Senior Night Disappointment for DCHS Tigers

October 23, 2021
By: Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Tigers were dealt another close loss Friday night as they came up short against the visiting Goodpasture Cougars 21-13 on Senior Night.

The loss puts the Tigers at 5-4 on the season with the regular season finale at Stone Memorial in Crossville next Friday night, October 29 to determine 3rd place in the Region and seeding for the State Play-offs in two weeks. Goodpasture improves to 3-4.

Goodpasture got on the board early as Quarterback A.J. Brooks found Josh Williams on a touchdown pass play good for 65 yards. Henry Lowe kicked through the extra point and the Cougars led 7-0 with 10:43 left in the 1st period.

The Tigers tried to get points with 1:21 left in the 2nd period but a 31 yard field goal attempt by Axel Aranda failed to connect and DC trailed at halftime 7-0.

DeKalb County got a spark early in the 3rd period as Isaac Knowles came in at quarterback and raced 63 yards for a touchdown with 11:47 on the clock. Aranda added the extra point and the game was tied at 7-7.

The Tigers took the lead with 1:34 left in the 3rd period on a 24 yard touchdown run by Colby Barnes. The PAT attempt failed but DeKalb County held a 13-7 advantage.

Goodpasture later mounted a 64 yard drive that resulted in an 11 yard touchdown run by A.J. Brooks. Lowe tacked on the extra point and the Cougars pulled ahead 14-13.

The Cougars expanded their lead with 1:24 left in the 4th period on a 10 yard touchdown run by Jaron Elkins. Lowe added the extra point and Goodpasture went on to claim a 21-13 victory.

Here are the Division I Class 4A Region 4 standings as of Saturday, October 23:
Upperman: 8-1 (4-0)
Macon County: 6-3 (3-1)
DeKalb County: 5-4 (2-2)
Stone Memorial: 6-3 (2-2)
Cumberland County: 5-4 (1-3)
Livingston Academy: 0-9 (0-4)

DeKalb Health Department to Administer Free Flu Shots on “TN Fight Flu Day”

October 22, 2021
By: Dwayne Page

Get a flu shot! The Tennessee Department of Health is urging all Tennesseans who have not yet received a flu shot this flu season to get one as soon as possible. Tennessee county health departments are holding special “TN Fight Flu Day” vaccine events in every county to increase the number of people vaccinated across Tennessee.

The DeKalb County Health Department will observe TN Fight Flu Day on Tuesday, November 9 on the south side of the courthouse from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Help protect your family and others from influenza by getting a free flu shot.

“It’s important for everyone in Tennessee to get a flu vaccine,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP. “Vaccination is still the best protection we have against this serious and potentially deadly illness,” she said.

TDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a yearly flu vaccine for everyone ages six months and older. It’s especially important for pregnant women to get flu shots to protect themselves and their unborn children, as flu is more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women.

Most people with the flu will experience symptoms such as fever, cough, congestion and body aches, and will recover on their own after about a week. However, infants, the elderly and people with certain medical conditions are at highest risk of severe complications from the flu. If you suspect you or someone in your family has the flu, call your health care provider for advice.

The flu virus is highly contagious, so it’s important for people who are sick to stay home and avoid contact with others until their symptoms have resolved to help prevent further spread of the illness. This includes staying away from work, school and other public places while ill.

Follow these additional tips to protect your family and others from the flu:
• Use “respiratory etiquette” by coughing into your elbow or a tissue instead of your hands
• Wash hands frequently with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand rub
• Routine cleaning and disinfection in the home and workplace are important to reduce flu risks

Learn more about preventing seasonal flu at

Not Saying No, Just Not Yet

October 22, 2021
By: Dwayne Page

Not saying no, just not yet!

The county commission is still not prepared to authorize the purchase of a new outdoor self-service kiosk at the county clerk’s office using funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act although a kiosk qualifies for the grant program.

During a committee meeting of the whole Thursday night, members of the county commission asked County Mayor Tim Stribling to not include this issue as an agenda item for discussion during Monday night’s regular monthly meeting even though County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss had requested that it be on the agenda.

