Local News Articles

4-H Grill Masters

October 9, 2016
By: Leigh Fuson, 4-H Agent
Team: Kayla Belk placed 1st in beef, Wyatt Martin 2nd in pork, and James Mathis 3rd in poultry at the Central Region 4-H Outdoor Meat Cookery Contest in Lebanon.
State: Kayla Belk placed 3rd in the beef category at the State Outdoor Meat Cookery Contest in Knoxville

DeKalb County 4-H members Kayla Belk, James Mathis, and Wyatt Martin recently had a very successful day at the Central Region 4-H Outdoor Meat Cookery contest, held each year at the Wilson County Fair in Lebanon. Kayla took top honors and moved on to represent DeKalb County and the Central Region at the state competition on October 1st in Knoxville.

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 taste, texture, appearance, and originality of recipe.

This year, James Mathis placed 3rd in chicken, Wyatt Martin 2nd in pork, and Kayla Belk placed 1st in the beef category. Kayla also placed 3rd at the state contest! Congratulations on representing DeKalb County so well. We would also like to say thank you to Smithville Food Lion for helping to supply meat for the contest. If you are interested in competing in this contest next year, please contact the 4-H office at 615-597-4945.

Photo Captions
Team: Kayla Belk placed 1st in beef, Wyatt Martin 2nd in pork, and James Mathis 3rd in poultry at the Central Region 4-H Outdoor Meat Cookery Contest in Lebanon.

State: Kayla Belk placed 3rd in the beef category at the State Outdoor Meat Cookery Contest in Knoxville

"Trick or Treat Halloween Downtown" to be Held October 31

October 9, 2016
Dwayne Page
Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack and Staff participated in Halloween Downtown last year

Parents, children, and local businesses are invited to join the City of Smithville and the Police Department's "Trick or Treat Halloween Downtown" Monday, October 31 from noon until 5:00 p.m.

Some offices in the DeKalb County Courthouse, Smithville City Hall, Smithville Police Department, Justin Potter Library, and participating businesses downtown will have candy and special treats for the children. Look for the stores and offices with a picture of an orange pumpkin on their windows. Maps will soon be available at the police department and Justin Potter Library to show parents which businesses will be taking part in the event.

WJLE will soon post a map at www.wjle.com.

For more information call Beth Adcock at the Smithville Police Department at 615-597-8210 extension 1 or check out the police department's face book page at https://www.facebook.com/SmithvillePoliceDepartment.

This event is sponsored by the Smithville Police Department and the Smithville City Hall.

Meanwhile, the Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a “Best Costume Contest” for downtown businesses and offices. Take a picture and email it to swilliams@dekalbcountychamber.org or take a photo with your phone and send it to 615.464.7760 by 1:30 p.m. on October 31. First, second, and third place winners will be presented a “Halloween on the Square Best Costume Award”, media recognition, and bragging rights.

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department will have special treats for children on Monday, October 31 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Stop by for a hot dog, candy, and a tour of the Smithville Fire Hall. Meet with Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker and the Smithville Fire Department Volunteers.

Other communities and churches in the county will also be observing Halloween events this month.

THP Urges Motorists to Watch Out for Deer

October 9, 2016
Dwayne Page
THP Urges Motorists to Watch Out for Deer

The Tennessee Highway Patrol cautions motorists to watch out for deer on or near the roadways this fall season. An increase in deer-related crashes is likely during the months of October through December due to deer mating and hunting season.

“A crash with a deer can be a very serious and dangerous incident,” THP Colonel Tracy Trott said. “Deer pose a danger to motorists throughout the year, especially in the fall. Our stats show November is typically the worst month for deer-related crashes. It is important motorist exercise caution, slow down and remain alert in areas where deer are populated.”

In Tennessee, between 2011 and 2015, 22 percent of deer-related crashes occurred on interstate highways. In 2015, there were 6,953 deer-related crashes, including 351 that involved injuries and 0 that were fatal. That was up by 8.15 percent from 6,429 the previous year. However, since 2011, deer-related crashes in Tennessee have increased 22.04 percent.

The Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency suggest the following tips to help prevent deer-related crashes during peak mating and hunting seasons:

Remember that mating season puts deer on the move and deer tend to move at dawn and dusk.

•Whenever you see deer cross the road, expect more to follow. Many times, the second or third deer crossing becomes the one that motorists hit.

•Be attentive; drive defensively, constantly scanning the roadside, especially at daybreak and dusk.

