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DeKalb Prevention Coalition Hosting National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

April 11, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Prevention Coalition Hosting National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

The DeKalb County Prevention Coalition encourages all DeKalb County residents to join the effort to reduce the risk of prescription drug abuse by participating in the Drug Enforcement Administration's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. This event will be held on the public square in front of the Smithville City Hall on Saturday, April 30 from 10:00am to 2:00pm. The DeKalb County Prevention Coalition urges DeKalb County residents to come out to this event and drop off any unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription medication for safe disposal. This is confidential and no names or information will be collected.

The DeKalb County Prevention Coalition is partnering with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, in association with the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and the Office of Diversion Control in providing this service.

On Saturday, April 30, in communities across the state, Tennesseans have the opportunity to take part in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day which aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs from homes and offices.

“This is a chance for everyone to contribute, and become part of the solution to our state’s prescription drug abuse epidemic that has hurt so many of our loved ones, friends, and neighbors,” said E. Douglas Varney, Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. “Every person in our state has been touched by this epidemic, in one form or another. We have lost too many to this disease of addiction. If you have unused medications, do your part and join in Take-Back Day. Ask others to do the same.”

In 2015, the Tennessee Department of Health released some very sobering statistics on the impact of substance use in Tennessee revealing: The number of Tennesseans who die each year due to drug overdoses increased again in 2014. The total number of overdose deaths rose by nearly 100, from 1,166 in 2013 to a record-setting 1,263 in 2014. If those numbers are hard to comprehend, consider this: more people died from drug overdoses in Tennessee last year than were killed in motor vehicle accidents.

“For most of this decade we have witnessed the fall-out from prescription drug abuse,” said Commissioner Varney. “In addition to unintended deaths and overdoses, as access to prescription pain medications has become more difficult, many people are feeding their addiction by others means, switching to heroin and other drugs. They’re putting themselves and their loved ones at great risk.”

“Once again this year we are pleased to be partnering with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), which provides the drop-off boxes,” said Commissioner Varney. “And what’s especially helpful is the online interactive map TDEC has created, which pinpoints the exact location of every drop-box in Tennessee, accessible to everyone.”

TDEC began the Pharmaceutical Take-Back initiative as a pilot program with the City of Knoxville in 2011. Today the project has a total of 155 Take-Back Box locations in 85 counties. In partnership with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), Department of Homeland Security, Health, Mental Health and Substance Abuse and local law enforcement agencies, the collection program offers a safe and easy way to dispose of unwanted medication, and creates opportunities for Tennesseans to promote environmental protection and safer communities.

“In addition to being a health hazard, throwing medication away with household garbage or flushing it is harmful to our environment,” said Lori Munkeboe, director of the TDEC’s Office of Sustainable Practices. “We hope National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will create awareness of the viable disposal options across the state to keep drugs out of our water and off the streets.”

With that in mind, participating in Drug Take-Back Day becomes an opportunity for all Tennesseans to fight back, to keep our bodies and environment free of harmful substances and to become part of the solution, rather than contributing to the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse.

The response to the September 2015 Take-Back event resulted in more than 350 tons (the equivalent of more than 702,000 pounds) of prescription drugs collected nationwide at more than 5,000 sites operated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, and another 3,800 locations managed by state and local authorities.

“This is a terrific partnership with law enforcement. It’s free, anonymous and no questions asked,” said Commissioner Varney. “We need to do all we can to encourage people to participate, as the rate of prescription drug abuse in Tennessee keeps rising, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses.”

Take These Steps to Remove Prescription Drugs From Your Home or Office

•Check for unused prescriptions in medicine cabinets, bathroom, closets, bedside tables and kitchen drawers, under the sink, and in closets, purses, handbags, and containers.

•Remove all labeling and packaging on bottles and containers before disposing to ensure the protection of your privacy and personal information.

Keep in mind: the majority of Tennessee’s Take-Back Boxes are in locations that are accessible seven days a week, 24 hours a day. While there is special focus on take-back events each year in April and October, most boxes are located in law enforcement buildings and offices, where they are available for safe disposal anytime you need them.

“It is so important to properly discard unused prescription medications from your home to ensure they are not obtained, misused, or abused by family and friends,” said Commissioner Varney. “By joining in Drug Take-Back Day, you will be taking the best approach in removing unused, unwanted, or expired prescription drugs.”

