Local News Articles

Student Enrollment Up in DeKalb School System

August 16, 2017
Dwayne Page
Attendance Supervisor Joey Reeder

Enrollment in the DeKalb County School System is up by 57 students compared to last year at this time.

Comparing the numbers for the sixth day of school, total enrollment from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade district wide is 3,071 as of today (August 16), up from 3,014 last year.

According to Attendance Supervisor Joey Reeder, the numbers are up at all five schools. "We're up by 57 students county wide from where we were a year ago. Of course, this is an ever changing number and it will be changing daily from now until probably after Labor Day. Usually it's the Monday after Labor Day before you get numbers firmed up about who has moved in and moved out," Reeder told WJLE.

As of today (Wednesday, August 16), enrollment at each school is as follows compared to last year:
DCHS: 883 (up by 18 students)
DeKalb Middle School: 549 (up by 18 students)
Northside Elementary: 645 (up by 6 students)
Smithville Elementary: 585 (up by 3 students)
DeKalb West School: 408 (up by 13 students)

Enrollment at DCHS breaks down as follows:
9th grade: 226 students
10th grade: 222 students
11th grade: 235 students
12th grade: 200 students

Enrollment District-Wide by grade level is as follows:
Pre-Kindergarten: 121(SES & DWS combined)
Kindergarten: 215 (SES & DWS combined)
1st grade: 232 (SES & DWS)
2nd grade: 233 (SES, Northside, & DWS)
3rd grade: 206 (Northside & DWS)
4th grade: 239 (Northside & DWS)
5th grade: 260 (Northside & DWS)
6th grade: 227 (DMS & DWS)
7th grade: 219 (DMS & DWS)
8th grade: 234 (DMS & DWS)

Enrollment by School:

DeKalb Middle School:
6th grade: 183
7th grade: 176
8th grade: 189

Northside Elementary:
2nd grade: 54
3rd grade: 167
4th grade: 210
5th grade: 214

Smithville Elementary:
Pre-K: 99
Kindergarten: 171
1st grade: 184
2nd grade: 131

DeKalb West School:
Pre-K: 21
Kindergarten: 44
1st grade: 48
2nd grade: 48
3rd grade: 39
4th grade: 29
5th grade: 46
6th grade: 44
7th grade: 43
8th grade: 45

Reeder urges parents to make sure their children attend school on time every day classes are in session. “Students who miss 18 school days per year-regardless of the cause-will be considered chronically absent under a new regulation from the State Department of Education. The number of chronically absent students will also reflect on the overall performance score given to the school system. The state is using a new accountability measure called the Chronically Out-of-School Indicator. Students who miss more than 10 percent of the school year, for any reason, are considered chronically out of school. This would typically be students that miss 18 or more school days out of our 180-day school year calendar,” reported Reeder.

Under state law, if a student misses as few as five days of school “unexcused” he or she is considered “truant”. “We won’t take you to juvenile court for five days missed but we will send a letter to the parents to arrange a meeting with them to see what can be done to improve their child’s attendance,” said Reeder.

Tardies are also a concern, especially early in the morning. “We don’t have a lot of tardies during the day. Its like during first block in the morning when they are getting there a few minutes late. We ask parents bringing their children to school to please arrive on time by 7:45 a.m. because three tardies can equal one unexcused absence,” said Reeder“

Meanwhile, Reeder urges parents who are home schooling their children to contact the school system to let them know.”I wish you would come by and register with us. It helps us to know where they (students) are and what they are doing. Some people withdraw their kids from the school system to home school and we never hear from them again in the following years. Legally, parents are suppose to register but there is really not a penalty if they don’t. It just helps us keep up with where the students are at. Registering is not a big deal. It doesn’t take but five minutes and it would help us out some,” said Reeder.

DeKalb County GOP Will Select Candidates by Convention in 2018

August 16, 2017
DeKalb GOP Officers: Vice Chairman Clint Hall, Treasurer Tom Chandler, Chairman Mingy Bryant, State Executive Committee Woman Jennifer Winfree, Secretary Brandon Cox, and Assistant Treasurer Dustin Estes.

