Local News Articles

MyKaela Duke and Hunter Collins Receive DCHS White Rose Awards

May 24, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
MyKaela Duke Receives White Rose Award from Principal Patrick Cripps
Hunter Collins Receives White Rose Award from Principal Patrick Cripps
Matt Boss Receives Citizenship Award from Principal Patrick Cripps
Mark Willoughby, Randall Hutto, and Patrick Cripps
This Photo by Judith Hale

It was a night of joy and celebration Friday evening for the Class of 2013 on the occasion of graduation at DeKalb County High School.

Three of the most outstanding members of the class were singled out for special recognition. This year's White Rose Awards went to MyKaela Duke and Hunter Collins while the Citizenship Award was presented to Matt Boss.

(CLICK PLAY BUTTON BELOW TO HEAR ENTIRE DCHS GRADUATION PROGRAM)

The White Rose is presented to a boy and girl from the class for outstanding achievement and leadership, academics, and other activities. The Citizenship Award is given to the senior who has demonstrated outstanding service, devotion and loyalty to DeKalb County High School. The honor students were also recognized during the program.

The 181 graduates received their diplomas during the commencement, each one shaking hands with Director of Schools Mark Willoughby as their names were called by Principal Patrick Cripps and Assistant Principal Kathy Bryant.

In his remarks, Valedictorian Taylor Leach talked about the unity of this class. "What if I told you that 1+1 equals 1. Many people say that one is the loneliest number but I'm here to tell you why this statement couldn't be any more inaccurate," said Leach.

"The senior class of 2013 at DeKalb County High School has many individuals with many unique characteristics. However, we have something that I believe no other class is fortunate enough to have. We have a sense of unity," said Leach.

"We all have memories from this place that will last a lifetime. We all have friends that may leave but will never be forgotten. No matter where we go from here, we will always have those to remember, and each memory adds to another to form one giant high school experience," he said

"I just want you to look around at the people sitting in front of, beside, and behind you. This will most likely be the last time you see each and every one of them together. So live it up because the people around you tonight have all combined to make you the one person you are right now. I'm glad that we were all able to work together to form the one and only class of 2013," said Leach.

Matt Boss, Class President, urged his classmates to face their challenges and strive for excellence. "No matter where we go or what we do, there are challenges ahead of us. We need to meet those challenges straight on with an open mind and heart. We must try to excel in everything we do; strive for excellence in every task," said Boss.

"Although it may not be easy to see, every accomplishment you achieve is added to the world's accomplishments. Your individual successes benefit society as a whole because when you succeed, you lighten the burden on your fellow man. When you succeed, you are in a position to give rather than take," he said.

"We may not have the power to inspire the entire world to strive for success, but we do have the power to try to achieve it for ourselves. My challenge to each of you is to do all that you can to reach your full potential. The future is truly in our hands, so let's make the most of it. Congratulations to the graduates of the class of 2013," concluded Boss.

Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto, guest speaker, admonished the graduates to find their internal and eternal joy in life.

"All of you are searching for the same thing and that's happiness," said Hutto. What really makes us happy? Is it love? Is it money? Having your own way? Having a car or a job or all of the above? There are a number of things that can make you happy. But being happy is an emotion. True happiness comes from within. Not being controlled by your environment or your circumstances. Making the best of what you have and not letting people or situations control your joy. Finding that secret of joy is tough but it can be obtained. And once you have internal joy and eternal joy, you can face any challenge that comes your way," said Hutto,

"As you transfer from school to life the game is going to change a little bit. The difference between school and life is that in school you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life you're given a test that teaches you a lesson. Tonight I ask you to do three things for me on your way to ensuring your internal joy. Believe in yourself. Don't doubt what you can do. Don't let people intimidate you. And don't let what people think about you stop you from doing the right thing. Have no regrets. Don't limit yourself. Don't play it safe. Don't do just what is required. Don't do the minimum. Strive to be the best. Find your purpose in life. I believe there is a master plan for all of us and that plan may change as life moves forward. When you find what your purpose is, you'll know it. I've heard it said, if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life. But what really matters and what will take you further than anything is your relationships. Today I challenge you when this graduation is over to find those people who made a difference in your life. Go to them, give them a hug, and tell them that you love them. That's internal joy," he said.