“Every pill that’s not properly disposed of is a chance it will result in an unintended overdose or death or addiction,” said Commissioner Varney. “I urge all Tennesseans to take part in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, so these unused drugs don’t harm those we love and care for the most.”

If you or someone you care for is in need of substance use treatment, call the Tennessee REDLINE anytime at 1-800-889-9789 for help now. Resources are available across the state.

Senior Citizens Centers Receive Portable Defibrillators

April 9, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Senior Director Pam Redmon, Smithville, Director Sandy Brown, Alexandria, EMS Director Hoyte Hale, County Mayor Tim Stribling, and Director Nancy Goad, Liberty)

DeKalb EMS Director Hoyte Hale recently presented each of the County's Senior Centers with their own Portable Defibrillator. County Mayor Tim Stribling facilitated procuring the units.

"We're so grateful for these defibrillator units. We had all tried to get grants to be able to afford them but with no success. The units usually cost between $1,500-$3,500. Hoyte presented these to us at the end of our CPR/First Aid certification class after we had already filled out our evaluation of the class. He also had them insured and is taking care of the consumable supplies. These are excellent units that literally "talk" the user through the entire process," said Sandy Brown, Director of the Alexandria Senior Citizens Center.

(Pictured from left to right; Senior Director Pam Redmon, Smithville; Director Sandy Brown, Alexandria, EMS Director Hoyte Hale, County Mayor Tim Stribling, and Director Nancy Goad, Liberty)

Smithville Police Make Arrests and Issue Citations

April 9, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police have made arrests and issued citations in recent days for offenses ranging from shoplifting and theft, to DUI, public intoxication, driving on suspended license and domestic assault.

30 year old Justin Lynn Murphy was arrested for public intoxication on Friday, March 25. Police responded to the area of White Street and Highland Avenue on three different occasions that afternoon due to Murphy causing a disturbance and trying to start a fight. After informing Murphy on the second call to stay inside his home, police arrested him after the third incident. He was found to have a strong odor of a fermented beverage on his person. He was also unsteady on his feet and had slurred speech. Murphy was determined to have been annoying others in the area. Officers also found his demeanor to be uncooperative and he was combative with them. Murphy was arrested for his safety and that of the public. His bond is $1,500.

29 year old Katelyn McDuffie Scott was cited for shoplifting on Sunday, March 27. Police were called to the Dollar General Store where an item was found in Scott's purse that she had not purchased.

48 year old Krista L West was cited for theft of property under $500 on Monday, March 28. West was issued a citation with a General Sessions court date of May 5 when a pack of hypodermic needles was found inside her makeup bag.

35 year old Brian Joseph Christensen was arrested for domestic assault on Wednesday, March 30. Police responded to a residence concerning a domestic situation. Upon speaking to the parties involved it was determined that Christensen and the victim became involved in an argument which turned physical when Christensen struck the victim on the left side of the face causing an injury. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is April 14.

41 year old Sharon Caldwell Malone was arrested for shoplifting on Thursday, March 31. Malone was observed by a Wal-Mart employee ripping tags off clothing, placing the tags in the makeup aisle, and then stuffing various items of clothing and makeup valued at $676.66 in a pink tote bag in an attempt to conceal them. Her bond is $5,000.

51 year old Rodney Lynn Kirby was arrested for DUI on Friday, April 1. According to the warrant Kirby was found to be passed out at the steering wheel of his vehicle in the parking lot of O'Reilly Auto Parts. Kirby was sitting in the driver seat and the keys to the automobile were in the ignition. The officer awoke Kirby and found that his speech was slurred. When asked to exit the vehicle, Kirby became unsteady on his feet. Kirby also submitted to but performed poorly on several field sobriety tasks. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is May 5.

55 year old Kenneth R. Adams was arrested for DUI on Saturday, April 2. Police spotted a truck swerving all over the road and upon conducting a traffic stop spoke with the driver, Adams. His driver's license were found to be suspended and he was asked to exit the vehicle. Adams, who was unsteady on his feet, fell to the ground. Adams also submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. Adams was then taken into custody and cited for suspended license and failure to maintain his lane of travel. Bond for Adams is $1,500 and his court date is May 5.

