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Election Administrator Reminds Potential Candidates of Qualifying Deadlines

January 20, 2010
Dwayne Page
Dennis Stanley

The DeKalb County Election Commission reminds potential candidates for local offices of the approaching qualifying deadlines.

Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections says noon on Thursday, February 18th is the qualifying deadline for the May 4th DeKalb County Democratic Primary.

Offices eligible for the May ballot are County Mayor, County Clerk, Circuit Court Clerk, Trustee, Register of Deeds, Road Supervisor, and Sheriff, county commissioners in districts one through seven, 13th Judicial District Circuit Court Judge Part 1 and District Attorney. The judge and D.A. elections are to fill unexpired terms.

Independent candidates have the same qualifying deadline, Noon, February 18th..

The following persons have picked up and or returned petitions to run for local public offices in the May DeKalb County Democratic Primary

County Clerk:
Mike Clayborn
Glynn Merriman
Chris Smithson

Road Supervisor:
Jimmy Sprague

County Mayor:
Mike Foster
David C. Redmon (picked up petition)
Robert (Bob) Snyder

Register of Deeds:
Jeff McMillen
Clarence R. Trapp

Circuit Court Clerk:
Katherine Pack

Candidates for county offices running as Republicans or Independents in the August General Election:

Patrick Ray (Republican)

Sean Driver(Republican)

Road Supervisor:
Kenny Edge (Republican)

County Commission Candidates in May Democratic Primary (two can be nominated from each district to run in August)
First District:
Elmer Ellis, Jr.

Second District:
Jack E. Barton, III

Third District:
Jerry Scott
Roy Merriman
Bradley Hendrix
Johnathan W. Willoughby (picked up petition)

Fourth District:
Wayne Cantrell
Ronald H. Rogers
David L. McDowell
Jesse Baker

Fifth District:
Johnny Ringo Colwell
Randy Braswell
Bobby R.Taylor
John D. Green

Sixth District:
Jeff Barnes
Marshall Ferrell

Seventh District:
Larry A. Summers
Jimmy W. Poss

County Commission candidates running either as Republicans or Independents in the August General Election (Two to be elected from each district in August)

First District:
Mason Carter(Republican)

Second District:
Bobby Joines (Republican)

Fifth District:
Jerry Adcock (Republican)

Fifth District:
Lloyd Emmons (Independent)

Seventh District:
Richard Kinsey (Independent)

School Board:

First District:
John David Foutch (picked up petition)

Second District:
Charlie Robinson

Third District:
Kenny Rhody

Seventh District:
Johnny Lattimore (picked up petition)

Smithville Alderman:
Steve White (picked up petition)

Smithville Alderman:
Cecil Burger (picked up petition)

Smithville Mayor:
Taft Hendrixson (picked up petition)

Smithville Mayor:
Bruce Medley (picked up petition)

State Representative:
James Hale (picked up petition) DeKalb County
Jamie Winkler (picked up petition) Smith County
Sarah Marie Smith (picked up petition) Smith County

Tommy Hay of DeKalb County has qualified to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in the Sixth District

County to Consider Helping Control Weight Loads over Hurricane Bridge

January 20, 2010
Dwayne Page
County Mayor Mike Foster
 Hurricane Bridge

The county has apparently reached an agreement with officials of the Tennessee Department of Transportation to help enforce weight limits on Hurricane bridge by escorting across large trucks, fire engines, school buses, and other vehicles carrying heavy loads.

County Mayor Mike Foster, during an all-committees meeting with members of the county commission Tuesday night at the courthouse, said this issue would be discussed during Monday night's regular monthly meeting of the commission and he will ask that the plan be approved.

Under the proposal, Foster says the county would appropriate around $20,000 to hire at least a couple of people with experience in law enforcement or traffic control who would work a forty hour week, monitoring traffic across Hurricane bridge. These officers would be responsible for making sure that no more than one large truck passes over the bridge at a time.

Foster says this would ease concerns about public safety and keep industries from having to detour through Alexandria or Dale Ridge Road to access the Interstate.

According to Foster, he met with officials of TDOT and the Tennessee Highway Patrol earlier this month at his office to discuss the plan and he says they have given their approval. If accepted by the county commission, Foster says the proposal could be implemented as early as next month, subject to a few more details being worked out with TDOT.

