Local News Articles

Habitat Chili Cook-Off Set for Friday, October 10

October 5, 2014
by: 
Tecia Puckett Pryor
DeKalb County Board of Education "Storybook Chili" won first place for "Best Decorated Booth" last year

It’s chili time and time for you to again support a great cause and decide who makes the best chili in DeKalb County! Come out and cast your vote this Friday, October 10th on the Courthouse Square when Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County hosts its 11th Annual Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale.

Chili will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on the north side of the Courthouse on the Smithville Town Square. In case of rain, the Chili Cook-off will be held at the County Complex.

You can purchase your bowl for $5.00, eat all the chili you want, and vote for your favorite chili and the best decorated booth. Handmade pottery bowls will be available for $10.00. Delicious baked goods prepared by members of local churches and the DCHS Tiger Pride Bakery will also be for sale.

“There’s a chill in the air, making it a perfect time for everyone to enjoy the Chili Cook-off,” said Tecia Puckett Pryor, a member of the Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County Development Committee. “We are looking forward to being outside again on the Courthouse lawn and hope everyone will come out to enjoy the fun and fellowship. Just last month, we completed our Fifth Habitat home in DeKalb County and are making plans for our sixth house to be built in 2015,” said Pryor. “The Chili Cook-off is an important fundraiser for Habitat and money raised will be used in our ongoing construction costs. We hope that everyone will come out and support this great cause!”

At press time, the teams competing in the Chili Cook-off are “Superhero Chili” from the DeKalb County Board of Education; “Hot Checks Chili” from DeKalb Community Bank; “The Courthouse Gang” from the DeKalb County Officials; “Team MTNG – Cooking with Gas” from Middle Tennessee Natural Gas; “The Bean Counters” from Tom Janney, CPA and Associates; “Just Chilin” from Center Hill Realty; “No Liability Chili” from the DeKalb County Bar Association; and a team from Cumberland Adaptive.

Last year, the “The Courthouse Gang” from the DeKalb County Officials won the “Best Chili” award, with The Inn at Evins Mill receiving 2nd place and Middle Tennessee Natural Gas receiving 3rd place. In the decorating contest, “Storybook Chili” from the DeKalb County Board of Education” won first place honors, with the DeKalb County Officials receiving 2nd place and Indian Creek Baptist Church receiving 3rd place. The 2013 event raised approximately $3,500 for Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Habitat for Humanity builds and renovates houses in partnership with volunteers and families in need, regardless of their ethnic or religious background. The houses then are sold to those in need at no profit and with no interest charged.

For more information on the Chili Cook-off and Bake Sale, contact Tecia Puckett Pryor at 597-7370. To contact Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, call 215-8181.

October Proclaimed National Chiropractic Health Month

October 4, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
County Mayor Tim Stribling with Dr. Robert R. Atnip and wife Guylene Atnip
Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss with Dr. Robert R. Atnip and wife Guylene Atnip

During National Chiropractic Health Month (NCHM) this October, Dr. Robert R. Atnip of Atnip Chiropractic Clinic and other doctors of chiropractic nationwide will help educate patients about the value of a “conservative care first” approach to health care, which encourages exhausting non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical treatments for pain management and health enhancement before moving on to other options.

Both County Mayor Tim Stribling and Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss signed proclamations Friday in observance of National Chiropractic Health Month. Dr. Atnip and his wife Guylene joined them.

During NCHM in October, Dr. Atnip will share information about the chiropractic profession's "conservative care first" approach and why it is especially significant to today's health care consumers. This in turn with help patients have well-informed conversations with their health care providers, empowering them to become their own advocates by insisting on information about conservative treatment options.

Why is “Conservative Care First” more important today than ever in facing our nation’s healthcare challenges?

•Numerous recent studies have clearly shown the dangerous overreliance in the U.S. on prescription painkillers that simply mask pain. This has tremendously increased Americans’ risk for overuse, and abuse, of these drugs if taken for long periods, leading to more than 17,000 related deaths in 2010 (more than heroin and cocaine combined). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls the abuse of prescription pain medications an “epidemic.”

•Recent reports question the overuse--and in some cases effectiveness--of more invasive treatments such as spinal fusion surgery and spinal steroid injections for back pain. It makes sense for patients to exhaust more conservative options before undergoing these costly procedures

•DCs are the highest rated health-care practitioner for low-back pain treatments with their patient-centered, whole person approach that provides greater interaction and listening for appropriate diagnosis and developing more cost-effective treatment planning.

