Local News Articles

DeKalb Firefighter Participates In 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb

September 9, 2012
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Firefighter Kevin Cripps Participated In 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb
William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower

A local firefighter participated in the 3rd Annual Nashville 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb Sunday at the William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower in Downtown, Nashville.

Kevin Cripps represented the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department and carried a photo to HONOR one of the fallen Hero's of 9/11

343 firefighters made the climb in remembrance of the 343 FDNY Firefighters that died 11 years ago at the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001.

The stair climb was chosen for two reasons:

1/ FDNY Firefighters at the Twin Towers on 9/11/01 had to climb the stairs of the 110 story buildings in order to rescue and evacuate people and to reach the fire floors.

2/ A commitment to Firefighter and community safety through physical fitness and training.

The 343 Firefighters participating in the event wore full gear (from 60 to 80 pounds) and climbed for someone specifically. Each climber was given a badge to wear with the name and photograph of one of the FDNY firefighters killed on 9/11/01.

Local Student Receives TSBA's Upper Cumberland District Recognition Award

September 8, 2012
Dwayne Page
Erin Cantrell-Pryor standing next to Mark Willoughby

A local student, Erin Cantrell-Pryor received the Student Recognition Award Thursday during the Tennessee School Boards Association Upper Cumberland Fall District meeting held at Cannon County High School in Woodbury.

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.

Erin, the 2012 Upper Cumberland District winner, is currently a senior at DeKalb County High School. Erin has been active academically as well as possessing a high degree of volunteerism within her community. Erin is working to attend college and plans to major in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Environmental Engineering. Erin has participated in science fairs since elementary school, winning numerous awards. She continued her interest in science by winning the grand championship of the Tennessee Tech Regional Science Fair and going on to compete at the INTEL international fair in Pittsburg. She was selected to serve as President of the Freshman Class and served on the Student Council and the 4-H congress.

Also during the TSBA Upper Cumberland Fall District Meeting, local boards of education heard updates on education legislation and Common Core State Standards, earned honors for their professional development activities, and recognized a dedicated school volunteer and an outstanding student.

Local school board members attending were John David Foutch, Charles Robinson, Kenny Rhody, Billy Miller, W.J. (Dub) Evins, III, Doug Stephens, and Johnny Lattimore along with Director of Schools Mark Willoughby.

The Upper Cumberland District meeting was one of nine similar sessions held annually in each of TSBA's development districts. The evening's program included an update on this year's session of the Tennessee General Assembly, a discussion of the Common Core State Standards by the Tennessee State Department of Education's Common Core Leadership Council, and a review of the superintendent evaluation. Board members also participated in a legislative survey with their electronic devices via an online/SMS texting program. The meeting included recognition of school board members who have achieved honors over the past year, a local school volunteer who is a finalist for a grant to their school of choice and a local student who is a finalist for a college scholarship given by TSBA.

A statewide, nonprofit organization, the Tennessee School Boards Association is a federation of all the state's school boards. TSBA's mission is to assist school boards in effectively governing school districts. Through the years, TSBA has helped school boards and their members reach their highest potential through Association programs, meetings and services. TSBA also provides school board members a collective voice in matters of legislation and public education concerns. For more information about TSBA, visit our website at: www.tsba.net.

Phillips Throws for Seven Touchdowns in Blowout Win at White County

September 8, 2012
Dwayne Page

Quarterback Lucas Phillips threw for seven touchdowns including four to Will Molander, two to Sonni Fullilove, and one to Jacob Parsley as the DeKalb County Tigers hammered the White County Warriors 58-7 Friday night at Sparta.

With the win, the Tigers are now 4-0 and will face their border rivals from Smith County next Friday night in Smithville.

The Tigers got their first points with 5:38 left in the opening period as quarterback Phillips found Fullilove on a 26 yard pass play for a touchdown. The P.A.T. by Ben Driver was good and DC led 7-0.