"TDOT has told us in the meeting we had a week ago Friday that if we will escort the trucks across and make sure that there's no more than one big truck on the bridge at a time, the factories can haul up to 72,000 pounds. That will be a big help and save them from having to go around (detour). It will save them a couple a hundred dollars a load. Their (TDOT) engineering report says that the bridge doesn't need to have more than 72,000 pounds on it at a time. They've got it restricted to 18 tons, but that's only if a truck is crossing from each direction. As long as we keep only one truck on it then they feel like it's safe to go up to 72,000 pounds."

Foster says TDOT officials liked the escort idea better than posting traffic lights on either end of the bridge. "They felt like the lights were not as safe as this and would cause more problems."

The escorts would not be provided around the clock, but Foster says arrangements could be made for after hours if needed. "It won't be twenty four hours a day. Right now it'll be 40 hours a week and if there is a special need then we can do that. We'll try to work out something with law enforcement so that kids going on school bus trips (such as basketball tournaments) can be escorted across the bridge for the safety of them going and coming."

He added that fire trucks might also need an occasional escort. " On Christmas eve, there was a fire on the other side of the lake. They (fire fighters) went all the way around (detoured). We've got it worked out now so they can escort that truck across by blocking the ends (of the bridge) to keep more than one truck from getting on the bridge at a time. That way they can cross it and it will be legal."

Foster says the persons hired to do the escorts would not necessarily have to be active law enforcement officers "They could probably be non-commissioned officers, not necessarily post certified, but someone with a law enforcement background or experience in traffic control. It could be like a constable or someone possibly supervised by the sheriff's department."

According to Foster, this is probably the best solution to the problem until TDOT begins rehab work on Hurricane bridge, and no date has yet been set for that. "It will help our industries, provide for the safety of our school buses, and help fire firefighters and ambulances. It's a small price for us to pay."

At a public meeting hosted by State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver and State Senator Mae Beavers in November, Ed Wasserman, TDOT Director of Structures, addressed the safety issue regarding Hurricane bridge and the timetable for getting it repaired. "With regard to the Hurricane bridge, if you observe the postings that are on it, then the bridge is perfectly safe. As to the scheduling of things, these are very expensive structures, we have a limited overall amount of money to deal with statewide. While you have every right to be concerned and feel that your bridge is the top priority in the state, there are people in other areas in the state with a bridge in similar condition and they feel theirs needs to be top priority. We are going to keep your bridges safe until such time as they get repaired or replaced on whatever schedule that works out to be. If the revenue stream continues, then we're going to be able to get to your bridge. But with the Hurricane bridge, it will be repaired because there's not any chance that we can afford to replace that bridge."

Wasserman said that Hurricane bridge had not deteriorated to the point that it would have to be closed and added that the state would spend funds to do emergency repairs to keep it open if need be.

Lady Tigers Snap Ten Year District Losing Streak

January 19, 2010
Dwayne Page
 Lady Tigers Snap Long District Losing Streak-

The streak is over!

After more than ten years, the DeKalb County Lady Tigers snapped their 128 game district losing skid with a victory Tuesday night over the Smith County Owlettes in Smithville. The final score was 57 to 35.

The last time the Lady Tigers won a district game was on January 6th, 2000 against the Smith County Owlettes at Carthage under coach Jerry Foster.

DeKalb County dominated the game from the beginning leading 17 to 2 after the first period, 34 to 10 at the half, and 48 to 20 after the third quarter before winning 57 to 35.

Martha Webb led the team in scoring with 21 points. Cynthia Woodward had 14, Kristina Stephens and Alex Meadows each had 9 points, and Morgan Page and Nikki Bass each scored 2 points.

With the win the Lady Tigers improve to 11-7 on the season and 1-4 in district play.

Meanwhile in the nightcap, the Tigers and the Owls played into overtime before the issue was settled, but DeKalb County prevailed, winning 69 to 61.

DeKalb County led 17 to 14 after the first period, 32 to 24 at halftime, and 47 to 41 after the third period. In the fourth quarter, the Owls outscored the Tigers 12 to 6 to tie the game at 53 by the end of regulation. In the overtime, DeKalb County outpaced the Owls 16 to 8 and won 69 to 61.

