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DeKalb Jail and Annex Again Meets Standards for TCI Certification

February 28, 2016
Dwayne Page
DeKalb Jail and Annex Again Meets Standards for TCI Certification

The DeKalb County Jail and Jail Annex have again met minimum standards for certification by the Tennessee Corrections Institute.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said the TCI recently performed an inspection of the Jail and the Annex.

In a letter to Sheriff Ray, TCI Executive Director Beth Ashe, wrote " the TCI recently inspected the facilities. The inspection revealed that this facility meets all applicable minimum standards. This status shall be reported to the board of control at its next meeting. After approval from the board of control, you will receive a certificate of certification. You are to be congratulated for attaining this degree of professionalism in your organization," wrote Ashe.

Detention Facility Specialist Joe Ferguson, in the report wrote that " On February 10, 2016 I inspected the DeKalb County Jail and Annex. Sheriff Ray and Staff appear to be operating well within standards. Finding no deficiencies, I recommend continued certification for the year 2016," he wrote.

The DeKalb County Jail and Annex have a certified capacity of 102 beds including 78 for men and 24 for women. The average daily population is 79. There were 75 inmates incarcerated on the day of the inspection.

Sheriff Ray says the jail has maintained certification each year of his terms as sheriff and he gives credit to members of his staff for helping him achieve this accomplishment.

Election Officials Anticipate Heavy Turnout at Polls Tuesday

February 27, 2016
Dennis Stanley

With over 200 more votes cast during the early voting period compared to four years ago, a heavy turnout could be the case Tuesday in DeKalb County.

Administrator of Elections Dennis Stanley said 956 votes were cast through Friday for Tuesday’s Presidential Preference Primaries and DeKalb Democratic Primary compared to only 719 for the same elections four years ago.



“Based on those numbers and the results statewide during the early voting period, I expect the turnout could be heavy Tuesday,” Stanley said.
To better help the process move more quickly on election day, Stanley encourages voters to study the ballot in advance. The Democratic Primary ballot has only 2 pages, but the Republican ballot has 9 pages due to the delegate selection process. “Be prepared, know who you want to vote for and know the location of those candidates on the ballot,” he said. Sample ballots will be posted at all voting locations and can also be found at or

Also, voters need to be aware of where they cast their ballots on election day. “You can look at your voter registration card to find your precinct location,” Stanley said, “or you can call our office for more information.”

The election day voting locations are as follows:

•1-1 Sandlin Building,102 Fairgrounds Rd, Alexandria -
•1-2 Temperance Hall Community Center, 2760 Temperence Hall Rd., Liberty -
•1-3 Edgar Evins State Park, 1630 Edgar Evins Park Rd., Silver Point -
•2-1 Liberty Community Center, 140 W. Main St., Liberty -
•2-2 Dowelltown Community Center, 141 Church St., Dowelltown -
•2-3 Snow Hill Community Centers, 821 Snow Hill Rd., Dowelltown -
•3-1 Smithville Church of God, 801 W. Broad St., Smithville -
•4-2 Rock Castle, Austin Bottom Fire Hall, 9430 Goff Ridge Rd., Baxter TN -
•4-3 Courthouse, 1 Public Square, Basement Courtroom, Smithville -
•5-1 Johnson Chapel Community Center, 1143 Johnson Chapel Rd., Sparta -
•5-2 County Complex, 732 S. Congress Blvd., Smithville, TN 37166 -
•6-1 Belk Community Center, 483 Wright Bend Rd., Smithville -
•6-2 Keltonburg Community Center, 3561 Keltonburg Rd., Smithville -
•6-3 Blue Springs Community Center, 3059 Blue Springs Rd., Smithville -
•7-1 Church of Christ Annex, 520 Dry Creek Rd., Smithville –

A map of each location can be found at

Polls open in DeKalb County at 8 a.m. Tuesday and will close at 7 p.m.


Two Injured In Wreck at Walmart

February 27, 2016
Dwayne Page
2002 Chevy S-10, driven by 25 year old Barrett Holubek (Greg Bess Photo)
2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee, driven by 26 year old Brian Bowman (Greg Bess Photo)

Two persons were injured Friday afternoon after their vehicles collided near the Walmart parking lot.

A 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee, driven by 26 year old Brian Bowman of Smithville, was heading up the entrance street toward Walmart from the traffic light on West Broad when he made a left turn into the path of a 2002 Chevy S-10, driven by 25 year old Barrett Holubek. Both drivers received injuries. Bowman was taken by DeKalb EMS to Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital.

