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DCHS Graduation Set for Friday, May 20 (VIEW PHOTOS OF SENIORS HERE)

May 12, 2016
Dwayne Page
Ashli Chew
Chloe White

Graduation for the Class of 2016 at DeKalb County High School will be Friday, May 20 at 7:00 p.m. on the high school football field.

The commencement program will feature the presentation of the White Rose and Citizenship Awards to members of the Class, a performance by the DCHS Chorus, and remarks by the Class Valedictorian Ashli Chew, Class President Chloe White, and DCHS Principal Kathy Bryant. Honor students will also be recognized including those who have earned top rank, honors, and distinction status. The DCHS band will perform “pomp and circumstance” as the graduates file onto the field. Bryant will present the class to Director of Schools Patrick Cripps, who will then award diplomas to the graduates as their names are called.

A total of 163 students make up the Class of 2016 at DCHS.


Meanwhile scholarships and other awards will be presented to members of the Class of 2016 at DeKalb County High School during the annual Senior Awards program Monday night, May 16 at 6:00 p.m. in the DCHS gymnasium.

Representatives of colleges, universities, branches of the armed services, businesses, civic groups, and other organizations will make the presentations. WJLE plans LIVE coverage on AM 1480/FM 101.7 and LIVE STREAMING at

Ashli Chew is the Class Valedictorian. The Salutatorian is Max Pafford.

The following students have met requirements for top Rank:

Ashli Chew, Maxwell Pafford, Frank Oliver, Mariah Lynch, Kirkland Smallwood, Noah Parsley, Morgan Vickers, Mackenzie Keaton, Caitlin Turner, Alexander Rhody, Hailey Walker, Seth Wright, Hannah James, Christopher Bryant, Hannah Leach, Kyra Slager, Tyra Graham, Hannah Walker, Anna Malone, Jaidyn L. Huggins, Harley Johnson, Chloe White, Carlee White, Hannah Lasser, Carl Mooneyham, Jr., Caitlin Jacobs, Matthew Wright, Amber Montgomery, Hayden Plymel, Gabriella Nokes, Katherine Parker, Delaney Johnson, Haden Cripps, Elijah Hendrixson, Nicklas Patterson, Katelynn Hall, Roberto Mata, Noah Byford, and Carly Moss.

To be considered for top Rank, students must take at least 10 honors, dual enrollment, and AP courses and students must have a 21 or higher ACT composite score.

The following students have met the requirement for Tennessee State Distinction:

Jailyn Bolding, Jerica Braswell, Chase Bryant, Kaylene Ferguson, Tyra Graham, Elijah Hendrixson, Jaydin Huggins, Caitlin Jacobs, Hannah James, Delaney Johnson, Mackenzie Keaton, Hannah Lasser, Hannah Leach, Mariah Lynch, Anna Malone, Taylor Marshall, Keeley McKay, Carly Moss, Alexis Nokes, Eli Oliver, Max Pafford, Katie Parker, Noah Parsley, Hayden Plymel, Austin Poss, Alex Rhody, Kyra Slager, Kirkland Smallwood, Caitlin Turner, Christian Turner, Morgan Vickers, Hailey Walker, Hannah Walker, Carlee White, Chloe White, Matthew Wright, and Seth Wright.

Students with Distinction have met at least one of the following:
*Earned a nationally recognized industry certification
*Participated in at least one year of the Governor's Schools
*Participated in one of the state's All State Musical Organizations
*Been selected as a National Merit Finalist or Semi-Finalist
*Attained a composite score of 31 or higher on the ACT
*Attained a score of 3 or higher on at least two Advanced Placement (AP) exams
*Earned 12 or more semester hours of postsecondary (dual enrollment credit)

The following students have met the requirements for graduating with Tennessee State Honors:

Chase Bryant, Ashli Chew, Elijah Hendrixson, Mackenzie Keaton, Mariah Lynch, Anna Malone, Roberto Mata, Eli Oliver, Max Pafford, Hayden Plymel, Alex Rhody, Kyra Slager, Kirkland Smallwood, Caitlin Turner, and Seth Wright.

