Local News Articles

DeKalb County Election Commission Announces Start of Early Voting

July 9, 2012
Dennis Stanley

Beginning Friday, July 13, registered voters will have the opportunity to cast their ballots for the August 2 state primary and county general elections. DeKalb County Administrator of Elections Dennis Stanley is encouraging voters to take advantage of early voting.

“Early voting is a convenient way for voters to be sure their voices are heard,” said Stanley. “With this kind of flexibility, I hope that our voters will not miss this opportunity to exercise their right to vote.”

Early voting will be conducted at the DeKalb County Courthouse. Hours are: Mondays Noon until 5:00 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.; Thursdays 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays 9:00 a.m. until Noon. A “Sample Ballot” can be viewed at http://www.dekalbelections.com/. You may contact the DeKalb County Election Commission office at 597-4146 for more information. Early voting ends Saturday, July 28.

“I am grateful to the county election officials, poll workers, and others who are willing to put in the time and effort that goes into a successful election,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “Their hard work and dedication ensures that all Tennesseans have an opportunity to exercise their right to vote.”

Voters are reminded that they will need to present a state or federal issued photo ID in order to vote in person, whether during early voting or on Election Day.

Examples of acceptable forms of ID, whether current or expired, include driver licenses, U.S. passports, Department of Safety photo ID cards, U.S. military photo IDs and other state or federal government photo ID cards. College student IDs are not acceptable.

If you would like more information about early voting or the new law, call 1-877-850-4959 or visit the Division of Elections web site at www.GoVoteTN.com.

Daughter Out-Fiddles Mother to Win Jamboree's Most Coveted Award

July 8, 2012
Dwayne Page
Maddie Denton, Jack Barton, and Marcia Denton
Maddie Denton
Marcia Denton
Maddie Denton Wins Bluegrass Fiddle (Neil Dudney Award) presented by Mr. Dudney
Rocky Top Revue
The Grasscutters
Kurt Stephenson
Senior Clogging winner Tammy Scruggs
Junior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dancing Winner Chris Stewart
Senior Buck Dancing Winner Jay Bland
Senior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dancing Winner Ruth Alpert

The 41st annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree was historic in the sense that for the first time a mother and daughter competed for the most coveted prize of the festival, the Berry C. Williams Memorial award, presented to the best overall fiddler.

Maddie Denton of Murfreesboro, who took the Junior fiddling title earlier in the day Saturday, went on to win the fiddle off against her mother, Marcia Denton of Murfreesboro, who had earlier won the senior fiddling competition.

M2U00730 from dwayne page on Vimeo.
Fiddler's Jamboree Coordinator Jack Barton presented Maddie her award at the conclusion of the festival, which ended around 10:45 p.m. Saturday night.

Winners in the Saturday session of the Fiddler's Jamboree are as follows:

Junior Fiddlers (Ages 13-39): First Place-Maddie Denton of Murfreesboro; Second Place- Hillary Bevels of Shelbyville; and Third Place- Corrina Logston of Nashville.

M2U00731 from dwayne page on Vimeo.

Junior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Ages up to 39): First Place- Chris Stewart of Nashville; Second Place- Kris Jamison of McEwen; and Third Place Jacob Campbell of Murfreesboro.


something from dwayne page on Vimeo.
Senior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Ruth Alpert of Santa Barbara, California; Second Place- Jay Bland of Kennesaw, Georgia; and Third Place- Stanley Reece of Whitleyville,

Senior Buck Dancing (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Jay Bland of Kennesaw, Georgia; Second Place- Stanley Reece of Whitleyville; and Third Place- Ruth Alpert of Santa Barbara, California.

Bluegrass Fiddle (Neil Dudney Award): First Place- Maddie Denton of Murfreesboro; Second Place- Hillary Bevels of Shelbyville; and Third Place- Corrina Logston of Nashville. The Neil Dudney Award was presented to Denton by Mr. Dudney himself..