The Tiger defense put points on the board next as the White County quarterback turned the ball over. Cody Puckett grabbed the pigskin and rambled 35 yards for the score. The P.A.T. try by Driver was no good but the Tigers led 13-0 with 4:06 left in the second period.

White County got their one and only score of the night as Kane Tollison scored on a 70 yard touchdown run with 3:08 left in the second period. Luke Cantrell converted on the P.A.T. and DeKalb County's lead was cut to 13-7. That was the only touchdown the Tiger defense has given up this season after four games.

DC quickly put two more scores on the board before halftime, as quarterback Phillips tossed a 17 yard touchdown pass to Molander with 1:28 left in the second quarter. The try for the two point conversion failed but the Tigers extended their lead to 19-7. After a Warrior turnover on the ensuing kick-off, the Tigers got the ball back and scored again. With one minute left before the half, Fullilove caught an eight yard touchdown pass from quarterback Phillips. The P.A.T. try was no good but DeKalb County had built a 25-7 advantage.

In the third period, quarterback Phillips hooked up with Molander on a 32 yard pass play for a touchdown. The P.A.T attempt was no good but the Tigers were up 31-7 with 11:16 left.

With 9:41 to go in the third, Molander scored on a 26 yard pass play from quarterback Phillips. The P.A.T. try was no good but DC led 37-7

Jacob Parsley caught a pass for a touchdown from quarterback Phillips with 4:29 left in the third period. The P.A.T. by Driver was good and the Tigers held a commanding 44-7 advantage.

Molander scored on another touchdown throw from quarterback Phillips with 8:59 left in the game. The P.A.T. by Driver was good and the Tigers owned a 51-7 lead.

The last score of the night came on an 11 yard touchdown run by A.J. Mooneyham. Driver's P.A.T. attempt was good and the Tigers notched another blowout win, this time taking out White County 58-7.


DTC Proposes Three Bylaw Amendments Subject to Approval by Members at Sept 15 Meeting

September 7, 2012
Dwayne Page

Along with the election of three directors, members of DTC Communications (DeKalb Telephone Cooperative) will be asked to decide whether to approve three proposed amendments in the current bylaws during the annual meeting next Saturday, September 15 in Alexandria.

A prepared news release from DTC states that "proposed amendments to the cooperative's bylaws will be on the ballot and are included in the 2012 DTC Annual Report that was mailed to our members on September 6th. The specific language in the proposed bylaw amendments will be reported by WJLE once they become available

In the news release, DTC CEO, Craig Gates said, "This year's bylaw amendments and the unopposed races of our board members are a testament to DTC's commitment to our members. The first bylaw amendment will allow DTC members to attend the annual meeting throughout the DTC territory, if the Board approves a new location each year. The other bylaw amendments have two objectives: one, it helps DTC ensure that all members are treated fairly and second, it ensures that undue influence from interested third parties will not gain influence over the company." Gates went on to say, "the management team supports the board's decision to bring these bylaws forward for a vote."

Members will decide the issue during the annual meeting on Saturday, September 15th, at the DeKalb County Fairgrounds in Alexandria. Enjoy special live entertainment beginning at 3 p.m. by DeKalb Idol winner, Josh Isaac.

Incumbents Bennie Curtis, Randy Campbell, and Ronnie Garrison are running unopposed in the Alexandria, Liberty, and Smithville exchanges, respectively.

The gates to the DeKalb County Fairgrounds in Alexandria will open at 11:45 a.m., with voting from noon until 4 p.m. The business meeting will begin at 4 p.m. or once the last person in line at that time has voted.

Only DTC members may vote, and each member must present photo identification. For a single membership, only that individual may vote. Either member of a joint membership may vote, but not both. In the case of a business membership, a business affidavit is required.

DTC Communications is a member-owned telephone cooperative established in 1951. The cooperative supplies communication, entertainment, and security products and services to residential and business customers primarily throughout Middle Tennessee.

