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DTC’s Efforts in Building World Class Fiber Optic Network Paying Off Today

September 27, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

Since implementing a plan a few years ago to build a world class fiber optic network in its service area, DTC Communications has made significant progress toward that goal and today more customers are taking advantage of it.

In his address during the annual meeting Saturday, Chris Townson, CEO of DTC Communications, commended the Board of Directors for their foresight and commitment to rebuilding the network with fiber optic technology. A decision that has paid off in many ways especially during the COVID-19 pandemic that no one could have envisioned when the project began.

“I stand before you today to report that your cooperative continues to move forward as we connect thousands of local residents and businesses to a world-class fiber optic network at an affordable price. This is great news, because never has the need for broadband connectivity been more important or more recognized than it is today,” said Townson.

“Just one year ago, none of us could have predicted a global pandemic or the disruption it would have caused all across the world. In our own communities, we saw its effects on businesses, schools, governments, and even in our homes. Our means of connectivity shifted in many ways to rely more and more on digital platforms”.

“I don’t think we could have dreamed of conducting most of our business, educating our children, or even going to the doctor or church virtually, but most of us have done one or more of these in some form or another recently. And during these tough times, the human need for connectivity did not change – it just became more apparent”.

“I am proud to report that this board of directors was looking out for the people in our area when they had the foresight just a few years ago to take the measured risk to rebuild our network with fiber optics. Their decision is already paying off today. Their service to this cooperative and the communities it serves has been proven as a critical one as we have seen our broadband internet usage increase over 200% in the past year. Additionally, the use of broadband for educating our kids and entertaining our families increased dramatically. All the while, working from home became the most used application on our network. If I may, being connected has become serious
business. And that is why we continue to build and connect each member as quickly as feasible”.

“In his address, Mr. (Roy Nelson) Pugh, DTC Board President, mentioned the continued growth of our fiber network and positioning our company for future success. I will confirm his comments by reporting that in 2019, DTC built more than 450 miles of new fiber optic lines while passing more than 4,100 homes and businesses. We connected more than 1,600 members to fiber, and added more than 600 brand new customers to the DTC network. But to take a bigger look, from the beginning of 2017 through 2019, we saw a 15% increase in total internet customers, built over 1,100 miles of new fiber lines, and we’re now over one year ahead on our initial projections for overbuild and connectivity. We are still on target to complete the first three phases of the Cooperative Fiber Overbuild and make fiber available to approximately 75% of our membership by late 2021,” said Townson.

“Please know that DTC’s employees play a key role in our achievements, and the progress we have made could not happen without their selfless commitment, knowledge and hard work”.

“Under this Board’s direction, and with careful planning and project management, we have also continued to improve the cooperative’s financial performance while building for the future, and enabling improved connectivity and service directly to our membership”.

“Thank you Board for your diligence in directing this cooperative and working so hard for our communities. Thank you, DTC employees for your dedication and hard work to serve our members. Thank you Members for participating in the cooperative process,” said Townson.

In his remarks, DTC Board President Roy Nelson Pugh said “I am pleased to report that in 2019 DTC continued to grow our world class fiber network and position our cooperative for future success. In our annual report you will find an updated map (also shown here) showing the progress we have made in this last year. It also shows plans for construction for areas in 2021. While I know that this still leaves some areas waiting on fiber, please know that the entire organization is working extremely hard to reach everyone as quickly as possible even during the adversity we are seeing this year and I am referring to COVID-19 and all the storms the state has had which has affected DTC. As your elected Board of Directors we take seriously the duty to ensure this cooperative is operating in a manner that may serve our communities for generations to come. It is our pleasure to report that the cooperative is being operated on sound operational and financial principals. I would like to thank our Board of Directors for their service, our dedicated employees for their hard work and continued support, and our members for their continued investment in this cooperative and its mission,” said Pugh.

Meanwhile, DTC Communications (DeKalb Telephone Cooperative) Directors up for re-election Saturday during the annual meeting won new terms without opposition including Incumbents Jim Vinson – Milton exchange with 72 votes;, Terry McPeak – Norene exchange with 70 votes; and Brian Alexander – Woodbury exchange with 73 votes.

Leah Brooke Davis is the 2020 DCHS Homecoming Queen

September 26, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

The 2020 Homecoming Queen at DeKalb County High School is Leah Brooke Davis.

A senior, Davis is the 17 year old daughter of Kerry and Glenda Davis.

Davis’ clubs participation and active memberships are as follows:

Member of the DCHS ACT 21+ Club; Member of the National Society of Leadership and Success; DCHS Class of 2021 Vice President; Student Government Association-Spirit Committee Chairman; Beta Club; Future Business Leaders of America; Literature Club; Science Club; and Climate Crew.

