Local News Articles

UCHRA Offering Shuttle Service to Relay for Life

June 7, 2012
Dwayne Page
UCHRA Offering Shuttle Service to Relay for Life

Good parking places get hard to come by as Greenbrook Park fills up for Relay for Life each year. But this year, you have another way to get there, without having to worry about parking.

UCHRA is providing a shuttle service from the new county complex on South Congress Boulevard to Greenbrook Park Friday evening, June 8 from 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.

"UCHRA has a van they are going to be operating Friday night," said Iva Del Randolph of Relay for Life. "They have a driver and the van and they will be parked at the DeKalb County Complex on South Congress Boulevard (Highway 56) or the old Food Center Shopping place. They will start around 5:00 p.m. shuttling people back and forth until 10:00 p.m. One of the complaints we have had over the years is that there is not enough parking. People have said they would like to come to the Relay but because they have to walk so far, they are not able to come. We are hoping that this will solve that problem. We hope that people will take advantage of this service that they are offering to us," said Randolph

The 15th annual Relay for Life, sporting the theme "Dancing Under the Stars", begins with musical entertainment at 5:00 p.m. followed by the opening ceremony at 6:00 p.m. featuring personal testimonies from cancer survivors and then a Survivors' Lap, during which those who have survived the struggle circle the track together to help everyone celebrate what has been achieved against cancer.

As the sun sets, Luminaria bags lining the track illuminate the night and then a hush falls over the event as Relay participants, survivors and caregivers gather together for a Luminaria Ceremony at 9:00 p.m. to remember loved ones lost to cancer and to honor those who have battled the disease.

As volunteers and donors, your efforts support research, education, advocacy, and services that allow the American Cancer Society to offer help and hope to people across the country when they need it most. By joining together at Relay, we celebrate life, friendship, and an opportunity to work to defeat cancer for future generations

The lineup of musical entertainment and events for this year's Relay is as follows:

5:00 p.m.: Jimmy and Alisha Stephens
5:15 p.m.: Kathy Goodwin
5:30 p.m.: Dessa Ray
5:45 p.m.: Suzanne Slager

5:55 p.m:
Presentation of Colors by Boy Scout Troop #347
The National Anthem by Suzanne Slager
Invocation by Dwayne Cornelius, Pastor of the New Life Pentecostal Church

6:00 p.m.:
Opening ceremony
Welcome by Ivadell Randolph
Introduction of Cancer Survivors
Song honoring Cancer Survivors by Bonnie Rigsby and Shelley Cross
Prayer for Cancer Survivors by Don Davidson, Pastor of the Real Life Community Church

6:45 p.m.: David Turner & Friends
7:00 p.m.: Page Family
7:15 p.m.: Gather Round Boys
7:30 p.m.: Terry Hodges
7:45 p.m.: Tina Boston
8:00 p.m.: Fluty and the Flutones
8:15 p.m.: First Assembly of God
8:30 p.m.: Kevin Roberts
8:45 p.m.: Wendell Judkins

9:00 p.m.
Luminaria Ceremony
Prayer by Jeff Armstrong, Pastor of the Smithville Church of God
9:15 p.m.: Smithville Church of God Youth Group
9:30 p.m. New Life Pentecostal Praise Group
9:45 p.m.: Elizabeth Chapel Youth Group
10:00-11:00 p.m.
11:00 p.m.: 61 Seconds
Midnight: Team Activities Begin

Fees Waived June 14 at Three Center Hill Lake Day Use Areas

June 7, 2012
Floating Mill Recreation Area

In celebration of the U.S. Army’s 237th birthday June 14, 2012, day-use fees are being waived at all U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District day use areas by Lt. Col. James A. DeLapp, district commander.

"Fees shall be waived on June 14, 2012 at areas such as boat ramps and beaches where fees are collected by contra ct gate attendants or honor vaults," DeLapp said. "As we celebrate the 237th Birthday of the U.S. Army and its rich heritage of defending our nation and its citizens, we wish to recognize local communities’ steadfast support of our soldiers and families in this small way," he added.

Day use areas included in the fee waiver are listed by lake area:

Center Hill – Floating Mill Park, Hurricane Bridge, Ragland Bottom.

Cheatham – Cheatham Dam Right Bank, Harpeth River Bridge.

Cordell Hull – Defeated Creek, Roaring River.

Dale Hollow – Lillydale, Obey River Park, Pleasant Grove.

