Local News Articles

Bomb Threat Turns Up Nothing

June 14, 2012
Dwayne Page
Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger Confers with City and County Officers
Judge Bratten Cook, II and Dennis Stanley (Back to Camera) among those evacuated
Dog brought in from TN Bomb and Arson to search courthouse and complex
Fire Chief Charlie Parker and Police CPL Travis Bryant Enter County Complex

A bomb threat at the courthouse Thursday morning apparently turned out to be just that, a threat.

Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger said a woman called the DeKalb County Circuit Court Clerk's Office between 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. to report that her husband was planning to come to the courthouse to set off a homemade explosive device. It was initially rumored that the caller said something about the man being upset concerning his taxes, which may have sparked the threat. But Chief Caplinger said the clerk told police that the caller never mentioned taxes. "After I questioned the person at the courthouse who took the call, taxes were never mentioned. She (clerk) gave the phone to a court officer and the lady hung up. We don't know if it (the threat) was court related or tax related. It could be anything right now," said Chief Caplinger..

Since it was uncertain if the caller was directing the threat to someone in the courthouse downtown or the new county complex on South Congress Boulevard, Chief Caplinger said both buildings were evacuated as a precaution. General Sessions Court, which was underway at the time, was dismissed. Court resumed later in the afternoon.

Roads around the public square were blocked to keep traffic away from the courthouse and, according to Chief Caplinger, "students attending summer school at Smithville Elementary were moved to the far end of the building so that if something did happen they would be out of harm's way," he said.

Chief Caplinger praised all agencies involved for their quick response including the Smithville Police Department, the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol, FBI, District Attorney General's Office, Tennessee Bomb and Arson, the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department, and City Fire Chief and local Emergency Management Agency Coordinator Charlie Parker. " A bomb dog was brought in and swept both buildings to check for any type of explosive device. Nothing suspicious was found. The dog did not alert on anything. The courthouse was released to open back up at around 12:45 p.m. The county (complex) building was released to open back up later," said Chief Caplinger.

No arrests have been made in the case, but Chief Caplinger said police are following up on some leads. " Its still under investigation. We're still following leads and putting evidence together to try to determine who made this call and where it came from. We have a couple of leads, nothing real strong. There was vague information given. We're running down phone records trying to find out," said Chief Caplinger.

"The (caller) mentioned the name of a local business and we're following up on that. We're not sure if it (the call) was made from that business, or if the subject worked at that business," he said. The caller, according to the chief, may have been Hispanic.

Chief Caplinger said he wants to thank everyone who participated in this search and investigation. "Everyone did a good job and we had great cooperation between each agency. Everybody responded quickly. If he was on the way to the courthouse, it was shut down pretty quickly, which would have diverted anyone from coming in," he added.

State Health Department Official Weighs In On City Pool Lifeguard Issue

June 13, 2012
Dwayne Page
Tony Poss
One of the Lifeguards
Child on one of the Slides
Swimmer Jumping off Diving Board
Smithville Municipal Swimming Pool

A state health department environmentalist, after making a visit to the Smithville Municipal Swimming Pool last week, has issued a report on the number of lifeguards needed there to satisfy state regulations and it seems to support the conclusions reached by Mayor Taft Hendrixson that only a maximum of three are required when the pool is open to the public. However, Mitzi Medley, the environmentalist, suggested that it would be a good idea, though not required, to have an attendant assigned to help control patron traffic at the slides.

Tony Poss, operator of the city pool and golf course, said he requested the environmentalist make a visit to the pool in an effort to clear up the controversy. "I did request for the lady to come and she came from Crossville. She came down and looked at our pool and said that we were required to have three lifeguards. But the first year we were here, we had one inspector to come in and he said we were required to have three lifeguards at all times in the chairs and that if we didn't have three lifeguards, he would shut down the pool so that's the reasoning behind the lifeguards. He also said we were required to have one extra guard for every twenty five pool bathers that come in so that's what we did last year," said Poss.

"This year, the health inspector came in, and we have to do what they tell us to do. She told us the same thing, that we had to have three lifeguards in the chairs and one for every twenty five bathers, so that's why we have scheduled our lifeguards the way we have. So everything was kind of up in the air with the mayor coming up with these state regulations so I requested somebody above our health inspector to come in and she came from Crossville. She inspected the pool and said we were only required one for every twenty five bathers and after fifty one, it was three lifeguards. So that's the third opinion we've had. We just wanted something in writing telling us for sure what we need to do," said Poss.

