Local News Articles

School Cafeteria Managers Complete Certification

February 23, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
School Cafeteria Managers Complete Certification
Stephanie Walker-Dyer School Nutrition Supervisor, Debbie Young Cafeteria Manager DCHS

The DeKalb County School System's cafeteria managers have all completed level one certification with the Tennessee School Nutrition Association.

"The State School Nutrition Association has three levels of certification and all of our cafeteria managers have completed level one," said School Nutrition Supervisor Stephanie Walker-Dyer.

These cafeteria managers are Beverly Starnes at DeKalb West School, Tammy Maynard at DeKalb Middle School, Debbie Young at DCHS, Jean Hayes at Smithville Elementary School, and Pam Baines at Northside Elementary School. Amie Buchanan, assistant cafeteria manager at Northside Elementary School, has also completed level one certification.

"In order to be certified, you must have a high school diploma or a GED. You must have completed ten hours of an approved nutrition course and ten hours of an approved food safety and sanitation course. All of these ladies have completed that and we're very proud of them. We hope they will continue to work up to level three," said Dyer.

Meanwhile, two local cafeteria managers will be taking a culinary class during the Tennessee School Nutrition Association's second annual Culinary Specialist Training March 10-14.

"We had two of our managers to apply to that, Pam Baines at Northside Elementary School and Debbie Young at DCHS," said Dyer. "There were 40 applicants, twenty selected and both of our ladies got accepted. They were in the top ten for their essays. You had to write an essay as well as turn in an application. We are so very proud of those ladies. They will get recognized at the Tennessee School Nutrition Association Conference in June. That's when their graduation takes place. Once they go to culinary school, they will do hands on preparation. They will learn how to do standardized recipes, knife skills, learn how to cook with spices, preparation methods for vegetables, fruits, meats, grains, and pastas, learn food safety and lots more. The materials these ladies will be given are knife sets, cutting boards, a resource manual, and a culinary chef coat. After completion of the course, they will come back and do ten hours of training with our ladies. We're doing some great things in school nutrition and I am so very proud of all of our ladies there. They are really taking ownership of their kitchen and growing professionally and that is what we like to see," said Dyer.

Meanwhile, National Breakfast Week is March 3-7. "We encourage all students to participate in Breakfast Week, not only during that week but at all times. They will be given some prizes that week," Dyer concluded.

(TOP PHOTO: Left to right: Debbie Young-DCHS, Beverly Starnes-DWS, Jean Hayes- SES, Amie Buchanan- NES Assistant Manager, Tammy Maynard- DMS, not pictured Pam Baines-NES, and Stephanie Walker-Dyer School Nutrition Supervisor)

(BOTTOM PHOTO: Left to right: Stephanie Walker-Dyer School Nutrition Supervisor, Debbie Young Cafeteria Manager DCHS, not pictured Pam Baines-NES Cafeteria Manager)

Freddy Curtis Named Cannon County High School Teacher of Year

February 23, 2014
Freddy Curtis Named Cannon County High School Teacher of Year

Mr. William Freddy Curtis, US Government, Sociology, and Advanced Placement US Government & Politics Teacher at Cannon County High School was selected as Cannon County High School Teacher of the Year and Cannon County School District Teacher of the Year Grades 9-12. Mr. Curtis was recently visited in his classroom by Director of Cannon County Schools – Mrs. Barbara Parker, Supervisor of Instruction – Dr. Marcia Melton, Federal Projects Supervisor – Dr. Regina Merriman, CCHS Principal – Mr. Mike Jones, and CCHS Assistant Principal Kay Barker to announce his selection as Grades 9-12 District Teacher of the Year.

Mr. Curtis is a 28 year educator of the Cannon County School System and has taught at West Side Elementary School in the Middle Grades for 16 years, West Side School Principal for 6 years, and has served at Cannon County High School in Woodbury, TN for the past 6 years. In addition to his teaching duties he is the CCHS Data Chairman, and sponsors the CCHS Amateur Radio Club – W4WBY.

