Local News Articles

Gentry Barnes Retiring from Wilson Bank & Trust

January 30, 2018
Dwayne Page
Gentry Barnes
Gentry Barnes Retiring from Wilson Bank & Trust

After more than four decades of service to the public at three different businesses, Gentry Barnes, who currently serves as Vice President and Loan Officer at Wilson Bank & Trust in Smithville, has decided to retire.

“I’m just changing jobs. I’ll be going to full time farming, rabbit hunting, fishing, and spending more time with my wife and five grandkids. I’m sure I’ll stay busy,” said Barnes.

A retirement reception was held for Barnes last Tuesday at the Smithville Branch, where he has served in various roles since 2001 including Bank President before the merger of DeKalb Community Bank with Wilson Bank & Trust in 2007. But Barnes’ beginning with the bank goes back to the founding in 1996.

“In 1995 some folks from Wilson Bank & Trust approached me, Mike Corley, and Eddie Evins from this county about starting a new bank here in DeKalb County. Everything came together and we actually opened DeKalb Community Bank on April 18, 1996. Howard Kirksey was President of the Bank. Howard worked for us five years and left in February in 2001. We went three or four months without a President and ultimately they hired me to start in July, 2001 as President of DeKalb Community Bank,” said Barnes.

After the merger in 2007, Barnes became the branch manager.

“We merged with Wilson Bank & Trust in 2007 mainly because of compliance issues. We had to have a compliance officer in-house and there were a lot of extra costs there for a small bank starting up. It was tough to be able to afford that so merging with Wilson Bank & Trust was a practical thing to do. It’s been a great thing for the bank and community since then. At that time instead of being President of DeKalb Community Bank, I became the branch manager of the Smithville office and loan officer. I served in that capacity until February, 2015 and then went to part time. Chad Colwell, who was a loan officer here, became the branch manager of the Smithville Office. I have been loan officer and Vice President in Smithville since that time,” said Barnes.

Born and raised in DeKalb County, Barnes recalled going to school in the Belk community growing up.

“I went to Belk school which was a three room school. We had three teachers for grades 1-8. After that I went to DeKalb County High School and then to MTSU where I earned my BS degree in agriculture before returning to DeKalb County to begin my career,” Barnes continued.

He landed his first job with Production Credit Association in 1975.

“I started in November 1975 with Production Credit Association in Smithville. In 1980 I was transferred to McMinnville. They were in the process of merging Federal Land Bank and Production Credit Association to make what we know as Farm Credit. When they did that, I continued to work in McMinnville until 1988 and then I started as an agent with State Farm Insurance in Smithville. I was a State Farm Agent here from 1988 until 2001 when I joined the bank,” said Barnes.

Although he has enjoyed his long career, Barnes said the time has come to step aside.

“Its been a pleasure. I’ve had three jobs, but this by far is the best one I’ve ever had working with a great group of people, not only as peers here at the bank but with the customers and more importantly with my friends out in the community. Helping so many people has been very gratifying and satisfying to me personally to think that maybe I had a little part in their success. I have been very blessed. I’ve always felt like if I got to the position where I could financially retire and was physically able that I would retire because I always felt like there was somebody younger who needs to move up and have the same opportunity as I did. I am 65 now so I think the practical thing to do is retire and let someone take my place so I can enjoy my family and life more as long as God lets me stay here,” Barnes said.

Gentry and his wife Pat reside in the Belk Community on the same farm where he was raised on and they are the proud parents of two, Amy and Adam and five grandchildren. Pat, who spent 30 years as a classroom teacher at DeKalb Middle School, is also retired.

Amy is an LPN at a nursing home in Woodbury and Adam works as branch manager at Middle Tennessee Natural Gas in White County.

Smithville Police Take Warrant Against Sparta Man Involved In Pursuit and Wreck

January 29, 2018
Dwayne Page
Charles R. Wilmoth
Christopher L Cripps
Bobby Pinegar
John William Cline
Justin Lynn Murphy
Christy Diann Reeder
Steven Darrell Bly

The Smithville Police Department has taken a warrant against a Sparta man who was involved in a wreck following a White County Sheriff’s Department pursuit just before 2 a.m. on Saturday, January 13.

