Local News Articles

Couple Uses Child to Smuggle Pill into the Jail

November 13, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Justin Dale Estes
Ashley Nicole Estes

A prisoner at the DeKalb County Jail and his wife have been charged with having contraband in a penal institution and child abuse and neglect after trying to use their eight year old child to smuggle a pill into the jail.

24 year old Justin Dale Estes and 30 year old Ashley Nicole Estes of Wade Street, Smithville are each under a $20,000 bond and will be in court December 11.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, November 6 Justin Estes, serving a sentence in the DeKalb County Jail, was visited by his wife Ashley Estes and their children. Before the visitation, a Sheriff's Department Detective found a pill in the coat pocket of the Estes' eight year old daughter and learned that it was placed in the coat by Mrs. Estes. According to Sheriff Ray, Justin Estes admitted that he had told his wife to put a pill in the child's coat pocket. The pill was believed to be an eight milligram suboxone. If ingested, Sheriff Ray said the pill could have caused the child to suffer serious sickness or death. Mrs. Estes told the detective that she had previously brought drugs into the jail for her husband on different occasions by putting them in the clothing of her children, according to Sheriff Ray.

Liquor Not New to DeKalb County

November 12, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Liquor Not New to DeKalb County

It's been just over a week since Smithville residents and property rights voters decided through a referendum to make the city "wet" by allowing alcohol sales in retail package (liquor) stores. But legal liquor sales is really not new to DeKalb County. In recent years several dining establishments outside the city but in the county have been selling liquor by the drink, licensed by the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission, after being designated by the state as "Premiere Tourist Resort" properties.

Premier Resort status can be granted by the state to allow businesses in specific locations to obtain an "On Premises Consumption" or Liquor by the Drink license regardless of local restrictions.

Under certain conditions, businesses may qualify to apply for a liquor license with passage of an amendment to the "Premiere Tourist Resort Act" by the state legislature making them eligible. Once businesses have that authority from the state, they may seek a liquor license from the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission. If approved, the license is renewable annually.

The DeKalb County Beer Board, which grants local beer permits, has no authority over the issuance of liquor licenses by the state.

DeKalb County businesses that currently sell liquor by the drink are the Inn at Evins Mill, the Blue Water Grille at Hurricane Marina, the Fish Lipz restaurant at Pates Ford Marina, Turtles Bar and Grill on the Sparta Highway, and the Wheelhouse Restaurant at Sligo Marina

William Cochran, owner of the Inn at Evins Mill, said his establishment first obtained a license to sell beer from the DeKalb County Beer board several years ago and he later decided to seek authority from the state to receive a liquor license. In an interview with WJLE Tuesday, Cochran said the decision to obtain a liquor license at the Inn at Evins Mill has proven to have been a good one for the business

"From my perspective it has worked out extremely well for all stakeholders. One of the stakeholders being the business. Obviously, it has helped the business generate a stream of revenue that it would not otherwise be able to generate and it's not an insignificant stream of revenue. It has also benefitted the business because it tangibly enhances the experience of our guests when they are able to enjoy a glass of wine at dinner when they were not able to before this. It's helped with the guest experience. It's helped with the bottom line. It's certainly helped with the guest experience in terms of them not having to bring their own wine with them which I think a lot of our guests appreciate. I think it provides a lovely, safe, and responsible environment for our guests to enjoy a glass of wine at dinner without having to get in their car and go somewhere. I think that's a particular nice aspect of it," said Cochran.

"Certainly it's able to generate a not insignificant amount of revenue for the county that would not otherwise have been generated over the past seven years. We just expanded our facility from twelve to twenty rooms so our business is about to head into a whole new period of growth and the ability to sell alcohol builds upon that," he said

"Probably ninety five to ninety seven percent of our revenues on an annual basis come from tourists, travelers, vacationers, or groups that are traveling to Evins Mill from outside the county whether it's to host an off-site meeting or whether it's to host a wedding or whether it's just a couple that's coming to celebrate an anniversary or a honeymoon. Certainly most of our business is from middle Tennessee, Davidson County, Williamson County, Sumner County, etc. That's not to say we don't appreciate the folks that patronize our dining room from Smithville, but it just doesn't happen to be a whole lot of our business right now," said Cochran.

