Local News Articles

School Board Looks to Contract Custodial Services

July 14, 2014
Dwayne Page
School Board (Older Photo)
Board of Education (Older Photo)

In an effort to save money and relieve each school of the in-house burden, the DeKalb County Board of Education is considering contracting with a company to provide custodial services at all schools in the county.

Representatives of GCA Services Group addressed the School Board Thursday night and made a proposal to contract with the system for $400,000 for the first year with annual renewal options for at least up to five years. All current custodial staff working for the school system, recommended by the principals would be hired by GCA. All chemicals, equipment, and consumables would also be provided by GCA for maintaining the buildings year round.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby said he has contacted several school systems where GCA works and all have given him a good report. "I have not found anybody that had anything negative to say. The quality of work they do that I have heard about and looked at is extremely good," he said.

The school board took no action Thursday night. A special meeting is set for Tuesday, July 15 at 7:00 p.m. to make a final decision.

According to its website, GCA Services Group, Inc. is a leading national provider of quality facility services, including janitorial/custodial services, contamination control for cleanroom manufacturing, facilities operations and maintenance, grounds management, in-sourced production staffing and labor management, diversified staffing, and more.

With over 34,000 employees in 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, GCA serves a variety of sectors, including K-12 schools, higher education, manufacturing, corporate office buildings, and others. GCA’s management team is recognized as one of the strongest and most experienced in the industry.

Craig Colquitt, Senior Sales Director said GCA would partner with the school system, improve the cleanliness and look of the schools, train the current staff of custodians, provide them health insurance and benefits, and give them an opportunity for promotions. "We are in 35 school districts in the state (Tennessee) and in 250 school districts across the country. We consider ourselves allies, partners. We know your current concerns are for your principals, teachers, and your employees. They are for us too," Colquitt said.

"One thing we do when we come into a district is that we talk to the principals first and foremost. Any of these employees who are doing a good job, we want on our team," said Josh Helton, Senior Regional Manager. "We need your employees. We want to train them. We know how important it is to hire locally and to give these people a chance to move forward," he said.

"We provide upward mobility and promotions. We're in a lot of districts so if there are people here who are capable of doing more, we want to give them that opportunity if they want it to move up into a managerial position and even further," said Adam Miles, Sales Director.

Employees who do a good job on a daily basis would also be rewarded through a regular recognition program. "We have an employee of the month and a building of the month at every location and every school system. We usually present a gift card or offer some form of recognition and a plaque. We also do a building of the month to recognize the entire crew at that school. That usually involves a dinner, lunch or whatever they (employees) like to do. Maybe a sporting event," said Helton.

In addition to the daily chores, GCA would be responsible for cleanup for after school activities. "All school related activities, ball games, PTO events, and board meetings, we'll be there to clean up before and after and take care of things," said Miles.

"In addition to the cleaning inside of the buildings, we will patrol the perimeter within twenty five feet of the school and clean up trash and debris", Miles said.

Although not part of the contracted clean up responsibilities, GCA provides beautification projects as a value added service. " Maybe the outside grounds need a little work too. We're not just about inside strip and wax. We can come in and plant, mulch and do things like that to beautify those areas," said Helton.

While principals would no longer be directly over the custodians, they would still have input with GCA. "If principals are concerned that they will lose control of their building if they are not calling the shots, that's the furthest thing from the truth. They are what makes this thing work. Every day, we'll check in with them, especially the first quarter or so and make sure they have what they need and are happy. We would have a designated account manager, a direct contact for all principals and the day porters and night crews at each school will have a supervisor over them," said Miles. GCA would further maintain an on-call list of employees who could be summoned to work in the event of an absence by a regular custodian due to illness or other reason.

Sixth District Board member Doug Stephens asked how GCA could save the school system money. "What you presented is very impressive but how can we either be so bad or you so good that you can save us $50,000 a year," he asked?

