Local News Articles

Open House at County Fire Department Main Station Set for October 18th

October 9, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
County Fire Chief Donny Green
Lieutenant and Fire Safety Officer Bradley Mullinax

An Open House will be held at the DeKalb County Fire Department Main Station at 782 King Ridge Road on Saturday, October 18th from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Donny Green, DeKalb County Fire Chief, on behalf of the department, invites you to come by and see the newly renovated station and training center. Enjoy free hotdogs, popcorn, and soft drinks. Come see the fire trucks, ambulances, medical helicopter, and the Sheriff's Department will be represented there. Call 615-464-7176 or 615-464-0344 for information or directions.

Meanwhile, Bradley Mullinax, Lieutenant and Fire Prevention and Safety Officer for the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department offers some safety tips in conjunction with October Fire Prevention Month.

Cooking Fire Safety: -Do not wear loose fitting clothing when cooking, as they are easy targets to catch on fire.
-Always turn pan handles in to prevent food spills.
-Make sure that you keep pot holders and towels away from the stove.
-Replace any old or frayed electrical cords on your appliances.
-Never leave your cooking unattended.
-If a fire should occur on the stove, slide a pan lid over the flames and then turn off the heat.
-If a fire should occur in the oven, keep the oven door closed and turn off the heat to smother the fire.
-Always keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Make sure it is kept in an accessible place away from the stove and oven.

If the fire does not go out quickly, use your escape plan and call the fire department immediately.

Heating Hazards: Nearly half of all home heating fires occur in December, January, and February. We recommend these tips to help you stay warm and safe during the winter months.
-Make sure your chimney is inspected and cleaned once a year.
-Dispose of ashes only when they have fully cooled.
-Don’t use an oven to heat your home.
-Install carbon monoxide detectors outside each sleeping area.
-When using space heaters, make sure that there is nothing within 3 feet of it that could burn.

Always make sure that portable heaters are turned off before going to bed or leaving the house.

Electrical Fire Prevention: Electrical distribution and lighting equipment were involved in an estimated 20,900 reported home fires in 2005. These fires resulted in 500 civilian deaths and 1,100 injuries, with an estimated $862 million in direct property damage per year.
-Keep lamps, light fixtures, and light bulbs away from anything that can burn, such as bedding, curtains, and clothing.
-Replace cracked and damaged electrical cords.
-Use extension cords for temporary wiring only.
-Homes with young children should have tamper-resistant electrical receptacles.

Call a qualified electrician or landlord if you have recurring problems with blowing fuses or tripping of circuit breakers, discolored or warm wall outlets, flickering lights, or a burning or rubbery smell coming from an appliance

Smoking and Fire Safety: In the United States, smoking materials are the leading cause of home fire deaths. A majority of these fires resulted from the careless disposal of smoking materials. The NVFC and Fire Corps provide you with the following tips to avoid such tragedies.
-Never leave a lit cigarette or cigar unattended. They can easily fall off whatever you placed them on and start a fire.
-Don’t smoke in bed. You might fall asleep with the lit product in hand.
-Always use an ashtray. Never put your ashes into a waste basket.
-Always make sure that all smoking products are completely extinguished when disposing of them or before going to bed. Pour a cup of water on them to be sure.
-Never leave matches or lighters within reach of children.
- Always use child-resistant lighters.

Chamber of Commerce to Reprint County Map and Welcome Guide

October 8, 2008
by: 
Suzanne Williams

It’s time for the Chamber Map Project! We are in the process of reprinting the county map and welcome guide. The initial printing of the map was done 4 years ago and the 7,500 copies have almost been depleted. The full-color map is a very popular item, and we plan to have 10,000 copies for our new and updated printing. The project is made possible by advertisements placed in and around the map. The map includes welcome messages with historical and local attraction information, emergency and resource numbers, and pictures of Center Hill Lake and the Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Crafts Festival. The cost for the 3” x 2” business card size advertisement is $350 for the side or bottom border; $375 for a corner or top border; and $400 for an inside box. Add $40 extra if we have to design it. You can be billed at a later date up to March 1, 2009 or make monthly payments. We will be glad to work with your budget. You will have until April 1, 2009 to be paid in full. Advertisement space is on a first-come, first-serve basis for Chamber members and non-members. Limited space is available. If you are interested or have questions, please contact the Chamber at 597-4163.

