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Local News Articles

Two Injured in Saturday Crash

July 3, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Two Injured in Saturday Crash near Ford dealership on West Broad Street
2012 GMC Terrain struck a metal utility pole on West Broad Street

Two people were injured after their 2012 GMC Terrain struck a metal utility pole on West Broad Street Saturday morning near the ford dealership.

The driver, 67 year old James Taylor of Smithville and a passenger, 39 year old Shannon Taylor were taken by DeKalb EMS to St. Thomas DeKalb Hospital.

According to Trooper T.J. Withers of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Taylor was driving west when his vehicle left the highway to the right and then struck the curb and the pole. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

In addition to Trooper Withers and DeKalb EMS, members of the Smithville Police and Fire Departments were also on the scene to render assistance.

Ivy Phillips Crowned Grand Champion Fiddler at 45th Jamboree

July 2, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Grand Champion Fiddler Ivy Phillips Receives Berry C. Williams Memorial Award from Fiddlers' Jamboree Coordinator Jack Barton
Junior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Ages up to 39): First Place-Hillary Klug of Shelbyville
Senior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Tommy Scruggs, Jr. of Hartsville
Senior Buck Dancing (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Thomas Maupin of Murfreesboro;
Senior Clogging (Ages 40 & Over): First Place-Tammy Scruggs of Hartsville
Bluegrass Banjo: First Place-Joey Gipson of Manchester
Junior Fiddlers (Ages 13-39): First Place-Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro
Flat Top Guitar: First Place- Tyler Andal of Nashville
Contest Fiddle (Neil Dudney Award): First Place- Ivy Phillips. Presented to Phillips by Dudney's grandsons Ethan, Brandon, and Dylan Shaw.
Bluegrass Band: First Place- Tennessee Bluegrass of Dyersburg
Senior Fiddlers ( Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Gail Johnson of Lavergne

The Grand Champion Fiddler of the 45th annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival is Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro, Tennessee.

She won the Berry C. Williams Memorial Award Saturday night after the Grand Finale Fiddle-Off between the best Junior and Senior Fiddler. The two day festival came to a close at around 10:30 p.m.

Phillips made it to the fiddle off by winning the Junior Fiddling competition and she won the Grand Championship by beating the winner of the Senior Fiddling contest Gail Johnson of Lavergne.

Phillips is also a two time Jamboree fiddling champion of the National Championship for Country Musician Beginners in 2012 and 2013.

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

Junior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Ages up to 39): First Place-Hillary Klug of Shelbyville; Second Place- Chris Stewart of Hermitage; and Third Place- Justin Yates of Adams, Tennessee.

Senior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Tommy Scruggs, Jr. of Hartsville; Second Place- Thomas Maupin of Murfreesboro; and Third Place- Danny Campbell of Murfreesboro.

Senior Buck Dancing (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Thomas Maupin of Murfreesboro; Second Place- Danny Campbell of Murfreesboro; and Third Place- Ruth Alpert of Santa Barbara, California.

Senior Clogging (Ages 40 & Over): First Place-Tammy Scruggs of Hartsville; Second Place- Darrin Stryker of Crossville; and Third Place- Sherry Guenther of Monterey.

Bluegrass Banjo: First Place-Joey Gipson of Manchester; Second Place-Kurt Stephenson of Dyersburg; and Third Place- Garry Adams of Joelton.

Junior Fiddlers (Ages 13-39): First Place-Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro; Second Place- Maddie Denton of Murfreesboro; and Third Place- Tyler Andal of Nashville.

Flat Top Guitar: First Place- Tyler Andal of Nashville; Second Place- Daniel Amick of Centerville; and Third Place-Rob Pearcy of Smyrna.

Contest Fiddle (Neil Dudney Award): First Place- Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro; Second Place- Maddie Denton of Murfreesboro; and Third Place- Hillary Klug of Shelbyville. The Neil Dudney Award was presented to Phillips by Dudney's grandsons Ethan, Brandon, and Dylan Shaw.

Bluegrass Band: First Place- Tennessee Bluegrass of Dyersburg; Second Place- Pocket Change of Murfreesboro; and Third Place-Blue Hart of Chapmansboro.

Senior Fiddlers ( Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Gail Johnson of Lavergne; Second Place- Marcia Denton of Murfreesboro; and Third Place- Tim Daniels of Lawrenceburg

Square Dancing: First Place-Rocky Top Revue of Franklin; Second Place- Harpeth River of Franklin ; and Third Place- Main Stage Fusion of Springfield.

