Local News Articles

Kelsey Evins Receives Student Recognition Award at TSBA Upper Cumberland Fall District Meeting

September 13, 2013
Dwayne Page
Charles Robinson Congratulates Kelsey Evins
Kelsey Evins Receives Student Recognition Award at TSBA Fall District Meeting

A local student, Kelsey Evins received the Student Recognition Award Thursday evening during the Tennessee School Boards Association Upper Cumberland Fall District meeting held at South Fentress Elementary School in Fentress County.

Each year TSBA honors one student from each of its nine districts who has achieved distinction in the areas of academics, community leadership, and engagement as part of its Student Recognition Award program. One of those nine students will win the statewide Student Recognition Award to be presented at the TSBA Annual Convention in November, which will include a $2,000 scholarship.

Evins, the 2013 Upper Cumberland District winner, is currently a senior at DeKalb County High School. She has maintained a 4.0 grade point average while taking a rigorous schedule of advanced and dual credit courses and actively participating and volunteering in her community. In addition to her academic success and achievements, Kelsey is an active volunteer and talented individual. She uses her talents to raise money for her community. She is a volunteer entertainer at various activities in DeKalb County and surrounding areas that raise funds for the community and bring tourism to the area. She also works hard to improve her community by working in food pantries, clothes distributions, and participating in coat drives.

During the Fall District meeting, local boards of education in the Upper Cumberland Region learned about the changing landscape of education advocacy, heard updates on education legislation, and were provided with a Tennessee Reform update.

The evening consisted of board members earning honors for their professional
development activities and recognizing a dedicated school volunteer and an outstanding student.

The Upper Cumberland District meeting was one of nine similar sessions held annually in each of TSBA’s development districts.

The program also included an update on this year’s session of the Tennessee General Assembly and a review of the salary schedule, teacher licensure and evaluations from the Deputy Commissioner of Education, Dr. Kathleen Airhart. Board members participated in a legislative survey with their electronic devices via an online/SMS texting program.

Local school board members attending were John David Foutch, Charles Robinson, W.J. (Dub) Evins, III, and Chairman Johnny Lattimore.

(Top Photo: DeKalb School Board member Charles Robinson and Kelsey Evins)

(Bottom Photo Left to Right: School Board members John David Foutch, W.J. (Dub) Evins, III, Kelsey Evins (Dub Evins' daughter), TSBA Executive Director Dr. Tammy Grissom, and School Board member Charles Robinson)

DeKalb FCCLA Challenges Cannon For Good Cause

September 13, 2013
Dwayne Page
John Isabell

The DeKalb County High School Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Club is participating in a collection drive for the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center in support of local educator John Isbabell who is battling leukemia.

Linda Parris, DCHS teacher said the local FCCLA Chapter is challenging Cannon County High School students to see which school can collect more Ultra Soft and regular Kleenex and Puff tissues without scents or lotion to donate to the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center.

Several months ago the DCHS FCCLA club won a challenge with Cannon County by collecting the most shoes in the Soles for Souls program. " Our FCCLA Chapter has challenged Cannon County to help us collect more Ultra soft and regular Kleenex and Puff tissues without scents or lotion to donate to the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center in support of Mr. Isabell at DCHS currently battling leukemia. We don't want to let Cannon county beat us in showing our support for Mr. John Isabell. Kleenex can be dropped off at the high school or contact us at 597-4094 to arrange a pick up or you can bring kleenex to our homecoming game. Homecoming will be where the final count is given! Thanks for your continued support," said Parris.

Tennessee Adopts Second High School Equivalency Test

September 13, 2013

Beginning January 2, 2014, out-of-school youth and adults who are pursuing a high-school equivalency credential will have another test option to improve their earnings potential.

Tennesseans will have a choice of taking either the new 2014 GED® test or an alternative high school equivalency test designed by Educational Testing Services called HiSET™.

Tennessee is one of several states that are adopting the new test due to changes in the GED Exam. Beginning in January of 2014, the new GED test will only be offered via computer. The HiSET alternative test will allow for either computer or paper-based testing. Passing either test will lead to a high school equivalency diploma issued by the State of Tennessee and accepted nationally.