"Purchasing power. All equipment, training and consumables are provided by us and we're getting our equipment and consumables at a much lower rate than you can. All those costs to you, we'll absorb including insurance, benefits, and workman's comp," said Helton. We keep our workman's comp costs down with proper training, equipment, education, and supplies they (custodians) need. If we are stripping and waxing a floor, they're (employees) are going to be in glasses and stripper shoes. We want them to go home the same way they arrived. Anything less than that on our part is unacceptable," added Miles.

Part of the savings on equipment is coming from the fact that we're buying the equipment full price but we're negotiating that. We're getting a better price than you do. You'll buy it at full cash price. We'll depreciate that over five years. If we don't maintain the contract for five years we're out. So it behooves us to keep it for five years because we've bought new equipment and depreciated it over that period of time. That's part of the savings. With 36,000 employees, we can negotiate on any kind of supply with our buying power," said Colquitt.

We can offer you a significant savings from what you're spending in house while inheriting all of your recommended employees. We have the leadership that is ready to go. We've got the turn key service, if you want us in here we can take care of you from start to finish, from unlocking the building to locking the building and everything in between. We're here. If you need us, you call us, even if it's an emergency in the middle of the night. We want to be a partner. We want to take care of the buildings. We want to be proud of it and we want the students and the staff to show up and say this building looks great. It's simple and easy, which is what the principals like the most," said Miles.

With the consumables, such as trash bags and toilet paper provided by GCA, schools would no longer have to bear that expense, which usually runs from two to four thousand dollars a year, and paid for through fundraisers.

First District member John David Foutch asked about GCA's health insurance plan for employees. "I am interested in the employees insurance compared to what ours are paying now. Whether it's comparable. If it's way out of line, it's not being fair to the people who have been loyal to us. I think they have done a good job. A lot of them work for insurance," said Foutch.

"All the insurance they currently have, we offer," said Miles. "Insurance costs will vary based upon packages offered but we have multiple packages including major medical and dental and they (employees) can retrofit it however they see fit. We work with United Healthcare and Humana. United offers a Bronze, Silver, and Gold plan," he said.

Board Chairman Johnny Lattimore asked GCA to provide some numbers in terms of costs for individual , spouse and family health insurance plans during the special meeting Tuesday night.

GCA pledges to be actively involved in the community."We do a lot of things in the community we're really proud of. As far as sponsorships go, as far as sports, we know how hard it is to get funding for coaches. We'd love to chip in on that and sponsor events. Anything local in the community we can put our name on and help you guys with that, we'd like to do that as well," Helton said.

*****(Foot Note)*******
Craig Colquitt of GCA Services Group, Inc. is a retired American football punter who spent eight seasons in the National Football League (NFL) with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1978–1981, 1983–1984) and Indianapolis Colts (1987). He was a member of two Super Bowl Champions with the Steelers in 1978 and 1979. He is the father of two current NFL punters, Dustin and Britton Colquitt. His brother, Jimmy Colquitt, was a punter for the Seattle Seahawks in 1985. All four played college football at the University of Tennessee.[1] Craig was inducted into the Greater Knoxville Hall of Fame July 16, 2009

Amateur Radio Special Event Station Successful

July 14, 2014
William Freddy Curtis
Amateur Radio Special Event Station Successful

The DeKalb/Cannon County Amateur Radio Club conducted a Special Event Station at the 42nd Annual Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Craft Festival on Saturday, July 5th, 2014. This year marked the fifteenth year that a special event station had been set up at the Jamboree.

The station was setup at the front entrance of the Justin Potter Library during the early morning hours on Saturday. Antennas were assembled, radios were properly checked, and transmissions were begun at 7:30 AM local time. Operations took place in the 20 meter, 40 meter, and 15 meter Amateur Radio bands, and the station was publicized in Amateur Radio magazines QST, CQ, and the club website. This year operations took place on a beautiful sunny day.

The station contacted 213 total Amateur Radio Stations in 37 States, and Ontario, Manitoba, and Quebec Canada, as well as stations in Ireland, Finland, and Saudi Arabia. One interesting contact included the Ham Station on-board a World War II vintage B-17G Bomber which is being restored at an airport in Savannah, Georgia, and the Museum of Science and Technology in Syracuse, New York.