While city voters narrowly approved alcohol sales in retail package stores in Smithville last week, they defeated a referendum to allow restaurants in the city to obtain a license to sell alcohol for on premises consumption ( liquor by the drink).

State Releases Report Card on DeKalb County Schools

November 12, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Lisa Bell

The state's 2014 Report Card for DeKalb County Schools reveals that the system received A's and B's in the areas of achievement and value added growth in grades 3-8.

Students take the TCAP tests in the spring. The report card released last week represents data collected from the spring of 2014 for the state, school districts and individual schools. As in its past version, the report card also includes end-of-course exam percentages, ACT results, graduation percentages and other school-related profile information.

The DeKalb County School System earned B's in Math, Reading, and Science while Social Studies received an A. Even though a letter grade is the same as last year, the actual scores were up for Math and Social Studies. "Achievement is a measure of how well students performed on the TCAP tests in 2014. How high did they score? Were they proficient? “There are many areas to celebrate that showed an improvement over 2013,” remarked Data Analyst Lisa Bell.

(Value Added) Growth is measured by comparing test performance over the previous years of testing," said Bell. Value Added or (Growth) grades were as follows: A in Math; B in Reading, Science and Social Studies. These are the same letters grade as the 2013 Report Card from the State. Social Studies did show an increase in growth over 2013.

The DCHS graduation rate was 94.9% for 2014 which is well above the state average of 87.2%.

The DCHS Junior and Senior Classes ACT Composite three year average was 18.3. This falls short of the predicted ACT score of 19.3. The state’s average was 19.3. Officials say ACT study online courses have been implemented at DCHS for students to help improve ACT results.

DeKalb County High School End of Course Valued Added Growth for Algebra I and II, English I, English II, and English III, Biology I, Chemistry, and US History are also shown on the Report Card. Instead of letters grades, the high school subjects receive a status of “Above”, “NDD”, or” Below”. Above indicates that the test averages for that subject were above the predicted scores. The “NDD” status indicates those End Of Course subjects are meeting the predicted scores. The “Below” status indicates students did not score at the level predicted for that subject. Algebra I, II, English I, and US History moved from a “Below” status in 2013 to “NDD” for 2014 which means all of those subjects are meeting value added expectations. English II and III continued to receive the “Below” status. “Biology had above average growth again last year," said Bell. “This is the first year to release Chemistry results for End Of Course testing in Tennessee,” stated Bell. Chemistry also met the standard for growth.

"I'm very proud of the Report Card. The growth that has been made and the accomplishments that have happened," said Director of Schools Mark Willoughby. "When I look at some of our other school systems surrounding us, I am pleased with how DeKalb County Schools are doing compared to those schools. What would really be wonderful is if parents would send a note to the teachers telling them that you appreciate their hard work. More has been put on the plates of teachers in Tennessee and in my opinion; they have been less appreciated by the state department of education in the last few years than they ever have been. They are doing more and working harder than they ever have. I think we owe our teachers in DeKalb County and across the state of Tennessee more than we could ever pay them for what they do in shaping the lives of our children. I think we should show our appreciation to them more and more every day," said Willoughby.

For the 2013-14 school year, DeKalb Middle School’s achievement improved in Science and Social Studies from “B’s” to “A’s”. The scores increased from 54 to 56 for both Science and Social Studies. Math and Reading maintained “B’s”.

Growth for DeKalb Middle School’s State Report for Social Studies was a “B’” this year. Both
Math and Science fell from “A’s” in 2013 to “B’s for 2014. Reading maintained a “D” and continues to be
an area of focus in the county.

Northside’s State Report Card for achievement shows a slight score increase in Math and Science over the previous year. Reading achievement fell from a 52 to a 50, and Social Studies maintained a score of 52.
“B’s” were earned for all academic subjects for achievement in the 2013-2014 school year.

Growth for Northside’s State Report Card improved over the previous year. Math, Reading, Science, and Social Studies earned all “A’s” for the 2013-2014 school year. Math improved from a 4.6 to a 5.7. Reading fell from a 5.3 to a 2.9. Science increased from a 1.5 to a 2.9. Social Studies increased from a 2.2 to 2.6.

