Local News Articles

DeKalb West School Construction Proceeding on Schedule

November 20, 2013
Dwayne Page
Block walls going up on new DWS addition
Tornado Safe Rooms Under Construction at DWS
Construction proceeding on schedule
Mark Willoughby with Construction Superintendent Joseph Muscarnero
DWS Principal Danny Parkerson (center) Mark Willoughby and Joseph Muscarnero

Construction of the new addition at DeKalb West School is progressing on schedule.

David Brown of Kaatz, Binkley, Jones & Morris Architects, Inc. of Mount Juliet addressed the school board Tuesday night with an update on the project. "In the classroom addition which is our storm shelter the foundations are complete. The slab is complete. The block is going up. Most of it is to bearing height already. Most of the door frames are in place. The roofing is underway as well. You have about five more weeks of roofing the existing building. The next big thing that will happen on the classroom addition is that they will place the concrete planks that are the roof of that. That will happen in about three or four weeks. The school has turned over the music room, which will become a part of the new kitchen. We have a lot of electrical work to do to relocate your existing electrical. They are wanting to do that over the Christmas holiday. They will do some exploration and if that looks good they will make that transition then but if they run into something unexpected or unforeseen they will wait until after the semester is over," said Brown.

J Cumby Construction of Cookeville is the General Contractor for the project.

Joseph Muscarnero, Superintendent for J. Cumby Construction, spoke with WJLE Wednesday morning about the progress of the work. "The weather has been cooperating. So far conditions have been perfect for construction. Right now we are completing the structural walls to set the roof planks and to complete the exterior of the structure. Then we will proceed with the interior finishes, mechanical and electrical. The FEMA standards pretty much set what construction we do on the exterior of the building in order to provide the safe shelter for the children," said Muscarnero.

"You can see a lot has happened in a really short time," said Director of Schools Mark Willoughby during a visit to the construction site Wednesday morning. "It will be used in storm situations but we'll have a plan where the community can come and use this facility also in tornado weather. We'll have a system in place where we will be able to open this building up so that people in this area can come and have a safe place in the event of a tornado," he added.

The "Tornado Safe Rooms" are being funded mostly by FEMA grant funds but also with local dollars. The addition, being built in the front of the school, will have eight classrooms, restrooms, a new secure entrance, an office, clinic, conference room, and a guidance and teacher work area. A kitchen/cafeteria renovation in the existing building and a re-roofing of the school is also part of the overall project.

Construction is expected to be completed by late June or early July.

Smithville Police Department to Host Cops for Kids Christmas Party

November 20, 2013
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Police Department would like to announce that they will be hosting their 2nd Annual Cops for Kids Christmas Party. The event is held to provide relief around the Holidays for any family that may be going through a difficult time due to illness, loss of income or other circumstances. The goal of the event is to help lessen the stress on families and provide them with a fun evening of food, fellowship, gifts for their children and, of course, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. This event is by invitation only, and anyone wishing to attend must fill out an application. Applications may be picked up at the Smithville Police Department or can be printed online at www.wjle.com.

Cops for Kids.pdf (66.17 KB)

Applications must be turned in no later than Friday, December 6, 2013. They may be returned to the Smithville Police Department or mailed to SPD, Attn: Cops for Kids, 104 East Main Street, Smithville, TN 37166.

Anyone who would like to donate gifts may do so by bringing a new, unwrapped gift to the Smithville Police Department, Cash Express at 126 East Bryant Street in Smithville or the Dollar General Stores in Smithville and Dowelltown or you may give your donation directly to a City police officer. Deadline for donations is December 10, 2013.

For more information regarding applications, donations or general information, please contact Beth Adcock at 615-597-8210 extension 1.

School Board Opposes State Plan to Tie Teacher Licenses to TVAAS Results

November 20, 2013
Dwayne Page

Educators in the audience applauded after the DeKalb County Board of Education Tuesday night approved a resolution opposing a state-proposed policy under which a teacher could lose his or her teaching license based on results of the Tennessee Value Added Assessment System (TVAAS)

Board member Charles Robinson, who raised the issue during the regular monthly meeting, said he thought the local school board ought to take a stand against this and adopt the resolution.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby said TVAAS was never intended to be used as a punishment to teachers. "The straw that broke the camel's back was when the Commissioner of Education and the State Board of Education said they wanted to take the license away from a teacher because of a test score. We would love to have every teacher in our system and the State of Tennessee to score five on Value Added (TVAAS) and a five on Achievement. That would be wonderful. This was set up years ago and Dr. William L. Sanders, who did the research, has told the state that this was never meant to be used the way it's being used. It was intended to be used to help educators improve on their teaching skills, on the strategies that they use, but it is now being used to take away a teacher's license if it goes forward. This has passed but they have postponed it for a year," he said.