Amateur Radio Operator Guests included the following: K3CWC – Wilson Cowan, Lebanon, TN; ARRL Tennessee Section Manager – N9DGK – Keith Miller, Rockvale, TN; WB4HDM – Lynne Hamrick, McMinnville, TN; KD4TVO – Joe Poole, Wartburg, TN. Very special guests were: KF5QYU - Brandon Turrentine, Winnie, TX; KD5EFM – Debbie Driver, Houston, TX; AK5Q – Mickey A. Driver, Houston, TX, who are members of the KC5WXA Jake McClain Driver Memorial Amateur Radio Club, Houston, TX.

Participants of the station included DeKalb/Cannon County Amateur Radio Club Members:
NN9J – Steve Kujawski, Sparta, TN; NF9G - Kathy Kujawski, Sparta, TN; KC4GUG – Freddy Curtis, Smithville, TN. This year the station also had CW or Morse code included in the operation. This was done by N4LZY – Jerry Elkins of Woodbury, Tennessee and added greatly to the station operation. Mr. Elkins also called a Navy-Marine Corps MARS (Military Auxillary Radio System) Tennessee Area State-wide Net from the Special Event Station for the first time ever.

The club would like to offer thanks to Jamboree Coordinator - Mr. Jack Burton, Justin Potter Librarian - Mrs. Kathy Hendrixson, DeKalb County EMA Director – Charlie Parker, and Mr. Darryl Counts - Postmaster, Smithville Post Office for their support of this activity.

The DeKalb/Cannon County Amateur Radio Club is an organization of Amateur Radio operators from DeKalb, Cannon, and Surrounding Counties and is an affiliated club of the American Radio Relay League. The next club meeting will be on Thursday, July 31st, 2014 - 6:30 PM at the DeKalb County Complex, 722 South Congress Boulevard, Smithville, TN. Any person interested in Amateur Radio is invited to attend. More information about the club can be found at the club’s website – http://www.dccarc.org.

Picture Caption:

Picture 1 = Amateur Radio Operators at the Special Event Station operate under the tent in the rain during the 42nd Annual Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree and Crafts Festival included:
Left to Right - KC4GUG - Freddy Curtis; NN9J - Steve Kujawski; WB4HDM – Lynne Hamrick and N4LZY – Jerry Elkins. Photo Courtesy of NF9G – Kathy Kujawski.

First Day of School Education Celebration July 31

July 12, 2014
Dwayne Page
Michelle Burklow

The Annual First Day of School Education Celebration for DeKalb County will be held on Thursday, July 31 starting at 6:30 p.m. downtown around the courthouse square.

The celebration is held on school registration day.

Michelle Burklow, Supervisor of Instruction for Pre-Kindergarten to 6th Grade, said the event is free and all parents and students are urged to attend to help kick off the new school year. "Our goal is to provide an evening of activities, education, and enjoyment for the residents of DeKalb County. We will be having information booths, passing out school supplies, refreshments, and various activities for the students to participate in while promoting education."

"This will also provide a time for our teachers and parents to come together to build a foundation for new and positive relationships, right from day one," said Burklow

"Our First Day of School Celebration is an opportunity for our schools to take a leadership role in re-enforcing and improving relationships among parents, teachers, students, and the community. This is the one day each year when it is both easiest and most important to enlist families as partners in our children's education. This is a great time for us to engage our families and make them feel welcome into our schools."

"So come out and join us. Everything is free that evening. We'll have free school supplies, free food, snacks and lots of community people coming together to make this event possible", said Burklow.

"There are many volunteers, churches, and organizations that come together to make this event possible for our children so they are able to start school with new supplies and a great positive attitude."

If you would like to help with this event please call Michelle Burklow at 597-4084. Volunteers are needed.

This celebration is totally free of charge to those who attend so make plans now to join the fun downtown Smithville on Thursday, July 31

DeKalb West School Addition to Open with Start of School

July 11, 2014
Dwayne Page
DeKalb West Addition to Open with Start of School

Except for the kitchen, the DeKalb West School addition is expected to be completed by the time school starts later this month.

