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GOP Nominates Chandler for County Commissioner Election

March 12, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Tom Chandler

The DeKalb County Republican Party held a convention Saturday at the courthouse to nominate a candidate for the county commission in the 1st district for the August 4 General Election

Tom Chandler will be the GOP nominee in the election to fill the remaining unexpired two year term of Democrat Elmer Ellis, Jr. who recently resigned. The local Democratic Party is also expected to hold a convention to select a nominee for the election.

Chandler made brief remarks at the meeting after receiving his party's nomination. "My wife and I live in Caplinger Hollow off Dale Ridge. We do actually have some property on Dale Ridge. We have owned property in the county for about 25 years so we weren't born and raised here but this is home to us. I say I'm retired but I have a farm so I work seven days a week doing something related to the farm. By profession I work in the telecommunications business. I am reasonably well educated. I have four college degrees including a doctorate degree in telecommunications. We have one daughter and a couple of granddaughters. My daughter is an oncologist or a cancer doctor. She works at the Summit for Tennessee Oncology," said Chandler.

"I am definitely a conservative. I do believe in good schools, roads, and water but I also believe in low taxes and that there ought to be some balance between those things," he continued.

"I'd appreciate your support in August. I look forward to working with you," Chandler concluded.

DeKalb School Board Policies Now On-Line

March 12, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

Anyone who would like to have a better understanding of school board policies may now view them on-line

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW SCHOOL BOARD POLICIES)

http://www.dekalbschools.net/?L=1&PN=Links&DivisionID=14611&DepartmentID...

The DeKalb County Board of Education, in a partnership with the Tennessee School Boards Association, now has its board policies available on-line in an easily searchable database.

"Any parent, grandparent, or anyone else who wishes to go on-line and look up any board policy now has the same access that we do (school board members). It's great to have this. TSBA has done a great job in helping us and Joey Reeder and Jamie Vickers have done a great job in getting it all put together," said School Board Chairman W.J. (Dub) Evins, III.

"Now if anyone has a question about a board policy they can either contact us or look it up themselves," he added.

The school system website is http://www.dekalbschools.net/

TDOT Holds Ribbon Cutting on Sligo Bridge Project (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

March 11, 2016
PICTURED: Chamber Director Suzanne Williams, County Mayor Tim Stribling, State Senator Mae Beavers, State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver, Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss, TDOT Commissioner John Schroer, TDOT Chief Engineer Paul Degges
New Sligo Bridge Project Completed with new parking area for marina
TDOT Commissioner John Schroer speaks at Sligo Bridge Ribbon Cutting ceremony Friday. State Senator Mae Beavers and Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss looking on each made brief remarks.
State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver speaks at Sligo Bridge Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Friday.
County Mayor Tim Stribling speaks at Sligo Bridge Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Friday. State Senator Mae Beavers looking on also made brief remarks.

Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer joined state and local officials today for a ribbon cutting to celebrate the official completion of the Sligo Bridge project in DeKalb County.

Work began on the 0.8-mile project in May 2013. The $38.9-million project replaced a 24-ft. wide truss bridge built over the Caney Fork River in 1948 with a modern 45-ft. wide concrete and steel bridge. The project also included the construction of three retaining walls. Among other features, the new bridge has a wider substructure for potential future expansion, a design that is not possible on a truss bridge.

“We are very pleased to be here today to celebrate the completion of this important project with our state and local partners and the citizens of DeKalb County,” said Commissioner Schroer. “This bridge is very important to the region, and it will also make this area much safer and will benefit all motorists and area residents.”

"A special thanks to the Riverwatch community and the Mountain Harbor community. Riverwatch let us (TDOT) use their boat ramp to do some of the things we needed to do. We were having a little difficulty getting that accomplished but we were able to work that out. They're getting a new boat dock and some pavement and parking spaces. Lots of good things will happen. That's a win win for everybody there. It helped the state get what we've done and we were able to help that community as well," said Commissioner Schroer.

"This is a great day to finally be able to do a ribbon cutting on this bridge," said State Senator Mae Beavers. " I said we had to get Terri Lynn elected to finally get it done. She has done a great job in helping with it. We hope you enjoy it and that everybody up here is satisfied for a while," she said.

"It's a great day to be here today. Everyone around here has a part of this. We're all team players and this is what happens when we are all on the same page. We have an amazing bridge and places to park," said State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver.

"I would like to recognize the former County Mayor Mike Foster and the county commission who did a lot of work and had a lot of discussions to help get this bridge project done. I am very proud and thankful for TDOT's $39 million dollar investment in DeKalb County. This will have an economic impact in DeKalb County for many years to come," said County Mayor Tim Stribling.

