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School Board Authorizes Research for Possible Time Management Study

October 10, 2014
Dwayne Page
Members of School Board with Director Mark Willoughby

The DeKalb County Board of Education Thursday night authorized the Chairman and Director of Schools to do some research on the feasibility of a Time Management Study.

Time Management refers to managing time effectively so that the right time is allocated to the right activity. Board Chairman W.J. (Dub) Evins, III, who proposed the study, said the intent is not to get rid of personnel but to make the school system operate more efficiently. "In my experience in business and years ago in banking through LSU we did some time management studies. A lot of financial institutions do it and a lot of private businesses do it. It involves someone coming in and looking at different areas of the school system. It's not in any way an implication that we're trying to cut personnel. It's to make sure that if someone has a work load that is too heavy then maybe there is someone who can assist in those ways. There are people who can come in from the outside and look at these kind of situations and tell you what you can do more efficient. That's all it amounts to. It's not someone coming in and saying you need to get rid of this person or that person. It's someone coming in and saying here's a way of doing this more efficiently. And if you can do it more efficiently then that opens up more opportunities and gives principals and everyone else more time all the way through the system to focus on three thousand kids. All I'm asking the board to do is to give me and Mr. Willoughby the authority to research this between now and the next meeting to see what potential costs there may be. I can assure you there will probably be enough savings somewhere to take care of that," he said.

In other business, Director Mark Willoughby updated the school board on personnel moves since the September meeting.

Those employed are:
Nora Harvey, substitute nurse
Shea Colwell, substitute nurse
Ana Guzman, custodian at Smithville Elementary School
Cody Randolph, teacher at DeKalb Middle School

Sabrina Farler to Principal position at DeKalb West School
Joey Agee to Assistant Principal position at DeKalb West School

Danny Parkerson, Principal at DeKalb West School, retired
Brian Pack, custodian at Smithville Elementary School

Meanwhile, the DeKalb Middle School Computer Lab is being named in honor of long time educator Tom Hill while the DCHS Library will be named for Hill's wife Marie and her mother, the late Nell McBride, who were both Librarians at DCHS.

The board approved the request as presented by Chairman Evins. "We can't let things get out of hand to the point that we're naming something after everyone but I think it's very appropriate, and I have not talked to these people (Hill's), but we've had two people who have retired. One of them is Tom Hill who was instrumental in the computer lab at the Middle School being what it is today. His wife, Marie Hill was the librarian at DCHS. She went above and beyond being a librarian and so did her mother, who preceded her. I would like for the board to consider naming the computer lab at DeKalb Middle School in honor of Mr. Tom Hill and the high school library in honor of Marie Hill and her mother, Mrs. Nell McBride with a plaque as we have done in other situations," said Evins.

Sixth district board member Doug Stevens also paid tribute to former fourth district member Billy Miller, who resigned from the school board as of September 30. "He was instrumental in working with the county commission, school board, and the sheriff's office so that we can have School Resource Officers (SROs) in each school. He laid the ground work and identified the land for the new soccer field that will be at Northside School. He had a big part in getting the soccer and cross country teams that we have now at the Middle School. I hope that when the county commission appoints somebody that they (appointee) will be as passionate about this position as Billy Miller was," said Stevens.

"I am going to miss him as a board member. I just appreciate his service. I've been on here (school board) quite a while but I learned a lot from him. He was always straight forward in trying to do the right thing. We appreciate his service to the board," added Chairman Evins.

Due to his having accepted a new job with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation which does not allow him to hold public office, Miller had to resign from the School Board. It'll be up to the county commission to name his successor, who will serve as an appointee until the next regular election in August, 2016 to fill the unexpired term which ends in August 2018.

Meanwhile, as the board meeting got underway Thursday night, Chairman Evins called for a moment of silence in remembrance of former third district school board member Kenny Rhody, who died last month. He served on the board for twelve years from 2002 until his last term expired September 1, 2014.

DCHS Principal Updates Board of Education on Upcoming School Events

October 9, 2014
Dwayne Page

DCHS Homecoming activities begin next week leading up to the football game Friday night, October 17 against Macon County.