David Brown of Kaatz, Binkley, Jones & Morris Architects and Levi Bouton of J. Cumby Construction updated the Director of Schools and Board of Education on the project Thursday night.

According to Bouton, the kitchen should be finished by August 22nd. Until then, students will be served sack lunches just as they were on the last few days of school before summer break.

"This is the definition of the home stretch. The next couple of weeks are going to be exciting, "said Brown. "We are scheduled to do our punch list of the classroom addition and the cafeteria on the same date as the State Fire Marshal is going to be there to do an inspection. After that, we will have arrived at the stage called substantial completion. That means that you can use the building for the purpose that it was designed for. You can move in. You can start using it as classrooms. In new construction, that's the date when utilities are turned over to your name from the contractor's name. That's the date the one year warranty starts and your clock starts on most of your warranty work. We will do the punch list. Each item on the list will be addressed and then we'll start getting the closeout documents. All of the focus will then shift over to getting the kitchen wrapped up," said Brown.

"We are just a couple of weeks away from the substantial completion," said Bouton. "Immediate hurdles that we have are that the kitchen is not going to be complete at substantial completion. But the new addition and the cafeteria will be able to be turned over at that point. The exterior of the building which includes all the grade work, the site work, and the additional underground drainage that was added to the project, we're anticipating that being done by the second week in August," he said.

Bouton assured Director of Schools Mark Willoughby that the addition would be ready to open with the start of school July 31, except for the kitchen.

"Do you feel really confident that we will be in that building at the beginning of school?," asked Willoughby.

"Yes sir," responded Bouton.

"The cooler and the freezer have been installed but the remainder of all the (kitchen) equipment is in storage. We've just got to say go. I don't want it there just yet. It (kitchen) is not presentable for that yet," said Bouton.

School Nutrition Supervisor Stephanie Dyer said she is glad that the cafeteria will be ready by the start of school and that sack lunches could be served until the kitchen is completed. "As far as feeding the children, we will continue what we were doing prior to school being out with our sack lunches. The kids really did enjoy that. We were able to give them a different variety of sandwiches and that worked fine so for two or three weeks, it should not be a problem. My main concern was making sure the cafeteria was completed so they (students) have a place to eat and for us to serve." said Dyer.

Most of the new construction is at the front of the existing building. The project includes eight new classrooms, seven of which are tornado safe shelters, along storm shelter restrooms. The addition also features a new secure entrance to the school, an office, clinic, conference room, and a teacher work area. A new larger kitchen has been constructed as an extension to the existing building and the cafeteria is enlarged. A re-roofing of the existing school was part of the overall project and most of that has been finished. The school also has a new intercom and fire alarm system. The section featuring the tornado safe rooms was largely funded through a FEMA grant program. The required grant match as well as DWS projects not covered by FEMA were funded locally.

Willoughby Announces Teacher Resignations

July 11, 2014
Dwayne Page

The DCHS Band Director and several teachers have announced their resignations.

In his monthly report on personnel moves, Director of Schools Mark Willoughby informed the school board Thursday night that the following persons have resigned:

Jonathon Wright, DCHS Band Director

Audra Stangenberg, Special Education teacher at Smithville Elementary School

Samantha Murphy, teacher at DeKalb Middle School

Brittany Allen, teacher at DCHS

Lindsey Holmes, teacher at Smithville Elementary School

Nicole Green, teacher at DCHS

Mary Ann Blair, teacher at Northside Elementary School

Walter Phillips, who has retired as bus driver.

DeKalb Schools to Reopen for Registration July 31

July 11, 2014
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County Schools will re-open with registration for all students on Thursday, July 31. That will be an abbreviated school day from 7:45 a.m. until 9:30 a.m.

Friday, August 1 will be an administrative day for teachers only.

The first full day of school for all students will be Monday, August 4.

