Local News Articles

Estes Crowned First Ever Autumn Princess

November 1, 2008
Dwayne Page
Autumn Princess Brooklynn Storm Estes
Autumn Princess and Attendants
Autumn Princess Miss Manners Alannah Rose Musick-Morris

The first ever Autumn Princess is 8 year old Brooklynn Storm Estes.

Estes, daughter of Chris and Shanna Bogle of Dowelltown, was among twenty three contestants in the pageant held Saturday night at the DCHS gym.

The new pageant, featuring girls ages 7 to 10, was sponsored by the Smithville Business and Professional Women's Club.

First runner-up in the pageant was Kyra Agee, the 8 year old daughter of April Davis and Donny Agee of Smithville.

Second runner-up was Tyra Grace Graham, the 10 year old daughter of Kyle and Doris Graham of Smithville.

Destiny Franklin, the 9 year old daughter of Jennifer Franklin and Charlie Ware of Smithville, was named third runner-up.

Abigail Hope Taylor was the fourth runner-up. She is the 8 year old daughter of Ken and Cindy Taylor of Smithville.

Rounding out the top ten were Kayla Jayne Belk, the 8 year old daughter of ChrisAnne Belk and Wendell Belk of Smithville; Hannah Elizabeth Evans, the 8 year old daughter of Mike and Amy Estes of Alexandria; Taylor Lee Parker, the 7 year old daughter of Tarron Johnson and Chris Parker of Smithville; Macy Elizabeth Hedge, the 8 year old daughter of David and Trina Hedge of Smithville; and Alannah Rose Musick-Morris the 7 year old daughter of Celena Musick and Grover Morris of Smithville.

Alannah Rose Musick-Morris was also named Miss Manners.

(Group picture- left to right: Abigail Hope Taylor, Tyra Grace Graham, Queen-Brooklynn Storm Estes, Kyra Agee, and Destiny Franklin)

DeKalb Tigers to Meet McMinn Central in First Round of TSSAA Football Play-offs

November 1, 2008
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Tiger Football team will travel to Englewood near Athens in east Tennessee to take on the McMinn Central Chargers Friday night, November 7th in the first round of the TSSAA playoffs.

McMinn Central, the runner-up in Region 3-3A, finished the regular season at 9-1, losing their only game to Howard 33 to 14 Friday night.

The winner of the DeKalb/McMinn Central game will meet the winner of the Whitehouse/East Ridge contest on November 14th.

Meanwhile, Sycamore will face Howard in the first round of the playoffs while Station Camp will take on Polk County . The winners of those two games will meet on November 14th.

McMinn Central defeated the following teams this year:

Loudon, 34-13
Oliver Springs, 48-13
Meigs County, 55-0
Sequoyah 28-12
Notre Dame 42-0
East Ridge 17-16
Tellico Plains 49-13
Grundy County 55-6
Polk County 16-0

The DeKalb County Tigers finished the regular season at 8-2

DeKalb County defeated the following teams this year:

Warren County 42-25
Watertown 31-14
Greenbrier 46-27
Cannon County 63-20
Pearl Cohn 28-6
Upperman 40-37
Sycamore 20-6
Macon County 35-7

The Tigers lost to Station Camp 51-27 and to Whitehouse 49-35

DeKalb County Wins Battle of the Cats at Macon County 35-7

October 30, 2008
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Tigers defeated the Macon County Tigers 35 to 7 at Lafayette Thursday night to conclude the regular football season at 8-2 overall and 4-2 in Region 4-3A.

DeKalb County will enter the TSSAA playoffs next week. The Tigers will travel to either McMinn Central or Chattanooga Howard. Those two teams play Friday night for the Region 3-3A championship.

Macon County, meanwhile, concludes their season with a 1-9 record, 1-5 in region play.

Neither team got on the board in the first period and the only score in the second quarter came with 24 seconds left before half time as Nick Lester caught a four yard touchdown pass from quarterback Hunter Poteete to give DeKalb County a 7-0 lead after Zach Taylor converted on the P.A.T.

That was the half time score.

DeKalb County got the ball to start the third period and marched 75 yards for another score. Quarterback Hunter Poteete found Abram Edwards on a 24 yard touchdown pass play. Zach Taylor converted on the P.A.T and with 9:15 left in the third quarter, the Tigers led 14-0.