Patrolman Andy Snow of the Smithville Police Department investigated the crash. Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department were also on the scene

DCHS Names Honor Students

February 26, 2016
Dwayne Page
Valedictorian Ashli Chew
Salutatorian Max Pafford

DeKalb County High School has released the names of Honor students in the Class of 2016 including the Valedictorian Ashli Chew and the Salutatorian Max Pafford.

Chew is the daughter of George and Lori Chew. Pafford's parents are Mark and Beth Pafford.

The following students have met requirements to be considered for top Rank:

Ashli Chew, Maxwell Pafford, Frank Oliver, Mariah Lynch, Kirkland Smallwood, Noah Parsley, Morgan Vickers, Mackenzie Keaton, Caitlin Turner, Alexander Rhody, Hailey Walker, Seth Wright, Hannah James, Christopher Bryant, Hannah Leach, Kyra Slager, Tyra Graham, Hannah Walker, Anna Malone, Jaidyn L. Huggins, Harley Johnson, Chloe White, Carlee White, Hannah Lasser, Carl Mooneyham, Jr., Caitlin Jacobs, Matthew Wright, Amber Montgomery, Hayden Plymel, Gabriella Nokes, Katherine Parker, Delaney Johnson, Haden Cripps, Elijah Hendrixson, Nicklas Patterson, Katelynn Hall, Roberto Mata, Noah Byford, and Carly Moss.

To be considered for top Rank, students must take at least 10 honors, dual enrollment, and AP courses and students must have a 21 or higher ACT composite score.

The following students are being recognized as having met the requirement for Tennessee State Distinction:

Jailyn Bolding, Jerica Braswell, Chase Bryant, Kaylene Ferguson, Tyra Graham, Elijah Hendrixson, Jaydin Huggins, Caitlin Jacobs, Hannah James, Delaney Johnson, Mackenzie Keaton, Hannah Lasser, Hannah Leach, Mariah Lynch, Anna Malone, Taylor Marshall, Keeley McKay, Carly Moss, Alexis Nokes, Eli Oliver, Max Pafford, Katie Parker, Noah Parsley, Hayden Plymel, Austin Poss, Alex Rhody, Kyra Slager, Kirkland Smallwood, Caitlin Turner, Christian Turner, Morgan Vickers, Hailey Walker, Hannah Walker, Carlee White, Chloe White, Matthew Wright, and Seth Wright.

Students with Distinction have met at least one of the following:

*Earned a nationally recognized industry certification
*Participated in at least one year of the Governor's Schools
*Participated in one of the state's All State Musical Organizations
*Been selected as a National Merit Finalist or Semi-Finalist
*Attained a composite score of 31 or higher on the ACT
*Attained a score of 3 or higher on at least two Advanced Placement (AP) exams
*Earned 12 or more semester hours of postsecondary (dual enrollment credit)

The following students have met the requirements for graduating with Tennessee State Honors:

Chase Bryant, Ashli Chew, Elijah Hendrixson, Mackenzie Keaton, Mariah Lynch, Anna Malone, Roberto Mata, Eli Oliver, Max Pafford, Hayden Plymel, Alex Rhody, Kyra Slager, Kirkland Smallwood, Caitlin Turner, and Seth Wright.

Tennessee State Honors students have met all of the ACT subject area readiness benchmarks. The benchmarks are: English-18, Reading-22, Math-22, and Science 23.

DeKalb County Audit Reveals No Major Issues

February 26, 2016
Dwayne Page
County Mayor Tim Stribling

The annual state audit of the DeKalb County government has resulted in four findings with apparently no major deficiencies or problem areas being identified.


FY15DekalbAFR.pdf (1.72 MB)

The Tennessee Department of Treasury's Division of Local Government Audit today (Friday, February 26) released the Annual Financial Report of DeKalb County for the year ended June 30, 2015.

The findings in the audit are recurring and have been cited in previous years audit reports. Detailed findings, recommendations, and management's response are included in the Single Audit section of this report

"Overall DeKalb County had a good clean audit. You never know what unfunded mandates might be coming down from the state and federal government. As of now DeKalb County is financially stable and we want to stay that way in the future. We always want to look ahead to make sure we maintain financial security. In 2015 the anticipated revenues were on target and we did a good job at holding down our expenditures," County Mayor Tim Stribling told WJLE.

The following are summaries of the audit findings and recommendations:

*Office of County Mayor:

The Solid Waste Disposal Fund had a deficit in unrestricted net position.