During Thursday night's school board meeting, DCHS Principal Patrick Cripps announced that freshmen orientation will be Monday, July 28 at 5:30 p.m. at DCHS . New students to the county at DCHS may pre-register from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday, July 28-30. That is not for incoming freshmen. Only new students to the county entering DCHS.

Amanda Dakas, Assistant Principal at DeKalb Middle School announced that sixth grade orientation at DeKalb Middle School will be Tuesday, July 29 from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. for students with a last name beginning with the letters "A" through "K" and from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. for students with a last name beginning with the letters "L" to "Z".

Beth Pafford, Assistant Principal at Northside Elementary School said that a "Meet Your Teacher" night for second and third grade students will be Tuesday, July 29 at 5:30 p.m. at Northside Elementary School. Parents and children may tour the school and meet the teachers.

Meanwhile Michelle Burklow, Supervisor of Instruction for Pre-K through 6th Grade announced that the annual first day of school education celebration will be Thursday, July 31 from 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. on the public square.

According to the 2014-15 school calendar, a system wide in-service day will be Monday, July 28

All teachers will report to their individual schools on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 29 and July 30


2014 15 Academic Calendar.pdf (139.97 KB)

Students will not attend on Monday, Labor Day, September 1.

Schools will be closed for the fall break October 20-31

Students will be off for the Thanksgiving holiday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, November 26, 27, & 28 and for the Christmas break December 22 through January 2. Friday, December 19 will be the last day students attend before Christmas break and that will be an abbreviated school day. Monday, January 5 will be a stockpile day for teachers. Students will return after the holidays on Tuesday, January 6.

Schools will be closed for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 19 and for President's Day, Monday, February 16.

Schools will be closed for spring break March 30 through April 3

No school for students Memorial Day, Monday May 25.

The following are designated as Early Release dates: Friday, August 29; Friday, October 3; Friday, February 13; and Friday, March 6

Students will not attend on Friday, May 22. That will be an administrative day and all teachers must attend. The last day of school will be Tuesday, May 26. That will be an abbreviated school day and report cards will be sent home.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held on Tuesday, October 7 and Tuesday, March 10 at DeKalb County High School from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will also be held from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Thursday, October 9 and Thursday, March 12 at DeKalb Middle School, Northside Elementary, Smithville Elementary, and DeKalb West School.

DCHS report cards will be sent home on Monday, October 6 and Monday, March 9 and at all other schools on Tuesday, October 7 and Tuesday, March 10.

Hospital Hosts Kids Backpack Food Drive

July 10, 2014
Shan Burklow
Hospital Hosts Kids Backpack Food Drive

DeKalb Community Hospital along with the artists of Off the Beaten Path are sponsoring their annual ‘Hungry Kids Backpack Food Drive’. Last year, in honor of the combined pounds lost during the Weight Loss Challenge, the hospital donated over 943 pounds of food for both DeKalb and Cannon County backpack programs. The donated food - such as crackers, juice boxes, raisins, and microwaveable pasta – will be used for hundreds of hungry kids across both DeKalb and Cannon Counties.

“Last year, after such a tremendous outpouring of community support, some of the backpack program directors were moved to tears of gratitude upon receiving such a tremendous amount of food!” said Shan Burklow – Marketing Director of DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospital, “It made us feel so good to see everyone come together and give whatever they could. Donation drop boxes are available at both DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospital or can be dropped off in the administration office as well. The artists of Off the Beaten Path Studio Tour will be selling pottery and art at the DeKalb Farmers Market with 100% of the proceeds supporting the program as well.”

“This is an important need that takes everyone’s continued support to conquer. Children should never go home and have nothing to eat, but unfortunately, this happens more than we can imagine,” said Sue Conley- CEO of DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospital, “It is our goal to beat last year’s donations and raise over one thousand pounds of food for this worthy cause. Please come out and donate whatever you can spare.”

The program asks that donations be limited to non-perishable items, pop-top pasta, crackers, juice boxes, raisins, pretzels, individually wrapped snacks, granola bars, etc. No candy or sugar items will be distributed. For more information on how to participate, contact Shan Burklow: sburklow@dchtn.com or call (615) 215-5448.

