Local News Articles

Ben Chapman to Speak at Chamber Prayer Breakfast

November 9, 2011
Ermeda and Ben Chapman

The Chamber Prayer Breakfast will be held on Tuesday, November 22nd at 7 AM at the 303 North Public Square Building, Smithville. The theme this year is “Building Community Character.” Lighthouse Christian Camp founder, Ben Chapman, will be the keynote speaker. With wife Ermeda, Ben founded the Lighthouse Christian Camp in 1982, where he serves as the president of the ministerial team that provides camps and special programs for disadvantaged children in DeKalb County and throughout Tennessee. Thousands of lives have been touched through Lighthouse’s summer camps, after- school- programs, special Christmas events, the “Sing for Joy” widows’ ministry and the newest program at Lighthouse - the Pastors’ Respite.

Special music will be performed by pianist Tomomi McDowell and Suzanne Slager and Chris Summers. Local Boy Scouts will present the flags. Prayers for our community, our leaders, and our children will make this a meaningful and memorable experience. A delicious breakfast will be catered by Jason Evans, head chef at The Inn at Evins Mill. Leadership Director Jen Sherwood and the Leadership DeKalb Class of 2012 will serve the beverages. Doors open at 6:30 AM.

Tickets are $12 per person and can be purchased at the Chamber office or from the Chamber Board of Directors.

Chamber Executive Director, Suzanne Williams says, “I would like to invite everyone to join with us at this special event in giving thanks to God for the abundant blessings He has given us in our county. The Prayer Breakfast is a wonderful way to begin the holiday season.” For tickets or additional information, call the Chamber at 597-4163.

Six County Firefighters Attend Training

November 9, 2011
Dwayne Page
County Firefighters Attend Training

Six firefighters from the DeKalb County Fire Department attended the Tennessee River Weekend Training November 4-6, 2011 in Savannah, Tennessee.

Chief Donny Green, Steve Repasy, and David Agee completed the Thermal Imaging Camera 15-hour course and Lt. Michael Lawrence, Lt. Jay Cantrell, and Bradley Johnson completed the Pump Maintenance 15-hour course.

Two Arrested for Possession of Cocaine and Xanax for Resale

November 8, 2011
Dwayne Page
William Wayne Graham
Kimberly Jo Donnelly

Two people were arrested for possession of cocaine and xanax for resale during a drug bust by the sheriff's department Monday night.

31 year old William Wayne Graham and 30 year old Kimberly Jo Donnelly of Bright Hill Road Smithville are charged with possession of a schedule II controlled substance for resale (cocaine) and possession of a schedule IV controlled substance for resale (xanax).

Bond for each is $10,000 and they will be in court on December 1.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said "the drug detective along with other detectives from the sheriff's department, who have been investigating the illegal sale of drugs from the home of Graham, were able to establish probable cause to obtain a search warrant. General Sessions Judge Bratten H. Cook II issued a search warrant for us to go in and search Graham's home. We executed that search warrant on Monday night, November 7 and found in the home individually packaged white powder believed to be cocaine, three used syringes, and two sets of digital scales. We also seized a couple of cell phones and pleated sandwich bags. We seized $587 in cash from Graham. We also found various types of pills," said Sheriff Ray.

The warrants allege that on Monday November 7, the sheriff's office executed a search warrant at Graham's home at 737 Bright Hill Road and found in a living room drawer six baggies of cocaine. They were all packaged and ready for resale. The six baggies weighed over six grams combined. Also found in the living room was a bottle containing fifteen xanax pills and two halves.

Three small children who were in the home at the time were placed with other family members by the Department of Children Services.

Sheriff Ray added that the investigation continues and more arrests may be forthcoming.

Poss Seeks Improvements at City Golf Course and Swimming Pool

November 8, 2011
Dwayne Page
Tony Poss (earlier photo)

Tony Poss, operator of the Smithville Golf Course and Swimming Pool, wants to make some improvements at the city golf course and swimming pool.

He addressed the mayor and aldermen with his requests Monday night during the city council meeting.

