Local News Articles

Over $100,000 Raised During 11th Annual Relay for Life

May 10, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

DeKalb Countians opened up their hearts and their wallets in a big way Friday in the fight against cancer during the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

People of all ages filled Greenbrook Park for this 11th annual event to enjoy the food, games, music, and fellowship.

Co-Chair Iva Del Randolph says already $100,000 has been raised with more money still to come in.

In this overnight family-oriented event, participants walk relay-style around the track and take part in fun activities off the track. Cancer survivors took center stage during the opening ceremony to receive medallions and to give a personal testimony as to just how long they've been a survivor.

Six month old William Blair, son of Keith and Amanda Blair, and 9 year old Allison Rogers, daughter of Wes and Lori Rogers, were the honorary chairpersons for this year's Relay. Both Blair and Rogers are cancer survivors.

This year more than 30 teams joined together to raise money to aid in the battle against cancer. A male beauty contest was also held again this year, featuring several men dressed as women, using their attributes to bring in as much money as possible.

The walking track was also lined with luminaria in honor or remembrance of those who have battled cancer. This ceremony of light symbolizes the hope and courage with which we all continue to fight cancer

Chris Summers, Community Representative with the American Cancer Society says "Relay For Life is a unique opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember those we've lost, and fight back against the disease. Many of the participants are cancer survivors."

Funds raised at Relay For Life will enable the American Cancer Society to support local services and resources for cancer patients and their families. Funds also support critical cancer research and community education programs designed to teach people how to reduce their risk of developing cancer.

The American Cancer Society has to date spent over 9 million on cancer research in our state in 2008! This money is raised by over 130 Relay For Life events across Tennessee in communities that care about fighting cancer.

Board to Consider Feasibility of Portable Classrooms to Relieve Student Overcrowding at Elementary School

May 9, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Board of Education is considering the possibility of obtaining portable classrooms to relieve student overcrowding at Smithville Elementary School.

Board member Charlie Robinson Thursday night recommended that a committee be appointed to do a feasibility study. "I think it's time to form a committee. According to the facilities study for our school system, completed by David Brown of Katts, Brinkley, Jones, & Morris Architects that was completed on October 11th, 2007 we're going to need additional classrooms to meet our Basic Education Program in at last one school in our system. I'm going to suggest that we establish a committee to evaluate the cost of site preparation, which includes electrical, water, and sewer hookups as well as fire code and state building code requirements for the placement of portable classrooms as needed throughout our system. Questions addressed should be the cost comparisons concerning buying, renting, or building this type of classroom. This is a band aid solution. I believe Mr. Willoughby has made some inquiries and has some information concerning this solution. I also recommend that we have input from our Maintenance Supervisor Earl Jared and our Transportation Supervisor Shane Cook. At the TSBA Convention, all of us who have attended discussed the placement of portables with the man who represents the portables company. I think it's time. We've got to be pro-active for our next school year."

Board Chairman W.J. (Dub) Evins III says portable classrooms are not the best option but it may be better than moving some second grade classes to Northside Elementary School. "This is a financial cost. The other cost is the possibility of having to move some second grade classes and teachers to Northside. There's some adjustments that have to be made when we do that. I personally don't feel comfortable doing that, but if that's our only alternative then that's what we'll have to do to keep from being overcrowded at the Smithville Elementary School so we'd like to look into this first and see if it's economically feasible to do this and not disrupt four classes. I just don't feel comfortable splitting up the second grade or, for that matter, any grade. Smithville Elementary School currently has ten second grade classes and there is expected to be a total of eleven second grade classes there next year."

A committee made up of board members Kenny Rhody and Johnny Lattimore, assisted by Board Chairman Evins and Director Mark Willoughby will study the issue and report back to the board at a later meeting.

Four Retiring Teachers Honored by Board of Education

May 8, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education Thursday night honored four teachers who are retiring at the close of the school year.

Pam Vanatta and Sherry Bush of DeKalb Middle School and Carol Hale and Donna Davis of DeKalb West School were presented plaques of appreciation by Director of Schools Mark Willoughby for their dedication to the local school system.

Davis has been an educator for 42 years, Vanatta 40 years, Bush 32 plus years, and Hale 30 years.