Meanwhile, for the second year in a row, a Nashville boy has won the top Jamboree award as the best fiddler in the National Championship for Country Musician Beginners. (VIEW SEPARATE STORY FOR PHOTOS OF WINNERS)

Giri Peters was crowned the Grand Champion fiddler Saturday and won the coveted James G. "Bobo" Driver Memorial Award, named for the man who started the children's competition during the 1980's as part of the annual Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival. Members of the Driver family made the award presentation including Driver's grandson Robin Driver, grand daughter Kim Luton, and great grandchildren Russell Ambrose, Kiana Driver, and Jamie Driver.

In addition to winning the top fiddler prize, Peters also captured first place in the Dobro Guitar, Mandolin, and Flat Top Guitar competition.

Peters also repeated as the "Entertainer of the Year". The award is presented to the best overall instrumental entertainer among winners in the dobro guitar, mandolin, five string banjo, and flat top guitar competition.

The National Championship for Country Musician Beginners showcases the talents of children up to age twelve in seven categories of competition.

This year's winners are as follows:

Fiddle: First Place- Giri Peters of Nashville; Second Place- Mary Parker of Mountain View, Arkansas; and Third Place- Iris Shepherd of Henry, Tennessee

Buck Dancing: First Place- Kaelin Wade of Paris, Tennessee; Second Place- Braden Chunn of Greenbrier, and Third Place- Gracie Parrish of Pleasant View

Clogging: First Place- Braden Chunn of Greenbrier, Second Place- Gracie Parrish of Pleasant View, and Third Place- Kaelin Wade of Paris, Tennessee.

Dobro Guitar: First Place- Giri Peters of Nashville; Second Place- Maddie McKenney of Cullman, Alabama; and Third Place- Uma Peters of Nashville

Mandolin: First Place-Giri Peters of Nashville; Second Place-Mary Parker of Mountain View, Arkansas; and Third Place- Braden Chunn of Greenbrier.

Five String Banjo: First Place- Uma Peters of Nashville; Second Place- Conner Derryberry of Shelbyville; and Third Place- Cooper Brown of Smithville

Flat Top Guitar: First Place- Giri Peters of Nashville; Second Place- Robert Wheeler of Smithville; and Third Place- Gordon Parker of Mountain View, Arkansas

Peters Repeats as Jamboree Beginners Fiddling Champion

July 2, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Giri Peters Receives James G. “BoBo” Driver Memorial Award from members of Driver family. Pictured: Russell Ambrose, Kim Luton,  Giri Peters, Robin Driver, Kiana Driver, and Jamie Driver
Buck Dancing: First Place- Kaelin Wade of Paris, Tennessee
Clogging: First Place- Braden Chunn of Greenbrier
Dobro Guitar: First Place- Giri Peters of Nashville
Mandolin: First Place-Giri Peters of Nashville
Five String Banjo: First Place- Uma Peters of Nashville
Flat Top Guitar: First Place- Giri Peters of Nashville

For the second year in a row, a Nashville boy has won the top Jamboree award as the best fiddler in the National Championship for Country Musician Beginners.

Giri Peters was crowned the Grand Champion fiddler Saturday and won the coveted James G. "Bobo" Driver Memorial Award, named for the man who started the children's competition during the 1980's as part of the annual Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival. Members of the Driver family made the award presentation including Driver's grandson Robin Driver, grand daughter Kim Luton, and great grandchildren Russell Ambrose, Kiana Driver, and Jamie Driver.

In addition to winning the top fiddler prize, Peters also captured first place in the Dobro Guitar, Mandolin, and Flat Top Guitar competition.

Peters also repeated as the "Entertainer of the Year". The award is presented to the best overall instrumental entertainer among winners in the dobro guitar, mandolin, five string banjo, and flat top guitar competition.

The National Championship for Country Musician Beginners showcases the talents of children up to age twelve in seven categories of competition.

This year's winners are as follows:

Fiddle: First Place- Giri Peters of Nashville; Second Place- Mary Parker of Mountain View, Arkansas; and Third Place- Iris Shepherd of Henry, Tennessee

Buck Dancing: First Place- Kaelin Wade of Paris, Tennessee; Second Place- Braden Chunn of Greenbrier, and Third Place- Gracie Parrish of Pleasant View

Clogging: First Place- Braden Chunn of Greenbrier, Second Place- Gracie Parrish of Pleasant View, and Third Place- Kaelin Wade of Paris, Tennessee.

Dobro Guitar: First Place- Giri Peters of Nashville; Second Place- Maddie McKenney of Cullman, Alabama; and Third Place- Uma Peters of Nashville

Mandolin: First Place-Giri Peters of Nashville; Second Place-Mary Parker of Mountain View, Arkansas; and Third Place- Braden Chunn of Greenbrier.