Tennessee State Honors students have met all of the ACT subject area readiness benchmarks. The benchmarks are: English-18, Reading-22, Math-22, and Science 23.

The DCHS Class of 2016 includes the following students:

Curtis Tyler Ackerson, Jesse Alan Adams, Juan Diego Alvarez-Tinajero, Kelly Michelle Armour, Meranda Kay Atnip,

Courtney Devonne Bain, Troy James Bodie Bain, Briana Nicole Bandy, Jennifer Mae Ann Barnes, Jasmine Kiera Beaty, John Michael Belosic, Jessica Nicole Billings, Kerra Necole Blackwell, Justin Michael Blair, Tara-Lyn Bockoven, Jailyn Paige Bolding, Jerica Elaine Braswell, Benjamin Franklin Brooks, III, Christopher Chase Bryant, Jonah Mark Burke, Noah Dallas Byford,

Alexis Paige Caldwell, Matthew Hunter Caldwell, Tavia Gayle Cantrell, Jennifer Caroline Caplinger, Brittney Lynn Carpenter, Diana Berenice Carrillo, Gavin Lee Carter, Morgan Mackenzie Castorena, Ashli Elizabeth Chew, Colby Ray Clark, Leah Payton Clark, Dakotah Raine Cool, Andrew Dwayne Cornelius, Haden Grant Cripps, Ana Karen Cuellar, Billy Lane Curtis,

Robert Lane Davenport, Erick Lee Dodd, John Gage Duggin, Miranda Lea Dyer,

Kayla Dawn Ervin, Vernon Gage Ervin, Tabitha Georgette Kelly Estes,

Kaylene Marie Ferguson, Hannah Josephine Ferrell, Aspen Nicole Flarity, Wendy Flores Amado, Kaylyn Faith France,

Caleb Mason Gantt, Krisann Rene Garmer, Rachel Nicole Gash, Sy James Gohs, Casey Dillon Gooch, Tyra Grace Graham,

Katelyn Ann Hall, Chandler Bryce Haynes, Joshua Calvin Hembree, Elijah Lee Hendrixson, Bobby Wayne Dillon Hicks, Levi Austin Horton, Jaidyn Lynn Huggins,

Caitlin Blair Jacobs, Hannah Elizabeth James, Courtney Lynn Johnson, Delaney Louise Johnson, Deveen Dakato Johnson, Garrett Drake Johnson, Harley Jade Johnson, Isabella Dae Johnson, Bruno Juarez Ramirez,

Mackenzie Danielle Keaton, Clara Talpha Knowles,

Michael Ryan LaFever, Alexander Kalb Lasser, Hannah Ashton Lasser, Hannah Elizabeth Leach, Kyle Louis Lemons, Ryan Patrick Lincoln, Ethan Cole Lomas, La-Kota Wade Luna, Mariah Nicole Lynch,

Anna Bess Malone, Taylor Nicole Marshall, Roberto Carlos Mata, Jonathan Stacy Matthews, Emerald Marie Ann McClanahan, Azya M’Kia Caperise McCoy, Keely Denise McKay, Samuel Lee McMillen, Danielle Alise Meadows, Kelly Nicole Meeks, Turner Lynn Merryman, Antonio Luis Miranda, Mary Belle Mofield, Amber Nicole Montgomery, Joseph Daniel Moon, Carl Anthony Mooneyham, Jr., Nathan Allen Moore, Tyler Allen Morton, Allison Brooke Mosley, Carly McKenna Moss, Luis Abraham Munoz-Aldino,

