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Jennings Crowned Autumn Princess

November 6, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Autumn Princess Emma Brooke Jennings
Autumn Princess and Runners-Up
Miss Manners Megan LaFrance

Seven year old Emma Brooke Jennings is the 2010 Autumn Princess.

Jennings, daughter of Chad and Shelly Jennings of Smithville, succeeds the retiring Autumn Princess Macy Elizabeth Hedge, the ten year old daughter of David and Trina Hedge of Smithville.

The pageant, featuring twenty one girls ages 7 to 10, was sponsored by the Smithville Business and Professional Women's Club and held Saturday night at the DCHS gym.

First runner-up was Anna Rachel Blair, the nine year old daughter of Keith and Amanda Blair of Smithville.

Second runner-up was Kayla Jayne Belk, the ten year old daughter of Chrisanne Belk of Smithville and Wendell Belk of Christiana

Abby Evans, the ten year old daughter of Amanda Mathis of Smithville and Clay Evans of Cookeville, was named third runner-up.

Madison Colwell was fourth runner-up. She is the ten year old daughter of Gabriel and Heather Colwell of Smithville.

Rounding out the top ten were Kyra Agee, the ten year old daughter of April and Donny Agee of Smithville; Sarah Anne Colwell, the ten year old daughter of Trent and Christie Colwell of Smithville; Santanna Nicole Ferrell, the ten year old daughter of Melissa Ferrell and Chris Ferrell of Smithville; Lacey Jade McMillen, the seven year old daughter of Chris and Kristina McMillen of Alexandria; and Abigail Hope Taylor, the ten year old daughter of Ken and Cindy Taylor of Smithville.

Nine year old Megan LaFrance was name Miss Manners. She is the daughter of Robert and Kellie LaFrance of Smithville.

Others participating in the pageant were Briona Alysse Agee, the seven year old daughter of Kevin and Jennifer Agee of Smithville; Dasia Gurley, the seven year old daughter of Allen and Felicia Taylor of Smithville; Willow Grace Godowns, the ten year old daughter of Kelly Godowns of Smithville and the late William Thomas Godowns, Jr.; Julia Grace Curtis, the nine year old daughter of Bruce and Amy Curtis of Smithville; Sophia Bonifacio, the eight year old daughter of David and Melody Mahan of Dowelltown; Katherine Anne Malone, the eight year old daughter of Kevin and Dana Malone of Smithville; Karley Annie Elizabeth Knowles, the eight year old daughter of Melvin and Teresa Knowles of Smithhville; Alexis Grace Atnip, the seven year old daughter of Veronica Atnip and John B. Atnip; Carly Vance, the eight year old daughter of Chris and Cheryl Vance of Smithville; and Shelby Sprague, the nine year old daughter of Jimmy and Johnna Sprague of Smithville.

(Top Photo: Autumn Princess Emma Brooke Jennings)

(Second from top: Left to Right- 2nd runner-up Kayla Jayne Belk, 1st runner-up Anna Rachel Blair, Autumn Princess Emma Brooke Jennings, 3rd runner-up Abby Evans, and 4th runner-up Madison Colwell)

(Bottom Photo: Miss Manners Megan LaFrance)

Dowelltown Man Seriously Injured in Friday Crash

November 6, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Two involved in Friday Crash on Highway 70 east near VFW Club (Photo Provided)
Rear Axle Dislodges from Box Truck in Friday Wreck (Photo Provided)

A 34 year old man was seriously injured in a Friday afternoon crash on Highway 70 just east of the VFW Club.

The accident occurred around 12:55 p.m.

Scott Cory Harris of Cathcart Road, Dowelltown was transported by DeKalb EMS to the Midway community fire station, where he was picked up by a helicopter ambulance and flown to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

Trooper Allen England of the Tennessee Highway Patrol said Harris was traveling west in a 1997 Nissan pickup truck and failed to maintain his lane of travel, crossed the center line in a curve, and made opposite direction sideswipe impact with an eastbound 2004 Kenworth straight box truck, driven by 35 year old David Emery Pippin of Cookeville. Pippin was driving for the J.R. "Buddy" Gaw Produce Company in Cookeville. There was no cargo on board.

According to Trooper England, the box truck broke into three sections. The rear axle dislodged and went to the southside of the roadway, while the cargo box came off the chassis and landed upside down. The truck chassis and cargo box came to rest across the highway, blocking traffic for about two hours. Motorists who came upon the scene from both directions had to be re-routed.

Harris' truck came to a stop in a ditchline on the northside of the highway.