The Chamber of Commerce is pleased to recognize its newest members:
• J.C. Reed Mortgage, LLC – Mortgage Lending & Financial Services – For more info, contact Carl Long at 597-2131 or www.jcreed.com/clong
• Curves, 400 E. Broad St., Smithville, Women’s Fitness Center - Tina Meyers is the new owner.
• Catherine “Kitty” Vonckx, 480 Vickers Hollow Rd., Smithville – Independent BeautiControl consultant, offering an in-home “BeautiControl spa” experience featuring skincare & spa products, as well as makeup – Call 215-6992 for more information.
• Bell St. Apartments, 318 Bell St., Smithville -- Section 8 Multi-Family Housing for low-income families -- For info, call Manager Linda Nokes at 597-1276.
• Miroir, Miroir Salon, 114 W. Main St., Smithville – Full service salon, hair styles, multi-dimensional colors, facials, massage, manicures & pedicures, waxing & make-up, hair & lash extensions, and much more. Owner: Jamie Anderson -- For more info, call 215-7233.
• Holmes Creek Boat Storage, 110 Dogwood Rd., Smithville – Great for Boat Storage & anything else – Extra large & easy access – Units are 30’ x 13’ & 35’ x 13’; Doors are 12’ x 12.’ You can contact owner, Randy Bain, at 597-8931.
Thanks for supporting the Chamber and its many projects.

The Chamber held Ribbon Cuttings for:
• Hidden Harbor Marina’s new location, 2685 Casey Cove Rd., Smithville
• Curves, 400 E. Broad St., Smithville
• Cumberland Insurance, 117 East Bryant, Smithville
• Miroir, Miroir Salon, 114 W. Main St., Smithville
• New Smithville Fire Hall

The most recent Community Improvement Awards have been presented to:
• Jason Ray, 335 West Main, Liberty
• Reed Miller, 414 So. College St., Smithville
• Hardees, 135 East Broad, Smithville
• Miroir, Miroir Salon, 114 W. Main St., Smithville
• Ms. Royce Odom, 935 So. College St., Smithville
• Sonic Drive-In, 602 So. Congress Blvd., Smithville

If you would like to nominate a business or a residence for a Community Improvement Award, call the Chamber for a nomination form or stop by our office at 301 North Public Square, Smithville.
Two of the Chamber Education Committee members, Jim Finley and Jen Sherwood, presented the entertaining and enlightening “Choices” program to Coach Bond’s high school class on October 6th. We were glad to have the opportunity to encourage students to “make good choices now for good choices later.” From sports to band to academics, it’s very encouraging to hear about so many good things happening in our local school system. Thank you to all the people who put so much time, effort, and energy into our leaders of tomorrow.

The 9th Annual “Off the Beaten Path Studio Tour” is scheduled for October 24, 25, and 26 from 10 AM to 5 PM. “Enjoy an afternoon of inspiration, visit 11 studios and over 26 artists in DeKalb and Cannon Counties. See the artists at work and learn how their works are created. Collect or commission a piece directly from the artist.” For more information, go to www.smithvilletn.com or stop by the Chamber to pick up a brochure with a tour map included.

You don’t want to miss the DeKalb County Habitat for Humanity Chili Cook-Off on Friday, October 24th from 10:30 AM to 1 PM on the Courthouse lawn. The Chamber’s Three Star Chili Team will have a booth this year. We are excited to be a part of this fun and tasty event. To enter a team, contact Jeff McMillen at 597-4153.

If you are interested in attending the “Get Motivated” Seminar at the Sommet Center in Nashville, we can tell you how you can get your tickets at a greatly discounted price. On Monday, October 27th, your entire office can go for $19 – or $4.95 per person. Speakers include Zig Ziglar, Rudy Giuliani, Gen. Collin Powell, U.T. Women’s Basketball Coach Pat Summit, and many more. Topics include “How to Stay Motivated,” “How to Manage, Lead, & Succeed,” “How to Lead Your Team to Victory,” & “Take Charge Leadership.” Call 1-800-326-4518 with the promotional code 4518 to get the special rate.

