Local News Articles

Craft Awards Presented at Fiddlers Jamboree

July 8, 2013
Dwayne Page
Brenda Bieberdorf (right) Best of Show Craft Winner
David Sharp: Best Appalachian Craft
Ashley Houston: Best Newcomer
Ron and Dorlea Grimsley: Best Display

The annual Fiddler's Jamboree Craft Awards were presented Friday.

Brenda Bieberdorf of Brenda's Fused Glass in Dallas, Georgia received the "Best of Show" award for her display of fused art glass and flattened bottle clocks.

Meanwhile, David Sharp of David Sharp Woodcarving Studio in Smithville was presented the "Best Appalachian Craft" award for his woodworking and hand carving works.

The "Best Newcomer" Award went to Ashley Houston of Sacred Wilderness Batiks in Hayesville, North Carolina. She featured hand waxed dyed batiks and other clothing, bags and children's clothing.

Ron and Dorlea Grimsley of White Mountain Banjo in Phoenix, Arizona received the "Best Display" award for their handmade banjos.

The awards were presented by Emma Adkins, the Fiddler's Jamboree Director of Crafts. "In spite of the rainy and surprisingly cool weather, the overall mood of the crafters was good," said Adkins. "Many said they actually did better on Friday of this year than they did all weekend last year . It was 110 degrees last year. We had a lot of no-shows this year on account of the rain. The event was actually full except for eight spaces as of Thursday morning, July 4th. All of those empty spots were cancellations," she said.

Boulware Crowned Grand Champion Fiddler of 42nd Annual Jamboree

July 7, 2013
Dwayne Page
Jamboree Coordinator Jack Barton (left) Awards John Boulware
John Boulware wins Jr. Fiddling Title and Grand Champion Award in Fiddle Off
Billy Brewer Wins Sr. Fiddling Title but loses Fiddle Off to John Boulware
Bluegrass Band Winner: Foggy Junky Boys
Bluegrass Banjo Winner: Weston Stewart

The Grand Champion Fiddler of the 42nd annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival is John Boulware of Kimball, Tennessee.

He won the Berry C. Williams Memorial Award Saturday night after the Grand Finale Fiddle-Off between the best Junior and Senior Fiddler.

Boulware made it to the fiddle off by winning the Junior Fiddling competition and he won the Grand Championship by beating the winner of the Senior Fiddling contest Billy Brewer of Lyles, Tennessee.


The Saturday session of the Fiddlers Jamboree came to a close at around 10:30 p.m.

Winners on Saturday in the various categories are as follows:

Junior Fiddlers (Ages 13-39): First Place-John Boulware of Kimball, Tennessee; Second Place- Tyler Andal of Whitehouse; and Third Place- Sarah Harris of Rockvale.

Junior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Ages up to 39): First Place- Devon Stewart of Jonesboro, Arkansas; Second Place- Jacob Campbell of Smithville; and Third Place Hillary Bevels of Shelbyville.

Senior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Thomas Maupin of Murfreesboro; Second Place- Stanley Reece of Whitleyville; and Third Place- Tim Hartman of Nunnelly, Tennessee.

Senior Buck Dancing (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Thomas Maupin of Murfreesboro; Second Place- Ruth Alpert of Santa Barbara, California; and Third Place- Tommy Scruggs of Hartsville.

Senior Clogging (Ages 40 & Over): First Place-Tammy Scruggs of Hartsville; Second Place-Darrin Stryker of Cookeville; and Third Place- Eileen Stewart of Pegram.

Bluegrass Banjo: First Place-Weston Stewart of Anderson, Alabama; Second Place- Joey Gibson of Manchester; and Third Place- Daniel Amick of Pleasantville.

Contest Fiddle (Neil Dudney Award): First Place-Tori Huntley of Loretto; Second Place- John Boulware of Kimball; and Third Place-Tyler Andal of Whitehouse.

Bluegrass Band: First Place-Foggy Junky Boys of Dyer, Tennessee; Second Place- A Step Ahead of Greenbrier; and Third Place-Tymeline of Cookeville.

Senior Fiddlers ( Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Billy Brewer of Lyles, Tennessee; Second Place- Paul Shell of Philadelphia, Tennessee; and Third Place- Perry Cooper of Knoxville.