"During National Chiropractic Health Month, we're reminding patients to ask about conservative treatment options when weighing their health care choices," said Dr. Atnip. "Chiropractic treatment is a much more safe and cost-effective option for back and neck pain that may reduce the need for unnecessary drugs and surgery."

For more tips on healthy, pain-free living, visit www.ChiroHealthy.com.

Hosted by ACA, National Chiropractic Health Month is a nationwide observance held each October. The event helps raise public awareness of the benefits of chiropractic care and its natural, whole-person, patient-centered approach to health and wellness.

Dr. Atnip, DC, is a graduate of National University of Health Science in Chicago, Illinois. He has been in private practice at Atnip Chiropractic Clinic in Smithville for more than 40 years. For more information about how Dr. Atnip can help you achieve better overall health and wellness, please call 615-597-5375 or visit at 205 South 4th Street.

School Bus Involved in Accident

October 2, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
School Bus Involved in Accident
No One Injured in Bus Accident
THP Sergeant Eric McCormick Investigates Bus Accident

A special education school bus was involved in an accident Thursday afternoon on the Walkers Creek Road.

The bus driver, Dwight Knowles of Smithville was not injured. Neither were the two students and an educational assistant who were also on board.

Knowles, who was driving east, came upon a sharp curve on the narrow road when he met a westbound Ford Focus, driven by Susan Coats of Alexandria. Although the two vehicles never made contact, the bus went off the right side of the road and came to a stop with its left wheels off the ground. Coats was not injured.

Those on board the bus exited through the rear emergency door. Another bus driver in the area who had just completed his route was notified to come pick up the students and take them home.

The accident was investigated by Sergeant Eric McCormick of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby said although the bus was towed to the bus garage, it is driveable and he doesn't believe it is badly damaged. The bus will remain off the road pending a state inspection next week. Willoughby said the school system has another special education bus it can use to replace this one in the meantime

DUD Water Plant Exceeds Cost Projections, Bids Awarded to Begin Construction

October 2, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
DUD Board of Commissioners

After months of planning and legal battles with opponents including the City of Smithville who tried to stop the project, the DeKalb Utility District will soon be starting construction on its own water treatment plant.

During its regular monthly meeting Thursday, the DUD board of commissioners awarded contracts to three companies who were the lowest bidders on three different portions of the project. The total cost comes to $12,958,390, more than $900,000 above projections. However, DUD Manager Jon Foutch told WJLE after the meeting that the project will move forward. "We are over what we projected. We have funds available for $12 million but we are fully prepared to make this treatment plant go forward. We have many options for (addressing) the overrun. We feel like we can make it happen," he said.

W&O Construction Company, Inc. of Livingston got the bid to build the 2 million gallon a day water treatment plant. The company's base bid amount for the project was $7,015,000, the lowest of the three bids submitted. DUD awarded the contract to W&O Construction in an adjusted amount of $6,993,000. The adjusted amount equals the Base Bid minus a deduct of $22,000 under the section for "pre-engineered structure".

Judy Construction Company of Cynthiana, Kentucky will perform construction on the raw water intake. Judy Construction's base bid was for $4,189,000, which was the lowest of the five bids received for this portion of the project. The DUD awarded the contract in the adjusted amount of $4,149,500 which equals the base bid minus deducts of $1,500 in a section for valves and hydrants; $8,000 for a section regarding Raw Water Screen and Accessories; and $30,000 in the section for Vertical Turbine Pumps.

Finally, Hawkins and Price, LLC of Wartrace, Tennessee got the bid for construction of 18 inch Raw and Finished Water Transmission Lines at the base bid amount of $1,815,890, which was the lowest of eight bids received. There were no deducts applied for this portion of the project.

All contracts were awarded by DUD subject to approval of the State Revolving Fund Loan, Rural Development/USDA, Appalachian Regional Council, and the availability of funds.

A ground breaking date has not yet been set but the contracts call for the plant to be completed within eighteen months of the start of construction. The intake is to be finished within fifteen months and the water lines are to be in place within a year.

The DeKalb Utility District has secured two Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loans totaling $5,250,000 to fund this project. The first loan is for $2,500,000 with a $2,000,000 loan and $500,000 in principle forgiveness that will not have to be repaid by the DeKalb Utility District. The second DWSRF loan is for $2,750,000. Additional funding includes a Rural Utilities Service loan for $5,000,000, a Rural Utilities Service grant for $1,250,000, and an Appalachian Regional Commission grant for $500,000".

