Local News Articles

Rigsby Takes Miss Jamboree Crown among Girls Ages 7-10

June 7, 2014
Dwayne Page
Miss Jamboree (ages 7-10): Arista Isabella Rigsby
Shan Burklow with Miss Jamboree and Runners-Up

Nine year old Arista Isabella Rigsby won the Miss Jamboree pageant among girls ages seven to ten on Saturday at the county complex. She was also named Most Photogenic.

Rigsby is the daughter of David and Tyroma Rigsby of Lebanon. She was among twelve girls competing for the crown in this first ever pageant.

First Runner-Up: Addison Jean Puckett, the ten year old daughter of Jimmy and Anita Puckett of Smithville. Puckett was also awarded for Prettiest Eyes.

Second Runner-Up: Carlee Elizabeth West, the nine year old daughter of D.J. and Megan Stewart of Smithville. She was also awarded for Best Dress.

Third Runner-Up: Kyleigh Breanne Hill, the nine year old daughter of Kyle Hill and Colleen and David Clary of Smithville. Hill also received an award for Prettiest Hair.

Fourth Runner-Up: Hannah Paige Trapp, the nine year old daughter of Jeremy and Jenny Trapp of Smithville.

Other contestants were Kennedy Grace Agee, the ten year old daughter of Josh and January Agee of Liberty; Darrah Elizabeth Ramsey, the nine year old daughter of Jane and Rob Ramsey of Smithville; Alexis Rigsby, the nine year old daughter of April Hall of Dowelltown; Natalie Morgan Snipes, the nine year old daughter of Tim and Michelle Snipes of Smithville; Sophia Angeletti, the nine year old daughter of Stacy Angeletti of Smithville; Kenlee Renae Taylor, the nine year old daughter of Ken and Cindy Taylor of Smithville; and Allyson Roxanne Fuller, the eight year old daughter of Anthony and Amanda Fuller of Baxter.



Rackley Wins Little Miss Jamboree Title

June 7, 2014
Dwayne Page
Little Miss Jamboree- Isabella Faith Rackley
Shan Burklow with Little Miss Jamboree and Runners-Up
Miss Congeniality and Photogenic- Jakayta Odom

The first ever Little Miss Jamboree is Isabella Faith Rackley. She was crowned queen among six contestants, ages four to six, for the title at the inaugural pageant held Saturday at the county complex.

Rackley is the six year old daughter of Gordon and Jessica Rackley of Smithville.

First Runner-up: Hannah Brown, the five year old daughter of Cassie and Bradley Brown of Alexandria.

Second Runner-Up: Leah Elisabeth Trapp, the five year old daughter of Jeremy and Jenny Trapp of Smithville. Trapp was also awarded for Prettiest Eyes.

Third Runner-Up: Averie Nicole McMinn, the six year old daughter of Amanda and Nathan McMinn of Dowelltown. She was awarded for Prettiest Hair.

Fourth Runner-Up: Lillie Grace Young, the five year old daughter of Michael and Crystal Young of Smithville. Young was also awarded for Best Dress.

Meanwhile, Jakayta Odom, the six year old daughter of Rebecca Waggoner of Smithville, was named Miss Congeniality and Most Photogenic




DeKalb Animal Coalition Seeks Financial Support from Community

June 7, 2014
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb Animal Coalition for the Humane Treatment of Animals will soon begin fund raising efforts now that the group has been approved as a 501 (c) 3 charity organization.

During a meeting Thursday night, the board members discussed reaching out to city officials and county commissioners for their support, but they also plan to seek grants, tax deductible donations from the public, and possibly have special events to obtain the money needed to build and start up a new animal shelter.

"The first thing we have to do to get it is to have a fundraising program, " said Board Chairman Marsha Darrah, in an interview with WJLE. "We have already been in touch with the city and some of the county officials. Both city and county mayors are behind this and we're very excited about that. It's a very cooperative effort. We're hoping that we will get funds for our building from the city and the county but we know we'll have to supplement that. They can't do everything," she said.

The Coalition's goal is for the county to have a permanent and safe location for neglected, abandoned and abused animals; to provide an alternative low-kill policy so these animals receive medical attention, reduce overpopulation, and be cared for until they can be placed in permanent homes.

Tentative plans are to build a facility near the site of the future solid waste transfer station, behind Tenneco off of Highway 70 east. "There is some property that is apparently going to be available but we are waiting because that has to be proposed to the county commissioners and our city aldermen before anything definite can be done. But I think we have a good start with that. As for the building I think we're going to need at least 2,500 to 3,000 square feet. We have looked at other kennels and buildings to see just exactly how things are arranged," said Darrah.

The Board will meet again Thursday night, July 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the county complex and the public is welcome and encouraged to attend and participate. " We want this to be a community project. I think there are a lot of people who are interested in having a well run animal shelter and the only way to get it is for all of us to get behind it and work," Darrah said.

You may contact Marsha Darrah at 615-597-6138 or David McDowell at 931-260-1693 with any questions or feedback. In addition to Darrah, other members of the Coalition are Sue Puckett Jernigan, Dr. Hugh Don Cripps, David McDowell, Renee Ferguson, Jason Ray and Smithville Alderman Jason Murphy.

