Local News Articles

Family of Daniel Alexander Donates Photo to Alexandria Library

August 4, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Photo of Daniel Alexander, Founder of Alexandria
Alexandria Mayor Bennett Armstrong, Mac Willoughby, Betty Pankey, Kathy Hendrixson, Tommy Webb, Ria Baker, Sue Corley, Amanda Bain, and Jan Thomas

A special tribute was paid to the founder of Alexandria Friday morning.

A large framed photograph of Daniel Alexander was placed on permanent display at the Alexandria Public Library. It was recently donated to the library by Alexander’s great great great grandson, Paul Randy Alexander, Jr. of Charlotte, North Carolina.

DeKalb County Historian Thomas G. Webb hosted the observance and was joined by librarians, library board members, and local public officials.

In an historical account of Alexander and the birth of the town, Webb wrote that “The founder of Alexandria, DeKalb County’s second oldest town, was Daniel Alexander, who named the town for himself. Daniel Alexander was born on January 23, 1773 in Maryland, son of James Alexander. He married on August 14, 1800, in Charlotte, Mecklenberg County, North Carolina, his cousin Sarah (Sallie) Alexander, daughter of David Alexander. They moved immediately to Tennessee, where they built and operated for several years a log tavern and inn on the Walton Road near present day Algood, Tennessee. By 1806, he owned a large tract of land on Hickman Creek in Smith County, and on April 15, 1820, Daniel Alexander divided that land into 24 lots, each 66 feet wide and 165 feet long. He reserved for himself lots 1, 2, and 3 (where Alton and Grace Close recently lived). That lot had on it a log two-story house, with a fine spring of water behind it which is still running. The business district was approximately where it is now. Daniel Alexander later moved to Rutherford County, where he died on October 20, 1857. He and his wife are buried near Christiana, Tennessee.

Test Drive a Ford TODAY to Raise Money for DCHS Football

August 4, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Coach Steve Trapp, Jimmy White of Florence & White Ford, and DCHS Quarterback Club President Darrell Gill

Florence & White Ford and the Ford Motor Company are again offering DCHS Football the opportunity to raise thousands of dollars with their annual test drive program on Friday, August 4. Tiger football fans can earn money for the DCHS football program by simply test-driving a new Ford at the school.

Fans are invited to come out as early as 1:00 p.m. to enjoy a meal and to test drive a new Ford vehicle by the Florence & White dealership in Smithville. For every valid test drive, Ford will donate $20 to the football program. The more fans who come out and test drive a new Ford vehicle, the more money will be made for DCHS football. Last year’s event raised $6,020.

“Barbeque meals will be available for sale but we’ll give a free barbeque meal to anyone who participates in the test drive event,” said Tony Cross, member of the Quarterback Club.

The Tigers will compete in a pre-season Jamboree at Upperman against Clay County on August 11.

The season kicks off with two straight road games for the Tigers starting with Warren County on August 18th followed by Upperman on August 25. The first home game is against Stone Memorial on September 1. All games start at 7:00 p.m. WJLE will have LIVE coverage each week.

The DCHS 2017 Football Schedule is as follows:

REGION OPPONENTS (*)
August 18: Warren County- McMinnville 7 p.m.
August 25: Upperman- Baxter 7 p.m.
September 1: Stone Memorial*-Smithville 7 p.m.
September 8: Watertown-Watertown 7 p.m.
September 15: Grundy County-Smithville 7 p.m.
September 22: Cannon County-Smithvillle (HOMECOMING) 7 p.m.
September 29: Livingston Academy*-Livingston 7 p.m.
October 6: Smith County-Smithville 7 p.m.
October 13: Macon County*-Smithville 7 p.m.
October 20-BYE WEEK
October 27: Cumberland County* Crossville 7 p.m.

2017 JV Schedule:
August 21: White County-Smithville 6 p.m.
August 28: Upperman- Smithville 6 p.m.
September 11: Watertown-Smithville 6 p.m.
September 25: Cannon County-Woodbury 6 p.m.
October 9: Smith County-Carthage 6 p.m.

DCHS Seniors Urged to Sign Up for ACT Retake Day

August 3, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Dr. Kathy Bryant

Seniors at DeKalb County High School planning to retake the ACT exam should let their intentions be known to the administration as soon as possible.

Dr. Kathy Bryant, Supervisor of Instruction for grades 7-12, told WJLE Thursday that DCHS will offer the ACT Retake on Tuesday, October 3.

