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International Overdose Awareness Day Sunday, August 30

August 27, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

The DeKalb Prevention Coalition in cooperation with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and the DeKalb County Recovery Court is calling on everyone to join in a special observance of International Overdose Awareness Day on Sunday, August 30.

This annual event will be held at the Gazebo of the Joe L. Evins Park across from the Smithville Fire Department. The program will feature guest speakers, LIVE music, a candle light vigil and free Narcan training. The community is encouraged to join in this effort to remember the lives impacted by the disease of addiction as well as their loved ones.

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on August 31 each year which aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.

Thousands of people die each year from drug overdose. They come from all walks of life. International Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable.

Do you recognize the signs and symptoms of overdose? What is the impact of drug use and overdose on family, friends and those experiencing it?


Learn more at

Attorney Gayla Hendrix Unveils “Hometown” Mural Downtown Smithville (View Video Here)

August 26, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

DeKalb County is known for tourist attractions such as Center Hill Lake and the Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Crafts Festival and those scenes are captured in a “Hometown” mural which is now complete on the exterior west wall of the Gayla C. Hendrix Law Office building on the public square.

Hendrix came up with the idea for the mural and turned to local muralist Scott Shaw of Breakthrough Murals to create the design. They invited WJLE down for the unveiling of “Hometown” on Monday morning.

Local Attorney Gayla Hendrix and local Muralist Scott Shaw unveil Hometown A new mural on the side of Hendrix’s law office buil from dwayne page on Vimeo.

“I had the idea of utilizing this wall space for quite some time and traveling to other towns I had seen where a lot of people had done murals . I thought those looked really cool and promoted their small towns. One day I was at the Button Willow Coffee Shop downtown and ran into Scott who was doing a mural for them inside. I introduced myself and told him you are just who I am looking for. I want something like this mural on my building. Scott gave me his business card and we got together and I started sharing ideas I had. I wanted to incorporate scenes from all around our small town including the lake, the Fiddlers Jamboree, and Storytelling. I gave him my ideas and showed him some pictures from the Fiddlers Jamboree website and told him of scenes from the lake that I liked and he came up with the design. We tweaked it a few times and this is the end result” said Hendrix.

Originally from New York, Shaw said he relocated to Phoenix, Arizona in 1994 before settling in Tennessee. Over the years Shaw has dabbled in creating murals for others and was excited to be able to showcase his talents in downtown Smithville.

“I am originally from northern New York. I have been dabbling in murals for probably 20 years part time. I moved to Phoenix in 1994 and worked in child care and did small murals for friends on the side. I was later blessed to be able to come to Tennessee. I work at Federal Mogul here in Smithville. I happened to be at the coffee shop one day and showed a patron some of my work and Joe and Angela Brown of Button Willow asked me if I would be interested in doing a mural for them. I started a mural there and then ran into Gayla who told me about her great idea for this mural. She asked me if I would be interested in doing it. I was so excited to work with Gayla to create this amazing mural for the wall and town,” said Shaw.

The Mural appears to actually break through the brick wall in sort of a 3D image and depicts a man whittling as a pastime, a young man with his arms raised holding a banjo over his head facing a lake view, a young lady fiddler, a youngster playing a bass fiddle, and a woman sharing a story with a child.

Hendrix said she hadn’t thought much about giving the mural a name until people began asking about it.

“A lot of people would drive by and stop to ask questions because they were curious about it. They would ask what the painting was called. Scott and I thought about it and I talked to my sister and we came up with the idea “Hometown”,” said Hendrix.

Newly Elected Public Officials Take Oath of Office (View Video Here)

August 25, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

Although their terms of office won’t start until September 1, the newly elected Assessor of Property, Constables, and School Board members, took their oaths of office in a brief ceremony Tuesday evening at the County Complex.

County Mayor Tim Stribling administered the oaths.

Family and friends were in attendance for the occasion.

DeKalb Assessor of Property Shannon Cantrell Takes Oath of Office from dwayne page on Vimeo.

Those taking the oath were Assessor of Property Shannon Cantrell, who will be starting his second four year term; Constables Waylon Kyle in the 1st district, Darrell Johnson in the 2nd district, Travis Bryant in the 3rd district, Paul Cantrell in the 4th district, Mark Milam in the 5th district, and Jason Brown in the 6th district. Seventh district Constable Johnny King could not attend and will be sworn in later.

School board members Jamie Cripps in the 5th district and Jason Miller in the 6th district also took their oaths of office.

All terms are for four years

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