Local News Articles

State Readies for Fifth Round of Standard Spend Down

September 3, 2012

The TennCare Standard Spend Down program will again offer open enrollment opportunities to new applicants on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012 beginning at 6 p.m. CST.

Standard Spend Down is available through a waiver to the Medicaid program for a limited number of qualified low-income individuals, or those with high, unpaid medical bills who are aged, blind, disabled, or the caretaker relative of a Medicaid eligible child. Eligible individuals must have enough unpaid medical bills to meet the "spend down" threshold to qualify for coverage.

"We are pleased to once again open enrollment in the Standard Spend Down program to Tennesseans who need additional assistance," said Department of Human Services Commissioner Raquel Hatter. "This service certainly benefits people with high medical bills who are not already receiving TennCare benefits."

A special call-in phone line through DHS has been set up for interested applicants. The only way to request an application is by calling the toll-free number -- 1-866-358-3230 -- which will be open between 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. CST on Sept. 13. Operators will close the phone line once 2,500 applicants call in. In previous open enrollment periods, 2,500 calls had been taken within one hour. If 2,500 calls are not received on Sept. 13, the phone lines will be open from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on subsequent weekdays until 2,500 interested applicants call in.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to check eligibility qualifications before calling in. More information on the Standard Spend Down program and more detailed eligibility criteria are available here.

The toll-free number system is used to ensure equal access to Tennessee citizens interested in this program. DHS will send applications to all callers who are not already on TennCare and will review their eligibility for any open Medicaid categories and the newly opened Standard Spend Down category. Advanced notifications will be made to the public and other stakeholders prior to subsequent openings of the application request line.

Standard Spend Down Eligibility:
•In addition to being aged (65 or older), blind*, disabled,* or a caretaker relative,

•An individual must meet certain income restrictions, or be able to "spend down" qualifying unpaid medical bills to that limit. (*To be considered blind or disabled, an individual must meet standards set by the Social Security Administration.)

The following shows the income limits:
Household Size 1 (Monthly Income $241)
Household Size 2 ( Monthly Income $258)
Household Size 3 (Monthly Income $317)
Household Size 4 (Monthly Income $325)
Household Size 5 (Monthly Income $392)
Household Size 6 (Monthly Income $408)

Applicants also must not have resources that:
•Exceed $2,000 for a family of one and $3,000 for a family of two with an additional $100 added per additional individual in the family.

•A person's unpaid medical bill must have been accrued within the past 90 days. Medical bills paid by the applicant within the past 30 days may count towards meeting an applicant's spend down requirement.

Pregnant women and children still are eligible for the Medically Needy Spend Down program.

The ONLY way to request an application for the TennCare Standard Spend Down Program is through the toll free number 1-866-358-3230. Individuals interested in accessing the Standard Spend Down call-in line who are deaf/hard of hearing/speech impaired and using a TTY (text telephone) device should first call the Tennessee Relay Service at 1-800-848-0298. They will be prompted to enter the number they are trying to reach (the call-in line #) and a communications assistant will act as the go-between. Those wishing to apply for other TennCare categories should contact their local DHS county office, call the Family Assistance Service Center at 1-866-311-4287 during normal business hours, or visit www.tennessee.gov/humanserv/.

Record Turnout Expected for November Elections

September 2, 2012
Dennis Stanley

Officials say a record turnout is possible both locally and statewide for the November 6 Presidential/Tennessee General Election.

"The November balloting is clearly on the minds of the voters," said DeKalb County Administrator of Elections, Dennis Stanley. "Based on the number of people registering to vote in the last two months, and the comments voters have made, it is obvious they want to make sure they are eligible to vote in November. And state officials are predicting a record
turnout for the state as a whole."

In 2008, over 7,000 votes were cast locally in the Presidential race with 55% of those cast during the early voting period compared to only 42% in 2004 and 31% in 2000. "We hope that trend continues," said Stanley. "Voting early is always a good choice and much more convenient. If a majority of voters wait until election-day, there could be long lines at some of the precincts."

"For the August election, the local election commission voted to have a second day of "afternoon voting" and I expect the commission to do the same for November," Stanley continued. "We want to make it as convenient as possible for the voter and with the projected overall turnout, it would
make sense to vote early."

Early voting begins October 17 and runs through November 1. The exact hours will be announced later.

Data from the last decade also shows older voters come out in larger numbers than young-to-middle age voters and more women than men vote.

In the 2008 presidential election, nearly six out of every 10 voters were over age 50. A further breakdown shows there were 3,911 voters over age 50 cast ballots in November 2008, 2,038 between the ages of 31 to 50, and only 575 age 30 and under.

Regarding gender, the numbers are close, but historically more women cast
votes. In 2008, for example, nearly 400 more women voted than did men.

"All of these numbers are interesting and do provide a picture of who will likely vote in November," Stanley said. "But the real question is 'how many will vote?' All indications are the number will be big, thus making the early voting period even more important this time."

Lewis and Clark Circus Coming to Alexandria

September 2, 2012

The excitement of the circus comes to Alexandria on September 22 at the DeKalb County Fairgrounds, with showtimes at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Lewis and Clark Circus is a one-ring European-style circus under the Big Top featuring continuous action in the center ring.