In her report, Medley wrote "I visited the pool for consultation and discussed lifeguard requirements."

She further wrote the following:

"(1) lifeguard is required when 1-25 bathers are in the pool"

"(2) lifeguards are required when 25-50 bathers are in the pool"

"(3) lifeguards are required per pool square footage when 51 or more bathers are present" (Rule 1200-23-5-.02 (3) (a) 1" (This rule states as follows: Safety: Lifeguards shall be present at Type A Pools in accordance with the following square footage schedule:

Square feet:
1,800 to 3,000 (1 lifeguard)
3,001 to 6,000 (2 lifeguards)
6,001 to 9,000 (3 lifeguards)
9,001 to 12,000 (4 lifeguards)

Mayor Hendrixson says Smithville has a Type A Pool which is about 7,800 square feet.

State regulations specify what constitutes a slide under definition (1200-23-5-.01 (58) "Water slides or Water Flumes" mean inclined troughs that convey patrons in a stream of water ending in a pool. Under rule 1200-23-5-.02 (3) (a) 5. "Type E pools shall have an attendant or lifeguard on duty at all times at the point patrons/swimmers enter the water."

While Smithville has slides, the pool is not Type E, therefore, according to Medley, it doesn't require a fourth lifeguard to monitor the slides. However, she wrote that such an attendant would be helpful to prevent entrapment inside the slides. "I also discussed the slide at the pool. Per definition (1200-23-5-.01 (58), the slide is NOT a permitable Type E pool subject to attendant/lifeguard requirements of rule 1200-23-5-.02 (3) (a) 5. However, due to the enclosed nature of the slide and the presence of water streaming inside the slide, and that the slide turns, an attendant, although NOT REQUIRED, per se, would control the patron traffic and prevent any possible entrapment of doubled children possibly face down in the water," she wrote.

Poss said since the city is only going to pay for three lifeguards, he is footing the bill right now for another guard to monitor the slides. "We looked at the slides and she (environmentalist) recommended that we have one extra attendant, a guard or somebody there to help keep the pool safe. That's all we're wanting is to keep the pool safe for everyone. Right now we are paying out of our own pocket, to keep the slides safe. We've been out of pocket for the last week, just trying to keep it safe for everyone coming in to use the pool," said Poss.

Poss said his lease calls for the city to bear all pool expenses and it doesn't specify how many lifeguards he can have, although aldermen have recently voted to fund no more than three at a time while the pool is open. "According to the contract there is no limit. No maximum or minimum, no hours of operation. Before they did their budget, I requested five lifeguards. I told them what they made per hour and the next thing I knew, we were only allowed three," He said.

Altogether, Poss said there are nineteen life guards but he doesn't use them all. "The city has employed nineteen lifeguards, but we don't work nineteen. We are abiding with what the city requested after they finally gave us notice that they are only going to pay for three. Still, to date, we've not had anything in writing telling us what we are required to do. We got a phone call last Wednesday, telling us we could only work three. As of today, I still don't have anything in writing or in my contacts with city officials telling us what we're supposed to do but we are doing what they are requesting us to do, trying to get along with the city and make everything right," said Poss

Still, Poss said on days when the pool is extremely busy, its difficult for just three lifeguards to have to monitor such large crowds. "When we get a busy day with 250 plus swimmers, its very stressing on these lifeguards to have to watch that many kids and the liability is unreal," said Poss. The guards also have to rotate stations often, which Poss said can create inconveniences. "They are required to rotate every so often. That's how they are trained. We rotate stations so they are not looking at the same area of the pool for hours at a time, getting bored with what they're doing. That way they're keeping their eyes and minds fresh," said Poss. "I order for these lifeguards to rotate, and when they rotate we have to shut parts of the pool down, just so they can take a break. We try to do this every twenty minutes. I don't feel like it is fair to the people who pay their money to come in and use the pool only to have it shut down most of the day," he said.

With a recent pay dispute over lifeguards apparently settled now, Poss said he is hoping for more cooperation from city hall. "Lifeguards are up to date on their hourly wages. We are employing three lifeguards right now. Until we can get this issue resolved, we are taking care of the slides, the deep end, and the other chair as best we can. We're just wanting a little help from the city and more cooperation. We're willing to work with the city. We want to make it right. We want to give something to the people they can enjoy," said Poss.