Pictured: Tim Hintz (Off the Beaten Path) accepts food raised by DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospital Staff (pictured) along with many community donations. Last year’s Hungry Kids Backpack Food Drive collected over 943 pounds of food to celebrate the pounds lost from the Weight Loss Challenge. This year, the hospitals plan to collect 1,000 pounds of food to help the kids of DeKalb and Cannon Counties.

New Area Code and Ten-Digit Local Dialing Coming Soon

July 10, 2014
Dwayne Page
Craig Gates

Starting in the spring of 2015, anyone applying for new phone service in DeKalb County or elsewhere in north central middle Tennessee can expect to get a new area code once the availability of (615) area code numbers is exhausted. Ten digit local dialing will also be required to complete a call.

The Tennessee Regulatory Authority recently announced plans to implement the new (629) area code. Known as an 'Area Code Overlay,' this change ensures availability of an ongoing supply of telephone numbers. "The state TRA some time ago put out a comments page on their website and asked the people who lived in the 615 area code area if they would like to have another area code split, which is what happened when the 615 and 931 area codes came about, or if they would like to have an overlay. The overwhelming response was an overlay which means that a 629 area code will come into effect in March. They will have to start issuing new numbers under the 629 and 615 area codes," said Craig Gates, Chief Executive Officer of DTC Communications in an interview with WJLE Wednesday.

The reason for the change is because the existing supply of 615 area code numbers is running out. "Across America, ever since cell phones came into being and in 1996 with the advent of the Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLEC) and later IP or Voice Over Internet Carriers, everybody has been gobbling up the phone number pool that exists and they are running out of numbers with the plan they have," said Gates.

According to rules of the Federal Communications Commission, when two area codes serve the same region, callers are required to change the way they dial local calls. While customers do not have to change their existing area code or phone number, they will be required to ten-digit dial all local calls (area code and seven-digit telephone number. " Even though you're going to dial ten digits instead of seven, it's still a local call. But you will have to dial ten digits. Eleven digits will be used for long distance calling ," said Gates.

In addition to landlines, ten digit dialing will also apply to cell phones, fax machines, and other communication systems . "That'll be for cell phones and land lines, your home phone number but some other things people need to think about are automatic dialers, fax machines, alarm systems, security systems, Internet dial up numbers (if you still have dial up Internet), and speed dialers. Phone contact lists will need to be updated. Call forwarding settings will have to be changed. All of those things will have to be done so that people can complete those calls on a mandatory basis in February," said Gates.

Beginning July 26 residents and businesses in the 615 area code can start dialing ten digits - area code + telephone number - when making local calls. Beginning February 28, 2015, everyone in the 615 area code will be required to dial ten digits (area code + telephone number) and starting March 28, 2015, new telephone lines or services may be issued numbers using the 629 area code, if 615 numbers are no longer available.

According to Gates, DTC still has an ample supply of 615 area code numbers. "DTC has plenty of 615 numbers left and we will continue to give out 615 numbers for the foreseeable future but at some point those could become exhausted. Another thing that's been done for the last few years is they can actually claim numbers from us. They can take back numbers. That could happen and if so we would end up with the 629 area code a little quicker than we would otherwise," he said.

DTC customers don't have to wait until July 26 to begin ten digit dialing, according to Gates. " DTC has been allowing permissive dialing for the last few months. Currently you can dial either the seven or ten digits. Once it becomes mandatory, you will have to dial the area code and the seven digits. It becomes mandatory on February 28," he said.

Gates urges DTC customers to become familiar now with the practice of ten digit dialing. "It will be a change. It's going to take some education, especially once that mandatory time hits because people are not going to be ready for it. A lot of people are going to continue to dial seven digits and not think about it. When that day comes, I imagine we're going to start getting some calls from those people who haven't heard or forgotten about it," Gates concluded.

