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Meadows and Young Receive DCHS Basketball MVP Awards, Judkins Named MVC

March 29, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
DCHS Basketball MVC and MVP Award Winners
DCHS Tiger Basketball Award Winners
DCHS Lady Tiger Basketball Award Winners
DCHS Basketball Cheerleader Award Winners
Edward and Edsel Frazier Receive Tiger Fan Award

Senior Alex Meadows and Junior Sonni Young were named the 2012 DCHS basketball Most Valuable Players Thursday night at the annual team banquet, while Senior Ally Judkins was selected as the Most Valuable Cheerleader. The awards were presented by Chad Kirby of Love-Cantrell Funeral Home. The MVP and MVC awards are named in memory Chad's grandfather, Allen D. Hooper.

Young, who has scored 1,112 points to date in his career at DCHS, also received the best defensive player award and he was recognized for being best athlete and best rebounder. Young was also named the Defensive Player of the Year in District 8 AA while Stephen Howell was the District's Co-Most Improved Player of the Year. In addition to taking the District Defensive Player of the Year award, Young was named to the All-District's 1st Team. Braxton Atnip made the 2nd Team. Stephen Howell was named to the 3rd Team and Lucas Phillips and Will Molander received Honorable Mention. Braxton Howell was selected to the All Freshman Team.

In addition to winning the MVP honor, Meadows took home awards for best defender as well as the hustle and coaches award. Meadows also made the All-District 2nd Team and Loren Cripps was selected to the All Freshman Team.

The season for the DeKalb County Tigers ended with a loss to the Sequatchie County Indians in the semi-finals of the Region 4-AA Tournament at White County High School in Sparta. The Tigers concluded the 2011-12 campaign with an over-all record of 26-7. They were also runners-up in the district tournament.

The DeKalb County Lady Tigers wrapped up their season losing to Cannon County in the opening game of the District 8 AA basketball tournament at Sparta. The Lady Tigers finished with an over-all record of 13-16.

Other individual cheerleading awards included:

Most Spirit: Kelsey Hale

Most Improved: Morgan Mullican

Best Jumps: Jasmine Dimas

Best Dance: Christian Atnip

Best Stunts: Victoria Vincent

Best Overall Attitude: Taneah Cantrell

STAR Award (Spirit, Team, Attitude, Respect): Ashlee Whitehead

Other Lady Tiger basketball awards were as follows:

MVP, Best defender, Hustle, and Coaches Award: Alex Meadows

Tiger Award: Loren Cripps

Best Practice: Ashley Barnes

Best Attitude: Chelsea Cantrell

Best Rebounder: Lydia Foutch

Most Improved: Danielle Tyson

Best Offensive Player and Best Free Throw Shooter- Chelsea Lewis

Best Passer- Abbey Caldwell

For the Tigers,

MVP, Best Defender, Best Athlete, Best Rebounder: Sonni Young

Best Offensive Player, Best Free Throw Shooter, Best Ball Handler: Stephen Howell

Best Practice Player: Zach Vincent

Best Passer: Will Molander

Best Sixth Man: Ethan Roller

Smartest Player: Braxton Atnip

Most Improved Player: Lucas Phillips

Best Attitude and Hustle Award: Eli Lomas

Meanwhile, Edward and Edsel Frazier were named the Tiger basketball Fans of the Year.

The annual DCHS basketball banquet was held at the Smithville First Baptist Church Life Enrichment Center.

