Local News Articles

Operation Head To Toe Solicits Support To Clothe Needy Children

October 4, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

If you would like to help needy children in this community then you're encouraged to support "Operation Head to Toe", a faith-based initiative to assist families who struggle financially.

"Operation Head To Toe" uses donated funds to purchase new school clothes for children.

The mission is to work in conjunction with the educators of the DeKalb County School System to identify children and youth who have almost nothing in the way of clothing. Once these children and youth are selected, volunteers work with the families to purchase $150 worth of clothes per child.

In 2004, Jeanni Watson, the founder, had this idea to help these children. She received a gift of one hundred dollars in seed money, and Operation Head to Toe began.

That first year, Operation Head to Toe distributed $9,000 of new clothing to children in DeKalb County. In 2007, with the help of over 400 volunteers, donors and educators, Operation Head to Toe received over $15,000 and clothed 118 children. Operation Head to Toe is now part of the DeKalb County Foundation for Education, with a board of directors to help give guidance. Betty Turner is the director of Operation Head to Toe.

The 2008 fall distribution campaign is underway and your help is needed. Operation Head to Toe's connection with the DeKalb County Foundation for Education allows your contributions to be tax-deductible. Donations by check should be made payable to Operation Head to Toe, P.O. Box 372, Smithville, 37166.

For more information, call 597-1220 or 597-5920.

5th Annual Habitat Chili Cook-Off Set for October 24th

October 4, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

Habitat for Humanity's Fifth Annual Chili Cook-off and bake sale will be held on the courthouse lawn on Friday, October 24th from 10:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

According to Tecia Puckett Pryor, eight teams have already committed to participate including State Farm Insurance Agent Jackie Smith, Bradley Printing, the Board of Education, DeKalb Community Bank, the Courthouse Crew, Edgar Evins State Park, Tom Janney and Associates, and the Chamber of Commerce. Organizers hope to have at least fifteen teams.

Teams will be honored for having the "Best Chili" and the "Best Decorated" booth.

To enter a team, pick up an application from Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen at the courthouse, at the law office of Sue Puckett-Jernigan next to Griffin's Fruit Market, or at Bradley Printing.

You may purchase a bowl for $5.00 and enjoy all the chili you care to eat. Take out will also be available.

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Habitat for Humanity builds and renovates houses in partnership with volunteers and families in need, regardless of their ethnic or religious background. The houses then are sold to those in need at no profit and with no interest charged. To contact Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, please call 215-8181.

Two houses have been built in DeKalb County. The second house has just been completed and a dedication will be scheduled this fall. Funds raised from the chili cook-off will go toward construction of a third Habitat house.

DeKalb Community Hospital Earns Accreditation

October 3, 2008

DeKalb Community Hospital has received accreditation from the Joint Commission following an unannounced on-site evaluation.

The Joint Commission found the hospital compliant at all levels within the Hospital Accreditation Program and granted accreditation for the next 39 months.

"Our hospital’s accreditation highlights the fact that DeKalb Community Hospital is committed to continuously meeting rigorous national standards of excellence" states Cindy Foster, Chief Clinical Officer of the hospital. "The Joint Commissions' findings affirm how dedicated our physicians, clinical staff and associates are to providing the very best care for patients. We are proud to provide high quality care and services for the residents of the counties we serve."

The hospital accreditation process evaluates quality and safety through the application of over 400 quality measures.

DeKalb Community Hospital has been serving the community for nearly 40 years by providing high-quality, patient-centered healthcare.

Tigers Defeat Pearl Cohn 28-6 in Nashville

October 3, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Tigers defeated the Pearl Cohn Firebirds 28-6 Friday night in Nashville.

The Tigers scored their first touchdown with 5:18 left in the first quarter on a pass play from Quarterback Hunter Poteete to Abram Edwards that covered 76 yards. Zach Taylor's P.A.T. kick was good and DeKalb led 7-0.

The black and gold scored their second TD with 11:10 to go in the second quarter on a 20 yard touchdown pass play from Poteete to Hunter Stewart. Taylor's P.A.T. kick was good and the Tigers led 14-0.

