Local News Articles

City to Begin Uni-directional Hydrant Flushing Program

March 22, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Water Department Staff will soon begin their hydrant flushing program, an integral part of on-going efforts to deliver the safest and highest quality water possible to residents.

Hydrant flushing is a routine process of cleaning the piping of a water distribution system. This flushing enhances water quality by flushing sediment from the main lines, helps maintain chlorine residuals throughout the distribution system, and verifies the proper operation of hydrants. In other words, flushing improves the overall quality of water in the distribution system.

The uni-directional flushing is carried out by Smithville Water Department Staff, who systematically open and close fire hydrants on one section of main at a time, letting the water run at a high velocity until sediment is carried out and the water is clear.

If you see a crew flushing a hydrant on your street, avoid running water, using the dishwasher or washing light colored laundry until the flushing is done. Also, if you see hydrant flushing crews working in the area, please drive carefully and treat them like any other road construction crew.

You may notice a temporary reduction in water pressure during flushing. During and immediately following flushing, the water may look discolored. If discolored water occurs, it is caused by iron or manganese particles being dislodged from the water main. If discolored water occurs, it is not a health hazard. However, the discolored water may stain porcelain and laundry. If you encounter discolored water, shut the faucet off and wait several minutes. After waiting, run the cold water for a few minutes allowing fresh water to work its way in to your pipes. If the water is clear, it is okay to use. If not, wait a few more minutes and then check it again. If the discolored water persists more than 24 hours, please call the Smithville City Hall at 615-597-4745. This discoloration only affects the appearance of the water. It does not affect the water quality.

The hydrant flushing is expected to begin Tuesday, March 27 and continue over several days, covering certain sections of the city each day.

DeKalb County Eligible For Emergency Unemployment Benefits

March 22, 2012

The Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development announced today that Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits are now available for workers in Bradley, Claiborne, Cumberland, DeKalb, Hamilton, Jackson, McMinn, Monroe, Overton and Polk counties as a direct result of severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding from February 29, 2012, to March 2, 2012. The declaration number is FEMA-DR-4060.

"Disaster Unemployment brings some stability to those whose lives have been affected by these strong storms," said Labor Commissioner Karla Davis. "This type of unemployment assistance is available to the self-employed and others who are not ordinarily covered by the state unemployment insurance program."

The Department of Labor and Workforce Development administers the program on behalf of the federal government. Persons unemployed as a direct result of the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding must file their claim for DUA benefits within 30 days of this announcement.

If possible, individuals should have access to their 2011 income tax return, Social Security Number, and any documents with wage and employment information prior to the disaster.

Weekly DUA benefit amounts may range from $117 to $275 per week and are payable up to 26 weeks after the day of declaration, which was March 16, 2012. DUA benefits will end if unemployment is no longer the direct result of the disaster.

If your unemployment claim is a direct result of the disaster, do not file your unemployment claim by Internet to avoid delays.

Persons who are unemployed as a result of the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding that began February 29, 2012, who need to file a disaster related unemployment claim, may call 1-866-331-1271, extension 7599 when prompted, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays or report in person to one of the following TDLWD Career Centers.

The following Tennessee Career Center locations can assist with Disaster Unemployment Assistance claims as well as take mass lack of work claims on Mondays and Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. Cookeville, 580 South Jefferson Ave., Suite A and McMinnville, 107 Lyon Street

For updates, please check our agency's Web site at www.tn.gov/labor-wfd/

ABC Raids VFW Club; Undercover Probe Reveals Illegal Liquor Sales and Possible Gambling

March 21, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
VFW Club
VFW POST 7623

Following an undercover investigation into allegations of illegal sales of liquor, agents of the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission last Thursday, March 15 raided the VFW club on the Sparta Highway seizing gambling machines, a raffle prize, and cash.

Special Agent Brad Allison, in a telephone interview with WJLE, said bartender Brian Soye has been cited for unlawful sale of alcohol and quartermaster Thomas Skelenka was issued citations for storage of alcohol for sale and possession of gambling devices. All are misdemeanor offenses.

Operators of the VFW allegedly kept selling liquor, even after letting their liquor license expire.