44 year old Stanley William Morris Jr. was arrested for a 4th offense of driving on a suspended license on Wednesday, April 6. Police were dispatched to an accident where Morris was found to be the driver of one of the vehicles involved. He could not provide a valid driver's license. A computer check with Central Dispatch showed the license to be suspended. Morris has three prior driving on suspended offenses. His bond is $1,500 and he will make a court appearance on May 19.

DeKalb Farm Bureau Announces Poster Contest and Essay Winners

April 9, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Poster Contest Winners for local 4th graders in the event titled "Farm to Fork".
Essay Contest Winners for local 7th graders

DeKalb Farm Bureau has announced the 2016 4th grade Poster Contest and 7th grade Essay Winners.

Poster Contest Winners for local 4th graders in the event titled "Farm to Fork". (Pictured from left) Dan Hancock, Farm Bureau President, Madelyn Johnson-1st place winner of $50.00, Caley Taylor-2nd place winner of $25.00, Melanie Bogle-3rd place winner of $15.00, and Cathy Officer, Farm Bureau Women's Chair. Mrs. Shelly Jennings, teacher with the most posters submitted was also awarded $50.00. Madelyn's poster has been submitted to the state contest to be judged in June.

Essay Contest Winners for local 7th graders. The subject for the essay was "Why is Agriculture Important?". (Pictured from left), Dan Hancock, Farm Bureau President, Skylar Fuson-1st place winner of $50.00, Garrett Claiborne-2nd place winner of $25.00, and Cathy Officer, Farm Bureau Women's Chair. Mrs. Jenny Elrod, teacher with the most essays was also awarded $50.00. Skylar's essay has been sent to the state contest to be judged in June.

Congressman Diane Black Faces Re-Election Challenge

April 8, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Congressman Diane Black

Sixth District Congressman Diane Black of Gallatin is seeking re-election to a new two year term but she is facing opposition in the Tennessee Republican Primary on Thursday, August 4th.

Noon Thursday, April 7th was the qualifying deadline for the race.

Her opponents in the Republican Primary are Joe S. Carr of Lascassas, Tommy N. Hay of Monterey, and Donald Strong of Crossville.

Two candidates, David W. Kent of Cottontown and Flo Matheson of Crossville, are running in the Tennessee Democratic Primary.

The Republican and Democratic nominees will be on the November 8th General Election ballot along with Independent David Ross of White House.

Black was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010.

The 6th Congressional District includes Pickett, Fentress, Cumberland, White, DeKalb, Cannon, Coffee, Wilson, Smith, Jackson, Overton, Clay, Putnam, Trousdale, Macon, Sumner and Robertson Counties and small portions of Van Buren and Cheatham counties.

DeKalb Middle School Completes Outdoor Classroom

April 8, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
DMS Science Teacher Suzette Barnes and Assistant Prinicipal Amanda Dakas standing inside Outdoor Classroom
DMS Science Teacher Suzette Barnes and Assistant Prinicipal Amanda Dakas

DeKalb Middle School Science students and others now have an opportunity to take their studies outdoors.

A new pavilion, complete with six picnic tables, and access to running water and electricity, has been completed which will serve as an "outdoor classroom" for occasional use by DMS science classes and others

"The outdoor classroom was built in order to facilitate hands-on science projects which will better meet the needs of our students as we forge ahead with the S.T.E.M.-type curriculum in mind. Of course, S.T.EM. is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics," said DMS Assistant Principal Amanda Dakas.

Members of the student council began collecting aluminum cans about a year and half ago to raise money for the project. " We didn't start the project until we knew we had the funds to complete it. We had to do all the fundraising. We wrote grants and we had fund raising dances after school at night and things like that. All the money raised has been spent on the outdoor classroom and it was finished just last week during spring break," said Suzette Barnes, DMS seventh grade science teacher.

While the pavilion is mainly for science classes, Dakas said other teachers can make use of it as well. "Building this facility offers not only our science teachers an opportunity for hands-on learning , but ALL teachers will be able to use the facility as well for any student-based hands-on activity that ties the math, engineering, and sciences together. So we are really excited about this and so are the students," said Dakas.

"It's mostly for science. If science teachers are doing experiments that could get messy, they can do it in the outdoor classroom. But we're not limiting it to science. Any teacher in the building has the opportunity to hold a class out there at any time. There are six picnic tables which will accommodate a full classroom of 30 students," said Barnes.