Square Dancing: First Place-Rhythm-N-Motion of Cookeville; Second Place- Rocky Top Revue of Franklin; and Third Place-Harpeth River of Franklin.

Vehicle Crashes into College Street Bridge, Injures Local Woman

July 6, 2013
Dwayne Page
Smithville Fire Department on Scene of Crash
Lincoln Navigator Crashes into College Street Bridge

A Smithville woman was transported by DeKalb EMS to the hospital Saturday afternoon after her 2001 Lincoln Navigator crashed into the College Street (Veterans Memorial) bridge in the underpass on Broad Street.

Corporal Travis Bryant of the Smithville Police Department told WJLE that 32 year old Christy Lawson was traveling west on Broad Street when she left her lane of travel, crossed both eastbound lanes, and went up an embankment where the front passenger side of the vehicle struck a bridge support. Upon impact, the vehicle spun and then came to a stop.

Lawson was reportedly trapped in the vehicle. Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department rushed to the scene to perform extrication. Lawson was removed from the Lincoln Navigator and taken by ambulance to DeKalb Community Hospital. Her injuries were not believed to be life threatening.

Police say a medical episode may have caused Lawson to lose control of the vehicle. She was cited for driving on a suspended license, violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance), and failing to maintain her lane of travel.

Ivy Phillips Repeats as Fiddle Champion of Jamboree Beginners

July 6, 2013
Dwayne Page
Ivy Phillips with members of James G. Bobo Driver Family
Ivy Phillips Receives Entertainer of Year Award from Nolan Turner

For the second consecutive year, Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro has won the top Jamboree award as the best fiddler in the National Championship for Country Musician Beginners.

Phillips was crowned the Grand Champion fiddler Saturday and won the coveted James G. "Bobo" Driver Memorial Award, named for the man who started the children's competition during the 1980's as part of the annual Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival. The award was presented by members of Mr. Driver's family including Mickey Driver, Adam Driver, Jimmy Driver, Bert Driver, Ben Driver, and Russell Ambrose. Phillips placed among the top three in all seven categories, winning the Dobro and Mandolin competition in addition to Fiddle, taking second place in Guitar, and finishing third place in Buck Dancing, Clogging, and Banjo.

The "Entertainer of the Year" Award also went to Phillips. This award is presented to the best overall instrumental entertainer among winners in the dobro guitar, mandolin, five string banjo, and flat top guitar competition.

The National Championship for Country Musician Beginners showcases the talents of children up to age twelve in seven categories of competition.

This year's winners are as follows:

Fiddle: First Place-Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro; Second Place- Jaelee Roberts of Murfreesboro; and Third Place- Annabelle Watts of Phelps, Kentucky.

Buck Dancing: First Place- Brayden Chunn of Greenbrier; Second Place- Sarah Fisher of Smyrna; and Third Place- Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro

Clogging: First Place- Gracie Parrish of Pleasantview, Second Place- Brayden Chunn of Greenbrier; and Third Place- Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro.

Dobro Guitar: First Place- Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro; Second Place- Jake Ramsey of Smithville, and Third Place- Brayden Chunn of Greenbrier.

Mandolin: First Place-Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro; Second Place-Anna Claire Stockoff of Brentwood; Third Place- Jaelee Roberts of Murfreesboro.

Five String Banjo: First Place- Trevor Holder of Ringgold, Georgia; Second Place- Axel Rico of Smithville; and Third Place- Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro

Flat Top Guitar: First Place- Anna Claire Stockoff of Brentwood; Second Place- Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro; and Third Place- Jaelee Roberts of Murfreesboro

(TOP PHOTO: Pictured with Ivy Phillips (left to right) Mickey Driver, Adam Driver, Jimmy Driver, Bert Driver, Ben Driver, and Russell Ambrose)