“This is the first time the state has ever offered this. They are offering the opportunity for any senior who took the ACT last year as a junior to retake it again as a senior for free, which is a $42.50 value. They (seniors) need to be signing up for it now. It will be administered at school during the school day on October 3 but we have to order the exams within the next few weeks. If parents will encourage their seniors to take this opportunity to retake the ACT for free during the school day, they need to tell their student to go see Mrs. Jenny Norris at the high school and she will put them on a list and we will order them a test,” said Dr. Bryant.

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced last month that the state is expanding its ACT Senior Retake Day to all Tennessee public high school students in the class of 2018, totaling nearly 70,000 students. In addition, the department is making it easier for public school seniors to retake the ACT this fall by offering this second opportunity during the school day in students’ own schools.

These changes will give all students equal access to take advantage of the opportunity. Unlike in the past, students do not need to sign up to retake the test – it will automatically be provided. School districts have been empowered to choose the testing date that is best for their students and causes the least disruption for those not taking the exam. Districts may offer the retake on Oct. 3, Oct. 17, or on both days.

“Tennessee is once again a national leader in education as the first state to offer an ACT retake opportunity to all public school seniors,” McQueen said. “By expanding our retake day, we send a strong signal that our state is committed to further increasing access, especially among students who stand to benefit the most from this opportunity.”

October 2016 was the first time Tennessee offered public high school seniors the chance to retake the ACT for free, but it was only available to students who had previously taken the ACT as juniors and who were able to take it on a weekend testing date at a testing center. Of those who participated in the 2016 retake, nearly 40 percent increased their overall score.

The department’s research shows that students have a high likelihood of increasing their score when they take the college entrance exam a second time. Higher composite scores not only provide access to state scholarships, but they also make a student more competitive for entry into higher education institutions and for institutional and private scholarships. In the first year of the state offering a free ACT Retake Day, an additional 1,300 students earned a composite score of 21 or above on the ACT, providing them access to $21 million in additional HOPE scholarship funds.

Higher scores also allow students to enroll directly into credit-bearing postsecondary coursework, avoiding non-credit-bearing remedial classes that take students’ time and money and can discourage their progress. On the 2016 ACT Retake Day, thousands of students improved individual subject scores in math, English, science, and reading, allowing them to avoid mandatory remediation courses in postsecondary. This is significant for Tennessee’s seniors, because last year over half of Tennessee community college students required remediation.

Also, the department posted additional resources about the ACT, including an ACT Retake Guide and ACT Toolkit, on its website. To learn more about the ACT Retake Day, contact Jerre Maynor, director of student readiness, at Jerre.Maynor@tn.gov. For media inquiries, contact Sara Gast, director of strategic communications and media, at Sara.Gast@tn.gov.

Aly Griffith Named "Classroom Champion"

August 3, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
DeKalb West School Principal Sabrina Farler, Mindy Griffith, Aly Griffith, and Attorney Jim Judkins

This week’s “Classroom Champion” award goes to Aly Griffith, a rising seventh grader at DeKalb West School.

The award was presented in the spring by Smithville Attorney Jim Judkins.

Aly is the daughter of Ron and Mindy Griffith.

A student last year in Jessica Antoniak’s class, Aly is a sports-driven girl. She played third base this past season for the DeKalb Middle School softball team, was a member of the Junior Varsity for the Lady Bulldogs, and played in the travel league for the DeKalb County Diamonds. She also helps coach her brother’s coach pitch team. A member of the Junior Beta and FCA Clubs, Aly wants some day to work in the medical profession as a Physical Therapist or Pharmacist.

In an effort to recognize achievements of students in the DeKalb County School System, WJLE has partnered with attorney Judkins in featuring a “Classroom Champion” each week.

The name of the student selected each week will be announced on WJLE and will be featured on the WJLE website. Each student winning will receive a plaque and a gift certificate.

“This is our way of recognizing and celebrating the achievements of the future citizens and leaders of the community. It can benefit their learning and overall school atmosphere and climate. The students' selection is based on academic performance, responsibility and work ethic, leadership abilities, and citizenship and character,” said Judkins.

DCHS Girls Soccer Play Day Scheduled

August 3, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page

DCHS Girls Soccer will kick off with a pre-season play day on Saturday, August 12 in Smithville.

