Local News Articles

DCHS Names Twenty Most Outstanding Seniors

September 16, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Picture Courtesy of DCHS Tiger Media

DeKalb County High School has announced the twenty most outstanding seniors

These students in no particular order are:

Salma Acuna, Ashley Barnes, Kayna Caplinger, Alexis Cornelius, Josh Davidson, Sarah Edwards, Kelsey Evins, Kaleb Ferrell, Travis Ferrell, Eli Gill, Lauren Lewis, Elizabeth Mason, Ashley Medlin, McKenzie Poteete, Laura Reed, Cameron Rhea, Courtney Rice, Danielle Tyson, Crystal Vickers, and Jordan Wilkins.

Front Row: Kayna Caplinger, Salma Acuna, Sarah Edwards, Laura Reed, Crystal Vickers, Ashley Medlin

Middle Row: Alexis Cornelius, Elizabeth Mason, McKenzie Poteete, Kelsey Evins, Danielle Tyson, Ashley Barnes, Lauren Lewis

Back Row: Jordan Wilkins, Eli Gill, Kalab Ferrell, Cameron Rhea, Travis Ferrell

Not Pictured: Josh Davidson & Courtney Rice

DeKalb County High School FBLA Organization Attends Leadership Camp

September 16, 2013
DeKalb County High School FBLA Organization Attends Leadership Camp

The DeKalb County High School, Future Business Leaders of America recently attended Leadership Development Camp at Camp Clements in Doyle, Tennessee.

Members attended Power Sessions on topics of Leadership, Program of Work, Community Service, Teamwork, and Competition. Members also participated in Track Time for members. During track time for members, sessions were about being a better business professional.

Chapter members that attended were: Taneah Cantrell, Maggie Mahaffey, Heather Scott, Kamien Sparks, Braxton Pugh, Bailey Hayes. Our chapter president, Jordan Wilkins participated in the President’s track. The president track was designed to help local presidents like Jordan lead our chapter for this school year. The club adviser that attended camp with the students was Marilyn Roberts who participated in the adviser’s track.

In addition to power sessions and track time campers participated in recreation activities and were divided by color groups. Recreation activities included relay races and other team building activities. This was a wonderful experience for the students. They gained leadership, social, and networking skills by participating in Camp Clements Leadership Development Camp.

4-H Members Win at Outdoor Cookery Contest

September 16, 2013
by: 
Michael Barry
Tyree Cripps, Abby Evans, and Wyatt Martin.
Justin Bass, Jessica Williams, Preston Cripps, and Nathaniel Theriaque.
James Mathis

Working with barbecue grills, charcoal, and fresh cuts of meat, DeKalb County 4-H members recently competed in the Central Region 4-H Outdoor Meat Cookery contest held in Lebanon. Each team member had to construct a charcoal fire and, using their best recipes, grill their choice of beef, lamb, pork, or poultry for some hungry judges to sample. Contestants receive individual scores as well as an overall team score based on fire preparation, safety, meat preparation skills, palatability and overall appearance of the final product. The junior high contest, which consisted of 4-H members in 7th – 9th grades, had 19 teams from all over Middle Tennessee competing. DeKalb County junior high team members included Tyree Cripps, Abby Evans, Wyatt Martin, and James Mathis. The team placed 3rd overall. Individually, Abby Evans was the 1st place winner in the lamb division, Tyree Cripps placed 3rd in poultry, and Wyatt Martin placed 6th in beef. The senior high contest, which consisted of 4-H members in 10th – 12th grades, had 20 teams in the division. DeKalb County senior high team members included Justin Bass, Preston Cripps, Nathaniel Theriaque, and Jessica Williams. The team placed 12th placed overall. In addition to the flavor aspect of the contest, senior high contestants also had to display their finished products involving an outdoor theme.

Picture captions.

4-H junior high outdoor meat cookery team members pictured with their awards (left to right): Tyree Cripps, Abby Evans, and Wyatt Martin.

4-H senior high outdoor meat cookery team members with their display include (left to right): Justin Bass, Jessica Williams, Preston Cripps, and Nathaniel Theriaque.

James Mathis participated in the 4-H junior high outdoor meat cookery contest recently held in Lebanon.

Four Injured in Saturday Wrecks

September 15, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page

A 19 year old woman was airlifted after a two car wreck on Whorton Springs Road Saturday.

Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Hannah Brooke Green of Smithville was driving east on Whorton Springs Road in a 2009 Nissan Altima as 44 year old Victor Romo of Smithville was west in a 1998 Nissan Altima. The two cars made impact in a curve on a small bridge.

Green and Romo were taken to DeKalb Community Hospital by DeKalb EMS. Green was later airlifted by helicopter ambulance from the local hospital and flown to Vanderbilt Hospital.