After stopping Macon County on a fourth down play at the DeKalb 12 yard line, the Black and Gold Tigers moved 88 yards in two plays to score their third touchdown of the night. Quarterback Hunter Poteete raced 63 yards on the first play in the drive and Matthew Lawrence went the rest of the way on the second play, scoring on a 25 yard touchdown run with 3:41 left in the third period. Zach Taylor converted on the P.A.T. and DeKalb County led 21-0.

That was the score at the end of the third period.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, DeKalb County scored their fourth touchdown on a nine yard quarterback keeper by Hunter Poteete. Zach Taylor converted on the P.A.T. and DeKalb led 28-0 with 11:54 left in the game.

After getting the ball back on a turnover, the Tigers scored again, this time on a 24 yard pass play from quarterback Hunter Poteete to Abram Edwards. Zach Taylor converted on the PA.T. and DeKalb County led 35-0 with 11:25 to go in the fourth quarter.

Macon County finally got on the scoreboard with 3:28 left on a 22 yard touchdown pass play. The P.A.T. was good and DeKalb County's lead was cut to 35 to 7.

The final score was DeKalb County 35, Macon County 7.

J.J. Herriott had a huge night on defense for the Tigers, as he intercepted four Macon County passes. Herriott dropped a potentil fifth interception in the first half, on a fourth down pass play deep in Tiger territory. Hunter Poteete completed 5-of-14 passes for 115 yards and three touchdowns, and rushed for 161 yards on 15 carries with another score. Matthew Lawrence ran the ball 10 times for 79 yards with one touchdown.

Almost 4,000 People Voted Early

October 30, 2008
Dwayne Page

Almost four thousand people turned out for early voting in DeKalb County for the November 4th election.

The DeKalb County Election Commission reports that 3,979 persons voted from October 15th through October 30th including 3,816 in person and 163 by mail.

That beats the November early voting turnout of 2,212 in 2000 and 3,142 in 2004.

All early voting was conducted at the courthouse, but the election commission can break down the numbers of early voters by precinct.

The numbers of voters by precinct are as follows:

Alexandria 253
Temperance Hall 97
Edgar Evins State Park 21
Liberty 185
Dowelltown 123
Snow Hill 205
Middle School 757
Cherry Hill 36
Rock Castle 32
Courthouse 623
Johnson's Chapel 134
Elementary School 488
Belk 82
Keltonburg 217
Blue Springs 187
Church of Christ Annex 539

Total 3,979

If you did not vote early and are an eligible voter, you may cast ballots on Tuesday, November 4th. All sixteen precincts will be open for voting from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Be sure to vote Tuesday and then tune to WJLE Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. for LIVE election return coverage at the courthouse on FM 101.7, AM 1480 and LIVE audio streaming at www.wjle.com Also check out our election tables with voting results by precinct for all races at www.wjle.com

The following are the daily results of early voting at the courthouse.

Wednesday, October 15th- 250 voted in person and 5 by mail for a total of 255

Thursday, October 16th- 352 in person and 3 by mail for a total of 355

Friday, October 17th- 262 in person and 5 by mail for a total of 267

Saturday, October 18th- 142 in person and 5 by mail for a total of 147

Monday, October 20th- 213 in person and 5 by mail for a total of 218

Tuesday, October 21st- 240 in person and 21 by mail for a total of 261

Wednesday, October 22nd- 194 in person and 5 by mail for a total of 199

Thursday, October 23rd- 319 in person and 15 by mail for a total of 334

Friday, October 24th- 263 in person and 7 by mail for a total of 270

Saturday, October 25th- 159 in person and 6 by mail for a total of 165

Monday, October 27th- 229 in person and 3 by mail for a total of 232

Tuesday, October 28th- 298 in person and 8 by mail for a total of 306

Wednesday, October 29th- 281 in person and 8 by mail for a total of 289

Thursday, October 30th- 590 in person and 11 by mail for a total of 601

Prior to the start of early voting 56 voted by mail and 24 voted in person at the nursing homes and retirement homes for a total of 80.