Gabriella Alexis Nokes,

Frank Eli Oliver, Sergio Daniel Ortiz, Ferrin Mae Outley,

Maxwell Colin Pafford, Ashley Michelle Parker, Katherine Belle Parker, Noah Scott Parsley, Nicklas Lane Patterson, Damian Clark Payne, Morgan Leanne Pedigo, Erin Nicole Perry, Katlyn Nichole Pinegar, Hayden Dewan Plymel, Alanna Marie Porras, Austin Wayne Poss, Jeff Rayburn Prisock, Braxton Darce Pugh, Jared Robert Pyles,

Maribel Lynn Quintero,

Miguel Angel Ramirez-Celaya, Daisy Vanesa Resendiz, Kaitlin Makenzie Rhea, Alexander James Rhody, Shelby Nicole Roberts, Mason Amanda Hunter Robinson, Miguel Angel Rodriguez, Esai Rey Rodriguez, Emily Rose Romo,

Brooklyn Kay Seifert, Kyra Makay Slager, Kirkland Alexander Smallwood, Haley Nicole Smith, Jorden Tyler Smoot, Emily Nicole Snider, Angeles Socorro Soto, Skyler McKenzie Stewart, Megan Elizabeth Strayn, Hailey Marie Summers,

Nathaniel Theriaque, Allen Dale Thompson, Caitlin Brooke Turner, Christian Blaire Turner,

Zackery Lane Underhill,

Yosadara Vicente, Morgan Marie Vickers,

Hailey Lynnette Walker, Hannah Renea Walker, Chelsey Ann Waters, Carlee Colvert White, Chloe Colvert White, Jordan Allan Whitehead, Brooklynn Leann Wilkerson, Hunter Eugene Wilkins, Samara Mae Williams, Hunter Lane Woods, Matthew Sheldon Wright, and Seth Ashton Wright.

DeKalb Adult High School Served 23 Students This Year

May 11, 2016
Dwayne Page
Susan Hinton

Susan Hinton, Adult High School Leader and Program Supervisor, gave her annual report to the Board of Education and the Director of Schools Thursday night.

Hinton said a total of twenty three students were served during the 2015-16 school year and three graduated. “I had two new students who came in this week. This happens all the time. People are going, coming, transferring and finishing. I had three graduates. I will have a graduate on Monday (May 9) which is included in the three and she is very excited. There has been seventy two credits completed this year in my class. That’s a lot of credits,” said Hinton.

“Every year I have questions from people in the community and I would like to address a few of those. We are not a GED Class. Our Adult High School is strictly regular diploma. We teach the regular classes,” she said.

“The DeKalb Adult High School serves students from age 18 and older and some 17 year olds with special permission who dropped out of school for various reasons or left high school without sufficient credits to graduate and want to come to school in a more flexible setting which enables students (who are working or have families to take care of) to return to school and complete a regular high school diploma,” said Hinton.

How long will it take to complete the class? “This is a frequent question asked by potential students. The amount of time to complete a high school diploma will depend on how many credits a student has on their individual record from previously attended accredited schools. The amount of credits is also dependent upon the year a student started high school and what classes were required during those years,” Hinton continued.

“Some people are able to complete a course per month, but it depends on the hours a student is able to complete classes at school or online. A student is able to complete classes from any online computer as well as attend classes at the adult high school”.

“Interested students should get in touch with the DeKalb County High School Guidance Department. The student must turn in information that will allow the staff in the guidance department to send for previous records of completed classes from any schools attended. Then individually, the guidance counselor will meet with the student and outline a plan of action to complete necessary classes required for graduation,” she said.

“The student must pass each course with a 70 or above to receive each credit and a certain number of subjects must be completed in specific courses. When the student has successfully completed his or her individual program, a diploma is ordered and presented to the student”.

“Each student works at his or her own pace and receives individual attention when possible. Students who do computer classes must meet periodically with the teachers of the Adult High School to receive extra help or make sure the student is on track for completing the course within a reasonable amount of time,” Hinton said.