Leadership DeKalb News
• Leadership Director, Jen Sherwood, would like to announce the 2009 Leadership DeKalb Class: Leah Cantrell, DeKalb Community Hospital; Rhonda Caplinger, Liberty State Bank-Smithville; Janna Gillard, DeKalb Co. Guide; Emilio Hernandez, United Methodist pastor; Ester Hernandez, translator; Claudette Lasser, NHC (Part-time); Amy Lockhart, Center Hill Realty; Cheryl Ludwig, TTU/Appalachian Center for Craft; Brandon Miller, MTNG; Tom Miller, Liberty State Bank-Alexandria; Nick Nokes, DTC; Jason Ray, State Farm Insurance; Ann Shaw, DeKalb Community Bank/Wilson Bank & Trust-Alexandria; Tiffany Winchester, DCHS & Smithville Rotary Club sponsor.
• The opening retreat was held at the Appalachian Center for Craft. Sponsors for the day were Appalachian Center for Craft and DeKalb Ace Hardware.
• Alumni Helpers for the opening retreat were Amanda Means and Tim Hintz.

Operation Head-to-Toe’s fall distribution campaign needs your support. This is a great opportunity to make a child’s life a little easier by providing clothing necessities. Your tax-deductable donation by check should be made to: Operation Head to Toe and mailed to P.O. Box 372, Smithville. For more info, call 597-1220 or 597-5920.

Our heartfelt condolence to the Bill Cantrell Family. We appreciate Bill of Republic Insurance and his support of the Chamber. Our prayers are with his family.

Mark Your Calendars:
• WJLE Chamber Radio Program - 1st Wednesday of every month at 8:30 AM. Next program is November 5th.
• Saturday, October 18 -- “Brush Creek Community Fest” at the Community Center - Chili supper at 5:00 PM - adult $6/children $4. Cake walk & auction at 6 PM. Proceeds used to restore the “old schoolhouse” as a community center. The Lions Club encourages you to bring your old eye glasses for the Vanderbilt Lions Eye Center. The Lions Sight Van will be on sight at 1 PM. To schedule your FREE eye and hearing screening, call 683-8991.
• Saturday, October 18th – Open House at the DeKalb County Fire Station, 782 King Ridge Road, Smithville from 10 AM to 2 PM – Dedication Ceremony at 12 PM – Free hot dogs, soft drinks, and popcorn
• October 24th, 25th, & 26th - Off the Beaten Path Studio Tour from 10 AM to 5 PM
• Friday, October 24th – The 5th Annual Habitat for Humanity Chili Cook-Off from 10:30 AM to 1 PM at the Smithville Public Square
• November 13th –15th - Christmas Downtown Open House, Smithville – Extended hours and great gift ideas!
• Saturday, November 1st – Annual Fall Fest sponsored by the Smithville BPW Club, DCHS gymnasium at 7 PM. New this year - Autumn Princess Pageant for ages 7-10 at 5 PM
• Monday, November 10th - Liberty State Bank’s Annual Veterans’ Breakfast at 7:30am at the DeKalb Fairgrounds Sandlin Building in Alexandria. Please help spread the word to our Veterans about this upcoming event. For more info, contact Kendra Angel at Liberty State Bank, 529-2375.
• Tuesday, November 25th – Chamber Prayer Breakfast, 7 AM, Smithville Church of God annex, 801 West Broad Street, Smithville
• November 28, 29, 30 - Appalachian Center for Craft Annual Holiday Festival –Craft Demonstrations, Exhibitions, Live Music, Shopping in the Gallery, & great food at the Walkway Café – For more info, stop by the Chamber or visit their website at www.tntech.edu/craftcenter
• December 4th – Chamber “Christmas on the Square” & Courthouse Open House,” Downtown Smithville
The Chamber wants to help spread the word about local events. Please call or e-mail your event information at dekalbtn@dtccom.net or bring flyers by the Chamber for us to help distribute.
Remember to exercise your right to VOTE! Early voting is Oct 15th to 30th in the basement of the courthouse. The General Election is November 4th.