Sonni Young had high scoring honors for the Tigers with 20 points. Payne Denman scored 15. Seth Willoughby 13, Hunter Poteete 7, Abram Edwards 5, Zach Neal 4, Destry Wiggins 3, and Cody Puckett with 2 points.

The Tigers improve to 11-7 overall and go to 2-3 in district play.

DeKalb County will host Monterey Friday night starting with the girls game at 6:00 p.m. WJLE plans LIVE coverage.

DeKalb Rescue Squad Helps Save Cow and Horse

January 18, 2010
Cow Rescued (Photo provided)

The Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad was called to an area close to the Center Hill Dam on the Dale Ridge Road to rescue a cow that was stuck in the lake.

The cow was rescued sucessfully and was not injured.

This is the second incident within the week. Early Monday morning, (last week) the rescue squad was called to Evins Mill Road for a horse that was stuck in a pond. The horse was also successfully rescued , without injury.

(Story and photo by Dustin Johnson)

Sheriff's Department Makes Arrests in Child Abuse and Theft Cases

January 18, 2010
Dwayne Page
Jo Carol Summers
Jacob L Tramel
Thomas Jacob Sims
Travis Dewayne Rich
Steve A Stanley
Jeffery S Ponder

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department made one arrest for child abuse last week while five others have been charged in various theft investigations.

In his weekly report on crime, Sheriff Patrick Ray says 23 year old Jo Carol Summers of Students Home Road Smithville was arrested Tuesday, January 12th for child abuse of a 4 year old. Through an investigation, deputies learned that Summers struck a 4 year old child with a paint stir stick, hitting the youngster several times on the back and buttocks areas with the stick, causing bruising to those areas. Bond for Summers was set at $5,000 and she will appear in court on January 28th.

27 year old Jacob L. Tramel of Whaley Street Smithville was arrested on Tuesday, January 12th for theft of property over $1,000.. Detectives received a report of a theft on Short Mountain Road, Smithville where the victim stated that on December 15th a diamond ring, valued at over $1,000, was taken from the victim's residence without consent. Tramel sold the stolen ring to a jewelry dealer in Smithville. Bond for Tramel was set at $10,000 and he will appear in court on February 4th.

26 year old Thomas Jacob Sims of Snow Hill Road, Dowelltown was arrested on Wednesday, January 13th for aggravated burglary and theft of property over $1,000. Detectives received a report of a theft on January 10th in which someone had stolen a freezer, food, television, and a microwave. These items were taken from a home on Robinson Road without the owner's consent. Entry was made through a back door to the residence. Though an investigation, detectives identified Sims as a suspect in the crimes. The stolen items have since been recovered. Bond for Sims was set at $50,000 and he will appear in court on February 4th.

On Thursday, January 14th, detectives received a report of a burglary, theft, and vandalism which occurred on January 11th on Cherokee Drive in Smithville. As a result of the investigation, detectives learned that 22 year old Travis Dewayne Rich of Bear Hollow Road, Liberty had broken into the home and stolen a 32 inch television, cable box, sink faucets, and parts to two central heating and air units. During the crime, Rich cut the faucets off from the water lines causing over $10,000 worth of water damage to the homes' structure and furnishings. Rich was charged with aggravated burglary, theft of property over $10,000 and vandalism over $10,000. Bond for Rich was set at $45,000 and he will appear in court on February 18th. Rich is also a suspect in other break-ins in the county where items such as copper, and televisions, among other items were taken. If you have bought anything from Rich, you are urged to contact DeKalb County Sheriff's Department detectives or Sheriff Ray at 597-4935.

32 year old Steve A. Stanley and 45 year old Jeffery S. Ponder both of Old Mill Hill Road Dowelltown were arrested on Saturday for burglary and theft of property over $500. After receiving a complaint call of a break-in, deputies caught both men taking items out of a storage building on Dale Ridge Road. Both men had entered a storage building by forcing open a front door and loaded a propane tank, 2 stoves, an electric pump, catalytic converter, and other scrap metal into a truck that they were in. Bond for both men was set at $35,000 and they both will appear in court on February 4th.

