Local News Articles

Democrats Considering Historic Move of Eliminating Local Primary

March 24, 2017
Dwayne Page
Democrats Considering Historic Move of Eliminating Local Primary

Should the DeKalb County Democratic Party choose its nominees for county offices by convention rather than a primary?

In order to ensure that bona fide Democrats are nominees of the Democratic Party, a party by-laws amendment has been proposed to authorize the DeKalb County Democratic Party Executive Committee to choose the nomination process for the following county offices: County Mayor, General Sessions Judge, Circuit Court Clerk, Sheriff, County Clerk, Trustee, Register of Deeds, Road Supervisor, Assessor of Property, County Commissioners, and Constables. Having a convention rather than a primary would allow Democratic candidates to save money on primary costs and spare money to spend for the general election. The cost to the taxpayers of holding a primary is approximately $20,000.

The proposal does not apply to the city mayors and aldermen and school board members because they are non-partisan positions

Under the plan, candidates interested in becoming a party nominee for a county office would have two months prior to the convention to send a letter stating why they wish to seek the party nomination and provide a brief biography by the time of the mass meeting. The mass meeting would be held one week prior to the convention allowing potential candidates an opportunity to formally announce their candidacies.

The nominating convention composed of the executive committee would nominate and elect candidates who have sent letters to the executive committee for consideration. Candidates would be given an opportunity to address the executive committee and to answer questions by the committee. Anyone receiving a majority vote from the committee would become the nominee for that office representing the Democratic Party. If no one receives a majority vote on the first round, the top two ranking candidates would be voted on again by the executive committee.

Party nominees selected by the convention would be on the August General Election ballot to run against any Republican and or Independent candidates for those offices. However anyone who fails to receive the nomination of either party cannot then run as an Independent in the general election that year. Under state law, (TCA 2-5-101) no candidate in a party primary or party caucus may appear on the ballot in a general election as the nominee of a different political party or as an independent

The DeKalb County Republican Party has historically chosen its party nominees for county offices by caucus consisting of delegates chosen from each district of the county.

The DeKalb County Democratic Executive Committee is made up of twenty members, including a man and woman from each of the seven county commission districts along with the party officers, chairman, vice chairman, secretary, and treasurer, as well as two ex-officio members including an Hispanic and Young Democrats representative.

A Biennial Reorganization Convention to elect party leaders will be held on Saturday, March 25th at 10:00 a.m. at the DeKalb County Courthouse.

Two meetings will be held. The first meeting will be for the sole purpose of reorganization in order for the convention to officially elect the executive committee. That is all the business according to the state bylaws that can be presented at the first meeting. Immediately following the reorganization convention, an executive committee meeting will be held where the proposed bylaws change will be considered by the board. The executive committee will open the floor to hear from everyone in attendance who wishes to express concerns. After taking comments, the committee will vote on whether to move forward with the proposed bylaws change, to make other changes, or to drop the proposal completely.

Smithville/DeKalb Senior Center to Serve Congregate Meals

March 24, 2017
Dwayne Page
County Mayor Tim Stribling
Smithville Senior Citizens Director Pam Redmon

The Smithville/DeKalb Senior Center will soon become a new congregate meal site for the Smithville area.

What is a congregate meal site? Congregate meals are a place where seniors 60 or over can gather to enjoy fellowship and a nutritionally balanced noon-time meal. Currently meals are being served in the Alexandria and Liberty Senior Centers.

Effective April 3, the Senior Center located at 718 South Congress Boulevard in Smithville will begin serving lunch from 11 a.m. until 11: 30 a.m. Monday through Thursday.

County Mayor Tim Stribling told WJLE the Area Agency on Aging and Disability, a division of the Upper Cumberland Development District, obtained a grant to purchase a steam table for the Smithville Senior Center with no cost to the county. This allows Senior Director Pam Redmon to offer congregate meals to senior citizens at the center and to promote awareness of the activities the center has to offer. The meals are provided by UCHRA through their nutritional program.

Anyone age 60 or older is eligible to receive a meal at the congregate site and a donation is suggested. In order to assure a meal, reservations must be made the day before. A reservation sign-up will be at the front desk of the Senior Center and you may register by phone at 615-597-7575. No takeouts.

County Commission to Make Beer Board Appointments

March 23, 2017
Dwayne Page

Four members of the DeKalb County Beer Board may soon be up for appointment to an established term by the county commission.