Hinton read an essay by one of her students. “Coming back to school was a hard decision. My mind was filled with so many ifs. What if I won’t be able to support my family? What if it’ll take forever to get my school work done because of my job? It’s very hard to work at a job and come to school, but hey, it’s totally worth it.”

“I have a 6 year old child and I am expecting another child in the fall and would want to show and prove to my children that school is important in life. I used to not care at all for school because I didn’t see the benefits of it. Now, I actually see the benefits of having a better job with fewer hours and higher pay and being able to spend more time with my family.”

“Without a diploma, there are no better jobs. I used to just go to school because my parents made me. I never really paid attention. Here at the Adult High School, I’m learning. Don’t get me wrong—I’m learning because I now actually want to learn. Mrs. Hinton is a wonderful outstanding teacher. She helps me understand and of course I can’t leave out Mr. Dub who has helped me as well. He has a great personality and sense of humor. We have some awesome teachers at the Adult High School. So I really suggest if you’re planning on coming back to school, I recommend you do, it’s very important. Maybe like I mentioned, you won’t see it now, but later you will. It’s never too late to learn and it’s not a waste of time—it’s putting time into securing a better future for you and your family”.

4-H Project Achievement Day

May 10, 2016
Leigh Fuson
Summer Morse, Evan Morse, Jacob Beaty, Caroline Tobitt, Raiden Griffin, Lily Martin, and Jacklyn Kleparek represented DeKalb County at the Sub-regional 4-H Project Achievement Day. Not pictured: Melanie Bogle, Zoi Hale, and Elaina Turner.

Several DeKalb County 4-H members recently participated in the Sub-regional Project Achievement day that was held in Cookeville. They gave presentations related to one of the 26 project areas offered in 4-H. 4th and 5th graders participate in the demonstration contest where they have to explain how to do something or how it works. 6th-8th graders participate in the exhibit contest which can be like a science project or a general information board. Both contests require the student to explain their project in 1-3 minutes to the judges. 4-H members are judged on communication skills, creativity, props, and overall appearance of the display boards. DeKalb County was well represented by the following students:

Melanie Bogle, 4th grade: 2nd place in Sheep
Jacklyn Kleparek, 5th grade: 3rd place in Electric
Caroline Tobitt, 4th grade: Participant in Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries
Zoi Hale, 4th grade: Participant in Food Science
Summer Morse, 4th grade: Participant in Food Science
Elaina Turner, 4th grade: Participant in Performing Arts and Recreation


Jacob Beaty, 6th grade: 1st place in Computers and Technology
Evan Morse, 6th grade: 1st in Food Science
Raiden Griffin, 6th grade: 1st in Horse
Lily Martin, 7th grade: 3rd in Performing Arts and Recreation

For more information about 4-H programs, call the UT/TSU Extension office at 615-597-4945.

Photo Caption:
Summer Morse, Evan Morse, Jacob Beaty, Caroline Tobitt, Raiden Griffin, Lily Martin, and Jacklyn Kleparek represented DeKalb County at the Sub-regional 4-H Project Achievement Day. Not pictured: Melanie Bogle, Zoi Hale, and Elaina Turner.

Teen at Boys Home Assaults Staff Member

May 10, 2016
Dwayne Page
Franklin Jared Prater
Timothy Dewayne Johns
Douglas Ray Ferrell
Lee Allen Ferrell
Dakota Stith
Amanda Brooke Washer

A staff member at the Indian Mound Boys Home was assaulted by a teenager there Saturday, May 7.

18 year old Franklin Jared Prater of Sparta is charged with assault. His bond is $2,500 and he will make a court appearance on May 12.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that Prater allegedly assaulted a staff member with his fist. The blow to the face left a bruise on the staff member’s jaw. Prater allegedly admitted committing the assault saying he wanted to get out of the Department of Children Services’ custody.

An Alexandria man who allegedly assaulted a woman while holding a gun on her has been arrested in the case and will make a court appearance on May 12.