Willoughby said it's also unfair to hold teachers to different evaluation standards with their licenses at stake. "Statistics say forty four percent of educators in Tennessee do not teach a tested subject so it's not going to be equal for everybody. If fifty six percent teach a tested subject and forty four percent don't then everybody is not on the same playing field. We also have students who are "more needy" than others and those students cannot make the Achievement and Growth the same as other students and to take a teacher's license away because of that is not acceptable to me nor to a lot of other people," said Willoughby.

The Resolution is as follows:

"Whereas, a professional license is a qualification-based threshold for a profession and is not a measure of effectiveness of said professional; and

Whereas, in the four state-approved evaluation models TVAAS only counts thirty- five percent of a teacher's effectiveness rating; and

Whereas, state law for teacher evaluation will be superseded by State Board of Education rules; and

Whereas, the state legislature has indicated that classroom observations should be the largest percentage of any teacher evaluation; and

Whereas, Tennessee has changed its curricular standards multiple times in a short period of time; and

Whereas, the predicting of student growth is more difficult to benchmark when standards are changed so often; and

Whereas, teacher TVAAS scores can vary with little clarification of cause and there is no validated improvement plan for teachers from the Tennessee Department of Education; and

Whereas, a teacher with a high TVAAS score can also have low proficiency ratings; and

Whereas, a teacher with a low TVAAS score can also have high proficiency ratings; and

Whereas, forty-four percent of DeKalb County teachers have individual TVAAS scores by which they are rated indicating that not all teachers are evaluated equally; and

Whereas, the National Research Council and the National Academy have indicated that value-added assessment is not stable enough for use in high-stakes evaluation and "20 years of TVAAS HAS TOLD US ALMOST NOTHING" by Andy Spears, October 7, 2012 (http://TNEDREPORT.COM/?PAGE? ID-HD-2); and

Whereas, there is a lack of research indicating Common Core standards are age appropriate at all grade levels; and

Whereas, teacher effectiveness is going to be determined from the results of tests that are yet to be created; and

Whereas, baseline tests in primary grades are formatted differently, lack time requirements, and are overly dependent on student test-taking skills;

Therefore, Be It Resolved that the DeKalb County Board of Education urges the General Assembly and the State Board of Education to oppose any proposal whereby a teaching license is issued, renewed, or denied based on results of the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS)".

School Report Card Shows Academic Gains

November 19, 2013
Dwayne Page
Lisa Bell

The state's 2013 Report Card on DeKalb County Schools reveals that the system received A's and B's in the areas of achievement and value added growth in grades 3-8.

Students take the TCAP tests in the spring. The report card released last week represents data collected from the spring of 2013 for the state, school districts and individual schools. As in its past version, the report card also includes end-of-course exam percentages, ACT results, graduation percentages and other school-related profile information.

The DeKalb County School System had all B's in Math, Reading, Science, and Social Studies, the same letter grade as last year but in each subject the actual scores were up. "Achievement is a measure of how well students performed on the TCAP tests in 2013. How high did they score? Were they proficient? We have many areas to celebrate that showed an improvement over 2012," said Data Analyst Lisa Bell, during Tuesday night's school board meeting.

Value Added marks (Growth) were as follows: A in Math, up from a B last year; a B in Reading, the same letter grade as last year but with a higher score; and a B in Science and Social Studies, better than last year's C in those subjects. (Value Added) Growth is measured by comparing test performance over the previous years of testing," said Bell.

The DCHS graduation rate was 95.4% for 2013, up from 93.5% in 2012 and well above the state average of 86.3%.

The DCHS Junior and Senior Classes ACT three year average remained the same at 18.4, which falls short of the students predicted score of 19.5 and the state average of 19.1. However, officials say ACT study online courses have been implemented at DCHS for students to help improve ACT results.