"Eternal joy can only be found in a relationship that will secure your ending. That's to let you know that in the end everything will be okay. That one day you'll be victorious. It's a relationship that will sustain you with peace and joy at the lowest times of your life and at the mountaintops as well. My wish for you is that you have that relationship. It is the most important one that you will ever make," said Hutto.

"Graduates, put your seatbelt on. Life is just beginning. Hold on and best of luck to you," concluded Hutto.

The program featured the processional and recessional by the DCHS Band; Invocation by FCA member Cassandra Lester, music by the DCHS Chorus and Theater; a special performance by the BETA Group; DCHS Guidance Counselor Lori Myrick introduced the honor students; and the Benediction was delivered by FCA member Taylor Leach.

Brown named NHC Dietary Partner of the Year

May 24, 2013
Holly Brown (Left) named NHC Dietary Partner of the Year

Holly Brown of Smithville was recently recognized as the Dietary Partner of the Year in the NHC Central Region. Mrs. Brown has worked full time at NHC Smithville for almost 2 years. She will be honored at a banquet at Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro, TN on May 30, 2013. Brown will be recognized as the best on the best among 13 other NHC healthcare centers and assisted living facilities in Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky.

“Holly is hard-working, dependable, honest, and highly skilled. She is a tremendous asset to NHC Smithville and we are fortunate to have her as a valued member of our team,” Amanda Savage, Dining Services Manager said. Clint Hall, Administrator, added, “Holly has a deep commitment to excellence, whether it is the quality food she prepares or helping her fellow partners. This is a great accomplishment for her and for NHC Smithville.”

NHC HealthCare, Smithville offers inpatient and outpatient rehabilitative care and accepts Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, workers compensation, managed care, and private funds. The inpatient healthcare center offers skilled nursing and rehabilitation services to adults of all ages on a short-term and long-term basis. NHC Scott’s outpatient clinic offers physical, occupational, and speech therapy services. For more information about NHC Smithville, visit www.nhcsmithville.com or call (615) 597-4284.

(Left to Right: Holly Brown, Emily Estes-Registered Dietician, and Amanda Savage-Dining Services Manager)

Smithville Police Arrest Man With Air Soft Gun on School Property

May 23, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Cody Daniel Harchenko

Smithville Police arrested a 19 year old man Wednesday afternoon after finding him on the property of Smithville Elementary School with an air soft pistol. It's not known for certain if he is the same person who had been seen earlier that morning which led to a brief lock down of the school.

Cody Daniel Harchenko is charged with displaying a weapon on public property. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on June 6.

According to police, Corporal Travis Bryant was dispatched to Smithville Elementary School at 2:15 p.m. Wednesday in regard to a man on the property with a gun.

Upon arrival, Corporal Bryant said he observed a man (Harchenko) in the fenced area of the front of the school. The man had what appeared to be a black pistol tucked in the waistband of his pants. But while it looked like a real gun, police found that Harchenko actually had an air soft pistol.

Smithville Elementary School was placed on lock down for about fifteen minutes Wednesday morning after a student reported seeing someone near the school wearing dark clothing possibly with a weapon. Smithville Police responded. A search of the school property turned up nothing at that time.

Randy Gerald Petty Remains Hospitalized After Officer Involved Shooting

May 23, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page

54 year old Randy Gerald Petty remains in Vanderbilt hospital being treated for gunshot wounds after he allegedly drew a weapon and was shot by officers of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department late Wednesday night.

Sheriff Patrick Ray has not disclosed the names of the deputy and detective involved in the shooting. However, in accordance with a sheriff's department policy, the officers have been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

Sheriff Ray told WJLE that the incident occurred around midnight as the officers were responding to a complaint of yelling and gunshots being fired in the area of Adcock Cemetery Road/Petty Road. " At 11:53 p.m. dispatch got a call of multiple gunshots and yelling in the area of Adcock Cemetery Road, "said Sheriff Ray. " A deputy and detective responded to the call. The detective spoke with the complainant and a member of Petty's family. The complainant reported hearing yelling and gunshots coming from the area of Petty Road," he said.

