Local News Articles

Opioid Addiction and Prescribing Conference to be Held

March 8, 2018
Dwayne Page
Dr. Mitchell Mutter

The DeKalb and Smith County Drug Prevention Coalitions are partnering with East Tennessee State University and the Tennessee Department of Health to educate health care professionals and others about proper prescribing practices to curb the spread of opioid abuse.

The Opioid Addiction and Prescribing Conference, to be held at the DeKalb County Community Center at 712 South Congress Boulevard in Smithville, will be held on Tuesday, March 20 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. A dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Mitchell Mutter of Chattanooga, Medical Director of Special Projects for the Tennessee Department of Health.

The program is open to all levels of health care professionals including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, dentists and others interested in solutions.

Attendees will learn about prescription opioid misuse and abuse trends, risk management tools, new laws and regulations effecting pain management specialists, current prescription related trends, the Tennessee Controlled Substance Monitoring Database, Chronic Pain Guidelines, and identifying strategies to incorporate evidence based best practice standards for safe opioid prescribing practices into team-based care.

The registration fee for the event is $50 for health care professionals and $15 for all others.

Click the following link


Drive Thru Mobile Food Pantry Set for March 17

March 8, 2018
Dwayne Page
Drive Thru Mobile Food Pantry Set for March 17
Vehicles Lined up on College Street as far back as Greenbrook Park for previous Mobile Food Pantry

As part of its community outreach ministry, the Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church is again sponsoring a drive thru mobile food pantry Saturday morning, March 17 rain or shine.

In partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank, the church plans to prepare enough food boxes to serve up to 300 families regardless of their income status, on a first come, first served basis. Families will receive enough food to last them for a full week. Second Harvest will bring in pallets of food on trucks. The food will then be off loaded and organized in preparation for the distribution.

Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. and the food will be delivered from 9:00 a.m. until noon. Unlike most food distributions, those being served by the mobile pantry will not have to get out of their automobiles. They will drive thru in a pickup line and volunteers will deliver the food directly to their vehicles, placing the food boxes either in the back seat or trunk. Cars will line up facing north on College Street across from the Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

"It's a mobile food pantry but it's also a drive thru. The recipients will stay in their cars. They will line up starting at 8:00 a.m. on College Street and when we have everything prepared and organized we'll start the line moving, hopefully around 9:00 a.m. Recipients will drive through. As they enter in we'll have a team there to put a box of food in their cars, either in their back seat or trunk," said spokesperson Teresa Trapp Brown.

"We will line up right across from the church (Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church) on College Street. We'll start registration at 8:00 a.m. We'll need the name of the recipients and how many families are being served. We're limited to two families per vehicle to make sure we have enough food," added Isaac Gray, Minister of the Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

Others who wish to volunteer may show up Saturday, March 17 or call for more information at 615-464-7896 or 615-597-4197.

DeKalb Farm Bureau Announces Poster Contest and Essay Winners

March 7, 2018
DeKalb Farm Bureau Announces Poster Contest and Essay Winners

DeKalb County Farm Bureau announces the 2018 Fourth Grade Poster Contest and Seventh Grade Essay Winners. Pictured from left to right are Cathy Officer, Farm Bureau Women’s Chair, Yvette Chivers, 1st place winner of Poster Contest - $50.00, Olivia Gilley, 2nd place winner of Poster Contest - $25.00, Cooper Brown, 1st place winner of Essay Contest- $50.00, and Stephen Officer, President, DeKalb County Farm Bureau.- Also, Mrs. Shelly Jennings was awarded $50.00 for the most entries from her classroom in the Poster Contest and Mrs. Amy Fletcher was awarded $50.00 for the most entries in the Essay Contest. The posters were based on “Farm to Fork” and the essays were titled “Why is Agriculture Important?” (Not pictured-Nolan Gottlied-2nd place winner of Essay Contest-$25.00 recipient). The first place winners will be submitted to the state contest.