Poss asked for permission to install sand bunkers to make the golf course more challenging and to install a T-Box driving range."What we're wanting to do is to add a sand bunker to the #9 green. It'd be the right side and also to the #6. It'd be the right front of it. We're looking at ways to draw more people to come to our course. A lot of out of town courses do have sand. It just makes it a little more difficult. We're willing to put in the man hours and the work to do it. It's not going to cost the city a dime. The other thing we want to do is to possibly construct a T-Box between the # 7 and #9 fairways and have a driving range. A lot of golfers, especially high school golfers are going out of town just so they can use a driving range rather than having to pick the balls up. We've had several requests this summer from people wanting to use a driving range. Its more of a courtesy to your golfers. Again, it won't cost the city a dime to do it. We're willing to put in the man hours. We're fixing to be in our down time during the winter so we've got time to do it if we can get your blessing to do that. We've started a swim team, a tennis team, and our youth golf league so we're dedicated to doing things for the community, trying to get as much interest over there as we can," said Poss.

The aldermen gave approval for the T-Box but asked Poss to provide more specifics of his plans for the sand bunkers before taking action. Poss said he would check with other golf courses, see what they recommend, and report back to the board.

Meanwhile, Poss asked that the city begin thinking about making the swimming pool compliant under the Americans with Disabilities Act, something he said that must be done by next spring before the pool opens. "I think by March 15 we have to have it certified to be handicapped accessible. We want to get the ball rolling on that to see which way you want to go. We could do a zero entry to the pool. Take out the kiddie pool and do that or do a lift. Its completely up to you. I know it could cost more money but my personal opinion is to do the zero entry . Its just something you will have to decide but I think you'll benefit more with your elderly people and children if you'll do the zero entry. I don't know what the cost is but I think it would benefit more than just one or two and you'll have problems solved for years to come," said Poss.

No action was taken on the pool issue Monday night.

Poss also asked for the city to give a little more financial support to lifeguards, either to raise their pay or to reimburse them for certification training. Poss said the lifeguards currently have to pay for the own certification, which is expensive, and the city only pays minimum wage. "We started out our lifeguard wages at minimum wage. That's what the board voted to pay our lifeguards. We're glad you did that. But the only thing we're running into is that its getting harder and harder to get these young kids to come in and work for minimum wage when they have to go and pay anywhere from $170 to $300 to get certified. We had several who wanted to do it last year but they just had a hard time paying that fee to get them certified to be a lifeguard," said Poss

Mayor Taft Hendrixson said the lifeguard's wages are currently set in this year's budget at minimum wage. This current budget year runs through June 30, 2012. No action was taken on Poss' request Monday night. Mayor Hendrixson said its an issue that can still be discussed at a later time.

Employees of the City of Smithville may get the day after Thanksgiving off with pay in the future.

Alderman Danny Washer, during Monday night's city council meeting, made a motion to give city employees the day off with pay. Employees who have to work that day, such as in the police department, will get another day off. Mayor Hendrixson said he had already been giving employees the day off by allowing them to use a vacation day.

Mayor Hendrixson said Washer's request would require passage of an ordinance on first and second reading following a public hearing. An ordinance will be prepared for first reading action at the next meeting on Monday, November 21 at 7:00 p.m.. Second and final reading passage will follow a public hearing on Monday, December 5 at 7:00 p.m

In other business, the aldermen hired Eddie McGuire as a permanent employee in the sanitation department. He has successfully completed his 60 day probationary period and his pay will increase from $9.94 per hour to $11.03 per hour. McGuire also has his Commercial Drivers License.

Alderman Washer made a motion that Jimmy Taylor be promoted to general supervisor in the public works department, working directly under Public Works Director Kevin Robinson. Washer said Taylor could step in any time Robinson is out of town or he could supervise a city project in one part of town should Robinson be tied up on another job.

The aldermen passed a resolution adopting a state mandated drought management plan. Under the plan, the city must authorize and set forth guidelines to impose certain restrictions on non essential utility use because of shortages, outages, or other service cutbacks and interruptions during emergency drought conditions. Penalties could be imposed for non-compliance.