36 year old Charles R. Wilmoth is charged with being involved in an accident with damage to a vehicle.

According to the warrant, on Saturday, January 13th police located a vehicle that was involved in a pursuit from White County that had wrecked and struck a stop sign at the intersection of Hayes and South Mountain Street. The driver of the vehicle, Wilmoth was apprehended and transported back to White County on active felony warrants. Wilmoth was the operator of the vehicle during the time of the wreck and fled on foot after striking the stop sign. A warrant for an accident involving damage to a vehicle was issued for his arrest and a hold was placed on him. Wilmoth will be transported back to DeKalb County after serving his time in White County. Wilmoth’s bond on this charge is $3,500 and his court date is February 1.

Wilmoth and Amber Madison Rhea, also of Sparta were in a 2005 red Dodge Neon when they crossed into DeKalb County from White County, trying to elude officers of the White County Sheriff’s Department, who were looking to serve warrants on Wilmoth for a violation of probation. After White County officers terminated their pursuit, local law enforcement were advised to be on the lookout for the car at 1:56 a.m. Saturday, January 13 and Smithville Police found it abandoned at the intersection of South Mountain and Hayes Street at 2:10 a.m. The car had knocked over a stop sign and the occupants of the vehicle had fled on foot.

Members of the Smithville Police Department, DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, and White County officers converged on the scene and began looking for the couple. They were found in the area shortly thereafter, taken into custody, and transported back to White County.

According to officials of the White County Sheriff’s Department, Wilmoth and Rhea are each charged with evading arrest, possession of schedule II drugs, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Wilmoth also has warrants against him for two counts of violation of probation, evading arrest in a motor vehicle and reckless endangerment.

32 year old Christopher L Cripps was arrested on Saturday, January 13 for a 2nd offense of driving on a revoked license while being an habitual offender. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is February 1. Police received a “be on the lookout” BOLO for a vehicle from Warren County and spotted it. An officer initiated a routine traffic stop after checking the tag with central dispatch and discovering that the automobile was stolen in Warren County. Cripps was the driver. A validation check of Cripps’ license through dispatch revealed it to be revoked. Cripps has a prior offense against him for driving on a revoked license after an habitual offender conviction in Warren County on October 28, 2015.

35 year old Cody Leon Davenport was cited on Sunday, January 14 for possession of a prohibited weapon. Police responded to Wal-Mart in reference to a shoplifter and found Davenport with a large knife on his person. According to Davenport, he uses the knife, approximately 12 inches in length,to defend himself from animals as he walks down the road. His court date is February 8.

34 year old James L Bullard was cited on Monday, January 15 for simple possession. Police were called to a local half-way house where a man, Bullard, was found to be swinging a hammer at other residents. During the investigation, the officer spotted a spoon with residue believed to be methamphetamine on a shelf in Bullard's bedroom. Bullard was the only person living in the house at the time of this incident. His court date is February 8.

41 year old Bobby Pinegar was arrested on Sunday, January 14 for tampering with evidence and cited for simple possession. Police responded to Wal-Mart in reference to a suspicious person. During a computer background check on the suspect, Pinegar, the officer was informed by an employee that Pinegar had a bottle of pills on him. In Pinegar’s hand were two vials. The officer ordered Pinegar to hand them over. Pinegar turned over one of the vials to the officer but tried to swallow the contents of the other vial. Two pills from that vial fell to the floor, including an 8 milligram buprenorphine hydrochloride, a schedule III drug for which Pinegar had no prescription. The other drug that fell on the floor was not a controlled substance. Pinegar’s bond is $7,500 and his court date is February 1.

44 year old John William Cline was arrested on Friday, January 19 for theft. Police received a report on November 22 of a 2006 35 foot American Camp travel trailer that had been taken from the victim's residence. During an investigation police learned that Cline had sold the trailer without the permission or consent of the owner. The trailer has been recovered. Cline’s bond is $5,000 and his court date is February 1.

