Local News Articles

Residents Urged to Post 911 Addresses

November 7, 2015
Dwayne Page
Brad Mullinax, Director of the DeKalb County Emergency Communications District.

The DeKalb County E-911 Center would like to stress to residents the importance of clearly posting 911 addresses at your residence.

"The proper posting of your address ensures a speedy response in the event of emergency," said Brad Mullinax, Director of the DeKalb County Emergency Communications District.

"There have been countless situations in which responders have been delayed to an emergency response due to inadequate address postings. Our agency strives to deliver the fastest response in all emergencies. Please help us deliver the best service possible by posting your 911 address. We are asking you to follow the DeKalb E-911 guidelines for 911 addressing. If you have any questions, you may contact our office at 615-597-3030," said Mullinax.

The addressing requirements are as follows:

Address Requirements:
*Every residence and business in DeKalb County shall have a house number and street address assigned to it by the E-911 district. The E-911 District shall maintain a process for new constructions to be assigned an address. The number shall then be posted to meet this criteria.

Section 1 Temporary Posting for Electrical Permits:
*Every person applying for temporary and permanent electrical service of a new residence or business must contact the E-911 office for the issuance of a new address. The new numbers must be posted before an inspection, utility service, or telephone lines are installed. The numbers must be visible from the county road that the new location is addressed off of and must meet the following requirements:

*Numbers must be at least 6 inches in height and must be orange or red in color.

*The numbers do not have to be purchased, they may be painted on at least a 1 foot by 3 foot board. The board may be attached to the temporary electrical service if it visible and within 50 feet of the county road its addressed from.

*If the building is more than 150 feet from the county road and its temporary electrical service is more than 50 feet from the county road, a stake or sign must be posted within 25 feet of the driveway.

Section 2 Permanent Posting of House Number:
All residence and business dwellings must post their assigned house number to meet the following requirements:

*Numbers must be at least 6 inches in height and reflectorized.

*Numbers must be posted on the side of the house facing the county road it is addressed from. Numbers must be legible from the county road and free from obstructions.

*If the house is more than 150 feet from the county road it is addressed from, numbers must be on the mailbox or a stake at the beginning of the driveway. Stakes must be 2-5 feet high, no more than 25 feet from driveway and easily visible from the county road it is addressed from. If posted on mailbox, numbers must be on both sides of it and the mailbox must be within 25 feet of driveway.

*If multiple houses are located on a private drive they must have a stake at the beginning of the drive with all the house numbers posted on it, plus, there must be a stake or house number posted on each house on the private drive.

Tigers' Season Ends with Heartbreaking Play-Off Loss

November 7, 2015
Dwayne Page

A missed field goal in the last minute of the game perhaps kept the DeKalb County Tigers from advancing in the Class 3A State Play-offs Friday night in Smithville.

The Tigers lost to the Chattanooga Christian Chargers 23-22. They conclude the season with an overall 7-4 record.

The Tigers scored first with 3:29 left in the opening period on a pass from Quarterback Steven Jennings to Isaiah Jones covering 48 yards for a score. Matthew Poss kicked the extra point and DeKalb County led 7-0.

The Chargers answered on a 13 yard touchdown pass from Quarterback Matthew Mercer to Justin Wheeler. Will Patton booted the extra point and the game was tied at 7-7 with 1:49 left in the first period.

Quarterback Steven Jennings scored on a 6 yard touchdown run with 11:02 left in the second period. Matthew Poss added the extra point and the Tigers regained the lead 14-7.

Will Patton kicked a 27 yard field goal with 10:15 left in the third period and the Chargers trailed 14-10.

Later in the third period on a 4th and 1 play, Will Patton raced 76 yards for a touchdown on a fake punt. The P.A.T. attempt was no good but the Chargers grabbed a 16-14 lead.

The Tigers re-took the lead on a 2 yard touchdown run by A.J. Mooneyham with 7:11 left in the fourth period. DeKalb County also converted a two point conversion and the score was 22-16.

With 5:15 left in the game, Kade Oglesby threw a half back pass to Wheeler for a touchdown. Will Patton converted the extra point and the Chargers led 23-22.

The Tigers had opportunities to win the game on their last drive including a 20 yard field goal attempt by Matthew Poss with 50 seconds left in the game but it sailed wide right and Chattanooga Christian went on to win 23-22.

Operation Appreciation! “Saying Thanks to our DeKalb County Military”

November 6, 2015
 “Operation Appreciation - Saying Thanks to our DeKalb County Military.”