Two of the featured acts will be performed by Jose and Elizabeth Ayala. Jose will stack round cylinders seven high and show his balancing skills as he stands on a platform on top of all of those cylinders. If you watched this years America's Got Talent, you may have seen a young man try this act and was not successful. Jose Ayala is the only performer in the United States that performs a seven high Rolla Bolla act successfully on a daily basis. Elizabeth Ayala will show her acrobat abilities high above the ground. The grace, skill, and beauty she shows is outstanding, but what will amaze audiences of all ages is that she does all of this hanging by her hair only.

Plus families attending the show can expect to see; hi-flying trapeze artists, high wire artist, amazing acrobats, juggling, zany clowns, horses, camels, performing goats plus much more circus excitement. The circus midway will be open prior to show time featuring pony and camel rides, concessions, a free petting zoo and much more.

Tickets for Lewis and Clark Circus can be purchased online at www.lewisandclarkcircus.net.

Advance ticket prices are $12 for those ages 15 and above. Children age 14 and under can receive free admission with a special coupon available at www.lewisandclarkcircus.net and at local merchants. Tickets purchased on the day of the show are $17 each for adults and $5 for children age 14 and younger.

Burglary Under Investigation at Dowelltown Post Office

September 1, 2012
Dwayne Page
Dowelltown Post Office

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department is investigating a break-in at the Dowelltown post office Thursday night.

Someone broke into and ransacked the post office, going through some of the mail, and taking items from the building.

A postal inspector was notified of the burglary.

No arrests have been made in the case

Tigers Get Third Shutout Winning 42-0 at Cannon County

August 31, 2012
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Tigers notched their third consecutive shutout of the season Friday night with a 42 to 0 spanking of the Cannon County Lions at Woodbury in the district opener.

Will Molander, after returning the opening kick to the 14 yard line, caught a 14 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Lucas Phillips to put the Tigers on the board with 11:41 left in the first period. Ben Driver connected on the P.A.T. and DC led 7-0.

Quarterback Lucas Phillips hooked up with Sonni Fullilove on a 26 yard touchdown pass play with 1:22 left in the first quarter. Driver's P.A.T try was no good but the Tigers led 13 to 0.

Devonta Milan scored on a 50 yard punt return with one second left in the first quarter. Quarterback Lucas Phillips scored on the two point conversion to open up a 21 to 0 lead heading into the second period. Milan was injured in the second half and carted off the field. He was reportedly taken to a hospital to be examined.

After a Cannon County turnover at their own two yard line early in the second quarter, DC cashed in as Lance Ball caught a two yard touchdown pass from quarterback Phillips. The P.A.T. by Driver was good and Tigers were up 28-0.

Chris Chapman scored on an 8 yard touchdown run with 5:13 left in the half. Driver's P.A.T. put DeKalb County out front 35 to 0.

Jacob Parsley got the final score of the night covering 58 yards on a touchdown pass reception from quarterback Phillips. The PA.T. by Driver was good and DeKalb County led 42-0.

Neither team scored in the second half.

With the win, the Tigers go to 3-0 on the season and 1-0 in the district. They will travel to Sparta next Friday night, September 7 to face the White County Warriors at 7:00 p.m. WJLE will have LIVE coverage.

Scott Cantrell Takes Oath as Assessor of Property

August 31, 2012
Dwayne Page
Scott Cantrell Takes Oath as Assessor of Property
Constables Take Oath of Office
School Board Member W.J. (Dub) Evins, III Takes Oath of Office
School Board Member Doug Stephens Takes Oath of Office

His term doesn't officially begin until Saturday, September 1, but DeKalb County's new Assessor of Property, Scott Cantrell recited the ceremonial oath of office Friday morning at the courthouse.

County Mayor Mike Foster administered the oath.

M2U00823 from dwayne page on Vimeo.
Cantrell, who succeeds Timothy (Fud) Banks in the office, told WJLE that the three employees who worked for Banks, Pamela Hale, Kenneth Pinegar, and Jarrod Dodd will all keep their jobs.

The office will be closed Monday, Labor Day.

Meanwhile, all five constables elected in August were also sworn into office by County Mayor Foster including Wayne Vanderpool in the third district, Paul Cantrell in the fourth district, Mark Milam in the fifth district, Carl Lee Webb in the sixth district, and Johnny King in the seventh district.

Fifth district school board member W.J. (Dub) Evins, III was sworn into office by County Mayor Foster to begin his new term.

County Mayor Foster administered the oath of office to sixth district school board member Doug Stephens on Friday afternoon.

The terms of each office is four years.

DCHS golfer Mallory Sullivan Shoots Course Record at Jackson County

August 30, 2012
Dwayne Page
Mallory Sullivan

DCHS golfer Mallory Sullivan reached another milestone Tuesday having shot a 35, one under par for a course record at the Cumberland Bend Golf Course in Jackson County

She was competing against Clay County. "On the girls side, we played at Jackson County on Tuesday against Jackson County and Clay County and Mallory shot the course record," said Coach Joe Pat Cope. "She shot a 35 up there, one under par which is a sports records for girls high school golf there. They framed her score card and put that up. We're pleased with where we're at right now," he said.

