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National Get Outdoors Day at Center Hill Lake

May 30, 2016

Center Hill Lake will be participating in National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day), the ninth annual event to encourage heathy, active outdoor fun. This year’s event will be held at Floating Mill Park and Hurricane Marina Saturday, June 11 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, with a beachfront movie at dusk. Attendance is free to the public.

Primary goals of the day are reaching first-time visitors to public lands and reconnecting our youth to the great outdoors. This GO Day event will offer a mix of information centers, and “active fun” areas – places where guests, and especially kids can fish (Tennessee’s Free Fishing Day), take pontoon rides to the island, games, scavenger hunt, fitness programs, live music, and much more. At dusk Floating Mill Park will be showing Pirates of the Caribbean at the swimming area.

There will also be two types of “boat” races the public may participate in. At Floating Mill Park there will be an “Anything that Floats Race.” Participants may build their “boat” out of any materials that floats. Hurricane Marina will be hosting a “Non-motorized Boat Race.” This event is open to anyone with a kayak, canoe, paddleboard, etc. that is not motorized. Both events will have prizes. For more information, please contact the Center Hill Resource Manager’s Office at: (931) 858-3125.

The pilot effort of National Get Outdoors Day was launched on June 14, 2008 and has grown every year. Last year over 171 official GO Day sites across the nation welcomed over 48,000 new faces to the joy and benefits of the great outdoors. GO Day is an outgrowth of the Get Outdoors USA! Campaign, which encourages Americans, especially our youth, to see our healthy, active outdoor lives and embrace our parks, forests, refuges, and other public lands and waters.

To find a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project near you visit

Clark Wins "Best of Show" at DeKalb Art Exhibit

May 30, 2016
Dwayne Page
This exhibit by Leah Payton Clark won first place and  “Best of Show”  in the 9th through 12th grade division
People's Choice Award went to Ella Grace Kirksey in the pre-kindergarten to 1st grade division for this exhibit.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st Grade: 1st Place-Wade Evans for this exhibit
Division 2- 2nd & 3rd grades: 1st Place- Lela Fayette for this exhibit
Division 3- 4th & 5th grades: 1st Place-Hannah Swoape for this exhibit
Division 4- 6th - 8th grades; 1st Place-Preston Miller for this exhibit
Leah Payton Clark-Overall Best of Show Art Winner Grades 9-12

Leah Payton Clark won first place and “Best of Show” in the 9th through 12th grade division of the DeKalb Art Exhibit held Saturday at the County Complex. The annual event was sponsored by the Smithville Study Club. Susan Hinton is the President of the club.

Meanwhile, the People's Choice Award went to Ella Grace Kirksey in the pre-kindergarten to 1st grade division.

Winners of Outstanding Art Awards in other categories were:
Pre-K to 2nd grade: Lela Fayette
Grades 3-5: Hannah Swoape
Grades 6-8: Preston Miller

This year’s art exhibit featured 265 entries from winners named at each school.

Division 1- Pre-Kindergarten to 1st Grade:
1st Place-Wade Evans
2nd Place- Chase Young
3rd Place-Michelle Torres Soto
Honorable Mention-Cora Cox

Merit Awards:
Kayce Hale
Valeria Serrano
Ben Barton

Division 2- 2nd & 3rd grades
1st Place- Lela Fayette
2nd Place-Tacoma Maples
3rd Place-Addison McBroom
Honorable Mention-Keana Milligan

Merit Awards:
Tatum Young
Abby Joe Crook
Avery Agee
Larissa Mooneyham
Nick Tallent
Mireya Barrett
Violet Nunez
Caleb Tipton
Emily Robinson
Emily Young

Division 3- 4th & 5th grades
1st Place-Hannah Swoape
2nd Place-Eric Soto
3rd Place-Anniston Farler
Honorable Mention-Jade Mabe

Merit Awards:
Micah Bogle
Tess Barton
Amelia Atnip
Madelyn Johnson
Madyson Young
Ellie Dillard
Devon Maxwell
Abby Ludwig
Abigail Ferrell
Briahna Murphy

Division 4- 6th - 8th grades
1st Place-Preston Miller
2nd Place-Jadyn Dawson
3rd Place-Skylar Fuson
Honorable Mention: Shanti Liu

Merit Awards:
Stephanie Atnip
Michael Elswick
Kammi Horton
Kyndal Cox
Alley Rader
Makayla Riddley
Noah Terry
Ricky Pack
Logan O’Conner
Sara Carver

Division 5- 9th-12th grades
1st Place- Leah Payton Clark
2nd Place-Shannon Freeman
3rd Place-Hunter Speaks
Honorable Mention-Destiny Ambrose

Merit Awards:
Jasmine Elise Parker
Tyler Farmer
William Dowling

The winning art exhibits will be displayed soon at the Joe L. Evins Appalachian Center for Crafts

Special thanks to art teachers Carol Tripp, Walteen Parker, and Mary Ann Puckett along with all the parents of the students who submitted art.