The DeKalb County Republican Party Executive Committee recently voted to select the 2018 Republican Candidates for Local Office by County Convention. The County Convention will be held in early 2018 so as to meet the candidate qualifying deadline. The Republican candidates elected at the Convention will be placed directly onto the August 2, 2018, General Election ballot as the Republican Nominees. Republican candidates will be selected at the County Convention for the following Offices in DeKalb County: County Mayor, Sheriff, Trustee, County Court Clerk, Circuit Court Clerk, Register of Deeds, Road Superintendent, and County Commissioners in all 7 districts (2 each).

“This is a win-win for the County, as well as the DeKalb County Republican Party,” Chairman Mingy Bryant said. “We are saving county taxpayers by not having to staff and print ballots for a local primary, while also selecting the best and most qualified Republicans to represent us on the General Election ballot.Local Democrats had the same option, but unfortunately, they chose to spend more taxpayer dollars instead of saving them," she said.

"The August 2, 2018, Ballot will be very full with many seats up for grabs. In addition to the Local Races, voters will also select the person who will likely be the next Governor, US Senator, US Congressman, State Senator, and State Representative for DeKalb County," Bryant said.

“With DeKalb County voting solidly Republican in the last few election cycles, and with so many Republican candidates running for open seats, we should all expect a record Republican turnout in the August 2018 election,” continues Bryant. “This will also bode well for our Republican candidates for local offices. Republicans will be more motivated than ever to vote Republican all the way down the ballot.”

Interested candidates for these offices can contact Republican Party Chair Mingy Bryant at 615-597-2600 or Vice Chair Clint Hall at 931-201-6962. For more information, go to our Facebook Page at DeKalb County Republican Party.

Dowelltown Man Charged in Multiple Thefts of Utility Trailers

August 15, 2017
Dwayne Page
Dowelltown Man Charged in Multiple Thefts of Utility Trailers

A Dowelltown man is facing multiple counts of theft after admitting involvement in several thefts of utility trailers in DeKalb County over the last six months.

19 year old Colten Gene Young of Old Mill Hill Road will make a court appearance on seven counts of theft over $1,000 on August 24. He is under a $35,500 bond.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, Young has admitted to being directly responsible for three of the thefts and aiding in the others. Smithville Police also recently filed a charge against him for a utility trailer theft in the city. But Young’s crime spree was not limited to DeKalb County. He has admitted to utility trailer thefts in Sparta, Manchester, Gatlinburg, and Rockwood.

Meanwhile Sheriff Ray is urging anyone who may have purchased a utility trailer from Young or if you have information concerning someone else who has done so to contact the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office in person or call 615-597-4935. You may also contact the crime tip line at 615-464-6400 or email Sheriff Ray at sheriff21@dekalbsheriff.net

“We have been having utility trailers, mostly bumper trailers, stolen within the last six months. After we spoke with the Smithville Police detective about the person they had arrested (Young), one of our detectives and I went to the White County Sheriff’s Department and talked to Young where he was being housed on a charge by the Sparta Police Department. We considered him to be a person of interest in our theft investigation at that time. We actually spoke with him on three different occasions and gathered information. During the second interview, Young agreed to take the detective and me to places in the area where he had stolen utility trailers. After taking us to the site of a theft behind F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy on South Congress Boulevard where Smithville Police had investigated, Young led us to L&M Farms, the former H.J. Judkins Nursery on Short Mountain Highway where he said he had stolen a trailer. From there we went to Turner’s Napa Auto Parts on West Broad Street where he claimed to have stolen a trailer. Young also admitted to having stolen $3,900 from a residence on Old Mill Hill Road,” said Sheriff Ray.

From the information provided by Young, investigators learned who had bought the trailer taken from the Napa Auto Parts location and they were able to recover it.

During a third interview, Sheriff Ray said Young told investigators that while he had not been directly responsible for the other thefts he had been a spotter for or with another man and spotted trailers at the Smithville Church of God on West Broad Street, at a residence off Highway 56 south, and at a home on Backbone Ridge near the White County line. The trailers from all three of those places were later reported stolen.

