Andrew Harvey Claims DeKalb Fire Department’s Most Coveted Honor (View video here)

January 17, 2022
By: Dwayne Page

A member of the Liberty Station has won the DeKalb County Fire Department’s most coveted award.

Andrew Harvey is the 2021 Ascension Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital Volunteer Firefighter of the Year.

Harvey was honored Saturday night during the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department’s Annual Awards Program which was held in a virtual platform this year due to COVID-19. Wilson Bank & Trust was the headlining sponsor of the program.

Meanwhile, Captain Brian Williams was recognized as the Liberty State Bank Officer of the Year and Steve Repasy, Midway Station Commander was selected to receive the Allen’s Allstars “Git R Done” Award. The DeKalb Telephone Cooperative (DTC) Rookie of the Year Award went to Alyssa Harvey of the Liberty Station and the Liberty Station repeated as the FirstBank Station of the Year award winner.

Andrew Harvey’s award was presented by Assistant County Fire Chief Anthony Boyd.

In making the presentation, Boyd said Harvey was selected from firefighters demonstrating excellence in training participation, incident response, and community service.

“Andrew excelled in all considerations used to evaluate the worthiness of earning this award. For 2021 Andrew made 100% of his monthly training, completed other outside training courses, and is among the most active in incident responses. He always has a positive can-do attitude whether it is a work session, fire prevention safety event, fundraiser, training, or fire call. You will see him there with a big smile on his face. He consistently takes new firefighters under his wing and helps them learn skills while welcoming them to the team. Andrew has dedicated many hours assisting lead instructors with recruit classes. As for Andrew’s community service, he is very active with the DeKalb Emergency Services Association and volunteers to help provide meals to the needy in our community during Thanksgiving and Christmas. He does not limit his interest to the department. He also has led and supported community efforts to involve himself and station members in projects outside the fire department. Andrew is very passionate and active in fire prevention and safety education in our schools and civic groups. The DeKalb County Fire Department attempts to recognize firefighters who reflect a positive attitude of service to the department and our communities. There is absolutely no doubt Andrew Harvey has earned the honor of being named our 2021 Ascension Saint Thomas DeKalb Firefighter of the year,” said Assistant Chief Boyd.

(Other stories from the awards program will be posted here later)

The following are Community Fire Station Sponsors: Four Seasons Community, Kilgore’s Restaurant, McElroy Land Management, LLC, DeKalb County Insurance, DeKalb Funeral Chapel, Rockwall Farms, The Barn at Triple Creek Farm, Hillcrest Restaurant, and Mountain Harbour Property Owners Association

The following are community partners: Local Red Cross representatives, WJLE Radio Station, Smithville Review Newspaper, Tennessee Division of Forestry, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, DeKalb County 911, Smithville/DeKalb County Rescue Squad, DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, DeKalb County EMS, City of Smithville Fire Department, City of Alexandria Fire Department, Mayor Tim Stribling and his office staff, and the DeKalb County Commission.

Kay Quintero Retires from Counseling

January 17, 2022
By: Bill Conger

Mental Health Counselor Kay Quintero has decided to retire from counseling after 13 years of service at the Haven of Hope of DeKalb County.

“I just knew God was leading that way,” Quintero says of her retirement. “I had ultimate peace about the decision and I still do. I will miss my clients, but I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life.”

Initially, Kay and her husband, John, former Executive Director of the Haven of Hope, started as volunteers 17 years ago and hadn’t envisioned opening a counseling center in Smithville.

“John and I originally were volunteering to use whatever skills we had to serve DeKalb Countians, asking God to lead us and use us,” Quintero said. “We did not know how that would develop. We started here with boundary classes, grief groups and a “Making Peace with Your Past,” group which is for adults dealing with childhood trauma.”

Growing up in the little community of Shop Springs in Wilson County, Quintero went to M.T.S.U. where she majored in Social Work. It was there that she met John, her husband of 49 years.

“After his National Guard basic training, we were married, and he found a job at Smithville Controls, later named Kingston Timers. This Nashville boy adapted to small town life, and we both have enjoyed living here.”

During her ten-year tenure with the state Department of Human Services she learned of many needs in the area.

“I wanted to be better equipped to help so I returned to MTSU and obtained a Masters in Clinical Psychology. After obtaining my master’s degree, I worked in Lebanon for two years at Cumberland Mental Health. Then, I contracted with our local school system to do some counseling and assist the school psychologist. I took off a couple of years to help my aging parents. Later I worked part time with Healing Hearts Counseling in McMinnville.”