Cub Scouts Visit WJLE

January 18, 2010
Dwayne Page
Cub Scouts and Parents visit WJLE

Members of Cub Scout Pack 347, Den 9 visited WJLE on a field trip Saturday.

WJLE Manager Dwayne Page gave the scouts a tour of the station and interviewed them LIVE on the radio.

(Pictured- left to right: Seated below and wearing cap- David Robinson, Kneeling at right- Jamie Waggoner; Kneeling left- Eric Birmingham; Seated in chairs- Cody Robinson, Nicholas Birmingham, and Darren Waggoner)

Five Incumbents Announce Plans to Seek Re-election during Republican Party Mass Meeting

January 16, 2010
Dwayne Page
Sheriff Patrick Ray
Trustee Sean Driver
Road Supervisor Kenny Edge
First District County Commissioner Mason Carter
Second District County Commissioner Bobby Joines
Congressional Candidate Kerry Roberts-

Members of the DeKalb County Republican Party held a Mass Meeting Saturday morning at the Courthouse.

The purpose of the meeting was to select delegates to the January 30th DeKalb County Republican Convention and to give potential candidates an opportunity to formally announce their candidacies.

Republican incumbents Sheriff Patrick Ray, Trustee Sean Driver, Road Supervisor Kenny Edge, First District County Commissioner Mason Carter, and Second District County Commissioner Bobby Joines all announced their intentions to seek re-election.
Click here to listen to candidate announcements

In his remarks to the party faithful, Sheriff Patrick Ray, who is running for his second term, said he is thankful for their support and believes he has fulfilled his pledge to the people of DeKalb County. "Four years ago I stood before you asking for the nomination for the office of Sheriff. With your nomination and vote and the votes of the DeKalb County voters in August, 2006 I was elected to that office. Since taking the office of Sheriff, I've worked hard to improve the quality of life to the citizens by providing them with accountable and professional law enforcement. During my time as your Sheriff, I have fulfilled my campaign promises, which was to run a professional and accountable Sheriff's Department, to spend our tax dollars wisely, to work hard on the trafficking of illegal drugs, and to provide responsive and respectful law enforcement services to the citizens and visitors of DeKalb County. Under my leadership, the Sheriff's Department has provided cooperative relationships with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. I've worked closely with civic organizations throughout the county and I have tried to make myself available to you at all times. I would like the opportunity to continue to lead our Sheriff's Department in a forward direction. I have enjoyed serving as your Sheriff. While a lot of things have changed over the last four years in our communities, my commitment for professionalism and accountability has not changed. It is my desire to continue to work for the citizens of DeKalb County. With that said, at this time I humbly ask for the nomination for the office of Sheriff in the August 2010 General Election."

Trustee Sean Driver, seeking his second term, says the Trustee's office is now more computer friendly and he has made sound investments of the county's money. "Thank you for your nomination in 2006 to run for this wonderful office, the Trustee's Office. It has been such a privilege and an honor just to do that job and to give everyone my best ability to do that job to the best of my knowledge. I do want to ask you once again for your nomination for the 2010 nomination. I want to tell you a little about what I have accomplished in these last three and a half years. I have brought the office up to a modernization level. We are on full computer now. I do have a lot of ideas that I want to get accomplished in the next four years if I were to be elected and nominated. We are of the understanding that our offices may be moved out to the Food Center shopping center and I have a lot of ideas as to where I could take the office if I were to get this nomination. I have invested the money wisely and I give reports on a monthly and tri-monthly basis as to where that money is being spent and being invested. As of this date and finishing out the four years, I will have brought the money back into the county at around the two million dollar mark. So investments have worked well for this county and we're very pleased with that. I thank you so much."

Road Supervisor Kenny Edge, who was first elected in 1990, said he would continue to serve the county as best he could with the money he is allocated by the state. "I ask for your vote and nomination in being re- elected for four more years. I'll continue to do like I have in the past, I'll do the best job that I can do on what tax monies I get without asking for more or raising the taxes. In the past I borrowed a million dollars. That's never been done. I paid every bit of it back with my own gas tax money and I'm out of debt. I've got a little bit ahead but the next four years is going to be a challenge because people are not burning as much fuel on account of the cost of it. My money is staying basically the same but everything I'm buying, inflation is killing us. I mean when we're paying over two dollars a gallon for diesel and then paying $10,000 a load for oil to tar a road with, where we used to get it for three thousand dollars a load. It's a challenge. But I'll continue to do the best that I can do on what I can get and I appreciate any help that you all can help me with."