Members of the Short Mountain Highway and Midway fire stations and the DeKalb County Fire Department Extrication Team responded. Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker also rendered assistance and Sheriff's department deputies were there. Harris had to be extricated from his truck. Pippin was not injured.

Harris also had two dogs in the truck cab with him. One of the dogs ran off after the wreck. The other was seriously injured and taken to the vet. Reports say the dog later died.

Trooper England said according to witnesses, Harris may have been going too fast, contributing to the crash. The roadway was also wet at the time. Charges are pending.

TDOT Receives Three Bids on Hurricane Bridge Rehab Project

November 5, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Hurricane Bridge
TDOT Spokesperson Jennifer Flynn

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has received three bids on the rehabilitation of the Hurricane Bridge. Bids were opened on Friday, October 29th.

Jennifer Flynn, Community Relations Officer in the Chattanooga TDOT Office told WJLE Friday, November 5th that the apparent low bidder is OCCI Incorporated of Fulton, Missouri at $26.9 million dollars. Other bidders were Bell & Associates of Brentwood at $33.7 million and Kay & Kay Contracting of London, Kentucky at $33.8 million. Flynn said TDOT has 30 days after a bid opening to award a contract or reject all bids. TDOT is still evaluating these bids.

This is the second bid opening for the project. TDOT received only one bid the first time, from Bell & Associates of Brentwood, but that company's bid of $39.5 million was rejected about a month ago for being over estimates .TDOT officials have said that the estimate for the project is $12 to $15 million dollars.

Flynn said the project will entail a rehabilitation of the existing bridge. " The rehabilitation project will replace the deck at the bridge. New guardrails will be installed and it will strengthen the steel structure underneath and make the bridge a lot safer and it won't have to be weight posted anymore upon completion of the project."

According to Flynn, the contractor has until October 31st, 2013 to complete the project

The rehabilitation of Hurricane Bridge is among the projects to be funded through TDOT's Better Bridge bonding program in the fiscal year 2010-11 state budget, which was approved by the legislature this year.

Sheriff Ray Named to Open Records Counsel

November 5, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Sheriff Patrick Ray

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Sheriff Patrick Ray will represent the Tennessee Sheriff's Association as a member of the Open Records Counsel.

The counsel serves as the contact for concerns on access to local government public records under the Tennessee Public Records Act. The Office assists in obtaining public records from local government, both in guiding citizens to correct offices/officials and in working to resolve disputes regarding access to public records. The Office promotes education and awareness of the Tennessee public records and open meetings laws through direct outreach and through coordination with existing organizations. This effort is addressed both to citizens and to local governments.

"I feel very honored to have been chosen to serve on the Open Records Counsel as a representative of the Tennessee Sheriff's Association", said Sheriff Ray.

The responsibilities of the Office include: answering questions and providing information to public officials and the public regarding public records; collecting data on open meetings law inquires and problems; providing educational outreach on open records laws and open meetings laws; issuing informal advisory opinions on open records issues; informally mediating and assisting with the resolution of issues concerning records; working in conjunction with the Advisory Committee on Open Government on open meetings and open records issues; and developing forms, schedule, policies, and guidelines.

Operation Medicine Cabinet Presciption Drug Take Back Program set for Saturday

November 5, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

Operation Medicine Cabinet, a prescription drug take back program, will be held Saturday, November 6th from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at the old Smithville Food Center parking lot on South Congress Boulevard in Smithville.

The event is sponsored by the DeKalb Prevention Coalition.

Gingie Braswell, member of the Coalition and Director of Human Resources at DeKalb Community Hospital, urges you to participate. "We want to invite everyone to bring all of their unused, unwanted or expired medications for safe disposal."

"You may ask, why should we participate?. This gives us an opportunity to have collected medications disposed of in an environmentally safe method. Pharmaceuticals have been found in our drinking water due to their disposal down house drains. So many times we don't know how to dispose of these drugs. We're looking for prescription and over the counter solid dosage medications and capsules. We really do not want to accept the liquid medications or syringes at this time."

"Every day almost 2,500 teens abuse a prescription medication for the first time and the medicine cabinet in their homes and the homes of their friends are the major sources for these drugs."

"We think this is a wonderful program. Our DeKalb Prevention Coalition is a new program and we're very happy that this is one of the first projects that we're presenting for the community. We're also working with the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, the Smithville Police Department, and the Alexandria Police Department, with assistance from the Wal-mart Pharmacy, the City of Smithville, and the Office of the DeKalb County Mayor."