Teachers who were recently granted tenure were also recognized including Ana Bain, Layra Crook, Donna Emmons, Holly Espinosa, Christina Ontiveros, Kristy Parsley, Karen Pelham, Bethany Rigsby, Fredrick Sanders, Lori Sexton, Amy Tobitt, Steve Trapp, Betsye Walker, and Vicki Wilson. Some of those teachers were not present during the meeting.

Meanwhile in other business, Director Willoughby has announced that he has employed the DeKalb County Support Staff for the 2008-2009 school year.

He presented the list of employees to the Board of Education Thursday night.

Those employed at DeKalb County High School are:

Rena Adcock- Cook, Linda Avveduti- Vocational Rehabilitation Secretary, Jean Bandy-Cook, Richard Bullard- Custodian, Santos Caballero- Cook, Kathy Chapman-Cook, Billy Colwell- Custodian, Kenderly Cripps- Guidance/Records Clerk, Debbie Eaton- Educational Assistant, Regina Estes- Secretary, Beverly Ferrell- Educational Assistant, Dena Haugh- Educational Assistant, Faye Hendrix- Vocational Secretary, Jerry Herman- Custodian, Melissa Hicks- Cook, Helen LaFevre-Cook, Rita Leichtfuss- Educational Assistant, Deborah Magness- Bookkeeper, Rhonda Merriman-Educational Assistant, JoAnn Pittman-Custodian, Rob Robinson-Educational Assistant, Rachel Seal- Educational Assistant, Beverly Starnes-Cook, Suzanne Williams-Educational Assistant, Jamie Wright- Educational Assistant, and Debbie Young-Cafeteria Manager.

DeKalb Middle School:

Rita Beshearse- Part Time Library Assistant/Part Time Cafeteria Monitor, Helen Burt- Cook, Helen Cantrell-Cook, Fay Gilreath- School Bookkeeper, Connie Haggard- Cook, Truitt Hale- Custodian, Murinna Herman- Custodian, Barbara Hibdon- Cook, Rita Johnson-Cook, Molly Johnson-Educational Assistant, Samantha Lester- School Secretary, Reba Malone- Custodian, Paulette McDonald- Educational Assistant, Lisa Norton- Educational Assistant, Dianne Page- Educational Assistant, Julie Pugh- Educational Assistant, and Eldon Vanatta- Cafeteria Manager, .

Smithville Elementary School:

Jennifer Agee- Educational Assistant, Austin Bain-Custodian, Jimmy Barnes- Custodian, Wendy Bowling- Educational Assistant, Pauline Braswell- Educational Assistant, Brenda Crook-Educational Assistant, Barbara Ervin- Cafeteria Manager, Darlene Evans-Educational Assistant, Jennifer Gay- Educational Assistant, Betty Griffith- Educational Assistant, Jean Hayes- Cook, Vickie Jeffries- Educational Assistant, Angela Johnson- Educational Assistant, Natasha Judkins- Educational Assistant, Melinda Lattimore- Educational Assistant, Sara Lomas-Custodian, Patricia Milam- Part Time Cafeteria Monitor/Substitute Custodian, Dori Mooneyham- Educational Assistant, Freda Pedigo- Cook, Rhonda Pelham- Secretary/Receptionist, Amelia Phillips- Cook, Lori Poss- School Bookkeeper, Brenda Rigney- Part Time Educational Assistant, Tonya Roberts- Educational Assistant, Debra Rowland- Educational Assistant, Peggy Sutton- Educational Assistant, Thomas Trammell- Custodian, Tammy Tyler- Cook, Tom Vaughn- Cook, Annie Walker- Educational Assistant, Celia Whaley- Educational Assistant,

Northside Elementary:

Vickey Atnip- Educational Assistant, Clay Bumbalough- Custodian, Suzanne Bradford- Educational Assistant, Cindy Childers- Educational Assistant, Trent Colwell- Educational Assistant, Betty Cooper-Cook, Heather Cornelius- Educational Assistant, Gail Crips- Secretary, Ervil Cubbins- Educational Assistant, Regina Daw- Cafeteria Manager, Rebecca Ervin- Cook, Starr Ferrell-Educational Assistant, Phyllis Hallum- Educational Assistant, Sherry Judkins- Cook, Thelma Martin- Educational Assistant, Denise Merriman-Cook, Angie Moore-Educational Assistant, Lynn Pichey-Custodian, Mary Edmonds- ESL Assistant, Jo Dean Redmon- Lunch Monitor, Linda Sorrell- Educational Assistant, Diane Trapp- School Bookkeeper, and Kim Violet- Custodian,

