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Alderman says Parents Not Pleased with Traffic Plan at Northside Elementary

September 15, 2009
Dwayne Page
Shawn Jacobs
 Parents Line up to Pick up their Children at Northside Elementary

Officials of the City of Smithville and the DeKalb County School System have come up with a plan for dealing with traffic problems in the school zone at Northside Elementary School, but Alderman Shawn Jacobs says many parents still want someone to direct traffic there.

During a workshop meeting of the mayor and aldermen Monday night, Alderman Jacobs says parents are upset and they want the city to take action. "No one is satisfied with the plan that was worked out. These mothers are mad. They're saying it's just playing politics and that it's something that should have been fixed in fifteen minutes, but it's been drawn out for a month. If nothing else, for public relations gentlemen, I think we need to put an officer directing traffic at Northside. I mean, that's public safety and that's what police departments do. I'm just speaking from the number of complaints I get and I'm just trying to be responsive to the people that call me. I hate to get into this blame game where everyone is saying that everybody is trying to blame everybody else and whose responsibility it is. I don't care whose responsibility it is, I just want to address what is being perceived, at least, as a safety concern and try to be responsive to the people, especially if we can do it without costing any money."

The aldermen are expected to discuss the issue again during the regular meeting Monday night at seven p.m. at city hall.

Concerns were raised last month during a meeting of the Smithville Mayor and Aldermen that an accident could occur in the school zone unless the problem is addressed. The issue is that parents who pick up their children in the afternoons have to line up on the shoulder of Highway 56 north which makes it difficult for motorists exiting the school parking lot from being able to see around them. And because of the heavy traffic on Highway 56 during that time, many motorists leaving the school have to wait a long time before they can get back out on the road. Some say either the city, county, or school system should have an officer or trained civilian to direct traffic there during the mornings and afternoons.

To come up with an alternative, Director of Schools Mark Willoughby met last month with Smithville Alderman and Police Commissioner Aaron Meeks, Smithville Police Chief Richard Jennings, Northside Elementary School Principal Dr. Gayle Redmon, and Transportation Supervisor Peggy Pursell.

Willoughby says the proposal they came up with is to extend the school zone at Northside Elementary to Smith Road and to have the buses enter and exit on Smith Road. Parents would no longer be permitted to park on the shoulder of the road but they would have more room to enter and exit the school from Highway 56. There are apparently no plans under this proposal to have anyone directing traffic. " We'll be re-directing our buses to enter and leave through the Smith Road area. Therefore, the buses will not be lined up with car traffic in the mornings or afternoons, which we're hoping will help some. We're not going to start this right now, we're going to wait for a few things to happen,. We're going to move the flashing lights down there at Smith Road, then we will move (extend) the school zone a little bit further down the road. By doing that, we're hoping to get those buses away from the cars. And then the cars would be snaking through the parking lot, similar to what they have in the past. But we'll be getting the buses out of the way. The cars would be entering and exiting the same place they have always have, the only difference is that the buses will not be entering or exiting in the places where they have in the past. The buses will only be entering and exiting at Smith Road.."

Again Willoughby says the plan has not yet been implemented. TDOT may have to grant permission to extend the school zone before the signs and flashing lights can be relocated and some minor work has to be done at the entrance to the school property from Smith Road in order for buses to have easier access.

Baker Charged with Aggravated Assault for Allegedly Shooting at his Mother

September 14, 2009
Dwayne Page
Matthew Allen Baker

A 27 year old man faces an aggravated assault charge after allegedly firing a weapon at his mother last week.

Matthew Allen Baker is under a $5,000 bond and he will be in court October 1st.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says deputies were dispatched to Pine Orchard Road Smithville on Tuesday, September 8th where a man had shot at his mother and was still armed. Upon arrival, officers found Baker at his residence and placed him into custody without incident. County detectives charged Baker with aggravated assault after they learned that Baker had a loaded shotgun and pointed it at his mother, shot twice in the ground in front her, and once over his mother's vehicle. Baker also busted out a tail light on his mother's vehicle with the butt of the gun as she was leaving. The woman was apparently not injured during the incident.

Also on Tuesday, deputies responded to an auto accident on Banks Pisgah Road Smithville and found the driver of the car 24 year old Flint Wilson Gilley II to be in an intoxicated state. Gilley had an odor of alcohol on his person. He was unsteady on his feet, had slurred speech, and red watery eyes. Gilley was asked to perform field sobriety tasks which he failed. Gilley did admit to drinking a six pack of beer prior to the accident. Gilley was charged with driving under the influence and his bond was set at $1,500. He will appear in court on October 1st.