43 year old Timothy Dewayne Johns of New Hope Road, Alexandria is under a $5,000 bond charged with aggravated assault.

Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, May 7 a deputy responded to a residence on New Hope Road due to a physical domestic involving a gun. While speaking with the victim, the officer learned that Johns had allegedly ripped off most of the woman’s clothing and assaulted her. The deputy observed a knot on her left brow and several scrapes and red marks on her neck, hands, legs, and knees. According to the woman, Johns held a pistol to her head during the assault and then put the handgun in her mouth, saying he should just kill her. The woman claims Johns tried to choke her several times while inflicting blows about her head and body. Johns was placed under arrest.

49 year old Douglas Ray Ferrell of Midway Road, Smithville was arrested twice last week on assault charges. In the first incident, Ferrell allegedly hit his son in the head with a hammer. In the second incident Ferrell threatened to attack a deputy with a wire plant hanger while he was investigating another assault.

According to Sheriff Ray, the first offense occurred on Wednesday, May 4. A deputy was dispatched to the residence on Midway Road in reference to a domestic call. During the investigation, the officer learned that Ferrell allegedly hit his son in the head with a hammer and then chased after him with a metal pole. Ferrell was placed under arrest and charged with aggravated assault. His bond is $4,000 and he will be in court May 19.

Three days later on Saturday, May 7, Ferrell was arrested again for assault and for resisting stop, frisk, halt, arrest or search. His bond on that charge is $7,000 and will make a court appearance May 19. Sheriff Ray said that a deputy again responded to the residence on Midway Road for a possible domestic. As the officer was talking to the woman who placed the call, Ferrell ran out of the house and charged toward the deputy holding a wire plant hanger. Although the officer ordered him several times to stop and go back inside the house, Ferrell continued toward the deputy and drew back the hanger as if he were going to hit him before throwing it to the ground. But after dropping the hanger, Ferrell again approached the deputy with a raised fist in a fighting stance. Ferrell was forcibly subdued by the deputy and placed under arrest.

22 year old Lee Allen Ferrell of Midway Road, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $4,000 and he will make a court appearance on May 26. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, May 6 a deputy was called to Midway Road for a physical domestic. During an investigation the officer learned that Ferrell had allegedly kicked a woman about the face and neck leaving marks on her face. Ferrell was placed under arrest.

25 year old Emily Kristen Kriegel of Sparta is cited for simple possession of marijuana. She will make a court appearance on May 26. Sheriff Ray said on Thursday, May 5 a deputy stopped a black car on Highway 70 east and while speaking with the passenger, Kriegel, found her to be nervous. He asked if she had any illegal substances and she produced 0.1 gram of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana from her bra and pants area.

23 year old Dakota Stith of Short Mountain Road, McMinnville is charged with theft of property over $1,000. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court on May 12. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, April 29 Stith allegedly stole a 2001 pewter colored Chevy S-10 pickup. He was later found in possession of the truck. The case was investigated by a sheriff’s department detective.

28 year old Amanda Brooke Washer of McMinnville Highway, Smithville is charged with evading arrest. She was also issued a citation for possession of drug paraphernalia. Washer is under a $2,500 bond and she will be in court on May 12. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, May 3 Washer intentionally fled from law enforcement officers by running from them as they were trying to serve an arrest warrant on her. Washer was forcibly taken into custody. A search of her belongings revealed two spoons with residue which field tested positive for cocaine; two used hypodermic needles; and two lighters and tissue paper.

25 year old Andrew Dayton West of Tramel Branch Road, Alexandria is charged with driving on a revoked license. He was also issued a citation for no insurance. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on May 19. Sheriff Ray said that West was involved in a wreck on Wednesday, May 4 and during the investigation he was unable to produce a driver license. A computer check confirmed that his license were revoked in Smith County on January 28, 2014 for failure to satisfy fines and costs.