DeKalb County High School End of Course Achievement results and Valued Added Growth for Algebra I and II, English I, English II, and English III, and Biology I and US History are also shown on the Report Card. "Algebra I and II Achievement increased from 2012 to 2013," said Bell. "The growth was below average. Ninety two percent of students passed the U.S. History End of Course Exam last year but U.S. History also had below average growth. "English I, II, and III all had average growth comparable with the state average. Biology had a significant increase in achievement. The percentage of students passing the Biology End of Course increased last year from 57% to 72%. Biology also had above average growth last year," said Bell.

"I'm very proud of the Report Card. The growth that has been made and the accomplishments that have happened," said Director of Schools Mark Willoughby. "When I look at some of our other school systems surrounding us, I am pleased with how DeKalb County Schools are doing compared to those schools. What would really be wonderful is if parents would send a note to the teachers telling them that you appreciate their hard work. More has been put on the plates of teachers in Tennessee and in my opinion, they have been less appreciated by the state department of education in the last few years than they ever have been. They are doing more and working harder than they ever have. I think we owe our teachers in DeKalb County and across the state of Tennessee more than we could ever pay them for what they do in shaping the lives of our children. I think we should show our appreciation to them more and more every day," said Willoughby.

DeKalb Middle School Achievement showed all B's in the areas of Math, Reading, Science, and Social Studies. It's the same letter grade as last year in Math, Science and Social Studies but an improvement over a C last year in Reading. Actual scores were up from last year in all subjects.

Value added growth at DeKalb Middle: An A in Math, the same as last year; an A in Science, up from a D last year; a D in Reading, the same as last year; and a B in Social Studies, up from a D in 2012. Actual scores were up in all categories showing improvement.

DeKalb West School Achievement: a B in Math, the same as in 2012; and A's in Reading, Science, and Social Studies, the same as last year. Actual grades in Math and Reading were the same as last year and slightly better in Science and Social Studies.

Value Added growth at DeKalb West showed a B in Math, up from a C in 2012; an A in Reading, the same as last year; a C in Science, down from a B in 2012; and a B in Social Studies, the same as last year. Actual scores were better in all categories except Science where the score was just two tenths of a point below last year.

Northside Elementary Achievement: a B in Math, up from a C in 2012; and a B in Reading, Science, and Social Studies, the same as last year in each category. Actual scores were better in Math and Reading and the same in Science and Social Studies.

Value Added Growth at Northside Elementary showed an A in Math, up from a B last year; an A in Reading, the same as 2012; a B in Science, the same as last year; and an A in Social Studies, the same as 2012. Actual grades were better in all subjects except Social Studies, which showed a dip of fourth tenths of a point.

Results at Smithville Elementary mirror Northside Elementary because it is considered a feeder school.

The 2013 state Report Card offers increased functionality for users to view detailed breakdowns of last year’s continued statewide student achievement growth.

The new design of the 2013 Report Card offers users the ability to create personalized comparisons between state, school, and districts on the following measures: achievement, ACT scores, graduation rate, student enrollment and ethnicity, and value-added composite scores. As an example, parents and community members can now compare individual schools or districts to see how well they are preparing students for college and careers, or to see which has a higher percentage of students on grade level in a specific subject area.

The 2013 Report Card also features a new profile page for each school, which shows student demographics, value-added composite scores, and student achievement in one central location.

“We think it’s important for parents and students, as well as school and district leaders, to know how well their schools are doing each year,” said Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman. “The new functionality of the 2013 Report Card allows parents and the community to organize and compare specific information about students at the state, district and school level.”

The 2013 Report Card also features a new College and Career Readiness tab. This tab includes data on graduation rates, ACT scores, college readiness benchmarks, and the percentage of students who are eligible to receive the HOPE Scholarship.

As the state strives to advance outcomes for all Tennessee students, these results allow educators to identify areas that need the most improvement. Through its regional offices, the department provides resources, support, and expert analysis to help districts and schools with data-driven interventions.

•For the newly redesigned 2013 state Report Card, visit http://www.tn.gov/education/reportcard/2013.shtml.
To view previous state Report Cards, visit http://www.tn.gov/education/reportcard/index.shtml.

City Attorney Sends Letter to DUD Outlining Proposals for New Deal

November 19, 2013
Dwayne Page
Vester Parsley

The City of Smithville is offering alternatives for the DeKalb Utility District to consider on a possible new water purchase agreement.

The existing ten year agreement is set to expire as of December 31.

In a letter to DUD manager Jon Foutch, dated Thursday November 14, City Attorney Vester Parsley, Jr. set out the proposals being offered by the city for the DUD board to consider. Although the mayor and aldermen have been consulted, no vote has been taken by the city council on this offer in either a regular or special meeting. Any accepted proposal by the DUD would have to be approved by the mayor and aldermen.