DeKalb West School’s State Report Card for achievement shows that Math maintained a ”B” while Reading, Science and Social Studies all maintained “A’s” for the 2013-2014 school year. While achievement scores maintained for Reading at 56, Math, Science and Social Studies fell slightly.

Growth for DeKalb West School’s State Report Card shows that Math and Social Studies maintained “B’s”. Science growth decreased from a “C” to a “D”, and Reading growth maintained an “A”.

Results at Smithville Elementary mirror Northside Elementary because it is considered a feeder school.

Accountability answers the question (Did the district meet the proficiency goals set by the state?)
DeKalb County met 9 out of 11 of these goals. This exceeded the state's requirement of 6 out of 11 to meet accountability. Reward schools are also a part of Tennessee's accountability system.

The state recognizes the top 5% of schools across Tennessee each year based on achievement and/or progress which is growth. Northside Elementary has been identified as a Reward School for progress (growth) this year.

The 2014 state Report Card offers the ability for the public to view detailed breakdowns for each school and district across the state. The new design was released with the 2013 Report Card and offers users the ability to create personalized comparisons between state, school, and districts on the following measures: achievement, ACT scores, graduation rate, student enrollment and ethnicity, and value-added composite scores. As an example, parents and community members can now compare individual schools or districts to see how well they are preparing students for college and careers, or to see which has a higher percentage of students on grade level in a specific subject area The Report Card site also features a new College and Career Readiness tab. This tab includes data on graduation rates, ACT scores, college readiness benchmarks, and the percentage of students who are eligible to receive the HOPE Scholarship.

“We think it’s important for parents and students, as well as school and district leaders, to know how well their schools are doing each year,” said Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman.

As the state strives to advance outcomes for all Tennessee students, these results allow educators to identify areas that need the most improvement. Through its regional offices, the department provides resources, support, and expert analysis to help districts and schools with data-driven interventions.

F.Z. Webb & Sons Gifts to Host Book Signing

November 12, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Dr. Mary A. Evins

F.Z. Webb & Sons Gifts will host a book signing by Dr. Mary A. Evins on Friday, November 14 from 1-5 p.m. and Saturday, November 15 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Evins' new book is titled "Tennessee Women in the Progressive Era, Toward the Public Sphere in the New South". It examines the work of Tennessee women progressives at the turn of the last century as agents of social change in their communities across the state.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Discussions of Tennessee women’s history during the Progressive Era tend to focus narrowly on the critical issue of suffrage and the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. While the achievement of Tennessee’s suffragists remains a feather in the state’s historic cap—pushing the legislature to cast the votes that settled the issue for the nation—reform-minded Tennessee women in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries participated in a wide range of other public-sphere activities. The first exploration of the work and lives of Progressive Era Tennessee women beyond their involvement in the battle for the right to vote, this pioneering compilation provides a fuller portrait of the work undertaken by these bold activists to improve the lives of their fellow citizens.

Ranging in subject matter from the role of women’s missionary organizations and efforts to end lynching to the challenges of agricultural reform and the development of stronger educational institutions, these essays consider a wide variety of reform efforts that engaged progressive women in Tennessee before, during, and after the suffrage movement. Throughout, the contributors emphasize the influence of religion on women’s reform efforts and examine the ways in which these women expanded their public roles while at the same time professing loyalty to more traditional models of womanhood. In demonstrating Tennessee women’s engagement with politics long before they had the vote, ran for office, or served on juries, these essays also support the argument that a broader definition of “politics” permits a fuller incorporation of women’s public activities into U.S. political history.

By focusing on the actual work reform-minded women performed, whether paid employment or volunteer efforts, this anthology illustrates myriad ways in which these individuals engaged their communities and reveals the motivations that drove them to improve society. Marshaling precise and detailed evidence that illuminates the meanings of progressivism to Tennessee’s female activists, the essays in this valuable compendium connect Tennessee women to the larger movements for reform that dominated the early-twentieth-century American experience.