The detective was informed by a family member of Petty that he had told someone that if law enforcement officers pulled up in his driveway, he would shoot them," said Sheriff Ray.

"The deputy and detective drove to Petty Road and stopped near Petty's house. As they got out of their vehicles and prepared to walk up the road toward his home, Petty came out from behind some trees in a neighbor's yard," said Sheriff Ray." Petty drew a gun on the officers. The deputy and detective then drew their weapons and fired multiple shots. Petty was wounded in the shooting and transported by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital. He was later taken by ground ambulance to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville. The officers involved in the shooting were not hurt," he said.

The shooting is under investigation at this time by the DeKalb Sheriff's Office, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the District Attorney General’s office and will be reviewed by the DA when completed.

"I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Smithville Police Department, DeKalb EMS, TBI, District Attorney General Randy York, Assistant Attorney General Greg Strong, DeKalb Fire Department, Central Dispatch, and the Smithville Animal Control for all of their help and support," said Sheriff Ray

Fire Chief Asks City to Fund Two New Full Time Firefighter Positions

May 23, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Fire Chief Charlie Parker (older photo)

Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker is asking the aldermen to fund two more full time firefighter positions in the new budget year, which begins July 1.

Parker made the request during a budget workshop with the mayor and aldermen Tuesday night. Other department heads also made budget requests to meet their needs. No final decision has been made. The mayor and aldermen will meet in another budget workshop next Tuesday night, May 28 at city hall.

Throughout its history, the city fire department has been made up totally of volunteers until last summer when the aldermen, at the request of the department, funded one permanent full time position, a fire administrator. Chief Parker was hired to fill that job. He is now paid a salary of $35,350 per year plus health, life, and dental insurance benefits. The same benefits as all other city employees.

The city also purchased the department's first ever ladder truck last year. The cost of the truck was $746,305 but all the money for the purchase was appropriated from the city's general fund reserve.

During Tuesday night's workshop, Parker expressed his appreciation to the mayor and aldermen for their support of the fire department, but said more help is needed. "The biggest thing we're asking for again this time is to see if we can add some personnel. I know we made a big accomplishment last year by putting one (person) on. I do appreciate that. I think that is giving us a good start to move forward. But there are still a lot of things to maintain. We still have a shortage of personnel during the day time. We've got people who work second and third shift now that can't always get out during the day time. The biggest part of our day crew works at some of these factories (locally) or out of town and can't come (during a day time fire call). So we're at a shortage through the day," he said.

Chief Parker is asking the city to fund two new firefighter positions at 40 hours per week with their salaries to be set between $28,000 to $32,000 based on their qualifications, experience, training, years of service, plus benefits. "That doesn't give us coverage around the clock but it does during the day when we have several calls and make business contacts. I'd love to have some folks here twenty four hours a day but we just don't have the tax base to afford that right now," he said.

"There is only so much that one person can do here at the fire hall. I can keep up with the reports and the paper work that occurs daily but for safety, I can't respond to calls without someone else," said Chief Parker. "The real work takes more help. We have hydrants that need to be flushed and tested twice a year. Right now, we do not meet the state standards with our hydrants. We have several business and factory pre-plans that need to be started and updated so we know if they add chemicals or other hazards. The normal maintenance on the vehicles and buildings can be overwhelming at times and the volunteers can only do so much at night," he said.

"Two positions at 40 hours each like me would allow us to do all of this and more," according to Chief Parker. "We could actually get someone certified to do fire inspections and possibly start responding to first responder medical calls. I am working with our ISO representative on things to lower our classification (for homeowners Insurance purposes). He (ISO representative) said that adding any personnel would help lower our ISO rating. With the new ladder truck and some extra work, we should be able to lower our classification at least one and maybe two classes. A lower ISO rating would result in lower insurance rates for the public. A lower ISO rating and at least some full time positions would also be attractive to industries looking to relocate here," said Chief Parker.