It’s Almost Jamboree Project Welcome Mat Time!

June 7, 2014
Dwayne Page
2013 People's Choice Award Winner-Liberty State Bank

It’s Almost Jamboree Project Welcome Mat Time!

The Smithville-DeKalb Co. Chamber of Commerce invites all county businesses to again use their marquees or any type of message signs to welcome Jamboree visitors to our area. Recognition awards along with media recognition will be presented in 3 categories: "Best Worded," "Most Original" and the "People's Choice Award." Call 597-4163 or email us at dekalbtn@dtccom.net if you would like your sign to be included in the contest. Have your sign in place no later than Tuesday, June 24th.

Let's show folks how friendly the DeKalb County / Smithville area can be.

Free Fishing Day is Saturday

June 6, 2014

Tennessee’s annual Free Fishing Day is Saturday, June 7 when anyone may fish free without a license in the state’s public waters.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency provides the free day in hopes of increasing interest in fishing. The day allows anyone the opportunity to try this great outdoor sport, especially children. In addition, children ages 15 and younger may fish without a license beginning on Free Fishing Day through the following Friday (June 13).

The annual Pea Ridge Kids Fishing Rodeo at the big pond in the Pea Ridge Wildlife Management Area will be Saturday, June 7 from 7:00 a.m. until noon. Kids through age sixteen may participate. Lunch, soft drinks, and prizes will be available for the kids.

The day and week are annual events in Tennessee and are great opportunities to introduce children to the enjoyment and excitement of a day on the water catching fish. The TWRA is among several organizations planning special fishing events, primarily for youngsters. The TWRA annually stocks several thousand pounds of fish for various events.

Free Fishing Day and Week apply to Tennessee’s public waters, TWRA owned and operated lakes, and state park facilities. Some privately owned pay lakes continue to charge during this special day and week. Anglers may consult with lake operators if there are any questions about a particular facility.

National Get Outdoors Day Coming to Downtown Smithville

June 6, 2014
National Get Outdoors Day Coming to Downtown Smithville

Did you know children in the United States average 45 hours a week exposed to electronic media, and only 30 minutes a week to time outdoors?

National Get Outdoors Day is an annual event across the country working to introduce our youth to recreational activities and the wonders of our Nation's landscapes. Experiencing our Nation's natural splendor contributes to healthier lives for our citizens and a deeper appreciation for the great outdoors.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Healthier Beginnings have teamed up to bring the first National Get Outdoors Day to DeKalb County. Join them and other community members at the Smithville Public Square for this free event on Saturday, June 14 from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. There will be games, live music, food, and exhibits for all ages.

Activities include:

Wildlife Displays
Relay Races
Gardening Demos
Story Time
Campsite Fun
Hula Hooping Class

Remember to bring your lawn chair/blankets to listen to LIVE music featuring: Brandon Maddox-Nashville Recording Artist & Lucas Oil Monster Truck's Artist of 2014 and local talent: The Martins and Tom Duggin.

The Smithville Golf Club and Swimming Pool will be priced at discounted rates from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on June 14.

Visit the National Get Outdoors Day facebook page for more information.

Bid Letting for DUD Water Plant Construction Expected by August

June 6, 2014
Dwayne Page

Bid letting is expected this summer for the construction of the DeKalb Utility District water treatment plant.

During Thursday's regular monthly meeting of the DUD Board of Commissioners, Bryant Griffin, Project Manager for the engineering firm of Goodwyn Mills and Cawood said bids could be opened for the project by the middle of August. "I called the folks at the State Revolving Fund today to talk to the fellow reviewing the plans. I did not get him but Buddy (Koonce) and I have both talked to him. We anticipate that everything should be approved on their end by July 15. We probably need about four weeks to advertise for bids and let people look at it. So we're thinking August 15 would be about the time we would open bids. It could move up a couple of weeks depending upon what we have to deal with in the funding agencies and the state. But around August 15 is what we're thinking," said Griffin.

Governor Bill Haslam and Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau announced last month that DeKalb Utility District has been approved to receive $5.25 million in low interest loans for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements.

The funding paves the way for DeKalb Utility District to complete the proposed water treatment plant. In a letter to DUD Chairman Roger Turney dated May 5, 2014, Sherwin N. Smith, Director of the State Revolving Fund Loan Program wrote that the DUD’s Facilities Plan for the project has been approved.

The facilities plan provides recommendations to construct a new 2.0 million gallon per day water treatment plant and upgrade the existing water treatment system serving the DeKalb Utility District (DeKalb, Cannon, Smith, and Wilson Counties). The total estimated project cost is $12,000,000. The DeKalb Utility District will receive two Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loans totaling $5,250,000 to fund this project. The first loan is for $2,500,000 with a $2,000,000 loan and $500,000 in principle forgiveness that will not have to be repaid by the DeKalb Utility District. The second DWSRF loan is for $2,750,000. Additional funding includes a Rural Utilities Service loan for $5,000,000, a Rural Utilities Service grant for $1,250,000, and an Appalachian Regional Commission grant for $500,000".