Agent Allison said the investigation began after complaints surfaced about the VFW. "The Alcoholic Beverage Commission received an anonymous complaint about the VFW in Smithville selling liquor without a license. The complaint was given to the ABC Cookeville Office who researched to see if the VFW currently had a liquor license and they did not. At that time they executed an undercover operation at the establishment and were able to purchase liquor from the bartender inside the VFW. After purchasing the liquor, they then prepared and executed a search warrant on Thursday, March 15. At that time during the search warrant, there were approximately fifty bottles of liquor that were seized; four gambling machines; several envelopes with various amounts of money in the envelopes with some labeled "race boards", some labeled "dice". There was a TV seized that was in a box labeled "raffle" with the amount of the price for the raffle tickets written on the box," said Allison

As a result of the investigation, the VFW also had to surrender its beer license, pending a hearing before the DeKalb County Beer Board.

Chief Randy Caplinger Releases Update on City Crime News

March 21, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Police Chief Randy Caplinger

Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger has released an update on recent city crime news.

34 year old Wesley Chandler is charged with aggravated assault and cited for simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court on April 5. Chief Caplinger reports that police were called to Walmart on Monday, March 5 on a complaint that someone was threatening an employee. According to report, the employee told Chandler that the jewelry department was closed and could not be re-opened at that time. Chandler allegedly accused the employee of lying and said that he had a gun. Police were notified and arrived at the store. Chandler had no weapon but the arresting officer found on him four and half pills believed to be hydrocodone.

36 year old Tyrone Owens is charged with theft under $500 and cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court on March 22. Chief Caplinger reports that police were recently called to Walmart on a shoplifting complaint. An employee allegedly saw Owens conceal three shirts under his pants. Owens was confronted by the employee but he ran off, exiting the building by the lawn and garden center. Police were notified and an officer spotted Owens on foot at Morgan Drive. He was found to have on him three shirts from Walmart, still bearing the price tags. Owens also had in his possession two used hypodermic needles.

28 year old Brandon Tallent is charged with sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court on April 5. Chief Caplinger reports that Tallent allegedly sold two pills believed to be dilaudid to an undercover operative on Tuesday, March 13. Tallent was arrested at his West Main Street residence on Thursday, March 15.

24 year old Amanda Washer and 29 year old Michael Ryan Sullivan are charged with theft over $500. Washer is also charged with unlawful possession of a schedule III drug and two counts of sale of a schedule II controlled substance. Her bond is $10,500. Bond for Sullivan is $2,500. They will be in court on March 29. Chief Caplinger reports that police were called to Walmart on a shoplifting complaint Friday, March 16. Both Washer and Sullivan were found to have unpaid for items from the store in their possession. Upon arriving at the jail for booking, officers saw Washer trying to hide some pills in her pants. They recovered eleven pills believed to be oxymorphone, twenty two pills thought to be soma, and twenty nine pills suspected of being hydrocodone.

24 year old Brandy Nicole Turner is cited for shoplifting. She will be in court on March 29. According to Chief Caplinger, Turner was found at the Dollar General Store with an unpaid for item in her purse.

53 year old Lola D. Minton is charged with public intoxication on Monday, March 12 and again on Friday, March 16. Her bond totals $3,000. She will be in court on March 29. In the first case, Chief Caplinger said police were called to a residence on Kendra Drive March 12 where there was an unwanted guest. Under her bond conditions in a previous case, Minton was not supposed to be at this residence. Police arrived and found that Minton had fled on foot. She was found lying in a ditch on Kendra Drive. She was initially unresponsive. The officer detected an odor of alcohol on her. DeKalb EMS was called to the scene to make sure she was okay. Minton was taken to DeKalb Community Hospital where she was treated and released. In the second incident, police were called to South Mountain and Meadowbrook Drive where Minton was seen on foot. She had fallen twice. Police asked if she needed medical treatment. Minton said she was fine. The officer detected an odor of alcohol on her. Minton tried to run into traffic but she was stopped by the officer. Minton submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks

44 year old Veronica Mooneyham is charged with public intoxication and cited for simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance. She will be in court on March 29. Chief Caplinger said police were called to a business on South Congress Boulevard on Thursday, March 15 where they found Mooneyham slumped over the steering wheel of her vehicle. She was awakened and found to have slurred speech. Mooneyham was also unsteady on her feet. The officer found drugs in her possession including what was believed to be xanax, oxycodone, and oxycontin.