Two Busted Operating Meth Lab Near DeKalb County High School

September 6, 2012
Dwayne Page
Smithville Police Detectives Brandon Donnell, Matt Holmes, & Officer Chip Avera
Some of the Alleged Meth Lab Components
Bobby Pinegar, Jr.
Mistey Goff

Smithville Police found two people operating a meth lab inside a shed on private property within a few feet of DeKalb County High School Thursday.

M2U00824 from dwayne page on Vimeo.
Chief Randy Caplinger told WJLE that 36 year old Bobby Pinegar, Jr. and 32 year old Mistey Goff are each charged with initiation of a process intended to manufacture methamphetamine, sale and delivery of a controlled substance in a drug free school zone, and reckless endangerment. Bond for each is $60,000 and they will be in court on September 13.

According to Chief Caplinger, Smithville Police Officer Chip Avera was on patrol in the high school parking lot when he spotted smoke coming from a shed behind a brick home on West Main Street. The property is next to the DeKalb County High School campus.

Officer Avera was joined at the scene by Chief Caplinger and Detectives Matt Holmes and Brandon Donnell of the Smithville Police Department. They approached the shed and knocked on the door. After Pinegar opened the door and came out, officers could see inside the shed a green bottle containing liquid. Smoke was coming from the bottle. Other components were also spotted inside the shed that are commonly used in the manufacture of meth including coffee filters, tubing, bottles of unknown liquids, a 20 ounce bottle of a liquid sludge, among other items. Two cellophane bags were also found containing finished meth, ready for sale.

Both Pinegar and Goff were taken into custody.

GED Classes Starting Soon

September 6, 2012
Dwayne Page

Registration for GED classes is scheduled for Monday and Wednesday, September 10 & 12 from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the DeKalb County Complex on South Congress Boulevard

Anyone age eighteen and older may sign up. The ten week course is offered at no charge locally but the cost is $55.00 to take the final GED test. The fee will increase to $120.00 in 2014.

Tom Werling, GED Volunteer Instructor, said after a student registers, a test is given to determine his or her grade level in certain subject areas. "Step two is going to be the TABE Test, Monday September 17 or Wednesday, September 19 at 6:00 p.m. The TABE Test will give us an idea of where you (students) are education wise. We have had people from the second grade (level) all the way to the twelfth grade (level) so this will give us an idea of the books we need to give you and the things we need to do for you," said Werling.

Step three will be the OPT test, Monday and Wednesday September 24 and 26 at 4:00 p.m., which is the official practice test for the GED program, according to Werling. "The GED test is divided into five categories, Reading, Writing, Social Studies, Science, and Math. To get your GED you just need to average 450 in each one of the those areas. The new GED test will be coming out in 2014. It will be a computer based test and it will be harder. The fee will also be going from $55.00 to $120.00 for the test. Right now it is $55.00. There is no charge or fee for the classes here in Smithville. We'll provide you the books you need. We teach on a one to one basis because of the variance in the education level of the people we will be seeing," said Werling.

For more information call 931-528-8685.

Department of Safety to Hold Special Saturday Hours to Issue Voter Photo IDs

September 6, 2012

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security today announced that it will open eight of its driver service centers, including the one in Putnam County on the first Saturday of October and November to give citizens additional opportunities to obtain photo identification in order to vote in the upcoming state and federal general election. The centers were chosen based on the size of the populations they serve and the response from citizens to centers that were opened on Saturdays before the primary election.

The Cookeville Center is located at 4600 Jefferson Avenue

A new state law effective this year requires citizens to present a federal or state-issued photo ID to vote at the polls. The law also requires the Department of Safety and Homeland Security to issue photo IDs for voting purposes at no charge.

As of September 6, 2012, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security had issued 22,355 photo IDs for voting purposes. The vast majority (20,967) of those issued were non-photo driver licenses converted into photo driver licenses, while 1,388 were original photo identification cards.

"Any citizen who needs a photo ID for voting purposes may obtain one at no charge by visiting any of our 51 driver service centers during normal business hours. As an added service, we are again opening certain centers for special Saturday hours to make sure everyone has an opportunity to get a photo ID," Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said.