During Thursday night's School Board meeting, DCHS Principal Patrick Cripps extended an invitation for everyone to participate in the various Homecoming events. "Next week is our Homecoming week at DCHS. It will be a very busy week. We would like to invite the public to come out on Thursday night to our bon fire and pep rally. Friday, October 17 is Homecoming and we'll have our parade as usual. We'll come around the square and have a pep rally there. We ask the community to come out and join in our pep rally and show our team support," he said.

Meanwhile, Fall break is set for October 20-31 and Intercession will be Monday through Friday, October 20-24 to give DCHS students a chance to catch up on class work. "As we go into our fall break, we will again have our Intercession that will run October 20 -24th from 8:00 a.m. until noon. Any student that is behind in a class or is failing a class or has failed a class in the past can come in during that time and get their grades up to par or recover a credit," said Cripps. "If they have failed a class due to absences, they can do what we call "double time for time" to make up those absences. It's a program that has really helped our graduation rate as well as the after school program. If you (students) don't have those forms filled out, you need to have those filled out and turned in to Ms.Charlotte Blaylock by Tuesday, October 14. Parents, if you have a student who intends to attend the Intercession please contact Ms. Blaylock at DCHS and get the forms filled out so that if you do need a bus we can get that lined up so your student will have transportation to that program," he said.

On another event, Cripps said the FBLA Club is seeking support for a children's book drive that is currently underway. "Our FBLA is doing a book drive for infants to fifth grade. Our intentions are to give out those books free at football games. If anyone would like to participate in that we would greatly appreciate it. You may turn those books in at any school," said Cripps.

The Book Drive is a joint effort between the local FBLA Chapter and the “Read 20” initiative. The FBLA chapter is competing with all other FBLA chapters in the state. All books will be handed out to local children at home football games. Gently used children's books will be collected with reading levels from Pre-K to 5th grade. Send your donated books to school with your child. His/her teacher will know what to do with them. The drive will be from Oct. 6th -17th. The FBLA chapter will provide $50 for the winning school’s library! If you have any questions, you may contact DCHS or email at mroberts2@k12tn.net.

SES Wildcat Fun Run to be held Friday Indoors

October 9, 2014
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Elementary School Wildcat Fun Run will be Friday, October 10.

Due to rain in the weather forecast, this year's Fun Run will be held inside the gym. The event is sponsored by the PTO.

Start times for each grade level is as follows:

8:15 - 8:45 a.m.: ALL Pre-K students

8:55 - 9:25 a.m.: Classes of Beth Cantrell, Misty Agee, Bethany Rigsby, and Tanya Howard
9:30 - 10:00 a.m.: Classes of Crystal Young, LeVaughnda Midgett, Janet Trapp, and Layra Crook
10:10 - 10:40 a.m.: Classes of Kristy Williams, Kelly Huling, and Lindsey Bouldin

2nd Grade
10:50 - 11:20 a.m.: Classes of Macy Nokes, Joy Parker, Angela Johnson, and Ashlee Thomason
11:30 - 12:00: Classes of Tiffany Cowart, Allison Rigsby, and Hannah Mummert

1st Grade
12:10 - 12:40 p.m.: Classes of Vicky Duke, Melba Farmer, Leah Magness, and Whitney Brelje
12:50 - 1:20 p.m.: Classes of Chelsea Grissom, Amanda Rhoady, Renee Beaty, and Vicky Hawker
1:30 - 2:00 p.m.: Classes of Christie Young, Kristen Malone, and Heather Shehane

Habitat Chili Cook-Off to be held at County Complex

October 9, 2014
Dwayne Page

Due to rain in the weather forecast, the 11th Annual Habitat for Humanity Chili Cook-Off and Bake Sale will be at the County Complex on Friday, October 10 from 10:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

It’s chili time and time for you to again support a great cause and decide who makes the best chili in DeKalb County! Come out and cast your vote this Friday, October 10th when Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County hosts its 11th Annual Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale.