DeKalb County Amateur Radio Club Participates in State-wide Emergency Exercise – “TN Perfect Storm”

October 8, 2008

Members of the DeKalb County Amateur Radio Club participated in a state-wide emergency exercise on Saturday, October 4th, 2008. The state-wide exercise was titled “Tennessee Perfect Storm.” The exercise scenario was that there were two category 5+ hurricanes, one coming in from the Gulf of Mexico, heading towards West Tennessee, and one coming in from South Carolina, heading towards East Tennessee. Flooding, wind damage, power outages and road closings occurred during the exercise as well as, a partial breach of Center Hill Dam.

Local Amateur Radio Operators utilized local radio repeaters and then utilized their emergency skills for stations in point-to-point contact. Communications were also sent to the State Emergency Operations Center at TEMA in Nashville, Tennessee via wireless computer-radio access. These messages relayed the latest emergency status in DeKalb County, and messages were received back from TEMA.

Those local DeKalb County Amateur Radio Operators involved in the exercise included W3HKG – Bob Mitchell, W4OPJ – Russell Cantrell, KF4QNT – Kevin Neely, KJ4GCT – John Lester, KF4MGN – Randy Morris, and KC4GUG – Freddy Curtis - Dekalb County Amateur Radio Emergency Coordinator. The club would like to thank DeKalb County Emergency Management Director Charlie Parker and E-911 Center Director Brad Mullinax for their support of local participation in this state-wide exercise.

The DeKalb County Amateur Radio Club is an organization of Amateur Radio operators from DeKalb and Surrounding Counties and is an affiliated club of the American Radio Relay League. The next club meeting will be on Tuesday, October 28th, 2008 - 6:30 PM at the E-911 Center. Any person interested in Amateur Radio is invited to attend.

Long Dry Spell Contributes to Recent Rash of Woodland Fires

October 7, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
Firefighter working woodland fire Monday (Photo by Callie Matthews)

The long hot dry spell is prompting an early fire season this year.

Already, DeKalb County Volunteer Firefighters and the Tennessee Division of Forestry have had to deal with the problem here in recent days.

County Fire Chief Donny Green says at least six woodland fires have occurred since Thursday including one on Monday on the Liberty to Dismal Road.

According to Chief Green, a resident in the area was burning some brush when the fire got out of control and began to spread into the woods. The fire burned some five to six acres and came within a couple of hundred yards of Aaron Tippin's home.

Chief Green says the fire was difficult to fight because it spread very quickly up the hill.

Members of the Tennessee Division of Forestry along with the Liberty and Main Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department spent about three hours attacking the fire before bringing it under control.

No one was injured and no structures were damaged.

Chief Green says because conditions are so dry, he is advising you not to conduct any outdoor debris burning until we get some rain.

(Photo by Callie Matthews)

More than 13,000 People Registered to Vote in DeKalb County

October 6, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

If voter registration is any indication, there could be a good turnout for the November 4th election in DeKalb County.

Lisa Peterson, DeKalb County Administrator of Elections says several new voters have come by to register or made changes to their registrations.

As of Monday, the election commission recorded 13,303 registered voters in DeKalb County.

According to Peterson, "We have processed 399 new registrations and made changes to 266 registrations (address or name changes) since the August 8th elections.

On the ballot in November, besides the seat for president and vice president, will be a seat in the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House 6th Congressional District and the Tennessee House of Representatives in the 40th District.

City Fire Department Gets to Keep Old Fire Hall

October 6, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department will get to keep both the old and new fire halls.

The Aldermen Monday night voted 5 to 0 to make it official.

Smithville Police Chief Richard Jennings, during the September 15th meeting, asked the city council for permission to expand the police department into the old fire hall.

Chief Jennings said the police department needs extra space to store records, house equipment and the K-9 dog, and to more securely bring in prisoners for processing.