Bobby Pinegar of the Wastwater Treatment Plant reported that "last month we treated 31 million gallons. We used 560 pounds of chlorine and 350 pounds of sulphur dioxide. We hauled off 42 loads of sludge. The new pump for flushing water is now in and they're going to try and install it this week weather permitting".

Todd Bowman from the water plant reported that "the total amount of finished water that left the plant was 47.6 million gallons in September. The water the city sold was 40.8 million gallons which left the total unaccounted for at 6.7 million gallons which comes out to be a 14% water loss, which is rather good."

"We're about 98% complete on the water plant," said Bowman." We're having a problem with the floor. We've already rejected it three times so they (contractor) have called in some other people trying to get the floor right to make it look nice. We've got one more valve to be installed at the intake. They had problems with one when they put it in and they had to send it off to get it repaired."

"We've had to send off to the state and apply for the permits so we can start fluoridating water . I'm just waiting to hear back from them to give us the okay to start feeding the fluoride and then we will start feeding fluoride," said Bowman

Public Works Director Kevin Robinson reported that "Highways Incorporated is supposed to start paving probably Wednesday morning, weather permitting. We lack one section on the sidewalk to Walmart but it will probably be done this week, weather permitting. The pool has also been winterized."

Police Chief Randy Caplinger reported that "we were told our Governor's Highway Safety Office grant was going to be about $5,000 but I went to a meeting about three weeks ago and found that it was up to $26,000. That grant is already here. It is a reimbursement grant. We laid out the guidelines for what we needed. We'll have new cameras for the cars and one more radar. This year the emphasis is going to be on DUI's. We were very thankful to get that grant. There's going to be a lot of overtime (payment for overtime) but most of it will be for equipment. It won't cost the city anything. We'll buy it and they'll pay us back for it," said Chief Caplinger.

Fire Chief Charlie Parker reported that " for last month we had one structure fire, two alarm calls, one landing zone, two grass fires, an EMS assist call, two motor vehicle accidents, one trash fire, and two vehicle extrications. October was fire prevention month and I want to say a special thanks to Hoyte Hale, Jeff Wright, and Ronald Whitaker. They did an outstanding job with our fire prevention activities this year. They did demonstrations and passed out literature to Smithville Elementary School, the LBJ & C Head Start, Smithville United Methodist Day School, the Smithville Church of Christ Day School, and Rainbow Day Care."

Parker added that the grant application has been filed for funding of a ladder truck. "They're speculating that the first round of letters will come out during the latter part of December or in January. They will do that in several different rounds. They will put out so many names who will receive grants and they will also start sending out denial letters too. We probably won't know anything until close to the end of the year or the first of next year," said Chief Parker.

County Mayor Mike Foster Responds to State Audit Findings

November 8, 2011
Dwayne Page
Mike Foster

The annual state audit report of DeKalb County government, released last Thursday, reveals fifteen findings and recommendations, including four in the office of the county mayor.


Two of the findings relate to the landfill but County Mayor Mike Foster, in an interview with WJLE Monday, said neither pose major concerns and there are no fines or penalties as a result of them.

The state found that the "Solid Waste Disposal Fund had a deficit of $931,422 in unrestricted net assets as of June 30, 2011. This deficit resulted from the recognition of a liability totaling $3,181,491 in the financial statements for costs associated with closing the county's landfill and monitoring the landfill for 30 years after its closure. Generally accepted accounting principles and state statutes require that such costs be reflected in the financial statements. This deficiency exists due to the failure of management to correct the finding noted in the prior-year audit report".

This is not the first time the county has been "written up" for this. Foster said it has become an annual finding of the state. The county is expected to provide financial assurance of a funding mechanism for performing post-closure corrective action at a closed solid waste landfill that may cause some type of contamination in the future. According to the state, the county is $931,422 short of meeting that obligation, which could come to as much as $3.1 over the next 30 years.