Cannon County Schools Director Barbara Parker stated, “Mr. Curtis is an outstanding long-term educator in our system. His work at CCHS as US Government Teacher and leader is to be commended. His students are routinely at Cannon County School Board, Cannon County Commission, Woodbury Board of Mayor and Aldermen, and Auburntown City Council meetings.” And CCHS Principal Mike Jones commented, “If every teacher possessed Freddy Curtis’s passion, education as we know it would change. He loves sharing his knowledge with his students, and they carry this beyond his classroom walls. We have students who are interested in holding public office and serving our society due to his influence. Our students truly understand the inner-workings of government firsthand, as a result of what they have learned from Mr. Curtis. He is a role model not only for his students but for our faculty and staff as well.”

State Representative Mark Pody recently visited Mr. Curtis’s classroom and commented, ”Freddy’s educational background is followed up with his excellence in the classroom. On many occasions while I have been in the Legislature he has brought his Government Classes to the Capitol for hands-on experience with the Tennessee General Assembly. He has demonstrated that his heart is devoted to students he so mentors daily in his classroom. Since my election in 2010, he has assisted me with advice on bills that would affect the educational system. I have also visited his classroom and have seen the respect he has from his students. I can truly attest that William F. Curtis is truly Teacher of the Year.”

Mr. Curtis said after his selection, “I am very humbled to have been selected as Cannon County High School Teacher of the Year by my peers and Cannon County Schools District Teacher of the Year Grades 9-12. In my 28 years of being an educator, I have never been selected as a ‘Teacher of the Year.’ I am very blessed to work with excellent educators. This honor is one I will cherish and is a highlight of my years in education.”

Freddy and his wife, Trena, reside in Smithville, and have four grown sons – Matthew, Trent, Casey, and Evan Curtis. They have two grandchildren, Ella Mae – age 3 and Elliott age 5 months.

Picture Caption: Pictured Left to right Dr. Marcia Melton - Supervisor of Instruction, William Freddy Curtis – CCHS Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Barbara Parker - Director of Schools, Mr. Mike Jones - CCHS Principal, Dr. Regina Merriman - Federal Projects Supervisor, and Mrs. Kay Barker - CCHS Assistant Principal.

Two Found Dead in Lake Victims of Drowning

February 21, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Robert W. Tramel
Barbara Beach

A preliminary autopsy report from the state medical examiner reveals that the two people found dead in Center Hill Lake earlier this week drowned.

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and TWRA Officers believe 71 year old Robert W. Tramel and his niece 49 year old Barbara Beach both of Smithville were the victims of a boating accident. No foul play is suspected.

"At this point we haven't recovered the boat but we do feel like their vessel overturned and the result was that both of them actually drowned. They did not have life jackets in the boat," said TWRA Officer Tony Cross.

According to Officer Cross, Tramel and Beach boarded a small flat bottom John boat Wednesday at the launch ramp for the former location of Hidden Harbor Marina at Holmes Creek near an area known as Redneck Beech

There were apparently no witnesses to the accident.

Beach's body was found by a fisherman late Wednesday afternoon. "A call was made Wednesday at 5:14 pm by a fisherman who said he found a body in the water. Through an investigation, we learned that the two (Tramel and Beach) had gone fishing earlier in the day around the Holmes Creek Boat Ramp off of Holmes Creek Road," said Sheriff Patrick Ray.

"Her body was in about 12-14 feet of water," added TWRA Officer Cross.

Tramel's body was found early Thursday morning by the Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad. "His body was found in the lake around 4:28 a.m. Thursday morning after the Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad, using their sonar system, spotted an image of interest. The TWRA then used a submersible sonar, equipped with a camera and grab hook, to retrieve the body," said Sheriff Ray.

"His body was recovered approximately 400-500 yards from the boat ramp, about 200 yards from Beach's body. He was in about 25 feet of water," said Officer Cross.