Five String Banjo: First Place- Uma Peters of Nashville; Second Place- Conner Derryberry of Shelbyville; and Third Place- Cooper Brown of Smithville

Flat Top Guitar: First Place- Giri Peters of Nashville; Second Place- Robert Wheeler of Smithville; and Third Place- Gordon Parker of Mountain View, Arkansas

Fiddlers Jamboree Craft Awards Presented

July 2, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jason and Lora Coons of Moss, Tennessee received the "Best of Show" award for their display of custom metal signs
Jenn Cole of Cookeville was presented the "Best Appalachian Craft" award for her display of functional Handmade Pottery
"Best Newcomer" Award went to Siera Sins and Sandra Phillips of Sparta for their Pistols & Posies Fashionable Handcrafted designs, accessories, and Bangle Bracelets
Gary Keeble of Dalton, Georgia received the "Best Display" award for his photography on canvas.

The annual Fiddler's Jamboree Craft Awards were presented Saturday

Jason and Lora Coons of Moss, Tennessee received the "Best of Show" award for their display of custom metal signs
.
Meanwhile, Jenn Cole of Cookeville was presented the "Best Appalachian Craft" award for her display of functional Handmade Pottery .

The "Best Newcomer" Award went to Siera Sins and Sandra Phillips of Sparta for their Pistols & Posies Fashionable Handcrafted designs, accessories, and Bangle Bracelets.

Gary Keeble of Dalton, Georgia received the "Best Display" award for his photography on canvas.

The awards were presented by Emma Adkins, the Fiddler's Jamboree Director of Crafts along with Olivia Norton and Ellie Adkins.

(TOP PHOTO)
BEST OF SHOW: Jason and Lora Coons for their custom metal signs
PICTURED: Olivia Norton, Jason, Abby, and Lora Coons, and Emma and Ellie Adkins

(SECOND PHOTO FROM TOP)
BEST APPALACHIAN CRAFT: Jenn Cole of Cookeville was presented the "Best Appalachian Craft" award for her display of functional Handmade Pottery .
PICTURED: Olivia Norton, Jenn Cole, and Ellie and Emma Adkins

(THIRD PHOTO FROM TOP)
BEST NEWCOMER AWARD went to Siera Sins and Sandra Phillips of Sparta for their Pistols & Posies Fashionable Handcrafted designs, accessories, and Bangle Bracelets
PICTURED: Ellie and Emma Adkins, Siera Sins, and Olivia Norton

(BOTTOM PHOTO)
BEST DISPLAY: Gary Keeble of Dalton, Georgia received the "Best Display" award for his photography on canvas.
PICTURED: Emma and Ellie Adkins, Gary Keeble, and Olivia Norton

New Course Record Set at Fiddler 5K and One-Mile Fun Run

July 2, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page

37 year old Brian Shelton was the overall winner of the 18th annual fiddler 5K and One-Mile Fun Run Saturday and he set a new course record at 16:12.

Meanwhile Kristen VanVranken won the race among females. She ran the course in 20:23

Winners in other categories were:

TOP MALE MASTERS (Age 40 and older): Sean Edwards at 19:21
TOP FEMALE MASTERS (Age 40 and older): Kendra Faith Edwards at 24:53

One-Mile Fun Run (age 12 and younger) winner:
TOP MALE: Conner Vance of Smithville at 6:47
TOP FEMALE: Bella Bryson of Woodbury at 8:19

The 18th Annual Fiddler 5K and One-Mile Fun Run featured 321 participants.

Funds raised will support Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County

Performers Jam Past Midnight on Opening Day of Fiddlers Jamboree

July 2, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
 State Representatives Terri Lynn Weaver and Mark Pody presented a US flag  flown over the state capitol to John and Thelma Austin from Ramsey East Anglia, England
 State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver presented flag flown over the state capitol to John Sadler from Seattle Washington
Old Time Appalachian Folk Singing (Solo): Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro, Tennessee
Junior Clogging (Ages 13-39):Chris Stewart of Hermitage
Junior Buck Dancing (Ages 13-39):Justin Yates of Adams
Old Time Appalachian Folksinging (Duet, Trio, Quartet):The McKenneys of Cullman, Alabama
Dobro Guitar:Rob Pearcy of Smyrna
Mountain Dulcimer:Rob Pearcy of Smyrna
Hammer Dulcimer:Mack Garner of Walland, Tennessee
Novelty Event:Josiah Tyree of Carthage
Autoharp:Austin Derryberry of Shelbyville
Gospel Singing (Solo):Kelcy Tomlin of Springfield
Country Harmonica:Tyler Martelli of Chattanooga
Old Time Banjo:Josiah Tyree of Carthage
Youth Square Dancing:-Explosion of Springfield
Gospel Singing (Duet, Trio, & Quartet):The McKenneys of Cullman, Alabama
Mandolin:Tyler Andal of Nashville
Old Time Fiddle Band:Slim Chance Band of Smyrna

Performers picked, sang, and danced all day Friday until around 12:30 a.m. Saturday morning during the first day of the 45th annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival.