•Do not swerve to avoid contact with deer. This could cause the vehicle to flip or veer into oncoming traffic, causing a more serious crash. Swerving also can confuse the deer as to where to run.

•When you spot a deer, slow down immediately. Proceed slowly until you pass that point.

•If you do collide with a deer, never approach the injured animal. They are powerful and can cause bodily harm to a human. Report any deer collision, even if the damage is minor.

“October and November are prime months for the rut, which is the time of year when male deer (bucks) are focused on seeking females,” Don King, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Chief of Information and Education said. “Many times bucks will be less aware of their surroundings, including traffic, as they follow their natural instincts in seeking does.”

In the event of a deer crash, move the vehicle as far off the road as possible, and dial *THP (*847) from an available cell phone for assistance. The call will be connected to the nearest THP Communications Center and a State Trooper will be dispatched to the location.

Tennessee law allows deer killed in a collision to be taken and used as food, as long as you contact the

nearest TWRA regional office and report the accident within 48 hours. For TWRA regional offices, visit the TWRA website at www.tnwildlife.org

Voter Registration Deadline for November Election is October 11

October 8, 2016
Dennis Stanley

Time is running out to get registered to vote. The deadline to register to vote in the November general election is Tuesday, Oct. 11.

To fill out a voter registration application or check your registration status, visit GoVoteTN.com.

" Now the deadline is approaching. If you plan to vote in the presidential election, your voter registration application must be received or postmarked by Tuesday," said Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections.

Election Day registration is not available. Early voting runs from Wednesday, Oct. 19, through Thursday, Nov. 3. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Voters should bring valid photo identification. Photo IDs issued by Tennessee state government, including driver’s licenses, or the federal government are acceptable even if they are expired. College student IDs are not acceptable.

The easiest way for voters to find their polling locations, view and mark sample ballots, see their elected officials, districts and county election commission information as well as access online state and federal election results is through the GoVoteTN app. The app is free in the App Store or on Google Play.

In addition to casting their ballots, voters are encouraged to participate in Honor Vote program by dedicating their vote to someone who is currently serving, or has served, in the U.S. military. Enrolling allows voters to share their dedication online, across social media and by wearing a commemorative button on Election Day in honor of the veteran or service member they choose.

More information about what types of photo IDs are acceptable, the GoVoteTN app and the Honor Vote program can be found at GoVoteTN.com or by calling the DeKalb County Election Commission at 615-597-4146.

DeKalb County Working to Become a Healthier Tennessee Community

October 8, 2016

The Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness today announced DeKalb County has been named a candidate for official designation as a Healthier Tennessee Community.

Healthier Tennessee Communities are those that encourage and enable more physical activity, healthy eating and tobacco abstinence at the local level. The program takes a community-wide approach to improving Tennesseans’ health by engaging the local leaders of cities, towns, counties and neighborhoods.

“Research has shown that we are much more likely to change our health-related behavior and establish healthy habits when we are encouraged and supported by others – when we are in community,” Governor’s Foundation CEO Richard Johnson said. “That’s why making health and wellness an integral part of life where you live – and with the people who surround you – makes such a positive difference.”

In Tennessee, one in four adults smokes, and one in five high school students uses tobacco. Approximately 31 percent of the population is classified as obese and an additional 34 percent are overweight, and type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure are at epidemic levels.

"I am very excited about our county working towards the Healthier Tennessee designation. This initiative will personally benefit anyone who takes part in it - mentally, emotional, and physically,” DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribling said. “For our county, improving the health of our citizens also improves our economy - more industry, fewer work absenteeism and lower health care costs. I encourage you take part in this program in your home, church, workplace and community. By working together, we truly can make DeKalb County a healthier place to be!"

To be designated an official Healthier Tennessee Community, DeKalb County must identify wellness champions to lead the initiative that engages people in workplaces, schools and faith organizations, and then work to initiate and sustain community-wide events and activities that support physical activity, healthy eating and tobacco abstinence.

The community is expected to track and measure outputs and accomplishments of the program. They have one year to complete their work.
Counties currently working to become Healthier Tennessee Communities include: Anderson, Bedford, Benton, Blount, Carroll, Chester, Cocke, Crockett, Cumberland, Dickson, Franklin, Gibson, Giles, Grundy, Haywood, Henderson, Houston, Jefferson, Lake, Lauderdale, Macon, Marion, Marshall, Maury, McNairy, Meigs, Obion, Rhea, Sevier, Tipton, Trousdale, Weakley and Wilson.