Although the pavilion is completed, the fundraising continues to add a sidewalk from the school to the pavilion. "We will continue to raise funds. My plan for the next phase is to be able to build a sidewalk from the building to the outdoor classroom. We will continue to raise funds and take donations to accomplish that portion of the project. We also still have the recycle bin for aluminum cans in front of the school near the highway. That money goes to the outdoor classroom as well. We have been successful with that effort. Since we started we have emptied it (recycle bin) three different times and that money goes straight to the outdoor classroom," said Barnes.

"I want to thank the community and especially the student council members who have worked to raise the money for this. Without the fundraising and these grants this would not have been possible but it is something that will be used for many years to come," Barnes said.

"We are so proud of our student council for playing a vital role in making this come to fruition," Dakas concluded.

State Lawmakers Honor DCHS Valedictorian and Salutatorian

April 7, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Ashli Chew
Max Pafford

Resolutions honoring DeKalb County High School Class of 2016 Valedictorian Ashli Chew and Salutatorian Maxwell Pafford were introduced in the State Senate Wednesday, April 6 and were passed on first consideration Thursday, April 7.

The Senate Joint Resolution honoring and recognizing Chew introduced by State Senator Mae Beavers states as follows:

"WHEREAS, it is fitting that the members of this General Assembly should pause to pay tribute to those students who, through their natural talents and unflagging commitment to academic excellence, have distinguished themselves in the classroom; and

WHEREAS, Ashli Chew is one such exceptional student who was recently named Valedictorian of the 2016 graduating class at DeKalb County High School; and

WHEREAS, through diligent study, steady composure during examinations, and steadfast commitment of time and talent, Ms. Chew achieved outstanding academic success and joined the ranks of the best and brightest students in Tennessee and our country; and

WHEREAS, in her remarkable high school career, Ashli Chew earned an exemplary grade point average while participating in numerous extracurricular activities, including Beta Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Climate Crew, Student Council, Science Club, and basketball; and

WHEREAS, Ms. Chew’s display of intellectual aptitude and ambition surely bodes well for her future success at Bryan College; and

WHEREAS, Ashli Chew’s noteworthy achievement is a tremendous source of pride for her parents, Lori Chew and George and Janna Chew, her school, and her community; and

WHEREAS, Ms. Chew’s dedication to excellence is clearly deserving of the respect, admiration, and commendation of this legislative body; now, therefore,

Be it resolved by the Senate of the One Hundred Ninth General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, the House of Representatives concurring, that we hereby commend and honor the 2016 DeKalb County High School Valedictorian, Ashli Chew, on her impressive academic achievement and extend to her our best wishes for a happy, successful future".

The Senate Joint Resolution honoring and recognizing Pafford introduced by State Senator Beavers states as follows:

"WHEREAS, it is fitting that the members of this General Assembly should pause to pay tribute to those students who, through their natural talents and unflagging commitment to academic excellence, have distinguished themselves in the classroom; and

WHEREAS, Maxwell Pafford is one such exceptional student who was recently named Salutatorian of the 2016 graduating class at DeKalb County High School; and

WHEREAS, through diligent study, steady composure during examinations, and steadfast commitment of time and talent, Mr. Pafford achieved outstanding academic success and joined the ranks of the best and brightest students in Tennessee and our country; and

WHEREAS, in his remarkable high school career, Maxwell Pafford earned an exemplary grade point average while participating in numerous extracurricular activities, including Beta Club and Future Business Leaders of America; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Pafford’s display of intellectual aptitude and ambition surely bodes well for his future success; and

WHEREAS, Maxwell Pafford’s noteworthy achievement is a tremendous source of pride for his parents, Mark and Beth Pafford, his school, and his community; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Pafford’s dedication to excellence is clearly deserving of the respect, admiration, and commendation of this legislative body; now, therefore,

Be it resolved by the Senate of the One Hundred Ninth General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, the House of Representatives Concurring that we hereby commend and honor the 2016 DeKalb County High School Salutatorian, Maxwell Pafford, on his impressive academic achievement and extend to him our best wishes for a happy, successful future."

Golden Gets Probation for Mitigated Statutory Rape

April 7, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Dustin Michael Golden

A 20 year old man arrested in March for having sex with an underage girl has been granted probation.