One of proposals calls for a new ten year deal with the city to charge the DUD $2.20 per thousand gallons for five years and $2.40 per thousand gallons for an additional five years. But that deal would be below the city's cost according to a recent study by Warren and Associates, paid for by the city, which revealed that the actual cost for Smithville to produce water is $2.67 per thousand gallons. Under this proposal, the city is asking the DUD for at least a minimum amount of water to be purchased during this ten year period and for DUD to abandon plans to build its own water plant.

The second proposal seeks to negotiate a new rate based on the DUD sale of three of its metering points to the City of Smithville.

During a workshop with the mayor and aldermen on Monday night, November 11, the city's utility engineer J.R. Wauford said that if the DUD were willing to sell the city the water lines and customers connected to at least three of its metering points, the city could be in a position to negotiate the price it charges the DeKalb Utility District.

DUD Chairman Roger Turney and board members Joe Foutch and Hugh Washer attended the workshop along with DUD manager Jon Foutch and DUD attorney Dewey Branstetter, Jr. of Nashville.

If the DUD were to reject the proposals offered herein and have no new agreement by January 1, the city may begin charging the DUD $7.50 per thousand gallons, the same rate it charges water customers outside the city.

The letter containing these proposals was delivered to Foutch last Thursday. The DUD board has not yet taken up the offer. The proposals are apparently being reviewed by DUD's attorney.

The DeKalb Utility District currently pays $2.05 per thousand gallons for the water it buys from the city. The rate has increased by five cents per thousand gallons each year since 2004.

The letter from Parsley to Foutch states as follows:

"The City of Smithville is very appreciative of the fact that you attended our workshop on Monday night, November 11 in Smithville and became aware of some possible solutions to the ongoing purchase of water issues. The Mayor and Board of Aldermen have asked me to write you a letter setting out proposals for your Board to consider in an attempt to settle our differences. The Board has asked me to give you the following proposals:

Proposal #1: The Board would reiterate our previous proposal to DUD whereby we agreed to sell DUD water for five years at the price of $2.20 per thousand gallons and an additional five years at $2.40 per thousand gallons. However, we would insist that a minimum amount of water be purchased during those ten years and further that DUD abandon their plans to build their own water treatment plant."

Proposal#2: The City would ask of your Board whether they are willing to negotiate the sale of at least three of four metering points which were mentioned in the work session on November 11. The City would like to negotiate to purchase the metering points for Evins Mill Road, Hobson Street, and the Old Sparta Pike. If your Board is willing to negotiate on these metering points we will need you to provide us with the number of customers served for each metering point and a map showing the water system served by each metering point so that we can determine the revenue that the City can derive from these points in order to make an intelligent offer. It is very possible the City will be able to offer the best deal for some variation of this proposal since it will provide Smithville with a long-term solution to the growth area problem."

"If DUD feels that neither of the above proposals are satisfactory, the City sees no reason to enter into a contract with DUD and will once the contract expires, charge DUD as an outside water customer for your current needs."

"The Mayor and Aldermen would appreciate your immediate consideration of these proposals and a response as to which proposal your Board intends to take," wrote Parsley.

If the city loses DUD as a water customer with the construction of a new DUD water plant, Wauford told the mayor and aldermen last week, "our calculations indicate that water rates would have to be increased to city customers by a minimum of 20%".

By expanding the city's service area with these DUD metering points, Wauford said the city could possibly set an "incremental" water rate to DUD at a level so that rates for city customers would not have to rise. "We could look at what the incremental rate would be. In other words, what would it take if they (DUD) would sell you (city) those customers? What would your rate to them need to be to avoid having to raise rates on Smithville's customers,"asked Wauford?

DeKalb Hospital Receives Quality Measures Awards

November 18, 2013
Shan Burklow
DeKalb Hospital Receives Quality Measures Awards

DeKalb Community hospital was awarded ‘Top Performer on Key Quality Measures’ out of 3,343 eligible hospitals by The Joint Commission recently. The hospital is recognized for achieving excellence in performance on its accountability measures for pneumonia and surgical care. DeKalb Community Hospital was one of 1,099 hospitals to meet or exceed the target rates of performance for 2012.