First District County Commissioner Mason Carter, seeking his second term, asked for the support of the first district delegates. "If it would be your pleasure I'd like to run again."

Second District County Commissioner Bobby Joines, running for his third term, said he would continue to help spend the taxpayers money wisely. "I came here going on eight years ago asking for this same position. We made it and I would like to ask for your help again. I'm only one of fourteen commissioners but I've tried to take care of tax dollars and handle it as if it was my own because I'm a taxpayer too. So I would appreciate your help for another four years in nominating me."

In addition to the local candidates, Kerry Roberts of Springfield announced his candidacy for 6th District Congressman in the August State Republican Primary. Click here to listen to his comments
or click the following link to read more about him.

Jennifer Winfree, Chairperson of the DeKalb County Republican Party, announced that the convention will meet on Saturday, January 30th at 10:00 a.m. at the courthouse to formally nominate candidates to run in the August General Election. She added that other potential candidates have until January 30th to make their intentions known. "We will meet back in this room two weeks from today at the same time to let the delegates from each district vote for the candidates for each of these offices. On January 30th, we will hold our convention and vote on each Republican candidate. Any Republican who wants to seek an office can announce as late as January 30th."

Winfree also urged her fellow Republicans to join the effort to keep DeKalb County "red"."I appreciate what you do and thank you for being an important part of our party. "Next year will be an exciting year for our party. It will take all of us in this room and others who could not attend today to hold true to our conservative principles as Republicans and keep this county red. We have some great candidates seeking office. They are talented individuals who seek to serve and better DeKalb County. I thank them for their public service."

Delegates selected during the Mass Meeting are as follows:

1st district: Tom Chandler, Laura Chandler, Mason Carter, Jerry Childress

2nd district: Sandy Brown, Don Adamson, Charles Robinson, Donny Green, (alternate Darry Driver)

3rd district: Taft Hendrixson, Karen Caplinger, Vester Parsley, George LeFevre (alternate J.C. Carter)

4th district: Joe Collins, Bertha McBride, and Joan Draper

5th district: Larry Green, Jerry Adcock, Kiki Brown, Wink Brown (alternate Becky Oliver)

6th district: Grady Ray, Tracy Ray, Roy Ray, Patsy Ray (alternate Melvin Ray)

7th district: Todd Lassiter, Misty Lassiter, James Cantrell, Johnny Lattimore (alternate Amy Gay)

Smithville Police Charge Two Men with Theft of Property from Local Industry

January 15, 2010
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police have charged two men with theft of property belonging to a local industry.

34 year old Melvin Leon Crips, Jr. of 148 Winter Drive and 39 year old Tracy Lynn Haynes of 529 Frazier Street were arrested Wednesday, January 13th by Detective Jerry Hutchins and charged with theft of property over $500 and $10,000. Police say around January 9th, several pieces of welding equipment and power supplies were stolen from Tenneco's (Walker's) warehouse at 415 Miller Road. On January 11th, maintenance manager, Johnny Pridmore reported to Officer Matt Farmer that he was informed that some of Tenneco's equipment may be at Ivy Bluff Salvage. Pridmore went to Ivy Bluff Salvage and found equipment belonging to Tenneco. Pridmore returned to the warehouse on January 11th to find a truck with a bumper trailer attached. On the trailer were two items belonging to Tenneco. He approached the men in the truck and requested their names and asked what they were doing. The driver stated his name was Melvin Crips. While Mr. Pridmore called the police, the two men unloaded the two items off the trailer and left. After further investigation, Detective Hutchins arrested Crips and Haynes. Bond for each is set at $27,500. Their court date is March 8th.

57 year old Elizabeth Anne Puckett and 31 year old Stephen Shea Puckett both of 362 Smith Road, Smithville and 36 year old Jena Vantrease of 502 Madison Drive, LaVergne were charged Friday, January 8th for disorderly conduct. Officer Matt Holmes made the arrests. Bond for each is $1,000. They will be in court on February 4th.