State Representatives Terri Lynn Weaver and Mark Pody presented flags flown over the state capitol to persons who traveled the greatest distances inside and outside the country to get here. John Sadler from Seattle Washington received a Tennessee State flag. John and Thelma Austin from Ramsey East Anglia, England were presented a United States flag

Following a Jamboree welcome Friday evening from Coordinator Jack Barton and an introduction of local public officials, the Community Chorus entertained the crowd with a patriotic program.

Preliminaries were held in sixteen categories of music and dance competition followed by the finals featuring the top three acts in each event.

The following are the winners in each category:

*Old Time Appalachian Folk Singing (Solo):
First Place-Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro, Tennessee
Second Place- Amanda McKenney of Cullman, Alabama
Third Place-Jennie Coppinger of McMinnville

*Junior Clogging (Ages 13-39):
First Place-Chris Stewart of Hermitage
Second Place Gary Giles of Franklin
Third Place-Justin Yates of Adams, Tennessee

*Junior Buck Dancing (Ages 13-39):
First Place- Justin Yates of Adams
Second Place-Amanda Herron of Algood
Third Place-Shelby Dunn of Fairview

*Old Time Appalachian Folksinging (Duet, Trio, Quartet)
First Place- - The McKenneys of Cullman, Alabama
Second Place- Kelcy and Sierra Tomlin of Springfield
Third Place-Harvey Brown of Beechgrove

*Dobro Guitar:
First Place-Rob Pearcy of Smyrna
Second Place-Joey Gipson of Manchester
Third Place-Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro

*Mountain Dulcimer:
First Place-Rob Pearcy of Smyrna
Second Place-Daniel Amick of Centerville
Third Place-Lailah Valentine of Guntown, Mississippi

*Hammer Dulcimer:
First Place-Mack Garner of Walland, Tennessee

*Novelty Event:
First Place- Josiah Tyree of Carthage
Second Place-Hillary Klug of Shelbyville
Third Place-Joey and Daniel of Manchester

*Autoharp:
First Place- Austin Derryberry of Shelbyville
Second Place-Bill Rothe of Estill Springs
Third Place-Deanna Mathis of Watertown

*Gospel Singing (Solo):
First Place-Kelcy Tomlin of Springfield
Second Place- Addie Cooksey of Cedar Hill
Third Place-Cara DiGiovanni of Greenbrier

*Country Harmonica:
First Place- Tyler Martelli of Chattanooga
Second Place- Micah McCreary of Section, Alabama
Third Place- Daniel Amick of Centerville

*Old Time Banjo:
First Place- Josiah Tyree of Carthage
Second Place- Tyler Andal of Nashville
Third Place- Austin Derryberry of Shelbyville

*Youth Square Dancing:
First Place-Explosion of Springfield
Second Place- Main Stage Revolution of Mt. Juliet
Third Place-Little Texas of Franklin

*Gospel Singing (Duet, Trio, & Quartet):
First Place- The McKenneys of Cullman, Alabama
Second Place- Ivy and Cara of Chapmansboro
Third Place- Mountain Cove Bluegrass Band of Signal Mountain

*Mandolin:
First Place-Tyler Andal of Nashville
Second Place- Daniel Amick of Centerville
Third Place-Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro

*Old Time Fiddle Band:
First Place-Slim Chance Band of Smyrna
Second Place-Notorious Pick-Flickers of Shelbyville
Third Place- String Cats of Nashville

The Fiddler's Jamboree resumes at 9:00 a.m. today with preliminaries in the following categories:

*Junior Old Time Appalachian Flatfoot dance (ages up to 39)

*Senior Old Time Appalachian Flatfoot dance ( ages 40 and over)

*Senior Buckdancing (ages 40 and over)

*Senior Clogging (ages 40 and over)

*Bluegrass Banjo

*Junior Fiddlers (ages 13-39)

*Flat Top Guitar

*Contest Fiddle for the Neil Dudney Award

*Bluegrass Band*

*Senior Fiddlers (ages 40 and over)

*Square Dancing (4 Couples-8 Total Dancers).