On Friday, September 11th, a deputy spotted a vehicle driven by 45 year old Charles Wayne Smithson on Highway 56 North swerving and passing two cars on a double yellow line. After the stop, officers noticed Smithson had an odor of alcohol on his person, slurred speech, and was unsteady on his feet. Smithson was asked to perform field sobriety tasks but he refused. Smithson also refused a blood test to determine how much alcohol and/or drugs were present in his system. Inside the vehicle, deputies found beer cans and a .357 pistol. Smithson did not possess a valid hand gun carrying permit for any weapons. Smithson was charged with a first offense of driving under the influence, unlawful possession of a weapon, and he was issued written citations for violation of the implied consent law and for open alcohol containers. His bond was set at $4,000 and he will appear in court on October 29th.

On Sunday, deputies stopped 33 year old Jamie Lynn Cozart of Highway 96 Auburntown for a traffic offense. When the officer asked for his driver's license, Cozart said that he had left it at home. The deputy then ran a computer check which revealed that the driver's license was suspended for failure to satisfy citations in both Wilson and Rutherford Counties. Cozart was charged with driving on a suspended license. His bond was set at $1,000 and will appear in court on October 14th.

Wreck Victim Dies

September 14, 2009
Dwayne Page
Kym Curtis

A 29 year old woman, who was seriously injured in a September 2nd traffic accident in DeKalb County, has died.

Kym Curtis of McMinnville passed away late Saturday afternoon at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

Arrangements are being handled by DeKalb Funeral Chapel but the family has chosen direct cremation so there will be no funeral service or visitation.

According to Sergeant Mark Dial of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Curtis was driving a 1993 Chevy Caprice traveling east on Keltonburg Road when she went off the highway while negotiating a curve to the left. "The passenger side wheels traveled off the pavement. She over steered to bring the vehicle back onto the pavement, resulting in her going into the west bound lane" where she sideswiped a westbound 2001 Hyundai, driven by 26 year old Joseph Edge of Smithville. Sergeant Dial says the Curtis car continued east in the westbound lane and made an angle impact with the front of a westbound 2009 Toyota Yaris, driven by Allison Marie Vance, who was following behind Edge..

After Curtis was extricated from her car, both she and her 18 year old sister, Laura Curtis, who was a passenger in the Caprice, were airlifted from the scene and flown to Erlanger Hospital. Laura Curtis was treated and released.

Vance was removed from her vehicle and transported by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital where she was airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

Joseph Edge was apparently uninjured in the crash and his eleven month old daughter, also escaped injury.

TDOT Identifies 111 Structurally Deficient Bridges for Replacement or Repair

September 13, 2009

The Tennessee Department of Transportation Friday identified 111 bridges across the state that will be either replaced, repaired or rehabilitated through a new initiative aimed at reducing the number of structurally deficient bridges in the state. There are no DeKalb County bridges on this list.

TDOT's Better Bridges Program is a four year program approved in 2009 by the Tennessee General Assembly that will utilize bonds to pay for the repair or replacement of more than 200 structurally deficient bridges in the state. Today, TDOT presented a list of bridges to be covered in the first year of the program to Governor Phil Bredesen and leaders of the Tennessee General Assembly as required by Public Chapter 552.

"The bridge projects identified for the first year of this program will improve the safety and reliability of more than one hundred bridges in Tennessee," said Governor Phil Bredesen. "Addressing these projects now rather than later allows us to take advantage of today's lower construction costs."

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the price of steel and iron scrap fell nearly 57 percent from June 2008 to June 2009, and cement prices were down 15 percent over that same period.

"Without this program much of this critical work on structurally deficient bridges would have to be deferred for years," said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely. "The bridges we rebuild today with this investment will serve the state for decades to come and provide a lasting benefit for future generations."

The 111 bridge projects selected for the first year of the bonding program are spread evenly across the three grand divisions of the state and include one project costing more than $20 million and five projects with costs of more than $4 million each.

The needed replacement of a bridge built in 1936 on State Route 33 (Maynardville Highway) over the Clinch River (Norris Lake) in Union County will be included in the first year program and is estimated to cost more than $20 million.

Five projects with costs exceeding $4 million include: rehabilitation of the SR-9 (E. Broadway) bridge over the French Broad River in Cocke County which was originally built in 1928; replacement of a bridge in Perry County on SR-13 that crosses the Buffalo River built in 1952; replacement of a bridge in Montgomery County on SR-13/US-79 (Wilma Rudolph Blvd.) over the Red River which was built in 1931; replacement of a bridge in Shelby County on SR-14 (S. Third St.) over the Illinois Central Railroad that was built in 1932; and replacement of a bridge on SR-35 (Chapman Highway) in Sevier County that crosses Gists Creek originally built in 1956.
TDOT also today identified four large bridges that will be funded during the second year of the program. They are: SR-33 (Henley Street) over the Tennessee River in Knoxville; SR-73 (US-321) over the Tennessee River in Loudon County; SR-109 over the Cumberland River in Sumner & Wilson Counties; and SR-57 (US-72) over SR-23 and the CSX & ICG railroads in Shelby County.