“We are pleased that the alternative test, which has been approved by the General Assembly and the State Board of Education, will continue to offer paper-based testing as an option in addition to computer-based,” said Adult Education Administrator Marva Doremus. “We want as much accessibility as possible for those who lack a high school diploma since attaining this credential enhances their employment opportunities.”

Like the GED, the HiSET exam will measure a student’s knowledge and skills in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies and will be significantly aligned to Common Core State Standards.

Tennesseans who have passed some but not all parts of the GED have only the remainder of 2013 to earn their high school credential under the current test structure. All partial scores will no longer be valid after January 1, 2014.
Last year, 10,142 Tennesseans earned GED diplomas, but Tennessee still has more than 930,000 adults without a high school diploma or its equivalent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those who have a high school credential earn $181 more weekly than those without. Additionally, those with a high school credential have an unemployment rate of 8.3% compared with 12.4% of those who do not.

For details on taking high school equivalency tests and information on preparation courses, contact the Adult Education Division of the Department of Labor & Workforce Development at 1-800-531-1515, or visit the Department’s website at http://www.tn.gov/labor-wfd/AE/.

Coach Trapp Voted Titans High School Coach of the Week!

September 12, 2013
Coach Steve Trapp

This high school football season, the Tennessee Titans are asking the fans to select the Titans High School Coach of the Week winners through online polling, and fans decided the Week 2 winner is Steve Trapp of DeKalb County High School in Smithville.

The school will receive a $1,000 grant for its program from Titans Owner K.S. “Bud” Adams, Jr.

Led by a freshman quarterback, Steven Jennings, Coach Trapp’s Tigers defeated the Livingston Academy Wildcats, 35-28. This is DeKalb County’s first win against the Wildcats since 1994. In the game’s final seconds, the Tigers’ defense was successful with a goal-line stand as Livingston threatened to tie the game.

“Coach Trapp is an awesome, hard worker, and really has turned our program around,” said Patrick Cripps, DeKalb County High School Principal. “Coach has instilled discipline, hard work, and ethics into his players and has just done a fantastic job!”

Coach Trapp will be the team’s guest at the Titans’ season finale versus the Houston Texans on Dec. 29 when the team honors all 2013 Coach of the Week winners and announces the winner of the 2013 Coach of the Year! Week 1 winner Coach Jeremy Bosken is also eligible for the Tennessee Titans Coach of the Year award. Mr. Adams will make an additional $2,000 grant to the Titans Coach of the Year winner on that date.

In addition to Trapp, this week’s nominees were Justin Price of Campbell High School in Jacksboro, Noah Lampkin of Gleason High School and Bruce Lussier of Father Ryan High School in Nashville. Coach Trapp received 69 percent of the votes. Each of these three finalists is eligible to win the honor during the remainder of this season.

Nominees are submitted by sports writers and broadcasters across the state with specific criteria in mind. The specific criteria included, beating a longtime rival, snapping a losing streak, defeating a defending champion, an amazing come from behind victory, and/or involvement in the local community.

Also considered is a coach’s commitment to his players’ safety, by teaching the fundamentals of the game, proper tackling techniques, concussion management practices and adherence to heat and hydration guidelines.

Now in its 15th season, Mr. Adams has awarded more than $163,000 from the Titans Foundation to football programs across the state in honor of the Coach of the Week and Year winners.

Smithville Airport Closed for Runway Resurfacing

September 12, 2013
Dwayne Page
Highways Inc  milling and doing overlay of airport runway
Airport Closed for Runway Resurfacing
Airport Runway and Apron Project Underway
New Fuel Farm to be located here
Apron Expansion
Expansion of Apron and Parking Area
Workers Removing top layer of the old asphalt
Rotating Beacon to be Replaced
Airport Electrical System to Undergo Rehab

The Smithville Municipal Airport is closed for up to two weeks while an apron expansion and runway overlay (resurfacing) project is in progress.