Fire Chief Charlie Parker, at that meeting, said even though the fire department is now in the new addition, the old fire hall is still being used by the fire department and he asked that the council take no action until a meeting is held to give his fellow firefighters, who are opposed to the request, an opportunity to be heard.

Since that meeting last month, Police Chief Jennings has decided to withdraw his request, but he is asking for the city to consider constructing a new police department building

During Monday night's meeting, Secretary-Treasurer Hunter Hendrixson read a letter from Chief Jennings which states that "During the last regular meeting of the city council, I requested that the old fire department office and bays be given to the police department. I was unaware that the previous city council had agreed to let the fire department keep them. I regret that my request has caused controversy. I am withdrawing my request."

"I will ask you to consider the possibility of building a new building for the police department across the street (from city hall) in place of the old block storage building that is owned by the City of Smithville."

Prior to the reading of Chief Jennings' letter, Fire Chief Parker once again addressed the aldermen, asking them to "recognize or acknowledge that we (fire fighters) are currently using the building (old fire hall) as we have always planned and would like to continue doing so."

In his statement Chief Parker said " It seems several people think that we have completely abandoned the old fire hall. This is not true. We are currently using it just as we planned from the start to keep from moving our hose racks and hose dryer which is attached inside one of the rooms, providing space for exercise equipment, and to house our fourth vehicle, which was setting outside. We did, however, give up our training room, and an office upstairs."

"So from the start this has been a construction and renovation project. As part of the new project, we figured in new doors for the old building so everything would match. To save dollars, our firefighters did most of the work on the old building by repainting, stripping, buffing, waxing floors, and moving equipment and cabinets."

"When we started looking at designs, we were looking for a building with 5 or 6 bays to house our vehicles, and to allow for expansion. We explored several options before we ended up with the current design. During workshops and meetings, we discussed with the mayor and aldermen about utilizing the old fire hall to cut down the new building size.'

"At the last meeting, an idea was brought to the board about taking away the old fire hall so the Police Department could use it. This is very upsetting to us because we chose the floor plan of the new building based on the promise of using the old building."

" The ladies and gentlemen of the Smithville Fire Department worked hard on renovating the old building and they work hard year around, by maintaining both buildings by sweeping, mopping, buffing, waxing the floors, cleaning bathrooms, scrubbing toilets, washing fire trucks, and maintaining equipment."

"We are a progressive fire department and it is our desire to continue. I hope to come before the board in the future with a proposal to hire some full time firefighters. Hopefully, this plan will provide better fire protection, attract new industry, and hopefully lower insurance costs for all our citizens of Smithville."

Aldermen Stephen White made a motion that "we designate all of the old and the new fire halls for the fire department and if we do have to expand the police department in the future we'll just have to do that elsewhere."

Alderman Tonya Sullivan offered a second to the motion and Aldermen Cecil Burger, Willie Thomas, and Jerry Hutchins, Sr. voted with White and Sullivan to make it unanimous.

In other business, Secretary-Treasurer Hunter Hendrixson reported that eight city owned vehicles, seventeen seized or abandoned vehicles and other equipment were sold in the recent sale of surplus property bringing in over $16,000 to the city.

Janie Knowles was appointed to fill the unexpired term of the late Paul Hardeman on the Smithville Board of Zoning Appeals.

The aldermen adopted an ordinance on first reading, officially setting the certified tax rate at .6194 cents per $100 of assessed value. The new rate is lower than last year's rate of 68 cents but it is expected to generate the same amount of local revenue, because of appraisal.

Alderman Jerry Hutchins, Sr. is asking that the city consider doing some striping of certain streets in the city that are more heavily traveled such as Foster Road, Miller Road, Anthony Avenue, and South College Street. More information on prices will be obtained and presented to the board at the next meeting.

Alaska Sex Offender Found Living in DeKalb County.

October 6, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
George Micheaux

An Alaska sex offender has been found living in DeKalb County.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says deputies arrested 51 year old George Leo Micheaux Thursday for violation of the sex offender law for failure to register.

Sheriff Ray says officers found Micheaux living at a motel on Highway 70 East in Smithville. He had been living in DeKalb County since September 23rd.

Micheaux is a sex offender in the State of Alaska, where he was convicted for second degree sexual abuse of a minor.