Fiddlers Jamboree Continues In Spite of Rain

July 5, 2013
Dwayne Page
Elena Muralla of the Philippines Receives US Flag from Senator Mae Beavers
Michael Mishina of Seattle Washington Receives TN Flag from Terri Lynn Weaver
James Hayes of Memphis Receives TN Flag from Mark Pody
Children singing with Community Chorus
Sierra Tomlin (Winner of Solo Appalachian Folksinging and Solo Gospel)
John Boulware (Winner of Flat Top Guitar Event)
Kurt & Corrina (Winner of Duet Folksinging & Duet Gospel Singing)
Rob Pearcy (Winner of Dobro Guitar Event)
Rob Pearcy (Winner of Mountain Dulcimer Event)
Jaelee Roberts (Winner of Novelty Event)
Kurt Stephenson (Winner of Autoharp Event)
Tyler Mad Dog Martelli (Winner of Country Harmonica Event)
Daniel Amick (Winner of Mandolin Event)
Daniel Binkley (Winner of Old Time Banjo Event)
Slim Chance (Winner of Old Time Fiddle Band Event)
Gary Giles (Winner of Junior Clogging)
Kody Hash (Winner of Junior Buck Dancing)

Periodic showers including some heavy downpours Friday night wouldn't stop the Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree and Crafts Festival.

The first day of the 42nd annual event, which began Friday morning before 10:00 a.m. ended this morning (Saturday)around 2:15 a.m.

With rains forecast, Jamboree officials placed a tent on the stage before the event started Friday morning just in case, so that contestants could perform in the dry and the sound equipment could be better protected.

Showers held off for most the day but as darkness set in so did the rains. Some of the showers were heavy at times, but the music never stopped. The weather did affect one category. Because the late night downpours made part of the stage wet and possibly slippery, the top three teams in the Youth Square Dancing event decided not to compete in the finals and to let their scores from the preliminaries earlier in the day determine how they placed. As a result, Main Stage Explosion of Springfield was awarded first place. Main Stage Fusion of Springfield took second place and Jackson Hollow of Franklin received third place.

The Fiddlers Jamboree is scheduled to resume today (Saturday) at 9:00 a.m.

Meanwhile a woman from the Philippines, Elena Muralla received a United States flag while Michael Mishina of Seattle Washington and James Hayes of Memphis were presented a Tennessee State flag during the Fiddler's Jamboree on Friday evening.

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

The flags were presented by State Senator Mae Beavers and State Representatives Terri Lynn Weaver and Mark Pody.

Following a Jamboree welcome and introduction of local public officials, the Smithville-DeKalb County Community Chorus entertained the crowd.

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

The following are the winners in each category:

Old Time Appalachian Folk Singing (Solo):
First Place- Sierra Tomlin of Springfield
Second Place-Kelcy Tomlin of Springfield
Third Place-Jennie Coppinger of McMinnville

Flat Top Guitar:
First Place-John Boulware of Kimball, Tennessee
Second Place-Rob Pearcy of Smyrna
Third Place-Tyler Seller of Goodlettsville

Junior Clogging (Ages 13-39):
First Place-Gary Giles of Franklin
Second Place-Chris Stewart of Lebanon
Third Place-Amanda Herron of Cookeville

Junior Buck Dancing (Ages 13-39):
First Place- Kody Hash of Knoxville
Second Place-Chris Stewart of Lebanon
Third Place-Jamie Franklin of Knoxville

Old Time Appalachian Folksinging (Duet, Trio, Quartet)- NEW CATEGORY
First Place- Kurt and Corrina of Dyersburg
Second Place- Sierra and Kelcy Tomlin of Springfield
Third Place- Megan and Courtney Williams of Unionville

Dobro Guitar:
First Place-Rob Pearcy of Smyrna
Second Place-Frannie Digiovanni of Greenbrier
Third Place-Weston Stewart of Anderson, Alabama

Mountain Dulcimer:
First Place-Rob Pearcy of Smyrna
Second Place-Kurt Stephenson of Dyersburg
Third Place-Daniel Amick of Pleasantville

Hammer Dulcimer:
First Place-Beth James of Newport (ONLY CONTESTANT)

Novelty Event:
First Place-Jaelee Roberts of Murfreesboro
Second Place-Haint Hollow Hootenanny of Unionville
Third Place-Hillary Bevels of Shelbyville

Youth Square Dancing:
First Place-Main Stage Explosion of Springfield
Second Place- Main Stage Fusion of Springfield
Third Place- Jackson Hollow of Franklin

Old Time Fiddle Band:
First Place-Slim Chance of Smyrna
Second Place- Uncle Shuffelo and his Haint Hollow Hootenanny of Unionville
Third Place- The Hogslop String Band of Nashville

First Place- Kurt Stephenson of Dyersburg
Second Place-Bill Rothe of Estill Springs
Third Place-Pamela Sanders of Sparta

