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Top Local Sports Story of 2016: DCHS Tigerettes Finish 4th in State

December 21, 2016
Dwayne Page
Top Local Sports Story of 2016: DCHS Tigerettes Finish 4th in State
Danny Bond
Danny Fish
DCHS Tigerettes Hannah Walker and Dani Meadows signed in June with Roane  State Community College to play Softball next spring. Parents, Coaches, and Fellow Players were present for the signing
1986 DCHS Tigerettes Reunited in April
Tiger Football Coach Steve Trapp (left) with Assistant Coach Clarence Trapp named Region 4-3A Offensive Assistant Coach of the Year
Members of DCHS Tiger Football Team Earn All Region Honors for 2016 Season
The DCHS Football Most Valuable Player A.J. Mooneyham and Most Valuable Cheerleader Carlee White for the 2015 season were awarded at the annual banquet in January
CHS  Senior Baseball Standout Steven Jennings signs letter of intent to play for the Ole Miss Rebels next year. Pictured with parents, Randy and Jill Jennings and sister Cori Jennings
Former DCHS Baseball Coach Tracy Slone
New DCHS Baseball Coach Jon Adam Kefauver
DCHS Basketball MVC Chloe White and MVPs Noah Parsley and Jailyn Bolding
Ashli Chew Named to TSWA All State Girls Basketball Team
Senior DCHS Lady Tiger Ashli Chew signed with Bryan College in Dayton Tennessee to play Collegiate Basketball. Pictured here with her parents and coaches at DCHS and Bryan
Joe Pat Cope
Nathaniel (Nate) Kennard
New DCHS Golf Coach John Pryor
New DCHS Tennis Coach Seth Willoughby
DeKalb County High School Golfer Isaac Walker finished 14th in the TSSAA Class A-AA Golf Tournament
Mya Ruch, a freshman at DeKalb County High School, has become the first high school student in DeKalb to place and medal at the TSSAA Cross Country State
Lynus Martin Becomes 2nd Winningest Boys Basketball Coach at DCHS
DWS Bulldogs Win Best of the West Tournament
DeKalb County Pee Wee Tigers won the First Ever Middle Tennessee Youth Football Conference Super Bowl
Local Coach Josh Agee and the 7th grade team of the AAU organization Tennessee Rush played in the AAU  Division II National Basketball Championship July 3-8 in Kingsport
Coach Josh Agee
DeKalb County 7-9 year old Girls Coach Pitch All Stars claimed the Championship of the Tennessee Youth Baseball Association on July 17 in Murfreesboro
Darvin Gill Named Head Girls Basketball Coach at Rhea County High School
Sasa Krezic catches record brook trout on Caney Fork River
Groundbreaking Held for New DeKalb West School Baseball Facility
Power Athletics' Storm Cats, a Senior Coed Level 3 team, took home the National Championship in their division at the 2016 Cheersport Nationals held February 12-14 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta
Brian Shelton won the Fiddler 5K Saturday, July 2 setting a new course record at 16:12. Kristen VanVranken won the race among females at 20:23 (Photo by Luton’s Web & Photography)
Fiddler One-Mile Fun Run winners: Conner Vance of Smithville at 6:47 and Bella Bryson of Woodbury at 8:19(Photo by Luton’s Web & Photography)
DeKalb Fair 5K Winner Josh Miller (center) and Fun Run Winner Ethan Trapp (left) with Race Director Matt Boss

A final four finish for the DCHS Tigerettes in the TSSAA Class AA Girls Softball Tournament at Murfreesboro in May topped the year in DeKalb County sports.

After winning the regular district season, district tournament and region tournament, the Tigerettes advanced to the state tourney, finishing in 4th place to conclude the season with a record of 35-6-1.

The Tigerettes’ state tournament run began with a 5 to 3 win over Dyersburg in the first round game followed by a 6 to 2 loss to Waverly. The local team won one more with a 5 to 1 victory over Chester County before being eliminated by White House Heritage 5 to 2.

It was the program’s third consecutive state tournament appearance and eighth in program history, but the first time the squad reached the Final Four.

After the season, Tigerette Coach Danny Bond announced his retirement although he remains employed by the school system in a new position. Bond had served as coach of the DCHS girls softball program for 31 years since it began in 1986. He succeeded Marshall Ferrell as the Alternative Learning Center Director. Bond has been an educator for more than 35 years having taught Physical Education, Health, Lifetime Wellness, and Personal Fitness. In his 31 seasons as softball coach, Bond compiled an overall win-loss record of 680-258-1 (.725). His District win-loss record was 293-56 (.840). Bond also served as DCHS boys basketball coach from 1986 until 2002 and recorded an overall win-loss record of 256-220 in 17 seasons.

In July Danny Fish was named to succeed Coach Bond. Fish, who served as an assistant for the last four years moved from Northside Elementary School to DCHS where he serves as a physical education teacher.