Although the water is not very deep in the area where the bodies were located, Officer Cross said it has been difficult to pinpoint the location of the boat. "There's a lot of stuff under the water, poured concrete weights which were once used to anchor the marina, and other things. It's not a smooth bottom. We plan to go back again next week and use sonar equipment to try and find the boat," said Officer Cross.

Along with the Rescue Squad, the Sheriff's Department and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency were assisted in the investigation by the DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency.

Two Involved in Thursday Wreck

February 21, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Two Involved in Thursday Wreck

Two people were involved in a traffic accident late Thursday afternoon on Highway 70 at the intersection of Hurricane Ridge Road.

Trooper Bobby Johnson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that 55 year old Darlene Caplinger of Smithville, driving a 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix, turned left on Highway 70 from Hurricane Ridge Road and crossed into the path of a 2003 Kia Spectra, driven by 39 year old Misty Walden of Dowelltown, who was west on Highway 70.

Walden was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital.

Flu and other Health Problems Claim Local Minister

February 21, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Matt Long

The flu combined with other health problems claimed the life of a local minister last weekend.

55 year old Matt Long, pastor of the Dowelltown, Pisgah, and Fullers Chapel United Methodist Churches in the Dowelltown Charge, died on Saturday night at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

According to family members, Long, a diabetic, became sick with the flu on Thursday and he was taken to Smith County General Hospital after his sugar began to spike that afternoon. He was airlifted Friday night by helicopter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center and died on Saturday in a diabetic coma.

A resident of Brush Creek, Long is survived by: wife, Angela Long; children, Johnathon (Hoss) Long of Lebanon, Brandi Ann Hays and husband Ryan of Gordonsville, Josh Gregory and wife Michelle of Gordonsville, Casey Rainey of New Middleton, Jacob Gregory of New Middleton; father and mother-in-law, Eddie and Rita Montgomery of Pleasant Shade; wife's grandparents, Johnny and Wilma Montgomery of Watertown; siblings, Kevin Long of Lebanon, Sherell White and husband Ray of New Middleton, Mary Roberts of Carthage, Carrie Long of Kentucky, Rene' Johnson of Lebanon; 7 grandchildren.

The funeral was held Wednesday, February 19 at the Carthage Chapel of Sanderson Funeral Home. Burial followed in the Brush Creek Cemetery.

Governor Bill Haslam to Speak at GOP Reagan Day Dinner

February 21, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Governor Bill Haslam

Governor Bill Haslam will be in Smithville next week to speak at the DeKalb County Republican Party's Reagan Day Dinner.

The fund raising dinner will be Thursday, February 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the county complex.

Haslam, former Mayor of Knoxville, is in his first term as Governor, having been elected in 2010.

Born in Knoxville, Haslam is a graduate of Emory University. He began his career in business, joining his father, Jim Haslam, who was the founder of Pilot Corporation. Haslam rose to the rank of President of Pilot Corp in the 1990s after his brother Jimmy became the company's CEO. Haslam then left Pilot and from 1999 to 2001 was the CEO of the E-Commerce and Cataloging division at the high-end department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue. He then became a consultant at Saks, served on the board of directors at Harold's Stores, Inc. and still remains a co-owner of the minor league baseball team the Tennessee Smokies.

Entering a career in politics, Haslam was elected to serve as Mayor of Knoxville in 2003 and was then elected to a second term in 2007. After Governor Phil Bredesen was term-limited and prevented from running for reelection, Haslam declared his candidacy for Governor in January 2009. He defeated Representative Zach Wamp and Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey in the Republican primary and went on to defeat Democratic businessman Mike McWherter in the general election.

Having celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary in 2013, Bill and his wife, Crissy, have also been blessed with three children, a daughter-in-law, two sons-in-law and a new grandson. For 28 years, Bill and Crissy have been members of Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church (EPC) in Knoxville and for 22 of those years Bill has served as an Elder.

Haslam is expected to seek a second term as Governor this year.

