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Stars Shine at DeKalb Saints Football Awards Banquet

October 24, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

The DeKalb Saints Football Team and Cheerleaders celebrated their accomplishments this season during an awards banquet held Friday night at the Smithville First Baptist Church Life Enrichment Center.

Ty Webb and Axel Aranda were named Co-Most Valuable Saints Football Players while Annabella Dakas received the Most Valuable Football Cheerleader award.

“We decided to award Co-MVP’s this year. I feel like these two guys left it all on the field. They busted their tails each and every day and it has been an honor to coach them. I believe they have big futures in football if they stick with it and work hard,” said Saints Coach Justin Poteete.

The Saints recently completed a 6-3 campaign.

Coach Poteete said while the season didn’t turn out quite the way he had hoped the program managed to overcome adversities including COVID-19 concerns.

“I didn’t know what to expect coming in as far as kids who were going to play. We had 43 kids in the beginning who signed up to play but then the Coronavirus concern started and we wound up with 22 players and they contributed to our program and showed up each and every day. I am just blessed we were able have a season. At times we didn’t look our best while at other times we looked pretty good. We went 6 and 3 and didn’t accomplish what we wanted to but we had a chance and put ourselves out there. To our 8th graders I just want to say you left your mark and you set the foundation for the next group coming up,” said Coach Poteete

Football Award Winners:
Ty Webb (Co-Most Valuable Player and All-Conference)
Axel Aranda (Co-MVP and All-Conference)
Andrew Dakas (Defensive Player of Year and All-Conference)
Jordan Parker (Offensive Player of the Year and All-Conference)
Alex Lemons (Best Lineman and All-Conference)
Wyatt Carter (Most Improved),
Wesley Kent (Saints Award for Best Model Player On and Off the Field)

Football Cheerleader Award Winners:
Annabella Dakas (Most Valuable Cheerleader)
Allison Estes (Most Improved)
Lily McDerman (Best Jumps)
Deanna Agee (Best Dancer)
Madeline Martin (Outstanding Leadership)
Macy Anderson (Most Spirited)
Brylee Kirby (Best Attitude)

State Lawmakers Announce Tennessee Arts Commission Grants

October 24, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

Tennessee State Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) along with State Representatives Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon), Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet) and Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) announced today that Cannon, DeKalb and Wilson Counties will receive grants totaling $61,587 from the Tennessee Arts Commission. The 10 grants were awarded to recipients after being reviewed by citizen advisory panels with expertise in the appropriate arts disciplines and a review by the full 15-member Commission.

“We are pleased to announce these grants for deserving organizations promoting the arts in our communities,” said Pody, Boyd, Lynn and Weaver in a joint statement. “This investment will provide children with a more complete education, stimulate economic development and help attract tourists to our area. These organizations do great work to cultivate the arts and preserve our rich local history and culture. We congratulate them for securing these funds. We also appreciate the work of the Tennessee Arts Commission for administering these grants and continuing to support the arts throughout Tennessee.”

This is the first of a series of grants that will be made throughout FY2021.

Grant awards in Cannon County include:

• $24,700 to the Arts Center of Cannon County for partnership support

• $10,800 White Oak Tennessee, Inc. for rural arts project support

Grant awards in DeKalb County include:

• $8,000 to the City of Smithville for creative placemaking

• $1,760 to the Tennessee Tech University Appalachian Center for Craft for Arts Build Communities

Grant awards in Wilson County include:

• $1,000 to Coles Ferry Elementary School for student ticket subsidy

• $2,399 to the Fiddlers Grove Foundation, Inc. for Arts Build Communities

• $5,589 for Monroe Mandolin Camp for arts project support

• $2,300 to Watertown Elementary for student ticket subsidy

• $2,947 to Wilson County Civic League for Arts Build Communities

• $2,092 to Wilson County Convention and Visitors Bureau for Arts Build Communities

“Tennessee is fortunate to have elected leaders who understand the positive impact the arts and culture have on Tennesseans and their communities,” said Anne B. Pope, Executive Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission. “Arts and culture are vital tools for attraction and retention of business, and help build stronger communities by enhancing the distinctive character of Tennessee places.”

According to Pope, the Commission expects to award approximately 1000 grants during FY2021, totaling up to $7 million dollars, including CARES Act funds. These funds have a direct impact on communities across Tennessee, in both urban and rural areas. Grant categories include Arts Access, Arts Education, Arts Project Support, Partnership Support, Major Cultural Institutions, and Rural Arts Partnership.

Other grant opportunities are offered throughout the year with rolling deadlines for qualifying organizations including grants for Arts Build Communities and Student Ticket Subsidy. Additional information on grant programs offered by the Commission is available at

Drive By and Drop Off Prescription Drug Take Back Event Today (Saturday) in Smithville

October 24, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

The DeKalb Prevention Coalition and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation encourage DeKalb County residents to take part in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day today (Saturday, Oct. 24) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Unlike similar events in the past, today’s Take-Back will be drive-by and drop-off only at the Smithville City Hall outside under a tent.

The public will be provided the opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. (Sites cannot accept liquids, needles or sharp instruments, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

“Too often, unused prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands. That’s dangerous and often tragic. This year due to COVID-19 the Take Back Event will be a little different than before. This year it will be drive-by and drop-off. Drive to the front of the City Hall and a member of the DeKalb Prevention Coalition will take your medication and place it in the collection box. DPC will also provide medication boxes if you need one to lock your medications in at home. We will not be able to accept liquid medication, needles or sharps. We can collect medication in pill and patch form,” said Lisa Cripps of the DeKalb Prevention Coalition.

For more information please email DeKalb Prevention Coalition at or call 615-580-9290.

“This event encourages the proper disposal of prescription drugs, and TDEC is proud to be a part of it,” TDEC Commissioner David Salyers said. “We have seen how awareness of this issue has prompted strong participation in the past, and we urge everyone to get involved.”

The October event is the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s 19th nationwide event since the program’s inception over 10 years ago. Last fall, Americans turned in nearly 883,000 pounds of prescription drugs at nearly 6,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 5,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. The program has now collected nearly 6,350 tons of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications since the inception of the National Prescription Drug Take-Back initiative in 2010.

To keep everyone safe, collection sites will follow local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

In addition to DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, there are many other ways to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs every day, including the 355 authorized collectors that are available all year long. For more information about locations in Tennessee, visit

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 24 Take Back Day event, go to

For more information about TDEC’s Unwanted Household Pharmaceutical Takeback Program, including a complete list of participating counties and acceptable or non-acceptable items, please visit

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