Pictures will be available through the students’ art teachers and Justin Potter Library June 1.

Fallen Heroes Remembered on Memorial Day (VIEW VIDEOS HERE)

May 30, 2016
Dwayne Page
Local veterans and others gather at the Memorial Monument at the courthouse Monday to observe Memorial Day
Guest Speaker Major Jerry Parker with Susan Hinton
Guest Speaker Major Jerry Parker with Susan Hinton and Three Parts Grace

Members of our community paused to recognize fallen heroes during a Memorial Day program sponsored by the American Legion Post #122 held Monday morning at the county complex auditorium.

Following a program of patriotic music and religious songs by Susan Hinton and Three Parts Grace, guest speaker Major Jerry Parker paid tribute to those who served our nation and particularly those from DeKalb County.

"Memorial Day is one of our two national holidays when we honor and remember those who served in our Armed Forces. On November 11 each year we honor our living veterans. Six months later on Memorial Day, we remember and honor the veterans who died for our country and those who have passed on since," said Major Parker.

"America is only 240 years old. But since July 4, 1776, there have been 1-million, 354-thousand 664 Americans killed in action in our armed forces. That figure does not include the thousands missing in action," he said.

"Memorial Day has gone from being a sacred day of remembrance to a day associated with the beginning of the summer season, big sales at the malls, and car races at the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca Cola 600. There are even some people today who refer to Memorial Day as National Barbeque Day. However, there are still communities such as DeKalb County, who still take time from their Memorial Day activities to pause and remember and honor those who have served in our armed forces and died for our country," said Major Parker.

“While we are gathered here today, let us take a few minutes to remember the men from DeKalb County who gave their lives in battle in foreign lands and on far away oceans. We can find their names on a plaque at the courthouse. We can see their pictures on the walls at churches and schools here in DeKalb County. We notice how young they were. Most of them were in their late teens or early twenties. We can find the picture of a young man in a living room, where a grieving mother or sister still mourns for her son or brother who never came home," he said.

"These men from DeKalb County who died in service to our country did not want to die. But when they were called to duty, they did not flinch and they did not back down when they laid their lives on the line. They were and are our heroes today. We look at their faces in the pictures and notice how young they were. They never grew old. They are forever young. In some ways they are our greatest generation because they gave two lives for their country. They gave the life they had and they gave the life they never had so that we can enjoy the freedoms we have in America and here in DeKalb County," said Major Parker.

"I don’t believe our fallen veterans from DeKalb County would want us to be sad faced today. I think they would want us to enjoy the benefits of freedom they fought for and died for. I think they would want us to remember them today and remember what they did for us," he said.

"Let all of us with gratitude in our hearts rededicate ourselves and promise that our veterans will always be remembered and honored and never forgotten," said Major Parker.

Prior to Major Parker’s remarks, Susan Hinton read “In Flanders Field”, a poem by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army

"In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields."

The program also included posting of the colors by Boy Scout Troop #347, welcome remarks by American Legion Commander William Edmonds, an invocation by Larry Green, Pledge of Allegiance, a recognition by Judy Redmon of local veterans in attendance who served in the various wars since World War II, and recognition of local public officials in attendance by Ronnie Redmon, Adjunct American Legion Post #122, benediction by Charles Olson, and the laying of a wreath at the Veterans Memorial Monument in front of the courthouse. DCHS band member Josh Moon blew taps on his trumpet at the conclusion of the program.

DeKalb School System Offering Kids Free Summer Meals

May 28, 2016
Dwayne Page

Schools in DeKalb County are now closed for the summer. And while most students have left their classrooms happy for the break, some parents may fret about how to feed their children without meals provided through schools.

To make sure children get healthy meals for the next two to three weeks when they aren’t in school, the DeKalb County School System will be providing meals free of charge to those ages 18 and younger.

The meals will be served at DeKalb County High School and DeKalb West School May 27 through June 10 and at Northside Elementary and DeKalb West School May 27 through June 17.

Meal times are:
Breakfast: 7:15 to 8:15 a.m. (DWS-7:45 to 8:15 a.m.)

Lunch: 11:00 a.m. to Noon (DWS- 11:30 a.m. to Noon)

For more information call 615-215-2104

DCHS Announces New Golf and Tennis Coaches

May 27, 2016
Dwayne Page
John Pryor
Seth Willoughby

The new DCHS Golf Coach is John Pryor while Seth Willoughby is taking over coaching duties for the Tennis program. Both positions were formerly held by Joe Pat Cope.

Pryor has been a math teacher at DCHS for eight years. He is a 1993 graduate of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville with a B.S. in Business Administration. Pryor also graduated from law school in 1997 and received his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree.