The following are the bridges on the list for repair or replacement under the first phase of the bond program.

Tennessee Department of Transportation Infrastructure Improvement Bond Program Fiscal Year 2009-2010 (PHASE I) Project Selection List

County Route Description Type of Work
Blount SR-33 SR-33 (Old Knoxville Hwy) over Little River at LM 16.90 Rehabilitation

Blount SR-336 SR-336 (Brick Mill Road) over Little Baker Creek at LM 0.52 Replace

Bradley SR-2/US-11 SR-2 (Hiwassee Street) over Hiwassee River & Southern Railroad at LM

Carroll SR-1/US-70E SR-1 over Rutherford Fork Obion River at LM 11.02 Rehabilitation

Carroll SR-1/US-70E SR-1 over Reedy Creek at LM 14.43 Rehabilitation

Carroll SR-436 SR-436 over Overflow at LM 3.86 Replace

Carroll SR-436 SR-436 over Overflow at LM 3.92 Replace

Carroll SR-436 SR-436 over Overflow at LM 4.04 Replace

Carroll SR-436 SR-436 over South Fork Obion River at LM 4.14 Replace

Carroll SR-436 SR-436 over Old River Bed at LM 4.28 Replace

Carroll SR-436 SR-436 over Overflow at LM 6.09 Replace

Carroll SR-436 SR-436 over Clear Creek at LM 6.20 Replace

Carter SR-159/US-321 SR-159 over Elk River at LM 7.23 Replace

Cocke I-40 I-40 Eastbound lane over Pigeon River at LM 9.62 Rehabilitation

Cocke I-40 I-40 Eastbound lane over Pigeon River at LM 9.76 Rehabilitation

Cocke I-40 I-40 over Branch at LM 2.4 Rehabilitation

Cocke SR-9/US-25W SR-9 (E Broadway) over French Broad River & Southern Railway at LM

Cocke SR-107 SR-107 over Dry Fork Creek at LM 2.41 Replace

Davidson SR-1/US-41 SR-1 (Murfreesboro Road) over Mill Creek at LM 21.97 Replace

Dickson SR-1/US-70 SR-1 (US-70) over Piney Creek at LM 4.17 Rehabilitation

Dickson SR-48 SR-48 over I-40 at LM 0.21 Rehabilitation

Dyer SR-104 SR-104 over Bethal Branch at LM 28.38 Rehabilitation

Dyer SR-104 SR-104 over Overflow at LM 28.85 Rehabilitation

Dyer SR-182 SR-182 (Lenox-Nauvoo Road) over Coon Creek at LM 3.79 Replace

Dyer SR-211 SR-211 over Branch at LM 6.04 Rehabilitation

Fayette SR-194 SR-194 (Oakland Road) over Loosahatchie River at LM 19.62 Replace

Fayette SR-194 SR-194 (Oakland Road) over Branch at LM 19.74 Replace

Fayette SR-194 SR-194 (Oakland Road) over Little Laurel Drainage Canal at LM 21.90 Replace

Fayette SR-194 SR-194 (Oakland Road) over Branch at LM 21.70 Replace

Fayette SR-194 SR-194 (Main Street) over Wolf River at LM 0.81 Replace

Fayette SR-194 SR-194 (Main Street) over Overflow at LM 0.72 Replace

Fentress SR-52 SR-52 (Livingston Highway) over East Fork Obey River at LM 5.23 Replace

Fentress SR-52 SR-52 (Livingston Highway) over Branham Hollow Branch at LM 7.47 Replace

Gibson SR-77 SR-77 over Overflow at LM 9.57 Rehabilitation

Gibson SR-104 SR-104 over Branch at LM 12.53 Rehabilitation

Grainger SR-1 SR-1 over Richland Creek at LM 16.28 Rehabilitation

Grainger SR-1 SR-1 over Richland Creek at LM 17.07 Rehabilitation

Greene SR-34/US-11E SR-34 (East Andrew Johnson Highway) over Rheatown Creek at LM

Greene SR-350 SR-350 (East McKee Street) over Richland Creek at LM 5.15 Replace

Hamilton I-24 I-24 over Ramp to I-124N at LM 7.52 Rehabilitation

Hamilton I-75 I-75 Northbound lane over Big Spring Creek at LM 1.17 Rehabilitation