Smithville Municipal Election Set for Tuesday, 594 Vote Early

June 13, 2012
Dwayne Page
Taft Hendrixson
Jimmy Poss
Scott Davis
Jason Judd Murphy
Tim Stribling
Steve White

The last day of early voting for the Smithville Municipal Election Thursday, drew the largest single day turnout of the two week period at 101. That puts the total at 594 from May 30 through June 14.

Here's how the voting breaks down each day:
Wednesday, May 30, 48 voters
Thursday, May 31, 55 voters
Friday, June 1, 45 voters
Saturday, June 2, 24 voters
Monday, June 4, 38 voters
Tuesday, June 5, 40 voters
Wednesday, June 6, 27 voters
Thursday, June 7, 58 voters
Friday, June 8, 23 voters
Saturday, June 9, 47 voters
Monday, June 11, 22 voters
Tuesday, June 12, 24 voters
Wednesday, June 13, 42 voters
Thursday, June 14, 101 voters

A mayor and two aldermen will be elected on Tuesday, June 19, each to serve a two year term, beginning July 1. The candidates for mayor are Taft Hendrixson and Jimmy Poss. Candidates for alderman are Scott Davis, Jason Judd Murphy, Tim Stribling, and Steve White.

The ballot will also include a referendum on liquor by the drink in city restaurants. Voters will have the opportunity to vote either "yes" or "no" on whether to "authorize the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises in the City of Smithville."

Election day voting, June 19 will be from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. in the basement courtroom of the courthouse.

A voter is required to produce a federal or state government-issued photo ID before being allowed to vote. Some examples of a valid photo ID, even if expired, are a Tennessee driver license, U.S. passport, Department of Safety photo ID card, state or federal employee photo identification card, or a U.S. military photo ID. Student college IDs will not be accepted for voting purposes.

Voters who are unable to produce a valid photo ID will be allowed to vote a provisional ballot, which is a paper ballot, at the polls. Voters casting a provisional ballot will have until two (2) business days after Election Day to return to the election commission office to show a valid photo ID.


School Officials Working to Address Mold Concerns at Smithville Elementary

June 13, 2012
Dwayne Page
Smithville Elementary School

Traces of mold believed to be present in portions of Smithville Elementary School has prompted a response from school officials.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby addressed the issue Tuesday night during the school board meeting, saying an environmental consultant with a Nashville air quality monitoring company visited the school last week and in addition to steps already taken, plans are to do a cleaning of duct work to improve air quality in the building and to work on reducing condensation in places where mold could form. "Ms (Julie) Vincent, Mr. (Earl) Jared, and myself, along with an environmentalist came to the school last Friday. We walked over the whole school but Ms. Vincent and some of the teachers had already sent in areas of concern and those areas were the places where we actually went to and looked in more detail. Personally, I was pleased with some of the recommendations that he (environmentalist) gave us," said Willoughby. " One of the recommendations was to clean the air vents. He recommended that they be cleaned every ten to fifteen years. We're already in the process of making contacts with contractors in order to come in and do that (cleaning). There's another area that needs some insulation. That same contractor is going to come in and do the duct work. We were told that these contractors will come in and do the insulation which will help cut down on condensation in some areas. One of the things, we thought, could be of concern were things on the floor in the first grade area. We asked the environmentalist for his recommendation about that. He said that wasn't mold on those floors where we had some concerns. But we're going to have some people go in and strip those floors down and put down two or three coats of wax. From talking with the person who is putting down our floor tile in the cafeteria, he told me that years ago, they used to put down the floors with some kind of black glue and that this black glue is part of what is coming up between those tiles," said Willoughby.

"The environmentalist removed the air conditioner covers on the outside of the building and it looked brand new in there. It did not look like it was old at all," said Willoughby. " It was very clean. He complimented our maintenance department for keeping their filters and everything changed so that was a big plus. When he got through, I was pretty pleased because it appeared, from what he said, to be an easy fix with some of the concerns we had. So we're making contacts with contractors, trying to get them in there this week. After we do that, we'll ask the environmentalist to come back and look it over to see if there are other concerns that he might have. He (environmentalist) recommended coming up with some kind of policy and we will follow his lead on that to do what is best for this building and to assure people that we've got a good building for students to come into," said Willoughby.