Graduation Program Held for Smithville Head Start Students (VIEW VIDEO)

May 9, 2016
Dwayne Page
Graduation Program Held for Smithville Head Start Students

Seven four students in the L.B.J. & C. Smithville Head Start Program received certificates during a graduation ceremony held Monday at the county complex auditorium.

Parents and other family members and friends turned out for the program which featured the children singing two songs called “I’m Special” and “Goodbye Friends” and dancing to Blake Shelton’s recording of the Kenny Loggin’s classic “Footloose”.

Students in each of the four classes wore graduation caps and came to the podium to receive their certificates as their names were called.

Dr. Kimberly Tabor Relocates to DeKalb County

May 9, 2016
Shan Burklow
Dr. Kimberly Tabor Relocates to DeKalb County

Saint Thomas Medical Partners (STMP) is pleased to announce the relocation of a STMP practice to Smithville, Tennessee. Kimberly Tabor, DO has relocated her Putnam County practice to DeKalb County as of April 18, 2016. The STMP DeKalb practice is located next to DeKalb Specialty Clinic, in front of Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital. She is currently accepting new patients for her family practice. STMP is a part of Saint Thomas Health, a member of Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic and non-profit health system.

Tabor is a graduate of Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine and Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine. She was most recently employed by Satellite Med, Volunteer Medical Group, and Upper Cumberland Family Physicians.

“I am excited to see the benefits that Saint Thomas Health will bring to the local community,” said Tabor, “I love that Saint Thomas Medical Partners is faith based. I respect a health system that is not afraid to stand up for what they believe in. I put God first in everything that I do. I fully intend for DeKalb County to be my forever home, and look forward to meeting my new patients. Every patient becomes my extended family, and I enjoy getting to know them one by one.”

In addition to her care of patients, Dr. Tabor enjoys spending time with her husband, Steve, and daughter, Ashlie, on their family farm in Liberty, Tennessee. She is an avid gardener, and loves horses and farm animals.

Tabor is already enjoying becoming an active part of the local community, and wants to thank her new patients, friends and neighbors for their hometown hospitality.


Saint Thomas Health is Middle Tennessee’s faith-based, not-for-profit health care system united as one healing community. Saint Thomas Health is focused on transforming the healthcare experience and helping people live healthier lives, with special attention to the poor and vulnerable. The regional health system includes nine hospitals: Saint Thomas Hospital for Spinal Surgery, Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital and Saint Thomas West Hospital in Nashville, Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital in Murfreesboro, Saint Thomas Hickman Hospital in Centerville, Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital in Smithville, Saint Thomas Highlands Hospital in Sparta, Saint Thomas River Park Hospital in McMinnville and Saint Thomas Stones River Hospital in Woodbury. A comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures, medical practices, clinics and rehabilitation facilities complements the hospital services and covers a 68-county area. Saint Thomas Health is a member of Ascension, a Catholic organization that is the largest not-for-profit health system in the United States. For more information, visit


Ascension ( is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. As the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all with special attention to persons in poverty and struggling the most. In FY2015, Ascension provided nearly $2 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. Approximately 150,000 associates and 35,000 aligned providers serve in 1,900 sites of care – including 129 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 24 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to healthcare delivery, Ascension subsidiaries provide a variety of services and solutions including physician practice management, venture capital investing, treasury management, biomedical engineering, clinical care management, information services, risk management, and contracting through Ascension’s own group purchasing organization.

Ninety Seven Pounds of Unwanted Prescriptions Collected on Drug Take Back Day

May 9, 2016
Norene Puckett
Permanent drop off box for unwanted medicines inside Smithville City Hall at the Police Department

The DeKalb Prevention Coalition (DPC) wants to thank the community for the overwhelming response to the most recent drug take back day! On Saturday, April 30, ninety seven pounds of unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs were collected during the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day sponsored locally by the DeKalb Prevention Coalition.