(TOP PHOTO: Chad Kirby (right) and Shelia Kirby (left) present the Love-Cantrell Funeral Home Allen D. Hooper Memorial MVC Award to Ally Judkins (SECOND FROM LEFT) and the MVP to Sonni Young and Alex Meadows of DCHS Basketball)

(SECOND PHOTO FROM TOP: Seated, Will Molander, Eli Lomas, Zach Vincent, Ethan Roller; Standing, Sonni Young-MVP, Braxton Atnip, Lucas Phillips, and Stephen Howell)

(THIRD PHOTO FROM TOP: Seated, Chelsea Cantrell, Alex Meadows-MVP, Abbey Caldwell, Lydia Foutch; Standing, Danielle Tyson, Ashley Barnes, Loren Cripps, and Chelsea Lewis)

(BOTTOM PHOTO: Seated, Ashlee Whitehead, Jasmine Dimas, Ally Judkins-MVC, Christian Atnip; Standing, Taneah Cantrell, Kelsey Hale, Morgan Mullican, Victoria Vincent)

Holocaust Speakers Return to DeKalb Middle School

March 29, 2012
Amy Fletcher, Jimmy Gentry, Tena Davidson
Jaidyn Huggins, Faidrah Flesher, Trudy Dreyer, and Gage Ervin

For the second year in a row, the 8th grade at DeKalb Middle School welcomed speakers in honor of their study of The Diary of Anne Frank and the Holocaust. This year, Mr. Jimmy Gentry, an Army veteran and liberator of Dachau concentration camp, returned to recount his story of a depression-era childhood in Franklin, Tennessee, and later experience as a young Army soldier. Mrs. Trudy Naumann Dreyer finished the assembly by telling how the Holocaust forced her family’s emigration from her hometown of Unsleben, Germany, to America when she was just six years old.

Mr. Gentry began by describing how rabbits, squirrels, and fish can be caught with only your bare hands. After his father passed away leaving their mother with seven mouths to feed, he and his brother caught them this way just to help feed the family. Despite their poverty, Gentry pointed out that his mother taught them to “never eat the last biscuit,” because “someone always needs it more than you do.” Mrs. Gentry proved this by example, as she would often give their last biscuit to a homeless person after the family had eaten.

Gentry also brought along a trap and pieces of fur like the ones they sold during this time to earn extra money. According to Mr. Gentry, they sold the furs to the only Jewish man he knew of that lived in Franklin, and that he knew of him as a good man.

Gentry held the students’ attention with his reminders – such as the date, April 29, 1945, to which he would return near the end of his story. This was the date American troops discovered Dachau concentration camp in Germany. According to Gentry, they weren’t looking for it, but the indescribably terrible smell of the death there hit them before they even saw the place.

Gentry described his time as a soldier as the “greatest patriotism this country has ever seen” because so many young men gave their lives during World War II, resulting in the display of gold stars in the windows of the families who’d lost sons and husbands to the cause. He himself lost his older brother, who’d helped him catch their family’s food only a few years earlier.

Then there were the horrors of war, such as falling asleep while walking, and asking your commander a question only to turn around for the answer to find him shot and killed. Mr. Gentry did not tell his story for close to 40 years, but following a Brentwood High School football game where Gentry coached for many years, a man approached him across the field.

Mr. Gentry soon recognized the man, and they both broke into tears. The man was one of the Dachau prisoners whom Mr. Gentry helped liberate. He recognized him so easily because this man had given the then young soldier all that he had as a token of his gratitude, a small box filled with cigarette butts. Mr. Gentry explained that these were considered to be quite valuable at this time, when nearly everyone smoked (and didn’t know the danger), and cigarettes were considered a valuable possession for the soldiers. He used the comparison of the woman in the Bible who gave her last pennies to Jesus – like her, this man had given Mr. Gentry “all that he had.”

This meeting, along with an encounter with a man who insisted that the Holocaust never happened, convinced Mr. Gentry to begin telling his story. Now his mission is to tell as many people as possible, so that it will never happen again. He himself was so shocked at what he saw because, as he stated, these were “just religious people” being kept locked up and allowed to starve to death and worse. As a soldier, he expected to see death, but not the deaths of so many innocent people in such a horrible way.

Mrs. Dreyer began by pointing out that there are five categories of survivors, including liberator soldiers, witness soldiers, concentration camp survivors, hidden children, and refugees such as herself. She remembers Kristallnacht, which is the “night of broken glass,” that occurred in 1938. Her family’s home was attacked on this night, and she remembers her grandmother’s feet getting cut by the glass of their windows. Her family had been successful business owners in the small town of Unsleben, Germany. After the Nuremberg Laws were passed, however, they lost everything, and the children had to stop going to school. Fortunately, they were one of the few families able to obtain a sponsor from America who had to pay two thousand dollars in order for the Dreyer family to be allowed to enter the country.

