Local News Articles

Flags Presented to Jamboree Visitors from India and Alaska

July 3, 2010
Dwayne Page
State Senator Mae Beavers Presents U.S. Flag to Alex Shana of India
State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver Presents State Flag to Alaska Man

A woman from India received a United States flag and an Alaska man was presented a Tennessee State flag during the Fiddler's Jamboree on Friday night

The flags, which have flown over the state capitol, go to the persons who travel the greatest distances, both from inside and outside the country, to get here.

The flags were presented by State Senator Mae Beavers and State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver.

The American flag went to Alex Shana of India and John Thomas Ferrell of Anchorage, Alaska received the Tennessee flag.

The first day of the 39th annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival ran non-stop from about 9:00 a.m. Friday morning until close to 11:30 p.m. Friday night.

Click here to view pictures of the Fiddlers Jamboree and Crafts Festival on Friday

Preliminaries were held in sixteen categories of music and dance competition followed by the finals featuring the top three acts in each event.

The following video clip is of Jennifer Campbell from Whitebluff, winner of the Junior Buck Dancing competition

The following are the winners in each category:

Old Time Appalachian Folk Singing (Solo/Duet): First Place- Joe Overton of Smithville; Second Place-Scott Miller of Hanceville, Alabama; and Third Place-Sierra Ivie Tomlin of Springfield.

Click here to view video clip of Jackson Hollow of Franklin, winner of the Youth Square Dancing Competiton

Flat Top Guitar: First Place- Andrew Rigney of Normandy, Tennessee; Second Place- Rob Pearcy of Smyrna; and Third Place- Cody Hull of Byrdstown.

Junior Clogging (Ages 13-39): First Place-Chris Stewart of Lyles, Tennessee; Second Place- Woody Stephenson of Nashville; and Third Place-Kelly Eicher of Allensville, Kentucky.

Junior Buck Dancing (Ages 13-39): First Place- Jennifer Campbell of White Bluff, Tennessee; Second Place- Kelsey Jones of Lyles, and Third Place- Woody Stephenson of Nashville

Dobro Guitar: First Place- Tyler Collins of Allen, Tennessee; Second Place- Jason Sanders of Lancaster; and Third Place- David Currey of Columbia, Missouri.

Mountain Dulcimer: First Place-Gailanne Amundsen of Longwood, Florida; Second Place- Rob Pearcy of Smyrna; and Third Place- Eric Vick of Lyles

Hammer Dulcimer: First Place- Scott Miller of Hanceville, Alabama; and Second Place- Chris Brown of Beechgrove, Tennessee

Novelty Event: First Place- Wallin Wood of Nashville; Second Place- Cross Picking of Danville, Virginia; and Third Place- Duelin' Dad & Lad of Crossville.

Youth Square Dancing: First Place- Jackson Hollow of Franklin; and Second Place- The Main Stage Fusion of Springfield.

Old Time Fiddle Band: First Place- DeKalb County Rangers of Smithville; Second Place- Eric Vick and Spring Creek of Lyles; and Third Place- Sowbelly String Band of Murfreesboro

Autoharp: First Place-Kurt Stephenson of Dyersburg; Second Place- Jeremy Stephens of Danville, Virginia; and Third Place- Billy J. Birchfield of Roan Mountain, Tennessee.

Gospel Singing (Solo): First Place- Graham Sherrill of Nashville; Second Place- Gailanne Amundsen of Longwood, Florida; and Third Place- Sarah Cripps of Smithville.

Country Harmonica: First Place- Tyler Martelli of Hixson; Second Place- Daniel Amick of Pleasantville; and Third Place- Ronnie Murphy of Bowling Green, Kentucky

Old Time Banjo: First Place- Daniel Rothwell of Murfreesboro; Second Place- Rebekah Weiler of Marietta, Georgia; and Third Place- Eric Vick of Lyles.

Gospel Singing (Duet, Trio, & Quartet): First Place- Kurt & Jeremy of Dyersburg; Second Place- Poplar Grass Band of Cookeville; and Third Place- Jalee Roberts and Lindsey Batts of Murfreesboro.

Mandolin:First Place- Will McMeans of Lester, Alabama; Second Place- Andrew Rigney of Normandy; and Third Place- Rob Pearcy of Smyrna.

Go 4th And Celebrate Safely

July 2, 2010

On July 4th, America will celebrate its birthday. Families across the country will be commemorating this event with parties, parades and fireworks. If you plan to use fireworks this 4th of July, DeKalb Community Hospital encourages you to include fire safety as part of your holiday celebration.