Calling all troops!!! The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce would like to encourage everyone to get involved with a new initiative “Operation Appreciation - Saying Thanks to our DeKalb County Military.”

With the holidays quickly approaching, we will be sending military care packages filled with cards and letters to cheer on our local heroes. Suggested donations include items in 4 categories: downtime activities, snacks, personal items, and cards and letters. Downtime activities can be gently used or new books, magazines, playing cards, crossword and puzzle books, iTunes cards, and DVDs. Snacks include pre-packaged products such as beef jerky, trail mix, protein bars, noodle bowls, hard candy, snack crackers, sunflower seeds, and powdered Gatorade or water enhancers. Needed personal items are black boot socks, body wash, lip balm, foot powder, moleskin (for blisters on feet), sunglasses, air fresheners, toothbrushes/toothpaste, shaving cream, shampoo, conditioner, and other hygiene supplies. Of course, hand-written cards and letters, especially during the holidays, will remind them that their DeKalb County, Tennessee community cares for them, appreciate theirs and their families’ sacrifices, and are praying for their safe return.

Monetary donations are greatly appreciated and will be used to cover the shipping cost of about $15 per package and to purchase any additional needed items that are not donated. Make checks payable to: Smithville-DeKalb Co. Chamber (For: Operation Appreciation).

"We need your help! If you have addresses of friends or family members and their spouse that are in the military, please let us know! Deadline to submit names and bring donations is Wednesday, November 25, 2015. We will be putting the care packages together on Monday, November 30th," said Suzanne Williams, Chamber Director.

Drop-off locations are the Chamber office located in the DeKalb County Courthouse Room 201, County Mayor’s office in Courthouse Room 204, or Charlie Max Salon, 113 West Main Street in downtown Smithville. You may also call the Chamber to make arrangements for Boy Scout Troop 347 to pick up your donations if you are not able to get them to a drop-off location.

"If you would like to volunteer, we would love to have you," said Williams. "Operation Appreciation is a great opportunity for our businesses, industries, churches, organizations, and all local folks to express gratitude to our hometown men and women currently serving in the military.” Anyone interested in donating items, making a monetary contribution, volunteering your time on this project, or needing more information may contact the Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce at 615.597.4163 or email: swilliams@dekalbcountychamber.org or Donna Hendrix-Cripps at 336-688-6462 or email: donnahc23@gmail.com.

"We are very excited for our community to come together for such a great cause! Let’s stand together and show our men and women in uniform how much we love them! Stay Strong, Keep the Faith and may God bless the USA," Williams said.

Chamber to Host "Let's Put DeKalb County on the Map" Workshop

November 6, 2015

The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce is helping small businesses grow their presence online with a Let’s Put DeKalb County on the Map workshop, which will feature a lesson about Getting Found on Google Search and Maps. The workshop will be hosted on November 20, 2015 at the DeKalb County Complex from 11 am to 5 pm. Google trained staff from the TN Small Business Development Center at Tennessee Tech University will be on-hand from 11 am to 5 pm to assist local business owners with setup. Three presentations at 12 pm, 2 pm, & 4 pm will explain the benefits of registering as well as the process.

Let’s Put DeKalb County on the Map is part of Google’s Get Your Business Online program and aims to bring community members, business owners, and civic leaders together to help small businesses succeed on the web.

“4 out of 5 consumers use search engines to find local information nearby, yet only 37% of businesses have claimed their listing on a search engine,” says Soo Young Kim, Head of Small Business Engagement at Google. “Small businesses are the engine of local economies and when they flourish, their communities do as well.”

Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map is a program designed to empower communities to support their local businesses and encourage them to get on the map. Local businesses keep our communities strong; when we help them succeed on the web, they make our communities even stronger. The Getting Found on Google Search and Maps workshop is a Google presentation hosted by the Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce and the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at Tennessee Tech University.

Please RSVP here: http://gybodc112015.eventbrite.com

Contact for more information: Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce, 615-597-4163

Smithville Elementary School Honors Veterans (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

November 6, 2015
Dwayne Page
Veterans Honored during SES Celebration Program
Smithville Elementary School Honors Veterans

A Veterans Appreciation assembly program was held Friday morning at Smithville Elementary School in recognition of Veteran's Day.

Kelly Birmingham led students from pre-K to the second grade in singing "God Bless the USA" and other patriotic songs in honor of veterans who have served in each branch of the military.