Finally, they were able to emigrate to America, only to end up having to live in the slums of Cuba for almost a year before finishing their trip. When she did make it to America she says she was relieved but frightened, and she knew no English, so she was often made fun of at her new school. One of the students asked her what she thought would have happened to her had her family not come to America, and she replied that she “would be ash.” In her younger years, Mrs. Dreyer was angry at Germany and did not ever want to return, but after 40 years, she decided to finally return to her hometown with several other members of her extended family.

She said that the people of Unsleben were for the most part very welcoming when they returned to visit, and that one man, who was about the same age as her, asked for her forgiveness. She asked him what she was forgiving him for, and he stated that he had given her a rock in a candy wrapper as a child. Mrs. Dreyer, however, wondered if he wasn’t trying to apologize for a much more significant attitude behind the childish prank, which she did not even remember. Although there were no longer any Jewish people in Unsleben, she told that the graveyard was in decent condition, with only a few broken headstones, even though in some German towns the Jewish graveyards were completely destroyed, and the headstones even used for paving stones. Mrs. Dreyer stressed to the 8th graders that the responsibility to prevent further genocide is now in their hands. She pleaded with them to carry on the message that she and other survivors have tried to pass on – that such hatred is possible and is devastating beyond belief when allowed to grow.

A retired teacher from Knox county, Mrs. Dreyer commented on the enthusiasm shown by the 8th graders at DeKalb Middle School, and she is donating an honorarium given to her by the students to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. in the school’s honor.

Disaster Food Stamps Available for Tornado Victims in DeKalb County

March 29, 2012

On Thursday, March 29, the Tennessee Department of Human Services, with USDA approval, will begin issuing D-SNAP (Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits to eligible residents of ten tornado-ravaged counties that have been federally declared disaster areas following the storms that occurred earlier in March. The D-SNAP program is the Food Stamp Disaster program approved via a waiver from the USDA, Food and Nutrition Service. The program allows households that are not otherwise eligible for the standard SNAP program to receive supplemental food assistance during a time of financial hardship caused by tornado damage.

The benefits are ONLY for eligible residents of Bradley, Hamilton, McMinn, Polk, Monroe, Claiborne, Cumberland, Overton, Jackson and DeKalb counties. Applications for D-SNAP benefits can be submitted Thursday, March 29, 2012 through Thursday, April 5, 2012, including Saturday, March 31.

Only residents of these counties, who sustained tornado loss or damages and wish to apply for the D- SNAP benefits, can apply. Residents who are currently receiving standard SNAP benefits can also apply for the D-SNAP program. All eligible residents are asked to bring photo identification, address information, Social Security verification, statements of income or resources, and estimated disaster expenses to one of the DHS offices in their county. Staff on-site will make eligibility determinations, and benefits in the form of EBT (electronic benefit transfer) cards will be distributed the same day. The benefits will represent up to a one-month allotment of food stamps for the appropriate household size, and can be used for up to 90 days in any authorized SNAP grocery retailer.

The following locations are DHS offices in each of the ten effected counties. They will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m, local time to process applications for disaster SNAP benefits:

DeKalb County

715 Walker Drive
Smithville, TN 37166-2028

For more information, including a list of key questions and answers about the assistance program, please visit the DHS website at www.tn.gov/humanserv or contact your local DHS office.

One Week Left for Candidates to Qualify for August Elections

March 28, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Kevin D. Hale
W.J. (Dub) Evins III

Anyone wanting to run for the School Board in the fifth or sixth district, State Representative, or in the Dowelltown or Liberty Municipal Elections has one week left to qualify with the election commission office.