Fifth district school board member W.J. (Dub) Evins, III urged school officials to make sure "we're vigilant to find the root of this problem and to fix it. If it recurs then we need to search some more. Since we're getting new roofs on some areas, we need to find the source of these problems for the health of our children and the faculty as well," he said.

School Lunch Prices Going Up Again

June 13, 2012
Dwayne Page
Stephanie Walker

If you pay for your children's school lunches, you'll have to ante up a little more this coming school year.

The DeKalb County Board of Education Tuesday night voted to increase the price of school lunches 10 cents, going from $1.35 to $1.45 for pre-kindergarten students to fifth graders and from $1.60 to $1.70 for sixth through twelfth graders. Breakfast prices will apparently remain the same at $1.00 for all students.

This is the second year in a row the school board has voted to hike school lunch prices by ten cents.

Stephanie Walker, School Nutrition Supervisor, said prices have to increase a little each year until they get to $2.51 under USDA regulations, or the school system risks losing its increase in food reimbursement rates. "There is a regulation stating that we have to go up ten cents on our lunch prices every year until we get to $2.51. I don't agree with this but it is a regulation that has to be passed in order for us to be in compliance with the federal people. My proposal is to increase by ten cents. If we are not within regulations for the coming school year, there is a possibility that we won't get our increase in reimbursement rates. We are asking for the minimum increase," she said.

Prices for adults at school will increase to $2.50. "There is a calculation and we have to take our highest price, which looking ahead would be $1.70, plus our commodity value of twenty three cents. We also add the payment we get for the pay kids. Our reimbursement rate for the pay kids is twenty eight cents. With this increase that is coming about, that would take us over $2.25, so we would need to increase adult prices to $2.50 to take us within compliance," said Walker.

Willloughby Names Professional Personnel for New School Year

June 12, 2012
Dwayne Page
Mark Willoughby

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby has signed contracts with the Professional Personnel for the 2012-2013 school year.

Willoughby presented a list of the employees to the Board of Education Tuesday night.

He also provided a list of transfers for the 2012-13 year as follows:
Patrick Cripps, DCHS Principal
Julie Vincent, Smithville Elementary School Principal
Kathy Bryant, DCHS Assistant Principal
Amanda Dakas, DeKalb Middle School Assistant Principal
Beth Pafford, Northside Elementary School Assistant Principal
Dr. Bill Tanner, transferred to DCHS, teacher

Employees for the 2012-13 year hired since last month are as follows:
Sara Young, teacher at DCHS (Math)
Sara Halliburton, teacher at DCHS (Science)

Meanwhile, Director Willoughby recommended the following teachers be approved for a professional license: Todd Cantrell, Courtney Davis, Kristy Lasser, Martha Melching, Elizabeth Nolt, and Susan West. According to Willoughby, these teachers have successfully completed the statutory apprentice period of three years as required for license advancement. The board granted approval.

Certified personnel at each school are as follows:

DeKalb County High School-

Jeanette Allen, Angie Anderson, Charlotte Blaylock, Danny Bond, Amanda Brown, Kathy Bryant, Kevin Burchfield, Kelly Burgess, Jeanine Cantrell, Todd Cantrell, Gary Caplinger, Mary Anne Carpenter, Joe Pat Cope, Patrick Cripps, Jared Daniels, Deborah DePriest, Andrew Dixon, Donna Emmons, Marshall Ferrell, Tina Fletcher, Amanda Fuller, David Gash, Josh Gulley, Marie Hill, Susan Hinton, Sonja House, John Isabell, William Jennings, Natasha Judkins, Dylan Kleparek, Brad Leach, Lynus Martin, Shealyn Morgan, Lori Myrick, Rolando Navarro, Jenny Norris, Scott Odom, Shelly Painter, Walteen Parker, Linda Parris, Nallely Prater, John Pryor, Mary Anne Puckett, Joey Reeder, Leslie Rice, Melissa Ruch, Daniel Seber, Dr. Bill Tanner, Steve Trapp, Chris Vance, Dianne Werth, Michael Whitefield, Shea Wiegele, and Jonathon Wright.