J. Percy Priest – Cook, Anderson Road.

Lake Barkley – Bumpus Mills, Canal, Old Kuttawa.

Lake Cumberland – Cumberland Point, Fall Creek, Kendall, Waitsboro.

Old Hickory – Cedar Creek, Laguardo, Old Hickory Beach.
This waiver for day use fees for swimming beaches and boat ramps does not apply to recreation areas managed by third parties.

Fees for camping, specialize d facilities such as picnic shelters and for other special use/events will not be waived.

This waiver of day use fees applies only on June 14, 2012.

Since its formation by the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1775 with George Washington as commander-in-chief, America’s Army has added 183 streamers to the Army Flag staff denoting the campaigns that soldiers have fought.

Please go to http://www.army.mil/birthday/237/ for additional information about the Army’s 237th Birthday and the rich heritage of today’s modern volunteer Army. For more news, information and updates, please follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps.

Relay for Life to Remember Longtime ACS Volunteer Violet Fuson

June 7, 2012
Dwayne Page
Violet Fuson

The 15th annual Relay for Life Friday evening will be dedicated in memory of Violet Fuson, a long time supporter of the American Cancer Society, who passed away in May.

"She was a charter member of our DeKalb Unit for the American Cancer Society," said Iva Del Randolph of Relay for Life. " I believe she started in 1985. I joined a year later and she was such a mentor to me and to others. Violet did so many different jobs in our unit over the years. She will be greatly missed. We just want to honor her for the many years that she had served our county so well," she said.

Born and raised here, Ms. Fuson went to pharmacy school and later became Director of Pharmacy at St. Thomas Hospital. She served there for thirty years until her retirement and then relocated to DeKalb County.

Randolph, a second cousin to Ms. Fuson, said Violet recently celebrated her 91st birthday and kept active up until the end of her life. "She had just celebrated her 91st birthday in April. She passed away in May," said Randolph. "Anything we would ask her to do (over the years) or anything she saw needed to be done, she was always willing to help out. She did the memorials. She sent out cards to people who would give memorials in memory of someone when they passed away. She would pick those up at the funeral home and send cards to the family. She helped with Love Lights Tree. She helped with the door to door (fundraising campaign) as so many other people in our community did at that time. She was real active (over the years) and right on up until the last month of her life," she said.

"Violet didn't have any children," said Randolph. "She never married. But she had seven nephews and one niece. They're scattered all over the United States. They were very dedicated to her and would come and check on her frequently. Her niece came and stayed with her the last three months of her life to take care of her," she said.

Eva Willoughby, another active volunteer, said she and Ms. Fuson joined the local ACS unit the same year. "Ms Violet was a very special person to me," said Willoughby. She and I went on the board about the same time in 1985. At that time we had very few people volunteering for the cancer drive. We did a door to door campaign. Our biggest year was a $10,000 door to door donation. We thought $10,000 was a lot of money but then the next year we went with Relay for Life and found out that Relay was wonderful. That was the best thing we did here in our county. She worked with us almost up until her death," she said.

Randolph recalled her last visit with Ms. Fuson. "I had visited with her about two weeks before she died. We had a really good visit. I stayed with her for a while so her niece could go and run some errands. Violet remembered one of the last ACS meetings we attended out of the county. After we started Relay for Life, we didn't have a lot of committee meetings to attend out of the county. There were mid-state meetings, but that was more on the state level, but the last meeting we went to was around Morrison and when we were coming back that night, we could see a lot of falling stars. They were just shooting everywhere. There was just a rain shower of those that night. She recalled that. Violet asked do you remember, we could hardly drive?. She remembered how that at one point, we just pulled over and watched those stars. Her mind was very good right up until the end. We had a wonderful visit that day. She was just always a pleasure to be around," said Randolph.

Mended Hearts Donates AED to DeKalb County Complex

June 6, 2012
Dwayne Page
Mended Hearts Donates AED to DeKalb County Complex

The Cookeville Chapter 127 of Mended Hearts has donated an automated external defibrillator to the DeKalb County Complex.

The presentation was made Wednesday at the complex by Pharoah Smithers, President of the Cookeville Chapter, to County Mayor Mike Foster. "Today we are giving an AED to the DeKalb County Community Complex," said Smithers. "This AED is a $1,300 unit and Mended Hearts is more than glad to be able to give it to them, hoping they will never use it. Lives can be saved with it. In Putnam County right now there are twenty nine people who have had these AED's used on them. Mended Hearts also gave the high school here an AED a few years ago and bought them fifteen mannequins so that they can use them to teach CPR. We are providing this at no charge," he said.