The Solid Waste Disposal Fund had a deficit of $3.7 million in unrestricted net position. This resulted from the recognition of a liability totaling $6.7 million in the financial statements for costs associated with closing the county's landfill and monitoring the landfill for 30 years after its closure. The county intends to fund this liability on a pay-as-you-go basis. Generally accepted accounting principles and state statutes require that such costs be reflected in the financial statements. This deficiency exists due to the failure of management to correct the finding noted in the prior-year audit report. County officials should develop and implement a plan that would fund the deficit in unrestricted net position.

It is not the first time the county has been "written up" for this. It has become an annual finding of the state. The county is expected to provide financial assurance of a funding mechanism for performing post-closure corrective action at a closed solid waste landfill that may cause some type of contamination in the future. According to the state, the county is $3.7 million short of meeting that obligation, which could come to as much as $6.7 million over the next 30 years.

"As far as the solid waste disposal fund that had a deficit of $3.7 million, the state would like for us to fund that each year in our budget even though we wouldn't be using it during that year the state wants us (county) to set that money aside for the closing of the landfill and the monitoring of the landfill for 30 years after its closure. But the county funds this liability on a pay as you go basis. The solid waste disposal fund is a proprietary fund that has a liability for the closure and post closure costs for the life of the landfill. DeKalb County does some of the closure and post closure work ourselves to cut down on the costs and the closure and post closure costs will be spread out over several years as each cell has needs," said County Mayor Stribling.

*Office of Circuit, General Sessions, and Juvenile Courts Clerk:
Execution docket trial balances for Circuit and General Sessions Courts did not reconcile with general ledger accounts

Execution of docket trial balances for Circuit and General Sessions Courts did not reconcile with general ledger accounts by $6,725 and $2,937, respectively. Therefore we were unable to determine if the clerk had complied with provisions of the Unclaimed Property Act. The statute provides that any funds held by the courts for more than one year and unclaimed by the owner are considered abandoned and should be reported and paid to the State Treasurer's Office in Compliance with state statutes. TCA (state law) further requires these funds to be reported and paid to the state Treasurer's Office. This deficiency exists due to the failure of management to correct the finding noted in the prior-year audit report

*Offices of Circuit, General Sessions, and Juvenile Courts Clerk and Register of Deeds:

Multiple employees operated from the same cash drawer

Good internal controls dictate that each employee have their own cash drawer, start the day with a standard fixed amount of cash, and remove all but that beginning amount at the end of the day. This amount should be verified to the employee's receipts at the end of each day. Failure to adhere to this control regimen greatly increases the risk that a cash shortage may not be detected in a timely manner. Furthermore, in the event of a cash shortage, the official would not be able to determine who was responsible for the shortage because multiple employees were working from one cash drawer. This deficiency has been a management decision by the officials resulting in a loss of control over assets and is the result of management's failure to correct the finding noted in the prior year audit report. Officials should assign each employee their own cash drawer.

*Offices of Road Supervisor, Trustee, Register of Deeds, and Sheriff

Duties were not segregated adequately. Officials and employees responsible for maintaining the accounting records in these offices were also involved in receipting, depositing, and/or disbursing funds. Sound business practices dictate that management is responsible for designing internal controls to give reasonable assurance of the reliability of financial reporting and of the effectiveness and efficiency of operations. This lack of segregation of duties is the result of management's decisions based on the availability of financial resources and is a significant deficiency in internal controls that increases the risk of unauthorized transaction. Also, this deficiency is the result of management's failure to correct the finding noted in the prior-year audit report. Officials should segregate duties to the extent possible using available resources

Bobby Joines Fondly Remembered by County Commission

February 25, 2016
Dwayne Page
Bobby Joines

A former county commissioner who passed away last week was fondly remembered Monday night during the regular monthly meeting of the commission.

Bobby Joines served three terms as 2nd district commissioner from September 1, 2002 through August 31, 2014.

"He served the county well and we want to keep his family in our prayers and thoughts. Bobby was a good commissioner," said County Mayor Tim Stribling.

"For most of my life on the commission I served in the 2nd district. It's so easy nowadays whether on the local or national level to see all the angriness about politics with opposing parties or even factions within parties. I guess Mr. Joines was probably a lifelong Republican and I am a member of the Democratic Party but I've never met a more leveled headed, thoughtful person in how he approached the business of this court (commission). He not only taught me a lot but I think he served this county well. I'm sorry that he has passed," said 3rd district commissioner Jack Barton.

"I've served up here for a lot of years. There's been up to 400 court (commission) members I've served with and I've met people that'll be lifelong friends and this man ranks up near the top. The word level headed suits him just fine. He was a supervisor to many, many employees at the shirt factory. I have never heard anybody say anything but that the man was fair. And when you go out of this world and you say somebody was fair to everybody concerned I think that's high praise. We're going to miss him,"said 7th district commissioner Larry Summers.