Adrienne McCormick read the following "Veterans Day" poem by Cheryl Dyson:

"On Veterans Day we honor all,
Who answered to a service call,
Soldiers young, and soldiers old,
Fought for freedom, brave and bold
Some have lived, while others died,
And all of them deserve our pride,
We're proud of all the soldiers who,
Kept thinking of red, white, and blue,
They fought for us and all our rights,
They fought through many days and nights,
And though we may not know each name,
We thank ALL veterans just the same."


Veterans either attending or recognized for their service were:
Earl Sims, U.S. Army in World War I-
Edsel Frazier, U.S. Army in World War II-
Edward Frazier, U.S. Army in World War II-
Guy Mathis, U.S. Army in World War II-
Van Mathis, National Guard during Vietnam Conflict-
James Dunn, U.S. Army in Korean Conflict-
Ben Franklin, U.S. Army in Vietnam-
Bethel Golden, U.S. Army in Korean Conflict-
Sidney Walker, World War II-
Billy Gene Anderson, U.S Army, died in Afghanistan during War on Terrorism
George Beckley, U.S. Army in Vietnam-
James Edmon Sandlin, U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam-
Billy Willingham, U.S. Army National Guard during Vietnam and Iraqi wars-
John Washer, U.S. Air Force in Iraqi Freedom-
Jordan Lehnhart, National Guard and U.S. Army in Iraqi Freedom-
William Russell, U.S. Marine Corps, Vietnam Era-
Chris Davenport, U.S. Navy in Iraqi Freedom-
Harrison Biles, U.S. Army in the Korean Conflict-
Dustin Niehuus, U.S. Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom-
Alysha Garmer, U.S. Air Force-
Brian Reed, U.S. Air Force in Desert Storm/Euduring Freedom-
Kenneth Milligan, U.S. Coast Guard in Vietnam-
Jimmy Sprague, U.S. Army in Operation Just Cause-
Walter Johnson, U.S. Army in the Korean Conflict-
Tommy Webb, U.S. Army in the Korean Conflict-
Erin Vaughn, U.S. Army-
Stephen Merz, U.S. Navy-
Allen Midgett, U.S. Navy in Desert Storm-
Darrell Young, U.S. Navy-
Tom Meadows, U.S. Army in Vietnam-
Bob Ramsey, U.S. Army in Vietnam Era-
Gary Davis, U.S. Army in Vietnam-
James Cantrell, U.S. Air Force in Korean Conflict-
Connie Ketzner, U.S. Air Force in the Cold War-
Barbara Boehm, U.S. Army in Iraq and Afghanistan-
Joshua Vincent, U.S. Army-
Chad Polk, U.S. Army in Afghanistan and Iraq-
Ronnie Redmon, Sr., U.S. Air Force in Vietnam-
Joe Stone, U.S. Army & Air Force in Vietnam-
Larry D. Johnson, U.S. Army in Vietnam-
Christopher Powell, U.S. Navy-
Clyde Thomas family. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War-
Eric D. Frazier, U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq-

State Set to Close Warren County Driver Testing Center

November 6, 2015

The state is considering closing the Warren County Driver Testing Center as part of an effort to improve effectiveness and efficiency with the state’s driver license services. The move could come before May 31.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security has already closed eight such centers across the state in a cost cutting move. But, if the Warren County Center closes, patrons, including many from DeKalb County would have to travel further distances for service.

The Southern Standard reported Wednesday that Commissioner Bill Gibbons was in McMinnville Tuesday to give an explanation. According to the commissioner, the Warren County center costs the state about $77,000 to operate each year, and that there are empty work stations at other centers where employees from Warren County could fill. Gibbons said several factors are being considered including that Warren County is in the bottom 26% in level of activity, ranking 34th among the state's 47 centers. He suggested that patrons in the area could go to the Tullahoma center for services if the Warren County facility closes.

Commissioner Gibbons said the state's plan to merge centers has already saved the state $1.3 million in operating costs without eliminating personnel. He said employees are being transferred to other facilities.

In order to keep services local, Commissioner Gibbons said city and county leaders in Warren County could partner with the state. Under such an arrangement the local governments could perform many of the duties now being handled at the state run center and collect a four dollar surcharge for every transaction made. Gibbons said the state also partners with school systems where written and driving tests can be taken under oversight of high school officials.