"We are pleased to get this because of the senior citizen center here and the exercise classes we have going on using the exercise equipment," said County Mayor Foster. " With the number of people going to be in the facility, we just felt like it was a really good thing that they have allowed us to have this unit here and we appreciate it very much," he said.

In addition to Smithers and County Mayor Foster, others on hand for the presentation were Blanche Smithers and Lou Thomason of Mended Hearts, Kathy Pealer of UCDD, and Tony Luna, assistant director of the county complex.

One of the most successful Chapter 127 programs is that of raising funds through chapter activities and events to provide automated external defibrillators (AED's) throughout the Upper Cumberland area.

An automated external defibrillator, or AED is an automated, computerized medical device that is capable of checking a person's heart rhythm and, when necessary, providing an appropriate electrical shock that may "reset" the heart to an acceptable, normal rhythm.

AED's are very accurate and easy to use and they can advise a rescuer or trained person when a shock is needed. The AED uses voice prompts, lights, and text messages to advise what steps to take and when.

The American Heart Association supports placing AED's throughout a community where trained people are also available. AED's are generally specifically placed in areas where larger numbers of people congregate, such as stadiums, airports, churches, and large department stores. Funding for purchase of the AED's is accomplished through Mended Hearts, Inc., Chapter 127 fund-raising events such as "silent auctions" and bake sales as well as through private donations. In some cases, AED's are provided through a cost-sharing program with recipient organizations in order to permit more AED's to be placed throughout the community. Additionally, several businesses and organizations in the Cookeville area fully support the AED program and provide grants to assist in their purchase.

It has been proven that if a person has some form of heart attack where an AED and a knowledgeable person is available to administer a mild shock to re-establish a normal heart rhythm and circulation, that chances of survival are increased significantly (up to 80%).Mended Hearts is a national and community-based non-profit organization that offers the gift of hope to heart disease patients, their families and caregivers.

Recognized for its role in facilitating a positive patient-care experience, now aligned with the American College of Cardiology, Mended Hearts is celebrating 60 years of service. Currently, Mended Hearts has over 300 local chapters and satellites nationwide, and partners with 460 hospitals and rehabilitation clinics. Mended Hearts offers services to heart patients through visiting programs, support group meetings and educational forums.

Mended Hearts support groups help people understand that there can be a rich, rewarding life after heart disease diagnosis. Members listen, share their experiences and volunteer to talk to other heart patients about what they may face including lifestyle changes, depression, recovery, and treatment.

Mended Hearts volunteers offer peer-to-peer support to patients, family members and caregivers via:

•Hospital Visiting – In person visit from a Mended Hearts volunteer while you are recovering
•Online Visiting – Email check in and provide materials electronically
•Phone Visiting – Calling to provide a word of hope

The mission of Mended Hearts is to "inspire hope in heart disease patients and their families."

(Pictured above left to right: Blanche Smithers, Mike Foster, Pharoah Smithers, Lou Thomason, Kathy Pealer , and Tony Luna)

Game Room Now Open at County Complex

June 6, 2012
Dwayne Page
The game room is now open in the county complex on South Congress Boulevard.
Arcade Games at County Complex

The game room is now open in the county complex on South Congress Boulevard.

Tony Luna, assistant director of the complex, said the game room opened last Saturday and children and even adults can come and take advantage of it. The game room currently has several arcade games, a couple of pool tables, and a wii and xbox. While the costs are fifty cents to a dollar to play, depending on the games, the wii and xbox games are free to play. "We have some quarter operated arcade games. We've got a few pool tables that people have requested. We've actually got an old pac man game coming that we're proud of. The costs are fifty cents to a dollar (to play the games) but for kids that come out here and don't have the money for that we actually have an xbox and a wii that they can play at no cost," said Luna

"We're open six days a week (Monday through Saturday) from 7:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. We close through lunch and then we open back up at 3:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Those hours are flexible. Once we get more members and it can sustain itself a little better, we're going to move our hours so we can get as many people as we can in the facility. Anybody can come. This is open to anybody. Once we get our ball goals, our gymnasium will be open to anyone at no cost. We just want everybody to come out and see the complex. This is your complex and its great," he said.