Passengers of the Romo car, 24 year old Fabian Garcia and 22 year old Alberto Romo were apparently not injured.

Meanwhile, Smithville Police Officer Chip Avera and Corporal Travis Bryant investigated a two vehicle accident Saturday at the intersection of West Broad Street and Juniper Lane.

Officer Avera told WJLE that 56 year old Mickey Hobbs of Smithville, driving a 1999 Ford Windstar, was attempting to cross Broad Street from South Juniper Lane to North Juniper Lane when he pulled into the path of a westbound 1993 Toyota pickup, driven by 27 year old Lydia Price of Smithville. Price's vehicle hit Hobb's automobile in the passenger side.

Price was transported to the hospital by DeKalb EMS. Hobbs went to the hospital by private vehicle.

Officer Avera said Hobbs was issued a citation for violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance).

Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department were also on the scene to assist.

Kelsey Evins Receives Student Recognition Award at TSBA Upper Cumberland Fall District Meeting

September 13, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Charles Robinson Congratulates Kelsey Evins
Kelsey Evins Receives Student Recognition Award at TSBA Fall District Meeting

A local student, Kelsey Evins received the Student Recognition Award Thursday evening during the Tennessee School Boards Association Upper Cumberland Fall District meeting held at South Fentress Elementary School in Fentress County.

Each year TSBA honors one student from each of its nine districts who has achieved distinction in the areas of academics, community leadership, and engagement as part of its Student Recognition Award program. One of those nine students will win the statewide Student Recognition Award to be presented at the TSBA Annual Convention in November, which will include a $2,000 scholarship.

Evins, the 2013 Upper Cumberland District winner, is currently a senior at DeKalb County High School. She has maintained a 4.0 grade point average while taking a rigorous schedule of advanced and dual credit courses and actively participating and volunteering in her community. In addition to her academic success and achievements, Kelsey is an active volunteer and talented individual. She uses her talents to raise money for her community. She is a volunteer entertainer at various activities in DeKalb County and surrounding areas that raise funds for the community and bring tourism to the area. She also works hard to improve her community by working in food pantries, clothes distributions, and participating in coat drives.

During the Fall District meeting, local boards of education in the Upper Cumberland Region learned about the changing landscape of education advocacy, heard updates on education legislation, and were provided with a Tennessee Reform update.

The evening consisted of board members earning honors for their professional
development activities and recognizing a dedicated school volunteer and an outstanding student.

The Upper Cumberland District meeting was one of nine similar sessions held annually in each of TSBA’s development districts.

The program also included an update on this year’s session of the Tennessee General Assembly and a review of the salary schedule, teacher licensure and evaluations from the Deputy Commissioner of Education, Dr. Kathleen Airhart. Board members participated in a legislative survey with their electronic devices via an online/SMS texting program.

Local school board members attending were John David Foutch, Charles Robinson, W.J. (Dub) Evins, III, and Chairman Johnny Lattimore.

(Top Photo: DeKalb School Board member Charles Robinson and Kelsey Evins)

(Bottom Photo Left to Right: School Board members John David Foutch, W.J. (Dub) Evins, III, Kelsey Evins (Dub Evins' daughter), TSBA Executive Director Dr. Tammy Grissom, and School Board member Charles Robinson)

DeKalb FCCLA Challenges Cannon For Good Cause

September 13, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
John Isabell

The DeKalb County High School Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Club is participating in a collection drive for the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center in support of local educator John Isbabell who is battling leukemia.

Linda Parris, DCHS teacher said the local FCCLA Chapter is challenging Cannon County High School students to see which school can collect more Ultra Soft and regular Kleenex and Puff tissues without scents or lotion to donate to the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center.

Several months ago the DCHS FCCLA club won a challenge with Cannon County by collecting the most shoes in the Soles for Souls program. " Our FCCLA Chapter has challenged Cannon County to help us collect more Ultra soft and regular Kleenex and Puff tissues without scents or lotion to donate to the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center in support of Mr. Isabell at DCHS currently battling leukemia. We don't want to let Cannon county beat us in showing our support for Mr. John Isabell. Kleenex can be dropped off at the high school or contact us at 597-4094 to arrange a pick up or you can bring kleenex to our homecoming game. Homecoming will be where the final count is given! Thanks for your continued support," said Parris.

Tennessee Adopts Second High School Equivalency Test

September 13, 2013

Beginning January 2, 2014, out-of-school youth and adults who are pursuing a high-school equivalency credential will have another test option to improve their earnings potential.

Tennesseans will have a choice of taking either the new 2014 GED® test or an alternative high school equivalency test designed by Educational Testing Services called HiSET™.