Under the proposal, the fire department's budget would total $330,000, which is up from $185,902 in 2012-13 (not counting purchase of ladder truck) and an increase from $164,300 in the 2011-12 year. One third of the proposed fire department budget would go to fund three full time positions. Salaries would go from $35,350 (one position) to $110,000 per year (total of three positions). Payroll taxes would increase from $8,535 to $9,000 and the employee health insurance benefit would jump from $8,365 to $25,500 to cover the three positions.

The city's financial consultant Janice Plemmons-Jackson cautioned the mayor and aldermen about adding recurring expenses to the budget. While the city has healthy general fund reserves of over three million dollars, Jackson said the city's revenue streams for annual operation are not keeping pace with spending and if the trend continues, a property tax increase may be needed before too long. Aldermen Shawn Jacobs and Gayla Hendrix, who support Chief Parker's requests, indicated they would be open to the idea of making spending cuts in other areas of the budget to offset the expense of at least one new firefighter position this coming year.

The city budgets $50,000 each year for "payment to volunteers" which is divided among the firefighters to compensate them for their response to calls throughout the year. That amount would remain unchanged in the proposed budget. The allocation for Junior firefighters ($2,000) and for utilities ($3,000) would remain the same next year as well as $4,000 for uniform allowance, $4,000 for miscellaneous expense, $5,000 for vehicle parts and repair, and $20,000 for insurance.

Chief Parker proposes to change the bonus pay to firefighters. " Currently, we pay a $500 bonus to firefighters who have served over 10 years. I would like to change that to $250 for every five years of service. I hope this will increase the incentive (for firefighters) to stay with the department. At present, that would add about five firefighters at $1,250," he said.

The allocation for telephone expense would increase from $2,500 to $3,500 under the proposed budget for the fire department. "The main reason for the increase is we want to purchase I-pads for the engines and rescue trucks, " according to Chief Parker. "The monthly internet fee will be $30 per device per month. The 911 center is in the process of changing their mapping system and with the purchase of I-Pads we will be able to directly connect with 911. The I-Pads will also aid in finding hydrants making it quicker responding to a fire. We will also be able to upload information on our businesses, their layout, hazards, notes, or any information we would be able to have in real time," said Chief Parker.

The fire department budget includes a new line item of $5,000 for training and travel. "Currently, we have been paying for training and travel out of the miscellaneous account," said Chief Parker. "We are fortunate to have an increasing number of creditable training classes across our state and neighboring states. I have firefighters that are willing to take off work and leave home to take these trainings and bring back the knowledge they pick up. We are also fortunate this year to have the opportunity for a few of our firefighters to attend the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland that I hope we are able to attend," he said.

A capital outlay allocation of $55,000 is requested to replace hoses and equipment. " I just received an unofficial notice that fire hose older than 25 years may have to be taken out of service. If this is the case, we have about 1,500 feet of hose that would have to be replaced and that is somewhere around $5,000 to replace, said Chief Parker.

"I would also like to request to start putting money back to purchase vehicles and equipment. I would first like to be able to purchase a used rescue vehicle to replace two vehicles we currently have. We can even sell or trade those trucks. Then within the next four years, we have one fire engine that will be considered an antique and the other will be fifteen years old. In the near future, we also have rescue equipment and SCBA air packs to replace which runs between 30 and 40 thousand dollars. I think we need to start now for upcoming expenditures," said Chief Parker.

The proposed fire department budget would reduce spending for repairs and maintenance from $15,000 to $10,000; funding for gas, oil, and grease would decrease from $10,000 to $8,000; and the line item for supplies would decrease from $18,000 to $16,000. "We need to replace our PPV Fan and at least one ground ladder. We have a few SCBA bottles that will expire soon and we will have to purchase new ones. We will also be replacing some of our SCBA (Air Packs) masks. We would also like to purchase a washing machine to take care of our new turnout if possible," said Chief Parker.

While chances are slim that the city could qualify for grants to help fund staffing of personnel, Chief Parker said he would like to try again. " With the permission of the board. I would still like to apply for another SAFER grant and the equipment grant but I don't think we need to count on them. We have never done very well with the grants. If we get one we'll be tickled to death but I think we need to be realistic and plan on some of these things for the future," said Chief Parker.

