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Go Boating! Have Fun and Stay Safe Over Labor Day Holiday Weekend

September 3, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

The Labor Day holiday, the final major weekend of the 2020 summer boating season, is Sept. 5-7. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency wants to emphasize the use of life jackets while boating in a safe and responsible manner.

The TWRA wants all those who visit the waterways to have an enjoyable time. However, TWRA officers will be on the watch for dangerous boating behavior, such as boating under the influence (BUI) and other reckless operation.

The TWRA has seen a large increase in paddle craft activity throughout the state. Boating officers report seeing an increase on rivers and streams, and on reservoirs.

“Paddleboards, canoes, and kayaks are recreational vessels and shouldn’t be treated as toys,” said Cpt. Matt Majors, TWRA Boating Investigator. “Boaters should have the proper life jackets and wear them. It is important to stay away from swollen creeks and rivers as the waters can be hazardous to novice boaters.”

To date in 2020 on Tennessee waters, there have been 22 boating-related fatalities, an increase of 16 from the same time last year. There have been 49 incidents resulting in 65 people injured and 70 property damage incidents.

Newly Elected Smithville Aldermen to Take Oath of Office Friday Evening

September 2, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

The newly elected Smithville Aldermen will take their oath of office during a special meeting of the city council on Friday, September 4 at 5 p.m. at city hall.

The special meeting will be held in lieu of the regular September board meeting.

Incumbent Aldermen Shawn Jacobs and Danny Washer were re-elected while Jessica Higgins defeated Incumbent Alderman Donnie Crook for the third available alderman seat in the Municipal Election last month. All terms are for four years.

Mayor Josh Miller will then appoint aldermen and citizen members to various city boards and committees. A vice mayor will be named along with commissioners/aldermen to oversee each city department, including police and fire, water and sewer, streets, financial and taxation, etc.

The aldermen will name a successor to city judge Hilton Conger who announced his retirement as judge last week. The candidates for the appointment are local attorneys Gayla Hendrix and Mingy Bryant-Ball. The term is for two years. Since Hendrix is also one of the aldermen, she will have to abstain from voting. If she were to be appointed city judge, Hendrix would have to resign as alderman.

The aldermen will also vote on second and final reading to adopt an ordinance to change the zoning classification of the Mark Wallace property on Miller Road from R-1 low density residential to C-1 local commercial.

The property, formerly known as Mark’s Body Shop, is located adjacent to City owned property where the water tower is located. Although Wallace ran a business for several years on his property, it was not zoned commercial, but residential. The property has now been sold and will be used for other commercial purposes.

Mayor Miller said the Smithville Planning Commission recently voted to recommend that the alderman change the zoning from R-1 to C-1.

Following the meeting, a groundbreaking for the new police department building will take place at the site on the north side of the city hall/police and fire department building on Don Cantrell Street.

Library Staff Find Ways to Continue Service Through COVID-19 Pandemic

September 2, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Library staff continue to provide services through the COVID-19 pandemic though not in the usual manner.

“The library staff wants you to know that we miss all our friends and look forward to the time when we can get back to some form of normalcy. We appreciate everyone for being so patient and understanding with us during this crazy time. Please be assured that the library staff is here to support and serve our community and will provide as many services as possible through curbside and hopefully in the near future in person visits by appointment. The safety of our community and library staff is of paramount importance in any decisions that are made,” said Library Director Kathy Hendrixson.

“The services through curbside consists of faxing, copying, printing, notary, book and DVD check out and new patrons can acquire library cards. Patrons can reserve items by going to OPAC or calling the library. The books or DVDs will be checked out and the patron will call when they arrive at the library and a bag with the items will be placed outside the library door for pickup. We have a special e-mail for those that need items faxed, copied or printed so call the library for this information. The library patrons also have access to magazines and thousands of audio and e-books through READS for free with their library card. This download counts toward the library’s circulation. Wi-Fi is available outside the library 24 hours a day for use by the community. If there are other services that we can provide in a safe manner we will certainly do so”.

“The books and DVDs that have been donated are greatly appreciated. The libraries are not taking any further book donations at this time due to the huge volume of books we have received and the lack of space to store more. We are trying to come up with a safe plan to have a book sale so stay turned for more information on this. It may be virtual or at some venue outside the library with COVID19 safety guidelines in place,” Hendrixson continued.

“Justin Potter Library will start our Facebook Live Storytime again on Friday, September 25th at 10:00 AM. So please join us for a morning of fun”.

Please contact Justin Potter Library at 615-597-4359, Alexandria Library at 615-529-4124, our webpage at or Facebook for more information.

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