32 year old Justin Lynn Murphy was arrested on Monday, January 22 for public intoxication and cited for simple possession. Police responded to a call of an unwanted guest and upon arrival spoke with Murphy and a woman who were involved in what appeared to be a verbal altercation as they stood outside the back door of a residence. Murphy turned and began to walk away from officers once he noticed that they were there. Murphy initially failed to heed police commands to stop but he finally turned around and began pulling items from his pockets including a bottle containing 20 blue and white capsules which were later identified to be Vyvanse. Murphy had no prescription for the medication. Murphy appeared to be unsteady on his feet and his speech was slurred. He was placed under arrest for public intoxication and cited for simple possession. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is February 15.

34 year old Christy Diann Reeder, charged with filing a false report, and 34 year old Steven Darrell Bly, charged with evading arrest, were picked up on Thursday, January 25.

Police responded to a 911 hang up call at a residence where they had received domestic calls in the past and had before tried unsuccessfully to serve pending warrants against a suspect there.

Upon arrival they approached the residence and could hear a woman crying and talking to someone inside the door. Officers knocked on the door and called for the occupants inside to come to the door but no one responded. Due to past knowledge of domestic abuse there, the officers contacted the landlord and asked that the door be opened so that police could make sure no one inside was hurt. The officers identified themselves and made entry but a woman inside called out informing them that she was taking a bath. Officers ordered her to get dressed and to come out. She complied. Police asked if anyone else was in the house. The woman, Reeder replied no but neighbors reported seeing a man going inside the residence before police arrived.

Officers asked Reeder specifically if Steven Bly was in the residence but she again insisted that no one else was there but her. Bly has multiple warrants against him for violation of probation out of Circuit Court and a Failure to Appear in General Sessions Court.

Knowing that Bly often hides in the attic, police warned Reeder that if Bly were found to be in the residence she would be charged. Officers went to the attic entrance in a rear bedroom and called several times for Bly to come down. Police used a camera and light to aid them in looking in the attic to see if anyone was present. There they spotted cushions lined up like a bed with a bag of chips beside it. Officers then obtained a ladder and made entry into the attic where they heard a noise and saw Bly’s hands and forearms protruding up from the insulation. Bly was taken into custody and transported to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department for processing. While he already had active warrants against him, police took an additional warrant for evading arrest. Reeder was also arrested for filing a false report. Bond for each is $5,000 and their court dates are February 8 for Reeder and February 15 for Bly.

Murfreesboro Woman Loses Her Life on Center Hill Lake

January 29, 2018
Dwayne Page

The body of a Murfreesboro woman was recovered from Center Hill Lake Sunday morning, the apparent victim of a drowning.

Dead is Jerilyn Massey Lamb of Somerset Drive Murfreesboro.

In a prepared statement, Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Sunday, January 28 at 7:49 a.m. a call was received by DeKalb Central Dispatch of an unresponsive female at Sligo Marina on the B pier. The woman was found by her husband in the water in an adjoining slip. Deputies arrived at 8:03 a.m. and DeKalb County Detectives were also summoned to the scene.

The DeKalb Sheriff's Department was assisted in the investigation by members of the 13th Judicial District Attorney General's Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Mrs. Lamb's body has been sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy.

This marks the second suspected drowning on Center Hill Lake this month.

On Thursday, January 11, the body of 66 year old Scott Northrup of Silver Point was recovered at around 11:35 a.m. about 100 yards from where his fishing boat was found Wednesday night, January 10 in the Florida branch area of the lake about a mile across from Floating Mill Access,

DCHS Construction Technology Students To Complete First Tiny House by Spring

January 29, 2018
Dwayne Page
DCHS Construction Technology Students To Complete First Tiny House by Spring
Except for a few changes, the new Tiny House under construction to have similar look to the one shown here

Students in the DCHS Construction Technology (building trades) program are hard at work these days during school hours building their first “Tiny House”.