Senior Clogging (Ages 40 & Over): First Place-Tammy Scruggs of Bethpage; Second Place-Sherry Guenther of Monterey; and Third Place- Eileen Stewart of Nashville

Bluegrass Banjo: First Place-Kurt Stephenson of Dyersburg; Second Place- Weston Stewart of Anderson, Alabama; and Third Place- Jeremy Stephens of Danville.

Bluegrass Band: First Place- The Grasscutters of Cookeville; Second Place- The Ward Family Bluegrass of Columbia; and Third Place-Ellis Porch of Dyersburg.

Senior Fiddlers ( Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Marcia Denton of Murfreesboro; Second Place- Perry B.C Cooper of Knoxville; and Third Place- Don Saddler of Cookeville

Square Dancing: First Place-Rocky Top Revue of Franklin; Second Place- Harpeth River of Franklin; and Third Place-Tennessee Toe Tappers of Adams.

Ivy Phillips Claims Jamboree's Top Fiddling Award for Beginners

July 8, 2012
Dwayne Page
Ivy Phillips
Members of James G. Bobo Driver Family with Ivy Phillips
Kyle Ramey Receives Entertainer Award from Nolan Turner
Ivy Phillips Wins Beginner Buck Dancing and Clogging
Kyle Ramey Wins Beginner Banjo
Kyle Ramey Wins Beginner Dobro Guitar
Kyle Ramey Wins Beginner Mandolin
Kyle Ramey Wins Beginner Flat Top Guitar

A girl from Chapmansboro took home this year's top Jamboree award as the best fiddler in the National Championship for Country Musician Beginners.

Ivy 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 Russell Ambrose, Adam Driver, Jimmy Driver, and Bert Driver. Phillips also won first place for beginner buck dancing and clogging and second place in beginner dobro guitar.

fidd from dwayne page on Vimeo.
Meanwhile Kyle Ramey of North Vernon, Indiana, for the second year in a row, received the "Entertainer of the Year" Award, which is presented to the best overall instrumental entertainer among winners in the dobro guitar, mandolin, five string banjo, and flat top guitar competition. Ramey took home first place in all four of those categories and placed second in another, fiddling.

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- Kyle Ramey of North Vernon, Indiana; and Third Place- Jalee Roberts of Murfreesboro.

Buck Dancing: First Place- Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro; Second Place- Ally Johnson of Springfield, and Third Place- Jalee Roberts of Murfreesboro

Clogging: First Place- Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro; Second Place- Brayden Chunn of Greenbrier; and Third Place- Amy Fisher of Smyrna.

Dobro Guitar: First Place- Kyle Ramey of North Vernon, Indiana; Second Place- Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro and Third Place- Jake Ramsey of Smithville.

Mandolin: First Place-Kyle Ramey of North Vernon, Indiana; Second Place-Bethany Ward of Columbia and Third Place- Anna Claire Stockoff of Brentwood

Five String Banjo: First Place- Kyle Ramey of North Vernon, Indiana; Second Place- Josiah Newman of Scottsville and Third Place- Wallace Layman of Kodak.

Flat Top Guitar: First Place- Kyle Ramey of North Vernon, Indiana, Second Place- Bethany Ward of Columbia; and Third Place- Anna Claire Stockoff of Brentwood.





Craft Awards Presented at Fiddlers Jamboree

July 7, 2012
Dwayne Page
Emma Adkins, Jayne Vinsant, and Tabitha Farmer
Tabitha Farmer, Jonathan Griffith, and Emma Adkins
Carolyn Whittenburg, Emma Adkins, and Tabitha Farmer
Tabitha Farmer,  Ann Hill, Dana Godsey, and Emma Adkins

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

Jayne Vinsant of Sterrett, Alabama received the "Best of Show" award for her hand painted glasswork and mixed media wearable art jewelry, created from vintage pieces made into new contemporary works.

Jonathan Griffith of Murfreesboro, formerly of Liberty, received the "Best Appalachian Craft" award for his functional and decorative handcrafted pottery.

The "Best Newcomer" Award went to Carolyn Whittenburg of Portland for her display of fine art (decorator) gourds and rain sticks.