Northside Elementary School-

January Agee, Joyce Alexander, Marla Beshearse, Linda Bush, Trent Colwell, Michael Crockett, Alisha Day, Ashley Dean, Jerry Foster, Carrie Gottlied, Amy Green, Amanda Griffith, Jennifer Griffith, Melissa Hale, Cynthia Hale, Jessica Hale, Patty Hale, Mollie Hendrixson, Jennifer Herndon, Lisa Hull, Lorie Isabell, Karen Jacobs, Shelly Jennings, Sabrina Kirksey, Kristy Lasser, Lisa Mabe, Jama Martin, Amanda Mathis, Libby McCormick, Pamela Miller, Elizabeth Nolt, Beth Pafford, Amy Raymond, Dr. Gayle Redmon, Bethany Rigsby, Melissa Roysdon, Tammy Sims, Ashley Smith, Carol Tripp, Cheryl Vance, Kristen Van Vranken, Betsye Walker, Ginger Wenger, and Sandy Willingham.

DeKalb West School-

Shawn Baker, Doris Cantrell, Jenny Cantrell, Jeanna Caplinger, William Conger, Kim Crook, Martha Damron, Tonya Ellis, Janet England, Sabrina Farler, Denise Graham, Lesa Hayes, Ricky Hendrix, Lindsay Holmes, Cathleen Humphrey, Regina Kent, Shelia McMillen, Melanie Molander, Amanda Mullinax, Danny Parkerson, Tammy Payne, Debra Poteete, Cynthia Preston, Lori Pryor, Cynthia Pulley, Susan Robinson, Audrey Russell, Pam Sanders, Jane Watson, Susan West, Vicki Wilson, and Amy Young.

Smithville Elementary School-

Misty Agee, Ana Bain, Lindsey Barrett, Renee Beaty, Kelly Birmingham, Kim Brown, Beth Cantrell, Laura Carter, Wendy Colvert, Layra Crook, Trena Curtis, Sue Driver, Vicky Duke, Kelli Foster, Tina Gash, Vicky Hawker, Bradley Hendrix, Holly Hendrix, Mary Henny, Tanya Howard, Amanda Johnson, Anna Johnson, Angela Johnson, Jennifer Judkins, Karen Knowles, Carrie Lee, Sherree Macemon, Kristen Malone, Adrienne McCormick, LeVaughnda Midgett, Margaret Nichols, Christina Ontiveros, Susan Palmer, Kristy Parsley, Mary Pugh, Jane Ramsey, Amanda Rhoady, Allison Rigsby, Carol Sampley, Carol Tallent, Jan Thomas, Janet Trapp, Carol-Ann Tripp, Julie Vincent, Sherian Waggoner, Tiffany Wheatley, Janet Woodward, Christie Young, and Crystal Young

DeKalb Middle School-

Joey Agee, Josh Agee, Lori Alexander, Suzette Barnes, Ashley Barnes, Lisa Craig, Amanda Dakas, Courtney Davis, Tena Davidson, Jenny Elrod, Jason Farley, Amy Fletcher, Lori Hendrix, Tom Hill, Randy Jennings, Bryan Jones, Michelle Jones, Gail Kirksey, Taleen Lambert, Michael Lewis, Michael Littrell, Leah Magness, Martha Melching, Debra Moore, Justin Nokes, Joy Parker, Karen Pelham, Anita Puckett, Joyce Robertson, Candice Scrabo, Lori Sexton, Penny Smitty, Tonya Sullivan, Kitty Thomas, Nancy Tucker, Tad Webb, Jared West, Jennifer West, Kathryn Wisinger.

Central Office Staff-

Gina Arnold, Katherine Ballard, Michelle Burklow, Clay Farler, Dr. Danielle Collins, Lisa Cripps, Dee Anna Reynolds, and Stephanie Walker

County Wide-

Lisa Bell, Amy Fox, Judy Malone, and Lori Rogers.

School Support Staff Hired for 2012-13 Year

June 12, 2012
Dwayne Page

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby announced Tuesday night during the board of education meeting that he has employed the support staff for the 2012-2013 school year.