DCHS Tigerette Pitcher Kayley Caplinger was named the Most Valuable Player of the District 8AA Softball Tournament. Caplinger pitched a shutout every night of the tournament and only allowed 9 hits in 4 games played with 28 strikeouts. Members of the All District Tournament Team from DeKalb County were Tyra Graham, Dani Meadows, Katie Hall, and Joni Robinson. DeKalb County also had its share of honors for the regular season. Tigerette Coach Danny Bond was named Coach of the Year in District 8AA. Kayley Caplinger was selected as District Co-Player of the Year, Co-Pitcher of the Year, and Offensive Player of the Year. The District’s Defensive Player of the Year is Tyra Graham. Members of the All District Team from DeKalb County are Kayley Caplinger, Tyra Graham, Dani Meadows, Katie Hall, Hannah Walker, and Myranda Bailiff. Allison Maynard received honorable mention. Maddison Parsley and Joni Robinson were named to the All District Freshman Team.

Meanwhile, two Tigerettes, who graduated in May, put pen to paper on June 20, signing to play for the Roane State Community College Raiders softball team next spring. Tigerette catcher Dani Meadows and center fielder Hannah Walker were joined by their parents, fellow high school players, and coaches for the signing at DCHS. Jessica Hackworth, Assistant Softball Coach represented Roane State.

Nine members of the 1986 DCHS Tigerette fast pitch softball team reunited Friday afternoon, April 22 at the Danny Bond Field to commemorate the 30 year existence of the program. Following the game between this year’s DCHS Tigerettes and Warren County, each member of the 1986 inaugural team was recognized including Patty Redmon Hale, Tammy Billings Eaton, Dionndra Foster, Tammy Hayes Reynolds, Tracie Webb Baker, Christie Poss Hart, Michelle Gard Roller, Vickie Hayes Gwynn, and Gena Hayes Cripps. They were joined on the field by their Coach Danny Bond, who is the only coach in the history of the program. Other members of the 1986 team unable to attend were Tina Waggoner Woodall, Tonia Foster Pack, Beth Hale Gill, Christie Frazier Young, and Lori Pugh Hall. Other DCHS Tigerette Alumni also joined the 1986 team on the field for photographs along with the 2016 team.

The season for the 2016 DeKalb County Tiger Football Team ended in November after coming up short against the East Ridge Pioneers in the first round of the TSSAA Class 3A Football Play-Offs in Smithville. The final score was 23-18. DeKalb County concluded the season with an overall record of 7-4 and finished as runner-up to Sequatchie County in the regular season region standings. Thirteen players on the 2016 DCHS football team and Assistant Coach Clarence Trapp were recognized in December for All-Region honors during an awards banquet in Cookeville. Trapp was named the Region 4-3A Offensive Assistant Coach of the Year. The players receiving honors were :Most Outstanding Linebacker Nick May; Most Outstanding Defensive Lineman Tayvian Nokes; Most Outstanding Defensive Back Bradley Miller; Most Outstanding Tight End Christian Pruitt; Most Outstanding Punter Matthew Poss; 1st Team All Region Eli Cross; 1st Team All Region Luke Green; 1st Team All Region Steven Jennings; 1st Team All Region Riley Sexton; 1st Team All Region Devin Zaderiko; 2nd Team All Region Devin Bain; 2nd Team All Region Gage Delape; and 2nd Team All Region Tyler Cantrell.

DeKalb County High School Football is stepping up a class next year going from Class 3A to 4A. Enrollments for Class 4A are from 822 to 1,102. The DCHS enrollment is 856. DeKalb County will be part of the new five team Region 3 Class 4A which will also include Macon County, Livingston Academy, Stone Memorial, and Cumberland County. For the last few years, DeKalb County has been part of Region 4 in Class 3A along with Cannon County, Grundy County, Sequatchie County, Smith County, Upperman, and York Institute.

A.J. Mooneyham, a senior, was named Most Valuable Player of the 2015 DeKalb County High School Football Team during the annual Awards Banquet held in January. The awards were sponsored by Liberty State Bank. The MVP trophy was presented to Mooneyham by Coach Steve Trapp. " He started out as a running back and then moved around and did a lot of different things for us but for his career he rushed the football for 108 times for 540 yards and 11 touchdowns. Keep in mind he got moved around a lot. He wasn't solely a running back for his whole career. He had 39 receptions for 351 yards and four touchdowns. Return yardage. He had 13 returns, punting and kickoff returns for 266 yards. He did a lot of different things for us in his career. Defensive stats. He had 209 total tackles including 19 for a loss, one safety, seven interceptions, five deflected passes, six forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and four blocked extra points or field goals," said Coach Trapp. "In 2013 he was named 2nd Team All-District in 8AA. He was voted by his team as DeKalb County High School Defensive Back of the Year. In 2014 he was 1st Team All District in 8 AA. He was named DCHS Linebacker of the Year. In 2015 he had 11 receptions for 129 yards and two touchdowns. He had 57 rushes for 239 yards and seven touchdowns. A.J. received All Upper Cumberland 2nd Team Defensive Back, All Region Most Outstanding Defensive Back and 1st Team All Region for Region 4AAA. He's had a pretty good career for us," Coach Trapp said. The Tigers finished the season in November, 2015 with an overall record of 7-4 and another appearance in the state play-offs. It was the fifth consecutive year the Tigers earned a berth in the state play-offs and their seventh appearance in the last eight years. The Tigers lost in the first round of the play-offs to the Chattanooga Christian Chargers 23-22 in Smithville. Meanwhile, Carlee White, a senior, was named Most Valuable Cheerleader. The presentation was made by Cheer Coaches Amanda Fuller and Sonya House.