Tennessee is one of several states that are adopting the new test due to changes in the GED Exam. Beginning in January of 2014, the new GED test will only be offered via computer. The HiSET alternative test will allow for either computer or paper-based testing. Passing either test will lead to a high school equivalency diploma issued by the State of Tennessee and accepted nationally.

“We are pleased that the alternative test, which has been approved by the General Assembly and the State Board of Education, will continue to offer paper-based testing as an option in addition to computer-based,” said Adult Education Administrator Marva Doremus. “We want as much accessibility as possible for those who lack a high school diploma since attaining this credential enhances their employment opportunities.”

Like the GED, the HiSET exam will measure a student’s knowledge and skills in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies and will be significantly aligned to Common Core State Standards.

Tennesseans who have passed some but not all parts of the GED have only the remainder of 2013 to earn their high school credential under the current test structure. All partial scores will no longer be valid after January 1, 2014.
Last year, 10,142 Tennesseans earned GED diplomas, but Tennessee still has more than 930,000 adults without a high school diploma or its equivalent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those who have a high school credential earn $181 more weekly than those without. Additionally, those with a high school credential have an unemployment rate of 8.3% compared with 12.4% of those who do not.

For details on taking high school equivalency tests and information on preparation courses, contact the Adult Education Division of the Department of Labor & Workforce Development at 1-800-531-1515, or visit the Department’s website at http://www.tn.gov/labor-wfd/AE/.

Coach Trapp Voted Titans High School Coach of the Week!

September 12, 2013
Coach Steve Trapp

This high school football season, the Tennessee Titans are asking the fans to select the Titans High School Coach of the Week winners through online polling, and fans decided the Week 2 winner is Steve Trapp of DeKalb County High School in Smithville.

The school will receive a $1,000 grant for its program from Titans Owner K.S. “Bud” Adams, Jr.

Led by a freshman quarterback, Steven Jennings, Coach Trapp’s Tigers defeated the Livingston Academy Wildcats, 35-28. This is DeKalb County’s first win against the Wildcats since 1994. In the game’s final seconds, the Tigers’ defense was successful with a goal-line stand as Livingston threatened to tie the game.

“Coach Trapp is an awesome, hard worker, and really has turned our program around,” said Patrick Cripps, DeKalb County High School Principal. “Coach has instilled discipline, hard work, and ethics into his players and has just done a fantastic job!”

Coach Trapp will be the team’s guest at the Titans’ season finale versus the Houston Texans on Dec. 29 when the team honors all 2013 Coach of the Week winners and announces the winner of the 2013 Coach of the Year! Week 1 winner Coach Jeremy Bosken is also eligible for the Tennessee Titans Coach of the Year award. Mr. Adams will make an additional $2,000 grant to the Titans Coach of the Year winner on that date.

In addition to Trapp, this week’s nominees were Justin Price of Campbell High School in Jacksboro, Noah Lampkin of Gleason High School and Bruce Lussier of Father Ryan High School in Nashville. Coach Trapp received 69 percent of the votes. Each of these three finalists is eligible to win the honor during the remainder of this season.

Nominees are submitted by sports writers and broadcasters across the state with specific criteria in mind. The specific criteria included, beating a longtime rival, snapping a losing streak, defeating a defending champion, an amazing come from behind victory, and/or involvement in the local community.

Also considered is a coach’s commitment to his players’ safety, by teaching the fundamentals of the game, proper tackling techniques, concussion management practices and adherence to heat and hydration guidelines.

Now in its 15th season, Mr. Adams has awarded more than $163,000 from the Titans Foundation to football programs across the state in honor of the Coach of the Week and Year winners.

Smithville Airport Closed for Runway Resurfacing

September 12, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Highways Inc  milling and doing overlay of airport runway
Airport Closed for Runway Resurfacing
Airport Runway and Apron Project Underway
New Fuel Farm to be located here
Apron Expansion
Expansion of Apron and Parking Area
Workers Removing top layer of the old asphalt
Rotating Beacon to be Replaced
Airport Electrical System to Undergo Rehab

The Smithville Municipal Airport is closed for up to two weeks while an apron expansion and runway overlay (resurfacing) project is in progress.

Highways Incorporated was recently awarded the bid to do the work by the mayor and board of aldermen. In addition to the resurfacing, the project includes design and construction of new infrastructure for the PAPI (runway) lights. The cost is $1,633,738.

Last year, the city was approved for a $1.5 million grant to do the runway overlay and apron expansion. State grant funding totaled $1,350,000 and the local matching obligation was $150,000. The grant approved for the design and construction of the PAPI infrastructure was for $96,300. The city's portion was $4,815. Since the grant for overlay did not cover the cost of the paving project, the city applied and was approved for up to $190,000 in additional grant funds with a 5% local match. The grants were made available through the Tennessee Department of Transportation's Aeronautics Division.