19 year old Michael Jesse Dinovo and 20 year old Terry Lee Jones are cited for underage possession and consumption of alcohol. They will be in court on March 29. Chief Caplinger said police made a traffic stop of Dinovo's vehicle on Friday, March 16. The officer detected a strong odor of alcohol on the driver, Dinovo and Jones, the passenger. Two open beers along with seventeen unopened beers were found in the vehicle.

23 year old Derrick Fitts is charged with public intoxication. He is under a $1,000 bond and will be in court on March 29. Chief Caplinger said police were called to a call of physical fight on Meadowbrook Drive Saturday, March 17. The officer arrived and found Fitts in the back seat of a vehicle. He appeared to be intoxicated. EMS was called to the scene but Fitts allegedly refused medical treatment. He was belligerent and becoming an annoyance. After being told several times to do so, Fitts went inside the residence. Police left the scene but returned later when Fitts came back outside. The officer said Fitts was drinking and shouting obscenities. He was placed under arrest.

32 year old James Estes is charged with evading by a motor vehicle and driving while his license was suspended. His bond is $4,500. Chief Caplinger said that police spotted Estes speeding on Foster Road. The officer got behind him but Estes sped up, turning onto Miller Road where he allegedly crossed into the oncoming lane of travel and passed another vehicle on double yellow lines. Estes turned onto Georgia Lane and then to Kendra Drive where he stopped at an apartment complex. Estes got out of his vehicle and tried to flee on foot. Police ordered him to stop. He initially stopped and turned toward the officer, but then he took off on foot again. The officer deployed a taser and Estes was subsequently arrested.

Fire Destroys Two Camper Trailers

March 21, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Fire Destroys Two Camper Trailers (Photo by Callie Matthews)

A fire destroyed two camper trailers at Lakeside Resort Tuesday afternoon.

Central dispatch received the call at 3:21 p.m.

According to County Fire Chief Donny Green, the campers served as temporary housing for construction workers at Hurricane bridge. No one was there at the time of the fire and no one was injured.

Chief Green said four camper trailers were parked side by side about six feet apart at the end of Relax Drive. One of the campers in the middle caught fire and spread to another one beside of it. Both were destroyed. Firefighters were able to save the other two campers although they received some heat damage. The blaze also spread into the woods but it was quickly brought under control.

The cause of the fire is undetermined.

Members of the Short Mountain Highway, Main Station, and Cookeville Highway Station responded along with the Tennessee Forestry Division, DeKalb EMS and Sheriff's Department

Chief Green said volunteers of the local Red Cross Chapter helped provide shelter and arranged to meet other needs for victims of the fire.

Another fire was reported at 6:44 p.m. Tuesday at the trailer home of Billy and Cecilia Orchard at 160 Clear Creek Road, Liberty.

Chief Green said that Mr. and Mrs. Orchard and their two children were at home when a grease fire started from the cook stove. The family escaped unharmed. A neighbor called 911 to report the fire.

Members of the Liberty and Main Stations responded and quickly extinguished the blaze. Fire damage was confined to around the area of the stove.

Volunteers of the local Red Cross Chapter helped provide shelter for the family during the night. The Orchard family is expected to return to their home Wednesday, pending an electrical inspection of the residence.

Mayor Grills Fire Chief Over Grant Application for Full Time Firefighters

March 20, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Mayor Taft Hendrixson questioning Fire Chief Charlie Parker

Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker was questioned by Mayor Taft Hendrixson Monday night why he chose to apply for a FEMA SAFER Grant for the hiring of full time firefighters when it appears that the city may not qualify for such a grant

During the March 5 meeting, the aldermen gave their blessing for the fire department to make application for the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant, which if approved, would fund the hiring of firefighters for up to two years at no costs to the city.

At that meeting, Chief Parker told the mayor and aldermen that the city would be under no obligation to keep funding the positions locally after the grant funds are exhausted. "The grant is a two year total grant and it would be for hiring full time personnel. It would go up to a max of $230,000 for salary supplements for that two years. That's the maximum amount. That doesn't mean that we will get the full amount but it could be up to that for personnel. If we do get it, it will still need to be accepted by the board," said Chief Parker.

In order to beat the filing deadline, Chief Parker apparently applied for the grant before asking the mayor and aldermen and sought approval after the fact.