"These bridges (Sligo and Hurricane) feed Smithville. We're fortunate to have two new bridges here and we're very thankful that the money has been invested in DeKalb County," said Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss.

The new bridge is 101 feet over the water, and the bridge depth below the water is 167 feet. Over 11,000 cubic yards of concrete and 2 million pounds of steel reinforcement were used on the bridge. A major milestone occurred in August 2015 when traffic was shifted onto the newly-constructed bridge. This allowed the contractor to begin demolition of the old truss bridge, a task that took over a month.

Massman Construction Co., Inc. of Kansas City, Missouri is prime contractor for this project, which was completed several months ahead of the June 30, 2016 completion date.

Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) and Representative Terry Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) represent DeKalb County in the Tennessee General Assembly.

ADDITIONAL INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE SLIGO BRIDGE PROJECT BELOW:

Construction of a welded steel plate girder bridge on U.S. 70 (SR-26) over the Caney Fork River and Sligo Road, including three retaining walls, in DeKalb County, Tennessee - Contract No. CNM073

*Bids opened April 5, 2013

*Massman Construction Co., Inc. of Kansas City, Missouri is prime contractor

*Project cost $38.9 million

*Work began May 28, 2013

*Project replaced a 24-ft. wide truss bridge that was constructed in 1948 with a 45-ft. wide concrete and steel bridge.

*The new bridge is 101 feet over the water

*The bridge depth below the water is 167 feet

*Over 11,000 cubic yards of concrete and 2 million pounds of steel reinforcement were used on the new bridge

*The new bridge has a wider substructure for future expansion

*Bridge length 1545 feet

*Almost half of the bridge is underwater, 5295 cubic yards of concrete and 712,000 pounds of steel

*Over $10 million dollars of work is underwater

*Over 400,000 cubic yards of material was excavated from the approaches leading to the bridge

*The project included construction of 3 retaining walls

*The original contract completion date was June 30, 2016

*The new bridge was open to traffic on August 8, 2015

*The project won the Tennessee Concrete Association award for best architect/engineer: non-building structures.

*The demolition of the old truss bridge began on September 15, 2015 and after several rounds of demolition, the remaining piers were demolished on October 20, 2015.

*The project was totally complete in March 2016, several months ahead of schedule

PICTURED: Massman Construction Project Manager T.J. Colombatto, Chamber Director Suzanne Williams, County Mayor Tim Stribling, State Senator Mae Beavers, State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver, Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss, TDOT Commissioner John Schroer, TDOT Chief Engineer Paul Degges

Hale Issued Petition for School Board Election

March 11, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Kevin Hale

Another potential school board candidate has picked up a qualifying petition for the August Board of Education Election

Kevin Hale plans to be a candidate for the school board in the 5th district on August 4. Two others, Barry Mabe and incumbent W.J.(Dub) Evins, III are also candidates for the position.

Three school board members will be elected on August 4 including one from the 4th, 5th, & 6th districts. The terms are for four years except in the 4th district. The 4th district winner will fill an unexpired two year term.

Those who have obtained qualifying petitions to date are:
Kevin Hale in the 5th district
Barry Mabe in the 5th district (Mabe's petition has been returned and verified)
Incumbent W.J. (Dub) Evins, III in the 5th district (Evins’ petition has been returned and verified)
Incumbent Kate Miller in the 4th district. (Miller's petition has been returned and verified)
Incumbent Doug Stephens in the 6th district (Stephens' petition has been returned and verified)

The qualifying deadline is Noon April 7

Meanwhile, Ronald D. Stanley is in the race for Smithville Alderman in the municipal election on August 4. Stanley's petition has been returned to the election commission and verified.

Those who have obtained petitions include:
Ronald D. Stanley. His petition has been returned and verified
Danny Washer( incumbent). His petition has been returned and verified
Josh Miller (incumbent). Miller's petition has been returned and verified
Shawn Jacobs (incumbent)
Richard Steinbach
Wesley Nokes
Gary Durham

Three aldermen will be elected on August 4th. The terms are for four years.

The qualifying deadline is Noon April 7

William A. Davis has picked up a petition for Dowelltown Alderman. Pam Redman also recently obtained qualifying papers for the office of Dowelltown Mayor.
A mayor and two aldermen will be elected in Dowelltown on August 4. The qualifying deadline is Noon April 7

Persons who have obtained qualifying petitions for the Liberty City Election on August 4 are Todd Dodd for a four year term as Alderman, Jason Ray for a four year term as Alderman, J.D. Bratten for a one year position as Alderman, and Eddie Dwayne Blair for a four year term as Alderman.