Kevin D. Hale and W.J. (Dub) Evins III have picked up petitions for the fifth district school board seat. Boyd Trapp and Doug Stephens have obtained petitions for the sixth district position. Hale is the only one who has returned his petition to the election commission office, as of Wednesday. The qualifying deadline is NOON April 5 and the last day to register to vote in that election is July 3. The school board elections will be held on Thursday, August 2.

Dowelltown and Liberty will also have elections on August 2. In Dowelltown, a mayor and two aldermen will be elected. The seats are currently held by Mayor Gerald Bailiff and Aldermen Joe Bogle and Elizabeth Redmon. The qualifying deadline for the Dowelltown election is NOON April 5 and the last day to register to vote is July 3. Those who have picked up petitions so far are Gerald Bailiff for Mayor and Joe Bogle for Alderman.

In Liberty, three aldermen will be elected. The seats are held by Todd Dodd, Dwight Mathis and Paul M. Neal. The qualifying deadline is NOON April 5 and the last day to register to vote in that election is July 3. Dwight Mathis, Paul M. Neal and Jason Ray have all picked up and returned their petitions to the election commission office to run for alderman.

The election commission has also received petitions from State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver and State Representative Mark Pody to seek re-election in the August 2 Tennessee Republican Primary. No other Republican or Democrat has yet submitted a petition to run for State Representative. The qualifying deadline is NOON April 5 and the last day to register to vote in that election is July 3.

Congressman Diane Black and U.S. Senator Bob Corker are also up for re-election this fall.

Stephens Thanks County Commission

March 28, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page

Sixth district school board member Doug Stephens has issued a statement thanking the county commission for appointing him to the position Monday night.

"I am very thankful for the consideration of the commission and look forward to serving the county to the best of my ability," said Stephens.

"I pray for wisdom to make the right decisions and represent the sixth district in an honorable fashion," he said.

Smithville Man Charged with Vehicular Homicide in Double Fatality

March 28, 2012
Kayla Biddy and Brian Walton (Herald-Citizen Photo)

A Smithville man has been charged with vehicular homicide in a Jackson County accident last month that killed a Cookeville man and his girlfriend.

29 year old Randy B. Johnson is charged with two counts of vehicular homicide in the death of 21 year old Brian C. Walton of Cookeville and 22 year old Kayla C. Biddy of Cleveland. Johnson was also charged with driving on a suspended license.

According to the Herald Citizen, Johnson was driving a 2005 Dodge Ram pickup and had three passengers, Kandle R. Bethcher of Cookeville in the front seat and the young couple in the back seat. He lost control of the vehicle on a curve, and the truck ran off the road, went airborne, struck a tree and landed on its top. The accident happened on Saturday, February 25, on Highway 135 near Spring Creek in Jackson County.

Walton and Biddy, who had just recently become engaged to be married, were killed instantly, according to the report. Investigators said the four occupants of the truck had been at a gathering of four-wheeler enthusiasts.

THP Trooper Darren Butler said the charges against Johnson were for allegedly being "unable to operate the vehicle safely" thus causing the deaths of Walton and Biddy. Johnson is under a $250,000 bond and he will be in court April 6.

UCHRA Delays Action on Future of Lakeside Resort

March 27, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
UCHRA to make decision on Lakeside Resort April 17
Lakeside Resort
Lakeside Resort Boat Slips

The UCHRA has delayed a decision on the future of Lakeside Resort in DeKalb County until April 17.

Members of the UCHRA Policy Council, chaired by DeKalb County Mayor Mike Foster, met Monday morning in Cookeville to review proposals from four groups wanting to either buy, lease, or manage the facility. But members of the council wanted to find out more about these groups, so they have postponed action until April 17. In the meantime, those submitting proposals will be asked to provide references, financial statements, and if chosen, to put up a $750,000 insurance policy against any damages to the facility. The groups have until April 9 to comply with the council's request. Another committee will review the proposals and make a selection recommendation to the full policy council.

Robin Driver of Center Hill Chalets, Inc is among those who have submitted a proposal to manage Lakeside Resort, and to "purchase the facility once it is profitable".

