Local News Articles

DeKalb Middle School Hosts Career Day

May 11, 2018
General Sessions and Juvenile Court Judge Bratten Cook, II and Attorney Hilton Conger participated in DMS Career Day
Students learn how Vandy Life Flight helicopter ambulance operates during DMS Career Day
TWRA Officer Joe Fortner shows student how BUI simulator operates
Joanie and Shelli Williams of the Sweet Shop during Career Day
Siblings Tracy Foutch of Foutch Industries, DMS Teacher Tonya Sullivan, and Terry Foutch, an RN and EMT-P with Vandy Life Flight

DeKalb Middle School hosted its 2nd Annual Career Day on Monday, May 7. A total of 25 businesses participated in this event. All students in grades 6th-8th were able to spend time in the gym talking to businesses and asking questions. Students were given a set of questions and were asked to visit 3 businesses and ask those specific questions. At the conclusion of the Career Day events in the gym, 7 businesses took time to visit 8th grade classes to discuss characteristics that businesses look for when interviewing potential employees. This event was a huge success and we would like to thank everyone who participated.

Businesses that participated were:

TWRA (Tony Cross and Joe Fortner)
Foutch Industries
Fast Pace
Caney Fork
Smithville Police Dept.
DeKalb County Sheriff’s Dept.
DeKalb County Fire Dept.
Vanderbilt Life Flight
DeKalb County Ambulance Service
Butch Cook- DeKalb County Bar Association
Wilson Bank
Suncrest Home Health
DeKalb Hospital
Huff and PUff Trucking
Healthier TN/DeKalb Prevention
UT Extension
DeKalb Funeral Chapel
DeKalb County Health Dept.
98.5 Radio
Darrin Vincent (Dailey and Vincent)
Coordinated School Health
The Sweet Shop

Business that stayed and spoke to 8th grade classes:
Darrin Vincent
KFC Manager Stephanie Wann
Wilson Bank Alex Woodward
DeKalb Hospital Shan Burklow
TWRA Tony Cross and Joe Fortner
Caney Fork Tim Price
DeKalb County Sheriff Patrick Ray

Tigerettes Named to All-District Teams

May 11, 2018
Dwayne Page

Six members of the DCHS Tigerette Fast Pitch Softball Team have been named to the All District 8AA Team for the Regular Season.

The honorees are:
Allison Maynard
Megan Walker
Kristena Bain
Joni Robinson
Maddison Parsley
Kenzie France (also was named All Defensive Player)

Those named to the All-District Tournament Team from DeKalb County are:
Allison Maynard
Megan Walker
Kristena Bain
Maddison Parsley
Kenzie France-District Tournament MVP

TNReady test scores will not impact students final grades

May 10, 2018
Dwayne Page

TNReady test scores will not impact students final grades this year in DeKalb County

The Board of Education took that action Thursday night during the regular monthly meeting held at DeKalb Middle School.

Students across the state started taking the online standardized tests last month but thousands couldn’t log into the system or complete the exams due to technical problems. As a result, state lawmakers adopted legislation to keep the TNReady tests from counting against students, teachers and schools.Test scores may only count if they benefit students, teachers and their districts.

The legislation specifies:

•Each local board of education may choose the percentage within the range of zero percent (0%) to fifteen percent (15%) that scores from the TNReady assessments administered in the 2017-2018 school year shall count on a student's final grade for the spring semester.

During Thursday night’s meeting, the board of education set that percentage for DeKalb County at 0% for the spring semester.

In other business, Director of Schools Patrick Cripps updated the board on personnel moves since last month.

Sydney Johnson, Sarah Noe, and Carol Swope were all granted a leave of absence as requested while teachers Holly Espinosa, Melanie Fitzgerald, and William Jarvis, and educational assistant Heather Soto have all resigned.

Susan Hinton, Adult High School Supervisor/Instructor gave her annual end of year report to the board.

The DeKalb Adult High School served 13 students during the 2017-18 year. The students earned 40 credits and three either have or will soon graduate.

“DeKalb Adult High School is not for everyone, however, if you dropped out of school in your junior or senior years, you should consider coming back and completing your education,” said Hinton.