DeKalb West School:

Holly Bain-Educational Assistant, Betty Boss- Educational Assistant, Brenda Beth Cantrell-Educational Assistant, Donna Driver- Cook, Dorothy Duggin-Custodian, Tena Edwards- Educational Assistant, Pauline Frazier- Custodian, Mattie (Ruth) Frazier-Custodian, Shelly Gibson- Educational Assistant, Lisa Hale- Educational Assistant, Donna Hale- School Bookkeeper, Shelby Ann Jennings- Educational Assistant, Nancy Mulloy- Cook, Faye Nixon-Cook, Kristi Sullivan- Educational Assistant, Roenia Turner- Half Time Library Assistant and Lunch Room Monitor, Jalene Vanatta- Secretary, Linda Vickers- Cook and Georgia Young-Cafeteria Manager.

County Wide Positions:

Chandra Adcock- School Nurse, Jenean Bain- Bus Assistant, Benita Byars- School Nurse, Bettye June Dodd- Bus Assistant, Sharon Farler- Substitute School Nurse, Brandy Fitts- Substitute Bus Assistant, Greg Frasier-Computer Technician, Melissa Fuson- Substitute School Nurse, Theresa Garrison- Part-time Occupational Therapist, Billy Golden- Maintenance Worker, Rhonda Harpole- Library Assistant -half time at Smithville Elementary School and half time at Northside Elementary School, Terry Hicks- Maintenance Worker, Earl Jared- Maintenance Supervisor, Freda Johnson- Bus Assistant, Mary Joines- Bus Assistant, Eddy Roy Judkins- Maintenance Worker, Teresa Miller- Payroll/Bookkeeper Central Office, Tera Mooneyham- English as a Second Language (ESL) Assistant, Brad Mullinax- Technology Director, Jean Neal-Bus Assistant, Shirley Ours- Special Education Secretary, April Patterson- Attendance Clerk, Melissa Pirtle- Food Service Bookkeeper, Elizabeth Redmon- Educational Assistant CW, Jo Dean Redmon- Part Time Custodian- Brian Reed- Alternative School Assistant, Joyce Robinson- Payroll/Bookkeeper Central Office, Teresa Sullivan- Educational Assistant at DeKalb Middle School and DeKalb West School, Ricky Todd- Substitute Custodian, Peggy Tramel- Substitute Cafeteria Worker, Kimberly Turner- School Nurse, Barbara Vanatta- Substitute Cafeteria Worker, Jamie Vickers- Secretary/Bookkeeper Central Office, Jeanette Young- Substitute Cafeteria Worker, and Rita Young-Attendance Clerk at Northside Elementary and Smithville Elementary School.

Transportation:

Shane Cook- Transportation Supervisor, James Wilkerson- Mechanic, and Peggy Pursell- Part Time Secretary.

The following are bus drivers:

Harold Ashford, Karen Adkins, Dwayne Cantrell, Dwayne Cornelius, Dinah Cripps, Debbie Eaton, Julie Fayette, Marshall Ferrell, Starr Ferrell, Linda Fowler, Bill Fowler, Lynn Griffith, Judith Hale, Melissa Hicks, Kimberly Lawson, Angela Lawson, Bobby Martin, Ronald Merriman, Jimmy Mullican, Gregory Muskopf, Linda Gail Pack, Walter Phillips, Faye Pollard, Jimmy Poss, Tony Poss, Peggy Pursell, J.T. Pursell,, Bobby Taylor, Mark Violet, and Suzanne Williams.
Substitute bus drivers are: Danny Bond, Wallace Caldwell, Michael Kingsbury, Daniel Lawson, Christina Tacy, and Gordon Williams.