Highways Incorporated was recently awarded the bid to do the work by the mayor and board of aldermen. In addition to the resurfacing, the project includes design and construction of new infrastructure for the PAPI (runway) lights. The cost is $1,633,738.

Last year, the city was approved for a $1.5 million grant to do the runway overlay and apron expansion. State grant funding totaled $1,350,000 and the local matching obligation was $150,000. The grant approved for the design and construction of the PAPI infrastructure was for $96,300. The city's portion was $4,815. Since the grant for overlay did not cover the cost of the paving project, the city applied and was approved for up to $190,000 in additional grant funds with a 5% local match. The grants were made available through the Tennessee Department of Transportation's Aeronautics Division.

"We're having the runway resurfaced and we are expanding the ramp and our parking area at the airport," said Airport Manager Wes Nokes. "We're also repairing a spot of existing asphalt that has deteriorated probably due to an underground spring. The design for all that, the engineering portion of it, we got a grant for that and then we got a separate grant for the actual construction, the asphalt for the runway, the asphalt for the apron extension and to repair the older asphalt," said Nokes.

"Another grant is for our PAPI lights, which are lights at the end of the runway that let the pilots know if they are on the right guide slope and if they are too high or too low coming in for approach for landing," said Nokes. "The wiring that supplies the electricity for these lights is extremely old. It was probably put in during the early 1970s. It's now dilapidated and corroded. This grant will replace all that wiring from the main hangar building out to each end of the runway, "he said.

The airport will also have a new fuel farm soon, offering jet fuel for the first time. "We currently do not sell jet fuel at the airport so this will be a huge increase in traffic and revenue for us as we have not been able to provide that service before. But after this, we will. Even some of our current customers, businesses, and factories in the area that have corporate aircraft, when they come in they have no way of refueling here. They have to go somewhere else for fuel before they come in or after they leave so it will be a huge convenience factor for them and help us on the revenue aspect of it as well," said Nokes. "The fuel farm construction hinges on the construction of the runway and the new part of the apron as the new fuel farm will be moved down to the end of the new apron expansion. There will be two above ground tanks. They will be twelve thousand gallon tanks. They will be operated on a self serve basis twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. They will be accessible by a debit or credit card," he said.

The city received approval last fall for a grant to help pay for the design and construction of the new fuel farm at the airport. The project totals $330,000, funded $297,000 by federal, $16,500 state, and $16,500 in local dollars.

Meanwhile, the aldermen Monday night, September 9 approved a request by Nokes to apply for another grant to help fund an electrical rehab project at the airport. " This will entail replacing and relocating our rotating beacon, which is extremely old. We've put a lot of money in it during the last few years. They have made a lot of technological advances since this one was built and a new one will greatly reduce all this maintenance that we're having to do right now," said Nokes

"Another part of that (project) is going to be an electrical vault room, which will be located out behind the current maintenance hangar. It will house all of our airfield lighting equipment. Everything that powers the runway lights, the rotating beacon, the PAPI lights. Everything will be housed in one spot. It will be a secure room, which is the way it is supposed to be and it will also free up the space that is currently being occupied inside the maintenance hangar and give Burton a little more room in there to do his operations," said Nokes.

"The bigger part of it will entail replacing our actual runway lights with a modern LED system. If we replace this with an LED system, it will pay for itself just in electricity savings in one to three years depending upon how much it is actually used over that period of time. It varies by electrical consumption. But that's the numbers on it right now. In one to three years that portion will pay for itself," he said.

The total cost of the grant to do all these rehabs will be $450,000 at a 5% match. The cost to the city will be $22,500, according to Nokes.

Lauren Ashley Medlin Named DCHS Homecoming Queen

September 11, 2013
Dwayne Page
DCHS Homecoming Queen and Attendants
DCHS Homecoming Queen Lauren Ashley Medlin

The 2013 Homecoming Queen at DeKalb County High School is Lauren Ashley Medlin.

A senior, Medlin is the 17 year old daughter of Greg and Teresa Medlin of Smithville.

The Homecoming Attendants are:

Senior Attendant -Sarah Elizabeth Edwards, the 17 year old daughter of Tena and the late Clay Edwards of Liberty

Senior Attendant- Elizabeth Jane Mason, the 18 year old daughter of Jim and April Mason of Smithville.