20 year old Farron Lee Hendrix, II of 823 Riley Avenue and 20 year old Carrie Leanna Cooper, of 366 Imperial Drive, Sparta were arrested Friday, January 8th for simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. 20 year old Gary Heath Robinson of 3460 Coconut Ridge Road was also arrested for unlawful possession of a weapon. Officer Scott Davis was dispatched to 630 Miller Road, Apartment C-19 in answer to a complaint of loud music and possible drug use. During a search of the residence, police found Hendrix and Cooper hiding in the bathroom. Marijuana and drug paraphernalia were found behind the shower curtain. Others were present in the apartment and while Officer Davis and Sergeant Joey Jones were checking them for illegal drugs, Robinson asked if they wanted his pistol. He handed Officer Davis a 9mm Hi-point semi automatic pistol. Robinson told WJLE that the police account of the pistol incident is incorrect. He says officers asked everyone present if they had anything they were not supposed to have. Robinson told them he had a pistol and the officers asked him to turn it over to them. Bond for each was set at $2,500 and their court date is February 4th.

On Tuesday, January 12th, K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow cited 29 year old Crystal Margaret Berninger of 104 Highland Drive for simple possession.

On Thursday, January 14th, Corporal Travis K Bryant cited 41 year old William A Cantrell of 299 Redman Road for shoplifting. While in Wal-Mart, Cantrell took off his old shoes and put on new shoes belonging to the store and put his old shoes back in the box. His court date is February 4th.

42 year old Billy Joe Cripps and 40 year old Staci Lynne Cripps of 398 South College Street were arrested Friday, January 15th by Sergeant Randy King for child neglect. According to the report, Officer King responded to the corner of East Main Street and Highway 56 North in response to a small child walking alone next to the road. The caller reported that the child had been picked up by someone in a white mini-van. Upon arrival, police spoke with witnesses Jeanie Poss and Todd VanDyne who reported that the child was first seen walking east on Don Cantrell Way and then toward Highway 56 and East Main Street. Poss picked up the child until police arrived. Both witnesses said that the child told them that he was told to get out and find his own way to school. The outside temperature was approximately 30 degrees. The child was not wearing any socks when he was picked up. The youngster was taken to Smithville Elementary School by Lieutenant Steven Leffew.

42 year old Doyle Edwin Mooneyham and 51 year old Melba Olline Finley both of 957 Manus Town Road, Woodbury were arrested Friday, January 15th by Sergeant Randy King and Officer Matt Farmer. A call was dispatched to NHC concerning a possible public intoxication and drug traffic. Upon arrival, police saw four persons. Sergeant King spoke with Mooneyham who was unsteady on his feet and had an odor of a fermented beverage about his person. Sergeant King asked Mooneyham if he had been drinking. Mooneyham replied that he had drunk one beer. Sergeant King then asked him if he had taken any medication. Mooneyham said he had taken his medication earlier and produced three prescription bottles. Mooneyham was arrested at that time for public intoxication. During this time, Officer Farmer was questioning and searching three other people at this location. A small blue football shaped pill with GG over 258 on one side of it was found on Melba Finley. Ms. Finley stated that it was a Xanax and that she had a prescription for it but she could not produce a prescription for the pills. Finley was arrested for simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance. Bond for each was set at $1,000 and they will be in court on February 11th.

Meanwhile, anyone having any information on the following offenses is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.

On Friday, January 8th, Ronnie Walker, an employee of the City of Smithville reported to Corporal Travis Bryant that someone had busted out the back window and kicked in the door to the guard shack at Green Brook Park. Walker stated that the last time he knew the guard shack to be intact was on Wednesday, January 6th. Walker said damage had to have occurred sometime on or after that date.

Any information received that will help Smithville Police solve any criminal offense will be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential.

School Board Approves H1N1 Vaccination Clinics

January 14, 2010
Dwayne Page
Deanna Pursinger answering question about H1N1 clinics at School Board meeting

The DeKalb County Board of Education Thursday night approved a proposal by the Upper Cumberland Regional Health Office to set up school clinics to administer H1N1 vaccinations. A team of nurses and health department staff will be manning the clinics

In order for children in the school system to receive the immunizations, their parents or guardians would first have to complete and sign a form, giving permission. The immunizations will be free of charge.