Hamilton SR-17 SR-17 (Saint Elmo Ave) over Mountain Stream at LM 0.09 Replace

Hamilton South Seminole Drive over I-24 at LM 3.27 Rehabilitation

Hardeman SR-18 SR-18 over Cypress Creek at LM 29.89 Rehabilitation

Hardeman SR-57 SR-57 over Overflow at LM 20.29 Replace

Hardeman SR-57 SR-57 over Big Muddy Creek at LM 20.38 Replace

Hardeman SR-57 SR-57 over Overflow at LM 20.64 Replace

Hawkins SR-1/US-11W SR-1 Southbound over Poor Valley Creek at LM 3.53 Rehabilitation

Hawkins SR-31 SR-31 over Poor Valley Creek at LM 2.34 Rehabilitation

Hawkins SR-113 SR-113 over Robertson Creek at LM 6.63 Rehabilitation

Haywood SR-1/US-70E SR-1 over Branch at LM 25.74 Rehabilitation

Haywood SR-19 SR-19 (Old Mercer Road) over Branch of Carter Creek at LM 15.61 Replace

Haywood SR-19 SR-19 (Old Mercer Road) over I-40 at LM 16.62 Rehabilitation

Haywood SR-76/US-79N SR-76 over South Fork Forked Deer River at LM 23.98 Replace

Haywood SR-76/US-79N SR-76 over Mud Creek at LM 21.59 Rehabilitation

Haywood SR-76/US-79N SR-76 over Overflow at LM 21.98 Rehabilitation

Hickman SR-50 SR-50 over Swan Creek at LM 20.63 Replace

Jackson SR-56 SR-56 (Jennings Creek Highway) over Crab Tree Creek at LM 23.27 Replace

Jackson SR-135 SR-135 (Keeling Branch Highway) over Keeling Branch at LM 17.62 Rehabilitation

Johnson SR-34/US-421 SR-34 (South Shady Street) over Roan Creek at LM 19.96 Rehabilitation

Johnson SR-67 SR-67 over Doe Creek at LM 5.61 Replace

Johnson SR-67 SR-67 (West Main Street) over Roan Creek at LM 16.78 Rehabilitation

Johnson SR-133 SR-133 over Beaverdam Creek at LM 2.77 Rehabilitation

Knox SR-131 SR-131 (Ball Camp-Byington Road) over Meadow Creek at LM 5.95 Replace

Knox SR-332 SR-332 (Concord Road) over Southern Railway at LM 1.87 Rehabilitation

Lawrence SR-15/US-64 SR-15 over Shoal Creek at LM 14.78 Rehabilitation

Lawrence SR-15/US-64 SR-15 over Crowson Creek at LM 14.63 Rehabilitation

Lawrence SR-242 SR-242 over Knob Creek at LM 12.02 Rehabilitation

Lawrence SR-242 SR-242 over Factory Creek at LM 7.93 Rehabilitation

Lewis SR-48 SR-48 over Blondy Hollow Branch at LM 12.52 Rehabilitation

Marion SR-283 SR-283 (Alvin York Highway) over Branch at LM 3.06 Rehabilitation

Marshall SR-11/US-31A SR-11 over Branch at LM 8.73 Rehabilitation

Maury SR-245 SR-245 (Campbellsville Pike) over Little Bigby Creek at LM 9.92 Rehabilitation

Maury SR-247 SR-247 (Snow Creek Road) over Turkey Creek at LM 2.5 Replace

Montgomery SR-12 SR-12 over Little McAdoo Creek at LM 4.04 Rehabilitation

Montgomery SR-13/US-79 SR-13 (Wilma Rudolph Blvd) Northbound lane over Red River at LM

Morgan SR-29/US-27 SR-29 (Morgan County Highway) over White Oak Creek at LM 23.05 Replace

Overton SR-84 SR-84 over Carr Creek at LM 7.65 Rehabilitation

Perry SR-13 SR-13 (SR-13) over Buffalo River at LM 1.73 Replace

Pickett SR-154 SR-154 (Pickett Park Road) over Thompson Creek at LM 1.26 Rehabilitation

Polk SR-40/US-64 SR-40 (US-64) over Brush Creek at LM 23.04 Rehabilitation

Putnam SR-96 SR-96 (Medley Ammonett Road) over Buffalo Valley Creek at LM 1.28 Rehabilitation

Rhea SR-29/US-27 SR-29 (US-27 Bypass) Left Lane over Richland Creek at LM 5.58 Rehabilitation

Roane SR-1/US-70 SR-1 over Southern Railroad & Black Creek at LM 2.46 Rehabilitation

