4-H Grilling Team Named Regional Champions

September 12, 2018
By: By: Leigh Fuson, 4-H Agent

DeKalb County 4-H members Creston Bain, Hailey Bogle, Clayton Crook, and Lily Martin smoked out the competition at the Central Region 4-H Outdoor Meat Cookery contest, held each year at the Wilson County Fair in Lebanon.  The team placed 1st overall and will be representing DeKalb County and the Central Region at the state contest in Knoxville on October 13th.  Will Mathis also competed as an individual in the junior high division.  There were over 150 participants this year from around 20 counties, marking the biggest contest to date.

4-H’ers in grades 7-12 can participate in this fun, practical contest that not only teaches them how to grill, but how to do it safely. Each contestant must start his or her own charcoal grill, prepare the meat, and cook it to perfection. On a four person team, each member is responsible for grilling a different species of meat: beef, poultry, lamb, and pork.  They are judged throughout the cooking process to make sure they start their fires properly, prepare the meat safely, and cook it to the correct temperature.  Finally, the meat is judged on taste, texture, appearance, and originality of recipe.

Individually, Clayton Crook placed 3rd in beef, Creston Bain 1st in lamb, Hailey Bogle 1st in pork, and Lily Martin was 1st in chicken.  Will Mathis placed 10th in lamb in the junior high division.

As regional champs, they were invited to attend the Tennessee State Fair celebrity grilling contest where local news channel personalities grilled hamburgers and sides to showcase local Tennessee food products. Creston and Clayton attended and served as “consultants” to the competitors.  They also started and prepared the grills for their teams.  They were able to interact with agriculture and media industry leaders and even made television appearances! This was a wonderful opportunity to showcase DeKalb County 4-H.

Congratulations on representing DeKalb County so well! The 4-H members would also like to say thank you to Smithville Food Lion for helping to supply quality meat for the contest.  If you are interested in participating in this contest next year, or any other activities, please contact the 4-H office at 615-597-4945.

4-H is the Youth Development program for University of Tennessee and Tennessee State University Extension. 4-H teaches leadership, citizenship, and life skills to more than 302,000 youth in grades 4-12. UT/TSU Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment through the cooperation of county, state, and federal governments.

Early Voting Times Set for November 6 Election

September 12, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

Early Voting times have been set for the November 6 Tennessee General Election.

The DeKalb County Election Commission met Monday evening to make it official.

Early voting begins Wednesday October 17 through Thursday November 1 on the first floor of the DeKalb County Courthouse.

Voters will elect a Governor, U.S. Senator, Congressman in the 6th District, State Senator in District 17, and State Representatives in Districts 40 & 46.

Candidates for Governor are Republican Bill Lee and Democrat Karl Dean. Twenty six independents are also in the race for Governor.

U.S. Senate candidates are Republican Marsha Blackburn and Democrat Phil Bredesen. Six independents are also running for the U.S. Senate.

Republican John Rose and Democrat Dawn Barlow are in the race for the U.S. House of Representatives from the 6th Congressional District along with two independents.

Candidates for the State Senate in District 17 are Republican Mark Pody and Democrat Mary Alice Carfi. There are no independents

Republican Terri Lynn Weaver is unopposed for State Representative in District 40

In District 46, Republican Clark Boyd and Democrat Mark Cagle are in the race for State Representative. There are no independents.

The early voting times are as follows:

Mondays—1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Tuesdays—9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Wednesdays—9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Thursdays—2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Fridays—9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Saturdays—9 a.m. to noon.

Election day voting is 8:00 a.m. until 7 p.m. at all 15 precincts in the county.

Meanwhile the last day to register to vote in time for the November 6 election is October 9

The deadline for receiving an application for a by-mail ballot is October 30

Manager Working to Get More Grants for Airport Improvements

September 12, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

The Smithville Municipal Airport has made significant improvements in recent years and more are planned.

Airport Manager Joe Johnson addressed the mayor and aldermen Monday night asking for a commitment of local matching funding for grants the city is seeking to acquire property for the eventual development of a parallel taxiway, for the cutting of trees on private property in the glide path of the airport to meet the federal 20:1 requirement, and to correct a drainage problem at the airport. The aldermen gave their approval.

The city would need to purchase land from three property owners if it should ever move forward to develop a parallel taxiway. The total cost for the land acquisition is estimated at $150,000 but if the city should be approved for a grant, the cost to the municipality would be only $11,844. The rest would be funded with federal and state money.

According to Johnson, the city has already obtained and made use of a grant for work to be done in preparation for acquiring the land.

“If we ever build a parallel taxiway, we have to buy the land. We got a grant for $54, 100 to do the survey work, environmental work, and review appraisal of all three properties. We have done that to get ready to buy it. Now we are making offers to buy the property and getting contracts. I have to go before the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Tennessee Aeronautical Commission and present this (new) grant (application) to them,” said Johnson.

The airport manager is also seeking a grant to help pay for the cutting and removal of trees on private property near the airport to meet the 20:1 federal requirement for keeping the glide paths clear as aircraft approach the runway. The first phase of the project is estimated to cost $118,516 but if the city should acquire a grant, the local cost would only be $5,925.80.

According to Johnson, this project would affect 11-15 property owners. Plans call for the city to identify the trees to be cut and to obtain permanent easements from the property owners for the work to be done now and again in the future.

A second phase would have to be funded and implemented later to meet the federal 34:1 requirement to remove obstructions further from the airport. That project would affect about 30 property owners.

The aldermen also voted to accept a bid from the John T. Hall Construction Company to correct a drainage problem at the airport. The cost of the project comes to $77,018 including $67,918 from the contractor and $9,804 for professional services.

Johnson explained that he had already secured a grant for the project in the amount of $75,000 with the city’s local match of $3,750 but that the low bid exceeded the grant amount by $2,722. Johnson has since  filed an amendment to the grant seeking an additional $3,000 to cover the project costs with an additional local grant match of $150.

In addition to accepting the bid for the drainage improvement  the aldermen also approved filing the grant amendment and to commit local funding for the project.

Plans call for the demolition and replacement of an 18 inch reinforced concrete pipe and headwalls under the taxiway to the t-hangars. The work also includes a 10-foot wide asphalt patch across the taxilane, as well as the widening of asphalt pavement in front of one box hangar. The project further consists of regrading the upstream and downstream ditch from the concrete pipe and lining the bottom of the ditches with concrete pavement.

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