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Budget Committee to Begin Work Soon on 2018-19 County Spending Plan

March 25, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

The county budget committee will soon begin work preparing a spending plan for the 2018-19 fiscal year.

During an all-committees workshop of the county commission Thursday night, County Mayor Tim Stribling said budget forms will be sent out to all department administrators Monday for them to return with any requests they may have for the new budget year.

Stribling shared with the Commissioners information on how much money the county is expected to receive from the current tax rate in the new fiscal year.

The overall tax rate is $1.8335 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

The rate is distributed as follows:

County General: 0.9635 cents
General Purpose Schools: 0.6100 cents
Debt Service: 0.1200 cents
Highways/Public Works: 0.0300 cents
General Capital Projects: 0.1100 cents

Revenue from the current property tax assessments for the 2018-19 fiscal year based upon estimated assessed valuations of $497 million dollars is $49,700 per one cent of the property tax rate. However the county is actually expected to receive $46,658 per cent of the tax rate based on a 94% collection rate or a 6% delinquency.

The estimated net collection from the overall property tax rate is $8,565,745 in local revenue to help fund the county general department, general purpose schools, debt service, highways/public works, and general capital projects.

The net estimated local property tax collection for each department is as follows:

County General: $4,501,279
General Purpose Schools: $2,849,798
Debt Service: $560,616
Highways/Public Works: $140,154
General Capital Projects: $513,898

Fugitive from TBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted List Now in Custody

March 24, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

A fugitive who was added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Top 10 Most Wanted list Friday is now in custody.

David Paul Vaughn of DeKalb County was captured and arrested Friday night without incident at a hotel in Dickson.

David Vaughn was wanted by the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for aggravated burglary and theft over $1000 from an incident that occurred on January 9th. Vaughn is also the suspect of a vehicle theft in Indiana. In addition, he is wanted in connection with a home invasion and an assault on a law enforcement officer from Boone County, Kentucky, as well as an Armed Robbery in Escambia County, Florida. Vaughn has an extensive criminal history and has warrants in Wilson County for violation of probation.

Cleveland Named 2018 Fiddlers’ Jamboree Blue Blaze Award Winner

March 23, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

Award-winning fiddle player Michael Cleveland has been named the 2018 Blue Blaze Award Winner for the Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree & Crafts Festival. This most recent honor will be added to a rather impressive collection of accolades among his musical peers. Cleveland has won more IBMA awards than any other fiddle player including 10 wins for Fiddle Player of the Year, six wins for Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year, and fronts their 5-time Instrumental Group of the Year. On March 30th, Micheal will be inducted into the National Fiddler Hall of Fame in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Together with Flamekeeper members Josh Richards (guitar), Nathan Livers (mandolin), Jasiah Shrode (banjo) and Tyler Griffith (bass), Cleveland makes his way around the country performing and delighting audiences, while leaving them with jaws dropped in complete amazement. Cleveland will be accepting the Blue Blaze Award on Saturday, July 7th, 2018 during the Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree & Crafts Festival at 5pm followed by a mini-concert by Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper.

“Michael Cleveland embodies what we look for in a musician when choosing a recipient for the Blue Blaze Award,” said Sam Stout, President and Coordinator of the Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree & Crafts Festival, “He started performing at the Jamboree as a young boy, and grew his talent to an impressive career in bluegrass music. The purpose of the Blue Blaze Award is to recognize a group or individual who keeps the embers of bluegrass music glowing for future generations. Michael Cleveland certainly does that, and more. He is an inspiration to all of us. We invite the public to come out and support Michael, while enjoying the best that bluegrass has to offer.”

Cleveland has a very loyal fan base, along with an amazing story. Michael was born blind, along with many additional health complications. He has endured over 20 reconstructive surgeries including brain
surgery. In addition to these challenges, he lost 80% of his hearing in his left ear. But Michael Cleveland is not a ‘glass half empty’ kind of guy. He prefers to focus on his goals, his love of music, and being the best in his field. Although only in his mid-30’s, Michael Cleveland, a 2018 Grammy Nominee, has reached plenty of those goals.

Cleveland began his love affair with music by taking violin lessons at only four years old. This passion for the stringed instrument led him to bluegrass music. His teachers quickly labeled him a musical prodigy. “When I started taking lessons at age 4,” he remembers, “I told the teacher right up front that I wanted to learn how to play bluegrass and I wanted to play ‘Orange Blossom Special.'” Reluctant as they were, his teachers quickly found reason to his rhyme, helping him progress to the point when, at age 9, Michael was invited to sit in with the legendary Bill Monroe at the Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival. During this time, he visited the Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and competed alongside fiddle players of all ages and skill levels. Soon after, he brought his virtuosic style to the Grand Ole Opry as a guest of Alison Kraus, and was hand-picked for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) Bluegrass Youth All Stars before he was 14. His blistering prowess and technical fluency have since marked him as a sought-after musician, leading to performances with Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Tim O’Brien, J.D. Crowe and the New South, Andy Statman, and The Kruger Brothers in recent years. However, it wasn’t until 2006, when Michael formed his own band Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, that he found the right vehicle for his musical vision, and he hasn’t rested since, constantly looking for new ways to push himself and his music forward.

One would think that with all of his life-long accolades, his own award-winning band, a concert tour, and celebrity performances at the Opry, that Cleveland would have no more goals to shoot for…but we know him better than that. ‘Flamekeeper – The Michael Cleveland Story’ is a feature length documentary film coming in 2018. To follow Michael Cleveland’s journey, go to or follow his facebook page.

Join us for the 47th Annual Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Crafts Festival coming Friday, July 6th and Saturday, July 7th, 2018 to Downtown Smithville, Tennessee. Each day begins at 9am with over 35 music and dance categories, streets full of hand-made crafts, and food booths galore. Come and see for yourself why this FREE family-friendly festival has been named the official Jamboree & Crafts Festival of the State of Tennessee, along with being named the official Jamboree & Crafts Festival of the United States of America.

The old-time Fiddlers’ Jamboree is a DeKalb County tradition that draws musicians, craft artists, and spectators to the Smithville Square each summer around the Independence Day weekend. Over time, the festival became a broader tribute to Appalachian art and culture. Thousands of tourists visit the festival every year, along with television viewers across the country via WCTE-TV and various PBS stations nationwide. For more information on the festival, go to

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