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DeKalb County Recognizes EMS Week

May 16, 2016
Dwayne Page
County Mayor Tim Stribling signs EMS Week proclamation with DeKalb EMS Director Hoyte Hale
DeKalb EMS A-Shift: Tyler Grandstaff, Jonathan Rudd, Kristie Johnson, and Donna Melton
DeKalb EMS B-Shift: Jason Rice, Kim Johnson, Misty Green, and Allen Mason
DeKalb EMS C-Shift: Tim Briggs, Trent Phipps, Matt Melton, Daniel Summers, Daniel Webb, and John Hurd

A week dedicated to celebrating emergency service workers is being recognized in DeKalb County.

The community relies on emergency workers to rush to the rescue, no matter what the circumstance.

County Mayor Tim Stribling signed a proclamation Monday designating May 15-21 as Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week in DeKalb County. EMS Director Hoyte Hale joined County Mayor Stribling for the occasion.

The proclamation is as follows:

"Whereas, Emergency Medical Services is a vital public service; and

Whereas, the members of Emergency Medical Teams are ready to provide lifesaving care to those in need 24 hours a day, seven days a week; and

Whereas, access to quality Emergency Care dramatically improves the survival and recovery rate of those who experience sudden illness or injury; and

Whereas, the Emergency Medical Services system consists of emergency physicians, emergency nurses, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, firefighters, educators, administrators, and others; and

Whereas, the members of Emergency Medical Services teams, whether career or volunteer, engage in thousands of hours of specialized training and continuing education to enhance their lifesaving skills; and

Whereas, it is appropriate to recognize the value and the accomplishments of Emergency Medical Services providers by designating Emergency Medical Services Week;

Now, Therefore, I Tim Stribling, County Mayor, DeKalb County, Tennessee, in recognition of this event do hereby proclaim the week of May 15-21, 2016 as Emergency Medical Services Week.

With the theme, EMS:CARE YOU CAN COUNT ON, I encourage the community to observe this week with the appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities".

Members of the DeKalb EMS Staff in addition to Director Hoyte Hale are:

Donna Melton-AEMT
Jonthan Rudd-EMT-P
Kristie Johnson-CCEMT-P I/C
Tyler Grandstaff-CCEMT-P

Jason Rice-AEMT
Misty Green-AEMT
Kim Johnson-EMT-P
Allen Mason-EMT-P

Trent Phipps-EMT-P
Daniel Summers-EMT-P
Tim Briggs- EMT-P
Matt Melton-AEMT

Daniel Webb-AEMT
Houston Austin-EMT-P
Greta Stone-EMT-P
Jamie Parsley-AEMT

Part Time Staff
Cody Johnson-EMT-P
Jeff Cole-EMT-P
Stephanie Brown-EMT-P
Charles Nokes-EMT-P
John Hurd-EMT-P
Greg Moore-EMT-P
Bryan Locke-CCEMT-P
Michael Hollandsworth-AEMT
Becky Atnip-AEMT
David Hamlet-EMT-P
John Poss-AEMT
Lonnie Laxton-AEMT
Wesley Slager-AEMT
Trent Hillis-AEMT
Jennifer Phillips-AEMT
Jimmy Savage-AEMT
Scotty Jones-AEMT
Rebecca Partridge-AEMT
Kevin Cripps-AEMT
Edward Brooks-AEMT
Dick Kinsey-AEMT
Jimmy Poss-AEMT

Teena Allen-EMS Office Manager

Alex Johnson Seeking Votes For Wheelchair-Accessible Van

May 14, 2016
Dwayne Page
Alex Johnson Seeking Votes For Wheelchair-Accessible Van

Friendship Christian student Alex Johnson of Lebanon needs votes to win a wheelchair accessible van.

The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association is giving away three wheelchair accessible vehicles to local heroes who receive the most votes during National Mobility Awareness Month in May.

Johnson, 10 year old son of Nathan and Danna Johnson originally from DeKalb County, is entered at The prize is a van into which Alex could be loaded, wheelchair and all.