Steven Jennings, a senior at DeKalb County High School, may soon become the first DCHS Tiger ever to play collegiate baseball in the Southeastern Conference. This outstanding pitcher and short stop for the DCHS program signed a letter of intent in November to play for the Ole Miss Rebels after his high school career is completed. The signing was held in the library at DCHS. Jennings was joined by his parents, Randy and Jill Jennings, his sister Cori, DCHS baseball coach Jon Adam Kefauver, members of the Tiger baseball team, and DCHS football coach Steve Trapp. Jennings was also selected by the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association to be a member of Team Tennessee in the Junior Sunbelt Classic in Mcalester, Oklahoma. Jennings was among 20 high school players from across the state who represented Tennessee in the Classic in June.

DeKalb County High School got a new baseball coach in 2016. Jon Adam Kefauver of Crossville was named in June to replace former coach Tracy Slone who was not re-hired for another season. Kefauver came to DeKalb County after serving three years as head baseball coach and as a Wellness and Physical Education teacher at Stone Memorial High School in Crossville. In addition to his coaching duties, Kefauver is a wellness/PE teacher at DCHS.

Senior Noah Parsley was named the DCHS Tiger basketball Most Valuable Player during the annual banquet in March, while Senior Jailyn Bolding received the Lady Tiger MVP honor. Senior Chloe White is the Most Valuable Cheerleader. The awards were sponsored by Love-Cantrell Funeral Home. The MVP and MVC awards are named in memory of Allen D. Hooper. In addition to being named MVP, Parsley received the team's Hustle Award, Best Defender, and Best Passer Awards. Bolding,along with the MVP award, was honored for being the team's Best Ball Handler, Hustle Award, and Best Defensive Player. Bolding received All District Honorable Mention and was chosen to the All District Defensive Team. The season for the DeKalb County Tigers ended with a loss to Cannon County in overtime in the District Tournament at Cookeville. The Tigers finished the season at 13-20 overall. The DeKalb County Lady Tigers wrapped up their season losing to Sequatchie County in the Region Tournament. They closed out the campaign with an overall record of 24-14.

Ashli Chew, a senior and member of the DCHS Lady Tiger Basketball Squad, was selected to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association 2015-16 Girls All-State Team in Class AA. During her high school basketball years, Ashli scored a career high 1150 points. That was really a 3-season total because she had an ACL and MCL tear at the end of her freshman year that required surgery and kept her sidelined for the majority of her sophomore year. With hard work and determination she came back strong in her junior year and was named MVP. She led her team to the first win over Livingston Academy in 31 years this past season by sinking 2 free throws with only 3 seconds left on the clock. In her senior season alone Chew led her team in scoring with 619 points, and led in rebounds with 255 rebounds. An average of 16.9 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per game. Her free shooting was at 70 % this season. She also led her team to a win over Cannon County for the first time in 17 years in February scoring the winning points with .9 seconds left on the clock. Her team had a 3rd place finish in the District Tournament and made an appearance in the Regional Tournament. Ashli was selected to the All Freshman Team in the district as a freshman; 3rd Team All District and Upper Cumberland Honorable Mention and Junior-Girls 3-point Shooting Champion her Junior Year; And in her senior year she was named 1st team All District; All Upper Cumberland 2nd team, District 8AA All Tournament Team and now All State Basketball Team for AA. She is only 1 of 16 players across the State of Tennessee selected for this honor. In February Ashli signed a Basketball Scholarship to play at the college level with Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee.

After the season, DCHS Girls Basketball Coach Joe Pat Cope learned that he would not be re-hired for another season. In his seven seasons as the Lady Tiger Coach, Cope compiled an overall record of 126-102. His district record was 18-68 and his post-season mark was 4-10. Coach Cope later joined the women’s basketball coaching staff at Ole Miss as a video coordinator.

In May, Nathaniel (Nate) Kennard was named to succeed Coach Cope as the girls basketball coach at DCHS but Kennard changed his mind about taking the job and resigned in August to accept a teaching position near his home at Livingston Academy. Danny Fish was then selected to replace Kennard as the new DCHS girls head basketball coach. Fish is now coaching two sports at the school. He was selected in July to succeed longtime Tigerette softball coach Danny Bond.