The 8’ x 20’ “Tiny House” is being constructed on a modified trailer that can be anchored or moved from place to place.

The project began in the fall and should be completed by the end of the school year, hopefully as early as March.

“It seems to be going really well. We were able before Christmas break to get the Advantech flooring down. The floor, which is insulated, is screwed down with threaded self tapping screws. The wall plates are screwed down. We did all that before Christmas break but the snow days set us back. We started framing the walls after Christmas break and we have done quite well with that. We’re using two or three different plans and taking the best ideas from them. We have decided on the outward look and what we want it to look like and how we want the loft to be with shed dormers on each side to give more room in the loft. We should have it dried in and the siding on by March but this is new territory for us. We’ve never built one of these before. There’s a lot of specialty things that have to be taken into consideration especially the plumbing,” said Gary Caplinger, Construction Teacher at DCHS.

Because it is small, Caplinger said much of the construction is being done indoors. “We’re building it in the shop so we don’t have to take the trailer out until we get to the roof system. That’s when we’ll have to bring it outside. But the majority of it is being done in the shop. We will build the walls in here and do our plumbing and wiring rough ins here. We will be pulling it out of the shop after we get all that done and then we’ll put the roof system on and finish it up. It is made permanently to the trailer so when you buy the house you get the trailer. It is 8 feet, 4 inches wide and the trailer is 20 feet long. It cannot go over 13 feet, 6 inches in height otherwise a permit would be required to transport it on the highways,” said Caplinger.

Living accommodations in the Tiny House, although compact include adequate living room, kitchenette, bathroom, and sleeping space.

“We do (build) everything for space saving in a Tiny House so the bathroom door will be a pocket or sliding door that slides back into the wall. The kitchen will have a place for a stove, kitchen sink, and we’re hoping to work a stair case in the Tiny House,” Caplinger continued.

Caplinger said once the Tiny House is at or near completion he would like to take it on the road to show it off at venues including the Expo at the Hyder-Burks Pavilion in Cookeville this year.

“We’ve had a lot of interest in it. A lot of people have asked about it. We’re hoping this is something that catches on,” he concluded.

If you are interested or would like more information about the Tiny House contact Caplinger or Brad Leach, Career and Technical Education Director at DeKalb County High School.

"We Think In Secret" by Rawlin Vanatta Now Available (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

January 28, 2018
Dwayne Page
"We Think In Secret" by Rawlin Vanatta Now Available

A new self development book was released Friday by local author, entrepreneur, restaurateur, transformational coach, songwriter, speaker & thought-hacker Rawlin Vanatta and it is already an overall best seller in three categories.

“We Think in Secret” is filled with analogies and exercises that demonstrate how that our unconscious thoughts, or as Vanatta calls them, our "secret thoughts" actively create the thoughts, feelings, & actions that are generating our perception of the world each of us experience. Rawlin gives his readers a clear understanding of how simple it can be to take control over self-limiting habits and beliefs. He teaches the reader the inner workings of the subconscious mind, and how it influences virtually every automatic decision that we make, and every habitual behavior we are involved in. In a creative way he blends new thought philosophy and humanistic psychology to create a 21st century framework for self determination.

With a B.A. in Business Marketing, Rawlin creatively teaches individuals the mental foundations of what he describes as thought-hacking. His aim is to continually and progressively supply the necessary awareness and emotional understanding that people require in order to get them out of their own head and out of their own way. He specializes in the mental sciences, philosophy, and personal development, empowering people not only to grow beyond their present results, but to reach further than ever before.

“Did you know that every second of every day your brain is sorting and processing an estimated 400 billion bits of information, but you are not even conscious of 1% of it all? Well, there's actually a mental program hidden in your mind making most of the decisions that you think you make. It's kinda like a thermostat that keeps the temperature of a room from fluctuating. Unknown to us it produces the feelings and cravings that keep us right where we're at. These unknown thought signals are what I call "secret thoughts,” said Vanatta.