To cast your vote for Alex, follow the link below and search DANNA JOHNSON LEBANON, TN and vote for TEAM ALeX. Votes may be submitted daily, so remember to VOTE EACH DAY.

Alex’s father Nathan is a DeKalb County Graduate Class of 1994, and his mother Danna worked as an Athletic Trainer for DeKalb County High School in the early 2000s. Alex has a brother, Michael. He is also the grandson of former DeKalb County Board of Education Member Mike Johnson and his wife Jeana, both of Smithville.

Alex was born with a rare skeletal disorder called pseudo-rheumatoid chondrodysplasia . Much of the early years were spent seeking answers to his muscle and joint pain. In the beginning Alex was able to use custom braces and a walker to get around, and it was at this time he wanted to run in a 5k race. But of course, he couldn’t “run” so he challenged Greg Armstrong, the Friendship Christian High School Cross Country coach to run with him. The news traveled and even the Nashville News covered the story. They brought a community together and Alex became TEAM ALeX.

The very first race Coach Armstrong pushed him, but Alex wanted to finish on his own. It was an intense yet amazing experience for everyone. Since that time Alex and Coach Armstrong have paired together for many races. The two continue to inspire others and one another. In fact Alex has helped Coach Armstrong educate people on his mission “Run 4 Water”, where he and local teens raise money for a mission trip to build water filtration systems for clean water in Honduras.

In turn, Coach Armstrong has been with Alex as he educates people on being more respectful and conscious of those with disabilities including not staring, pointing, or invading designated areas for those with disabilities. Alex has spoken in chapels, schools, rotary clubs, and other events spreading the word. He touches most everyone he meets with his positiveness and “Never Give Up” attitude. Alex gets involved when he can and he has taken up bowling, kick ball, and recently he participated in skate week at his school. He has a skateboard and a rope where his friends pull him around.

Those around him focus on what Alex can do, not what he can’t do. Alex has made this very easy for everyone. His parents receive numerous comments about the things Alex does for people or how he inspires them. Just recently Alex received a donation of his own customized powered wheelchair. This donation has been a great blessing as he has begun to have difficulty using the manual wheelchair as his joints deteriorate. With the new addition of the chair a vehicle will be needed to accommodate his needs. Alex deserves a life that is not hindered by his limitations but one that is full of opportunities. Have a means of transportation for Alex would not only be appreciated by his family, but by the many he has inspired. Go TEAM ALeX!

Over 18 million people in North America are living with restrictive mobility issues. This is your chance to change the lives of just a few of those triumphing in the face of adversity.

Man with Machete Charged with Domestic Assault

May 14, 2016
Dwayne Page
Jeffery Banks

A Smithville man has been arrested for domestic assault after allegedly threatening family members with a machete.

44 year old Jeffery Banks is under a $5,000 bond and he will make a court appearance on June 9.

Smithville Police were dispatched to a residence on Thursday, May 12 in reference to a domestic assault. There they found Banks who had been drinking. He was yelling at officers and family members in the residence. Upon investigation it was determined that Banks had made verbal threats toward the victims and displayed a large machete, which placed the victims in fear for their safety.

58 year old Thomas Richard Squires was arrested for DUI on Friday, May 6. Squires was involved in a motor vehicle accident on Allen Ferry Road. During the investigation, police found that he had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person, slurred speech and he was unsteady on his feet. Squires performed unsatisfactorily on field sobriety tasks. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on May 26.

46 year old Martin Jeffery Neal was arrested for public intoxication on Saturday, May 7. Police found Neal on West Main Street and observed him to be unsteady on his feet and to have slurred speech. Neal had trouble standing and walking without assistance and he had a strong odor of a fermented beverage about his person. Neal was placed under arrest due to him being a danger to himself and the public and because of his level of intoxication. Bond for Neal is $1,500 and he will be in court on May 26.

44 year old Richard Brandon Turner was arrested on Saturday, May 7 for theft under $500. Turner was observed walking out of Wal-Mart with items that he hadn’t purchased. Due to this offense and Turner having been previously caught taking similar items from the store he was arrested. His bond is $3,000 and he will make a court appearance on May 26.