“We understand that what matters most to our patients is safe, effective care. We are honored to be recognized in the top thirty-three percent of all Joint Commission-accredited hospitals reporting accountability measure performance data for 2012,” said Sue Conley-CEO of DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospitals. “I am proud of our staff for being recognized for their hard work and commitment to assuring that our measures set for pneumonia and surgical care meet and exceed Joint Commission standards of ninety-five percent or higher.”

“DeKalb Community Hospital and all the Top Performer hospitals have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to quality improvement and they should be proud of their achievement,” said Mark R. Chassin, M.D.,FACP,M.P.P., M.P.H. President and CEO, The Joint Commission. “We have much to celebrate this year. Nearly half of our accredited hospitals have attained or nearly attained the Top Performer distinction. This truly shows that we are approaching a tipping point in hospital quality performance that will directly contribute to better health outcomes for patients.”

As a top performer, DeKalb Community Hospital will be recognized in the Improving America’s Hospitals annual report, The Joint Commission website, and on The Joint Commission Quality Check website.

Pictured: (left) OR Director Nancy Trapp stands proudly alongside nursing and surgical staff as well as CNO Kim Frazier and CEO Sue Conley of DeKalb Community Hospital and Stones River Hospital (far right). DeKalb Community Hospital was awarded the ‘Top Performer in Key Quality Measures’ for pneumonia and surgical care for 2012 from The Joint Commission.

Two Charged in Recent Burglary and Theft

November 18, 2013
Dwayne Page
Steven Dale Davidson
Rodney Hugo Gora
 Mark Denver Young
Joe Nathan Jones

Two men have been arrested in a recent burglary and theft.

28 year old Steven Dale Davidson of Antioch Road, Smithville and 40 year old Rodney Hugo Gora of Short Mountain Road, Smithville are each charged with burglary and theft of property over $500. Bond for each is $6,500 and they will appear in court on December 12.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Wednesday, November 13 Davidson and Gora allegedly entered a residence on James Place and took several items from the home including a storage trunk, a picture, jewelry box, a wooden bunk bed, two mattresses, a wooden end table, and a bag containing sheets and towels all valued at more than $500.

32 year old Mark Denver Young of McMinnville Highway, Smithville is charged with driving under the influence. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court on December 5.

Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, November 12 a sheriff's department drug detective saw a white truck sitting partially in the roadway on Highway 56 south. The detective stopped to investigate and made contact with Young, who was standing in a driveway. Young told the detective that he was the driver of the truck and that he had been there for about five minutes prior to the officer's arrival. Young's speech was slurred and he was unsteady on his feet. He also had a powdery residue on his nose and in his possession was an empty pen that contained pill residue. Young submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. He also consented to a blood alcohol test. Young was placed under arrest.

Young was arrested again on Friday, November 15 for violation of an order of protection for illegal possession of a weapon. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court November 21. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, November 13 Young was in possession of a 30-30 rifle. A computer check revealed that Young is under an active order of protection.

37 year old Joe Nathan Jones of Clarksville is charged in a grand jury sealed indictment with two counts of sale and delivery of a schedule II drug, one of them being over a half gram of cocaine. He was arrested on Tuesday, November 12. His bond is $70,000.

Timothy Eugene Mathis of McMinnville is charged with driving on a suspended license. He was also issued a citation for failure to maintain his lane of travel. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on December 18.

Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, November 12 a deputy was traveling west on Highway 70 when he saw a green SUV swerving outside the lane of travel. The officer pulled over the vehicle and spoke to the driver, Mathis. He was found to be driving on a suspended license. Mathis was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

29 year old Randall Jake Hines of Lafayette is charged with a third offense of driving on a revoked license. His court date is December 12 and his bond is $2,500. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, November 16 a deputy conducted a traffic stop at DeKalb Market due to a theft in Smithville. A computer check revealed that the license of the driver, Hines was revoked in Trousdale County on August 23, 2004 for failure to satisfy citations. He has two prior convictions. Hines was arrested and brought to the jail for booking. Two passengers of Hines' vehicle, 39 year old Johnny Thomas Whited of Carthage and 44 year old Tammy Denise Lamb of Lafayette were each charged with public intoxication. Bond for each is $1,500 and they will be in court on December 12. According to Sheriff Ray both Whited and Lamb were highly intoxicated. Their speech was slurred and they were unsteady on their feet. Both had a strong odor of alcohol on them. For their safety and that of the public, both Whited and Lamb were arrested.