DeKalb County added another touchdown with 1:24 left in the second quarter on a 4 yard touchdown pass play from Poteete to Nick Lester. Taylor's P.A.T. kick was good and the Tigers led 21-0. That was the half time score.

Pearl Cohn got on the scoreboard with 6:22 left in the third quarter on a Nick Hill 4 yard touchdown pass play from Quarterback Jestin Williams. The 2 point conversion attempt failed. DeKalb's lead was trimmed to 21 to 6.

DeKalb County's Matthew Lawrence scored on a one yard touchdown run with 4:09 left in the fourth quarter and Taylor's P.A.T. kick gave the Tigers a 28-6 lead. That was the final score.

DeKalb County is now 5-1 on the season and 2-1 in region play.

The Tigers will host the Upperman Bees next Friday night in Smithville.

Smithville Police Make Arrests for DUI, Public Intoxication, and Other Traffic Offenses

October 2, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

Smithville Police have made several arrests within the last week on public intoxication, DUI and other traffic related offenses.

Among them were a man and woman who were charged Sunday, September 28th.

43 year old Ricky Estes was arrested for being a habitual offender, a third offense of driving under the influence, and a second offense of driving on a revoked license. His bond totals $11,500 and he will be in court October 16th.

29 year old Cindy Armstrong Estes is charged with public intoxication. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court October 16th.

Officer Brad Tatrow, in his report, states that Ricky Estes was arrested for DUI when a computer check of his license showed that it was revoked for being a habitual offender .

According to Officer Tatrow, he observed a vehicle on Short Mountain Street in Smithville weaving into the curb from the right hand lanes. Officer Tatrow stopped the vehicle on Gentry Avenue. The driver, Estes, got out of the vehicle and Officer Tatrow noticed him to be very unsteady on his feet. Upon speaking with Estes, Officer Tatrow noticed that he had very slurred speech. He was asked to perform field sobriety tasks and he performed poorly on all tasks. Estes did submit to a blood alcohol or drug test.

Meanwhile, Officer Nathan Estes, in his report, states that Cindy Armstrong Estes was a passenger of a vehicle in which the driver, Ricky Estes, was arrested for DUI. Cindy Estes got out of the vehicle and was very unsteady on her feet, with slow slurred speech. She performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. It was determined that she was a danger to herself and to the public, therefore she was arrested.

In another case, 56 year old French Junior Mullins of McMinnville was charged with driving under the influence. His bond is $1,000 and he will be in court on October 14th.

According to Officer Nathan Estes, Mullins was operating a motor vehicle on Walker Drive on Friday, September 26th and was involved in an accident. He performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks. He had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and he was unsteady on his feet. He did take a blood test.

36 year old Thomas Dewight Vickers was charged with driving on a revoked license on Saturday, September 27th. His bond is $1,000 and he will be in court on October 9th.

Police say they received three calls on Saturday that Vickers had been driving and that the passengers in the vehicle with him were passed out. He was arrested in the area of Miller Road and he did admit to driving the vehicle. Vickers' license was revoked for DUI on March 30th, 2008 in Smith County. Officers had knowledge of his license being revoked.

Meanwhile, Smithville Police arrested three people after answering a fight call at 398 South College Street on Friday, September 26th.

43 year old Willivaido Larragoltia, 22 year old Rablo Juan Larragoltia, and 31 year old Juan Lucio Galvan were all charged with public intoxication. Bond for each was set at $1,000 and they will appear in court on October 16th.

The police reports state that the Smithville Police Department was answering a fight call and upon arrival, officers found these three men on the porch of the residence at 398 South College Street with a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on them. They were unsteady on their feet and were arrested for their own safety and the safety of the public.

Sample Ballot Released for November 4th Election

October 2, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Election Commission has released the sample ballot for the November 4th election.

Voters will be casting ballots in the Presidential, U.S. Senate, 6th District U.S. House of Representative, and the 40th District Tennessee State Representative race.

