Local News Articles

STEMmobile brings hands-on lab to DeKalb Middle School

October 2, 2017
Dwayne Page
STEMmobile brings hands-on lab to DeKalb Middle School
Students shown here making an incline plane
Students working with a lever system, testing whether the weight is at the farthest or closest point to the fulcrum

Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students from DeKalb Middle and DeKalb West School are getting a firsthand experience this week in conducting science experiments inside a mobile learning laboratory, called the STEMmobile.

Housed in a 53-foot tractor-trailer with self-contained power, the STEMmobile has its own heating and cooling system, a satellite uplink for Internet connectivity and workstations to accommodate about 24 students at a time. The classroom on wheels is stocked with equipment from Tennessee Tech’s Oakley STEM Center and includes iPads and/or laptops, hand-held data collection devices, and other standard STEM industrial materials and supplies for activities at each grade level. With carpet lined walls, bright lights, and industrial grade metal drawers, the STEMmobile is also equipped with stainless steel countertops under flat screen TVs for students to conduct their experiments, bringing technology to the doorsteps of the school.

The science lessons, based on Tennessee science standards developed by the Upper Cumberland Rural STEM Initiative includes electromagnets, simple machines, electric circuits, heart rate monitoring, vitamin c indicators, sail design, magnets, motion, parachutes, chromotography, and more. “We’re working experiments with simple machines,” said DWS teacher Martha Damron , whose seventh grade homeroom class was using the facility at the time WJLE visited.

Caleb Dies, Kortney Skeen, Brianna Crotzer, Jeremy Brown, and Gavin Conger participated in making an incline plane while Gabrielle Wheatley, Chevelle Lockwood, John Ellis, John Iervolino worked with a lever system, testing whether the weight was at the farthest or closest point to the fulcrum.

The STEMmobile, which began visiting schools in October, 2013, is a one-of-a-kind product of the Oakley STEM Center and Tennessee Tech University as part of the Upper Cumberland Rural STEM Initiative, a grant project funded by Tennessee’s First to the Top program. UCRSI is part of the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network, where the mission is to enhance student participation and interest in STEM subjects.

The STEMmobile is designed to help students learn more about three core STEM themes particularly relevant to rural students: water, with a focus on its importance, usage and conservation; energy, which highlights how power is generated, ways to lower consumption, green energy and long-term energy needs; and my food, my body, my health, which helps students learn more about agriculture, health, nutrition and physical fitness.

Science teachers are trained to use the learning studio at the Oakley STEM Center in order to prepare them to make the most of the STEMmobile.

For more information about the STEMmobile, please go to www.ucrsi.org.

October is Let's Talk Month

October 2, 2017

Does talking with teens about healthy relationships make a difference? According to teens and researchers, the answer is “yes”! Studies show parents have the greatest influence over their teen’s decisions.

Let’s Talk Month is an opportunity for parents and children to learn to communicate in an open and honest manner about responsible attitudes, behaviors and other sensitive issues. Such discussions can help young people delay risky decisions and avoid unintended consequences. Research shows that adolescents prefer their parents to be their educators. Moreover, teens often need more information, guidance and open discussions with their families.

Families play a pivotal role in helping young people make healthy decisions. Most parents want the opportunity to share their values and provide their children with accurate information. But often, parents and other adults feel uncomfortable discussing specific topics and need assistance and support in starting meaningful conversations.

In recognition of Let’s Talk Month the Tennessee Department of Health is sponsoring a free workshop for parents in the Upper Cumberland area:

What: How To Be An Askable Parent

When: October 26, 2017 at 5:15 p.m.

Where: DeKalb Middle School Auditorium

Who’s Invited: Parents, Grandparents, Foster Parents, and Other Caregivers

For more information contact the DeKalb County Health Department at 615-597-7599.

D.C.H.S. Band Stings Competition

October 2, 2017
Bill Conger
Senior band student leaders, Band Director Tracy Luna, and Assistant Band Director Dalton Hawkins pose with awards won at the Yellow Jacket Invitational (Bill Conger Photo)
Senior Junior Ingram won first place as Drum Major in Class C of the Yellow Jacket Invitational in Hartsville.

The DeKalb County High School Band took home top honors from the Yellow Jacket Invitational in Hartsville on Saturday (Sept. 30).

The band placed first in Class C, edging past the similar size bands of Smith County and Hillwood. Senior Junior Ingram won first place as Drum Major. The 48-member unit also was awarded second in Color Guard and third place in percussion. Overall, the D.C.H.S. band was 5th out of 17 bands.

“This was the band's best performance of the season,” says Band Director Tracy Luna. “The band continues to make great improvements from week to week.”

“The judges were composed of a great panel of expert eyes and ears,” adds Luna. “They provided a great number of comments to help the band improve.”