Gospel Singing (Solo):
First Place-Sierra Tomlin of Springfield
Second Place-Jaelee Roberts of Murfreesboro
Third Place-Samantha Lewis of Smithville

Country Harmonica:
First Place-Tyler Mad Dog Martelli of Chattanooga
Second Place- Daniel Amick of Pleasantville
Third Place- Rob Pearcy of Smyrna

Old Time Banjo:
First Place- Daniel Binkley of Nashville
Second Place- Rebekah Weiler of Marietta, Georgia
Third Place- Daniel Rothwell of Smyrna

Gospel Singing (Duet, Trio, & Quartet):
First Place- Kurt and Corinna of Dyersburg
Second Place- Jaelee and Andrea Roberts of Murfreesboro
Third Place- Sierra & Kelcy Tomlin of Springfield.

First Place-Daniel Amick of Pleasantville
Second Place- Tyler Andal of Whitehouse
Third Place- John Boulware of Kimball

The Fiddler's Jamboree resumes at 9:00 a.m. today with preliminaries in the following categories:

Junior Fiddlers (ages 13-39); Junior Old Time Appalachian Flatfoot dance (ages up to 39); Senior Old Time Appalachian Flatfoot dance ( ages 40 and over); Senior Buckdancing (ages 40 and over); Senior Clogging (ages 40 and over); Bluegrass Banjo; Bluegrass Band; Bluegrass Fiddle, Senior Fiddlers (ages 40 and over); and Square Dancing. The winner of the Bluegrass Fiddle will receive the Neil Dudney Award, named for the former longtime President and Coordinator of the Fiddlers Jamboree.

Preliminaries will be held in each event and then the top three finalists will be called back tonight to compete for first, second, and third place.

The winners of the Junior and Senior Fiddling competition will square off for the Grand Champion Award, the Berry C. Williams Memorial Trophy at the conclusion of the festival.

Meanwhile, the National Championship for Country Musician Beginners will be held this afternoon during the Jamboree featuring competitions for children, up to age twelve, in the categories of Buck Dancing, Clogging, Dobro Guitar, Mandolin, Five String Banjo, Flat Top Guitar, and Fiddle.

Preliminaries will be held in each event and then the top three finalists will be brought back to compete for first, second, and third place.

One child will receive the Best Overall Instrumental Entertainer and the top fiddler will get the James G. "Bobo" Driver Memorial Trophy.

WJLE will broadcast the on-stage entertainment LIVE on AM 1480/ FM 101.7 and LIVE streaming at www.wjle.com.

In addition to music and dancing competitions onstage, the Fiddlers Jamboree also features dozens of crafts displayed along the downtown streets, plenty of delicious foods for sale at local food booths, and lots of shade tree picking under tents around the town square.

Marijuana Found in Law Enforcement Helicopter Flyover

July 4, 2013
Sheriff Patrick Ray

The Governor’s Task Force on Marijuana Eradication, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the National Guard Army, and the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department all teamed together on Tuesday and Wednesday this week in search of individuals’ illegally growing marijuana.

The Highway Patrol helicopter was used for air searches looking for the illegal weed. This year the Eastern part of the county was the main focus for the searches and plants were seized off of Eagle Creek Road, Smith Road, and Johnson Chapel Road.

Sheriff Patrick Ray confirms there will be at least one individual prosecuted for the manufacture of marijuana and possible other charges. Officers recovered multiple marijuana plants and also an illegal firearm at a residence on Johnson Chapel Road Tuesday.

Sheriff Ray wants to thank everyone who was involved in this operation for their participation. Sheriff Ray also urges the public, if they have any information on any illegal drug manufacture or use, to contact him at 597-4935 or call the Sheriff’s Department Crime Tip Line at 464-6400. All calls are kept confidential.

Pedestrian Struck by Motorist

July 3, 2013
Dwayne Page
Pedestrian Struck by Motorist
DeKalb EMS Transports Injured Pedestrian to Hospital After Accident

A pedestrian was injured after being struck by a motorist on West Broad Street Wednesday afternoon.

Central dispatch was notified at 5:31 p.m.

According to Officer James Cornelius of the Smithville Police Department, 52 year old Tammy Burton of Smithville was crossing the highway when she was hit by a westbound 1997 Chevy 1500 pickup truck, driven by 55 year old Douglas Bailey of Louisiana who was traveling in the far right lane. Bailey apparently tried to swerve at the last second after he saw her but it was too late. Burton was knocked over onto the sidewalk.