Thousands of people are injured from fireworks each year. More than half of these injuries involve children. “The most common injuries involve bottle rockets, sparklers and firecrackers,” says Eric Phillips, the Chief Nursing Officer for DeKalb Community Hospital. Bottle rockets and firecrackers are unpredictable and can fly in any direction before exploding and sparklers can burn at temperatures hot enough to melt gold.

“Many injuries occur because people often don’t think about how dangerous fireworks can be,” explains Eric. “Too often, they get caught up in the excitement and forget about fire safety.”

DeKalb Community Hospital offers the following safety tips to help ensure a safe 4th of July celebration:

* Always follow directions on the firework label.

* Never let children light fireworks.

* Always have an adult present. Even sparklers can be dangerous if unsupervised.

* Make sure you give yourself enough room. Stay away from buildings, vehicles, flammable materials, dry grass and trees.

* Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.

* Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.

* Have a bucket of water or water hose close by in case of an emergency and to douse used sparklers.

* Always wear eye protection when shooting fireworks.

* Loose clothing can catch fire and should not be worn when handling fireworks.

* Always light fireworks one at a time.

* Never try to re-ignite fireworks that have malfunctioned. Soak them in water and discard them.

* Store fireworks in a dry, cool place.

* Never throw or point fireworks at another person.

* Never carry fireworks in your pocket.

* Never build your own or modify fireworks.

Following these safety measures will help prevent an unfortunate accident. It is important to remember that fire safety is important at all times. Be sure to continue thinking about safety after the celebration has ended.

TDOT Authorizes County to Install Flashing Caution Lights at Dangerous Intersection

July 1, 2010
Dwayne Page
County to Install Flashing Caution Lights at Intersection of Highways 70 & 83
Flashing Caution Lights to be Installed at Intersection of Highways 70 & 83

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has approved the county's request for the installation of flashing beacon lights at the intersection of U.S. 70 and State Highway 83 near Kilgore's Restaurant.

County Mayor Mike Foster says even though the county will have to bear the costs, the lights are needed because this is a dangerous intersection and several serious traffic accidents have occurred there in recent years. "The way it will probably be engineered, it won't be a four way stop but there will be flashing red lights on each side of highway 83 and flashing caution lights on highway 70. We are estimating that by the time we pay the engineer and the other costs, it'll probably be in the neighborhood of $20,000. But it's a dangerous intersection. We tried to get the state to do it (install the lights) but they said they were not in that business."

The lights will be installed overhead above the highways, instead of by the sides of the roads, as the county had preferred. Foster says TDOT indicated that Highway 70 was too wide for the lights to be on the side of the road. State officials were also concerned that the lights would be more prone to being struck by passing motorists if they were by the highway.

The county commission, on Monday night, voted to advertise bids for this project.

Chamber Presents Project Welcome Mat Awards

June 30, 2010
Dwayne Page
Bumpers Drive-In Receives "Most Original" Award
Liberty State Bank Receives "Best Worded" Award
First Free Will Baptist Church Receives "People's Choice" Award

The Smithville- DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce honored the winners Wednesday in "Project Welcome Mat".

"Project Welcome Mat" awards three categories, "Most Original", "Best Worded", and "People's Choice"

Bumpers Drive-In received the " Most Original" award for their sign " There's Banjos, Fiddles, Crafts and Food, That'll Put Ya in a Yee Haw Mood".

Liberty State Bank won the "Best Worded" award for their two-sided sign "Pick up Your Fiddle and Get in Line. Here Comes Jamboree 39" and on the other side, "Enjoy Your Visit, We'll Do the Rest to Make Jamboree 39 the Best."

The "People's Choice" award went to the First Free Will Baptist Church for their sign "If You Love the Jamboree, Then You'll Surely Enjoy Us Too Cause We Like to Pick and Grin and Sing God's Praises Too"

DeKalb Community Bank received honorable mention for their sign "We Hope you have a Grand Ole' Time at Jamboree 39"

Suzanne Williams, Executive Director of the Chamber, says "We appreciate all the businesses that participated in "Project Welcome Mat" to help make sure that our Jamboree visitors feel welcome. "

County Expected to Make Decision on Residential Building Codes by Fall

June 30, 2010
Dwayne Page
County Mayor Mike Foster

DeKalb County currently does not require homebuilders to adhere to any residential building codes, but the county commission will have to make a decision by this fall on whether to change that under the Tennessee Clean Energy Future Act.