“I have played golf since I was nine years old and over the years I have played on some great courses across the country. I love the game of golf and look forward to a lot of fun and success with the high school program,” Pryor told WJLE.

When he is not teaching or coaching, Pryor serves as the WJLE play by play broadcaster for football, basketball, baseball and softball.

Willoughby, a 2010 graduate of DCHS, has just completed his first year as a biology teacher at the high school.

“I am glad to have this opportunity to coach tennis. It’s a fun sport and I really enjoyed playing it in high school. I’m happy to be back here at the high school coaching the same sport that I once played,” Willoughby told WJLE.

Willoughby has a B.S. Degree in Wildife and Fisheries Science from Tennessee Tech University and is working toward obtaining a Masters Degree in Curriculum & Instruction.

As during the past season, Willoughby will continue to serve as an assistant to DCHS Tiger Basketball Coach Lynus Martin.

Kennard Named DCHS Girls Basketball Coach

May 27, 2016
Dwayne Page
Nathaniel (Nate) Kennard
Andrew Dixon

DeKalb County High School has a new girls basketball coach.

Nathaniel (Nate) Kennard has been named to replace former Coach Joe Pat Cope. Meanwhile, Andrew Dixon, DCHS Computer Science and Math teacher, will be an assistant to Kennard.

Kennard, who teaches U.S History and World History at DCHS, served as an assistant to Tiger basketball coach Lynus Martin this past season. He has just completed his first year at DCHS.

“It’s my first year of teaching. I was in retail for a while. I also did some volunteer assistant coaching at Livingston Academy for five years prior to coming to DeKalb County. I finally finished up my degree at Tennessee Tech last May and was looking for a teaching job. DeKalb County High School gave me my first opportunity,” Kennard told WJLE.

A resident of Rickman, Kennard received a B.S. degree in Secondary Education-History from Tennessee Tech University in May 2015. His teaching license endorsement is in History and Geography 7-12.

Kennard began his 13 year coaching career at Hilham Middle School in Overton County as the Boys Basketball Coach from 2003-2010 where he was responsible for all aspects of the boys basketball program involving the 6th and 8th grade teams. During those years, the program won two county championships and had five final four state tournament finishes compiling an overall record of 100-85.

From 2010 to 2015 Kennard served as an assistant boys basketball coach (non faculty position) at Livingston Academy. During those years, Livingston Academy had one final four finish, three state tournament appearances, five sectional appearances, three regional championships, and three district championships with an overall record of 128-48.

Prior to his coaching stints, Kennard worked at Food Lion in Livingston as assistant store manager from June 2003 to June 2006 and then store manager from June 2006 to March 2013. He became assistant manager for Houchens Industries in March 2013.

Kennard and his wife Erin are the parents of two sons, 16 year old Benjamin and 7 year old Cooper.

Coach Kennard told WJLE he has gotten to know a lot of people his first year here and is looking forward to next season. “I really like this community. Being from Livingston and driving to Smithville, I didn’t know a lot of people here at first. But they have been very good to me,” he said.

“I have found that the girls coming in next season are very eager to learn. They are very respectful and easy to coach so far and I’ve just had them in tryouts. I’m very excited . I think this is a program on the verge of really blossoming. I think it’s on the verge of a lot of success. Over the last couple of years they have had successful seasons if you look at the record. I am ready to continue that and hopefully move it into the direction that we can go deeper in tournaments in the future,” said Kennard.

“As far as my coaching style, we plan to play an up tempo game. We will be fun to watch and they will have fun while playing,” Kennard said.

DCHS in Search of New Baseball Coach

May 27, 2016
Dwayne Page
Former DCHS Baskeball Coach Tracy Slone

Another DCHS Coach has lost his job.

Baseball Coach Tracy Slone will not return as teacher or coach next season. Slone was hired three years ago as a wellness teacher and coach.

In his three seasons, Slone compiled an overall record of 53-50. His district mark was 26-16 and 8-7 in the post season.

The position is posted as follows on the TSSAA website:

DeKalb County High School is seeking Head Baseball coach. Current teaching positions available: Secondary Math, World History/Geography and PE. If you are interested, contact Kathy Bryant: (615) 597-4094 or

Nomination Period Underway for FSA County Committee Election

May 27, 2016
Donny Green

Donny Green, DeKalb/Cannon County FSA County Executive Director, has announced that the nomination period for the 2016 Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Committee Election is underway. The nomination period continues through August 1, 2016.

"I encourage all producers to participate in the county committee election process by nominating candidates by the August 1 deadline," said Green. "We are counting on as much participation as possible, because county committees are an important link between the farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We have seen a trend in recent years of increased nominations of minority, beginning farmers, and women producers and we hope that will continue."