Willoughby Names Julie Vincent as Principal at Smithville Elementary School

June 6, 2012
Dwayne Page
SES Principal Julie Vincent
Assistant SES Principal Karen Knowles

Smithville Elementary School is getting a new principal.

Julie Vincent, who for the last year has served as assistant principal at Northside Elementary School, will become principal at Smithville Elementary School, effective July 1st.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby made the announcement Wednesday. "Julie Vincent will be our new principal starting July 1 at Smithville Elementary School. Karen Knowles will be the assistant principal there. We're excited. During the transition there, I am sure that Ms Vincent will be bringing some new ideas and new thoughts to Smithville Elementary. We have already received several positive comments," he said.

Dr. Bill Tanner, who had been principal at Smithville Elementary for several years, will be re-assigned to another position in the school system.

Vincent, who once taught at Smithville Elementary, said she is excited to be returning to the school. "I am very excited. I love Smithville Elementary School. When Darrin and I first moved here, about seventeen or eighteen years ago, I started teaching here in the special education department so its like coming back home again. I'm real excited to be over here at Smithville Elementary," she said.

She began her teaching career in DeKalb County at Smithville Elementary teaching resource in the special education department and then moved to Northside Elementary, after that school opened. "I later moved to a fourth grade classroom, then to a third grade classroom. This year I was the assistant principal at Northside,"she said.

Untitled from dwayne page on Vimeo.
A native of Maine, Vincent received her bachelors degree in Vermont. She later married and moved to Missouri. The couple lived there for a couple of years before relocating to DeKalb County. "From my bachelors degree, I went to Tennessee Tech and got my masters degree in early childhood special education. I then went back and got my Eds in instructional leadership," she said.

Vincent is married to Darrin Vincent of the very popular and award winning duo Dailey and Vincent. The couple have three children, Zachary, a senior at DCHS; Victoria, a sophomore; and Chandler, an eighth grader at DeKalb Middle School. Zachary plays on the Tiger basketball team. Victoria is a basketball cheerleader and Chandler plays basketball on the Saints team.

Asked if she had any special changes planned for the school, Vincent said she just wants to build on the success already established there. "Right now I'm just trying to get my feet on the ground. I've got some ideas that I am excited about. There's a lot of great things that's already taking place here at Smithville Elementary. I am just looking forward to enhancing some of the good things already happening," she said.

"I am going to miss being at Northside, " said Vincent. "They are a wonderful family over there. I am going to miss being over there, being with Dr. Redmon and the rest of the staff. But I am excited to come over here and get reacquainted with some old friends here and make some new ones," she said.

Patrick Cripps Named Principal at DeKalb County High School

June 5, 2012
Dwayne Page
DCHS Principal Patrick  Cripps
Assistant DCHS Principal Kathy Bryant
Assistant DCHS Principal David Gash

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby has announced that Patrick Cripps has been named principal at DCHS.

Cripps, who has served as assistant principal at DCHS for the past seven years, succeeds retiring principal Kathy Hendrix. Prior to his role as assistant principal, Cripps was guidance counselor at the high school for five years.

A graduate of DCHS, Cripps earned his BS in psychology at Tennessee Tech in 1995. Four years later, he received a degree in pre-K through 12 school counseling from Tech. In 2004, Cripps earned an Eds degree in instructional leadership, also at Tennessee Tech.

Cripps, in an interview with WJLE, said although he is well acquainted with the school, the students, and staff, his role now will be very different. "As an assistant, I dealt mostly with the discipline. Now, I will have greater responsibilities. I will be dealing more with academics and working with teachers whereas before I was working more closely with students," said Cripps.

"I'm looking forward to getting school started and getting back at it," he said. "We're developing the schedule right now and we're hiring several new teachers. We had several to retire and those teachers are going to be missed but we're looking forward to our new teachers coming in," said Cripps.

Son of Gene and the late Brenda Cripps, Patrick is married to the former Amy Williams and they have three children, 12 year old Callie Ryann, seven year old Zoe Potter, and one year old Brody John Cripps. Cripps' sister, Michelle Burklow, is the Supervisor of Instruction for pre-K to sixth grade in the local school system.

Cripps becomes the 10th principal at DCHS since 1963. His predecessors included Amon Snyder, Jim Butler, Tucker Hendrix, Ernest Ray, Dr. Charles Collier, Larry Johnson, Dr. Barry Roberts, Weldon Parkinson, and Kathy Hendrix.