Those employed at DeKalb County High School are:

Rena Adcock- Cook, Wanda Bradford- Cook, Amee Cantrell- Social Worker, Kathy Chapman-Cook, Kenderly Cripps- Guidance/Records Clerk, Debbie Eaton- Educational Assistant, Regina Estes- Secretary, Beverly Ferrell- Educational Assistant, Dena Haugh- Educational Assistant, Darnette Hibdon-Cook, Melissa Hicks- Cook, Deborah Knowles- Educational Assistant Job Coach, Helen LaFever-Cook, Rita Leichtfuss- Educational Assistant, Deborah Magness- Bookkeeper, Carl Malone- Custodian, Thomas Maney- Custodian, Charles Martin- Custodian, Rhonda Merriman-Educational Assistant, Sara Parker- Guidance, Lisa Peterson-Educational Assistant Job Coach, JoAnn Pittman-Custodian, Denise Rutland- Custodian, Vicky Sandlin- Cook, Carol Swope- Educational Assistant, Norman Underhill- Educational Assistant, Tiffany VanWinkle- Educational Assistant, Jamie Wright- Guidance Clerk, and Debbie Young-Cafeteria Manager.

DeKalb Middle School:

Sue Arnold- Part-Time Cook, Pauline Braswell- Custodian, Tammy Ferrell- Custodian, Fay Gilreath- School Bookkeeper, Doris Graham-Educational Assistant, Jeremy Haas- Custodian, Connie Haggard- Cook, Barbara Hibdon- Cook, Samantha Lester- School Secretary, Paulette McDonald- Educational Assistant, Angie Moore- Educational Assistant, Lisa Norton- Educational Assistant, Paula Pinegar-Educational Assistant, Linda Sorrell-Educational Assistant, Eldon Vanatta- Cafeteria Manager, and Vicky Walker- Educational Assistant

Smithville Elementary School:

Brent Arnold-Educational Assistant, Jimmy Barnes- Custodian, Janis Barnes- Educational Assistant, Brenda Beth Cantrell- Educational Assistant, Bethany Cornelius- Educational Assistant, Cindi Dias-Educational Assistant, Darlene Evans-Educational Assistant, Jennifer Gay- Educational Assistant, Betty Griffith- Educational Assistant, Jean Hayes- Cafeteria Manager, Vicki Jefferies- Educational Assistant, Melinda Lattimore- Educational Assistant, Brittany Lockard- Educational Assistant, Sara Lomas-Custodian, Talitha Looney- Cook, Pat Milam- Part Time Cafeteria Monitor/Substitute Custodian, Tera Mooneyham-Educational Assistant, Ronda Northcutt- Educational Assistant, Holly Owens-Educational Assistant, Freeda Phillips- Cook, Rhonda Pelham- Secretary/Receptionist, Amelia Phillips- Cook, Rhonda Pilgrim- Cook, Lori Poss- School Bookkeeper, Brenda Rigney- Educational Assistant, Bonnie Rigsby- Educational Assistant, Teresa Spencer- Educational Assistant, Wayne Taylor- Custodian, Tammy Tyler- Cook, Amanda Trapp-Educational Assistant, and Celia Whaley- Educational Assistant.

Northside Elementary:

Pam Baines- Cafeteria Manager, Emma Jean Bandy- Cook, Gail Crips- Secretary, Evril Cubbins- Educational Assistant, Starr Ferrell-Educational Assistant, Terrie Ford- Educational Assistant, Suzanne Gash- Educational Assistant, Gary Good- Educational Assistant, Phyllis Hallum- Educational Assistant, Sherry Judkins- Custodian, Jennifer Lewis- Educational Assistant, Thelma Martin- Educational Assistant, Denise Merriman-Cook, Rebecca Moss- Educational Assistant, Lynn Pichey-Custodian, Jo Dean Redmon- Lunch Monitor, Kim Violet- Custodian, Sharon Washer- Cook, Elizabeth White- Part-Time Cook, Deneene Willingham- School Bookkeeper, and Rita Young-Attendance Clerk..

DeKalb West School:

Holly Bain-Educational Assistant, Donna Driver- Cook, Dorothy Duggin-Custodian, Tena Edwards- Educational Assistant, Ruth Frazier- Custodian, Pauline Frazier- Custodian, Stephanie Fuson- Educational Assistant, Shelly Gibson- Educational Assistant, Lisa Hale- Secretary, Donna Hale- School Bookkeeper, Jennifer Martin-Educational Assistant, Nancy Mulloy- Cook, Faye Nixon-Cook, Tina Paschal- Educational Assistant, Elizabeth Redmon-Educational Assistant, Beverly Starnes- Cafeteria Manager, Kristi Sullivan- Educational Assistant, and Linda Vickers- Cook

