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DCHS Quarterback Axel Aldino Selected for TACA All-Star Combine

October 20, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

DCHS Senior Quarterback Axel Aldino has been selected to participate in the Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association All-Star Combine in December.

This event replaces the East-West All-Star game this year due to the COVID-19 virus. It will take place at Oakland High School on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020.

Aldino has led the Tigers in compiling a 6-3 record and the program’s first ever regular season region championship at 3-0. Aldino has rushed for 10 touchdowns and thrown for 21 TD’s this season.

The All-Star Combine, in the NFL-styled combine, is designed to help high school football seniors showcase their talents on the gridiron, and is the latest project developed by the Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association. The day-long event is scheduled to take place at Oakland High School in Murfreesboro on Wednesday, Dec. 9. No less than 100 of the state’s top senior players will be selected by high school coaches this fall to participate in the event.

TSSAA’s COVID-19 regulations and guidelines will play a major role in the combine.

Every measure will be used to help ensure the safety of both coaches and players throughout the experience.

“For many years, our organization (T.A.C.A.) has sponsored the state’s premier all-star game,” explained Bill Marbet, TACA’s Executive Director. “We’ve hosted 88 of the state’s top senior football players at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville at our annual East-West All-Star Classic,” added Marbet.

This year’s corona virus, however, has made it extremely difficult to host an all-star game. But the virus has not stopped the high school coaching organization from doing all it can to help senior football players gain a college education through the game they all love.

“Most of the camps and combines that generally give high school players an opportunity to show off their abilities on the football field were not held this past spring and summer,” continued Marbet.

“We plan on having some of the most highly sought after players in our state in attendance at this event,” Marbet went on to say. “But the combine will also have in attendance several other players who all-to-often slip through the cracks where the recruiting game is concerned. It’s our goal to showcase as many of the state’s top seniors as possible,” he added.

Marbet went on to say that the organization looks forward to returning to Clarksville and Austin Peay State University next year for the 2021 East-West All-Star Classic. “We’re also excited about providing a new event to showcase our state’s top football players. Our goal all along has been to assist these athletes in furthering their education through athletics.”

College coaches from multiple states and multiple levels are expected to be in attendance at the day-long event. Coach Ingle Martin of Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville will head up the West staff. Leading the East staff will be Trey Perry, head coach at Mt. Juliet High School.

Early Vote Count Through Tuesday Stands at 2,144

October 19, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

Over 2,100 people have cast ballots early in DeKalb County for the November 3 election.

According to the DeKalb County Election Commission 326 voted Tuesday including 317 in person and 9 by absentee for a six day total of 2,144.

Voting totals for the previous five days were as follows:

Wednesday, October 14- 528 cast ballots including 287 in person and 241 by absentee.

Thursday, October 15 – 320 voted including 303 in person and 17 absentees

Friday, October 16- 340 including 336 in person and 4 absentees

Saturday, October 17- 268 including 247 in person and 21 absentees

Monday, October 19- 362 which was 346 in person (including Webb House residents) and 16 absentees.

Early Voting is underway through October 29 in the first floor courtroom of the courthouse.

Early voting hours are as follows:

Mondays 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Tuesdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Wednesdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Thursdays 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. (except the last Thursday, Oct. 29 when the hours will be 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.)

Fridays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (except the last Friday, October 23 when the hours will be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

Saturdays 9 a.m. to Noon.

Also, safeguards will be in place to help protect both workers and voters during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ETSU student pharmacist from Smithville named AHEC Scholar

October 19, 2020

Seven student pharmacists at the East Tennessee State University Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy including one from Smithville have been accepted into the prestigious Tennessee Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Scholars Program, an interprofessional training opportunity designed to develop a diverse, culturally sensitive health care workforce that is well equipped to offer quality care, particularly to rural and underserved populations.

Martha Leigh Martin-Gibbs of Smithville is among the ETSU student pharmacists, all members of the Class of 2022. The others are Jacquelyn Crawford, from Church Hill; Kristen Friend, Morristown; Savannah Mackie, Russell, Kentucky; Kaitlyn Phillips, Erwin; Kaitlyn Price, Church Hill; and Sydney Tabor, Pikeville, Kentucky.

“We are so proud of these students for earning this honor,” said Dr. Debbie Byrd, dean of Gatton College of Pharmacy. “The AHEC Scholars Program is directly in line with our values and mission at the college to prepare progressive, team-oriented pharmacists who improve health care, focusing on rural and underserved communities. I look forward to seeing the impact these students make in their pharmacy careers in the Appalachian Highlands and beyond.”

The program is part of a national initiative that includes 40 hours of team-based, interprofessional clinical experience and 40 hours of didactic learning focused on six core topics: patient-centered clinical practice transformation, interprofessional education, cultural competence, social determinants of health, behavioral health integration and current/emerging health issues. After two years of formal involvement, scholars are asked to remain connected to the program as their professional journeys continue.

“My life mission has always been to ‘be the change I wanted to see in the world,’ and I have always enjoyed serving the underserved,” said Crawford. “This is what led me to pharmacy school and now to the AHEC Scholar program. I am so excited to have been selected for this honor, and I can’t wait to use what I am learning in our interprofessional teams to provide individualized patient care to the underserved of our region.”

“I am excited to be selected as a participant and believe this will be a great addition to my training here at Gatton on my path to become a pharmacist who effectively delivers patient-centered care within an interprofessional team,” said Price.

Learn more about the program at and Gatton College of Pharmacy at

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