Statistics from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) show that 55% of prescription are obtained free from a friend or relative. Kristina Clark, the Executive Director of Count It! Lock It! Drop It! states “Parents, family, and friends become accidental drug dealers by leaving medications out on counters, unlocked and/or unmonitored. Three simple steps can make a big difference in prescription drug abuse.” The DPC’s comprehensive community plan for prescription drug abuse prevention, “Count It! Lock It! Drop It!” encourages residents to frequently count their pills, properly lock them, and drop any unused, expired or unwanted pills in the drop box. The drop box is located in Smithville’s City Hall which is open Monday-Friday from 8:00am-4:30pm.

The Mission of DPC is to unite community leaders and citizens of DeKalb County forming strong partnerships across major community sectors with the goal of reducing substance abuse. The DPC would like to extend an invitation to all residents to become a part of the coalition. The meetings are held the last Tuesday of each month at 12:00pm in the basement of the courthouse. For more information please contact Norene Puckett, DeKalb Prevention Coalition President at or 615-215-8690.

NHC Recognizes National Nurses Week

May 8, 2016
NHC Recognizes National Nurses Week

NHC Smithville is excited about honoring National Nurses Week, which is celebrated annually from May 6th, also known as National Nurses Day, through May 12th, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

NHC Smithville would like to recognize and thank their highly skilled, dedicated nurses that exemplify the best in their profession. The Director of Nursing at NHC Smithville is Melinda Wilson. The Assistant Director of Nursing is Diane Hendrixson.

Registered Nurses (RN):
Jennifer Buterbaugh, Shea Colwell, Brian Cripps, April Dearmon, Alisha Hale, Paulette Nichols, Natasha Pedigo, Julie Sullivan, Jacqueline Vanhooser, and Cindy Wolter

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN):
Monica Baker, Nicole Burris, Amanda Carter, Nanci Drennan, Nioakah Hickman, Jessica Holland, Rebekah Johannsen, Amber Judkins, Thomas Mahler, Arianna Matthews, Cindy Milford, Kalee Mullican, Sabra Murphy, Abby Onkst, Justine Pettit, Brandon Sullivan, Angie Walker, Christy Ward, Margaret Watkins, Lindsy Winfree, Sharon Yocum, and Vicki Yost

Members of DeKalb EMS, 911, and Erlanger Life Force Receive "Star of Life Award"

May 7, 2016
Dwayne Page
Misty Green, AEMT and Boating Accident Survivor Aiden Brown
"Star of Life" award winners Tony Thomas and Chase Ferrell, DeKalb 911 Dispatchers, Misty Green, AEMT and David Hamlet, EMT-P of DeKalb EMS who helped save the life of Aiden Brown.
Aiden Brown with his family, DeKalb 911 Dispatchers Tony Thomas and Chase Ferrell and DeKalb EMS AEMT Misty Green and EMT-P David Hamlet

Members of DeKalb County EMS, DeKalb 911, and Erlanger Life Force were honored Thursday, May 5 at the 8th annual EMS Star of Life Awards Dinner and Ceremony held in Nashville by the Tennessee Emergency Medical Services for Children.

For their efforts in helping save the life of an eight year old boy who was critically injured last summer in a boating accident on Center Hill Lake, Misty Green, AEMT and David Hamlet, EMT-P, both of DeKalb EMS; Chase Ferrell and Tony Thomas, both DeKalb 911 Dispatchers; and Ray Cadwallader, EMT-P, Laura Kirk,RN; Heather Marsh, Karen Mulvaney, RN; and Chuck Nabors, Pilot all of Erlanger Life Force received the Dr. Michael Carr Tennessee EMSC Star of Life Award, the highest award given at the dinner.