20 year old Dustin Michael Golden, charged with two counts of statutory rape and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, appeared in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, April 4.

Golden entered a plea by criminal information to one count of mitigated statutory rape and received a sentence of two years and one day all suspended to supervised probation. He is requesting judicial diversion. Golden has been given 35 days of jail credit. He is under a restraining order to keep away from the victim.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said on Tuesday, March 1 a Sheriff's Department Detective conducted an interview with Golden and discovered that he and a 15 year old girl had engaged in sexual acts and drug use. The girl said she and Golden had sex on Monday, February 29 and Tuesday, March 1. During questioning, Golden allegedly admitted to smoking marijuana with the girl.

31 year old Ellissa Howard was granted judicial diversion Monday. She had entered a plea last September to sale of a schedule II drug and received a three year sentence all suspended to supervised probation. At that time she filed a request for judicial diversion. Howard was fined $2,000 and given five days of jail credit.

Three Seeking 5th District School Board Seat

April 7, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
W.J. (Dub) Evins, III
Kevin Hale
Barry Mabe
Kate Miller
Doug Stephens

Three positions on the DeKalb County Board of Education will be up for election on Thursday, August 4 but only one race will be contested. Noon today (Thursday, April 7th) was the qualifying deadline

Incumbent 5th district member W.J. (Dub) Evins, III will be challenged for re-election by Barry Mabe and Kevin Hale.

6th district incumbent Doug Stephens will be unopposed for re-election.

In the 4th district, Kate Miller will be unopposed for the election to fill the remaining two years of her husband Billy Miller's unexpired term. Billy Miller was re-elected to the school board in August 2014 but he resigned September 30, 2014 due to his having accepted a new job with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation which does not allow him to hold public office. The county commission appointed Kate Miller in October 2014 to fill the position until the August 2016 election. She was sworn into office in November 2014.

The 5th and 6th district winners will serve four years.

The other school board members, Danny Parkerson in the 1st district; Jerry Wayne Johnson in the 2nd district; Jim Beshearse in the 3rd district, and Shaun Tubbs in the 7th district were elected in 2014 and are in mid-term. Their terms are up August 31, 2018.

Today (April 7th) was also the qualifying deadline for the race to fill the remaining two years of an unexpired county commission term in the 1st district. The election will be Thursday, August 4th

The candidates are Republican Thomas Chandler and Democrat Julie Williams Young. They were each nominated by their party during conventions held last month. No independents qualified for the position.

The winner will fill the seat left vacant by Elmer Ellis, Jr. who recently resigned.

Meanwhile candidates chosen in the March 1 Democratic Primary or by party convention who will be on the DeKalb County General Election ballot on Thursday, August 4th are as follows:

Assessor of Property:
Scott Cantrell, Democrat
Shannon Cantrell, Republican

Constable 1st district—Lee Plummer, Republican and Jason Taylor, Democrat
Constable 2nd District—Thomas Theriaque, Republican
Constable 3rd District—Travis Bryant; Democrat
Constable 4th District—Paul Cantrell, Democrat
Constable 5th District—Mark Milam, Democrat
Constable 6th district—Carl Lee Webb, Democrat
Constable 7th district—Johnny King, Democrat

Five Candidates Running for Three Aldermen Seats in Smithville

April 7, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Shawn Jacobs
Josh Miller
Danny Washer

The Smithville Municipal Election will be contested on Thursday, August 4th.

Five candidates have qualified for the race in which three aldermen will be elected, each to serve a four year term.

Incumbents Shawn Jacobs, Josh Miller, and Danny Washer are running for re-election along with newcomers Ronald Dale Stanley and Richard Steinbach.

Also on August 4th, Dowelltown voters will elect a mayor and alderman. The only candidates to qualify were Pam Redmon for mayor and William A. Davis for alderman. Another alderman position was to have been filled in the election but no other candidate qualified. The terms are for four years.

The Liberty Municipal Election is also set for Thursday, August 4th. Dwayne Blair, Todd Dodd, and Jason Ray are each seeking a four year term as alderman. They are unopposed. J.D. Bratten will be a candidate for alderman to fill a one year unexpired term.

The qualifying deadline was noon today (April 7th) for the Smithville, Dowelltown, and Liberty Municipal Elections.

(Photos of the other candidates unavailable)

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