“Merging certain driver services centers is part of our plan to enhance customer service and overall efficiency at centers across the state,” Commissioner Gibbons said in a department website media release. “By merging these centers, we can use our resources to better serve the citizens and save taxpayer dollars. The mission of the Driver Services Division is to promote safe, knowledgeable, and competent drivers in the State of Tennessee. Using diversified program offerings, the Division is able to provide various services to Tennessee Citizens. The Driver Services Division is responsible for testing and issuing driver licenses as well as offering voter registration and issuance of driving records.

Tigers to Host State Play-Off Game Tonight; Fans Urged to Turn out in Support

November 6, 2015
Dwayne Page
DeKalb County Tigers

The DeKalb County Tigers will host the Chattanooga Christian Chargers in the first round of the Class 3A state play-offs tonight in Smithville.

Kick-off is set for 7:00 p.m.

Each team has a record of 7-3 on the season. DeKalb County finished 5-1 in its region while the Chargers went 3-2.

The Chargers have defeated Brianerd 24-21, Lookout Valley 50-0, Signal Mountain 24-7, Howard 57-0, Copper Basin 28-14, Red Bank 35-0, and Grace Baptist-Chattanooga 76-17. Their losses have been to Notre Dame 39-10, Davidson Academy 27-26, and to East Ridge 28-13.

The Tigers' wins this year have been over Warren County 23-14, York Institute 42-41, Cumberland County 27-25, Smith County 36-29, Sequatchie County 35-25, Grundy County 28-20, and Cannon County 69-3. Their losses have been to Stone Memorial 49-17, Macon County 42-7, and Upperman 28-6.

WJLE's pre-game shows begin with Coach to Coach at 5:00 p.m. Tiger Talk airs at 6:30 p.m. featuring Tiger Coach Steve Trapp and Tiger players Andrew Fuson, Braxton Linder, and Tayvian Nokes.

The Voice of the Tigers John Pryor will have LIVE play-by-play coverage along with Luke Willoughby providing commentary starting at 7:00 p.m.. Listen Live on WJLE AM 1480/FM 101.7 and LIVE streaming at www.wjle.com

Under TSSAA rules, admission for the game will be $8.00 per person.

Tiger fans are urged to fill the stadium to support their team and bring your radios to listen to the LIVE coverage on WJLE.

Penalty fee for not having health insurance increases this year

November 5, 2015

The penalty fee for not having insurance has increased this year. If you can afford health insurance coverage in 2016, but don’t sign up, you may have to pay a penalty ($695 per adult, $347.50 per child – up to $2,085/family or 2.5% of family income, whichever is higher). You will have to pay the fee on the federal income tax return you file.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance reminds consumers that open enrollment for insurance coverage on the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) began Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015.

Since the conclusion of the last enrollment period, there have been several changes related to Tennessee insurance carriers. The Department wants consumers to be aware of those changes and make informed choices when it comes to choosing insurance coverage.

For 2016, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee and UnitedHealthcare will provide coverage across Tennessee. Cigna will provide coverage in Nashville, Memphis and Johnson City, and Humana will provide coverage in Nashville, Memphis and Knoxville. Copies of presentations from carriers describing their 2016 plans are available on our website.

Community Health Alliance (CHA) will not offer insurance coverage on the FFM in 2016. The company voluntarily entered runoff, and its coverage will end on Dec. 31, 2015. CHA policyholders will keep their insurance through Dec. 31, 2015, if they continue to pay premiums. CHA consumers have until Dec. 31, 2015 to enroll in a new healthcare plan in order to have coverage effective Jan. 1, 2016. Click here for details about CHA’s runoff and a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs).

The Department emphasizes the need for consumers to carefully review plan networks. If you like your physician, make sure he/she is included in the plan network. Also, consumers should review networks for their nearest and/or preferred hospitals. Several plans provide tight networks and/or limited out-of-network benefits. To avoid unexpected and unpleasant balance bills, always see network providers.

Important dates:

November 1, 2015: Open Enrollment starts for 2016.

December 15, 2015: Enrollees who want coverage to be effective on January 1, 2016 must act by December 15.

December 31, 2015: Coverage ends for 2015 Marketplace plans. CHA members must act by Dec. 31 to have coverage effective on Jan. 1, 2016.

January 1, 2016: Coverage can begin for 2016 Marketplace plans.

January 31, 2016: Open Enrollment ends.

Questions? TDCI is here to help. Contact us at 1-800-342-4029 or (615) 741-2218 if you have questions about Open Enrollment.

Qualifying Deadline Approaching for Assessor and Constable Races

November 5, 2015
Dwayne Page

Candidates for Assessor of Property and Constable in DeKalb County have a little over a month to qualify with the election commission office.