Luna, Assistant Band Director Dalton Hawkins, and the band will compete next on October 14 at the Middle Tennessee Small Band Championship in Chapel Hill, Tennessee.

“If the kids continue to work hard and make the kinds of improvement that they have thus far,” Luna says, “we will be competitive in our return to the Division II State Band Championship in several weeks.”

"Trick or Treat Halloween Downtown" Set for October 31

September 30, 2017
Dwayne Page
2016 Downtown Halloween Contest Winner: 1st Place/Best Overall – Circuit Court Clerk Office (Candy Land) presented by Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce and City of Smithville Police Dept.
Smithville City Hall and Police Department: Helen Bates, Jan Wilkins, Police Chief Mark Collins, Seth Leffew, and Beth Adcock participated in 2016 “Trick or Treat’ Halloween Downtown
Smithville Police Captain Steven Leffew greets trick or treater during 2016 Halloween Downtown event

Parents, children, and local businesses are invited to join the City of Smithville and the Police Department's "Trick or Treat Halloween Downtown" Tuesday, October 31 from noon until 5:00 p.m.

Some offices in the DeKalb County Courthouse, Smithville City Hall, Smithville Police Department, Justin Potter Library, and participating businesses downtown will have candy and special treats for the children. Look for the stores and offices with a picture of an orange pumpkin on their windows. Maps will soon be available at the police department and Justin Potter Library to show parents which businesses will be taking part in the event.

WJLE will soon post a map at www.wjle.com.

For more information call Beth Adcock at the Smithville Police Department at 615-597-8210 extension 1 or check out the police department's face book page soon for details at https://www.facebook.com/SmithvillePoliceDepartment.

This event is sponsored by the Smithville Police Department and the Smithville City Hall.

Meanwhile, the Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a “Best Costume Contest” for downtown businesses and offices. Take a picture and email it to swilliams@dekalbcountychamber.org or take a photo with your phone and send it to 615.464.7760 by 1:30 p.m. on October 31. First, second, and third place winners will be presented a “Halloween on the Square Best Costume Award”, media recognition, and bragging rights.

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department will have special treats for children Tuesday, October 31 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Stop by for a hot dog, candy, and a tour of the Smithville Fire Hall. Meet with Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker and the Smithville Fire Department Volunteers.

Other communities and churches in the county will also be observing Halloween events in late October.

DPC Spreading the Message to “Count It, Lock It, Drop It”.

September 30, 2017
Dwayne Page
Lisa Cripps, Coordinator of the DeKalb Prevention Coalition.
Prescription Drug Take Back Day October 28 downtown Smithville from 10-2

The DeKalb Prevention Coalition (DPC) is spreading a message in its effort to combat prescription drug abuse. “Count It, Lock It, Drop It”.

Statistics from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) show that 55% of prescriptions are obtained free from a friend or relative. Three simple steps can make a big difference in prescription drug abuse. COUNT your pills, keep them LOCKED up, and dispose of them in the DROP box at Smithville City Hall and you won't become an accidental drug dealer. A prescription drug take back day will be held downtown Smithville on Saturday, October 28 from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

“Whatever medications you have in your house, you should keep locked up. If you don’t have a lock box, come to my office in the county complex and I will give you a lock box free. Once the medication becomes out of date or if you don’t use it all bring it by the drop box at city hall,” said Lisa Cripps, Coordinator of the DeKalb Prevention Coalition.

Cripps said she and Alexandria Police Chief Chris Russell have applied for a drop box for Alexandria to serve the western portion of the county.

Approximately fifty pounds of unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs were collected in April during the last Prescription Drug Take Back Day sponsored locally by the DeKalb Prevention Coalition. Others that participated in the day were the DeKalb County Health Department, Board of Education-Coordinated School Health, Haven of Hope, St. Thomas DeKalb Hospital, Therapeutic Intervention Inc., Dept. of Children Services, and the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth,

The Mission of DPC is to unite community leaders and citizens of DeKalb County forming strong partnerships across major community sectors with the goal of reducing substance abuse. The DPC would like to extend an invitation to all residents to become a part of the coalition. The meetings are held the last Tuesday of each month at 12:00pm. The next meeting will be October 31, at 10:30am at the UT Extension room in the county complex. For more information contact Lisa Cripps 615-580-9290 or the facebook page at facebook.com/DeKalbPreventionCoalition.

Tigers Lose Catfight at Livingston Academy

September 30, 2017
Dwayne Page
Tigers Lose Catfight at Livingston Academy

The DeKalb County Tigers battled the Livingston Academy Wildcats on the road Friday night but fell short losing 29 to 18.

The Tigers drop to 2-5 on the season and 0-2 in the region. The Wildcats improve to 6-1 and to 3-0 in region play.

