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Smithville’s Harvester Performance and Event Center Officially Debuts with Concert Featuring the Upper Cumberland’s The Smoky Nights

May 23, 2022
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Smithville’s Harvester Performance and Event Center Officially Debuts with Concert Featuring the Upper Cumberland’s The Smoky Nights.

Efforts to revitalize Downtown Smithville got a boost of positive vibes this past weekend (Friday, May 20) when the Harvester Performance and Event Center officially opened to the public.

Over the past few years owner Bert Driver invested in transforming the former tractor dealership and bank operations center on West Main St. into a sleekly modern multi-purpose facility for hosting weddings, corporate and family gatherings, and live entertainment.

Friday night the Harvester debuted as a music venue, giving the brimming crowd the kind of intimate club experience found in Nashville. The concert featured the music of Cookeville’s The Smoky Nights, as band members demonstrated their versatile talents on guitar, bass, drums, electric mandolin, and fiddle, in performances of original songs and familiar favorites.

“Music is like oxygen, always a source of joy,” says Driver. “For years we’ve showcased some of this area’s best musicians in outdoor concerts at The Burlap Room,” on the grounds of his nursery outside Smithville. “Now with The Harvester, we’re able to bring the live music indoors as well, for a completely different kind of experience.”

Key to that is the renovated building and its stylish mix of mid-century architecture and modern flourishes. Versatile floor designs, a lofty steel beam ceiling, natural skylights, vintage chandeliers, modern glass roll-up doors and expansive walnut bar all contribute to its welcoming atmosphere.

Friday’s launch was culmination of a team effort, from Driver’s vision for a Downtown center to the craftsmen who transformed the space, sound engineers and performers, artists and food vendors, and a responsive staff.

“We are blessed in the Upper Cumberland with an abundance of talent,” says Driver. “I am proud of our community, and our culture that embraces Center Hill Lake, the slower pace of life, and the overall outdoor lifestyle that reminds us how good it is here in Middle Tennessee.”

In addition to offering concerts and performances to the public, the Harvester is now booking private events – weddings, corporate events, quinceañeras, and more. Tickets for the Harvester Event Center (and Bert Driver’s Burlap Room) are available at burlaproom.eventbrite.com. For more information about the Harvester Event Center visit www.harvestertn.com, or follow us on Facebook: @harvestertn, Instagram: @harvestertn, and TikTok: @harvestertn.




Election Commission Releases Sample Ballot for August Elections (View Sample Ballot Here)

May 23, 2022
By: Dwayne Page

The ballots for the August 4, 2022 elections in DeKalb County have now been finalized and includes over 80 candidates and 26 Judicial Retention questions.

August Sample Ballot

“The ballot is lengthy, particularly where city elections are held and with the judicial retention questions, and we encourage voters to study the ballot in advance of showing up at the polls,” said Dennis Stanley, DeKalb County Administrator of Elections.

County-wide, voters will vote in contested races for County Executive, Road Superintendent, General Sessions Judge and Register of Deeds. Candidates for Trustee, Sheriff, Circuit Court Clerk, and County Clerk are uncontested.

Six of the seven county commission races are contested and two of the school board races are contested.

Offices for the 13th Judicial District are also on the ballot, but with only one contested race.

Alexandria, Dowelltown, Liberty and Smithville are having Municipal elections on the same day. In Alexandria two candidates are seeking the Mayor’s seat. In Liberty two candidates are running for Mayor and six candidates are vying for five seats on the Liberty City Board. In Smithville three candidates are seeking two seats on the City Board and the mayor race is uncontested.

Two statewide primaries are also being held on August 4th. On both the Republican and Democratic Primary ballots are candidates for Governor, U.S. Congress 6th District, State House 40th District and party representatives for the State Executive Committee District 16.

“Voters are reminded that on the county ballot, Democrats, Republicans and Independents are all listed and they can choose to vote for a Republican in one race, a Democrat in another, or an Independent,” Stanley said. “However, if a voter wishes to cast a ballot in the Tennessee primaries, they can only choose one party.” Voting in one of the state primaries has no impact on the County General Election ballot.

Meanwhile, following are some key dates relating to the August elections:

•Voter registration deadline is July 5

•Last day to request an Absentee ballot is July 28

•Early voting is July 15-July 30

August Sample Ballot




Judge hands down sentences in DeKalb Criminal Court

May 23, 2022
By: Dwayne Page

Several people were sentenced in DeKalb County Criminal Court last Tuesday, May 17.

Judge Gary McKenzie presided.

51-year-old Chad Knowles entered a plea to attempted possession of over 0.5 grams of methamphetamine and received a six-year sentence to serve 30% before his release eligibility date. He was fined $2,000 and given jail credit of 1,270 days.

47-year-old Christopher Scruggs entered a plea to sale of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine) over 0.5 grams and received an eight-year sentence to serve 30% before his release eligibility date. He was fined $2,000 and given jail credit of 411 days.

43-year-old Shawn Patton entered a plea to possession of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine) under 0.5 grams and received a three-year sentence all suspended to supervised probation except for 490 days of time served. He was fined $2,000.

25-year-old Brianna Phillips entered a plea to delivery of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine) over 0.5 grams and received a sentence of eight years suspended to supervised probation. She must pay a $2,000 fine and was given credit for time served.

26-year-old Caleb McGhee entered a plea to theft over $2,500 and delivery of a schedule II drug (methamphetamine) over 0.5 grams. He received a sentence of eight years on the drug charge and three years for the theft to run concurrently but suspended to supervised probation. He was fined $2,000 and must also make restitution for any amount owed.

25-year-old Ronald Barbosa Gutierrez entered a plea to driving under the influence and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days supervised by CPS probation except 40 days to serve. He will lose his driver license for one year.

43-year-old James Frederick Summers entered a plea to attempted auto burglary and theft under $1,000 and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days in each case to run concurrently but all suspended to supervised probation.

29-year-old Denzel Young entered a plea to domestic assault and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days to serve 75% and then be on probation.

61-year-old Terry Wayne Shores entered a plea by criminal information to reckless endangerment and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days all suspended to CPS probation.

22-year-old Robert Brock Pedigo entered a plea by criminal information to reckless endangerment and theft under $1,000 and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days to run concurrently but suspended to CPS probation pursuant to judicial diversion.

24-year-old Taylor Nicole Marshall entered a plea by criminal information to reckless endangerment and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days all suspended to CPS probation pursuant to judicial diversion.

33-year-old Kyle Denton entered a plea to driving under the influence and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days all suspended to supervised probation by the DeKalb County Recovery Court except for 45 days to serve. He will lose his driver license per state department of safety regulations.

50-year-old Dori Keith entered a plea to fraudulent use of a credit/debit card over $1,000 and received a one year sentence all suspended pursuant to judicial diversion.




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