You can purchase your bowl for $5.00, eat all the chili you want, and vote for your favorite chili and the best decorated booth. Handmade pottery bowls will be available for $10.00. Delicious baked goods prepared by members of local churches and the DCHS Tiger Pride Bakery will also be for sale.

“There’s a chill in the air, making it a perfect time for everyone to enjoy the Chili Cook-off,” said Tecia Puckett Pryor, a member of the Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County Development Committee. “We hope everyone will come out to enjoy the fun and fellowship. Just last month, we completed our Fifth Habitat home in DeKalb County and are making plans for our sixth house to be built in 2015,” said Pryor. “The Chili Cook-off is an important fundraiser for Habitat and money raised will be used in our ongoing construction costs. We hope that everyone will come out and support this great cause!”

At press time, the teams competing in the Chili Cook-off are “Superhero Chili” from the DeKalb County Board of Education; “Hot Checks Chili” from DeKalb Community Bank; “The Courthouse Gang” from the DeKalb County Officials; “Team MTNG – Cooking with Gas” from Middle Tennessee Natural Gas; “The Bean Counters” from Tom Janney, CPA and Associates; “Just Chilin” from Center Hill Realty; “No Liability Chili” from the DeKalb County Bar Association; and a team from Cumberland Adaptive.

Last year, the “The Courthouse Gang” from the DeKalb County Officials won the “Best Chili” award, with The Inn at Evins Mill receiving 2nd place and Middle Tennessee Natural Gas receiving 3rd place. In the decorating contest, “Storybook Chili” from the DeKalb County Board of Education” won first place honors, with the DeKalb County Officials receiving 2nd place and Indian Creek Baptist Church receiving 3rd place. The 2013 event raised approximately $3,500 for Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Habitat for Humanity builds and renovates houses in partnership with volunteers and families in need, regardless of their ethnic or religious background. The houses then are sold to those in need at no profit and with no interest charged.

For more information on the Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale, contact Tecia Puckett Pryor at 597-7370. To contact Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, call 215-8181.

Time to Get Your Flu Shot

October 9, 2014
Dwayne Page

It's time to get your flu shot.

Health care providers are encouraging you to be immunized because it can make a big difference by helping you and others avoid becoming sick.

"As of yesterday afternoon (Wednesday), we have had 15 positive Type B and zero Type A cases of flu since the beginning of school. We have also had 19 positive strep and 10 positive mono tests," Michiko Martin, Office Manager of the Family Medical Center told WJLE. "We have plenty of flu vaccine available at the Family Medical Center and the Alexandria Family Medical Center – quadrivalent, high dose (for the over 65 population), pediatric (6-35 months), and FluMist," she said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Tennessee Department of Health recommend annual flu vaccination for everyone over the age of six months. It’s especially important for pregnant women to be vaccinated in order to protect their unborn children. One major challenge for health officials is combatting rumors and myths about flu immunizations. It is important to note: It is not possible for the flu shot to give you the flu.

You can choose from the nasal mist and the traditional flu shot. Check with your healthcare provider to see which option is best for you or your child.

After your flu vaccination, it’s still important to practice good health habits to protect yourself from the flu and other winter viruses, and to prevent spreading them to others if you do get sick. Good health habits include frequent hand washing with soapy water or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and covering coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or tissue. People who are sick should stay home if at all possible to recover to prevent spreading illness to coworkers, friends and others.

Flu vaccines are widely available across Tennessee from a number of sources and take only a few minutes to receive. Contact your health care provider about flu vaccine locations near you, or visit the Vaccine Finder available at http://flushot.healthmap.org/.

Three Involved in Wreck

October 9, 2014
Dwayne Page

Three people were involved in a two car crash Wednesday on Highway 70 west near Smithville.

Trooper Tommy Cooper of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that 74 year old Mary Young of Cookeville was driving west on Highway 70 in a 2002 Mercedes when she pulled into the turning lane and then crossed into the path of another vehicle while turning left onto the old Snow Hill Road. The other vehicle, an eastbound 2009 Ford Escape, was driven by 77 year old Leonard Shively of Cookeville. His wife, 75 year old Mable Shively was a passenger.

Young was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital. The Shively's were apparently not injured.