Dr. Evins is a research professor with the Center for Historic Preservation and teaches history in the MTSU Department of History, University Honors College, and College of Graduate Studies. She received her B.A. in history and anthropology and M.A.T. in history and sociology from Vanderbilt University, and A.M. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in anthropology with an emphasis on culture history, regional landscape studies, and material culture. Her dissertation research on urbanization and exchange economies along the Euphrates river developed from multinational field work projects in Kurdish communities in southeastern Turkey, near the Syrian border. During graduate school, Evins worked in research fellowship capacities at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., among other museums and research institutions in the U.S. and internationally.

For Middle Tennessee State University, Evins coordinates the American Democracy Project (ADP), a national initiative of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. The American Democracy Project promotes civic learning across academic disciplines, intentional development and practice of citizenship skills as fundamental charges of higher education, and university student engagement as critical to lifelong active citizenship. As head of ADP MTSU, Evins works with civic groups and present-day diversity and social justice organizations, to integrate broader understandings and cross-cultural experiences and opportunities into student life, to strengthen MTSU student citizenship and students’ growth in awareness of American heritage and their personal responsibilities in a participatory democracy.

City to Establish Liquor Ordinance

November 11, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
City Administrator Hunter Hendrixson

A week after Smithville voters approved a referendum to permit retail package stores (liquor stores) to sell alcoholic beverages in the municipality by a vote of 406 to 401, city officials report that several persons have inquired about how to get a license. But it may be weeks or months before the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission issues a license in Smithville.

In an interview with WJLE Friday, Ginna Winfrey, assistant director for the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission said there are yet several steps for the city to take. "The city needs to send us the certified election results from the election commission. The city will then need to contact MTAS (Municipal Technical Advisory Service). MTAS will help them (city) get the proper ordinances in place they will need and to develop their own Certificate of Compliance that will need to be issued as the very first stage for getting a liquor store in Smithville".

"The Certificate of Compliance is statutory. Some of the basic things that are set out in Title 57 is that the Certificate of Compliance has to certify that individuals who have applied for the Retail Package Store license have not been convicted of a felony within the past ten years. It also has to state that they (applicants) have a secured location and that the location complies with all the zoning requirements and ordinances in the municipality," she said.

"After they have their Certificate of Compliance, they (applicants) can fill out an application with us (Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission) and they will have to take out a public notice in the newspaper. Then a meeting will be set up with one of our agents and they (applicants) will have to interview. A financial investigation will also be done to ensure they have the financial viability to own and operate a liquor store," said Winfrey.

Applicants who meet all the conditions for a liquor license from the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission may also qualify to sell beer."As of July 1, 2014 with the Wine in Grocery Stores (law) this allowed retail package stores to sell beer without an additional license. The only license needed for retail package stores to be able to sell beer and other items is a license from the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission," said Winfrey.

City Administrator Hunter Hendrixson told WJLE Monday that MTAS has been contacted to give city aldermen guidance on establishing the proper ordinances and procedures. It will also be up to the aldermen whether to limit the number of licensed liquors stores in Smithville. "I met with MTAS this past Friday and they'll be assisting in developing an ordinance for the city along with any other assistance the city needs. I've also spoken with several other municipalities that have liquor stores to get an idea of how the revenue side of it works and to see how much other cities are collecting off tax revenues," he said.

Once the city approves an applicant's certificate of compliance to operate a retail liquor store, the process then moves to the Tennessee ABC Commission for a final decision.

The Tennessee ABC Commission requires applicants to meet the following conditions:

*Fill out an application form

*Fill out a questionaire: Owners, partners, officers, managers and/or any person who owns five percent (5%) or more in the corporation or the business, should complete these forms

*Certificate of Compliance: The Certificate of Compliance may be obtained from the local municipality Mayor's office

*Certificate of Occupancy: The Certificate of Occupancy is issued by the local municipality's Codes Department

*Proof of Possession : A copy of the lease must be furnished to this office. Along with the lease, a copy of the Deed (registered with the Registrar of Deed's Office) must be furnished also. If the application is for a change of ownership, a copy of the Bill of Sale or Purchase Agreement must be provided.