Others who have offered bids include Donnie Davidson of the Davidson Investment Group and Deanna Ebert Pierson of PeopleBuildersUSA, both of whom want to purchase Lakeside, and Bob Sortis who wants to initially lease the facility to be used as a Christian Retreat.

Lakeside Resort, consisting of 139 acres on the banks of Center Hill Lake off of the Cookeville Highway, has created problems for UCHRA financially, apparently being unable to support itself or to service the debt on the $1.6 million note owed on property there.

UCHRA acquired Lakeside Resort several years ago, securing a 25 year lease at a dollar a year from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who owns the property. According to UCHRA officials, the lease included provisions that the property be used for area recreation and an educational facility. Whoever the UCHRA sells or leases the property to will most likely have to continue to agree to those same provisions.

UCHRA currently partners with Tennessee Tech to offer a Professional Resort and Quantity Food Management course, which was formerly taught through Pellissippi Community College. But the funding for that class will no longer be available once the current students graduate the program in June.

Lakeside offers guest cottages and apartments along with the lakeside lodge, featuring 26 units, 18 lake front and eight pool front, classrooms, and boat slips.

The lodge was built using funds from Rural Development, who offered UCHRA a $1.5 million low-interest loan, aimed at helping with job and educational development in rural counties.

Last October, 10 Lakeside employees, including full and part time, workers were laid off, reportedly saving approximately $165,000 for the 2012 fiscal year.

Robin Driver's plan calls for Center Hill Chalets, Inc to "manage Lakeside Resort and all facilities associated with it, as well as weddings, banquets, corporate and business gatherings while at all times promoting the best interests of UCHRA".

Under the proposal, Center Hill Chalets would charge a management fee of 40% on all revenue generated by the lease management and rental of the facilities. UCHRA would retain ownership of the Lakeside Complex and keep the remaining 60% of the revenue, most of which would be used to service the debt still owed on the facility.

According to the company's background information, "Center Hill Chalets, Inc has been managing vacation rental property on Center Hill Lake since 2002 and is the only state licensed company on Center Hill Lake, managing over forty individual properties in the Center Hill Lake and Rock Island areas. Having managed resort property the past ten years, Center Hill Chalets, Inc has a vast knowledge of the market and how to maximize the revenue from the property while keeping the overhead in check. Center Hill Chalets has been profitable every year and has had increased revenue for the past three years in a row."

Bob Sortis wants to convert Lakeside Lodge into a Christian Retreat. Sortis currently serves as the Resort, Food, and Hospitality Management teacher at Lakeside and operates catering for Lakeside Resort. He is also a licensed realtor and is a property manager for several different rentals in Cookeville.

In his proposal, Sortis wrote that "Lakeside Lodge would continue to be the prime alternative corporate meeting spot and a gorgeous wedding location. In addition, Lakeside Lodge would become the premier event locale by hosting events such as Marriage Enrichment Seminars, Church Retreats, Pastor's Getaways, Music/Fine Art Festivals, Car Shows, and educational seminars."

Sortis wants to add a prayer room, fitness room, spa services, recreation room including original fine artworks in cabins/rooms, horseback riding, teach art, photography, cooking, and canoeing classes, expand the gift shop, create a fishing and a swimming area in the lake, and open hiking trails.

Sortis proposes to lease Lakeside Resort with the intention to purchase under certain conditions.
The lessee (Sortis) agrees to pay UCHRA a monthly rental fee of $5,000 per month.

In 2011, Lakeside sales were $608,000 at a 24% occupancy rate. Based on a 50% occupancy rate, anticipated 2012 sales will be $1.2 million. If sales reach or exceed $1 million, lessee (Sortis) will pay UCHRA a yearly bonus of $60,000.

Sortis proposes ten, one year contracts to be signed upon acceptance of the proposal.
Contracts would be automatically renewed yearly unless UCHRA is notified by the lessee (Sortis), thirty days prior to the renewal date. In the first five years, lessee (Sortis) will assume the loan from Rural Development.