"Once again, the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security is demonstrating its strong commitment to helping Tennesseans get the proper identification needed to vote. We are pleased to continue to partner with Commissioner Gibbons and his colleagues in their efforts to encourage civic participation," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said.

The eight driver service centers will be open from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 6 and Saturday, November 3. The centers will issue voter photo IDs and convert non-photo driver licenses into photo driver licenses only. No other services will be available during these special hours.

To minimize the possibility of wait times during Saturday hours, groups or organizations planning to make a group visit to a driver service center should schedule an appointment by calling Melissa Long at 865-712-4908 (east Tennessee contact) or Rochelle Bryant at 931-242-7282 (west Tennessee contact).

For more information on the new voter photo ID law, including acceptable forms of photo identification and documents needed to obtain a photo ID for voting purposes, please visit the Department of Safety and Homeland Security's website at www.tn.gov/safety

Rachel Robinson Announces Write-In Campaign Against Diane Black

September 5, 2012
Rachel Robinson

Rachel Robinson, a Cookeville native, has announced that she will be launching a formal write-in campaign as a Democrat running in the 6th Congressional District race.

She stopped by WJLE Wednesday on a campaign visit to DeKalb County.

In announcing her candidacy, Robinson addressed the reasons she is entering this race. “Watching national news coverage of the recent Republican primary, I was angry and embarrassed. This area deserves so much better than being an example of the worst in national politics. At a time when people are fed up with the un-ending partisan gridlock in Washington, our Congresswoman is running on the fact that she’s the most extreme Congress member of all.

“So many people I spoke with shared my sentiment. We were frustrated there was no Democrat on the ballot. We were frustrated with the job Diane Black has been doing. We were frustrated that our Congressional race was a national joke, but most importantly, we were frustrated that we felt like we didn’t have anyone fighting for us.”

In her announcement, Robinson expressed opposition to Congresswoman Black’s support of the Ryan Budget, which would end Medicare as it currently exists, and expressed special disbelief that the Congresswoman had failed to introduce or vote for a single jobs bill during her entire tenure in Congress.

“I work three jobs to make ends meet,” Robinson said. “I buy my own health insurance, because none of those three jobs provide it. The fact that our Congresswoman has done nothing in two years to bring new, quality jobs to our district is completely unacceptable.”

While acknowledging that her campaign will be tough, Robinson also expressed that she had full belief in the benefits of running. “The many ignored people in the 6th district deserve a voice, and if I can, I will give that to them. Representing people in Congress is about more than being an activist with an agenda; it’s about being an advocate,” she said.

Robinson grew up in Cookeville, TN, and attended Cookeville High School. After graduation, she attended University of Memphis where she pursued both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Upon returning to Cookeville, she began work as an adjunct instructor at both Volunteer State’s Livingston Campus as well as Tennessee Technological University, where she currently teaches English Composition. In addition, she is pursuing her EdS degree from TTU and serves her church as the Director of Children’s and Youth Ministries.

Engaged in her community throughout her life, Robinson currently volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, and she participates in many other community events and organizations including WCTE-TV’s Great TV Auction, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and the Cookeville Fall Fun Fest.

Dailey & Vincent to Host Third Annual Helping Hands Charity Concert

September 5, 2012
Dwayne Page
Dailey & Vincent

Dailey & Vincent are set to host their third concert for their Helping Hands Charity, on Saturday, September 29 at the Jackson County High School Gymnasium in Gainesboro. The show starts at 5:00 p.m.

Since its inception, The Dailey & Vincent Helping Hands Fund, administered through the Cookeville Regional Medical Center Foundation, a 501©(3) organization, has raised over $60,000. It exists to provide financial assistance to disadvantaged children of Tennessee's Jackson and DeKalb counties to meet immediate medical, nutritional and educational needs not covered by insurance or other means.