Parent-Teacher Conferences Upcoming, No More Snow Days Left

March 7, 2018
Dwayne Page

They were used this year for snow, flooding, sickness, stockpile , and even for the solar eclipse, but the thirteen days built into the school calendar for inclement weather have all been used up and if more days should be missed between now and May 24, they will have to be made up.

The remainder of the school calendar for this year is as follows:

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held on Thursday, March 8 at DeKalb Middle School, Northside Elementary, Smithville Elementary, and DeKalb West School and on Tuesday, March 13 at DeKalb County High School from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Spring break will be March 26-30.

Students will not attend on Wednesday, May 23. That will be an administrative day and all teachers must attend. The last day of school will be Thursday, May 24 and report cards will be sent home.

The commencement for the DCHS Class of 2018 will be on Friday, May 18 on the football field.

City to Take Sealed Bids for Sale of 1992 Fire Truck

March 7, 2018
Dwayne Page
City to Take Bids for Sale of 1992 Fire Truck

With the arrival of the new fire truck, the City of Smithville plans to sell the oldest fire engine in the fleet.

During Monday night’s meeting, the aldermen voted to accept sealed bids for the sale of the 1992 fire truck. Bids will be taken through 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 29 at city hall. The aldermen will take action to award the bid at the following regular monthly meeting on Monday, April 2 at 6 p.m. at city hall.

“We would like to advertise to take bids on the truck. We have looked at websites to check prices of comparable trucks and found them in the price range from $15,000 to $35,000. We would like to set a minimum bid or reserve on the truck and take sealed bids so that it could be open to anybody either private individual or government. The truck we have is in good shape. It has less than 20,000 highway miles on it but it has more hours where we have set and pumped. The rear tires are the original,” said Fire Chief Charlie Parker.

Sheriff Says Scammers Preying on Elderly

March 6, 2018
Dwayne Page

Scammers are preying on the elderly of DeKalb County in a new way and Sheriff Patrick Ray urges you guard against becoming a victim.

According to Sheriff Ray, would be victims have reported receiving calls in recent weeks from someone telling them that their grandchild has been injured in a wreck and needs money for an attorney because they have been arrested.

The caller asks the victim to put money on a Walmart or Google card and then to read off the card’s numbers and access code to them. The scammer then instantly withdraws the money from the card.

Most have figured out it’s a scam but one person has fallen victim to it and lost several thousands of dollars.

Sheriff Ray urges you to just hang up if you get such a call. If you should become a victim report it to the sheriff’s department but don’t expect to recover your cash. “Once those cards are cleared they go into a bank account and then they go outside the United States so there is no way to get the victim’s money back,” said Sheriff Ray.

Mother Needs Help Locating Missing Daughter

March 6, 2018
Dwayne Page
Hannah Marie Grisham
16 year old Hannah Marie Grisham

The mother of a missing DeKalb County teenage girl needs your help in locating her.

16 year old Hannah Marie Grisham went missing from her home in Liberty on February 11 according to her mother, Darlene Grisham.

No one has seen or heard from her and police have no leads as to her whereabouts.

If you should see or speak to Hannah or know where she is please contact Central Dispatch at 615-215-3000 or her mother at 615-318-3040 or 615-580-9064.

Aldermen Want City Administration to Keep them Better Informed

March 5, 2018
Dwayne Page
Smithville Mayor and Aldermen: Seated Mayor Jimmy Poss and Alderman Gayla Hendrix. STANDING: Aldermen Danny Washer, Jason Murphy, Josh Miller, and Shawn Jacobs

Smithville Aldermen, concerned that they are too often being left in the dark by the administration about things going on in city government, want to be better informed.

During Monday night’s meeting, members of the council expressed their frustrations saying they have learned from the public or been asked about certain things of which they were unaware and should have known about pointing to two examples in particular. One involved the hiring of the mayor’s son, Tony Poss without board approval to work part time at the golf course and swimming pool last September after Poss surrendered his lease of the facilities in August. Shortly after Poss gave up the lease, the city entered into a one year contract with Riverwatch Golf & Resort to upgrade and maintain the golf course at a cost to the city of $74,115, most of which is coming from the city’s general fund surplus . Poss’ employment with the city ended Monday (March 5) before the issue was brought up Monday night. From September 1 to March 2, Poss’ gross amount of pay was $300 per week for a total of $8,100.