Deanna Pursinger, School Health Coordinator, says she is still waiting on confirmation from the health department but tentative dates for the clinics are Tuesday through Friday, February 16th- 19th and the following Monday through Thursday, February 22nd-25th. She says the hope is to complete visits to all the schools in the county in a week or less.

Pursinger says the school system, nor the board of education would be held liable since "children are covered through malpractice insurance through the health department, just the same as if they went to the health department themselves."

The vaccinations would not just be available to children. Pursinger says others could receive the immunizations as well. " Not only is this H1N1 flu vaccination and or mist available to our students, its also available to any adult, faculty or staff member, a younger sibling, or parents as long as they fill out the form. They (health department) are going to have plenty of vaccinations while they are at the school so anybody can get this for free. There's no cost, they just have to fill out the form and sign it."

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby says he hopes this is the beginning of a stronger partnership with the health department. "We would hope that this is a bridge in order to work with the health department even more in administering immunization shots and things like that, especially for our pre-school kids and kindergarten kids, so hopefully by doing this we can be building a bridge to work more and more with our health department in the future."

A consent form and the following letter will be sent to parents and guardians from the Upper Cumberland Regional Health Office:

"As you may have heard, a new influenza virus, called the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus, was first identified in the United States in late April 2009. The virus has caused illness ranging from mild to severe, including hospitalizations and deaths in adults and children. Many children have gotten H1N1 infection and there have been large outbreaks in some schools across the country. Flu is unpredictable and activity can rise and fall throughout the season, but flu is likely to continue for months, caused by either 2009 H1N1 viruses or regular seasonal flu viruses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended that children and young adults be vaccinated against H1N1."

"Vaccination is the best way to protect your child from this potentially serious disease. The health department is working with your child's school to give the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine to children at school. A vaccination clinic will be held at your child's school in the month of January or February 2010. Please complete the consent form along with your signature giving permission to vaccinate your child."

"Children under age 10 need two doses of vaccine spaced one month apart to provide adequate immunity. Only one dose is required for children age 10 and older or for children that obtain the first dose at age 9 and will turn 10 before the second dose is due. If your child meets the criteria for a second dose, it will also be administered at school to fulfill the requirement. There will be no cost to you for this vaccine."

"If you have any questions about the vaccine or the vaccination clinic, please call your local health department from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please visit the CDC's H1N1 web site at for information especially for parents.

Board of Education Adopts 2010-11 School Calendar

January 14, 2010
Dwayne Page
DCHS Principal Kathy Hendrix urges parents to check report cards

The DeKalb County Board of Education formally adopted the school calendar for the 2010-2011 year Thursday night. The monthly meeting of the board was held at Smithville Elementary School.

Registration for all students will be Monday, August 2nd. That will be an abbreviated school day from 7:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m.

Thursday, August 5th will be an administrative day at all schools and all teachers must attend from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

The first full day of school for all students will be Tuesday, August 3rd. Wednesday, August 4th will also be a full day of school.

A system wide professional development day will be Monday, July 26th at DCHS and all teachers from all schools must attend from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

All teachers will report to DCHS from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 27th . All teachers will then report to their individual schools Tuesday, July 27th from noon until 3:00 p.m. and Wednesday and Thursday, July 28th & 29th from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

Students will not attend on Monday, Labor Day, September 6th.

Schools will be closed for the fall break October 11-22 (The first week will be intersession)

Students will be off for the Thanksgiving holiday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, November 24th, 25th, & 26th and for the winter break December 20th through December 31st. Friday, December 17th will be the last day students attend before winter break and that will be an abbreviated school day. Students will return after the holidays on Tuesday, January 4th to begin the third nine week session.

Schools will be closed for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 17th and for President's Day, Monday, February 21st.

Schools will be closed for spring break March 21st-25th and for Good Friday, April 22nd.

Students will not attend on Wednesday, May 25th. That will be an administrative day and all teachers must attend. The last day of school will be Thursday, May 26. That will be an abbreviated school day and report cards will be sent home.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held on Tuesday, October 5th and Tuesday, March 15th at DeKalb County High School from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will also be held from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Thursday, October 7th and Thursday, March 17th at DeKalb Middle School, Northside Elementary, Smithville Elementary, and DeKalb West School.