She was taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital. Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department were also on the scene to provide assistance.

Man Charged with Raping and Stalking Woman at Walmart

July 3, 2013
Dwayne Page
Man Charged with Raping and Stalking Woman at Walmart

A 58 year old man, accused of raping and stalking a female shopper at Walmart, has been arrested by Smithville Police.

William M. Jones, charged with rape and stalking, is under a $30,000 bond and he will be in court July 11. According to police, Lieutenant Detective Matt Holmes was called in on Sunday, June 30 to investigate a possible rape and stalking that occurred at Wal-Mart. Upon investigation it was determined Jones allegedly raped the victim (at the store) on Wednesday, June 26. Four days later on Sunday June 30, Jones was found to be allegedly stalking the victim (at the store) and making vulgar sexual comments to her. Officers were able to locate Jones on the scene and made the arrest.

According to the warrant on the rape charge, Jones allegedly put his hand down the woman's pants and held her by the arms, not letting her go. After telling him to stop several times, the woman was able to break his grip at which time he allegedly pulled up her shirt and bra.

The warrant on the stalking charge states that on June 30 at Walmart, Jones can be seen on video following her around the store. He did make vulger sexual comments to her and at one point grabbed her shopping cart and arm and stopped her, preventing her from leaving.

Meanwhile, in other cases, Andy Joe Certain was cited for two counts of simple possession on Friday, June 21. Chief Randy Caplinger said police were called to the Wal-Mart parking lot due to possible drug activity. Certain was said to be selling drugs to two other people. Upon arrival, the officer found Certain walking in the back of the parking lot. Three pill vials were found on Certains' person. In one vial, the officer found 12.5 yellow pills believed to be Dilaudid and in the other two vials 9 green pills were found believed to be morphine. Certain didn't have a prescription for any of the pills. His court date is July 11.

36 year old Jermaine D McCoy was cited for open container. On Monday, June 24 McCoy was stopped for a traffic violation at which time the officer found an open beer in the cup holder. His court date is July 24.

50 year old Edward Lee Judkins was arrested for violation of probation and cited for simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. On Friday, June 28 Judkins was stopped for a traffic violation and upon a computer check through Central Dispatch it was discovered there was a warrant against him for violation of probation. A search of the vehicle turned up two baggies with a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana along with rolling papers, digital scales and other drug paraphernalia. His court date is July 25.

48 year old Ronda Inez Butler was arrested for DUI on Sunday, June 30. Police say Butler was operating a motor vehicle and was stopped for expired and improper display of tag. She allegedly had a strong odor of alcoholic beverage on her person. According to police, her eyes were glazed over and she performed poorly on sobriety tasks. She submitted to a blood test. In a statement to WJLE, Butler denied being intoxicated, saying the DUI charge was not justified. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court July 25.

29 year old Erik Cortes Suarez was arrested for a second offense of driving under the influence on Sunday, June 30. Police were dispatched to the red-light at East Broad Street and South Congress Boulevard to check on a person passed out at the wheel of a motor vehicle in the roadway. The officer woke Suarez who had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. He had blood shot eyes and was unsteady on his feet when he exited the vehicle. Suarez submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. His bond is $3000 and his court date is July 25.

38 year old Christopher Alan Scruggs was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia. Scruggs was stopped for a traffic violation and a search of his vehicle produced a hypodermic needle with a yellow substance believed to be Dilaudid which was found in the console. His court date is August 1.

24 year old Lila Renee Nadi was cited for simple possession and drug paraphernalia. Police received a tip of a possible meth lab at Nadi's residence. Upon a search, a small bag of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana and drug paraphernalia were found. She will be in court July 11.

27 year old Juanita Ann Young was cited for shoplifting on Wednesday, July 3. Young was observed putting items in her purse in an attempt to deprive Dollar General of its merchandise. Her court date is August 8.

Anyone with information on any criminal activity is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.

Any information received that will help Smithville Police solve any criminal offense will be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential.

County Looks to Finalize Consolidated Budget

July 3, 2013
Dwayne Page
County Mayor Mike Foster

County Mayor Mike Foster wants the budget committee to have a consolidated budget in hand by July 15.