Jim Hendrixson, Director of the DeKalb Prevention Coalition, said this event is being held as part of the"Upper Cumberland Operation Medicine Cabinet Month." "Most of the other counties in the Upper Cumberland region are doing theirs on the same day. Two or three of them (counties) will be doing them later in the month. We will identify the drugs, that's where the pharmacy comes in. We'll divide the drugs into controlled and non-controlled type substances. From there, they'll be collected and the Tennessee Highway Patrol will be transporting them to a crematory either in Putnam County or White County. We request that the drugs be brought in their original containers. There will be someone there to take the labels off the containers. No one will know who is turning in what. Someone will be there to make sure your name is not on the container when it's passed on."

"We really want to urge everyone to partake of this opportunity. There's a lot of reasons to do this. We want to get the temptation out of the way for the youth. There's chances of accidental ingestion by younger children. And if people (thieves) know you have drugs in your house, they're more likely to want to enter your house."

"We're part of a national and statewide organization. Our primary focus is on early intervention and prevention of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco use by youth. We have various programs such as this one that we will be putting on in the county to try to improve the situation. We meet the second Tuesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. at Haven of Hope. We're just now getting started and we're recruiting board members every day now."

For more information, call 615-785-1973.

As you adjust your clocks, change smoke alarm batteries

November 5, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

Tennessee State Fire Marshal Leslie A. Newman is reminding Tennesseans to change their smoke alarms’ batteries this weekend when they set back their clocks late Saturday night for central standard time.

“Smoke alarms, even those that are hard-wired, should have their batteries replaced regularly and should be tested monthly to ensure they’re providing the proper protection,” says Tennessee State Fire Marshal Leslie A. Newman. “Use the extra hour we gain this weekend to make sure your home and family are fire-safe.”

Most home fires occur at night when people are sleeping. The smoke and toxic gases generated by a fire can cause people to sleep more deeply, narrowing the chances of surviving a fire. A working smoke alarm can double the chances of survival by increasing the amount of time a person has to escape a fire in their home.

Nationally, more than 90 percent of all homes have smoke alarms, but it is estimated that one-third of them don't work because of old or missing batteries. It is critical to replace batteries regularly – even if alarms appear to be working fine. Twice a year is recommended. This reduces the chance of alarms chirping to indicate low batteries. All too often, a battery is removed and not replaced, putting a home’s occupants at risk. There's no way to predict when a fire will occur, so even one night without an operational smoke alarm can be dangerous.
Here are some other helpful hints on the importance of smoke alarms:

• Smoke alarms should be installed in every room where an occupant sleeps, outside every sleeping area, and on each level of the home. Make sure everyone can hear the alarm and knows what it sounds like.
• Smoke alarms need to be cleaned and maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
• Devise a fire escape plan with two ways out of every room, and be sure to teach it to any children who live in the home.
• When a smoke alarm sounds, get out of the home immediately and go to your pre-planned meeting place.

The Department of Commerce and Insurance works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee. www.tn.gov/commerce/

Smithville Elementary School Pays Tribute to Veterans

November 4, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Featured Guests at SES Veteran's Appreciation Assembly
SES Students Welcome Local Veterans at Assembly Program
SES Students Mailing Letters of Support to Local Veterans

A Veteran's Appreciation assembly program was held Thursday morning at Smithville Elementary School in recognition of Veteran's Day, which is next Thursday, November 11th.

Featured guests included Lieutenant Commander Allan Midgett, retired from the U.S. Navy. He served 25 years and did tours of duty in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.; Sergeant James Evans of the U.S. Army, who has served a tour of duty in Iraq; Sharon Wolford, President of the local Amvets Chapter and State Sergeant at Arms; and Curtis L. Rust, Second Vice Commander of the Department of Tennessee AmVets

Cindy Brody of Partners for Patriots was also on hand to talk about the dogs she trains to assist disabled veterans. Partners for Patriots is a local, non-profit organization headquartered in Liberty.

Meanwhile each class at Smithville Elementary has written letters to more than 85 local
veterans, which were collected today to be mailed to the veterans.

The purpose of the program was to honor veterans and try to instill in these children at an early
age the importance of the men and women who have dedicated their lives to
the service of our country.

Authorities Searching for Missing Rutherford County Man on Center Hill Lake

November 3, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

A 42 year old Rutherford County man who rented a pontoon boat from Center Hill Marina and set out on the lake Tuesday has gone missing.

Authorities are looking for Joseph Loupe.

Officials of the TWRA, DeKalb County Rescue Squad, and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department conducted a search on the lake Wednesday afternoon in the general area where Loupe was last seen on Tuesday, about three quarters of a mile from the marina.