John Pryor was named DCHS Golf Coach and Seth Willoughby took over coaching duties for the Tennis program in May. The positions were formerly held by Joe Pat Cope. As during the past season, Willoughby will continue to serve as an assistant to DCHS Tiger Basketball Coach Lynus Martin

DeKalb County High School Golfer Isaac Walker competed in the TSSAA Class A-AA Golf Tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 4 & 5 at Willowbrook Golf Club in Manchester. Walker shot a 77 on Tuesday and a 74 on Wednesday for a two day total of 151. Out of 72 golfers competing, Isaac finished in a tie for 14th place. Walker, just a sophomore, was making his second appearance at the state tournament in as many years. Walker earned his way into the state by finishing 3rd in the district tournament and 2nd in the region.

The DCHS Cross Country Team traveled to Cookeville Tuesday, October 25 to compete in the TSSAA Region 4 A-AA meet. In the girls race, Mya Ruch finished 3rd with her best time of the season coming in at 20:46. This 3rd place finish qualified her to attend and compete in the TSSAA state meet on Nov. 5th. This was the first time DCHS has had anyone to go to state for XC. Mya is a freshman this year and also earned a spot on the MSCCA All Mid-State Bronze Team . She qualified for this honor over fall break. In the State Meet, Mya placed 15th out of 181 runners and medaled, hitting her best PR by finishing with a time of 20:32, which earned her a spot on the TSSAA All-State Team.

DeKalb County High School Tiger Basketball Coach Lynus Martin reached a coaching milestone in mid-November, notching his 257th career victory and passing former Coach Danny Bond for 2nd on the all time list, behind former Coach Harold Luna. Martin is in his 15th season. The victory came in the season opener against the Chattanooga Patriots in which the Tigers won 87-36.

DeKalb Middle School Lady Saints Head Coach Josh Agee recently won his 200th game in his 14 years coaching at the school

The DeKalb West School Bulldogs took first place at the annual Best of the West tournament in October/November while the Lady Bulldogs captured a third place finish.

The DeKalb County Pee Wee Tigers won the First Ever Middle Tennessee Youth Football Conference Super Bowl in October at York Institute. They avenged their only loss of the season by beating Fentress County 6 to O. The Peewees won 9 straight games after their season opening loss to Fentress.

Local Coach Josh Agee and the 7th grade team of the AAU organization Tennessee Rush played in the AAU Division II National Basketball Championship July 3-8 in Kingsport. The girls of the Rush team were up against 27 other teams of stellar competition from all across the United States. The team was undefeated for the tournament with a record of 7-0.

The DeKalb County 7-9 year old Girls Coach Pitch All Stars claimed the Championship of the Tennessee Youth Baseball Association on July 17 in Murfreesboro. They competed in the TYBA's 7-9 year old Girls Coach Pitch Open State Championship. DeKalb County defeated the Christiana Diamond Queens 11 to 1 in the Championship Game after first beating Unionville 11 to 4 in the Semi-Finals earlier in the day. The local team began tournament play on a Friday with an 11 to 5 win over Unionville and then played two games on Saturday, beating Christiana 8 to 5 and Adrenaline 13 to 1.

DeKalb County native Darvin Gill was named in June to be the head basketball coach of the girls program at Rhea County High School located near Dayton Tennessee at Evansville. In addition to his basketball coaching duties, Gill is an educational assistant at the school and may serve in other coaching positions. From 2007 to 2015, Gill was an assistant to head girls basketball coach Michael Dodgen at Cannon County High School before the two of them left for White County High School in the same roles this past season. Prior to joining the Cannon County program, Gill served as an assistant to former DCHS girls head basketball coach Victor Harrison in 2004-05.

He caught it on April Fools’ Day, but Sasa Krezic had a fish tale that was verified and placed in the record books by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. It is no joke! A new northern brook trout state record was on the Caney Fork River near Smithville by Krezic, a resident of Nashville. Will Collier, a TWRA fish biologist, verified the record weight at 4 lbs., 12 oz. The old state record was set in 1973 by Jerry Wells while fishing the Hiwassee River near Chattanooga. It weighed 3 lbs., 14 oz. and stood the test of time over 43 years. Northern strain brook trout have been stocked on the Caney Fork River since 2008.

Boosters, players, donors, and local public officials joined the administration of DeKalb West School in a groundbreaking on April 21 for the new baseball indoor hitting and pitching practice facility. The DeKalb West School Bulldog Baseball Boosters Club plans to build a 40 x 100 foot structure on campus which is to include hitting cages, restrooms, concession stand, storage, office, and locker room.

Smithville was well represented at the 2016 Cheersport Nationals held February 12-14 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Cheersport Nationals is the largest cheerleading competition in the world with over 1,250 teams and over 25,000 cheerleaders in attendance. Power Athletics' Storm Cats, a Senior Coed Level 3 team, took home the National Championship in their division. Power Athletics' Lady Cats, a Junior Level 2 team and defending National Champions, took home second place after a very close two-day competition.