Director Willoughby said he appreciates the work former principal Kathy Hendrix did at the high school and he is looking forward to working with Cripps. "Kathy Hendrix did a great job at the high school and Patrick Cripps will do a great job. He has been interviewing and recommending people for hiring. He has got a real good staff there and I am real excited about the things that are going to happen and the changes that he is going to implement. He is already doing a great job, although he doesn't officially really start until July 1. Patrick has energy and is excited about the high school being his school and the fact that he is there for DeKalb County children that are coming on up," said Willoughby.

Untitled from dwayne page on Vimeo.

Assistant principal David Gash will remain part of the administration team at DCHS and Kathy Bryant will be coming to the high school from DeKalb Middle School to fill the other assistant principal position. "Our assistant will be Kathy Bryant," said Willoughby. "She is moving from DeKalb Middle School to the high school. She is going to be working mainly with the curriculum, analyzing and giving details and looking at some areas that we can improve on and some areas that we can strengthen even more. She will be helping to develop some improvement plans for us in areas that we would like to be making higher grades. She is going to be a real plus to that staff. She dealt with the curriculum at the middle school and was very successful there and she will also be successful at DeKalb County High School," he said.

"Mr. Gash will be dealing more with discipline than curriculum," said Willoughby.

Aldermen Add New Spending to City Budget, Mayor Concerned About Shrinking Surplus (CLICK PDF TO READ ENTIRE BUDGET)

June 5, 2012
Dwayne Page
Mayor and Aldermen (Older Photo)

The Smithville Aldermen Monday night adopted on first reading an $8.2 million dollar budget ordinance for the 2012-13 fiscal year which includes cost of living pay raises for employees, larger pay hikes for the police chief, secretary-treasurer, and airport manager, the creation of one new full-time fire department administrator position, addition of a part-time court officer position for the police department to relieve overtime, and funding for a new fire department ladder truck. A new eight step wage scale would also be established for employees in the police department, while all other city employees would remain under the current four step wage scale


BUDGET FYE 2012- 2013_0.pdf (577.67 KB)

The budget ordinance passed on a 4 to 1 vote. Alderman Steve White voted no saying he wanted more time to study the budget. Second and final reading will be scheduled following a public hearing at the next meeting on Monday, June 18 at 7:00 p.m. at city hall.

Prior to the vote, Mayor Taft Hendrixson asked that action be delayed until another workshop could be held to address the new spending, which will require an appropriation of $975,233 from the surplus to the general fund, just to balance the budget without a property tax increase. Mayor Hendrixson pointed out that while $646,000 of the $975,233 to be taken from the surplus is going to pay for the ladder truck and the local grant match for an airport runway and apron overlay (paving) project, the city will be using $329,233 of the surplus to fund recurring expenses, and that, he said is a concern. "If we spend everything in this budget, it's coming out of reserve, or there is another alternative, raise taxes and I don't think anyone wants to do that. I certainly don't. Normally we don't spend everything that's in the budget, but its in there, and we might. I don't know. I hope not. But its not prudent business to take out of your savings account (surplus/reserve) and do daily spending," said Mayor Hendrixson.

Alderman Shawn Jacobs said he felt comfortable going ahead and approving this spending plan, since budgets in the past have projected red ink and actually ended up in the black, due to sound financial management practices during the fiscal year. "This board, especially you (Mayor) and Hunter (Hendrixson) have done a tremendous job in holding the line on spending and it seems that you always return money to our surplus account so because of that I am comfortable with showing a deficit because I don't think we will spend it and if we do we can certainly address it next year," said Alderman Jacobs.

According to the budget, the city's general fund ended the 2011 fiscal year on June 30th last year at $221,830 (actual) to the good and was $579,593 (actual) in the black by the end of the 2010 fiscal year on June 30th two years ago.

"What's happening now is our spending is going up and our revenues are not," said Mayor Hendrixson. "We're probably not going to add anything to the reserve this year," he said.

Janice Plemmons-Jackson, the city's financial advisor added, "sales taxes and property taxes have been fairly constant for the last few years but they have not been increasing so revenues have been fairly stable. You're probably going to end up (the 2013 fiscal year) with a deficit because of the fire truck payment," she said.

Alderman Gayla Hendrix asked how much money the city has in the reserve account.