Committees apply their judgment and knowledge to make decisions on county commodity price-support loan eligibility, establishment of allotments and yields, conservation programs, disaster programs, employment and other farm program-related issues. Nationwide, there are more than 7,800 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees. Committees consist of three to five members who are elected by eligible local producers.
To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area in which the person is a candidate.

Nominees must reside in Local Administrative Area (LAA) for which they are seeking to be elected. For the 2016 Election, the DeKalb/Cannon County FSA County Committee Election will conduct elections in LAA-3 (DeKalb County). Below is the description of the LAA that will be conducting elections this year:

Local Administrative Area # 3, the portions of DeKalb County described as following:

East of Hwy. 56 South beginning at the DeKalb/Warren county line, following Hwy. 56 in a northern direction to the intersection of Highway 56 and Highway 70; south of Highway 70 East to Center Hill Lake; following Center Hill Lake north and northwest to the Caney Fork River thence to the Smith County line; south of the Smith County line and west of the Putnam County line to the White County line; west of the White County line to the Warren County line; north of the Warren County line following the county line back to Highway 56 South at the DeKalb/Warren County line.

Individuals may nominate themselves, or others, as a candidate. In addition, eligible candidates can be nominated by community-based and other organizations in the county where the election is being held before the close of the nomination period, especially groups representing socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers. Nominations and elections are open to all eligible candidates and voters without regard to race, color, religion, nation origin, age, sex, marital status or disability. The nomination form (FSA-669A) is available at USDA Service Centers and online at:

Ballots will be mailed to all eligible voters in LAA # 3 on November 7, 2016. Completed ballots must be returned, either in person or postmarked, no later December 5, 2016. For more information about FSA county committees, visit the DeKalb/Cannon County USDA Service Center or call 615-597-8225, extension 2.

Child Labor Laws Guide Employers Looking to Hire Teenagers for Summer Jobs

May 27, 2016

Students across Tennessee are down to the final days of the school year and they are preparing for the summer months ahead. Many of those teenagers will trade time in the classroom for time on the job during their break.

Tennessee has child labor laws to guide both teen workers and their employers, through the process of helping young people become an important part of the state’s workforce.

Students can start working for Tennessee employers, on a limited basis, at age 14. State law governs the time a young person can spend in the workplace. When school is not in session, teens aged 14 and 15 can work eight hours per day, 40 hours per week, but cannot work after 9:00 p.m.

Those 14 and 15-year-olds are not permitted to work without supervision, they are not allowed to cook, including prep work, and they cannot operate any machinery other than office equipment.

Teens who are 16 and 17 can work until midnight when school is not in session but must have written consent from a parent to stay on the job until that hour.

State law prohibits minors from working several types of jobs including; taking orders, serving intoxicating beverages or working at an establishment where more than 25% of the gross receipts come from the sale of those beverages, working in occupations that involve pornography, participating in door-to-door sales, and working jobs declared hazardous.

Teens are not permitted to operate motor vehicles or heavy equipment as part of their job nor may they work with any type of explosives.

Tennessee law does allow exemptions for some prohibited work for student-learners and apprentices, under certain circumstances.

State law mandates break requirements for teenagers and employers must maintain records of those breaks. Employers must also keep proof of the minor’s age in the employee’s file.

Employers may be subject to an on-site child labor inspection if a minor is hurt on the job, there is a complaint against the employer, or for a routine inspection.

If an inspector finds violations, the employer could receive a warning for an unintentional violation or a penalty ranging from $150 - $1,000 per violation.

More information about the Child Labor Act in Tennessee is available at
- See more at:

DCHS Tigerettes Finish State Tournament Run in Final Four

May 26, 2016
Dwayne Page

The DCHS Tigerettes run in the TSSAA Class AA Girls Softball Tournament ended Thursday with a 5 to 2 loss to White House Heritage in Murfreesboro.

The Tigerettes finished tournament play in the final four and concluded the season at 35-6-1.

White House Heritage scored 5 runs on 9 hits and made 2 errors. DeKalb County scored 2 runs on 4 hits and made 3 errors.

White House Heritage scored 3 runs in the 4th inning and 2 runs in the 7th inning. DeKalb County scored 1 run in the 5th and 7th innings, both on solo homeruns by Tyra Graham.

In addition to Tyra Graham's 2 homeruns, Katie Hall and Dani Meadows each had a single.

Kayley Caplinger gave up 5 runs on 9 hits. She struck out 3 and walked none.

After defeating Dyersburg in the first round game of the tournament 5 to 3 on Tuesday, the Tigerettes lost to Waverly Central 6 to 2 on Wednesday night and then advanced in the loser's bracket Thursday morning beating Chester County 5 to 1 before being eliminated Thursday afternoon by White House Heritage 5 to 2.


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