The DeKalb Middle School Cross Country Teams had a successful season. On Saturday October 8th, the boys team earned 2nd place out of a field of 12 teams, qualifying them for the state cross country meet in Knoxville. The regional meet was held at Macon County High School in Lafayette. Out of a field of 89 runners the boys showed amazing teamwork and determination edging out tough competitors such as Tuckers Cross Roads, Cannon County, and Macon County. Aaron Gottlied led the boys team placing 3rd overall with a time of 12:38, a personal record for him. Cameron Miller finished 9th with at PR of 13:09. Connor Vance was close behind finishing 20th with a PR of 13:39, followed by Braden Martin 24th with a PR of 13:43, Levi Driver 47th with a PR of 14:24, Holden Trapp 15:50, Gage Trapp with a PR of 16:05, Liam Wallace PR of 16:01, Bralin Moss PR of 17:01, and Brenden Wagner 20:27. Representing DeKalb girls at the state meet in Knoxviille were Carly Vance, who placed 13th in the region with a time of 14:28 and Alex Moreno who placed 41st with a time of 15:46.

37 year old Brian Shelton was the overall winner of the 18th annual fiddler 5K and One-Mile Fun Run Saturday, July 2 and he set a new course record at 16:12. Meanwhile Kristen VanVranken won the race among females. She ran the course in 20:23. Winners in other categories were: TOP MALE MASTERS (Age 40 and older): Sean Edwards at 19:21: TOP FEMALE MASTERS (Age 40 and older): Kendra Faith Edwards at 24:53. One-Mile Fun Run (age 12 and younger) winner: TOP MALE: Conner Vance of Smithville at 6:47. TOP FEMALE: Bella Bryson of Woodbury at 8:19. The 18th Annual Fiddler 5K and One-Mile Fun Run featured 321 participants. Funds raised will support Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County.

Josh Miller of Smithville won the DeKalb County Fair 5K and Fun Run in July. Miller was the overall winner of the race which was held on West Main Street in Alexandria. He ran the course in 22:18. Danny Mayo took second place in the race at 23:24 and Emily Davis came in third place at 24:15. Fun Run winners were:1st place: Ethan Trapp at 10:03; 2nd place: Maddox Pyburn at 13:50; and 3rd place: Max Hendrixson at 14:47.

Uninsured Motorists Identified by New Insurance Verification System

December 21, 2016

The Tennessee Department of Revenue is launching a new insurance verification system in early 2017 to promote compliance with the state’s Financial Responsibility Law.

Ahead of the program’s launch next month, the Department of Revenue is encouraging motorists to ensure that proper insurance coverage or other financial responsibility is in effect for their vehicles. In particular, motorists should make sure that their Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, is correct on registration and insurance documents.

“Rather than checking for insurance coverage at the time of registration renewal, the system will verify insurance coverage on a continual basis throughout the year. At this point Clerk's have been instructed not to require physical proof of insurance while conducting transactions in our office. However; Revenue requires every county and each Clerk across the state to secure two proofs of residency distinguishing a person’s physical address in order to complete Motor Vehicle Registrations and Renewals,” said DeKalb County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss.

“Tennessee already has a financial responsibility law that applies to Tennessee drivers,” Revenue Commissioner David Gerregano said. “The goal of this new system is to efficiently and effectively check compliance in order to reduce the number of motorists who lack insurance or another form of financial responsibility.”

The James Lee Atwood, Jr. Law was passed during the 2015 legislative session in order to help reduce the overall number of uninsured drivers on Tennessee roadways. As part of this law, the Tennessee Department of Revenue developed an insurance verification program which will be implemented in January 2017.

Under the program, all insurance carriers registered to write personal automobile liability policies in Tennessee must register with the Department and provide required policy information. The state’s new insurance verification system will check the policies provided by the insurance companies against all currently registered VINs in Tennessee. Rather than checking for insurance coverage at the time of registration renewal, the system will verify insurance coverage on a continual basis throughout the year.

If the system is unable to confirm insurance coverage for a vehicle, a notice will be sent to that owner directing him or her to a website where he or she can provide proof of minimum liability insurance or other means of financial responsibility. If a customer does not respond to the initial notice, subsequent notices will follow. Failure to comply with the notices could result in fines and eventual vehicle registration suspension.
For more information about the Department’s new program, please visit www.DriveInsuredTN.com.

County Seeks Bids for Solid Waste Transfer Station Operation

December 20, 2016
Dwayne Page
Solid Waste Transfer Station Location (Photo prior to paving)

The new solid waste transfer station is expected to begin operation in a few months located in the Smithville Industrial Park on Highway 70 east behind Tenneco Automotive.

From the beginning, the county has planned to operate the transfer station itself, but bids are now being sought from companies interested in running it for the county. If the county should opt to operate the transfer station, it will still need to contract with a company to haul away the solid waste.