“With the two loans from the State Revolving Fund Loan Program, the savings for DUD customers has improved dramatically. The $12 million project will be funded with a $2.25 million grant including a forgivable loan, $4.75 million with a 20 year loan at .60% and the final $5 million with a 40 year loan from Rural Utilities Services at 2.75%. Because of the low interest rate on this completed financial package, issuing bonds with a higher interest rate will not be necessary” stated DUD manager Jon Foutch.

The project provides for the construction of a new raw water intake structure and raw water pump station on the Holmes Creek Embayment of Center Hill Reservoir (Caney Fork River); an 18-inch diameter raw water transmission line from the raw water pump station to the new 2.0 million gallon per day water treatment plant located along Holmes Creek Road; an 18-inch diameter finished water transmission line along Holmes Creek Road, Allen’s Ferry Road, and U.S. Highway 70; and new 8-inch diameter water distribution lines along Big Rock Road, Dry Creek Road, Game Ridge Road, Turner Road, Tittsworth Road, and Walker Lane. A finished water pumping station will be constructed to deliver water from the Snow’s Hill Water Tank to the Short Mountain Water Tank. The new water treatment plant will also include clarification, mixed media filtration and backwash systems, and a 250,000 gallon clear well

Jennings Named Gatorade Tennessee Softball Player of Year

June 6, 2014
Dwayne Page
Cori Jennings

Gordonsville High School's Cori Jennings has been named the 2013-14 Gatorade Tennessee softball player of the year.

The 5-foot-7 senior left-handed pitcher led the Tigerettes to a 32-10 record and the Class A championship this past season, allowing no runs during the state tournament.

She was 32-3 with a 0.62 ERA and 245 strikeouts, issuing just 14 walks in 190 innings.

She also hit .486 with 31 extra-base hits, 39 runs scored and 51 RBIs.

Jennings has signed to play at the next level with the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. She is the daughter of Randy and Jill Jennings, and has a brother Stephen.

DUD Board Seeks Reappointment of Two Members

June 5, 2014
Dwayne Page
DUD Board of Commissioners

The terms of two members of the DeKalb Utility District Board of Commissioners are expiring this year. During its regular monthly meeting Thursday, the DUD board certified a list of nominees to the county mayors of DeKalb and Cannon County to fill those positions.

The term of Roger Turney, serving Cannon County on the DUD's board will expire on August 31, 2014. Jimmy Womack's term will expire on October 31, 2014. Womack is one of three members on the board who serves DeKalb County. Each term is for four years.

By law, the DUD board must submit the names of three nominees to fill each position, listed in order of preference. During Thursday's meeting, the board voted to submit the names of Turney, Chris Blackburn, and Winfred Gaither in that order to the Cannon County Mayor. The DUD board also voted to submit the names of Womack, Jimmy Herndon, and Paul Blair in that order to the DeKalb County Mayor.

Under the law, a customer could have also submitted names for consideration by the DUD board for the list of nominees. A public notice was published last month but no names were offered by DUD customers.

The general provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated (State Law) TCA § 7-82-307 provide that the utility board members must submit three nominees, listed in order of preference, to the county mayor (where the vacancy exists). The county mayor has the authority to appoint one of the nominees to the vacant position on the board or reject all of the nominees. If the county mayor rejects all three nominees, then the board of (utility) commissioners has to submit three additional nominees to the county mayor for consideration. If the county mayor rejects these nominees, then the process would continue until the position is filled. There are, however, exceptions to these general provisions in the statute. Any order either appointing or rejecting a list of nominees shall be entered of record on the minutes of the county legislative body and a certified copy of the order shall be furnished to the board of (utility) commissioners and to the appointee; provided, that upon the rejection of any entire list of nominees by the county mayor, the board of (utility) commissioners shall continue to submit new nonidentical lists of three (3) nominees to the county mayor within sixty (60) days after each such rejection until such procedure shall result in the vacancy being filled for the remainder of the term or for the new term, as provided in this section.

The DUD Board is made up of five members, three from DeKalb County (Jimmy Womack, Joe Foutch, and Hugh Washer), one from Cannon (Roger Turney), and one from Smith County (Danny Bass). The terms are staggered. Bass was absent during Thursday's meeting.

Three Injured in Wreck on Smith Road

June 5, 2014
Dwayne Page
Three Injured when Chevy Cruze Snaps Utility Pole
Chevy Cruze Snaps Utility Pole on Smith Road

Three people were injured when their 2011 Chevy Cruze crashed into a utility pole on Smith Road Thursday afternoon.

Officer Lance Dillard of the Smithville Police Department told WJLE that 49 year old Regina Stone of Smithville stated she was driving north on Smith Road when an oncoming car crossed into her path. Stone swerved trying to avoid a collision but her vehicle went off the road and snapped a utility pole.

Stone and passengers of her vehicle, 37 year old James Hesson and 37 year old Michelle Taylor, both of Smithville were taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital.

Other Smithville Police officers were also on the scene along with members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department. A crew from Smithville Electric System was called out to replace the broken pole, which brought down utility lines.


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