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(UPDATED) Board of Education Holds Brief Monthly Meeting (View video here)

February 11, 2021
By: Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education met briefly in regular monthly session Thursday night at the cafeteria of DeKalb County High School.

(View WJLE video below)

Except for 11th graders, all other students at DeKalb County High School will be on remote learning on March 2 to allow juniors to take the ACT exam in person at school.

The Board of Education took this action during Thursday night’s regular monthly meeting.

“We need to do this because it takes so many staff to give the tests and kids have to be at least six feet apart. They can’t be beside each other,” said Director of Schools Patrick Cripps during a work session with the board members prior to the meeting.

In other business, the board voted to seek bids for the purchase and installation of lights at the DCHS soccer field at the request of booster president Billy Miller, who addressed the board during the work session.

Meanwhile DeKalb County has only two snow days left for this school year. The school calendar includes thirteen days that can be used for inclement weather or sickness without any makeup days.

“I want people to understand that when I decide to close schools I don’t take it lightly. It’s a scary thing to know you are responsible for three thousand kids getting to school especially when you have buses running in the morning before daylight and there is the potential for black ice. You may get calls from some who say “there’s nothing out there” but three of us ride the roads all over the county in the morning time and we talk with the sheriff’s department as well so it’s not just me looking out the window and making a decision. I get out there as early as 3 o’clock in the morning riding roads. A lot school directors don’t go out and look but I have to see it for myself although I do have people across the county that I call to see how the roads are where they live. I also don’t like going two hours late. I know it’s a stress on parents but if we can get to school even for a few hours each day it helps because we have already missed so much because of COVID,” said Director Cripps during the work session.

Nashville District raises fees for shoreline facilities

February 11, 2021

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District announces that it will raise fees for
certain shoreline facilities beginning March 1. The Nashville District Real Estate Office reviews and updates these fees every five years.

Several fees including improved access, freshwater lines, electric lines, and water withdrawal will increase from $125 to $150 for the term of the license. Fees for marine railways will increase from $725 to $825, also for the term of the license.

“As stewards of public lands, we must ensure that the public is appropriately compensated, as determined by Fair Market Appraisal for use of public lands,” said Michael Abernathy, Nashville District Real Estate Division chief. “The fees that are increasing are for utilities, such as electric lines, freshwater lines, and marine railways, requested in association with private dock & mowing permits. The details of this program are fully addressed in each lake’s Shoreline Management Plan, which is a public document.”

The Nashville District collects fees from adjacent landowners for support facilities in conjunction with private dock and moving permits. As part of the review and update of shoreline licenses, a Fair Market Value Assessment was conducted to determine the new fees.

The Shoreline License Program currently encompasses approximately 2,800 licenses on five of the Nashville District Lakes. These include Lake Barkley, Cheatham Lake, Old Hickory Lake, Center Hill Lake and Lake Cumberland.

Colwell Promoted to DeKalb County Market Leader at Wilson Bank & Trust

February 10, 2021

Chad Colwell has been promoted to DeKalb County market leader at Wilson Bank & Trust, bank officials announced recently. In this role, Colwell will provide oversight for the bank’s DeKalb County offices and will lead efforts for continued growth of the DeKalb County market.

Colwell has been with Wilson Bank & Trust for 20 years, serving in various lending and managerial roles that have contributed to the continued growth of the bank’s Alexandria and Smithville offices. Most recently, Colwell has served as a vice president managing the office in Smithville.

“Chad’s passion and competitive nature have helped us continue to grow and thrive in DeKalb County over the last several years,” WBT President, John Foster said. “His leadership in this market has helped to shape our reputation in the community and we look forward to all that he’ll bring to his new role.”

Colwell is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, the Southeastern School of Consumer Credit and the Southeastern School of Commercial Lending. He is also a graduate of the Southeastern School of Banking and The Graduate School of Banking at LSU. In the community, Colwell is a member and past president, vice president and secretary/treasurer of the Smithville Rotary Club; an alumnus of Leadership DeKalb; and a former member of the DeKalb County Fair Board. He and his wife Deana live in Smithville and have two children, Ian and Lola.

Wilson Bank & Trust ( is a community bank established in 1987 to provide personal and professional service in a hometown setting. One of the top banks in the South in stability, products, technology, growth and earnings, WBT currently operates 28 full-service offices in nine Middle Tennessee counties, offering a full range of financial products that include secondary market mortgage loans and mobile and online banking services. Wilson Bank & Trust is a member of the FDIC and originates loans without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, handicap, or familial status.

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