“And if you have landed on this page and are reading this now, let me ask you a question. What is it in your life that you want to make better? I mean virtually everyone has something in their life that they would like to change, what is it for you? Does it relate to your relationships? What about your finances? Are you happy with your weight? Do you know you should be exercising, but for some reason never quite keep it up? Whatever it is, how many times have you said to yourself that you wish things were different?”

“Well in "We Think In Secret" it teaches you how to hack into your own subconscious mind, and rewrite those "secret thoughts" that are holding you back. I show you how that you can reprogram your mind to automatically create cravings that drive you towards your goals, instead of away from them,” said Vanatta.

You can order the book at https://www.amazon.com/We-Think-Secret-knowyourself-overcomeyourself/dp/... or visit Rawlin Vanatta’s facebook page to learn more at https://www.facebook.com/rawlinvanatta

Rawlin and his wife Jessie are owners and operators of the White Possum Grille in Smithville and the soon to be White Possum Grille in Sparta

Bradley Miller Named Tiger Football MVP, Breanna Gibson MVC

January 28, 2018
Dwayne Page
Bradley Miller Named Tiger Football MVP, Breanna Gibson MVC
DCHS Tiger Football Award Winners: Seated- David Bradford, Tyler Cantrell, Bradley Miller, Braxton Linder, Jesse Smith; Standing- Gage Delape, Peyton Leaf, Andrew Fuson, Grayson Redmon, Nick May, and Isaac Cross
DCHS Tiger Football All Region 3 Class 4A Award Winners: Seated- David Bradford, Tyler Cantrell, Bradley Miller, Braxton Linder, Paxton Butler; Standing- Gage Delape, Assistant Coach Thomas Cagle, Nick May, and Jesse Smith
Clay Edwards Memorial Tiger Pride Award presented to Nick May. Pictured here with Sarah Edwards (left) and Abram Edwards (right), son and daughter of the late Clay Edwards and their mother Tena
DCHS Tiger Football Cheerleader Award Winners: Seated-Shaunta Koegler, Breanna Gibson, Allison Maynard; Standing- Katherine Malone, Kiersten Griffith, Alley Sykes

Bradley Miller, a senior, was named Most Valuable Player of the 2017 DCHS Tiger Football Team during the annual Awards Banquet held Saturday night at the Smithville First Baptist Church Life Enrichment Center building.

The MVP trophy was presented to Miller by Coach Steve Trapp.

“This guy has played a lot of football for us this year as a senior. I don’t think he came off the field a whole lot. He was on special teams, defense, and offense. We put him in as running back in a couple of games. He returned kicks and punts. Last year as a junior he probably had the best defensive back year ever as a DCHS football player but he didn’t have as many opportunities this year because people just wouldn’t throw at him. Last year he was All-State in different areas and pre-season All State this year. He is a tremendous high school football player,” said Coach Trapp.

In addition to his MVP trophy, Miller was named Most Outstanding Defensive Back in Region 3 Class 4A

The Tiger football team finished the season in November with an overall record of 3-8 and another appearance in the state play-offs. The Tigers lost in the first round of the TSSAA Class 4A Football Play-Offs at Lewisburg to Marshall County on November 4. The final score was 42-0.

Meanwhile, Breanna Gibson, a senior, was named Most Valuable Cheerleader at the football banquet Saturday night. The presentation was made by Cheer Coach Amanda Fuller.

“This girl is beautiful inside and out. She is brilliant. She works hard. She is very calm. Slow to anger. She leads by example and has pushed herself very hard for four years to become the awesome cheerleader that she is today. She is a perfect example of what a cheerleader should be and although she had an injury this season she was still at all the practices and games leading her team. She was an NCA All American nominee and was asked this year to join the NCA staff which is a great and rare honor. She has been a true blessing to this squad for four years,” said Coach Fuller.