Hunter Hendrixson, Secretary-Treasurer, said "the general fund, in our checking account today, and it has stayed roughly the same for the last several months, I think its around $3.5 million dollars and then we have $400,000 in cd's for the general fund," he said.

If the city discovers later in the year that changes need to be made in the budget, Alderman Hendrix said amendments can be adopted. "We can make amendments to the budget after its passed. If we get six months down the road and realize we have made a huge error we can come back and make amendments," she said.

Alderman Jacobs agreed, saying cuts could be made later if necessary. "I would prefer to go ahead and pass it as it is and make cuts later on in the year if we have to. We're certainly going to try and hold the line on spending the best we can. There are a lot of improvements in this budget that I think we can be proud of. I am very proud of this budget. I think it is a very good budget," he said.

"Even though it (spending) is a little higher than usual, we are making some great improvements in this budget," said Alderman Hendrix. Some of these improvements won't have to be made again for many years to come because we're doing it now while we have the revenue to do it. Its nice to save every penny we make but its not nice to never make improvements," she said.

Under the budget, a new fire administrator position would be created. The salary is to be set at $35,000 plus benefits. No other full time fire department positions have been included in this budget, but others may be considered if a grant is obtained to fund them.

The budget also increases the salaries of three other department heads or managers as follows: Secretary-Treasurer: regular pay to be increased from $49,896 to $56,000 per year
Police Chief: regular pay to be increased from $48,204 to $55,000 per year
Airport Manager: regular pay to be increased from $29,818 to $35,000 per year

Each of these four positions, fire administrator, secretary-treasurer, police chief, and airport manager, like all other city employees are budgeted to receive a one percent bonus at Christmas time, and they receive a health insurance benefit equating to $7,905; along with an $85 life insurance and $276 dental insurance benefit, paid by the city.

All other city employees are to receive any step pay raises due them, plus a 3% cost of living increase, under this budget.

Step increases will be given on the hire anniversary date, rather than July 1 of each year, beginning with this budget.

New employees will receive the full amount of the starting pay for their positions when put to work, instead of their pay being increased after a sixty day probationary period.

A part-time court officer to work twenty hours is to be added to the police department, with overtime reduced for the other officers by approximately 52 hours per officer.

The aldermen are also seeking to adopt an eight step wage scale for just the police department, upon the recommendation of Police Chief Randy Caplinger. Currently, all city employees are set up on a four step scale. Employees with up to four years of service get their automatic step pay increases as defined in the wage scale plus a yearly cost of living increase, as approved by the aldermen. City employees with more than four years of service, who have topped out on the wage scale only get the cost of living increase.

Chief Caplinger has compared what Smithville pays its officers with law enforcement agencies in surrounding towns and found that the city is falling behind. Smithville has lost officers in recent years to departments in other cities for better pay, and Chief Caplinger is concerned that his department may lose more personnel, unless the city keeps wages competitive.

Chief Caplinger has proposed a new wage scale for Smithville police officers, which would have them top out after eight years, rather than four years in the city's current wage scale. Chief Caplinger said he came up with a plan for his department, after surveying other towns, averaging the starting and top out pay for each position in their police departments and using that as a model "I took each city's starting salary and their top out salary (for each position of rank in the department) and I combined those together, including ours. That gave me an average starting pay and an average top out. I just took it from the middle, kept our starting pay the same, and then took the difference from that starting salary and the averaged middle and put it in an eight step between that," said Chief Caplinger. "It doesn't make us the highest paid but it doesn't make us the lowest, we're just in the middle of our surrounding area. It puts us comparable with our competition around and gives an incentive for the officers to stay," he said.

The city budget will not be drastically impacted, according to Caplinger because the raises are spread out over eight years instead of four. "It really didn't hurt the budget of the city because the raises were basically the same, it just extended it out further but gave a higher top out, which is an incentive to keep employees. Nobody is getting a big raise. In fact, a couple of officers may be getting a little less raise (under the new plan) than they would otherwise have received July 1 (under the current wage scale)," said Chief Caplinger

The proposed new eight step wage chart for the police department (including a 3% cost of living increase) this year is as follows (hourly rate) and (Annual Pay-No Overtime)
$13.88 (Step1)- $28,879
$14.98 (Step2)- $31,150
$16.07 (Step3)- $33,421
$17.16 (Step4)- $35,692
$18.27 (Step5)- $38,006
$19.36 (Step6)- $40,277
$20.46 (Step7)- $42,548
$21.63 (Step8)- $44,990