Members of the commission say the matter should be considered at a later time when a wish list is made of all projects they want to see funded under the ARP Act. There is also a matter of a $5,000 annual fee to keep the kiosk machine maintained. Commissioners want to know if the county will have to come up with that extra money every year or if Poss can pay it from his allotment of earmarked fees meant for specific office needs

During last month’s regular meeting, County Clerk Poss asked the county commission to approve the expenditure of $26,000 from American Rescue Plan ACT funds to purchase a kiosk to be placed on the sidewalk outside his office at the county complex where citizens may renew their standard registration anytime. Although it would not lighten the workload of the office, Poss said the kiosk would be an added convenience to the public. But sensing that members of the commission wanted more time and possibly a workshop to consider it, Poss withdrew his request from the agenda.

“I have asked for your consideration. I think it’s a great thing for the community. If you want more time to look at it I am good with withdrawing it from the agenda. This is for the people. This is for the convenience of the service of what I am trying to give the people,” he said.

Poss recently decided to revisit the issue with the county commission and asked County Mayor Stribling to include it on the agenda for Monday night’s regular monthly meeting. Poss was unable to attend Thursday night’s committee meeting due to a prior commitment.

“I think what this commission needs to decide is whether you want to have it as an agenda item Monday night. It does qualify for American Rescue Plan money,” said Mayor Stribling Thursday night.

Five of the ten county commissioners present for the meeting spoke on the issue but only one expressed outright opposition to the funding request.

“Should we not put that off until we find out what all we need? My feeling about this is if a thousand people use that in a year that’s about 80 a month. That’s going to cost us $5,000 or $5.00 a piece. He (Poss) even said when I asked him if we get two of them (kiosks) can you let a couple of people (employees) go. He said no it will not take any work load off them. Why spend $5,000 a year for something that is not going to ease his work load and its probably not going to get used that much anyway?. The taxpayers are the ones who will pay for it and over a 12 year period that will amount to (equivalent) a one cent tax increase. People say one cent is not much but it adds up over time,” said fifth district commissioner Jerry Adcock.

“I know a concern after the last meeting was where is the $5,000 going to come from every year. I know we discussed that and I thought that was why we were going to do a workshop but there has never been a workshop called or maybe I missed it,” added second district commissioner Myron Rhody.

“I think we need to discuss if he (Poss) is going to be using his funds to cover that $5,000 or will he be asking for additional fees from us,” said second district commissioner Sabrina Farler.

“Or will it cover itself,” Rhody asked.

“This commission (at some point) will come together to discuss the American Rescue Plan. In my opinion that would be a good time for him (Poss) to come. I have asked if this ARP money will pay the annual $5,000 (kiosk maintenance fees) through December 31, 2024. I don’t yet have an answer for that. He (Poss) can come and talk to us about where the $5,000 would come from including possibly his earmarked fees,” said County Mayor Stribling.

“We could make it (Kiosk) part of our list (for ARP funded projects),” said seventh district commissioner Bruce Malone.

“I feel we need to take it off the agenda (for Monday night) until we discuss how all this ARP money is going to be spent. This could be part of the wish list but I don’t think it should be addressed yet because we haven’t dove into what we are going to do,” said fifth district commissioner Anita Puckett.

“I totally agree. That’s not saying I oppose it,” added commissioner Rhody.

Last Tuesday night, the county commission and county mayor met during a workshop with Mark Farley, Executive Director of the Upper Cumberland Development District and Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency on how the county may spend its $3.9 million allocation in funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to mitigate the community’s challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under ARP guidelines, the county is allowed to draw down half the money this year for projects or programs occurring after March 3, 2021 when the ARP Act was signed into law.

“The money has to be obligated by December 31, 2024 and completely expended by the end of 2026,” said Farley.

In addition to the county’s allocation, the school district and the municipalities are getting their own share of ARP funding.

“There are really three or four ways to spend this money and those have a lot of flexibility. Money can be spent on things regarding economic or safety aspects affected by COVID-19. In some cases building projects may be allowed that expands distancing. Money can be used to reward essential employees who have worked throughout this period of time when there was a lot of uncertainty. They can be rewarded for their due diligence in coming to work. Funds may be directed to address mental health issues and high rates of suicide or other health care concerns. Money could be put toward benefitting senior citizens and non-profit groups. Broadband along with water and sewer projects could be funded which would be very beneficial to DeKalb County,” he said.

Farley admonished the county mayor and commission to identify priorities and levels of funding each should receive.

“You have a unique opportunity to make a huge impact on the future of DeKalb County with how you spend this money if you are strategic about it. Most communities will be able to put in place two or three different projects that will be talked about 30, 40, 50 years down the road. This is what you need to be thinking about. How do we impact future generations,” said Farley.

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