After confessing to his involvement in the local thefts, Sheriff Ray said Young took responsibility for thefts of fourteen trailers in Lincoln County, at least two in White County, one in Gatlinburg, one in Rockwood, and one in Manchester.

“We have been working with the Sheriff’s departments in Lincoln County and Coffee County along with the Sparta Police Department. Many of the cases against Young in those counties stemmed from our investigation on him here,” said Sheriff Ray.

Charges filed by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department against Young are as follows:

*Theft over $1,000 (March 1 Young aided and assisted taking a white 6’ x 10’ enclosed trailer which belonged to the Smithville Church of God valued at $2,000. He had spotted the trailer with or for another man)

*Theft over $1,000 (May 15 Young took a black 18 foot Lawrimore trailer from behind Turners Napa Auto Parts on West Broad Street valued at $1,500)

*Theft over $1,000 (May 23 Young took $3,900 from a residence on Old Mill Hill Road in Dowelltown)

*Theft over $1,000 (June 1 Young aided and assisted in taking a black 16 foot trailer from Magness Road valued at $2,000. He had spotted the trailer with or for another man)

*Theft over $1,000 (June 7 Young took a black 16 foot trailer from a nursery on Short Mountain Highway valued at $1,800)

*Theft over $1,000 (July 14 Young aided and assisted in taking a black 5’ x 8’ trailer from Backbone Road, Sparta in DeKalb County valued at $1,250. He had spotted the trailer with or for another man)

*Theft over $1,000 (July 14 Young aided and assisted in taking a black 7’ x 14’ trailer along with a canoe and kayak which were on the trailer all valued at $2,629. The theft occurred off Short Mountain Highway. He had spotted the trailer with or for another man)

Sheriff Ray urges anyone who has bought or who is considering buying a utility trailer or other equipment to guard against becoming a victim.

“We are more than happy to come out and look at your trailer. We will check the numbers on it if you want us to. If you are planning to buy a trailer give us the serial number and we will be glad to check that to make sure it isn’t stolen,” said Sheriff Ray.

“What we don’t want to happen is for someone to purchase one of these stolen trailers unaware but then discover that it has had an altered VIN number. We don’t want anyone to get in trouble for something like that,” he said.

Make sure you obtain a title with your purchase and not settle for just a bill of sale. “In some cases, Young provided his unsuspecting customers with a bill of sale. A title is the best way to buy a trailer, four wheeler, or vehicle because a bill of sale is not a guarantee that what you are buying isn’t stolen,” said Sheriff Ray.

Another thing to consider is that if its discovered that the trailer you bought was stolen, you could lose all the money you invested in it.

Smithville Golf Course and Swimming Pool Closed

August 15, 2017
Dwayne Page
Smithville Golf Course and Swimming Pool Closed

After six and a half years as the operator of the Smithville Golf Course and Swimming Pool, Tony Poss is calling it quits.

He has given notice that he is ending his lease with the City of Smithville. The nine hole golf course and pool are currently closed.

It will be up to the Smithville Mayor and Aldermen to name a successor.

Poss entered into a 10 year lease with the city in February, 2011 with an option to extend the term of the lease for an additional 10 years.

DCHS Principal Gets Support from Director and School Board over Dress Code Controversy

August 15, 2017
Dwayne Page
DCHS Principal Randy Jennings and Director of Schools Patrick Cripps

DCHS Principal Randy Jennings has come under fire in recent days from some for his position on enforcing the long-standing dress code policy at the school but he is getting support from friends in high places.

Director of Schools Patrick Cripps and the Board of Education released a joint statement Tuesday afternoon to let the community know they stand with Jennings and his staff. “We would like to inform the members of the community that we fully support Mr. Jennings, the administration and members of the faculty and staff at DeKalb County High School throughout this process”.

Some students and parents have expressed frustration with how the school administration is handling the matter which has given rise to rumors of possible protests. But in spite of the criticism by those who feel the dress code enforcement is too harsh, others have shown their support.