The Smithville Fire Department currently has in its fleet a 1980 service truck, a 1992 fire engine, a 1998 rescue vehicle, a 2001 fire engine, a 2006 pickup, and a 2012 Quint ladder truck. Alderman Tim Stribling asked if the city could sell the oldest fire truck before it becomes outdated while it still has value. "It is still an in-use truck," replied Chief Parker. "With some of the factories, to cover those size buildings and even some of the bigger churches we've got to have so many gallons per minute of pump capacity. The ladder truck and those other two trucks give us that pump capacity. If we sell that old truck now then we won't meet the qualifications to do the gallons per minute," he said.

"Our vehicle fleet is in pretty good shape. This year will put our 1992 fire engine at 21 years old and the 2001 engine at 11 years old which means that within four years, the oldest one will be considered an antique and the other will be fifteen years old. I think the people of Smithville deserve better than having an antique fire engine to protect them. I think we need to starting planning now because we know we are going to have to purchase vehicles in the not so distant future so let's plan for it," said Chief Parker.

DCHS Class of 2013 to Graduate Friday Night

May 23, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Taylor Leach
Matt Boss
Randall Hutto, Wilson County Mayor

A total of 186 students at DeKalb County High School will receive their diplomas during graduation exercises Friday, May 24 at 7:00 p.m. on the high school football field.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW PHOTO GALLERY OF DCHS CLASS OF 2013)

http://www.wjle.com/image-gallery/dchs-class-2013

The program will feature the processional and recessional by the DCHS Band, an Invocation by FCA member Cassandra Lester, music by the DCHS Chorus and Theater; a special performance by the BETA Group; remarks by the Valedictorian Taylor Leach, Class President Matt Boss, guest speaker Randall Hutto, Wilson County Mayor, and Presentation of the Class by Principal Patrick Cripps. DCHS Guidance Counselor Lori Myrick will introduce the honor students. The prestigious White Rose and Citizenship Awards will be presented to three outstanding members of the class. Each graduate will receive his or her diploma from Director of Schools Mark Willoughby. The Benediction will be delivered by FCA member Taylor Leach.

Those earning "Highest Distinction" with a grade point average of 3.8 to 4.0 are: Valedictorian Taylor C. Leach (4.0), Salutatorian Phillip J. Carroll (4.0), Daniela J. Acuna (4.0), Casey J. Alderman, Kristen R. Campbell (4.0), Caleb B. Cantrell (4.0), Sarah E. Cantrell, Erin Cantrell-Pryor, Hunter T. Collins (4.0), Lauren E. Craig (4.0), Emily R. Davidson, Savannah P. Dexter, Benjamin G. Driver, Hayden R. Ervin, Christina Ferguson, Makayla S. Funk, Callie A. Gash, William G. Graham, Kayley B. Green, Katie S. Haggard (4.0), Jessica L. Harbaugh, Amy L. Hastings, Alexander D. Hayes (4.0), Haley Keck(4.0), Elizabeth A. Koegler, Mandee R. Lattimore, Samantha R. Leiser (4.0), Cassandra L. Lester (4.0), Chelsea A. Lewis (4.0), Cecilia Maciel Ortega, Martha L. Martin (4.0), Zachary R. Martin (4.0), William M. Molander, Annieka M. Norton (4.0), Benjamin P. Pafford (4.0), Johnathon K. Page, Haley D. Parchman, Jacob E. Parsley (4.0), Taylor B. Poston (4.0), Martelia L. Tallent, and Rebekah G. Webb (4.0)

Students earning "High Distinction" with a grade point average of 3.6 to 3.79 include Kaylee S. Cantrell, Mykaela O Duke, Alyssa K. England, Marissa E. Garmer, Cory A. Kijanski, Spencer B. Maynard, Taylor B. Monette, Lucas D. Phillips, Skyar J. Ritchie, and Dalton H. Vaughn.