Last year the commission voted to set terms for members of the beer board. All seven members serve as appointees and the terms are staggered with the 1st, 3rd, 5th, & 7th district positions being appointed in odd years. The 2nd, 4th, & 6th district seats are filled in even years. The beer board is to re-organize (name officers) every year.

In March last year Myron Rhody in the 2nd district, Robert Rowe in the 4th district and Leonard Dickens in the 6th district were appointed. Each term is for two years effective in April. Names of each appointee were placed in nomination by the county commissioners in their districts, 2nd, 4th, and 6th and then voted on by the entire county commission.

Members of the beer board are Jim Stagi in the 1st district, Myron Rhody in the 2nd district, Edward Frazier in the 3rd district, Robert Rowe in the 4th district, Rhonda Caplinger in the 5th district, Leonard Dickens in the 6th district, and Johnny King in the 7th district.

The county commission meets next Monday night, March 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the courthouse.

Parsley Receives "Classroom Champion" Award

March 22, 2017
Dwayne Page
Kristen Parsley
Attorney Jim Judkins, DCHS Principal Kathy Bryant, Kristen Parsley, Leslie and Bruce Parsley, and Dwayne Page of WJLE

Kristen Parsley is the recipient of this week’s “Classroom Champion” award presented by Smithville Attorney Jim Judkins and WJLE.

Parsley, daughter of Bruce and Leslie Parsley and Barry and Elizabeth Young of Smithville, is a senior at DeKalb County High School. She recently received the honor and a special gift card from Judkins.

Kristen is an honors student with a 28 on her ACT. Currently, she is enrolled in two AP courses: Chemistry and Calculus AB. The BETA Club, Science Club, and the Literature Club are just a few of the things she enjoys being involved in. She also enjoys playing tennis, volunteering around town, and being involved in her youth group at the Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Kristen plans to study Animal Science/Pre Veterinary Medicine at the University of Tennessee at Martin before she furthers her education at the University of Tennessee School of Veterinary Medicine in Knoxville.

In an effort to recognize achievements of students in the DeKalb County School System, WJLE has partnered with attorney Judkins in featuring a “Classroom Champion” each week for the next few weeks.

The name of the student selected each week will be announced on WJLE and will be featured on the WJLE website. Each student winning will receive a plaque and a gift certificate.

“This is our way of recognizing and celebrating the achievements of the future citizens and leaders of the community. It can benefit their learning and overall school atmosphere and climate. The students' selection is based on academic performance, responsibility and work ethic, leadership abilities, citizenship, and character, “said Judkins.

DCHS Class of 2017 Solicits Support for Project Graduation

March 22, 2017
Dwayne Page
Susan Webb

Members of the DCHS Class of 2017 are asking for your support of Project Graduation.

Susan Webb, a DCHS Senior, urges you to stop by any DeKalb County branch office of Liberty State Bank to make a donation.

“I am a football cheerleader, tennis player, and a member of FBLA, Student Council, BETA, and the Literature Club at DeKalb County High School. More importantly, I am a member of the 2017 graduating class. We are raising funds for our Project Graduation event that will take place the night of graduation in May. We will have food and fun activities. It is designed to keep us safe from the devastating effects of drugs and alcohol. In order to hold this event, we must raise funds and request the community’s help. Please stop by your local branch of Liberty State Bank in Alexandria, Liberty, or Smithville and make a donation to our account. All help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your support,” said Webb.

New Law Cracks Down on Uninsured Drivers in Tennessee

March 21, 2017
Dwayne Page

Tennessee’s Financial Responsibility Law now requires motor vehicle owners to maintain proof of liability insurance coverage in the event of a car accident or a verifiable exemption. The Department of Revenue has also developed an online system to verify financial responsibility in order to hold Tennessee drivers accountable.

Starting in 2017, uninsured drivers in Tennessee will pay fines and risk losing the right to drive their vehicles if they don’t have proper auto insurance or another form of financial responsibility in place.

The required minimum limits of your liability car insurance are:

*$25,000 for each injury or death per accident.

*$50,000 for total injuries or deaths per accident.

*$15,000 for property damage per accident.

The state’s new electronic insurance verification system matches your vehicle identification number (VIN) with your automobile insurance policy information. Rather than checking for insurance coverage at the time of registration renewal, the system will check for insurance coverage on a continual basis.

If the system cannot match your vehicle’s VIN to a corresponding policy, you’ll get a letter from the state asking you to visit www.driveinsuredtn.com and provide proof of insurance or another form of financial responsibility.