“We take this opportunity to thank the many students and residents of DeKalb County for their support and words of encouragement during the recent dress code controversy at DeKalb County High School. Thank you for your continued support,” the statement concluded.

In a statement released over the weekend, Principal Jennings said the high school will follow the dress code that has been in place for several years and that students are being asked to follow the rules that are in the student handbook,” he said.

County Awarded Clean TN Energy Grant to Install LED lights at Courthouse and Jail

August 15, 2017
Dwayne Page
DeKalb County Jail

Existing fluorescent lights in the DeKalb County Courthouse and the Jail will be replaced and retrofitted with light-emitting diode (LED) lights thanks to a Clean Tennessee Energy Grant through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

The grant for DeKalb County totals $18, 928 with a local match of $18, 928 for a total project cost of $37,856. In February, the county commission authorized the grant application through the Upper Cumberland Development District

DeKalb County is one of 24 Tennessee communities that will be receiving grant funding for clean energy projects. The total award amount statewide is $1.9 million. The Clean Tennessee Energy Grant (CTEG) program provides financial assistance to municipal governments, county governments, utility districts and other entities created by statute. Awarded projects have demonstrated a plan to reduce air emissions, improve energy efficiency and create cost savings.

A TVA Energy walk through lighting audit was conducted several months ago at the courthouse and jail as a service of Smithville Electric System to provide an energy usage analysis and the potential impact of LED lighting retrofits. Many of the lights throughout the courthouse are currently comprised of T-8, T-12, T-8 U tubes, and linear fluorescent bulbs that use a great deal of electricity. The jail also has a combination of obsolete T-8 and T-12 bulbs. LED lights, while more expensive, last much longer, consume less electricity and will make the buildings more energy efficient.

Retrofit lighting fixtures to LEDs in the Courthouse is to result in an estimated savings of 43,749 kWh and $5,955 annually. Converting lighting fixtures in the County Jail to LEDs will translate into an estimated savings of 51,132 kWh or $5,319 annually.

“Clean Tennessee Energy Grants help our communities reduce costs, increase savings, waste less energy and promote clean air,” said Governor Bill Haslam. “I appreciate the efforts of these grant recipients whose work will continue to make Tennessee a great place to live, work and raise a family.”

“We were pleased to offer this round of grant funding to communities that have not received support before or are identified as distressed by the Department of Economic and Community Development,” said Robert “Bob” Martineau, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. “From more cost-effective lighting systems to efficient heating and air units, these awards will enhance service to customers while minimizing operating costs for these entities, saving taxpayer dollars.”

These projects will help improve air quality by reducing sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, oxides of nitrogen, hazardous air pollutants and greenhouse gases.

Funding preference was given to distressed counties identified by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and counties that have not previously received CTEG funding. Twenty of the grantees have not received CTEG funding before. Additionally, awarded projects must have a simple payback of less than 10 years.

Funding comes from a 2011 Clean Air Act settlement with the Tennessee Valley Authority. Under the Consent Decree, Tennessee received $26.4 million to fund clean air programs in the state.

Tatrow Charged with Trying to Buy Stolen TV

August 15, 2017
Dwayne Page
Patty Sue Tatrow
Brandon Michael Hensley
John Thomas Mason
Grady Lytle Murphy
Ronald Gene Flarity
Tanya Rochelle Anderson

A 42 year old woman has been arrested for allegedly trying to buy a television she knew was stolen.


Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_34.pdf (3.87 MB)

Patty Sue Tatrow of Coconut Ridge Road, Smithville is charged with theft under $1,000 and filing a false report. She was later charged with aggravated burglary for knowing the crime (home burglary and TV theft) had taken place and for not reporting it in order to benefit herself. Her total bond is $21,000 and her court date is August 24.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, July 20 Tatrow tried to buy a stolen 50 inch Samsung television taken from a residence on Blackberry Hill Road. According to Sheriff Ray, Tatrow knew the TV was stolen and was trying to purchase it for herself from the man charged with committing the crime, Corey Bradford. After being confronted by law enforcement officers, Tatrow knowingly made a false statement to them about the TV in order to obstruct and hinder the investigation.