Preliminaries will be held in each event and then the top three finalists will be called back tonight to compete for first, second, and third place.

The winners of the Junior and Senior Fiddling competition will square off for the Grand Champion Award, the Berry C. Williams Memorial Trophy at the conclusion of the festival.

The Jamboree Blue Blaze Award will be presented at 6:00 p.m. to recognize a musician that is actively cultivating a love of bluegrass music. This year’s winner is Danny Roberts, a member of the Bluegrass music group “The Grascals”, a former Fiddlers Jamboree performer.

Meanwhile, the National Championship for Country Musician Beginners will be held this afternoon during the Jamboree featuring competitions for children, up to age twelve, in the categories of Buck Dancing, Clogging, Dobro Guitar, Mandolin, Five String Banjo, Flat Top Guitar, and Fiddle.

Preliminaries will be held in each event and then the top three finalists will be brought back to compete for first, second, and third place.

WJLE will broadcast the on-stage entertainment LIVE on AM 1480/ FM 101.7 and LIVE streaming at www.wjle.com.

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

Second Round of Litter Pickup Begins on State Highways

July 1, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Second Round of Litter Pickup Begins on State Highways (WJLE Photo)

For several years the county has received an annual litter grant from the state to compensate the sheriff's department for providing roadside pickup of litter on county roads using inmate labor. This year, the state has also provided grant funds for litter pickup on state roads in DeKalb County.

The second round of litter pickup has begun .

“We have started our second round of litter pickup on our state roads. The mowers are supposed to be here July 18. You’ll see our correctional officers out with our inmates. We ask everybody to use caution when they see our orange signs with flags on them which say “inmates are working up ahead picking up litter”. We ask everyone to slow down and pay attention. There could be inmates on both sides of the road or just one side of the road. We just ask everybody to be aware and slow down,” said Sheriff Patrick Ray.

The first round of the litter pickup on state roads was conducted in the spring after the state grant was awarded.

"In April we were able to get an additional grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation where we can pick up litter on state roadways here in our county," said Sheriff Ray. "The grant pays for three cycles of litter pickup each year with an optional fourth cycle if needed and the grant awarded us enough money that we could hire a full time employee and use him for other things when he is not picking up trash out in the county. We can use him to help non profit organizations such as food pantries, the fair, the Jamboree, and other things that are non profit. We help some of our local churches do things and take care of cemeteries that have been abandoned. It opens up more opportunities for us to get out in our community and help people,” he said.

This grant covers over 100 miles of listed state roadways. These roads are Sparta Highway, Nashville Highway, Cookeville Highway, McMinnville Highway, Keltonburg Road, Antioch Road, Belk Road, New Home Road, Short Mountain Highway, Murfreesboro Highway, Dale Ridge Road, Wolf Creek Road, Medley Amonett Road, Temperance Hall Road, and Lancaster Highway. We are using inmate labor to pick up the trash on the state roads just like we do with our county roads litter grant program. We already have a separate contract for county roads that we’ve had for many years,” he said.

Sheriff Ray offers some safety tips for motorists who may approach these litter pickup work zones. These simple tips could save your life or the life of a worker in one of the litter zones.

*Always think orange. When you see orange signs, cones, or barrels, expect a roadside work zone ahead.

*Stay alert. Look for narrow driving lanes and highway workers ahead.

*Pay attention. Work zone signs will tell you exactly what to expect ahead.

*Don't follow too closely. Maintain a safe distance on all sides of your vehicle.

*Minimize distractions. Drivers should keep their eyes on the roadway especially in a work zone.

*Do not talk on a cell phone or adjust your radio while in one of these zones.

*Slow down. You may encounter slowed or stopped traffic in an instant or encounter workers on or beside of the roadway.

You will know you are entering into a litter pickup zone when you see orange signs that say "Litter Pickup Ahead".

Motorists Asked Not to Block Roads at Fireworks Shows

July 1, 2016
by: 
Dwayne Page
Motorists Asked Not to Block Roads at Fireworks Shows

Sheriff Patrick Ray is asking for your cooperation if you plan to attend any of the fireworks shows planned for this weekend around Center Hill Lake.

“If you are driving to a fireworks show, please do not park in the roadway near these events. We must keep roads open at all times especially for law enforcement, fire, and ambulance personnel who might be called to respond to an emergency. Any vehicle found parked in the roadway or blocking traffic in any manner will be towed at the owner’s expense. We plan to have deputies at all fireworks shows on the lake this weekend,” said Sheriff Ray.

“Thank you for your cooperation and have a happy and safe 4th of July weekend”, he concluded.

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