*Charter from the State of Tennessee: (This document is required only if the applicant is a corporation, a limited liability company (LLC) or a formal partnership). A copy of the Tennessee charter must be furnished to this office and it may be obtained from the Tennessee Secretary of State's Office, 6th Floor, William Snodgrass Building, 7th Avenue North between Charlotte Avenue and Union Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee, telephone (615) 741-2286
.
*List of Officers and or owners of corporations: A separate list of officers (with their titles) and owners with five percent (5%) or more of ownership, indicating amount of percentage of ownership, must be furnished with the application. Please use form AB-0099.

*Waiver of any right to an administrative hearing by applicant

*Tennessee Sales Tax Number

*Copy of Newspaper Notice and Sworn Statement Regarding the Publication: Prior to the Certificate of Compliance hearing date, a newspaper notice must be published in the local newspaper for three (3) consecutive issues. Further, an affidavit from the local newspaper should be provided verifying publication.

*An inspection will be conducted by a TABC agent after the application has been reviewed by the local TABC office.

*Financial Background Check of Applicant

*Credit Check from Banking/Lending Institution

*Employee Permits: All employees must obtain an employee permit card. See Retail Employee permit (blue card) information.

Veterans Honored During Local Observance (VIEW VIDEO)

November 11, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Norman J. Nuismer, Middle Tennessee Vice-Commander of the American Legion
World War II Veterans Charles Lane, Joe Goodwin, Edsel and Edward Frazier, Doyle Taylor, Guy Mathis, and Doyle Smith at Tuesday's Veteran's Day Program

The men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our freedom were honored in a special Veterans Day program Tuesday morning at the DeKalb County Complex auditorium.

The observance featured performances of patriotic music by members of the DeKalb County High School Chorus and Band, a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver, and a keynote address by Norman J. Nuismer, Middle Tennessee Vice-Commander of the American Legion.

"Have you ever thought about the five reasons why we are here today? The United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Those are the five reasons. It's important to remember that veterans are defending us 365 days a year. Heroism has been demonstrated time and again by veterans from the American Revolution to the Global War on Terrorism. Our debt to these veterans can never be repaid but our gratitude and respect must last forever. Veterans have given us freedom, security, and the greatest nation on earth. It's impossible to put a price on that. We must remember them. We must appreciate them. God bless our veterans and God bless America," said Nuismer during his remarks.

Boy Scout Troop 347 presented flags to start the program followed by a prayer and a pledge to the flag. Several local veterans attended the observance and were applauded as they were asked to stand and be recognized.

At the conclusion of the program, veterans boarded a school bus for a ride downtown to the site of the veterans memorial monument, escorted by city police and fire departments and county deputies. Local minister Larry Green offered a closing prayer and State Representative Weaver led the attendees in singing God Bless America.

Veterans then boarded the bus again and were taken back to the county complex for a delicious Veteran's Day meal served by Senior Citizens and the local chapter of Woodmen of the World.

Woman Charged with Six Counts of Prescription Fraud

November 11, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Brandi McPheron

Smithville Police have charged a woman with six counts of prescription fraud.

35 year old Brandi McPheron is under a $30,000 bond.

According to Chief Randy Caplinger, McPheron signed for and picked up prescriptions for the schedule IV drug Tramadol on six occasions at Rite Aid Pharmacy from August 11 to October 24. Each prescription was for 60, 50 milligrams.

Chief Caplinger said a pharmacy representative reported to police that on each occasion, someone had called Rite Aid purporting to be from Mercy Clinic Family Medicine in Holister, Missouri on behalf of Dr. William Zeller ordering a prescription for Kari Stevens.
Police were notified and arrested McPheron when she came to pick up the prescription on October 24.

According to Chief Caplinger, Dr. Zeller was contacted and denied having a patient by the name Kari Stevens and said that the clinic in Missouri had not phoned in any prescriptions.

Meanwhile, 24 year old Kevin Addison is charged with aggravated domestic assault. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court November 13. Chief Caplinger said that on Wednesday, November 5 police responded to a residence at Bell Street Apartments in reference to a domestic assault. Upon arrival, an officer spoke with Addison who said he had been in an argument with his girlfriend. When he saw his girlfriend in a car talking on a phone, Addison went to the vehicle to get something out of it and asked her who she was talking to. She wouldn't tell him. As she tried to exit the car, Addison allegedly grabbed the woman by the shirt to stop her and also tried to choke her for a few seconds before letting go. She was found to have scratches on her neck. Addison was placed under arrest.