Those earning "Distinction" with a grade point average of 3.2 to 3.59 include Connor N. Apple, Emily K. Blackwell, Matthew W. Boss, Matthew C. Bouldin, Brittany N. Brakeall, Ashley S. Brandt, Benjamin F. Brandt, Cohen W. Brown, Downing E. Burke, Abbey L. Caldwell, Paige L. Cantrell, Austin L. Certain, Evan M. Curtis, Rachel L. Edge, Fantasia M. Erdman, Cain A. Evans, Krestin M. Evans, Lydia M. Foutch, Ashlee M. Gunter, Kelsey R. Hale, Alex C. Hall, Laddie B. Jerrells, Jason A. Judkins, Harley D. Lawrence, Walter L. Lewis, Quenton P. McSparren, Derek C. Parsley, Bindiya R. Patel, Elijah C. Poss, Nathan A. Sexton, Ethan D. Shaw, Spencer E. Stanfield, Cheyenne L. Stanley, Lindsey M. Taylor, Elijah G. Turner, Zachary D. Vincent, Emily J. Webb, and Zoe E. Whaley.

Members of the DCHS Class of 2013 are as follows:

Jessica Acuna, Matthew Adcox, Casey Alderman, Jose Daniel Alvarez, Connor Apple, Braxton Atnip,

Jacob Daniel Bandy, Timothy Bandy, Randy Beechler, Emily Blackwell, Matthew Boss, Matthew Bouldin, Brittany Brakeall, Ashley Brandt, Benjamin Brandt, Megan Brooks, Cohen Brown, Gage Brown, Halea Brown, Downing Burke,

Abbey Caldwell, Destiny Caldwell, Kristen Campbell, Brittany Campbell, Paige Cantrell, Caleb Cantrell, Kaylee Cantrell, Sarah Cantrell, Erin Cantrell-Pryor, Zackary Caplinger, Phillip Jacob (P.J.) Carroll, Alissya Coronado, Cortney Cawthorn, Austin Certain, Christopher Chapman, Justin Coats, Hunter Collins, Matthew Colwell, Quentin Cook, Christopher Crabtree, Lauren Elisabeth Craig, Evan Brady Cripps, Taylor Cudney, Evan Curtis,

Emily Davidson, Leif Robert Davis, William Day, Savanah Dexter, Kyra Dickens, Ernest Dodd, Marly Driver, Aleisha Driver, Benjamin Driver, Mykaela Duke,

Rachel Edge, Kelsey Eller, Alyssa England, Fantasia Marie Erdman, Hayden Ross Ervin, Krestin Evans, Cain Evans,

Christina Ferguson, Lydia Foutch, Casey France, Sonni Fullilove, Makayla Funk,

Marissa Garmer, Callie Gash, Samuel Giles, Nathan Gohs, Hunter Graham, Will Graham, Kayley Green, Lisa Elaine Greer, Cody Griffith, Sheldon Blake Grisham, Ashlee Gunter,

Sierra Danielle Haggard, Katie Haggard, Kelsey Hale, Katie Hale, Austin Hale, Alex Hall, Jessica Harbaugh, Amy Hastings, Alex Hayes, Joshua Heady, Devon Hickey, Abigail Holden, Joey Howell, Jordan Huling, Bridget Hutchens, George Junior Hyde,

Veronica Ingram, Laddie Jerrells, Brandon Jones, Ilse Lorena Ramirez, Jason Judkins, Brandy Julien,

Haley Keck, Cory Kijanski, Gabriel Knowles, Elizabeth Koegler, Lucas Kurzendoerfer,

Mandee Lattimore, Harley Lawrence, Andrew Lawrence, Nathan Lawson, Taylor Leach, Joshua Thomas Lee, Samantha Leiser, Andrew Neil Lemons, Cassi Lester, Lucian Lewis, Chelsea Lewis, Elyse Litteer, Jacob Tyler Long,

Cecilia Maciel, Austin Malone, Laura Martin, Martha Martin, Zachary Martin, Shelton Martin, Spencer Maynard, Caleb McBride, Quenton McSparren, Will Molander, Taylor Monette, Jonathan Michael Morris, Brittany Murphy,