During last nights (Mondays) meeting, Mayor Hendrixson said he had checked with FEMA and Congressman Diane Black's office and learned that the grant, for which Chief Parker applied, has no chance of being approved since it was for rehiring laid off firefighters, retaining firefighters who faced imminent layoff and or filling positions vacated through attrition. Smithville has an all volunteer fire department.

Mayor Hendrixson asked Chief Parker why he chose to apply for a FEMA grant ostensibly to pay full time firefighters when the city had a better chance of obtaining another grant for funding the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters. "I took it upon myself to contact FEMA in Washington. We have zero chances of getting this grant (applied for by Chief Parker). It did not even go before the review board according to my contacts through Congressman Black's office," said Mayor Hendrixson.

"The recruitment and retention grants assist fire departments with the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters who are involved with or trained in the operations of firefighting and emergency response," he said. "These grants are intended to create a net increase in the number of trained, certified, and competent firefighters capable of safely responding to emergencies likely to occur within the grantee's geographical area. One hundred percent funding is provided for periods up to four years on this one (recruitment and retention grant)."

"What I'm concerned about is they told me in Washington that from looking at our grant, we would have had a good chance of getting this recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters (grant). We have zero chance of getting this other one. They've already told me," said Mayor Hendrixson.

"For the benefit of your rank and file members. They (city firefighters) get paid twenty dollars per call (currently). Had we gotten this other grant, they might have gotten forty, fifty, or sixty dollars a call depending upon how much money you got (from the grant). They could have had more training. You could have provided insurance packages such as accidental death and dismemberment, disability, health, dental, and life," said Mayor Hendrixson.

"I've heard you (Chief Parker) say many times that its hard to recruit firefighters. This (grant) is a tool that will help recruit firefighters. You can recruit them or you can pay the ones already here. If you recruit a man, you can reimburse a member while he (recruit) is attending basic training, fire training, compensate for lost wages, mileage, lodging, and a per diem," he said

"Marketing costs (can be met) to recruit new members. In other words, (grant could fund) billboards, newspaper ads, radio advertisements. We could have paid for a station Internet, computers and common areas. It would have paid for that," said Mayor Hendrixson.

"Station duty uniforms for new recruits, pants, shirts, hats (could be paid for with grant funds) and non uniform clothing as part of an award program. If you get new recruits, it would have paid for a physical. It would have even paid for their turnout gear. It would have paid for any new turnout gear. Not for the ones that are here but for the new (members)," he said.

Mayor Hendrixson said money from a recruitment and retention grant could even provide yearly bonuses to city firefighters who complete training programs, just as the county firefighters receive. "I know the county does this and they're enjoying this grant right now. If their firefighters complete all their training sessions, they get a $400 bonus out of this grant. There's an awards program for participation in operational activities, length of service plaques, gift cards, mileage reimbursement for operational activities, responding to incidents, and attending training," he said.

"I can just see a lot of benefits for your men and for the department and for the city as a whole by applying for the other grant that would fit us as a volunteer department," said Mayor Hendrixson.

Chief Parker said it was his understanding that the grant for which he applied did include funding for the hiring of new firefighters, if approved, and he confirmed it after checking further during the meeting. "I went back to the FEMA 2012 eligibility guidelines and it says that the following entities are eligible to apply directly to FEMA under this solicitation. Volunteer fire departments may apply for funding in the following categories: Hiring the firefighters category. Hiring career firefighters. Second category. Recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters. If the applicant wishes to fill an application for both categories, two separate applications must be completed for each. This is in the 2012 guidelines and this is what I went by to the best of my ability. That was what we were shooting for, full time people. We've already got some (firefighters) who are compensated. They are not well compensated but we have some compensated volunteer firemen now. We're looking to hire some full time people and progress a little further. So in the best interest of my department and the city, that's the reason I was pushing for full time firefighters. If we get free money, fine. If not, we'll try to push forward and if not we'll stay where we're at,"he said.

Chief Parker also asked the city to make a better effort in the future in assisting the fire department in obtaining grants. "I would like to make a formal request that we look for fire department grants from this board. We need grants for automated external defibrillators (AED's). We need AED's for each truck. We could use grants for turnout equipment. We can use grants for things on the trucks. Anything that we can apply for in a grant, I would be more than welcome for the board to do so or get somebody else to do it. Somebody has got to look for them," he said.