The EMS Star of Life honors the accomplishments of EMS personnel from Tennessee who provide exemplary life-saving care to patients. The Awards Committee reviews nominations and selects winners from each of Tennessee’s 8 EMS Regions and a state winner based on the EMS provider’s service to their community and commitment to their patients. The awards were presented by Dr. Michael Carr, Tennessee EMSC Board member, for whom the award is named, and Donna Tidwell, EMS Director of the Tennessee Department of Health.

Last June, eight year old Aiden Brown, his family, and friends were on Center Hill Lake enjoying their new pontoon boat. Aiden was sitting near the front of the boat and his mother, Julie, was sitting near the back of the boat watching Aiden. Julie turned to look at the tube that was being pulled behind the boat with someone on it. When she looked back for Aiden, he was gone.

They immediately shut down the engine and Aiden resurfaced about 10 feet behind the boat.

His life vest was shredded and he was bleeding badly. Aiden’s father, Troy, dove in as the person on the tube began to swim to Aiden, too. They pulled him onto the boat and 911 was called. Fortunately the call was able to get out as most of the lake has bad reception.

Aiden’s face, head, and neck had been cut badly by the rotor on the boat. Along with lacerations to his face, he had an open wound that extended across his neck to his bottom lip, and an 8 inch laceration across his chest that exposed his heart and lungs. They used towels to apply pressure and do all they could to control the bleeding while driving as fast as they could to the closest marina.

When DeKalb County 911 received the call, they not only dispatched DeKalb County EMS to the marina, they also put LIFE FORCE 2 in Sparta on standby. As the family pulled into the marina, the ambulance was backing in. Troy carried Aiden to the ambulance and he and the EMS crew worked to control the bleeding while rushing to the nearest landing zone. LIFE FORCE 2 had just landed in the grassy area as the ambulance pulled up.

The LIFE FORCE 2 crew joined the EMS crew in working to stabilize Aiden. Within 26, minutes, his bleeding and airway were controlled, he was placed on a ventilator, under anesthesia, given pain medication and loaded into the back of the aircraft all through the efforts of Aiden’s dad, DeKalb County EMS, and LIFE FORCE.

During the 25-minute flight to Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, Aiden received warmed blood and plasma and his vital signs and color began to improve. Once arriving at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, Aiden went straight into the children’s trauma unit and was immediately evaluated by Pediatric Trauma Surgeon, Dr. Pete Kelley, and the pediatric trauma team. He was rushed to surgery where they repaired his open chest wounds including the heart, lungs, spleen, liver, and sternum. He was then taken to CT for evaluation of his head, neck, and facial injuries and returned to surgery where those were also repaired. During surgery, Aiden received four additional units of blood products and following surgery, was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit.

The second day after surgery, Aiden was taken off the ventilator, his breathing tube was removed, and he was awake. On day three, he continued to improve and his right side chest drainage tube was removed. The fourth day after surgery, his left side drainage tube was removed and on day five, he started a liquid diet, taking medications by mouth and was moved out of PICU, into a normal room. On day eight, Aiden was discharged and returned to Sparta with his family.

Last December Aiden was named one of Children’s Hospital’s Miracle Children.

“I am very proud of my crews who tended to and assisted in saving the life of Aiden. DeKalb County should also be proud to have such trained and dedicated personnel in our community working for us,” said DeKalb EMS Director Hoyte Hale.

Relay for Life Raises Funds and Hope (View Videos Here)

May 6, 2016
Dwayne Page
2016 Relay for Life Cancer Survivors

Sounds of music filled the air at Greenbrook Park Friday evening as caring neighbors from throughout our community gathered to rally support for cancer survivors and to help raise money in the search for a cure during the 19th annual Relay for Life.

The theme of this year's Relay was "“Paint Your World Purple” and the event featured lots of food, entertainment, and fun things for kids.

Cancer survivors took center stage during the opening ceremony to give a personal testimony as to just how long they've been a survivor and then they took the first lap around the track as the evening's activities got underway.

Luminaria bags and tiki torches were lit during a ceremony held later in the night in honor or remembrance of those who have battled cancer.


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