Annual History Hayride Saturday at Edgar Evins State Park

October 8, 2014
Dwayne Page
Mrs. Riley League mother of two Confederate soldiers telling about her son’s glorious return portrayed by Lori Christensen (Photo by Judy Fuson)
Capt. Prettyman (Purt) Jones Union Army portrayed by Garrett Christensen (Photo by Judy Fuson)
James Edgar Evins portrayed by Randy Hedgepath, State Parks Biologist
Luke Denny famous Moonshine Hauler raised near the Park at Rock Springs community portrayed by Clint Halfacre, Edgar Evins Employee

The 9th Annual History Hayride at Edgar Evins State Park will be Saturday, October 11 at 2:00 p.m. Bring your blanket for a hayride back into time as the Friends of Edgar Evins and park staff bring history alive. There will be approximately 10 stops along the route where a cast of colorful characters will reveal the history of the area and its people. Reservations are required and the cost is $15 per person. Reservations are now open .

The History Hayride is the major fundraising event for the Friends of Edgar Evins. Each year a living panorama of people and events is presented that have shaped the communities and history of the park and surrounding areas. Amateur actors and actresses, dressed in period costumes, act out the roles of people and times from years gone by to demonstrate the events and happenings.

A guide on each wagon will provide additional narrative between stops. It is not only entertaining, but an educational experience as well.

Departure and returns will be at the Visitors Center. A circuit will last approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours during which spectators will remain on the wagons. Wagons will leave about every half hour.

This will be the first year that all reservations for the History Hayride will be made on-line at https://www.123signup.com/event?id=yfzx

The new reservation system will make it possible to reserve seats for an individual or a group 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, A Visa or Master Card will be accepted.

For more information call the park office: 931-858-2114 or 800-250-8619, ext. 107 or 102.

Lightning May Have Triggered House Fire

October 8, 2014
Dwayne Page
Lightning May Have Triggered House Fire

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department responded to a house fire early Wednesday morning which may have been triggered by lightning.

"We had a house fire at 807 South Mountain Street, the home of Mrs. Willie Brown Adams at approximately 2:23 a.m.," said Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker.

"Mrs. Adams smelled smoke in the house and called 911 just after a passing thunderstorm".

"When Smithville Police arrived they helped Mrs. Adams out of the home and noticed flames coming through the roof on the back side of the house."

"The Smithville Fire Department arrived and extinguished the flames. There was some damage in the attic and to the exterior of the house," said Chief Parker.

"The fire is still under investigation but it appears that lightning may have played a part in the ignition of this fire," he said.

No one was injured.

County Wide Pink-Out Set for October 17th

October 8, 2014
Shan Burklow
Nancy Trapp shows off her pink painted pinkies in support of the ‘Pinky Swear Dare’ for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
 DeKalb County is gearing up for the county-wide ‘Pink Out’ supporting Breast Cancer Awareness on Friday, October 17th

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. DeKalb Community Hospital along with the local schools and civic organizations are bringing awareness to this important topic in various ways throughout the month of October. A county-wide ‘Pink-Out’ is scheduled for Friday, October 17th where the public, county schools and businesses are encouraged to wear pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness and our fight against all forms of cancer. County schools are participating in a ‘pink’ jack-o-lantern contest sponsored by DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospitals, and various businesses and organizations have agreed to take the ‘Pinky Swear Dare’ - painting their pinky nails pink throughout the month of October after pledging to get regular mammograms after the age of forty.

“We would like to thank the community and local schools for making this year’s Pink-tober events so very successful,” said Shan Burklow- Marketing Director for DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospitals, “I am humbled by the wonderful and caring people who have volunteered their time to help us spread the word about the importance of early detection and mammograms in the fight against breast cancer. This is such an ugly disease and it has touched everyone in some way. Take this month to remind your friends and family of the importance of weekly self-exams and annual mammograms. Early detection is so very important in the fight against cancer. Hundreds of people across Tennessee have taken the ‘Pinky Swear Dare’ and we hope that hundreds more participate before the month’s end.”