Annieka Norton,

Ashley O'Conner,

Benjamin Pafford, Jonathon Page, Haley Parchman, Derek Parsley, Jacob Parsley, Bindiya Patel, Hannah Marie Pease, Drew Pedigo, Lucas Phillips, Elijah Poss, Taylor Poston, Amanda Nicole Puckett, Cody Puckett, Shawna Puckett, Eric Christopher Redmon, Dillan Reeder, Tiffany Riley, Skylar Ritchie, Roxana Rodriguez, Sarah Roysden, Jared Brendon Russell, Kieran Benjamin Russell,

Javier Sanchez, Margarita Sanchez, Nathan Sexton, Ethan Shaw, Tyler Joseph (T.J.) Slezak, Spencer Stanfield, Seth Stanley, Kayla Stanley, Cheyenne Stanley, Carlie Sullivan, Martelia Tallent, Lindsey Morgan Taylor, Christian Tyler Terry, Brandon Thaxton, Juan Carlos Torres, Eli Turner, Jacob Turner, Kristina Tyree,

Derek Vanatta, Daniel Vandergriff, Tyler Vanhoose, Dalton Vaughn, Brent Vickers, Zachary Vincent,

Ashton Waggoner, Kelley Walker, Emily Webb, Grace Webb, Zoe Whaley, Joel Wilkerson, and Matthew Wright.

Man Shot by Officers of Sheriff's Department After He Draws a Weapon on Them

May 23, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page

A man is in Vanderbilt hospital this morning being treated for gunshot wounds after he drew a weapon and was shot by officers of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department late Wednesday night.

Sheriff Patrick Ray has not released the name of the suspect in the case nor the severity of his condition.

Sheriff Ray told WJLE that the incident occurred around midnight as the officers were responding to a complaint of yelling and gunshots being fired in the area of Adcock Cemetery Road/Petty Road. " At 11:53 p.m. dispatch got a call of multiple gunshots and yelling in the area of Adcock Cemetery Road, "said Sheriff Ray. " A deputy and detective responded to the call. The detective spoke with the complainant and a member of the suspect's family. The complainant reported hearing yelling and gunshots coming from the area of Petty Road," he said.

The detective was informed by the family member of the suspect (gunman) that he (suspect) had told someone that if law enforcement officers pulled up in his driveway, he would shoot them," said Sheriff Ray.

"The deputy and detective drove to Petty Road and stopped near the suspect's house. As they got out of their vehicles and prepared to walk up the road toward his home, the man came out from behind some trees in a neighbor's yard," said Sheriff Ray. The man drew a gun on the officers. The deputy and detective then drew their weapons and fired multiple shots. The suspect was wounded in the shooting and transported by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital. He was later taken by ground ambulance to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville. The officers involved in the shooting were not hurt. Sheriff Ray has not released their names.

The case is under investigation by the Sheriff's Department, TBI, and the District Attorney Generals Office.

Smithville Police Department to Conduct Sobriety Checkpoints

May 22, 2013
Corporal Travis Bryant and Officer Steven Barrett

The Smithville Police Department will be conducting sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrol on Friday, May 24 thru Monday, May 27, 2013 in an ongoing effort to provide safer roadways for the public. Sobriety checkpoints will be conducted Monday in the area of S. Congress and Short Mountain Hwy. Saturation patrol will be conducted throughout the weekend. The Smithville Police Department will continue to work with the Governors Highway Safety Office in an effort to keep our roadways safe.

The Governor’s Highway Safety Office (GHSO) is Tennessee’s advocate for highway safety. This office works with law enforcement, judicial personnel and community advocates to coordinate activities and initiatives relating to the human behavioral aspects of highway safety.

The GHSO’s mission is to develop, execute and evaluate programs to reduce the number of fatalities, injuries and related economic losses resulting from traffic crashes on Tennessee’s roadways. The office works in tandem with the National Highway Safety Administration to implement programs focusing on occupant protection, impaired driving, speed enforcement, truck and school bus safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety and crash data collection and analysis. Programs administered by the Governor’s Highway Safety Office are 100% federally funded.