28 year old Brandy Nicole Turner was arrested on Saturday, May 7 for public intoxication. Police responded to a call of a trespasser and found Turner who appeared to be under the influence of intoxicants. Turner was paranoid and seemed to be seeing things that were not there. Turner was determined to be a harm to herself and others and was placed under arrest for public intoxication. Her bond is $1,500 and her court date is May 19.

32 year old Steven Darrell Bly was arrested for violation of bond conditions on Sunday, May 8. Officers were called to a residence in reference to a domestic related incident. Police were advised by Central Dispatch that Bly had active bond conditions preventing him from being near the victim who was also present in the residence. Bly was taken into custody without incident. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is May 19.

26 year old Jonathan Wade Hummel was arrested for inhalants on Wednesday, May 11. Police responded to the parking lot of Rite Aid Pharmacy due to a person who was unresponsive in a vehicle. Hummel was found asleep sitting in the driver seat of his automobile. Officers awoke Hummel, and observed him holding a bottle of an aerosol spray duster. Hummel was taken into custody and charged with inhalants. His bond is $3,000 and his court date is May 26.

DTC Board Member Loses His Life

May 13, 2016
Dwayne Page
Charles Dwight Vinson

A long time member of the DTC Communications Board of Directors lost his life in a weather related accident last week on his property on the 7200 block of Ruel McKnight Road in Rutherford County.

64 year old Charles Dwight Vinson, who represented the Milton Exchange on the DTC Board, was killed around 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4 as strong winds caused a large tree to fall on him while he was working in his yard, according to a report in the Daily News Journal.

Rutherford County Fire Chief Larry Farley said Vinson was weeding around his yard and that when he got back on his four-wheeler and drove up his driveway, the wind appears to have caused a large hickory tree to fall on Vinson, killing him on impact. Vinson was found by his son.

The funeral was held last Saturday, May 7 at Lascassas Baptist Church. Burial followed in the Milton Cemetery.

Fire Forces Woman and Children From Their Home

May 13, 2016
Dwayne Page
Fire at Home of Brooke Pedigo on E.H. Haas Road Wednesday

A bedroom fire forced a woman and three children from a home on E.H. Haas Road Wednesday evening.

Captain Anthony Boyd of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department told WJLE that the blaze was reported at around 5:30 p.m. at the home of Brooke Pedigo . Although Pedigo lives there, the house actually belongs to Ronnie and Sue Cook.

Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy smoke coming from the residence. According to Captain Boyd, the fire was contained to one bedroom but heat and smoke spread throughout the home. Pedigo and the children were unharmed. Local members of the American Red Cross were called to assist the family with their immediate needs.

The cause of the fire is undetermined.

Members of the Main Station, Liberty, and Short Mountain Highway stations responded along with the fire department’s tanker truck. The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department and DeKalb EMS were also on the scene.

Letter Carriers Ready to Stamp Out Hunger

May 13, 2016
Dwayne Page
Letter Carriers Ready to Stamp Out Hunger

Your help is needed in fighting hunger and feeding hope on Saturday, May 14 by joining with the Letter Carriers (NALC) union in its 24th annual food drive--the largest one-day food drive in the nation.

The annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive permits residents to leave non-perishable food at their mailboxes for letter carriers to pick up when they deliver the mail. The drive is held each year on the second Saturday in May.
Letter carriers will be collecting non-perishable food donations for the drive from postal customers in the Smithville area as they deliver mail along their postal routes. People are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods such as canned soup; canned vegetables; canned meats and fish; pasta; peanut butter; rice or cereal next to their mailbox before the regular mail delivery on Saturday.

According to local Letter Carriers, food items can be left in your mail box for mail carriers to pick up or you may drop off your donations at the lobby of the Smithville Post Office

Carriers will bring the food to local food banks, pantries or shelters in DeKalb County. For more information, call Roger Young at the Smithville Post Office at 615-597-4781.

Last year’s drive collected approximately 71 million pounds of non-perishable food that was left in bags next to postal customers’ mailboxes. It was the 12th consecutive year that letter carriers have collected more than 70 million pounds of food, and it brought the drive’s grand total to more than 1.4 billion pounds of food collected.