53 year old Timothy Ervin, Jr. is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence and three counts of possession of a schedule II drug. His bond totals $10,500 and he will be in court on November 20. Chief Caplinger said that on Saturday, October 18 police were dispatched to West Broad Street in response to a reckless driver traveling east. An officer spotted the vehicle and followed it for about a half mile. The vehicle was weaving erratically. The officer pulled it over at East Side Citgo. The driver, Ervin had slurred speech and a strong odor of an intoxicating beverage was coming from the automobile. Ervin was asked to perform field sobriety tasks but he could not complete them due to his condition. He was placed under arrest. While conducting an inventory of Ervin's vehicle, police discovered three different kinds of pills in a prescription bottle. Ervin's prescription was for Hydrocodone but none of the pills in the bottle matched the prescription. The pills were sent to the crime lab for identification.

28 year old Demetria Phillips and her mother 50 year old Lisa Ann Davis are each cited for theft of property. They are to appear in court on November 20. Chief Caplinger said that an officer was recently called to Walmart in reference to a theft. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with Phillips who said that she had placed merchandise in a basket and while she was paying for other items, her mother took the basket with the unpaid merchandise out of the store to their vehicle. The items were valued at $189.79.

53 year old Deborah Lynn Thistlethwaite is charged with driving under the influence and cited for possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana) and possession of drug paraphernalia (pipe). Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court on November 20. Chief Caplinger said that on Wednesday, October 22 police responded to a residence on West Main Street in reference to a possible DUI. Upon arrival, an officer spoke with Thistlethwaite who was in a vehicle. He detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from the automobile. As Thistlethwaite exited the vehicle, the officer smelled alcohol on her person. Her speech was slurred and she was unsteady on her feet. Thistlewaite submitted to and performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. While being placed under arrest, the officer found in Thistlewaite's right front pocket a small plastic bag containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana and a small metal pipe commonly used to smoke marijuana.

27 year old Lakota Dawn Hale and her husband 23 year old Anthony Hale are each charged with domestic assault. Lakota is also charged with simple possession of a schedule II drug. Her bond is $4,000. His bond is $2,500. They will be in court on November 20. Chief Caplinger said that on Thursday, October 23 police were summoned to a residence on Estes Street due to a hang up call. Upon arrival, an officer spoke with Hale who said that he and his wife had gotten into an argument which turned into a physical altercation. After being placed under arrest, an officer found on Lakota a prescription bottle containing three small pills believed to be Hydrocodone. The prescription on the bottle was for Xanax.

DMS Students Launch Online Newspaper (VIEW VIDEO)

November 10, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
DMS Students Launch Online Newspaper

DeKalb Middle School RTI: Tier II Reading/Language Arts students in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade advanced class have developed an online newspaper that is now available at www.thedmssaint.com.

The DMS Saint features articles by students on a variety of subjects from school news to current world events. " We have given them the reins to choose what they want to write about in contributing to the newspaper," said DMS Guidance Counselor Martha Melching, who is also a co-editor of the newspaper.

In developing the online publication, students were challenged by Assistant DMS Principal Amanda Dakas to create one that is different and more engaging than your average run-of-the mill school newspaper. "One way to do that was to tell the students that this would be ‘THEIR ‘ paper, and they would have the opportunity to choose the topics that interest them. Since the goal of Common Core and our Reading and Language Arts standards is to require students to read at grade-level and to write with proficiency, we believed that ‘inspiring’ students was the key to getting them motivated, and Mrs. Tena Davidson, Mrs. Martha Melching, and Mrs. Felicia Warden have done an excellent job of ‘lighting the spark of creativity and possibility," she said.