Roane SR-72 SR-72 over Stamp Creek at LM 4.55 Rehabilitation

Roane Lawnville Road over I-40 at LM 1.7 Rehabilitation

Robertson SR-11/US-41 SR-11 over Red River at LM 24.58 Rehabilitation

Robertson SR-49 SR-49 over Carrs Creek at LM 7.92 Rehabilitation

Rutherford SR-102 SR-102 (Almaville Road) over Branch at LM 2.38 Replace

Sevier SR-35/US-441 SR-35 (Chapman Highway) North & South Bound Lanes over Gists
Creek at LM 10.65

Sevier SR-35/US-441 SR-35 (Chapman Highway) North & South Bound Lanes over Gists
Creek at LM 10.98

Sevier SR-35/US-441 SR-35 (W Main Street) over West Fork Little Pigeon River at LM 13.76 Rehabilitation

Shelby I-40 I-40 Eastbound Lane over Sam Cooper Blvd at LM 14.13 Rehabilitation

Shelby SR-14/US-61 SR-14 (South Third Street) over Ravine at LM 9.51 Replace

Shelby SR-14/US-61 SR-14 (South Third Street) over IC Railroad at LM 9.68 Replace

Shelby SR-57 SR-57 (Poplar Ave) over SR-57 West Bound Ramp to I-240 South
Bound at LM 8.08

Shelby SR-57 SR-57 (Poplar Ave) Eastbound Lane over I-240 & I-240 Exit Ramp at LM

Shelby SR-57 SR-57 (Poplar Ave) Westbound Lane over I-240 at LM 8.18 Rehabilitation

Smith SR-24/US-70N SR-24 (Lebanon Highway) over Roundlick Creek at LM 2.96 Rehabilitation

Smith SR-25 SR-25 (Dixon Springs Highway) over Lick Creek at LM 0.15 Rehabilitation

Sullivan SR-36 SR-36 (West Center Street) over Reedy Creek at LM 10.48 Rehabilitation

Sullivan SR-126 SR-126 (South Wilcox Drive) over Holston River at LM 1.90 Rehabilitation

Union SR-33 SR-33 (Maynardville Highway) over Clinch River (Norris Lake) at LM

Washington I-26/US-23 I-26 (James H. Quillen Parkway) over Boones Creek at LM 6.81 Rehabilitation

Washington SR-81 SR-81 over Muddy Creek at LM 16.60 Replace

Washington SR-400 SR-400 (Watauga Road) over Brush Creek at LM 4.99 Replace

Wayne SR-203 SR-203 over Indian Creek at LM 12.03 Rehabilitation

Williamson SR-106/US-431 SR-106 (Lewisburg Parkway) over West Harpeth River at LM 5.09 Rehabilitation

Wilson SR-265 SR-265 (Central Pike) over Dry Creek at LM 13.69 Rehabilitation

Tigers Get Homecoming Win against White County

September 11, 2009
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Tigers enjoyed a homecoming win over the White County Warriors 34 to 14 Friday night in Smithville.

The win improves the Tiger record to 3-1 on the season.

DeKalb County got on the board with 5:32 left in the first quarter on a one yard touchdown run by Tyler Weatherby. The P.A.T by Zack Taylor was good and the Tigers led 7-0.

White County evened the score with three minutes left in the first period on a one yard touchdown run by Aaron Murray. Conor Sparkman converted on the P.A.T. and the game was tied at 7-7. That was the score at the end of the first quarter.

The Warriors took the lead with 4:50 to go in the second period on a 30 yard touchdown run by Jordan Armstrong. Sparkman converted on the P.A.T. and White County led 14 to 7.

DeKalb County scored with 1:07 left in the second period on a 26 yard touchdown pass play from Quarterback Hunter Poteete to Abram Edwards. The P.A.T. by Zack Taylor was good and the game was tied at 14-14. That was the halftime score.

The Tigers got a turnover in the third quarter which led to points a few plays later. Kevin Kijanski took it in on a one yard touchdown run with 7:07 left in the third period. Taylor converted the P.A.T and DeKalb County led 21 to 14. That was the score at the end of the third quarter.

DeKalb County's Matt Giles caught an 18 yard touchdown pass from Quarterback Hunter Poteete with 8:54 to go in the fourth period. Taylor's P.A.T. attempt was no good, but the Tigers built their lead to 27 to 14.

The final score came with 1:41 left in the game as Tyler Weatherby caught a pass from Quarterback Hunter Poteete covering 34 yards for the touchdown. Taylor converted on the P.A.T. and DeKalb County led 34 to 14.

DeKalb County will travel to Carthage next Friday night to take on the Smith County Owls. WJLE will have LIVE coverage.