Admission is $5.00 and concessions will be available for sale.

Five teams will compete including DeKalb County, Cannon County, Upperman, White County, and Livingston Academy.

Teams will play four games. Each game will be 30 minutes with no halftime.

Point system: Winner of the game will receive 3 points. Losing team will receive no points. If a game ends in a tie each team will receive one point. The two teams with the most points will play in the championship game. The third and fourth place teams will play for third place.

Schedule:

1. DeKalb County vs Cannon County: 9 a.m.

2. Cannon County vs Upperman: 9:40 a.m.

3. Upperman vs White County: 10:20 a.m.

4. White County vs Livingston Academy: 11 a.m.

5. Livingston Academy vs DeKalb County: 11:40 a.m.

6. DeKalb County vs Upperman: 12:20 p.m.

7. Cannon County vs White County: 1 p.m.

8. Upperman vs Livingston Academy: 1:40 p.m.

9. White County vs DeKalb County: 2:20 p.m.

10. Livingston Academy vs Cannon County: 3 p.m.

11. 3rd vs 4th: 3:40 p.m.

12. 1st vs 2nd: 4:20 p.m.

DeKalb 4-H Health Rocks Joins Youth Leaders at TN Teen Institute

August 2, 2017
DeKalb 4-H Health Rocks Joins Youth Leaders at TN Teen Institute

The DeKalb County 4-H Health Rocks team joined 440 youth leaders from across the state at the Tennessee Teen Institute.

The Institute is a five-day youth leadership and prevention camp sponsored by the Jackson Area Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (JACOA). This year marked the 30th Anniversary of the Teen Institute Program in Tennessee. The program addresses teen issues such as bullying, violence, suicide, teen pregnancy, distracted driving, teen health and substance abuse prevention through a five-day, peer-led prevention camp designed to provide teen participants with the skills and education necessary to develop and implement alcohol and drug abuse prevention programs in their own communities. The DeKalb County 4-H Health Rocks teen leaders do after school programs during the school year which address many of these issues for youth. TTI is a comprehensive program that trains, mobilizes and empowers youth to prevent the illegal use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs and self destructive behaviors in themselves and their peers. TTI prepares students to not only make positive changes, but to be proud advocates of those changes. Students will have the opportunity to grow and learn as individuals, while enhancing their leadership abilities. Because TTI is peer-led, teens are given a unique opportunity to have a “voice” in addressing issues important to them. Giving youth some ownership in this type of program is one of the key factors in the success of enforcing a substance free lifestyle.

Held on the University of Tennessee at Martin campus in Martin, Tennessee, June 18-23th, TTI 2017 hosted approximately 440 teen leaders, adult advisors, and TTI staff. These participants leave motivated not only to make healthy decisions in their own lives, but also committed to work so that others are making healthy decisions as well.

For more information about the Tennessee Teen Institute visit www.tnteeninstitute.net.

"Coach to Coach" Returns to WJLE

August 2, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
"Coach to Coach" Returns to WJLE

"Coach to Coach" returns to WJLE

You are invited to the weekly coach's meeting for the coach's view of every Tennessee Football game. "Coach To Coach" is your weekly connection to your favorite team. The program will air again this college football season on WJLE AM 1480 and FM 101.7 Fridays at 5:00 p.m. and will repeat Saturday mornings at 9:00 a.m.

The first program airs this weekend, August 4 & 5.

Former coaches Phillip Fulmer and Doug Mathews go "Coach To Coach" every week with one hour of intense football discussion. It’s just like you’re in the coaches’ meeting, talking offense and defense with the men who called the plays to win the big games.

Share the lessons from last week's game. Breakdown the SEC slate. Talk about the issues inside college football. "Coach To Coach" comes your way every weekend, hosted by one of the state’s premiere sports broadcasters, Larry Stone.

Get inside the 2017 Tennessee football season. Go "Coach To Coach" with Phillip Fulmer and Doug Mathews.

Solar Eclipse Downtown Block Party to be held

August 2, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page

You’re invited to get a Moon’s Eye View from Downtown Smithville. The Solar Eclipse Downtown Block Party will be on Monday, August 21st.

Children’s Solar Eclipse Activities led by Helen Sefsik will be from 10 AM to 12 PM at the Justin Potter Library. Then right across from the library starting at 12:30 PM, come to Evins Park Open-Air Stage where free Solar Eclipse Glasses will be given away while they last. First come/First serve.