In the Presidential race, the choices are;

Electors for Barack Obama for President and Joe Biden for Vice President- Democrat nominee Electors for John McCain for President and Sarah Palin for Vice President-Republican nominee
Electors for Chuck Baldwin for President and Darrell Castle for Vice President- Independent
Electors for Bob Barr for President and Wayne Root for Vice President- Independent
Electors for Charles Jay for President and Thomas L. Knapp for Vice President-Independent Electors for Cynthia McKinney for President and Rosa Clemente for Vice President- Independent Electors for Brian Moore for President and Stewart Alexander for Vice President- Independent Electors for Ralph Nader for President and Matt Gonzalez for Vice President- Independent

Candidates for the United States Senate are;

Robert D. Tuke-Democratic nominee
Lamar Alexander- Republican nominee
Edward L. Buck- Independent candidate
Christopher G. Fenner-Independent candidate
David Gatchell-Independent candidate
Ed Lawhorn- Independent candidate
Daniel Towers Lewis- Independent candidate
Chris Lugo-Independent candidate

Candidates for U.S. House of Representatives (6th District)
Bart Gordon- Democratic nominee
Chris Baker- Independent candidate

Candidates for Tennessee House of Representatives (40th District)
Cleveland Derrick Bain- Democratic nominee
Terri Lynn Weaver- Republican nominee
Ray Amalfitano- Independent candidate

October 6th is the deadline for new voter registrations in Dekalb County.

October 30th is the deadline for voters who are already registered in Dekalb County to change their address on their voter registration if they have moved.

People who have moved are encouraged to keep their address current on their voter registration. Polling places are assigned according to a person's residence.

If you have moved and fail to change it on your voter registration, you will be required to fill out the form on election day and vote at the correct polling place.

Please call 597-4146 if you have any questions.

Early Voting will be October 15th through October 30th in the basement courtroom of the courthouse on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.; Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.; and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

Flu Clinics Scheduled This Month

October 2, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

Flu shots will be available at the Smithville Senior Citizens Center on Thursday, October 2nd from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.

Flu Vaccinations will also be administered at the Alexandria Senior Citizens Center on Friday, October 3rd from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. and the Liberty Senior Citizens Center on Friday, October 3rd from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Please bring your insurance card.

Sponsored by the Family Medical Center.

Meanwhile, the DeKalb County Health Department will hold a flu shot clinic on Thursday, October 16th.

The Clinic will be open from 9:00 to 3:30 and will be located at First United Methodist Church Christian Fellowship Center, 102 West Church Street, Smithville, TN 37166. Adult and pediatric doses will be available.

Influenza vaccine can be given to individuals 6 months of age and older. It is recommended for anyone who wishes to reduce their risk of getting influenza; it is especially important for those who are at risk for complications from influenza and for those who live with or care for people at high risk. People who should get influenza vaccine are:

• All adults 50 and over

• All children 6 months to18 years of age, especially those under 5 and those with chronic health problems or asthma

• Anyone with a chronic health condition such as diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, or who has a weakened immune system

• Women who are or plan to be pregnant during flu season (October to March)

• Residents and staff of nursing homes or long term care facilities

• Caregivers and those who live with an infant aged less then 6 months

• All health care workers

• Anyone who has close personal contact with someone at high risk of complications from influenza

• Anyone who wishes to reduce their chances of getting influenza

The cost of the shot will be $25.00 for adults and $13.70 for children. The clinic will also offer pneumonia vaccine for a fee of $41.00. Pneumonia vaccine only needs to be given once to anyone over age 64 and is also important for younger adults with diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illness. It can help prevent the life-threatening bacterial pneumonia that can follow influenza. Payment will be taken at the clinic in the form of cash or check. Medicare and TennCare can also be billed. Please bring all your insurance cards with you. Correct change is preferred. Individuals attending the clinic need to wear a short sleeve shirt.

For more information please contact the DeKalb County Health Department at 615-597-7599.

Hendrixson Leads in Fearless Forecasters Standings- Kirby Out Front in Underdog Picks

October 1, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
WJLE's Fearless Forecasters

Dewain Hendrixson currently leads in the "Fearless Forecaster" standings after five weeks of the season.