Chamber Milestone Award Goes to New Frontiers

October 30, 2008
Lou Ann Sanders, Chamber Adm.Asst., New Frontier owners Larry and Lori Nellist, Suzanne Williams, Chamber Director

The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce recently presented the Chamber
Milestone Award to New Frontiers celebrating 20 years of service in DeKalb

According to owners Larry and Lori Nellist, "New Frontiers ministers to people throughout the world teaching them to think metaphorically, to live intentionally and to seek the emergent truths that God speaks to them."

New Frontiers is located at 3939 Old Snow Hill Road in Dowelltown. You can see their website at www.newfrontiers.org or visit them on November 16th between the hours of 2 PM and 6 PM at their Open House.

(Pictured left to right: Lou Ann Sanders, Chamber Adm.Asst., New Frontier owners Larry and Lori
Nellist, Suzanne Williams, Chamber Director)

Tennessee Highway Patrols Urges Drivers to Keep Halloween a Treat

October 30, 2008

NASHVILLE --- This Friday evening, the streets will be literally swarming with children, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol is reminding drivers to do their part to make sure they get their treats home safely. For many families, Halloween is a fun-filled evening of trick-or-treating, but it can quickly turn into a real night of horror if someone is hurt.

“Halloween is a fun night for both children and adults, but I simply want to remind parents, drivers and children that it is important to be safe,” said Department of Safety Commissioner Dave Mitchell. “Careless or impaired drivers can quickly turn the evening into a nightmare.”

Halloween is one of the most dangerous holidays on the road due to alcohol-related crashes by drivers who make the mistake of drinking and driving after parties and festivities. Two-thirds of all highway fatalities at Halloween involve alcohol. Last year in Tennessee, three people were killed in crashes on Halloween between 12:00 a.m., October 31, 2007, through 6:00 a.m., November 1, 2007. One of those crashes involved alcohol.

“With Halloween falling on a Friday this year, we know a lot of people will be out celebrating,” stated THP Colonel Mike Walker. “We want everyone to have a good time, but be smart about it. Designate a driver. This is your warning, because if you drink and drive, you will go to jail.”

Parents and children have a responsibility to be safe this Halloween too. The Centers for Disease Control found that the number of deaths among young pedestrians (ages 5-14) is four times higher on Halloween evening than any other evening of the year. The United States Department of Transportation reports that fatal collisions between motor vehicles and young pedestrians (under the age of 15) happen most frequently between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., prime trick-or-treating time.

Below are tips parents, children and motorists should keep in mind before heading out the door this Halloween.

The Tennessee Department of Safety’s mission is (www.tennessee.gov/safety) to ensure the safety and general welfare of the public. The department encompasses the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Office of Homeland Security and Driver License Services. General areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education, motorist services and terrorism prevention.


Tips for Motorists
• Slow down. Watch for children walking on roads, medians and curbs.
• Be extra alert when pulling in and out of driveways.
• Be especially alert for children darting out from between parked vehicles and from behind bushes and shrubs. They’re excited – and they are not paying attention.
• Do not pass other vehicles that have stopped in the roadway. They could be dropping off children.
• If you are driving to a Halloween Party, put your mask on after you park the car.
• Never drink and drive – tonight or any night. If you are partying, designate a driver.
Tips for Parents
• Adults should accompany children at all times and supervise their "trick or treat" activities.
• Teach children to "stop, look left-right-left, and listen" before they cross the street.
• Instruct children to stay on sidewalks and to cross only at corners or crosswalks.
• Use a flashlight and wear retro-reflective strips or patches on your clothing or costume to be more visible to motorists.
• Be certain that the mask does not obstruct vision or hearing.
• Ensure that costumes do not impede walking or driving ability.
Tips for Pedestrians
(children and adults)
• Before crossing a street, stop at the curb or edge of the road and look left, right and left again to be sure no cars are coming. Continue to check for traffic while on the street.
• Walk – never run – from house to house or across the road.
• Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks.
• When crossing at an intersection with a traffic light, be sure to watch for turning cars. Obey all pedestrian signals.
• Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.

Change Your Clocks, Change Batteries in Smoke Detectors Sunday

October 29, 2008
Dwayne Page

Tennessee State Fire Marshal Leslie A. Newman would like to remind Tennesseans to "Change Your Clocks, Change Your Batteries" this Sunday for Central Standard Time.

Most home fires occur at night when people are sleeping. The smoke and toxic gases generated by a fire can cause you to sleep more deeply, making the chances of survival worse. A working smoke alarm will double your survival chances by giving you the critical time needed to escape before it's too late.