“The solid waste committee has met several times in the last couple or three months to discuss the transfer station operation. We bid the hauling and also the hauling and operation of the transfer station and we did not receive any proposals. I think that was back last August or September. Then I was contacted by a couple of companies that were interested in doing something to that effect. They have presented some proposals and have shown some interest. But I have talked to the auditor and he has said we’ll need to re-bid it even though we bid it the first time and didn’t receive any proposals. Once we advertise and receive bids we’ll have a bid opening in early January. We’ll meet with the Solid Waste Committee and get their recommendation and then bring it back before the commission,” said County Mayor Tim Stribling during Monday night’s monthly county commission meeting.

In August, 2014 the county commission voted to enter into a five year contract with Smith County to dispose of DeKalb County's household solid waste at the rate of $29.00 a ton after the transfer station becomes operational.

According to County Mayor Stribling, once the transfer station is open for the disposal of household waste, the existing landfill can still be used for dumping construction materials and other non-household garbage until a Class III/IV site is developed in a new cell there.

SES Awards Top Sellers In Fundraiser

December 20, 2016
SES Awards Top Sellers In Fundraiser

Students at Smithville Elementary School recently participated in a candy sale fundraiser to raise money for SES. These three students took the top selling spots and won a money prize!

1st Place Seller - Gracelynn McKeown
2nd Place Seller - Zailan Martinez
3rd place Seller - Mekazya Waggoner

Students pictured from left to right with Principal Julie Vincent
Zailan Martinez, Mekazya Waggoner, Gracelynn McKeown

County Offers DCS Use of Cherry Hill Community Center Building

December 20, 2016
Dwayne Page
Jonathan Norris
Joe Johnson

It may not be the place they preferred, but the Department of Children Services has been offered a site for children in their care to visit with family and participate in activities.

During Monday night’s monthly meeting, the county commission voted to make available, at least temporarily, the Cherry Hill Community Center over the wishes of Fourth District Commissioner Jonathan Norris who wanted the county to provide a specific vacant room in the county complex. The room previously used by judicial commissioners is in the section of the building where the county officials are located.

“Children in the care of the Department of Children Services don’t have a very good place to meet with their parents and families. Many times they are forced to meet in small corners of the DCS office or local restaurants. But it doesn’t allow really good quality time for them to visit with their parents. It’s been brought to my attention that there are up to 80 children from DeKalb County needing these services. The room that formerly housed our judicial commissioners is an empty room in the back of the county complex with access in and out of the building without using main hallways or public entrances. It would make a great place to help provide for these children. This would be at no expense to the county. The county’s only goal would be to offer a helping hand to these kids in need of these services. By providing the room it would allow the opportunity for quality time with their parents or guardians,” said Commissioner Norris.

While DCS has been using a public area of the county complex for visitation, Commissioner Norris said it doesn’t provide enough privacy. “They are already using this building. They use the county complex to do some of their visitations in the general area. All we would be doing is saying you can use this room so that when these kids are getting to see their parents, there are not 50 other kids or other people running around or distracting them. It’s not that we’re providing them office space. The idea is to give 80 kids an opportunity to see their parents and spend some time with them at no cost to us,” said Norris.

“I would like to make a motion that we allow the DCS to use the vacant room with a private room entrance at the rear of the county complex for the use of parents, guardians, and children,” added Norris.

After Norris’ motion received a second, Commissioner Joe Johnson of the Second District offered an amendment to Norris’ motion for the county to offer DCS the Cherry Hill Community Center instead of the vacant room at the county complex. Johnson said that room is unfinished and needs work. “I’m for the kids having a place to meet 100% but I think we need to look at some alternatives and I have come up with one. We’ve got the Cherry Hill Community Center. Why couldn’t we use it? I went over there and looked at the room (county complex). It doesn’t have a ceiling in it. The heat and air ducts are knocked down. It’s never been inspected by an electrical inspector. There are some more rooms that go to it. It’s going to cost 10 or 12 thousand dollars to put a ceiling in it, to finish the duct work, and get it inspected. I don’t see why the Cherry Hill Community Center wouldn’t suffice,” said Commissioner Johnson.

“Did we not have to have the electrical inspection when the judicial commissioners were using it”, asked Norris

“Should have been,” answered Commissioner Johnson.

“At the time we put the judicial commissioners over there we were pressed to find a place for them,” said County Mayor Tim Stribling.

Fifth District Commissioner Jerry Adcock argued that the Cherry Hill Community Center is not suitable because it is not centrally located in the county.

Second District Commissioner Jimmy Midget offered a second to Johnson’s motion amending Norris’ motion. The vote was 10-4 on the amendment to offer the Cherry Hill Community Center instead of the room at the County Complex.

The motion as amended was adopted 13-1. Although a few commissioners still oppose the Cherry Hill Community Center as a suitable location, ll but one voted in favor of the motion as amended supporting the county’s effort to provide space to DCS.

Seventh District Commissioner Larry Summers asked County Mayor Stribling to look into the possibility of grant funding or other resources that could be used to help finish the vacant room at the county complex “to make it presentable and safe” so that it might be used.