Her experience also included volunteering for a few years in the chapel at Tennessee Prison for Women where she offered counseling, led grief groups and boundary classes. Eventually, she felt called to be a servant to the people in her home community.

“We have had opportunities and open doors. I had planned to work with women, but I had many requests to work with children so that is when we seriously considered having a counseling center.”

“I have enjoyed providing play therapy to children. Young children can’t sit down and have a long conversation about their thoughts and feelings. However, these come out in a play environment where all the attention is focused on them, and I follow their lead.

“Another rewarding aspect has been seeing people who have been willing to join us in volunteering or working with us. We have had a wonderful board of directors to help and advise. Several of those board members are still serving with us today. We currently have dedicated support staff and contract counselors in the professional counseling division. Over the years there have been numerous volunteers to teach classes and be encouragers on the ministry side.”

Quintero’s last day on the job was December 30, but the member of Smithville First Baptist Church will maintain a presence at the Haven.

“I hope to be able to volunteer with John and help in the ministry division of Haven of Hope. One new class I want to start is ” Hurt to Hope” or “New Hope.” John and I recently attended a four-day training about this. It uses stories of people in the Bible, such as Joseph, who had difficult times and a lot of unfair things happened. People meant it for evil, but God used it for good.”

DeKalb County would get new State Senator with passage of proposed State Redistricting Plan

January 16, 2022
By: Dwayne Page

DeKalb County would have a new state senator if a redistricting plan to be considered by the Tennessee General Assembly is adopted.

According to the plan adopted in committee and revealed by Tennessee Republican state lawmakers last week, DeKalb County would be moved from the 17th State Senatorial District, now represented by Mark Pody (R) of Lebanon, to the 16th District represented by Janice Bowling (R) of Tullahoma. In addition to DeKalb County, the 16th District would include the counties of Warren, Grundy, Coffee, Franklin, and Lincoln. Senator Bowling currently represents Coffee, Franklin, Grundy, Marion, Sequatchie, Van Buren, and Warren Counties.

The proposed redistricting plan calls for Senator Pody’s 17th District to include all of Wilson County and extend into Davidson to include portions of Donelson and Hermitage, along with areas near the Nashville International Airport and Percy Priest Lake. Pody currently serves Cannon, Clay, Macon, Smith, and Wilson counties in addition to DeKalb.

Meanwhile, 40th District State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver (R) would represent all of DeKalb County under the State House Redistricting Plan. Weaver’s proposed new district would include Jackson, Smith, and Cannon in addition to DeKalb and a small portion of Wilson. She currently represents Smith, Trousdale, and a portion of DeKalb and Sumner Counties.

District 46 State Representative Clark Boyd (R), who currently serves Cannon and a portion of DeKalb County and Wilson County would no longer serve either DeKalb or Cannon but he would represent a large portion of Wilson County if the State House Redistricting plan is adopted.

The new 6th Congressional District, represented by Congressman John Rose, would be made up of all of Sumner, Macon, Clay, Pickett, Scott, Trousdale, Smith, Jackson, Overton, Fentress, Putnam, Cannon, DeKalb, White, Cumberland, and Van Buren, and part of Wilson and Davidson counties.

The current 6th Congressional District is made up of Cannon, Clay, Coffee, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Robertson, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, White, and Wilson. It also contains very small pieces of Cheatham and Van Buren.

The map plans must be approved by both the House and the State Senate and then signed by Governor Lee before they can take effect.

Redistricting is necessary every decade when lawmakers use the latest federal census to equalize state and congressional districts to ensure “one man one vote.”

Democrats don’t like the overall redistricting plans and are vowing a legal battle. Specifically, they contend that the Republican-controlled chambers in the Tennessee General Assembly are splitting up Davidson County’s 5th Congressional District into three separate districts in an attempt to water down the Democratic vote and give a Republican a chance to defeat Democratic incumbent Congressman Jim Cooper.

Republicans control seven of nine U.S. congressional seats, with the only Democratic strongholds in Nashville and Memphis. Republicans say population losses in East Tennessee and West Tennessee led map drawers to move district lines closer to Nashville and Middle Tennessee, which experienced heavy growth over the past decade.

Lawmakers are expected to move relatively quickly to settle the new maps ahead of an April filing deadline to ballot access in the August primaries.

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