Nationally, more than 90 percent of all homes have smoke alarms, but it is estimated that one-third of them don't work due to old or missing batteries. It is critical to replace batteries regularly—even if they appear to be working fine. Twice a year is recommended. This reduces the "chirping", indicating low batteries. All too often, the battery is removed and not replaced, putting the occupants at risk. There's no way to predict when a fire will occur, and one night without a working smoke alarm is dangerous. Replacing batteries during daylight savings time is an easy way to remember that task.

Here are some other helpful hints on the importance of smoke alarms:
• Smoke alarms should be installed in every sleeping room, 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.
• Have a fire escape plan with two ways out of every room and teach it to your children.
• When the smoke alarm sounds, get out of the home immediately and go to your pre-planned meeting place.
"Smoke alarms, even those that are hard-wired, should have their batteries replaced regularly, and be tested monthly to ensure you have the protection you need when you need it," says Tennessee State Fire Marshal Leslie A. Newman. "Use the extra hour when we fall back to make sure your home and family are fire safe."

Many local fire departments have supplies of donated smoke alarms, and departments will help install them in the homes of the elderly and disabled. For more information, visit www.tennessee.gov/commerce.

Smithville Police and DeKalb Sheriff's Department to Conduct Sobriety Checkpoints

October 28, 2008
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Police Department and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department will be conducting saturation patrols along with sobriety checkpoints for the Halloween weekend in an effort to keep the roads safe from drunk drivers and trafffic offenders while children may be present after dark. In the course of the upcoming year, the Smithville Police Department and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department will be working closely with the Governor's Highway Safety Office in an effort to keep the roads safer and the fatalities to a record low in Tennessee history.

Clearing Begins on Property for Star Expansion

October 28, 2008
Dwayne Page
Property being cleared for Star expansion
County Mayor Mike Foster

A bulldozer operator Tuesday began clearing the site where Star Manufacturing plans to expand it's operation.

The county commission Monday night authorized the expenditure of funds which have been in the budget since last year to assist Star with it's plans.

County Mayor Mike Foster says the money will be transferred to and later be repaid by the county industrial development board. "In the budget, under the category ‘ property acquisition of land', is the money that we put up for the earnest money, to do topo mapping, the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP permit), and some of the other things that you (county commission) authorized us to spend as our incentive for Star. It wound up being $57,000 which will eventually be transferred to the Industrial Development Board, and they will repay this money that we're spending now so that it is spent out of the right pocket. It was authorized fully and completely last year on page 54 and this year on page 56 (of the budget). We got the SWPPP permit. They're going to start clearing the boundary of the property tomorrow (Tuesday) morning in order to put in the silt fence. I had conversations today (Monday) with the people at Star and they said to proceed with the clearing, which is wonderful news because we thought it might be put off a few months because of the economy being the way it is, but I think they are ready to proceed."

"What I'm asking for tonight is authorization to spend the money that's already in the budget. It's to authorize the expenditure, to do the SWPPP permit and the clearing of that land to get it prepared for site prep which will be done by the company."

Star Manufacturing, a division of the Middleby Corporation, last month announced plans to expand it's Smithville operation and create another 200 jobs.

A new building for the expansion will be constructed on a 50 plus acre site on Coconut Ridge Road, just a short distance from the present location on Hobson Street.

Frank Ricchio, President of Star Manufacturing, made the announcement saying "Star is purchasing 58 acres just up the street from our current plant here and we're looking forward over the next couple of years to start expanding manufacturing. We hope to add another 100 to 200 thousand square feet over the next several years. I think we have about 235 employees here in Smithville and there's a potential over the next 12 to 24 months for (adding) a couple of hundred jobs or maybe a little more than that."

In other business, the county commission Monday night authorized in-house billing at the county operated ambulance service.

County Mayor Foster says for the last year, the county has paid a Georgia company to do the billing. "By error, they (Georgia company) started our (fiscal) year on June 1st, instead of July 1st, and our reports have been out of sync with them. He (state auditor) suggested that we start our own billing process here in the county now, since we've been through it a year. The committee Thursday night voted to do that and to recommend to the commission that we do that. Right now we're paying about $42,000 to $46,000 a year for this company in Georgia to do the billing. By doing the billing in-house, the first year we'll save about $4,000. The next year we'll save about $12,000 because once we buy that software from EMS Consultants then there's only a yearly update rather than the one time purchase. So it will actually save the county about $12,000 once we get into the second year. It will require a secretary. This person would be hired there (ambulance service) and we'll have to adjust the revenue there from contracted services into an employee position there."