The cities taking part are: Arlington, Clarksville, Collegedale, Cookeville, Crossville, and Spring Hill.

Decatur, Dyer, Hickman, Loudon and McMinn counties, Jackson–Madison County and the cities of Franklin, Germantown, Kingsport and Tullahoma have recently received the designation.

Cities and counties interested in becoming Healthier Tennessee Communities should contact the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness at tennessee@healthierstate.org or (615) 610-1880.

More information on the program and other Healthier Tennessee initiatives is available at www.healthiertn.com.

About the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness

The Governor's Foundation for Health and Wellness is a non-profit corporation dedicated to enabling and encouraging Tennesseans to lead healthier lives. Based in Nashville, the Foundation brings together a statewide coalition of employers, health insurers, hospital systems, local governments, school systems and healthcare-focused foundations and community organizations to effect positive, measurable change. The Foundation’s Healthier Tennessee initiative strives to increase the number of Tennesseans who are physically active for at least 30 minutes five times a week, promote a healthy diet, and reduce the number of people who use tobacco.

DCHS to Host College Application Week

October 8, 2016
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County High School will host College Application Week October 24-28. All DCHS seniors who have not already applied to college or technical school are encouraged to do so during that week.

The schedule is as follows:

*Monday October 24:
Sign up for the week’s events in the counseling office if you have not done so. Ask your counselors about college app week, college application, financial aid, and Tennessee Promise

*Tuesday, October 25:
College/TN Promise
Application Lab-Library 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, & 6th Blocks and 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. during Parent-Teacher Conference
First Tennessee Promise meeting for students who are going to use the Tennessee Promise Scholarship. This is the first of two mandatory TN Promise meetings

*Wednesday, October 26:
Scholarship/College Essay Lab-Walteen Parker’s Classroom-4th, 5th, & 6th Blocks
Any senior who is not enrolled in Mrs. Parker’s English classes this semester who would like to sit in on this lesson is welcome to sign up to attend during 4th Block. Mrs. Parker and Mrs. Lori Myrick will co-teach a lesson on how to write a well-written scholarship essay. A well-written essay greatly increases your chances of winning a scholarship. Please take advantage of this assistance.

*Thursday, October 27:
College Shirt Day
All faculty, staff, and students are invited to wear your favorite college shirt

*Friday, October 28:
DCHS 2016 College & Career Fair
All DCHS students will have the opportunity to visit with college and career representatives in the gym. This event will take place during 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and part of 4th Block.

DeKalb County Tigerette Softball Camp (VIEW REGISTRATION FORM HERE)

October 8, 2016
Dwayne Page
Coach Danny Fish

A DeKalb County Tigerette Softball Camp will be held at the Danny Bond Field at 1130 West Broad Street, Smithville on October 11-13 for girls ages 6 to 17. The cost is $50. The camp will feature quality instruction from college and high school coaches and demonstrations from college and high school players. Players will be grouped by age and ability. Contests, t-shirts, and more! Pre-registration is a $25.00 non refundable deposit which must accompany each application and liability form. The balance will be due on registration day. Make checks payable to DeKalb County Softball Booster Club. Registration will take place at the Danny Bond Field on Tuesday morning, October 11 from 7:30 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. A concession stand will be open for lunch. Call Coach Danny Fish at 865-742-4079 or email: dannyfish@dekalbschools.net



Former DCHS Coach Joe Pat Cope Joins Ole Miss Staff

October 7, 2016
Joe Pat Cope

Ole Miss Head coach Matt Insell, in a prepared news release, has announced the addition of Joe Pat Cope to the women’s basketball coaching staff as a video coordinator. Cope comes to Oxford from Murfreesboro, Tennessee where he served as an assistant coach for the Riverdale women’s varsity team.

“I am excited to have Coach Cope join our staff,” said head coach Matt Insell. “He's someone I've known and respected for a long time in our game. I couldn't think of anyone more perfect for this role on our staff and I am looking forward to working with him each day”

Coach Cope served seven seasons as the head coach of the DCHS Lady Tiger Basketball Team until his departure after last school year when he wasn't rehired.

In his seven seasons as the Lady Tiger Coach, Cope compiled an overall record of 126-102. His district record was 18-68 and his post-season mark was 4-10.