Dana Godsey and Ann Hill of Crossville received the "Best Craft Display" award for their primitive art work and paintings, rustic looking handmade frames. They also do hand stitching on aged fabric.

The awards were presented by Emma Adkins and Tabitha Farmer, the Fiddler's Jamboree Directors of Crafts.

(Top Photo: Emma Adkins, Jayne Vinsant, and Tabitha Farmer)

(Second Photo from Top: Tabitha Farmer, Jonathan Griffith, and Emma Adkins)

(Third Photo from Top: Carolyn Whittenburg, Emma Adkins, and Tabitha Farmer)

(Bottom Photo: Tabitha Farmer, Ann Hill, Dana Godsey, and Emma Adkins)

Illinois Man Wins Fiddler 5K and One Mile Fun Run

July 7, 2012
Matthew Cleveland (Photo by Bill Luton)
Hunter Jennings and Ellen Bandy (Photo by Bill Luton)

18 year old Matthew Cleveland of Danville, Illinois was the overall winner of the Fiddler 5K and One-Mile Fun Run on Saturday.

Cleveland ran the course in 16:53

17 year old Morgan Voyles of Sparta, best among women, ran the course in 21:59

Overall Masters winners (age 40 and up):

54 year old Jimmy Dawson of Cookeville at 19:07
40 year old Sarah Hart of Nashville at 23:58

One-Mile Fun Run:

12 year old Hunter Jennings of Smithville at 7:27
11 year old Ellen Bandy of McMinnville at 8:21

This year's 14th Annual Fiddler 5K and One-Mile Fun Run featured 426 participants, another record turnout.

Funds raised will support Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County

Complete results are available at www.fiddler5k.com

American Samoan Woman Presented U.S. Flag During Fiddlers Jamboree

July 6, 2012
Dwayne Page
State Senator Mae Beavers Presents U.S. Flag to American Samoan Woman
Rep Terri Lynn Weaver Presents TN Flag to Lynn Rickard of Seattle Washington
State Rep Mark Pody Presents TN Flag to Roger Wolfe of Memphis
Weston Stewart-Dobro Guitar Winner
Rob Pearcy- Mountain Dulcimer Winner
Kyle Paxton-Hammer Dulcimer Winner
Hillary Bevels- Novelty Event Winner
Main Stage Fusion- Youth Square Dancing Winner
Slim Chance- Old Time Fiddle Band Winner
Matthew Campbell- Solo Gospel Singing Winner
Daniel Amick- Country Harmonica Winner
Graham Sherrill- Old Time Banjo Winner
Kurt and Corrina- Gospel Singing (Duet, Trio, Quartet) Winner
Daniel Amick- Mandolin Winner
Graham Sherrill- Folksinging Winner
Chris Stewart- Junior Clogging Winner
Jacob Campbell- Junior Buck Dancing Winner

An American Samoan woman, Myra Bates received a United States flag while Lynn Rickard of Seattle Washington and Roger Wolfe 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, both 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.

The first day of the 41st annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival ran non-stop from about 9:00 a.m. Friday morning until close around 10:30 p.m. Friday night.


M2U00716 from dwayne page on Vimeo.
Preliminaries were held in sixteen categories of music and dance competition followed by the finals featuring the top three acts in each event.

The following are the winners in each category:

Old Time Appalachian Folk Singing (Solo/Duet):
First Place- Graham Sherrill of Nashville
Second Place-Daren Gallman of Shelbyville
Third Place-Sierra Tomlin of Springfield

Flat Top Guitar:
First Place-Andrew Rigney of Normandy
Second Place-Rob Pearcy of Smyrna
Third Place-Jonathon O'Neal of Onieda

Junior Clogging (Ages 13-39):
First Place-Chris Stewart of Nashville
Second Place-Tanner Dunn of Cookeville
Third Place-Kris Jamison of McEwen


M2U00708 from dwayne page on Vimeo.