28 year old Brandon Michael Hensley of Rickman Road, Cookeville is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence. He was also cited for no insurance, driving on roadways laned for travel, simple possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana), and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is $3,000 and his court date is August 24. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, August 8 a deputy stopped a vehicle for failure to maintain its lane of travel on Highway 70 east. The officer spoke with the driver, Hensley and noticed a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his person. Hensley admitted to having consumed some alcohol. A search incident to arrest turned up 2.9 grams of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana and a glass smoking pipe. Hensley submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. A search warrant was obtained to get a blood sample from Hensley.

22 year old John Thomas Mason of Blue Springs Road, Smithville is charged driving on a revoked license and evading arrest. He is under a total bond of $5,000 and he will make a court appearance on August 24. He also faces two counts of violation of probation and is being held without bond. He will be in court on those offenses September 11. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, August 9 a deputy tried to pull over a white Honda on Short Mountain Highway for running a stop sign but the vehicle sped up and got away. It was later found abandoned on Big Hickory Court, Smithville. The driver had left the vehicle on foot. He was later found and identified as Mason. Through a routine check through central dispatch, officers learned Mason’s driver license are revoked. He was placed under arrest.

39 year old Grady Lytle Murphy of Jackson Street, Smithville is charged with a fourth offense of driving on a suspended license. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is August 31. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, August 10 a deputy spotted a silver Ford Mustang cross the double yellow line on New Home Road. The officer pulled over the vehicle and spoke with the driver, Murphy. A check through central dispatch revealed Murphy’s license were suspended for failure to answer to an original violation in Smithville. He has been convicted for the same offense (driving on a suspended license) in Cannon County and twice before in DeKalb County. Murphy was placed under arrest.

52 year old Ronald Gene Flarity of Burchwood, Tennessee is charged with domestic assault and being a fugitive from justice. His bond is $55,000 and his court date is August 17. Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, July 19 a deputy spoke with a woman who said she had been thrown from an SUV. The woman told the officer that Flarity pushed her from the passenger side of the vehicle on Cookeville Highway causing her to fear bodily injury. A witness reported seeing the SUV come to a rolling stop and a woman being pushed out. The witness came to the aid of the woman as the SUV drove away. During the investigation, an officer found Flarity at a residence on Holmes Creek Road. A computer check revealed an active warrant against him from Catoosa Georgia. He was placed under arrest.

45 year old Tanya Rochelle Anderson of Medley Lane Baxter is charged with driving on a revoked license. She was further cited for violation of roadways laned for travel and for not having an ignition interlock device on her vehicle. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court on August 31. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, August 11 a deputy stopped a vehicle for failing to maintain its lane of travel on Sparta Highway. The officer spoke with the driver, Anderson who admitted that she had no license on her person. A computer check confirmed that her license were revoked on January 25, 2017 for driving under the influence but that she has a restricted license. Anderson could produce no paperwork or license but said she would continue driving after she dropped off a friend.

Fire Destroys Home on Magness Road (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

August 15, 2017
Dwayne Page

A fire destroyed a residence at 379 Magness Road early this morning (Tuesday) believed to be the home of Nathan Joe Trapp.

Central dispatch received the call at 3:06 a.m.

Upon arrival firefighters found the structure fully engulfed in flames. It could not be saved.

No one was at the residence at the time of the fire and there were no injuries. The cause of the fire is undetermined.

Members of the Short Mountain Highway, Belk, and Main Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded along with the tanker truck. Deputies of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department were also there.

Star Manufacturing Adding New Jobs

August 14, 2017
Dwayne Page
Star Manufacturing Adding New Jobs

Star Manufacturing in Smithville plans to hire another 35-40 people to fill engineering, technical, and customer service jobs.

The announcement was made by Star officials Monday afternoon followed by a Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting for the new office work stations built within the existing warehouse. Plans are to add an engineering lab for research purposes and a kitchen for potential customers to test cooking equipment manufactured here before making purchasing decisions.