Alderman Gayla Hendrix defended Chief Parker saying it never hurts to apply for grants for which the city might benefit. "Chief Parker came to us with this. He explained very clearly that it was a last minute resource. That he had received a letter from Congressman Black encouraging volunteer fire departments to apply for that. He told us that. He also told us we were down to the wire and that we may be able to get it or we may not, but what's it going to hurt to apply. It never hurts to write a grant. I haven't read the entire grant but what you (mayor) just handed to us, I totally disagree with your interpretation Mr. Mayor. It specifically says the purpose of these grants is to improve or restore local fire departments staffing and deployment capabilities in two categories. Number 1, hiring firefighters. Number 2, recruiting and retention. He applied to hire. There are very few fire departments anymore in this country that are strictly volunteer. Those days are almost over. We're very fortunate that we have these people who are willing and who have fifteen, twenty, and thirty years of experience doing it. Anytime something is brought to a department head's attention that there's a possibility of getting funding for their department, its never a bad decision to try. We may get turned down but we've been turned down before. But you try and you put it out there and see what you can get. Its going to come a day when we're going to have to start staffing this volunteer department," said Alderman Hendrix.

Chief Parker told WJLE later that the mayor had requested that he attend Monday night's meeting, but he was not told for what reason. The issue was not listed on the regular meeting agenda.

Unemployment Claimants Now Required To Provide Proof Of Work Searches

March 20, 2012

Beginning in April, significant changes to the unemployment insurance system will require in-person case management and documented work searches for nearly 56,000 claimants. Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Karla Davis today announced the receipt of guidance from the USDOL outlining new requirements for select claimants to continue receiving unemployment benefits.

“The reality is that as the state unemployment rate drops there will be fewer weeks of unemployment available,” said Davis. “These new requirements will make sure claimants are on track to find employment and not get caught off guard when their benefits expire.”

All claimants receiving Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC 08) must complete two work searches weekly and provide documentation to Labor and Workforce Development upon request. Additionally, claimants must participate in case management at a Tennessee Career Center including orientation, eligibility review, assessment of skills, participation in remedial workshops, and commitment to a work search plan.

“The federal government has raised the bar on accountability for claimants,” said Commissioner Davis. “Claimants will be required to prove that they are looking for work, and they will be engaged face to face with our job service employees. If these requirements are not met they will no longer be eligible to receive benefits.”

In February 2012, federal legislation was enacted extending the deadlines for federally funded unemployment benefits through December 2012. The changes to the structure of federal benefits reduced the total amount of benefit weeks, but did not create additional benefits for those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits.

For up-to-date information visit http://www.tn.gov/labor-wfd/2012 Unemployment Update.html or follow the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TNLabor.

Stanley Charged with Theft and Forgery

March 19, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Steve A. Stanley
Janet Marie Lewis
Cassandra Nicole Estes Robinson
Michael James Dean
Karen Louise Edwards

In his weekly report on crime news, Sheriff Patrick Ray reports that 34 year old Steve A. Stanley of Old Mill Hill Road, Dowelltown is charged with theft of property over $500 and two counts of forgery. His bond totals $8,500 and he will be in court March 29. Stanley was arrested on Monday, March 12.

Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, March 9 Stanley allegedly took a laptop computer, Fenton glassware, and two white and green baskets from the residence of a family member on Old Mill Hill Road. The total value of these items comes to $900.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, March 7 Stanley allegedly passed a forged check on a family member at Citgo on Highway 70 east. The amount of the check was $100. The family member did not sign the check nor authorized anyone to sign it.

The next day, Thursday, March 8, Stanley allegedly passed a forged check in the amount of $75.00. The check was forged on a family member. Stanley cashed the check at Region's Bank in Smithville. The family member did not sign the check nor authorize anyone to sign it.

The case against Stanley was investigated by criminal detectives of the sheriff's department.

50 year old Janet Marie Lewis of Crestlawn Avenue, Smithville is charged with two counts of unlawful possession of a schedule IV drug for resale. Her bond totals $7,000 and she will be in court March 29. Sheriff Ray reports that on Monday, March 12 drug detectives went to Lewis' home to investigate possible drug traffic. After mirandizing her, detectives inquired about Lewis' prescription medication and received consent to search. Found in an end table drawer in the living room were an unlabeled pill bottle containing three diazepam pills (10 milligrams), an unlabeled bottle with eight diazepam pills (2 milligrams), an unlabeled bottle with five Klonopin (5 milligram tablets) and $109 cash scattered throughout the drawer. Lewis told detectives that she did not have a prescription for the diazepam. The money was seized as suspected profits from illegal drug sales.

