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Professional Storyteller Featured at Dot’s Storytelling Day

May 1, 2021
By: Bill Conger

“I’m just a farmer that owns a farm, runs a sawmill, and makes sawdust every day,” professional storyteller Roy Haney says modestly. But the Liberty man, who runs the Haney Family Sawmill, has been featured on stage and television with his talents. Today he’ll be the special guest at the 16th Annual Dot’s Storytelling Day at the DeKalb County Complex from 1 o’clock to 3:30. Sponsored by the Smithville Study Club, this year’s event will operate under the theme “Tales, Tidbits and Tornadoes.”

“It was just normal that on a Friday night we’d go sit on the front porch at my ma and pa’s house-my grandmother and grandfather’s house,” Haney recalls. “It was the normal thing to do. We’d turn off all the lights because you don’t want to draw bugs. You didn’t have to worry about a fire because the doggone yard was bare from all the chickens beating the grass. That was the time that tied our (family) history together. I heard stories from the Civil War as if it were first person. You’ve got to understand. Ma talked to the people that these stories happened to. In my family, as it turned out, there’s always one or two storytellers. By circumstance I became the storyteller. I thought and didn’t really realize until I was an adult that not everybody was told stories one after the other of their family lore.”

Haney says a storyteller isn’t an entertainer, but he says he does entertain.

“One of the stories I’ll probably tell Saturday is of America. America is my fourth great grandmother. America saw the Civil War. My grandmother almost died when she was 3 years old in the Civil War because she found a plumb bob—that thing that goes back and forth on the grandfather clock. As these renegades are stealing it, they left it on the mantle, she grabbed it, ran outside and said, “You got the clock. Come back and get the plumb bob too.” This was life and death. Man ran up on a horse, brought that horse to a stop, stepped off that horse and saluted that young 3-year-old girl, took the plumb bob and rode on. That’s a true story.”

Haney enjoys being playful with his storytelling.

“I’m a little vindictive. I ought to be whooped every once in a while because I love to tell a story and get that one person hooked so bad, so strong, especially on tall tales. Not everything I tell is the truth. Once in a while I’ll have a little fun. When you see that child that there’s nothing in this world except hearing about that story, hearing about that dog run that rabbit, chase that coon, run it up a tree maybe—and you see them tied in, there’s not a better feeling in this world. Then, when it’s a tall tale and they have taken it hook, line, and sinker and the husband (true story) starts elbowing his wife, “Inside joke; inside joke”— because she’s about to cry.”

“That’s one of the things you’ve got to realize. Storytelling is like a seed. If you plant it, and you take care of it right, telling it right, giving it warmth, giving it moisture, giving it nutrients telling that story, that seed grows and that story gets told again. That’s your family becoming larger. There’s nothing more important right now than us taking care of our family. That’s what it’s all about.”

Other storytellers from the community are invited to join the 16th Annual Dot’s Storytelling Day that was started by the late Dot Tittsworth, who loved the art of storytelling. Money raised from today’s event benefits the DeKalb Imagination Library.

(UPDATED) “Kyle” is the WJLE/DeKalb Animal Shelter “Featured Pet of the Week” (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

May 1, 2021
By: Dwayne Page

“Kyle” is making a return appearance as the WJLE/DeKalb Animal Shelter featured “Pet of the Week”.

View Video Here

The shelter has been Kyle’s home away from home since February but he really needs a forever home.

WJLE first featured Kyle in March.

“We need to find this sweet boy a home. He has been here since February so we have decided that we are going to offer a reduced adoption fee for Kyle to get him a home. He is wonderful. He is great with people including kids and has a lot of personality. He is a lover. We ask that if you have another pet that you bring the pet for a meeting so we can see how Kyle does with other pets. He has been great here and is a good boy but we want to do a formal introduction with your pets but please no cats. Dogs only. Send in your application on our website we will contact you and set up that appointment with you and your pet,” said Shelter employee Emmaly Bennett.

“If you would like to meet “Kyle” go to our website under our adoptable animals tab at and you will be called to set up an appointment after you fill out an adoption application. For more information call 615-597-3647 or send a message on facebook or email,” said Bennett.

Do you need dog or cat food?

The DeKalb Animal Shelter and Friends Group partner each month in hosting a food pantry for pets.

The next one is Friday, May 21 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the shelter on Transfer Station Road off Highway 70 east in Smithville behind Tenneco Automotive. The pet food is free. Just drive through and someone will bring it to your vehicle in the pickup line.

Does your dog or cat need to be microchipped.

The DeKalb Animal Shelter is hosting a free microchip clinic at the shelter on Saturday, May 22 from 10 a.m. until noon in partnership with a microchipping company. Fifty free microchips will be provided to residents of DeKalb County.  Registration forms are available. There is no charge to register or for yearly registration updates.

The goal is to eventually microchip all pets or as many as possible.

For more information phone 615-597-3647.

Mayor Josh Miller Proclaims May 2-8 Small Business Week in Smithville

May 1, 2021
By: Dwayne Page

Smithville Mayor Josh Miller urges you to join him and the City of Smithville in celebrating small businesses May 2-8 during the 58th Annual National Small Business Week in the U.S.

Mayor Miller Friday issued a City of Smithville Proclamation to commemorate Small Business Week.

“Small businesses are critically important to the overall economic health of our city, county, state and country because they create jobs, boost our local economy and contribute to the growth of our neighborhoods. Small businesses deserve all the support they can get from us as citizens and consumers in order for them to thrive and grow, especially after the hardships many have endured due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Miller.

The City of Smithville Proclamation is as follows:

WHEREAS, The City of Smithville celebrates our local small businesses in the contributions they make to our local economy and community; and

WHEREAS, Small businesses employs over 48% of the working population in the United States; and

WHEREAS, Small businesses contribute positively to the local economy by supplying jobs and generating tax revenue; and

WHEREAS, Small businesses are crucial to the overall economic health of the United States; and

WHEREAS, The City of Smithville supports our local businesses that create jobs, boost our local economy, and preserve our neighborhood; and

WHEREAS, Advocacy groups as well as public and private organizations across the country have endorsed Small Business Week the first week in May.


Mayor Josh Miller
City of Smithville

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