS Football Cheerleaders will host "Spirit Day" on September 17 for ages 4-13. This session will be from 3:30 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. at the DCHS gym. The cost is $25.00 per participant. (T-shirt included). Participants will also be allowed to perform during the DCHS pre-game on September 18 against Smith County.(Game admission is not included, and must be paid at the gate).

"Spirit Day" is designed to promote "team spirit" during National Team Spirit Month. DCHS Football Cheerleaders proudly promotes National Spirit, as well as physical fitness and team unity. This session will include cheer conditioning, motion drills, jumps, a side line chant, and a "spirit" dance. Participants will be divided into age groups. Please, no spectators in the gym during the "spirit" session. Participants should bring a blank cd if they desire a copy of the "Spirit" music.


football.pdf (387.85 KB)

Complete and return the information with payment by September 4 to: Cindy Webb, 260 Hendrix Road, Dowelltown TN 37095. Late registration will be accepted, but not guaranteed a shirt. Late registration at the door will be $30.00 per participant.

Alexandria Municipal Election Set for Thursday

August 31, 2015
Dwayne Page

The Alexandria Municipal Election will be held Thursday, September 3.

Voting will be from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the DeKalb County Fairgrounds' Kenneth Sandlin Center.

Early voting ended Saturday with only nine people having cast ballots during the two week period

The election is being held to elect three aldermen to four year terms and to fill the remaining two years of vacant or unexpired terms of mayor and two aldermen positions.

Candidates for Mayor are Tony Tarpley and Bennett Armstrong.

Those running unopposed for the two year aldermen positions are Danny Parkerson and Matthew Boss.

Kelly Pyburn, David Cripps, and John F. Suggs are each running unopposed for the four year alderman terms.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

August 30, 2015
Dwayne Page
County Mayor Tim Stribling Signs Proclamation
Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss Signs Proclamation

In the United States alone, someone dies by suicide once every 13 minutes. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 24. But because suicide has been considered such a “taboo” subject to think or to talk about, there are a lot of misconceptions about which individuals may be at risk, about when, how and why people might consider killing themselves, and about how best to help yourself or someone else who’s contemplating suicide.

The annual Light to Hope ceremony will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, September 1, at Cookeville Higher Education Campus (formerly the Cookeville campus of Nashville State Community College) at 1000 Neal Street in Cookeville.

The event will give friends and families the chance to honor the memory of loved ones lost to suicide, give support to the loved ones left behind, and education and awareness about a topic that is often kept in the shadows.

On Thursday, County Mayor Tim Stribling and Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss signed proclamations designating September as Suicide Prevention Month in DeKalb County and Smithville.

In 2013, the latest year for which county-specific figures are available, DeKalb County's age-adjusted suicide rate was 15.7 per 100,000 people, translating into three reported suicide deaths. Two of them were female. This number of suicides in DeKalb County for 2013 is the same as the previous year and the local rate is identical to the state average of 15.7 per 100,000 population for 2013 as reported by the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network.

Pickett County had the state's highest suicide rate among the state's ninety five counties at 59.1 per 100,000 with three deaths while Haywood, Trousdale, and Van Buren County reported none for 2013.

DeKalb County's suicide rate was at 16.6 per 100,000 in 2006 and 2007 with three deaths each of those years. But the rate soared to 48.1 per 100,000 in 2008 with nine deaths. The rate dropped to 26.5 per 100,000 with five deaths in 2009 but went back up to 37.4 per 100,000 with seven deaths in 2010. DeKalb's suicide rate for 2011 was 26.5 per 100,000 with five deaths and 15.9 per 100,000 in 2012 with three suicides.

Again Pickett County recorded the highest suicide rate among the fourteen Upper Cumberland Counties for 2013. Here's how they ranked from highest to lowest.