Others employed for the 2007-08 school year include Amanda Beckwith, Jennifer Judkins, and Amy Fletcher as substitute teachers, Joanie Williams as a substitute school nurse, and Denise Rutland as a part-time janitor at DCHS.

Daniel Johnson has resigned as a part-time custodian at DCHS.

TDOT Commissioner Addresses Sligo Bridge Issue in Letter to County Mayor

May 8, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Transportation, Gerald Nicely, has written a letter to County Mayor Mike Foster concerning the possible future replacement or rehabilitation of Sligo Bridge.

Foster made available copies of the letter to the local news media Thursday morning.

In the letter, Nicely states that " As I promised in our meeting in Chairman Phillip Pinion's office on May 5th, I am writing to confirm the department's intentions with respect to the Sligo Bridge. First, let me express my regret for the confusion which has led to the concerns of your community."

"As I stated in our meeting, I agree with the County's position that an 18-month closure is unacceptable and would have a severely negative impact on the area. Taken this as a given, we have two alternatives:"

1. "A total replacement, which is the preferred solution, but is currently outside the department's financial capabilities. I understand State Representative Frank Buck is pursuing a Congressional earmark through U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander's office. If successful, TDOT would provide the local match and we could proceed with the replacement. It is also possible at some point the Government will put forward a transportation revenue package for consideration by the General Assembly. If this were to occur, TDOT would recommend that the bridge replacement fund be enhanced. The Sligo Bridge would certainly be a strong candidate for funding if this were to occur."

2. "Bridge Rehabilitation while maintaining one lane for traffic is a back up alternative. This would probably require a six-eight week closure of the bridge to prepare it for rehab under traffic. While not an ideal solution, it would certainly be preferable to a long term closure."

"The good news is that while the bridge decking needs replacement, it is still structurally functional. Our structural engineers do not think work has to occur immediately and the bridge could be maintained without major repair work for about two years. This should give us time to pursue funding for the total replacement option. If we are unable to do so, we could then pursue option 2 as outlined above."

"Let me assure you that we are committed to finding a solution which is acceptable to the citizens of DeKalb County. I want you to know that State Representative Charles Curtis is in support of your position on this matter. Speaker Jimmy Naifeh has also spoken to me about this bridge and expressed his support to finding such a solution. While Representative Pinion and Representative Buck are both retiring from the legislature, you can be assured that Speaker Naifeh and Representative Curtis will make certain that the project remains a priority of the General Assembly."

TDOT May Not Close Sligo Bridge

May 7, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

There's good news about Sligo Bridge.

County Mayor Mike Foster says state officials have given him assurances that the bridge will not be closed over a period of months during future construction to repair or replace it.

Foster says he and other local concerned public officials and citizens have been in meetings this week with state lawmakers and TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely to discuss the problem. "James Hale, who lives at Riverwatch, Road Supervisor Kenny Edge, State Representative Frank Buck, and I met with TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely, Speaker of the House Jimmy Naifeh and six other State Representatives Monday afternoon and Monday night. Of course, TDOT'S original proposal was to close Sligo Bridge for 12 to 18 months sometime in the future but as of Monday, they told us that they will not close the bridge. They're going to try to do it (work) with one lane (open). In an absolute worst case scenario, they might have to close the bridge for six weeks for some steel repair."

Foster says state matching funds may also be available if federal money can be obtained for the project. " During our meetings, it actually came out that the state had the money to match if we come up with the federal money to build the new bridge along with the ramps or road access to either side of the bridge to correct those dangerous spots there."

If the bridge were to close, Foster says it would have a major impact on travel in that area. "If it's safe, maybe they will leave the bridge until we can find out about that (federal) money and not impact commuters and those stores in that area. We estimated that there's 520 people that come from that area over here, or here to over there, to work."

In addition to Representative Buck, Road Supervisor Edge, and James Hale, Foster says he wants to thank several others who have been involved in this effort. "We have done a lot of background work and collected a lot of information which we provided to the state. I want to thank several people, including Richard Gravely, who used to work for TDOT, Randy Caplinger, one of the county commissioners who also works at one of the local factories, State Representative's Gary Odom and Phillip Pinion, State Senator Mae Beavers, Congressman Bart Gordon, and U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander for their concern."

