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Backpack Program Aims to Keep Kids Fed Over Holidays

December 18, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

Somewhere in our community right now kids are going hungry.

For many, the toughest times are during the holidays when they are not at school for free meals. To make sure those children have nutritious meals through the holidays, the DeKalb County Coordinated School Health Program is delivering boxes of food to 84 families this week serving 203 students from pre kindergarten to the 12th grade. It’s an extension of the Backpack Program in which those same students are provided food to take home once a week to get them through the weekends.

“Approximately 6% of our student population goes hungry on a regular basis, with meals provided at school being their main source of food. Every weekend the students we serve get a bag of food to take home from school, usually about eight to ten items but for the holidays we try to put more hearty things in the boxes (perishables including fruits and vegetables in addition to canned goods) where they can have a Christmas meal and we deliver it directly to their homes, ” said Elise Driver, Director of the Coordinated School Health Program.

“We have been packing boxes this week to make the Christmas deliveries. This is the third year that we have delivered a box of food for every family on our backpack list. There are 84 boxes this year serving 203 students,” said Driver.

Four teams fanned out in the community Monday and Tuesday to make the deliveries directly to the homes of families being served.

“This is my first year doing this but it has really been rewarding to see how everybody has reacted to getting it (food boxes). These people are really thankful for it and all of the hard work we put into it really shows and has paid off,” said Martha Taylor, assistant to Driver.

“The amount of time and work that Elise and Martha have committed, not only to our schools but our community, is unbelievable and we appreciate everything they do for our students and all their hard work. I also appreciate our staff for going out and helping us deliver these meals. Anything that we can do to hopefully add a little cheer and help out families during the holidays is our desire and we want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas from the central office and the Board of Education,” said Director of Schools Patrick Cripps.

The Backpack program is ongoing throughout the school year supported strictly by community donations and grant funding. If you would like to contribute a donation of cash or food to the program contact Elise Driver at 615-215-2118.

Bishop Visits St. Gregory’s Catholic Church

December 18, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

Bishop Mark Spalding was appointed as the 12th Bishop of Nashville by Pope Francis on November 21, 2017. His Episcopal ordination and installation as the Bishop of Nashville was on February 2, 2018. Since his ordination, he has traveled throughout the diocese visiting the parishes. On Sunday, December 16  he visited St Gregory Church on West Main Street in Smithville. Bishop Spalding celebrated the 8:00 a.m. mass and met  parishioners at the parish hall.

Patrick Charged with Stealing Chrysler PT Cruiser

December 18, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

A Smithville man has been arrested for stealing an automobile two weeks ago.

30 year old Timothy William Patrick of the Loop Circle, Smithville is charged with burglary, theft of property, failure to appear, and violation of parole. His total bond on the charges is $35,216 except for the parole violation for which he is being held without bond. His court appearance date is December 20.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Tuesday, December 4 Patrick broke into and stole a 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser valued at $2,000.  The case was investigated by a Sheriff’s Department Detective.

25 year old Jesse Ray Herman of Meadowbrook Drive is charged with assault. His bond is $3,500 and he will be in court January 10.

Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, December 12 while incarcerated at the jail, Herman struck another inmate in the face with his fist several times causing abrasions.

29 year old Justin Keith Potts of Old Hickory is charged with public intoxication and two counts of vandalism. His bond totals $10,000 and he will make a court appearance January 10.

Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, December 15 a deputy was dispatched to the Midnight Express due to an intoxicated man who had become violent. Upon arrival the officer confronted the suspect, Potts who was intoxicated and unsteady on his feet. Potts had tried to fight with security personnel at the business. Video surveillance there revealed that Potts had kicked and broken out glass in the front door. While being transported to jail for booking, Potts repeatedly kicked a window in the patrol car causing damage to the door.

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