This new state law has taken effect which calls for the adoption and enforcement of a residential building code to one-and two-family residences across the state. The State Fire Marshal Office's code enforcement program will begin in October. In the interim, the State will contract with code inspectors, establish a network of issuing agents where the construction permits can be obtained and finalize the process for payments.

Effective October 1st, the State Fire Marshal's Office will issue residential building permits using a system similar to the electrical inspection program that it presently operates. Owners and licensed contractors will obtain a construction permit from the local issuing agents. Inspectors will then inspect residences during construction to ensure code compliance.

Cities and counties that presently enforce a building code that is current within seven years (the 2003 or 2006 edition of the International Residential Code will qualify) can notify the State Fire Marshal's Office and continue local enforcement. Local codes may be more stringent than the state adopted code. Cities and counties may also choose to have no minimum one- and two-family residential building code and no inspections to ensure quality home construction by a two-thirds opt-out vote of their governing bodies (county commissions).

County Mayor Mike Foster says DeKalb County has three options: to adopt the state requirements for enforcement of residential building codes; to adopt a plan of it's own and hire a building codes inspector; or to opt out altogether. But he says, sooner or later, the state will most likely require all local governments to have codes. "Basically we've got three choices, either to do nothing and let the state run it; opt out and have nothing for a short period of time, which it will probably be not more than a year before it's mandatory anyway; or the county can run it themselves and have a local inspector, which certainly would be more convenient for the builders and probably the homeowners. The county commission is looking at that and it will be their decision as to which option to take.'

"What this basically means is that the state has probably had many complaints about some of the quality of the builders and the energy efficiency ratio of the houses being improved. I think what they're (state) thinking is that this would give some standard to go by to where everybody operates under the same set of rules and it ensures, hopefully, that the homeowner is getting what he is paying for, making sure that the insulation and the other energy saving devices are there in the home and that the house is structurally built like it should be. Their (state) thinking is that there are some unscrupulous builders out there who are doing some of this and they're just trying to bring some compliance with the rules and regulations. It probably is a good thing for the homeowner in that they're getting a cheap insurance policy to assure them that their house is being built right and that it's being built within codes and it's built so that it is energy efficient."

"The option for the county is, do we let the state run this or does the county run it and have it's own local inspector? There are pluses and minuses to both. The county commission is still looking at it and waiting until we get all the facts on it before making up their mind which would be the best way to handle it."

"Several counties are facing the same issue. Most of the cities have building codes and it really is a good thing in a lot of ways because it just puts down a set of standards that everybody goes by and it helps protect the local homeowner who is getting his house built and his neighbors. It's probably a good thing to have somebody overseeing the building to make sure that it is built right. Make sure that it is energy efficient. In the long run, that's a much better situation for the homeowner.'

"If the state does it, once it's set up, it (building permits) would probably be where you go and get your electrical permits for electricity. It would be done through them. Some of the contractors and other people here have expressed an opinion that if you're building a house, sometimes weather is a factor and if you have a foundation ready to pour. I think theirs (state regulations) state that you have to let them know within three days. But, you know if you have your foundation ready to pour, you may not want to wait three days because it might rain. You're depending upon the weather. So a lot of them (contractors and others) have expressed an opinion that they would rather have a local person (inspector) doing that. Of course, it's a matter of the county commission looking at everything and seeing what they think is the proper, best solution for the county and the people."

"Enforcing building codes will make new homes safe and more energy-efficient, and will help assure the quality of residential construction meets minimum standards," said State Fire Marshal and Department of Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Leslie A. Newman.

New State Fire Marshal's Office regulations adopt the 2009 International Residential Code and the 2006 International Energy Code. These building codes will only apply to new construction of residential structures. Nonresidential structures, such as out buildings and unattached garages, are not covered. Renovation of existing structures, no matter how extensive, is also not covered. Sprinkler requirements have not been adopted, although a city or county is free to adopt a sprinkler requirement.

Smithville Mayor and Aldermen-Elect Take Oath of Office

June 29, 2010
Dwayne Page
Smithville Mayor Taft Hendrixson
Alderman Stephen White
Alderman Cecil Burger
Judge Bratten Cook II

Smithville Mayor Taft Hendrixson and Aldermen Stephen White and Cecil Burger, re-elected on June 15th, were sworn into office to begin their new two year terms Tuesday evening during a special meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen at city hall.

General Sessions Court Judge Bratten Cook II administered the oath of office.