Two Injured in Early Morning Wreck on West Broad Street

May 7, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

Two people were injured in a near head-on crash early Wednesday morning on West Broad Street in front of the former location of Stribling Chevrolet.

Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 19 year old Joshua Glen Kerley of Antioch Road, Smithville was driving west in a 2006 GMC Sierra pickup truck when he apparently fell asleep, crossed over into the eastbound lane, and struck a 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse, driven by 52 year old Donna Seat Randall of Mount Juliet.

Trooper Jennings says after making impact with the car, Kerley's truck overturned at least twice and came to rest upright on it's wheels in the eastbound lanes facing south. Randall's car wound up in the grass off the road also facing south.

The accident was reported to 911 at 5:19 a.m.

According to Trooper Jennings, Kerley was enroute to his job with Jones Brothers Construction in Mount Juliet while Randall, who is employed at Raintree Manor in McMinnville, was also going to work.

Randall was trapped in her car and had to be extricated by members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department's Extrication and Rescue Team. She was airlifted from the scene by a Life Force helicopter ambulance and flown to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga with serious injuries.

Kerley was transported by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital for treatment.

Officers of the Smithville Police Department and DeKalb County Sheriff's Department were also on the scene.

Two Women Facing Drug Related Charges by Sheriff's Department

May 5, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

Two women are facing drug related charges in separate cases by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department

30 year old Amy Vanderpool of Haley Road, Smithville was charged Wednesday with possession of drug paraphernalia.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says Vanderpool was at a market in Smithville when a deputy spotted her. The officer had knowledge of a violation of probation on Vanderpool and when he searched her pocketbook, the officer found three hypodermic needles and two straws. Vanderpool's bond was set a $1,000 and her court date is May 15th.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, 35 year old Kimberly Shawn Reed of Short Street, Smithville was stopped by a county deputy at the intersection of College Street and Highway 70 in Dowelltown. The officer received consent to search and Reed was found to have in her possession a pill crusher containing one pill believed to be Hydocodone and 2 ½ pills believed to be Soma.

Reed was charged with possession of a Schedule IV Drug (Soma), Possession of a Schedule III Drug (Hydrocodone), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Pill Crusher). Reed's bond was set a $4,000 and her court date is May 15th.

Sheriff Ray has also released an Activity Report on incidents from March 1, 2007 to March 1, 2008

These are dispatched calls; not self-initiated calls (incidents that officers respond to on routine patrols). Self-initiated calls are not included in these counts:
Wrecks- 500
4 wheeler calls- 67
911 calls- 153
Abandoned Vehicles- 26
Animal calls- 228
Assaults- 44
Boat Fires- 3
Break-ins- 108
Burglar Alarms- 299
Child Custody Exchanges- 12
Children in roadway- 6
Debris in roadway- 30
Disturbing the peace- 72
Domestic violence- 206
Drug trafficking- 18
Escorts- 74
Extra Patrols- 43
Fights- 75
Fire Alarms- 23
Funeral Escorts- 157
Gas drive-offs- 12
Harassments- 23
Indecent exposure- 4
Investigations- 606
Kidnapping- 2
Vehicle lockouts- 514
Medical Assists- 162
Missing Persons- 27
Phone harassment- 2
Possible D.U.I.- 74
Prowlers- 36
Public Intoxication- 12
Rape- 2
Reckless Drivers- 140
Recover Property- 13
Robbery- 7
Seizures- 9
Shots fired- 33
Shop lifter- 1
Stolen property- 134
Stolen vehicle- 34
Stranded motorists-59
Structure Fires- 50
Someone threatened-41
Suicides- 23
Suspicious persons/vehicles- 215
Traffic Hazards- 11
Trespassing- 10
Unruly juveniles- 13
Unwanted guests- 55
Vandalism- 81
Vehicle fires- 11
Wanted Persons- 12
Welfare checks- 81
Miscellaneous- 6

Total 4,686 incident calls reported from Central Dipatch

•The Sheriff’s Department also serves all Civil and State Warrants.
•The Sheriff’s Department has served over 2,447 Civil Warrants and Criminal Summons.
•There have been over 2,298 people that have been booked into the jail.