According to Foster, the county has not had to spend a lot of money fixing problems at the old landfill locations, some of which have been closed for decades, and doesn't foresee having to spend anywhere near $3.1 million on them within the next thirty years. "We had a fund balance (money in the bank) of $1,669,863 for the landfill at the beginning of the year. They (state) are saying that it could potentially could take over three million dollars over the next thirty years for post closure where you have to come in and do work on it or something. One of the landfill sites on the Clyde Moore Road has been closed for 21 years but last year was the first money we spent on it since I've been in office. It had settled and we had to put some dirt on it. We spent about $40,000 basically on dirt. They (state) are saying that there could potentially be more than three million dollars in liability but realistically we know that is way too high. They (state) are saying you (county) should put money in the bank to cover that (correcting potential problems) for thirty years. That's not realistic. Even if we ask the state auditor, the supervisor of auditors, and CTAS (County Technical Advisory Service), none of them recommend that you (county) put money in the bank. Its just a finding under the GASB 54 governmental accounting standards program that we have to agree to do. Its just an accounting thing. We've put $200,000 in the budget this year for post closure in case there's a blow out, a leak, or something that would require us to do some work on one of the old cells that has been closed for over twenty years. We have four old landfill cells that are closed and two which are in the act of being closed. The ones now being closed are tied to the landfill we are still using," said Foster.

The second finding in the audit report related to deficiencies in the collection procedures for landfill tipping fees.

The report stated that "In some instances, the landfill did not deposit funds collected for tipping fees within three days of collection. State law requires county officials to deposit public funds to the office bank account within three days of collection. The delay in depositing the funds increases the risks of fraud and misappropriation"

The report further stated that "The County Mayor's Office did not issue receipts for tipping fees received from the landfill. State law required official pre-numbered receipts for all collections. This deficiency increases the risk of fraud and abuse".

According to the report, "Weight tickets generated at the landfill are pre-numbered; however, we noticed a few tickets that were not accounted for properly. Since these tickets were not available for examination, we could not determine their disposition. This deficiency increases the risks of fraud and abuse."

Foster said the county will comply with the state's recommendation" What they (state) are saying is in some instances the landfill did not deposit funds collected for tipping fees within three days of collection. Some days over there (landfill) there may not be any (tipping fees). Other days there are some (tipping fees). They (landfill operators) will usually make one trip over here (courthouse) in a week to bring them in. They were bringing them to our office. They were just turning them in here and we would work them and send out the bills. But they (State) are saying they want the supervisor at the landfill, instead of bring them to us (courthouse) to take them straight to the trustee at least every three days. So instead of him coming here, he's just going to make two trips a week out there (trustee's office). It saves us from having to do an itemized inventory of them and give him a receipt for them when he has already seen them, brought them in, and turned them in. We will follow their recommendations (state) exactly. From now on he will take them to the trustee, and turn them in twice a week so there's no more than three days. Most of the (tipping fee customers) are billed. They have an account and they just bring in the bill. We've had some who will pay, like if they're bring in shingles, they might write a check or pay cash to them (at landfill) and that money is put in a lock box over there which is basically a vault and then turned in later. We've already initiated this, but they (state) want us to keep an individual log. Whoever is working the scales is to put down the ticket number and sign every ticket that goes through there and then he is to log it in so that we have a backup. We had not been doing that. They had just been keeping up with the tickets and then turning them in," said Foster.

A third finding in the audit report related to "the actual beginning fund balances (cash on hand to start the new fiscal year) of the general, local purpose tax, general debt service, and general capital projects funds differing from the estimated beginning fund balances by material amounts. A similar finding was made in the general purpose school and central cafeteria funds in that the actual beginning fund balances at July 1, 2010 exceeded the estimated fund balances presented to the county commission by material amounts.