DeKalb Community Hospital Launches "Health Access 24/7"

July 9, 2014
Shan Burklow
DeKalb Community Hospital Launches "Health Access 24/7"

DeKalb Community Hospital has announced the launch of their new electronic health Access called “HA! – Health Access 24/7,” the new online service – which is free to patients – provides secure online access to medical records and health care providers anytime, anywhere. To sign-up for Health Access 24/7 (HA), go to the hospital’s website: www.DeKalbCommunityHospital.com

Kim Frazier , Chief Nursing Officer, played a major role in the implementation of the new online feature. “One of the most convenient things about Health Access 24/7 is the online Personal Health Record (PHR),” she said. “The PHR allows you to store, view, and update all of your health information in one secure place. Only you can decide who has access to your medical history, which ensures your privacy. You can also use it to help manage the health of someone you care for, with their permission, of course.”

“Realizing the benefits of electronic health access depends, of course, on how effectively they're used,” said Sue Conley - Chief Executive Officer of DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospital, “We are glad to offer this opportunity to our patients and look forward to the benefits that Health Access 24/7 (HA) will give them. The goal of the program is to promote the spread of electronic health records to improve health care in DeKalb County and across the United States. It is free and very convenient. You can view your health information from your smart phone, laptop, tablet or any internet friendly device.”

The benefits of Health Access 24/7 include:

•Complete and accurate information. With electronic health records, health care providers have the information they need to provide the best possible care. Providers will know more about their patients and their health history before they walk into the examination room.

•Better access to information. Electronic health records facilitate greater access to the information providers need to diagnose health problems earlier and improve the health outcomes of their patients. Electronic health records also allow information to be shared more easily among doctors' offices, hospitals, and across health systems, leading to better coordination of care.

•Patient empowerment. Electronic health records will help empower patients to take a more active role in their health and in the health of their families. Patients can receive electronic copies of their medical records and share their health information securely over the Internet with their families including test results and medical history.

In addition to helping patients access their personal health information more easily, the hospital’s new patient portal will also help people better manage chronic conditions and coordinate care for dependents (with their permission).

For more information on how you can access your health information and test results online, go to: www.DeKalbCommunityHospital.com

Pictures: A patient shows how easy the new HA! online health information is to use. Health Access 24/7 (HA) is free to patients of DeKalb Community Hospital. The online feature’s goal is to improve communication between patient, doctor and family while saving valuable time for the patient.

Dyal Charged with Burglary and Theft at Two Smithville Businesses

July 8, 2014
Dwayne Page
Kenny Waymon Dyal, Jr.

A Smithville man has been arrested in recent burglaries at two local businesses.

27 year old Kenny Waymon Dyal, Jr. of Jackson Street is charged with two counts of burglary and two counts of theft.

The case was investigated by Lieutenant Detective Matt Holmes of the Smithville Police Department.

According to the charges, Dyal allegedly entered Cash Express located at 126 East Bryant Street on Saturday, July 5 at approximately 1:00 a.m. by taking out a window air conditioner unit and entering through the window. Dyal allegedly took a digital camera and a safe. A search warrant was served on July 5 at Dyal's residence where he was found hiding in the closet. He was in possession of stolen property belonging to the victim.

Dyal is also charged in a break-in at another business the previous week.

In that case, Dyal allegedly entered a gas station located at 627 West Broad Street at approximately 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 28 and took the following items: Approximately $850 in cash and at least four duffle bags full of cigarette cartons. The act was caught on video camera. A search warrant was served on July 5 at Dyal's residence where he was found hiding in the closet and in possession of stolen property belonging to the victim.

In a new development this week, a search warrant was served on Dyal Wednesday, July 9 to collect DNA evidence from him to be sent to the crime lab as he is a suspect in other burglaries.

Meanwhile, 19 year old Brittnay Lykins and 32 year old Crystal Deweese are each charged with theft of property over $500 for the recent theft of two television sets from Walmart. Deweese is also charged with criminal trespassing and evading arrest. Bond for Lykins is $7,500. Deweese is under a $12,000 bond. Both will appear in court July 10.