Make sure your VIN is correct on registration and insurance documents to avoid unnecessary notifications from the Department of Revenue.

If you do not respond to the request for information letter within 30 days, you will receive additional notices and potentially have to pay up to $125 in fines. You will also risk having your vehicle registration suspended and losing the right to drive your car if you fail to obtain automobile insurance or some other form of financial responsibility.

To learn more, visit www.driveinsuredtn.com or contact the DeKalb County Clerk’s Office. You may also email insurance.verification@tn.gov

Senator Mae Beavers Considering Run for Governor

March 21, 2017
Dwayne Page
Senator Mae Beavers Considering Run for Governor

State Senator Mae Beavers is reportedly considering a run for Governor in 2018.

The four term Republican Senator from Mount Juliet, who represents DeKalb County in the State Senate, has not yet filed any official paperwork and is still in the very early stages of a potential campaign.

Republicans Randy Boyd of Knoxville, former Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner and State Senator Mark Green of Clarksville have already officially declared and State House Speaker Beth Harwell of Nashville and U.S. Rep. Diane Black are considering campaigns. But Green is now being considered for Secretary of the Army by President Donald Trump.

On the Democratic side, former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean is the only formally declared candidate and Democratic House Leader Craig Fitzhugh is considering a run.

Sheriff's Department Participating in Car Safety Event Wednesday

March 21, 2017
Dwayne Page
Sheriff's Department Participating in Car Safety Event Wednesday

Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. Many deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters and seat belts. Getting safety information and car seat instructions to parents and caregivers is crucial to saving young lives.

Sheriff Patrick Ray and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department are committed to ensuring the safety of your children. Car seats are essential to your child's safety in the event of an automobile accident. Unfortunately, close to 90% of car seats are installed incorrectly and many children travel unrestrained.

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office in conducting a car seat safety check event. Trained car seat technicians will be on hand March 22 from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the Smithville Walmart, located at 515 West Broad Street, Smithville to check car seats and to make sure they are properly installed in your vehicle.

Sheriff Ray says "Every child deserves the chance to grow up and become an amazing adult; make sure your child has the chance. Please plan to visit us at this event."

Young Sportsman Spring Turkey Hunt Starts Saturday

March 20, 2017
Dwayne Page

Tennessee’s 2017 spring turkey season opens on Saturday, April 1 and continues through Sunday, May 14. The state young sportsman hunt for youth ages 6-16 is March 25-26.

Spring turkey harvest numbers have been consistent for a number of years in Tennessee. Tennessee turkey hunters have passed the 30,000 harvest mark for 14 consecutive years during the spring hunting season.

Hunting hours for turkeys are 30 minutes prior to legal sunrise until legal sunset. Legal hunting equipment includes shotguns using ammunition loaded with No. 4 shot or smaller. There is no restriction on number of rounds in magazine. Longbows, recurve bows, compound bows, and crossbows are permitted.

Firearms and archery equipment may have sighting devices except those devices utilizing an artificial light capable of locating wildlife. Night vision scopes are illegal.

Bag limits are one bearded turkey per day, not to exceed four per season. Any turkeys harvested during the young sportsman hunt count toward the spring season limit.

More information on the 2017 spring turkey season can be found in the 2016-17 Tennessee Hunting & Trapping Guide. The guide is available at TWRA offices, license agents, and online at www.tnwildlife.org.

Franklin Scores Grand Slam with Osceloa Turkey Kill

March 20, 2017
Dwayne Page
Linda Franklin Scores Grand Slam with Osceloa Turkey Kill

Retired educator and avid hunter Linda Franklin and her husband retired TWRA officer Ben Franklin recently returned from a hunting trip to Welaka, Florida where they each bagged an Osceola turkey.

With the kill, Linda has scored an American grand slam, having harvested a turkey from each of the four major subspecies in the United States, Eastern, Merriman, Rio Grande, and now the Osceola.

“We went to Florida because it’s the only place that has an Osceola turkey. That is the only one that I lacked having a grand slam. This was my third time down there and for me the third time was the charm. I will have to say in my defense that I have never pulled the trigger on one until this time. When I pulled the trigger, he fell,” she said.

While Linda is thrilled to have her first grand slam, Ben has four grand slams and is one kill away from scoring his fifth. “We’re going to Kansas next month to hunt the Rio again and if he gets one there that will be his fifth grand slam,” said Linda.


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