Junior Attendant- Brooke Danielle Roller, 16 year old daughter of Richard and Rose Roller of Smithville.

Sophomore Attendant- Tyra Grace Graham, the 15 year old daughter of Kyle and Doris Graham of Smithville.

Freshman Attendant- Susan Marie Webb, the 14 year old daughter of C.D. and Cindy Webb of Dowelltown

Spirit week activities will be held September 16 -20 at DCHS. The Homecoming Parade will take place Friday afternoon, September 20 and the Tiger Homecoming Football game will be at 7:00 p.m. that night against Cannon County. WJLE will have LIVE coverage of the game.

(Top Photo: Standing left to right: Susan Marie Webb, Tyra Grace Graham, and Brooke Danielle Roller. Seated left to right: Sarah Elizabeth Edwards, Queen Lauren Ashley Medlin, and Elizabeth Jane Mason)

Annual DTC Meeting of Members set for September 21, Four Directors to be Elected

September 11, 2013
Dwayne Page

One of the four members up for re-election on the DeKalb Telephone Cooperative (DTC) Board of Directors is being challenged this year.

Ronnie Burton of the Gordonsville Exchange has qualified by petition to run against Incumbent James H. Dillard, Jr., who has been qualified by the nominating committee as a candidate.

Other incumbents up for re-election running unopposed are Roy N. Pugh of the Auburntown Exchange, Jimmy Oakley of the Temperance Hall Exchange, and David Parker of the Woodland Exchange. The nominating committee has qualified Pugh, Oakley, and Parker as a candidate, along with Dillard.

According to DTC's Annual Report mailed to all members last week, the 2013 Annual Meeting of members will be Saturday, September 21 beginning at noon at the DeKalb County Fairgrounds located on the corner of Fairgrounds Road and Edgewood Street in Alexandria.

Voting will be by machine and the polling place will be opened for voting at noon on September 21. Members may vote from that time until 4:00 p.m. or until the last person in line at 4:00 p.m. has voted.

Early voting will be available Monday through Wednesday, September 16-18 at four (DTC Store) locations. Hours for early voting are as follows:

Monday, September 16 from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, September 17 from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, September 18 from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Locations for early voting:
111 High Street, Alexandria
126 JMZ Drive, Gordonsville
200 Walmart Drive, Smithville
106 West High Street, Woodbury

Adcock Named Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer

September 11, 2013
Shan Burklow
Adcock Named Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer

Kevin Adcock has been named Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer for DeKalb Community Hospital and Stones River Hospital. Adcock brings over thirty-two years of medical experience to his new position along with eight years previous experience as an Ethics and Compliance Officer.

Adcock is 2000 graduate from Quorum Healthcare Compliance School and is passionate about ethics, “I am proud to be working in my hometown. My goal is to ensure that our hospitals are operating within all legal and ethical guidelines for the safety of our patients and staff. I am grateful and excited for this opportunity.”

“We are pleased to promote Kevin as our new Ethics and Compliance Officer for both of our fine hospitals. I am confident that he will ensure that we are operating within all ethical guidelines,” said Sue Conley—CEO of DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospitals, “Kevin is a wonderful employee and is brilliant. He is an outstanding laboratory director and I expect him to be just as fantastic in his new role.”

Adcock also serves his community as an Emergency Medical Responder and Firefighter with the Smithville Fire Department. He has been married to his lovely wife, Judy, for 26 years and has two children—Preston and Rachel. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting and spending time with his family.

Rescue Squad to Construct Larger Facility

September 10, 2013
Dwayne Page
Existing Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad Building
Joe Johnson

The Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad is making plans to build a new facility beside their current location near Green brook Park.

Joe Johnson, a member of the Rescue Squad building committee and Captain Dustin Johnson attended Monday night's city council meeting seeking authorization for the rescue squad to do the construction, which is on city property.

The aldermen voted unanimously to grant approval.