DeKalb-Cannon County High School Football Alumni Game Saturday Night

May 13, 2016
DCHS Tigers
Cannon County High School Lions

Former players for both the DeKalb County Tiger and Cannon County Lion football teams will congregate at Fred Schwartz Field in Woodbury on Saturday evening, May 14, for a first-ever Alumni football game between the two schools. Kickoff of the full contact event is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. WJLE will have LIVE coverage with John Pryor.

Cannon County and DeKalb County have had a long-standing border rivalry in all sports, which spans the course of decades. In 1963, high schools in Smithville and Liberty combined to form a consolidated DeKalb County High School. Games between schools in the region were played prior to that consolidation, but the first official consolidated Cannon County - DeKalb County football game was played in the fall of 1963, which the Tigers won in Smithville, 12-0. DeKalb County won again in 1964, 39-0, in Woodbury, but the Lions claimed three straight in the series from 1965-67, before the series was suspended until the 1971 season.

The two teams tied, 6-6, in 1971, but DeKalb County gained a stranglehold in the series from that point, winning the next 15 games in the series, from 1972-2004. Cannon County won two of the next three meetings, including a 47-7 rout of the Tigers in 2005, which laid the three-plus decade streak to rest. After a Lion win in the 2007 game in Smithville however, DeKalb County took command of the series, having won the last eight meetings, including the most lopsided result in the series in 2015, when the Tigers rolled to a 69-3 rout of the Lions in Smithville.

In all, since DeKalb County's high school consolidation in 1963, the Lions and Tigers have played 32 total times. DeKalb County holds a 26-5-1 all-time lead in the series. The Tigers are 12-4-1 against the Lions in Smithville, and hold a 13-1 advantage over the Lions in games played in Woodbury. One neutral site game was played in Baxter in 1972, which the Tigers also won.

DeKalb County averages 27.7 points per game against Cannon County, while the Lions average 9.7 points per game against the Tigers.

DeKalb County's alumni roster features 33 players from various teams, dating back to the Class of 1993 through players who graduated in 2015.

Admission to the game Saturday evening is $10, with proceeds to benefit each school's football program. Tickets will be available at the gate.

DeKalb Cleanup Day Saturday, May 14

May 13, 2016
Dwayne Page
Sheriff Patrick Ray, County Mayor Tim Stribling, Chamber Director Suzanne Williams, Ellie Adkins, Public Works Director Kevin Robinson, Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss

The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce and the DeKalb County Mayor’s office would like to invite residents across the county to participate in the DeKalb County Clean Up and Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event on Saturday, May 14th. The DeKalb Clean Up event will be held in conjunction with the Keep America Beautiful initiative going on across the country. The Household Hazardous Waste Collection event is sponsored by Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and will be collecting items leftover household chemicals, automotive materials, old lawn and garden products, etc.

County Mayor Tim Stribling says, “We invite people to come out and help clean up around our communities and highways. Folks are welcome to pick up litter at places of their choice, or we will be glad to assign a safe place for you.” “We are glad to be partnering with the TN Department of Environment and Conservation to help people properly dispose of toxic products such as drain openers, disinfectants, fuel additives, aerosols, mercury thermometers, paint thinner, and fluorescent light bulbs.”

Suzanne Williams, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, would like to remind everyone that DeKalb County’s peak tourism season is about to begin, so now is a great time to start getting things spruced up for our coming visitors. According to Williams, “I think we are all aware of the value and importance of beautification in our communities to attract newcomers and tourists to our area and to maintain a stable and growing economy.”

To get a head start on clean up, dumpsters will be set up at highly visible and convenient locations a few days prior to the main event. Dumpster locations will be at the Dowelltown Community Center, Liberty Community Center, Alexandria City Parking Lot (behind square), and the County Complex parking lot.

DeKalb Clean Up volunteers are asked to stop by the lot between the Smithville Church of God and DeKalb Co. Farmers Co-op, 725 W. Broad St., Smithville on May 14th between 9 AM and 10 AM to sign-in and pick up the provided trash bags, rubber gloves, and bottles of water. We will be taking a group picture at 9:30 AM for the media if you like to participate in that.