The actual general purpose fund balance for July 1, 2010 was $2,939,357 compared to the estimated fund balance of $2,388,804, a variance of $550,533

The actual Local Purpose Tax Fund Balance for July 1, 2010 was $1,002,724 compared to the estimated fund balance of $754,347, a variance of $248,377

The actual General Debt Service Fund Balance for July 1, 2010 was $1,495,094 compared to the estimated fund balance of $1,407,016, a variance of $88,078

The actual General Capital Projects Fund Balance for July 1, 2010 was $3,730,040 compared to the estimated fund balance of $4,135,629, a variance of $405,589

The audit report states that "Sound business practices dictate that realistic estimates of beginning fund balances should be presented to the County Commission during the budget process. This deficiency is due to management's failure to correct the funding noted in the prior-year audit report and to properly estimate the actual ending fund balance for June 30, 2010, which resulted in materially inaccurate estimates of beginning fund balances"

The state recommends that "Estimates of the beginning fund balance should be made on a more realistic basis to provide county officials with accurate information to base funding decisions. The estimated beginning fund balance should be amended during the year when it becomes apparent that the original estimate varies from the actual by a material amount."

In response, Foster said actual fund balances for the beginning of the fiscal year cannot be known for certain while budget preparations are underway, and according to the 1993 budget act, the county cannot alter its proposed budget after mid June until after it has been adopted by the county commission in August. "When we start working on budgets, usually in February, we estimate what we think we will have (fund balance) at the beginning of July. Under the laws of the 1993 budget act we cannot do anything to the (proposed) budget after June 15 once we get it situated. We have to approve the budget by the middle of August under the 1993 act. When we put these numbers in here we estimated that we would have $2,388,804 in the general fund balance. We actually has $2,939,357 which is $550,553 more than we said we thought we would have. Part of the reason we had more than expected is because we didn't spend all that amounts that were budgeted. It's the same for the other funds noted in the audit report. We over estimated on three funds and we under estimated on one. We have already made some corrections and we will be correcting these others. All this amounts to is having more money in those funds than we thought we were going to have when we passed the budget. Under the 1993 act, we can't amend the budget after June 15, but we have no way of knowing in June what this is going to be by August," said Foster.

The final audit finding in the office of County Mayor related to "deficiencies noted in the maintenance of payroll records".

According to the report, "Time sheets for employees of the Solid Waste Department were not signed by a supervisor as evidence of review and approval. Sound business practices dictate that time sheets should be properly reviewed and approved. This deficiency is due to a lack of management oversight. When supervisors do not review and approve time sheets, the risks that improper payments could result increases."

The report further stated that "The chief deputy at the Sheriff's Department and the Veteran's Affairs Officer did not have time sheets on file to support their payroll disbursements. According to the sheriff, the chief deputy does not prepare a time sheet because he is a salaried employee. The Veteran's Affairs Officer is a part-time employee and does not earn leave, therefore, the county has not required him to submit time sheets to support his salary. The failure to submit time sheets could result in improper payroll payments."

The state recommends that "Supervisors should sign the employees' time sheets as evidence of review and approval. All employees should maintain and attendance records."

In response, Foster said that "the solid waste department is the only branch of county government that has an actual time clock. They clock in and clock out. The supervisor over there looks at it (time sheets), makes sure that its right, and then brings it in to our office and the employees are paid. He (supervisor) looks at every one of them and the clerk here (courthouse) looks at every one of them. But they (state) are saying that he (supervisor) needs to sign them. Even though he already checks every one of them (time sheets), he will initial them now," said Foster.

Infinity Athletics All Stars Bring Home 1st Place

November 8, 2011
Photo Provided
Photo Provided

Congratulations to the Infinity Athletics All Stars for bringing home 1st place at Tennessee Tech University's Golden Eagle Classic on November 6th. Their next competition will be Saturday, December 10th at Nashville Municipal Auditorium.

Pictured are:
Top Row (L-R): Coach Sonja House, Kenzie France, Madison Colwell, Emme Colwell, Katherine Clendenen, Callie Mulloy, Coach Jennifer Sykes
Bottom Row (L-R): Shaunta Koegler, Chloe Sykes, Alley Sykes, Shelby Sprague

Individual Picture:
Congratulations to Alley Sykes for placing 2nd out of over 30 participants in the Jump Contest at the Golden Eagle Classic on November 6th.

Qualifying Deadline Approaching for Assessor of Property and Constable Races

November 8, 2011
Dwayne Page
Timothy Fud Banks

The 2012 election season will begin with the Tennessee Presidential Preference Primaries and the DeKalb County Democratic Primary on March 6th.