DeKalb Middle School Recognizes Students During Award's Day

May 22, 2013
DMS Teacher of the Year Suzette Barnes with Amanda Dakas
DMS Student Austin Johnson with Mrs. Dakas
DMS Student Madison Cantrell with Mrs. Dakas
DMS Student Marshall Evins with Mrs. Dakas
DMS Student Alec Reynolds with Mrs. Dakas

DeKalb Middle School held their annual Award’s Day ceremony for 6th and 7th grade students on Tuesday, May 21st 2013. Mr. Randy Jennings opened the event and introduced Mrs. Lori Hendrix. Mrs. Hendrix recognized Junior Beta Club members with a certificate. Mrs. Tonya Sullivan then spoke about Student Council’s achievements throughout the year and honored those students by asking them to stand.

Miss Courtney Davis then presented the TTU Math Competition award to 6th grade student Madison Cantrell. Mrs. Ashley Barnes recognized the Yearbook Staff members, Kayla Belk, Alec Reynolds, and Eleonore Atnip with a certificate and pin. Mr. Tom Hill then presented the Computer awards to Molly Hall, Braya Murphy, Grace Godowns, Dailen Brown, and Hannah Brown. They received certificates and pins.

Art Awards were presented by Mrs. Amanda Dakas to 1st place- Autumn Summers, 2nd place- Brilee Neal, and 3rd place- Shaunta Koegler. Mrs. Dakas also presented Perfect Attendance certificates to Shaylah Dowell, Trey Fuston, Ethan Jenkins, Joni Robinson, Tesla Tapp, Ana Amaya, Courtney Ambrose, Faedra Burns, and Taylor Reeder. Mrs. Dakas then presented Citizenship award plaques to Dulce Maciel, Chance Mabe, Rebecca Gray, Dosson Medlin, Kyle Justice, and Kaitlyn Cantrell.

Special Recognition awards for citizenship and for helping with landscaping around the school were given to leaders- Cristobal Flores, Brandon Romo, and Cory Bennett. Awards were also given to students who served as the helpers- Brianna McDonald, Brayden Miller, Gage Myers, Nick Young, Emily Romo, Hailey Redmon, Justin Ferrell, and Madison Kemper.

All students who achieved Honor Roll were asked to stand and be recognized. Subject awards were then given out by Mr. Jennings. In the 6th grade (rotation A), the following received awards: English- Corina Mata, Social Studies- Braya Murphy, Math- Ealy Gassaway, Reading- Parker Gassaway, Science- Jacob Freeman, Most Improved- Richard Brown. In the 6th grade (rotation B) awards were given to: English- Chloe Sykes, Social Studies- Macy Hedge, Math- Derek Young, Reading- Megan Redmon, Science- Andrew Fuson, and Most Improved- Noah Martin.

The following 7th grade students received subject awards: Social Studies- Shauna Pedroza and Abby Evans, Reading- Austin Johnson and Makayla C. Bain, Math- Santanna Ferrell and Bradley Miller, Science- Thomas Webb and Allison Maynard, Language Arts- Marshal Evins and Annissa Hall, and Most Improved- Brittany Pinkard.

Highest GPA plaques were then given to 6th graders: 1st- Madison Cantrell and 2nd- Alec Reynolds, and to 7th graders: 1st- Marshall Evins and 2nd- Austin Johnson. Mr. Jennings and Mrs. Dakas then presented a plaque to the DMS Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Suzette Barnes.

SES Briefly Locked Down Wednesday Morning

May 22, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Julie Vincent

Smithville Elementary School was placed on lock down for a few minutes this morning (Wednesday) after a student reported seeing someone near the school wearing dark clothing possibly with a weapon.

Central dispatch received the call at 7:42 a.m.

Smithville Police responded. A search of the school turned up nothing.

"This morning we had a student that reported to teachers that she had seen someone dressed in dark clothing that she thought had some type of weapon out on the side of the building by the car line (near Walker Drive)," said Principal Julie Vincent. "When we received that information we immediately called the police and we went into our lock down. We searched the entire perimeter of the school inside and out and everything was fine. All the students were safe. We followed all of the precautions that we have in place in such an event as this," she said.

"The students, staff, and faculty did an outstanding job of being where they were supposed to be and staying where they were supposed to stay until we gave the all clear for them to be able to move about the building again," said Vincent.

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