In addition to company representatives, Chamber Director Suzanne Williams and Immediate Past President of the Chamber Kathy Hendrixson, the ribbon cutting was attended by County Mayor Tim Stribling and officials of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

“ We built inside the warehouse space that we already had which we weren’t utilizing to its fullest extent. It was the only feasible alternative we had to house this many people in an environment that would be conducive to talking to customers on the phone all the time,” said John Perruccio, Group President for Star Manufacturing in Smithville and South Bend Manufacturing in North Carolina.

“The new office space is 115’ x 50’ and another 115’ x 50’ will be immediately adjacent to it half of which will be allocated to an engineering lab for research and development and the other half for a test kitchen and training facility where customers will come in, visit with us, and test the equipment here before they actually purchase it for themselves out in the field. We have a very similar set up at Southbend where we bring in all different types of customers ranging from very large chain accounts to single unit operators who want to test our equipment prior to making purchasing decisions,” said Perruccio.

The addition of the new jobs will bring the number of employees at Star Manufacturing to 330 working two shifts.

“We will probably have about 35-40 new jobs when its all said and done. We did have about five or six people come down here from St. Louis, Missouri who actually transferred down to the area but all the other jobs are new. We have actually filled probably most of the customer service and technical service jobs but we are still looking for some more engineering team members who can do anything from varying levels of mechanical and electrical engineering,” said Perruccio.

“About 80% of our new jobs across the whole state of Tennessee come from existing industries so we’re very thankful to have a presence like Star Manufacturing here in DeKalb County. We appreciate them being able to expand and grow right here in really what we would call rural Tennessee. We’re very appreciative of the jobs they provide for the hundreds of families here in this operation,” said Cody Huddleston, Regional Director of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

“I want to say thank you to Star Manufacturing for the investment they made years ago in this county and for maintaining jobs and adding new jobs here today. This company has been here long enough that they have provided jobs for people in DeKalb County who have now retired. That means a lot that you have served the people of DeKalb County well and hopefully the people of DeKalb County have served Star well,” said County Mayor Tim Stribling.

Company Overview
With entry level to Heavy Duty gas and electric Griddle, Charbroiler and Hotplates categories, as well as their world¬class toasting, sandwich grill (Panini) and hot¬dog product solutions, Star is among the largest manufacturers of Heavy Duty and Medium Duty commercial cooking equipment in the world.

Star Manufacturing was founded in 1921 in St. Louis, Missouri and quickly became a leading supplier of a wide range of restaurant equipment – the name became synonymous with hot dogs (“red hots”) machines, fryers, popcorn makers and toasters. Over time Star outgrew its manufacturing plant in St. Louis, and opened its current factory in Smithville, Tennessee in 1982, eventually expanding it in 1990.

With the acquisition of Toastwell in 1997, Star added a range of new products to its catalog, including twosided grills (aka – panini’s), drawer warmers, popup toasters and waffle bakers. In 2000 Star acquired the Holman brand, adding conveyor ovens and conveyor toasters to its growing product line The Lang brand was acquired by Star in 2006, adding convection ovens, ranges and a robust Marine equipment line.

In December 2007, the Star Group was acquired by the Middleby Corporation, making them a proud part of the world’s largest family of food equipment manufacturers.

The Star Operation Center, Customer, Technical and Engineering services are still out of the office in St. Louis, Missouri. Still proudly Made in the U.S.A., the plant in Smithville, Tennessee is home to all the Star Group brands, including Star, Wells, Lang and Toastmaster.

Front Row:
Chamber Director Suzanne Williams, DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribling, TN ECD Business Development Consultant Angela Regitko, Chamber Past President Kathy Hendrixson, Star Mfg. Director of Services Keisha Milken, Star Manufacturing President John Perruccio, Star Mfg. HR Director Kara Davis, Star Tenures employee Henretta Colwell, Manufacturing Engineering Manager Jason Norris

Back Row:
TN ECD Upper Cumberland Regional Director Cody Huddleston, Director of IT Dean Parkinson, Manufacturing Engineer Daniel Hullett, VP of Engineering Todd Fenton, Plant Manager Anthony Brewer, Plant Controller Carrie Cantrell, Star Tenured employee Oscar Hendrix