Four alderman seats will be filled in Liberty on August 4. The qualifying deadline is Noon April 7.

Board Adopts School Calendars for Next Two Years (VIEW SCHOOL CALENDARS HERE)

March 11, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education formally adopted the school calendars for both the 2016-2017 and the 2017-18 years Thursday night during the regular monthly meeting held at DCHS.

This is the first time the board has ever approved school calendars for two years in a row.

The major difference between the calendars for the next two years is that fall break will be for two weeks during the 2016-17 school year but for only one week during the 2017-18 year.

(CLICK LINKS BELOW TO VIEW ACTUAL SCHOOL CALENDARS FOR NEXT TWO YEARS)

2016-17 SCHOOL CALENDAR.pdf (352.21 KB)

2017-18 SCHOOL CALENDAR.pdf (347.45 KB)

"In the meeting the calendar committee had we felt we're getting such a late start on the calendar that this year probably wasn't a good year to go back from two weeks to one week (for fall break). Most people there (committee) knew of no educational benefit of having a two week break since we don't have the intercession anymore. We lost those funds. Parents at the meeting seemed to think that childcare for two weeks was really a hardship on parents so the committee felt like we should go with two weeks of fall break this year and the following year go to one week and see how it works," said Attendance Supervisor Joey Reeder.

Under the new 2016-17 calendar, registration for all students will be Wednesday, August 3.

Thursday, August 4 will be an administrative day for teachers only

The first full day of school for all students will be Friday, August 5

A system wide in-service day will be Friday, July 29

All teachers will report to their individual schools on Monday and Tuesday August 1 & 2

Students will not attend on Monday, Labor Day, September 5.

Schools will be closed for the fall break October 10-21

Students will be off for the Thanksgiving holiday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, November 23, 24, & 25 and for the Christmas break December 22 through January 3. Wednesday, December 21 will be the last day students attend before Christmas break and that will be an abbreviated school day. Wednesday, January 4 will be a stockpile day for teachers. Students will return after the holidays on Thursday, January 5.

Schools will be closed for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 16; for President's Day, Monday, February 20; and Good Friday, April 14.

Spring break will be April 20-24.

Students will not attend on Thursday, May 25. That will be an administrative day and all teachers must attend. The last day of school will be Friday, May 26 and report cards will be sent home.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held on Tuesday, October 25 and Tuesday, March 14 at DeKalb County High School from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will also be held from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Thursday, October 27 and Thursday, March 16 at DeKalb Middle School, Northside Elementary, Smithville Elementary, and DeKalb West School.

Report cards will be sent home from all schools on Tuesday, October 25; Tuesday, January 10; Tuesday March 14; and Friday, May 26.

In other business, Director of Schools Patrick Cripps gave his monthly report on personnel.

Michael Agee has been hired as a mechanic to replace Tony Trapp and Tenille Rowland has resigned as an educational assistant at Northside Elementary School.

Ready for Kindergarten Classes Starting Soon

March 10, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

Is your child Ready for Kindergarten?

The DeKalb County School System is offering a series of classes for parents and caregivers to learn about age-appropriate targets and tools to use at home to ensure children begin kindergarten prepared.

Through the READY! for Kindergarten early learning program:

•Parents and caregivers are better equipped to help babies and young children develop strong brain connections that determine how they will think, learn and grow.

•Children enter kindergarten prepared and eager for school.

•The achievement gap is dramatically reduced by helping children start and stay at grade level.

•Children experience social-emotional well-being because they keep pace with their peers

The READY! for Kindergarten curriculum is designed around 26 Age Level Targets or measurable skills, that a typical 5-year-old needs to be familiar with by the time he or she starts kindergarten. Parents learn how to guide their child toward the targets that are attainable for their child's level of development.

Class participants receive an early learning tool kit for each class they attend containing age-appropriate learning materials for them to use with their child at home. Tools include such things as floor puzzles, colorful wooden shapes, blocks, magnetic letters and numbers, and audio CDs.

The classes are free for parents of Pre-K children from birth to age five. Space is limited so sign up today. By attending one class every fall, winter, and spring you will receive:

FREE TOYS to make learning fun
FREE TRAINING on how children learn and grow
FREE CHILDCARE for children 36 months or older while you attend classes. Parents with children under 12 months old are allowed to bring their child to class.

The schedule of classes is as follows:
Two and Three Year old Children:
Smithville Elementary School ONLY
Class #1 : Thursday, March 17
Class #2: Tuesday, April 26
Class #3: Tuesday, May 17
All classes start at 5:30 p.m.