County Wide Positions:

Chandra Adcock- School Nurse, Jenean Bain- Bus Assistant, Sandra Billings- Substitute Bus Assistant, W.C. Braswell- Adult High School, Cindy Childers- Coordinated School Health Assistant, Anita Conley- Substitute Cook, Billy Curtis- Special Needs Driver (car), Dana Davenport- Substitute Cafeteria Worker, Bettye June Dodd- Bus Assistant, Christie Driver- School Nurse, Russell Estes- Substitute Custodian, Julie Fitts- Substitute Cook, Greg Frasier- Technology Director, LeAnne Frasier- Library Assistant (half time at Smithville Elementary School and Half Time at Northside Elementary School), Mary Gay- Substitute Cafeteria Worker, Billy Golden- Maintenance Worker, Lynn Griffith- Bus Assistant, Rebecca Hawkins- Bus Assistant, Terry Hicks- Maintenance Worker, Earl Jared- Maintenance Supervisor, Freda Johnson- Bus Assistant, Tammy Judkins- Substitute School Nurse, Debbie London- Substitute Bus Assistant, Delilah McGhee- Substitute Cafeteria Worker, Teresa Miller- Payroll/Bookkeeper Central Office, Tamara Murphy- Substitute Nurse, Carolyn Neal- Substitute Cafeteria Worker, Shirley Ours- Special Education Secretary, April Odom- Attendance Clerk, Angela Patrick- Substitute Cafeteria Worker, B.J. Patterson- Technology, Melissa Pirtle- Food Service Bookkeeper, Jo Dean Redmon- Part Time Custodian, Joyce Robinson- Payroll/Bookkeeper Central Office, Pauletta Ruffner- Substitute Cafeteria Worker/Custodian, Roger Sharp- Technology, Teresa Sullivan- Educational Assistant at DeKalb Middle School and DeKalb West School, Peggy Sutton- Substitute Cook, Janice Tanner- Substitute School Nurse, Cynthia Taylor- Substitute Custodian, Brooke Teachout- Substitute School Nurse, Kimberly Turner- School Nurse, Pam Turner- Substitute School Nurse, Barbara Vanatta- Substitute Cafeteria Worker, Jamie Vickers- Secretary/Bookkeeper Central Office, Judy Wiggins- Substitute Bus Assistant, Joannie Williams- School Nurse, Ashby Woodward- Substitute School Nurse, Aaron Young- Maintenance Worker, and Tara Young- Substitute Cook


Orlando Guzman- Mechanic and Rick Holcomb- Mechanic, Jimmy Sprague-Supervisor

The following are bus drivers:

Karen Adkins, Dwayne Cantrell, Dinah Cripps, Elaine Davis, Debbie Eaton, Marshall Ferrell, Starr Ferrell, Thomas Fittis, Linda Fowler, Bill Fowler, Donald Haggard, Darnette Hibdon, Melissa Hicks, Dwight Knowles, Kimberly Lawson, Bobby Martin, Ronald Merriman, Jimmy Mullican, Linda Gail Pack, Walter Phillips, Faye Pollard, Jimmy Poss, Carol Swope, Ken Taylor, Bobby Taylor, B.J. Thomason, David Turner, Angela Wilkerson, and Suzanne Williams.

Substitute bus drivers are: Tina Fletcher, Daniel Lawson, Donnie Lewis.

Gino's Bar-B-Q To Add Jobs

June 12, 2012
Dwayne Page
Gino's Bar-B-Q To Add Jobs
Gino's Bar-B-Q (From Company Website)
Gino's Bar-B-Q (From Website)
Gino's Bar-B-Q Products (Vacuumed Packed)

Gino's Bar-B-Q is planning to add a few jobs.

John Roller, Vice President of Gino's Barbeque, told WJLE on Friday that Gino's, which has been in operation in Smithville since 1977, will be creating ten to fifteen jobs within the next six months as the company looks to serve a larger distribution area. "We have been approved for the Sysco label, which is the largest food distributor in the country. They actually have a few houses in Canada as well. This allows us to have access to more than half of those facilities, which would go from our current capacity of about five houses to the availability of seventy houses across the country. In return, the volume would create jobs as well as this expansion that Gino's is going through right now, which is adding another cook room, and probably at completion, will add another shift as well and maybe even a cleanup crew on the weekend," said Roller.