Dr. W.E. Vanatta Receives Lifetime Membership Award from TAB

May 4, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The founder of WJLE has been honored by the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters.

Dr. W.E. Vanatta, who was owner of the station for almost 44 years, received the association's Lifetime Membership Award during the TAB's 60th Anniversary Gala held Friday and Saturday at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville.

Dr. Vanatta, was one of three individuals, who received the award Saturday night.

The Lifetime Membership Award goes to distinguished broadcasters who have committed to a lifetime of learning, observing, and growing with the industry. This award honors their lasting contributions as part of the industry. They are respected by their peers for their values, relationships, priorities, and vision.

Doug Combs, TAB Director at Large and owner of WBRY in Woodbury, presented the award. In his remarks, Combs summarized some of Dr. Vanatta's achievements. "Small town broadcasters are concerned about their community and they do whatever needs to be done. This honoree certainly has done that. In 1964 he gathered a group of individuals together because he felt his community needed a radio station. His livelihood was pretty much guaranteed. He was a chiropractor but still he knew the community needed more. He brought these folks together and soon, shortly thereafter, a construction permit was issued. DeKalb County has been very fortunate since then to have a true community radio station."

"His marketing philosophies are very basic but they ring so true. One of his slogans is ‘You Tell Us, We'll Tell Thousands' and that's what they do everyday with the stations and with their website. He thinks that people need to be connected with their government. Years before we had C-Span, he connected the people of DeKalb County with their government because WJLE will broadcast the city council meetings, the board of education meetings, and the county commission meetings. And when the world came to Smithville for the Fiddler's Jamboree, our honoree knew that maybe some of the local folks might not feel comfortable down on the square so they started broadcasting the Fiddler's Jamboree."

" In the last couple of years they've held radiothons assisting Habitat for Humanity, raising funds to build homes. They had a radiothon in 1997 to raise money for the development of a children's playground in Smithville. And he knew that folks, even when they were away from home, still wanted to know what was going in the community, so he met the challenges by streaming the LIVE local events on the Internet like the ballgames and the newcasts so that folks could stay in tune."

" One of my favorite sayings is the one that he lived by at the station. He said ‘this is how you run your station. You stay on the air. You stay in the black. You report the news. Don't BE the news. And never get scooped by the weekly newspaper."

Members of Dr. Vanatta's family attended the awards ceremony with him including his wife, daughters and sons-in-law, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

City Voter Registration Up- Deadline Nearing for New Registrations

May 2, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The voter registration deadline is drawing near for the Smithville Municipal Election.

Lisa Peterson, DeKalb County Administrator of Elections says the deadline for registering as a city voter is Monday, May 19th and since the first of the year, voter registration in the city has been up. “As always, when there is a contested race, there is a little bit more interest. Registrations are up, both for residential registrations and also property rights voters. As of today (Friday) we have 3,188 registered voters in the city of Smithville, up by 102 since January. We also have about 130 registered property rights voters, up by 22 since the first of the year so people are interested in the issues and are registering. I encourage them to come out and vote.”

Peterson says May 19th is the deadline for new registrations. "That's voters who have never been registered to vote anywhere in DeKalb County. Others have up until election day to change their address if they are already registered in DeKalb County and moved inside the city limits. I encourage them to go ahead an update their registrations if that’s the case because they will be required on election day to fill out a change of address form if they have not already taken care of that.”

Peterson says May 19th is also the deadline to register as a property rights voter. “The term 'property rights voter’ applies to those people that live inside DeKalb County but outside the city limits and yet they own property inside the city limits. The Smithville Charter does allow property rights voting. It does have a (city property) size requirement of at least 7,500 square feet. I’d like to remind people that we don’t automatically know who owns property inside the city limits. Some people think we have a massive computer system and automatically know who registers a deed, but the offices in the courthouse are not linked like that.”

“They (property rights voters) are required to bring us proof of ownership, such as a deed or a current tax notification. Only two persons per property may register as property rights voters. In other words, if four people own the property, only two out of that four can register as a property rights voter. So they’re going to have to decide among themselves who they want to be able to register and vote the property rights.”

A mayor and two aldermen will be elected on Tuesday, June 17th.