Report cards will be sent home on Monday, October 4th, Thursday, January 6th, and Monday, March 14th.

AYP-EOC/Gateway Testing at DCHS will be Tuesday through Thursday, December 7th-9th and May 3rd-5th at DCHS and a make-up AYP-EOC/Gateway Test will be Friday, December 10th and May 6th.

ACT Test for the 11th grade will be Tuesday, March 8th

Writing Assessment for the 5th, 8th, and 11th grades will be February 1st. Writing Assessment make-up will be February 2nd..

TCAP testing of elementary students will be April 13th-20th

(Stockpile Days) Professional Development/Instructional Days will be held from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 2nd, Monday, January 3rd, and Friday, March 18th. Students will not attend on those days.

In other business, DCHS Principal Kathy Hendrix issued an appeal to parents to take a look at your sons and daughters report cards, which were released Thursday. "We passed our report cards out today. Parents, please look at those report cards. If there are any incompletes or grades that aren't up to passing, please encourage your sons and daughters to get to the guidance office and get signed up for credit recovery or the Tiger Academy, whatever it is they need to do. Senior parents, make sure you look at those report cards. If they (students) need these classes to graduate, you need to be checking to make sure they get all this work completed and get their credits because we want everybody to graduate on time."

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby updated the board on personnel moves since last month.

The following were employed:
Tamara Murphy, RN, substitute school nurse
Janice Tanner, LPN, substitute school nurse
Deborah Knowles, Educational Assistant (Job Coach) DCHS
Dustin Estes and Martha Conger Hale as substitute teachers
Brittany Willoughby, Spanish teacher at DCHS
Seth Roberts, Spanish teacher at DCHS
Rebecca Hawkins, substitute bus assistant
Jeanette Allen, Health Occupations teacher DCHS

Mary Foutch, transferred to full time cafeteria position at SES
Wanda Bradford, transferred to part-time cafeteria position at DCHS

Linda Dean, Spanish teacher DCHS retired

In other business, the board of education adopted a resolution expressing appreciation to Food Service employees.

The resolution states as follows:

WHEREAS, food service workers rise early every school day to provide a nutritious breakfast and lunch for students and staff in our schools; and

WHEREAS, many of them dish out advice, encouragement and good humor along with the nutritious meals they serve daily; and

WHEREAS, food service personnel create a friendly atmosphere in our schools by demonstrating a positive, upbeat attitude with warm greetings and smiles to students and staff; and

WHEREAS, they do their best to prepare healthy and tasty meals with limited budgets and food products supplied in bulk by the USDA; and

WHEREAS, they display patience and understanding as students anxiously crowd the service line; and

WHEREAS, they consistently give priority to student health, welfare and safety; and

WHEREAS, our cafeteria staff members work hard without complaining and faithfully show up to work every morning through whatever weather may present itself; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the DeKalb County Board of Education hereby declares January 14, 2010 as Food Service Personnel Appreciation Day in DeKalb County Schools; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Board expresses deep appreciation and heartfelt thanks to all food service workers in our school system; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Board encourages all staff, students and parents to join with us in expressing appreciation for the outstanding contribution our food service staff has made and continues to make to the success of our school system and to the lives of our students.

Meanwhile, Director Willoughby read a proclamation by Governor Phil Bredesen designating January 24th-30th as School Board Appreciation Week in Tennessee.

The proclamation reads " Whereas, an excellent public education system is vital to the quality of life of our communities; and

Whereas, school board members represent a tremendous resource as local decision makers, responding to the challenges of creating 21st Century schools that meet Tennessee's higher education standards; and

Whereas, school board members serve their communities by representing the interests of school children and preparing them for the future; and

Whereas, the men and women elected by the people as members of our local school boards deserve recognition and thanks for their countless hours of service to public education in Tennessee;

Now, Therefore, I, Phil Bredesen, Governor of the State of Tennessee, do hereby proclaim the week of January 24th-30th as School Board Appreciation Week in Tennessee and encourage all citizens to join me in this worthy observance."


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