Tickets to the dinner are $30.00 per person or $250.00 for a table of six. For ticket information email loveboatlovefish@yahoo.com.

Primary to Feature Four Contested Races for County Offices

February 20, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Mike Foster
Tim Stribling
Mike Clayborn
James L. "Jimmy" Poss
Bratten H. Cook, II
Margie Rigsby Miller
Michael Agee
James "Jimmy" Sprague
Katherine Pack
Jeff McMillen

The DeKalb County Democratic Primary on May 6th will feature four contested county wide and five district county commission races. Today (Thursday) at noon was the qualifying deadline.

County Mayor Mike Foster will be seeking his fourth term but will be challenged in the primary by Smithville Alderman Tim Stribling. The winner will face Republican nominee Chris Smithson and Independent Chris Bratcher, II in the August 7th County General Election.

Three term incumbent County Clerk Mike Clayborn will be looking for his fourth term. He faces a challenge from James L. (Jimmy) Poss. The winner will face Independent Candidate Daniel Critser in August.

Incumbent General Sessions/Juvenile Court Judge Bratten Hale "Butch" Cook, II is running for his third-eight year term. His primary opponent is local attorney Margie Rigsby Miller. The winner will meet Republican challenger Mingy Colwell Bryant in August. She is also a Smithville attorney.

In the race for Sheriff, Michael J. Agee and Larry Flair, Sr. will face off for the Democratic nomination. The winner will face two term Republican Incumbent Sheriff Patrick Ray in August

James D. (Jimmy) Sprague is unopposed for the Democratic nomination for Road Supervisor but he will face Republican nominee Wallace M. (Butch) Agee in the August General Election. The winner will succeed six term incumbent Kenny Edge, who is not seeking re-election.

Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack and Register of Deeds Jeffrey McMillen, both incumbents, will be unopposed in the May Democratic Primary as well as in the August General Election. Pack is seeking her fourth term. McMillen is looking for his eighth term.

Democrats will not have a candidate for Trustee. Republican incumbent Sean Driver will be unopposed for this third term in the August General Election.

County commission Democratic Primary races on May 6th will be contested in the second, third, fourth, sixth, and seventh districts.

The candidates for the county commission in each district are as follows (Two will be Nominated/Elected from each District)

FIRST DISTRICT:
Bennett Armstrong and Elmer Ellis, Jr. are unopposed in the Democratic Primary. They will be the Democratic Nominees in the August General Election along with Republican Nominee Mason Carter (TWO TO BE ELECTED).

SECOND DISTRICT:
Jerry Hutchins, Jr., Clarence Trapp , Joe N. Johnson, and Frank D.Thomas are seeking the Democratic Nomination. The two Democratic nominees will run in the August General Election along with Republican Nominee Bobby Joines and Independent Candidate James "Jimmy" E. Midgett. (TWO TO BE ELECTED)

THIRD DISTRICT:
Bradley Scott Hendrix, Jerry D. Scott, and Jack E. Barton are seeking the Democratic Nomination. The two nominees will be running in August along with Independent Candidate Wesley Nokes. (TWO TO BE ELECTED)

FOURTH DISTRICT:
Wayne Cantrell, David McDowell, Bobby R. Taylor, Jonathan Norris, and Anthony "Tony" Poss are seeking the Democratic Nomination. The two nominees will be unopposed in August (TWO TO BE ELECTED)

FIFTH DISTRICT:
Anita Puckett and Rick Cantrell are unopposed in the Democratic Primary. They will be the Democratic Nominees in the August General Election along with Republican Nominee Jerry D. Adcock (TWO TO BE ELECTED).