According to Joe Johnson the new building will provide more space to store boats, vehicles, and other equipment all together at one place. "We have outgrown our building. It's still a good building but it's too small and we're having to store equipment at various member's locations," he said.

"We've got equipment scattered. We've got two boats in a little storage building but It takes about fifteen minutes to get one of them out and get it hooked to a truck. When we get a call, we need to go. We don't need to be trying to hand get a boat out of a storage building. These boats are heavy. It takes about four people to get them out. With this (new) building, we'll be able to drive in, leave the boat hooked to the truck, and then when we get a call, we will simply raise the door and drive out. It changes (improves) our response time. We're also building this for future expansion so maybe we won't have to do this again," said Johnson.

The new facility will be a 36' x 60' structure (attractive metal on the outside) with three bays, each bay twelve feet wide and 60 feet long.

County Mayor Mike Foster told WJLE that the county has budgeted $8,700 for the new rescue squad building and $1,700 for new rollup doors on the existing building. The county also provides annual funding to the rescue squad for operation as a non-profit organization. This year the amount is $16,821. The City of Smithville budgets $1,500 toward the operation of the rescue squad.

Johnson said the new facility will be built at no extra cost to the city. In addition to the county's contribution, the rest of the money is being raised from private donations and fundraisers. "We're proposing to do this at no cost to the city," said Johnson. The county commission has given us some money and we've raised (some money). We've got it up to about $17,000. We're still probably about $5,000 short," he said.

Rescue Squad members hope to upgrade their equipment in the future. Adding a boat and another four wheel drive vehicle to the fleet would help them better serve the community, according to Johnson.

In addition to searching for drowning victims, the rescue squad also conducts cave rescues and searches for missing persons. Earlier this summer, Johnson explained how that the rescue squad and others came to the aid of a man who had fallen and suffered broken bones while trying to climb a steep rock formation at Center Hill Lake. After making their way up the steep bluff, rescue workers reached the man, placed him in a stokes basket and used rappelling equipment to safely bring him down.

Members of the rescue squad, who voluntarily give of their time and effort without compensation, are also available to provide manpower assistance to local law enforcement and fire departments for other reasons, according to Johnson.

Through their membership with the Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads, Incorporated, the local rescue squad receives assistance from other county rescue squads when needed to help conduct search and recovery efforts.

DCHS Football Coach Steve Trapp Nominated for Tennessee Titans High School Coach of Week (VOTE HERE)

September 9, 2013
Coach Steve Trapp

DeKalb County High School Football Coach Steve Trapp is one of four nominees for the Tennessee Titans High School Coach of the Week honor

Other nominees are, Bruce Lussier of Nashville’s Father Ryan, Justin Price of Campbell County High School and Noah Lampkins of Gleason High School.



Each coach was nominated by sports media throughout the state of Tennessee on the basis of specific criteria. The specific criteria for Tennessee high school coaches included beating a longtime rival, snapping a losing streak, defeating a defending champion, an amazing come from behind victory, and/or involvement in the local community.

Also considered is a coach’s consideration of his players’ safety, by teaching the fundamentals of the game, proper tackling techniques, concussion management practices and adherence to heat and hydration guidelines.

Led by a freshman quarterback, Steven Jennings, Coach Trapp’s Tigers defeated Livingston Academy Wildcats, 35-28 last Friday night. This is DeKalb’s first win against the Wildcats since 1994. In the game’s final seconds, the Tigers’ defense was successful with a goal line stand as Livingston threatened to tie the game.

Week 2 voting is open until 9 a.m. ET/8 a.m. CT, Thursday, Sept. 12.

The ten weekly winners of the Coach of the Week will earn a $1,000 grant from the Tennessee Titans Foundation for his football program to be used to provide funds for equipment, turf treatment or upgrades to their field house!

At the conclusion of the Tennessee state playoffs, a Titans High School Coach of the Year will be selected and that winner will earn a $2,000 grant from the Titans Foundation for his school’s football program!

The Titans began honoring Tennessee’s High School Coaches in 1998 and since that time, have awarded more than $150,000 in grants to support high school football programs throughout Tennessee via this program!


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