On the local scene, the office of Assessor of Property will be up for election along with all seven constable positions. Each of the terms is for four years. The qualifying deadline is 12 noon on December 8.

In 2008, Assessor of Property Timothy Fud Banks was re-elected while those elected as constable were Reed Edge in the second district, Wayne Vanderpool in the third district, Paul Cantrell in the fourth district, Mark Milam in the fifth district, Cantrell Jones in the sixth district, and Johnny King in the seventh district. No one was elected in the first district.

Paul Cantrell has qualified to seek re-election as constable in the fourth district. Constable Mark Milam has also qualified for re-election in the fifth district. Others who have picked up petitions for constable are Johnny King in the seventh district, Wayne Vanderpool in the third district, and Richard Bullard in the sixth district. Scott Cantrell has picked up a petition for Assessor of Property.

While the local Democratic Party will be selecting its nominees through the primary process, the DeKalb County Republican Party will choose any nominees it has by convention.

"Petitions can be picked up for all of the local offices on the March ballot," said Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections. The qualifying deadline is NOON, December 8, 2011. The same
qualifying deadline will apply to the Republican Party nominees (chosen by caucus) and Independent candidates.

Any Republican and Democratic nominees for the offices of Assessor of Property and Constable will face off in the August 2012 DeKalb County General Election

(Pictured Above: Constables Cantrell Jones in the sixth district, Johnny King in the seventh district, Reed Edge in the second district, Wayne Vanderpool in the third district, Mark Milam in the fifth district, and Paul Cantrell in the fourth district)

Giles County Football Fan Charged with Theft of DCHS Sign

November 7, 2011
Dwayne Page
William Carson Burns
Raymond Earl Tague

A Giles County High School football fan was arrested for trying to steal a DeKalb County High School Tiger Football sign following the state play-off game last Friday night in Smithville.

18 year old William Carson Burns of Agnew Road, Pulaski is charged with theft of property under $500 and evading arrest. His bond is $3,000 and he will be in court on November 17.

Sheriff Patrick Ray reports that on Friday, November 4, Burns allegedly took a sign from the DCHS football field that belonged to the school, valued at less than $500. When officers asked him to put down the sign, he ran off with it. He ran about 200 yards before officers caught up with him.

Giles County defeated DeKalb County in that game 35-28, eliminating the Tigers from the state play-offs.

Meanwhile, 43 year old Raymond Earl Tague of Bluhmtown Road, Smithville is charged with theft of property over $500. His bond is $5,000 and he will be in court November 17.

Sheriff Ray reports that on Wednesday November 2, Tague allegedly took from property on Bluhmtown Road, a door, a large window, and two small windows, all valued at over $500.

36 year old Lisa Yvonne Rogers of Aaron Webb Road, Smithville is cited for violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance), simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance (marijuana), and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her court date is November 17

Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, November 5 an officer was dispatched to Creek Road to check out a suspicious vehicle. Upon arrival, the officer found Rogers sitting in the car. After receiving consent to search the vehicle, the deputy found 1.8 grams of marijuana and a pipe. Rogers could not show proof of insurance.

Hurricane Bridge to Close One Night Only, Tuesday November 8

November 7, 2011
Dwayne Page
Message Board near Hurricane Bridge
Hurricane Bridge to Close Tuesday Night
Contractor to pour a portion of the new concrete deck

Tennessee Department of Transportation contract crews will close the Hurricane Bridge on State Route 56 over the Caney Fork River in DeKalb County to all traffic between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. CST on Tuesday, November 8, 2011. The closure is necessary to allow the contractor to pour a portion of the new concrete deck. The work is part of a $26.9 million rehabilitation project which is scheduled to be complete in October 2013.

The work is weather dependent. If the contractor is unable to perform the work on Tuesday evening, it will be rescheduled to take place on either the evening of Wednesday, November 9 or Thursday, November 10 during the same time period.