Gino's Bar-B-Q currently employs ten people, but Roller said expectations are to possibly triple that number over time. "We have ten working for us right now and I look for it to double the crew within six to eight months, and even triple going forward," he said. " It will just grow from there. The plan, once we go into the system, we have to physically go to these locations and market the product, and in return create the volume and the jobs," said Roller.

Roller said plans are to modify one of the packaging rooms at the local facility to make room for the expansion. "We took the existing plant, which we're pretty much tapped out on square footage here, and we just modified one of out packaging rooms. We've got to build some exterior walls to expand that room to add cooking capacity. Currently we've got five smokers and we're going to be adding three more additional large commercial smokers," said Roller.

Gino's Bar-B-Q serves several well known companies including Robert Orr Sysco of Nashville, Charles C. Parks distribution of Gallatin, and Institutional Wholesale of Cookeville. "We've been here since November, 1977," said Roller. We manufacture pork, beef, turkey, and chicken along with ribs, barbeque. We also co-pack for other people across the country. This is a co–pack for Hicks Smoked Meats out of Humbolt, Tennessee. Its his recipes. We cook it here. We pack it here and ship it from here to the distribution centers all over the country," said Roller.

McDonald's Restaurant to Undergo Renovation

June 12, 2012
Dwayne Page
McDonalds Restaurant of Smithville to eliminate outside dining area
McDonald's currently with one drive thru lane, going to dual drive-thru lanes

McDonald's Restaurant of Smithville is making plans to expand its interior dining area and go from single to dual lane drive-thrus.

The Smithville Planning Commission approved a revision of the parking plans for McDonald's at its meeting last Thursday. Secretary-Treasurer Hunter Hendrixson said that while a few existing parking spaces may be eliminated, McDonald's will still be in compliance with city parking regulations for the site with this renovation.

Tim Funderburk, spokesman for the local McDonald's franchise, told WJLE Monday that plans are to give the restaurant a new look. "As you probably have seen if you have traveled recently throughout the Upper Cumberland area we are in the process of making some significant upgrades to our McDonald's restaurants," said Funderburk. " The upgrades have already been completed in Crossville, McMinnville, Woodbury, Sparta, and Cookeville and we currently have one underway in Gordonsville. We are doing a lot of things to both enhance the look of our restaurants on both the interior and exterior and to upgrade our ability to make our guests experience more efficient. On the exterior you will see a totally new look of our buildings as we bring McDonald's into the 21st century and you will also notice many of the restaurants, including Smithville, will have dual lane drive thru's with two order points to expedite the service experience of our guests. It is true that we will be removing the exterior seating that we currently have in Smithville, but that is only so that we can enlarge the building and create more dining space inside for our guests. The interior decor and restrooms will also be significantly upgraded to provide a more relaxing atmosphere for our guests to enjoy," he said.

No word yet on when the project will begin.

Willoughby Completes Line-up of Principals and Assistants for New School Year

June 12, 2012
Dwayne Page
Amanda Dakas
Beth Pafford

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby has completed the line up of principals and assistants for the upcoming school year.

Willoughby told WJLE Monday that Amanda Dakas will become the new assistant principal at DeKalb Middle School and Beth Pafford will join the staff at Northside Elementary as assistant principal.

Dakas will be moving from Northside Elementary to DeKalb Middle and Pafford will be transferring from Smithville Elementary to Northside, where they have been serving as classroom teachers

Dakas will succeed assistant principal Kathy Bryant, who is moving from DeKalb Middle School to take on an assistant principal position at DeKalb County High School.

Pafford is replacing assistant principal Julie Vincent at Northside. Vincent will become the new principal at Smithville Elementary School. Karen Knowles remains assistant principal at Smithville Elementary. Dr. Bill Tanner, longtime principal at SES, is expected to be re-assigned to another position in the school system.

Meanwhile Patrick Cripps will become the new principal at DCHS, succeeding Kathy Hendrix who has retired. In addition to assistant principal Kathy Bryant, David Gash will be returning as assistant principal at the high school.

Principals Dr. Gayle Redmon at Northside Elementary, Randy Jennings at DeKalb Middle School, and Danny Parkerson at DeKalb West School are returning for another year, as is assistant DeKalb West Principal Sabrina Farler.

All their new contracts become effective, July 1st.


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