"We're having the runway resurfaced and we are expanding the ramp and our parking area at the airport," said Airport Manager Wes Nokes. "We're also repairing a spot of existing asphalt that has deteriorated probably due to an underground spring. The design for all that, the engineering portion of it, we got a grant for that and then we got a separate grant for the actual construction, the asphalt for the runway, the asphalt for the apron extension and to repair the older asphalt," said Nokes.

"Another grant is for our PAPI lights, which are lights at the end of the runway that let the pilots know if they are on the right guide slope and if they are too high or too low coming in for approach for landing," said Nokes. "The wiring that supplies the electricity for these lights is extremely old. It was probably put in during the early 1970s. It's now dilapidated and corroded. This grant will replace all that wiring from the main hangar building out to each end of the runway, "he said.

The airport will also have a new fuel farm soon, offering jet fuel for the first time. "We currently do not sell jet fuel at the airport so this will be a huge increase in traffic and revenue for us as we have not been able to provide that service before. But after this, we will. Even some of our current customers, businesses, and factories in the area that have corporate aircraft, when they come in they have no way of refueling here. They have to go somewhere else for fuel before they come in or after they leave so it will be a huge convenience factor for them and help us on the revenue aspect of it as well," said Nokes. "The fuel farm construction hinges on the construction of the runway and the new part of the apron as the new fuel farm will be moved down to the end of the new apron expansion. There will be two above ground tanks. They will be twelve thousand gallon tanks. They will be operated on a self serve basis twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. They will be accessible by a debit or credit card," he said.

The city received approval last fall for a grant to help pay for the design and construction of the new fuel farm at the airport. The project totals $330,000, funded $297,000 by federal, $16,500 state, and $16,500 in local dollars.

Meanwhile, the aldermen Monday night, September 9 approved a request by Nokes to apply for another grant to help fund an electrical rehab project at the airport. " This will entail replacing and relocating our rotating beacon, which is extremely old. We've put a lot of money in it during the last few years. They have made a lot of technological advances since this one was built and a new one will greatly reduce all this maintenance that we're having to do right now," said Nokes

"Another part of that (project) is going to be an electrical vault room, which will be located out behind the current maintenance hangar. It will house all of our airfield lighting equipment. Everything that powers the runway lights, the rotating beacon, the PAPI lights. Everything will be housed in one spot. It will be a secure room, which is the way it is supposed to be and it will also free up the space that is currently being occupied inside the maintenance hangar and give Burton a little more room in there to do his operations," said Nokes.

"The bigger part of it will entail replacing our actual runway lights with a modern LED system. If we replace this with an LED system, it will pay for itself just in electricity savings in one to three years depending upon how much it is actually used over that period of time. It varies by electrical consumption. But that's the numbers on it right now. In one to three years that portion will pay for itself," he said.

The total cost of the grant to do all these rehabs will be $450,000 at a 5% match. The cost to the city will be $22,500, according to Nokes.

Lauren Ashley Medlin Named DCHS Homecoming Queen

September 11, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
DCHS Homecoming Queen and Attendants
DCHS Homecoming Queen Lauren Ashley Medlin

The 2013 Homecoming Queen at DeKalb County High School is Lauren Ashley Medlin.

A senior, Medlin is the 17 year old daughter of Greg and Teresa Medlin of Smithville.

The Homecoming Attendants are:

Senior Attendant -Sarah Elizabeth Edwards, the 17 year old daughter of Tena and the late Clay Edwards of Liberty

Senior Attendant- Elizabeth Jane Mason, the 18 year old daughter of Jim and April Mason of Smithville.

Junior Attendant- Brooke Danielle Roller, 16 year old daughter of Richard and Rose Roller of Smithville.

Sophomore Attendant- Tyra Grace Graham, the 15 year old daughter of Kyle and Doris Graham of Smithville.

Freshman Attendant- Susan Marie Webb, the 14 year old daughter of C.D. and Cindy Webb of Dowelltown

Spirit week activities will be held September 16 -20 at DCHS. The Homecoming Parade will take place Friday afternoon, September 20 and the Tiger Homecoming Football game will be at 7:00 p.m. that night against Cannon County. WJLE will have LIVE coverage of the game.

(Top Photo: Standing left to right: Susan Marie Webb, Tyra Grace Graham, and Brooke Danielle Roller. Seated left to right: Sarah Elizabeth Edwards, Queen Lauren Ashley Medlin, and Elizabeth Jane Mason)

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