"We told the students to think outside the box and consider other topics beyond the four walls of our school. We directed them to think of topics of interest locally, at the state level, at the national level, and globally. The last challenge was for each student to think about their own personal talents and then share with their teacher what those talents are so that the entire school can benefit from those talents and skills. What happened next was amazing! One student, Trey Fuston, came forward and said that he had experience as a webmaster and wanted to know if we might be interested in posting our stories online and on our own site. The students voted unanimously to create their own website, and then individuals began coming forward with their talents and sharing their own unique ideas. Once the students realized that this project really belonged to ‘THEM’ and that we were excited about hearing their ideas, their perspectives, and their individual voices….. it was like a wild-fire! The enthusiasm has been contagious and our own DeKalb Middle School students have proven that talent, student learning, and academic excellence are not limited to larger schools with unlimited funding. Through the online weekly polling that every student will participate in and with the student-body reading these articles, these students have actually become inspirational teachers for their peers."

"It’s a funny thing….. we set out to inspire our students, and they have ended up inspiring us! I am so proud of them and of the standard of excellence they are modeling for all of us and for future DeKalb Middle School students," said Assistant Principal Dakas.

"We created this paper to truly give DeKalb Middle School a voice. We did this to get more students more involved while having fun, talking about popular topics, and learning. All of us are proud to say we did this, and we hope that others can carry it on and have the same experience that we did," wrote Blake Mitchell.

"The goal of this is to inform readers about things going on locally and even worldwide. In the newspaper, you'll find an inspirational section, polls, and many student written articles that people can relate to," wrote Hannah Anderson.

Articles range from a biography of John Phillip Sousa, a world renounced musician to Student Council events. The sixth, seventh, and eighth grade links on the site include other interesting articles, interviews, and even poems. A "submit your own section" will soon be available where students may offer ideas for future articles.

The following story by seventh graders Raiden Martin and Daniel Puckett is an example of what readers will find at www.thedmssaint.com.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
By: Raiden Martin and Daniel Puckett

We’re sure you have seen many videos for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, but are you aware of what ALS actually is? Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gherig’s disease, is a disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. With this disease, you are getting no muscle nourishment, as the word amyotrophic implies. It affects the motor neurons throughout your body. The degeneration of these neurons will eventually lead to death. The patients in the later stages of ALS can even experience total paralysis. The cause of ALS is not completely understood, however, scientists are working to learn more and may find a cure for this awful disease.

Symptoms of ALS may include: muscle weakness, twitching, thick speech, and more. It varies from person to person. Muscle weakness though, is the most common, occurring in approximately 60% of patients. ALS normally occurs in people between forty and seventy years old, but can strike anyone at any age. ALS is also more likely to happen in men, but will start to equal out between men and women as age increases. Forms of ALS include Sporadic and Familial. Sporadic is the most common in the U.S.-about 90-95% of all cases. Familial occurs more than once in a family lineage-only about 5% of all cases.

There are things you need to know about ALS. ALS is not contagious. If you come in close contact with a patient, you will not “catch” ALS. It has no racial or ethnic boundaries. Also, ALS can strike anyone; young, old, man, woman.

The Ice Bucket Challenge started to get popular on social media in the summer of 2014. For the challenge, you are filmed stating who you nominate to complete the challenge, nominating a minimum of three people. Then, you pour a bucket of ice water on yourself of have someone else pour it one you. The people challenged have twenty-four hours to complete the challenge and donate a minimum of $10. If they do not complete the challenge, they must donate a minimum of $100 to the ALS association.

We spoke to Mr. Jennings and Mrs. Dakas and they both agreed to take part in the Ice Bucket Challenge, as long as the school can earn enough for a large donation. We need to raise at least $500 and they will both do the challenge. That is less than $1 per student! Keep in mind, the more the better for a good cause!

The RTI: Tier II (Reading to Intervention) Reading/Language Arts students at DeKalb Middle School urge you to visit their new online newspaper often for regular updates at www.thedmssaint.com.

DCHS Baseball Boosters Club Begins Construction on New Training Facility

November 10, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
DCHS Baseball Boosters Club Begins Construction on New Training Facility
Plans for New DCHS Baseball Indoor Training Facility

The DCHS Baseball Boosters Club has begun construction on a new indoor training facility for the Tiger baseball program. Fundraising efforts are underway to help support the project.

According to Jeff McMillen, President of the Booster Club, the structure will be a 40'x 80' metal building with two hitting cages, two pitching lanes, conditioning area, equipment room, restroom and coaches office. The facility is expected to be completed by January.