The budget committee met Tuesday night, July 2 and two more meetings are scheduled for next week, Tuesday and Friday, July 9 & 12 at 6:00 pm. each night at the courthouse to continue work on the proposed spending plan for the 2013-14 fiscal year. During both meetings, members of the budget committee will convene with all other county commissioners to consider the budget.

Mayor Foster is concerned about the level of projected deficit spending next year in the county general, school budget, and highway (county road) department which, if realized would mean all departments combined would be allocating more than two million dollars of the cash reserves to balance their budgets.

In reality, the county has never had to dip into the fund balances in the past near as much as projected. For example, the school system was expected to use $1.2 million of its reserves to balance the 2012-13 budget but may actually break even. Foster said the county general fund is also in better financial condition than anticipated. "We recognize now that we are under budget for last year and that makes us feel a little bit better about this year. I think if everything goes well, we (county general fund) will break about even or in the worse case go into the fund balance by maybe $160,000 depending on June revenues," said Foster.

In order to keep projections of deficit spending under $2 million dollars for the 2013-14 fiscal year Foster would like to see more cuts to protect the county's bond rating. "On paper if we spend everything we budget, and we will not, the county budget (county general fund) would go into fund balance by about $708,000. Right now, the schools would go into fund balance by about $1,505,000 and highways (county road department) would be a little over $133,000 into fund balance. Because of the precedent that it sets, we would like for it (deficit spending) to be under $2 million. Last year it was (under $2 million) and we're trying to get to that same figure that we were last year. It's still going to be that we're going into the fund balance some but we want to make it lesser to protect our bond rating. That's an important thing. If we lose that bond rating it will cost us more if we get to the point where we do borrow money. We've worked real hard for several years to get our bond rating at an A1 rating and we don't want to jeopardize it," said Foster.

According to the county's municipal advisor Stephen L. Bates, the school system is projected to go into its reserves by $1,504,460 to balance the 2013-14 budget. By reducing budget projections for "allowance of contested taxes" the school system may be afforded another $23,000 in new revenue. Still, the school district could use up to $1,483,000 of its reserves next year to balance its budget, which is about $247,000 more than the deficit budgeted for 2012-13.

The budget committee is looking at the possibility of cutting the proposed two new SRO positions in the county general fund budget down to one new position. The budget committee is also asking the school system to cut another $147,000 from its proposed budget. The highway department may also be asked to make some cuts.

Foster said the budget picture should become much more clear after next week. "I think we've made lots of cuts and we're getting down now to where we have to finalize," said Foster. "By law, we have to have it (consolidated budget) completed by July 15. I feel like we're real close (to having it completed). We'll meet Tuesday night, July 9 to work on all the budgets except for schools. The school board will meet on July 11. After that we will consolidate the budgets on July 12," said County Mayor Foster.

First Day of School Education Celebration Set for August 1

July 2, 2013
Dwayne Page
Michelle Burklow

The Eighth Annual First Day of School Education Celebration for DeKalb County will be held on Thursday, August 1 from 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. downtown around the courthouse square.

The celebration is held on school registration day.

Michelle Burklow, Supervisor of Instruction for Pre-Kindergarten to 6th Grade, said the event is free and all parents and students are urged to attend to help kick off the new school year. "Our goal is to provide an evening of activities, education, and enjoyment for the residents of DeKalb County. We will be having information booths, passing out school supplies, refreshments, and various activities for the students to participate in while promoting education."

"This will also provide a time for our teachers and parents to come together to build a foundation for new and positive relationships, right from day one," said Burklow

"Our First Day of School Celebration is an opportunity for our schools to take a leadership role in re-enforcing and improving relationships among parents, teachers, students, and the community. This is the one day each year when it is both easiest and most important to enlist families as partners in our children's education. This is a great time for us to engage our families and make them feel welcome into our schools."

"So come out and join us. Everything is free that evening. We'll have free school supplies, free food, snacks and lots of community people coming together to make this event possible", said Burklow.

"There are many volunteers, churches, and organizations that come together to make this event possible for our children so they are able to start school with new supplies and a great positive attitude."

If you would like to help with this event please call Michelle Burklow at 597-4084. Volunteers are needed.

This celebration is totally free of charge to those who attend so make plans now to join the fun downtown Smithville on Thursday, August 1.


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