The deadline to get in these races including Democrats, Republicans, and Independents is NOON, Thursday December 10. Independent candidates, like Democrats, must qualify through the petition process. The local Republican Party will select nominees by caucus.

The DeKalb County Democratic Primary will be held in conjunction with the Tennessee Presidential Preference Primary on March 1.

Incumbent DeKalb County Assessor of Property Scott Cantrell has already picked up and returned his petition to seek re-election. He will be running for his party's nomination in the March 1 primary.

Meanwhile, Incumbent Constables Paul Cantrell in the 4th district, Mark Milam in the 5th district, Carl Lee Webb in the 6th district, and Johnny King in the 7th district have all been issued petitions and have returned them to the election commission. They will be running for their party's nomination in the Democratic Primary on March 1.

Meanwhile Travis Bryant, who was elected constable last year as an Independent to fill an unexpired term in the 3rd district has picked up a petition for the same office but this time he plans to run for nomination as a Democrat in the March Primary. Bryant has not yet returned his petition.

Tom Theriaque has picked up and returned a petition to run as an Independent for 2nd district constable in the 2016 August General Election.

Chad Curtis, a Democrat in the 1st district and Republican Chris Tramel in the 2nd district were elected constable last year to fill vacant positions.

The last day to register to vote in the March 1 elections is February 1, 2016. Early voting will be held February 10 through February 23 (except Presidents’ Day February 15).

But the voting doesn’t end in March. The DeKalb County General and Tennessee State primaries are set for August 4.

Offices to be elected locally in August next year along with assessor of property and constable are school board seats for districts 4, 5, and 6. W.J. (Dub) Evins, III currently serves in District 5, Doug Stephens in District 6 and Kate Miller is filling her husband’s unexpired term in District 4.

Petitions for the county general and state primary will be available beginning January 8, 2016. The qualifying deadline for those offices is NOON April 7.

On the state level, offices up for grabs are State Representatives in Districts 40 and 46 (currently held by Terri Lynn Weaver and Mark Pody, respectively) and 6th District Congressman, currently held by Diane Black.

Also on the ballot in August are three municipal elections—Dowelltown, Liberty and Smithville.

In Smithville, voters will elect three aldermen. The incumbents up for re-election are Shawn Jacobs, Josh Miller, and Danny Washer.

A mayor and two aldermen will be elected in Dowelltown. The positions are currently held by Mayor Gerald Bailiff and Aldermen Joe Bogle and Kevin Kent.

Liberty voters will choose four aldermen. Three of them to serve four years and the fourth to fill the remaining one year of an unexpired term. The three positions up for election to new four year terms are now held by Jason Ray, Paul Neal, and Todd Dodd. The person elected to the fourth seat will serve the last year of an unexpired term. J.D. Bratten currently holds that position.

To close out the year, the Presidential and Tennessee General elections will be held on November 8.

Time to Get Your Flu Shot

November 5, 2015
Dwayne Page

It's time to roll up your sleeve for your annual flu shot.

Governor Bill Haslam said he hopes more Tennesseans will be vaccinated soon so they can reduce their risks of getting the flu themselves or possibly transmitting it to others. “It only takes a few minutes to get the vaccine through an injection or nasal spray and it is available in every county of Tennessee,” Governor Haslam said. “When a person gets immunized, he or she helps create a flu barrier that can help stop the spread of influenza to others.” Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH, said it appears the flu season may be starting earlier this year and getting the vaccine as soon as possible will improve a person’s chances for avoiding or preventing the spread of the illness. “When we receive the flu vaccine, by either injection or nasal spray, protection doesn’t start immediately; it takes about two weeks for most,” Dreyzehner said. “Getting the flu shot early gives our bodies time to create that barrier that protects us and people around us.” Flu vaccine is now widely available across Tennessee in primary care offices, pharmacies, county health departments and other locations. The low-cost vaccine is covered by many health insurance plans and is available via injections and, if eligible, nasal spray.

The DeKalb County Health Department will be doing walk in flu clinics on November 9 & 30 from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The DeKalb County Health Department accepts Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Community Health Alliance, all forms of TennCare, Medicare, and individuals without insurance.

After getting your flu vaccination, it’s still important to practice good health habits to protect yourself from the flu and other winter viruses, and to prevent spreading them to others if you do get sick. Good health habits include frequent hand washing with soapy water or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and covering coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or tissue. People who are sick should stay home to recover and to prevent spreading illness to co-workers, friends and others.


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