Athletic Participation:
DCHS Tennis Team; DCHS Lady Tigers Basketball; and DCHS Football Cheerleading

2020 American Legion Auxiliary Volunteer Girls State Delegate; Foundation for Rural Service Youth Tour Essay Contest Winner; DCHS Junior Usher for 2020 Graduation; DCHS Junior Class of 2021 Class Favorite; and DCHS Freshman Homecoming Attendant

Other information (Church and Community Involvement):
Member of Upper Helton Baptist Church in Alexandria; Volunteer for the Habitat for Humanity; and Future plans include attending the University of Tennessee Knoxville to major in business.

The Homecoming Attendants are:
*Senior Attendant –Presley Suzanne Agee, the 17 year old daughter of Michael and Kelly Agee.

Agee’s clubs participation and active memberships are as follows:
Member of HOSA Club, Beta Club, and FBLA

Athletic Participation:
Captain of the football and basketball cheer teams and baseball manager her freshman and sophomore years.

Most Valuable Cheerleader her junior year; Best Cheer award winner her sophomore year and Best Jumps award winner her freshman year; All-American Cheerleader

Other information (Church and Community Involvement):
Member of the Outreach Baptist Church

*Senior Attendant- Alexis Catherine Cudney, the 17 year old daughter of Marnie Horton and Christian Cudney.

Cudney’s clubs participation and active memberships are as follows:
Member of Beta Club and the Climate Crew

Athletic Participation:
4 year football manager

Cudney has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her high school career; at the end of her high school career, Cudney will have 27 dual enrollment hours completed through Motlow State Community College; Cudney was voted wittiest and most responsible by the DCHS football team her sophomore and junior years.

Other information:
Cudney is currently working two jobs, managing football, and completing three college courses through Motlow State Community College; after high school,, Cudney plans to attend Tennessee Tech University where she wants to major in education; Cudney’s dream is to become a middle school mathematics teacher but she wants to also stay involved with football; Cudney plans to go back to school after getting her teaching degree to study sports medicine and possible to become a trainer.

*Junior Attendant- Addison Jean Puckett, 16 year old daughter of Jimmy and Anita Puckett.

Puckett’s clubs participation and active memberships are as follows:
Beta, HOSA, Literature Club, FCA, Spanish Club, and Climate Crew

Athletic Participation:
Football Cheerleader for 3 years and 3 years in Cheerleader Competition

Nominated for All American Cheerleader

Other information:
Puckett is actively involved at Outreach Baptist Church. She participated in Outreach with the OBC Youth. She enjoys participating in pageants, spending time with friends and family especially her niece and nephew

*Sophomore Attendant- Morgan Rhea Walker, the 15 year old daughter of Renee and Jason Walker

Walker’s clubs participation and active memberships are as follows:
She is a member of the Beta and FBLA Clubs

Athletic Participation:
DeKalb County Tigerette Softballl for 2 years; football cheerleading for 2 years; and basketball cheerleading for 1 year.

DeKalb County Football Cheerleading D.E.A.R. Award winner

Other information (Church and Community Involvement):
She is a member of the Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church and is active in the youth group.

*Freshman Attendant- Chloe Faith Lawson, the 14 year old daughter of Victoria Poteete and Adam Denney

Athletic Participation:
Football, Cheer, DCHS Softball, and Infinity Athletics

She was elected All American for 2 years and participated in travel softball for 3 years.

Spirit week activities will be held September 28 to October 2 at DCHS. The Homecoming Parade will take place Friday afternoon, October 2 and the Tiger Homecoming Football game will be at 7:00 p.m. that night against Livingston Academy. WJLE will have LIVE coverage of the game.

“Speck” Is Ready to Meet You at the DeKalb Animal Shelter (View Video Here)

September 26, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

Whoever said a dog is man’s best friend must have had dogs like “Speck” in mind.

This WJLE/DeKalb Animal Shelter featured “Pet of the Week” is now available for adoption at the DeKalb Animal Shelter.

DeKalb Animal Shelter Employee Emmaly Bennett with Speck from dwayne page on Vimeo.

“Speck is about a four and a half year old heeler mix and he has already been neutered. Speck is wonderful. He is great on a leash and knows simple commands. He is a lover. We are not sure about how well he gets along with other dogs yet so if you do want to meet him and have another pet we would like for you to bring your dog with you so they can have a meeting. Speck doesn’t particularly like small children. He is good with older children but small kids tend to scare him a little,” said Shelter employee Emmaly Bennett.

“We are still open by appointment only so fill out an application on our website. We will then call you to set up an appointment for you to come in and meet Speck,” said Bennett.

“Great news! You can now find ALL of the adoptable pets at the DeKalb Animal Shelter on our website! You will be able to directly apply to adopt by clicking on the photo of the pet you are interested in and filling out the requested information. We are excited to announce this feature and know it will help streamline the adoption process. If you have any problems or questions, please give us a call,” said Shelter Director Megan Moore

The shelter, located on Transfer Station Road behind Tenneco Automotive off Highway 70 east in Smithville, has been in operation since November, 2017 under the DeKalb Animal Coalition, a 501 c 3 non profit organization.

Phone 615-597-3647 (DOGS) for more information.

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