According to Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger, Lykins picked up Deweese at her home on Friday, June 27 and went to Walmart. While in the store, Deweese allegedly stole two television sets and took off running when confronted by Walmart employees. Deweese left the store and ran toward West Broad Street. She was found behind the Tannery building. As police tried to arrest her, Deweese ran toward Duncan Street but the officer caught up with her. She was handcuffed and brought to the police department. When questioned by police Lykins said she and Deweese had entered Walmart together and that she knew Deweese was going to steal the TV's. Apparently because of her history, Deweese had previously been warned several times to stay away from Walmart stores.

38 year old Desiree Ferrell is charged with sale and delivery of a schedule II drug. She is under a $1,500 bond and will be in court July 17. She was arrested on Monday, June 30. Chief Caplinger said that on March 14 police observed Ferrell getting out of the passenger seat of a vehicle holding a large prescription pill bottle filled with what appeared to be white capsule shaped pills. Ferrell then got in the passenger side of a black Dodge Dakota next to her vehicle where she allegedly sold half of a Hydrocodone pill . The buyer admitted to the officer that Ferrell had taken money for the pill. A warrant was later taken for her arrest but Ferrell could not be located until June 30.

38 year old Valerie Brown is cited for theft of property. She will make a court appearance on July 14. Chief Caplinger said that on Friday, June 6 police were called to Hawkins Discount Thrift Store in reference to a shoplifter. Upon arrival the officer spoke with Brown who allegedly admitted that she attempted to take items from the store.

18 year old Daricy Ferrell and 19 year old Cheyenne Matthews are cited for theft of property. They will be in court on July 17. Chief Caplinger said that on Tuesday, June 17 Ferrell and Matthews allegedly took several items from the Dollar General Store.

32 year old Gilberto Juarez is charged with driving under the influence. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court July 17. Chief Caplinger said that on Friday, June 20 police saw Juarez drive into the parking lot of Kwik N Ezy. After Juarez parked, the officer approached his vehicle and spoke with him. There were two open beers in the center console. Juarez also had a strong odor of alcohol on his person and was very unsteady on his feet. Juarez submitted to but performed poorly on a portable breathalyzer test. He refused to take a blood test.

36 year old Jason Cripps is charged with public intoxication and burglary. He is under a $9,000 bond and will be in court on July 24. Chief Caplinger said that on Wednesday, June 25 police responded to DeKalb Specialty Clinic on a complaint of an intoxicated person who had showed up at a doctor's office there. Upon arrival, the officer was told that Cripps had left but was seen walking toward the hospital. The officer heard an auto alarm and found Cripps who had allegedly entered a Jeep Cherokee and was going through personal belongings and papers in the vehicle without the owner's consent. According to police, Cripps' speech was slurred and he was unsteady on his feet. Cripps was placed under arrest.

43 year old Christopher Richardson is charged with public intoxication. His bond is $1,500. Chief Caplinger said police recently responded to 225 East Bryant Street in reference to a fight. Upon arrival the officer saw Richardson standing in the hallway of the apartment complex trying to get another person to come out of his residence to fight him. Richardson had a strong odor of alcohol on his person. His speech was slurred and he was unsteady on his feet. Richardson admitted to having consumed several beers. He was placed under arrest.

22 year old Chandler Robinson is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court July 10. Chief Caplinger said that on Sunday, June 20 police responded to a residence on Riley Avenue in reference to a domestic call. Upon arrival the officer spoke with Robinson and his wife. Robinson told police that the two of them got into an argument and that he allegedly pushed her on the back of the head. He then went into the kitchen and came back cursing and shoved her with both hands on her chest. She called police.

29 year old Melissa Higgins is cited for shoplifting from Walmart. She will be in court July 14.

20 year old Samantha Goodson and 23 year old Eric Judkins are charged with retaliation for a past action. Goodson's bond is $10,000. Bond for Judkins is $20,000. They will be in court July 24. According to police, on July 1 Goodson allegedly assisted Judkins in assaulting their victim in retaliation for a past action by punching him in the face. The victim allegedly testified against Judkins in another case. This occurred at Bill Page Ball Park.


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