For more ways that your family, business or organization can support the fight against cancer, go to www.relayforlife.org or contact Shan Burklow: sburklow@dchtn.com

Pictured: Nancy Trapp shows off her pink painted pinkies in support of the ‘Pinky Swear Dare’ for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Pictured: DeKalb County is gearing up for the county-wide ‘Pink Out’ supporting Breast Cancer Awareness on Friday, October 17th. Wear pink and show your support of the fight against cancer.

City Awards Bid on Sewer Project

October 7, 2014
Dwayne Page
City Awards Bid on Sewer Project

The City of Smithville will soon be extending sewer services to an area annexed into the city limits earlier this year.

During their regular monthly meeting Monday night, the aldermen awarded a contract to the low bidder, Flo-Line Contracting, LLC of Monticello, Kentucky for $141,600.

A bid opening was held Thursday, September 25 at city hall on providing low pressure sewers for the area on Highway 70 west. Bids were received from three companies, Madewell Construction Inc. of Spencer for $163,865 and John T. Hall Construction, Inc. of Sparta for $162,445, in addition to Flo-Line Contracting, LLC.

J.R. Wauford & Company Consulting Engineers, Inc., the city's utility engineer, evaluated the bids and recommended the low bidder.

The sewer project will serve an area which includes six parcels of property and a portion of another parcel which were annexed on the west side of the city. The properties were zoned and a plan of services was adopted for the area, in accordance with state law which establishes a timeframe within which city services and/or amenities are to be provided. Property owners in the area who wish to connect to the new sewer lines must bear the expense of taps and the pump system on their property.

In other business, the aldermen voted to make an offer to purchase a home on Allen's Chapel Road that is in the airport runway flight path. To comply with FAA regulations, the home must be removed. The offer, being made to the property owner through the city's airport engineer, is for $80,500. Although the city has budgeted $96,000 for this expense, all but five percent of the costs will be covered by a grant for which the city has been approved by the state. The property has already been surveyed and appraised.

Meanwhile, the City of Smithville is having another water cost study done. Results of the last study released in 2013 revealed the cost for the city to produce water to be $2.67 per 1,000 gallons. City officials believe that cost may be more now. Any change in the rate based on results of a new cost study could have an impact on the DeKalb Utility District which currently pays $2.67 per thousand gallons for the water it buys from the city.

In other matters, Airport Manager Wesley Nokes updated the mayor and aldermen on the status of other airport improvement projects being funded mostly by grants.

Nokes said bids have been advertised twice for a new fuel farm at the airport but so far there have been no bidders. "We had the fuel farm put out for bids twice but we didn't get any bids on that. TDOT has recommended that we wait before we put it back out for bids again. There are very few contractors that are licensed to do this kind of work in Tennessee and apparently they are all very busy and have more work than they need right now. TDOT has recommended that we wait probably another four to six weeks before we put that back out," he said.

Meanwhile, Nokes said bids have been advertised for the airport lighting rehabilitation project. Bids will be opened on Friday, October 24. "That is to replace all the airfield lighting with new LED's, a new beacon, beacon tower, a new electrical vault which will be outside and will house all of our airfield lighting electronics. That will get it out of the big hangar which will free up some more space for the maintenance operation. I've also included a backup generator so that when power goes out we'll have airfield lighting and the fuel farm will be able to operate in the event of power failure," said Nokes.

To meet FAA regulations, several trees were cut and removed recently that were penetrating the approach paths at the airport . "We just finished the tree removal project. We had to break that down into two phases per the state. The first phase was to clear the approaches on both ends (of the runway). We got all those cut and we got approval on that. The second phase of that which we are doing some engineering on right now will consist of removing some trees that are out farther to take care of our night time approach issues that the FAA has with us. The FAA recently did a fly over of several airports in the area and deemed that there were obstructions that were hazards to night time approach. They shut down the night time approaches to a various group of airports (including Smithville) and didn't notify anybody. The way I became aware of it was when one of the pilots told me that on his new approach plates that it had been deemed void due to these obstructions. We're working to correct it and when we get some numbers in hand, I'll be back to ask you (to apply) for another grant to take care of the second part of that," said Nokes.


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