27 year old Erich Taylor Brandt of Arlington, Texas is charged with public intoxication. His bond is $1,000 and he will be in court on November 21. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, November 17 a deputy was dispatched to Moores College Road where EMS was on the side of the road with a man who was found to be Brandt. He had a strong odor of alcohol on his person. Brandt was unsteady on his feet. His eyes were bloodshot and his speech was slurred. For his safety and that of the public, Brandt was placed under arrest.

Former Deputy Announces Plans to Run for Sheriff

November 17, 2013
Dwayne Page
Michael Agee and Wife Kelly

A former DeKalb County Sheriff's deputy plans to make a run for the Democratic nomination for Sheriff in the local primary May 6, 2014.

Michael Agee announced his intentions during the DeKalb County Democratic Party's Re-Organization Convention held Saturday at the courthouse.

"My plans are to run for the 2014 election for Sheriff, " Agee told WJLE after the meeting. "I am the son of Hobert and Judy Agee. I have lived in Smithville all my life. I am the husband of Kelly Agee. I have two children, Stetson and Presley Agee." he said.

"I think it's time for some changes. I think our youth are really hurting in leadership of the sheriff's department. This is something I've wanted (to do) for the past couple of years but I just hadn't felt the support I needed. But here lately it feels like everything has fell into place. My wife and family are really supporting me. Most of all it seems that God has really pushed this on me this year. I would really appreciate everyone's support in this," he said.

Agee said he joins this race with a law enforcement background. "I graduated from the Law Enforcement Academy in 2005. I went to work for (former Sheriff) Lloyd Emmons in 2002. I have served at the Smithville City (Police Department). I am currently serving with the Smith County Sheriff's Department as a K-9 Officer," Agee told WJLE.

Local Democrats Select Party Leaders

November 17, 2013
Dwayne Page
Jim Judkins, Myra Johnson Miller, Joyce Hendrixson, Jordan Wilkins

The DeKalb County Democratic Party held a re-organization convention Saturday at the courthouse to elect party leaders for the next two years.

Jim Judkins was returned as Chairman. Jordan Wilkins, Larry Bain, and Kim Ambrose were re-elected Co Vice Chairmen. Joyce Hendrixson remains as Secretary and Myra Johnson Miller is the new Treasurer, replacing Katherine Pack who declined to accept another term, citing a conflict, since she is planning to seek re-election as Circuit Court Clerk.

Members of the DeKalb County Democratic Executive Committee were named for the next two years including Judy Slager from the First District, Frank Buck in the Second District, Faye Fuqua from the Third District, David McDowell in the Fourth District, James Hale from the Fifth District, Flint Gilley in the Sixth District, and Tommy Webb in the Seventh District.

The party also voted to call a Democratic Primary for May 6th, 2014 to nominate candidates for county offices and district judicial positions.

Chairman Judkins gave potential candidates in attendance a chance to announce their intentions for 2014.

Michael Agee announced that he would be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Sheriff. Though he was unable to attend Saturday's meeting, it was announced that Jimmy Sprague plans to seek the office of Road Supervisor. James L "Jimmy" Poss said he would be a candidate for County Clerk. Incumbent Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack and General Sessions/Juvenile Court Judge Bratten Cook, II also announced they would be seeking re-election. Although the office is non-partisan, Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss announced that he would be running for another term next year.

Sarah Marie Smith of Smith County said she is considering another run for State Representative of the 40th district next year.

The DeKalb County Democratic Party is expected to hold a Mass Meeting soon where Democrats planning to seek office can make their formal announcements.

School Bus Involved in Minor Accident

November 15, 2013
Dwayne Page
School Bus Involved in Minor Accident
Students being transferred to another bus
Bus receives minor damage

A school bus with twenty students on board was involved a minor traffic accident Friday afternoon on Student's Home Road near Magness Road.

No one was injured.

Central dispatch was notified at 3:38 p.m.

Trooper Bobby Johnson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Faye Pollard, driving bus #08-25, was traveling south on Student's Home Road as 45 year old Jose Tierranegra was going north on a John Deere tractor with a nursery tree digger attachment. According to Trooper Johnson the tractor and bus sideswiped on the narrow road as both vehicles were trying to negotiate a curve. Tierranegra works for the BFN Operations nursery company.

The bus was only dented at the point of impact. While the bus was still driveable, students were loaded onto another bus and taken home.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby, Transportation Supervisor Jimmy Sprague, and Attendance Supervisor Joey Reeder were on the scene along with a sheriff's deputy.


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