The project provides for the construction of a new raw water intake structure and raw water pump station on the Holmes Creek Embayment of Center Hill Reservoir (Caney Fork River); an 18-inch diameter raw water transmission line from the raw water pump station to the new 2.0 million gallon per day water treatment plant located along Holmes Creek Road; an 18-inch diameter finished water transmission line along Holmes Creek Road, Allen’s Ferry Road, and U.S. Highway 70; and new 8-inch diameter water distribution lines along Big Rock Road, Dry Creek Road, Game Ridge Road, Turner Road, Tittsworth Road, and Walker Lane. A finished water pumping station will be constructed to deliver water from the Snow’s Hill Water Tank to the Short Mountain Water Tank. The new water treatment plant will also include clarification, mixed media filtration and backwash systems, and a 250,000 gallon clear well.

Retired Teachers Take ‘Pinky Swear Dare’ to Fight Cancer

October 2, 2014
by: 
Shan Burklow
The Retired Teachers of DeKalb County
The ‘Pinky Swear Dare’ campaign
Kim Frazier shows off her new manicure featuring ‘Pink Pinkies’

DeKalb County Retired Teachers Association was honored with a special luncheon provided by DeKalb Community Hospital recently. The theme of the luncheon celebrated Breast Cancer Awareness Month for October by providing pink tote bags and pink nail polish for those present. The group pledged to spread the word about the importance of mammograms and early detection to at least five of their friends and family. The guest speaker was Mila Vazquez-Director of Physical Therapy for DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospitals. Vazquez spoke on the importance of balance, steps that can be taken to reduce the chance of falls, including how to improve your overall health. The afternoon ended with red velvet cupcakes and coffee.

“We were so honored to host the retired teachers luncheon this past week,” said Shan Burklow- Marketing Director for DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospital, “What a wonderful group of people that do so much good on a daily basis for our county. It was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.”

Those present took the “Pinky Swear Dare” sponsored by the hospital’s social media campaign supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month, or PINKtober, as the hospital calls it. The ‘Pinky Swear Dare’ asks the public to pledge and spread the word about breast cancer prevention during the month of October to five people. Upon taking the pledge, participants paint their pinky nails pink to share the message that ‘mammograms and early detection saves lives’. Any age can participate in the dare. If someone rejects the dare, they are asked to donate five dollars to the breast cancer charity of their choice.

“It is our hope that this important message will spread across Tennessee and the nation,” said Sue Conley-CEO of DeKalb Community and Stones River Hospitals, “Breast Cancer is such an ugly disease and early detection is key. It is empowering when we come together, unified, in the fight against cancer. Hundreds have already taken the challenge online, but we don’t plan to stop there. Tell your friends, your neighbors and your family about the importance of regular mammograms after the age of forty. It is a simple, yet powerful, message.”

For more information on the ‘Pinky Swear Dare’ for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, join the DeKalb Community Hospital facebook page.

Pictured: The Retired Teachers of DeKalb County show their support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month by taking the “Pinky Swear Dare”. The dare challenges participants to tell five friends and family the importance of mammograms and early detection after the age of 40. The group received pink nail polish to paint their pinkies pink during the month of October in support of the event.

Pictured: The ‘Pinky Swear Dare’ campaign that is aggressively growing across hundreds of facebook pages.

Pictured: Kim Frazier shows off her new manicure featuring ‘Pink Pinkies’ after taking the ‘Pinky Swear Dare’.

Miss Middle Tennessee Royalty Crowned

October 2, 2014
by: 
Cindy Taylor
Alexis Grace Atnip (Left) and Young Miss Queen Madison Rae Rackley (Center)
Miss (16-18) – Queen & Most Photogenic - Shauna Faith Taylor
Junior Miss (13-15):Queen & Prettiest Smile - Morgan Faith Green &1st Runner Up & Most Photogenic-Brooklynn Storm Estes

The Miss Middle Tennessee Pageants were held this past Saturday, September 27th at the DeKalb Community Complex. The pageant was a fundraiser for the Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital and the Bill Wilkerson Hearing Center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The event raising over $2000 that will be given back to help children with special needs.