Other individual Football Player Awards are as follows:

Offensive Player of the Year- Tyler Cantrell
Offensive Lineman- Gage Delape
Offensive Back- David Bradford
Receiver- Braxton Linder
Defensive Player of the Year- Jesse Smith
Defensive Lineman- Isaac Cross
Linebacker- Nick May
Defensive Back- Grayson Redmon
Special Teams Player- Andrew Fuson
Most Improved- Peyton Leaf
MVP- Bradley Miller
Coach Clay Edwards Memorial Tiger Pride Award-Nick May

Coach Trapp presented awards to eight members of the team and an assistant coach for earning All Region 3 Class 4A Honors including the following:

Most Outstanding Tight End: Braxton Linder
Most Outstanding Returner: Paxton Butler
Most Outstanding Defensive Back: Bradley Miller
DCHS Assistant Coach Thomas Cagle received Special Teams Coach of the Year in Region 3

Named to the All Region 1st Team from DCHS are:
Jesse Smith, Nick May, and Gage Delape

Named to the All Region 2nd Team from DCHS are:
Tyler Cantrell and David Bradford.

Individual Cheer Awards are as follows:

Best Stunts- Alley Sykes
Most Spirited- Breanna Gibson
Best Jumps- Kiersten Griffith
Best Dancer-Katherine Malone
Best Cheer-Allison Maynard
MVC- Breanna Gibson
DEAR (Dedication, Enthusiasm, Attitude, and Responsibility)-Shaunta Koegler

Assistance Available to Agricultural Producers through the Conservation Stewardship Program

January 28, 2018

Assistance Available to Agricultural Producers through the Conservation Stewardship Program

Agricultural producers wanting to enhance current conservation efforts are encouraged to apply for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).

Through CSP, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps private landowners build their business while implementing conservation practices that help ensure the sustainability of their entire operation. NRCS plans to enroll up to 10 million acres in CSP in 2018.

While applications for CSP are accepted year round, applications must be received by March 2, 2018 to be considered for this funding period.

Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners earn payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and pollinator and beneficial insect habitat – all while maintaining active agriculture production on their land. CSP also encourages the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and new management techniques such as precision agriculture applications, on-site carbon storage and planting for high carbon sequestration rate, and new soil amendments to improve water quality.

Some of these benefits of CSP include:
•Improved cattle gains per acre;
•Increased crop yields;
•Decreased inputs;
•Wildlife population improvements; and
•Better resilience to weather extremes.

NRCS recently made several updates to the program to help producers better evaluate their conservation options and the benefits to their operations and natural resources. New methods and software for evaluating applications help producers see up front why they are or are not meeting stewardship thresholds, and allow them to pick practices and enhancements that work for their conservation objectives. These tools also enable producers to see potential payment scenarios for conservation early in the process.

Producers interested in CSP are recommended to contact their local USDA service center or visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted.

Carfi To Make Another Run for State Senate

January 27, 2018
Dwayne Page

Mary Alice Carfi is planning to make another run for the State Senate in District 17. She picked up her qualifying petition Friday at the Wilson County Election Commission.

State Senator Mark Pody obtained his petition earlier this month from the Wilson County Election Commission.

Carfi narrowly lost to Pody in the special election in December to serve out the unexpired term of former State Senator Mae Beavers.

But if there is to be a rematch in November, both Carfi and Pody must win their respective Primaries on August 2.

Candidates wishing to run for State Senate in District 17 must qualify for the Tennessee Democratic and Republican Primaries by noon on April 5. That also goes for candidates seeking to run for the State House in Districts 40 & 46 as well as for Governor, Congressman in the 6th District, and the U.S. Senate.

Meanwhile in DeKalb County while no new petitions were picked up Friday, four candidates filed their petitions which have been verified including Nicole Wright for Circuit Court Clerk, Wayne Cantrell for 4th District County Commissioner (incumbent), and Beth Pafford for 7th District County Commissioner all running in the May 1 DeKalb County Democratic Primary; and Randy Paris, an independent candidate for County Mayor who will be running in the August 2 DeKalb County General Election.