Four DeKalb Firefighters Graduate from Live Burn Training Class

December 20, 2016
Dwayne Page
Four DeKalb Firefighters Graduate from Live Burn Training Class

Four members of the DeKalb County Fire Department have graduated from the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Training Academy's Live Burn Firefighter I and Firefighter II class.

The instruction was held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, December 16, 17, and 18. Those graduating locally were Tony Tramel, Chandler Haynes, Clint Cope, and Eli Turner.

Lieutenant Brian Williams said this 22-hour course requires students to demonstrate skills needed to extinguish a passenger vehicle fire attack, exterior Class A fire attack, interior structure fire attack, commercial buildings and ground cover fire attack. "We are extremely proud of these recent graduates. Today, our department stands better prepared to respond to emergencies because of the high standards for training we set for our firefighters," said Lieutenant Williams

Photo Pic Left to Right
Tony Tramel
Chandler Haynes
Clint Cope
Eli Turner

Two Involved in Rollover Crash

December 19, 2016
Dwayne Page
Two Involved in Rollover Crash

Two people from McMinnville were involved in a rollover crash on Highway 70 east near the Midnight Express on Saturday.

Trooper Chris Delong of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that 21 year old Gabriel Isaac was driving east in a 2000 Toyota Tundra when he lost control while trying to negotiate a curve. The vehicle hit a guardrail and overturned coming to rest on its top off the highway. Both Isaac and his passenger, 22 year old Shaylas Dunlap were wearing their seatbelts and received only minor injuries. They were treated at the scene by DeKalb EMS but refused transport to the hospital.

Isaac was cited for failure to exercise due care.

Mountain Harbour Property Owners Association Makes Donation to Project D.A.R.E.

December 19, 2016
Dwayne Page
Pete Siggelko and Barbara Ward present check to Sheriff Patrick Ray

The Mountain Harbour Property Owners Association has donated $900 to “Project D.A.R.E.” and the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department.

Pete Siggelko and Barbara Ward made the presentation on behalf of the Association to Sheriff Patrick Ray following Monday night’s monthly county commission meeting.

“We’re part of a committee of the Mountain Harbour Property Owners Association Board of Directors and we make an annual donation to various charities. One of the groups we wanted to make a donation to this year is Project D.A.R.E. and the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department. We have donated before but Sheriff Ray had a good project this year so instead of making two or three small donations this year we’re making one single donation to benefit Project D.A.R.E,” said Siggelko.

Sheriff Ray said the $900 donation will be used to fund the purchase of a “DAREN The Lion” mascot costume. “We’re going to buy a costume. "DAREN the Lion" is the mascot for D.A.R.E. and we’re going to buy a life size "DAREN the Lion" costume. That will help put a good amount toward the costume. We’re very appreciative of them donating the money and it is going toward a good cause. We’re proud to do it,” he said.

D.A.R.E stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education and its taught in 5th grade classes at both Northside Elementary School and DeKalb West School by Chief Deputy Don Adamson of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department.

DeKalb County Authorities Searching for Missing Georgia Man

December 19, 2016
Dwayne Page
 Vincent McKeever Rossetti
Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad conduct search on the lake for missing Georgia man
Missing Georgia man's car found abandoned at Sligo Marina parking lot (WJLE PHOTO)
Vincent McKeever Rossetti
Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad members and TWRA Officer Joe Fortner at Sligo Marina
State Trooper Dash Cam photo taken of Vincent McKeever Rosseti on Sunday, December 18

Members of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department and Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad spent the day today (Monday) searching for a 22 year old Georgia man, whose car was found abandoned at the parking area of Sligo Marina.

The man, Vincent McKeever Rossetti of Peach City, Georgia was wearing a maroon button up shirt, blue jeans, black shoes, blueish green jacket when he left Georgia on December 17th. He is 6' 2 " tall and weighs 180 pounds. His eyes are blue and he has light blonde hair. He also wears glasses.

In a prepared statement, Sheriff Patrick Ray said that “at 3:05 p.m. on Sunday evening December 18th, the Tennessee Highway Patrol checked on a vehicle that was parked on the side of the roadway in White County close to the DeKalb County/White County line. The driver was found to be Vincent McKeever Rossetti. Rossetti was entered into the Georgia Crime Information Center as a missing person out of Georgia. The Trooper called an ambulance to the scene to check Rossetti out. White County EMS transported Rossetti to Highland Medical Center in Sparta. One of the White County EMS personnel drove Rossetti’s vehicle to the hospital for him. Rossetti was treated and released from the hospital before his family could pick him up. When Rossetti’s family arrived at the hospital, the White County Sheriff’s Department issued a BOLO (Be on the lookout) on Rossetti to all law enforcement agencies," said Sheriff Ray.

"At around 11:52 p.m. on Sunday night, Troopers from the Tennessee Highway Patrol found the car in the parking lot of Sligo marina. The vehicle was left unattended and Rossetti was nowhere to be found. A ground search was conducted by officers from the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department. The Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad was summoned to Sligo Marina at 8:00 a.m. Monday morning to perform searches of the bank and water. Officers with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Corps of Engineers from Center Hill Lake also assisted," Sheriff Ray continued.