Sophomore Class Wins Float Competition in DCHS Homecoming Parade

September 11, 2009
Dwayne Page
Sophomore Class Takes 1st Place in Float Competition

Students from DeKalb County High School celebrated the last day of Homecoming Week with a parade Friday afternoon.

The Tiger football team's homecoming opponent Friday night is the White County Warriors and the floats in the parade had a Tiger versus Warriors theme.

The parade featured Homecoming Queen April Hale and her court, the DCHS Fighting Tiger Band, lots of decorated cars and trucks, county and city law enforcement officers, and fire fighters, among others. The event concluded with a pep rally on the square led by DCHS Football cheerleaders.

The Sophomore Class took first place with their float called "Tigers Flush the Warriors" featuring a large "stuffed" toilet with the legs of a White County Warrior Football player sticking up as he is being flushed. The float was complete with large "toilet paper" and holder along with a "Tiger Bowl".

The Senior Class won second place with their float called "Tigers Wipe Out the Warriors". This float displayed a beach scene including a Tiger on a surf board with waves, a Warrior player under the board, an umbrella, sand, and beach chairs.

Third place went to the Freshman float with the theme "Dominate the Warriors" This float had a large chariot with a Tiger driving, Greek columns, two Tiger football players, and two Warrior football players.

The FCCLA Club took fourth place for their float called "Tigers Knock out the Warriors" featuring a Tiger hospital scene with a Warrior on a stretcher, a syringe to give a shot, a hammer to knock him out, and lots of doctors and nurses

The Junior Class received fifth place for their float "Wound the Warriors". This float had a large stuffed Tiger paw with a White County Warrior football player laying under the paw and an ax in his back.

The FFA also had a float with hay bales and club members riding along.

Winners of the best decorated vehicles in the parade were: First place- Kristen Puckett; Second place- Weston Rhody; and Third place- Jessica Cantrell

Fluty's and Liberty State Bank tied to win the Homecoming Business Decorations Contest.

Community Celebrates DeKalb Community Hospital's 40th Birthday Observance

September 11, 2009
Dwayne Page

A downpour of rain forced a change in location but did not dampen the spirits of those attending the 40th birthday celebration of DeKalb Community Hospital Thursday afternoon.

Plans were for the observance to be held under a huge tent on the grounds of the hospital but due to heavy rains, the program was re-scheduled an hour later at the Life Enrichment Center of the Smithville First Baptist Church.

The hospital's new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bill Little, a Smithville native, thanked everyone for their show of support as the hospital turns 40 and he spoke of the future and what it holds for healthcare in this community.

"To have a successful hospital here like what we've had for the last 40 years, it really is partnership. It's the medical staff. It's the employees. It's your local government services, EMS, police, fire. And it's you, the patient, who chooses to come to our facility. It takes all of those to make an organization like this work. I can assure you that regardless of what happens on a national level or even on a state level, you can rest assured that it's this partnership that will continue to allow us to be successful, not just for the immediate future, but I believe also for decades to come. It's our commitment to make sure that for every patient that comes through our doors, we provide timely care, we provide great quality in the care that we deliver, we provide very compassionate service to each and every person whether you be a patient or a family member, and that we provide things in the most cost effective manner as we can. As all of us are acutely aware, that's part of the problem that we face. I think we have a unique situation here in the partnership that I just talked about, working together. Health care in this community works. I've had the opportunity to work in other communities and you see where a lot of lessons are learned that hard way. We don't have those issues with our partnership for health care services in this community. We're going to continue to grow as this community grows. We're going to provide the technology that we need to deliver excellent health care services. They've shown their commitment to do that in the decades previous and we're going to continue to show that on a go forward basis. It's been a very successful journey so far and I think it's going to be an even more successful journey and I highly encourage and wish that you help participate in that journey with us."

Local girl scouts and other children sang "Happy Birthday" for the occasion and later gathered outside for a "Butterfly Release"

Prior to Little's remarks, Dr. Doug Hooper gave a brief history of the hospital, mentioning names of the various groups and corporations who have owned and operated it since 1969 and he spoke of renovations, additions, and improvements that have been made at the hospital over the years to maintain and expand health care services.

Recognition was given to those attending who were born at DeKalb Community Hospital along with past and present employees, and members of the medical staff.

Everyone attending also enjoyed cake and ice cream.

Supporters Request Permission to Form a Baseball/Softball Program at DeKalb West School

September 10, 2009
Dwayne Page
Jeff McMillen Reading from Prepared Statement at School Board Meeting-

The Board of Education is being asked to give it's blessing for the formation of a baseball program for boys and a softball program for girls at DeKalb West School, at no cost to the school system

Jeff McMillen, speaking on behalf of a group of interested parents and students at DeKalb West, made the request during Thursday night's school board meeting.