“It can make a big difference in your life, especially in your paycheck”.

“It doesn’t matter to us why you didn’t finish high school. What matters is that you are exploring ways to earn a high school diploma for adults now in the most convenient way,” Hinton continued.

“Now is the time to complete your high school education. At DeKalb Adult High School, you get a second chance to earn a high school diploma”.

Hinton also read from essays prepared by two students who explained the positive benefits of having participated in the Adult High School program.

How to become a student at Adult High School:

*Be a DeKalb resident, 18 years of age or older

*Request an appointment at the DeKalb County High School Guidance Department at 615-597-2249.

*Send your transcripts to DCHS

*Meet with the Adult High School Supervisor for a conference

*Adult High School begins and ends on the school calendar/hours differ.

*You may work online and at school as well.

In other action, the board also gave permission for the formation of a high school fishing club.

Karen Knowles, Principal at Northside Elementary School updated the board on activities there. “We are excited and we will come back with some specific numbers for you next month but we are finishing our benchmarks Friday. That’s our math and reading assessments that we give three times a year and we have experienced huge growth. It’s a huge celebration for Northside students, faculty, and staff. Everybody has played a part. We are really excited about that,”she said.

“Next Wednesday, May 16 we will have awards day at Northside starting at 8:15 a.m.; Thursday, May 17 we’ll have a musical at 8:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 6:30 p.m.; and Friday, May 18 we’ll have a talent show at 12:45 p.m.. Everybody is welcome to attend,” said Knowles.

Amanda Dakas, Principal at DeKalb Middle School also gave an update.

“I want to acknowledge our PTO. The parents of our community and the community as a whole, they have done a really nice job of supporting our teachers through Teacher Appreciation Week and also our Career Day. It went over very well. We had several teachers, Suzette Barnes and Angela Johnson who oversaw our Career Day and we had every industry in DeKalb County and even Life Flight from Vanderbilt and other resources there to show our students the possibilities for their future. We appreciate everyone who participated in that,” said Dakas.

“We would also like to celebrate our benchmarks. So far what we have noticed is that we have anywhere between 1.5 years and 4 years worth of growth that we are seeing through reading and in math. We have lots to celebrate and we are very proud of our teachers for that and our students”.

“Upcoming dates, Tuesday, May 15 is our musical night performance at 6:00 p.m. and our talent show will be at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16 and then on Monday, May 21 we will have 6th & 7th grade awards at 9:00 a.m. and 8th grade awards night will be at 6:00 p.m.” she said.

Director Cripps reported that DCHS will have Senior Awards night on Monday, May 14 starting at 6:00 p.m. in the gymnasium and the high school graduation will be Friday, May 18 at 7:00 p.m. on the football field. Members of the Class of 2018 will participate in a Senior Walk at Smithville Elementary and DeKalb West School on Thursday, May 17.

Cripps also mentioned that this is Teacher Appreciation Week. “ I want to say thank you to our teachers for their hard work and dedication. They have the opportunity to change a kid’s life each year and for generations to come so to them and to our educational assistants and administrators, thank you for the work you do. It’s also nurses week and we want to thank our nurses for taking care of our kids,” said Cripps.

School Board member Jim Beshearse also recognized Earl Jared and Aaron Young of the maintenance department for their quick response in putting out a fire in an air conditioning unit on the high school roof last week.

Smithville Elementary Spelling Bee Winners

May 10, 2018
Kindergarten Spelling Bee Winners
First Grade Spelling Bee Winners
Second Grade Spelling Bee Winners

Smithville Elementary held its annual Spelling Bee Competitions on May 8, 9, and 10. Talented spellers vied for one of the top three spots in each grade level. The winners for each grade level are:

First Place- Leo Cortes
Second Place – Zoie Ashburn
Third Place – Aila Odom

1st Grade:
First Place- Samuel Wheatley
Second Place – Keyla Meda
Third Place – Cora Cox

2nd Grade:
First Place- Elliot Barnes
Second Place Bratten Cook
Third Place – Maggie Myrick

(photos show grade level winners with Shan Burklow)

May Students of the Month at DeKalb West School

May 10, 2018
Bill Conger
May Students of the Month at DeKalb West School

DeKalb West School announces its Students of the Month for May. Congratulations go to Fisher Phillips, Kindergarten; Landon Duffer, 1st grade; Lance Martin, 2nd grade; Ben Driver, 3rd grade; Landon Roehner, 4th grade, Haley Murphy 5th grade; Weslie McCowan, 6th grade, Patricia Gassaway, 7th grade, and Ariel Patterson, 8th grade. Students are chosen for their academic achievement, character, and other traits that make them an excellent student.