The other issue involves the city paying a part time employee at the animal shelter since January for working over 40 hours a week without board approval, which is a violation of the city’s agreement with the DeKalb Animal Coalition. Under that agreement, the city is to fund only one full time and one part time position at the animal shelter. Members of the Coalition addressed the mayor and aldermen last month asking that the city make the part time position full time but no action was taken by the board.

"I don't like coming up here and finding out stuff I should know before I get here that they (public) hear on the street. If they know it on the street, why don't we know it?" asked Alderman Danny Washer.

"Maybe we need to have ground rules on what we need to know. We all work full time jobs and I don't want to be called every time somebody wants to do something. I think the leaders we have hired should have discretion up to a certain point and maybe we need to decide where that line is," said Alderman Jason Murphy.

Alderman Josh Miller raised the issue about Tony Poss asking why he was hired.

“This has been something that has been brought to me and I think to others. I would like to know why we have been paying somebody to mow the golf course when we have it subbed out to Riverwatch?

“Who are we paying to mow the golf course?” asked Mayor Jimmy Poss

“I got numbers today and we have been paying somebody (Tony Poss) from September 1, 2017 through March 2, 2018 apparently to mow the golf course,” said Alderman Miller.

“No” responded Mayor Poss.

“So that’s not true?” asked Alderman Miller.

“Not to mow the golf course, no," replied Mayor Poss.

Alderman Miller then produced a city employee payroll data document for Tony Poss bearing the mayor’s signature with a hand written note that reads “part time seasonal salary $300 to mow golf course”.

After Aldermen Miller passed the document to him during the meeting, the mayor admitted that Tony was hired to do other things and not to mow the grass.

“We had a problem and what he (Tony) has done, he has taken care of that golf course with what Riverwatch wasn’t doing. He (Tony) has protected us from freezing up. The pool was running low with no water being put in it. It wasn’t being maintained by the city and that wasn’t Ken’s deal (Ken Lacy of Riverwatch). This is what Tony did. He took care of the city’s property. Now it wasn’t mowing. That’s an error there,” explained Mayor Poss.

Alderman Washer asked City Attorney Vester Parsley if the city can hire a new part time employee without board approval.

“I would really have to look and see. I wouldn’t want to make a comment either way right now,” answered Parsley.

“So is he (Tony) still part time?" asked Alderman Miller

“No, he is not anymore,” answered Mayor Poss

“When did that happen?”, asked Alderman Miller

“Today," replied Mayor Poss

Alderman Shawn Jacobs said he was under the impression that “Riverwatch was supposed to be taking care of everything over there (golf course). I thought that is why we hired them. That was quite a bit of expense to the city,” he said.

The things they (Riverwatch) weren’t going to do we were having Kevin Robinson’s department (Public Works) to do which were already city employees handling those issues,” added Alderman Gayla Hendrix.

"My suggestion is that any issue with an employee whether part time or full time it should come before the board (for approval) so at least we know who our employees are because we are ultimately liable for these people," Alderman Hendrix continued.

Concerning the part time employee at the animal shelter, Alderman Washer said the city is paying him more than it should be. “I averaged it out and from the time he hired in to the end of our last meeting (February) he was paid for 41.8 hours (per week)”.

Janice Plemmons Jackson, the city’s financial advisor, confirmed that the city has been paying more for that part time position than the aldermen agreed to pay. “What we budgeted for the animal (shelter) employees 'salaries was for one full time person, 40 hours and one part time person, 25 hours. That was set in contract with them (Animal Coalition) but we are exceeding the budget tremendously with what they are turning in and the city has been paying for extra things that are not in that contract. It is my opinion that with a contract you either stay with it or you have to modify it,” she said.