Cope has been heavily involved in film breakdown for the Warriors. Proficient in film breakdown as well as creating highlight reels, Cope is experienced in video programs such as Synergy, Krossover and Hudl.

In addition to DCHS, prior to his stint at Riverdale, Cope served as an assistant boys coach at Lebanon High School. Cope is a two-time graduate of Tennessee Tech with a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts.

The Rebels kick off the 2016-17 season on Nov. 11 when they host Southeastern Louisiana at 2:30 pm at The Pavilion at Ole Miss. Fans can meet the Ole Miss men’s and women’s basketball teams on Oct. 28 at Dunk or Treat at The Pavilion at Ole Miss. The event is free and open to the public from 5:45-7:15 pm.

Emergency Personnel Come to Rescue of Man Critically Injured in Trackhoe Accident

October 7, 2016
Dwayne Page

Quick response by members of the Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad, DeKalb EMS, and DeKalb Volunteer Firefighters may have saved the life of a Franklin man who was seriously injured after going off the side of a steep hill on a trackhoe in the Puckett’s Point area Wednesday night.

The mishap occurred in the area of Jordan Lane, a private drive off Puckett’s Point Road. The operator of the trackhoe, Brad Jackson of Franklin suffered internal injuries, a broken back, and a fractured skull. He was airlifted from Highway 56 and Ponder Road to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

“He was driving a little trackhoe. A mini excavator. A rental machine. He was trying to clear out and widen this old road and it got dark on him but he kept working with lights. Some way or another he got off the edge of the road and went almost straight off over bluffs, trees, and just terrible terrain. The trackhoe rolled approximately 175 feet and lodged up against a tree upside down. The cab door of the trackhoe was ripped off and he was thrown out about 100 or 125 feet down the hill," said Joe Johnson, member of the Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad.

“Two firemen got there first. They tied a rope they had and went down to him and stayed with him. I went down on a rope to him and then other members of the Rescue Squad arrived maybe three minutes later. Kristie Johnson, member of the ambulance service and Rescue Squad, happened to be on the ambulance. She has had rope training so she went down to him with a rope. She immediately gave him something for pain and an IV while we were getting equipment down to him. She also called for an air ambulance to land at the top of the hill on another road. Her response and training probably saved his life. We got him on a backboard and in a stokes basket and then using our rope system and rope team we brought him back to the top of the hill. We got him out fast,” said Johnson.

Ribbon Cutting Held to Dedicate "Ernest Ray Education Center"

October 7, 2016
Dwayne Page
Director of Schools Patrick Cripps with Former Superintendent of Schools Ernest Ray
Ribbon Cutting Held to Dedicate "Ernest Ray Education Center"
Ernest Ray with his family, Board of Education, and Director of Schools
Ernest Ray with several of his former co-workers in the school system

A ribbon cutting was held Thursday evening to officially rename the Board of Education building the “Ernest Ray Education Center” on the public square.

Ray was on hand for the occasion surrounded by members of his family, the Board of Education, Director of Schools, school staff, Chamber Director Suzanne Williams, along with many friends and former students and co-workers of Mr. Ray.

In July, the Board of Education voted to rename the central office building in honor of Ray, who served more than 30 years as an educator, principal, and Superintendent of Schools.

“I appreciate this. I did not expect it. Director of Schools Patrick Cripps called me and told me it had happened and I told him no but he said it’s too late, it’s already happened. I certainly don’t feel worthy of this but I’m proud,” said Ray.

Mr. Ray began his teaching career 54 years ago in 1962 at Eastside School in Cannon County. He took the job because there was no opening in DeKalb County. He spent two years at Eastside where he taught seventh and eighth grade science, coached girls basketball, and became principal.

In 1964, Mr. Ray became a teacher at College Street School in Smithville where he taught seventh and eighth grade science and again was a girls basketball coach. After eight years there, he moved to Smithville Elementary School where he spent six years as principal.

Ray was transferred to DeKalb Middle School as principal in 1978 and then moved to DeKalb County High School where he served as principal from 1984 to 1992.

After taking a two year retirement, Mr. Ray entered the political arena and was elected Superintendent of Schools. He served one term from 1994-98. He was DeKalb County’s last publically elected Superintendent before the state law was changed to require county school systems to have Directors of Schools appointed by their Boards of Education. He chose not to seek the position of Director after his elected term.

Mr. Ray and his wife Elene now reside near Clarksville, only seven miles from their son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren. The Ray’s still have a home in Smithville and visit family and friends here often.


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