"In today’s world to be competitive in any sport, training is a priority and I think we as a booster club have a responsibility to provide the tools it takes and to allow an athlete who wants to excel to the next level the opportunity. This building will provide an indoor training area for pitchers, hitters and conditioning as well as a dressing room which the players have never had. The DCHS baseball program deserves the same type facilities as other schools where we play. It will be good for our players, our school and our community," said McMillen.

"Baseball players practice, train, and play primarily during cold and inclement weather with limited availability at other school facilities. The new building will provide the players the opportunity to train and excel in their sport and help instill a sense of pride in their school and program that they see at other programs in the district and state," added Assistant Coach Jonathon Norris.

While the school board has given the Booster Club authority to build the facility, it is not funding it. The Booster Club is raising all monies and providing mostly volunteer labor to build it. "There are no school/county funds being used for the construction of this building. The booster club through fundraisers and donations will fully fund the construction of this building. Tiger baseball boosters are committed to seeing this project completed. Our goal is not to hire any labor but to use volunteers from the booster club, community and the high school building trades class," said McMillen.

The Booster Club is seeking donations from the public and local businesses to complete construction. If you would like to help, contact Jeff McMillen or other booster club members. "I have been around here (DeKalb County) all my life and I have always found that when there is a need in the community, the community comes together and makes sure those needs are met. I don't see this need any differently. That's one of the reasons why so many people who come here don't leave. We are truly blessed to live in such a great place. I truly believe this project will take baseball in DeKalb County to another level for years to come," said McMillen.

Infinity Athletics Competes at 1st Competition of the Season

November 9, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Storm- Leah Trapp, Taylor White, Bryleigh Teachout, Izzy Prichard, Annali Garcia, Kenna Sykes, and Ezalee Moore
Strikers - Natalie Snipes, Maggie Felton, Addison Roller, Sadie West, Kailey Herron, Keegan Martin, Hannah Trapp, Carlee West, Braelyn Teachout, Annabella Dakas, and Danica Collier

Infinity Athletics attended their first competition of the season Saturday, November 8th in Nashville for Jamfest Nashville at Municipal Auditorium.

This year's teams range in age from 3 to 14 years old and include athletes from DeKalb, Putnam, Smith and Cannon County. The Tiny Level 1 team, Storm, (ages 3-5) came in 4th place...Youth 1, Strikers (ages 11 & under) came in 1st Place out of two teams... and Stunners (ages 14 & under) got 4th out of 9 teams! These girls work so hard all year and the parents and coaches couldn't be prouder of them. They're next competition will be December 6th & 7th in Gatlinburg. Infinity Athletics would like to invite everyone to come support them at their competitions this season.

Their schedule is as follows:
●December 6-7 - Gatlinburg Convention Center
●January 31st - Nashville Municipal Auditorium
●February 28th - Nashville Municipal Auditorium
●March 21-22 - Louisville, KY
*They plan on receiving bids that will take them to the US Finals in Pensacola, Florida in April. The Strikers earned theirs at Saturday's competition*

Teams:
Storm- Leah Trapp, Taylor White, Bryleigh Teachout, Izzy Prichard, Annali Garcia, Kenna Sykes, and Ezalee Moore

Strikers - Natalie Snipes, Maggie Felton, Addison Roller, Sadie West, Kailey Herron, Keegan Martin, Hannah Trapp, Carlee West, Braelyn Teachout, Annabella Dakas, and Danica Collier

Stunners - Chloe Sykes, Shaunta Koegler, Haley Carroll, Alley Sykes, Katherine Malone, Annalyn Haskin, Leah Davis, Natalie Snipes, Maggie Felton, Addison Roller, Sadie West, Kailey Herron, Hannah Trapp, Carlee West and Braelyn Teachout

All teams are coached by Taylor Chapman and Jennifer Sykes.

Pages

Follow Us


facebook.jpg

News Feed
feed.png

WJLE Radio

2606 McMinnville Hwy
Smithville, TN 37166

Phone: 615 597-4265
FAX: 615 597-6025
Email: wjle@dtccom.net

Local News

6:30 A.M.
7:30 A.M.
8:55 A.M.
12:00 NOON
4:00 P.M.
9:45 P.M.

DTC Communications

Fiddlers Jamboree