Three and Four Year old Children:
Smithville Elementary School
Class #1 : Thursday, March 17
Class #2: Tuesday, April 26
Class #3: Tuesday, May 17
All classes start at 5:30 p.m.

Three and Four Year old Children:
DeKalb West School
Class #1 : Tuesday, March 15
Class #2: Thursday, April 21
Class #3: Thursday, May 26
All classes start at 5:30 p.m.

Three and Four Year old Children:
DeKalb Board of Education Central Office 3rd Floor
Class #1: Thursday, March 24
Class#2: Thursday, April 21
Class#3:Tuesday, May 10
All classes start at 8:30 a.m. (NO CHILD CARE AVAILABLE)

Four and Five Year Old Children:
Smithville Elementary School
Class #1 : Thursday, March 17
Class #2: Tuesday, April 26
Class #3: Tuesday, May 17
All classes start at 5:30 p.m.

Four and Five Year Old Children:
DeKalb West School
Class #1 : Tuesday, March 15
Class #2: Thursday, April 21
Class #3: Thursday, May 26
All classes start at 5:30 p.m.

Four and Five Year Old Children:
DeKalb Board of Education Central Office 3rd Floor
Class #1: Thursday, March 24
Class#2: Thursday, April 21
Class#3:Tuesday, May 10
All classes start at 8:30 a.m.
(NO CHILD CARE AVAILABLE)

Sign up by calling the DeKalb County Board of Education at 615-597-4084, 615-215-2100, or 615-215-2105.

County Clerk's Office to be Closed Thursday, March 17 for Training

March 10, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss

The DeKalb County Clerk's Office will be closed on Thursday, March 17 for training regarding new procedures required by the state for renewal of business licenses.

According to County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss the Tennessee Department of Revenue changed the procedure of renewing most business license in 2014 requiring individuals to complete online transactions themselves. The transition created multiple questions from customers and Clerks of Municipalities and Counties. Prior to implementing these changes and up until now the Department of Revenue has lacked formal classroom training and expectations for Clerks of Municipalities and Counties. Earlier this year Revenue announced two separate training dates, one for Clerks of Municipalities and another for County Clerks. The Department of Revenue has indicated the importance of our attendance and participation on these dates as no other training will be offered. To become more knowledgeable and familiar with Revenue’s expectations our staff we will be attending this training. Seeking to better serve our customers with business license issues our office will be closed Thursday March 17, 2016," said Poss.

Man Escapes Injury in Car Crash at Bridge

March 10, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Man Escapes Injury in Car Crash at Bridge

Smithville Police investigated a one car crash Wednesday night on Broad Street underneath the College Street (Veteran's Memorial) bridge.

Richard Nokes was driving west in a Chevy Camaro when he lost control and crashed into a guardrail at a bridge support. Nokes was not seriously injured and did not have to be transported to the hospital by EMS.

In addition to Smithville Police and DeKalb EMS members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department were also on the scene.

TDOT to Hold Ribbon Cutting for Sligo Bridge Project in DeKalb County

March 9, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
TDOT to Hold Ribbon Cutting for Sligo Bridge Project in DeKalb County

Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer will join state and local officials to celebrate the official completion of the Sligo Bridge project in DeKalb County on Friday, March 11.

The event will take place in the paved parking lot near the west end of the bridge.

In addition to TDOT Commissioner Schroer, State Senator Mae Beavers, State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver, DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribling, and Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss will be present for the ribbon cutting at 2:30 p.m.

County Firefighters Graduate from Academy

March 9, 2016
Pictured from L to R: front: Justin Bass, Robert Sartin, Jonathon Morris, middle: Asst. Chief/Training Officer David Agee, Dallas Hulling, Andrew Cox, Friday Shinabery; back: Caleb Haggard, Gage Brown, Aaron Haggard.

Nine members of the DeKalb County Fire Department graduated from the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Training Academy's Live Burn class Saturday and Sunday, March 5 & 6.

Assistant Chief/Training Officer David Agee says this 16-hour course requires students to demonstrate skills needed to extinguish a passenger vehicle fire attack, exterior Class A fire attack, interior structure fire attack, and ground cover fire attack. "We are extremely proud of these recent graduates. Today, our department stands better prepared to respond to emergencies because of the high standards for training we set for our firefighters," said Asst. Chief Agee.

Pictured from L to R: front: Justin Bass, Robert Sartin, Jonathon Morris, middle: Asst. Chief/Training Officer David Agee, Dallas Hulling, Andrew Cox, Friday Shinabery; back: Caleb Haggard, Gage Brown, Aaron Haggard.

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