Pictured left to right front row are Lance Martin, Ben Driver, Brandon Duffer, Fisher Phillips, and Haley Murphy.

Pictured left to right back row are Principal Sabrina Farler, Ariel Patterson, Weslie McCowan, Landon Roehner, Patricia Gassaway, , and Assistant Principal Joey Agee.

DeKalb Farmers Market Opens Saturday, May 12

May 10, 2018
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Farmers Market Opens Saturday, May 12

Farmers Markets are a Tennessee tradition. Consumers can find almost anything their heart's desire from fresh fruits and vegetables to fresh flowers and crafts.

The DeKalb County Farmers Market opens for the season this Saturday, May 12 and will be open every Saturday from 7:00 a.m. until noon.

“Although we’ve been a bit behind schedule this season due to the early spring freezes, we’re anxious to get started and the first weekend promises to be an exciting one,” said Connie Tjarks.

“Be sure to stop by because we plan to have some lettuce and onions as well as vegetable plants and herb plants. You’ll also find Jean’s delicious fried pies and Roy’s barbeque. And the best thing about the Farmers Market is that it offers a different variety of locally grown and organic goods each week. We’ll be looking for you this Saturday at the DeKalb County Farmers Market located on East Bryant Street next to DeKalb County Ace Hardware and the County Complex,” added Tjarks.

Support your local farmers and artisans. Pick Tennessee! Provided by the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program.

Ken Tackett to appear on All About Sports with Ken and Pete Friday Morning

May 9, 2018
Dwayne Page
Ken Tackett

Ken Tackett, a PGA Tour Tournament and Rules Official from Charleston, West Virginia, will be the featured guest on “All About Sports with Ken and Pete” Friday morning, May 11 at 8:30 a.m. on WJLE.

Tackett will be LIVE from the Players Championship at Sawgrass in Florida.

Ken graduated of the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida with a Bachelor Degree in Jazz Studies.

Prior to joining the PGA TOUR he was Executive Director of the West Virginia Golf Association where he focused on the development of the game of golf in West Virginia.

In addition to his duties with the PGA TOUR Ken is a professional musician who plays all over the U.S. with several acts including Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., winner of Americas’s Got Talent- season 6. Ken also serves on the Board of Trustees for Charleston Area Medical Center in West Virginia, the State’s largest hospital.

Ken is married to Tammy and has two children, Hannah and Zachary.

“All About Sports with Ken and Pete” features weekly commentary and special guests talking about baseball, golf and a variety of other local, regional, state, and national sporting events. Listeners also have a chance to win giveways during the show.

The program is hosted by Ken Lacy and Pete Ferguson, who have been associated with Riverwatch Golf & Resort and who now serve as managers of the Smithville Municipal Golf Course and Swimming Pool.

Sports fans be sure to tune in weekly for “All About Sports with Ken and Pete” Fridays at 8:30 a.m. on WJLE AM 1480 and FM 101.7 and LIVE Stream at www.wjle.com.

Make Memories at 4-H Summer Camp

May 9, 2018
Leigh Fuson
Paddle Boards
Rifle Range
Zip Line

Summer time is just around the corner, and school is almost over. You may be making plans for a beach or theme park vacation, but University of Tennessee Extension encourages parents to consider sending their youth to 4-H camp. 4-H is the youth development program of UT Extension, which cooperates with Tennessee State University and volunteers to deliver quality youth programs throughout the year, including summer camp.

With a long tradition of youth development and STEM education, 4-H camps offered across the state are an amazing opportunity. Junior camp is for anyone currently in 4th-6th grade and takes place at Clyde York 4-H center in Crossville. DeKalb County 4-H members can attend this camp June 11th-15th. It features shooting sports, arts and crafts, swimming and a water slide, canoeing and kayaking, zip lining, sports and games, and much more! Cost is $300 which includes all meals, room & board, transportation, t-shirt, and activities. Registration deadline is May 18th.

