Local News Articles

National Collection Week Upcoming for Operation Christmas Child (SEE VIDEO)

November 8, 2014
Dwayne Page
National Collection Week Upcoming for Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan's Purse is the world’s largest Christmas project that collects and distributes gift-filled shoeboxes for needy children around the world. Since 1993, more than 113 million boxes have been distributed in more than 130 countries. Each year, the project mobilizes more than 100,000 volunteers in the United States.

The week of November 17th through Monday, November 24th, 2014, is National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child. The drop-off/relay center for this area is located at the Indian Creek Baptist Church, 967 Hurricane Ridge Road, Smithville, Tennessee, and is a convenient place for churches, clubs, schools, businesses, and individuals to bring their filled shoe boxes. The center will be open, as follows:

Monday, November 17 through Friday, November 21 – 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 22 – 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 23 – 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Monday, November 24 - 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

You may select from the above dates and hours to deliver your filled shoe boxes to the center.

This holiday season you can experience the true meaning of Christmas with a child in need by simply packing your shoeboxes with toys, hygiene items, school supplies, and other small gifts.

For further information please contact:

Sue Puckett:615/597-7370 (office)
615/597-7325 (home)
615/464-7700 (cell)
suepuckett@dtccom.net (e-mail)

Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid with excellence to victims of war, natural disasters, disease, famine, poverty, and persecution in over 100 countries. The President and CEO is William “Franklin” Graham III, son of Billy Graham

Leadership DeKalb Class Embarks on Adult Leadership Enhancement Program

November 8, 2014
Dwayne Page
Leadership DeKalb Class of 2015

The Leadership DeKalb Class of 2015 has embarked on a year long program in adult leadership enhancement.

The 17th class of Leadership DeKalb is Beth Adcock, Smithville Police Department; Kalah Donnell, DeKalb Community Bank, Alexandria; Rich Goss, Cubmaster, Pack 347, Tractor Supply Co; Rhonda Harpole, Community Volunteer, DTC-TV host - State of the Arts; Todd Hasty, Premier Realty at Center Hill Lake; Andrea Kalina, Federal Mogul; Ale Maciel, DCHS student; Josh Issac, Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce & DeKalb Hospital; Jennifer Parrish, Smithville 1st United Methodist Church; Norene Puckett, DeKalb Co Drug Court; Becky Thompson, Middle Tennessee Natural Gas; Lydia Trail, DCHS student; and Mila Vazquez, DeKalb Hospital.

Leadership DeKalb is an adult leadership enhancement program. This program is for individuals who are or show the desire for the role of community trustees. Participants will study the county in-depth; strengthen leadership skills; and build a network of fellow leaders through Leadership DeKalb classmates, alumni, presenters, and current leaders in business, services and our community. Leadership DeKalb shapes our county’s future with knowledgeable, effective and active leaders.

Cannon County Lawyer to be Disbarred After Pleading Guilty to Theft Charge

November 7, 2014
Dwayne Page
Dale Peterson

An investigation by agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in a Cannon County attorney pleading guilty to theft and agreeing to disbarment for at least five years.

At the request of then-16th District Attorney General Bill Whitesell, TBI Special Agents began investigating Dale Peterson on July 16th. Peterson had been an attorney representing the Riverside Center medical facility in Woodbury. The services he provided included filing documents and paying filing fees on behalf of the facility. During the course of the investigation, agents learned that between March 2012 and July 2014, Peterson stopped filing documents with the Cannon County Clerk’s office and kept the filing fees for himself. As the investigation began, Peterson admitted his role in the theft and assisted agents in returning files to the Clerk’s office.

On Thursday, Peterson pled guilty in Cannon County to Theft over $1000 through a criminal information plea. He agreed to be disbarred from the practice of law for no fewer than five years and to pay restitution in the amount of $20,551. Peterson was booked at the Cannon County Sheriff’s Department after his court appearance.

SES Students Honor Local Veterans (SEE VIDEO)

November 7, 2014
Dwayne Page
Local Veterans
SES Students Honor Local Veterans

A Veterans Appreciation assembly program was held Friday morning at Smithville Elementary School in recognition of Veteran's Day.

Kelly Birmingham led students from pre-K to the second grade in singing "God Bless the USA" and other patriotic songs in honor of veterans who have served in each branch of the military.

Adrienne McCormick read the following "Veterans Day" poem by Cheryl Dyson:

"On Veterans Day we honor all,
Who answered to a service call,
Soldiers young, and soldiers old,
Fought for freedom, brave and bold
Some have lived, while others died,
And all of them deserve our pride,
We're proud of all the soldiers who,
Kept thinking of red, white, and blue,
They fought for us and all our rights,
They fought through many days and nights,
And though we may not know each name,
We thank ALL veterans just the same."