According to TWRA Officer Tony Cross, Loupe's boat was spotted unoccupied but still in gear and traveling in a circle, Tuesday afternoon. " He rented the boat around midday Tuesday from Center Hill Marina. Approximately 50 minutes to an hour later, the boat was discovered unoccupied out on the lake, still moving, in gear. He has not been accounted for. Several different agencies are working on it.. We've not officially ruled it a boating accident but we're treating it as such, working side by side with the sheriff's department in DeKalb and Rutherford county."

After getting the boat stopped, an Edgar Evins Marina employee and park ranger began a visual search, scanning the banks and shoreline in the area, before contacting the TWRA.

Officer Cross said there was one sighting of the man on the lake prior to his disappearance. "We had a witness (an employee of Edgar Evins Marina) who saw the rental pontoon and saw that there was a person on board, but he was quite a distance away. He just happened to take notice of it since there is very little boat traffic on the lake right now. He noticed it was a rental pontoon from Center Hill Marina and it looked like one person was on the boat but nothing appeared to be amiss."

TWRA officers scanned the banks by boat throughout the afternoon and dragging operations by the rescue squad continued until dark, but to no avail. The search is being conducted near where the boat was found in about 110-145 feet of water

Officer Cross said the search is expected to resume Thursday. If you have information contact the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department at 597-4935.

Natural Gas Prices Expected to Remain Stable this Winter

November 3, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Les Enoch

Natural gas customers could see lower home heating costs this winter.

Les Enoch, CEO of Middle Tennessee Natural Gas, said prices have stabilized. Couple that with a mild winter and energy conservation, and gas customers could reap the benefits. "Fall light up season is underway and it's a great time to provide a winter update. The information we have at this time is that natural gas prices continue to remain stable due to increased supply, higher production, and robust underground storage balances. As you recall, last winter was significantly colder than normal and we're expecting a return to more seasonable weather. The good news is that the district's rates are at their lowest level in years. If you couple a five percent rate reduction when we expect moderate weather, we have a great opportunity for lower gas bills."

"We want to remind our customers that energy conservation also helps reduce gas bills. The district provides free safety inspections and pilot lightings during this time of the year and we also encourage our customers to take the time to improve insulation, weather stripping, to change their filters, and to keep their thermostats at the lowest possible comfort level. For every degree you lower your thermostat, you save about 3% on your heating bill".

"We're committed to providing quality service and we're well prepared to serve our customers with an abundant supply of clean burning and reliable natural gas. We appreciate our customers and with winter just around the corner, we encourage them to call us at 597-4388 to schedule a free pilot lighting, if they need it, or a safety inspection, if they'd like or to be able to help them with any of their appliance needs before the winter sets in."

Farm Service Agency Committee Elections

November 3, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page

Election ballots for the DeKalb County Farm Service Agency’s local committee election will be mailed to all eligible voters in Local Administrative Area # 3 on Friday, November 5. Ballots must be completed and returned in person or postmarked no later than December 6, 2010.

Donny Green, County Executive Director of the DeKalb County Farm Service Agency, says the farmer-elected committee is your voice in USDA’s programs here in DeKalb County. Members of the committee work with area farmers to maintain the local focus on many USDA programs, inform people of what’s available, and help producers understand how the programs work. Committee members work to help shape national programs into working local programs.

Timmie Adcock was nominated as a candidate and will be the only candidate listed on the ballot. Write-in nominations are accepted and should be written on the official ballot. All candidates must meet eligibility requirements to hold the office on the Committee.

Once eligible voters receive their ballots, careful attention should be given to the instructions provided on the ballot that outline proper procedures for voting in this election. Voters can vote for only 1 nominee listed, or can write-in only 1 eligible candidate on the ballot. A return envelope is provided to seal the ballot. After the voted ballot is placed inside the return envelope, the voter must sign the address label affixed to the outside of the return envelope. Voted ballots can be mailed back to the DeKalb County FSA, or can be hand delivered to the FSA.

“It’s vitally important that we have good participation in our County Committee Elections. We need all eligible voters to take the time to vote and return their ballots. This sends a strong message that our local farmers support the farmer-elected committee system,” says Green. Ballots will be opened and tabulated in a public meeting at the DeKalb County USDA Service Center, located at 647 Bright Hill Rd. in Smithville, at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 7. Contact the DeKalb County FSA office at 597-8225, ext. 2 for more information.

FSA committee elections are open to all voters without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, or disability.

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