Meanwhile, the DCHS boys golf team remains undefeated in district play. "They haven't lost a district match in the last two seasons," said Coach Cope. "We have three seniors, Zach Martin, Hayden Ervin, and Corey Kijanski and they have all been shooting in the mid 30's. They have played really well. Ethan Roller has shot under par six rounds this year. I am tickled to death the way the guys are playing," he added.

"We have five more matches left including Livingston, which is also undefeated in the district, and we'll play them next Tuesday, September 4. If you can come out and support the Tigers and Lady Tigers, that would be huge, Coach Cope continued. "That's always a battle. We've been fortunate enough to beat them the last couple of years, but anytime Livingston comes to town it's going to be tough. They've got four really good guy golfers and their scores are real similar to ours so it should be a good match," he said.

"We have our district tournament coming up in a couple of weeks. The girls will play Monday, September 24 at Ironwood and the boys will play Tuesday, September 25 at White Plains Golf Course in Cookeville. We look forward to seeing everybody out at the matches," said Coach Cope.

WJLE'S Fearless Forecasters Begin New Season of College Football Picks

August 30, 2012
Dwayne Page

WJLE's Fearless Forecasters began a new season of college football picks Thursday afternoon.

The program airs LIVE on Thursday's at 4:30 p.m. featuring panelists Chad Kirby, Dewain Hendrixson, Joe Goodwin, Jeff James, John Pryor, Darvin Gill, Scott Brown, Ricky Atnip, and a special guest each week. This week's guest was Tim Stribling.

The forecasters pick who they believe will win in fifteen of the biggest or most interesting college football games of the season. They also make an underdog pick each week.


Election Commission Sending Letters to Smithville Property Rights Voters

August 30, 2012
Dennis Stanley

Letters are going out this week to the City of Smithville Property Rights voters regarding the voting procedure in a referendum on the ballot in November.

The DeKalb County Election Commission is mailing the letter to over 150 property rights voters stating that if they wish to cast a vote in the package store referendum they can only do so by absentee ballot. Because the referendum is being held in conjunction with a county-wide election, the Smithville Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted to institute a
relatively new state law that allowed the city to require property rights voters cast ballots only by absentee mail.

The aldermen met in special session Monday night at city hall to adopt this ordinance on second and final reading following a public hearing. No one showed up to oppose the ordinance and it was approved on a 5-0 vote.

"We asked the board to adopt this ordinance as a means for making it more convenient for the property rights voter and to eliminate potential confusion on election day," said Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections. "Had the city not voted to make this change, property rights voters who waited until election day to cast their ballot would have had
to vote in two different locations-their county precinct and one of the four precincts located inside the city limits. Even those who voted early would have had to go through the line twice-once to vote their county address and once to vote as a property rights voter."

The board's decision to require absentee mail ballots for property rights voters applies only to the November 6 election. Registered voters who live inside the city are not affected by this change. Included in the letter being mailed this week is an application for an absentee ballot.

"If a property rights voter wants to cast a ballot in the referendum, all they have to do is fill out the form included with the letter and mail it back to our office," Stanley said. "Then at the appropriate time we will mail them a ballot for the referendum."

"Remember, this is the only way a property rights voter can cast a ballot in the referendum," Stanley added. "And this in no way affects their voting routine in the county-wide balloting."

Property rights voters are those who live elsewhere in the county but own a minimum amount of property inside the city limits and have registered as a property rights voter.

If you are a city property rights voter and have yet to receive your application, please contact the election commission office at 597-4146. All applications must be returned by October 30th.

Tiger Pride Pageant Shows Spirit

August 30, 2012
Shan Burklow

The Tiger Pride Pageants brought out hundreds of people showing their Tiger Pride this past weekend. The pageant proceeds raised money for the DCHS Tiger Football Program. The Tigers players, managers, and cheerleaders came out to do their part. Over 80 contestants participated in the pageant as well as many vendors and business sponsors.

"It is amazing to see how the county comes out to support our kids", Emcee Shan Burklow commented, "Everyone is having a great time and we all just want to do whatever we can to make their school experience as amazing as possible. This started out as a simple idea, and it's gratifying to see it turn into such a great success! Misty Martin and Melissa Hale along with an incredible group of volunteers made today a wonderful first year event."

There were four pageants hosted during the day long event. Winners were crowned in the following categories: Little Miss Tigerette - Kenlee Renae Taylor, the seven year old daughter of Ken and Cindy Taylor of Smithville. Miss Junior Tigerette - Madison Rae Rackley, the 9 year old daughter of Gordon and Jessica Rackley of Smithville. Miss Tigerette - Sarah Anne Colwell, the 12 year old daughter of Trent and Christie Colwell of Smithville. Miss Tiger Pride - Hope Stephens, the 16 year old daughter of Samantha Stephens of Livingston.

Pictured from left to right: 2nd Alternate Taneah Cantrell, !st Alternate Tyra Graham, Queen Hope Stephens, 3rd Alternate Ashley Medlin, 4th Alternate Kami Denise Bogle.


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