Barry Mabe Qualifies for School Board Race

February 25, 2016
Dwayne Page
Barry Mabe

Another candidate has qualified for the August Board of Education Election

Barry Mabe is now in the 5th district school board race. His petition has been returned and verified by the election commission office. He will be running against incumbent member W.J. (Dub) Evins, III whose petition has also been returned and verified.

Three school board members will be elected on August 4 including one from the 4th, 5th, & 6th districts. The terms are for four years except in the 4th district. The 4th district winner will fill an unexpired two year term.

Others who have obtained qualifying petitions to date are:
Kate Miller in the 4th district
Doug Stephens in the 6th district (Stephens' petition has been returned and verified)

The qualifying deadline is Noon April 7

Missing Smyrna Woman Could be in Smithville

February 25, 2016
Dwayne Page
Missing Smyrna Woman Could be in Smithville

The family of a missing Smyrna area woman is seeking the public's help in locating her.

Smithville Police Chief Mark Collins told WJLE that 36 year old Brianna Leaver Engle may be in the Smithville area. He said Engle's cell phone pinged off a tower here this week leading authorities to believe she may have been in the area visiting friends. Engle is apparently not from here.

Engle is five feet, two inches tall, and weighs approximately 115 pounds. She has been missing since sometime around 10 p.m. on Monday, February 22 and may still be in the Smithville area.

If you have information call Denise at 615-478-4962

The Kellys to be in Concert

February 25, 2016
The Kelly's

The Kelly's will be in concert at the Smithville First Assembly of God, on Sunday March 6. The concert will begin at 10:30 a.m.

The Kelly's are from Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, the birthplace of Southern Gospel music. It just so happens that Lawrenceburg has produced a lot of talent for Southern Gospel music, and The Kelly's are among its history and heritage. When the Kelly family started singing some 50 years ago, they never dreamed of lasting so long and the ministry being as effective as it has been. If you were to ask members, past and present, they would say it has been quite a blessing that only God could have sanctioned.

The Kelly's are known for their exceptional vocal ability and caring personalities. They set a new standard for musical perfection with rich vocal harmony that is shaded with sophistication of Southern Gospel. The Kelly's today stand not only as talented and successful recording artists, but more importantly, messengers of God.

The church is located at 1650 Cookeville Highway, Smithville. The Pastor is Donnie Kelly and he extends an invitation to all to come and enjoy a service of worship and singing.

For more information call 931-260-1763.

Alexandria Postpones Action on Accepting Extrication Equipment from Smithville Fire Department

February 25, 2016
Dwayne Page
Alexandria Mayor and Aldermen

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department has offered to loan its oldest set of extrication tools to the Alexandria Fire Department to start its own extrication team. But the Alexandria Mayor and Aldermen have not yet decided to accept it.

During the regular monthly meeting Tuesday night, the Alexandria Aldermen voted to postpone action until the city learns more from its insurance provider about the potential liability. "I'd like to make a motion that we table this until we can have a workshop and find out from the insurance company what we need to do and what is covered and what is not covered," said Alderman John Suggs. The motion was approved unanimously. Alexandria Fire Chief Brian Partridge, DeKalb County Fire Chief Donny Green, and a representative from the City of Smithville will be invited to participate in the workshop.

At the February meeting of the Smithville Mayor and Aldermen, the council granted Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker's request to loan the extrication equipment to Alexandria.

"I would like to ask the board if it's possible for us to loan the oldest set of tools to the Alexandria Fire Department. They are in the process of trying to start a rescue/extrication team down there. They have a crew and already have several members certified in using the tools. Some of them even came up and trained with us too. We would like to help them out and let them have our oldest set. It's still useable. We were using it up until we just replaced it. We'd like to see if we could loan that to them to help them get started until they can buy or get something on a grant. It would be understood that the tools would be their responsibility with no liability coming back to us on that. I have talked with the Alexandria Fire Chief and we'll make sure they are going to accept the responsibilities of it," said Chief Parker.

Vester Parsley, who serves as city attorney for both the Cities of Smithville and Alexandria, has prepared an agreement should Alexandria decide to accept the equipment. "Originally I was asked to do this agreement between the town and the City of Smithville and I'll wait to see what comes out of your workshop. They (City of Smithville) just wants something to relieve them of the cost of any maintenance and any liability because this is sort of on a permanent loan. It's not an outright gift but it's more or less going to be a permanent loan to the city for their use. It's one thing for the City of Smithville to loan it to you but its another thing for you to accept it. You don't have to accept it. But it would be accepted under conditions," said City Attorney Parsley at the Alexandria meeting Tuesday night.


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