SIXTH DISTRICT:
Betty Jean Atnip, Jeff Barnes, and Marshall Ferrell are seeking the Democratic Nomination. The two nominees will be running in August along with Independent Candidate Danny McGinnis (TWO TO BE ELECTED)

SEVENTH DISTRICT:
Larry A. Summers, Kevin Robinson, and David Agee are seeking the Democratic Nomination. The two nominees will be unopposed in August. (TWO TO BE ELECTED)

CONSTABLE (TO FILL VACANT POSITIONS)
FIRST DISTRICT:
Chad Curtis will be unopposed for the Democratic nomination. He will face the Republican nominee Lee Plummer in the August General Election

SECOND DISTRICT:
There is no Democratic candidate for constable in the second district. In August, Republican Chris Tramel will face Independents Tony D. Lawson and Jonathan Low

THIRD DISTRICT:
There is no Democratic candidate for constable in the third district. In August, Independent candidates Travis Bryant and Lou Ann Sanders will be in competition for the position.

13th Judicial District to have Three Contested Primary Races

February 20, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page

GOP primary races will be contested in the 13th Judicial District on May 6th for the offices of District Attorney General, District Public Defender, and Circuit Court Judge, Part I. The 13th Judicial District is made up of Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, and White Counties.

Noon today (Thursday) was the qualifying deadline.

Republicans Shawn Fry and Bryant Dunaway, both of Cookeville will be vying for the GOP nomination on May 6th for District Attorney General. The winner will face Tony Craighead of Cookeville in the August General Election. Craighead will be unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

In the race for Criminal Court Judge, Part I, Republicans Wesley Bray and Gary McKenzie, both of Cookeville will be seeking the GOP nomination on May 6th. The winner will take on William Fred Roberson, Jr. of Cookeville in August. Roberson is unopposed for the Democratic nomination on May 6th.

Craig P. Fickling and Edwin G. Sadler, both of Cookeville, and John Meadows of Sparta are in the race for the Republican nomination for District Public Defender on May 6th. The winner will try to unseat Democratic incumbent David N. Brady of Cookeville in August. Brady is unopposed in the primary on May 6th.

Others who are unopposed in their respective primaries on May 6th are as follows.

Circuit Court Judge, Part I:
Amy Hollars of Livingston, Democratic Incumbent

Circuit Court Judge, Part II:
Randy York of Crossville, Democrat
Jonathan Young of Cookeville, Republican

Criminal Court Judge, Part II
David A. Patterson of Cookeville, Republican Incumbent

Chancellor:
Ronald Thurman of Cookeville, Democratic Incumbent
J. Lee Burgess of Cookeville, Republican

Winners of each primary will face off in the August General Election.

Two Bodies Found in Center Hill Lake, Victims of Boating Accident

February 20, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Patrick Ray

The bodies of two persons, a man and a woman, were found in Center Hill Lake overnight, the apparent victims of a boating accident.

Names of the victims have not yet been released.

"A call was made Wednesday at 5:14 pm by a fisherman who said he found a body in the water. Through an investigation, we learned that two people had gone fishing earlier in the day around the Holmes Creek Boat Ramp off of Holmes Creek Road in Smithville," said Sheriff Patrick Ray in a statement to WJLE.

"A second body was found in the lake around 4:28 a.m. this morning (Thursday) after the Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad, using their sonar system, spotted an image of interest. The TWRA then used a submersible sonar, equipped with a camera and grab hook, to retrieve the body," said Sheriff Ray.

Along with the Rescue Squad, the Sheriff's Department and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency were assisted in the investigation by the DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency.

FBLA Students Compete in Region

February 19, 2014
FBLA Students Compete in Region

The DeKalb County High School Chapter of Future Business Leaders of America competed February 13 in Region competition. We would like to congratulate the following students on placing in their competitive event at FBLA Regionals. They will be advancing to state competition in April.

1st place:
Bailey Redmon, FBLA principles and Procedures

2nd place:
Kelsey Hedge: Healthcare Administration
Julia Little: Public Speaking II
Crystal Vickers: Agribusiness
Hannah Walker: Spreadsheet Applications

3rd Place:
Casey Vickers: Introduction to Parliamentary Procedure
Carlee White: Spreadsheet Applications

4th Place:
Bailey Hayes: Public Speaking II
Nic Linder: Agribusiness

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