After the swearing in ceremony, Mayor Hendrixson appointed each of the alderman as commissioner of a city department.

The appointments are as follows:

Steve White-Vice Mayor and Commissioner of Water and Sewer
Shawn Jacobs- Commissioner of Finance and Taxation
W.J. (Dub) White- Commissioner of Sanitation
Cecil Burger- Commissioner of Streets and Safety
Aaron Meeks - Commissioner of the Police and Fire Departments

Mayor Hendrixson also appointed citizen representatives and aldermen to serve on various city boards.

Hoyte Barrett was re-appointed to a new six year term and Alderman Steve White was re-named to a new two year term on the city planning commission.

Anthony Hagan was re-appointed to a new four year term as a citizen member and Alderman Cecil Burger was chosen again to a new two year term on the Smithville Electric System Board.

Alderman Cecil Burger got a new two year term on the city beer board

Alderman Steve White was re-appointed to a new term on the 911 board.

The aldermen unanimously approved the mayor's appointments.

In other business, the aldermen adopted a continuing budget resolution to keep city government operating beyond June 30th until a new budget is approved.

The mayor and aldermen will not be meeting on Monday, July 5th because of the holiday weekend. Their next regularly scheduled meeting is set for Monday, July 19th at 7:00 p.m. at city hall.

Local Artists Plan Major Presence At 2010 Jamboree

June 29, 2010
Mike Antoniak
2009 Jamboree spectators watch chairmaker Tim Hintz at work

Members of the Off the Beaten Path artist group will be out in full force for the 39th Smithville Fiddler’s Jamboree and Crafts Festival, with ongoing demonstrations and exhibits of their work July 2 and 3.

“We’ve decided to make the Jamboree our main summer event,” says Susan DeMay, group vice president and ceramic artist based in Smithville. “It’s a great opportunity to showcase the high quality crafts produced in this area, and to raise awareness of our annual Off The Beaten Path Studio Tour.”

More than a dozen Off The Beaten Path members will be participating in this year’s Jamboree. The group has reserved two exhibit spaces and the air-conditioned 303 building on the north side of the square. One tent will feature crafts activities for children, the other a series of craft demonstrations. Friday’s schedule includes demonstrations in clay, wood and jewelry decoration, with additional clay demonstrations planned for Saturday.

“Inside the 303 building Jamboree visitors can take a break from the heat and see exhibits featuring our members’ work in a variety of media, all available for sale,” says DeMay. “We’ll also be on hand to talk about our tour, and invite visitors back to the area in the fall.”

Held the last full weekend each October, The Off The Beaten Path Studio Tour draws thousands of arts enthusiasts to DeKalb and Cannon counties to visit the artists where they work. This year’s 10th anniversary tour, with more than two dozen participating artists, will be held October 29 through 31. For more information on the group and its activities, please visit their website, www.offthebeatenpathtour.com

Construction Bids Sought for Development of New Farmers Market Location

June 29, 2010
Dwayne Page
2008 photo of Jeff Cantrell at the Farmers Market downtown

The Farmer's Market may have a new home within a few months.

The county commission Monday night voted to accept bids for the construction of a new farmer's market on the north side of the Town and Country Shopping Center plaza that the county now owns. It will be developed in the parking lot facing East Bryant Street.

The farmer's market is currently held each Saturday around the courthouse in which local farmers bring their home grown produce to sell.

The county commission, two years ago, voted to seek a $50,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant from USDA Rural Development to help relocate the Farmer's Market where a proper structure could be built. The grant has since been approved. The project must be completed within 120 days.

The county is also awaiting word from the state on whether it's application for a $30,000 agriculture enhancement grant is going to be funded from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture for the new farmers market location.

County Mayor Mike Foster says the Farmer's Market helps bring people downtown on Saturday, which is a good thing, but the farmers who bring their produce to sell need shelter from the weather and the proposed new location could provide that. "We have done the environmentals and the traffic flow pattern. It would have a bathroom, a wash area, refrigerated area with storage, a display area, tables, and it's all handicapped accessible."

County Commission Favors Erecting Memorial in Tribute to All Local Fallen War Heroes

June 29, 2010
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Commission has given it's blessing for a new memorial to be erected on the courthouse grounds in tribute to all local military men and women who have died in service to our country.

County Mayor Mike Foster, during Monday night's county commission meeting, said the project will require public input and community fundraisers. "We have talked about doing a memorial on the courthouse grounds. Since the Anderson boy (PFC Billy Anderson) was killed, we've had some people discuss putting up a memorial for him. But we have broadened it (idea) into maybe doing a fundraiser where the community is really involved in doing this and doing it for all wars."