TDEC will be collecting household hazardous waste from 9 AM to 1 PM at the same 725 W. Broad St., Smithville location. No paint cans accepted. Paint cans and old appliances are accepted daily at the DeKalb County Convenience Centers.

For early sign-up, you can stop by the Chamber, located in the Courthouse, Room 201, anytime during regular office hours by May 13th to pick up supplies. Or if stopping by is not convenient, call the Chamber office at 615-597-4163 to be counted as a DeKalb Clean Up volunteer -- just give your name and the general area where you will be working. Whether you’re beautifying your street, a highway, a park, ball field, a stream, or your own home, what a difference we can make through working together to make our communities safer, healthier and more livable!

Household Hazardous Waste Mobile Collection Service in DeKalb County Saturday

May 13, 2016
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s mobile household hazardous waste collection service will be in DeKalb County on Saturday, May 14. Since the program’s inception in 1993, more than 322,000 households have properly disposed of more than 21 million pounds of material.

“Our household hazardous waste mobile collection service provides the people of Tennessee with a safe, environmentally friendly way to dispose of unwanted household chemicals and other potentially hazardous wastes at no cost,” said Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau. “This service travels across the state holding collection events in local communities, and we encourage all Tennesseans to take advantage of the opportunity to utilize it.”

On Saturday, May 14, any Tennessee resident may bring his or her household hazardous waste to the lot between the Smithville Church of God and DeKalb County Farmers Co-Op at 725 West Broad St. in Smithville from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. The local contact for this HHW collection event is (615) 597-5175.

HHW material is considered flammable, toxic, reactive and/or corrosive and should not be placed with regular garbage. Typical items to dispose of include cleaning fluids, pesticides, mercury thermometers and thermostats, fluorescent lamps, lithium and button batteries, aerosols, adhesives, medications, brake fluid, swimming pool chemicals and paint thinner. Items not accepted include ammunition, explosives, alkaline batteries, paint, electronics, medical waste and any empty containers.

While household waste may be disposed for free, there is a cost for disposal of Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator Waste (i.e. wastes from non-household sources such as businesses, schools, farms, churches, etc.). An appointment is also necessary. Call (615) 643-3170 to request a price quote and schedule an appointment.

Many counties and municipalities meet the needs of local residents by providing collection of batteries, oil, paint, antifreeze and electronic scrap – or BOPAE as it is sometimes called. When handled correctly, these BOPAE materials are minimally hazardous, but inappropriate for collection at household hazardous waste events. Contact your local city or county solid waste department to find BOPAE collection sites in your area.

When transporting materials to the site, place containers in sturdy boxes lined with newspaper to prevent spills and cross-contamination in the trunk of a car or back of a truck. Be sure to keep materials away from children and pets. Materials should be kept in the original containers whenever possible. If not, place each waste in a separate plastic container with a secure lid and label its contents.

For more information on the household hazardous waste mobile collection service, please call 1-800-287-9013 or visit

Caplinger Named District Softball Tournament MVP

May 12, 2016
Dwayne Page

DCHS Tigerette Pitcher Kayley Caplinger has been named the Most Valuable Player of the District 8AA Softball Tournament.

The All-District Regular Season and District Tournament selections were announced Wednesday.

Caplinger pitched a shutout every night of the tournament and only allowed 9 hits in 4 games played with 28 strikeouts.

Members of the All District Tournament Team from DeKalb County are Tyra Graham, Dani Meadows, Katie Hall, and Joni Robinson.
DeKalb County also had its share of honors for the regular season.

Tigerette Coach Danny Bond was named Coach of the Year in District 8AA

Kayley Caplinger was selected as District Co-Player of the Year, Co-Pitcher of the Year, and Offensive Player of the Year.

The District’s Defensive Player of the Year is Tyra Graham.

Members of the All District Team from DeKalb County are Kayley Caplinger, Tyra Graham, Dani Meadows, Katie Hall, Hannah Walker, and Myranda Bailiff. Allison Maynard received honorable mention.

Maddison Parsley and Joni Robinson were named to the All District Freshman Team


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