Pickett: 59.1 per 100,000 (3 deaths)
Overton: 45.3 (10 deaths)
White: 38.1 (10 deaths)
Smith: 26.2 (5 deaths)
Macon: 22.0 (5 deaths)
Putnam: 17.7(13 deaths)
Warren: 17.5 (7 deaths)
DeKalb: 15.7 (3 deaths)
Clay: 12.9 (1 death)
Fentress: 11.2 (2 deaths)
Cumberland: 10.4 (6 deaths)
Jackson: 8.7 (1 death)
Cannon: 7.3 (1 death)
Van Buren: 0

The proclamation is as follows:

WHEREAS, suicide is one of the most disruptive and tragic events a family and a community can
experience, with more than 900 lives lost in Tennessee each year and an estimated 8-25 attempted
suicides for each suicide death; and

WHEREAS, suicide is the 10th-leading cause of all deaths in Tennessee and the second-leading cause of
death among people from the age of 15 to 24 (source: Tennessee Department of Health); and

WHEREAS, public awareness of this terrifying problem is the key to preventing further suffering and loss
of life; and the risk for human self-destruction can be reduced through awareness, education and
treatment; and as the highest risk for suicide is among the survivors of those who died by suicide or
those who have attempted suicide; and

WHEREAS, suicide prevention has been declared a national priority by the President and Congress; and
Tennessee declares suicide prevention as a state priority and the legislature, in partnership with TSPN,
implements the Tennessee Strategy for Suicide Prevention based on the National Strategy for Suicide
Prevention; and

WHEREAS, Tennessee is a national leader in the effort to prevent suicide, being one of the first states to
develop a suicide prevention and evaluation plan covering the lifespan; and

WHEREAS, the Governor of Tennessee has appointed a Suicide Prevention Network Advisory Council to
coordinate the implementation of the Tennessee Strategy for Suicide Prevention; and

WHEREAS, the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network is a grassroots collaboration of Tennesseans and
organizations working to eliminate the stigma of suicide, educate the community about the warning
signs of suicide, and ultimately reduce the rate of suicide in our state; and

WHEREAS, the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network is also committed to excellence in suicide prevention, and postvention.

Now, Therefore, I, County Mayor Tim Stribling and Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss do hereby proclaim September, 2015 as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in DeKalb County and Smithville, and do urge all citizens to work to prevent suicide and to raise awareness and tolerance around all people affected by this tragedy"

WJLE's "Fearless Forecasters" Returning Thursday

August 29, 2015
Dwayne Page
John Pryor, Jeff James, and Joe Goodwin
Ricky Atnip, Scott Brown, and Darvin Gill
Joe Goodwin, Darrell Gill, and Chad Kirby

WJLE's "Fearless Forecasters" are returning for another season of college pigskin prognosticating Thursday afternoon's at 4:30 p.m. beginning September 3.

This season's regulars are Dewain Hendrixson, Scott Brown, Chad Kirby, Jeff James, Ricky Atnip, John Pryor, Joe Goodwin, Darvin Gill, and Darrell Gill. A different special guest will make an appearance each week.

The "Fearless Forecasters" pick who they believe will win in fifteen of the biggest or most interesting college football games of the week.

They also make an underdog selection each week, picking a team they think will win, even though that team is not favored to win.

The program is sponsored by Liberty State Bank, DTC Communications, DeKalb County Ace Hardware, Middle Tennessee Natural Gas, Love-Cantrell Funeral Home, DeKalb County Insurance, DeKalb Tire and Service, and the Charles D. Atnip Realty & Auction Company.

Catch the "Fearless Forecasters" LIVE on WJLE Thursday's at 4:30 p.m. starting September 3.

4-H Outdoor Meat Cookery Contest

August 29, 2015
By: Leigh Fuson, 4-H Agent
DeKalb County 4-H Jr. High Outdoor Meat Cookery Team: Lily Martin, Megan Price, Grace Griffin, and Lynsey Ellis
DeKalb County 4-H Sr. High Outdoor Meat Cookery Team: Kayla Belk, Nathaniel Theriaque, Wyatt Martin, and James Mathis
Megan Price preparing her 3rd place lamb chops at the 4-H Outdoor Meat Cookery Contest.