Tennessee 4-H camps are a chance for youth to explore their relationship with the world around them while having loads of fun. Tennessee 4-H camps move by the motto “learn by doing” and also by 4-H’s experiential learning method of ‘Do, Reflect, and Apply.’ Youth are engaged and involved from the time they arrive to the time they depart,” says Daniel Sarver, a youth development specialist with UT Extension.

Not only are campers having fun, making new friends, and creating life-long memories, but they are learning responsibility and life skills while being away from home. Many parents may worry about sending their children to camp, but Tennessee 4-H camps are accredited by the American Camp Association, are directed by caring professionals and volunteers, which include on-site camp staff and county 4-H agents.

For more information and to register for camp, please stop by the UT/TSU Extension office located in County Complex or call 615-597-4945. Payment plans are available. 4-H is a proud part of UT/TSU Extension, the UT Institute of Agriculture, and the TSU Cooperative Extension Program. UT/TSU Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment through the cooperation of county, state, and federal governments. Programs are open to all people regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, or disability.

Study Finds City Erroneously Receiving Some Sales Tax Revenue Due the County

May 9, 2018
Dwayne Page

The City of Smithville will be losing more than $60,000 a year in local option sales tax revenue to the county.

A recent study by a Murfreesboro firm, under contract with the county, found that local sales tax revenue derived by a handful of businesses located near but outside the city limits of Smithville were erroneously being credited to the city instead of the county. That money, which comes to $60,568 for the last 12 months, will be re-directed from the city to the county. All future local sales tax receipts from those businesses will now be credited to the county.

City Administrator Hunter Hendrixson made the mayor and aldermen aware of the finding during Monday night’s monthly city council meeting.

“I got a letter from the Financial and Control Division of the Tennessee Department of Revenue concerning our local sales tax. They sent me a list of businesses and asked if they were inside or outside the incorporated city limits. Every one of those (businesses) they sent me were outside of the city limits. We’ve been collecting local sales taxes from those businesses for a long time. The state went back twelve months filed by the taxpayers of those businesses. The amount of local sales tax credited to the city in error is $60, 568. This amount will be deducted from the City of Smithville and credited to DeKalb County,” said Hendrixson.

The review was authorized by the county commission last October when it entered into a Revenue Enhancement Consulting Agreement with the Barrett Group of Murfreesboro.

During a prior workshop, Donna Barrett of the Barrett Group addressed the county commission to explain the proposal.

Under the agreement, the Barrett Group was to conduct a review to make sure the county is getting all the revenues it is due from various state taxes that local businesses pay including sales tax, Hall income tax, beer and liquor tax, excise tax, etc.

For example, if a municipality within the county is found from this review to be erroneously receiving any tax revenues from businesses outside of the municipality, then the mistake will be corrected and the tax money will be re-directed to the county.

The Barrett Group is to receive 50% of any extra revenues generated to the county from this review only for the first year. After the first year, no further fees will be paid to Barrett. Had the review turned up no mistakes, the county would not have owed Barrett anything.

Registration Begins for Creative Arts Camp

May 9, 2018
Dwayne Page
Registration Begins for Creative Arts Camp

DeKalb’s very first Creative Arts Camp is kicking off registration this week at the DeKalb Community Complex. Josh Issac the newly hired Director of the Complex is organizing this Camp for kids 1st grade through 8th grade who have a passion for all things Arts.

“ I am very excited to bring one of my dreams to life as we gear up for this Arts Camp that brings Music, Acting, and Art to our community,” said Issac.

This camp will be offered at the DeKalb Community Complex on June 4-8. The cost is $75. This pays for all supplies and cost of instructors. This team of instructors are highly trained and excited to teach your children. Helen Sifaik will teach Art, Kennette Dixon will teach Music, Josh Issac will teach Acting,

And Martha Melching will help with choreography and stage production. If you want more info or sign up please visit the Complex or call 615-597-2121. Deadline with no penalty will be May 26th.


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