29 year old Cassandra Nicole Estes Robinson of Foster Road is charged with public intoxication and she was issued citations for possession of a schedule IV (Klonopin) and VI (marijuana) controlled substance. Robinson is under a $1,000 bond and she will be in court on April 5. Sheriff Ray reports that on Wednesday March 14 during court, a deputy noticed Robinson, in the courtroom, trying to send a text message on her cell phone, dropping the phone, and nodding off. After watching her for several minutes, the officer asked Robinson to step outside so he could speak with her. While talking to Robinson, the deputy noticed that her speech was slow and she kept nodding off. She was very unsteady on her feet. Robinson consented to a search and the officer found on her four pill bottles, including one that did not belong to her, along with five small marijuana roaches. Robinson also had prescription medication, which had been filled with 90 pills on March 12. Forty two of those pills were missing. Due to Robinson's intoxication and for her safety, she was placed under arrest.

60 year old Michael James Dean of Burton Ridge Lane, Smithville is charged with disorderly conduct. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court April 5. According to Sheriff Ray a deputy responded to a call of an assault Wednesday, March 14 at Maggie's Landing on Highway 70. The officer spoke with Dean but found him to be very irate. Dean was urged several times to calm down and he was advised of his rights. Dean admitted to drinking alcohol and told the officer to take him onto jail.

23 year old Anthony Wayne Tramel of Oakley Road, Liberty was arrested on West Broad Street Thursday, March 15 for failure to appear and violation of probation. He was also issued a citation for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. He will be in court on March 29. Sheriff Ray said while making the arrest and conducting a search of his person, a drug detective found needles and a plastic baggie containing white powder, which field tested positive for methamphetamine.

47 year old Karen Louise Edwards of Oak Place Drive, Smithville is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence. Her bond is $3,000 and she will be in court March 19. Sheriff Ray reports that on Friday, March 16, a deputy responded to a one car accident on Bright Hill Road. Upon arrival the officer found a woman, Edwards, in the vehicle. Her speech was very slurred. Edwards submitted to but performed poorly on several field sobriety tasks. She was very unsteady on her feet, almost to the point of falling down. Edwards also submitted to a blood alcohol drug test. Edwards informed the officer that she had taken Soma and Hydrocodone fifteen minutes prior to getting behind the wheel to drive. She had a prior DUI on October 20, 2004.

Arcadia Publishing to Release "Images of America DeKalb County"

March 19, 2012
Images of America DeKalb County
Ria Baker and Judy Fuson

"Images of America DeKalb County", the newest book in Arcadia Publishing's "Images of America" series will be published in April.

Orders for the book, compiled by Judy Fuson and Ria Baker, may be placed at www.arcadiapublishing.com. The cost is $21.99. The book will also be available on Amazon, at Books-a-million, along with F.Z. Webb & Sons Gifts.

Book Description:
DeKalb County has a vast and interesting history spanning from Confederate general John Hunt Morgan's raids on the North during the Civil War to the building of Center Hill Dam, which formed a beautiful lake that brings thousands of tourists to the county each year. The lake, encompassing 18,220 acres, displaced thousands of the earliest settlers' descendants along the Caney Fork River. The state legislature established DeKalb County from parts of surrounding counties in 1837. The county was named after Revolutionary War general Johann DeKalb, while the county seat of Smithville was named after state senator Samuel Granville Smith; neither man was from the county.

Author Bio: Authors Judy Fuson and Ria Baker are lifelong residents of DeKalb County, and many of their ancestors were early settlers of the county. Baker has been compiling historical photographs and information about her hometown of Alexandria for years, and she currently serves as the town's mayor. Fuson taught in the county school system for 30 years, was yearbook advisor for 14 years, and is now retired.

The Images of America series chronicles the history of small towns and downtowns across the country. Each title features more than 200 vintage images, capturing often forgotten bygone times and bringing to life the people, places, and events that defined a community.

Local authors transform dusty albums and artifacts into meaningful walks down memory lane. Millions of vintage images become tiny time capsules, re-establishing memories of the formerly familiar, introducing generations to what once was, and reminding us all of what has been (and can be) in every corner of our nation. The popular series has expanded over time to preserve and celebrate additional worthy topics including local landmarks, architecture, ethnic groups, and more.