DeKalb County took the lead on its first possession driving 74 yards for a score. Jesse Smith got the Tigers on the board with a touchdown run and with Andrew Fuson’s PAT DeKalb County led 7-0 with 9:12 left in the 1st period.

A 27 yard field goal by Tee Beaty put the Wildcats on the board with 6:08 left in the 1st period to cut the Tiger led to 7-3.

Andrew Fuson booted a 26 yard field goal with 5:28 left in the 2nd period to extend the Tiger lead to 10-3, capping a 64 yard DC drive.

On the ensuing kick-off, the Wildcats made a return to the Tiger 30 yard line and then drove for a score on a Wade Neely 3 yard touchdown run with 2:41 left in 2nd period. Beaty’s PAT tied the game at 10-10.

Livingston Academy grabbed the lead with 31 seconds left in the 2nd period on another 3 yard touchdown run by Wade Neely, capping a 61 yard drive. The PAT attempt was no good but the Wildcats lead 16-0 at half time.

The only score in the 3rd period came on a Mitchell Ayers 4 yard touchdown run for Livingston Academy with 6:13 left in the 3rd period capping an 84 yard drive. Beaty booted the extra point and the Wildcats pushed their lead to 23-10.

Beaty kicked a pair of 33 yard field goals in the 4th period with 10:36 to go and then with 6:45 left in the game to extend the Livingston Academy advantage to 26 to 10 and then to 29 to 10.

The last score of the game came on a 27 yard touchdown pass from Quarterback Tyler Cantrell to Braxton Linder. Cantrell added the 2 point conversion on a quarterback keeper but the Tigers could draw no closer and lost 29 to 18.

DeKalb County will host Smith County (4-2) next Friday night, October 6 in Smithville. Kick-off is at 7:00 p.m. WJLE will have LIVE coverage.

October is National Chiropractic Health Month

September 29, 2017
Dwayne Page
County Mayor Tim Stribling signs proclamation  with Dr. Robert Atnip & Guylene Atnip looking on

Dr. Robert R. Atnip and DeKalb County are joining chiropractic physicians nationwide this October during National Chiropractic Health Month to help raise awareness of non-drug approaches to pain management in the face of the U.S. opioid epidemic.

During National Chiropractic Health Month this October, the American Chiropractic Association is sharing back injury prevention and strengthening tips as well as information on the value of a conservative approach to back pain treatment with the theme “Back to Basics”

On Friday, DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribling signed a proclamation designating October as “National Chiropractic Health Month” in DeKalb County. Dr. Atnip and his wife Guylene were on hand for the occasion.

The proclamation follows:

WHEREAS, According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as one in four patients who receive prescription opioids long term for non-cancer pain in primary care settings struggles with addiction;

WHEREAS, Every day, more than 1,000 people are treated in the ER for misusing prescription opioids, and deaths involving opioids have quadrupled since 1999;

WHEREAS,The spread of opioid abuse has prompted the White House to announce it will designate the opioid crisis a national emergency;

WHEREAS, Because of this epidemic, the need for noninvasive, non-drug approaches to pain management for common musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain has increased throughout the world and particularly in the United States;

WHEREAS, The American College of Physicians (ACP) in 2017 released updated low-back pain treatment guidelines that promote the use of noninvasive, non-drug approaches as a first line of defense against back pain, before the use of pain medications and surgery;

WHEREAS, Chiropractors focus on the whole person with their noninvasive, non-drug approach to health care and pain management;

WHEREAS, There is a growing body of research validating the effectiveness of chiropractic services—spinal manipulation in particular—for the treatment of low-back pain, leading many respected health care organizations such as the ACP to include chiropractic/spinal manipulation in their guidelines for physicians;

WHEREAS, National Chiropractic Health Month 2017 serves as a reminder to all citizens of DeKalb County that noninvasive, non-drug treatments for low-back pain such as chiropractic services/spinal manipulation may lessen or eliminate the need for riskier, potentially addictive treatments such as prescription opioid pain medications and should be thoroughly exhausted whenever possible before initiating over-the-counter and prescription opioid therapy;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the County of DeKalb, Tennessee officially joins with the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) in proclaiming the month of October 2017 as National Chiropractic Health Month.

Reserve Now for October 28 Fall Color Cruise

September 29, 2017
A leisurely cruise on a beautiful fall day with Fount Bertram, President of Edgar Evins State park, at the wheel.

Imagine an afternoon excursion on a pontoon boat cruising beautiful Center Hill Lake in late October, the water reflecting the blue of the sky, and trees ablaze with color along the banks. This is the idyllic scenario that has inspired the Annual Fall Color Cruise sponsored by the Friends of Edgar Evins State Park, and park employees for 15 years. No one can guarantee perfect weather every year but we can anticipate everyone having a good time!