"I would personally like to see us do a fundraiser where the public is involved in it and that we make it (monument) big enough to put the names of people from World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korea, the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars and have room on there for others (in the future). Rather than having a lot of single markers or memorials for those people, it would be better to have just one for everybody."

" I think it's a good idea and everybody is for it but the design of it, where it's located, and all of that needs to be studied and worked on. Before we start seeking people to contribute to it and raising money for it, we should at least put in the minutes (of the meeting) that you (county commission) have tentatively approved it and that we start with the procedure and form committees as to how we and the public want it to look and then get the community involved because I think it means more to people if they're involved in it."

Dowelltown Woman Charged with Statutory Rape

June 28, 2010
Dwayne Page
Jessica Marie Tittle
Kenny Waymon Dyal Jr
Lisa Michelle Porterfield
Robert Tucker Treadway

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department arrested a Dowelltown woman for statutory rape last week after she admitted to having sex with a young boy.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 25 year old Jessica Marie Tittle of South Mill Street Dowelltown was charged on Tuesday, June 22nd after an investigation into allegations that she had sexual relations with a 15 year old boy on June 12th at her residence. Detectives interviewed Tittle last Tuesday and she admitted to the crime. Bond for Tittle was set at $5,000.

Meanwhile, in other crime news, 23 year old Kenny Waymon Dyal Jr. of Floyd Drive Smithville was arrested on Wednesday, June 23rd for theft of property under $500. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on July 1st. While on patrol last Wednesday, a deputy stopped a vehicle on Eagle Creek Road off the Cookeville Highway for weaving. The officer asked Dyal, the driver, for his license. As Dyal was retrieving his driver's license, the officer noticed that Dyal had a debit card that belonged to another person. The deputy inquired about the card and Dyal told him that it belonged to a member of his family and that another family member had given it to him to buy some items at the store. The officer contacted the family and found that Dyal did not have permission to obtain the card.

Also on Wednesday, June 23rd, the Sheriff's Department executed a search warrant at the home of 32 year old Lisa Michelle Porterfield at 4812 McMinnville Highway. Detectives obtained the search warrant after Porterfield was found to be selling the drug Dilaudid from her home. During the search, officers confiscated 35 used hypodermic needles, a crack pipe, used straw containing a white residue, rolling papers, a plastic bag containing marijuana, a Xanax pill, 6 Suboxone pills, 9 Hydrocodone pills, 3 Dilaudid pills, and $494.52 in cash. Detectives seized the money along with Porterfield's Chevy Lumina that she was allegedly using to transport the drugs. Porterfield was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a schedule II drug for resale, 2 counts of possession of a schedule III drug for resale, possession of a schedule IV drug for resale, and possession of a schedule VI drug for resale. Her bond was set at $175,000 and she will appear in court on July 1st.

On Thursday, June 24th, a deputy received a call that a man was trying to sell the drug LSD to people. After obtaining a description of the vehicle, the officer spotted it on Allen's Ferry Road. After making the traffic stop, the deputy noticed that the driver, 19 year old Robert Tucker Treadway of Peach Tree Street, Nashville, had slurred speech. The officer also detected the smell of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. After receiving consent to search the vehicle, the deputy found a bag of marijuana and a pill bottle containing sugar cubes. Treadway was charged with a first offense of driving under the influence and possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana) for resale. Treadway's bond was set at $6,500 and he will appear in court on July 15th. The sugar cubes will be sent to the T.B.I. crime lab for analysis to determine if they contain the drug LSD.

22 year old Billy D. Ferrell of R Arnold Road Smithville was charged Thursday, June 24th with violation of an order of protection after deputies were summoned to check out a domestic call. When deputies arrived at the residence, they found Ferrell and his mother's husband in an argument. Ferrell had an order of protection against him. He was under a court order to stay away from the residence. Ferrell was taken into custody and his bond was set at $2,500. He will appear in court July 1st.

On Friday, June 25th, a deputy while on patrol on McMinnville Highway, stopped 25 year old John Bryan Pedigo for a traffic violation. Pedigo was found to be driving on a revoked license. Pedigo's license was revoked for failure to file security after an accident on January 16th in DeKalb County. Pedigo was charged with a first offense of driving on a revoked license and his bond was set at $1,500.. He will appear in court on July 14th.


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