Arcadia Publishing is the leading local history publisher in the United States, with a catalog of more than 7,500 titles in print and hundreds of new titles released every year.

Established in 1993, Arcadia has blended a visionary management approach with the innovative application of state-of-the-art technology to create high-quality historical publications in small local niches.

Arcadia Publishing has expanded its focus on preservation efforts and is now the country’s first major book publisher to achieve the use of 100 percent Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper across its entire book publishing program.

Alexander and Corker Applaud President's Declaration of "Major Disaster" for Tennessee

March 19, 2012
U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander
U.S. Senator Bob Corker

U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) have released statements on President Obama's issuance of a "major disaster" declaration for the state of Tennessee, which triggered the release of federal funds to help individuals recover from the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding that occurred in Bradley, Claiborne, Cumberland, DeKalb, Hamilton, Jackson, McMinn, Monroe, Overton, and Polk counties from February 29 to March 2, 2012:

"I'm pleased that the president responded so quickly to the governor's request, and our support of that request, by issuing a major disaster declaration for these counties in Tennessee. This federal support won't make anyone whole, but it will help people and businesses get back on their feet," said Alexander

Senator Corker also applauded the disaster assistance "I thank Governor Haslam for seeking aid for those recovering from the severe storms, and I appreciate the administration's quick approval of the governor's request that was supported by our congressional delegation. As communities continue to repair and rebuild, I hope this assistance will help Tennesseans in need," Corker said.

On March 15, Senators Alexander and Corker and Representatives Duncan, DesJarlais, Black and Fleischmann sent the following letter to the president in support of Governor Haslam's request that the president declare a major disaster in Tennessee:

Dear Mr. President:

On behalf of the State of Tennessee, we respectfully request that you declare a major disaster pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Act due to the severe storms, straight line winds, tornadoes and flooding that began on the morning of February 29th through March 2, 2012.

Governor Bill Haslam has submitted a request for Individual Assistance for Bradley, Claiborne, Cumberland, DeKalb, Hamilton, Jackson, McMinn, Monroe, Overton and Polk counties, as well as Hazard Mitigation Grant Program assistance statewide. We strongly urge you to approve Governor Haslam's request, and we hope you will consider our State's request as soon as possible.

The storms that swept through Tennessee beginning February 29, 2012 claimed three lives, damaged hundreds homes and left families across the state in need of immediate shelter. According to the preliminary damage assessments there is over $18 million in damages to homes, and several workers have also lost their jobs due to damage to businesses. Tennessee has suffered 5 declared disasters in the past 12 months, and several counties are still struggling to recover.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has been working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency since the beginning of this incident, and we are grateful for their efforts to respond to Tennessee's needs. Our offices can provide you with any additional information should you have any questions.

Survivors affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding Feb. 29 through March 2 should apply now for federal assistance.

Federal funding is available to affected individuals in Bradley, Claiborne, Cumberland, DeKalb, Hamilton, Jackson, McMinn, Monroe, Overton and Polk counties.

Individual assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency can help eligible applicants with temporary housing assistance, uninsured personal property losses and medical, dental and funeral expenses caused by the disaster, along with other disaster-related expenses and serious needs. Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not covered by insurance.

Storm survivors should register with FEMA, a process that takes 15 to 30 minutes.

Registration is available online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone at 800-621-FEMA (3362). Help is available in many languages. Disaster applicants who use TTY should call 800-462-7585. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) should call 800-621-3362.

The toll-free FEMA registration numbers are available seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time.

Survivors also can apply for federal assistance directly through Web-enabled mobile phone devices or smartphones. Registration through the mobile site involves three steps:

Go to m.fema.gov and click "Apply Online for FEMA Assistance." You will be directed to www.DisasterAssistance.gov;
Click on Start Registration; and fill out the registration form.

FEMA will ask for the following information:
The telephone number where applicants can be reached;
The address where applicants lived at the time of the disaster and the address where they are staying;
Their Social Security number;
A general description of damage to property and other losses;
The name of the insurance company and policy number or agent if the property is insured; and
Bank account routing information (for direct deposit of funds) or address for mail delivery (optional).

People whose property suffered any storm damage are encouraged to document damage with photographs and to save repair receipts. Damage also should be reported to the insurance company.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for all of Tennessee.

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