Junior Buck Dancing (Ages 13-39):
First Place-Jacob Campbell of Murfreesboro
Second Place-Sierra Tomlin of Springfield
Third Place-Kody Hash of Elk Creek, Virginia

Dobro Guitar:
First Place-Weston Stewart of Anderson, Alabama
Second Place-Rob Pearcy of Smyrna
Third Place-Jason Sanders of Lancaster


M2U00723 from dwayne page on Vimeo.

Mountain Dulcimer:
First Place-Rob Pearcy of Smyrna
Second Place-Kurt Stephenson of Dyersburg
Third Place-Sarah Morgan of Sharps Chapel

Hammer Dulcimer:
First Place-Kyle Paxton of Thompson Station
Second Place-Howard Friedman of Knoxville
Third Place-Beth James of Newport

Novelty Event:
First Place-Hillary Bevels of Shelbyville
Second Place-Nate Clark and Payton Clark of Cookeville
Third Place-Tara Guinn of Gaston, Indiana

Youth Square Dancing:
First Place-Main Stage Fusion of Springfield
Second Place- Main Stream of Springfield
Third Place- Main Stage Explosion of Springfield

Old Time Fiddle Band:
First Place-Slim Chance Old Time String Band of Smyrna
Second Place- The Hogslop String Band of Nashville
Third Place- Keg County String Band of Lyles

First Place- Bill Rothe of Estille
Second Place-None
Third Place-None

Gospel Singing (Solo):
First Place-Matthew Campbell of Murfreesboro
Second Place-Sarah Jane Cripps of Smithville
Third Place-Samantha Lewis of Smithville

Country Harmonica:
First Place-Daniel Amick of Pleasantville
Second Place- Isaac Vick of Lyles
Third Place- Rob Pearcy of Smyrna

Old Time Banjo:
First Place- Graham Sherrill of Nashville
Second Place- Daniel Rothwell of Smyrna
Third Place- Daniel Amick of Pleasantville

Gospel Singing (Duet, Trio, & Quartet):
First Place- Kurt and Corinna of Dyersburg
Second Place- Larry and Cheryl Chunn and Lindsey Batts of Greenbrier
Third Place- Sierra Tomlin of Springfield.

First Place-Daniel Amick of Pleasantville
Second Place- Abby Ward of Columbia
Third Place- Rob Pearcy of Smyrna

The Fiddler's Jamboree resumes at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 7th 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 Saturday night 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 Saturday 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 and on-line at www.wjle.com.

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

Strong Winds, Topple Trees, Down Power Lines, and Create Nervous Moments For Jamboree Participants

July 6, 2012
Dwayne Page
Tree down across power lines on Highway 70 near Sligo Bridge
Utility pole snaps from fallen tree over wires on Highway 70 near Sligo

Strong winds from passing thunderstorms downed trees and power lines in parts of DeKalb County Thursday afternoon. Many customers of Caney Fork Electric and Smithville Electric reported being without power after the storm and during the night.

A tree fell across highway 70 near Sligo bridge, bringing down utility lines and hampering traffic.

Central dispatch also reported trees or tree limbs down on a home at V.L. Wilson Loop Road off Holmes Creek and on Petty Road off Adcock Cemetery Road, along with a church building on Bright Hill Road. Another tree fell across the road at Wolf Creek.

High winds also posed some problems for several setting up booths and tents around the public square in preparation for the fiddler's jamboree, which starts today.

Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker said the winds toppled over a few tents. Some reported minor injuries but no one had to be transported to the hospital. "We had a pretty good wind gust that came through. We had a lot of people setting up their tents on the square. A lot of them (tents) were flipped upside down or blown over. They were hanging onto them. We had a couple of injuries with debris flying around. One person was hit in the head by a two by four. It was a little chaotic there for a few minutes while the wind came through town followed by a short burst of rain. Nobody was hurt seriously. There were only minor injuries. Nobody was treated. We also had some power lines that were down. Some tree limbs took some power lines down. A couple of transformers blew, one on Main Street and the other on Congress Boulevard, all about the same time this storm was going on. It kind of caught us by surprise. We were really lucky," said Chief Parker.