It can be hard to resist the flavor of a good steak or pork chop sizzling on a charcoal grill, but sometimes it can be tricky to get the meat “just right.” DeKalb County 4-H members are learning how to do just that after preparing for and competing at the Central Region 4-H Outdoor Meat Cookery contest, held each year at the Wilson County Fair in Lebanon. 4-H’ers in grades 7-12 can participate in this fun contest that not only teaches them how to grill, but how to do it safely.

Each contestant must start his or her own grill, prepare the meat, and cook it to perfection. On a four person team, each member is responsible for grilling a different species of meat: beef, poultry, lamb, and pork. They are judged throughout the cooking process to make sure they start their fires properly, prepare the meat safely, and cook it to the correct temperature. The meat itself is then judged on palatability, texture, appearance, and originality of recipe.

This year, DeKalb County was represented by a team in both age groups. In the Junior High division, Megan Price placed 3rd in lamb, Lynsey Ellis was 10th in pork, Gracie Griffin 11th in beef, and Lily Martin 13th in chicken. This was all their first year to compete, and the team placed 9th overall. In the Senior High Division, everyone placed in the top ten while placing 7th overall. Kayla Belk placed 5th in beef, Nathaniel Theriaque 6th in lamb, Wyatt Martin 7th in pork, and James Mathis 10th in chicken. There were 110 contestants from the surrounding counties.

These 4-H members worked hard learning all the safety procedures of charcoal grilling and finding the perfect recipe. The skills learned through this contest will be valuable for years to come. Congratulations on a job well done! If you are interested in competing in this contest next year, please contact the 4-H office at 615-597-4945.

Photo Captions
Jr High Team :DeKalb County 4-H Jr. High Outdoor Meat Cookery Team: Lily Martin, Megan Price, Grace Griffin, and Lynsey Ellis.
Sr. High Team:DeKalb County 4-H Sr. High Outdoor Meat Cookery Team: Kayla Belk, Nathaniel Theriaque, Wyatt Martin, and James Mathis.
Megan Price preparing her 3rd place lamb chops at the 4-H Outdoor Meat Cookery Contest.

DeKalb Jobless Rate at 8.2% in July

August 28, 2015
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County's unemployment rate for July was 8.2%, up from 7.9% in June but still below 8.7% in July, 2014.

The local labor force for July was 7,290. A total of 6,700 were employed and 600 were without work.

DeKalb County's Jobless Rate for July was sixth highest in the fourteen county Upper Cumberland region.

Here's how they rank from highest to lowest:
Clay: 9.7%
Van Buren: 9.1%
Fentress: 8.5%
DeKalb: 8.2%
Putnam: 7%

County unemployment rates for July 2015 show the rates increased in 53 counties, decreased in 21, and remained the same in 21 counties.

Davidson County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate in July at 4.9 percent, unchanged from June. Knox County was 5.4 percent in July, up from 5.3 the previous month. The Hamilton County July rate was 6.2 percent, up from 6.1 in June. Shelby County was 7.4 percent in July, up from 7.3 percent the previous month.

Tennessee’s preliminary unemployment rate for July was 5.7 percent, unchanged from the previous month. The U.S. preliminary rate for July was 5.3 percent, also unchanged from the unemployment rate in June.

The state and national unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted while the county unemployment rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from economic time series.

Chamber of Commerce Presents Awards

August 28, 2015
Chamber of Commerce presents Milestone Award to Jackie Smith State Farm Insurance
Chamber of Commerce presents Community Improvement Award to Mike's Flower Shop

The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce has presented a Milestone Award to Jackie Smith State Farm Insurance located at 315 Public Square North, Smithville for proudly serving this area for 30 years.

Meanwhile the Chamber has presented a well-deserved Community Improvement Award to Mike's Flower Shop, Public Square East, Alexandria. Exterior improvements include a brand-new sign, new paint, and beautiful landscaping.

(TOP PHOTO) Pictured l-r:

County Mayor Tim Stribling, Owner Jackie Smith, Employee Jaya Harwell, Chamber Director Suzanne

(BOTTOM PHOTO) Pictured l-r:

Kay Prichard, Betty McMillen, Mike McMillen - owner, Alexandria Mayor Tony Tarpley, Stacy Baker, Chamber Director Suzanne Williams


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