Local winners were:

Young Miss (ages 9-12):
Queen Madison Rae Rackley - (Daughter of Gordon & Jessica Rackley)
1st Runner Up & Prettiest Eyes, Hair, Smile, Most Photogenic & People’s Choice-Alexis Grace Atnip (daughter of Veronica Atnip)

Junior Miss (13-15):
Queen & Prettiest Smile - Morgan Faith Green (Daughter of John & Suzanne Harrison)
1st Runner Up & Most Photogenic-Brooklynn Storm Estes (Daughter of Chris & Shana Bogle and Jessica & Nathan Ball)
*Other participant: Abigail Hope Taylor (Daughter of Ken and Cindy Taylor)

Miss (16-18):
Queen & Most Photogenic - Shauna Faith Taylor (Daughter of Ken & Cindy Taylor)

Billy Miller Resigns from School Board

October 1, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Billy Miller

Due to his having accepted a new job with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation which does not allow him to hold public office, Fourth District member Billy Miller has announced his resignation from the Board of Education, effective September 30.

It'll be up to the county commission to name his successor, who will serve as an appointee until the next regular election in August, 2016 to fill the unexpired term which ends in August 2018.

Miller, a long time agent with the TBI, had just completed his first four year term on the school board. He was re-elected to a second term in August.

"Please accept this as notice of my resignation as DeKalb County 4th District School Board Member. My last day of serving on the board will be September 30, 2014," wrote Miller in a letter to School Board Chairman W.J. (Dub) Evins, III.

"I have accepted a position with my job in a division which does not allow personnel to hold public office. Although I had hoped that my position as school board member would be grandfathered in, I discovered after the fact that such was not the case. It is with great regret that I tender this resignation."

"I am honored to have served on our county school board for the past four years. I have always tried to make my decisions based upon what I felt was in the best interest of our children. I feel gratified that we have accomplished so much in the last four years, but realize there is still much to do. It is our responsibility to provide the best education possible for our county’s children. After all, today’s children will someday run the world. We need to make sure they have the tools to run it well," Miller wrote.

According to the County Technical Advisory Service (CTAS), the county legislative body (county commission) may make an appointment when there is a vacancy in an elected county office.

"The person elected (appointed) by the county legislative body serves in the office for the remainder of the term or until a successor is elected, depending upon when the vacancy occurred. When filling a vacancy in a county office, a notice must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county at least seven days prior to the meeting in which the office will be filled. This notice must notify the public of the vacancy and specify the office to be filled at the meeting. Before the county legislative body votes or considers any motion or resolution regarding the office to be filled, the chair shall allow voters of the county an opportunity to submit names to the county legislative body for consideration. The names may be submitted in writing to the chair prior to the meeting or submitted in person at the meeting. In order for a name to be considered, a member of the county legislative body must subsequently nominate the person. Members of the county legislative body may also nominate a candidate or candidates to fill the office or vacancy without the name being submitted by a voter. Nominations do not require a second. If the person nominated is not present at the meeting, the person making the nomination shall submit a signed statement from the nominee that the nominee is willing to serve in the office if appointed."

"After nominations cease, the county legislative body may discuss the nominations and may, at the discretion of the chair, interview nominees or allow nominees the opportunity to address the county legislative body. Upon motion passed by the majority of the members, the vote to make the appointment may be postponed to a subsequent meeting, provided that adequate public notice of the meeting is given."

Flu Clinics Begin Wednesday in School System

September 30, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County School system is partnering with the local health department to offer flu vaccines to students this month, starting Wednesday October 1.

" With the partnership through the local health department, we will be offering flu immunizations for all schools," said Dee Anna Reynolds, Coordinated School Health Coordinator. "Those dates are October 1 for Smithville Elementary; October 8 for DeKalb Middle School and DCHS; October 9 for Northside Elementary School; and October 16 we'll be doing those at DeKalb West School. Parents we're asking that you keep your eyes open for those flu immunization forms that are coming home with your children and get those back to school as soon as possible," she said.

"We're also going to be starting a flu clinic for our faculty, and staff. We have a partnership with Rite Aid to do all faculty and staff flu immunizations and that will be on Wednesday, October 1," added Reynolds.

Trustee Mails 2014 Property Tax Notices

September 30, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Trustee Sean Driver

The DeKalb County Trustee's office has mailed the 2014 property tax notices and you should be receiving yours any day.

Property owners may pay their 2014 taxes without penalty from October 1, 2014 through February 28, 2015. Penalties begin accruing March 1, 2015.