McMillen had also sent a letter to Director of Schools Mark Willoughby and to DeKalb West School Principal Danny Parkerson on August 7th.

In the letter, McMillen wrote "The DeKalb West Baseball Team will be made up of students enrolled in DeKalb County grades 6th, 7th, & 8th (including DeKalb Middle students) provided DeKalb Middle does not have a baseball program. The DeKalb West Softball team will be made up of DeKalb West students in grades 6th, 7th, & 8th." (DeKalb Middle has a softball program).

"Students will need to maintain their academic grades as they would if they participated in basketball or cheering at DeKalb West."

"The teams would have a head coach that will be a parent volunteer who will be approved by the principal and or director of schools and will attend any training classes that other coaches in the county are required to attend. Any other volunteer coach that will be present on the field or in the dug-out, may also need to be approved (but may not be required to attend any classes)"

"The baseball team would use the existing field at DeKalb West and the softball team would have access to the softball field located in Alexandria. Practices for softball could be conducted at the West School. Games can start as early as 3:30 p.m. so lighting will not be a problem. Transportation to and from practice and games will be provided by parents or guardians."

"DeKalb West parents will form a Booster Club at the discretion of the principal and director of schools for providing funding for these sports. There will be no cost to the school system for uniforms, or equipment for startup of the league unless volunteered to do so. Any required monies will be deposited with the school at the schools request such as gate receipts and umpire fees, etc."

"A list of Middle School teams with baseball/softball can be provided upon request."

"This is a great opportunity for DeKalb West and the DeKalb County School System to broaden the opportunities given to the children of our system. DeKalb West has only basketball and cheerleading offered. This could allow more children an opportunity to participate in school-organized sports. The facility that DeKalb West has is another great reason for starting basketball/softball at DeKalb West not to mention the support that will be given by parents and businesses in our community. Under hard economic times, it would not be appropriate to ask for tax dollars for funding, but we will get the commitment for funding from parents and businesses in our community before starting."

In his remarks to the school board Thursday night, McMillen said " At this time, we are requesting permission to pursue the possibility of starting these programs. Much work will need to be done to make this happen, and time will be important because schools will be filling their schedules soon and the middle school will be having their tryouts for the girls soon."

"Organized school sports are good for the kids, good for the school, and good for the parents and everyone else involved. Kids who are involved in sports are less likely to be problem students at school or in the classroom. They know to play sports, you are expected to make good grades, not be a problem student in class and outside of class, respect teachers and school personnel, be responsible, and give 100% effort."

"DeKalb County has always been known for its baseball and we would hope these programs would be a stepping stone to the next level of play. If I understand correctly, anytime you offer a boys sport, you are required to offer a girls sport. We approached the parents of girls at the West School and they came up with offering softball. We know that it already exists at DeKalb Middle School, which is a good program, but they feel that this will allow more kids an opportunity to be involved. I would hope this would not create any problems between the schools, students, or parents."

"When I was asked to help organize a baseball team, I tried to think about how it will affect my child, his school, and me as a parent. My thoughts are that if this extra playing helps develop him into a better player, better student, and better individual, it will be good for him. It can have a positive impact on the school by providing more opportunity for kids to participate, teach responsibility, and the importance of good grades, not to mention staying out of trouble. And as a parent, I know if it's good for my child, it's going to be good for other kids too."

"The question of ‘can you be competitive' has been asked and I don't think anybody can truly answer that until you play the games. All programs have rebuilding years and I would consider starting a new program as a building year. I do know a lot of kids I've been around do have a big heart and I also think a good program is about more than just wins and losses."

"Another question asked is ‘what happens when you're gone'? I can assure you none of us are irreplaceable. There will be someone that will take your place. We're not going into this with the attitude that it won't work, but in the event it doesn't, the school system will not be out any money."

"For this to become a reality, the school principal, the school board, and director must support it. Without it, this will not work."

The school board will study the issue in more detail during a workshop set for September 21st and make a final decision on the request at the next school board meeting on October 8th.

Robinson Re-Elected Chairman of School Board

September 10, 2009
Dwayne Page
School Board Officers Joan Draper, Charles Robinson, and Kenny Rhody

Second District School Board member Charles Robinson was re-elected Chairman of the Board of Education Thursday night.

The board re-organizes each September, naming a chairman, vice-chairman, and an assistant secretary.

Third District member Kenny Rhody was named Vice-Chairman and Fourth District member Joan Draper was elected Assistant Secretary for the year.