Local "Unsung Heroes" Join Dailey & Vincent for Music Video Shoot

August 14, 2017
Dwayne Page
Country Music Star Aaron Tippin Joins Fellow Stars Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent for Music Video Shoot with local veterans at Sundance Restaurant downtown Smithville Monday
Local veterans at Sundance Restaurant to be featured in the Dailey & Vincent “Unsung Heroes” music video are Kenny Bly, Tommy Webb, Donald Gilbert, Paul Robinson, Jerry Lee Cantrell, Edward Frazier, Edsel Frazier, Alan Stengel, along with country music star Aaron Tippin.
Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent preparing for “Unsung Heroes” music video shoot with local veterans at Sundance Restaurant Monday
Jamie Dailey greets 93 year old WWII veteran Donald Gilbert as Darrin Vincent points out another veteran( not shown here) at Sundance Restaurant in preparation for music video shoot

Dailey & Vincent, one of today’s most celebrated bluegrass duos, spent the day Monday downtown Smithville shooting scenes for a new music video called “Unsung Heroes” from their latest CD project “Patriots & Poets”.

“Unsung Heroes” pays tribute to veterans and active duty military soldiers as well as law enforcement officers, first responders, and others who perform a service for their fellow man but often go unrecognized. The music video will even feature several of those hometown heroes from right here in DeKalb County

The production crew spent part of the morning videoing scenes at Sundance Restaurant where local veterans, including one as old as 93, gathered around a dining table with county music star Aaron Tippin, who was invited, to visit and swap stories for the Dailey & Vincent project. The duo later joined the veterans at the table to perform the song “Unsung Heroes” in their honor as part of the video shoot.

Dailey, who co-wrote the song with country music stars Bill Anderson and former Statler Brother Jimmy Fortune, said it sends a powerful message. “We sat down and asked each other what we thought we would like to write about and Bill said I think we should write about the unsung heroes like the first responders and people who do things that are kind to other people. We call them the unsung heroes and that is what we wrote about,” said Dailey.

Vincent, who makes his home in DeKalb County, decided another fellow entertainer and DeKalb Countian should also be part of this project too. “Thinking of the veterans, we invited Aaron Tippin, a staunch supporter of the military. When Jamie wrote this song and we decided to do a video, I told him we can’t do this with Aaron. He was my first call and he said he would be glad to do it. I am so happy to have him here. Aaron has been part of this community for many years and I am so thankful he took time out of his busy schedule to be part of this video shoot with these gentlemen and to help us say thank you and pay homage to them for what they have done for the freedoms that we have. This is such a huge blessing and we are so thankful to Aaron and all of them,” said Vincent.

Local veterans to be featured in the Dailey & Vincent “Unsung Heroes” music video are Kenny Bly, Tommy Webb, Donald Gilbert, Paul Robinson, Jerry Lee Cantrell, Edward Frazier, Edsel Frazier, and Alan Stengel. The music video is expected to be released within the next couple of months.

Their newest album, "Patriots & Poets", which features “Unsung Heroes” both builds and expands upon the previous releases of Dailey & Vincent, offering good hard-driving bluegrass alongside polished acoustic country tracks and it includes collaborations with Steve Martin, Doyle Lawson, TaRanda Greene, David Rawlings, and Bela Fleck.

Grand Ole Opry members, five-time GRAMMY award winners individually, three-time GRAMMY award nominees collectively, four-time DOVE Award winners, and winners of 35 IBMA Awards altogether (including 3-time IBMA Entertainer of the Year Award winners and 3-Time Vocal Group of the Year Award winners), Dailey & Vincent, backed by one of the best bands on tour today, are some of the most reputable and elite entertainers in American music; bluegrass, traditional country and gospel music. They have garnered world-wide attention with their first national, top-rated television series, “The Dailey & Vincent Show,” on RFD TV and over 500 airings of their PBS special “Dailey & Vincent ALIVE – In Concert.” Their CD, Dailey & Vincent ALIVE, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Bluegrass charts and remained at the top position for over 15 weeks.


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