Hendrixson's record is 34-16.

Jeff James and Ricky Atnip are tied for second place each with a record of 32-18, followed by Roger Underhill and Chad Kirby, each with a record of 31-19, Tom Duggin 30-20, John Pryor 29-21, and Joe Goodwin 28-22.

The "Fearless Forecasters" pick who they believe will win in ten of the biggest or most interesting college football games of the week.

They also make an underdog selection each week, picking a team they think will win, even though that team is not favored to win.

Chad Kirby currently leads in the points standings in the underdog selections, after five weeks, with 39-1/2 points followed by Ricky Atnip 20-1/2, Joe Goodwin and Tom Duggin 18, John Pryor 13, Dewain Hendrixson 12, Jeff James 9, and Roger Underhill with 6 points.

The "Fearless Forecasters" can be heard LIVE on WJLE Thursday's at 4:30 p.m.

The program is sponsored by Liberty State Bank, Bradley Printing, DeKalb County Ace Hardware, Middle Tennessee Natural Gas, Love-Cantrell Funeral Home, Cumberland Insurance, Pizza Hut, and the Charles D. Atnip Realty & Auction Company and City Bonding.

The program is hosted by WJLE's Tom Duggin.

City and County Firefighters Respond to Tuesday Night Structure Fires

October 1, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
Smithville Firefighters at home of Larry Green

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department was summoned to the home of Larry "Rat" Green at 1226 College Street Tuesday night.

Central Dispatch received the call at 6:41 p.m.

Fire Chief Charlie Parker says it appears the fire started from the stove. The blaze caused extensive damage to the kitchen. Smoke spread throughout the rest of the house.

City firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze and helped clear the house of smoke.

Green was not at home when the fire started but his dogs were there. They were safely removed from the house.

Meanwhile, county firefighters were called to the home of Ray Adcock at 1501 Obie Adcock Road at 11:57 p.m. Tuesday night.

A neighbor reportedly spotted the fire and called 911. Firefighters found the home engulfed in flames upon their arrival and could not save it. No one was home at the time of the fire.

Members of the Blue Springs, Keltonburg, and Belk stations responded along with a tanker truck, equipment truck, the Sheriff's Department, and DeKalb EMS.

No one was injured.

Stimulus Payment Filing Help to be Offered Oct. 10 in Smithville

September 30, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Senior Citizen’s Center is partnering with the Internal Revenue Service to make sure that local retirees, disabled veterans and low-income workers get help filing for an economic stimulus payment.

Time is running out for nearly 92,000 Social Security and VA benefits recipients in Tennessee, including 333 in DeKalb Co., who appear to be eligible for a stimulus payment but have not yet filed a 2007 federal income tax return to claim their payment. They must file by Oct. 15 to get a payment this year.

The free return preparation will be offered for those who normally are not required to file but are filing this year only to claim a stimulus payment. The free help will be available Friday, Oct. 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the City Hall 2nd Floor, 104 East Main St., in Smithville.

Filers should bring: (1) Picture ID or other identity document, (2) verification of Social Security Number for all persons to be listed on the return, (3) Form 1099 or a benefits statement showing Social Security or VA benefits received in 2007 (or simply the amount received if no statement is available), (4) proof of any other income – taxable or nontaxable.

To qualify for a stimulus payment, filers must have at least $3,000 in wages, tips or salary or other qualifying income, which can include Social Security benefits, VA benefits, Railroad Retirement or nontaxable combat pay. SSI does not qualify.

People who normally do not have file a tax return may be eligible for the minimum payment of $300 ($600 for married couples) plus an additional $300 per eligible child under age 17.

Dependents and those who do not have a valid Social Security Number generally do not qualify for a stimulus payment.
The IRS reminds the public to watch out for stimulus payment scams. People who have already filed a 2007 federal return with the IRS do not need to file again. No one needs to complete or file any forms other than a 2007 federal income tax return to get a stimulus payment. Any e-mails, phone calls or letters that state otherwise are likely to be scams.

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