In other business, Director of Schools Mark Willoughby presented his monthly report on personnel to the school board.

Those employed since the August meeting are:

Melvin Riley, bus driver replacing Julie Fayette
Billy Curtis, driver
Tiffany VanWinkle, transferred to educational assistant
Cindy Armour, Sheryn Curtis, Libby Foutch, Mary Gay, Jamie Lankford, and Mary Neal as substitute cooks
Tanya Adkison, teacher at Smithville Elementary School

Approved Substitute Teachers:
Ellen Ammons, Guylene Atnip, Tracie Baker, Wanda Bradford, Jennifer Braswell, Jennifer Butts, Carolyn Caldwell, Jenny Cantrell, Nancy Cantrell, Matthew Carpenter, Jennifer Cole, Brenda Colwell, Julie Cook, Donna Davis, Tina Evans, Betty Fisk, Debbie France, Leanne Frasier, Ann Frazier, Holly Frazier, Kelly Frazier, Robbie Joan Frazier, Sherrie Giles, Janna Gillard, Johnna Goff, Doris Graham, Natalie Green, Vicki Haggard, Judith Hale, Charlene Hallum, Amber Hawkins, Connie Henry, Darnette Hibdon, Shirely Ingram, Sara Jared, Angela Johnson, Jennifer Judkins, Martha Knowles, Kym Lamson, Milinda League, Stacy Mason, Joel Moore, Eden Nokes, Jamie Nokes, Carol Northcutt, Ronda Northcutt, Angela Osment, Lisa Patterson, Elaine Perricone, Ivadell Randolph, Donna Robinson, Jessica Sims, Jalene Vanatta, Tiffanie VanWinkle, Wanda Vickers, Tom Werling, Helen Wilson, Jean Young, Kim Young, and Nancy Young.

Leave of Absence:
Betsye Walker, teacher at Northside Elementary School, as requested.
Lori Myrick, guidance counselor at DCHS, as requested

Wendy Bowling, educational assistant
Julie Fayette, bus driver

In other business, the school board adopted an amendment to the school calendar, changing the dates for spring break from April 2-9 to March 29th to April 2nd.

TCAP Testing will be April 15-22

The administrative day will be changed from May 24th to Friday, May 21st and the last day of school for students will be Saturday, May 22nd, 2010. Report cards will be sent home on that day.

The board adopted a resolution honoring bus drivers, proclaiming September 17th as Bus Driver Appreciation Day.

Director of Schools Willoughby says the tribute is part of the Utrust Make a Difference Program that the system is participating in this year to show school employees how much they are appreciated.

The resolution of appreciation states as follows:

"Whereas, the safety of our children rests in the hands of trained school bus drivers for up to three hours each school day, and,

Whereas, School bus drivers spend considerable time and energy in on-going training to maintain skills and keep current knowledge of school bus laws and safety procedures through continuing education classes, and,

Whereas, School bus drivers face both natural and unnatural hazards in the performance of their duties, and,

Whereas, School bus drivers consistently demonstrate patience, and kindness toward students, parents, and school staff in the performance of their duties, and,

Whereas, School bus drivers have collectively built a remarkable record of safety by driving for thousands and thousands of accident free miles, year after year, and,

Whereas, School bus drivers consistently put the safety of our children first and they maintain an awareness of student needs, school bus routes, mechanical issues, and weather conditions, and,

Whereas, School bus drivers frequently assist students in developing appropriate behavior and in dealing with issues confronting them daily through counseling and/or disciplinary techniques, and,

Therefore, Be it hereby Resolved, that the DeKalb County Board of Education officially recognizes all its school bus drivers for their continued and excellent services to the youth of DeKalb County.

Be it further resolved, that the DeKalb County Board of Education hereby declares September 17th, 2009 as school bus driver appreciation day in DeKalb County; and

Be it further resolved that each school principal is hereby encouraged to plan and implement a program of appreciation for school bus drivers who serve students in his or her respective school."

Kiwanis Club of DeKalb County Receives Honors

September 9, 2009
Dwayne Page

The Kiwanis Club of DeKalb County recently received honors from the Division 2 Kentucky and Tennessee District.

Jim Westmoreland, Governor of Division 2 presented the club with banner patches for their involvement in the 2009-2010 Kiwanis Blood Drives through Kentucky and Tennessee.

Kiwanis of DeKalb County, who participated with 162 other clubs, received a patch for their highest percentage of blood units collected and a patch for the overall winner of the Kentucky and Tennessee District.

The Kiwanis Club thanks all of those who made this honor possible. Kiwanis meets at noon every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at Neo's Cafe. For more information regarding Kiwanis, please call Judy Forrester at 597-2621.


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