Message boards will be in place to notify drivers of the closure. While the bridge is closed, all traffic will be redirected to the currently posted truck detour that utilizes I-40 at Exit 254 to SR-53. The bridge will be reopened to normal one-lane signal-controlled traffic by 6:00 a.m. the following morning. The current weight postings of 10 tons for two-axle vehicles and 18 tons for vehicles with three or more axles will continue to remain in effect and will be strictly enforced.

For travel and TDOT construction information visit the TDOT SmartWay web site at www.tn.gov/tdot/tdotsmartway or call 511 from any land-line or cellular phone. You can also receive traffic alerts via TDOT's multiple Twitter feeds, including statewide traffic tweets @TN511 or Chattanooga area alerts @Chattanooga511. Smart phone users can use the TDOT SmartWay Mobile website at http://m.tdot.tn.gov/SmartWay/ to access TDOT's SmartWay cameras and information on construction related lane closures and incidents on interstates and state routes.

As always, drivers are reminded to use all motorist information tools wisely and Know Before You Go! by checking travel conditions before leaving for their destination. Drivers should never tweet, text or talk on a cell phone while behind the wheel.

Lauren Ashley Medlin New Fall Fest Queen

November 5, 2011
Dwayne Page
Fall Fest Queen Lauren Ashley Medlin
Fall Fest Queen and Runners-Up
Miss Congeniality Katlin Alli Emme

15 year old Lauren Ashley Medlin captured the Fall Fest Crown Saturday night during the annual pageant at the DeKalb County High School gym. The event is sponsored by the Smithville Business and Professional Women's Club.

Nineteen young ladies, ages 14-18 competed for the title.

Medlin, daughter of Greg and Teresa Medlin of Smithville, succeeds the retiring Fall Fest Queen, 15 year old Lauren Elizabeth Colwell, daughter of Trent and Christie Colwell of Smithville.

Meanwhile, Katlin Alli Emme was named Miss Congeniality of the pageant. She is the 15 year old daughter of Jessica and Gordon Rackley and Michael and Leslie Emme of Smithville..

First runner-up in the pageant was 16 year old Zoe Elaine Whaley, daughter of Celia and Scott Whaley of Smithville.

Kami Denise Bogle was second runner-up. She is the 15 year old daughter of Amy Scott and Chris Bogle of Smithville.

17 year old Katie Sue Haggard, daughter of David and Vicki Haggard of Smithville, was the third runner-up

Fourth runner-up went to 15 year old Brittany Nicole Wilkerson, daughter of Sean Wilkerson and Michelle Cantrell of Smithville.

Others in the top ten were Kelsey Hale, the 17 year old daughter of Kevin and Judith Hale of Smithville; Stephanie Carmen Rackley, the 17 year old daughter of William and Angie Meadows and Gordon and Jessica Rackley of Smithville; Sarah Elizabeth Edwards of Liberty, the 15 year old daughter of Tena and the late Clay Edwards; Darrian Lanay Turner, the 14 year old daughter of Shane and Regina Turner of Smithville; and Christian Janette Atnip, the 17 year old daughter of Veronica Atnip of Smithville.

Others in the pageant were Paige Cantrell, the 16 year old daughter of David and Angela Cantrell of Alexandria; Carlie Sullivan, the 16 year old daughter of Inga and Darrell Johnson of Liberty; Shauna Faith Taylor, the 16 year old daughter of Ken and Cindy Taylor of Smithville; Ashlee Michelle Whitehead, the 17 year old daughter of Keneth and Tina Whitehead of Smithville; Jasmine Marie Dimas, the 17 year old daughter of Lynda Hamilton and Juan Dimas of Smithville; Makayla Shea Funk, the 16 year old daughter of Amie Funk of Dowelltown; Haley Marie Hale, the 14 year old daughter of Chad and Melissa Hale of Smithville; and Jessica Diane Ball, the 17 year old daughter of Donald and Mary Lou Ball of Smithville.

(Second Photo From Top: Pictured Left to Right: Fall Fest: 4th runner-up Brittany Nicole Wilkerson, 2nd runner-up Kami Denise Bogle, Queen Lauren Ashley Medlin, 1st runner-up Zoe Elaine Whaley, 3rd runner-up Katie Sue Haggard)


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