Donnie Davidson of the Davidson Investment Group wants to purchase assets of Lakeside Resort and has proposed a cash offer of $500,000, contingent upon the Corps of Engineers extending the lease of the Lakeside Resort operation through the year 2042. All assets and property improvements would become the ownership of Davidson Investment Group upon payment to UCHRA.

Deanna Ebert Pierson, of PeopleBuildersUSA, proposes to purchase and create a true resort atmosphere at Lakeside Resort. PeopleBuildersUSA, founded in 2006, is a faith-based 501(c) 3 organization.

Pierson proposes to establish Lakeside as a year round, full service lodging and educational facility for corporate retreats, small meetings, and church groups.

She is offering a purchase price of $1.8 million for the entire holdings of Lakeside Resort and to enter into a lease management contract pending approval of the loan and any and all other necessary documents. Yearly payments of $130,000 would be made to USDA to service the debt on the existing loan.

County Seeks to Name Dry Creek Bridge in Honor of the Late PFC Billy Gene Anderson

March 27, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
PFC Billy Gene Anderson
Dry Creek Bridge on Highway 70 near Dowelltown

The county commission Monday night adopted a resolution asking the Tennessee General Assembly to name the bridge over Dry Creek on Highway 70 in honor of the late Private First Class Billy Gene Anderson, United States Army.

The resolution states "Whereas, it is fitting that the DeKalb County Commission honor residents of DeKalb County who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Whereas, the late Private First Class Billy Gene Anderson, United State Army, made that sacrifice for his country on May 17, 2010 while serving in Afghanistan and

Whereas, PFC Billy Gene Anderson served with courage, giving his life for his country and the beliefs he held. He deserves proper recognition for his service as a proud representative of the United States Army, and the greatest sacrifice anyone can make.

Whereas, PFC Billy Gene Anderson selfishly gave his life while serving his country and it is appropriate that we ask the Tennessee General Assembly to honor his memory by naming the Bridge over Dry Creek on Highway 70 as a lasting monument to him.

Now therefore Be it enacted by DeKalb County Commission that the Tennessee General Assembly be asked to name the Dry Creek Bridge the PFC Billy Gene Anderson Memorial Bridge and signs be erected and maintained to permanently honor the memory of PFC Billy Gene Anderson"

Doug Stephens Appointed to the School Board

March 26, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Doug Stephens

Doug Stephens was appointed by the county commission Monday night to fill a vacancy on the school board in the sixth district.

By a vote of 7-6-1, Stephens got the nod over Boyd Trapp to serve out the unexpired term of Bruce Parsley, who resigned effective December 31.

Members of the commission voting for Stephens were Jack Barton from the second district, Bradley Hendrix from the third district, Wayne Cantrell and David McDowell from the fourth district, Jerry Adcock from the fifth district, Jeff Barnes from the sixth district and Larry Summers from the seventh district.

Those voting for Trapp were Elmer Ellis, Jr from the first district, Bobby Joines from the second district, Jerry Scott from the third district, John Green from the fifth district, Marshall Ferrell from the sixth district, and Jimmy Poss from the seventh district.

Mason Carter from the first district passed.

During the February 27 meeting, neither Stephens or Trapp received enough votes to get the appointment. Two roll call votes were taken and in each case, it was a six to six tie. Two members of the commission, John Green and Mason Carter were absent that night and County Mayor Mike Foster chose not to break the tie.

Jeff Barnes, who had voted for Trapp last month, switched his vote to Stephens this time.

Stephens will serve in this appointed position until August 31.

Disaster Recovery Center Now Open in DeKalb County

March 26, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page

A Disaster Recovery Center to help survivors of the February 29 to March 2 storms is now open in DeKalb County.

Gene Kauffman, FEMA Public Information Officer, said If you were affected in any way, visit the Recovery Center at the County Administrative Building, 724 South Congress Boulevard in Smithville. Hours are 8:00 a.m until 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Specialists can answer questions about FEMA assistance, the SBA Disaster Loan Program and the status of your FEMA application.

Register with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-FEMA or register online at disasterassistance.gov.

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