Both Nicole Wright and Mark Milam are now in the race for the Democratic Nomination for Circuit Court Clerk. The winner will likely face Republican Susan Martin in the August 2 DeKalb County General Election, though Martin’s nomination is not official until the DeKalb County GOP Caucus on Sunday, February 11. Other candidates still have time to enter the race.

In the 4th District, Incumbent Wayne Cantrell and Bobby Taylor have filed their petitions and been verified as candidates for the County Commission. They are seeking the Democratic Nomination on May 1. Two Democrats and two Republicans can be nominated from each district. Dr. Scott Little also has a petition to run for the County Commission in the 4th district in the Democratic Primary but he has not yet filed it with the election commission. Republican Greg Matthews has announced his candidacy for the County Commission in the 4th district, subject to his being nominated by the DeKalb GOP caucus on February 11.

In the 7th District, Beth Pafford is the first candidate to file her qualifying petition to run for the County Commission in the May 1 Democratic Primary. Incumbents Larry Summers and Kevin Robinson have obtained petitions to run for re-election for the County Commission in the 7th district but they have not yet filed them with the election commission. Republican Bruce Malone has announced his candidacy for the County Commission in the 7th district, subject to his being nominated by the DeKalb County GOP Caucus on February 11.

Randy Paris is now formally in the race for County Mayor. He will be running against the Democratic nominee in the County General Election on August 2. No Republican has announced a candidacy for the office. Three contenders are in the race for the Democratic Nomination for County Mayor on May 1 including Incumbent Tim Stribling, former County Mayor Mike Foster, and 3rd District County Commissioner Bradley Hendrix. All three have filed their petitions and been verified as candidates.

The deadline is Noon February 15 to qualify for the offices of County Mayor, Sheriff, Road Supervisor, County Clerk, Circuit Court Clerk, Register of Deeds, and Trustee as well as the county commission (two seats from each of the seven districts in the county).

DCHS Honors Basketball Great Jerry "Red" Foster (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

January 26, 2018
Dwayne Page
Jerry "Red" Foster (left) with DCHS Principal Randy Jennings
Co-Captains of 1975-76 Tiger Basketball Team Jerry Foster (left) and Al Smith (right) with their Coach Harold Luna
DCHS 1975-76 Tiger Basketball Team: SEATED: Rick Usrey, Danny Foutch, Jerry Foster, Timmy Robinson, Mark Ours; MIDDLE ROW: Ricky Kelly, Dennis Braun, Al Smith, Tim Lethcoe, Jack Rhody; STANDING: Coach Harold Luna, Bud Denman, Farron Hendrix, Brenice Wright, Johnny Bond, Eddie Merriman, and Donald Cantrell. THE TEAM RECORD THAT YEAR WAS 22-3

It was a homecoming of sorts at DeKalb County High School Friday night as fellow class and teammates of Tiger basketball legend Jerry “Red” Foster returned to their alma mater in a show of support for him and to witness the retirement of his high school jersey number 32.

A large crowd including family, friends, and students turned out for the ceremony honoring Foster which took place between games as DCHS hosted Cannon County, a border rivalry which in itself always draws a host of basketball fans.

“I am honored. Its something that you never expect to happen but I am glad to see it happen. It was just great to see as many people turn out as they did tonight. A lot of my classmates were here and it was really great to see them show up. A lot of them came from a pretty good distance away,” said Foster who spoke with WJLE after the ceremony.

“I had a wonderful career. I played for three college coaches and two professional coaches, but my high school coach Harold Luna was probably the best coach I ever played for,” Foster added.

Foster, who is now battling cancer and is in treatment, remains optimistic.

“I’m doing pretty good. My immune system is a little low right now but I’ve got the chemotherapy and radiation over with and I will go back February 7 to have a (CAT) scan and consultation with my oncologist and find out where we go from here. I’ve got a got a good feeling. I think the Lord is going to take care of me,” said Foster.