Micheaux had last registered in Canyon County Idaho on June 9th. The State of Idaho has been notified of Micheaux's arrest and charges will be sought against him there. Micheaux's bond was set at $10,000 and he will appear in court on October 9th.

In another case, 25 year old Bradley Lloyd Kelley of Neil Drive, Smithville and 36 year old Sherry Jared of Edgewood Drive, Cookeville were charged September 29th with theft of property over $500. Sheriff Ray says the two were arrested after they took a 1984 Buick from a farm on Nashville Highway without the owner's consent. Bond for both Kelley and Neil was set at $5,000 and they will appear in court on October 23rd.

Also on September 29th, deputies responded to a call on Hurricane Ridge in Smithville and stopped a vehicle for a traffic offense. Sheriff Ray says 32 year old Brian Keith Mitchell of Philadelphia Road Lebanon was arrested for driving on a suspended license after deputies ran a check and found that Mitchell's license was suspended for failure to satisfy a citation on July 30th, 2007 in Wilson County. Mitchell's bond was set at $1,000 and he will appear in court on October 15th.

Meanwhile, deputies stopped 26 year old William Travis Malone for a traffic offense on September 29th. Sheriff Ray says upon a check of Malone's license, officers discovered that it had been suspended for failure to satisfy a citation on May 5th, 2008 in Smith County. Malone's bond was set at $1,000 and he will appear in court on October 15th.

In another case, deputies arrested 27 year old Nestro Daniel Suastegui of Old West Point Road Smithville on Saturday for driving without a license. Sheriff Ray says officers had stopped Suastegui for a traffic violation. When asked by the Deputy for his license, Suastegui could not produce it. A computer check further revealed that Suastegui never had a valid Tennessee driver's license. Suastegui's bond was set at $1000 and will appear in court on October 23rd.

DeKalb Band’s Great Weekend in Lebanon

October 6, 2008
by: 
Band Boosters
DCHS Band Awarded at Lebanon Contest
DCHS Band Drum Major Hunter Tramel

On Saturday, October 4th, the DeKalb County Fighting Tiger Marching Band traveled to Lebanon High School to compete in the Blue Devil Marching Invitational. This was the third of five scheduled competitions on the band’s itinerary and the results were great.

The Band met at the high school band room at 1PM to begin an intense rehearsal on the practice field in preparation for the day’s performance. This rehearsal was mainly focused on the use of five new props that were added to the show just last week; however, additional musical elements were rehearsed throughout the practice session.

At 3:15, the students were dismissed from rehearsal to eat a quick lunch before departing to Lebanon. Paparoni pizza and drinks were provided by the band directors, Jonathon Wright and Kelly Jo Birmingham. Special thanks go out to Paparoni’s for helping feed approximately forty band students and staff. Mr. Wright said, “The band has worked very hard this week to add new things to the show. They deserved the pizza break.”

The band arrived in Lebanon at 5:15 p.m. and prepared for their 6:45 p.m. warm-up. While the students were busy putting on their uniforms, the boosters and pit crew unloaded the instruments and assembled the props. Mrs. Birmingham said, “I am so very thankful for our parents and other boosters for working to take care of our students and our program.” Hours and hours of work go in to the Band’s seven and a half minute show.

When the 7:15 p.m. performance time arrived, the band took the field for competition with their new props for the first time. The show came off very well with huge applause from the “home” side of the stadium, which consisted of the parents and boosters of the competing bands. Although it is unusual for competitors to “cheer for the opposing team,” the DeKalb County Band also received support from the “visitor’s” side, where all the competing bands were seated.

The awards ceremony revealed DeKalb County Band had won first place in every category in Class 1A, including the areas of Drum Major, Color Guard, and Percussion, and Band. The recap sheet of ALL the scores of ALL the competing bands revealed the following information, although it was not publicly recognized at the awards ceremony: DeKalb County Band had placed 3rd in the Small Division, which is Classes 1A and 2A combined. In addition, the Color Guard placed 4th and the Percussion placed 2nd in the Small Division. Drum Major, Hunter Tramel, placed 1st in the Small and Large Divisions, making him the highest scored Drum Major of all the competing bands of the day. Mr. Wright said, “The band performed very well at Lebanon and I was glad to see them rewarded for their hard work. It is rewarding as a Director to see the students continue to grow as musicians and performers. I am very excited about the remainder of the season and I look forward to seeing the band perform even better as we work towards our final competitions.”