According to Trustee Sean Driver, DeKalb County has property owners in nearly every state in the nation and in some foreign countries. " For 2014, the Trustee's office will be collecting on more than 18,125 parcels of land. We send tax bills to 47 of the 50 states. The only states not on the tax record are Idaho, South Dakota, and Delaware. We also have some mail going to Canada, Germany, and the Virgin Islands," said Driver.

DeKalb County property taxpayers may pay their taxes in person at the Trustee's office, by mail, on-line at www.tennesseetrustee.com or you can make partial payments.

The Trustee's Office began offering the partial tax payment option two years ago. " It became an instant success," Driver told WJLE. "We basically offer the taxpayer two options using the partial payment plan. We can take the total tax bill and divide it equally by two, three, four, five months, etc. or we can accept any amount the taxpayer wants to pay at any time during the collection period. If your tax bill is not paid in full before March 1, 2015, only the unpaid portion of taxes is subject to penalties and interest of 1.5% per month," said Driver.

If you wish to pay on-line visit www.tennesseetrustee.com and select DeKalb County and then follow the instructions. "The service provider, Business Information Systems (BIS), has set this up for Trustees across the state and there is a fee to use your debit or credit card. If you do pay online the fee to use your debit or credit card is 2.75% of your total tax bill. Or pay $2.50 on any total using an electronic check. Online accepts Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and American Express. DeKalb County collects no amounts on service fees, only BIS," said Driver.

Eligible taxpayers may also want to take advantage of the State of Tennessee's Property Tax Relief Program, which is administered in the Trustee's Office.

Tennessee's tax relief program is state-funded and provides a rebate of credit for all or a portion of the property taxes on residential property owned and occupied by low-income elderly, low-income disabled, and disabled veteran homeowners and their surviving spouses. " A property tax relief is based on ownership of the property, all sources of income, and in some instances his or her age. One new change for the 2014 Property Tax Relief Program is the income limit. In order to start an application for property tax relief, your income limit, using all sources of income from 2013, would have to be under $28,270. This program is very beneficial to the eligible taxpayer," said Driver.

For more information, call the Trustee's Office at 597-5176 or stop by the office at 732 Congress Boulevard Smithville, room 103.

Fire Destroys Mobile Home and Pickup Truck

September 30, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Fire Destroys Mobile Home and Pickup Truck on Bethel Road

A fire Monday night destroyed a pickup truck and a mobile home at 3370 Bethel Road.

Central dispatch received the call at 8:28 p.m.

Lieutenant Brian Williams of the DeKalb County Fire Department said the mobile home belonged to Tony Trapp but that Jackie Trapp had been staying there. According to Lieutenant Williams, (Jackie) Trapp was working on a 1994 Ford Ranger with a gas leak near the trailer when a fire ignited in the vehicle. The blaze quickly engulfed the pickup and spread to the residence. Trapp was not hurt but the fire destroyed both truck and the mobile home along with Trapp's belongings.

Trooper Bobby Johnson of the THP happened to be passing by at the time and reported the fire.

Members of the Blue Springs, Keltonburg, and Short Mountain Highway Departments responded along with the tanker truck and equipment truck.

Meanwhile, a local church is seeking help for a family who lost belongings in a fire Saturday in the Jefferson Community.

If you would like to donate clothing for the Ray and Britta Rollins family, bring items to the Harvest Time Church at 150 Tabernacle Road just off Short Mountain Highway on Saturday, October 4 from 10 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. or if you need someone to pick up your donation call 615-548-4531 or 615-684-3286.

The Rollins' have two girls, a three year old and a four year old. The three year old, Ella wears size 4T clothes and shoes size 7-8. The four year old, Emma, wears sizes 4T to 5T clothes and shoes size 11-12. Mr. Rollins needs pants size 32/30, large size shirts, and shoes size 10 1/2 to 11. Mrs. Rollins needs pants size 3 and small to medium size shirts, dresses size 6 to 8, and shoes size 9.

Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded to the fire late Saturday afternoon on South Judkins Lane. No one was home at the time.

According to Assistant County Fire Chief David Agee, firefighters found flames coming from underneath the single wide trailer home, which was being rented by the Rollins' from Alfredo Villa. The fire penetrated through to the master bedroom. Firefighters were able to contain the fire damage to the bedroom, according to Agee. The cause is undetermined but according to Sheriff Patrick Ray no foul play is suspected.

Members of the Main Station, Short Mountain Highway, and Belk Stations responded along with the equipment truck.

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