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DeKalb Fire Dept reminds you to change your clock and change your smoke alarm battery this weekend

March 8, 2021
By: Dwayne Page

Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 14 and while you are changing your clocks, the DeKalb County Fire Department wants to remind you to also change batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. The message is simple and it’s easy to do. Please take a few minutes to make sure life-saving alarms have fresh batteries so you, your family, and your home are protected.

Lieutenant Dustin Johnson, the DeKalb County Fire Department’s Fire Prevention and Safety Officer, reminds DeKalb County residents that after batteries are changed in alarms, take a few extra minutes to test your alarms and remind family, friends, and neighbors to do the same. Not all smoke alarms have batteries that have to be replaced each year. Some newer model alarms have batteries that last up to 10 years. However, it is still very important to test and clean your alarms. You can clean and maintain them simply by using compressed air to remove dust residue that accumulates on alarms that can cause the alarm’s sensor to not operate properly.

Eighty percent of child fire fatalities occur in homes without working smoke alarms. It’s a tragic statistic that can be prevented. Changing smoke alarm batteries at least once a year, testing those alarms, and reminding others to do the same are some of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries. “The vast majority of our house fires happen between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most families are sleeping,” said Lt. Johnson. “Smoke alarm installation and maintenance is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths. Children and senior citizens are most at risk, and a working smoke alarm can give them the extra seconds they need to get out safely.”

“A working smoke detector doubles your chance of surviving a home fire. So, why would you not want you and your family to have this protection?” For more information about fire safety, visit the DeKalb County Fire Department’s FaceBook Group page or the department’s website at

DeKalb-Cannon County Producers Urged to Consider Risk Protection Coverage before March 15 Sales Closing Deadline

March 8, 2021

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds producers of commercial fruits and vegetables they must file application for Noninsured Crop Assistance Disaster (NAP) Program coverage by the March 15, 2021 final sales closing date for the following crops: green beans, sweet corn, tomatoes, potatoes okra, squash, peas, pumpkins, peppers, watermelons, cucumbers, cantaloupes and hemp

Donny Green, County Executive Director DeKalb-Cannon County Farm Service Agency

NAP provides catastrophic level (CAT) coverage based on the amount of loss that exceeds 50 percent of expected production at 55 percent of the average market price for the crop. The 2018 Farm Bill authorizes additional coverage levels ranging from 50 to 65 percent of production, in 5 percent increments, at 100 percent of the average market price. Additional coverage must be elected by a producer by the application closing date. Producers who elect additional coverage must pay a premium in addition to the service fee. Crops intended for grazing are not eligible for additional coverage.

Eligible producers must apply for coverage using form CCC-471, “Application for Coverage,” and pay the applicable service fee at the FSA office. The application and service fee must be filed by the application closing date. For all coverage levels, the NAP service fee is the lesser of $325 per crop or $825 per producer per administrative county, not to exceed a total of $1,950. Producers can elect increases coverage for additional premiums.

Beginning, limited resource, socially disadvantaged and qualifying veterans are eligible for a waiver of the service fee and a 50 percent premium reduction when they file form CCC-860. A “beginning farmer” is defined as a person who has not operated a farm for more than 10 years, and materially and substantially participates in the operation. For 2021, in DeKalb and Cannon counties, a “limited resource farmer” is defined as having gross farm sales less than or equal to $180,300 per year in each of the tax years 2018 and 2019 and less than $29,106 (Cannon Co.) or $26,614 (DeKalb Co.) in total household adjusted gross income each tax year 2018 and 2019. A “socially disadvantaged farmer” is defined as a farmer who is a member of groups such as: American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Asians, Asian Americans, Blacks, African Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, and Women. A “veteran farmer” is defined as a farmer who has served in the Armed Forces and has operated a farm for less than 10 years, or first obtained status as a veteran during the most recent 10-year period.

For additional program details, contact the DeKalb/Cannon County Farm Service Agency, located at 647 Bright Hill Rd., or phone the office at 597-8225, extension 2.

Burn Permits Required Through May 15

March 8, 2021

With the snow and ice behind us, warmer weather is springing up across the state. That’s a sign it’s time for yard and farm clean-up. With debris burning a useful tool to get rid of yard waste, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry is reminding citizens that if they plan to burn outdoors, a burn permit is required through May 15 in most counties.

“Debris burning can be a good tool for residents to clean up their yards, farms, and rural properties of vegetative waste,” State Forester David Arnold said. “We encourage all residents to use caution while conducting a burn. Free burn permits can quickly be obtained online any day, and are our way of communicating with landowners when, where, and how to burn safely.”

Materials that can be burned include leaves, branches, tree limbs, twigs, and other woody vegetation and yard trimmings gathered on site.

Debris Burn Permits for leaf and brush piles of any size are available online at no charge. For broadcast burning, such as forestry, agricultural, and land clearing, call your local Division of Forestry burn permit phone number Mon. through Fri., 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The online system for permits and phone numbers can be found at

Permits are issued only when conditions are conducive to safe burning. If you live inside city limits, there may be additional restrictions. Check with your municipality before you burn.

A list of materials that may not be burned can be found in the open burning guidelines from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation at

Burning without a permit is a serious offense that can result in a fine and/or up to 30 days in jail. To report illegal burning, please call 1-888-891-TDEC. If you have information about an intentionally-set fire, call the Tennessee Arson Hotline number at 1-800-762-3017. The hotline is answered 24-hours a day, and you may remain anonymous when providing information. You could earn a cash reward from the Tennessee Advisory Committee on Arson and the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Visit for additional tips to burn safely and to protect your community.

The Division of Forestry protects Tennessee’s forests by fighting wildfires, coordinating hazard emergency response, providing prescribed fire guidance and contract services, as well as wildland fire training. Additionally, the Division promotes the responsible use of forest resources by assisting landowners, providing quality seedlings, monitoring insects and diseases, improving urban forests, managing state forests, protecting water quality, and collecting forest inventory data. The Division also works to promote primary and secondary forest industries to stimulate the state’s economy. Visit for more information.

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