$15.30 (Step1)- $31,814
$16.71 (Step2)- $34,749
$18.12 (Step3)- $37,684
$19.53 (Step4)- $40,619
$20.94 (Step5)- $43,554
$22.35 (Step6)- $46,490
$23.76 (Step7)- $49,425
$25.17 (Step8)- $52,360

$16.10 (Step1)-$33,485
$17.62 (Step2)-$36,656
$19.15(Step3)- $39,827
$20.67 (Step4)-$42,997
$22.20 (Step5)-$46,168
$25.25 (Step7)-$52,510
$26.77(Step 8)-$55,680

$20.41 (Step1)-$42,462
$21.83 (Step2)- $45,397
$23.24 (Step3)- $48,332
$24.65(Step4)- $51,267
$26.06 (Step5)- $54,202
$27.47 (Step6)- $57,137
$28.88 (Step7)- $60,072
$30.29(Step8)- $63,007

The proposed budget, totaling $8-million 297-thousand 195, calls for no increases in water or sewer rates or the property tax rate, of .6190 cents per one hundred dollars of assessed value. But in order to balance the budget, the city is appropriating to the general fund $975,233 from the surplus. The city property tax rate generates approximately $790,000 a year.
Water customers will continue to pay $5.00 for the first one thousand gallons of water usage plus $5.00 for each additional one thousand gallons of usage. Outside city rates are $7.50 for the first one thousand gallons of water usage plus $7.50 for each additional one thousand gallons of usage.
The rate for city sewer customers, under the new budget, will continue to be $5.00 for the first one thousand gallons of usage plus $5.00 per thousand gallons thereafter. In addition, all sewer customers will continue to pay the $3.62 cent per month flat rate usage fee.

The rate the city charges the DeKalb Utility District for water is $2.00 per thousand gallons but will increase to $2.05 per thousand gallons beginning with January 1, 2013 sales.

Proposed capital outlay expenditures in the general fund for the new year come to $2,382,667.

Specific projects are as follows:
Financial Administration:
$25,000 unspecified

Parks and Recreation:
$10,000 unspecified
$5,000 for a fence

Public Works/Buildings and Grounds:
$15,000 for a trailer

City Hall Building:
$25,000 unspecified

Fire Protection:
$10,000 unspecified
$496,000 for ladder truck payments

Street Department:
$20,000 for a chipper truck
$20,000 for a vehicle
$15,000 for traffic lights

Police Department:
$25,000 for a police car
$25,000 unspecified

Swimming Pool:
$15,000 unspecified

Golf Course:
$5,000 unspecified

$1,666,667 for the runway and apron overlay (90% of that funded by grants with a 10% local match by the city)

Animal Shelter:
$5,000 unspecified

Sanitation Fund:

Proposed water and sewer fund Fixed Asset Additions: Automatic meter readers project- $410,000; Capital improvements-paint water tank- $80,000; Sewer plant improvement study & engineering fees- $18,000; Sewer plant updates- $250,000; Sewer rehabilitation camera- $125,000
Although these capital outlay projects are budgeted, they all may not be funded during the year.

The proposed budget breaks down as follows:

General Fund: $4,424,570
Special Revenue Fund-Sanitation: $283,000
Water & Sewer Fund: $2,378,000
Drug Fund: $7,050
Appropriation of Surplus- General Fund: $975,233
Appropriation of Surplus-Drug Fund: $11,750
Appropriation of Surplus-Water & Sewer Fund: $217,592

Total Revenues: $8,297, 195

General Fund: $5,399,803
Special Revenue Funds Sanitation: $282,927
Water & Sewer Fund: $2,595,592
Drug Fund: $18,800
Total expenditures: $8,297,195

Smithville Man Accused of Assaulting Child with an Airsoft Gun

June 5, 2012
Dwayne Page
Thomas Smith

A Smithville man is accused of assaulting a neighbor child, using an airsoft gun.

42 year old Thomas Smith will be in court on June 21, charged with aggravated assault. His bond is $2,500.

Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger said that on Wednesday, May 30 officers were called to a residence on Morgan Drive in reference to an assault. Upon arrival, police spoke with a woman who said that her six year old son had been shot in the back with an airsoft gun. She accused her neighbor, Smith, of doing the shooting. The officers checked the boy and saw a raised red welt on his back. He was not seriously hurt. Police then went to Smith's home on Morgan Drive to speak with him. Smith denied shooting the boy with an airsoft gun, claiming instead that he had shot the child with a paper wad, using a rubber band. Smith gave officers permission to enter his home, and there they found an airsoft gun on the couch, belonging to Smith.

Police say the incident occurred after Smith found the boy playing in his yard and ordered him off the property.

Airsoft guns are replica firearms that fire plastic pellets.

Meanwhile, 27 year old Rhonda Goff was cited for shoplifting on Friday, June 1. She will be in court on June 21. Chief Caplinger said an officer was dispatched to the Dollar General Store in reference to a shoplifter. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with an employee of the store who said she saw Goff putting merchandise into her purse. During a search of the purse, the merchandise was recovered.

25 year old Kara Funk was cited for shoplifting on Sunday, June 3. She will be in court on June 28. Chief Caplinger said an officer was dispatched to Rite Aid Pharmacy in reference to a shoplifter. When the officer arrived, Funk was at the counter. Funk had things in her purse belonging to the store, totaling $338.

23 year old Audrey Grieve is cited for simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. She will be in court on June 14. According to Chief Caplinger, on Saturday June 2, Grieve was a passenger of a car stopped by police for a traffic violation. The K-9 dog was deployed and indicated on the vehicle. A search turned up a hand rolled cigarette containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana and two glass pipes used to smoke marijuana. The pipes contained residue believed to be marijuana.

32 year old Heather Trapp is cited for theft of merchandise (shoplifting) and criminal trespassing. She will be in court on June 21. Chief Caplinger said on Tuesday, May 29, an employee of the Dollar General Store told police he saw Trapp place items in her purse. Trapp was confronted and confessed to the theft, removing the items from her purse. Trapp also admitted that she had been ordered, in a prior shoplifting offense there, not to be on the property of the Dollar General Store.

24 year old Christine Cushing is cited for shoplifting. She will be in court on June 21. According to Chief Caplinger, while shopping at the Dollar General Store, Cushing concealed items in a bag that she was carrying. The merchandise was recovered.

31 year old William Doop is charged with criminal impersonation and evading arrest. His bond is $7,500 and he will be in court on June 21. Chief Caplinger said officers were dispatched to a residence on Fisher Avenue in regard to drug trafficking and to serve a warrant on Doop for violation of an order of protection. Upon arrival, police were told that Doop was not at home, but that he had been there. Officers looked through the residence but couldn't find Doop. He was later found hiding outside under a bush. Police spoke with both Doop and his wife, 30 year old Ismay Doop. They gave his name as 33 year old Anthony Hicks. After a further investigation, it was learned that they had lied about Mr. Doop's identify. He was arrested for criminal impersonation and taken to jail. Mrs. Doop was charged with filing a false report with an officer. Her bond is $1,500 and she will also be in court on June 21.

35 year old Wesley Chandler is charged with public intoxication and simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance. His bond is $2,500 and he will be in court June 21.

Chief Caplinger said an officer responded to DeKalb County Ace Hardware in reference to a man in the store who appeared to be intoxicated. Police arrived and confronted the man, Chandler, at the knife counter. Chandler's speech was very slurred. He was unsteady on his feet and he had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person. Chandler admitted to having consumed a couple of beers and said that he had taken some medication. He was placed under arrest. Chandler gave the officer consent to search his vehicle and he found on the console, a container with a pill believed to be hydrocodone. Several cans of beer in a cooler were also found in the vehicle.

38 year old Glen Jones is charged with criminal trespassing. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on June 14. Chief Caplinger said police responded to a residence on Restview Avenue on a complaint of an unwanted guest. Upon arrival, officers found Jones at the residence. Police had already confronted Jones earlier that day and told him to leave the home and that he would be arrested if he returned. Jones was placed under arrest.

Fiddlers Jamboree Issues Media Release About Festival

June 5, 2012
Dwayne Page
Jack Barton

The 41st annual Fiddlers Jamboree and Crafts Festival will be Friday and Saturday July 6th & 7th starting at 9:00 a.m. each day

Realizing that many people want to know more about how the Fiddlers Jamboree operates, Jack Barton, President and Coordinator of the festival, said a news release has been prepared that will hopefully address any questions they may have concerning the festival.


2012 Jamboree Press Release FINAL.pdf (190.87 KB)


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