“We are actively searching for Mr. Rossetti. We filed a missing person report through the Sheriff’s Office here in DeKalb County because of his vehicle being found in the Sligo Parking lot. We are not sure if Mr. Rossetti is in the water or not. We have entered Rossetti into the NCIC (National Crime Information Center) as missing. Agencies have searched the banks and water by foot, boat, and air with no luck finding him. The weather has been the enemy last night and today. It has been very cold on everyone," said Sheriff Ray.

"On Sunday December 18th when the Trooper found Rossetti, he was wearing a blueish green jacket and jeans. He also was wearing glasses.
If anyone has seen Mr. Rossetti or knows his whereabouts, please contact DeKalb Central Dispatch at 615-215-3000," Sheriff Ray concluded.

DeKalb Recovery Court Staff Attend TADCP Training

December 17, 2016
Norene Puckett
DeKalb Recovery Court Staff Attend TADCP Training
Jeremy Woodard with Judge Bratten Cook, II and Norene Puckett
Christy Berry with Judge Bratten Cook, II and Norene Puckett
Nelda Bandy with Judge Bratten Cook, II and Norene Puckett
Michael Blanchfield holding the finished coat rack

DeKalb County Recovery Court staff of both the adult and juvenile programs attended the Tennessee Association of Drug Court Professionals (TADCP) annual statewide training in Chattanooga, TN December 7-9, 2016. Program Coordinator Norene Puckett was on this year’s conference committee.

The conference hosted a Recovery Art Exhibit in which artwork was solicited from Recovery (Drug) Court participants across the state with the prompt “what does recovery mean to me?” DeKalb County Recovery Court had 5 pieces submitted.

During the opening ceremony, DeKalb Recovery Court participant Michael Blanchfield shared his story of addiction and his journey through recovery while crafting a coat rack that is typical of his work in his business Rustic Recovery. Michael said during his presentation, “at one time this coat rack was put together, just as my life once was. Now it is in pieces, which is what my life had become due to drug addiction. Through the recovery court program, my sponsors and mentors, I have been able to put my life back together, just as I have this coat rack.” The finished product was given away as a door prize at the conference.

Following Michael’s speech was the key note address from TN Supreme Court Justice Cornelia Clark. Justice Clark congratulated Michael on his story and success. She also noted many highlights in the last four years of the programs throughout the state, including the name change from drug court to recovery courts to be more inclusive of all the types of treatment courts throughout the state (i.e. veterans court, drug court, DUI court, juvenile drug court, etc.) and to show the positive aspects of the programs. She closed her talk by thanking all of the professionals who work with offenders with addiction and/or mental health issues to once again become, “the best persons they can be, so that they will be productive citizens in our communities.”

While at the conference, Norene Puckett was elected on the Board of Directors for TADCP as the Middle TN representative and Case Manager Rhonda Harpole was selected to be on next year’s conference committee. TADCP is a statewide 501-(c)-3 not-for-profit organization with an office located in Nashville, Tennessee. TADCP supports recovery courts by providing training, technical assistance, education, legislative advocacy, resource sharing and networking opportunities for recovery courts and their partners. TADCP is committed to reducing substance abuse, crime, and recidivism in Tennessee by promoting, advocating, and supporting recovery courts and individual TADCP members in their efforts to provide a quality therapeutic community that promotes positive change in criminal and addictive behavior for the purpose of transforming offenders into positive, contributing members of our communities.

In other news, DeKalb County Recovery Court hosted its 7th annual Children’s Christmas party at New Life Connection Center on December 13, 2016. Each year the program gathers donations to provide presents for the children of the adult participants. The program staff, participants, and their families enjoyed a meal together and a special visit from Santa Claus! That night, three program participants were presented with framed certificates and recognized for having one year sobriety. The program would like to give a special thanks to Smithville Church of Christ, New Life Pentecostal Church, Haven of Hope Counseling, The Purple Porch, Todd Hasty of Premier Realty, DeKalb Community Advisory Board, and the private citizens of DeKalb County for their contributions to this year’s party!

Pictured at conference with Christmas Tree:
Kay Quintero, John Quintero-Haven of Hope Counseling, Tom Vickers- Sober Living Services, Rhonda Harpole-Case Manager, Molly Webb-Endeavor Program Juvenile Case Manager, Norene Puckett-Coordinator, Holly Baugh-Probation Officer, Tish Mccloud-DCS Probation Officer, Sara Hoenstine-DCS Probation Officer, Allison West-Asst. Public Defender, Richard Williams-Youth Services Officer, & Kristy Longmire-Case Manager.

Participants with Certificates with Judge Bratten Cook II:
Jeremy Woodard, Nelda Bandy (in black), Christy Berry (in pink)

Michael Blanchfield holding the finished coat rack


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