Meanwhile, Foster says tire dumping is still occurring in DeKalb County. "We're still getting some illegal dumping of tires, especially at Caplinger Hollow and in the Smith Fork area. There is a reward if anyone sees somebody doing that. We would like to spend that money to catch whoever this is. If you see a vehicle in your community that's loaded with tires and maybe pulling a trailer, please call and we'll offer a reward. Hopefully the word is getting around. The Sheriff's Department and TWRA have caught some people and I think that will help. It's just an unnecessary and tragic thing we need to get stopped."

In a brief report on the landfill, Foster says "the cell excavation is just about complete and we will be ready, hopefully, within two weeks to start putting the liner in."

Young Hunters Harvest 100 Deer During Juvenile Hunt

October 27, 2008
Dwayne Page
TWRA Officer Tony Cross

Young hunters harvested 100 deer in DeKalb County Saturday and Sunday during the Juvenile Hunt.

TWRA Officer Tony Cross says a lot of hunters took advantage of the Young Sportsman Hunt." The kids had a pretty good weekend. They harvested exactly 100 deer in DeKalb County over those two days. Our total harvest for the first segment of the archery season, prior to that (juvenile hunt), was 99 so we've taken right at 200 deer now."

Meanwhile, the second segment of the archery season began Monday, October 27th and runs through Friday, October 31st.

The first segment of Tennessee's Muzzleloader/Archery Deer Season opens on Saturday, Nov. 1 and goes through Sunday, November 9th in all three of Tennessee's deer hunting units, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).

The statewide bag limit for antlered bucks is three. Hunters are also allowed to take up to four antlerless deer in Unit-A (DeKalb County) during this segment of the muzzleloader season.

TWRA Officer Cross says if you haven't already harvested your limit, you may take up to three bucks during this hunt. "You are allowed to harvest all three of your bucks (limit) with a muzzleloader, if you want to. If you haven't taken any bucks with a bow yet, you can harvest all three bucks with a muzzleloader. Of course, that would prohibit you from being able to take any with a gun because the year long statewide limit is three bucks. The antlerless bag limit for the muzzleloader segment is a total of four deer."

"There's two different muzzleloader segments, November 1st-9th and December 8th-14th. You are allowed a total of four antlerless deer for those two weeks. So if you harvested one during this first segment, you would still have three remaining in the second segment, or two and two, or three and one, or you could take all four of them during this first segment, but you wouldn't be able to harvest any doe or antlerless deer in the second segment. Just remember that there's a three buck bag limit for the entire year. If you want to harvest all three during the muzzleloader season, then that is legal. However, the stipulation that you may only harvest one buck per day is still in effect. So even if you do take them all with a muzzleloader, you can still only harvest one buck per day."

Muzzleloading firearms of .40 caliber minimum plus long bows, compound bows and crossbows are legal hunting equipment for this season.

Resident hunters ages 16 through 64 must possess, in addition to other appropriate licenses, an annual big game license for the equipment used. Lifetime Sportsman license, Junior Hunt/Trap/Fish, Adult Sportsman license and Permanent Senior Citizens license holders are not required to purchase supplemental big game licenses.

In addition to private lands, including public hunting areas, several wildlife management areas (WMAs) will be open to hunters during this muzzleloader season. Hunters need to refer to the 2008 Hunting and Trapping Guide for a listing of these WMAs or go on line to TWRA's Web site at www.tnwildlife.org.

Meanwhile, Officer Cross says you still have a chance to purchase left over permits for the fall turkey hunt, which begins November 15th. "On Wednesday, October 29th the left over permits for the fall turkey hunts will go on sale, beginning at 8:00 a.m. DeKalb County had 112 left over permits for the hunt. You can either go on line and complete your application. If you have a sportsman's license or a lifetime sportsman's license, it's free. It doesn't cost you anything. If you have just a regular hunting and fishing license and a big game stamp, it's still a $20 permit fee. You can also go to a license agent that has the REAL system machine and they can apply for you too."


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