Foster was joined at center court by Tiger teammates Danny Foutch, Kevin James, and Rick Usrey, who are themselves basketball stars, along with their old high school coach Harold Luna, who was overcome by emotion during the ceremony. The crowd gave Foster and his friends a rousing cheer, extended applause, and a standing ovation. A banner with his name and number will be hung in the gym to recognize #32 Jerry “Red” Foster as one of the greatest players to ever wear a Tiger jersey.

Foster excelled in basketball at an early age and went on to become a star athlete on the high school, college, and professional level. After his playing days, Foster was a high school basketball coach for several years. In recent years, he has been a physical education teacher at Northside Elementary School.

Jerry’s basketball career began at College Street Junior High School under the late Coach Elzie McBride and later at DCHS under former Coach Harold Luna. He starred as a member of the Tiger basketball team from 1972-76. During his time at DCHS, Foster was a part of over 80 wins. He was named All-District, All-Region, Upper Cumberland MVP, 1st team All-State, and was named the Class AA Player of the Year in 1976. He was selected to play in the East/ West All Star game that same year.

After leaving DCHS, Jerry went on to star at Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee. As a member of the Bethel University basketball team from 1976-80, he scored 1,879 points and grabbed 1,440 rebounds earning 1st Team All Conference in both his junior and senior years as well as being named an NAIA All American after his senior year.

Jerry was then selected in the 4th round of the 1980 NBA draft by the New York Knicks and later signed a professional contract in the European League. After two professional seasons in South America, he decided to end his basketball career.

After his playing days, Foster stayed in the game of basketball through his love of coaching. He returned to DCHS, as freshman boys’ coach from 1983-89 compiling a 92-22 record. He then moved to Jackson County High School as head boys’ coach from 1989-93 compiling a 101-87 record in four seasons, before returning once again to DCHS to direct the Lady Tiger basketball program, a position he held for seven years, from 1993-2000 with his teams recording a 93-85 record.

After leaving the coaching ranks, he continued to teach physical education at Northside Elementary School and continues to teach the game of basketball to youth of DeKalb County through the after school program.

Habitat Groundbreaking Ceremony Scheduled and Construction Set to Begin

January 26, 2018
Jamie Nokes and Family

Another family is getting closer to home ownership thanks to the work of the Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County and the support of the community.

Construction is set to begin within a few weeks for the sixth Habitat for Humanity house in Smithville. Jamie Nokes and her family is the partner family that was chosen among fifteen other applicants from last summer’s application process.

The Habitat for Humanity board wants to invite family, friends, and supporters to a groundbreaking ceremony on Sunday, February 11, 2 p.m. at 204 Hayes Street, Smithville.

The construction work will begin immediately with the intent to be completed within 4 months. The project will be completed by volunteers with the exceptions of the areas in which a licensed professional is required. Everyone is invited to help and jobs can be found for anyone. If you would like to volunteer, please email awoodward@wilsonbank.com and if you are skilled in a certain line of construction work please indicate that or you may call 615-215-8181 and leave a message for construction. Please include name, number, email address, and skill.

We will also need volunteers to provide lunch on construction days, drinks, and snacks. Supplies are also needed such as hammers, tape measures, nail aprons, pencils and other building supplies are accepted. Monetary donations are needed as well to purchase construction materials. Supplies may be dropped off at Wilson Bank & Trust Smithville branch or mailed to Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb Co PO Box 750, Smithville, TN 37166.

Additionally we encourage churches, employers, and other organizations to commit to a construction day, you may contact us at the email or phone number above.

We appreciate your prayers and support for our upcoming project.

About Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, TN.

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County was formed in 2003. They have built five homes in the Smithville area and own property with plans to build future homes. Houses are constructed by volunteers and paid by donations from various fundraisers including the Fiddler 5K, Jackson Kayak Raffle, Golf Tournament, Yeti cooler raffle and the Chili cook off. The purpose of Habitat is to build houses and sell them at no profit and no interest to families who could not otherwise afford their own home. This Christian ministry is financed through private donations using volunteer labor and donated materials whenever possible.

Find us on Facebook @ HFHDeKalbTN to stay up-to-date on current events and construction updates.


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