This will be the 15th year of this popular annual event on Sat., Oct. 28th from 1 p.m. to about 4 p.m. Seats are $15 per person. Sorry, no children under age 3 are allowed for safety reasons. Report to the marina dock at 1 p.m. to check in prior to boarding the boats.

Online reservations open Oct. 1st. Go to www.foeesp.com/color-cruise to make reservations. Both Visa or Master Card are accepted. If you need help you may call the park office ( 931) 858-2114 or toll free at 800-250-8619 for contact information for Fount Bertram, President of Friends of Edgar Evins State Park.

Camping and cabins are available at the park for those desiring to make this an overnight or weekend outing. Reserve online at http://tnstateparks.com/parks/about/edgar-evins or call the park office for assistance.

The park is located at 1630 Edgar Evins Park Road, Silver Point, TN 38582. It is in DeKalb County, approximately 20 miles north of Smithville, 20 miles west of Cookeville and 60 miles east of Nashville. It is easily accessible from I-40 at exit 268 at State Hwy. 96 and Center Hill Lake.

This annual event is a fund raiser for Friends of Edgar Evins State Park, an all volunteer non-profit membership organization with the sole purpose of helping the park. For more information visit their website at www.foeesp.com or visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/friendsofeesp/

Tigers Travel to Livingston Academy Tonight (LISTEN TO TIGER TALK HERE)

September 29, 2017
Dwayne Page
Tigers Travel to Livingston Academy Tonight (LISTEN TO TIGER TALK HERE)

The DCHS Tigers will be back on the road again tonight to face perhaps their toughest challenge to date this season in the Livingston Academy Wildcats

Kick-Off is at 7:00 p.m.

The Wildcats are 5-1 on the season and 2-0 in the region. DeKalb County is 2-4 and 0-1 in region play



“It is definitely going to be a football team that will challenge our defense. They have the ability to throw and run the football. They have a couple of good running backs and a good young quarterback. They are a young football team. They have a defense we are familiar with. They have not changed a whole lot from when we played them a few years ago. They have played a couple of teams we have played and beaten them pretty well so our football team understands what the people outside the fence are thinking about this game. I really expect our guys to go down there and really battle extremely hard and make this a football game we have an opportunity to play very well in,” said Coach Steve Trapp.

DeKalb County is 2-4 with losses to Warren County 26-10, Upperman 49-27, Stone Memorial 38-16, and Watertown 59-21. Their wins have been over Grundy County 27-7 and Cannon County 42-0.

Livingston Academy has wins over White County 35-0, Cumberland County 40-7, Upperman 32-20, Stone Memorial 37-0, and Smith County 16-13. The Wildcats only loss has been to Cookeville 35-14.

WJLE will have LIVE coverage of the football game on AM 1480/FM 101.7 and LIVE streaming at www.wjle.com with the Voice of the Tigers John Pryor and Luke Willoughby.

WJLE’s Pre-Game shows begin with “Coach to Coach” at 5:00 p.m. featuring former UT football coach Phillip Fulmer and former UT assistant coach Doug Matthews with broadcaster Larry Stone talking Tennessee and SEC football.

“Coach to Coach” is followed by “Murphy’s Matchups at 6:00 p.m., a look at Tennessee High School Football from Murphy Fair with commentary on games and coaches interviews.

“Tiger Talk” airs at 6:30 p.m. with the Voice of the Tigers John Pryor interviewing Coach Steve Trapp and Tiger players Riley Sexton, Brady Hughes, and Nick May

The game kicks off at 7:00 p.m. with play by play coverage on WJLE with John Pryor and color commentary by Luke Willoughby

Pody, Carfi Running for State Senate

September 29, 2017
Dwayne Page
Mark Pody
Mary Alice Carfi

Although the primaries will be uncontested in November, there will be a challenge in the December special election to fill the unexpired term of State Senator Mae Beavers, who resigned September 1 to run full time for Governor.

Mark Pody will run unopposed in the Republican primary, and Mary Alice Carfi will be the only candidate in the Democratic primary.

Pody, current District 46 state representative, is an insurance salesman in Lebanon. Carfi of Barnes Drive Lebanon is an attorney in Old Hickory and Mt. Juliet .

Primaries will be November 7, and the General Election will be December 19. Both elections will be in Wilson, Cannon, DeKalb, Smith, Clay and Macon counties that make up the 17th Senate District.

The qualifying deadline for candidates was Noon Thursday, September 28th.

Early voting for the primaries will be held October 18 through November 2 on the first floor of the DeKalb County Courthouse. Early voting hours are Mondays 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesdays 9 a.m. until Noon; Wednesdays 9 a.m. until Noon; Thursdays 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Fridays 9 a.m. until Noon and Saturdays 9 a.m. until Noon.

Voting hours for election day, December 19 at all precincts will be 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Beavers’ term expires after the November elections in 2018.


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