Funds raised by the concert will be divided evenly for use in Jackson and DeKalb counties.

Concert tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door and are available in Smithville at Cantrell Furniture or Mapco Express or by calling Julie Vincent (615-418-5759). Tickets are also available online at www.daileyvincent.com.

Susan Conley Appointed CEO for DeKalb Community Hospital and Stones River Hospital

September 4, 2012
Susan Conley

Susan (Sue) Conley, FACHE, has been named Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for DeKalb Community Hospital (DCH) and Stones River Hospital (SRH) by the Upper Cumberland Healthcare Initiatives (UCHI) Board and Capella Healthcare in consultation with the hospital’s Board of Trustees. She begins the new position on Monday, October 1.

“With over 20 years of experience in a variety of healthcare leadership roles, Sue brings outstanding qualifications to this role,” said Mark Medley, President of Hospital Operations for Capella. “With the opportunities ahead of us I, along with the board members, believe Sue is the right leader to help these hospitals reach their fullest potential. We all have great confidence in Sue’s ability to work with all of the hospitals’ constituents to lead both organizations through the transitional years ahead.”

Conley comes to DCH and SRH from Van Buren, AR, where she has been serving as CEO of Summit Medical Center, a 103-bed acute medical/surgical hospital. Prior to this, she served as CEO at Mesa Vista Regional Hospital in Mesquite, NV; and as COO at a number of hospitals including 492-bed Sparks Health System in Fort Smith, AR; Medical Center of South Arkansas in El Dorado, AR; and Brownwood Regional Hospital in Brownwood, TX. She also served as an Assistant Administrator and Laboratory Supervisor after beginning her healthcare career as a Medical Technologist.

Conley earned a B.S. degree in biology (cum laude) from Hardin Simmons University, Abilene, TX; and a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from Trinity University, San Antonio, TX. She has earned Fellowship status in the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE).

Conley will be moving to the area in the next month with her husband Allen. She has two grown children, a daughter JoBeth who lives in Sacramento, California, and a son Michael who lives in London, England. She has two grandchildren.

About DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospitals

DCH and SRH are a part of the Capella-Saint Thomas system of hospitals, a joint venture between Capella Healthcare and Saint Thomas Health, along with sister hospitals Highlands Medical Center in Sparta and River Park Hospital in McMinnville. There are approximately 80 physicians on the combined medical staffs, representing nearly every medical specialty. Both are accredited by The Joint Commission. Established in 1969, DCH is a 71-bed hospital located in Smithville. The hospital offers 24-hour emergency services and comprehensive diagnostic, medical, surgical and rehabilitative services. The hospital has enjoyed a long history of medical excellence having been named one of the 100 Top Hospitals® in America by Thomson Reuters (formerly Solucient) for five years. Established in 1980, SRH is a 60-bed hospital located in Woodbury. The hospital provides 24-hour emergency care as well as surgical procedures, same day outpatient services, cardiac rehabilitation services, and comprehensive imaging services. Through the Riverside Center, a full range of mental health services for older adults is available, with intensive inpatient services at a 14-bed gero-psychiatric unit at the hospital.

About Capella Healthcare and Saint Thomas Health

Capella Healthcare partners with communities to build strong local healthcare systems that are known for quality patient care and exceptional service. Based in Franklin, Tenn., Capella owns and/or operates 15 acute care and specialty hospital facilities in seven states. For more information, visit www.CapellaHealthcare.com Saint Thomas Health is the market share leader in Middle Tennessee with 6,500 associates serving the region. Saint Thomas Health’s regional health system consists of five hospitals – Baptist and Saint Thomas Hospitals and The Hospital for Spinal Surgery in Nashville, Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro and Hickman Community Hospital in Centerville – and a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures in diagnostics, cardiac services and ambulatory surgery as well as medical practices, clinic and rehabilitation facilities. Saint Thomas Health is a member of Ascension Health, a Catholic organization that is the largest not-for-profit health system in the United States. For more information, visit www.sths.com.


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