Candidates for mayor are Incumbent Taft Hendrixson and challenger Faye Fuqua.

Aldermen contenders are incumbents Steven White and Cecil Burger and challengers Danny Washer and Alford Webber.

According to Peterson, city candidates have been active this year in getting more people registered. “Candidates have been canvassing the neighborhoods. Many people enjoy meeting the candidates. However, keep in mind we’re living in different times now and some people may not want the candidates to come into their homes. I’ve had a few calls where people have expressed to me that they felt pressured to register to vote or to let the candidates in. I’d just like to remind the candidates to be respectful of their wishes and realize that some people may not want them to enter their homes, especially those who may be vulnerable such as the elderly.

Meanwhile, the dates for early voting have been set for the Smithville election. Voting will be held Mondays through Saturdays, May 28th through June 12th in the basement courtroom of the courthouse. Voting hours will be Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Peterson says early voting hours have been extended during this election to better accommodate the voters. “We have had some requests from people to extend our voting hours. We are always interested in the voters comments and suggestions so we’re going to try to do that for this election. Usually we have one late afternoon every Thursday from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.. During this early voting period we’ll have two late afternoons of early voting. That’ll be every Tuesday and Thursday from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.. The other days during the week, voting will be from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

On election day, the polls will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. also in the basement of the courthouse.

Two Micro Vote Infinity machines will be used during early voting. Two machines will also be used on election day.

Peterson reminds candidates that the election commission will enforce the 100 foot boundary during early voting and on election day. Candidates will not be permitted within the 100 foot boundary. “There will be a 100 foot boundary enforced from all entrances of the courthouse, not just the basement entrance. That is what the election law states and that is what we will be following. We had so many positive comments from the last election. The voters really showed a big support for the election commission’s decision to enforce that boundary. From the basement entrance, the 100 foot boundary would actually end in the middle of the street. Of course we can’t have candidates standing in the middle of the street so the boundary is extended to the other side of the street.”

Peterson urges voters to study a sample ballot before election day. “People may want to keep an eye out for the local papers. There will be a sample ballot published before long. We also have a website. It is dekalbelections.com and there are sample ballots published there as well as other information. I encourage people to become informed and find out about the candidates and the issues and then turn out and vote. Again, we would like a good turn out.”

Families and Friends of DeKalb County Use Hearts and Feet to Fight Cancer

May 2, 2008

In its 11th year, citizens form all parts of DeKalb County will go around the track at beautiful Greenbrook Park in the battle against cancer during the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of DeKalb County.

Teams of DeKalb County residents will gather at Greenbrook Park on May 9th at 6:00 pm for an overnight relay against cancer. Relay For Life is a family-oriented team event where participants walk relay-style around the track and take part in fun activities off the track. Teams can include coworkers, club members, family and friends and have gathered donations prior to the event. Live music, food, games, & fun are offered for everyone.

This year 31 teams have joined together to raise money to aid in the battle against cancer.
“Relay For Life is a unique opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember those we’ve lost, and fight back against the disease,” said Chris Summers, Community Representative with the American Cancer Society. “Many of the participants are cancer survivors (anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer), which serves as a reminder that our community is not immune to this disease and we can actually help our friends, families and neighbors that have been touched by cancer,” Chris added.

The public is also invited to attend the Luminaria Ceremony, which will take place after sundown at 9:00 pm. To honor the community’s cancer survivors and to remember those lost to the disease, citizens will circle the track rimmed with glowing luminaria while the names of survivors and those lost to the disease are acknowledged. Luminaria can be purchased for $5.00 by calling Melanie Judkins at (615) 597 1132.

Funds raised at Relay For Life will enable the American Cancer Society to support local services and resources for cancer patients and their families. Funds also support critical cancer research and community education programs designed to teach people how to reduce their risk of developing cancer.

The American Cancer Society has to date spent over 9 million on cancer research in our state in 2008! This money is raised by over 130 Relay For Life events across Tennessee in communities that care about fighting cancer.

For the 2008-2009 academic year, the Mid-South Division of the American Cancer Society will award 218 scholarships in the amount of $1,000.00 each to some very deserving young students. Since the beginning of this program in 2001, more than 1,300 of these $1,000.00 scholarships have been awarded.

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