Later, a fire was reported in the Johnson Chapel, Backbone Ridge Road area, where a campfire had reportedly spread to the woods.

Landfill Compactor Catches Fire and Causes Other Problems for Firefighters

July 6, 2012
Dwayne Page

A fire starting from a compactor kept firefighters busy for several hours Thursday at the landfill as the blaze spread to garbage inside a cell area.

County Mayor Mike Foster said a landfill worker was operating the equipment inside the landfill cell, compacting garbage when the fire ignited. He jumped off without injury, but the fire destroyed the compactor. According to Foster, a hose may have burst in the engine compartment of the compactor causing fuel or hydraulic fluid to leak out onto the manifold, triggering the blaze.

Members of the Johnson Chapel, Midway, and Short Mountain Highway stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded along with a tanker and brush truck. The Cassville Volunteer Fire Department in White County provided mutual aid assistance, bringing a tanker truck and additional manpower.

County Fire Chief Donny Green said firefighters spent three hours and used about 40,000 gallons of water on the garbage fire. Fire trucks refilled at a hydrant on Billings Road near the landfill to keep the water coming.

Once the fire was out, the cell area was covered over with dirt.

The compactor destroyed in this fire is a 1995 model, some ten to fifteen years newer and much more efficient than the only other compactor the landfill is now left with, according to County Mayor Foster. But, he said the county can get by with just one compactor until the one lost in the fire can be replaced.

Foster said he wants to thanks the firefighters, both locally and from Cassville, for their work in putting out the fire.

THP Promotes Charlie Caplinger to Rank of Sergeant in Nashville District

July 4, 2012
THP Sergeant Charlie Caplinger

A member of the Tennessee Highway Patrol from DeKalb County has been promoted to the rank of Sergeant in the THP Nashville District.

Charlie Caplinger of Smithville is among six members of the THP who were recognized for promotions by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security in a special ceremony Tuesday at the Tennessee Highway Patrol Training Center in Nashville. Commissioner Bill Gibbons, Deputy Commissioner Larry Godwin, Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott, and Assistant Commissioner David Purkey were on-hand to congratulate the recipients.

Caplinger has been promoted to the rank of Sergeant in the THP’s Nashville District, serving as a Road Sergeant in Robertson County. He has served as a Trooper in this district since he was commissioned in 2002. The Smithville native started his THP career in Robertson County as a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer. He was transferred to Wilson County as a road trooper in 2004. Caplinger remained in Wilson County until 2008 when he was transferred to the ACES (Alternative Commercial Enforcement Strategies) program under the Special Programs section. Caplinger serves on the Nashville district STRIKE team and has numerous commercial motor vehicle certifications including Level 1, Haz-Mat, Cargo Tanker, and Compliance Review. He has attended Northwestern University School of Police Personnel and was named Trooper of the year in 2010.

Early Voting Begins Next Friday, July 13 for August Elections

July 4, 2012
Dwayne Page
Scott Cantrell
Mason Carter

Early Voting for the August 2nd elections begins next Friday, July 13 at the courthouse.

Voters will find it even more convenient to vote early for the upcoming August DeKalb County General and State Primary elections.


DekalbTN-PG12-NEWSPAPER.pdf (33.05 KB)

The DeKalb County Election Commission voted recently to modify the early voting hours to give voters another afternoon voting period.

The early voting hours for the August election will be as follows:

Mondays from NOON until 5:00 p.m.; Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.; Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.; Thursdays from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.; Fridays from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.; and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until NOON.

"Usually, the afternoon numbers are among the largest of the early voting period," said Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections. "And based on that history, the commission wanted to give another afternoon voting period to make it easier for those who like voting early or cannot make it to the polls on election day.".

Local voters will be electing a new Assessor of Property in August. The candidates are Scott Cantrell and Mason Carter. Two school board seats will be filled along with five constable seats.

In the state primary, local voters will help select the party nominees for State Representative in the 40th district, the 46th district, Congressman in the 6th District and one U.S. Senator.


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