Veterans attending the program were:
Edsel Frazier, U.S. Army in World War II
Eric Atnip, U.S. Marine Corps in Desert Storm/Desert Shield
Walter Johnson, U.S. Army in the Korean War
Joe Goodwin, U.S. Army, a POW in Germany during World War II
James Spradley, U.S. Air Force in Vietnam
William Edmonds, U.S. Army in Vietnam
Paul Cantrell, U.S. Navy in Korea
Erin Vaughn, U.S. Army
Darrell Young, U.S. Navy
Gary Davis, U.S. Army in Vietnam
Don Rigsby, U.S. Air Force in Vietnam
James Cantrell, U.S. Air Force in Korean War
Edward Frazier, U.S. Army in World War II
Chad Polk, U.S. Army in Afghanistan and Iraq
Ronnie Redmon, U.S. Air Force in Vietnam
Alan Stengel, U.S. Navy and Air Force in Vietnam (USS Enterprise, USS Kitty Hawk, and USS Saratoga)
Connie Ketzner, U.S. Air Force
Scott Buckley, U.S. Navy in Desert Storm
Jimmy Sprague, U.S. Army in Operation Just Cause
William Russell, U.S. Marine Corps
Michael Hattaway, U.S. Air Force
Corbin Keith, U.S. Army in Korea and Vietnam Wars
Mark Collins, U.S. Air Force in Panama
Dale Pedigo, U.S. Army
Richard Widener, U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam
Melvin Young, U.S. Army in Vietnam
Clyde Thomas family. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War
Guy Mathis, U.S. Army in World War II. He received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star
Bill Winter, U.S. Army

Woman Airlifted After Wreck

November 7, 2014
Dwayne Page
Woman Airlifted After Wreck
45 year old Cynthia Smith Injured in Accident

A 45 year old woman was airlifted after a one vehicle wreck on Highway 56 south near Sink creek on Tuesday.

Trooper T.J. Withers of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Cynthia Smith was driving north on Highway 56 in a 2003 Dodge Durango when her vehicle went off the road, overturned and struck a utility pole guide wire. The Durango came to rest upright on an embankment.

According to Trooper Withers, Smith was forced to apply her brakes to avoid hitting a tractor trailer truck in front of her, which had to stop abruptly due to a motorist who had pulled out in front of him.

Smith was airlifted from near the scene and flown to Erlanger Hospital.

Members of DeKalb EMS, the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department, and the Sheriff's Department were also on site.

Smithville Police Department to Host Cops for Kids Christmas Party

November 6, 2014
Dwayne Page
Smithville Police Department to Host Cops for Kids Christmas Party

The Smithville Police Department would like to announce that they will be hosting their 3rd Annual Cops for Kids Christmas Party.

The event is held to provide relief around the Holidays for any family that may be going through a difficult time due to illness, loss of income or other circumstances. The goal of the event is to help lessen the stress on families and provide them with a fun evening of food, fellowship, gifts for their children and, of course, a visit from Santa. This event is by invitation only and anyone wishing to attend must fill out an application. Applications may be picked up at the Smithville Police Department or can be printed online at www.wjle.com.


Cops for Kids 2014.pdf (69.12 KB)

Applications must be turned in no later than Monday, December 1, 2014. They may be returned to the Smithville Police Department or mailed to SPD, Attn: Cops for Kids, 104 East Main Street, Smithville, TN 37166.

Anyone who would like to donate gifts may do so by bringing a new, unwrapped gift to the Smithville Police Department, Cash Express at 126 East Bryant Street in Smithville or the Dollar General Stores in Smithville and Dowelltown or you may give your donation directly to a City police officer. Deadline for donations is December 5, 2014.

For more information regarding applications, donations or general information, please contact Beth Adcock at 615-597-8210 extension 1.

Director Mark Willoughby and DCHS Named A.F. Bridges Award Winners

November 6, 2014
Dwayne Page
Mark Willoughby

The 2013-14 A.F. Bridges Awards were announced this week, recognizing 63 individuals and nine schools from across the state including Director of Schools Mark Willoughby and DeKalb County High School.

Director Willoughby was named "School Administrator of the Year" in Athletic District 4.

The A.F. Bridges Awards, named after the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association's first executive secretary, include awards for School Administrator of the Year, Principal of the Year, Athletic Director of the Year, Female Coach of the Year, Male Coach of the Year, Official of the Year and Contributor of the Year.

In addition to individual honors, the A.F. Bridges Divisional Awards are presented to schools that "have had no reported unsportsmanlike conduct incidents during the previous school year and have displayed an overall positive effort to teach, expect and demand a positive atmosphere of sportsmanship at their particular contests," according to the TSSAA. DeKalb County High School was among award winners in this category in Class AA.

"Being recognized for one of these awards as a school or individual should be seen as one of the highest honors in high school athletics in our state," TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress said. "Those who receive the awards truly reflect what high school athletics should be about, and that's good sportsmanship and good citizenship."

The awards are to be presented at this week's regional meetings.

Chamber Awarded CDBG Grant for Downtown Smithville

November 5, 2014
Dwayne Page
Chamber Awarded CDBG Grant for Downtown Smithville

The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce has been awarded a $25,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for downtown Smithville. The CDBG funding will be used for commercial façade improvements on the west side of the public square including new awnings and signs, painting, building repair and other upgrades. Chamber Director Suzanne Williams will begin training soon to learn the needed requirements set by the State.