The City of Smithville will be providing Moon pies & the library & DeKalb County Government will be providing water. Bring a lawn chair and set up in the county lot where everyone will watch it together!

Hope you can come & experience the 2017 Eclipse with us! Sponsored by the Justin Potter Library, Smithville-DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, DeKalb Co. Govt., & the City of Smithville.

District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway to Guide District Attorneys

August 1, 2017
District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway

District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway of Cookeville, Tenn., was elected to represent Middle Tennessee on the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference’s (TNDAGC) Executive Committee.

“It is an honor to be elected by my colleagues to be a part of the Executive Committee,” said District Attorney Bryant Dunaway. “The Executive Committee is committed to meeting the challenges that we face in Tennessee, and I look forward to representing Middle Tennessee.”

Dunaway also serves as chairman of the Conference IT Committee, as a member of the Conference Legislative Committee and Finance Committee. As District Attorney for the 13th Judicial District he serves Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Overton, Pickett, Putnam and White counties.

“General Dunaway is an excellent choice to represent Middle Tennessee, and his leadership is invaluable to the efforts of the District Attorneys General,” said TNDAGC Executive Director Jerry N. Estes. “We are fortunate to have Gen. Dunaway in this role as we look for solutions to the state’s most difficult problems.”

Dunaway was first elected as a District Attorney for the 13th Judicial District in 2014. He received his B.S. degree from Tennessee Tech University and his law degree from Nashville School of Law. He and his wife, LeeAnn, live in Cookeville.

About TNDAGC

The Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference was created by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1961 to provide for a more prompt and efficient administration of justice in the courts of this state. It is composed of the District Attorneys General from the state’s 31 judicial districts. The District Attorneys General are elected for a term of eight years and are responsible for the prosecution of criminal cases on behalf of the state. Visit www.tndagc.org for more information or to contact your local District Attorney General.

DeKalb County High School FCCLA Attended National Leadership Conference in Nashville

August 1, 2017

DCHS FCCLA joined more than 7,500 FCCLA student leaders, members, and advisers at the Music City Center in Nashville, TN, July 2nd-6th to participate in the annual FCCLA National Leadership Conference (NLC).

The conference provided DCHS FCCLA student opportunities for listening to inspiring speakers, attending learning sessions, competing on the national level, and networking with other leaders. The theme of this year’s conference was “Unlimited Possibilities,” which inspired attendees to discover the unlimited possibilities within their reach while exploring career opportunities, developing leadership skills, and growing personally while making difference in their families and communities.

“We were thrilled to have an attendance of over 7,500 members, advisers, partners, and guests who were committed to discovering the unlimited possibilities available through FCCLA. The relationships and skills developed during this conference have inspired students to make a difference in their own communities and to discover the unlimited possibilities within their reach,” said Sandy Spavone, executive director of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.

Ashley Reynolds from DCHS FCCLA participated in one of 30 Family and Consumer Sciences related Competitive Events offered at NLC, including STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) Events and the FCCLA/LifeSmarts Knowledge Bowl. These events support foundational, leadership, and workplace skills in areas such as advocacy, culinary arts, and entrepreneurship. Competing with over 4,200 STAR Event participants in Nashville, Ashley Reynolds achieved Silver Recognition in her Advocacy project.

Ashley stated the following about her experience, “Going to National Leadership Conference was honestly a dream come true! I have worked extremely hard on my Advocacy project to help teens become aware of the effects and responsibility of teenage pregnancy, and being able to go to Nationals and showcase everything that I did and be recognized just tops it all off. I will be forever grateful for this experience and couldn’t have done it without the patience, love, and support from my advisors, parents, family, and friends! Hopefully, NLC will see me again next year!”

About FCCLA
Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) is a dynamic and effective career and technical student organization that helps young men and women become leaders and address important personal, family, work, and societal issues through Family and Consumer Sciences education. FCCLA has more than 164,000 members and more than 5,300 chapters from 49 state associations, in addition to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

FCCLA: The Ultimate Leadership Experience is unique among youth organizations because its programs are planned and run by members, and it’s the only career and technical in-school student organization with a central focus on careers that support families. Participation in national FCCLA programs and chapter activities helps members become strong leaders in their families, careers, and communities.

For more information on FCCLA, please contact Linda Parris at 615-597-4094 or lindaparris@dekalbschools.net

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