There was only a difference of one point between DeKalb County’s third place Small Division score and the “Sweepstakes” winner, the highest scoring band in the division. This close-range scoring indicates the contest was very close and intense.

The band, staff, and boosters would like to send out special thanks to Mike Campbell, Tammy Owens, Amanda Scott, Hunter Tramel and everyone else involved in the construction and painting of the new props. Josh Gunter loaned the band the use of his truck to get the equipment tractor, trailer and new props to the competition. Thanks also go to the Smithville Police Department and the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department for the escort around town which helps make the students feel proud of their achievements. Mrs. Birmingham said, “Getting a police escort back to the band room helps make the students feel like rock stars, and in my book, they really DO rock!”

The Band would also like to say congratulations the DCHS Tiger Football Team for the big win against Pearl Cohn High School. Mr. Wright said, “We wish we could have been there with you; however, if we’re at the games or not, we are always cheering for you! We are really proud of our football team.”

Next week, the band travels to Vanderbilt University for the Vanderbilt Marching Invitational. For more information about the Band, sponsors, schedule, pictures and video, log onto www.DekalbBand.com.

Operation Head To Toe Solicits Support To Clothe Needy Children

October 4, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

If you would like to help needy children in this community then you're encouraged to support "Operation Head to Toe", a faith-based initiative to assist families who struggle financially.

"Operation Head To Toe" uses donated funds to purchase new school clothes for children.

The mission is to work in conjunction with the educators of the DeKalb County School System to identify children and youth who have almost nothing in the way of clothing. Once these children and youth are selected, volunteers work with the families to purchase $150 worth of clothes per child.

In 2004, Jeanni Watson, the founder, had this idea to help these children. She received a gift of one hundred dollars in seed money, and Operation Head to Toe began.

That first year, Operation Head to Toe distributed $9,000 of new clothing to children in DeKalb County. In 2007, with the help of over 400 volunteers, donors and educators, Operation Head to Toe received over $15,000 and clothed 118 children. Operation Head to Toe is now part of the DeKalb County Foundation for Education, with a board of directors to help give guidance. Betty Turner is the director of Operation Head to Toe.

The 2008 fall distribution campaign is underway and your help is needed. Operation Head to Toe's connection with the DeKalb County Foundation for Education allows your contributions to be tax-deductible. Donations by check should be made payable to Operation Head to Toe, P.O. Box 372, Smithville, 37166.

For more information, call 597-1220 or 597-5920.

5th Annual Habitat Chili Cook-Off Set for October 24th

October 4, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

Habitat for Humanity's Fifth Annual Chili Cook-off and bake sale will be held on the courthouse lawn on Friday, October 24th from 10:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

According to Tecia Puckett Pryor, eight teams have already committed to participate including State Farm Insurance Agent Jackie Smith, Bradley Printing, the Board of Education, DeKalb Community Bank, the Courthouse Crew, Edgar Evins State Park, Tom Janney and Associates, and the Chamber of Commerce. Organizers hope to have at least fifteen teams.

Teams will be honored for having the "Best Chili" and the "Best Decorated" booth.

To enter a team, pick up an application from Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen at the courthouse, at the law office of Sue Puckett-Jernigan next to Griffin's Fruit Market, or at Bradley Printing.

You may purchase a bowl for $5.00 and enjoy all the chili you care to eat. Take out will also be available.

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Habitat for Humanity builds and renovates houses in partnership with volunteers and families in need, regardless of their ethnic or religious background. The houses then are sold to those in need at no profit and with no interest charged. To contact Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, please call 215-8181.

Two houses have been built in DeKalb County. The second house has just been completed and a dedication will be scheduled this fall. Funds raised from the chili cook-off will go toward construction of a third Habitat house.

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