As for paying the part timer at the animal shelter, Jackson asked the aldermen what the city should do?

"Go back to what we agreed on. We can't keep spending money that we hadn't put out there (budgeted). If you do little by little its going to catch up to you and bite you," said Alderman Washer.

Community Bids Farewell to Officer Joseph Bowen (VIEW VIDEOS HERE)

March 5, 2018
Dwayne Page

Family, friends, and other mourners including uniformed police officers from a number of county and city law enforcement agencies, firefighters, and other emergency service providers bid farewell to Joseph Bowen Monday.

The memorial service with full police honors was held in Lebanon followed by a procession to his final resting place at Salem Cemetery in Liberty.

The 28 year old Lebanon Police Officer, husband, and father of two lost his life in a crash last Thursday on Highway 70 at Dowelltown while returning home from work.

Firefighters, law enforcement officers, and other emergency services responders stood side by side on Highway 70 and saluted as the hearse bearing Officer Bowen’s body arrived in Liberty.

He is survived by wife Kim Bowen; children Katy Jo and Wesley Brock Bowen; parents Dwayne and Lisa Bogle Bowen; brother Jacob (Kayla) Bowen; uncle Mike Bowen; nephew Knox Bowen; in-laws Steven and Kathy Deffendoll; brothers and sisters-in law Brandon Deffendoll, Chris and Kristina McMillen; niece and nephew Lacey and Cole McMillen. He is preceded in death by grandparents Frank and Helen Bowen and Lemuel and Betty Bogle.

Memorial Donations will be accepted at Wilson Bank and Trust for the children’s scholarship fund. Sellars Funeral Home, Lebanon was in charge of the arrangements.

Chamber To Celebrate 55 Years At Upcoming Annual Banquet

March 5, 2018
Suzanne Williams

Everyone is invited to attend the Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber Annual Banquet. The banquet will be held on Thursday, April 26, 2018 at the DeKalb County Complex, 712 South Congress Blvd., Smithville. “We are excited to again host this enjoyable and informative event. We invite the all the public to share in this fun-filled night of dining, entertainment, and Chamber updates including the introduction of our new Board, 2018 Officers and recognition of our retiring board members. This is a wonderful networking opportunity and a great way to see some of the positive things that are happening in our county,” says Chamber Executive Director Suzanne Williams.

Come early to network as doors open at 5:30 PM. The dinner and program begin at 6:00 PM. The delicious meal will be served by the DeKalb Middle School Jr. Beta Club.

We invite local businesses to be a Corporate Sponsor for the event, to not only support the Chamber and its many programs, but as a valuable marketing opportunity. The cost of corporate sponsorship is $250. Some of the advantages include:
• Corporate Sponsors will be included on all banquet-related printed materials.
• Corporate Sponsors will be announced on the Chamber Chat Radio / TV program, in the Smithville Review, and social media outlets
• Corporate Sponsors and employees will be recognized during the banquet

Banquet tickets prices are $25 per person and can be purchased by calling the Chamber at 615-597-4163, email at: swilliams@dekalbcountychamber.org, text Suzanne at 615-464-7760, or from any of the Chamber Board of Directors – Rita Bell, Isaac Gray, Steve Johnson, Connie Tjarks, Sherry Harris, Beth Adcock, Jane Brown, Dana Scott, Mark Taylor, Lori Webb, Debra Ruzinsky, Tom Sturdivant, Lisa Cripps, and Andy Wachtel. Or, you can stop by the Chamber office located in the DeKalb County Courthouse, Room 201. Remember, you don’t have to be a Chamber member to attend. Everyone is welcome!

Special thanks to our Annual Banquet Committee Members: Rita Bell, Lori Webb, Lisa Cripps, Shan Burklow, Beth Chandler, Connie Tjarks, Sherry Harris, and Jen Sherwood for all the work they do to ensure a successful night. We are also so grateful to the Appalachian Center for Craft for providing table arrangements.

We are going to have a great time and hope you can be a part of the Chamber’s 55th Anniversary.


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