“Community Development Block Grants play an important role in helping communities across Tennessee prepare for future economic development opportunities and continued growth,” Gov. Bill Haslam said. “Working with our communities in making these improvements helps bring us one step closer toward our goal to making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

“Community development sets the stage for burgeoning economic development and when a community invests in itself, the private sector is more likely to invest in it as well,” ECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty said. “I am pleased to see so many communities across the state eagerly taking steps not only to attract new business and encourage future growth, but also to create better living conditions for the families that reside there.”

The Chamber application process for West Public Square buildings (4th, West Walnut, West Main, West Market) should begin around the first of the year. The 75/25 grant match will allow property owners to apply for up to $2,000 per building in exterior improvements and receive up to $1,500 back. “So much has already been accomplished in downtown Smithville through our work with the Tennessee Downtowns Program, and we are very grateful for being awarded the CDBG grant and the opportunity to continue the downtown renovations,” says Williams. For more information, call the Chamber at 597-4163.

The CDBG program is administered in Tennessee by the Department of Economic and Community Development.

Pictured l-r:
Economic & Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty, State Senator Mae Beavers, Chamber Director Suzanne Williams, State Rep. Terrie Lynn Weaver, Governor Bill Haslam

Smithville Study Club Diamond Jubilee Celebration

November 5, 2014
Dwayne Page
Smithville Study Club

The Smithville Study Club celebrates a special milestone this year with seventy-five years of continual service to the community. President, Polly Payne, and members invited noted historian, Mr. Tommy Webb, to give an informative program about the group's history along with DeKalb Chamber Director, Mrs. Suzanne Williams who presented the group with a 75-Year Milestone Award for meritorious service to the community.

The club started on October 12, 1939, with twenty-six members who inspired the current members to continue supporting the local arts in the community and continue where these ladies began. The original club included ladies who loved to read and wanted to encourage others to broaden their horizons.

The first President elected was Mrs. Walter Burton, Sr. who served until 1941 with Mrs. Norval Webb Sr. as Vice-President. The group was instrumental in getting the first library organized. The members met in their homes until a permanent library, currently Justin Potter Library, of Smithville was built.

The preservation of Arts continues to be high priority for the group who have not only supported Justin Potter through the years, but have brought several art exhibits and musical venues to the park and other locales. The club sponsors the DeKalb Student Art Exhibit in the spring with the winners of this year's exhibit currently on display at J.L. Evins Appalachian Craft Center, and help with the Annual Storytelling Event as well as supporting young musicians and artists who are frequently invited to the club to perform.

Honorary members are Mrs. Evelyn Hodges and Mrs. Elizabeth LaFever, with Mrs. Melford Smith, deceased.

The celebration was held at the home of Mrs. Frankie Hagan with Mrs. Carol Darrah and Mrs. Imogene Dudney serving as hostesses. Refreshments including a celebration cake were provided by Mrs. Mary Nell Summers, Mrs. Patsy Nixon, Mrs. Janet Worfol, and Mrs. Margaret Faulkner. Musical selections were provided by Mrs. Susan Hinton. The committee who worked on the celebration was chaired by Mrs. Marsha Darrah. Guests for the event included Mr. and Mrs. Tommy Webb, Mrs. Sherry Bush, former President of the club, and Mrs. Janna Reid.

Healing Families Support Group Meets Weekly

November 5, 2014
Dwayne Page

Concerned about a friend or relative struggling with addiction? You're not alone. A support group now meets weekly and you are invited to participate

Healing Families is a support group sponsored by the DeKalb County Drug Court program for family members of loved ones battling addiction. It is located at Haven of Hope Counseling 612 S Congress Blvd Smithville, TN and Free to the Public! The support group meets Thursday’s at 5:30pm.
One of the most honorable of human instincts is the desire to help others, especially those who hold the closest spots in our hearts. Parents want to help their children achieve success in school. Spouses want to help each other through all the challenges that life brings their way. Friends want to help each other in their professions or in other personal relationships. Unfortunately, though, this well-meaning gesture can implode disastrously when addiction is part of the equation.

When you help someone, you do something for them that they are not capable of doing themselves. However, when you enable someone, you do for them something they could and should be doing for themselves. In simple terms, when you enable someone who is suffering from addiction (whether drugs or alcohol) you are creating an atmosphere in which the addict can comfortably continue in their improper behavior.

Karen Khaleghi, Ph.D. writes in The Anatomy of Addiction, “By stepping in to “solve” the addict’s problems, the enabler takes away any motivation for the addict to take responsibility for his or her own actions. Without that motivation, there is little reason for the addict to change. Enablers help addicts dig themselves deeper into trouble. If the person suffering from addiction that you are enabling is in treatment, then you, too, should take part in the process. If they are not in treatment, you should explore your own issues, either with a personal counselor or through a support group. Don’t help the people you care about dig their own graves!”


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